Help! timing belt install issue.
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This is a discussion on Help! timing belt install issue. within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Ok so here is the problem: Today I am changing my timing belt and the left cam gears spun. Now ...

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    Help! timing belt install issue.

    Ok so here is the problem: Today I am changing my timing belt and the left cam gears spun. Now what do I do? I rotated them in the direction specified in the installation guide but I got them about 7 teeth from being lined up and now it feels like there is some resistance. I did not allow them to rotate the wrong direction. Rather than force it and possibly bend valves I wanted to do some research. Am I screwed? Should I have it towed to a dealer or am I being too sensitive? All the other timing marks are on except for the #2 intake and #4 exhaust cam. Should there be any resistance when setting the left intake and exhaust cam or should they spin freely? I am thinking it might just be the cam lobe pushin the valve up. I should be able to rotate the intake/exhaust cams as long as I rotate them in the right direction and individually right? In retrospect, I should have put it in gear before I took the belt off. Damn

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    What install guide are you using? You should feel some slight resistance because as you turn the cam sprockets you're compressing the valve springs. That being said, if you're using the FSM it's pretty straightforward as far as alignment is concerned.

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    I am using the instructions that came with the timing belt. It only says to align the marks. There is no elaboration on what to do if the camgear rotates.

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    When you say the cam gear "rotates" do you mean the gear itself has rotated relative to the shaft it is attached to? Or do you mean that it simply has become unalligned from where you lined it up? Basically, you put #1 cylinder at TDC on the crankshaft then you rotated the cam gears to make the alignment markers line up with the marks on the belt.

    Subaru Technical Information System - Home

    The factory service manuals are available for download for a small fee. I would recommend taking a look at what Subaru says. I can't post the timing belt pages here because I only have them in PDF format, but I think it might shed some light on your situation.

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    Tim, first and foremost, thanks for your help. I lined up all the marks with the old belt on, but when I took off the old tensioner the #2 intake and #4 exhaust cams moved. I tried to move them back into alignment but the will not freely rotate to this position by hand. I marked the old belt to use as a reference but this doesnt help my alignment problem.

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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    PM me your email address, I'll send you the Subaru Service manual page...it's too much to type out but there's a specific way to rotate the cams to prevent the intake and exhaust valves from hitting.
    Last edited by Timdog1650; 07-10-2008 at 07:50 AM.

  8. #7
    Geriatric Ginger Mod Rogan's Avatar
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    you won't be able to rotate them by hand, unless you're some koc-diesel dude.. you're fighting valve spring tension.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails belt1.jpg   belt2.jpg   belt3.jpg   belt4.jpg   belt5.jpg  

    Rogan o_0
    '96 Dodge 2500 CTD @ 40psi - over 700 lb/ft TQ, 7" stack, and 5speed! - SOLD
    '01 Dodge 2500 CTD 6-holed hand-shaker - 3850# dual disk - 900 lb/ft - SOLD
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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    Yeah, I didn't want to say "just grab a wrench and go at it" because god forbid he forced open both exh and int valves at the same time, I would feel guilty for screwing up the guy's engine. The instructions Rogan posted are exactly what I was going to email you...use a wrench on the cam sprocket or put a piece of belt around the teeth and turn it that way.

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    Geriatric Ginger Mod Rogan's Avatar
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    also, if you've got a couple clothes-pins, it helps to line a park up on the cam pulley, then 'clip' the belt to it, then on to the next pulley, etc..

    ..or a buddy/girlfriend/wife to help hold.
    Rogan o_0
    '96 Dodge 2500 CTD @ 40psi - over 700 lb/ft TQ, 7" stack, and 5speed! - SOLD
    '01 Dodge 2500 CTD 6-holed hand-shaker - 3850# dual disk - 900 lb/ft - SOLD
    '97 Dodge 3500 CTD DUALLY built Auto - 40psi boosties - 750 lb/ft

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    Got everything done today with the help of a friend. I needed an extra set of hands...she runs better than before. Thanks fellas

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    Registered User psychobooe's Avatar
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    Glad everything got worked out for you man.

    Slight hijack. How hard is it to change the timing belt on a WRX? I'm at 90K and I was going to get it done soon. I was going to just pay to have someone do it since I've never changed a timing belt myself. That being said, I'm a very mechanically inclined person and have done all the work on my car (exhaust, suspension x3, thermostat, accessory belts). I just really don't want to ruin my engine. Advice?
    Try not, do or do not. There is no try. - Yoda
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    Registered User Timdog1650's Avatar
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    You have to have the patience to follow each step methodically, as well as a good assortment of hand tools available to move everything out of the way (accessories, timing cover, idlers, etc). Personally, I would not feel comfortable doing a timing belt for the first time without someone more qualified/experienced standing over my shoulder...I've never done one on a car with the motor in the car...put a couple on engines on stands, but that's like 10000000000 times easier because you can put it at eye level and there's nothing in the way.

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    The tools I used were:
    Camshaft sprocket holder(available from SkywayTools.com Sir tool SU040)
    22mm socket(crankshaft)
    10mm socket(belt cover, rad fans etc...)
    12,14mm socket (timing belt pullies)

    If I were you, I would also order the Camshaft sprocket holder from skyway(SIR tool SU030) I did not have this tool and now my hands are cut up. You can do without but even with a second set of hands it makes life hard.

    I replaced the tensioner and water pump as well.

    BTW, I have an STI, you may need a different crankshaft sprocket holder if you are doing the belt on a standard WRX.

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    Another thing, for anyone attempting this job in their driveway, it would be helpful to have ziplock bags to keep track of all the parts like screws, guides, etc. Label it all. You will also need an allen wrench to loosen the guides on the timing belt. 3/16 I believe it was. A small t handle works best.
    When you remove/reinstall the timing belt pullies be very careful not to strip the delicate aluminum threads in the engine block. When hanging the belt it is easier to thread the bottom timing belt pully last. I used a small mirror to check all the timing marks were lined up perfectly. A stack of 3 or 4playing cards works well to gauge the distance between the timing belt and the timing belt guides. Hope these tips help someone.

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