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View Poll Results: Have you seen innacuracies in the timing marks on Subaru engines?
No, on every Sube I've seen the marks on the cams lined up precisely w the slits in the plastic. 0 0%
Yes, the timing marks on the camshafts were a little off on a car I worked on, maybe 1/16 or 1/8". 1 50.00%
Yes, the marks on the camshafts looked about half a tooth off, or 1/8 to 1/4" off. 1 50.00%
Once I had to put the marks a full tooth off to make a Subaru engine run correctly. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
d0s4d1
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Unhappy Timing marks a little off??

I have a 97 Subaru Impreza L, and I re-did the timing because I noticed it was 1/3 tooth off. I did find that the crankshaft key was broken and ended up replacing the timing sprocket with that key, but I largely feel that I just wasted my time, because the new belt is also 1/3 tooth advanced. If I move the camshaft by one tooth, I think it's farther off that way.

It's running ok now after installing the belt. it just looks slightly off based on the mark in the plastic vs the mark on the cam.

Am I right that if I were *actually* a tooth off on the driver's side cam, it would run rough or not at all?

Is it just inaccuracy in manufacturing?

Maybe if the tensioner were pushing on the belt harder, would that pull it into line? (The tensioner fits between the crank sprocket and the driver's side cam.)

It's a brand-new Japanese tensioner in a Beck/Arnley box, complete with the hydraulic part and everything, and the old tensioner seemed to be the same. I'm not seeing too much belt slap, but who knows. Should I be concerned?

I used a brand new Mitsuboshi timing belt from Phillipines this time, last time it was a Gates belt from USA. I got my parts from partsgeek, and it was all OEM stuff (GMB, NTK, NSK, etc) in Beck Arnley boxes.

The previous Gates belt looked worn out after 6 months so I was re-doing it. My mechanic friend had "prepped" the car for me back then because three days after I bought it I took a long trip to Texas and back to Ohio. I was busy with trip preparations and didn't have time to do it. My friend didn't do a very good job because the engine was misfiring (bad ignition coil) and the brakes were locking up (bad caliper) the whole damn trip.

And it's had this hesitation problem, intermittent loss of power for a moment and then it comes back. Now I'm thinking maybe that was just carbon build-up, so I'm using decarbonizing solvent into the intake just before the throttle body, but I re-timed it to rule that out since it looked funny, and also because my friend didn't think he replaced the tensioner and all the idlers, just the water pump and belt. I replaced all the tensioners and idlers this time. The water pump spun freely so I left it in place, since he was certain he did replace that component.

Has anyone seen a 2.2 with slightly inaccurate timing marks? I think there's about 5/8" between teeth on this belt, and the mark is like 3/16" off. Since both belts with both tensioners looked the same on the cam, I suspect the cam mark or the plastic notch is slightly off.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
d0s4d1
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I wish I had taken pictures right after putting it on, before turning it over. Now who knows when the belt's marks will align again with the cam marks. (Designed that way so that it wears more evenly, marks on belt vs parts line up after a very large prime number of rotations.) So I took pictures with the gear marks vs pictures with the belt marks.

When installing the belt, I noticed the belt mark was a little left of the cam mark (retarded). Maybe the cam mark is too far to the right (advanced)?
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
d0s4d1
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Crank shaft sprocket, sprocket timing mark lined up with mark on the sensor above it.

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...rks/crankA.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
d0s4d1
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Passenger side cam seems to line up exactly

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...arks/PCamA.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
d0s4d1
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Driver's side cam looks a little far right, or advanced

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...arks/DCamA.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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Now using the marks on the belt

Crankshaft sprocket line aligned with the mark on the sensor above it

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...rks/crankB.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #7
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Passenger side cam is exactly aligned as a result

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...arks/PCamB.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #8
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Driver's side cam is *almost* aligned.

If the marks on the belt are more accurate than the marks on the camshaft itself, I trust this more, but it's still not dead-on.

http://www.neoprofessional.net/~dosa...arks/DCamB.jpg
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:05 PM   #9
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I also notice there is a lot of rubber on my brand new idlers. normal?

I wonder if I loosen the bolt a bit that holds the tensioner in place, drive it a few miles to let the belt tensioner hydraulic take up slack, turn the engine off and tighten the tensioner bolt all the way, would that get it tighter? Or would it just tip up again when I cinch it totally tight? I wish I could get the tensioner to put more tension on it.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:27 PM   #10
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I don't use the marks in the timing covers so much, as if the marks on the cams are straight up and down. It looks good to me.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
d0s4d1
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Cool

thank you, cal_look_zero! I have only timing once on this car and once on a Honda Accord so I'm really a n00b. I can read manuals, but the practical hands-on knowledge is what I'm lacking.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
cal_look_zero
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Subarus can be a bear the first couple of times with the cams on opposing heads. Luckily my first one was non interference when I tried to use the TDC marks to time...
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #13
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When I did timing the first time I actually counted the teeth on the belt between the crank sprocket and cam gears. In the FSM, it lists the number of teeth that should be between the crank and each cam gear.

Like you, I was not confident that I had the crank/cams lined up perfect, so I triple checked it:

1) Try as best I can to set crank and cams dead on the alignment marks.
2) Install timing belt and line up the marks on the belt as close as possible to the alignment marks.
3) Count the teeth between the crank gear alignment mark and each cam gear mark per the manual. The spec'd number of teeth is not a whole number, but estimate the tenths place; you will know if you're off. Count two times. Three if you dun dont count good.

Then I rotate the engine a few times to make sure it runs smooth, and double check the alignment marks a last time (note: the marks on the belt won't line up )

I've done it three times now and haven't had an issue. The marks are a bit hard to go by because your perspective when lining up the marks matters a lot. At least, that's my experience. After you do it once or twice you get the idea.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #14
cal_look_zero
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44 teeth passenger head to crank, 40.5 crank to driver's side head.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:30 PM   #15
tibug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_look_zero View Post
44 teeth passenger head to crank, 40.5 crank to driver's side head.
THIS GUY^^^^^^ What a guy, what a guy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:25 AM   #16
d0s4d1
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Talking

NICE. ok I'm counting teeth, then I'm going to button this thing up if it adds up

THANK YOU GUYS!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:26 AM   #17
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I'm also going to go take my other car to Advance and rent a torque wrench tomorrow before I do the final tightening on this.
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