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
- - - - -

timing belt components - cheap kit or OEM?


  • Please log in to reply
30 replies to this topic

#1 cjd160

cjd160

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • arlington

Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:34 PM

97 Outback wagon 2.5 dohc

I was wondering if anybody has had experience with the inexpensive timing belt component kit from Autozone. It says its made by Crp (hope it's not short for Crap!) Includes the three idler pulleys, tensioner, tensioner pulley, and timing belt for $260. I believe this is significantly cheaper than buying all OEM from what I've seen (unless I'm looking on the wrong site). I know what you're all going to say...but, has anybody tried the cheap route? If so, how many miles did you get and how has it held up?

I originally posted this in the wrong forum (my first post) and someone suggested Ebay.

#2 bratman18

bratman18

    ADIDASubarus

  • Members
  • 3,488 posts
  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:45 PM

I think a lot of people on here will say to go with OEM or maybe find an ebay kit.

#3 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,895 posts
  • WV

Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:53 PM

some kits are on ebay for $80, not sure if that's EJ25 or not - timing belt and all new pulleys and tensioner. check those out.

i, and many others on here, use the ebay kits. they're great.

Subaru pulleys would be a waste here. would'nt surprise me if the SUbaru and the ones int he kit are the same supplier (Subaru doesn't *make* pulleys).

if you're concerned with quality you can get the kits and use a Subaru belt in place of the one that comes with it. i would do that on 105k timing interval or interference engines.

#4 The Dude

The Dude

    Certified Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 800 posts
  • South Carolina

Posted 25 January 2009 - 11:41 AM

some kits are on ebay for $80, not sure if that's EJ25 or not - timing belt and all new pulleys and tensioner. check those out.

i, and many others on here, use the ebay kits. they're great.

Subaru pulleys would be a waste here. would'nt surprise me if the SUbaru and the ones int he kit are the same supplier (Subaru doesn't *make* pulleys).

if you're concerned with quality you can get the kits and use a Subaru belt in place of the one that comes with it. i would do that on 105k timing interval or interference engines.



The problem with an interference engine is if ANY of the timing components fail you're looking at valve damage at the very least. A genuine Subaru belt won't help you if one of the no name idlers craps out.

I really dislike interference engines, the 0.5% increase in horse power isn't worth the risk. I will pay for genuine Subaru timing components only because Subaru is the devil I know.

Edited by The Dude, 25 January 2009 - 01:01 PM.


#5 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,250 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:25 PM

The problem with an interference engine is if ANY of the timing components fail you're looking at valve damage at the very least. A genuine Subaru belt won't help you if one of the no name idlers craps out.

I really dislike interference engines, the 0.5% increase in horse power isn't worth the risk. I will pay for genuine Subaru timing components only because Subaru is the devil I know.


One of the four idles costs as much as the kit with all four.

I think the kits are fine.

My biggest thing is changing the belts at 50k, even though the *spec* is higher. Change the belt often, worry less.

#6 elmwood22

elmwood22

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • Deerwood

Posted 25 January 2009 - 02:59 PM

How many miles on the engine? You get what you pay for.......OEM

#7 mellow65

mellow65

    Subaru, my drug of choice

  • Members
  • 1,084 posts
  • Portland

Posted 25 January 2009 - 06:14 PM

i had to buy a set of OEM pullys because they were the only ones that had them and i needed them then. i think it was between $200-300 with out the belt. next one i did i bought an ebay set, was about $90 with the timing belt. been running that now on my legacy for awhile with no issues.

the ebay kits get my vote

#8 Bubs360

Bubs360

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • Lakes Region

Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:35 PM

Any particular seller good for these kits?

#9 davebugs

davebugs

    I don't "friend"

  • Members
  • 3,112 posts
  • Pittsburgh suburbs (NE)

Posted 25 January 2009 - 09:47 PM

I've used probably a dozen from theimportexperts.

I think the PCI kits are all the same. I just figure I'd try and deal with one vendor. I think the prices are all about the same.

One comment is that they all seem to be left coasters. Shipping time can become an issue.

GMB bearings in the kits I've gotten. The belt I obtain locally - I use Dayco.

I believe they have generic, German, and now Continental (which is probably German), and Dayco options - you'll need to ask. I forget the 'other' German belt. Think it starts with an F and is printed in yellow. I've taken them off quite a few cars.

Haven't had anyone come back yet.

