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Hi,

My friend and I are in the middle of a project on his 99 Outback 2.5. We are currently reinstalling the timing belt and have hit a problem. The timing marks on the belt do not seem to line up when the cam sprockets have their notches aligned. The belt has the correct tooth count, but we cannot install the belt correctly. We have managed to get the belt on with its marks all lined up with the marks on the cam sprockets, but the cams are off in relation to each other and the rear timing cover. The best we can seem to manage is to get the belt in agreement with the cam sprockets, while marks on the belt are just shy of the notches in the tops of the timing cover. The double notches in the left side sprockets also do not seem to line up when the belt is installed with all marks matching between belt and sprockets.

 

Here's where it gets interesting...

The left side cam sprockets are not identical to each other, like the right side sprockets are. The bottom sprocket has a raised outer edge, while the top sprocket has just the teeth extending to the edge. Is this normal? There are white paint markings on both sprockets that line up almost exactly despite the discrepancy in the double notches. Could it be that a sprocket had been replaced and these white paint marks are there to signify correct timing? He bought the car with 4,000 miles on it, so it's hard to believe anything so strange could have happened. But could replacing sprockets be a solution?

 

So we have hit a major snag and need some help. FWIW, the problem arises after we get the belt on both left side cam sprockets and go to put it on the top right side sprocket (as the Haynes manual suggests). The belt is much too tight for the mark to reach the 12:00 position. This is with the tensioner compressed and with a stopper in it.

 

Again, all tooth counts are correct and I recently did this on my own Outback with no trouble. Any ideas? Please?

Thanks for reading the long story.

Andrew

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Torxx, Sid speaks of "sprockets" - plural - on each side, logic commands that it's DOHC :)

 

 

Sid, I would suggest find the Subaru repair manual for that engine. Some of the notches may be "old" and not meant to be followed.

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Try this Endwrench article. See if the pictures and description help:

 

http://endwrench.com/images/pdfs/2.5Timing.pdf

 

I've read that EndWrench article, and it did make the process easy when I did it on my car (also a 2.5 DOHC), but my friend's engine just does not seem to be behaving the same.

 

We did not turn the crankshaft at all when working on the car, but now I'm wondering if it could be that the crankshaft sprocket is not quite in the right spot. The mark behind the sprocket teeth must be at 12:00, correct? I've also read that there's a mark on the engine block for alignment of the crankshaft sprocket mark. I've read some say that the mark is on the oil pump, and others say it's on the engine block. I could not seem to find it in either spot last night, but the hunger and exhaustion certainly made me delerious. Can someone confirm if the mark is on the oil pump or above the oil pump on the engine block?

It seems strange that the crankshaft sprocket would be in the wrong spot, as we just slid it off to reseal the oil pump and slid it back on. It takes much more force than that to rotate the crankshaft, but any help locating the alignment mark would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you!

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Torxx, Sid speaks of "sprockets" - plural - on each side, logic commands that it's DOHC :)

 

Yea well, I don't know how you guys do it in the "new" forum, but in old school we say what the engine is when we start a post, or its listed in threadstarters sig. :brow:

 

And for the guy with the DOHC 2.5. Sorry to know you own one. Those are the WORST engines subaru designed. I've rebuilt a few of em and I have to say, SOHC is the way to go on N/A EJ25s

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Torxx, Sid speaks of "sprockets" - plural - on each side, logic commands that it's DOHC :)

 

Yea well, I don't know how you guys do it in the "new" forum, but in old school we say what the engine is when we start a post, or its listed in threadstarters sig. :brow:

 

And for the guy with the DOHC 2.5. Sorry to know you own one. Those are the WORST engines subaru designed. I've rebuilt a few of em and I have to say, SOHC is the way to go on N/A EJ25s

 

Sorry for not specifying in the original post. I was a tired, hungry and broken man. Anyway, I ordered the special tool for adjusting and holding the left side cam sprockets. It's pictured in the EndWrench article mentioned before. I figured this would help, as the cams on the left side seem much more touchy on this engine than they did when I did the same operation on mine. I already have the tool for holding the right side sprockets and breaking loose both side's cam sprocket bolts, so if we aren't successful with BOTH special tools, then man will I be depressed. I'll let you know how it goes...

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you shouldnt need a special tool. you need two people helping to hold the cams where they need to be. I did it not too long ago with one person helping me and we got the belt on in 10 minutes. it just takes a lil messin around with the cams and where they need to go.

 

Good luck with it

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Heck with it...the tool's on its way.

Here's another question though: the left rear timing cover...is there some easy way to remove and install it that I haven't figured out? Jeez, what a PITA. Having to make it agree with the two cams, the oil dipstick and the weird mounting bracket it seems like someone designed the cover with the goal of making it incredibly difficult to deal with.

Any tips?

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