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The long lived "Should I run a Gates Timing Kit?"question response, and new timing belt kit options inside:

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
So, for the seemingly millionth time, I came across the 'ol "Should I run a Gates Timing Belt Kit?" posted on "The Facepage".

Having a few free minutes I decided to weigh in, and ended up writing a long, perhaps somewhat garbled response found below. Whether you agree with it or not, if you have long term experience with these cars and the various timing parts, feel free to chime in. I always like adding to the data.

I also thought it good time to introduce our new "Pick your own" timing belt kit options that we've added to the site, here: Do What'cha Like
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After many years of people not wanting to be limited to one or two kits that a retailer offers, we figured it was time to have a way for you to pick and choose each option on your own....or not. You can get what you want and not what you don't.

Before I ramble on more, here's the response. Hopefully it will help someone decide what parts they want/need if they're on the fence:

This question is as almost as old as these cars are at this point--and you'll get varied responses.

After installing/working with 100s of these over the years, and probably selling well over 1000, I'll chime in (and add a little spam).

Historically, people stayed far away from the Gates parts when it came to timing parts. This stemmed mostly from people having failures with the belts and tensioners.

I wouldn't rate either one on par with the OEM units, but at the same time, OEM prices have gone up considerably, and more people have had success with the Gates setup. The question in this case, was it that the failure rate was higher in the past--or was it that the "signal" was just that much louder back in the day when you'd have a failure. Back then--one failed unit, whether it was installation error or actual part failure, would be tossed out on the forums, or even louder when it was just the DSM digest.

Now when you ask this question, you'll get a LOT more responses due to social media having a more wide-spread reach, adding in a lot more people have tried the Gates parts due to cost differences being more important to them.

I have access to a wide variety of these parts at any time I want to use them on my personal cars--most of them I can grab off of the stockroom shelf in moments, and at worst, I can *usually* have them the next day.

That said, when I'm doing my own cars, if it's something that's more of a slightly modded daily (example: 20G/FMIC/DSMLink setup) that really isn't being abused or pushed hard, I'll still use an OEM (DSM through Evo 8) belt, OEM tensioner, and Aisin Waterpump. The tensioner and idler pulleys , I used to use mainly OEM, and in a pinch Gates. Now I'll typically use the "Whitebox" pulleys we have from the companies who make them for Mitsubishi when we have them since they're the same thing, just not in a Mitsubishi box.

If it's something that is going to be pushed harder than the above example, I may upgrade to a Kevlar (HKS/Greddy/Evo 9/Gates Racing--in that order) belt, use OEM or "Whitebox" pulleys, and the Aisin pump.

I have a lot of customers who use the Gates parts with success, but I'm willing to pay more for the piece of mind.

We sell a lot of Gates water pumps, and I've heard very little in complaints on those. They are *cheap*, so I get it when a Mitsu OEM water pump is pushing over $175. That said, I have had a few customers over the years come in with cars that were overheating when we'd get excessively hot weather in the summer, and the first thing I'd check after the typical cooling system failure checks was the water pump. If they had a Gates pump, it would be replaced and usually solve the problem. The reason for this is Gates now only has *1* version of their pumps which uses the cast impeller wheel.

Gates used to have *2* versions--one with the OEM style impeller and one with the cast, disc style unit. Originally, you could just look on the box, and the ones made in Japan were the OEM type, the ones with the disc style was China. We used to be able to work with one warehouse and just return the China units. Then, the factory style impeller units ceased to exist, and they're now all the disc style, China made units. They still work, but if you live in a really hot climate, you *MAY* (although, chances are that you won't) experience heat issues as they don't flow the same. This brought us to the Aisin pumps that we now stock as well.

The Aisin units are the same, or at least nearly IDENTICAL (I say "nearly" as I haven't torn both these and the OEM units down side by side to check the seals) to the OEM units at a fraction of the cost. The Mitsubishi ones are built by Aisin, but until recently (1-2 years ago or so) the Aisin units just had an "Aisin" sticker on the throat of the pump as opposed to "Aisin" being cast on it like the Mitsubishi boxed units. Now, they're all coming in with "Aisin" being cast on them just like the Mitsubishi boxed units.

With all of the above said, we've just recently put a "Choose your own parts" Timing Belt kit option up on the site. This way, you can choose whatever *you* feel comfortable using or want. No more "Here's out kit--you only have a choice of which tensioner you want, etc." If you want all Gates parts with a Mitsubishi tensioner--you can have it that way. If you want a baller belt, your water pump *MUST* be in a Mitsubishi box, but a Gates tensioner for some reason--go for it. We can make suggestions, but we're not going to limit you in choices, because in the end, it's *your* car.


https://jnztuning.com/product/timing-belt-kit-dsm-gvr4-6-bolt-build-your-own/
 
Last edited:

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Would someone on social media even read past the second paragraph? If you don’t say it with a meme nobody pays attention.

