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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,

New to the site... I just picked up an 08 Outback with 105,000 miles. Overall it seems to be in great shape, and as I was checking it out, I looked to see if the timing belt had been replaced.

I was pleasantly surprised to see such fresh print indicating it was recently replaced. The one concern I have is possible abnormal wear.

Take a look at the attached pic... Thoughts??



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I wasn't able to find service records on it, so I am not sure. My goal was to visually inspect the belt to see condition, and if there was any indication of it being replaced recently. With the fresh print, it seems relatively new, but the slight increase of wear on the outsides worried me.
 

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I might suspect it has not been replaced.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Dealer service orgs sometimes replaced only the belt, not the idlers. The latter probably won't last another 104k miles if they weren't replaced. It's difficult to know if there's no documentation of the work, so if in doubt, you might want to consider doing it all again - the right way. And get prices from independent shops; they generally cost less and do understand well that the idlers have to be replaced - their business model is different. They're in it for the long haul with you and it's in their best interest to have your vehicle live a long life.
 

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Yeah that’s a bum pulley somewhere. If you take the belt off you can find either a wobbly or noisy noisy one. Just replace them all. Tendioner too. I’d keep that belt. It would be good enough for me.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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If you are handy with a wrench, I would recommend learning how to do it yourself. It's really straight forward if you watch several Youtube videos with some discernment. Some of the folks on this site can do it in an hour. It took me 6 hours going very slowly the first time. Now I can probably do it in under 3. You can remove the radiator and fans as one piece and it gives you a lot of extra room to get to the belt and pulleys.

Here's a picture of all the room you have if you remove the radiator/fan to get to the belt. This is my way of getting the harmonic balancer off using a drive belt to hold it while using a breaker bar to loosen the bolt. I took the alternator off to find a good anchor point for the socket wrench being used to hold the drive belt (just a couple of bolts to remove the alternator too)

 

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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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278 Posts
It's also worth asking...is the car an auto or manual? I believe the manuals have a guide bracket just above the crank bolt that needs to be adjusted properly so that it clears the belt. The timing belt kits usually come with a little plastic spacer tool to clearance the guide bracket properly before the bots are tightened. Sometimes people skip the tool and end up tightening it in the wrong place and it contacts the belt causing some premature wear. Worth checking that as well if the car is a manual.
If it's an automatic, no need to check that. The automatics don't have that guide bracket so no need for the tool...
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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^^^^^ good post, second thing I thought of was the MT guide bracket - my WRX has 5 !

first thing I thought of was, did they replaced the toothed and other idlers?
 

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That’s a **** of a good point. I’ve had them wrong too. But it wouldn’t hit the front edge too. Maybe something else did though. I completely forgot about those things making that mark. Physical interference is worth looking at before assuming it doesn't have new parts.

The pic he posted would show the guide if it exists right? It’s not there. But **** if thats not the same mark. Eyeball the whole belt for interference. Make a chalk mark and slowly crank it over using the crank bolt until you find it.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Auto
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If you are handy with a wrench, I would recommend learning how to do it yourself. It's really straight forward if you watch several Youtube videos with some discernment. Some of the folks on this site can do it in an hour. It took me 6 hours going very slowly the first time. Now I can probably do it in under 3. You can remove the radiator and fans as one piece and it gives you a lot of extra room to get to the belt and pulleys.
Yes, this. I did it about 4 hours the one time I've done it, with a broken (and plated) collarbone, and so only able to put load on one arm. Removing the crank pulley is the hardest part, but there's lots of tricks for that, followed by getting the idlers in place with the new belt on. I didn't remove the radiator, just the fans, so I didn't have to drain the coolant system.
 
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