No start after Timing Belt Change.. & more!
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This is a discussion on No start after Timing Belt Change.. & more! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; About a month ago i decided to replace my timing belt (tensioner, pullies water pump, thermostadt, v belts), spark plugs, ...

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    No start after Timing Belt Change.. & more!

    About a month ago i decided to replace my timing belt (tensioner, pullies water pump, thermostadt, v belts), spark plugs, clutch disc, (pressure plate throw out bearing etc)... on my 2002 wrx.

    After cutting the crap out of my hands, getting soaked in coolant, gunky oil and powdered with clutch dust, i put everything back together, and the starter turned the engine over but would not start and sounded like it was off timing, and seemed to be shaking a little

    I assumed the worst (bad timing), and didn't try to start it any more to prevent what i thought would be more catastrophic failure.

    I got to the timing belt to discover that my Drivers side exhaust cam gear was 180 degrees off. (two paint marks are NOT two notches) I re-timed it according to the FSM and tried again.

    Same problem when trying to start.

    It may be important to note that i patched a small hose from the turbo that cracked temporarily with duct tape, and broke the passenger side turbo stud (and didn't replace it) before attempting to start it.

    I assumed i had bent valves from my stupid mistake.
    I pulled the head that i mistimed on.. and...

    (see attached valve pic)

    These valves do not look bent to me..
    So before i put a new gasket on and torque the head back on, does anyone have any input?

    1) Is it possible that cracked hose and/or missing turbo stud prevented the car from starting?

    (see cracked hose pic)

    2) Could the valves be bent on the passengers side head due to timing the driver side head's gear incorrectly? (i don't think so, but i'm obviously no expert here)

    3) Could the valves be bent and just not appear to be?

    Frustration.. need help..

    Thanks for reading and i appreciate any help you can offer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Valves.jpg   Cracked Hose.jpg  
    Last edited by jak461; 05-28-2009 at 12:28 PM.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    You said you followed the procedure in the FSM? Did you use the correct mark on the crank sprocket? the hash mark right? not the arrow....Did you pull the engine to do all this work? ( you said you replaced the clutch also so I thought I would ask) So the car cranks its ass off but just doesnt start?...Personally Im going to say that your timing marks are still off...If your concerened about the valves being bent I would bring the head to a machine shop and have them look over the valve train to make sure everything is ok....

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    Thanks for the reply;

    Both times i timed it, i did the crank correctly by the hatch. The first time, i timed the drivers side exhaust cam 180 degrees off.. then retimed it 100% correctly and it didn't start (double checked it 1000 times)

    So after looking at the head, (the valves are sealed perfectly with no damage, not even scratches).

    I didn't pull the engine, i would have, but didn't have an engine hoist. For the Clutch i dropped the transmission..

    The head actually wasn't too bad to pull with the engine in car.. i mean relatively speaking that is.

    I'm thinking @ this point i was just an idiot and neglected something or forgot something simple.

    BUT, do you think the valves can look fine and still be bent?

    and do you think that broken hose and broken turbo stud could have caused it not to start?

    Thanks peeps

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Personally I cant see what your talking about but I highly doubt the turbo stud and broken hose will cause a no start...So If your 100% sure the engine is timed perfectly and it doesnt start than I would double check everything again...did you unplug the cam/crank sensor? or something else? Obviously I dont have to tell you this but when you throw the head back on dont forget to use a new HG...What I would do is make sure all the valves are fully closed and set the head upside down (so your looking at the valve faces) on two blocks of wood, take a cup of water/solvent and fill the combustion area with it...take a look under the head and see if you notice any water dripping...Also you could take a flashlight and tell obviously if you see light...I dont know how mechanically inclined you are?....I will note...It is kind of difficult for me to pull DOHC heads in the car...for all the HG's I do if its a DOHC motor I simply pull the engine...SOHC are cake to do in the car...Just curious which hose did you break by the turbo?

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Hindsight is 20/20 but I would have done a compression/leakdown test before pulling the head.Did you possibly unplug the crank sensor?
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    Good idea pouring water in the combustion area on the heads to check for leaks i'm gonna do that and get back to you...

    and Donkey: yes, hindsight is 20/20, i really should have done a leakdown test.. unneccessarilly pulling the head is absolute insanity. but, i'm learning through my mistakes i guess. And no, the crank sensor and cam sensors were both on when i tried to start it.

    thanks for the suggestions, i'll be back soon.

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    Ok, so the valves are tight. No fluid or light leaking.

    Head is going back on, (w/ new gaskets). I'll update as needed.

    (crosses fingers)

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    IT STARTED!!!!

    It started, idled funny, up to 2k down to 1.5k.. 3 or 4 times, settled @ 1.5k...

    Checked hood, saw smoke from passengers side, looked like spilled coolant, also saw some smoke coming from turbo.

    Idle started to dwindle, then got check engine light and i turned it off. Going to store momentarily to get an OBD2.

    I'm thinking NOW it's the broken turbo stud.

    thank god it runs.

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    Fixed the stud,

    now i've got white smoke and a check engine code.

    waiting on an obd2. ugh

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    I'm going to start a new thread since this is a new problem..

    if your curious, it's looking like the head gasket.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Im assuming you followed the proper torque sequence and tightening procedure when you reinstalled the head bolts? cleanliness is #1 here did you clean and get a nice cross hatch pattern on both the head and the block before you reinstalled? You didnt use any kind of gasket sealer or anything with the new HG did you? Im still stunned you actually got a DOHC Subaru HG done with the engine in the Vehicle...Im hoping you used a Subaru OEM HG?

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    I absolutely followed the FSM, every single letter of every single word. I'm really frustrated that i'm going to have to pay $2500 for something i just did. UGH.


    I did not get a cross hatch pattern (not sure what that is), and i cleaned with brake cleaner... now that i'm typing that that sounds dumb. But, that's what i used. It was spotless.

    Removing it wasn't all that hard, it just required a little bit of persistance and cordination with tools, and delicacy removing it.

    I didn't use any sealer, and i used: COMETIC HEAD GASKET: IMPREZA WRX 02-05 (EJ20) - 93.0mm X MLS .051".

    I Def. didn't warp the head. i took my time, and torqued it exactly.

    Should i try again? i mean, it is a lot of money. It just took me a solid two days to do it.

  14. #13
    Registered User JRB1987's Avatar
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    this time start with a compression test followed with a leak down test to verify head gasket leak.

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    Registered User erakem's Avatar
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    I'm going to do a dedicated Timing Belt thread too ClubWrx in October, I'm sorry it's not sooner...Hope you figure it out and...for the head gasket I would not recommend anything but OEM from the dealer even...Hope you figure it out it's a big job but in actuality not at the same time, be patient, recheck, recheck, recheck, and recheck again..

    It's brain surgery dude.
    ~Erakem

    also manually turn your car over a few times w/o the spark plugs in it(by hand wrench on pulley usually) do it about 10-20 times(its what i do) and make sure everything lines up!
    Last edited by erakem; 06-05-2009 at 09:37 PM.
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