EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

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ITSATRUCK
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EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by ITSATRUCK »

2005 BAJA with 51K on the odo... you read that correctly...I've always loved this vehicle and now that it is mine I want to take better care of it...
My mother in law never drove it much or probably over 55, now it needs a timing belt replacement since it is 17 years old on the same timing belt and water pump...I'm newish to Subaru and work mostly on VW's but I can't seem to find a definitive statement on the difference between an EJ251 and EJ253. VIN plate in the engine compartment states it as an EJ251 everywhere online shows it should be an EJ253 all I can find in the Aisin timing belt kits is for the EJ253 TKF 010...is this the same kit... If I search for Legacy I still only get the option of the EJ253 even Subaru states the EJ251 was put in the Baja up to mid 2005. everything looks the same when I use YouTube university for tutorials...I just want to be sure before I tear into it and find that I need something else or have the wrong kit since all the websites delineate that their kits are for the EJ253.
Any suggestions?
joedavex
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by joedavex »

Sounds like you've scored a Baja Unicorn! If that's a stick shift you've really hit the jackpot. :)

The Subaru WIKI page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_EJ_engine#EJ251 shows that the 251 was used up to 2005 in the Baja and then the 253 was used in 2005 and 2006 so there was a crossover.
From the wiki:
EJ251
The EJ251SOHC was the first version of a long line of single overhead cam engines by Subaru for the US market. The EJ251 was soon replaced by the EJ253 in many models due to its improved cooling to aid in head gasket life and improved engine management and sensors. The EJ251 commonly experienced head gasket failures resulting in interior channel breaches or exterior fluid leaks due to the continued use of a single layer coated gasket first introduced on the EJ25D. Intake volume is calculated by the use of a MAP sensor, unlike the EJ253 which uses a MAF sensor.
so then EJ251 uses a map sensor to help with the air/fuel setting, whereas the EJ253 uses a Mass Airflow Sensor. If it has a maf then you will find this on the air induction tubing. If a map sensor then this will be located close by /on the inlet manifold.

RockAuto lists the same Aisin kit for all years of the Baja from '03-'06 so it seems like the changes between the engines did not affect the timing components.
Good luck on the timing belt job, it's actually pretty straightforward on the Subie SOHC.
Joe
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ITSATRUCK
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by ITSATRUCK »

Thanks for the Info Joe. I got under it this week end and snapped a few photos of the water pump... all the research I found shows the only difference in the kits is really the water pumps orientation of the thermostat housing and inlet pipes... mines on the bottom and one inlet pipe so looks like the TKF-010 will work and Rock Auto shows it as the correct kit. I think I am going to tackle it myself. I've been on YouTube university and watching Mr. Subaru1387 and it seems pretty straight forward... The more I work on the Baja more impressed I am with Subaru's engineering. If only it was a stick. My Beetle is a stick... would have been great if this was but alas the automatic will have to do. I appreciate your help and response.
joedavex
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by joedavex »

You should be fine doing the job, just take your time and layout your parts as you remove them. The SOHC is a beauty to work on. I've also watched numerous videos by MrSubaru1387, he is good!
If you're near CT I'd offer to come drink beer and supervise your work :D .
I just picked up a 2006 Impreza with an unknown history on the timing belt which I'll probably be doing in short order, basically same as your engine.
Let us know how you make out.
Joe
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ITSATRUCK
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by ITSATRUCK »

I may need to test it out in the snow, how far is it to Connecticut from Florida :) lol. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for the support. Much appreciated.
ITSATRUCK
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by ITSATRUCK »

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I must say that this 2005 Subaru Baja N/A is quite possibly the easiest and most straight forward vehicle I have ever worked on... I've owned a few Subies in the past but they were new and never had to actually work on them...Third generation mechanics kid and this beastie is pretty darn awesome. Replaced timing belt/pullies/tensioner/water pump/crankshaft pulley and bolt/radiator hoses/all belts/radiator flush/cleaned all the covers, including the lower skid plate looking protective shield. All in about 5 hours. I was amazed that the old timing belt was still new looking and no signs of wear or cracks after 17 years... it does only have 51K on the odometer but I was concerned with the length of time so I changed it in anticipation of a break or cog slip. Took her for a test drive and no overheating and runs fantastic.
joedavex
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by joedavex »

Happy New Year and congratulations on a completed Timing belt job! It's a good feeling to get that accomplished I'm sure.
Agreed on the ease of working on that engine, compared to some of the newer vehicles it's downright roomy in there.

Did you use the Aisin or Gates kit and not some generic? I hope the answer is yes.
I just took apart my '03 Outback because of a snapped Tbelt. I installed an ebay tbelt in July of '19 about 15k miles ago. I now have 3 cylinders with bent valves.

Now you need to get out and put some miles on that Baja, With 51k on it you probably still have the new car smell to it!

Enjoy,
Joe
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ITSATRUCK
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Re: EJ251 OR EJ253 NA 2.5 BEST TIMING BELT KIT

Post by ITSATRUCK »

I did use the Aisin TKF-010 specifically because of all the bad reviews on the other brands including Gates... so many bad reviews and the quality of the Aisin was identical to factory that we took off. It is "down right roomy" in there lol. With all of these new trucks coming out like the Maverick and the Santa Cruz, I look at the Baja and think how much better it was designed and it's nearly 20 years old. These newbies ain't got nothing on the Baja. lol.

Now I just need to find one of them Tonneau covers. I hit our local junk yard yesterday in the hopes of maybe finding one but I got time and like a good challenge.

thanks again for all of the help and Happy New Year.
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