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105,000 Mile Timing Belts.


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24 replies to this topic

#1 blitz

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 04:59 PM

In lieu of the headgasket (extended-displacement) thing, I'm slightly apprehensive about extended-anything, so I'm considering changing out my '00 Impreza timing belt at 80,000 - 90,000 miles. I'd hate to waste a perfectly good 2.2 over a wasted belt.

Has anyone actually had a 105,000 mile (170,000 km) timing belt break before the recommended service interval?

#2 99obw

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 12:40 PM

Ours looked virtually new at 100k. Pushing 175k on the second one with no problems.

#3 blitz

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 02:24 PM

Thanks 99. Would a belt near the end of it's service life necessarily give any reliable visual cues tho?

I'm thinking that a belt near breaking may or may not look cracked on the surface depending on it's cronological age.

#4 The Dude

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 04:41 PM

Interference engines are a $3,000 repair just waiting to happen. It's not just the belt breaking that can destroy your engine. I wish that was true. If the tensioner fails, BANG goes your engine. If the water pump seizes, BANG goes your engine. If just one of the idlers fail, BANG goes your engine. If you get in a wreck, and the timing belt jumps, BANG goes your engine. This last one happens more often than you might think. In all honesty, the timing belt might be the most reliable part of the whole Mickey Mouse interference engine. Most timing belt appear to have almost no wear on them when even changed at 100,OOO miles. Mine even had the lettering still on the belt.

#5 paulandirene

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 05:17 PM

Hi all, I'm new to this site, so this is my first message. I'm picking up a used Subaru this weekend, and because I don't know when the timing belt was last changed, most likely I'll replace it. On the inside of the timing cover, I plan to write "changed timing belt <date/mileage>" on the inside of the one of the timing covers with an indelible marker. That way, even if my maintenance log gets lost, the date/mileage of when it was changed will be accessible.

#6 99obw

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 05:22 PM

Thanks 99. Would a belt near the end of it's service life necessarily give any reliable visual cues tho?

I'm thinking that a belt near breaking may or may not look cracked on the surface depending on it's cronological age.


My experience is fairly limited. Two of the engines I have done timing belts on(nissan and toyota), were both well past 100k miles, 10+ years old, and lightly driven before I got them. Both cars most likely had the original belts, but it's impossible to know for sure. In both cases the belts were cracked around the base of the teeth and had minor cracks in the main part of the belt on the tooth side. The '97 2.2 Legacy I did was driven close to 20k per year, the belt had been done at 60k, and at 130k all looked well.

The outback belt had accumulated 100k miles in about 3.5 years from new. I think chronological age plays at least as large a role as mileage. I don't know if subaru states a maximum time, but I think 5-7 years would be a good interval on a lightly driven car. Like The Dude said, the other stuff in there needs periodic inspection, and one must err on the side of caution if long-term ownership is the goal.

#7 bearbalu

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 05:42 PM

I am sure you know 2.2 is not interference engine, so you will get stranded, not blow the engine. Knowing that, I would personally push it past 105K ;) ..

#8 The Dude

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 05:59 PM

I am sure you know 2.2 is not interference engine, so you will get stranded, not blow the engine. Knowing that, I would personally push it past 105K ;) ..



I am sure that you don't know that EVERY Subaru engine since 1997 has been an interference engine. In 1997 the 2.2 head was redesigned, and the beloved and formerly bullet proof 2.2 became an INTERFERENCE engine. Trust me on this. More than one 2.2 owner and poster on this board has found this to be true the hard and expensive way.

#9 svxpert

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 06:12 PM

<<Interference engines are a $3,000 repair just waiting to happen. It's not just the belt breaking that can destroy your engine. I wish that was true. If the tensioner fails, BANG goes your engine. If the water pump seizes, BANG goes your engine. If just one of the idlers fail, BANG goes your engine. If you get in a wreck, and the timing belt jumps, BANG goes your engine. This last one happens more often than you might think. In all honesty, the timing belt might be the most reliable part of the whole Mickey Mouse interference engine>>

That is the truth. Thats why when I work on a car at my shop, I always use genuine subaru parts, no messing around with pressing a "replacement" bearing into a tensioner or pulley. aftermarket parts are fine, just when your not dealing with the engine!

