('03-'05) Timing belt rubbing on guide on stock EJ205? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Timing belt rubbing on guide on stock EJ205?

Popped my cam cover off on a recently imported JDM Forester (JDM EJ205) and the maintenance records show the timing belt was never done, since it's only at 62k miles this would make sense, however the belts center was worn down and shiny with small tears in it, about half an inch in the middle which from what I've seen on the internet is common when the belt is rubbing on the guide above the cam sprocket.

Is this even possible on a stock engine? Could the timing belt being old maybe have caused a bit of stretching letting it rub the guide a bit? Has anyone experienced something similar?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 12:04 PM
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Definitely possible. Although the guides don't sit over the center of the belt, maybe a little.
The guides over the cams are flimsy and bolts small, could rattle loose over time and/or not tight from the factory.
Looks like you have a fun day ahead of you replacing the timing belt.

Here is my belt worn from the crank sprocket guide rubbing it, I immediately replaced it same day.




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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Mine looks similar to that but more centered and less wide with some tears on the worn part. It's getting changed on the 26th and I might have to get it towed an hour to the shop, I'm definitely not driving it in the meantime
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 04:49 AM
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Now many may disagree with me on this, but my opinion is this.
It's still a low mileage engine, and if everything else inside the cover looks good just replace the belt and call it a day. Unless you want to spend extra $$ on the whole kit when it's not due for another 40-50k.

For my belt there, I had records from the previous owner that the whole timing kit was done about 30k before I pulled that cover. Whoever did it obviously did not gap the crank pulley guide. I just went to the local parts store and picked up a belt only, replaced it, and left the rest of the kit alone. I'm confident that everything will last until the next change at 200k miles.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 07:59 AM
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I have always thought that the design and location of the belt guides were a snake in the grass. Given the mileage you are probably safe in just replacing the belt...obviously making sure the guides are gapped properly. But there is no harm in preventative maintenance. If you do the whole lot now you're good to go for another buck o five. Is the engine out of the car? If so, and it were me making the executive decision, I'd do the full job w/water pump and sleep well for the next few years.
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