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Old 04-12-2019, 06:16 PM   #1
forester04xt
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Default EJ255 - Timing Belt Questions

I have a 2004 Subaru Forester XT and I had to do a valve job on it. Well long story short, I have the heads back on and have the valve clearance correct, and the next step is the timing belt. The crank was rotated when the heads were off to inspect the cylinder walls

My question is, once the heads are on, how do I know that the engine is at top dead center? If the mark on the crank pulley is lined up to the line on the block(oil pump) does that mean it is at TDC? I read somewhere that the motor has to make a few revolutions before cylinder #1 is at TDC.

Thank you for any info, and I would like any other tips for doing timing belts also.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:50 PM   #2
Subie_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forester04xt View Post
I have a 2004 Subaru Forester XT and I had to do a valve job on it. Well long story short, I have the heads back on and have the valve clearance correct, and the next step is the timing belt. The crank was rotated when the heads were off to inspect the cylinder walls

My question is, once the heads are on, how do I know that the engine is at top dead center? If the mark on the crank pulley is lined up to the line on the block(oil pump) does that mean it is at TDC? I read somewhere that the motor has to make a few revolutions before cylinder #1 is at TDC.

Thank you for any info, and I would like any other tips for doing timing belts also.
The timing belt doesn't get installed with any piston at TDC.

That aside, I like to find TDC by inserting a metal rod through the spark plug hole which contacts the face of the piston and I use a dial indicator gauge.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:09 AM   #3
jeff6666p
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forester04xt View Post
I have a 2004 Subaru Forester XT and I had to do a valve job on it. Well long story short, I have the heads back on and have the valve clearance correct, and the next step is the timing belt. The crank was rotated when the heads were off to inspect the cylinder walls

My question is, once the heads are on, how do I know that the engine is at top dead center? If the mark on the crank pulley is lined up to the line on the block(oil pump) does that mean it is at TDC? I read somewhere that the motor has to make a few revolutions before cylinder #1 is at TDC.

Thank you for any info, and I would like any other tips for doing timing belts also.
Line up all your marks and put the belt on. after you release the pin for tensioner turn the motor a few times by hand to make sure the valves don't hit. If you take the plugs out it will be easier to turn and feel.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:04 PM   #4
JSR84
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Originally Posted by jeff6666p View Post
Line up all your marks and put the belt on. after you release the pin for tensioner turn the motor a few times by hand to make sure the valves don't hit. If you take the plugs out it will be easier to turn and feel.
This. Timing on these engines is quite easy to do. You'll need either a second set of hands or something to old the left hand Cam's in position while you align the belt. As jeff6666p said, spin it over twice and see if everything goes smooth and lines up again.
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:27 PM   #5
forester04xt
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Thank you for the info! I'll be doing it next weekend!
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:22 PM   #6
viper_crazy
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Big binder clips, if you have any, can help hold the belt in place on the cam gears. I keep a few in my tool box for various things; holding stuff (wire harnesses, hoses, etc) out of the way when working on stuff, even soldering.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:26 AM   #7
Charlie-III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subie_ View Post
The timing belt doesn't get installed with any piston at TDC.

That aside, I like to find TDC by inserting a metal rod through the spark plug hole which contacts the face of the piston and I use a dial indicator gauge.
Correct, Subaru 4 cylinder engines have the pistons at mid stroke UNLIKE most other engines when doing the valve timing/timing belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff6666p View Post
Line up all your marks and put the belt on. after you release the pin for tensioner turn the motor a few times by hand to make sure the valves don't hit. If you take the plugs out it will be easier to turn and feel.
Once everything is lined up and tensioner has been sprung a few minutes, I spin the crank clockwise multiples of 2 times and recheck the timing marks.
Note, the marks on the belt will no longer match the crank and cam marks. Not an issue.
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:46 PM   #8
Compendium
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Have a gander at your MY Service manual for a detailed step by step. Try searching for the pdf, or you may be able to get away with the 2004 wrx/sti equivalent if the engines are the same. below are the WRX/STi links for each MY and one link I found for the 04 Forester. it will be in the Mechanical section under Timing Belt. along with a plethora of other handy info for any DIY you want to tackle.

Lastly have a watch of the youtube link of a detailed timing belt change on an EJ from my local shop.

http://www.wrxinfo.com/service_manuals/

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/12...004%20FORESTER

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