#10 tomson1355

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 06:47 PM

Maybe one of you with more experience can explain to me something about interference engines, particularly the 2.5 DOHC which is the only one I am familiar with. I can see damage occuring if the belt was mistimed and valves were being opened when the pistons were banging into them. But if a belt or tensioner broke, it seems like all valves would immediately close (the cams don't like to stay on the tops of the lobes), there would be nothing driving the cams so the valves couldn't open, and no interference would take place. I'm perfectly happy to learn that I'm not thinking about this the right way if anybody wants to straighten me out.

Tom

#11 Johngenx

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:03 PM

The valves don't all slam shut when the belt breaks or shears. Often, the cams will "freewheel" and the valves will open and close while the pistons go up and down. Not good. Pistons hit valves, valves bend, stuff breaks, you are broke. Your assumption that the cams stop dead immediately is incorrect. Also, if they did, what about the valves that are on the lobe?

Why the heck don't Japanese makes use timing chains? I'll put up with the little extra racket from the chain for the durability. On the various MB's I've owned over the years, the chain typically lasted 300-350,000kms and when needed changing, cost no more than a belt. On my C230, the double row chain typically lasts 350,000kms and costs about $400 for the chain, tensioner and labour at a dealer.

#12 bearbalu

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:13 PM

Okay, may be I missed something. CCRinc believes 2.2 are non-interference....May be they are wrong too, but they rebuild engines...

http://www.ultimates...rference engine

#13 paulandirene

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:21 PM

... if a belt or tensioner broke, it seems like all valves would immediately close (the cams don't like to stay on the tops of the lobes), there would be nothing driving the cams so the valves couldn't open, and no interference would take place. I'm perfectly happy to learn that I'm not thinking about this the right way if anybody wants to straighten me out.

Tom


Tom, when the belt or tensioner breaks, the camshaft stops and some of the valves will be open (because the cam lobes are contacting and raising the cam followers) and some will be shut. The ones that are open are the ones that get banged by the pistons

#14 99obw

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 07:29 PM

Maybe one of you with more experience can explain to me something about interference engines, particularly the 2.5 DOHC which is the only one I am familiar with. I can see damage occuring if the belt was mistimed and valves were being opened when the pistons were banging into them. But if a belt or tensioner broke, it seems like all valves would immediately close (the cams don't like to stay on the tops of the lobes), there would be nothing driving the cams so the valves couldn't open, and no interference would take place. I'm perfectly happy to learn that I'm not thinking about this the right way if anybody wants to straighten me out.

Tom


The crank and cams will slow at different rates, resulting in periodic interference.

#15 The Dude

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 08:59 PM

Okay, may be I missed something. CCRinc believes 2.2 are non-interference....May be they are wrong too, but they rebuild engines...

http://www.ultimates...rference engine


I don't fault you at all. There has been a huge amount of contraversy on this subject.

However, Subaru3, a moderator on this board, on 7-13-04 quoted the offical Subaru 1997 Technical training manual. It stated that the 2.2 had been reconfigered as an interference engine. This information has been verified numerous times. A number of very disappointed 2.2 owners have posted that their valves were trashed when their timing belts broke.

Emily at CCR is a very nice person, but she has been misinformed on several occasions. Years ago, I was informed by Subaru of America that my 2.5L SOHC was a non-interferential engine. They were wrong.

#16 Scottbaru

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 09:00 PM

Why the heck don't Japanese makes use timing chains?

Heh, and we complain on the Audi forum about our timing belts! Landcruisers have always been chains, Toyota seems to like them.

