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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a Gates kit installed on a 2005 XT with 100,000 miles. Now at 106,000 and the Timing Blet Tensioner is shot. I noticed a knocking noise coming from the front of the engine, worried it might be a conrod but a stethoscope showed the knock was clearly coming from the timing cover.

The shop installed the kit 15 months ago and 6,000 miles since then, their warranty is 12 months 12,000 miles whichever comes first. They won't honour the warranty :-(
I brought to a Subaru specialty shop, told them it had a new Timing Belt Kit, the foreman said as long as it isn't Gates you should be fine, I later found out it was in fact a Gates kit. From what I have read on this forum and elsewhere, it is not unusual for the tensioner to fail early. Lesson learned. I'll order an Aisin tensioner and it has me wondering if I should just change the entire kit.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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Considering you have to essentially put in the hours to do a Timing Best job just to replace the tensioner, I would change the entire kit. You are not saving any money just to skimp on the parts. Especially since you have to pay GST on the labour cost to do the same. Meaning you will pay the same labour costs no matter what parts you change or not change. And given the other Gates parts may not be reliable either!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup! But with only 6,000 miles on the kit I considered doing just the tensioner. There are many mixed mixed reviews on the Gates kit, but also on the Aisin. I'd love to get feedback from folks who have used one or the other.
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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Since you'll be in there, it makes sense to change everything to an Aisin kit - If nothing else, for peace of mind............
 

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2003 Forester 2.5X 5MT & 2008 Impreza WRX 5MT & 2009 Impreza 2.5i 5MT
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If it's just the tensioner you can just replace it. Since it's just been 6000 miles you should still see the timing marks on the belt and you should be able to reuse it.
 

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1999 L 4AT
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The toothed idler and tensioner are the high failure parts. If you are going to keep the car for a long time change out those two parts with Subaru OE. Good luck.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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Nothing wrong with the Gates belt or water pump, I'd just r&r the tensioner & idler ... easy job to do even keeping it in time.

I did my '03 with the Dayco kit.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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63 Posts
Both Gates and Aisin tensioners rely on a silicone oil loaded piston with relief valve to hold tension. They both include instructions that are very specific on how to exercise the piston to remove air bubbles from the silicone oil that form during shipping and storage. If the procedure is not done, or done incorrectly, those bubbles will cause the tensioner to fail.

The tensioner is under a constantly changing load of compression and decompression with every revolution of the crankshaft. This causes the bubbles to heat up and diffuse into smaller bubbles, slowly chaning the silicone oil into a foam. The heated bubbles also cause a lot of pressure that pushes the silicone oil out of the relief valve ( or the rubber seal on the piston ). This reduces the viscosity to almost nothing ( just like when a headgasket blows and leaks coolant into the motor oil ).

The procedure to exercise the tensioner piston only requires a c-clamp and about 10 minutes to do it right. A lot of mechanics know this. Some don't. Whether all of them care is a much bigger question.

The only way to gaurantee it gets done is to do it yourself.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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@kharmicresonance Hey, thanks for this! Great information. From what I have read it seems all the tensioners come from the same manufacturers in Japan but I will make a comparison when I pull out the faulty one. The Aisin is stamped Japan on it. As for exercising the tensioner I will look it up and apply prior to installation. Thanks for this, very helpful. Now if can only figured out my P0171 cause, but is for another discussion
 

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@kharmicresonance Hey, thanks for this! Great information. From what I have read it seems all the tensioners come from the same manufacturers in Japan but I will make a comparison when I pull out the faulty one. The Aisin is stamped Japan on it. As for exercising the tensioner I will look it up and apply prior to installation. Thanks for this, very helpful. Now if can only figured out my P0171 cause, but is for another discussion
Please change out all Gates parts. I recently had to do a Belt on my 2009 Taurus. (My 2001 Forester is great only 78k) after fighting to get the belt on, helping the mechanic. He said it could only be the belt. We called - had the right part number, The belt part number is stamped on the belt with the right part number. Belt is not the right length. We got another belt with the same part number on the belt and it fits. Tried to do warranty claim with Gates. just a run around They have no quality control. run away from Gates. They will not help you. Do not install Gates if you want it to work.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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I agree with @Jake91777 I bought AC and PS/ALT belt for my 2001. The PS/ALT is too long, I installed the Gates belt, and adjusted the alternator to tighten the belt. The adjusting bolt stop and the belt was still loose. I ended up find on Gates website another belt not meant for my 2001, but was shorter!!!!

Just bought upper and lower radiator hoses for the 2001. The lower hose fits fine, but upper hose is not right or correct. It's missing a bit of rubber to fit squarely onto the radiator so the radiator camp barely has enough rubber to camp onto! When my son drives the vehicle back for summer, you can bet I'll be stopping at the dealer to buy a Subaru hose from them!
 

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2003 Forester 2.5X 5MT & 2008 Impreza WRX 5MT & 2009 Impreza 2.5i 5MT
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@bman400 I bought the upper and lower radiator hoses for my 2003 from AutoZone. They been on a couple of years and I have had no issues.
 
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