Aftermarket vs OEM Subaru Timing Belt Pulleys


In the interest of shining a light on the OEM vs aftermarket truth, I wanted to show off a little something I noticed during my travels. Not too long ago,  I replaced my timing belt, pulleys, hydraulic tensioner, and water pump on my 2005 Subaru Impreza RS 2.5 SOHC (booo no turbo, I know, I know, it was a good deal). As you can imagine, I got part number GAEEK00038 from 1A Auto (Hey, I can throw a subtle ad in here if I want, amirite?)  Anyway, the timing belt kit that I purchased was made by Gates, who is a very well known, and reputable brand in the auto part world. When I opened the box, it was a bit of an  “Ah Ha!” moment. Mixed in with the Gates brand water pump and belt, were OEM pulleys! They had all the same markings as the OEM ones that I pulled off of my Subaru. Yes, 100% totally identical in every way. Cool right? (New ones on the left, old ones on the right)

timing parts_1

timing parts_3

timing parts_4

Much like I had seen in the past, even though it is considered an “aftermarket” part, it may actually be OEM. Now, obviously this is not the case every time. In fact, I would say that it is the minority. But, hey, it happens more than you might think.  Beautiful “aftermarket” …ehem… OEM… parts at a bargain price!

Jeremy Nutt

Hi, I'm Jeremy.

4 thoughts to “Aftermarket vs OEM Subaru Timing Belt Pulleys”

  1. I remember scouring parts houses, looking for an air filter for my ’67 GTO, years ago. Found several at an old warehouse, with some off name on the boxes. When I opened one, it had an A/C part number on it. I bought all of them.

  2. I actually work for an OEM/Aftermarket manufacturer. OEM’s will have parts made to spec from multiple suppliers. When the OEM contracts run out, especially when the OEM decides not to support an old model for parts anymore. The suppliers can still produce the parts, but of course not under the OEM name.

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