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2004 Forester XT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
New to the forum, I just picked up a 2004 Forester XT with a 150,000 miles on it, it did not have any service records so I was wondering if replacing the timing belt and associated components the best bet to be on the safe side and can anyone recommend a timing belt kit that won't break the bank. Also is there anyway to find out if the timing belt was replaced recently, it seems the previous owners took pretty good care of the car. This is going to be a daily driver and I want to make it as reliable as possible right away even though I am going to do some light tuning.


Thanks in advance.


George
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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@George Altamirano

George: Welcome to the forum!

Look carefully around the engine compartment. Most timing belt kits come with a sticker to place under the hood, with the date, mileage, etc. when the service was done.

It's a pretty safe bet that the belt was replaced. Subaru owners tend to take care of their cars - particularly XTs. If you know the area of the country where the car was operated (western New York, central Ohio, etc) you might try calling around to Subaru dealers in that area to see if they serviced the vehicle. You'll need the VIN number (or at least the last 6 digits of the VIN). The telephone receptionist can usually look up this information (if they serviced the vehicle and what they did). Dealers will understand why you are inquiring. BTW, if the dealer did the service, they probably did the belt only, to keep the costs down (false economy, IMHO, but that's another matter).

Or, you can remove the timing cover side (one side is probably enough). Rotate the engine slowly clockwise with a breaker bar until you can see the label on the timing belt? Is it an OEM belt or an aftermarket (e.g. Gates). If unsure, take a picture of the belt label and post it. Someone will be able to identify the belt and whether it's the OEM or aftermarket.

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Several years back when I did the belt on my '06XT, I used a Gates TCK328 kit and Aisin water pump. The kit was good and life was simple. Sadly, Gates kits now come in gradations: good, better, best, etc. (translation: Chinese, Thailand, Japan). So, if you go with a Gates kit get, use their best version. Look on Rockauto. Use an Aisin or OEM water pump (I got an Aisin pump on eBay).

Or, there's an eBay guy in Belarus (twsperformance2013) who's got OEM kits at very reasonable prices. I just ordered one for my '12XT - it's due in about 5k miles so I'm gathering parts. So, stay tuned and I'll let you know what twsperformance sends me (and if there are listening microphones embedded in the parts)! Again, I plan to use an Aisin water pump.

Or, get an Aisin kit off Rockauto (or eBay - order by kit part number). It has Japanese parts and a Mitsuboshi belt . . . all good stuff.

For all of the above, look on Rockauto or other standard suppliers to determine the part number(s) you need. Then, search the net for the best price for that part number. These are relatively standard components - an Aisin WPF024 water pump is an Aisin WPF024 water pump, right?

Plan on changing the belt and all rotating components - idlers, tensioner, water pump. Timing belts rarely fail. What usually happens is that a rotating component seizes and then the belt self-destructs rubbing against that component. With that in mind (and the fact that a dealer probably did the belt ONLY), you could do the belt at 150k miles. It's a really good DIY project - the stuff of another message thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave for great info. I am going to get the Aisin kit, Dave I need your opinion on something different, I have a set of Enkei wheels and tires that are practically new that I removed off my Infiniti that the lease is up on. They are 19 inch, the outside diameter is 26.7, the standard wheels on the xt are 16 inches with a outside diameter of 26.1, I think clearance should be no problem, What do you think of the look, I have read some forums where hardly anybody uses wheels bigger than 18's.


Thanks Dave
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Just a heads up....That Infiniti is likley not the same 5x100mm bolt pattern as the FXT...unless they're multi-fit?
What's the tire size? Usually Subarus have plenty of room up front (may rub on fender liner) but more limited under the rear strut.
Good luck,
TD
 

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I have a set of Enkei wheels and tires that are practically new that I removed off my Infiniti that the lease is up on. They are 19 inch, the outside diameter is 26.7, the standard wheels on the xt are 16 inches with a outside diameter of 26.1, I think clearance should be no problem, What do you think of the look, I have read some forums where hardly anybody uses wheels bigger than 18's.

@wtdash was first with the best answer. The bolt pattern needs to be 5x100. That's a common size, although not as popular as it once was. You might be able to cram a 19" wheel under the fender, but the rubber tire size might be tricky. 18" wheels with low-profile tires are much more popular.

On this forum, in the Wheels subforum, there is a 'sticky' on what wheels will fit what vehicle (plus some odd problems which may occur). Read and heed - follow the wisdom of those who have bravely gone there before.
 
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