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Old 03-23-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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Default Gates Timing Kit discussion

Well as I'm sure anyone who has looked into replacing their timing belt has discovered, gates has switched their component sourcing to China. While not having the stellar reputation of Japanese precision, china is capable of quality machine work, especially out of Taiwan, its all about what specs they are contracted to work under. Don't get me wrong though, I do wish gates had kept the O.E. supplier/ quality.

What I'm looking for is actual proof that these components will fail or have a reduced service life. If anyone has had these components going out on them or anything of the sort please share. I had used the TCK328 on a customers vehicle before I realized they had switched suppliers, and it was only when researching for my own car that I came across all this controversy.

I have heard of the tensioners failing, but I have never had it verified that proper bleeding procedure was followed. On the LGT I had serviced I had made sure to bleed the tensioner very thoroughly (hey I don't want that blood on my hands!)

Anyway, just hoping to get some more info on this whole debacle as my google-fu only lead to people being mad that they are Chinese parts, but none actually stating outright manufacturer faulted component failure.


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Old 03-23-2017, 12:09 PM   #2
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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Default Gates Timing Kit discussion

Replies to this thread in technical:

Quote:
Originally Posted by viper_crazy View Post
Tensioner bleeding? Which tensioners require bleeding?

The hydraulic tensioner requires being vertically compressed upwards of 4 times due to how it's shipped, this is in the kits paperwork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HinshawWRX View Post
One of the legacy boards started the controversy, I've yet to find concrete evidence to suggest that China has a conspiracy for Subaru parts.


Good to know where the fuss started and that why I made this thread, I haven't found any actual evidence of inferior parts, despite country of origin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rtv900 View Post
If you don't like Chinese stuff you'll have to live in a tent in the woods and forage off the land. (make sure the tent isn't Chinese either)


Exactly lol.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy View Post
The hydraulic tensioner requires being vertically compressed upwards of 4 times due to how it's shipped, this is in the kits paperwork.
I dont know anyone that does this.

Install.
pull the pin.
Done.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #4
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I've installed multiple Gates kits. Exactly part number, never had an issue. Someone probably got a bad tensioner and blamed China.

Exact same method used a gsrcrxsi btw.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:22 PM   #5
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsrcrxsi View Post
I dont know anyone that does this.

Install.
pull the pin.
Done.


And i guess this is why people complain of tensioner failure. It's the top sheet in the kit.


Last edited by IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy; 03-27-2017 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
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I ended up getting the gates kit for an 07 sti I'm bringing back to life. The tensioner was NTN which I believe is OEM. Didn't really pay much attention to the rollers, but I've used Gates kits on other vehicles without issue. Don't have much worry here...time will tell I guess.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy View Post
And this is why people complain of tensioner failure. It's the top sheet in the kit.

Never done it, never seen that procedure. Going to say since the failure threads overtook the internet the supplier had warranty returns, root caused the failure/non failure and started inserting this procedural step.

Good to know. Another check for real info on these there interwebs.

I like the live off the land comments.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:37 PM   #8
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Well, there ya go. I read that paper but obviously not close enough.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:45 PM   #9
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper_crazy View Post
Well, there ya go. I read that paper but obviously not close enough.


The more ya know haha
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:47 PM   #10
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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Default Gates Timing Kit discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoich68912 View Post
I ended up getting the gates kit for an 07 sti I'm bringing back to life. The tensioner was NTN which I believe is OEM. Didn't really pay much attention to the rollers, but I've used Gates kits on other vehicles without issue. Don't have much worry here...time will tell I guess.


Yeah I'm pretty sure NTN is the Japanese supplier. From what digging I've done, the current supplier is claimed to be Canadian, but no one has been able to actually verify that.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy View Post
...I have heard of the tensioners failing, but I have never had it verified that proper bleeding procedure was followed.
The problem is the early kits with the Canadian (Chinese?) tensioners did not AFAIK include any mention in the instruction sheet of the necessity of bleeding the tensioner. Early buyers of the Canadian tensioner were experiencing a loud knocking noise upon initial start up and during the first several hundred miles.

Looks to me like the "bleed the tensioner" warning was included in the kit after Gates started receiving a landslide of complaints.

Last edited by SubLGT; 03-27-2017 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:32 PM   #12
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That makes sense. Both times I've used these kits I've bleed the tensioner compressing it about 6 times for posterity and have not had an issue
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:23 PM   #13
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I started the thread over at LegacyGT.com about Gates switching out tensioners and gears from known brands.

When I bought the EJ253 kit in late 2015 for my car it was still using the blue NTN tensioner and all known brand idlers. I then bought another kit for a friends car in early 2016 I was surprised to see different looking tensioner and Chinese gear idler and no warning telling me to bleed it 3 times.

I didn't dismiss the kit simply because it had Chinese made parts, I live in the real world and know things are made in China all the time. It was an observation, I even made that clear in my thread.

My biggest concern for this kit came from when I first started the car, there was a VERY loud knocking noise. I thought I jumped teeth and was starting to sweat bullets, but the noise went away after a few minutes. My friend drove the car for a week, I got the car back and made sure the timing was good, which it was.

