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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I lost my timing belt going down the freeway. I bent all but two intake valves. The exhaust valves all left kiss marks on all 4 pistons. None of the intake valves marked the pistons, but all bit 2 intake valves are bent. I'm guessing by how shallow the marks are that the pistons should be fine right? I know the bottom end could be a concern, but it doesn't look like it hit too hard. What do you guys think? The cylinder walls look perfect. The bottom end and pistons feel smooth when rotating the crank.

So, if the pistons and bottom end are good then I will have the heads rebuilt. Other than the bent valves the heads show no damage or cracks that I can see. What set of valves do you recommend? Aftermarket or OEM? Will I need anything else for the heads? Sounds like most guys reuse the seats and just lap the new valves in? Can any machine shop rebuild the head or should I look for a independant subaru shop or performance shop to do the work? I have used a guy locally for a couple things and he has done good. He is an old guy and has been around forever. He resurfaced these heads when I did gaskets 50k ago. Car is a 2003 forester 2.5 N/A with 150,000 miles. Here come the pics.
 

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2003 Forester X 5 MT
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522 Posts
One way is to ask a local Subaru dealer who they use for their head work. Probably the guy you went to will do the job fine. I doubt any issues with the bottom end or heads. Most just use OEM valves as they aren't that expensive. Not sure what aftermarket options are available.

Did you not do the timing belt job when you did the HGs? Or did you use a Gates kit unknowing they are Chinese crap parts now?
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, when I did the head gaskets I used a gates timing belt kit with Aisen water pump. I had used those kits in the past several times with no issues. The gates belt just snapped for no reason. There was no rubbing and all the idlers were good as new. Only lasted 50,000 miles. I bought a new oem subaru belt and tensioner. I will probably replace all the idlers with OEM as well.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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14,780 Posts
That totally sucks. Especially when you tried to do it all right.
 

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2004 XT 5 MT
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1,113 Posts
Give a call to ASF machine in Grand Junction Colorado. Joe will give you good advice and he is a Subaru head guy. I have fed ex my heads to him for work during my build so you aren’t limited to local machine shops.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for that info.

Can anybody else confirm if there is a decent OEM quality aftermarket valve set I should look at or should I only consider OEM? And if OEM does anybody have a online source? I haven't been able to find oem valves online.

Also, what should be done about the marks on the pistons? Should I smooth them out or leave them alone?
 

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2010 Forester Ltd 4eat
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17 Posts
I personally would stick with the OEM. You can get the valves online from several vendors but you may need to call them to get you the correct valves. Regarding the pistons, I would gently smooth them out with a dremel tool. I would recommend taping around the marks so no small metal particles get in the bores and then do as very thorough cleaning of the piston tops and the exposed cylinder walls.
 

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2005 Forester AutoTragic
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22 Posts
I would stick to oem valves. I helped a buddy who insisted on saving some cash and using aftermarket valves. The retainers never wanted to seat all the way in, like the stem was not cut deep enough. We ended up going to the dealer and picking up some new valves.

Do not worry about the marks on the piston, smooth them out with some 400 grit, you'll be all set. Wouldn't worry about sending your heads to the shop to get machined either. Just block sand them with 200-400-600-800 grit while using a straight edge. Make sure none of your guides dropped, pick up new valves and some grinding compound and lap the new valves in by using a drill and some vacuum hose. You'll be done in a day.


Word to the wise, stay away from Gates kits. They use Chinese bearings for the geared bearing. They fail. Even though it looks like the bearings are ok, look at the geared bearing. Take the seal off and check for damage. Had one fail on a customer's car. Looked fine from the outside, inside the balls were galled. Pick up a Aisin kit. About 250 on amazon but come with a quality water pump, Mitsuboshi belt, NTN tensioner, and koyo and/or NTN bearings.
 

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2003 X AWP Manual
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15 Posts
Yeh aisin kit good, I use dayco belt with oem japan idlers/tensioner quite a lot and never had a come back ...
 

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2005 Forester AutoTragic
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22 Posts
Yeh aisin kit good, I use dayco belt with oem japan idlers/tensioner quite a lot and never had a come back ...
Never used a Dayco belt myself, but heard good things. Aisin i believe is the OEM to Subaru. All NTN/Koyo bearings and Tensioner.
 
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