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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

Im gearing up to do a timing belt replacement on my 2003 Forester 2.5L N/A with 94k. I've been reseaching the job quite a bit and I have the directions from the Endwrench website, along with a haynes manual.

I've done the timing belt on my old 92' 2.2L Subaru Legacy so I have some experience, but that was several years ago.

My plan is to replace these parts..

* Timing Belt
* Waterpump
* Tensioner
* Idler Pulleys (2 smooth & 1 cogged)

With all the head gasket failure discussion I am "considering" replacing the head gaskets as well while it is all apart, along I haven't notice any leaking or issues.

Any advice or recomendations are appreciated and I will document my replacement in this thread in the coming weeks. As always, Thanks for any advice!

Jason
 

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That's quite a bit MORE work. It's not like, while you are in there, lets replace the Head Gaskets.

I would plan on 6-8 hrs ( if this is your first time ) to replace the timing belt and associated parts you described. That's all I have done on many a Subaru I service and very few have had Head Gasket problems. We hear more about the failures than all those running without problems.

Ahhhh.... Fleetwood ..... been past there many times traveling from Allentown to Reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's quite a bit MORE work. It's not like, while you are in there, lets replace the Head Gaskets.

I would plan on 6-8 hrs ( if this is your first time ) to replace the timing belt and associated parts you described. That's all I have done on many a Subaru I service and very few have had Head Gasket problems. We hear more about the failures than all those running without problems.

Ahhhh.... Fleetwood ..... been past there many times traveling from Allentown to Reading.
Thanks for the advice, when I bought the car I did quite a bit of research and I thought they had most of the head gasket problems worked out with the 2003's.

I have a backup vehicle and plan to do the job in a weekend, but it wont be the end of the world if it takes a little longer.

I grew up in Bangor, then moved out to Berks county for a job...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I dove into my timing belt replacement yesterday, I got stuck on the crankshaft pulley bolt. Up to that point I probably only had an hour or two into the job.

I read about the people who use a breaker bar and a pipe against the floor or the frame rail to break the bolt but I didn't really feel safe doing that. So I borrowed a chain wrench from my buddy, and I hope to break that bolt loose when I get home this evening.

Otherwise everything seems pretty straight forward so far.... I will update with pictures tonight...thanks!
 

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Don't be afraid ... breaker bar on drivers side frame rail, or with a pipe on the ground works every time ..... did another one this past Saturday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't be afraid ... breaker bar on drivers side frame rail, or with a pipe on the ground works every time ..... did another one this past Saturday.
Do you hold the breaker bar and have someone crank the engine or do you do it yourself without holding the bar/pipe?? Im afraid its going to slip off and break something..
 

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Just put the socket on the crank bolt with the handle either laying on the TOP of the drivers side frame rail ( be careful of A/C tubing if it's routed there ) OR on the ground of the drivers side with a pipe on the handle end extending it to the ground.

The get in and just hit the key .... usually one quick hit .... and shut it right off. The bolt is then loose and can be removed with your fingers.

When re-installing, If a 5 speed, I out it in 5th and pull the parking brake HARD, then torque the center bolt to 130 Ft Lbs. If and auto, I remove the access plug from the top rear of the engine, under the throttle body, and use a big screwdriver to hold the drive plate in place while torquing the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If and auto, I remove the access plug from the top rear of the engine, under the throttle body, and use a big screwdriver to hold the drive plate in place while torquing the bolt.
Thanks, I'll look for this access plug this evening as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so, I got the crankshaft pulley off without any problems..

When I took the belt off I had all the notches lined up properly and I put a breaker bar on the bolts for the camshaft pulleys so they couldn't spin....I then put the new parts on and put the new belt on and everything seemed to work perfectly....i then spun the motor (clockwise) several times to make sure nothing was hitting, and everything seemed fine....

however I think I must have screwed somethign up b/c when i went to start it, it cranked over and made a bad noise...I really cant figure out what I did wrong and im afraid i bent some valves....

i thought it was goign so smoothly too..thoughts? thanks
 

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Recheck your timing marks .... all 3. Line them up from the pulley to the mark on the head or block. The most common one missed, or misused is the crank pulley, Most line up the WRONG tab with the timing mark on the block. You must find the one with the scribed line on it and line it up. Then the cam pulleys with the mark on the rear covers at 12 o'clock.

If you were able to turn the engine by hand with no major resistance, you probably did no damage.

Here's a good way ... starting on pg 8 of 12 shows you how to do it.

This USED to be on the Endwrench site, but they have since removed it when they sunsetted the site to an archive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Recheck your timing marks .... all 3. Line them up from the pulley to the mark on the head or block. The most common one missed, or misused is the crank pulley, Most line up the WRONG tab with the timing mark on the block. You must find the one with the scribed line on it and line it up. Then the cam pulleys with the mark on the rear covers at 12 o'clock.

If you were able to turn the engine by hand with no major resistance, you probably did no damage.

Here's a good way ... starting on pg 8 of 12 shows you how to do it.

This USED to be on the Endwrench site, but they have since removed it when they sunsetted the site to an archive.
Appreciate the advice, I had that PDF and was using it to do the job. I will check the pulleys again tonight when I get home.

when i rotated the engine i did it with a rubber strap wrench around the crankshaft, i could feel compression building up but it didn't feel like anything was hitting....and it still feels the same when i rotate it now...

the crank pulley never moved from its initial location after i took the belt off, the cam pulleys moved slightly in order to get the old belt off and the new belt on but I didn't rotate them more than 10 degrees...

The noise i heard didn't sound good though, i know that for sure.... I appreciate any advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If i were to rotate one of the camshaft pulleys do I need to rotate it twice to get it back in time with the other pulley?

Thanks...
 

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No, so long as the timing mark lines up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
thanks, I keep trying to figure out what I could have possibly screwed up and im coming up with nothing...I cant wait to get out of work so I can go look it over again, although I gotta admit im afraid its not going to be good...

I'lll report back..thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
alright so I took everything apart and im putting it back together...this is how I currently have it sitting....







The one thing that is confusing me is when i count the teeth between the mark on the crank and both cams they aren't what they are supposed to be, which is 44 & 40.5 per the PDF above...

When I count the teeth on the belt between the yellow lines, it should be the same number right?? when I count it on the belt i am gettting different numbers but it matches my old belt...

I have the arrows pointing to the right when looking from teh front of the car...

thoughts?
 

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the pdf is for the 2.2L .... the tooth count IS different on the 2.5L

47 teeth on the left side, 43.5 on the right
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
the pdf is for the 2.2L .... the tooth count IS different on the 2.5L

47 teeth on the left side, 43.5 on the right
well that clears that up! thanks

do the timing marks look correct? It sure seems right from all the diagrams i've looked at....
 

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Yes .. all looks good. Try starting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well I went back out to the garage last night and tried to rotate it by hand before I started it....it definitely wouldn't spin freely all the way through its cycle, it got jammed up...

another thing I noticed is it seems the bottom half of the belt doesn't seem very tight at all, i can almost lift the belt off the bottom smooth idler pulley...

anyway im kinda stumped here and I feel like an idiot b/c everythign seems like it should be correct....
 

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This is on an 03 correct, with a SOHC? I am guessing by your last post that you have pulled the belt off and have reset the timing to ferret's instruction?
 
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