I'm still honestly concerned about the tensioner giving out, I might buy a new tensioner and replace it. Last thing I want is this friend to be on a side of the road with bent valves...
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:09 PM   #14
IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy
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I'm glad nothing bad happened! i just put the kit on my '09 WRX with no issue, fired right up with no noise or anything of concern.
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Old 04-02-2017, 01:21 PM   #15
radro
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I used gates timing belt kit and has been on my 09 wrx sti for 13000 miles now with no issue
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:07 PM   #16
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Fired up an 07 sti rebuild with the gates kit the other day. NTN tensioner, china rollers/gear...no strange noises. So far so good...

edit: mine did come with the instructions saying to bleed the tensioner 3x, which I did.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsActuallyFoxBodyGuy View Post
And i guess this is why people complain of tensioner failure. It's the top sheet in the kit.

I looked at a couple recent Gates kit instructions (98 2.5 DOHC with lever, 97 2.5 DOHC with "rod", 99 2.2 with lever and a 04 Tib V6) and none of them have the bleeding instructions.

Maybe they were old stock? Since I usually use Gates kits and just, "install the tensioner then pull the pin" with no long term issues, maybe it's an issue with the newer supplied tensioners?

The kit for the 99 just came in, yes, it has China pullies and a Japan tensioner.

If properly assembled and not leaking, don't really see how air can get in the wrong place during shopping.
But, I guess from now on I will bleed them.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
If properly assembled and not leaking, don't really see how air can get in the wrong place during shopping.
But, I guess from now on I will bleed them.
Very curious question.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:46 PM   #19
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I finally found a cut away of the inside of our tensioners at NTN....

Inside EVERY hydraulic tensioner you will find air.

The air in the chamber is needed for expansion.

There is a small hole in the upper wearing and air/fluid can exchange between the upper and lower part of the body.

The air can become trapped on the other side of the valve (in the small pressure chamber on the bottom of the tensioner) during shipping. Just from rising bubbles and enough jarring around.

A few cycles of the tensioner, right side up, and the bubbles can rise back up to the top where they belong.

Hope this helps explain it better.

More pictures here:
http://www.ntnglobal.com/en/products...g/pdf/7201.pdf

Last edited by Shiftace420; 04-03-2017 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CovertRussian View Post
I started the thread over at LegacyGT.com about Gates switching out tensioners and gears from known brands.

When I bought the EJ253 kit in late 2015 for my car it was still using the blue NTN tensioner and all known brand idlers. I then bought another kit for a friends car in early 2016 I was surprised to see different looking tensioner and Chinese gear idler and no warning telling me to bleed it 3 times.

I didn't dismiss the kit simply because it had Chinese made parts, I live in the real world and know things are made in China all the time. It was an observation, I even made that clear in my thread.

My biggest concern for this kit came from when I first started the car, there was a VERY loud knocking noise. I thought I jumped teeth and was starting to sweat bullets, but the noise went away after a few minutes. My friend drove the car for a week, I got the car back and made sure the timing was good, which it was.

I'm still honestly concerned about the tensioner giving out, I might buy a new tensioner and replace it. Last thing I want is this friend to be on a side of the road with bent valves...
That is exactly what happens if enough air gets trapped in the lower pressure chamber. The knocking noise was your timing belt tensioner slapping around against the mount.

It took a few minutes for it to bleed out on its own. Sounds like you dodged a bullet.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:36 AM   #21
caterpill
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Bad experience with a Gates TCK254A here.

Purchased and installed one of their kits before as they *used* to consist of quality (read: decent) components.

It was time to replace my t-belt again so I figured i'd go with the same product, expecting the same quality. Guess not.

As posted by others, an unusual bleeding procedure / disclaimer sheet is included with the newer kits which i've never seen before. This kind of threw me off at first, seemed odd.

Long story short, even after a proper bleeding procedure and double check before driving, my test drive resulted in bent valves. My gripe is that it is almost impossible to prove that installer error is not a factor. (ie: gates "says" you didn't bleed the tensioner). I'm surprised that it failed because this was installed on an EJ22 SOHC, nothing fancy and basic. Da phuk. No turbo, high comp pistons, titanium valvesprings, hot cams, Bee-R Rev limiter, nothing like that.

Just noticed that the new tensioner doesn't have an indication of where it's made so it's probably made in somewhere other than Japan. Hmm.. BANGLADESH perhaps?!? (New tensioner is on top, notice no labels) I'll say that the pulley bearing is of good quality though.




Ah well. Gates you bastards cost me like 6months of beer money and about a gallon of salty sweat. Arrrgggh!

Anyway because of all this I decided to go back to the "old" style tensioner. Works for group N cars, should work fine for my daily. :P


(Pic courtesy of SubaruOutback.()rg )

Last edited by caterpill; 12-09-2017 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Beer money calculation was wayyy to optimistic
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Old 04-19-2017, 09:49 PM   #22
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I used one of the gates kits without the instructions. Found out the hard way (belt flapping on first startup) about "burping" the tensioner. 1 year and 60K km without issue with the kit.
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:35 PM   #23
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So what's the word? Any aftermarket kits selling what gates used to sell?
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Old 06-07-2017, 02:42 PM   #24
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Some guys at Legacygt.com have had luck with ASIN kits (with water pumps). That's gonna be my next kit too, if not piecing it together with Subaru OEM parts.
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #25
gsrcrxsi
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I've seen reports that the Gates TCK328N kits are Japan parts still. I ordered one from eBay for about $180. We'll see.
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