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EA82 T.P.I. has no top end power


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46 replies to this topic

#1 Hatched

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:21 AM

Hey Subaru Guru's, I have been working on A 120,000 mile 1989 GL wagon that has A T.P.I. EA82 motor. I was given the car about 2 years ago to settle A debt. I drove the car about 20 miles of fourlane to my home, which had many hills to climb, and the car ran great with plenty of power. I parked the car when I got home and would start it up about once A month or so, just for circulation. I decided about A month ago to get tags, insurance and start driving it but first I wanted to make it safe and dependable by super-tuning it up. I am the type of mechanic that takes meticulous to A whole new level.
Heres A list of things I did in no exact order:

New timing belts, tentioners,and idler
Rebuilt oil pump
New water pump
New alternator
New distributer cap and rotor button
New spark plug wires (NGK) and plugs (E3's)
New PCV
New fuel and air filters
New EGR valve
New vacuum lines
New fuel hose
Removed the throttle body and cleaned it
Cleaned mass-air sensor
Set ignition timing to 20 degrees

I am sure I am forgetting something! But, it went from having good power two years ago when parked it, to A car that will barely do 55 MPH on flat ground with A major tuneup, It has no power at all. Heres A list of test I performed, using A Haynes and Chiltons manuals for the settings and values that the car should have if it was running properly.

Fuel pressure test: Tested pressure to throttle-body and pressure on return line to tank and leak-down pressure with engine and pump turned off. THe pressure were all within the range of specifications.

Tested fuel pump pressure at the pump and was within the specs given.

Checked vacuum pressure and it had 20lbs at idle.

The only thing I have found to not be performing as it should was the vacuum port on the back of the throttle-body that feeds the fuel pressure regulator. The port has no vacuum under any conditions( idle,half-throttle,or wide open) So I found another timed vacuum port (front of throttle-body)and ran A vacuum line to the regulator and tested the regulators function, and it seems to be working as it should. As I said before, the vacuum port that is supposed to be connected to the fuel pressure regulator has no vacuum, but I don't know if it did, or didn't have vacuum when it ran good so I don't know if this is were the problem is or isn't.
I have read other posts on Subaru forums that someone had the same engine setup as mine with no vacuum,at any RPM, on the same vacuum port that feeds the fuel pressure regulator. Nobody gave A reason or solution to the absense of vacumm. I took my throttle-body back off and made sure the vacuum port was clear and clean. It was perfectly clean, I even put A wire thru it, to check for obstruction and it was fine. I still don't understand why there is no vacuum on that port,but I did get vacuum to the regulator from another port. According to the test explained in the haynes manual the fuel pressure regulator is doing its job.
Another thing I should mention, I used my timing light to see if the ignition is advancing with the RPM's. It is advancing, and I am making sure the green wires are unplugged fo normal operation and I plugged them in to set the timing.
Please forgive the misspelled words and punctuation mistakes.

I am at A total loss of direction and hope someone knows whats wrong,so please HHEELLPP!!:banghead:

#2 silverback

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:38 AM

How many gallons of old, crappy gas are in the tank?

#3 Hatched

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:08 AM

I got the old gas out(as much as I could) and its had at least two fresh tanks run thru it since I got the old out. I also put another NEW fuel filter on it, even though I changed it in the beginning.

#4 naru

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:13 AM

Assuming the timing belts are correctly installed,I suspect the ignition timing is incorrectly adjusted.

Did you connect the timing connectors at the fiewall?
Move the disty very much?

#5 Hatched

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

Yes, I connected the green wires and set the timing on 20 degrees. I unplugged the green wires and held the timing light on the marks as I revved the motor and it did advance accordingly.

#6 naru

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:51 AM

I`d double check cam timing.

Fuel pressure while driving too.

#7 Hatched

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:04 AM

I have checked the cams, many times actually. So many times, Me and my helper nicknamed the cam marks on the flywheel the three musketeers. I will have to figure out A way to monitor the fuel pressure while driving/under power. Thanks

#8 AKghandi

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:22 AM

how much did you clean the MAF? these are "self cleaning" last time i cleaned my MAF it went on the fritz and i had to get a new one.

It had no power as well.

#9 skishop69

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

I hate to be an a**, but again... MAF's are NOT self cleaning! They will not burn off any petroleum product and will barely burn off anything else. You MUST use a MAF cleaner and do it cold and with the key off or you can damage it. That being said....

I assume you changed the FF? It is possible as well, that the CAT was on it's way out when you got it and starting it up for idle loaded it up and finished it off. This would screw up your vacuum readings as well. Seen it happen all of a sudden like that.

#10 ivans imports

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:21 AM

i see thiss when the hydrolic lifter buckets creap up out of there bore and hangup the lifters whont let the valves work properly or timings off somehow

#11 leniac

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:32 PM

air filter blocked??

#12 l75eya

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:08 PM

Check engine light on at all?

#13 Hatched

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:26 PM

Let me first say how glad I am to get this response to such A "Headscratcher". I did clean the MAS, and I did use CRC Mass Air Cleaner. I actually blew accross the MAS elements with the car running and the engine almost died every time I blew on it.
I have had A check engine light on from the day I brought it home. Its giving A EGR code.
I have changed fuel filters twice.
The air filter is getting plenty of air.
The cad. converter seems to be letting plenty air out the exhaust and hasn't been getting hot.
Keep throwing ideas and advice. Thanks!

