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Discussion Starter #1
I’m preparing to change the timing belt, water pump etc on my 2005 Outback 2.5 (EJ25 SOHC Legacy with 4EAT tranny). Although I’ve worked on different cars and rebuilt all manner of motorcycles, I’ve never changed the timing belt on a car before so I’m looking for a little guidance here. I’ve read the Haynes explanation, worked thru the posts here and done as much digging as I can and still have a few questions:

  • Haynes says I need to get piston 1 to TDC using a compression gauge then turning the crankshaft until the crankshaft pulley notch lines up with the “0” on the timing scale. I don’t have a compression gauge, so how do I make sure I get it to TDC? In any event, I’m not sure I understand why you want it at TDC because before removing the timing belt you need to rotate the crankshaft so the timing marks all line up – which will mean it won’t be at TDC anyway.

  • I’m not buying any special Subaru tools for this job. From what I understand, the first tricky bit is removing the crankshaft pulley bolt, but I can use a breaker bar and a flick on the starter for that. In order to tighten it up, can I jam a wrecking bar into the flywheel housing as described here (I have 4EAT tranny) to hold it in place while I torque the crankshaft pulley bolt? http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/144342-post5.html


  • I’m ordering the Gates kit which comes with belt, idlers, tensioner and water pump/gasket. I’m also going to replace the thermostat (Subaru OEM) and the accessory drive belts. Is there anything else I should replace while I’m in there?

  • I can’t find a diagram showing the tooth count for installing the new belt and getting it timed up correctly. I’ve got the Spring 2005 End Wrench article (attached) and it states there should be 44 teeth between the mark on the crank sprocket and the one on the passenger’s side cam pulley, and 40.5 teeth between the crank mark and the driver’s side cam mark. Is this right for my engine?
Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

Cheers
Simon
 

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Never to tdc!!!, for t belt change.
Here is link to earlier fsm. www.main.experiencetherave.com - /subaru_manual_scans/
use the 2000 fsm. T belt stuff is the same. Do a search here and you will get more direct info.

The t belt in the kit you ordered has indicator lines for the lineup of marks.
Remember hash marks, never arrows.

Yes you can put a large screwdriver into the holes in flexplate to hold the crank still.

O.
 

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2003 Subaru Outback - 2.5L H4
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I recently did the belt in my '03 (EJ25 as well) and it was also the first timing belt I've done (despite wrenching on all kinds of things over the years). I went with OEM on the idlers, tensioner and belt. All in all, it was cake. Not sure why Haynes says TDC - you're actually lining it up mid stroke on all cylinders, but you'll see the marks. The only thing tricky for me was keeping the driver's side cam lined up, there's some spring action that kicks it over pretty good - just before and after you get it where you want it. Use binder clips to hold the belt in place on the passenger cam sprocket, and then a wrench (17mm if I recall) on the other side to wind it back just a bit . . . slip the belt on and it will pull the marks into place. Hard to describe but you'll see what I mean. Oh yeah - I used a pry bar in the flywheel for both removal and reinstallation of the pulley bolt. Worked just fine and far less risky than the starter bump trick IMHO.

I'm a big fan of watching others do it - search youtube for briansmobile1. He's got some great videos, he does the belt in a Forester (same engine) (
). Very helpful.

I bought mine used and didn't have records of previous service (other than oils changes, battery, etc). So I also changed the plugs, wires, and PCV valve at the same time. Wasn't planning on it but I also ended up changing the valve cover seals and spark plug tube grommets when I found the plugs to be coated in oil.

I didn't change the water pump, cam seals, crank seal or oil pump seal . . . unfortunately I'll get the chance to do those this summer when I pull the engine to do the head gaskets. If I wasn't planning on doing the head gaskets, I would have done all of those other seals at the same time as the timing belt. Seeing the difference in the tube seals between the new ones and the ones with 105K on them - I'd be amazed if all the other seals hold up for 210K, might as well do them now.
 

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It's very easy. You can line up the harmonic balancer to plastic cover using timing marks to tdc. You will note l/h cam arrow will point up. This puts you at piston 1 tdc. Remove covers and line up timing marks. Absolutely critical to do this before taking the belt off. Mark the old belt with nail polish. Remove it and compare it to marks on the new belt. If same install new belt using paper clips so it stays in place. I did not do any counting of the teeth. Everything lined up spot on so I didn't see the need. Under the throttle body is a flex plate and jamming a screw driver in there allows you to break the torque of the balancer and torque it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Never to tdc!!!, for t belt change.
Here is link to earlier fsm. www.main.experiencetherave.com - /subaru_manual_scans/
use the 2000 fsm. T belt stuff is the same. Do a search here and you will get more direct info.

The t belt in the kit you ordered has indicator lines for the lineup of marks.
Remember hash marks, never arrows.

Yes you can put a large screwdriver into the holes in flexplate to hold the crank still.

O.
Osei - thanks for the link. Incredible service manual resource there!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I recently did the belt in my '03 (EJ25 as well) and it was also the first timing belt I've done (despite wrenching on all kinds of things over the years). I went with OEM on the idlers, tensioner and belt. All in all, it was cake. Not sure why Haynes says TDC - you're actually lining it up mid stroke on all cylinders, but you'll see the marks. The only thing tricky for me was keeping the driver's side cam lined up, there's some spring action that kicks it over pretty good - just before and after you get it where you want it. Use binder clips to hold the belt in place on the passenger cam sprocket, and then a wrench (17mm if I recall) on the other side to wind it back just a bit . . . slip the belt on and it will pull the marks into place. Hard to describe but you'll see what I mean. Oh yeah - I used a pry bar in the flywheel for both removal and reinstallation of the pulley bolt. Worked just fine and far less risky than the starter bump trick IMHO.

