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Old 07-14-2006, 09:35 PM   #1
MYfirst00
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Angry Something very bad just happened to my engine...

So I replaced my O2 sensor last night and have driven about 100 miles since then. I leave my house a little while ago and it sounds like a heat shield rattling. I thought no big deal, I must have loosened it with the wrench or something. So I come back home, and 100 feet away from my house it just get's louder and louder and then I hear an exhaust leak louder and louder. It starts to smell really bad. Not really bad like rotten-egg catalytic fumes, so then I start to worry.

I made it into my driveway and park it. Jack it up. Not one seal or O2 or heat shield is damaged. I start it up again to hear where it's coming from and it's the front of the engine. So I run around and shut it off.

Now I noticed a month ago the timing tensioner was rattling at its normal RPM. It hasn't gotten worse but I knew it was there. This smell was more of a metallic smell.

What's at the front of the engine internally that could break, make a horrible racket and smell, but allow the engine to function normally?
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:00 PM   #2
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That doesn't sound good. You can take the driver's side timing belt cover off and get a bit of a look in there. To get the big part of the cover off you have to take your crank pulley off.

I'd guess that one of the idler pullies siezed and the belt is rubbing on it (maybe the one on the tensioner).
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:03 PM   #3
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Sounds very possible, and very typical...I'll probably start working on getting in there tomorrow afternoon. I needed to see if the belt was ever changed this weekend anyway. It's probably a sign from the Subaru gods.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:25 AM   #4
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if its part of the engine .. wouldnt oil come out of something?
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:11 AM   #5
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I drove my car for over a year with the timing belt tensioner rattling like a mofo but it didn't cause any problems. I have read that the ECU will pull timing under this condition (whatever that means).

I'm not mechanically inclined but I would expect it's burning oil if you have a stink but don't find it coming from underneath the car.

After thinking about it longer, you could have a blown headgasket.
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:22 AM   #6
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did the car sit for awhile before the sensor install??
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:28 AM   #7
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Whats your mileage?
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:43 AM   #8
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Mileage is 107k. It's definitely not a burning oil smell. I'm about to dive into the timing belt cover to inspect if the timing belt guide did something.

Last edited by MYfirst00; 07-15-2006 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 07-15-2006, 12:58 PM   #9
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If the car still ran fine, the tensioner did not go out. Actually, chances are if the car still runs, the tensioner is fine. If you've skipped a belt, you'd bend both exhaust valves on the pass. side (they seem to be the first to contact, and the pass. side is the easiest at skipping).
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Old 07-15-2006, 01:16 PM   #10
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Hmm, you sure? Cause there's debris kicking around in the timing compartment and there are sivler metal slivers all on the inside of the removable part of the cover...

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Old 07-15-2006, 01:51 PM   #11
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So I went further and removed all the bottom and side bolts to the cover. I pryed it open slightly and noticed this pulley was sitting by itself with no belt around it;



I am able to move it around with no effort with one finger and am able to slide it on and off the post it sits on. It looks pretty beat up. Then this little guy fell out:



So I took a look around in Yahoo images of subaru timing belt setups without the cover on. This is the Idler Pulley I'm talking about that is funkt.


The above image of the pulled engine is not from my car, it is an example of where it is that I am talking about.


So I guess I have my answer. The belt was BARELY holding onto this pulley. The only thing keeping it on was probably the belt cover.
Time to get a tow to the dealer tomorrow...

Last edited by MYfirst00; 07-15-2006 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #12
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Not sure I can see anything wrong from the picture angle.
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:49 PM   #13
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If you can do a timing belt then you can replace that idler pully . just do a search for the instructions . A timing belt is a 3 hour job including pulling the radiator , replacing the t stat and refilling coolant . Its more a matter of getting the parts .
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayes
Not sure I can see anything wrong from the picture angle.
The above image of the pulled engine with the red circle is not from my car, it is an example of where it is that I am talking about.
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #15
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I had that same thing go out on me... damage was that pulley, and all 4 exhaust valves in the passenger side head. I've seen a few others of those go out, too, and when it comes to old motors and changing timing belts, I will tell anyone to go get a new one regardless of how it looks. I know for sure that advice has saved at least 2 other motors.
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Old 07-15-2006, 06:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
I had that same thing go out on me... damage was that pulley, and all 4 exhaust valves in the passenger side head. I've seen a few others of those go out, too, and when it comes to old motors and changing timing belts, I will tell anyone to go get a new one regardless of how it looks. I know for sure that advice has saved at least 2 other motors.
I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope that nothing got damaged other than the pulley...
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Old 07-15-2006, 09:41 PM   #17
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Normally its good measure to spin all those pulleys when you're doing a timing belt, if they make noise, just go ahead and replace them...
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:19 PM   #18
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8complex - what mileage do you recomend doing the timing belt at?

I see numbers all over the place and even had Subaru Santa cruz trying to tell me to do it WAY earlier than the manual says(I was at 65k at the time) I thought that was a bit of a stretch to say the least.
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRSport
8complex - what mileage do you recomend doing the timing belt at?

I see numbers all over the place and even had Subaru Santa cruz trying to tell me to do it WAY earlier than the manual says(I was at 65k at the time) I thought that was a bit of a stretch to say the least.
From what I've seen over the past couple years, it's recommended at 90k.
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Old 07-15-2006, 10:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
I had that same thing go out on me... damage was that pulley, and all 4 exhaust valves in the passenger side head. I've seen a few others of those go out, too, and when it comes to old motors and changing timing belts, I will tell anyone to go get a new one regardless of how it looks. I know for sure that advice has saved at least 2 other motors.
Was the damage done because the belt came all the way off your pulley? I know mine was barely on there but it was still in place.
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYfirst00
From what I've seen over the past couple years, it's recommended at 90k.
Thanks I appreciate the info - I've been absent from the tech forums for the last couple of years and was wondering what's been happening in higher mileage NA land.
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imprezzakc
If you can do a timing belt then you can replace that idler pully . just do a search for the instructions . A timing belt is a 3 hour job including pulling the radiator , replacing the t stat and refilling coolant . Its more a matter of getting the parts .

or 30 min if you leave the radiator and coolant in the car...
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Old 07-17-2006, 01:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYfirst00
Was the damage done because the belt came all the way off your pulley? I know mine was barely on there but it was still in place.
No, it was done because the bearing was destroyed and the belt skipped teeth on the passenger side cam pulley. Since it's the furthest from the tensioner, I think that side is the first thing to skip teeth. I probably still have the pulley in my trophy collection in the garage, I'll see if I can take a pic of it if I get the chance.


WRSport - I suggest doing it whenever the factory says unless you're doing major mods to the car. Personally, my motor has been apart/out of the car so many times, I think I'm on my 3rd or 4th timing belt in 93k miles. For reference, for a while there I wasn't changing my oil until my motor needed to come out. No exageration.
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Complex
No, it was done because the bearing was destroyed and the belt skipped teeth on the passenger side cam pulley. Since it's the furthest from the tensioner, I think that side is the first thing to skip teeth. I probably still have the pulley in my trophy collection in the garage, I'll see if I can take a pic of it if I get the chance.
How much did it cost you to get back on the road?
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:30 AM   #25
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It's a good thing you turned the car off when you did. Replacing the belt and idlers is a 2 hour job and you don't need to pull the radiator - just the radiator fans which is just a coupe bolts. Assuming your valves weren't damaged, and I'm guessing they're fine otherwise you would have heard it, the biggest thing to worry about is if the threads that hold that idler in were damaged.
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