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Roadside Jerry
Roadside Jerry, Auto Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2948
Experience:  Auto Mehanic 39 years,30 with the NYPD Fleet Service Division
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I have a 1997 subaru impreza with a 2.2L engine. The ...

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I have a 1997 subaru impreza with a 2.2L engine. The tensioner pulley bolt snapped when I was going approx. 20 mph. I replaced the bolt and the pulley and I have the new timing belt on with timing marks aligned with the lines on the new belt. The crankshaft mark is at 12:00. The large pulleys on either side (camshaft pulleys?) are also at 12 o' clock, with the marks on the pulley matching the marks on the engine. I was told that this was a non- interference engine and it did not become an interference engine until 1998 but now I am not so sure. My question is two-fold: what is the proper alignment of the pulleys? and if the valves have been damaged, what is the best way to tell?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Roadside Jerry replied 6 years ago.

Hi 777,according to the manufacturer it is a non interference engine.There are 2 ways to tell if there is valve damage.One is to install the belt and do a compression test.The other is to remove the valor covers and undo the rockers arms to have all the valves closed,then do a cylinder leak down test by pressurizing the cylinders with compressed air and a spark plug adapter. Valve damage would be indicated by air escaping through the exhaust or intake systems.I am sending timing mark illustration for you.

graphic

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Roadside Jerry's Post: The timing belt was aligned correctly. However, it appears the valves are bent/damaged. How is this possible if it is indeed a non-interference engine? My friend said 97 was a bastard year. Is it possible that the engine is an interference engine? the number on it is EJ22.
Expert:  Roadside Jerry replied 6 years ago.
Hi 777, all info states that a 97- 98 2.2 is non interference. I also have heard that valves have been bent when the belt snaps. It seems that when the belt snaps the cam will spin for a short time at a higher speed and cause the valves to float, opening farther than normal and hit the piston heads. I don't like to go y the charts that tell you if it is or isn't interference or not, since it can come back and bite you. Some will gamble and put the job back together and hope for the best. Others will test and make their decision base on the testing. I have put one of these back together last year that had a slight miss on one cylinder,a month later the miss was gone. The valve must have reset it self.The customer{my bosses son} didn't want to go for the heads,he lucked out.
Roadside Jerry, Auto Mechanic
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2948
Experience: Auto Mehanic 39 years,30 with the NYPD Fleet Service Division
Roadside Jerry and 21 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Roadside Jerry's Post: Jerry - thanks for all the info. That diagram was great and helped me verify what I already was pretty sure about. According to wikipedia, the 2.2 L EJ22 engine stopped being a non-interference in 1996 and became an interference engine in 1997. Unlucky for me. Valves are at best bent and at worst splattered. I am trying to find a used engine to throw in there. The cheapest rebuilt I could find was $2800. This is what I get for buying a car from a guy in Long Island.

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