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Subaru Crew Problems & Solutions

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Doesn't Rimmer make a supercharger for the 2.5l?

    For normally aspirated engines, you could get headers, a bigger cat, a cat-back exhaust, an intake kit, low restriction air filters, or an underdrive pulley. But the gains are minor.

    Colin: how did you port the heads? What tool did you use? I'm just curious, I don't think I'd ever go that far into my engine.

    -juice
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    Colin, I have great respect and admiration for you!

    Wow.... I have done heads on Fords, Datsuns & Toyotas. All had simple sequence and torque specs (lb-ft), with no 'song & dance' attached. I got lost somewhere in the jig - so what do you think the final value is? The initial compression and release crushed down the gasket some, so I wonder what it ends up being. The sad part is that probably no aftermarket shop would have the patience to do it right, compromising the job if this is indeed critical to final gasket seal.

    Just a comment on the discussion of valve vs. ignition timing. I believe most conventional distributor type ignitions are camshaft driven - either direct engagement or by offset gear. But 'distributorless' systems may use a crankshaft position sensor to time ignition. Thus, depending on the type, a jumped or mis-positioned timing belt/chain can affect both valve and ignition, or just valve timing. That can make diagnosis by feel and ear more difficult, requiring pulling the cover and actual inspection.

    I once had an engine rebuild (in my younger days) that drove me crazy for weeks. Usually the negative battery terminal is tied to the block, and a secondary wire comes off the block or head and connects to the body. We accidentally left off the head-to-body wire. Without it, the return path for body mounted electricals is thru CV/universal joints and other poor conductors. Had all sorts of problems related to drivability and accessories, especially when the draw was high. The alternator was not getting proper feedback from the externally mounted regulator, and was running wild. Higher than normal voltage replaced adequate current. Finally figured it out when I measured between block and body and got a voltage (should have been 0v - common ground)! It is always the dumb things that kill an otherwise well done job......

    Steve
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    brian, yes modern EFI most definitely does care about coolant temp for determining a/f ratio, but this particular example seems to say that it matters most at idle, and when it's colder than normal. it seems that when there is no coolant temp value, it defaults to something warm because my engine has no cold startup at all-- this morning was a little bit like starting my '69 camaro with it's chokeless Holley 850 double pumper. cold blooded.

    juice, used a right angle grinder (air version-- electric ones aren't nearly as good IMO) and two different cutting / grinding tips. my dad actually did it last year when I install the cobb tuning cams and the heads were off the first time. anyway, where you see the grinding in the center of the port there was a lot of casting flash. built a plastic model? well you know how some parts have little extra pieces of plastic on the edges? same type of thing, this cylinder head started out life as two cast halves.

    steve, funny you should ask about the final torque valve. my friend and I were curious so even though we weren't stopping based on torque, we set the torque wrench to find out when it would break over. turns out, the center two head bolts are installed with somewhere around 60-65ft/lb and the outer ones around 50.

    good job on clarifying ignition on distributorless engines-- I didn't do such a good job the other day and didn't elaborate. but you are correct, since the cam angle sensor (CAS) is in the LH head and I had it 180 degrees out of phase, the intake timing was also 180 degrees out of phase. strange that the engine ran well, must be thanks to the even firing sequence of the boxer four. obviously no matter what the reason that was a serious mistake that needed to be corrected.

    -Colin
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, I noticed that extra grinding. Looks good.

    -juice
  • My 2001 Forester developed an intermittent problem ~3 months ago where the car would feel like it was losing power and about to stall out while trying to drive at a constant speed (45-65 MPH). Upon acceleration, this stuttering would stop but would start again when again trying to maintain a constant speed. I put on the cruise control when this was happening and the problem persisted, so I know it's not my leg inadvertently shaking the gas pedal.
    The problem would almost always go away after stopping the car for a while (usually overnight) but has returned every few weeks. I switched to premium gas from a different station, still does it. I took the car to the dealer and they couldn't reproduce the problem. The Check engine light has never come on, so they didn't know where to start. They checked for loose wires/hoses and ended up changing the Champion spark plugs which they said were "fouled out". Two days later, the problem returned.
    Any theories on what might be causing this? I'm taking it back in and I'd love to hear if this problem has happened to anyone else. It seems to be happening more frequently in the last 2-3 weeks.

    -Al
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, if the plugs were that bad, wouldn't a check engine light have been triggered by the unburned gas in the exhaust?

    I'm thinking ECU, not plugs. Ask if the service manager will take a ride with you so you can show him the problem. Of course it's interemittent so Murphy's Law means it won't happen then.