I have a year or so 'till my belt needs renewing, hopefully I'll have a list of parts to tend to while I'm in there. Any suggestions for that list?

-Scott

#17 Scoobaroo

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 09:17 PM


Why the heck don't Japanese makes use timing chains? I'll put up with the little extra racket from the chain for the durability. On the various MB's I've owned over the years, the chain typically lasted 300-350,000kms and when needed changing, cost no more than a belt.


A fiberglass reinforced belt hardly stretches at all during it's life. Exact cam timing is maintained with a belt, even up to the moment it strips or breaks.

A chain starts off well when new, but stretches quite a bit during it's useful life. You could lose 10 or more degrees of cam timing with a worn chain. A chain tensioner does nothing to maintain proper chain timing since it only takes up slack on the "slack" side.

I like timing belts. Easy to change and bulletproof when replaced properly.

#18 bearbalu

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for clarifying. I see it now!

http://www.ultimates...rference engine
http://www.ultimates...rference engine

#19 edrach

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 01:35 AM

Any way to tell whether the 2.2L engine is the non-interference type or the newer type.....serial number on the engine; marks on the head? I'd like to know since I just bought a '97 Impreza and it currently has 113K on it.

I am sure that you don't know that EVERY Subaru engine since 1997 has been an interference engine. In 1997 the 2.2 head was redesigned, and the beloved and formerly bullet proof 2.2 became an INTERFERENCE engine. Trust me on this. More than one 2.2 owner and poster on this board has found this to be true the hard and expensive way.



#20 99obw

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 06:58 AM

Any way to tell whether the 2.2L engine is the non-interference type or the newer type.....serial number on the engine; marks on the head? I'd like to know since I just bought a '97 Impreza and it currently has 113K on it.


The phase I 2.2 (non-interference) has the spark plugs exiting above the valve covers. The phase II 2.2 (interferenece) has the spark plugs exiting through the valve covers. Hope that makes sense.

#21 edrach

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 09:32 AM

Thanks for the info; I'll check that today.

Pleased to say I have the phase I engine in our new (to us) '97 Impreza. With 113K miles on the engine I was a bit concerned.

The phase I 2.2 (non-interference) has the spark plugs exiting above the valve covers. The phase II 2.2 (interferenece) has the spark plugs exiting through the valve covers. Hope that makes sense.



#22 OswaldtheBold

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 10:48 AM

Heh, and we complain on the Audi forum about our timing belts! Landcruisers have always been chains, Toyota seems to like them.

I have a year or so 'till my belt needs renewing, hopefully I'll have a list of parts to tend to while I'm in there. Any suggestions for that list?

-Scott


Landcruiser F, 2F and 3Fe motors (up through 1992), all use timing gears (3B and 2H diesels, too). 1993+ DOHC motors use timing chains.

#23 OswaldtheBold

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 04:16 PM

The phase I 2.2 (non-interference) has the spark plugs exiting above the valve covers. The phase II 2.2 (interferenece) has the spark plugs exiting through the valve covers. Hope that makes sense.

On both of my '97s, the spark plugs exit above the valve covers, angled up. This would seem to suggest they are Phase I motors. Is there any other way to confirm this? When in '97 did they change from Phase I to Phase II?
Does anyone have a '98 2.2 (which should be a Phase II)? Where are your sparkplugs?

#24 99obw

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Posted 16 February 2005 - 09:25 PM

I should clarify what I posted. The plugs will discern Phase I/II, but all 2.2's '97 and later are interference regardless. The Phase II came out in '99 AFAIK.

#25 OswaldtheBold

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 08:19 PM

I should clarify what I posted. The plugs will discern Phase I/II, but all 2.2's '97 and later are interference regardless. The Phase II came out in '99 AFAIK.

Bummer! Thanks for the clarification, since there sure seems to be confusion on this. Does anyone know a production date for the change to interference motors?




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