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2002 forester
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Overall this is not difficult. I just did this job, and here are two things that would have helped save time if had I known better:

1. Removing crank pulley. This is very easy if you buy a chain wrench to hold the pulley still, and a socket (22mm) w/ ratchet and breaker bar on the bolt. I also put a breaker bar on the chain wrench and braced it on the ground. The wrench cost about $20 at Autozone. However, the chain that came with my wrench was just slightly too short. I fastened a few more links from a bicycle chain onto it and used nails for joining the ends of the links, and it worked great. I would recommend wrapping a piece of your old AC belt around the pulley, then taping the ends together so it stays in place, so the chain doesn’t damage the pulley.

2. I found that placing the new timing belt on the pulleys was difficult, as the belt fit was very tight. The way that worked best for me was to keep the idler pulley and the tensioner off, put the belt on, then put on the tensioner, then lastly the idler pulley. Be patient when putting on the tensioner, it took me a few tries to get the bolt hole lined up. I had to press down on the tensioner, flexing the belt, when trying to align the bolt hole. I also greased the top of the tensioner plunger so it slid easier into place. Even pinned, the fit was tight. Note that because the tensioner is pinned, the timing mark on the driver’s side cam will look slightly off. When you unpin the tensioner it will line up exactly when you turn the engine.

Also, note that the driver’s side cam pulley is loaded (springs compressed) and if you turn it too much when putting on the belt it will snap down and rotate about 90 deg. Not a big deal if it does, just move it back into position. Don’t worry about the cams moving slightly when you remove the old belt. To be sure the new belt is on right, once you get the marks lined up again, you can count the teeth on the belt to be sure everything is exactly right. I marked the old belt before I removed it and counted the teeth between pulleys for the new belt.

Other than that, it was straightforward. Good luck.

2000 Accord
20 Posts
DIY difficulty level

am planning on changing it all out:

Timing Belt: 13028AA231 - $69.00
13073AA142 - $57.50 x 1 (smooth)
13085AA080 - $62.95 x 1 (tooth)
13073AA190 - $32.00 x 1 (smooth)
Tensioner: 13033AA042 - $115.00
Crank Seal: 806733030 - $6.59
Cam Seals: 806732150 - $6.15 x 2
Water Pump: M/T: 21111AA007 - $76.75
Pump Gasket: 21114AA051 - $3.00
Thermostat: 21200AA072 - $13.00
Thermo Gasket: 21236AA010 - $2.65

My buddy worked as a technician throughout highschool and college and was confident that when I asked if we could do the timing belt. However I did not ask him about everything else, would any of the other items I want to replace be a large jump in difficulty? I am ignorant of car maintenance beyond brake, rotor, and oil changes and he seems confident but I don't think he has any experience with subarus. I guess I'm askning if you guys think it would be that hard to change everything listed above, is the timing belt going to be the most difficult?

Premium Member
2004 Forester 4EAT
5,462 Posts
There has been a few threads lately about crank pulleys coming apart. I would think that if you use a chain wrench on it, replace it. Flstffxe, do you agree, or is this an okay way to do it? I personally like your wrench, and will be making one soon enough.
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