Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Wednesday August 27, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
Bay Area Impreza Club
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC Chapters > Bay Area Impreza Club Forum -- BAIC

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-12-2013, 07:31 PM   #1
darthalal
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 114208
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, TX
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza WRX Sdn
WRB Pearl 02C

Default Successful First Timing Belt Change at Pit Row DIY in Santa Clara

I just moved here to the Bay area for a summer internship and was having some issues with my car (02 WRX) - most notably a cracked radiator that liked to spray coolant all over the place once the car heated up (hooray!), and a timing belt that was way overdue to be changed. I'm a grad student outside of the summer internship so my budget is quite low, and I decided to tackle these problems myself, to save as much money as I could, and also learn - Timing belt replacement is tricky and expensive to get wrong, but too intriguing for me to be able to pay someone else to put one in. My apartment complex here won't let me perform any car maintenance, and I don't know anyone here well enough yet to ask to make a mess in their garage for a weekend so I did some google searching to find an alternative and came across the Pit Row website.

First impressions were great - I emailed them asking for clarification on their pricing and hours, and Dennis, the owner, responded very quickly with an answer to my questions, so I decided to give it a shot. First thing I noticed when I arrived was that the shop was very clean and organized, with a number of lifts arranged in a row on either side of a large warehouse-type building. Each lift station has a large toolbox where each drawer is labeled, and the contents of each drawer were organized into custom foam cutouts for each tool. Fantastic - if I had a garage, I would want it to be this organized. There are compressed air hookups near every lift, and each toolbox has an assortment of hoses and air tools - I didn't use any of these for my repairs, but it's nice to know the option was there. There are also containers to collect used oil, coolant, etc., so you don't have to worry about what to do with what you drain out of your car.

Ran into one or two pesky stuck bolts, and found out they have PB Blaster and other things available for you to use. Later on, I had some issues removing the original hoses from the water pump to remove the pump for replacement; the owner saw I was having an issue and popped them right off for me. I ruined my thermostat gasket when taking the thermostat out of the old pump - I let the owner know what happened and decided to replace the thermostat, too, just to be safe, and a phone call and a few minutes later I had a new t-stat and seal from his distributor - and I was only charged the cost of the parts. Got the new water pump in and replaced all of the pulleys and tensioner for the timing belt, and finally got the new timing belt on and properly positioned - they even had a small telescoping mirror so I could be certain the harder-to-see notches of the belt were in the appropriate places. After I got everything else all put together, I noticed the replacement radiator needed a cap, and my old rad didn't have one (cap is on the upper reservoir above the turbo on the '02's). It was around 7PM on Saturday when I got to this point, so it was too late to have parts delivered, but the owner got in his own car and ran to pick me one up, again only charging me for the cost of the cap... Thanks to this I was able to get everything (plus an oil change and a few random things, like fixing the screws holding my lip up) in about 7 hours. Not bad considering that two of them were spent being too chicken to start the car after I replaced the belt

The owner and his wife were great. I was doing this work during the heat wave we had at the end of last month, and his wife (who works the front desk) always made sure I had a nice cold bottle of water, and Dennis would pop in every once in a while and make sure I wasn't having any issues, and offered advice whenever I had questions. Overall, I had a really great experience here, and as someone who prefers to do the work and maintenance myself, but without a garage or tools here to do so, Pit Row is a no-brainer. I wouldn't hesitate to wrench on my car there in the future!

Blah-blah disclaimer:
I'm not at all affiliated with Pit Row. I just had a great experience there and feel like places that get things right need to be rewarded, rather than what seems to be the current situation where the only publicity I see anyone receive is negative.


tl;dr: If you want to wrench on your car and don't have a place to do it or the tools, Pit Row might be worth looking at.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
darthalal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
lts
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 208927
Join Date: Apr 2009
Default

Glad everything worked out for you. Refreshing to hear success stories and new shop recommendations. Owner sounds like a good guy. Thanks for sharing the experience.
lts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 01:05 AM   #3
oaklandish_WRX
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 267339
Join Date: Dec 2010
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: the 5 n dime, NORCAL
Vehicle:
2002 0[[XXXXoXXXX]]0
MBP

Default

also thanks for the review! There's a smaller place in Fremont off AutoMall pkwy. also seems to be a good place, no personal experience there or Pit Row. great to see these DIY places pop up here on NorCal.
oaklandish_WRX is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2013, 07:04 PM   #4
chelleno5
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 367176
Join Date: Sep 2013
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
2006 WRX
Obsidian Black Pearl

Default

Overall, how much did you pay for parts? I'm overdue for my timing belt as well but I'm getting service estimates near 1k. I'd love to work on my car but it seems like so much work.
chelleno5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2013, 07:25 PM   #5
darthalal
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 114208
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, TX
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza WRX Sdn
WRB Pearl 02C

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelleno5 View Post
Overall, how much did you pay for parts? I'm overdue for my timing belt as well but I'm getting service estimates near 1k. I'd love to work on my car but it seems like so much work.
I paid $100 for the radiator, and ~$230 for the timing belt kit with all pulleys and tensioners and a water pump, I got it from Amazon (
Gates TCKWP328A Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump : Amazon.com : AutomotiveGates TCKWP328A Engine Timing Belt Kit with Water Pump : Amazon.com : Automotive
). Looks like $235 now, but that one's for EJ205.

It's a decent amount of work, but it's pretty straightforward as long as you take your time. I'd offer to help. but I'm back in Texas now.
darthalal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 01:23 PM   #6
needbelt
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 380046
Join Date: Jan 2014
Default

I'm thinking about doing my own as well, did you hand crank the engine first after doing the belt to make sure it wasn't hung up on something or did you just go for it.
needbelt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2014, 01:35 PM   #7
darthalal
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 114208
Join Date: May 2006
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, TX
Vehicle:
2002 Impreza WRX Sdn
WRB Pearl 02C

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by needbelt View Post
I'm thinking about doing my own as well, did you hand crank the engine first after doing the belt to make sure it wasn't hung up on something or did you just go for it.
I hand cranked it quite a few times. Then procrastinated for about a half hour, scared to start it Still running strong, though.
darthalal is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.