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Old 01-23-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 377357
Join Date: Dec 2013
Default snapped timing belt alignment

Hey guys...

i drive a 2000 impreza OBS 2.2 Litre 5 speed and a couple months ago timing belt snapped while driving about 50mph... (78k on belt).... there had been a prior engine code involving a miss on the 2nd cylinder but it passed smog and ran...

anyway... replaced the belt... kinda a crap shoot IMOH figuring out TDC and hopefully cam marks straight up... did a lot of research but cam up with little useful info... got all the marks to align... put in last pulley... still aligned gears to belt markings... pull the tensioner pin... buttoned it up and it started...

ran not great but driveable... its had some hesitation when cold (with the miss?) in the past and combined with it sitting a couple months i hoped it just needed some fuel run through it... half mile from the house... check engine light came on (never got new code) again and car started bucking worse than ever before, so turned around and drove home...

now i am checking the belt position again, but while i am going around however many hundred revolutions b/c the teeth and marks rarely repeat themselves... wtf?
anyway i noticed a pattern of varying compression tensions as i rotate the crankshaft... kinda like my dirtbike (single cylinder) it builds and builds and builds before finally releasing and the nut rotating on its own for a second.... closer inspection maybe there are 4 indiviual compression strokes i am feeling... and easy first and second, then a stiffer third, and a really stiff 4th, and then back to a couple easier ones and building again...

bent valves? are these interference motors? i keep hearing contradicting info... whats the deal with this timing anyway? i can check it with a light gun but not adjust it? also thinking about compression test but the super recessed spark plugs are a PITA...

am i due for a new engine? 246k so far...

thanks for the info...

specifically if you have a link to setting TDC and cams after a total loss of reference (like a belt snapping)...

driver side camshaft pulley didn't seem as "loose" with marks up and more inclined to snap forward....

thanks again
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:01 PM   #2
Commander Keen
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 319157
Join Date: May 2012
Chapter/Region: MAIC
2012 Impreza 4DR 5MT


Creating multiple threads for the same problem makes the story hard to follow.

Don't worry about the marks on the belt not lining up after cranking. They're only there for initial alignment, and unless the number of teeth on the belt is an integer multiple of the teeth on the pulley, the marks will "walk".

Someone here (or the dealer) should know whether the 2.2L are interference engines.

In any case, with 246K miles, the engine is probably tired so uneven compression is not unexpected.

I don't know specifically about the 2.2, but most engines are clocked from the crank, so a light will tell you nothing about cam alignment. Unless you're seeing missing or backfiring, a timing light will show you nothing useful.

Try an alldata subscription or a factory service manual.
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:37 AM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 353056
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado Springs CO.
2000 impreza sport


I changed my timing belt and water pump for preventative maintenance it was dew. I lined up the notches like it said to and like the forums said. I did that. Put it together and when I started it up it sounds like hell. It runs but can not rev up. I took it apart and checked the notches they are all in sync every other rotation they all line up. Put it back together still sounds like hell And runs worse. Please help. If this is an interference motor am I screwed?
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:02 AM   #4
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 310435
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Fayetteville, NC
'12 Sport Limited
Mobil1 EP 0W20 130,002 mi


It's been about 20 years ago that Subaru's changed to interference engines. I had a 2.2 '92 Legacy back in the mid 90's and it was non-interference then.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 403303
Join Date: Oct 2014

How can you align the crank and cam if you took the pulleys and timing belt off without checking or aligning anything? Nothing has been touched since than but not sure where to go after that big mistake
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