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Timing belt busted, '99 Outback


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27 replies to this topic

#1 mr.radon

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 01:59 PM

My '99 Outback's engine died while doing 70mph on the interstate. Pulled the covers and the timing belt is shredded.
I've re-built ER27, EA82, EJ22 engines, but never been inside a 2.5l. I know it's an interference engine. I've downloaded the Twin cam timing belt replacement PDF from End Wrench. It doesn't go into too much detail what happens if you've got the engine going at +3K and the belt gives.
Should I just pull the motor, pull the heads and check out what went on in there?

What parts am I looking at replacing here?
timing belt, tensioner, idler pulleys, water pump, seals, vlave cover gaskets, spark plugs, coil wires....

I hope I don't have to buy new pistons too!

:mad:

Anyone who has done this job send me a PM.

Edited by mr.radon, 06 December 2009 - 02:12 PM.


#2 grossgary

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:21 PM

Roy - not sure about rpm's, but in all cases i've seen so far it's valves only - so basically just head work. Being interstate driving sounds a bit scary but I bet it happens so fast you might just have valve and cam issues only.

If a cam is seized though you might not be too interested in saving the block if it's due to oil starvation.

Good luck!

#3 johnceggleston

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 02:29 PM

My '99 Outback's engine died while doing 70mph on the interstate. Pulled the covers and the timing belt is shredded.
I've re-built ER27, EA82, EJ22 engines, but never been inside a 2.5l. I know it's an interference engine. I've downloaded the Twin cam timing belt replacement PDF from End Wrench. It doesn't go into too much detail what happens if you've got the engine going at +3K and the belt gives.
Should I just pull the motor, pull the heads and check out what went on in there?

What parts am I looking at replacing here?
timing belt, tensioner, idler pulleys, water pump, seals, vlave cover gaskets, spark plugs, coil wires....

I hope I don't have to buy new pistons too!

:mad:

Anyone who has done this job send me a PM.


typically it's just bent valves, no piston damage, but until you open it up you won't know. i don't think i have ever read about busted pistons.

only thing to add to your list above is the seperator plate and screws, if the 99s still used plastic or if it is leaking.

.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 03:07 PM

oh and hey slick - that tool my buddy has that i talked to you about offline - i could ask him if he's done with it and you could use it as a "mold"? just let me know and i'll ask him.

#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 03:13 PM

I thought I read somewhere that on the DOHC engines they have intake/exhaust valve interferance but not interferance with the pistons..... or maybe its both. I could be wrong though.

GD

#6 ccrinc

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 04:51 PM

We see valve, piston and cylinder damage on both SOHC and DOHC on a regular basis. The faster a car is going when the belt snaps = more damage.


Emily
http://www.ccrengines.com

#7 ferret

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Posted 06 December 2009 - 08:16 PM

Must be that time of year. MY04 Forester also lost it's timing belt on an interstate. Granted it's an SOHC vs your DOHC, but from the last DOHC I did, the damage was the same, bent valves. I wrote about it below:

http://www.subarufor...e-engine-64410/

#8 mr.radon

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 01:49 AM

Got the motor out in less then 2 hours. (the cold motivated me) First EJ25 pull for me. Zipped off the right timing cover and something fell out but couldn't find it. Belt was loose but intact. Looked almost normal. Zipped the left cover off. Something fell out but I could not find it on my garage floor.
Hammered off the crank pulley. Zipped off the center cover and said OH CRAP!!! The lower right idler pulley (the one with teeth) was TOAST! All bearings were gone and several hunks of metal were splattered in belt cover. I took a few chunks out of the block but nothing important.
Going to pull the heads and check each valve for damage. I also have no way to get the cams and pistons aligned without pulling the heads. I miss the simplicity of the ER27... Maybe I should just get a JDM engine, maybe a turbo ;-)

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image


I figure I'll do the rear oil seal, clutch, and head gaskets while I'm at it.

Edited by mr.radon, 07 December 2009 - 02:21 AM.


#9 davebugs

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 06:26 AM

That idler is the most common idler failure that I've seen. I stock an extra. Even if folks wanna go cheap I insist on replacing that one - it takes quite a load.

I've seen them where some of the ball bearings melt themselves into the timing covers.

#10 mr.radon

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 10:20 AM

Well I have the engine tore down. My intake and exhaut valves did not play nice. Heads are off, pistons are fine. I'm not going to split the block.

I found that there are a lot of places that provide parts.
Anyone that has done a recent EJ25 rebuild can I please get the suppliers of your parts & possibly part numbers if you have them for:
Head Gasket (Is Subaru OEM the best?)
Valve Cover, oil pan, intake, exhaust gasket kit (RockAuto???)
Water pump, idler & tensioner kit (part number or OEM???)
Timing belt (part number and supplier)
Intake and exhaust valve seals (part number and supplier)
Rear and front crank, and cam seals (part number and supplier)
Spark plugs and wires (part number supplier)
Clutch kit (part number and supplier)
Cam retention tool (supplier)

Anything I'm missing that I should replace while I'm in there?

