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2013 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a used engine to replace the 2.5L engine in my 2013 Forester. The engine I pulled from the car has a power steering pump, which requires 2 idler pulleys for the serpentine belt. The replacement engine does not have a power steering pump and only has one idler pulley for the serpentine belt. The stub for the second idler pulley is cast into the timing chain cover on the old engine. Can I swap the timing chain cover from the old engine to the new engine to get the configuration I need? As near as I can tell, the brackets and everything else looks the same between the two engines. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is an awesome forum, and I really appreciate the help of others who have gone before me! The timing chain cover swap was relatively easy and now my new engine has the necessary provisions for mounting 2 serpentine belt idler pulleys to accommodate a power steering pump.

A note to others who might read this post: the coil packs on the new engine have a different connector than the old coil packs, so I had to move the old coil packs over to the new engine with my wiring harness. As noted in other discussions, the old coil packs don't quite match the new coil packs. You need some nylon spacers behind the coil mounting tab, since there is a gap between it and the engine block, and you will need slightly longer mounting bolts as well.

Another thing I ran into was a cooling water loop on the right side of the new engine that was not on the old engine. I am assuming that I can just run a piece of hose from the outlet to the inlet to short that loop out. Or do I want to plug both ports and remove the hose altogether? I'm not sure how the water channels are routed inside the engine, so I'm not sure that simply plugging the ports is the right thing to do. Thanks for any help you can offer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The new engine runs great, but I'm getting codes P0016 and P0018, camshaft/crankshaft correlation. I believe the issue is the camshaft reluctor plates, which you will find under the timing chain cover. In the old engine, the plates have 3 notches, and in the new engine the plates have 3 "tips." They are inverse of each other. I'm trying to arrive at the best solution now, and will let you know when (and if) I am successful. Either the plates have to be swapped, or the ECM needs to be reprogrammed to recognize the new engine. I'm not sure if this can be done, but I would prefer reprogramming to taking the timing chain cover off again, since the engine is now installed in the car. Here is a link to another forum with some pictures of what I am trying to describe: subaru FB25 engine interchange-Page 5| Grassroots Motorsports forum |
 

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2013 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's a picture of the camshaft reluctor plates from the 2 different engines. The one on the left is from my old engine. I moved both plates from the old engine over to the new engine. I got the engine put back together and ran it last night. The P0016 and P0018 codes are gone. I'll have to put some miles on it before I'm completely convinced that this was the solution, but I'm about 95% certain at this point.
Circle Button Metal Ingredient Pattern
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Follow-up: I have been driving the car for a few days now with no recurrence of the P0016 or P0018 codes. I believe the camshaft reluctor (tone) plates were the answer in this case. I hope this information will help others doing an engine swap to avoid the same grief I had to go through! BTW, you can determine which camshaft plates you have without removing the timing chain cover. Locate the camshaft position sensors mounted in the upper right and left corners of the timing chain cover. They are fairly accessible and are retained by a single 10mm bolt. Remove one of the sensors, then shine a light into the hole where the sensor was. You will be able to see the edge of the camshaft plate. Turn the engine clockwise using a 22mm socket on the crankshaft pulley and you will see the plate turning, and you will be able to see whether it has notches or "tips."

Based on my experience as related in this discussion, if your old engine has notches and the new engine has "tips" you should swap the camshaft plates to eliminate the P0016 and P0018 codes. You have to remove the timing chain cover to do this. Of course, it will be easier to do this before you drop the engine into the car, but the cover can be removed with the engine mounted in the engine compartment. You have to remove the cooling fans behind the radiator, as well as the serpentine belt, accessories, crankshaft pulley, and the 32 bolts holding it on. The bolts are different lengths depending on their location, so I strongly recommend that you use a piece of cardboard to keep track of the bolt location on the cover, as shown in the attached photo. The timing chain cover will then come off, and you can get to the camshaft plates. I strongly recommend that you replace the crankshaft seal, since it is relatively easy to do while the cover is off. The cover and engine block are aluminum, which is very easy to scratch, so use a plastic scraper and brake or throttle cleaner to thoroughly clean the sealing surfaces between the timing chain cover and engine. I used Permatex Anaerobic Gasket Maker to seal the timing chain cover, and it worked great. There is a torque spec and a pattern to follow when torqueing the bolts, which I got from my Haynes guide.
 

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Holy smokes I did not realize how many bolts hold the timing cover. With 32 snugged fasteners you would not think it could not loosen enough to leak.
I really want to thank you for following up here and letting everybody know what you have learned. Any idea why the holes on the plates are so different in terms of positioning? What are they there for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Aluminum expands and contracts much more than steel with heat/cool cycles. The large number of bolts will keep it in place during these temperature cycles, and proper torquing will help prevent warping. It’s a very large cover due to the lengths of the timing chains, and the engine oil pools right behind it, so a good seal is critical. Which reminds me of one other detail: be sure you drain the engine oil before pulling the cover. Otherwise, you’ll have an oil mess on your hands!
 
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