Timing Belt Kit Questions - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Timing Belt Kit Questions

Apparently Gates WAS a legitimate if not Go-To timing belt kit back in the day (maybe coupled with an OEM Water Pump). There are many threads on this forum debating the OEM v. Gates timing belt kit. Apparently, the kits were cheapened with Chinese parts between 2014-2016 and now they're junk. Referencing my 2006 2.5i SOHC (253), Gates now has 4 different kits. 2 with a water pump and 2 without. The two without water pumps are part number TCK307 and TCK307N. The former is essentially all inferior Chinese parts while the newer 307N is supposedly OEM parts. A quick Google Search, however, reveals this thread that appears to confirm that even this OEM kit still sources their tensioner from China. For that reason, it appears that all Gates kits are inferior, according only to my feeble opinion. The alternative is OEM though that appears to be reaching about $450 with all OEM pulleys, belt, tensioner, pump, t-stat, yadda yadda. Hoping to find a financial middle ground without forfeiting quality, I have attempted to source the OEM parts outside of the Subaru packaging. I could use some "checks and balances" as I have not found a current writeup for my year and model Outback on this forum addressing these parts/part numbers.

As far as the big ticket items go, Here's what I'm looking at:
Aisin WPF-025 Engine Water Pump: $63.78 shipped
NTN T-Belt Tension Assembly (W0133-1609420-NTN): $87.81 shipped
Mitsuboshi Timing Belt (W0133-1618755-MBL): $39.82 shipped
NSK 59TB0515 Engine Timing Belt Idler: $25.71 shipped
NSK Timing Belt Idler (W0133-1652558-NSK): $17.55
Koyo Timing Belt Idler (W0133-1627580-KOY): $25.36

I am led to believe these are OEM quality parts that have not been branded or packaged to be Subaru but I cannot be for certain. If I am mistaken in either part number or part quality, please straighten me out as I don't want to install inferior parts and don't want to make erroneous claims.

Thanks for your help all,
s

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 12:44 PM
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from everything I have read, those look like a great set of parts. I didn't swap the waterpump on my WRX, but I would have confirmed it came with the OEM-style metal gasket.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Lucky Texan View Post
from everything I have read, those look like a great set of parts. I didn't swap the waterpump on my WRX, but I would have confirmed it came with the OEM-style metal gasket.
The Amazon link to the Aisin water pump above has comments that state that the gasket is the OEM style metal gasket and not paper.

I wish Aisin sold their complete kit for the 06 253 motor, but I cannot find a valid part number for it. My understanding is that it is comparable to the parts above, but even so, it'd be nice to have it all from one seller.

s
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2017, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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In an effort to keep information in an easily accessible thread, I figured I'd share what I've learned about the GATES timing kits. Please note that the accuracy of my claims are likely time limited as GATES keeps changing country of origin for components in their timing kits.

Here goes, As stated above, the standard Gates kits now include Chinese made parts and the timing belt kits with an "N" designation are supposedly OEM spec. As linked above, someone chatted back and forth with a Gates representative who confirmed that the Tensioner was still a Chinese made product in this OEM kit, however. I attempted to contact Gates specifically to learn more and my email has yet to be returned (~4 days waiting at this point). I opted to call their representative as I figured that route would be faster though I would not be able to copy and paste their comments into this thread. The results of my call were as follows: Before I was able to complete my question about the A v. AN timing belt kits, the Representative politely albeit abruptly told me that some customers were not please with Chinese made components with their kits and as such, they created the "AN" or "N" kit to offer an option with "parts sourced from Japan." He claimed that all parts in this kit are made in Japan. He did not seem to be interested/able to look any deeper into the matter (opening a kit and checking stamping on each item) and as the call ended, I was given the impression that they have gotten this question A LOT.

Review of our forum, various other Subaru forums, and youtube videos (
and
), confirm the Gates representative's claim that the non "AN" kits are largely comprised of Chinese parts. This is viewed by the majority of threads in our forum and many others as well, as an inferior product. Unfortunately, the "AN" designated kits now have contradictory reports from Gates employees with the more in depth report (see link in my first post in this thread) suggesting that while most parts are made in Japan, the Tensioner is not.

I have attempted to find any confirmation from other sites or forums giving a box review of the "AN" kit to confirm, but have thus far been unsuccessful. If any member has experience with this "OEM" kit, please let us know what you find.

s
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-23-2018, 01:57 AM
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The links above are still good as of this writing, but the prices have gone up. I ordered the parts from SubaruPartsDeal.com. They were close to the new Amazon prices (no free shipping though - not anyway unless you are Prime). There are cheaper Subaru dealers on the net by a few %, but I like the part reference and ordering interface at this vendor. Since you have all the numbers (above), if you shop around, you can find an online dealer that is within a few dollars of the current Amazon prices, and it will still be a lot less than the $450 the dealer wants for the kit. Then it will be all OEM, and shipped all together. Plus, you can skip the water pump if you want that way. If you are not Prime, that will save some money on shipping.


Here is another thread on this subject, with some additional information:
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...-bearings.html
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Last edited by Stripe; 02-23-2018 at 03:29 PM. Reason: add info
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smtippin View Post
Apparently Gates WAS a legitimate if not Go-To timing belt kit back in the day (maybe coupled with an OEM Water Pump). There are many threads on this forum debating the OEM v. Gates timing belt kit. Apparently, the kits were cheapened with Chinese parts between 2014-2016 and now they're junk. Referencing my 2006 2.5i SOHC (253), Gates now has 4 different kits. 2 with a water pump and 2 without. The two without water pumps are part number TCK307 and TCK307N. The former is essentially all inferior Chinese parts while the newer 307N is supposedly OEM parts. A quick Google Search, however, reveals this thread that appears to confirm that even this OEM kit still sources their tensioner from China. For that reason, it appears that all Gates kits are inferior, according only to my feeble opinion. The alternative is OEM though that appears to be reaching about $450 with all OEM pulleys, belt, tensioner, pump, t-stat, yadda yadda. Hoping to find a financial middle ground without forfeiting quality, I have attempted to source the OEM parts outside of the Subaru packaging. I could use some "checks and balances" as I have not found a current writeup for my year and model Outback on this forum addressing these parts/part numbers.

As far as the big ticket items go, Here's what I'm looking at:
Aisin WPF-025 Engine Water Pump: $63.78 shipped
NTN T-Belt Tension Assembly (W0133-1609420-NTN): $87.81 shipped
Mitsuboshi Timing Belt (W0133-1618755-MBL): $39.82 shipped
NSK 59TB0515 Engine Timing Belt Idler: $25.71 shipped
NSK Timing Belt Idler (W0133-1652558-NSK): $17.55
Koyo Timing Belt Idler (W0133-1627580-KOY): $25.36

I am led to believe these are OEM quality parts that have not been branded or packaged to be Subaru but I cannot be for certain. If I am mistaken in either part number or part quality, please straighten me out as I don't want to install inferior parts and don't want to make erroneous claims.

Thanks for your help all,
s

I got tired of waiting on the AISIN Timing belt update. Six Star Bernie on Ebay offered up two flavors of timing belt kits for my 2008 OB 2.5i SOHC LL Bean limited. The difference being one belt was made in Japan and one was made in the US. The Idlers were sourced from Japan and the kits include a genuine TB tensioner. So far so good since i installed it this past weekend. I wanted to get this done ASAP. I came to find out at least two of the idlers had noisy bearing and the Pin on the hydraulic piston on the pensioner seized (in the extended position -thank god!)
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