90,000 Mile Maintenance & Timing Belt - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-15-2011, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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90,000 Mile Maintenance & Timing Belt

So I started gathering supplies for my 90k service in much the same way that I did for my 30k and 60k services, however, I think I decided that I'm going to change the timing belt too. Instead of 105k intervals for the timing belt change, I think 90k intervals are more appropriate because I will have to drain the coolant and remove the radiator to access the belt and I'll be doing a coolant flush for my 90k service anyway, so why wait another 10k miles just do go through that messy process again? Might as well kill two birds with one stone.

Anyway, I've been reading a bit about the timing belt change and I came across this excellent How-To video on NASIOC which I'm going to follow when the time comes: Meatys Timing Belt How-To Video (HD) - NASIOC

I've decided upon a direct OEM-replacement timing belt instead of the Gates blue belt or any other aftermarket belt for various reasons which I won't get in to right now. The issue I'm still struggling with is whether or not to change my water pump and/or oil pump while I'm in there. There are two very strong points of view on the subject:

1. Since changing the timing belt is somewhat of an involved process, it would be wise to replace those two parts at the same time since they're easily accessable when everything is apart and failure of either of those two (hundred dollar or so) parts could cause catastrophic engine failure and cost thousands.

2. The water pump and oil pump are parts that typically don't wear out very often, so it's not necessary to replace them at 90k.

I'm planning to replace the belt, pulleys, and tensioner for sure, but I just don't know if the water pump, oil pump, thermostat, and/or cam/crank seals are necessary. Given my attitude about maintenance, I would think this would be a no-brainer: replace absolutely everything while I'm in there and don't even think twice about it... but for some reason I'm stuck.

Any advice?

John
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-15-2011, 01:33 PM
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yes change them, the only reason people don't quite know the service intervals on them is because the change them when it's apart because of the ease

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post #3 of 16 Old 03-15-2011, 02:07 PM
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Yep. Replace them. The only reason I'm not replacing them in my build is because they don't even have 20K on them yet. If I even have 50K on the car I would be replacing them. It's worth the couple hundred even for the peace of mind, IMO. Plus, you're in there so the work is easy.

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post #4 of 16 Old 03-15-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by man show View Post

I'm planning to replace the belt, pulleys, and tensioner for sure, but I just don't know if the water pump, oil pump, thermostat, and/or cam/crank seals are necessary.

Any advice?
Absolutely replace everything listed except for the oil pump. I've never seen one fail, period, and I've seen a lot of failed subaru engines in the last couple of years. Do the crank seal, but only do the cam seals if they are leaking. The cam gears are a MAJOR PITA to remove. Use only OEM for ALL parts. The fancy kevlar belts are documented to only be good for 60K miles. Be careful with the 3 elbow hoses that come off the water pump, as they are easy to deform from twisting or stretching. Also check your wrist pin access plugs, as they can leak, and this will be your only chance to replace the washer and reseal them (fuji-bond or plumbing thread sealer) I haven't looked at the how-to your using, but take your time and be meticulous.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, I'm convinced... I'll replace everything except the oil pump with OEM parts.

Is there a way to tell if the cam seals are leaking before I take everything apart? I'm wondering if I should I pick up the seals ahead of time so I have them on hand if I need to replace them or just ignore it and hope for the best? Is this a part that the dealer would typically have in stock if I need to run out and grab one at the last minute?

Thanks for the tip on the water pump elbow hoses... I'll be extra careful with them.

Can I get a little further explanation on the wrist pin access plugs please? I have no idea what those are - or maybe I do and I'm just drawing a blank right now.

If you have a spare hour or so, definitely take a look at the How-To video. I think you'll be rather impressed. After watching it, I feel like I have already done the job myself. If you don't agree with any parts of it or think I should do something different, please let me know. I'm going to take my time with this one and make sure I do everything exactly right... I'd hate to be another guy who tried to save hundreds and ended up costing himself thousands because he rushed through the job and screwed something up. I think this one will top my list as the most intense car-related project to date.

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post #6 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by man show View Post

Is there a way to tell if the cam seals are leaking before I take everything apart? Is this a part that the dealer would typically have in stock if I need to run out and grab one at the last minute?



Can I get a little further explanation on the wrist pin access plugs please? I have no idea what those are - or maybe I do and I'm just drawing a blank right now.
You'll see oil either at the bottom of the timing cover or behind right under the cam gears if they're leaking, and yes the dealer should have those on the shelf. Those access plugs are on the front of the block with 10mm (I think) hex keys in them. They're on either side of the oil pump, and the drivers side one is behind the tensioner bracket. They will leave oil drips down the front of the block and coming out the bottom of the cover. Honestly, none of the three WRXs I've done recently were leaking there at 130K miles-ish, but it's quite common on EJ25 SOHC. Dealer will have those washers on the shelf too

I checked out the first vid, and it looks very thorough, but there are always other ways to skin a cat. We had "that guy" through the shop recently with an STI that he didn't get in time correctly. He did however, realize his mistake and only turned the engine by hand, so no valves were damaged.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, I think I'll wait until everything is apart to see if I need the cam seals or washers and I'll run down the street to the dealer if I have to.

The idea of doing this myself is stressful, but I'm still excited. I think I'll be able to nail it the first time around, but only time will tell.

I really appreciate all the info so far.

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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 10:28 AM
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Too bad you missed that president's day sale on Fred Bean's. I just got the complete timing kit with tensioner, belt, all pulleys, water pump for $290 shipped. Smoking deal.

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 11:55 AM
 
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There is a lot of satisfaction to gain in doing things yourself, not to mention money to save !
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-17-2011, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Yes indeed. Honestly, I really enjoy spending time with my car. A nice detail, installing parts, just cruising around... as long as everything goes smoothly, and for the most part, it does, I'm a happy camper.

Bummer about missing that Fred Beans sale! At least I have a little time before I need to have all of my supplies ready.

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post #11 of 16 Old 11-04-2012, 11:13 PM
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Read the post and just wondering if you ran into any problems man show? I just purchased a 2003 WRX with 93k and will be doing the timing belt in the next week. Following those youtube videos seems pretty straight forward... Just wanted to make sure you didn't run into any unexpected problems. As long as i mark the gears and pulleys where they are when the belt comes off and make sure they are in the same spot when I put the new belt on everything should be just fine correct?
Just trying to clarify my understanding of things.
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post #12 of 16 Old 11-05-2012, 06:05 AM
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Yep and remember to spin the drivers side pulley's the right way...

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post #13 of 16 Old 11-05-2012, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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^ Yep, that's very important to remember.

Nope, I didn't run into any problems at all. Everything was pretty much the same as in the videos. My cam gears and the new belt were already marked, so I just had to line everything up. I was super paranoid about making sure everything was lined up absolutiely perfectly, so I lined up the marks, counted the teeth, checked the marks, counted the teeth again, and then had another person double check my work. As you take your time, you'll be fine.

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post #14 of 16 Old 11-05-2012, 03:48 PM
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^ Yep, that's very important to remember.

Nope, I didn't run into any problems at all. Everything was pretty much the same as in the videos. My cam gears and the new belt were already marked, so I just had to line everything up. I was super paranoid about making sure everything was lined up absolutiely perfectly, so I lined up the marks, counted the teeth, checked the marks, counted the teeth again, and then had another person double check my work. As you take your time, you'll be fine.
Are you saying I got something right...woohoo I'm on a roll now..

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post #15 of 16 Old 11-05-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hahaha, everything you say is right!

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