Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

An argument for keeping timing covers...


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

Hey gang - long time no visit, and lots of changes I see!

 

Anyway, just wanted to share a recent experience. I know a lot of folks here like to run "naked" timing belts, and that is fine if that is what you like. Heck, mine are naked - but I now have an argument for keeping the covers - and I may replace mine...

 

Coming home the other evening, I was faced with this on my road:

 

 

Normally, I dont even think about it, just keep moving and it is all good. Made it thru basically the same mess the evening before with no issues - not quite as deep, but close. (snowfall of only 3-5 inches, but 30+ mph winds making for interesting driving conditions - and the road was plowed out that morning)

 

But this time was a little different, about halfway thru the deep stuff, the engine died and there I sat.

 

Long story short(er) - the snow was deep enough to get caught up in the timing belts and caused it to jump time - pretty badly...

It was finally warm enough out to do something with it today, and this is what I found...Crank pulley mark is set to 12 o'clock...

 

 

The two cam pulleys were not...

 

Drivers side:

 

 

and passenger side:

 

 

Now granted, no covers made fixing the problem easier - BUT - I wouldnt have had a problem if the car had still had covers on it....

 

So, in conclusion, the choice is yours to run covers, or not, and I certainly wont condemn those that dont. Just a word of caution if deep snow conditions are a regular occurance for you, as they are for me... ^_^

 

 



#2 sikend667

sikend667

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts
  • vancouver wa

Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

same thing applies to off road.... i have seen nemerous VW bugs with conversions running naked and bending valves due to rocks, sand, etc. just put the dang things on its not that big of a deal lol



#3 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 5,985 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:46 PM

That wouldn't have happened with a full-width skidplate  :P

Running without belt covers will always mean they will fail sooner. But it means that when they fail, it will be a breeze to change them. I'm a huge advocate of running without covers on EA82s, as those seem to have random tbelt failures regardless of condition or maintenence. But keep a basic socket set, both belts, and all 3 pulleys in the car, and you can be on your way in 15 minutes or so.

The EJs...not so much. They don't have the tbelt problems. The outer covers frequently do not come off in one piece, but at least leave the center cover on to protect your tensioner and pulleys.



And NEVER do it on an interference engine. Too much at risk.

#4 sikend667

sikend667

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 73 posts
  • vancouver wa

Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:51 PM

That wouldn't have happened with a full-width skidplate  :P

Running without belt covers will always mean they will fail sooner. But it means that when they fail, it will be a breeze to change them. I'm a huge advocate of running without covers on EA82s, as those seem to have random tbelt failures regardless of condition or maintenence. But keep a basic socket set, both belts, and all 3 pulleys in the car, and you can be on your way in 15 minutes or so.

The EJs...not so much. They don't have the tbelt problems. The outer covers frequently do not come off in one piece, but at least leave the center cover on to protect your tensioner and pulleys.



And NEVER do it on an interference engine. Too much at risk.

u making skidplates now :P  the XT is getting one but i have to get my welder back from the repair shop first :(



#5 Ratty2Austin

Ratty2Austin

    have tools, will fix

  • Members
  • 2,385 posts
  • West Coast USA

Posted 28 March 2013 - 11:28 PM

Yeah, it is risky.. and convienient. I am torn to which way I want to go with my current wagon.. My friend's wagon is now coverless too.. and we are both going the offroad approach... So far, I have not had issues with going coverless- and I agree, a full covering skid plate would help a lot!

 

I have been pondering the idea of making a cover that would be easy to remove, and go on the outside of all the belts- including the alternator/PS belts- so, an engine cover basically.. like a frontal splash guard, but one that could be easily removed for cleaning and inspection, but not a hassle like the stock ones, where you have to pull the front pully off, and a dozen or more typically rusty hard to reach shoulder bolts!

 

Heh, good to know.. snow= not good with naked engine! brrrrrr lol



#6 cal_look_zero

cal_look_zero

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 610 posts
  • Grass Pants, OR

Posted 29 March 2013 - 12:49 AM

I still don't get it. It's not like you have to do a t belt more than once every 100k. So making the possibility of failure greater, while reducing your labor time by literally 14 bolts every 8 years seems really silly to me.



#7 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:54 AM

That wouldn't have happened with a full-width skidplate

 

the above car is a daily driver - it goes to school, to town for groceries, etc, etc...I do not offroad with it (even if it looks like I do) - but I do need it to be able to handle the deep snow (because our township cant plow frequently enough).

the timing covers weigh much less than a full skid plate would - and with gas prices the way they are - I opt for the weight savings - thanks. ^_^

 

A few years ago, before the covers came off, I drove a lot further (8.25 miles -vs- a couple hundred yards) thru snow just as deep, and deeper, with no problems at all (and no skid plate...)

