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Broken Timing Belt Idler, what to do.....


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20 replies to this topic

#1 Toaster55

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 03:09 PM

Ok guys, I am looking for some help and advice here.......... Allow me to cut right to the chase and explain everything......

For a second winter car, I picked up a 1996 Subary Legacy 2.2, AWD Wagon. The car has 180,000 miles on it. I paid $500 for the car. It has new tires, one owner, and is VERY well maintaned. When I got it, it was due for a timing belt and it needed a clutch. I replaced both. After about a week of driving everything seemed fine on the car until last night. I was driving around when I heard a clunk and the motor stopped running.

I had a suspusion that it was the timing belt that I had just replaced, so I had it towed home and I took the timing cover off to discover that in fact the timimg belt was off, due to a missing pulley! Thats right, my geared idler pulley broke right out of the drivers side head! I am very mehcanically inclined, when I installed the timing belt, I was very careful to follow all the procedures in the Haynes manual to the letter.


You can see all the pictures of the damage here

I have almost $1000 invested in this car, between purchasing it, the clutch, timing belt, and tax/title/registration. This car was supposed to be a cheap winter car, its not going that way so far.

It looks like that to remove the heads on this car, the engine needs to be removed. I feel that I am capable of this. I have found these heads on eBay, I am not sure that this is a good deal though......... And I also need to see what he'll charge without a core, since one of my heads is F'ed.

Ebay Subaru Heads

The motor was in great running condition, so I think I would be fine with just new heads, but then a part of me figures if I have the engine out, why not get a better/newer one to put in......... (Or a WRX motor, I love swaps, but it is and needs to be a winter car)

My last option is to sell the car as is. I don't know that I would get all my money back, but maybe I can and should cut my losses.........

You guys seem like a knowledgable bunch and your input would be greatly appreciated.

#2 coloradosubarules

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 04:13 PM

If it is part of the block then I am inclined to say go ahead, pull the engine and replace it. You could scout out a short block and stick your heads....etc on it or you could buy a complete engine and sell your old engine parts to offset the cost, ...or keep them for future repairs.

I have seen some engine carnage in my day but that is bad. If I had some cash and you lived near me I would buy it off you.

#3 Toaster55

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 04:24 PM

From my preliminary examination, it looks like that the broken part is part of the head, although that is just a guess.......... Can anyone confirm this?

#4 sea#3

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 05:01 PM

That idler attaches to the water pump , just replace the pump and your off to the races

SEA#3

#5 coloradosubarules

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 05:15 PM

Water pumps are easy! Thanks for the update.....now we know! Change the oil pump seals while you have it all apart. Also tighten the screws on the back of the oil pump. Might want to consider changing the belt tensioner as well.

#6 Toaster55

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 08:30 PM

Are you guys sure that that pully is part of the water pump? If so I would be SO happy. (Quickly grabs the Haynes manual)

#7 Toaster55

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 08:50 PM

Another thing I completly forgot to mention, what are the chances that the valves were damaged in the process? I was just pushing in the clutch at the time to shift into a lower gear, I would guess that the engine was at about 2k rpm, I didn't hear any weird noises, with the exception of the initial 'pop"

#8 frag

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 09:02 PM

Another thing I completly forgot to mention, what are the chances that the valves were damaged in the process? I was just pushing in the clutch at the time to shift into a lower gear, I would guess that the engine was at about 2k rpm, I didn't hear any weird noises, with the exception of the initial 'pop"


You're lucky. 2.2L engines are non interference.

#9 coloradosubarules

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 09:23 PM

Yup....no damage done...except that hunka chunka thing missing from the front of your engine.

#10 tcspeer

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 09:42 PM

Yes the 1996 2.2 is non interference, however the 1997 2.2 is interference. That looks like it is broken on the block instead of the head, or the waterpump housing. I did not think the head went that far to center of engine but I guess it does.

#11 tcspeer

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 10:02 PM

Sorry, Sea# 3 didnt see your post I think you are right. I did not remember that pully being on the water pump when I changed my pump.

#12 coloradosubarules

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 10:28 PM

Dddooooohhhhh!!!

#13 tcspeer

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 10:34 PM

Or you could pull the engine and replace it as someone else suggested.

#14 sea#3

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:04 PM

The geared idler is attached to the water pump , Yes you will have to replace the waterpump , geared idler and maybe the T-belt if it was damaged (you may want to check the other idlers)
It is a non interference engine , so if the belt breaks or the idler lets go , no damage will occur at the valves
Stick the new parts in and if it's assembled correctly everything should last another 100k
SEA#3

#15 coloradosubarules

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:06 PM

Just remember what I said I said about the other things to do while you have the belt off.

#16 Toaster55

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:50 PM

Wow, you guys have really saved my day! When I first realized that the water pump was actually the part that broke, I was a little relieved, but still worried about valve damage. Since my car was built in Jan of 1996, it sounds like it was a non interference engine. After rotating the cam pullies around, it doesn't sound like they are hitting anything. I am very excited that I can have my winter car again!

Thanks for all the help. I will make sure that I post this thread on my website, NewEnglandCustoms.com and put a big shout out to all you guys for the help!

Another quick question, I am assuming that the water pump does NOT come with that idler pulley? that must be a Subaru Dealer only item?

Thanks for all the help! :drunk:

#17 ccrinc

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:15 AM

The water pump does not come with that idler. Check the threads: that may be what cut loose.

The OEM manufacturer is NSK. You may find one under that name, but they aren't too expensive from the dealer either.

Emily
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#18 tcspeer

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 01:17 AM

You should be able to tell if the valves are o.k. with compression gauge. When my Idle pully came apart on my 97 2.2 after getting it back together it would not start. I checked the compression on the cyclinders and only found compression on one cyclinder, I think it had around 150 p.s.i and the rest had none. I dont know if this works every time but it worked in my case. Of course if it starts you wont need to check it, and you cant check it untill it is back together.

#19 Toaster55

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 07:41 PM

No need, I got the pulley from Subaru, and a new bolt, put everything back together, and the car runs great once again!

#20 coloradosubarules

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 08:09 PM

Sweet!! Glad to hear you have your Roo back.

#21 Toaster55

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Posted 07 December 2004 - 10:06 PM

Yeah, its a snow monster, just like my old 92 Loyale!




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