Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

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Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:01 am

I cannot recommend a Gates Timing kit. Go with Mopar, or another good name brand. I have now had two Gates Brand timing kit failures in the last two years. I will never buy another Gates brand product.

Had the water pump fail at under 30,000 miles on the neon, and the timing belt I installed 2 years ago/97,000 miles with all new parts just broke yesterday on my Subaru.

Bent every ef'ing valve in the heads. I could see it if the belt was 20 years old, but two years, and 8000 miles below the recommended change? All the idlers and water pump are still smooth, and easy to turn, the belt just plain ripped in two. there was another place in it that was cracked about 1/4 the way across.

I should have paid the $600 Subaru want for all the timing components. I would have been further ahead right now. I was in the process of gathering parts because i knew it was coming up.

If it was 8000 miles past due, it would be one thing, but when it can't even make it to the recommended change interval...
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by 04rebel » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:19 pm

NOW YOU TELL ME!....
Sorry to hear of such a catastrophe happening to you with your Subaru(I'll be polite, as I've NEVER liked the brand)
Normally Gates products are more than reliable, and HIGHLY recommended on the Kia Forum I'm on for my daughters 09 Spectra.
Which, by the way I did our Neon and her Kia for timing kits from Gates, Hard parts should be OK,but now you've got ME worried about the TB's I just put in no more than a month ago!
To bad you didn't "DODGE" a bullet like I did when the Neon's snapped! Good Luck, I guess we'll know why you may be light on posting for a while.

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:21 pm

I am not the only member that has has issues recently with their water pumps. Lucky it was mostly leaking issues, and not seizing issues. But mine was leaking bad enough that it wasn't driveable without running along side it with a hose to keep it full.

As far as the Subaru, it has been above and beyond dependable, the suspension components are all original, and in far better shape than any of our "comparable" DCX products components. This thing was hammered on by it's PO, and still has very little issues. It gets 30 plus MPG highway, has more power than my 2.4 swapped neon, and does far better on snow covered roads than my Jeep XJ ever dreamed of.

So it's needless to say, the next car purchase will probably be another Subaru. Unless I get a smoking deal on a Challenger... Anything Fiat based, probably isn't going to happen.

The real Chrysler Corporation has been dead for the last 20 years, and I've always said I'll buy foreign before a Chevy, and there aren't too many Ford products that excite me. :shrugs:
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by 04rebel » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:29 pm

Each has their own likes/dislikes, I admit they HAD to get better than the ones from the late 70-80's that completely turned me off on the brand. But that is a personal choice of mine from having to work on the brand way back then!
And YES, it is sad that the REAL MOPAR BRAND IS DEAD and been that way for some time! :(

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:17 am

04rebel wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:29 pm
I admit they HAD to get better than the ones from the late 70-80's that completely turned me off on the brand.
The same can be said for the big three American made car brands and Harley Davidson. Chrysler didn't go bankrupt for no reason at all. They (all) were pumping out pretty much garbage in that era.

Refusal to adapt almost killed the US Auto industry. Probably the biggest thing that kept Mopar people loyal, was the other options weren't a whole lot better. And that is what gave imports a solid foothold, because they were built a little better, and weren't huge gas guzzling beasts.

I am man enough to admit it, being a die hard Mopar guy from the beginning.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:38 pm

Damn. :( What model and year is your Subaru? Having a shop replace all your valves on it? I always hear good things about the Gates blue racing Timing Belt. Maybe the tensioner failed on the Subaru caused the belt to wear down early? I personally went with a Mopar one when I had it changed on my old silver Neon SRT. Yeah I heard about their waterpumps being crappy too.

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:15 pm

All Gates brand components replaced at the same time. Tensioner and idlers still good. Everything turns smooth.

I'll be replacing the valves myself, provided there isn't catastrophic damage to the heads/pistons.