I always use Subaru Head Gaskets, cam seals, crank seals, water pump gaskets, etc. I just can't justify their prices on idlers, tensioners, water pumps, and timing belts. And I can't justify to myself leaving that old stuff on there.

Seems like a decent compromise.

Dave

#10 nickb21

nickb21

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 558 posts
  • Hunterdon County

Posted 25 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

... watching this thread as I'm considering using the ebay pulley's too. Does anyone bother rebuilding them at all? Saw this post as I was doing some searching; http://www.subaruout...?threadid=17114

#11 davebugs

davebugs

    I don't "friend"

  • Members
  • 3,112 posts
  • Pittsburgh suburbs (NE)

Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:04 AM

There are some threads here about pressing in new bearings, about using a grease needle to squirt some grease in the bearing.

Like I said - I thought the best compromise for myself was the Ebay kits.

I asked around here at the USMB first and others recommended them.

So I tried them. Actually I usually just keep one in stock plus an additional part. A complete set plus the idler for the 'other' tensioner type so that the shipping lag doesn't screw me up. Since I mostly do 95-99's.

Dave

#12 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,895 posts
  • WV

Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:28 AM

Does anyone bother rebuilding them at all?

you can but it's typically labor and time intensive and might not save much money. if bearings are $20-ish per pulley and there's 4 or 5.....then you're paying a shop $100 labor...it's easy to pay $200 just for doing it that way. and it's annoying sourcing all the different size bearings, finding a shop to do it, dropping them off, picking them up.

but yeah it's been done, it's possible, it just doesn't really save anything.

XT6 kits are $400, so it would be a good plan for those. but for easy to find EJ stuff, i'm with Dave and don't see the value in it. depends what your time is worth too. i like having parts show up at my door.

dave and i do tons of subarus, as well as many others here, and we have faired very well with the ebay kits.

#13 mdjdc

mdjdc

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,307 posts
  • Richmond

Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:31 AM

Subaru doesn't make their own belts or pulleys. The PCI kits from the import experts are OEM spec and all of the components look identicle. I have used them several times and they work just great. I wouldn't go to the dealer just to get a higher price on the same components. Even my subaru mechanic says they are the same. At the local dealer they don't even change the pulleys at th belt change. I do.

#14 davebugs

davebugs

    I don't "friend"

  • Members
  • 3,112 posts
  • Pittsburgh suburbs (NE)

Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:05 PM

FYI timing belts from theimportexperts.

I ordered a kit last week(friday). They stated that the timing belt (the generic one if you don't upgrage) had been Chinese and as of Feb 1st were not going to be Chinese.

FWIW - I always get the Dayco belt locally anyways.

But thought it was worth mentioning. Don't know if all PCI kits will make the same change or not.

Dave

#15 bulwnkl

bulwnkl

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 501 posts
  • Arizona, USA

Posted 02 June 2009 - 12:23 PM

Thanks to the search function, I'd like to bring this thread back up.

I see at least a couple of these 'kits' from theimportexperts that claim to be the right one for my '05 Baja turbo (EJ-255). They seem to differ in price and in whether you get the entire tensioner (hydraulic adjuster) or just the 32mm bearing insert for it.

So, are you guys changing the tensioner itself (hydraulic adjuster) when you do timing belts? That doesn't seem to me to be a part that would fail absent some sort of explosion or something. Did I miss something?

#16 wtdash

wtdash

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 784 posts
  • N. ID

Posted 15 June 2009 - 10:42 AM

Sorry, can't answer 'bulwnkl's' question....But wanted to add a 'heads up' about the Ebay kits.

I bought one from 'domesticgaskets' and the smooth idler pulleys didn't come w/bolts and the stock ones were too long, as the kit's pulleys have a deeper recess. Wasn't a big deal, but if this relatively easy maintenance task was done on a late Sunday afternoon after the hardware/auto parts stores close, you may be walking come Monday a.m., unless you re-use the old pulleys! :rolleyes:

#17 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,895 posts
  • WV

Posted 15 June 2009 - 11:59 AM

So, are you guys changing the tensioner itself (hydraulic adjuster) when you do timing belts? That doesn't seem to me to be a part that would fail absent some sort of explosion or something. Did I miss something?

actually you're better off replacing the entire tensioner, the tensioning part does fail (i've seen it...just a couple months ago actually). the new style tensioners are less reliable than the old style (even though they're much more expensive).

not a big deal for a one or two time expense. with 100,000 miles between belt changes on an interference engine it's best to replace the entire tensioner on this one.

there is a significant (that term is relative!) risk in expecting the bearings and the hydraulic tensioning unit to make it 200,000 miles (to the next change).

