Can you change timing belt without removing harmonic balancer?

Mar 12, 2023
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Hey folks.
I have an 06 imprezza with a 2.5 . The crank bolt is stripped and the harmonic balancer is pinned and jb welded to the timing gear. It has been a good car for years after this dodgy repair. Id hate to lose the car when the timing belt snaps but its getting real bad and the engine is going to be toast if it snaps. Is there any way to loop a timing belt on this thing without touching the balancer?
"The crank bolt is stripped and the harmonic balancer is pinned and jb welded to the timing gear"
Hire a machinist and repair it correctly. it will fail sooner than later!
My repair has held for two years.
The crank bolt is fully JB welded into the crankshaft. I packed jb weld deep into the threads and stuffed the bolt down in there, and I packed jb weld into the timing gear and onto the timing gear face, and all around the crank nose into the harmonic balancer. The harmonic balancer with two roll pins added was then hammered onto the timing gear and the crank bolt was threaded in, with some final jb weld applied under the head to the balancer and filling the destroyed keyway.

Anyway, the balancer shooting off is a risk i decided to take with this car but "do it right" ended a long time ago. In either case, If this repair has held for two years, which it has, I am not going to disturb it. Im honestly not sure it CAN be removed anyway because I got the jb weld all the way down that hole in the crank which I had meticulously cleaned beforehand for adhesion and I made sure in running the bolt in and out that there was just the right amount of epoxy in there that the bolt is firmy gooed in along its full length. I think at the point removing it is a necessity you're looking at a whole new crank on the car.

This has been a good little car but I cant put a ton of money into it. I couldn't then and I can't now. Hire a machinist is well out of the question. The question is, can I loop a timing belt creatively around the mess ive made without removing the balancer or am I on the rails until the belt fails. Maybe I'll just go ahead and try?

The reason im asking is im worried that if i get into this i might end up where i need the balancer off to do the belt but if I cant do it the engine is ruined
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You are your own warranty company, split the cover vertically in half, center of the balancer if this is a belted timing mechanism. In other words, cut the cover top to bottom without damaging the balancer and if there's enough bolts to retain both split pieces. Find simple attachments to retain both sides together after assembly (ie: riveted nuts and simple plates so not to interfere with any rotating member.
Does the harmonic balancer interfere with access to the bolts for the tensioner or idler?
The Impreza comes in more than on flavor. With little to no information, is it the EJ253 SOHC engine?
Maybe the illustrations within the document will help with "what not to do!


  • SOHC Engine.pdf
    234.7 KB · Views: 7

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