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timing belt components - cheap kit or OEM?

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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).




If it was a matter of $80 or even $100 I'd be with you man; just get the OEM parts and be done with it. I've done that even recently with a radiator because those aftermarket ones are usually wrong size in/out pipes and copper so I got the right sized OEM aluminum one from the stealership.


However I just priced out everything for a full timing belt job and it's not a matter of $80; it's $379 dollars. I'll break it down...


Import Experts


$203.00 (including shipping)


Subaru-Parts-Dealer (http://www.partswebsite.com/subarucatalog)

$414.22 (including shipping)





Even the Subaru-Parts-Dealer parts, which are supposedly all OEM parts, is a difference of $211 dollars vs the Import Experts kit. Difference between discounted stealership prices vs Import Experts kit is $379. You could change the Import Expert parts twice as often than if you'd use OEM parts and still come out ahead $176.


I've got a non-interference engine with 199,000 miles on it... I'm betting these are the last timing belts I put on this engine =)

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The import experts parts are first rate. I have used them many times and they are the same parts you are going to get from subaru without the high prices. They stand behind their parts too. They are easy to get on the phone and very knowledgeable. I'd use their kits anytime.

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I called up Import Experts and asked about the hydrolic tensioner for the tensioner pulley. My concern was that I did not see it listed as part of the kit. He said that it was not part of the kit and needed to be ordered seperately.


Looks like I still need to source one part locally; I don't have time for them to ship it out from them =P


Must say though; dealing with Matt in shipping at Import Experts was way easier than the schmuck at the stealership I debated with for 20 minutes last weekend.

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Thread resurrection here: but I just wanted to update current offerings from two different 2.5 SOHC kits I recently purchased for a '99 Forester w/ 190K and a '00 Legacy w/ 112K.


I bought a kit for my car a few months ago from FCP Groton, which no longer sells parts for Japanese cars -- only European ones:

- GMB idlers made in Korea (smooth idler is single rowed as opposed to double rowed OEM (Koyo) bearing -- I think even Subaru OEM has switched to a single rowed bearing w/ a revised bolt)

- GMB tensioner assembly made in Taiwan

- Mitsuboshi timing beling made in Thailand


I bought OEM seals & t-stat and an Aisin H20 pump to supplement this kit -- Gates or Stant Exacto stat would also have been fine.


Just last week I ordered this kit for my friend's car: http://www.ebay.com/itm/300442415810?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649


I'll be doing the work as a favor and wanted to go with OES components because I didn't want to be responsible for the possibility of any problems:

- NSK cogged idler and single rowed lipped idler, double rowed Koyo bearing (all made in Japan and identical to OEM)

- NTN tensioner assembly made in Japan)

- crank and cam seals not Viton but made in Japan

- Aisin H20 Pump w/ vulcanized metal gasket, & t-stat gasket (all made in Japan)

- Mitsuboshi timing belt made in USA that looks identical to my Thai belt.

- Bando accessory belts made in USA

- MotoRad "high performance" t-stat made in Israel which will go in my ultra high performance made-in-China trash can.


All told, I'm paying about 30%/$100 bucks more for the OES idlers, tensioner, and belt made in the USA. Not all that much money in the long run, but going with the less expensive parts for the 2nd t-belt service on my 13-year-old Forester doesn't bother me, knowing that in all probability they'll work just fine and that I may have to pull things apart to do the head gaskets at some point between 210K and the 3rd scheduled service at 315K -- that is if the body doesn't rot out during that time.

Edited by hohieu

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