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Old 08-28-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 120080
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
2014 Forester 2.0XT
Satin White Pearl

Unhappy Timing Belt - No starting.

CAR: 2.5RS
Engine: Naturally aspirated EJ25

My Timing belt was most recently changed by the previous owner at 160K and I just hit 190K and while driving into a parking structure at low speed it disintegrated.

On scene Photo.

After removing the timing Cover.

A buddy and I inspected the pulleys and idler while we were putting in the new belt and they look new so Im thinking the previous owner was telling the truth just that it was installed incorrectly or maybe the belt he got was cheap because I do remember him saying he bought the kit on eBay. I tried to check the old timing belt brand but there was not printing or numbers on it what so ever. The back was blank or rubbed off.

So not knowing where the crank was in relation to the Cam's (Not having a starting point) we put on the new belt after lining everything up (all notches to their respective places on the CAMs and Crank shaft pulley/gear). Following the service manual and various forums but those all dealt with preventive changes not failures. After everything was put back then we tried to crank it over and the car would not start.

We then rotated the Crank one revolution while leaving the CAM pulleys alone, but that wouldn't start either (now we didn't assemble everything this time, We left the Accessory belts off as well as the Crankshaft pulley. We were just trying to get it to turn over with out putting the whole back together).

I was wondering now how to get to TDC with out ripping apart the engine, to make sure everything is lined up correctly. Or to see if anything's off.

We were going to get a Compression tester to find out when the #1 piston is on compression stroke and make sure the crank is lined then.

Is there another way to approach this? Any suggestions on what Might be wrong? I understand that I may have bent a valve but I've been told it should still run, but that it would just run terribly. There anything else we should be doing?

Other Notes
I tried to run a scan with my OBDII reader and it was coming back clean, no errors/codes.
We can hear the Fuel Pump when we first turn the key also.
I did see that it may not send spark if the crank or cam sensor's are reading correctly (Will look into this tonight)

Thank you and
Any Help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:02 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 322942
Join Date: Jun 2012

It may not run depending on how many valves got bent, Should have done a leak down check with air when you had the belt off and with it cammed over. Put air to the cylinder and listen for intake, exhaust leaks. compression check is about the same, just dont gotta turn it over for a quick leak down.

It looks like that belt was never changed and the previous owner got lied to. Or a pulley freezed up. Are you positive you Timed it right when you installed the Belt? a tooth or two would more than likely cause a no start.

Last edited by DerekNichols; 08-28-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:04 PM   #3
Former Vendor
Member#: 273908
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Los Angeles

Guy above me is correct about this matter.

Usually when your timing belt jumps it leads to valve damage. I'm also assuming your timing is thrown since it won't fire up plus whatever damage to your motor. You can only cross your fingers, redo your timing setup, and pray your motor is good to go. If not its time for a leak down test and a loan so you can start dropping cash to get your car back on the road.

Good luck.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
STi Guy 69er
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Member#: 82648
Join Date: Mar 2005
Chapter/Region: W. Canada
Location: Medicine Hat
2005 Impreza 2.5 RS


Almost a guarantee valve meet piston scenario here. Pull the spark plugs and perform air leakdown test on all cylinders. If u hear air from the throttle body you got bent intake valves and if here air escaping out your tailpipe your exhaust valves are bent. I wouldnt even waste your time trying to put the timing belt back on till you do this.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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Member#: 154586
Join Date: Jul 2007
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: San Ramon
1996 Turbo Outback
9psi on 91 No EM


^This is true. It doesn't really matter what failed at this point since you will need to replace all of it including the tensioner/idlers.
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Old 08-30-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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Member#: 226864
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Southern NJ

Compression test and go from there.

Timing belt has to be on and lined up correctly (Is it still on)

Go to harbor freight and buy a compression test kit for gas engines.
Take all the spark plugs out
Put the compression tester into the spark plug hole (It threads in)
With the fuel relay removed and the throttle to the floor crank he car about 8 revolutions
Read the rating and repeat 2 times per cylinder for an accurate reading

Write numbers down as you go and compare. Deciation from cylinder to cylinder should be minimal, on most cars it's no more than 10 PSI or so.

My bet will be that you will find a major difference in the cylinders indicating that the valves are bent in those cylinders, and they aren't making adequate compression. (Or any compression at all)

If belt is off run a leakdown test.

Do this and get back to us buddy.

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Old 08-31-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 120080
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
2014 Forester 2.0XT
Satin White Pearl


Thanks for the advice guys. I'm looking to do a leak down test tonight. I'll post the results.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:37 AM   #8
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Member#: 220971
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: West, NC
2002 WRX 221K Mi.
Original Motor and Turbo


Looking at your first pic where the belt came out of the case with the crank pully still on. The crank sensor is right there, you may want to remove it and inspect, make sure the belt didn't rip the end of it off. Just one 10mm bolt and make sure to use that bolt only if you replace it.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Member#: 29355
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: seattle

kinda wondering what happened just out of curiosity. i'm changing mine soon at 106k.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 120080
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
2014 Forester 2.0XT
Satin White Pearl


Valves got bent.

Ran a leak down test (Made sure it was TDC and even then rotated the crank/cam to hear the differences when the valves opened and closed). It wouldn't even pressurize and it was pretty loud out the intake manifold.

I was able to even blow into the cylinder through the connection of my leak down tester and it wouldn't pressurize or put up any resistance to flow . Taking of my heads to inspect and get fixed.

Thank you guys for the info. I'll update when its done.
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