#11 Petersubaru

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 10:41 AM

Curious here..just how many miles are on this vehicle

#12 mr.radon

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 12:57 PM

I got the Outback at a tow lot auction at 190K. It now has 215K. I did find paperwork that the head gaskets and timing belt were done at 180K.
I don't think this is the original motor. It doesn't look like a 215K motor.
Head bolts are in great shape, piston heads have little build up.
Until this happened I had no issues with the motor. Obviously someone went cheap on the timing belt swap by not replacing the pulleys.

I'm trying to cost out a rebuild verses a JDM 45K motor. I like rebuilding motors, but only if it make financial sense.

#13 mr.radon

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 01:56 AM

I got the left head off! Am going to save the other side for tomorrow. That was not as easy as a EA82 or ER27 engine.
The last guy to work on the engine used a liberal amount of RTV yuck. They also used a bunch of stacked up washers in place of valve cover rubber grommets in two places. What the???

The pistons didn't touch a single valve and the valves look okay.

Am interested to see the valve spring compression tool. I have one for the older style but not these.

Anyone know of a good place in the Seattle-Bellevue area to get a valve job done?

#14 Petersubaru

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 09:13 AM

I got the left head off! Am going to save the other side for tomorrow. That was not as easy as a EA82 or ER27 engine.
The last guy to work on the engine used a liberal amount of RTV yuck. They also used a bunch of stacked up washers in place of valve cover rubber grommets in two places. What the???

The pistons didn't touch a single valve and the valves look okay.

Am interested to see the valve spring compression tool. I have one for the older style but not these.

Anyone know of a good place in the Seattle-Bellevue area to get a valve job done?

..Interesting read..you may too ask them..http://allwheeldriveauto.com/ or http://allwheeldrive...lems-explained/

Edited by Petersubaru, 09 December 2009 - 12:21 PM.


#15 erik litchy

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

so you only need a valve job on one head? or are you going to do both so they are even.
most people say that the rear main seal isnt worth the effort if its not leaking. theres a few threads on it.

#16 mr.radon

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 11:49 PM

Got the other side off today and cleaned the heads. Going to send them off to get the valves ground.
I think I figured out what happened when the pulley gave. Looks like all the cams rotated to the closed position and just stayed there as the crank spun. The valves had no marks of valve to valve damage. Nor were there marks on the pistons.
Getting the valves done then the engine is going back together. I can't see how people do this while the engine is IN the car! My hat off to you.

#17 torxxx

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 02:36 AM

I've rebuilt 100's of DOHC and 100's of SOHC engines that were in wrecks and the crash broke the pulleys both at high speed and low speed (engine speed) and have yet to see a cracked piston. The valves are made of a different grade metal and they tend to take all the damage. I'll pulled out a valve bent at a 30 degree angle (toasted the valve guide and it put a good gouge into the piston but it didnt crack) Car is still on the road with 40k more miles on it than when I fixed it.

Valves can be done your self to save some time but you'll need to buy a valve spring compressor adapter for the recessed valve springs. Also get the oil based valve grinding compound and the lil suction cup thing for grinding valves. It takes about 10 minutes a valve to do (speeds up the farther you go) plan on 20 bucks a valve from subaru. There is no reason to send the heads to a machine shop other than to get the heads resurfaced. Replacing valves are very easy to do and it will save you about 500 dollars.

If you have valves that are questionable if they are bent, put the head on a table so the block side of the head is flat. take gasoline and fill up the pit where the valves and the spark plugs sit. If you dont have any gas leaking down the intake port or exhaust port they arent bent (as long as u can open the valve by pushing the spring down with a screw driver)

#18 grossgary

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 09:56 AM

Mr. radon - Are you saying there was no valve damage? What made you take it apart?

Good luck getting it fixed, sounds like it should be straight forward for you.

most people say that the rear main seal isnt worth the effort if its not leaking. theres a few threads on it.

actually funny thing you mention that erik - if my memory serves me correctly - mr. radon is one of the people to have a rear main seal leak after replacing it on a Subaru and one of a number of reasons why I say not to touch them unless they're wet.

