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2003 Baja Snapped a timing belt.

baja timing belt valves ej25

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17 replies to this topic

#1 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:47 AM

Hello!

 

I am new to this forum and I am looking for a place for help with my Subaru and ones belonging to my friends.  I have a problem now and I need help!  Let me preface this by saying I am an ASE and Honda master technician but I have very little experience with Subaru's.  While I'm confident I can fix this car I want to know what I am looking at.

 

A friend of mine has a 2003 Subaru Baja with what a believe is an ej25 (correct me if i'm wrong).  While driving at interstate speeds and under throttle going up a hill his timing belt snapped.   Afterward he tried to start it a few times (I know a big no no).  My experience with Honda's tells me that  I can get away with replacing the timing belt and the valves and everything should be back to normal.  What are the chances that this did more damage than just bending and breaking valves?  The mechanic he had it towed too (not me because he lives a few hours away) quoted him $2500-$3000 because he said 1. the engine would have to be removed and 2. it would have to be rebuilt and the heads would have to be sent off and repaired.  I did some research and found that there have been people who have removed the heads on this motor without pulling the engine.  Is this a possibility or just a pipe dream?  Any help would be wonderful because I want to be able to knock this out in a weekend and would like to know what the chances are that any other damage would have been done to the motor such as cracked pistons etc. 

 

Thanks for your help!

V



#2 MilesFox

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:17 AM

The heads can come off with engien in cr. The engine is easy to remove as well. It comes forward and out the top, juust prop up the trans so it clears the frame. Removing the airbox and the washer jug will give you better clearance if you pull the heads. May as well pull the motor and do all the seals.

 

You may have gotten away with no piston damage, but replacing the block is far more economical than rebuilding it, since they just don't wear out.

 

any impreza or legacy engine will work as well



#3 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:24 AM

My buddy has fallen on hard times and I am doing this work free of charge.  He can't afford to purchase a new motor and I am planning on buying the timing parts and valves to attempt to fix this motor?  Do you think that would fix it or am I just wasting my time?



#4 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:50 AM

Also I don't have a lift but I've put transmissions in on my garage floor is it doable to remove this motor without a lift?  If its not to hard thats the route I would like to take just so its easier to see everything and work. 



#5 ivans imports

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:51 AM

have  a 05 forester motor 1500$ 200psi comp on all four and 20 heads if need parts. changing valves is not a waste of time if engine was in good nick but change or check them all before reinstall. Is not mutch saved time doing heads in car it takes me 22 minutes to pull motor and engine can  be put on engine stand and can be rotated to help geting heads off. Installing heads in car not mutch fun



#6 MilesFox

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

If you have  buddy it can be accomplished by hand. Better yet, lash it to a 2x4. Remove the intake and the ancillaries to save weight, although with a lift, the whole unit can come out whole.

 

If you remove the heads, the short block can be wrangled out by yourself (if u have a strong back) and you can chuck it across the room.

 

I have pulled engines with a comealong cable ratchet, which will do if oyu have some sort of overhead beam or rafter tie to use.

 

also, not sure about newer bodys, but there should be a hole on the strut tower to relocate the prop rod and prop the hood straight vertical for this operation ('swap mode'). You remove the rod from its grommet, turn it backwards, hook it into the hood, and then into the hole on the strut tower.


Edited by MilesFox, 01 November 2013 - 09:55 AM.


#7 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:57 AM

Awesome thanks for the help.  I assume you must also be mechanically inclined.  If pulling the motor is that easy then thats the route I will go.  Couldn't be as bad as pulling motors out of hondas right?   Looking at it looks a lot easier.  I really appreciate the help guys especially since I am new walking in and asking for help.  I would buy that motor but I don't have the money to front him for that.  His motor was great 170k miles not using a drop of oil just had a shotty timing belt job at 110k or he was lied to and it was never done.  Already purchased a belt kit to replace all the idlers, tensioner, water pump.  Your help is saving my buddy from not having a car and allowing me to use my skill to help a dear friend.  Can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

V



#8 ivans imports

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:02 AM

change valves surface heads good to go carfull to not drag out the torque converter when pulling engine likes to stick to back of engine i hold it back with screwdriver thru axsess hole on ps top of block



#9 john in KY

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:19 AM

When you get around to reinstalling the engine, and assuming the car has an automatic, be darn sure the TC is fully seated. It likes to hang up about 1/4 inch from being fully  seated. If you don't catch this and bolt the engine and bellhousing together, all you do is destroy the pump inside the transmission.



#10 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for the heads up guys



#11 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:24 AM

By surface the heads do you mean have them machined?  I was thinking about having that done as a precaution there are a few local shops who are very reasonable.



#12 Gloyale

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:25 AM

Sometimes auto trans cars the belt can break and engine stops with no damdage.

 

 

I would suggest buying a new t-belt (your gonna need it anyhow) and install it and then do a compression test.  May not have bent valves or maybe only on one side.

 

Pistons should be fine.

 

Not a huge deal, it's a 2.5 so the headgaskets were gonna need done anyhow sometime soon.  A few more valves is no big deal.



#13 Viciousharp

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:28 AM

I'm thinking when he tried to start it a few times after this happened that he probably bent something.  I have read about the headgasket issues so now he has an excuse to deal with that as well.



