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Hi from France


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Hal M

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:27 AM

Hello. I've joined for some tech assistance.

I live in France, French wife, dog, and 19 year old daughter (she's not French but sounds like she is, as she's been here since she was 18 months old)

In 2002 I aquired a 2000 reg Suby Outback 2.5.

I didn't actually BUY it....In a fit of madness, I swapped a beautiful restored 1964 Alfa-Romeo Guilia Spider with Bertone hard-top for the Suby plus £1000. (The Alfa is now worth 25,000 euros +)

At the time, I reckoned the Suby was worth more, and fully intended to get shot of it immediately, but it didn't sell, and we've run it as a work horse ever since. We had it converted to LPG or GPL as it's known here.

It's done a biggish mileage in the time we've had it, over 120,000 in 8 years, currently it's on 245,000km.

We've replaced the clutch once, rebuilt the gearbox once, belts, plugs, discs, nothing unusual, plus fitting a Frantz bypass oil filter, and recently I decided it needed some tidying, as someone in a 4x4 ran up the backend in Feb 2009, so I've just replaced the rear bumper plastic.

At the same time I repaired and painted the front one, as my wife had left the car without applying the handbrake and it ran into a pile of rocks.....

It's had a stupid problem for some time, we reckon it started about 3 years back....

I don't think this is an LPG related problem as it's exactly the same when it's running on petrol.

It seems to start up ok, and initially the tickover is ok, then after the initial short period, (under a minute) after starting cold, the tickover gets rough and 'loping', as though it's running on 3 cylinders, and the car rocks and feels very un-smooth.

We have checked, and this doesn't seem to be a problem of one cylinder dropping out, as my mechanic friend tried removing each plug lead, one by one, and he thinks this isn't the problem.

If I move off from cold, it will seem very lacking in power and will normally stall, and be difficult to start, after less than 1km if I have to stop at an intersection.....this always happens from cold, and it seems to need to be revved to 3 or 4k once it re-starts, in order to drag itself across the main road to the other side.

After about 2km there's a long hill, and the car is by this time still not very warm, and has very little pulling power up the hill.

Once properly warmed up, it seems to run better, and is always happier at higher revs. It will not pull smoothly in a high gear at small throttle opening, it tends to 'buck' and lurch....needs to be dropped a gear to run cleanly. It will, once hot, sometimes drop to tickover normally, (though still with the lumpy, 'loping' tickover) but often will simply 'drop to zero' and stall, often in the worst possible place such as while crossing an intersection, or, as recently, a busy roundabout in Grasse.

On a light throttle, if I try to drive in a higher gear, it will 'buck' and is clearly unhappy on small throttle openings, so I have to drop a gear to stay in the higher rev range...

We tested the air valve (not sure what this is in English!) but the thing on the left side of the inlet plenum which is controlled by the ECU and regulates air going to the plenum...cost over 300 euros, and though the original was testing as if it was dead, this has made no noticeable difference to the problem.

We also changed the air filter which was dirty, the plugs having been changed last summer.

Next will be the front lambda, as this clearly is past its change date anyway.....but it's a puzzle, as it seems to have only 2 wires.

The ones I've seen illustrated on the web seem to normally have 4.

I can't see what make it is without removing it, and I'd rather have a new one before taking the car off the road AGAIN....it's been in the garage for 2 months recently anyway, partly for this problem, but also as it needed a new rear bumper plastic due to a 4x4 attack last year in the February snow.

I have now ordered the oxygen sensor and new Bosche plug leads, from www.allsubparts.com which seems to offer very good value.

They quote 30 US dollars, for the lambda, while the French Subaru concession wants $330 equivalent!!!!!

Edited by Hal M, 06 January 2011 - 07:36 AM.


#2 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:12 AM

Welcome!

...They quote 30 US dollars, for the lambda, while the French Subaru concession wants $330 equivalent!!!!!


Holy Cow! ... What a Big Difference! Usually the Same happens in my Country.

Well... Reading about your Subie, it seems like it has Problems with the MAF and / Or the Sensors... Have you taken it to an EFi Technician?

#3 nickolai

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:36 PM

My dad had a 97 Outback that was doing something similar for a while. It did seem to run ok cold, but at random times it would lose nearly all power. At first I thought it was the auto trans not downshifting when it needed to, and then I thought it was sensors or a computer problem. He took it to the local Subaru mechanic who did a basic tune-up - spark plugs, wires, etc. and it ran great after that. If I remember right he said it was old spark wires causing the problem. I'm interested to see if the new wires you ordered will help. Good luck!

Nick

#4 Hal M

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:02 AM

I'm waiting for the bits to arrive via a friend in the USA as the suppliers won't export out of the States.

Meanwhile will be checking for vacuum leaks and cleaning the MAS and throttle body internals.

#5 Ionlyhave3suubs

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:42 PM

I recommend replacing the spark plugs with factory spec NGK brand spark plugs and Subaru brand spark plug wires. Other brands can cause poor engine performance. In US dollars I purchased these items for my 2002 outback with 2.5L for a little less than $60 from the local Subaru dealership.

I and others have tried other brands of spark plug wires from other manufacturers with bad results.

The basic NGK plugs do fine, no need to go with the expensive ones.

Good Luck!




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