Timing Belt problem - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Car Year: 1999
Car Model: Forester L
Timing Belt problem

Last time I wrote, I replaced the engine on my '99 Forester L (MT) with a 15k mi. engine with my odometer reading 85k mi. Today, @ 142k mi. my Forester is back in the shop and they say it needs a timing belt, valve job, Head Gasket kit and some machine shop work. I had to have it towed because it wouldn't start. It would run, but then seize up. It happened all of a sudden this past Sunday afternoon. He want's to charge $3380. My questions are as follows:
1) Is the Foz worth fixing? I've loved it the entire time, except for the cost of the repairs.
2) If it is worth fixing, is the price reasonable and will it fix the problem and for how long?
3) Are there other options: new engine? Sell the car and buy a new one?

I need advice on my forester. I love it to death, I have it customized perfectly (including aftermarket seats) for my 6'10" frame, and it does everything I ask of it. I'm just tired of putting money into it (Since the original repair, I also had a valve adjustment done, throwout bearing replaced and the syncro's are starting to go as well)

Any advice is appreciated.
-Goose
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 09:02 PM
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Sounds like your timing belt broke?

Only you know the answer to your question. My best advice would be to look at the damage yourself. If the piston walls are fine, and scratch free you may be in an OK place. If the valves are bent, you may find it cheaper to find yourself a set of used heads to swap on the car.

In all reality the bill sounds about right considering a dealership wants to charge $3000 plus for just head gasket replacement. It sure is frustrating isn't it? I can do this entire job in 10 hours in my garage and do it for a couple hundred dollars. Are you handy with a wrench?

Headgasket PRO-2001 Outback~1998 Forester
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:54 AM
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In strictly financial terms it is probably not "worth fixing".

I plan on keeping my 2004 a long time because I really like it and nothing newer is really comparable and I have customized it a bit too. I will rebuild the motor once and the trans if I have to. I'm hoping for 300,000 +.

I do most of my own work, though. If I had to pay for everything I would give serious consideration to a different car if you weren't overly attached to the Subaru. Repairs are usually cheaper than car payments. Only you can decide what matters most.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:02 AM
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personally I would say put a new motor in it and while your at it upgrade, if you spend half of what they want to fixit you could find a new(used) motor plus more fun stuff.

JJAG
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:05 AM
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BTY

EJ25D | JapanStarMotor

EJ20 TURBO 97 | JapanStarMotor

they ship free sometimes depending on how much you spend.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links. It's something I would like to consider, but I'm thinking I need to move on to a different car as I've already done the engine swap @ 85k mi. Any ideas on selling it? Anybody on the forum that would want it?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 11:53 AM
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could part-it-out,

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 12:49 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem selling it at all, I have bought a ton of Subies just to repair and end up selling them to family members.

I may be interested in it. Is the timing belt broken, or does the car still drive?

Headgasket PRO-2001 Outback~1998 Forester
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 04:03 PM
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It's 11 years old so personally, I would buy another car and fix this one myself on the side. It's not like you'll get much for an 11 year old car without an engine.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 04:10 PM
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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As far as I know, the timing belt isn't completely broken, as it would run for a few seconds and then shutter to a stop but it is not driveable. Mechanic says it needs a valve job, head gasket kit, and timing belt.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 07:08 AM
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$3,400? Seems pretty steep to me. Is this at a dealer? I would look for an independent and get a quote.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm selling it now. $1500 if anybody wants it from the forum. Sometime next week I'll post it on ebay. Thanks for all your support but this car has been too expensive. I bought a new Hyundai Santefe 2009 with a 100k mi. warranty yesterday. It doesn't have the AWD that I love, but I'm in the south and I won't use it.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-2010, 11:52 AM
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Sounds like this car could be put back on the road running strong for less than 600 dollars, if it was not overheated that a plus.
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