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2001 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just to kick a dead horse and reiterate this point I'm sharing my friends recent experience:

This weekend I helped my friend pull the motor on his 04FXT due to a thrown t-belt. The previous owner had the heads rebuilt shortly before he bought it and apprently they saved $100 by not replacing the timing belt pulleys(this particular pulley is around $30). This previous owner's poor choice will cost my friend $5000. Don't cheap out Fozz owners, it's not worth it! Buy the full water pump/t-belt kit.

Anyways, just wanted to share and show some carnage pictures. Funny thing is his Boss had the exact same pulley fail on his 99 outback a few months ago. Same reason, prevous owner didn't replace them during the scheduled timing belt change. So another word of caution when looking at used Suby's, if they've got a receipt for the last t-belt change make sure they did all the pulleys as well as the and water pump.







 

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2001 Forester 4EAT
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would go with OEM subaru next time. I used a gates kit on mine recently but after seeing two pulley failures within a couple months I'm sold on OEM parts. But my pictures are a little confusing beucase I show the busted cam pulley but that's not what failed. The pulley where you can see all the ball bearings is the culprit, he siezedup and that stopped the belt which caused the cam pulley to disinigrate. I'd guess that having the plastic cam pulley might lessen internal damage? The pulley breaks before some metal parts inside do, granted the heads still need to be rebuilt but could potentially have more damage, beyond rebuilding, if the cam weren't to bust. So yeah, I'd go with OEM!
 

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The cam pulley that is shattered is generally not replaced even when doing a full tb service and it's only removed if the cam seals have to be changed. I'm pretty surprised that the cam pulley failed so completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The cam pulley that is shattered is generally not replaced even when doing a full tb service and it's only removed if the cam seals have to be changed. I'm pretty surprised that the cam pulley failed so completely.

Yep, I didn't replace that cam pulley in my T/B service. I was impressed with its destruction as well, probably doesn't help that it had 181K on it...
 

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2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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Few thoughts AND experiences here:

Failed pulley normally replaced here is the TOOTHED pulley by the water pump. This is the pulley I usually find is dry and gritty feeling. It is the one pulley I ALWAYS replace. Others if they feel bad or I have a kit will get replaced. The cogged pulley has the most tension on it of the entire timing belt pulleys. I always have one around. Same p/n on any SOHC / DOHC EJ engine, about $50.

Second, re the failed exhaust Cam Pulley. If the heads were recently done, or even the seals, the cam pulleys were ALL removed. Now HOW did they secure the cam while removing or torquing the pulley bolt? There are flat spots near the front of the cams behind the front bearing/seal assy. This is where Subaru tells you to hold the cam for removal or replacement of the pulley. I have seen others try to hold the cam PULLEY with a Strap wrench or home made version using an old timing belt. I would NEVER try this as it puts much too much pressure on the pulley. Far more than just the normal belt turning the valve train.

In any case ....... my own observations, and either way, a LOT of work and money for the owner to recover from this.
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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Want to hear the sad part...

The Subaru dealer by us that did the one on the '06, when I saw the estimate I said "that is a tad low".

The service guy goes "How is it low?'

"I don't see the pulleys and idlers included."

"Oh, so you want me to add those..."
 

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2003 Forester xs Au(to) naturale(/a)
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Few thoughts AND experiences here:

Failed pulley normally replaced here is the TOOTHED pulley by the water pump. This is the pulley I usually find is dry and gritty feeling. It is the one pulley I ALWAYS replace. Others if they feel bad or I have a kit will get replaced. The cogged pulley has the most tension on it of the entire timing belt pulleys. I always have one around. Same p/n on any SOHC / DOHC EJ engine, about $50.

Second, re the failed exhaust Cam Pulley. If the heads were recently done, or even the seals, the cam pulleys were ALL removed. Now HOW did they secure the cam while removing or torquing the pulley bolt? There are flat spots near the front of the cams behind the front bearing/seal assy. This is where Subaru tells you to hold the cam for removal or replacement of the pulley. I have seen others try to hold the cam PULLEY with a Strap wrench or home made version using an old timing belt. I would NEVER try this as it puts much too much pressure on the pulley. Far more than just the normal belt turning the valve train.