#19 mr.radon

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:43 AM

Awesome info on the valves. I'll do them myself. I made an adapter out of an old socket to pull the valves. I used a magnet to pull out the wedges. I should be able to get them back in, might have to modify the tool I made.
I chucked the valves into my mill and spun them around by hand with a dial gauge. I didn't get any out of round readings on the intake nor exhaust valves. Great info on the leak test. I'll also blue the valves to make sure I have a good seat to valve contact. Not much buildup on the valves. I'm not going to buy new ones unless I have to.
I guess I should have done a compression check on the engine before I pulled it. Then I would only have had to do the timing belt/water pump change. But I could not figure out how to get the spark plugs off.
Then I just figured the valves were toast seeing how I knew I had a timing belt issue. In hind sight...looking at the force needed to free sping the cam, I figure my cams found a relaxed state where none of the valves were open. Also the two cams were still timed together. The belt stopped moving but kept the intake and exhaust cams in time. I counted teeth on the two cams and they were still aligned before I took the belts off. Another reason I think the valves never got out of time.
I also read the head gaskets were an issue. I figure if I pull a motor I know NOTHING about it's history I should at least do complete job. The head gaskets I got were the new ones from Subaru. They had been recently done. So inreality I did not need to do the heads, but I really wanted to make sure the valves were good to go.
I've found a lot of short cuts the pervious owner/shop did. The excessive RTV was just waiting to clog an oil passageway. The valves were out of adjustment, the water pump was not replaced and had a minot leak. All the pulleys were worn and didn't spin well. New timing belt though. Plus he reused the cam cover seals and two of those were missing. There were four washers stacked up in the place of a seal. The cam carrier seals were hard and cracked.
About the rear oil seal. I and a friend rebuilt our ER27 motors. The rear oil seals OD was a little off from the Subaru OEM seal (we used the same kit). In my case I had a huge leak then nothing. When I pulled the motor I found the seal slide easily on the crank. My friend had the same issue. If you have the motor off you are just asking for trouble by mot replacing a $8 OEM part. If it goes you have to pull the motor to replace. It's very easy to get out. And I will NEVER use a none OEM seal in a difficult to reach area again. Now I cover my arse by using a screw driver and hammer to add a divit to prevent the seal from ever wanting to back out of the block. 45K miles no leaks.

I need to find an online repair manual as I have no torque specs.... anyone????

#20 grossgary

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 10:53 AM

yeah - nice info torxx - that should be in the USRM or something!

The rear oil seals OD was a little off from the Subaru OEM seal (we used the same kit).

was it bigger, that's what i experienced before too, but with a Fel Pro crank seal?

I need to find an online repair manual as I have no torque specs.... anyone????

Phase I DOHC right? PM sent.

#21 mr.radon

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 08:30 PM

Gary the ER27 (EA82) oil seal's OD was SMALLER then the OEM. This allowed it to slid out of the block and leak. Then it would slid back and seal. Leak was major on or off, no drip drip drip. So pissed I had to pull the engine because of a slightly out of spec rear main oil seal. I've replaced about 20 rear crank oil seals (lots of friends come by, plus my auto auction habit) I never had that happen before. But me and my friend used the same gasket kit from the parts bin and had the same thing happen. Never again! OEM baby.

Got two head gaskets from Subaru and some lapping compound today. Made a rest to hold the heads so a rubber bushing hucked in the mill can spin the valves to do the lapping job. Hope it works.

Got to leave town for a week. Need to order the rest of the parts....

#22 mr.radon

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:16 PM

Did the other head tonight. Also I found I could reset the tensioner. Basically I put it in the vice and after every valve I would give the handle an 1/8 of a turn. Repeated this till the holes lined up and then I put an old allen head wrench through the three holes. All I have to do is buy a new idler pulley for the assembly. Snap!

I'll post a video on the valve lapping tool I use.

#23 mr.radon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:29 PM

Have an issue that is just very irritating.
The rebuild involved adjusting the cam follower shims, lapping the intake and exhaust valves, replacing the head gaskets, all the seals, spark plugs, wires, timing belt and I got a new tensioner (just to be on the safe side).
A fellow forum member sent me the shop manual to make sure I got all the right torques and did the timing belt right.
Plus I've rebuilt at least a dozen EA82/ER27 engines. I've never had an engine fail to start after a rebuild.

So I get her all back together, turn the key. I expect the car to just fire up, however, nothing. It cranks and I get a pop or two but she just doesn't fire up. Checked all the connectors, wires. pulled off the R/L timing belt covers and it looks right. I've messed around for a few hours over two days and just decided to pull the motor again so I can get the crank pully off and double check the timing again. :mad:
The wife wants her garage parking space back... Boy does this tick me off.

:mad::confused::mad::confused::mad:

#24 Qman

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:37 PM

Have an issue that is just very irritating.
The rebuild involved adjusting the cam follower shims, lapping the intake and exhaust valves, replacing the head gaskets, all the seals, spark plugs, wires, timing belt and I got a new tensioner (just to be on the safe side).
A fellow forum member sent me the shop manual to make sure I got all the right torques and did the timing belt right.
Plus I've rebuilt at least a dozen EA82/ER27 engines. I've never had an engine fail to start after a rebuild.

So I get her all back together, turn the key. I expect the car to just fire up, however, nothing. It cranks and I get a pop or two but she just doesn't fire up. Checked all the connectors, wires. pulled off the R/L timing belt covers and it looks right. I've messed around for a few hours over two days and just decided to pull the motor again so I can get the crank pully off and double check the timing again. :mad:
The wife wants her garage parking space back... Boy does this tick me off.

:mad::confused::mad::confused::mad:


Sounds like the belt is off. Do you still have my number? I'll pm it to you any way. Give me a call and I'll see if I can give you a hand.

Ken

#25 mr.radon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:19 PM

Thanks Ken, I got your PM. Have to do some errands before I can call. Will pull the engine and take picture of the timing belt and post it. Then I'll call you if I got some questions.

Thanks for the offer of help.




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