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Hello everyone. I have a '97 Outback Sport with the stock EJ22. I was replacing the timing belt and the front oil seals. I had everything back together, and had rotated the engine forward several times with no trouble. I decided to use the belt tension to torque the cam nuts, and when doing the passenger side one, I think the cam slipped forward a few teeth on the belt. Sure enough, I rotated the engine again and somewhere after one or two revolutions of the crank, I hit a blockage and it wouldn't turn any further. I rotated it backwards (counter-clockwise) to try and get it back to zero and I found it was blocked after a certain point too. I pulled the timing belt and zeroed everything only to put it back together and find I can't tun the crank more than a quarter turn clockwise and it won't turn more than a half-turn counter-clockwise. I pulled all the plugs and that didn't change anything. 

 

I just took the belt off again, and zeroed everything. Without the belt on, the crank won't turn freely more than a 1/4 turn and a 1/2 turn in those directions. The cams turn freely, but advance forward on their own quite a bit when turing, possibly from the lobes? At no point has the car been started since I took everything apart. All of the turning has been done by hand with a ratchet.

 

Any ideas what could be wrong? The crank is physically blocked by something. Is this thing hopelessly screwed up? At this point I'm considering towing it to a shop, but I don't want to spend a lot of money to be told I need a new engine. 

 

 

 

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You cant spin the crank a full revolution without spinning the cams with it.

 

Set your passenger side cam with the notch pointing straight up. Drivers side cam with the notch pointing straight down. This completely unloads both cams and sets all 16 valves closed. Now spin your crank to the proper mark.

With the crank at the proper timing mark (the notch on the back of the sprocket straight up, keyway straight down) the pistons are all at half stroke, so you can turn the cams freely to their proper timing marks. Then install your belt.

 

 

 

You feel the cams wanting to pull themselves over as the valve spring pressure presses back against the cam lobes. When the rocker arm rolls down the lobe it pushes the cam over. Use a box end wrench to turn the cams so you can control how far or how fast they turn.

 

Never use a new belt to tighten the cam bolts because it can damage the belt. Always use an old belt if you're going to use a belt to tighten or loosen.

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Thanks for the reply. The crank is already at the proper mark, but I can only move it a 1/4 turn before it gets hung up. I will give that a try with the cams tomorrow morning and see if I can turn the crank a full turn. I can get all the marks lined up, timing marks on cams and crank pointing straight up, it's just this rotation problem with the crank. Something is not right and out of sync. 

 

The belt doesn't appear damaged, but if I can get this fixed, should I replace the belt? It's a brand new Gates. 

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If the crank is right, set the cams and put the belt on.

 

Inspect the belt for any tears or obvious damage, more than likely its fine and you can run it.

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So many people don't believe us on this, but it's true: NEVER rotate the engine counter clockwise! It screws up the timing.  That engine IS interferential as well. 

 

Since you were only turning it by hand however, it's likely that following Fairtax's instructions will put you where you need to be.

 

Emilly

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So many people don't believe us on this, but it's true: NEVER rotate the engine counter clockwise! It screws up the timing.  That engine IS interferential as well. 

 

Since you were only turning it by hand however, it's likely that following Fairtax's instructions will put you where you need to be.

 

Emilly

 

"Experience keeps a dear school..." - Benjamin Franklin  (google for the rest of the quote)

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OK, I put the passenger side cam notch up, driver side cam notch down. I still can't turn the crank more than a 1/4 turn CW. It's still hitting something. I have had all of the timing marks lined up and have the same problem with the belt on. 

 

I listened for the sound in each cylinder using some rubber tubing. It's coming from #4, which is the driver side rear cylinder. It seems odd, but the cam that I think slipped a few teeth with the belt on was the passenger side cam. I only took the plugs out after this problem, so nothing could have fallen into the plug hole. 

 

 

Edited by homebrewz

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Quick question, is your crankshaft timing gear lined up to the arrow on the front of the gear or the notch on the nubs on the back?

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Quick question, is your crankshaft timing gear lined up to the arrow on the front of the gear or the notch on the nubs on the back?

It was lined up according to the timing mark on the nubs on the back. Though, I set the cams as Fairtax suggested and I should be able to rotate the crank all the way around and it's getting stuck with the back timing mark at 90 degrees. 

 

Is it possible I've got a valve stuck open on #4? Kind of at a loss as to what to do now.

Edited by homebrewz

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Is it automatic or manual? Were you using something to hold the crankshaft still while removing/installing the crankshaft bolt?

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Is it automatic or manual? Were you using something to hold the crankshaft still while removing/installing the crankshaft bolt?

Manual. No, I knew someone would ask that  :). I use a chain wrench on the crank pulley to get the bolt on and off. 

 

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Pull the valve cover on that side and see if any of the valves are stuck open I guess. Maybe one of the rocker arms isn't sitting right or something?!

 

I don't want to blame the valves unless the crank was lined up wrong while you were trying to tighten that cam bolt. The crank should be at half stroke at the right timit mark so there's no chance of the valves hitting if the cam moves accodentally.

