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1998 Forester
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
32,000 miles ago, 3 years ago, i had the timing belt replaced in colorado springs. This was the third belt installed on the car - a 98 forester with 207,000 miles.

The mechanics today found this belt to be folded under itself, with the back of the belt worn away as if it had been worn down by a guide. All tensioners looked ok, but they wondered / suspected if the belt was installed / aligned correctly. I have not seen it myself.

The belt failed on the mountain pass last friday (from another post), and destroyed most valves of the 2.5 DOHC. The car is 100 miles away from home and the mechanic who put in this last belt.

I don't see an implied warranty on the receipt for the work with the timing belt that lasted 32,000 miles.

what would you do, suggestions on how to proceed appreciated. repair work expected to be well over $2k.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,073 Posts
If the rest of the car is in good shape I would look around for a used engine with less miles vs putting 2K into yours.

Salvage yards you can expect them to be asking a little over $1000 for one, searching the forums and craigslist typically less then a $1000. Any Naturally Aspirated DOHC 2.5L will work.

The other option would to be rebuild the top end of yours. In which case I would do the heads and very possibly replace the pistons since they took a hit from the valves, but that can be determined when it is taken apart.

As for why the belt broke take a second look at all the idler pulleys and take a look at the watter pump pulley. Make sure there is no free play and every thing rotates smoothly and all the bearings feel as if the grease is still good. If the belt was installed wrong it should have let go with in a few to couple hundred miles after it was done.
 

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Premium Member
2008 2008 2.5i-2018 XT
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13,235 Posts
I would go back to the mechanic and ask him to eat some of the cost. If not take him to small claims court. Make sure whoever fixes it writs what he saw. It might not be allowed in court unless he is present but since its small claims court it might.

Sucks.
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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3,121 Posts
I would go back to the mechanic and ask him to eat some of the cost. If not take him to small claims court. Make sure whoever fixes it writs what he saw. It might not be allowed in court unless he is present but since its small claims court it might.

Sucks.
Good luck with that. 32,000 miles on the clock would probably take 2 yrs to put on a car and I don't know any mechanics that are going to give you that kind of warranty. What the OP failed to mention is if he had all the idler bearings, water pump and tensioner replaced at the time of replacement or of he cheap'd out and just went with a belt.
 

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05 Forester XT
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542 Posts
I feel your pain. I had the same thing happen on a 4-runner (and it died in the mountain too)
In my case, the new belt broke around 25K due to a pin working its way out of the new water pump and chewing the belt. Just before that I had dropped the car in because it felt down on power. They couldn't find anything but obviously the belt had already slipped or something.
I had it fixed in Winter Park. The mechanic there was pretty cautious not to point fingers. He did mention that in 20+ years of working on Toyotas he has never seen something like that happen...
The place that put the belt didn't really own up to the problem. They said they would have put a new belt for free had I brought the truck back. But since it was already replaced they couldn't do anything.
When the usual email asking for mechanic recommendation comes around guess what my reply is (considering that they forgot to bolt one caliper down when they did the brakes on my wife's car...)
 

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Premium Member
2014 Impreza Ltd CVT
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3,363 Posts
Well I had something similar happen at a lower mileage. I had 38K since I replaced the timing belt and pulleys when mine failed:
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f88/every-2-5l-interference-engine-64410/

The way I see it, you have 3 options:

1: Find a used replacement engine. But here you do not know the background or history so you are taking a chance.

2: Rebuild your current engine and send the heads out for rework. Chances are good that you have bent valves, and the head work alone can run upwards of $600 from a reputable machine shop.

3: Rebuild your current engine with 'used' heads from another DOHC. Just be certain if yours has and EGR, that the replacement heads to also. This was my cheapest solution and has worked well for me. I found a good set of used heads with less mileage for $200.

Anyway you choose, the car is worth more in running condition, than with an inoperable engine.
 
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