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EA82 SPFI intermittent missing/not starting


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20 replies to this topic

#1 jkinz

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:36 AM

I have an 87 GL EA82 SPFI. Have a problem that happens more or less randomly, although seems to happen most often if I run the car, then stop it, then start it again.

the motor will idle very rough and miss, the tachometer wavers and reads incorrectly. When gas pedal is pressed, the missing gets worse and the tach shoots to the 7000 rpm. exhaust and engine compartment smell strongly of fuel.

It would probably continue running like this but usually I just shut it off. After that the car will crank but not start, then after waiting a few hours starts and runs like normal. No Check Engine light or codes.

Bad ground? ECU? any more information I can provide?

Any help is appreciated

Thanks

#2 mikaleda

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:46 AM

coil, maybe. thats the only thing i can think of.

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:51 AM

The tach jumping crazy high like that would potentially indicate a distributor problem. Either shaft bearings or the optical pickup in the distributor. Check for shaft play.

Potentially an alternator problem also - check for proper voltage and insure there's no AC ripple coming off it.

Finally - check out all the components of the ignition system - plugs, wires, cap/rotor, coil, ignition amp, etc.

GD

#4 jkinz

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:33 PM

Distributer is what someone else suggested, I haven't checked it out yet but I remember when I bought the car it wouldn't start and I discovered the center post on the distributer cap was totally burned up and fell out, the new one turned black right away and seems to be eroding faster than I would expect. There also appear to be scratch marks on the top of the rotor but I don't imagine it could be wobbling that much. At one point I did check the shaft play and it was tight but I'll check again.

plugs/wires are relatively new but I guess I can check it all again. At one point I pressure washed the engine compartment and it wouldn't start for a day, so for a while I suspected bad wiring of some sort but I haven't found anything suspect yet.

My voltage dash gauge reads fine but I'll check at the alternator, can I check for AC ripple by just using the AC volts setting on a multimeter and look for a reading?

thanks

Edited by jkinz, 06 August 2012 - 02:36 PM.


#5 jkinz

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:17 PM

Hmm well I've cleaned up my ground wire connections, checked the alternator and it's putting out 14.4V. I checked AC voltage off the alternator and it read 40 mV which I guess means no AC ripple? not quite sure if that's the proper way to check that.

I'll check the coil next, at the moment the problem has not resurfaced yet, but it would be nice to figure it out to avoid it happening at a bad time.

darn intermittent problems...

#6 Gloyale

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:57 PM

I'll check the coil next, at the moment the problem has not resurfaced yet, but it would be nice to figure it out to avoid it happening at a bad time.


transitor at coil base.

Swap the whole coil assembly easier almost;)

#7 ivans imports

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 09:43 AM

ground where coil bolts up or regulator on alt pushing to high of volts should be no more than 14.5 volts at 3500 rpm nothing turned on

#8 jkinz

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:43 PM

Follow up:

 

well I never found the problem, since it seems to come and go, and because this car has many more problems that seem to take precedent...

 

anyway it's been running rough lately and I decided to check the distributor cap and rotor, and discovered that are in the same shape as the old cap and rotor were when I first bought the car: the center post is charred and eroded, and the top of the rotor is charred as well, and the terminals are fairly corroded but not worn. It seems like the rotor is too low and arcing to the cap.

 

I have had no luck finding the right cap and rotor for this car (ea82 spfi), all three local parts stores have the wrong parts in their inventory and I have to hold their hands through the process of using their own database. All I got was "gee looks like you got some arcing there, that's your problem.." Duh. a year ago I tried O'reilly's, Carquest, and NAPA (all we have here). I forget which one ended up having the parts that actually fit, and I forget if they were even listed as subaru parts. I think I ended up with a denso cap but really not sure as there are no markings at all.

 

I'll call the dealer tomorrow and order the right ones hopefully, or does anyone suggest a manufacturer, parts store, part number, web site, whatever that has the cap with two clips (no screws) and rotor with a flat spot on the shaft (no set screw, just pops on)?

 would pictures help?

 

thanks



#9 Gloyale

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:31 AM

A cap with clips and no screw in the rotor?

 

Are you sure you have the right disty in there for SPFI?  Does it have 2 wires to the coil, or a 4 plug round connector?

 

Are you sure it's SPFI not carbed?  is it 2wd or 4wd?  only 2wd would have been SPFI in 87.



#10 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 10:57 AM

87 was a weird year for the distros IIRC (at least in the MPFI). There was a late and early Nippondenso and the HItachi styles.. Is that the original distro/motor in that car?