2010 Impreza "Wagon". SOHC 2.5.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:28 pm

That is a huge bummer though :( Hope you get it on the road soon. Is it a manual or auto car? I see they are 3100lbs 170hp/170tq.
It gets 30 plus MPG highway, has more power than my 2.4 swapped neon
Probably not that much more power? Neon weighs like 600lbs less haha. I am sure your 2.4 is quicker.

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:12 pm

MyNeonSaysHi wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 4:28 pm
That is a huge bummer though :( Hope you get it on the road soon. Is it a manual or auto car? I see they are 3100lbs 170hp/170tq.
It gets 30 plus MPG highway, has more power than my 2.4 swapped neon
Probably not that much more power? Neon weighs like 600lbs less haha. I am sure your 2.4 is quicker.
Manual. I haven't heard much good about that era ATX being great for performance. But then the same has also been lamented about in neons. :D


Not much more power. The issue with the Mopar 2.4 is they run out of steam in the upper rpm's due to the really conservative cam profiles in the stock DOHC's. The head ports in the Subaru are also pretty big compared to the neons. If I had a larger set of cams in the neon, it would hands down be the better performer, once it got traction. AWD is pretty tough to beat off the line. On snow covered pavement, the Subaru leaves pretty much anything other than another Subaru far behind. (Provided the traction control is off, otherwise it kills the throttle at any amount of tire spin)

The bad thing with driving the Subaru most of the time, is I forget how well it is at taking off from a stop. When I switch to the neon, I am spinning the tires by accident pulling away from a light, and hoping a cop isn't within ear shot. :oops:

They are two different animals in center of gravity, suspension and driveline. The better center of gravity from the lower sitting lighter engine make up dramatically for the softer ride and springs in the Subaru. It still corners pretty good, given the more family friendly suspension. The brakes are also a bit better in the Subaru, but given the taller tires, and more weight, they have to be.

The Subaru SOHC also has the active valve lift, which uses a lower cam lift lobe on half of the intake valves. At a certain rpm, and throttle demand, it ties the two intake valves to the normal valve lift for full power. That's partially how they achieve decent fuel mileage for an AWD. And the difference in intake valve velocities helps with combustion swirl in light throttle cruising. Kind of like one normal size intake valve, and one oversize.

Basically, the Subaru has the advantage of ~12 years of technology, and a PCM that is matched to the engine, as where the neon has a 2.4 engine running on a California spec 2.0 PCM. Both get the best fuel mileage on 87 octane.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:29 am

All 8 of the exhaust valves are bent, and 4 of the intakes. The 4 intakes were all in the left head, so that side managed to take out every valve. I guess at 3000 rpm, the cam and gear have enough inertia to keep rotating. I poured penetrating oil in the ports of the unbent appearing intake valves this morning, and after 5 minutes the combustion side was still dry, so nothing bad enough on those to point to them being tweaked. At least it will save some time if nothing else.

The left side valves all hit the pistons hard. There is definite evidence in the carbon. I tested the other intakes this morning, because it was tough to tell from the way the carbon was on the valve reliefs. But given that they hold penetrating oil (Seafoam's Deep Creep) very well, I have confidence they are fine. I have seen valves with less mileage and no damage seep a lot more, and sooner.

Nothing bent enough to do any further damage than just bending the valves. So it should just be a matter of swapping and lapping the valves and getting it back together. And $$$. OEM Subaru gaskets are not cheap. But given that it is not easy to work on in the car, I am not skimping on off brand gaskets.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:43 pm

Gotcha plus the Subaru is a way newer car then a 1st gen Neon and way more expensive. Very interesting stats on that car though. I alway got better gas mileage running 91 on my 99 DOHC 5 spd no option coupe. It was 2-4mpg difference on multiple occasions, plus the car had quite a bit more power. So I always ran 91 since it was only like a couple dollars at fill up and I got 38-41 mpg, 80% highway. I miss it but it wasn't a safe car to be in. Good luck on the install of the Subaru, what a job that is going to be! I am sure you will save quite a bit of money doing it yourself :)

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:59 am

If I had taken it to the dealer or a shop, it would have been cheaper to trade it in/junk it and get another car. I imagine to repair it at their prices, it would be over $6000. The dealer wants $1200 just to do a normal timing belt replacement. I can't imagine pulling the heads and replacing valves.