In any case ....... my own observations, and either way, a LOT of work and money for the owner to recover from this.
To add - any pulley/sprocket that makes ANY noise when spun should be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I assume this condition is very hard to detect without removing the timing cover and rolling the idlers but my friend had JUST started having another issue that we now are thinking might have been a precursor.

A few days before this idler froze up he started have a moderately violent 'shimmy' under acceleration or deceleration. It felt like it was coming from the front of the car but shook the whole driveline. It wasn't 100% consistent, probably 70%+ of the time. He replaced his driveshaft but it changed nothing. He ordered new motor and tranny mounts but it let go the night before we were going to put them in.

So could that idler's bearings been going through a slow down-then-spin cycle and cause those symptoms? Cycle would roughly be like:
start to bind up, then quickly let go,start to bind up, then quickly let go etc... Keep in mind this cycle would be happening very quickly with a frequency of about 2 cycles per second.

Probably un related? But his motor mounts looked find upon removal, haven't checked the tranny mount yet. Thoughts/comments??:shrug:
 

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1998 Forester
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Few thoughts AND experiences here:

Failed pulley normally replaced here is the TOOTHED pulley by the water pump. This is the pulley I usually find is dry and gritty feeling. It is the one pulley I ALWAYS replace. Others if they feel bad or I have a kit will get replaced. The cogged pulley has the most tension on it of the entire timing belt pulleys. I always have one around. Same p/n on any SOHC / DOHC EJ engine, about $50.

Second, re the failed exhaust Cam Pulley. If the heads were recently done, or even the seals, the cam pulleys were ALL removed. Now HOW did they secure the cam while removing or torquing the pulley bolt? There are flat spots near the front of the cams behind the front bearing/seal assy. This is where Subaru tells you to hold the cam for removal or replacement of the pulley. I have seen others try to hold the cam PULLEY with a Strap wrench or home made version using an old timing belt. I would NEVER try this as it puts much too much pressure on the pulley. Far more than just the normal belt turning the valve train.

In any case ....... my own observations, and either way, a LOT of work and money for the owner to recover from this.
Agreed 100% Whenever I build a quote for belts or heads I include the geared pulley, and will "add on" the others if needed.

The cam gear has a special tool that grabs the sprocket Cam Sprocket Wrench Kent-Moore 499207400-A
 

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2007 Forester SportsXT AT
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So another word of caution when looking at used Suby's, if they've got a receipt for the last t-belt change make sure they did all the pulleys as well as the and water pump.
I think you're missing a word in there between the & and.

Anybody have any parts numbers for the pulleys?

I just called my mechanic about a 105k service. he says the tensioner and water pump are not fail items and shouldn't need to be replaced.
 

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1999 Forester S Turbo 5MT
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Regardless of the value of the discussion above, and it's all good stuff, the lesson here is, as you say, pay peanuts - get monkeys. When I went to have the timing belt replaced, as soon as I said it to my mechanic, he repiled that he would change all the pulleys and tensioners as well as the water pump at the same time. I was not actually aware of this until I looked it up later but as I got the kit myself, he wasn't making any money from the extras anyway. Good honest and competent mechanics are hard to find and unfortunately for me, mine emigrated to Canada last year so that's their gain I guess.

A good point and reminder Shef, nice one:wink:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think you're missing a word in there between the & and.

Anybody have any parts numbers for the pulleys?

I just called my mechanic about a 105k service. he says the tensioner and water pump are not fail items and shouldn't need to be replaced.
Oops, good catch, I forgot tensioner :icon_biggrin:
 

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I see idlers...

Which last I checked...are the parts you change.

Pulley=where something actually is "spinning" attached to it.

Idler=spot meant to keep the belt guided for equal pressure on the pulleys.
 
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