My crank pulley ate my timing belt cover! - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 03-13-2010, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My crank pulley ate my timing belt cover!

I noticed my AC had stopped working on my way back from an out of town trip. Didn't think a whole lot of it, maybe it needed another charge, but I didn't look into it that night after six hours of driving.

The next day I hear a weird whap whap whap noise when I started the car. Didn't check under the hood until I got to work, and saw the AC belt had partially shredded and wedged itself behind the AC compressor pulley. I cut the belt off and was able to drive the car home.

It wasn't until I got home last night that I looked more closely, and realized the AC belt was the symptom and not the cause. It looks like my crank pulley has started to delaminate, and that outer grooved ring section has started to back off the inner hub. The outer section had worked its way about 1/4" into my timing belt cover, which shredded the AC belt. In the pics below you can see the crank pulley-shaped hole eaten into the TB cover, and on the overhead view you can really see how the pulley is out of alignment with the rest of the accessory pulleys.

Good thing, too, or I might not have investigated properly before it worked its way into the timing belt itself. Clearly this failure mode could have been catastrophic, especially had it occurred two days ago while I was out of town on the Interstate.









What do you guys think? Am I on the right track as far as the crank pulley delaminating being the root cause? The crank snout, key, and front main seal in the pic below all look good, which seems to eliminate some of the scarier possibilities, like crank walk.



Thanks for looking. All suggestions, comments and commiseration are welcome!

Jim


PS, car specs:
2000 Outback Wagon, 2.5L SOHC, AT, 164k miles
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks like you hit the nail on the head. That elastomer ring breaks down over time and the pulley slips. Put a new pulley on and you should be good to go.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, seems to be a symptom. Not sure why or how frequently it happens on Subies or on other cars (although my '76 chev 350 is still fine at 130k miles.) Here's a similar case of OB pulley delamination that was discussed here not too long ago:

Dropped my A/C belt. Is it the crank pulley?
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Old 03-13-2010, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You know I came across that post earlier this morning when doing my initial research. The crank pulley in that pic further down on the first page looks a lot flatter than mine! I believe there was a link to another forum (might have been ORS) that showed a pulley completely delaminated too, as in two separate pieces.

That link was the first I'd heard of the issue, and it's what made me take a second look at my pulley and realize they aren't supposed to look like mine looks!

Financial impact looks like about $250 for the new pulley, new timing belt cover, and new upper and lower tb cover gaskets. Price quoted is from Subarupartsforyou.com, plus about $26 in shipping. Local Subaru wants $50 more than online, including offsets for tax and shipping.

I'm debating, but I think for now I'll plan on keeping my timing belt, tensioner, water pump, etc. I replaced the TB on schedule at 105k, and I really don't want to take the hit for the water pump, belt, etc. right now. Anyone think that's crazy talk?

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Originally posted by plain OM
Yes, seems to be a symptom. Not sure why or how frequently it happens on Subies or on other cars (although my '76 chev 350 is still fine at 130k miles.) Here's a similar case of OB pulley delamination that was discussed here not too long ago:

Dropped my A/C belt. Is it the crank pulley?
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a good used pulley you can have for cheap.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I swapped mine out for a lightened pulley last fall. So I too have an OE pulley sitting in my garage taking up space that I'd be willing to part with.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks, both of you, for the offers. See PM. My email's in my profile and is another good way to contact me.

Jim


Quote:
Originally posted by Moose05
I swapped mine out for a lightened pulley last fall. So I too have an OE pulley sitting in my garage taking up space that I'd be willing to part with.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought I was the only person this had ever happened to. I don't think I've seen it mentioned in this Outback forum since I've belonged. It happened about 5 years ago to my '96 Outback (R.I.P.), but it also trashed the water pump. Dumped all the coolant on the ground and left me stranded. Good thing you caught it early.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This same thing happened to my 2005 legacy with 85,000 miles on it. The only difference is once it ate through the cover it caused the timing belt to jump! I am looking at new engine options now.

Is this common for the pulley to fall apart like that? If so, do you recommend I replace the new pulley that will be installed with my new engine?
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Another '05?

thumbyqui -- is your's a turbo (as in the link in post #3 above), or the normally-aspirated 2.5?

Common? There's been a few reported here, but as far as I can recall, most are older and higher mileage.

If the replacement engine is a used one, I'd probably change the pulley just to be sure. I also suggest marking the front face with a line from the center to the outer edge. (I used "white out" after cleaning the surface). This will allow easy inspection of the pulley whenever the hood is up. If the rubber starts to deteriorate, it's likely the outer ring will rotate around the inner, as much as move in or out, and this would be more apparent with the line.
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