 

Eh, woulda, shoulda, coulda...its all a moot point now - it is fixed & running again - thank goodness - cant afford to put gas in that beast of PU truck anymore! :D

 

I have been pondering the idea of making a cover that would be easy to remove, and go on the outside of all the belts- including the
alternator/PS belts- so, an engine cover basically.. like a frontal splash guard, but one that could be easily removed for cleaning and
inspection, but not a hassle like the stock ones, where you have to pull the front pully off, and a dozen or more typically rusty hard to reach
shoulder bolts!

 

If you are gonna go that far - just go the full skid plate route - it would accomplish the same thing with less aggrivation. :)



#8 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:04 AM

I still don't get it. It's not like you have to do a t belt more than once every 100k. So making the possibility of failure greater, while reducing your labor time by literally 14 bolts every 8 years seems really silly to me.

 

 

That choice was kind of made for me a couple years ago. Several board members came up and helped me yank the motor & do a reseal job - and we did a complete timing job while we were at it, since it was close to being due...anyway, the covers kind of disappeared, cause that is the preference of the main person that was helping....

 

Next time it is due, I may put a set back on - in the meantime, I will be a bit more cautious about driving in deep snow! :D



#9 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 5,985 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:20 PM

It's not like you have to do a t belt more than once every 100k

You've never owned an EA82, have you?

#10 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,648 posts
  • WV

Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:52 PM

are you positive the snow caused it to jump?  did you get pictures of that?  i can't picture how that would happen.

 

for us northeasters rusted fasteners turn into lengthy debacles and breaking the covers anyway. can use zip ties but many covers are in horrible disrepair and sourcing new ones isn't worth it or necessary. 

 

+1 to chux - there are plenty of 60,000 mile timing belt Subarus. 

 

without covers, can always see pulley/tensioner condition too.  with covers you have no feedback on condition of bearings/tensioner.

 

I've seen covers cause problems, pushed up into and rubbing the belt and pulleys and damaging the belt. presumably snow could also do that if it's so deep it causes the belt to jump time then it's not hard to imagine it packing and pushing the aged/brittle covers either. not worth my time repairing, replacing, etc.  take your pick, not a big deal.

 

all that to say - who cares, take your pick and roll.  there is no right and wrong and it doesn't need to be an "argument" at all.  discussion points are good to inform everyone but no need to have a one-size-fits-all approach - i try to keep the covers on some - and to that end i'd like to know more information and see a picture of exactly how the snow caused it to jump timing.



#11 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:30 PM

Ok, perhaps "argument" wasnt the best phrase - cause I am not trying to start an argument, per se..."talking points" may be a better choice of words.

 

Dont know what else it could have been, Gary - car was running fine until I got into the deep snow, then it stalled & refused to restart. Did pop the hood while waiting on a tow (was only yards from my own driveway), and there was quite a bit of snow packed up under there...

It was cold & windy, so it sat off to one side of the drive until the weather was more cooperative, and what you see above is what I discovered when I did get to it.

Now, I have personally never had one jump time for no particular reason - break a belt, yes - strip teeth due to oil saturation, yes - jump time because it wasnt done correctly (happened within the first couple hundred miles of the job being done by someone that knew diddly squat about subarus) - yes...but not one that was done right & for no other "apparent" reason.

 

If you have another plausible explanation as to whay it would jump time suddenly, I am all ears.

 

I can agree with the "rusted up" fasteners - been there, done that. I had an EA82 before with rusty, stuck fasteners, and the embedded nuts that turned, and oh yeah - loads of fun...I live in the northern half of Wisconsin - plenty of salt gets used up here, too - you dont have the market cornered on that one.

 

But I also know I have been thru deeper snow than is pictured above - with the same car - when the car still had its covers and had no problems whatsoever.

 

Granted, this is all personal experience here - not saying that everyone should keep their covers, or not based solely on my experience - it is purely up to them what to do in that respect. I am simply sharing my experience, and will let others draw thier own conclusions.



#12 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 5,985 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:23 PM

Yea, the snow can pack in there and cause it to jump. I've seen it happen before on vehicles without covers. I'm not sure if it puts so much drag on things that it causes it to jump, or the moisture causes it to slip. But more often then not, I've seen it where it seems that it jumps mostly from the crank pulley (the cams are pretty close to the same degree off), which leads me to believe that it's maybe pushing the tensioner up and it's jumping on the crank sprocket because that is so much smaller.



My friend's wife had a '99 2.5RS that they had to do some engine work on it when they got it, the covers all disintegrated upon removal, so he didn't bother putting them back on. She hit a snow drift coming home, and it starting running like garbage, come to find the crank had jumped about 2 teeth. Cams perfectly in time with each other. Thank goodness it only jumped a little bit, so it didn't damage the valves.


