Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find my oil leak and when I too off part of the timing cover, I saw this ugly wear on the beltop. What would cause this? And without pulling the cover off, I can not determine where it is coming from, it does seem to be more central to the engine
 

Attachments

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
·
27,109 Posts
Hey folks. I just bought a 2001 Outback wagon. 5 speed
with 290kms =180,000 miles

________

if you click the link in my signature next to the "?" you will not need to type out that again, ...or make anyone dig through your old threads to find out or remember what you got, ...vs. say a 2006,...or a 96,...or a 6 cylinder
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
·
27,109 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now that's out of the way.... thoughts on the oil leak and the wear on the belts that have 50k kms on them?
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,385 Posts
You should put in your signature that you have a 2001 Outback EJ25 (or 4 cylinder if you don't like "EJ25"). This is important for this issue and means the difference between internal engine damage (bent valves) and not. Since this looked like a big deal and i suspected an interference engine I dug through your old posts to find out what vehicle it is. again please update your year/model - otherwise you're wasting time, when you have the chance to get free advice from high capacity people i've found that when you respect their time, come with good questions, follow through on their suggestions and make it easy for them to help you - they can be astonishingly helpful.

good on you - for investigating and noting the belt wear - well done!

1. that asymmetrical timing belt wear is immediately alarming. Maybe it's benign and lighting exaggerates it, but that looks like immediate further inspection to me. You have an interference engine (because of the year/model), since I thought this was the case I looked it up for you because you'll have a butt load of bent intake valve$$$$$$$$ probably if you don't look into that timing belt issue.

They almost always bend valves and it's usually a rampant wanton selection of most of the intake valves. Head job, valve job and lots of $$$.

More than likely one of the pulleys are overheating or seized, it's common, largely an artifact of poor prior maintenance decisions, and you just need a complete timing belt kit installed - new belt, pulleys, and tensioner. Gates kits are an option, Subaru belts and tensioners, and pulleys are lower fail rates than aftermarket but considerably more money. $350 instead of $150. Verify which kit you need as their are two applicable for 2001 era stuff but it's this one, or it's little brother similar to it, different belt but same pulleys and tensioner:

https://www.amazon.com/Gates-TCK304...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WW6QAF8JZV04RPBJZ6QE

It's a $500 - $1,000 job at a shop (depending on shop rates and that price includes parts), or do it yourself, it takes about 2 hours and is super easy. I can do it in an hour.

Most shops only replace the timing belt, which in my mind is entirely stupid and almost a waste of my time. Many shops replace just the belt, some will replace a belt and water pump and/or tensioner mostly because it sounds smart and has in the past, or other models/vehicles, been a wise decision. But it's not for that engine. The pulleys are so commonly devoid of grease after 10 years and 100,000 miles (or fewer) that outside of rare situations I just replace everything at the same time, particularly on interference engines. The lower sprocketed pulley is by far the most common to fail.

2. The oil leak - just wipe it all off first and then see where you first start seeing it again.
More than likely it's the crank seal, cam seal, or oil pump leaking. All are easily replaced during a timing belt job anyway - all the of the labor to replace those seals is timing belt related - so it's literally only an hour extra labor for each of those (or less) to fix this during a timing belt job. Seals are $4-$7 each, so parts are chump change, just an extra $100 or whatever you're hourly labor rate is on top of the timing belt job to repair your oil leak.

While you're in there installing a larger oil pump is wise, subaru started installing smaller oil pumps in the 2000's. Yours probably has a 7mm or 9mm pump, buy a 10mm:
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Subaru-Ring-Legacy-Forester/dp/B01E0RPERC

Just keep in mind - cam seal, crank seal, oil pumps seal/gasket are leak points and require timing belt replacement. If it were mine I would actually just reseal all of it. With the timing belt already off each seal is only $6 and not much time to replace, i'd just reseal everything behind the timing belt and call it good.

The water pumps routinely last high mileages, rarely fail, and don't do so catastrophically, so while it makes sense to do it, they're easily skipped if need arises.

Valve cover gaskets and oil cooler (if equipped) gaskets are common leak points as well so verify before assuming my guess is correct.
 

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
·
27,109 Posts
oil cooler (if equipped) gaskets are common leak points .
I don't think any EJ251 / EJ252 have a oil cooler gasket,

seen them on EJ253 though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should put in your signature that you have a 2001 Outback EJ25 (or 4 cylinder if you don't like "EJ25"). This is important for this issue and means the difference between internal engine damage (bent valves) and not. Since this looked like a big deal and i suspected an interference engine I dug through your old posts to find out what vehicle it is. again please update your year/model - otherwise you're wasting time, when you have the chance to get free advice from high capacity people i've found that when you respect their time, come with good questions, follow through on their suggestions and make it easy for them to help you - they can be astonishingly helpful.

good on you - for investigating and noting the belt wear - well done!

1. that asymmetrical timing belt wear is immediately alarming. Maybe it's benign and lighting exaggerates it, but that looks like immediate further inspection to me. You have an interference engine (because of the year/model), since I thought this was the case I looked it up for you because you'll have a butt load of bent intake valve$$$$$$$$ probably if you don't look into that timing belt issue.

They almost always bend valves and it's usually a rampant wanton selection of most of the intake valves. Head job, valve job and lots of $$$.

