So I conquered my timing belt today. I'd like to say it was fun, I'd like to say it went smoothly, but I'd be lying. I decided to make this thread, because everyone I read seemed to be missing a couple steps.
First off there are some pretty rockstar threads out there for doing this.
I primarily used this one:
Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement
It is probably the best one I found on the webz. Nasioc has some decent ones, but none this good. Also Youtube has some good videos.
I also used this thread for reference on the cam seals/ crank seal:
Cam seals, crank seal: Replacement? How?
Here's the thread where I asked questions before I got started:
Its timing belt time 2006 wrx...
Some tools that are helpful:
Beyond the standard socket set and hand tools, I recommend these if you have the means:
* Company23 cam lock tool.
This tool locks the drivers side cams in place and keeps them from moving to make your life easier. Having done this once on a bugeye without it, it is worth every penney.
* Company23 crank pulley tool.
Crank Pulley Tool
There are all manners of ways people try and get the crank pulley off. Buy this. I didn't have it, I woulda paid twice as much to have it today let me tell you.
* An inspection mirror to insure that your marks are perfect on the sides of the cam pulleys.
* Plenty of LED flash lights.
Lets talk about removing the crank pulley and crank bolt shall we:
I knew removing the crank pulley was gonna be a bear. I have done timing belts in all different makes and models and had the crank bolt come off as easy as holdin the crank pulley with one hand and using a ratchet with the other, all the way to bouncing off of the end of a 8' cheater bar. One thing is certain, each one is its own animal. That being said, every thread I read seemed to glance over removing the crank bolt and left out steps.
* you need to plan ahead.
* use plenty of PB blaster
I recommend the crank pulley spanner above. Would have taken 5 min instead of the 2 hours it took me.
Other ways I read while trying to figure it out:
* Using an impact (more on this in a minute)
* using two 3/8 extensions and a prybar to lock the pulley while taking the bolt off with a breaker bar
------this wil only work with 2 people and a not so stubborn bolt.
* frame lock method/starter bump (I don't recommend this one you'll have to search it yourself.)
* using heat (not an option on the Subi as the crank pulley is rubber coated?
* putting the car in 5th gear, weight on the wheels and using a cheater pipe on a breaker bar (will get most, but didn't work for me)
How I did it:
I used an impact gun. But one thing the above DIY doesn't tell you but I remembered from the bugeye I did, You will need to move your AC condenser out of the way to fit an impact on the crank bolt. On an 06-07 that requires removing the two small grill pieces on either side of the grill. That gets you access to the top condenser bolts. You can see the bolt hole in the center of each grill below. You are probably gonna break some of the grill tabs taking them out....I did
After you undo the top two bolts that hold the condenser in place, you will need to undo the little feet too. Then you can position it out of the way to get your clearance for an impact.
Also to rewind a smidge, also not mentioned in any DIY's I found, was the necessity to undo the Power Steering hose at the pump. There is phsyically no way my radiator/fans would have come out without taking this hose off:
Now If you are unlucky like me, not just any impact gun will do. I have a newish 350 ft-lb Kobalt impact and the crank bolt laughed at it.
So after scouring the web and calling around for an hour, and repeatedly soaking the bolt in PB Blaster and trying it with my Kobalt impact, I decided to go to home depot and drop $109 on their 800ft-lb impact. I got lucky, it worked. I have helped people do timing belts before where no manner of impact no matter how strong will work. At $49 that crank pulley tool looks pretty darn good when you have to drop $109 on a second impact. FWIW I bought this one: 1/2 in. Impact Wrench 800 ft.-lbs.-H4480 at The Home Depot
Here it is posing for a shot:
Some other notes:
When putting the timing belt back on; the instructions that come with the comapny23 cam tool say to put the hyd tensioner on first, then the belt, then the idlers. The DIY thread at the top says to put the idlers on and the tensioner last.
* What I think works best is too put the tensioner on and leave it loose, put all the idlers on except the bottom left one. Get the belt all squared away and your marks set, then with a buddy holding the belt in place, quickly install that bottom pass side idler. Boom you're in business.
Also not mentioned anywhere, when you remove the AVCS cap to install the Camlock tool, some oil comes out. Kinda freaked me out at first.
The Gates kit I bought came with a thermostat gasket, but Rallysportdirect didn't list it on there so I wasted $4.
The two big idlers in the gates kit are identical although the ones on your car are different. The OD of the OEM ones is the same but the bearings look different. Gates just gives you two of the beefier looking type. This is on purpose although it did cause me a moment of pause and examination.
The Gates kit also came with this really cool gauge for reinstalling the little belt guides everywhere. Super useful piece of plastic.
Buy some extra hose clamps. I changed my Rad hoses while doing this and the Gates hoses are thicker and wouldnt work with my spring hose clamps. This necessitated an 11th hour run to Autozone before they closed. I was not amused. Then the damn worm clamps leaked on the lower Rad hose and necessitated retightening 3 times to get a good seal.
I hate worm drive and they are not all created equally, I prefer T-bolt. Although I am not sure that a T-bolt would have worked on the lower Rad hose, Rad side. In any event www.mcmaster.com is an excellent source for hose clamps of all types.
I also bought a Motorad Fail safe thermostat at the recommendation of "Donkey" on here. 7294-170 IIRC. While the stock thermostat looks all "beef cake!" the hole that coolant flows through is pretty small when compared to the Motorad. I noticed this morning that my car came up to operating temp pretty quickly, not sure if the thermostat is why.
Food for thought:
Below are some pics of my adventure. While my belt was fine still, my small idler had some bad wear. Also my T-stat housing was corroded all to hell. Oh yeah, my HYD tensioner was leaking bad too.
Here is the Gates tool they give you for setting the timing belt guide install distance.