If you manhandled the heck out of it after it jumped and the piston and valves hit on that cylinder, maybe it could bend enough to hang open. These valves are not very big, it doesn't take much to bend them, but I think you still need to put some swing behind it to really bend the heck out of it.

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Everything was lined up correctly and I've only rotated it by hand. This happened after I had the belt installed and I thought I had slipped the crank pulley a bit from tightening the cam bolt, and realizing my error, I tried to rotate the engine to see if everything was still lined up. I got through 1 to 2 revolutions of the crank before things got hung up. I tried to rotate backwards to get things alined again where I could take the belt off and start over. Thanks to ccrinc, I know I shouldn't have done that now. When I realized it was hung up somewhere, I did put some firm pressure on the ratchet just to make sure it wasn't compression, but I didn't ram into it and don't think I could have bent a valve. Though I suppose that is a possibility. 

 

The only thing I can think of is that by rotating the engine backwards with the belt still on, I messed up something on a valve and now it's stuck open enough where I can't get a full crank rotation. I will take the valve cover off and see if I can see anything.

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I took the driver side valve cover off and rotated the cam a few times. Everything seemed normal. The tops of the valves appear to be in contact with the rockers and the springs seem to be in place. I rotated the crank again and still only a 1/4 turn before getting hung up on something. Not knowing what to do next, I sprayed some PB Blaster into #4.. just three quick sprays. I rotated the crank, and it went around two full revolutions without getting hung up!

 

I guess some surface rust had formed just from sitting for a few days. Weird though, as I only pulled the plugs after this had happened. I really hope a piece of a ring isn't caught in there, but the penetrating oil seemed to clear it right up. I guess I can line up the timing marks again and try for reassembly? 

 

I also observed the valves on the driver side cam while I was rotating it. One 360 rotation seemed to be for the intake stroke, and the next for the exhaust stroke. I can get all the timing marks lined up of course, but how do I know which stroke both cams should be on?

 

 

Edited by homebrewz

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Line up the timing marks and they're all on the correct stroke.

 

The crankshaft turns 2 times for every 1 turn of the camshafts. At top dead center of the crank stroke it doesn't matter what part of the cycle its on, top dead center is top dead center. The cams determine which part of the 4-stroke cycle the crank is pushing through. (Intake, compression, power, exhaust)

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I'm wondering about the timing between the two cams though. With all of the marks lined up for the timing belt install, can't one of the cams still need another 360 revolution? Should one cam be on the intake when the other is on the exhaust? 

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When all of the makes are lined up both cams are in proper time.

So it's not possible to have one cam out of phase with the other? I noticed one full cam revolution seemed to be intake and the next one was exhaust. I figured I'd need to take the other valve cover off and see where they are so I don't have both cams in intake or exhaust at the same time. 

 

Sorry to still be stuck on this. Thanks for your patience and assistance. I just want to put it back together correctly. I will do some more research into timing and hopefully get it back together tonight. 

 

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double check you are using the correct marks, line them up (there are pics on-line) and install. I like to also confirm things with a tooth count, before pulling the tensioner pin, after pulling it, after rotating the engine with a wrench - basically, trust the marks and the tooth count, but triple check everything. NEVER use the arrow/triangle mark on the front of the crank pulley - don't worry about a whiteline being off a half tooth on the back of a new belt. Don't worry about those lines after you rotate the crank with the wrench - it takes 2-300 revs for those lines to sync-up again. use the marks on the pulleys and a tooth count.

 

when the mark on the back of the crank pulley is lined-up, one side of the engine has a piston halfway down from a power stroke and the other halfway up on compression. That cam's valves are closed.

 

The other side (the left/US driver's) has it's pistons halfway down on intake and halfway up on exhaust - those various valves are open.

 

 

you can find Subaru engine animations on line too.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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No no, one full revolution of the cam runs through the whole cycle, intake through exhaust.

It takes two full revolutions of the crankshaft to get through the whole cycle.

 

When all three are at the proper marks, the crank is on the power stroke for cylinder one.

Each 1/2 turn of the crank moves it to the power stroke for the next cylinder in the firing order. 1-3-2-4.

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It's all back together now and running great, thanks everyone for all of the help! I must have observed the rotation of the cams wrong, because of course one full revolution will provide intake and exhaust strokes. What led me here in the first place was the blockage in the cylinder. I thought I had something messed up, but I think it was just a piece of carbon from the valves or some speck of something. A little penetrating oil took care of it. 

 

While everything was apart, I replaced all of the front seals and resealed the oil pump. The crank timing sprocket was difficult to get off.. had to tap the two holes in the sprocket and use a gear puller and lots of penetrating oil. Probably the first person to do the timing belt didn't tighten the crank pulley down enough because the front half of the slot in the pulley and the crank had been messed up, and the woodruff key had broken in half. The previous owner said a shop didn't replace the front seal because of a "curved piece of metal" in the way. I knew something with the woodruff key was messed up. Anyway, it's all back together correctly this time. Thanks again. 

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