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Well, my wifes outback rolled over 110,000 miles, and it was time for an oil change so it went to the dealer. Upon picking it up, they had a list of over $2000 of repairs it needed, including a timing belt change, air filter, serpentine belt, and front sway bar end links.

Needless to say, I was not going to pay that. WIth the help of the internet, and some feed back on here, i decided to tackle the job.

I ordered a Aisen full timing kit, Gates serpentine belt, Air filter and new plugs.

So here is how everything went.

FRIDAY

4:00 PM - arrive home from work, pull car inside, allow car to cool down
5:00 PM - begin tear down. removed upper rad hose, rad fans, serp belt. Had to use the bumpung the started trick to get crank pulley loose. Removed timing cover, remove idler pulley, water pump and finally timing belt. All tear down down before dinner.
6:00 PM - Dinner
7:00 PM - Start belt installation. Thanks to a video i saw of someone holding the belt with a huge paper clip, this went ok. Only issue was getting idler pulley on. Belt acted like ti was too short. After multiple tries of different pulleys, finally got it on. Turned engine over by hand several times. Had a compression stroke kick, and smashed my thumb between breaker bar and lower engine mount. Lots of blood, but i will live.
8:00 PM - put kids to bed
9:00 PM - back to work. Put timing cover back on, put crank pulley on, belt, rad fans and fill rad. Start and test in driveway. She moves, nothing blew up, so time for bed.

SATURDAY

9:00 AM - get up and clean. Have horrible thought in shower that you forgot to tighten one of the idler pulleys.
11:00 AM - Go back to garage, tear timing cover off ( leaving upper rad hone on this time, making fan removal much harder. Check everything (it was all perfect). While under the hood decide to do plugs. Start on pass side. Remove air box and intake. Plug removal is pretty fast as long as you have a 3" extension, 6" extension, and a u joint. Plugs in and out simple as that. Move to driver side. Even easier, nothing to remove to get access. Remove first coil pack. Look at it. ITS COVERED IN OIL!. check the next plug, its coil is covered in oil too.
1:00 PM - Do some googling, this means the plug tube seals failed. Check youtube, this seems pretty easy to do, so lets do it. Order parts online from NAPA (felpro) . Go get them andreturn for some more work.
4:00 PM - Start tear down. Remove intake manifold bolts, injector bolts, oil filler tube, wrestle valve cover out. Everything looks good, replace valve gasket. Replace plug tube seals. Install Valve cover. Torque to spec. install other misc bolts. Install Oil filler tube. During this process, I dropped a bolt DOWN THE OIL FILL HOLE!
6:00 PM - Remove MISC bolts, remove valve cover again. Get bolt out of the valve train. Install valve cover again. Tighten bolts. SNAP VALVE COVER BOLT OFF IN HEAD!
7:00 PM - Remove valve covers again. Bolt that is broken off is top rear most bolt next to the wheel well. Lucky one thread is protruding out. I get it with some vise grips barely and it screws out easily.
9:00 PM - Give up fro the night

SUNDAY

9:00 AM - Get up, got to church, do other family things until after lunch
2:00 PM - GO to Ace Hardware, buy new valve cover bolts, car cleaner, and extendable magnet.
3:00 PM - Begin work. Clean out plug tubes and valve train with carb cleaner ( dirt has fallen in from all the removals). Install valve cover. Tighten carefully!! Install other stuff, install plugs. Install other the other parts you removes from yesterday to check the cam belt. Test start. RUNS LIKE CRAP! check under hood. See one coil is not plugged in. Test again, everything good.
4:30 PM - Test drive. drive to get gas. Realize you forgot to put the under tray back on when both your front wheel liners catch wind, flip down onto the ground, and grind the fronts off of them. Pull over, tie fender liners up with FISHING LURES! Drive home, install under tray and all little plastic clips. Spray engine with degreaser and power wash.
6:00 PM - Call it a job well done

MONDAY

7:00 AM - Drive to work, car runs fine!
9:00 AM - Post on internet about it!
 

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2011 2.5 CVT with lpg
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168 Posts
Good job well done!! I've got to do the timing belt on my 2011 soon, and this really made me chuckle! Thanks!
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,306 Posts
Sounds like most projects I've done with Kaylee or Mal.

Occasional step: "Realize I have exceeded my available time/skill set/tool set and limp it to a shop cussing all the way to finish being put back together".
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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954 Posts
Good job!
I did the same thing with TB and VCG's, SP gaskets and spark plugs/wires except I did the TB on a Saturday and the other stuff the next day since they really didn't have anything to do with each other. I'm glad you took the time to remove the fans/radiator so you can see how much easier it is to work in there with them out and I guess you also learned how hard it is to work on with it in. With it out, the TB job is almost a joy to work on, although if I can do without it for another 8 years, I'll be fine with that.

You said you had trouble getting the belt over the tensioner pulley. I hope you used a new tensioner. There were oil stains near my old tensioner and one of the idler pulleys made a slight scraping sound when I spun it so I'm glad I replaced all of them. A new tensioner would have come pre-compressed with a grenade pin installed. Fitting the belt over it should have been easy. You then pull the pin and the tensioner piston extends out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, i used all new parts for the TB. I did not even pull the pin on it yet. I think the belt was just so stiff i was having issues getting it in place, and then getting the bolt in for the last pulley
 

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Yes, i used all new parts for the TB. I did not even pull the pin on it yet. I think the belt was just so stiff i was having issues getting it in place, and then getting the bolt in for the last pulley
I had the same issue with my 05XT and my 2010 LGT. Getting a new timing belt lined up and over all the pullies and then the last idler in isn't as easy as some would have you believe. The videos always show it going right away, I fought both times for 1+ hour to get it just right.I never used the clip idea, probably would have helped. My issue is getting it over the lip of the last cam with the idler out.The 2nd time I learned to pry the belt up before starting the idler bolt by hand (first time I started to cross thread the bolt, but managed to recover).
 
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