I'm a big fan of watching others do it - search youtube for briansmobile1. He's got some great videos, he does the belt in a Forester (same engine) (Subaru 2.5l Timing Belt Replacement (2002 Forester) - YouTube). Very helpful.

I bought mine used and didn't have records of previous service (other than oils changes, battery, etc). So I also changed the plugs, wires, and PCV valve at the same time. Wasn't planning on it but I also ended up changing the valve cover seals and spark plug tube grommets when I found the plugs to be coated in oil.

I didn't change the water pump, cam seals, crank seal or oil pump seal . . . unfortunately I'll get the chance to do those this summer when I pull the engine to do the head gaskets. If I wasn't planning on doing the head gaskets, I would have done all of those other seals at the same time as the timing belt. Seeing the difference in the tube seals between the new ones and the ones with 105K on them - I'd be amazed if all the other seals hold up for 210K, might as well do them now.
Many thanks! Glad to hear that your TB change went well on first attempt :) I'll also change the cam seals, crank seal and oil pump seal while I'm in there.

I checked out briansmobile1 on YouTube and found this one, which goes into more detail on the TB change:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R58MwuhTsQk&list=UUD34eNpI8IfqPFhlOYcLt6Q&index=33

It looks like he doesn't bother with holding the flywheel in place to loosen/tighten the crankshaft pulley bolt, but it seems easy enough to do and you avoid turning the engine over messing with the bolt.

Cheers
Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's very easy. You can line up the harmonic balancer to plastic cover using timing marks to tdc. You will note l/h cam arrow will point up. This puts you at piston 1 tdc. Remove covers and line up timing marks. Absolutely critical to do this before taking the belt off. Mark the old belt with nail polish. Remove it and compare it to marks on the new belt. If same install new belt using paper clips so it stays in place. I did not do any counting of the teeth. Everything lined up spot on so I didn't see the need. Under the throttle body is a flex plate and jamming a screw driver in there allows you to break the torque of the balancer and torque it.
Nice that yours lined up easily. From what I'm hearing you don't need TDC to start with, you just need to line up the timing marks like you explained before you remove the TB.

Cheers
Simon
 

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line up the timing marks before you remove the old belt so you have no interference issues.

auto's are easy - use a long 3/8" drive extension in the bellhousing cover to lock the trans in place to remove and install the crank bolt.

there is no need for TDC or tooth count. it's really simple. line up drivers side cam mark, line up crank sprocket mark, and line up the passengers side cam mark. install belt, done.

don't install the passengers side lower idler until the belt is installed.

get a Subaru OEM water pump gasket, the aftermarkets are flimsy cardboard and not stamped metal like the OEM gaskets.

if you're resealing the oil pump you need an oring, sealant, and tighten the rear backing plate screws with locktite on the thread of any loose ones. there are usually 1 to 3 loose screws.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
line up the timing marks before you remove the old belt so you have no interference issues.

auto's are easy - use a long 3/8" drive extension in the bellhousing cover to lock the trans in place to remove and install the crank bolt.

there is no need for TDC or tooth count. it's really simple. line up drivers side cam mark, line up crank sprocket mark, and line up the passengers side cam mark. install belt, done.

don't install the passengers side lower idler until the belt is installed.

get a Subaru OEM water pump gasket, the aftermarkets are flimsy cardboard and not stamped metal like the OEM gaskets.

if you're resealing the oil pump you need an oring, sealant, and tighten the rear backing plate screws with locktite on the thread of any loose ones. there are usually 1 to 3 loose screws.
Thanks for that. I didn't know about the feeble aftermarket waterpump gasket, so I'll order an OEM one. The more I look at this and get advice like yours the easier the whole thing seems. I can't wait to get stuck into it now.

When you say the oring, do you mean #3 in the image? And is the backing plate #5? So it looks like there are 5 screws that hold it in place?



Cheers
Simon
 

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The o ring is not shown in picture you have. It is on the other side of the pump. It actually fits into a recess on the block.
#3 is the front crank seal.
More like 7/8 screws. You'll see them as you do it.
Check the screws on the back of the oil pump when you do this.
Keep the orientation of the crankshaft flat as close to the oil pump flat as you can. Will save you from twisting all around as you put the pump back, and the smearing of the rtv while doing it.

O.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The o ring is not shown in picture you have. It is on the other side of the pump. It actually fits into a recess on the block.
#3 is the front crank seal.
More like 7/8 screws. You'll see them as you do it.
Check the screws on the back of the oil pump when you do this.
Keep the orientation of the crankshaft flat as close to the oil pump flat as you can. Will save you from twisting all around as you put the pump back, and the smearing of the rtv while doing it.

O.
Ah cool, thanks. I've found a better picture which shows the o-ring. I'm guessing I'll see the 7/8 screws by the time I get to the o-ring.



Cheers
Simon
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks!

I just wanted to thank all those who contributed to this thread, and my other one about camshaft timing. I changed the timing belt, idlers, tensioner, cam and crank seals, water pump, thermostat and ancillary belts last weekend. It all went great, except I had real fun and games trying to stop the camshafts from turning to torque up their sprockets. I ended up putting the old belt on, clamping it and jamming a wrecking bar in the flywheel hole. It worked, but next time I'll buy a tool to hold the camshaft sprockets. Also, I managed to mess up the installation of the new thermostat - I put it in the right way but it couldn't have been seated properly cos it wouldn't open. After swimming in coolant for a few hours I diagnosed the problem and now it's all great.

Thanks again!

Simon
 
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