    -juice
  • My 2001 Forester developed an intermittent problem ~3 months ago where the car would feel like it was losing power and about to stall out while trying to drive at a constant speed (45-65 MPH). Upon acceleration, this stuttering would stop but would start again when again trying to maintain a constant speed. I put on the cruise control when this was happening and the problem persisted, so I know it's not my leg inadvertently shaking the gas pedal.
    The problem would almost always go away after stopping the car for a while (usually overnight) but has returned every few weeks. I switched to premium gas from a different station, still does it. I took the car to the dealer and they couldn't reproduce the problem. The Check engine light has never come on, so they didn't know where to start. They checked for loose wires/hoses and ended up changing the Champion spark plugs which they said were "fouled out". Two days later, the problem returned.
    Any theories on what might be causing this? I'm taking it back in and I'd love to hear if this problem has happened to anyone else. It seems to be happening more frequently in the last 2-3 weeks.

    -Al
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    al, that's an odd one. first of all you should demand better of your dealership, try another if you have one local and convenient and if not call Subaru's 800 number and get some satisfaction.

    fouled plugs means the mix is too rich at idle. major things that can cause that would trigger the malfunction indicator light though... but still, I would first check the first oxygen sensor and check that the catalysts are not clogged.

    -Colin
  • kenskens Posts: 5,869
    Colin,

    Sounds like you're almost there in getting your vehicle back to normal. I echo Steve's comments about having admiration for your technical expertise! I've learned a lot from just reading your posts here at Edmunds.

    Good luck!

    Ken
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep the photos coming, those are the most informative. I know that it's a pain, but I do it whenever possible, because I know now beneficial it is to me when I want to do something for the first time.

    -juice
  • My 2001 Forester developed an intermittent problem ~3 months ago where the car would feel like it was losing power and about to stall out while trying to drive at a constant speed (45-65 MPH). Upon acceleration, this stuttering would stop but would start again when again trying to maintain a constant speed. I put on the cruise control when this was happening and the problem persisted, so I know it's not my leg inadvertently shaking the gas pedal.
    The problem would almost always go away after stopping the car for a while (usually overnight) but has returned every few weeks. I switched to premium gas from a different station, still does it. I took the car to the dealer and they couldn't reproduce the problem. The Check engine light has never come on, so they didn't know where to start. They checked for loose wires/hoses and ended up changing the Champion spark plugs which they said were "fouled out". Two days later, the problem returned.
    Any theories on what might be causing this? I'm taking it back in and I'd love to hear if this problem has happened to anyone else. It seems to be happening more frequently in the last 2-3 weeks.

    -Al
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Colin: Thanks for the pics -- very cool to see that stuff. I am totally amazed the engine ran at all with the cam out of phase by 180°. No way an inline engine would have been able to do this. Makes me wonder about the firing sequence and how the valves are timed in the boxer-4. Perhaps you have stumbled across something interesting. I bet a Subaru engineer could explain it to us.

    Al: I have heard about this problem on Foresters, here and on other forums. You are not the only one. Definitely call the Subaru 1-800 number and have them start a case. In other vehicles, I have seen this type of intermittant behavior caused by a bad ECU or a bad fuel pump. If it happens after a certain amount of driving (timewise) I would suspect the fuel pump. They do get warm after operating for a while.

    Craig
  • Question:

    When I look in the owners manual for the 15K service, it is essentially an oil change and rotate and balance the wheels and tires. There are some "inspections" (ie steering, brake lines, etc) but as far as work to actually be done, that is all that is listed. My dealer wants to perform a $300 15,000 miles service. They tried to get me when I scheduled the appointment, and they just showed me one of my spark plugs and air filter and asked me whether I knew about Subaru's 15,000 mile service. Not that I knew what I was looking at, but the spark plug looked a helluva lot cleaner after 15K miles than my MG did after 3K!!!!!! Also, the air filter looked a little dusty. I confirmed in the owners manual that the plugs and air cleaner element on the H4 don't need to be changed until 30K. Does anyone have thoughts on this? (Obviously they don't just want to do a $25 oil change, but since the car was coming in for warranty work anyway...) Anyhow, they are leaving the plugs and using the air hose on the filter.

    Thanks all for your input.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealers always try to push a little extra service on you, or a little sooner than scheduled. It's a profit center for them, but not really necessary.

    -juice
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    My dealer had 'their' recommended 15k service at $149 (!!!), which included what you mentioned above. At least they weren't pushy about it, I just told them to give me their standard oil/filter thing ($24), which includes a 20 point inspection. Sure all 'their' recommended service stuff is ok, but all that is necessary is what's in their normal oil/filter/20pt inspection.

    They also market it as 'Wisconsin Recommended Maintenance Schedule'.

    Profit with a capital P. As Juice said, not necessary, but can be done if you'd like them to.

    -Brian
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,924
    Glad you are more or less sorted out, you probably have found the coolant sensor by now, I have not checked the location on my car but are they not usually located in the rad.

    I agree with Craig it is amazing that the motor ran at all, I commend you on a very informative pictorial.

    cheers Pat.
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,924
    Well I just changed the Titan over to Mobil one, I have just been champing at the bit to make the change to synthetic.

    Colin, BTW. any ideas on what caused the head gasket to blow? I presume you checked the head for warpage and burn pitting at the site of the blow.

