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97 Legacy Outback Limited Timing Belt


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Slow02GT

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 11:55 AM

Hey guys, I posted this on another board and they told me to come here...

My parents just bought a 97 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited w/ the 2.5L H4 and 5spd, and it has ~105,000 miles on it. Generally speaking people have told me that dealers recommend replacing the timing belt at around 90,000 miles and we're not sure if it's been done yet. The car seems to run fine but we don't want to take the risk of it breaking because if it does the engine will be toast.

Now, I know a lot about mechanics and have dealt with timing before, so I want to know how big of a job this is. I looked over the car and it doesn't look overly difficult to get to the timing cover except for getting the crank pulley off because the radiator is in the way and I don't think there's enough room to get a pulley tool in there. If I can get the crank pulley off (any advice on this would help), is the job as simple as removing the accessory belt, removing the AC/PS pumps and pulleys and stuff, removing the alternator, removing the timing cover and replacing the belt? I know about the marks on the belt and the sprockets and keeping the engine in time and all that stuff and I will have a Hayne's or Chilton's manual by my side.

I'm assuming it would be about 300-500 to replace the belt at a dealer/mechanic and my parents just bought this car so I don't think they should have to spend that kinda money right off the bat. I have a 500rwhp Mustang and have done everything from replacing cams and valvesprings to motor and transmission swaps, so working on cars is nothing new to me...just working on Subarus is

Any advice? And also, is there anything else I should replace while I'm in there, seals or sensors or anything? Thanks a lot!

Chris

As an addendum, the person who replied on the other board recommended changing the cam seals and oil pump o-ring (is that the front crank seal?), so I'll probably do that too...just looking for advice here. thanks :)

#2 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 01:41 PM

Well, the first thing I'd suggest is using the Search feature for this forum, because there are several hundred threads here discussing the finer points of timing belt replacement, and how you should change everything else that you can reach (idlers, tensioner, water pump, seals, etc...) once you commit to the TB change, since once you've gone so far as to get the old TB off, you've done 90% of the work needed to do the other changes.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 01:43 PM

zillions of threads and details covering this. very easy job to do, sounds like you'll have no problems doing it. tons of tips here on getting the crank pulley out. remove the fans and you'll have plenty of room for a socket wrench.

and yes, you are wise to go ahead and replace it. pay attention to the pulleys while you're in there. make sure they are solid, not noisey and don't free wheel too easily. you're not going back in for another 100,000 miles, it's asking a good bit to count on all those pulleys lasting 200,000. replace the water pump for the same reason.

#4 nipper

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 03:32 PM

Its a job you can do, just dont be surprised if you get the timing marks wrong on the first try. Try to start the car before putting it back together to make sure the marks are right, it will save you alot of grief.
Also inspect the seals, as you may want to replace them. They may not be leaking now, but sometime before the next nelt change they will. Also replace the water pump at this time, same reason.

nipper

#5 Dickensheets

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 04:57 PM

I have the exact same car, and did the exact same job a year ago.

Do yerself a favor and remove the radiator first. Trust me on this one.

rd

#6 xrturbo

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 05:19 PM

i second the rad. removal, it makes things alot easier. if you can handle a cam job on a windsor or mod. motor in a stang you should have no prob. with this task. get a good manual and you will be set. good luck.

#7 sea#3

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 07:55 PM

Hey guys, I posted this on another board and they told me to come here...

My parents just bought a 97 Subaru Legacy Outback Limited w/ the 2.5L H4 and 5spd, and it has ~105,000 miles on it. Generally speaking people have told me that dealers recommend replacing the timing belt at around 90,000 miles and we're not sure if it's been done yet. The car seems to run fine but we don't want to take the risk of it breaking because if it does the engine will be toast.

Now, I know a lot about mechanics and have dealt with timing before, so I want to know how big of a job this is. I looked over the car and it doesn't look overly difficult to get to the timing cover except for getting the crank pulley off because the radiator is in the way and I don't think there's enough room to get a pulley tool in there. If I can get the crank pulley off (any advice on this would help), is the job as simple as removing the accessory belt, removing the AC/PS pumps and pulleys and stuff, removing the alternator, removing the timing cover and replacing the belt? I know about the marks on the belt and the sprockets and keeping the engine in time and all that stuff and I will have a Hayne's or Chilton's manual by my side.

I'm assuming it would be about 300-500 to replace the belt at a dealer/mechanic and my parents just bought this car so I don't think they should have to spend that kinda money right off the bat. I have a 500rwhp Mustang and have done everything from replacing cams and valvesprings to motor and transmission swaps, so working on cars is nothing new to me...just working on Subarus is

Any advice? And also, is there anything else I should replace while I'm in there, seals or sensors or anything? Thanks a lot!

Chris

As an addendum, the person who replied on the other board recommended changing the cam seals and oil pump o-ring (is that the front crank seal?), so I'll probably do that too...just looking for advice here. thanks :)


Try This it's from Endwrench .com

SEA#3

#8 Slow02GT

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:17 PM

Thanks guys... seems easy enough. I'll take off the radiator too and do the water pump and all the idlers and stuff...BTW, did those of you who've done it use those tools to hold the cam sprockets in place or did you just jerry rig them so they wouldn't move? I know when I did the mustang it didn't matter anyway, I just put the belt on w/ the cams out of time and then adjusted everything tooth by tooth using the chains to hold things in place as I adjusted them. Valve spring pressure is not that strong! :grin:

#9 Wayne Boncyk

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:50 PM

I Jerry rigged mine usinbg two old 17mm sockets that I strapped together with bolts, lockwashers, and a piece of steel bar. Worked well enough, but I late3r found out that although the cams on the driver's side want to snap out of the spec alignment position when you've pulled off the old belt, if you watch which way that they turn when they snap, and you rotate them back into the correct position in the opposite direction that they snapped out, you will not do any damage. The piston heads are all in a "safe" position at that point, and the intake and exhaust are both prone to snap closed from that position -- where they won't interfere with each other.

Bottom line -- be careful to watch what happens when you take the old belt off -- make sure you line up the CORRECT mark on the crank pulley before you take anything apart, and you'll have no trouble at all.

#10 Slow02GT

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 12:28 AM

cool, sounds good. that's the same thing that happened w/ my mustang... the things just snapped and I moved them back in the opposite direction. 8,000 miles on a built, supercharged motor with no problems at all :)




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