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Home Subaru Legacy Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement

1995 Subaru Legacy Outback Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement

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1995 Subaru Legacy Outback Timing Belt and Water Pump Replacement

Here are some pictures and notes on replacing the timing belt and water pump on a 1995 Subaru Legacy Outback with the EJ22 engine. First off loosen the coolant drain plug on the radiator. It is located on the left side of the engine compartment. While that is draining, unbolt the three 10mm bolts and loosen the alternator 12mm hold down bolt.

Loosen the alternator belt tension bolt under the alternator drops far enough to remove the belt.

Next unbolt the two bolts holding the A/C belt tensioner in place.

Tensioner removed:

A/C Belt removed:

Next up unbolt the two 10mm bolts holding the coolant expansion tank in place.

DIsconnect the hose and pull out the tank. I like to put the bolts back in place so that I don't loose them.

Disconnect the upper radiator hose.

Unbolt the two 12mm bolts holding the radiator in place. Pictured is the left bolt.

Disconnect the lower radiator hose (driver's side underneath):

Disconnect the two fan electrical connectors.

With the two fans disconnected, the two radiator hoses disconnected, and the two 12mm bolts removed, the radiator and fan assembly can be removed:

With the radiator removed, we have a lot more room to work!

Now we need to remove the crankshaft bolt. I tried at first with a large socket wrench, but it wouldn't budge. There is a trick you can do to remove it using the starter motor. Using a socket wrench with a long handle, brace the handle onto the car's frame. Then blip the starter with the key. It just takes a very short blip of the key to loosen the crankshaft bolt. 
Here is a VIDEO on how to do it.

With that, the crankshaft pulley can be removed. If it's hard to pull off, you may need to invest, or borrow a puller tool.

Now remove all the 10mm bolts holding on the three plastic timing belt covers. A lot of these bolts on my Subaru were rusted, and caused some of the plastic covers to crack. If it get's to the point where they will not be held in place very well, you may want to replace the plastic cover. With the three covers removed, you can now see the timing belt and water pump. 
Of interest here is how Subaru choose to drive the water pump. It is not driven by the 'toothed' side of the timing belt. By doing it this way, if the water pump starts to seize up, the engine will still run (for better or worse). I would expect, if that were the case, that there would be a loud belt squeal noise coming from the timing belt. Other manufacturers sometimes use the toothed side of the belt. By doing it that way, if the water pump seizes, the belt will probably break and the engine will turn off (assuming a non-interference engine).

Next up, remove the #2 idler pulley and the hydraulic belt tensioner.

Two 12mm bolts hold the tensioner in place.

Remove the heater hose:

Remove the #1 idler pulley:

Now we can remove the pump. Just unbolt the six bolts holding the pump in place. Be sure you still have a container in place under the pump to catch coolant.

With the pump removed, we can also remove and replace the thermostat and gasket if necessary (2 bolts).

To install the new water pump, I used a very thin layer of RTV sealant just to make the surface sticky to hold the gasket in place.

Then place the gasket on top and position it.

Install the new pump with the six bolts.

Attach the heater hose.

Now it's on to the timing belt installation. This can be a bit tricky, but take your time aligning all the marks. Align the two cams and the center (crankshaft) sprocket at shown in the following three pictures.

Compress the hydraulic tensioner in a vice. Take your time with this, don't go too fast or you will damage the tension. Make sure you line up the head of the tensioner so that the hole will align with the hole in the tensioner body.

Once it is compressed insert a pin, or small Allen wrench to hold the tensioner in place.

Start to install the new timing belt. Be sure you get the direction of rotation correct, and line up the marks on the new timing belt with the cam gear marks.

Install the #1 idler and tensioner (leave the pin in place). Move the tensioner all the way to the right side and just make the two bolts hand tight.

Install the belt and make sure it is all aligned correctly as shown:

At this point it should look like this:

This was the step that I had trouble with. Install the #2 idler pulley and make sure you don't move the belt so that the alignment on the right cam gear doesn't change. It took me several tries.

If it is still all aligned, pull the pin on the tensioner. Wait a couple minutes for the tensioner to expand, and then rotate the crank (using the crankshaft bolt) a couple times and check that the marks all still line up. In my case the right hand cam looked about 1/2 tooth off, but I think that is as close as you can get it. The engine runs great, so it should be correct. If it doesn't line up, then remove the tensioner and start again.
Install the three plastic timing belt covers.

With the timing belt installed, reinstall the three plastic timing belt covers.

Lubricate the crankshaft pulley with some grease to ease installation.

Install the pulley,and torque to 69-76 ft-lbs.

Reinstall the A/C belt. Loosen the pulley nut, install the tensioner with the two bolts, and then adjust the belt tension. Once adjusted, tighten the pulley nut.

Install the alternator belt, and adjust the belt tension.

Reinstall the radiator and electric fans assembly and tighten it down with the two 12mm bolts.

Install the upper radiator hose.

Install the lower radiator hose.

Connect the two fan electrical connectors.

Then re-install the two plastic belt covers, and re-install the coolant expansion tank. Fill the radiator up with coolant and bleed the air using the air bleed vent on the right hand side of the radiator. Fill the expansion tank up. Start the engine, fill with coolant, and check for leaks.

Congratulations You're Done!

Here is a COMMENT from Alex Daves:
In this image 
you showed that you put the toothed gear idler on last before pulling the tension pin. If instead, you do this to the lower smooth pulley (the one with the red/orange seal on it in the picture), not only will you have less slack to deal with while putting the timing belt on, allowing it to stay better while you set everything in place, but that pulley is much easier to put in place once the belt is set on the cam and crank pullies.

Thank you for the comment!