#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 12:31 AM

The damage was already done before he tried to start it. When they break at highway speed the cams always have just enough momentum to open the next set of valves. So maybe 2 extra valves got bent trying to start it after the belt broke, that's $25 worth of parts.

Bottom end damage is rare on these cars. The pistons get knicked but its only superficial. Never heard of bearing damage on one of these because of a broken timing belt, though I did see one picture where someone actually brok a valve and it bounced all around in the cylinder before the engine could be stopped. I think he was racing though.

Heads are doable in the car, but definitely easier if the engine is out on a stand.

Get head gaskets from Subaru. I've seen several recommendations to get gaskets for a turbo 2.5. The turbo gaskets apparently hold up better. And yes these heads need to be milled flat. The MLS head gaskets don't seal properly unless the heads are perfectly flat.

While the engine is out reseal the separator plate in the bellhousing, and replace the access cover o-ring opposite the separator to prevent future oil leaks.

#15 davidsain

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 08:37 PM

V -

 

Good for you for wanting to help a friend like that.  This is a pretty easy job, but I'd consider sending the heads to a shop for a valve grind and milling the heads (agreeing with Fairtax4me on this).

 

I've pulled my engine twice, once to rebuild after a spun rod bearing and the second when I found the Mech that decked the block put the alignment pins in the wrong spot causing head gasket oil leak.

 

Pulling the heads in the car never looked doable in my 2K wagon.  People talk about it, but I don't know of anyone who has actually done this.  I pulled the covers in the car and just doesn't seem like enough room to do anything useful there.

 

I highly recommend the factory service manual.  Or maybe Strongly Advise...

 

To pull the engine, battery, washer tank, air box (to give you room to work).  Remove air ducting.  Remove the exhaust y pipe from the block (6 nuts), remove the engine mount nuts (two more nuts), remove the fans shroud and radiator, take the alternator out.  Unbolt the AC compressor and power steering pump, leaving the hoses attached and move aside.

 

Remove the starter motor (and I made a bracket of sheet metal to keep the flywheel from turning - in the FS manual they show this 'tool' and it mounts into the hole where the starter motor came out of using one of the bolts or nuts from the starter motor to hold it in place).  Remove the intake manifold by disconnecting the fuel lines and electrical connections (being careful to relieve the fuel pressure but you know this).

 

Use blocking under the transmission (or a floor jack) to hold it in place while the engine is removed.  Unbolt the engine from the transmission (I think 4 bolts, an anti-pitch bracket at the top and two nuts at the bottom).  

 

The long block should be mostly free - look for ground straps or anything else.  I'm going from memory from about 3 years ago.  At this point, if you have a strong back you can stand in the engine compartment and lift the long block out and set it on the radiator frame support, balancing it, step out of the engine compartment and carry the block into the house (that's what I did).  I did weld up an engine stand out of rebar to keep from resting it on the oil pan.

 

I can pull the engine in less than two hours and I'm not a mechanic.

 

To turn the crank, I made a tool from a pipe with two bolts welded to it.  One could do this also by drilling through at the correct spacing and place two bolts through with nuts to retain.  Use the biggest bolts that will fit into the holes on the harmonic balancer. I spaced my to go into two adjacent holes so I could keep the crank from turning while removing the bolt on the balancer.  No puller is needed for the balancer.  This tool is necessary when installing the timing belt.  Or go by the Subaru tool at no small expense.  I like to fab up stuff from old bits if I can save a bunch of money doing it.

 

Last time I had the timing belt exposed was due to failing bearings in some of the idler pulleys.  One was fine - the tensioner, but a little dry so I took the seal off and re-packed it.  Been fine for over 30k miles so I'd call it good.

 

The only other tools I needed were common sockets (14mm, 17mm, 10mm, 12mm), ratchet, extensions.  I did use plastic bag and paint marker system to label all parts, bolts, etc.  Maybe not necessary now that I've done it a couple of times and recognize all the parts, but I'd advise it to anyone.  I kept all parts in the back of the car so nothing would be misplaced in a garage.  

 

I haven't looked here but I imagine there is a way to PM me.  I might have some documentation to share from a 2k legacy.  EJ25 engine specs should be all the same (block should have EJ25 cast into it), however there may be some minor differences as I have an EJ251 and don't know what that Forester has in it.

 

David



#16 davidsain

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 09:10 PM

Ah, the '03 Baja has an EJ251...



#17 Bushwick

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 10:12 PM

If you are trying to save money or keep costs down as much as possible, there are 3 Pull-A-Parts in TN. 2 closest are probably Nashville and Knoxville, with Memphis being a 3rd option. They flat-rate their prices, so all 4cyl engines regardless are the same price. Knoxville has some Legacys that might work. They only want $152 for a complete engine with a $55 core. They do have hoists there, and you obviously have to pull it. But $200 for a complete running engine can be way cheaper depending on damage. And you he can always sell the old engine to someone looking for a 2.5 bottom for upgrade, etc. and come out near even. Might be more feasible for your buddy if times are hard. Check all 3 locations. an " * " means they have it, so look at Legacy, Impreza, etc. that shares the same engine for options.

 

http://www.pullapart...c=10


Edited by Bushwick, 02 November 2013 - 10:12 PM.


#18 ivans imports

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:09 AM

Yes machine heads when i surface them there is always a low spot on bottom of heads you can realy see how bad they are when i take the first cutt







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