I don't think most people in general would read that much on the subject, regardless of the forum. That said, the next time someone asks the question again (which will happen often and soon), at least I, or someone else who doesn't feel like taking the time to spoon-feed it out again, they can just link to it or copy/paste it.

You typically get people responding who have ran 1 kit, on 1 car, 1 time chiming in on their singular experience as if it's a consensus theory.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
6,944
1,957
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I'm very curious at what point does any belt become a problem? For years I ran only stock mitsu everything. 15 years ago I switched to gmb or non mitsu boxed aisin water pumps. Now I run all gates stuff including waterpump but I have not ever ran the disk style waterpump including gates brand. 20 years ago I also switched to a 40k change just for peace of mind. I've probably done about 10 changes for myself as I've also done several prematurely for oil contamination or something. I've never had mitsu or gates even look funny after 40k. I broke a stock mitsu belt on a non interference mitsu truck but that was also at 90k and I didn't know I was supposed to change it. Same truck I learned about balance shaft phase on that same incident.
I suppose I'm going to keep running the gates kit. I do run only mitsu tensioners.
 

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Good to see you chime in, Paul!

The Gates haven't been available with the stock type impeller for at least 6-7 years now, unless you found some old stock. That's why we offer the Aisin units as well. They're not much more than the Gates units. All of the Gates pumps that I had to change for people over the years (granted, always during a hot summer stretch, and not more than 4-5 total) were the disc style. I never ran into it with the stock type impeller Gates units while they were available. For most people, this is HIGHLY unlikely to cause issue. I just wanted to put it out there.

As per your belt experience, I've not seen any brand belt that I've installed go bad by 40K, and have also seen cars come in with 140K on OEM belts that looked crappy, but were still holding. I'm certainly not suggesting doing that. ;-)

I've also seen/heard of 1990 cars still having the original hydraulic tensioner in them, as recently as within the last year. The guy was changing it out as it was a "new to him" car, but the timing belt setup (I'd doubt it was the original belt, but I have no hard evidence either way) was 1990 down to the allen plug in the bottom of the OEM tensioner and it still had the 1990 style idler pulley and bolt setup on it. Testament to OEM tensioners/pulleys sometimes lasting WELL beyond what they should be expected of them.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
6,944
1,957
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
I have the benefit of a one owner car that had its original timing belt on it when I got it. This was 2011. Scared me to even start it. I drove it from the transport drop-off to my garage and immediately took it apart. Car still had 1997 tires on it too.
 

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Are you not going to have 7 bolt build your own option available?
We're certainly going to make an attempt at it! Unfortunately, the creation aspect of adding all of those parts/options and sourcing suppliers for the "white box" parts takes up a decent deal of time, while it also being the "rush" season. I'm also somewhat of a mental gimp when it comes to website work, so it probably takes me longer than it should. :D

It's on my list to do 1G, 2GA/B on there as well.

If you want something similar in the meanwhile for a 2G, shoot us an email at [email protected] and we can send you a custom quote.
 

GregoryRyan

Supporting Member
152
85
Jul 22, 2013
Imperial, Missouri
I appreciate you taking the time to write this out. I did in fact read it all, but I’m getting older and could care less about memes or social media and value experience above all else.

That being said I came across a post awhile back buried deep in a “should I buy x for y job” thread and there was a response pertaining to as long as we (DSM enthusiasts or really any enthusiasts on any particular platform) stick to and buy from the vendors that support their respective communities we can all assume that we are buying solid products. Over time I’ve come to just lean on this fact, plus I think a lot of us overthink some of this stuff. But what do I really know.

Either way I appreciate you along with the other vendors for continuing to do what you all do!
 

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
You're absolutely right. Not only on a vendor level, but at a manufacturer level.

I've seen both dwindle from our platform over the years, but in the meanwhile there was also a span of time where these cars were *REALLY* cheap to buy, and the owners just simply used the cheapest off-brand/Ebay parts that they could find. This lead to a lot of the quality manufacturers discontinuing the parts for these cars (both Mitsu and aftermarket companies).

Lately, I've been speaking to more and more people who are doing almost what you'd call "resto-rod"ing these cars. They want them back in factory form, but also in restored shape with quality parts. This makes me happy to see. Even some of the OG guys in the DSM world have been dipping their toes back in after a long hiatus.
 

GregoryRyan

Supporting Member
152
85
Jul 22, 2013
Imperial, Missouri
Absolutely. More people in the market for quality parts equals more demand. I just hope the manufacturers see this and continue (or start) making quality parts.
 

We're on Boost

Proven Member
1,287
191
Aug 25, 2007
Seattle area, Washington
Now I'll typically use the "Whitebox" pulleys we have from the companies who make them for Mitsubishi when we have them since they're the same thing, just not in a Mitsubishi box.

I like the idea of "Whitebox" parts because hopefully they will be available for quite a while after the OEM part is no longer available from Mitsu.
So I looked at the JNZ page for DSM/GVR4, Engine, Timing Components.
I only saw one Whitebox part there. The timing belt idler pulley.
Is it so slim because that's all there is available? Or is it more the fact of how hard it is to track down and verify the legitimate suppliers of true Whitebox items? Plus the need to re-verify periodically?
 

