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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1998 with 219,000 miles. I bought it last year with 216,000, I drive it about 150-200 miles per week. It runs well and I don't want to chance the engine. I want to replace my timing belt but there are a lot of options I'm finding. Can anyone suggest what the proper kit is and should I replace anything beyond what the kit includes. Thankyou
 

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2000 SF5 Automatic
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465 Posts
If you have the cash go OEM Subaru original parts.
SubaruPartsGirl represents a vendor on this forum, comes highly recommended for OEM subaru parts.
And being a member on SF.org earns you a discount ;-)
https://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f125/forester-timing-belt-kits-76277/

Next best option is Aisin kit .e.g. Aisin Timing Belt Kit on Rock Auto USD273

According to these interwebs Aisin actually manufactures these for Subaru installation at factory.

Make sure to replace all 3 idlers (1 toothed, 2 smooth), hydraulic tensioner and the water pump.

Others will chime in.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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BTW, same engine* in '98 as the '97-'98 Legacy Outback, GT, SUS and '98 Impreza RS, so you can use the info from those models on other forums on what to replace for a maintenance items, too.

- Check your oil pump's REAR screws and you'll need to replace the O-ring if you do this.
- May need to replace the oil sender as they leak.
- Cam and Crank seals may be leaking. Crank is easy - part of the oil pump - Cams...not so much.

This SITE is a good resource for instructions and part numbers, too....beware it's PG-13 due to the site design.

*Technically, the EJ25D was used from '96-'99 in the USA Outback/GT/SUS, but the '96 and '99 are unique.
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bleed Tensioner ?

OK, I did my research, I have my parts list for changing the Timing belt and started taking parts off the car, (I have time). Question about bleeding the Tensioner, I haven't ordered it yet so I don't know if it has instructions but I have seen a video on youtube where the guy bled it out. Is this necessary ? I have also read on this forum abiut a tensioner that failed, the guy way pissed off, does anyone think this was due to NOT bleeding it ?? What has anyone who replaced this part done ???
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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'bleeding the tensioner' doesn't compute....where are you finding that info?

What people do is 'Compress' the tensioner as described in the FSM/factory service manual (and maybe Haynes). It must be done w/the tensioner in a specific orientation AND @ a speed - not too fast....or you'll break it.

However, I HIGHLY encourage you to replace it w/new - especially if it's the 'new' style as they are more prone to breaking/failing BEFORE THE BELT. Then all you do is install it, triple-check your timing marks, etc. and pull the pin to release.


The '98 was change-over year for some Subaru parts so there may be 2 different tensioners:

Most likely it's the one on the left.
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, compress slowly, release slowly. in the youtube video I watched, it said to do this 3 times and to take a full minute to do each. a 6 minute operation. That is what was meant by bleeding. Is it necessary ? I should be taking the belt covers off later in the week and then I'll order the parts. If I need to do the compress thing I will need to by a vise.
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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Is it necessary ? I should be taking the belt covers off later in the week and then I'll order the parts. If I need to do the compress thing I will need to by a vise.
Is what necessary?

Compressing SLOWLY yes, but 3x? That's news to me - Only ever done it once on the 10 or so Tbelts I've done..but I'm not a mechanic.

And you can get creative, I've used C-clamps....depending on the style of tensioner.

GL,
Td
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thankyou, I picked up a vise anyway. It came in useful already and can always use it for something. I have all the parts ordered and they are starting to come in. Looking forward to getting this done. I've read about replacing seals, the only seal I see is on the Harmonic Balancer, do I need to replace that ?
 

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2004 Forester XT 4EAT
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No offense, but are you reading a Subaru manual? :)

There is no seal on the HB, but will guess it's the front CRANK seal? It is part of the oil pump. Which you should do anyway.

READ THIS LINK (note that the webpage graphics are PG-13). It's for a 2.2 Legacy / OB but the same as your '98 EJ25D.


I've never gone as deep as the website does on accessing the rotors. If your car has questionable oil changes and/or any sludge in the pump, you'd probably want to clean it out.

