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rover215

'97 Outback Sport is my first Subaru

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Hello Group-

 

Bought my first Subaru less than a week ago and I love it despite some issues. Bone stock except the stereo. 209,xxx miles on the EJ22, auto, tired suspension. Hoping to learn the vast world of Subarus here and NASIOC, Facebook groups, etc. Long term goals: mild lift of 2", manual swap (with rear 3.90 end), fix the slow windows, find the leak in the rear (spare wheel well holding water), fix cruise control and power mirrors, and roll with it.

Got it for $500 from a guy who was going to Gambler500 it but went another direction. Oregon car all its life so almost no rust- sweet. 

 

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I did an engine swap on my friend's Outback Sport. I think it was also a 97. Had warped heads or something, kept blowing head-gaskets. It was somewhere around 200k+. Do know if your hg has been done? I would def pay $500 for one of those. Especially in forest green :) You realize that by paying 500 big ones you are also obligated to do the Gambler 500 ;)

 

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Not sure if the head gaskets were done, or even the timing belt. I'll be doing the timing belt asap. Changing the oil, trans fluid, bleeding the brakes, new power steering fluid, and rear diff next weekend. There's definitely something loose in the suspension on the front left side. Planning on Forester struts all around with Outback rear trailing arms and front Forester control arms.

Me and three buddies are doing the Gambler 500 this summer with a slightly banged up 2001 Outback with 230k on it. In fact, the guy I bought my OBS from has driven the G500 three times and is good friends with the founder. Can't wait to see how/what our car will do!

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stellar vehicles. replace all the timing components and water pump, that lower idler in particular fails all the time.  97 is first year for interference engine so best to replace all the timing bits at once.

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Thanks for the heads up. While researching timing belt kits, I noticed the two different tensioners and haven't seem which one I have. I'll report back when it's done.

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14 hours ago, rover215 said:

Thanks for the heads up. While researching timing belt kits, I noticed the two different tensioners and haven't seem which one I have. I'll report back when it's done.

1997s I’ve done have all, or mostly, been the newer style one piece tensioner with the pulley in a long arm. 

1997 is a crossover year and potentially could have either tensioner.  The 90-96 or the 97+.

If you’re worried or can’t check, call or stop by a dealer parts dept and ask them to look it up by VIN. But that’s only verifiable if the engine was never swapped with a different one  

The round tensioner with the offset hole is the older style 1990-1996.  

The one piece pulley on an arm is 1997+. 

If you buy a 90-96 timing tensioner bracket (cheap) and the timing tensioner, you can use the older style timing belt kit on your 1997. The tensioners don’t mount to the engine, but rather mount to a bracket which is easily swapped.  So they aren’t actually “engine dependent”.  The older style are more reliable and I used to use them on newer Subarus for that reason. 

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Nice tip. Reliability and affordability :)

I'll start posting in "1990 to Present, Legacy, Outback,..." for more updates. Looking forward to fixing and upgrading (and learning from the gurus here).

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keep in mind 97 is interference so you want Subaru or Aisin parts  

And the older timing kits can be cheap but don’t include the tensioner like the newer kits do.  So you’d have to buy the timing belt kit and also buy the bracket and tensioner which is very roughly $100. So it wouldn’t necessarily save money. 

Years ago a used one was a good option but they’re so old now....

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The Aisin kit from RockAuto comes with the water pump (with gaskets and o-rings), tensioner, tensioner bearing, and idler bearing for $219. Will check the same parts or kit from a dealer to compare price. I'm more interested in good parts over a low price. That said, if the consensus is that Aisin or ContiTech stuff is good, I'll buy it.

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Great  Aisin  

Dealer will be way more, like $350 or more. You can price all the parts online to see, no local dealer will be cheaper than discount online pricing. Online pricing is roughly 20% less than local dealers.  Check prices online and then you’ll know if you want to get them from a dealer or not without making the trip. 

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Aisin will be all Japanese bearings and probably a Mtisuboshi belt - worth the money

 

there are some dealers on ebay that will put together the kit you want if you want to delete water pump or something. One is mizumo auto, and I think the other is auto anything. Probably only a few dollars different from each other or Rock Auto though so, go with w'ever makes you comfortable.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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