The manuals and documentation
available for replacing the timing belt can be quite
confusing. The reason is that Subaru have identified two
different sets of timing information on the crank and cam
gears. The marks are closely related but must not be mixed up.
I will try to clarify below.
This picture shows the crank gear, on the
left, at top dead centre (TDC) on cylinder #1 - the small
arrow on the face of the gear is pointing to the small mark in
the case. On the right, the cam gear is in its correct
position for TDC, with the arrow on the web pointing to the
mark in the plastic cover.
In this picture you can see all three gears in
their correct TDC position. However, it is very difficult to
keep the cam gear on the right in this position - as soon as
you let go of it it wants to rotate to a more stable position.
For this reason Subaru selected a different position for
setting up the timing belt. What they did was rotate the crank
90 degrees clockwise - which moves the cam gears 45 degrees
clockwise. In this position all of the gears can be moved
quite easily but will stay put while you fit the new timing
belt. The next pictures show this timing belt installation
Here the valve timing marks are in the correct
position for installing a new belt - note that the crank is
rotated 90 degrees and the cam gear is rotated 45 degrees from
the TDC position.
Here is a close up shot of the crank gear on
TDC and the timing mark 90 degrees anticlockwise.
In this picture you can see the timing mark on
the small crank sensor cog - lined up with the mark in the
case and the cam gear notch in the face of the gear is lined
up with the notch in the plastic cover. All makes sense - but
can be very confusing the first time. Even though the crank
shaft makes two revolutions for every turn of the cam shafts
if these marks are lined up as shown the valve timing will be
When you have the timing belt all set up -
this is your final check before pulling the pin out of the
timing belt tensioner - 44 teeth on the left and 40.5 on the
NOTE: Use these ideas at you own risk - no warranty or
guarantee implied or included. Tom