Installing Your New Timing Belt On A Non-Turbo 2.5L Twin Cam Subaru motor.

Below is a video on how install your new timing belt on your non-turbo 2.5L Subaru motor.

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Here we have a 1998 Subaru forester motor it is a non-turbo 2.5L twin cam. When replacing the timing belt because of the mileage of the belt or its age. It is a good idea to also replace the tensioner and the idler pulleys. The do sell them as a complete kit.

First let us get familiar with the belt. There are 5 different marks on the belt. The first one is a single dotted line that will be placed on the crankshaft. Going to the right the next mark will go onto the driver’s side intake cam. The Next one if you keep going to the right will be the driver’s side exhaust cam. Now going left from the crack shaft mark the first one will be the passenger’s side intake cam. Then the next one closes to that will be the passenger’s side exhaust cam.

Now you can replace the all the idlers. The owner opted to just change the belt and as a result the idler from this motor failed and has lost bearings and caused the timing belt to break. It might also be a good idea to replace the water pump and thermostat. You might want to also invest in a set of pony spring clamps. They will help hold the belt in place.

The passenger side cams are not loaded or are in the free position. The driver’s side cams are preloaded and you will need to turn them and keep them in position as they will try and spring back.

So we will start by putting single dotted line on to the crankshaft and align it with the notch/ dot on the front of the block. You can use a pony clamp to hold it there. Then the belt will go under the next idler pulley. The single notch on the intake cam should be aligned with the notch on the belt and the notch in the back cover. The exhaust cam should be aligned so that it aligns with the notch on the belt and on the back cover. The two pulleys should also have the double notch lines line up when you put tension on the belt.

Next we will do the driver’s side. Start by aligning the exhaust cam notch to the one on the belt. Next we will turn the intake cam so that the notch on the pulley lines up with the notch on the belt and clamp it in place. Once clamped turn it in the opposite direction to turn the cams and put tension on the belt. That should make the notch on the pulleys and belt and back covers become all aligned.

Once the belt is installed and has tension on it we can now install the tensioner. When tightening it down make sure that it can still pivot on the bolt. Once you have the tensioner installed let us double check that all the timing marks are aligned. If they look good you can pull the pin and let the tensioner put tension onto the belt. With that done we can remove the pony clamps off the belts. With the clamps removed we can now turn the motor over in the way of rotation a couple of times and then recheck out timing marks. Keep in mind that the marks on the belt marks won’t all line up with just two turns. You just want to check the cam gear notches to the back cover notches. If you turn it around and you have no binding and seems smooth and the timing marks line up you can reinstall the front covers and gaskets.

That’s it you have just installed a new timing belt, tensioner and idler pulley.






I have a few questions about timing a 1998 subaru forester like the one you timed in this video…. you said that the passenger side cam’s are in free play…. does that mean that you can turn both the top one and the bottom one freely with your hand over and over… there is no load at all on them no matter how much you turn them?

One more question the belt slipped not while driving but by starting it up and setting in the parking lot what is the chances of the engine being messed up cause of the timing belt slipping? if you could i would appreciate it if you emailed me and let me know..

it also was cranked over and over trying to start it after the belt slipped, not realizing that was the problem of course at the time it happen.

a friend put the old timing belt back on and it started but at first it would make a funny noise when trying to start it not sure how to descripe it something like the sound a starter would make if not engaging the flywheel correctly…

but it does that each time now. and the engine shakes really bad… so would like to know your thoughts on those questions … thank you

That is correct the passenger side cams are not loaded when there close to the timing marks. You will not be able to turn around freely. The twin cam motors are an interference motor meaning the valves can hit each other or the piston causing them to bend. So its hard to stay because I am sure you don’t know how many teeth the belt was off. 1-2 teeth it might not have bent anything. Judging but what your saying with the engine shaking while running it probably bent some valves. Do you now have a check engine light? Might be a cylinder misfire code. You can do a compression test of each cylinder to see if one has some bent valves as it will not hold pressure or do a smoke test and see if it comes out the intake (if an intake valve is bent) or the exhaust (if the exhaust valve is bent) Hope this helps you.

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