timing belt tensioner & pulleys - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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timing belt tensioner & pulleys

I have a squealing noise upon cold start the first time in the morning, only couple of seconds. So I took the two drive belts off, and the noise is still there (while it's still cold). This leads me to believe that the timing belt tensioner or one of the pulleys is the problem. I opened up the left side of the timing belt cover, and didn't see anything obvious while the car was started. Also there's a noise (sounds like an unwinding spring or coil) when car is shut down. Anyone thinks I'm on the right track? BTW, the car drives/idles no problem at all.

The last time I did the timing belt, I only changed the belt, WP, and the cogged pulley, but reused the other pulleys and the tensioner. Looks like these components are iffy (car has about 207k miles) now.

Does anyone have experience with the eBay timing belt kits for the Forester? It's less than half of OEM price. I just need the tensoioner and the pulleys. I already acquired the OEM belt and WP for my next TB job, and I was hoping to do it next year, but looks like I need to change my plan.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 05:47 PM
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from what I have seen with the two kits that have gone through my hands. The idler pulleys in the ebay kits only have single row ball bearing vs the OEM which is a double row, 1/2 the bearing. to me this equals a failure twice as fast if not sooner due to you now have half the bearing and it is also not centered with the load any more. Just my thoughts.

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-13-2008, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. Looks like potentially half the price with half the bearing. I may still go for it since my car has high mileage, and I also need to do the HG job one of those days (it's been weeping for quite some time, but still manageable: add a cup every couple of months).
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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I just received my ebay kit, and it looks good to me. How can you tell if the bearings are single row or double row configuration? I'll take some pics when I get a chance.

Here's a summary of what's in the kit (in my case):

Item BRAND ORIGIN
--------------------- ------- --------
Timing belt Bando Germany
Hydraulic tensioner NTN Japan
Cogged pulley GMB Korea
Smooth pulley (AA190) NSK Japan
Smooth pulley (AA142) Koyo Japan
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 05:58 PM
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I have this grinding noise when I start my car but from what I have heard that noise comes from the starter engine. Not having a better word for it.
It's just when i start the car. Maybe you have the same noise? It lasts about 2 secs after engine start.

On the same time my alternator is making a little squelly sound while the engine is running.
Edit: Most noticable after starting it up and walk out of the car.

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Mine only happens when the car has been sitting for a while and cold, normally the first time in the morning. Once it warms up, restarting it produces no noise. First I thought it was one of the 2 drive belts, but I eliminated them by taking them off to reproduce the noise (kind like squeal).

Does your noise happen all the time every time you start? Do you think your starter is not retracting fast enough after starting? I'll find out if it cures my noise once I have it installed.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 06:21 PM
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Mine is making more noise when it's cold. When warm it's not totally quiet but it's not making those 2 second after-engine-start-noise
My mechanical skills sucks but I can hear the starter grind noise if I switch the ignition on but not holding it long enough for the engine to start just taking it back to off I hear the same noise. My car takes a second or two hold on the key before the engine starts.

Edit: So I think my starter is not as good as it should be

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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It's hard to tell, but you would be lucky if it's the starter or the drive belts (or related pulleys), 'cause if it's timing related components (which I suspected in my case), it would potentially be disastrous.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 06:55 PM
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I'm planning on changing time belt with all the things that is with this belt changing. Problem is that I can't do it so I must deliver the car in and they may take like 4-5 hours doing that job meaning here it costs around 160 US dollars per hour. And I need to buy the parts first. So I'm kinda delaying the whole job.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know how many hours professionals charge for this job, but it shouldn't take more than 2 hours. It took me about 40 minutes (dark outside, with a flashlight) to expose everything (removed drive belts, fans, crank pulley, timing covers), and hopefully I can get home early enough tomorrow to finish the job. It's getting dark awfully fast these days.

If you plan to get the TB done, I would suggest getting it in ASAP.
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 07:13 PM
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2 hours. Nice. Well my car now has a whooping 194K miles on it. Guessing now that the timing belt was changed once on the car around 100K+ something. So it's soon time.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Couple of pics. The last one also shows my crank pulley (and the disintegrated OEM one that I will use to turn the crank to align timing marks).

Bando appears to be beefier and heavier than the OEM belt. Its tooth profile is slightly fatter. The cogged pulley on the right is the previous one I changed out, can't tell the difference (other than it's a bit loose compared to the new one).
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 07:19 PM
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Wow, it's more parts involved then I thought. lol
Ironically most of the time I spend on this subaruforum is when i'm at work. So I'm earning money sitting here
Work nightshift, don't have alot of work over the 9.5h shift anyway. Time consuming forum

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 08:26 PM
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I use the Ebay kits all the time - actually I get them from their website. The GMB bearings. Most kits come with 2 smooth idlers with 2 bearings (instead of the originals that have one with 2 beearings and one with one bearing). The cogged one for by the WP, and the tensioner.

I'm not up to speed on the Foresters but on the other Subaru models if the crank and cam seals aren't the kinda brown ones replace them while you are at it. I'm thinking all Foresters have the updated aluminum baffle plate and the new crank and cam seals.

I usually get Dayco belts locally for about the same price as the place with the idler kits so I get the TB and accessory belts local.

I've probably used a dozen or so over the past year or two with no issues so far.

Dave
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-15-2008, 09:02 PM
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There is few on ebay that send such stuff from US. And not over here. SO if anyone want to feel free to buy those cheap parts and send them over here. I pay of course. Just need to avoid toll on the border. Send it in a gift wrap

Edit: Oh, I have bought the timing belt but I need all the other parts.

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Last edited by Elmy; 10-19-2008 at 02:59 PM.
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