But I just pull the pump, REMOVE the crank seal, tighten those Philips head screws, install a new o-ring and reseal it per the diagram - don't over tighten the oil pump 10mm bolts...they'll snap right off. Then install a new Crank seal after the pump if installed.

O-ring for Oil pump: 806919050

Crank seal: 806733030

Good luck.
TD
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LOL, Thanks TD, as you can probably tell, I am a novice at this. I have tools, I have a manual, I watch video's. I document every step in print and pictures. I know I can do this. We may be talking about different seals. These pics are from a video I watched, it is not my car. This is the seal I am think people are saying to replace, the one behind the crank pulley. when I pulled the HB I had seen what I thought was a seal but I guess its just a stationary rubber ring. Would you or someone know the part # for this seal ?
 

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Those pics are of the crankshaft sprocket (gear) that sits on the crankshaft, which is directly in front of the oil pump and the oil pump is what the crank seal is installed into.

The part numbers are in my previous post.

If you watch this, you'll see the water pump being installed then the oil pump. This is an EJ22T (turbo) but the process is the same for yours. NOTE the video shows the engine w/OUT the cylinder heads (short block) attached, and if you start the video @ the beginning the engine is upside down.

And here's an exploded view of that part of the engine. #5 - bottom left is the crank seal:
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
1st off, Thankyou VERY much TD !! You have been most helpful.

I wasn't planning on changing the oil pump, can I just replace the seal ?

Here is a problem I ran into today, hope you can help.
When I removed the TB tensioner I seen the bolt threads looked like it was caked/filled with a metallic filler, the threading was almost non-existent. When I tried to put the new tensioner on, it got to a set point and then slipped. Can/should I try to tap it new ? Is it probable that ca ruin it for the new tensioners threads ? Can I use a Loctite product that will secure the bolt ? That's what I believe was done previously.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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Just replace the tensioner bracket. Someone probably stripped the old threads to that bracket.

Subaru started using updated tensioner brackets in 2004. They’re not expensive. Easy to just replace. I wouldn’t trust loctite. Good luck.
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Timing marks out of position

1998 EJ25D Forester- Hi All, I am doing a timing belt replacement. I am at the point of putting the new belt back on. I had used a clamp to hold the timing marks in place. The clamp fell of and the Marks are now misaligned. Questions follow.

1) the cams that move freely on the passenger side, can I rotate them as much as I want and just make sure that the marks line up when the procedure is done without any harm ?

2) the cams on the driver side, the tough to move ones, can I rotate them as much as I want and just make sure that the marks line up when the procedure is done without any harm ?

basically everything, I read states that all marks need to line up. So, is that the bottom line ? Is moving out of position OK as long as in the end all marks line up ?
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thankyou everyone, here is where I'm at now...

I am at the point of putting the new belt back on. I had used a clamp to hold the timing marks in place. The clamp fell of and the Marks are now misaligned. Questions follow.

1) the cams that move freely on the passenger side, can I rotate them as much as I want and just make sure that the marks line up when the procedure is done without any harm ?

2) the cams on the driver side, the tough ones to move, can I rotate them as much as I want and just make sure that the marks line up when the procedure is done without any harm ?

basically everything, I read states that all marks need to line up. So, is that the bottom line ? Is moving out of position OK as long as in the end all marks line ?
 

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2016 Forester
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On my 2.5 SOHC 2010, as long as the CRANK was in the timing belt service position I could safely rotate the cams as much as I wanted. The service position puts all of the pistons out of harms way from the valves. I definitely had to turn the cams when installing the T-belt in order to allow enough clearance to get everything to fit. Check out the thread I made on my t-belt install for some notes on the order that I installed it.

Be careful with your fingers around the drivers CAM as it will be prone to slipping off the top of the cam lobe and suddenly turning.

If you have DOHC, this may not apply as you might get valve-valve interference.
 

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1998 Forester "S" Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Is there just a straight yes or no answer to this ?

With Timing Belt off on my DOHC, can I rotate all 4 cams and the crank as much as I want, then bring them back to the line up marks, put the belt on and be OK. ?
 
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