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2012 Indigo Pearl Outback, with factory-installed Flux Capacitor
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Discussion Starter #1
There are lot of great mechanics on this forum. After working on cars and motorcycles of all kinds and makes, I don't know of too many timing chain designs that don't require replacing a tensioner, stretched chain, or chain follower after some time, maybe 100K miles. Anyone want to speculate on the 2013 engine's need for chain gear replacement before the 170K miles a subie engine typically gets? Maybe I'm wrong.:17:
 

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13 E350
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well all ez series engines dont require any maintenance on chain up to 200k by the book, I will drive mine till it starts to make noise then open and replace worn parts.
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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303 Posts
Small block Chevys and Fords don't seem to have a problem running for well over 200k with a chain that is MUCH shorter than any Subaru chain.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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I have seen GM chains that lasted 500k before the owner replaced them 'just cause.' They always "looked" in great shape.

The only chains that I have seen that went before something else in the motor was when they started using "nylon" to hold the links together (Buick 70's). Those chains needed replacement before 200k or 10 years. Jeep chains seem to last forever as many are over 500k.

Bottom line? Most chains will be fine and something else will break before the chain goes. Most of the time you can hear them starting to get loose so you can replace them before a failure.
 

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2017 Outback, 14 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 07 BMW E-93
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GM (GTO) lasted about 65K miles so that doesn't hold true 500K miles. My M3 vert which I recently sold was fine at 284K miles. I can only estimate 400K miles for an OB based on chain stretch getting timing off some.

Maybe some of you high milers out there can post your experience...
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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My Outback is up to 129k and has the original chain, guides, tensioners, etc. to the best of my knowledge. Doesn't make any noise that I can notice.

My old Maxima also had a timing chain and that was up to about 230k on the original chain (I know for sure it was original in that case) with no problems or noise. It outlived the transmission and floor in that one!

I saw an '01 H6 Outback with 220k once that made an awful racket that sounded like the chain, but the whole car was beat up really bad. Oil and tranny fluid were black, entire underside of the engine was covered in oil (so much it was dripping), a few CEL codes, tons of scratches, dents, etc., looks like it was driven hard and not maintained at all. Owner was selling it cheap ($1500 if I recall correctly) hoping somebody would buy it with the intent to just drive it hard until it blew.
 

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Some cars have special problems, like Jaguar's early struggles with their V8 chain tensioners. Otherwise, timing chains are not something that you should worry about. Timing belts, OTH, should be changed at least every 60K.

I replaced the chain in my Mercedes at 230K miles, just to be safe. I'm going to keep the car until I hit 500K, so it seemed like a reasonable investment. If I was in a let it go until it dies mode, I probably could have gone another 230K without changing it.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Timing belts, OTH, should be changed at least every 60K.
That varies by manufacturer. Subaru's schedule for timing belts is every 105k. The only time I hear of people doing it significantly sooner is if the car has abnormally low mileage for its age.
 

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Timing belts, OTH, should be changed at least every 60K.
That's EXTREMELY conservative. I raced the **** out of my engine and still only replaced them every 100k or so. In fact, 100k is just playing it safe. The belts are almost certainly good for 150k, but you don't want to be the one exception to that rule. If there weren't any repercussions from having a damaged belt, I bet you would see many cars over 200k on the original belt just because owners would take them to their true limit.
 

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2000 Limited Wagon 5MT
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To give mxfrank some credit, Subaru's timing belt interval USED to be 60k. That was also when it didn't hurt the engine if the belt(s) let go.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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How hard the unit is driven, and the quality/OCI of the oil used has more effect than time/mileage. Back in the bad old days 50 years ago, timing chains were good for maybe 100k. I am not sure what the limit is for a well cared for modern engine with the improved oils available now. I know that 300k is not uncommon.
 

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Nearly all of Toyota's engines are chain driven the few toyotas in my family have all had the timing chain and associated gear replaced no later than 150K given they all were getting sloppy and noisy at that point. Talking about everything from old Landcruisers - to Corrollas to Camry's etc.

Chains wear and stretch and the sprockets they go around wear and get loose and sloppy also.

I would never run a car beyond 150K without having the chain gear replaced unless you have no plans on dumping any more money into it and plan on scrapping it when something like the chain or sprockets let go.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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On the H6 if you pull the crank pulley and the seal you can see a few teeth on the crank sprocket.

I think well-guided chains with tensioners last a good bit better than unguided and/or untensioned chains.
 
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