2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
I know this kit is pretty popular here, so I thought I'd re-post this here as a caveat regarding the water pump included with the kit: Why we won't use Gates Timing Belt Kits - i-Club
Proper maintenance of your Subaru is paramount at FW Motorsports; poorly maintained cars are no fun to own, buy, or modify.
Since we've been asked why we charge more than other shops for our Timing Belt service, I'd figure that it was worth my effort to educate you, the customer on the reason we use, and don't use, particular parts when you choose to bring you Subaru to us.
This first post will be in regards to the (in)famously cheap Gates Timing belt kit, p/n TCWP328RB, which can be had for less than $250 on Teh InterWebz.
The belt, tensioner, and most of the rollers, are high quality parts. There's only one company that makes the tensioner, NTN.
These parts are worth the price of the kit, however the water pump and gasket are another story.
The pump is of unknown manufacture...looks similar to a manufacture's part that's made in China and the gasket is a flimsy paper part that leaks in short order.
Here's a close up of one of the mounting bolt bosses that is poorly cast and not machined. The bolt flange bearing face needs a flat bearing surface to create a leak free joint.
Is this defect present on all pumps? No, but as time is money, the few bucks you "save" using a non OEM part are quickly lost when the pump has to returned, repaired, or worse, replaced after installation.
This is an OEM Pump or a pump made from a past OEM supplier. All the mounting bosses are finished machined, providing a flat/parallel mating surface.
This is the OEM water pump gasket, made of coated, embossed stainless steel.
Here is the flimsy paper gasket that comes with the kit. Even with using a sealer, these gaskets will leak.