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The Chad

Of my timing belt, pulleys, and Orbach's

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Just had the timing belt replaced on my 1998 Legacy L 2.2. It was last changed about 80,000 miles ago, so it was time. The car's got 173,000 on it now so I was expecting to have the pulleys replaced too, since it would make sense that they'd be worn out by now.

 

I took the hour drive to Orbach's Automotive in Denver, PA. Love those guys, they're Subaru specialists that almost exclusively deal with Subies and I won't let anyone else touch my Legacy. Anyway, they said that the pulleys were still spinning free and smoothly so they weren't going to replace them. At 173,000 miles! Pretty impressive, I thought. I'd read that after 100,000 or a decade that the pulleys would be dried out and shot, but they weren't. :cool: Thought I'd share that since it surprised me.

 

If anyone is within a couple hours reach of Orbach's Automotive (365 REINHOLDS RD, DENVER, PA 17517-9378), you can trust your Subie to them. They're a great little shop who's been around for 20 something years, they are the definitive Subaru wizards, and have excellent pricing. Tell them Chad from Harrisburg sent ya.

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Chad,

 

It's you car.

 

Do you really wanna risk those idlers (especially the splined one by the WP) to go over a quarter million miles without a failure?

 

I don't. And they are very easy access when doing a TB job. The Ebay ones are reasonably priced.

 

 

Hope you make the next 100k. If not it's really not much money saved (or agrivation).

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Chad,

 

It's you car.

 

Do you really wanna risk those idlers (especially the splined one by the WP) to go over a quarter million miles without a failure?

 

I don't. And they are very easy access when doing a TB job. The Ebay ones are reasonably priced.

 

 

Hope you make the next 100k. If not it's really not much money saved (or agrivation).

 

+1 i cant agree that they would'nt need replaced at 173,000. for the extra $200 or less i would have had them replaced. how much was it for the timing belt install? did they do anything else like valve cover gaskets?

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I wouldn't trust any shop that says not to change those. That's a huge gamble and at that mileage it's bording on irresponsible. Same with the water pump and cam/crank seals. I just did a '95 EJ22 with 165k on it where the cogged idler had siezed. Used the bolt as an axle and destroyed the WP casting. That's what happens when they don't get replaced and you are already at higher mileage than I've seen them fail at.

 

IMO, you replace it all - every single belt change. The risk of failure is too high for the amount of damage that can be caused on an interferance engine. My local Subaru dealer agree's and reccomends replacement even though it's not called out in the maintenance schedule. People opt out because of the price but that's on them.

 

For the 90 to 96 EJ22's with the 60k belts I would be ok with every other belt change. But not on the 105k belts or the interferance engines. That's just good sense since the labor is the same price and the parts are not expensive at all. The whole kit off ebay is ~$150 shipped and comes with japanese bearings.

 

Subaru Shop Fail. Repeat business win (or lose?) :mad:

 

I always explain to the customer that the LABOR (my profit) doesn't change. Only the price of the parts (which I don't markup) and that it's to their benefit and mine that they receive honest infomation so they feel good about the job and/or know they might have to come back. As long as they are apprised of the risk and are willing to shoulder it - it's out of my hands.

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

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If they spin "free" it's because all the grease has flung out of them. No lubrication = heat = wear and/or seizure. 170k and original idlers on an interference design engine is asking for a bent valve sandwich. :eek:

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Everyone is entitled to their opinion. And it's always easy to spend someone else's money. My current Impreza has 265,000 miles on the original water pump/pulleys/.etc. My 91 Legacy had 243,000 miles when I junked the car with all the original stuff. I wonder what the OP has experienced since that decision?

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I like reading these data point posts, since they help me judge how long I am willing to push my machine. I have a 2001 Forester with 116k miles on her. Sometime between now and 150k, I will replace the belt and all the rest. But I give a good visual inspection and listen closely for any noises coming out of the timing belt area on a frequent basis. So, obviously if I hear anything starting to make noises, I will jump right on it.

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have a 98 outback wth 16 bent valves 220000kms seized coged idler pully in one year over 40 seized coged idler pullys and buckets of bent valves that guy listened to the dealer { you dont have to change that part if its not bad yet ] cost 3000$ coged idler is 45$ need i say more

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have a 98 outback wth 16 bent valves 220000kms seized coged idler pully in one year over 40 seized coged idler pullys and buckets of bent valves that guy listened to the dealer { you dont have to change that part if its not bad yet ] cost 3000$ coged idler is 45$ need i say more

And I'd be willing to bet that it was making some kind of noise that either wasn't heard (Some people just don't know) or was ignored prior to seizing. Just like the brother of a friend of mine. He heard the noise but ignored it till it went boom. That's their own fault. YMMV.

