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Rossavich63 01-02-2013 09:38 PM

1996 Timing Question
Changed water pump and timing belt in my '96 Legacy Outback 2.5L - now idling a bit rough. My Chilton's manual stated to position #1 piston TDC at the start of the process. I did not do this assuming that when I aligned the camshaft and crankshaft sprocket notches with the rear cover notches the #1 piston TDC location would match. Vehicle idling just fine before I did the work. Did I make a bad decision here? Or am I just off a notch on the belt alignment? If I'm off a notch my best guess is the tensioner (driver side) camshaft sprocket. Any thoughts/comments here are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

DOHCEJ22E1 01-02-2013 09:56 PM

There is a line on the metal "bump" of the oil pump where the crank sensor goes.
You must take off the center timing belt cover & align the line on the reluctor (crank gear tooth) to that of the line on the "bump" on the oil pump.

Rossavich63 01-02-2013 10:17 PM

Thanks for the response. I did have the crank gear tooth aligned with the bump on the oil pump before I removed the tensioner and the old belt. Center line of new belt gear tooth and bump were in alignment after new belt installed.

johnegg 01-03-2013 08:10 AM

assuming you did not use the arrows, not the arrows, never the arrows, you could be a tooth off on one of the cams. it is not unusual for them to be off on the first try.

recheck all the vac lines and hoses in and around the intake. especially the large on the under side of the black plastic between the air filter box and the throttle body.

check the timing.

Rossavich63 01-03-2013 09:20 AM

Thanks johnegg, I'll check the vac lines. Help me understand "did not use the arrows, not the arrows, never the arrows". I lined up the cam and crank gear notches with the rear cover marks.

johnegg 01-03-2013 01:51 PM

some times when you pull the pin on the tensioner it pulls one of the cams off the timing mark.

remove the cam covers and compare the timing marks to double check that the HASH marks all line up. you can not check the crank timing mark with the cover or the pulley in place. but as long as you used the HASH mark on the REAR if the crank sprocket and not any of the marks on the front face of the crank sprocket, it should be ok.

if you are not 200% sure about the crank, you can remove the crank bolt and feel for the ''key way''. it should be in the 6 oclock position when lined up correctly.

Rossavich63 01-03-2013 06:18 PM

Thanks, I'll pull the covers tomorrow night and have another look.

spooln30 01-04-2013 11:56 PM

The easiest way I install a timing belt on Subarus with Dohc's is to off set both of the intake cam gears before you set/release the tensioner. It's usually about a tooth off to the right. The reason I do this is when you release the tensioner it picks up the slack and pulls the belt tight and it will throw off the alignment marks. Something I've picked up through out the 15 years of being a auto mechanic. Just double check all of the timing marks. GL.

SpecBamf41 01-07-2013 08:37 PM

the best way to be 101 percent sure is to count the teeth from mark to mark. i dont know them off hand but they are in the fsm.

edit found them lol.

on so you got 5 aligment mark right. here are tooth count between each mark.

page 15, 2-3b
lower left cam-28- upper left-54.5-crank-51-upper right-28-lower right.

i dont pin the pin till those numbers are correct, regardless if the marks line up or not, once you pin the pull, turn the engine over 5 times, then back 5 times, the marks will be damn near spot on.

i did my timing 4 times one day only to find out i was off a tooth each time, went to the fsm, found this, and nailed it the 5th time.

Rossavich63 01-07-2013 10:52 PM

Thanks to all of you for the feedback. Found a Subaru published set of timing belt instructions on line and confirmed that I could manually rotate intake and exhaust cams with the belt off - in the directions specified!!! These subtle adjustments on the cams allowed me to nail the alignment on the hash marks - installed the idler pulley and was good to go. Vehicle running well. spooln30 your tip is a good one, I'm convinced the drift caused by the tensioner engaging was my initial failure.

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