#18 RAYJAY

RAYJAY

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts
  • UNION DALE

Posted 16 June 2009 - 04:11 PM

A little off topic but looking at the kits now ,I have 71,000 on my 2004 gt 2.5 sedan non turbo

should i do the timing belts now or wait till about 90,000 ???

or just do the coolant flush and thermostat change?


Jeff

#19 ericem

ericem

    First Gen Legacy Master

  • Members
  • 2,477 posts
  • CANADA Maple,ON

Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:38 PM

A little off topic but looking at the kits now ,I have 71,000 on my 2004 gt 2.5 sedan non turbo

should i do the timing belts now or wait till about 90,000 ???

or just do the coolant flush and thermostat change?


Jeff


I would not be to worried about it. There are many people who probably went as far as 150,000 EVEN 200,000 on the original belt. It is just a matter of risk.

Do the coolant flush, thermostat, and rad cap change all at once if you really think it is neccesary. I think age is more important then mileage with coolant.

#20 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,594 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:46 PM

I would not be to worried about it. There are many people who probably went as far as 150,000 EVEN 200,000 on the original belt. It is just a matter of risk.

.



And there are people who barely made it past 106,000 miles before they bent valves.

Its not worth the hassel to risk the expense (and as far as i am concerned stupidity to let it go).

Considering OE parts last 106,000 miles trouble free, i always go with OE. Bearings themselves all come from the same source, as they really are not worht the effort to counterfit or make poorly (even for China). However for the belt, that should really be from OE or a known supllier. That belt just works too hard to be anything less.

nipper

#21 211

211

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 337 posts
  • Bellingham

Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:43 AM

...just my 0.02
I did the timing belt on my 2000 OBW at 103k using a 'cheap' ebay kit (PCI Timing Belt Kit; pulleys, tensioner and belt).
My car is now sitting at 111k (8,000 miles later); and recently I tore into the front timing covers to check timing alignment trying to diagnose a misfire code. That's when I found BOTH of the smooth idler rollers were already shot. The bolt torque is tight but you can wiggle the pulley with your hand and feel slop in the bearing. :eek:

Now, I realize I may have gotten a lemon kit, but seriously, BOTH bearings?
My point, I think I saved 80$ by buying a cheap kit as opposed to OEM but now I'm at least double that in parts and labor having to go in and replace these pulleys that only have 8k miles on them...

Key takeaway here is if you don't have the money to do it right the first time, when will you have money to do it over.

#22 nipper

nipper

    Semi Elite Master of the

  • Members
  • 17,594 posts
  • Long Island NY

Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:48 AM

Even if it is your time, your time is still valuble, so get OE parts and do it once, right, the first time.

It still amazes me how people want to cheap out (I can understand if they have no choice) when the OE parts were trouble free for 106,000 miles. Those parts work hard, and are key to the engines survival.

its possibel that 80.00 in savings can sot you a replacement engine.

Just go OE and have peace of mind (and dont forget to do the cam seals, main seal, waterpump and re-seal the oil pump).

nipper

#23 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,895 posts
  • WV

Posted 17 June 2009 - 11:35 AM

wow, that sucks. Looks like the pulleys are about $60 each online for a total of $180 + tensioner for $150 = $330 for pulleys and $60 for the belt, so that's about $400. That's $200 more than ebay, but you then have the option of not replacing any good ones too.

I successfully regreased an EJ25 idler pulley the other day, but it's very hard to do without compromising the seal. I ruined one in the process, which was fine it was no good to use anyway.

Thanks for the feedback. Be interesting to see if more reports like this come around, one time isn't a trend. I need to get a press and just start doing my own bearings.

#24 avk

avk

    My Outback is bigger than yours

  • Members
  • 959 posts
  • Somerset County, NJ

Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:56 PM

As far as I can tell, aftermarket idlers come from OE suppliers, NTN and Koyo. The only "catch" is that the smooth rollers are obsolete compared to current OE parts. They come with a single-row bearing vs. OE double-row.
But it hardly matters if the parts are replaced at every timing belt change.

#25 vincentmoy

vincentmoy

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 164 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 19 June 2009 - 09:54 PM

When I did my T-belt change on my 98 EJ22 I went with all OE.

Belt, all pulleys, tensioner, WP w/ seals. It cost me just under $500:eek:




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users