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2001 Forester manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2001 Subaru Forester, manual transmission.

My husband and I are (were) on our way from NC to CO for a month-long ski vacation. About 40 miles west of St Louis, we pulled off at an exit and stopped for about 2 minutes and kept the engine running. I then pulled forward to move onto the entry ramp to get back onto the interstate. I had just shifted into 2nd gear when I heard a thumping sound coming from the engine. Then the engine cut off. Of course, I immediately pulled over to the side of the road. When attempting to restart the engine, it sounded like it was about to turn over but then didn't.

A tow truck got us to a nearby auto repair shop. They will look at it in the morning. In the meantime, we've been researching what this might mean.... And it's not looking good. Seems like it is probably the timing belt.. and if so, this means it probably has caused damage to the engine? Meanwhile, we are stuck at an exit off the interstate with a gas station, a motel (thankfully) and an auto repair store. Starting to wonder what I'll do if the engine is fried. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!:icon_confused:
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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Certainly possible. Don't know what to tell you. Its not always guaranteed that it destroyed valves. I had a toyota truck lose a timing chain and nothing except the chain was destroyed. Keep us up to date. When doing the timing belt is is considered good practice to replace the 4 idlers, tensioner and water pump. I just did that to our 08.

I know if I were driving that distance I would rent a car..just a thought for next time.

Welcome to the board under such bad circumstances. Good luck. Perhaps someone can point you to a Subaru shop in that area. Keep us informed.
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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What's the mileage on the car? A friend of mine had her timing belt go on her '01, and luckily there was no damage to the pistons. A few of the valves were bent and needed replacement, though. If it turns out to be a timing belt failure, plan on some downtime for the car and look into getting a rental. Also, in that case I would highly recommend getting the Foz towed (flatbedded) to a Subaru specialist or dealership for repair - maybe some of the locals can chime in with shop recommendations. Don't let a random general auto/gas station shop perform the repairs!
 

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2006 2006 & 2010 Forester automatic
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40 miles west of St Louis is not Illinois. Assume you are on 70?

Columbia(where University of Missouri is) should have a good Subie mechanic.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anyone have an idea of the least, middle, and worst case scenarios? Also I'm hearing valves and pistons. What about the head(s)?

The car has 143,000 miles. I bought it with just over 100,000 miles and was told that the timing belt had just been replaced.
 

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Valves is heads.

We are doing headgaskets on an '06 with similar miles.

Head gasket job with "fixed heads" is $2500-ish. We might be doing a short block with re-finished heads for $500 less than a re-man motor at $3500...

Short block is $2000(for ours) at Subarupartsforyou (unless our mechanic finds one for less)

Fixing the heads is $300.

If that $2300+ additional labor is $3000>...

We are doing a re-man at $3500.

Labor is 7 hours re-man(what our shop quoted) and the short block is 12 hours.

We are in at $5000-ish(maximum). But we are overdoing ours and taking advantage if a $72/hr labor rate.

Broken timing belt is, essentially, what we are dealing with as we want this car trouble free for another 150,000.

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2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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The valves are part of the head. The only way the head would be destroyed or damaged is if it overheated and warped, or a valve broke off in the combustion chamber and was smashing around. Something I doubt happened.

Hopefully it's something easily fixed, and you guys can be on your way. If it is the timing belt, the risk of bent valves is rather high, especially since you tried to start the car afterwards, and who knows what position the valves were in when turning over the engine.

Heres for the best though, hopefully it's something small or easily fixed.
 

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Valves is heads.

We are doing headgaskets on an '06 with similar miles.

Head gasket job with "fixed heads" is $2500-ish. We are doing a short block with re-finished heads for $500 less than a re-man motor at $3500...in parts.

Labor is 7 hours re-man(what our shop quoted) and the short block is 12 hours.

We are in at $5000-ish. But we are overdoing ours and taking advantage if a $72/hr labor rate.

Broken timing belt is, essentially, what we are dealing with as we want this car trouble free for another 150,000.

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:icon_eek: Yikes! I'm so glad I work on my own car. Full engine rebuild with rebuilt heads, new seals, gaskets, timing belt, rings, honing, pistons, etc. ran me less than $1000. (and that was with me buying some tools too).
 

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There is a thread on here from Dec '12...

Vigilant Motorsports in Collinsvillle.

Collinsville is an Illinois suburb of St Louis.

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:icon_eek: Yikes! I'm so glad I work on my own car. Full engine rebuild with rebuilt heads, new seals, gaskets, timing belt, rings, honing, pistons, etc. ran me less than $1000. (and that was with me buying some tools too).
If...

1. It were my car...and not my cousin's (which his corporation...he's a doctor, is paying it)
2. Were a Miata/AH Sprite
3. Didn't have a done time of 3 days.

I would be doing it.

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The car has 143,000 miles. I bought it with just over 100,000 miles and was told that the timing belt had just been replaced.
Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but a timing belt failure is still possible because it seems that MOST shops (even dealerships) seem to be in the habit of replacing the BELT ONLY, and not the tensioner/idlers. At 100k the toothed idler is usually pretty gritty and not likely to survive another service interval of the same length. If it seizes up, it takes the timing belt with it (picture of the ensuing carnage can be found here).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Morning update...

So here's the update for now:

The mechanic here looked at the car and said that it is definitely the timing belt (no surprise there). He is unable to get any parts anytime soon. We could have it towed to a shop in St Louis. We are looking at Bob's Transmission and Auto Service as it has a good reputation on other forums here. We called and talked to them. They say we could get it towed there for $200, then they could potentially replace the timing belt and water pump for around $900.... However, I know this means there still might be significant damage to the engine and we won't even be sure until after spending the $1100.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So here's the update for now:

The mechanic here looked at the car and said that it is definitely the timing belt (no surprise there). He is unable to get any parts anytime soon. We could have it towed to a shop in St Louis. We are looking at Bob's Transmission and Auto Service as it has a good reputation on other forums here. We called and talked to them. They say we could get it towed there for $200, then they could potentially replace the timing belt and water pump for around $900.... However, I know this means there still might be significant damage to the engine and we won't even be sure until after spending the $1100.......
They are willing to do a compression test before replacing everything, and are even willing to work past 1:00 today (Saturday) We will have the car towed there this morning and see what happens. Thanks for all the advice. It has been very helpful so far!
 

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Don't even waste your money.

You are straight into a HG job with a rebuilt head.

If this motor is solid now, with no leaks, I would not hesitate.

Our '06 is different. It has had a seeping HG for apparently 30,000(at least, possibly longer). There is no way I trust this block with rebuilt heads.

The good news. These engines, once repaired correctly, often make it 250,000+ with only future timing belts(done right, yours was probably done cheap/wrong) and accessory drives.

Of course...assuming proper oil changes, anti-freeze flushes...yada yada.

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Just did my timing belt along with my just leaking headgasket. I was lucky. When I took my timing cover off, the timing belt was one tooth off!!! F**K that previous owner. That guy was too cheap to replace all the timing components he just changed the belt. Two idlers, one gear and one tensioner were all bad!!!! Only the belt was new. If you do timing belt, spend the extra $$$ buy the kit! Not only the belt! btw My 99 RS has 130K on it.


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