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Timing belt replacement (accessories question)


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11 replies to this topic

#1 bluegreene

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:42 AM

The clutch just went out on my 1990 legacy. I'm going to go ahead and replace the timing belt and water pump. I'm thinking the idlers too. Can I just replace the bearings inside the idlers if they're still in good condition? Should I even worry about the idlers?

#2 CoupedUpSubie

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:53 AM

I don't believe you can just replace the bearings in the idlers. Also its a better bet to just buy them and use the warranty if something is screwed up with them.

As far as needing to replace them you don't have to unless the bearings are shot. Your engine should be non-interference which allows you to throw the belt and not damage valves.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:48 PM

yes all the pulleys should be replaced (subject to opinion of course). ebay kits are only $100 or less for that year and include all the pulleys and belt, that's what many of us on here do. like this:
http://www.ebay.com/...f9e85aa&vxp=mtr

comes down to opinion of course - how you view reliability and how much you drive. i plan on 100,000+ miles out of every used subaru i start driving and i'm not trusting 20 year old pulleys for that - they are generally very low on grease by now. and i've seen plenty of timing pulley failures. they run low on grease, ball bearings can't stay cool, and then the lock up, heat up, ruin the belt.

one of the most common causes of timing belt failure is the pulleys - not the belt. the pulleys fail and take the belt out with it. the pulleys have whats left of 20+ year old grease in them now, not generally very good standards.

you *can* replace the bearings yourself but they are pressed in and very hard to remove. you'd need access to a nice press and fittings the right size to press the outer race only. not sure the cost of the bearings alone wouldn't be close to the $93 in that ebay add above though.

#4 bluegreene

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

Going ahead and replacing all that was what I had imagined would be the best option. I'm somewhat leery of ebay listings of that sort. Is that actually going to include good quality parts or total chinese crap?

I've used bearing presses before but usually we would hit both the inner and outer races. Why just the outer?

Thanks guys.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 03:26 PM

i was mentioning that as an example, not intending for machinist quality directions. hit both inner and outer races, however you want. very few people actually replace the bearings on those. i don't even know one person on all the subaru forums that does it, never seen a thread or write up about. i've talked to one person that tried it many years ago.

haven't seen any issues with ebay pulleys, they're used routinely across many users and subaru boards. i, and others, prefer theimportexpert kits but i haven't had a problem with others i've used.

in the end it's just a pulley and a bearing, not much to it so i'm not too concerned. but the many users, years, and experiences across the online forums are an even better indicator for me. i'd be more concerned about the belt than the pulleys. i have, on rare occasion, bought a Subaru belt and thrown the ebay kit belts away. like on a more expensive or low mileage vehicle, etc.

#6 Ricearu

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:06 PM

I use the mizumo or mitsuboshi kits, the mitsuboshi one is available with aisin water pumps which is OEM and the only ones I will use.

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 04:41 PM

The bearings are not replaceable on the EJ idlers. The inner and outer races ARE the idler. There is not a separate bearing that can be pressed out.

Get the mizumoauto kit from ebay with the Aisin pump. Mitsuboshi belt is nice but I haven't had any quality issues with any of the belts I've used and your '90 is non-interference.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 03 August 2012 - 04:42 PM.
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#8 grossgary

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 09:08 PM

The bearings are not replaceable on the EJ idlers. The inner and outer races ARE the idler. There is not a separate bearing that can be pressed out.

wow, fascinating. how do they get the bearings and grease in place if the races are part of the idler?

do you know if XT6 or EA pulleys are the same way?

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

wow, fascinating. how do they get the bearings and grease in place if the races are part of the idler?


They build the idler at a (small) bearing factory. It just has non standard races. There is no difference between an EJ Subaru idler and any off-the-shelf bearing from a manufacturing standpoint - just different shaped races.

I should point out that *some* of the early single-row bearing smooth idlers do have seperate off-the-shelf bearings. The bearing is about $10 and the idler is about $18.... it's not cost effective from a labor standpoint and in any case even if the car used two of those for the smooth idlers you still have to buy the cogged one. Subaru no longer uses the single-row bearing idlers. All of their engines have double-row idlers now and those do not have a bearing that can be replaced. If you care about longevity you should be using the double row bearing version for both of the smooth idlers anyway - thus making it again not possible to press out the bearing.

do you know if XT6 or EA pulleys are the same way?


They are not. They are stamped steel idlers with pressed in bearings. Different era and different technology. EA and ER idlers can be serviced - though it is not currently cost effective to do so as replacement components are availible already assembled.

I do replace bearings in lots of things - the older EJ AC belt idlers for example. The idler is $35 - the bearing is $5. This makes sense. Sometime in the early 2000's they went to a molded plastic idler that cannot have it's bearing serviced. :rolleyes:

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 03 August 2012 - 10:09 PM.


#10 grossgary

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 11:33 PM

great. thanks, GD.

where do you get idlers for $18..not that i want the inferior single row jokers, just surprised how cheap that is.

EA and ER idlers can be serviced - though it is not currently cost effective

it's pocket change for EA idlers - but $400 for the ER pulleys.

#11 1997reduxe

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 07:17 AM

just my two cents but i think there's probably a lot of difference between aftermarket pulleys. and this is such a big job (esp with your car being a 90 and who knows when it's been done last) so replace all parts and the better you use the longer it will last between jobs. I was lucky to get this kit for my 95 from some guy on ebay who didn't need it for $215 shipped, but i looked for a while:

http://www.ebay.com/...r#ht_1060wt_936

if you notice this kit also has the hyd tensioner (not just the tensioner pulley), and the aisin water pump, BUT NOT the main and camshaft seals, which should be bought from Subaru separately. i believe these pulleys which are green plastic are oem quality or made, but that's an assumption. but using a cheaper quality wp or whatever almost creates possibility of needing a new part within 100k (like my cheap wp i replaced with, once.) the oem parts last forever, for a reason.

here's a post i made a while back about belts fyi:
http://www.ultimates...t=131610&page=3

#12 bluegreene

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:44 AM

The thing already has 220k. I wouldn't mind keeping the motor in tip top shape if the body didn't have rust -- this is why I have some reservation about tearing the entire engine apart. I just need to strike a balance between reliability and cost effectiveness.




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