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2004 Subaru
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
DIY Timing Belt Clarification - Cam Seals

Hi,

I'm sorry to post another timing belt question but after searching for a few days this and other forums I'm still left with a question I was hoping someone could clarify for me. This is my first timing belt and I'm planning to do it next month on my 2004 Forester Non-Turbo. That would be the SOHC then, so just the single cam sprockets on each side right?

My question is this talk about the interface engines and then specifically about replacing the cam seals. With the old belt still on, I turn the engine until things are all aligned... then I can take it off. But what I don't really understand is what's safe to turn then. I imagine when I go to take off the cam sprockets to get at the seals (either with a tool or chain wrench to hold it still) that they're going to move some and get off alignment. Does that mess up the valves or risk that? Can they only be turned one way so do I need to be careful when I'm taking them off? If it gets off of alignment then how do I get it back aligned before I put the new belt on?

Thanks so much for your help on this, hopefully it will help others too.

-Jonathan
 

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2006 wrx
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49 Posts
once the crank is in the service position, all the pistons are well away from the heads so you don't have to worry about any valve interference.
 

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2004 Subaru
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you, I think I get it. You turn the engine so that the crank is aligned in a 'service position' that's puts the pistons at a safe place and also lets all visual alignment aides in an easy to see place, so when you put your timing belt back on with the right separation of teeth, etc - everything is back to good. You can spin the cam sprockets (and valves in and out) all you want without the belt on and there's no risk of interference since the crank is still (and the pistons.)

Thanks! I'm excited to try this out. Let me know if you think I'm off in my thinking in any way.
 

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377 Posts
If camshaft seals are not leaking, it's not absolutely necessary to change them w/ TB. They may last life of car w/o leaking. You could accidentally scratch sealing services or mis-install seals and create a leak while trying to prevent one. Subaru shop manual implies that camshaft sprocket (driver's side) must be removed to replace water pump. This is not true as I recently proved on my 99 Forester during TB replacement.

I plan to change my camshaft seals with the head gaskets which need replacement and valve train must be disassembled. Otherwise, I would leave them as I did when changing timing belts recently. Mileage is 220K miles.

good luck
 
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