More than likely one of the pulleys are overheating or seized, it's common, largely an artifact of poor prior maintenance decisions, and you just need a complete timing belt kit installed - new belt, pulleys, and tensioner. Gates kits are an option, Subaru belts and tensioners, and pulleys are lower fail rates than aftermarket but considerably more money. $350 instead of $150. Verify which kit you need as their are two applicable for 2001 era stuff but it's this one, or it's little brother similar to it, different belt but same pulleys and tensioner:

https://www.amazon.com/Gates-TCK304...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WW6QAF8JZV04RPBJZ6QE

It's a $500 - $1,000 job at a shop (depending on shop rates and that price includes parts), or do it yourself, it takes about 2 hours and is super easy. I can do it in an hour.

Most shops only replace the timing belt, which in my mind is entirely stupid and almost a waste of my time. Many shops replace just the belt, some will replace a belt and water pump and/or tensioner mostly because it sounds smart and has in the past, or other models/vehicles, been a wise decision. But it's not for that engine. The pulleys are so commonly devoid of grease after 10 years and 100,000 miles (or fewer) that outside of rare situations I just replace everything at the same time, particularly on interference engines. The lower sprocketed pulley is by far the most common to fail.

2. The oil leak - just wipe it all off first and then see where you first start seeing it again.
More than likely it's the crank seal, cam seal, or oil pump leaking. All are easily replaced during a timing belt job anyway - all the of the labor to replace those seals is timing belt related - so it's literally only an hour extra labor for each of those (or less) to fix this during a timing belt job. Seals are $4-$7 each, so parts are chump change, just an extra $100 or whatever you're hourly labor rate is on top of the timing belt job to repair your oil leak.

While you're in there installing a larger oil pump is wise, subaru started installing smaller oil pumps in the 2000's. Yours probably has a 7mm or 9mm pump, buy a 10mm:
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Subaru-Ring-Legacy-Forester/dp/B01E0RPERC

Just keep in mind - cam seal, crank seal, oil pumps seal/gasket are leak points and require timing belt replacement. If it were mine I would actually just reseal all of it. With the timing belt already off each seal is only $6 and not much time to replace, i'd just reseal everything behind the timing belt and call it good.

The water pumps routinely last high mileages, rarely fail, and don't do so catastrophically, so while it makes sense to do it, they're easily skipped if need arises.

Valve cover gaskets and oil cooler (if equipped) gaskets are common leak points as well so verify before assuming my guess is correct.
Wow. Thanks for the post. There is absoutly wear on the beltop. And from what the invoice from the previous owner, belt and pulls were replaced. But I will definitely be looking at doing belts soon. Probably sooner than later if this oil leak gets worse.
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,385 Posts
belt and pulls were replaced.
which or how many pulleys - there are three?
tensioner?
what brand pulleys and belt?

the grease in the pulleys degrades, they heat up and then seize. if it's the lower cogged idler then your belt immediately fails and this one rides inside the belt hence it having teeth to engage the inner circumference of the timing belt. so this one isn't likely to fail because it really does some damage and rips the teeth off.

the other two stand alone pulleys will seize and the belt slides over them instead of them rolling with the belt. this sliding discolors the belt into a warn shiny spot and clearly isn't good for the belt. the belt will break and then you've got bent valves.

the tensioner pulley can fail and the same thing just described happens or the tensioning mechanism itself can fail, though that doesn't seem likely here, it's usually accompanied by loud knocking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,372 Posts
The wear, or discoloration, on what appears to be roughly half of the back of the belt, seems odd. But this is a manual transmission. Could the wear or discoloration be caused by the extra timing belt guide that's used only on the MT engines? This wouldn't change the situation -- the belt and perhaps pulleys etc., might still have been compromised, but it could explain why, even if all new components were installed a short while ago.


(Photo is from https://mnsubaru.com/threads/2-5-sohc-timing-belt-replacement-pictorial.27258/ but because of Photobucket block, might not be viewable.)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
The wear, or discoloration, on what appears to be roughly half of the back of the belt, seems odd. But this is a manual transmission. Could the wear or discoloration on be caused by the extra timing belt guide that's used only on the MT engines? This wouldn't change the situation -- the belt and perhaps pulleys etc., might still have been compromised, but it could explain why, even if all new components were installed a short while ago.


(Source: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=362281&stc=1&d=1501067883

That is about half the belt. Unless a bolt has come loose, there is no reason for my belt to do that. I obviously have to take the crank pulley off, depending on how tight it is, will I need a puller to get the pull off? Normal thread or reverse ? I'll search for a post regarding the timing belt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,372 Posts
That is about half the belt. Unless a bolt has come loose, there is no reason for my belt to do that. I obviously have to take the crank pulley off, depending on how tight it is, will I need a puller to get the pull off? Normal thread or reverse ? I'll search for a post regarding the timing belt
The guide might have inadvertently shifted during tightening of the bolts. See, for example, Timing Belt Spacer Tool for Subaru Engines | Gates

and: http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/gates-timing-belt-guide-clearance-251975.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I looked at my paperwork and the belt and pulleys were done 15000kms ago. I will be doing the belt and oil seals this weekend. I will take a close look at everything at the same time. I'll probably adjust valves while I'm there too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That is about half the belt. Unless a bolt has come loose, there is no reason for my belt to do that. I obviously have to take the crank pulley off, depending on how tight it is, will I need a puller to get the pull off? Normal thread or reverse ? I'll search for a post regarding the timing belt
The guide might have inadvertently shifted during tightening of the bolts. See, for example, Timing Belt Spacer Tool for Subaru Engines | Gates
That is exactly what mine looks like. I only have 15000km on unfortunately. But I do need to do front main seal so it's only going to cost me a belt which is 60 cad. Could be a whole lot worse.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top