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2010 Forester 4EAT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

Just completed an oil change and got what appears to be the common head gasket leak. It's not leaking coolant into the chamber so not critical. Just seepage around the heads. Oil consumption isn't alot.

I've got 163,000kms on the vehicle and was planning on replacing the timing belt plus idlers and water pump in the coming weeks.
I've bought the Aisin timing belt kit with water pump, that I plan on installing.
The current belt is starting to show wear. Small cracks have started to form.

I am planning on replacing the head gaskets but wont have the time till September which by then, I'll be sitting on 172,000kms roughly.

Does anyone now the risk of running this belt another 8-9k kms? If risk is high, my thinking is just replace the timing belt and AC belt( one and done deal) eat the cost twice on the ac belt. Then when I get the time in September, replace the pump and idlers, when I drain the system. Or just replace all those parts now with the kit and just drain the cooling system twice?
 

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2001 Forester
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1,615 Posts
It's a difficult decision. I had the timing belt, water pump, etc.. replaced about 2 years ago. But I also knew the HG were leaking as well at that time. But I left the HG alone as it was more a nuisance that the oil and coolant was leaking. The only reason I just in this last March had the HG job done, was when I sent an oil sample into Blackstone Labs that they confirmed coolant was mixing into the oil and the coolant level was rising between 2 different oil changes did I decide to bite the bullet and have the HG done. If the coolant level was not rising between oil changes, I probably would have left the HG alone. So when I had the HG done in March, I paid the extra $$ for another Timing Belt/water pump job as well.

The AC belt and Alternator belts are easy jobs so it's a toss-up. The only thing you'll be saving have those replaced now versus later is the labour costs. Since they have to come when the HG are replaced.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
@bman400 I forgot to clarify that I will be performing all the labour myself in my garage. Thanks for the info tho.
 

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2005 Forester 2.5X RWD JDM 6mt
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454 Posts
If it was my car, my vote would be to hang on and do it all at once. It will be easier that way as well.
I also reuse that AC belt until it starts to squeal, usually get 2-3 installs on one.

I would like to see a picture of your timing belt to confirm. But I think it will be fine until Sept.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #5
I thought the AC belt was stretch fit and had to be cut to remove? If it can be removed without cutting, great.

Also I will get a picture of the timing belt up tomorrow and see what everyone thinks of the condition.

Sure would be nice to bang it all out in a one go.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #9
I reused my stretch fit belt 2-3 times on my 2012 STI. Don't cut it, loosen the whole AC compressor and magically it's slack and falls right off.

It can be done, its up to you to make your own decision.
That makes sense.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #10
Now... back to the actual discussion about the timing belt and headgaskets
Going to get some pics up tomorrow of the timing belt and let everyone chime in on the condition and weather to do it the belt right away or what till fall to do it when I do the HGs.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Looking a HG kits. Any recommendations? Or should I just piece together my own part by part?

1A Auto seems to have a comprehensive kit but doesnt list it for my model and year. Is it not the same engine through out the 2000s across most models?
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. I do have the Aisin timing belt kit in the mail.

I will look into updating my info.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
So here are some pictures of the timing belt around the left pulley...

The inside toothed part of the belt looks good but the outside when stretched around the pulley is where the wear is showing more pronounced.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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In the U.S the timing belt is replaced every 105 K miles. You are good to go there.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #17
In the U.S the timing belt is replaced every 105 K miles. You are good to go there.
By looking at the belt in the pics do think that looks like excessive wear? It is the original belt.
 

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2010 Forester
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151 Posts
There is also a time limit on the belt. Much like tires. Buy a brand new set of tires with a 50k mile warranty and put 3k miles on them in 10 years... they still need to be replaced.
 

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2010 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #19
My forester has a assembly date of 7/10, so I'm sitting at 106 months, over the age but under the mileage. I'm up in central Canada, and we get the most extreme temperature and whether changes around here so...

I'm starting lean towards getting the belt off as soon as its delivered and replacing JUST the belt. If the idlers, pulleys and tensioner feel fine leave em? Or just get all that on there too? The main thing I'm trying to avoid is draining the engine. So I'm thinking leave the water pump and coolant in till September when I pull it all to do the HGs.

Does anyone object to this?
 

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2010 Forester
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When I did my '03 OBS timing belt I found it necessary to pull the radiator and hoses just for working clearance - you'll be draining anyway. I've forgotten why you're holding off on the head gaskets, but I'm still of a mind to just do them at the same time and replace all pulleys etc.
 
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