 

The Nippon styles had the clip on cap and push-on rotor while the HItachi had the bolt on cap and push-on (with a set screw) rotor..

 

PICS!



#11 jkinz

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:32 PM

From what I can tell, it's the original motor, I found just about every receipt since 87 in the glovebox and can't find any info indicating otherwise...

 

But there is nothing that indicates SPFI, except that all engine components and electrical wiring look to be original. Well, minus the AC and power steering which I removed...

 

http://en.wikibooks....cation_Numbers_(VIN_codes)/Subaru/VIN_Codes
 
JF2 - fuji Heavy industries MPV
 
A - DL/GL/GL-10/Leone/Loyale/Alcyone XT/XT6
 
N - 85-94 3rd. gen Leone/DL/GL/GL-10/Loyale wagon
 
5 - 1800cc 4WD w/out air susp - 1988, 1989; 1800cc 4WD 1990-94 2000cc 2004-
 
3 - L (model)
 
B - Class B (GVWR 3001-4000 lbs.)
 
7 - check digit
 
H - model year?
 
E - plant and transmission type, there is no E in the list! hmm
 
426719 - production sequence
 
From what I can tell, this is a factory EA82 SPFI 5MT D/R GL Wagon (with PermaPlate!)
 
coil has two wires to a round connector and two wires to a rectangular connector.
 
here's some pics:

 

Attached File  OriginalParts87GL.JPG   93.28K   41 downloads

Attached File  PermaPlate87GL.JPG   96.8K   65 downloads

Attached File  P1010006.JPG   34.73K   64 downloads

Attached File  P1010007.JPG   40.39K   43 downloads


Edited by jkinz, 04 April 2013 - 01:39 PM.


#12 naru

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:25 PM

# stamped into the disty housing would make this easy.
Probably 22100 AA053(early) or AA440(late)

SPI distys will not have a vacuum advance.

87 SPIs used 2 different distys.
87s built up to dec 86 use the clip type cap.Build date is in the door jamb.

If it is SPI,you have the early style 22100 AA053 disty and require a 22162 AA020 cap and a 22157 AA000 rotor (or the aftermarket equivelents)

If it is eating caps quickly,I would be looking at disty shaft endplay and sideplay

#13 jkinz

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 06:18 PM

Thanks naru, 

 

its a 2210 AA053 distributor,

the car was mfg. 11/86

 

no sideplay in the shaft but there is about a mm of endplay. I was told this is normal but I can see how it would cause the center post erosion. Is the only solution a new distributor?

 

guess I'll check my parts motor for a replacement

 

Oh also I found some matching parts at NAPA, the right cap but the rotor they had uses a set screw instead of a flat spot to hold it on the shaft and the screw was missing from the box... my distributor shaft has a threaded hole in the right spot so I guess I can use that type of rotor as well?

 

 

thanks again


Edited by jkinz, 04 April 2013 - 06:37 PM.


#14 Subruise

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:39 PM

where is your airfilter? if its in an aircleaner on top of the motor, its carbed. if theres a filter in an airbox on the right fender and it says "fi" on top of the motor, its Single Point Fuel Injection. 

 

regardless of what motor is in there you need an 87 specific disty for it, as others have said, those are a weird year. if you have a hole for a set screw you might not have the right disty, i do not know this for 100 percent.

 

finally, a new disty may be a future necessity for you...



#15 jkinz

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for your help everybody, I've found the parts and will try to look for a new disty.. But I'm broke and at $200 for the part I'll just get a whole subaru for that much... Our local junkyard hates subarus and crushes them instantly so no luck with used parts...


Edited by jkinz, 03 August 2013 - 11:00 PM.


#16 jkinz

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:10 PM

OK, well I have to bring this up again, sorry to be an amateur but I'm not so great with electrical issues... I kind of gave up on the car for a while due to more pressing issues in life, and I've now returned to it finding that my problem is the car will start and run fine (at least as well as I'd expect) for a little bit, then it might start missing and die or just die suddenly. if I try to start it again, the motor cranks but won't start. when the key is in the "run" position after the motor dies,  I can hear what I think is the fuel pump relay coming on somewhat erratically under the dash; under the hood I can hear the injector at the same time, and I can smell gas.

 

as aforementioned I have had issues with my distributor cap and rotor, leading me to believe they might be the wrong ones for the distributor. also there is a tiny bit of play in the distributor shaft but really seems not enough to be causing this problem. The rotor I had been using is able to shift side to side easily so I think that could be throwing off the timing as it spins. I tried using the screw type rotor but it still ran the same, and I can't be sure if the cap I'm using is correct.  I have checked the coil and its resistances are acceptable, the coil and plug wires have OK resistance, the fusible links look good, I could go through the grounds some more, but they seem fine. 