When I was there, there was an LKQ truck dropping off an engine. My guess is they would drop in a JY engine, and charge for the labor/parts of "repairing" mine. Unless you had specific things done that you would know it wasn't your engine, you may never find out. Which most of the masses out there would have no clue.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:49 pm

occasional demons wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:29 am
The left side valves all hit the pistons hard. There is definite evidence in the carbon. I tested the other intakes this morning, because it was tough to tell from the way the carbon was on the valve reliefs. But given that they hold penetrating oil (Seafoam's Deep Creep) very well, I have confidence they are fine.
Well so much for holding solvent and not being bent. I pulled the 4 intakes out anyways, and two are definitely bent. I put them against a square, and it is visible to the eye that they are not straight, but still somehow sealed. The other two look straight by eyeballing them, but putting them in a valve facing tool and a dial indicator might say otherwise. No big deal, since I bought a complete set. I have them all lapped and and back in place, just a matter of cleaning and reassembling it all now.

And a new set of spark plugs. 97,000 miles took their toll on half of the NGK IX Iridium plugs. I have to say, I am impressed with the Subaru ignition coil being able to fire them like they are brand new, with plug wires about 30" long going to the driver side. Has to be over .140" gap on them at 10:1 compression. You would never know it. It never missed a beat.

Probably going to try the Laser Iridiums next. They have the improved anode design, that hopefully won't erode away as bad. Being these newer cars run 100,000 mile spark plugs. If they weren't such a pain, I might be inclined to replace them more often. I toss them in the neon at 50,000 miles, and they still look decent, but it's still cheaper than changing the cheap Champions every 10,000 miles.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:56 pm

Damn so you had 97k on the plugs. Wow. Looks like it is going along smoothly

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:08 am

Basically about all newer cars/trucks have "100,000 mile" spark plugs. But I question how well they actually do after ~75,000 miles. Granted it ran fine, but you have to wonder with a gap that large. It really has to be working the coil. It is a 4 pin coil, so I'm not sure if it is wasted spark or not. I'm guessing not, which probably helps output, and spark plug life.

FWIW, the DOHC Turbo version uses COP to fire the plugs.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by 04rebel » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:19 am

Hey there... it's been some ti,e gone by now, is that Subaru back up and running well yet?
Other than the A/C not working, my son has not harmed the "little car" any further and is approaching 1k miles already since repairs to the front end!

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:14 am

Got the engine back in last night, ran it until the thermostat opened, and shut it down. It was 10:00 PM, so I called it a day.

I filled the coolant funnel so it should have pulled in enough coolant as it cooled, and have no air in there.

It ran fine, no nasty sounds or misfiring. It's quieter than the 2.0, even with solid lash adjusters. I'll take it off the jack stands after work, and button up the small details. Then it's off for a drive.
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by 04rebel » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:30 pm

Good to hear that your patient did.nt expire during surgery! Hope that all works out well on the first road test!

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by MyNeonSaysHi » Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:21 am

^Agreed

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by occasional demons » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:50 am

Got over 300 miles on it, so far so good! As long as it lasts a few more years, I'll be happy...
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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by 04rebel » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:07 pm

occasional demons wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:50 am
Got over 300 miles on it, so far so good! As long as it lasts a few more years, I'll be happy...
That's great news!
I rechecked my records about having used Gates products for daughters Spectra...YES. The Neon got a Continental belt in the Auto Zone kit we bought. Both doing fine so far!

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Re: Don't rely on Gates for timing components...

Post by jonnymopar » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:00 pm

Interesting read. When I did my last timing belt, I used a Gates belt, Litens tensioner, and Mopar water pump. I was pissed because every aftermarket water pump comes with the gasket. Not the Mopar! I didn't find that out until I was in an inconvenient spot with the job, but oh well. The job was done with parts I can trust. Did it at 193k, car now has 243k with no issues... well, no timing belt related issues.
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