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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I went to a supposedly well-known tuner to have my cams installed. After leaving my car there 3 days, I picked it up and was ready for my 4+ hour drive home. After taking a nap so that I don't get sleepy on the drive.. I started. I didn't exactly baby the car, since according the tuner there was no need.. but I didn't exactly run it super-hard either. I just... *shrug*.. drove it normally.

The car felt peppy, and I was pretty happy with everything. Nothing felt unusual. There was no funny noises, or whine or anything.

In any case... about an hour and a half and 90 miles into the trip, I was reaching a rest stop.. so I slowed down and turn on the heater full blast to remove some of the engine heat. Well, there's this acrid burning smelling. A few seconds later, I hear a loud POP from the engine compartment. Its comparable to the sound of a champagne bottle popping. The car shudders and the engine struggles to stay alive. It drops from a steady 3k.. to a waver 1.5K... hesitates a few more seconds.. then EVERYTHING dies. This is... 3AM in the middle of nowhere. And about 250miles away from home.

I have the car towed to a garage, and greyhounded it home since there was nothing I can do in Buffalo and I had to get back to work and school.

The carnage?

http://www.ryanoneil.com/don/
pix 4-16.

wats left of my car..

The timing belt is STILL IN ONE PIECE. and all the teeth are there and they don't looked chewed up at all. The backside of the timing belt was scorched on the inside 3/4, but again untouched on the outside 1/4. There are a few deep gashes in it (pix 15,16) When we took off the timing belt cover, it was still sorta sitting where it was suppose to be... little tension though. The two idler pulleys that sandwich the main crankshaft pulley are absolutely TOAST as you can see in the pictures. The driver side pulley's grooves are perfect, but the outer ring was absolutely fried. It just broke into two pieces. There were bearings scattered everywhere. We did a valve leakdown test on the front passenger side chamber, and the results are not good. I have bent valves, at the very least in one chamber.

Both Subaru and the tuner have denied responsibilty and rejected any sort of Warranty claim. The tuner asks me.. "how can I have messed that up? What would I have done? How is it my fault?" He claims that the bearings siezed and that its a manufacturer's defect, therefore he shouldn't have to fix it. He also said that since we cannot say it is definitevely his fault, he will not warranty it.

Subaru will definitely not warranty it. They don't know about the cams, but even before that they will not touch it. Why? This is funny. I guess they pulled some sort of Freeze-frame code from the ECU and said that I had too much load on the car. According to the figures.. i was.. at 6300RPM.. yet car speed was 0. My coolant temperature was 9 degrees, manifold pressure was -730mmHG (near vacuum), and the load on my car was 87%. Therefore, they will not warranty it.. especially with my intake, headers, exhaust, etc.

There are many questions.. WHAT THE F!#@$ happened?!? could the belt have been overtightened? Buts its an automatic tensioner so how could THAT have happened? I've gone through the CAm installation instructions and am not sure exactly where he could've messed up to have this catastrophe? I mean, its more than possible... but this tuner comes highly recommended by a many people. The other odd thing is the lack of some signs. I guess its suppose to whine like a cat giving birth or make some sorta noise.. but it didn't! THe only noise I heard was the pop. Granted, my car has an exhaust and its loud.. but its not THAT loud. I definitely would've been able to hear something.

*sigh*. so now help me guys. What should I do? What else could be wrong with my car? Given my situation, recommend various courses of action. I really miss my baby.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well....

Both pulleys are toast. That sort of needs explanation. Say one pulley failed. That alone would be mildly interesting. But to have TWO pulleys fry like that? The reason that some of the bearings are missing is because they are scattered throughout the engine bay. If you look at the other pictures, you can see various imprints that they left throughtout the timing belt cover.

Anothing thing that needs explanation, I think, is the condition of the belt. why is only the inner 3/4 charred.. and the outer 1/4 untouched? Not to mention the deeeep gashes in the last two pictures. Those gashes were not present in other parts of the belt.

According to the Subaru tech manual and the Cobb cams installation directions, these pulleys are removed when taking off the timing belt or.. in our case.. installing cams. Perhaps there's a reason for this?

I need to, for sure, at least open up the engine, since I have bent valves in at least one chamber.

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
well.. the lawyer idea runs into 3 problems

1) The tuner is located in Toronto, Canada. I have NO idea how international business law would run.

2) The cost of lawyer involvement would probably be as much as new motor anyway. Wouldn't it? i'm not very well versed with the law. If someone can correct me on this, or if the guilty party would have to fit the bill... then... hmm.....

3) We cannot definitively prove it was the tuner's fault. True ALL circumstantial evidence points his way. BUT all concrete evidence is nuked.

If anybody can provide answers to any of these three problems, I'd be grateful.

Don
 
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