 

I have a spare ignition coil, but no extra power transistor and I couldn't figure out how I should test the transistor to see if it is functioning properly. I have a spare distributor but it is a 22100 AA440 and I have the rotor, but no cap. what are the correct cap and rotor part numbers for the  22100 AA440 distributor?

 

anyway, I'm not sure if I'm heading in the right direction or what, I guess I'll start with checking all the easy stuff again and then swap the distributor and coil. Here are some pics for fun.

 

UPDATE: If anyone is reading...I looked at the throttle position sensor and the wires and terminals are very corroded. don't know if this has anything to do with the problem but I assume it's not a great thing. I have a new connector and I guess I should replace the wires to the harness..?

 

this dizzy is in car:

Attached File  P1010109.JPG   62.72K   32 downloads

 

this dizzy is on parts motor:

Attached File  P1010107.JPG   57.87K   48 downloads

 

this is the motor:

Attached File  P1010111.JPG   97.21K   66 downloads

 

this is the car

Attached File  P1010115.JPG   67.73K   54 downloads

 

thanks for any help


Edited by jkinz, 05 August 2013 - 10:05 PM.


#17 sixtycg

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:55 AM

I have an 87 wagon with the same engine, and the same identical problem. As best as I can tell, it's the power transistor, but not sure why it wouldn't fail outright rather than intermittently start/stop. In the process of trouble shooting this, I also encountered the throttle position sensor connector being severely corroded. I dressed it with some emery cloth and used a dielectric anti corrosion spray.

 

I have a spare ignition coil, but no extra power transistor and I couldn't figure out how I should test the transistor to see if it is functioning properly. I have a spare distributor but it is a 22100 AA440 and I have the rotor, but no cap. what are the correct cap and rotor part numbers for the  22100 AA440 distributor?


#18 jkinz

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for reminding me sixtycg, I did eventually solve the problem and it wasn't the power transistor. Thankfully because it appears to be a very hard to find part. What ended up happening is a friend bought an 87 GL SPFI that did not run but the previous owner had installed a new distributor thinking that was the problem. The issue turned out to be a broken timing belt, but when my friend fixed the belt his car behaved exactly like mine. So I gathered up every distributor I could find and we tried each one in both our cars. 2 out of the 5 we tried (including the brand new one in his car) were bad. when I opened mine up it was full of oil which I assume screwed up the optical sensor maybe just by filling the slots in the plate. Either way, I found the proper distributor, cap and rotor for my car (what a pain) and happened to have one for my friend's, and they both run great!

 

Thanks for your help everyone!


Edited by jkinz, 11 March 2014 - 12:22 PM.


#19 Gloyale

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:21 AM

Yeah.....87 FI is a pain.....

 

the disty has different connector than all other years.

 

 

 

And the Pins at the ECU for Disty Ref. and Pulse voltages are switched from all the later years.

 

 

You can use the 88+ optical disty's in an 87 by switching the pulse and Ref. wires at the disty. Easy to do cause of course the connector needs spliced in so just reverse the GW and R wires.

 

 

 

You can use an 88+ ECU and 88+ disty toghether in an 87 car  without switching any wires around but the connector on the harness still needs swapped. 


Edited by Gloyale, 12 March 2014 - 11:24 AM.


#20 sixtycg

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:26 PM

I replaced the power transistor (it comes with a new coil, bracket and wiring harness for $300. Ouch). It starts more reliably now, but the engine will stop unannounced after running for a while. It's an intermittent problem. After reading in other threads about how much the EA82 overheats, is there anything in the SPFI system that a high temp reading will cause a shutdown? All I can think of at this point is it's something in the throttle position circuit, or the injector itself, as it appears to be getting spark.

 

I'm starting to run out of ideas.



#21 jkinz

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:17 PM

I haven't had the problem come back since I replaced the distributor. My old one appeared to have the bottom seal go out which allowed oil in that eventually made it stop working, I think. Mine was getting spark, but I think maybe not enough or somewhat erratically. That confused me because it seemed like enough spark and there was definitely fuel. Sometimes it would run then randomly die and I couldn't start it for a few hours. eventually it wouldn't start at all.

 

sixtycg do you have any check engine codes? mine didn't but maybe you have something else wrong.

 

in my opinion your best bet would be to find a donor spfi system if you can, and start replacing parts like the distributor, ECU, throttle position sensor etc. and see if something makes it work. I've had little luck finding junk spfi cars but $300 or $400 for a whole vehicle still could save you money in the long run instead of buying the parts individually.






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