I have said this for years, and sometimes falls onto deaf or unwilling to accept ears. After repairing many a neighbors cars ( Subaru's included ), It DID happen to me.
Last Friday, I took our son to Wilkes-Barre on a Friday night to take my dad out to dinner and see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. On the way home, we just got onto I-84 outside of Scranton at 12:30am and the Forester just died. All lights on the dash, no power. Just coasted to the right berm. Tried to restart, but starter spun as if it was free. Lifted the hood and saw the 1st picture below. Knew the timing belt was TOAST and possibly the engine. Called AAA.
Changed belt back at 105K and the cogged pulley as it was dry and noisy. Now this at 143K ???? What happened ????
Now options are to tow me free up to 10 miles, stay in hotel with no change of clothes and rent a car to get home next morning THEN deal with car 100 miles away. Asked for a price to tow us home ..... $375 .... took it as the car would be home, so would we, and would probably cost more than that even staying in a hotel, car rental and then getting the car back to NJ.
Opened timing covers and you see the belt in pieces and wrapped around the crank pulley below.
Pulled heads, Bent valves on cyl 3 and 4.Got prices on fixing them.
Anywhere from $550 to $700 PLUS parts. Got in touch with Bruce, Singincanary, and he put me onto a guy who MIGHT have a used set. Drove up, saw them and $200 later I have a good set from an 03 Legacy with 85K ( engine had bad rod bearing ).
Below are pictures of the crank sensor that was damaged by the belt guide ( keeper ) only found on the M/T engines. AND a picture of the keeper.
Notice the left side screw hole elongated. When I pulled the timing cover, a small screw in perfect condition fell on the ground. Guess where it came from. It must have backed out, fallen onto the moving belt and shredded it.
I'm very anal, so I'm certain I torqued it properly at the time. This time, I'll probably used some Locktie on those. I don't want to make this a habit.
To add insult to injury, today I received my EZPASS statement. Seems on the night I was flatbedded, we passed through the Harriman tollbooth on the NY State Thruway. The tow-er PAID his toll ......and the EZPASS tag on my windshield also registered and deducted a toll for my Forester also !!!!!
The pistons had more carbon buildup than I ever expected, Huck_This already notice the same when he did his first rebuild. Being I do push my engine AND use Seafoam every 60K. Now I'm moving that up to 30K intervals. The pictures were taken AFTER they were cleaned up.
Also note the pistons positions, all at 1/2 way. This is where they are when you have the crank set to the belt install timing mark. No chance of valve to piston interference at this point.
Big THANKS also to Jackie at Annapolis, Called her Monday, by Wednesday, I had the sensor, gaskets and all other parts to start assembly.
A week later, back together and running. I did notice many bolts under the timing belt cover did have some form of loctite on them. So I used some on each one I replaced, including some blue loctite on those holding the guide this time.