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#1 2016-07-08 12:02:27

countriccati
Member
From: Boston
Registered: 2015-02-18
User Number: 28345
Posts: 173

Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

Apparently Gates has very recently changed the suppliers for its tensioner and idler pulleys, the quality has been inconsistent, and some shops have stopped using them due to failures. The supplier change info is confirmed from multiple sources, the failures are (so far) only reported from someone at IAG.

The latest reviews on Amazon and rallysportdirect show people are seeing these inconsistency issues with the new TCK328 kits too.

For a while the advice I'd been given had been to get the TCK328 kit and to just avoid the Gates water pump, but apparently everything besides the belt is now suspect. Such a shame, since those kits used to be identical to OEM parts at a great discount.

Thus the safest advice for the time being is to get a Gates belt, and OEM everything else: tensioner, idlers, in addition to water pump (though those pumps rarely fail).

Since it's quite often the tensioner or pulleys that fail this is potentially a big deal.

Apparently Gates is changing things around so they may sort this out, but for the time being thought people would want to be advised that things have changed, and recommending the Gates kit is no longer a no brainer.


me and my aero

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#2 2016-07-08 12:48:11

dshack
Member
From: Palo Alto, CA
Registered: 2016-03-16
User Number: 36048
Posts: 45

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

Do you have a sense for how recent the change was? I installed a gates kit about 3 months ago.

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#3 2016-07-08 12:59:30

countriccati
Member
From: Boston
Registered: 2015-02-18
User Number: 28345
Posts: 173

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

Based on Amazon reviews it looks like April of this year is when multiple sources are reporting tensioner failures/rattling out of the box, but one review dates back as far as last May. Given that different suppliers probably got stock of the newer ones at different times it's hard to say.


me and my aero

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#4 2016-07-08 13:22:50

dshack
Member
From: Palo Alto, CA
Registered: 2016-03-16
User Number: 36048
Posts: 45

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

^ thanks! I've driven ~4K miles since the install and haven't noticed any knocking/rattling so hoping I got an OEM tensioner.

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#5 2016-07-08 17:53:35

92xGot2boostit2
Member
Registered: 2016-06-22
User Number: 37144
Posts: 75

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

Not good news at all.

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#6 2016-07-08 19:43:05

snowphun
Member
From: Central CT
Registered: 2005-11-09
User Number: 890
Posts: 149

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

OE parts from one of the aggressive Subaru dealers like Annapolis is the way to go for timing belt and clutch IMO. I still have a pile of Subiebucks to burn through.

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#7 2016-07-08 21:19:46

Rodman
Member
From: Long Island
Registered: 2006-03-01
User Number: 1046
Posts: 1921

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

I had installed a Gates racing timing belt kit on my ej207 swapped bugeye that I just sold to a friend. A week after I sold him the car the gates belt tensioner failed.Thankfully the timing belt jump was not severe enough to cause engine damage. I had already purchased the same Gates timing belt kit for my new ver7 project. After my friend almost damaged his ver 8 motor due to the Gates tensioner I went to my local Subaru dealer and purchased an oem tensioner. The fact now that I'm reading about the pulleys also been questionable makes ma nervous.


2005 satin gray metalic aero, sold.
2005 black aero, rescue project, jdm STi ver 7 drivetrain.
2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5 speed manual daily driver.
2006 WRX, smoked, should've never betrayed 2.0L love.

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#8 2016-07-09 21:31:41

eurocoffee
under attack *
From: Boston MA
Registered: 2012-04-30
User Number: 7218
Posts: 822

Re: Timing belt info: Gates tensioner and idlers no longer OEM supplier

I've installed at least 10 tensioners over the past year on our customer's vehicles, we use the Continental kit. That's also what I'm running on my car, after the mystery timing belt jump couple years ago switched from Gates. No issues to report.


This is my Saabaru. There are many like it, but this one is Mine!

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