opinions on this Subaru timing belt?

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2008 WRX ~126k miles. This car was purchased used with no maintenance records but previous owner says the timing belt was replaced. I removed the left and right covers to take a look at the condition of the timing belt, can't trust that the job was done, right? So here it is, a genuine Subaru timing belt. Considering the mileage on the car I think it would look a hell of a lot worse if it was never changed right? There is also evidence that someone was in there because the left exhaust cam gear has been excessively chipped where a special tool would normally be used to rotate the cam to the correct position when changing the belt. I don't have any of the specialty tools so I didn't remove the crank pulley and middle cover to be able to inspect the idlers and tensioner. I'm sort of doubtful that the idlers and tensioner were changed out because I can see a portion of the water pump from below the engine and it doesn't look "newish". This is my first time doing anything with a Subaru so maybe people with more experience on this type of engine can chime in with their opinions and guesses as to what if anything was done here?
 

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Difficult to tell unless you can find a date code on the belt. Cam seals are common on those engines so it could have been apart for that. If in doubt, change it along with the tensionser, idlers and water pump. And if you feel motivated enough cam and crank seals.
 
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2008 WRX ~126k miles. This car was purchased used with no maintenance records but previous owner says the timing belt was replaced. I removed the left and right covers to take a look at the condition of the timing belt, can't trust that the job was done, right? So here it is, a genuine Subaru timing belt. Considering the mileage on the car I think it would look a hell of a lot worse if it was never changed right?
Looking at the belt I would guess it was changed at a Subaru dealer, if so, assume other parts were changed as well. Can't get any more info out of the seller? Call a few Subaru dealers in his area and ask the service department if the car had the work done there.
 
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I've replaced the timing belt four times now on my old Sienna, and I can tell you that even after nearly 100,000 miles they still look great. You can read the lettering just like in your pictures or better.
 

grjr

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Difficult to tell unless you can find a date code on the belt. Cam seals are common on those engines so it could have been apart for that. If in doubt, change it along with the tensionser, idlers and water pump. And if you feel motivated enough cam and crank seals.

the only markings I saw on the belt are the ones pictured, even if there is a date code there I wouldn't know how to decipher it.

From what I understand subaru timing belts are also suppose to have timing marks on them to line up with timing marks on the cams and crank but I didn't see those while rotating the engine. I did write on the belt with a silver marker to keep track of its travel as I spun the engine so don't confuse those marks with anything put there by the factory.
 
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canada
2008 WRX ~126k miles. This car was purchased used with no maintenance records but previous owner says the timing belt was replaced. I removed the left and right covers to take a look at the condition of the timing belt, can't trust that the job was done, right? So here it is, a genuine Subaru timing belt. Considering the mileage on the car I think it would look a hell of a lot worse if it was never changed right? There is also evidence that someone was in there because the left exhaust cam gear has been excessively chipped where a special tool would normally be used to rotate the cam to the correct position when changing the belt. I don't have any of the specialty tools so I didn't remove the crank pulley and middle cover to be able to inspect the idlers and tensioner. I'm sort of doubtful that the idlers and tensioner were changed out because I can see a portion of the water pump from below the engine and it doesn't look "newish". This is my first time doing anything with a Subaru so maybe people with more experience on this type of engine can chime in with their opinions and guesses as to what if anything was done here?
My brother in law had a 06 wrx with 115,000 kms and his belt had cracks on both sides. Especially more in the ribbed area. He changed it as soon as I showed him the belt.
Yours does seem to be better condition for the milage so I'd say at least the belt has been changed. Just make sure there are no cracks on the belt, because I cant see any. The first pic is the thermostat housing, you can kinda see the water pump in the 3rd pic.
 
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If it was changed, the tension is off, or there's play somewhere. When everything is correct the belt should track straight in the cam pulley and not pull to one side, this means a pulley or tensioner isn't aligned properly, tension too high or there's play somwhere in the bearings.

That belt doesn't look old, but it wasn't changed a few weeks ago either.
 
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pay some now or more later, if ANYTHING in the cam system fails your cheep car will be WORTHLESS, good luck!!!
 
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That's the big gamble buying a used car with belt driven cams. Unless there's paperwork as proof, I'm always skeptical. Most sellers (if they weren't on top of maintenance) will lie through any inquiries about service, especially an expensive job like a timing belt. I have a hard time trusting the word of a car seller whose only motivation is to sell the car.

I've done a few timing belt jobs in the 100-130k (usually ~10 years old by that time) range and the belts always looked in good condition, belt markings still visible, no noticeable cracks, etc. TBH, they looked about as good or better than the one you have pictured. The brown coloring in the inside the of the belt gives me the impression that it's been in service awhile.

I had to get into the timing belt cover on my '04 Odyssey about 15k after I'd replaced the belt (to look for a coolant leak), and that belt was pristine black and looked just like it did when I put it in.

For such an important component, I'd be investigating this a bit further. If it was dealer serviced as the belt markings seem to indicate, perhaps the service records can be pulled up at your local Subaru dealer. If you have the PO contact information, a little more probing as to when/where the service was done might give you a hunch whether he's BS-ing or not.
 
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The belt does look newer to me. If a dealer did it, it may be in their computer. When I bought a used tundra I called the yota dealer and they confirmed previous maintenance.

the high mileage belts Ive seen usually have a glossier appearance to the top side.

note, back in the ‘day, Subaru water pumps seemed to fail exactly at 106,000 miles, and it happened to me as well.... weeping at 103 and grinding splash at 106. If that’s still true now, I’d lean towards it having been done.
 
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