His solution was to put a Primitive Racing skidplate on it. Which worked very well. That seals off the engine bay very well.

#13 kingbobdole

kingbobdole

    Mr. XT-6

  • Members
  • 1,645 posts
  • Longmont

Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:41 PM

I did this once with my lifted EA82. I bashed the skid plate up and had taken it off for straightening and forgotten that I did. Then I decided to climb a 10 foot snow pile. Snow piled under the belt and snapped it.

Another note about ea vs ej, the ej belt is pretty simple covers or no. With the covers I can do a belt easily in an hour. On the EA there's no way the covers come off nicely and with all the other things in the way, it takes forever!

Plus the EA Covers are magically liquid tight and since the EAs just love to leak, your belt gets very well lubricated. First time I did my belt I had probably 12 ounces of oil inside the cover.

#14 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:14 AM

Numbchux & kingbobdole - thanks for the validation. :)

 

 

Plus the EA Covers are magically liquid tight and since the EAs just love to leak, your belt gets very well lubricated. First time I did my belt I had probably 12 ounces of oil inside the cover.

 

LOL, yup - that is how I managed to strip several teeth on my old EA wagon - first time I ever did a timing job on one, didnt change the oil seals when in there (my fault entirely) and about a couple months later was left stranded on the side of the highway with a bad timing belt that had been completely saturated with oil... :huh:



#15 MilesFox

MilesFox

    Catch this Fox!

  • Members
  • 10,332 posts
  • Madison/Milwaukee, WI

Posted 30 March 2013 - 08:47 AM

I had the timing belt jump on me donuting in the snow behind a truck stop. 1995 legacy, coverless. In fact, this happened twice, exactly one year to the date in the same spot doing the same thing. 

 

I fixed it there on the side of the road. I had to bring the tensioner to a bench vise.

 

Lesson learned: keep a spare tensioner loaded with the pin in case you have a belt failure.



#16 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 8,882 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:47 PM


 

Lesson learned: keep a spare tensioner loaded with the pin in case you have a belt failure.

 

I've got a little box with a tensioner (precompressed), all 4 rollers, and a belt all wrapped up and stored in the smugglers compartment.

And I've got my covers on.

 

I will say EVERY time i've run or seen friends run with no covers in either deep snow or mudholes........timing belt jumps teeth.

 

That said.....when you run covers, and then go through deep mudholes.....you better take them off and inspect everything within the next month.  The idler rollers get gummed up with mud that dries and turns to dusty hard clay that siezes them prematurely.



#17 torxxx

torxxx

    I void warranties

  • Members
  • 2,914 posts
  • Fairbanks

Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:56 PM

I run my EA82's open covers, I have for the past 10 years.   Yes it does wear belts out faster, but it only takes 10 minutes to swap belts out when they break.  bearings on the tensioners wear faster, but I've never had a belt break while in a mudhole.   The one time I told a buddy to run open covers on his EJ22, he snowbanks it to the point where the entire hood is filled with snow, and YES he did just time.  But it was one fo those things where if he was skidplated up, it prolly could have been avoided.   

 

My EJ25D keeps the covers on it because the exhaust pulleys are the lowest exposed point on my engine.     

 

Gloyale has it right thou about keepin a spare tensioner ready to go.   I carry a vice with me, but I rarely have a stopper pin with me.  



#18 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 8,882 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 30 March 2013 - 01:25 PM

My EJ25D keeps the covers on it because the exhaust pulleys are the lowest exposed point on my engine.     

 

Anything interference (97+ EJ22, any EJ25, or DOHC EJ20) You definately should have covers on.  AND check out the condition of tensioners after any major mudding.



#19 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:39 PM

being a 1990 - mine is non-interferrence, so no worries there.

 

I dont offroad (altho some of our roads seem like offroad trails at times) so the chances of going thru deep mudholes is pretty slim...being faced with deep snow, however, IS a fairly common occurance up here :huh: and I dont care to have to do this stuff in the cold if I dont have to.

 

But - do I really want to go to all the hassle of putting covers back on - or...

would fabricating some kind of skid plate suffice.... :blink:



#20 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 5,985 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 30 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

fabricating some kind of skid plate suffice.... :blink:

 

Fabricate? There are many sources for bolt-on skidplates for the EJ cars. You can get a brand-new 1/8" aluminum plate from primitive racing for $199, and they've been out long enough that they can be found used for much less. I'd have one if I owned an EJ. Wish I could find one for my Celica.



#21 heartless

heartless

    Do YOU Subaru?

  • Members
  • 2,614 posts
  • Central Wisconsin

Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:32 AM

that is all well & good - the problem is I do not have the extra cash to spend on this.  I have none - zero, zip, zilch, nada.

It might only be $200, but that is money I do not have. I dont even have $50 to spend on this - but I do have plenty of metal out in the garage - including some aluminum.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users