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
I like the idea of "Whitebox" parts because hopefully they will be available for quite a while after the OEM part is no longer available from Mitsu.
So I looked at the JNZ page for DSM/GVR4, Engine, Timing Components.
I only saw one Whitebox part there. The timing belt idler pulley.
Is it so slim because that's all there is available? Or is it more the fact of how hard it is to track down and verify the legitimate suppliers of true Whitebox items? Plus the need to re-verify periodically?
The current reason is because we're awaiting more of all of them.

The only reliable place I've found to get these are through a place in Asia, and I have to order them in bulk.

I had found some places in the U.S. that had some stock of one of the parts in the U.S., but after the first batch, they started coming in with Italian brand pulleys in the box with some pretty crappy bearing/seal setups.
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
6,944
1,957
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Since this thread started I have another data point. I just broke a 50k gates belt on my son's 2006 lancer ralliart (4g69). I'm done with gates.
 

DSSA

Supporting Vendor
494
226
Jul 26, 2002
Hatfield, Pennsylvania
Since this thread started I have another data point. I just broke a 50k gates belt on my son's 2006 lancer ralliart (4g69). I'm done with gates.
I would chalk this up to user-error, since you're relatively new to working on these cars. ROFL
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
6,944
1,957
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
The only way I will recant is if I find some definitive other cause like maybe something with a balance shaft.
 

1qkfwd

DSM Wiseman
1,819
106
Sep 16, 2005
Sun Valley, Nevada
You're absolutely right. Not only on a vendor level, but at a manufacturer level.

I've seen both dwindle from our platform over the years, but in the meanwhile there was also a span of time where these cars were *REALLY* cheap to buy, and the owners just simply used the cheapest off-brand/Ebay parts that they could find. This lead to a lot of the quality manufacturers discontinuing the parts for these cars (both Mitsu and aftermarket companies).

Lately, I've been speaking to more and more people who are doing almost what you'd call "resto-rod"ing these cars. They want them back in factory form, but also in restored shape with quality parts. This makes me happy to see. Even some of the OG guys in the DSM world have been dipping their toes back in after a long hiatus.
Yup I’m one of those guys. These cars being around 30 years old for the 1gs, I’d hate to see them disappear. I was very lucky to grab up all the ones I have now for so cheap. Now to continue to find these hard to find parts LOL.

Glad I decided to drift away from FB for a night. Wouldn’t have came across this thread. You did confirm my suspicions on those flat backed water pumps. I’ve always thought they where restrictive.
 

danl

Proven Member
598
17
Apr 8, 2002
Severn, Maryland
You're absolutely right. Not only on a vendor level, but at a manufacturer level.

I've seen both dwindle from our platform over the years, but in the meanwhile there was also a span of time where these cars were *REALLY* cheap to buy, and the owners just simply used the cheapest off-brand/Ebay parts that they could find. This lead to a lot of the quality manufacturers discontinuing the parts for these cars (both Mitsu and aftermarket companies).

Lately, I've been speaking to more and more people who are doing almost what you'd call "resto-rod"ing these cars. They want them back in factory form, but also in restored shape with quality parts. This makes me happy to see. Even some of the OG guys in the DSM world have been dipping their toes back in after a long hiatus.
I’m back after a 5 year hiatus doing what you described with restomodding. I’ve been a JNZ customer from the glory days and returned to buy oem shifter bushings as recently as 3 weeks ago.
 

Jon Lane

Proven Member
383
15
May 1, 2004
SW, Florida
That’s because there are better options. But that is surely for a different thread.
Probably is but by the 11th post the topic started including general terms. And I'm unaware of any plastic or fiberglas sheetmetal that rivals the original, even as often as these cars are targeted for the worst body kit conversions ever known...
 

pauleyman

DSM Wiseman
6,944
1,957
Nov 19, 2011
oklahoma city, Oklahoma
Update. Nothing seems odd. Both balance shaft belt and timing belt were broken in half. I suspect balance shaft belt broke first and took out the timing belt. As suspected several valves hit. Wasn't bad but bent is bent. This was at idle people. So...again....screw gates. No more gates timing products for me.
 

XC92

Proven Member
997
188
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Sorry to hear that. Hopefully it won't cost too much and the damage is fully fixable. Are there any belts other than OEM or "racing" belts like the Gates that experts recommend for stock setups that are basically DD's that are occasionally driven "spiritedly"?

Come to think of it the OEM belt isn't THAT expensive, under $100 IIRC. It's just that when you add the OEM hydraulic tensioner, OEM balance belt, etc., it really starts to add up. When I'm done with my trans rebuild I need to change all the timing components, and probably some seals as there's leaking in that general area plus as a precautionary, and I'm hoping to not have to spend too much, given what I've spend already.
 
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