Timing Belt: Done

Got the timing belt changed. The one that was on there looked basically new, and there were white paint marks on the sprockets, indicating it had been changed. But I bought the kit to do the job, inlcuding allnew idler and tensioner wheels. The new wheels are made in Korea. The new Dayco belt is Italian.

Taking off good-working Japanese parts to put on aftermarket stuff took some self-convincing, but after examining the idler wheels–one of which had a tiny bit of slop in it–I decide to proceed.

I pulled out the spark plugs to facilitate turning the engine over. Ended up replacing those too while I was at it. They needed it.

Here’s how the engine looked with the alignment marks all lined up. Note the blobby white paint on the cam sprockets. That blobbiness will prove costly.

start tdc

Here’s the new kit, $350 dumped on the shop floor.

new stuff

The old stuff came off with relative ease. The sprocket bolts are torqued to something like 30 ft-lbs. All the old bolts went back except for the tensioner wheel bolt, which came new with the new assembly.

Once that was done I pulled off the water pump bolts and hit the old one with a hammer to make it fall off. Looking at the old pump I was glad that

1. I am replacing it and

2. I held out for the cast impeller model. The new one looks much like the old, except it’s new and shiny. That’s good.

new water pump

The old one had a steel(?) gasket though. The new one is cork or paper-like. I coated it lightly with Permatex Copper before reinstalling.

Torqued to 10 ft-lbs and done.

new water pump instaled

There is a wheel-by-wheel procedure for getting the timing belt on a double OHC models, but for our SOHC model the book just says “put it on.”

Well, that’s not entirely correct. The book does say to remove the tensioner and compress it and put a pin through the holes to keep it compressed. I tried plunging this thing down with my hands, then with all my weight. My vice is too small, so eventually I got on to using a woodworking clamp.

tesnsioner compress

Once compressed, you install it all the way to the right, with the bolts in loose.  (When everything’s all together you pry the tensioner to the left as far as it will go and snug up the bolts to 18 or 20 ft-lbs, then pull out the pin).

To get the belt on, line up the three lines with the tooling marks on the cam and crank sprockets. Easy!

I ended up putting the other gear-like sprocket in last. Wrong, but it worked.

new belt on

Except, looking at this all-done pic and comparing the left-side sprocket in the original pic, I realized I had the thing in one tooth off.

Or, more correctly, I thought it might be one off. I could not see the factory “line” on that sprocket for the life of me–until I scraped off the white blob!

Then I saw I was, indeed, one tooth wrong.

Off with the tensioner wheel, and the tensioner….

re-do left side mark

Re-doing the job took much less time than the first try. I know if I had not noticed that I would have been looking for electrical gremlins for weeks on start-up. (Of course, I might anyway).

Ordered new  wires and installed new plugs. The old ones were not bad, though the number 1 had a little carbon build-up and all were warn pretty well out. The new ones came gapped to .041–right in line with the spec–and so that’s how they went in.

Now pondering my oil fill. I could maybe heat it and twist it 75 degrees or so. Or cut it and try to clamp it back together with a piece of heater hose. But I went all uptown and paid $15 on ebay for an EJ-25 “dogleg” filler neck. Supposedly that’s the ticket for the VW install, putting the lid right where I’ll want it.

oil filler as is2

Here’s where Subaru wants the oil filler to go

Here is where I would like my filler to be--in order for the engine to fit in Bridget's engine bay.

Here is where I would like my filler to be–in order for the engine to fit in Bridget’s engine bay.

Here is the maybe solution.

Here is the maybe solution.

We’ll see.

Given how this engine looked when I bought it, I now have a theory about what happened: Grandma bought the car new, drove it about 60,000 miles, and then gave it to grand daughter.

Grand daughter proceeded to drive it 24,000 miles without changing the oil.

Assuming I get this beast installed and operable by spring, I’m going to run some 5-30 dinosaur oil throughy it with maybe a half quart of Seafoam. Give that maybe 300 or 500 miles or so and then change the filter and fill it with synthetic.



About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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