    Cheers Pat.
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    actually I haven't found it yet pat-- worked all day today and the best leads I got from the iClub were that it's near the front of the block and behind the p/s pump or alternator.

    bad news is I'd swear that's plugged in... bugger me. so I sent off a few emails asking for quotes on a new coolant temp sensor. (if I saw one I'd know for sure where it's at! lol)

    oh and this car is worse than starting my the camaro when cold, it's impossible to keep from stalling a few times right off. i'd rather fix it than get the knack for cold starting EFI manually. ;-)

    -Colin
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Pat,

    yep, the head and block seemed true with my equipment (engineer's ruler-- nothing fancy hehe) and the #4 chamber looked just like #2 so nothing odd there. plugs looked good, typical EFI plugs you know bone white but not melted and no spotting.

    could be that the head wasn't torqued properly from last year's fun. I didn't have the FSM torque values, I only had a haynes manual which was talking about a 97-98 SOHC 2.2L, which honestly is a near identical casting and the block is the same... but still I don't recall the torquing procedure to be quite the same in the haynes. it did have the hokey-pokey stuff but it just seems a little different as I recall.

    other idea-- bad gas resulted in detonation. I had a hesistation problem for a while in late summer until I reset the ECU and it was after a trip when my wife borrowed the car and fueled it who knows where and with who knows what grade of fuel. this car has definitely favored premium ever since the cam swap.

    third possibility, that was just a weak spot in the gasket due to manufacturing.

    whatever the case, I never saw any coolant leak at all until the day it was niagra falls and I'd lost 2 quarts on the drive home.

    -Colin
  • I don't recall exactly what mine cost but I'm pretty sure it was under $100, because until the 30k service I had never paid more than that. I'll take a look at my records when I get home.

    BTW, the 30k service cost me $241, so your dealer is, pardon the phrase, gouging you. Do yourself a favor and find another service facility.

    -wdb
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    wdb: $241? Mine ran something like $360, and that was the cheapest I found in the area (4-5 dealers). Aren't we both in PA? Am I getting stuck with the Philly area gouge?

    Ed
  • royallenroyallen Posts: 224
    Colin: My Haynes manual for the 2.2L locates the coolant temp sensor "in the coolant pipe under the right side intake manifold". I needed a mirror to find mine, somewhat behind the intake manifold - about half the size of a spark plug with a single wire connecting on the end.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,732
    I spent some time looking over the engine bay last night imagining what a nightmare job an in-situ head removal would be. My respect for the brave grows stronger!

    Colin, directly beneath the alternator are two senders attached to the block. The one by the EJ25 cast mark is round and bigger - look to me like an oil pressure transducer. But further forward behind the timing marker flag is one that looks more like a thermocouple. Again, just a guess.

    Steve
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Colin: let the parts counter guy help out. They usually have diagrams of what the part looks like. So then you'd know what to look for.

    Man, I'll say it again - I miss Darlene. This is exactly the type of thing that she would look up and fax to me before I could even say "thanks".

    You guys know about all the mods I've done, but there were many more that we looked at and did not do, because with the part diagram I could tell it would not fit.

    -juice
  • bg18947bg18947 Posts: 183
    Does anyone know if the EBC brake pads offered at tirerack.com are any better than OEM pads? I'm talking about: stopping power; wear and tear; and potential rotor damage. Just curious to see if it is a worthy upgrade.

    Thanks!
  • Thanks all for the responses. I definitely am going to find another service facility, however, in South Florida, they are very few and very far between! I passed on the service and just had them do the oil change. The car was in for a warranty item -- which they didn't resolve!!! -- otherwise I would have just let Firestone do the oil change when I drop the car off today for the rotate/balance/alignment. *grumble*! I might just have to move north - for the Pine Barrens drives and access to more dealers!!!!

    Thanks again all!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think we have 7 dealers in the DC area, something like that.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Well they are racing pads. Depending on which ones you get (Red Stuff, Black Stuff or Green Stuff) will determine how good they are. I think the Red and Black ones only are effective over a certain temp. At normal driving temps they aren't effective because they are too cold. Green Stuff is good from the get-go, but will likely wear your rotors quicker than OEM ones since they are still racing pads made to withstand higher operating temps.

    -mike
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    Found it! Thanks to someone on the iClub whose description was like royallen's only more specific. The car runs much better at cold start now-- it actually brings the revs up. ;-)

    The bad news... saw spots leading to my stall on the way into work this morning and walked back to my car for a look. coolant is pooling on the right side (passenger's side) of the block under the intake manifold and running off the front of the block. I don't know where it's coming from, but an obvious guess is the coolant pipe that runs along the top of the block. The radiator return line that connects to it is not at all wet, besides that it would be unlikely to leak there and run all the way to pool on the block.

    sigh...

    -Colin
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The saga continues...

    Could it have been left there from before? Probably not.

    -juice
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