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And I'd be willing to bet that it was making some kind of noise that either wasn't heard (Some people just don't know) or was ignored prior to seizing. Just like the brother of a friend of mine. He heard the noise but ignored it till it went boom. That's their own fault. YMMV.

 

You don't run a shop and you aren't the one that looks like an a$$ if your customer has a failure shortly after a belt job.

 

Do what you like and be stranded by a $25 idler failure if you choose but don't tell people to fall on their sword based on your unbelievably limited data set of two whole cars.

 

Just stop - you are making my dog look smart right now.

 

GD

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some make noise but most dont its a berring when it fails it fails thiss year i caught 4 in time were the berring was failed but not seized sounded like a rod knock. But most lock up and shear the bolt and bang ! Thiss outback had less than 50000kms on subaru rebuild xx 0.25 block. Dealer put the old idler back on and ruined the new engine. Have had five of theese xx 0.25 blocks all same deal new engine old idler bent valves. So i asked the dealer why reuse a old ?able part there answer { only needs to make it past waranty } I can tell you every one of my ej motors have a new coged idler. And will not install a ej motor without a new one used motor or new motor even if new idler i change it anyway

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You don't run a shop and you aren't the one that looks like an a$$ if your customer has a failure shortly after a belt job.

 

Do what you like and be stranded by a $25 idler failure if you choose but don't tell people to fall on their sword based on your unbelievably limited data set of two whole cars.

 

Just stop - you are making my dog look smart right now.

 

GD

Whatever you say, boss. Obviously this isn't the place for a variety of people to express their views and experiences for the OP to make a decision for themselves. Only for experts to state facts. And for what its worth, those were just 2 of my examples. Me and my kids have owned about 30 different Subarus over the last 20 years or more. Most of them not new either. Signing off.

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I think you could probably even make the argument that it's more important to replace the idlers than the timing belt itself. I've certainly heard of more idler related timing belt failures than timing belts which fail by themselves.

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I have 150 used coged idlers just from the last 6 months and have bought out all of the stock on them in western canada cant get them as fast as i use them

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All 4 idlers and the timing belt only costs $90 for the 2.2 engine from theimportexperts. At that price, it's nuts not to replace them all in my opinion.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1993-1997-Subaru-Impreza-EJ18-EJ22-Timing-Belt-Kit-/370597038544?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&fits=Year%3A1997|Make%3ASubaru|Submodel%3AOutback&vxp=mtr&hash=item56494e09d0

 

I just used their kit to replaced them as well as the water pump.

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Just bought Mizumo's kit last night that includes all the idlers/cogs, water pump AND the hydraulic tensioner. This thing is going to be ALL BRAND NEW from the case forward.

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If I am taking it off to do the job and it is a wear item like a idler pulley, it will be replaced by a quality new one. I see no reason to cheap out and not spend the extra $$$ to have a little piece of mind. A shop that doesn't recommend that wear items be replaced when they are in there anyway sets off alarms in my mind. Buyer Beware!

 

It's a free country and you can do whatever you want (within the law) but you won't want to hear the "I told you so's" after it fails and you are looking at a $3K job rather than a $50 pulley.

 

TP

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The smooth idlers in the Mizumo kit seem to have a single-row bearing. Both OE replacement idlers are currently superseded to double-row (the top one always was). But if they're changed every time along with the belt, as they should, that shouldn't be a concern.

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The smooth idlers in the Mizumo kit seem to have a single-row bearing. Both OE replacement idlers are currently superseded to double-row (the top one always was). But if they're changed every time along with the belt, as they should, that shouldn't be a concern.

 

 

It's not a concern in practice. The cogged idler is the big failure point not the smooth ones - I haven't even seen a smoother idler failure despite removing hundreds of single row bearing smooth idlers.

 

GD

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That timing kitt cost me 285$ at my local parts stores boy you guys get cheap parts down there.

 

Timing kit for what? I can get 90 to 96 2.2's for about $130 online through Mizumoauto with the Aisin water pump and Mitsuboshi belt. I haven't had a single failure with one of these kits - I have a customer that drives 180 miles a day and over the last year and a half has put over 100k on one of those kits without issue. I just replaced his entire timing kit again due to concern over the mileage (only supposed to go 60k) and everything still looked fine including the belt.

 

A kit for an STi is going to be in the $350 neighborhood. One reason is that I'm a lot less discerning about a '90 Legacy than I am over the parts for an STi. No potential for interference, less expensive water pump, no need to replace the tensioner, one less idler, etc...

 

GD

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Thats the starting price for base 2.2 and go's up from there i only have two parts supplyers and they pull from same wherehouse. The parts here have big markup from the supplyers. I dont think its all of canada just BC that has thiss pricing problems.

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