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Looking....and looking....and looking...and found! 2011 Outback 2.5i, 6-speed manual.
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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like I might not get my engine back in over this long holiday weekend after all. :-(

Tried to do everything right, bought the Aisin timing belt/water pump kit to go along with the new head gaskets. buttoning everything up this evening and down to getting the new idlers on so I can install the timing belt. Grab the toothed idler from the kit, hold it in place on the freshly installed water pump and......contact between teeth and water pump. Curious.

Compare old bearing to new and find them different in a couple very important ways. Spacing from the back of the toothed gear to the back of the bearing face on the new version is enough more that it allows the gear to bottom out against the water pump and in the process leaving it out of alignment with the rest of the pulleys.

Original part, from the factory, is an NSK 59TB0524.

The new part, from the Aisin kit, is an NSK 59TB0515.

I have options though:
1. Pay the local stealership just shy of $90 for the Subaru version tomorrow and get the job done. $$$$$.....

2 Amazon the correct bearing for just under $30 and have it Wednesday. Delay, I hate it....

3. Buy off brand "equivalent" idler from local parts stores. Showing a few in stock priced from $65-$75. Waste of time to me.......

4. Throw in the old idler that has a small amount of play in the bearing until I get the time to replace it with a new, more reasonably priced one. Risky-Risky.....but just how risky?

5. Try and return just the bearing and get a new one from where I bought the kit (Rock Auto). Would probably cost me at least a weeks time, if they will do that and if they have one of the proper ones laying around (they show zero in stock currently). Super delay, not sure they will even do this.......

6. Drop the newer bearing in the hydraulic press and move the bearings to the right depth. Void any chance at a return, but get a quality part in place tomorrow.

Thoughts anyone?
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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192 Posts
Wow, that sucks.

You've done all that work, and you're so close. If it were me, I would wait (or spend the extra $) for the brand-new OEM equipment. What's a few more $, you've already saved a bunch by doing the project yourself.

I wouldn't feel good about installing any cheap Chinese parts (your Option #3), especially parts that tie directly to engine timing.

Sorry to hear about this, keep us posted.
 

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Looking....and looking....and looking...and found! 2011 Outback 2.5i, 6-speed manual.
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Relatively local dealer got me one for $75. In my happy little hands now!
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Why not explain the problem to Rock Auto, see if it's out of spec on the bearing install depth, and ask if they can accommodate you with a refund? It sounds like it was manufactured with the correct parts, but was out-of-spec on the bearing press operation. Did you capture any images of the issue when you tried to fit it in?
 

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Had a similar problem with an idler I purchased for our '11 3.6. Ended up finding a SKF bearing for $20 that fixed it and returned the Asin idler.
 

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Looking....and looking....and looking...and found! 2011 Outback 2.5i, 6-speed manual.
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Why not explain the problem to Rock Auto, see if it's out of spec on the bearing install depth, and ask if they can accommodate you with a refund? It sounds like it was manufactured with the correct parts, but was out-of-spec on the bearing press operation. Did you capture any images of the issue when you tried to fit it in?
I will be giving Rock Auto the chance to make things right, email was sent just after my original post. With the holiday though I was fully confident that no one would see the email until Tuesday, so went with the more expedient route and grabbed on from the dealer.
I am not blaming RA, they just pulled and packed the kit that the idler was part of. That said RA is who I have deal with as that is who I purchased from. Hoping to gt some kind of refund, though it most likely won't be enough to cover the cost differential for the idler I ended up purchasing.

See photos for the differences, old (red shields) vs kit (black shields) idler. Forgive the rust showing on the old one, it has been sitting on a shelf near the garage door since I pulled it off a couple weeks ago and has been hit with rain a few times.

On the mounting surface side of each the difference in depth between the center mounting surface and the edge of the toothed shell is right around .060" - .080", Doesn't sound like much, but it is enough to make the difference between free spinning and the toothed bottoming out portion out on the water pump housing.
484639
484640
 
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