#14 AKghandi

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:28 AM

I used that CRC MAF cleaner and my MAF went crazy shortly after.(I may have used a little too much:P)
I dont think the car should run with the MAF plugged in and not plumbed into the intake.(someone will correct me if I'm wrong) Try running it with the MAF unplugged, it will go into a sort of limp home mode, and run on a preset fuel map.

The MAF can be hard to diagnose, I scratched my head, then beat it against a wall for 3 weeks trying to figure out what was wrong with my car, as it never threw a code. I switched the MAF with one that had been sitting in a shed for a couple years, I didn't clean it I just put it in, 4k problem free miles.:headbang:


I hate to argue with you skishop69, but these MAF's don't really need to be cleaned because its a hot wire, and it goes into a "self cleaning" mode after shut down. Granted it's not going to burn off oil or heavy dust but what little particles do accumulate during a daily drive get burnt off.

#15 Hatched

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:24 AM

That is good information. I sprayed the MAS off several times and soaked it every time I sprayed it. I also used compressed air on it before the MAS spray cleaner could dry. I am A clean freak when I do any type of motor work and usually go one step beyond clean. I am A carburetor guy mostly, and was always told clean,clean,clean. As far as fuel injection goes, I know some basics, but I am mostly in the dark. I read what I can And ask A lot of questions. There is no stupid question in my book, we have to learn somehow! Can the MAS be tested with positive results,(GOOD or BAD).

#16 AKghandi

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

ah, yeah... i think you may have used a little too much.. your only suposed to spray the wire once or twic, and not get anything else.

did you make sure the wire was still intact? its very fragile and compressed air has some force.

you can test the MAF but you will need a multi meter, and a haynes or chilton.
you turn the ignition on and blow air through it while mesuring the rsistance on one of the wires, although i cannot remember which one.

Edited by AKghandi, 11 January 2013 - 12:15 PM.


#17 Hatched

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:58 PM

I have A multi meter and A haynes and chiltons manual. I looked really close at the wires and they appear to be intact but they could easily be broken, as small as they are. I unlatced the lid to the air-filter box and blew(by mouth) in the hole that houses the MAS wires. I was some distance from the hole. I lifted the air filter lid,and air tube with it still attatched to the throttle body. With the engine running and blowing towards the MAS, the engine would almost die every time. I will try to find A positive way to check it in my manuals.

Edited by Hatched, 11 January 2013 - 11:39 PM.
wrong wordage


#18 skishop69

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:36 PM

Sounds like a bad MAF. Was probably going or toast before you cleaned it. Remember what I said before. They can't be cleaned while running or keyed on. They have to be done cold. They're touchy little critters and most people don't understand their operation. Current is passed through the elements causing them to heat up. As they heat and cool, their resistance changes and thus the voltage the ECU sees. The amount of air flowing across them creates the cooling and that's how the ECU knows the air flow. Spraying them while hot causes an immediate quenching effect. Quenching any metal while hot causes it to become harder and more brittle. The smaller the piece, the greater the effect. This also effects it's resistance to the point where it is no longer within range. It can also cause it to develop a hairline fracture you can't see and now the circuit is open. Older systems like this don't have a 'back up' map programmed into the ECU to run on if the the MAF fails, so it can't run not knowing the airflow. No way for it to determine fueling.

#19 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

Sounds like a bad MAF. Was probably going or toast before you cleaned it. Remember what I said before. They can't be cleaned while running or keyed on. They have to be done cold. They're touchy little critters and most people don't understand their operation. Current is passed through the elements causing them to heat up. As they heat and cool, their resistance changes and thus the voltage the ECU sees. The amount of air flowing across them creates the cooling and that's how the ECU knows the air flow. Spraying them while hot causes an immediate quenching effect. Quenching any metal while hot causes it to become harder and more brittle. The smaller the piece, the greater the effect. This also effects it's resistance to the point where it is no longer within range. It can also cause it to develop a hairline fracture you can't see and now the circuit is open. Older systems like this don't have a 'back up' map programmed into the ECU to run on if the the MAF fails, so it can't run not knowing the airflow. No way for it to determine fueling.


Actually, the SPFI computers will run without ay sensors connected (minus the CAS for the spark and injector pulses). It's designed to "create psudo signals" so you can still drive the car.. I've personally driven it without the MAF, TPS, CTS, Neutral switch OR O2 and it still ran pretty well (gas milage was atrocious, but it runs in "open loop" until it's fixed).

For no top end power, I'd double check your timing.

And what sort of fuel are you running? Some places here in Ohio have been "testing" E15 without telling people (minus the ones that come back with complaints and poor milage/problems) which is a major no-no. (Let alone it's not approved in cars before 1996 (i.e. OBDII)) And trust me, fill up with a tank of E0 (Pure gasoline, not the blended stuff) and then a tank of the standard E10 (99% of gas stations, this is standard 87, 89, 91 and 93 octanes) and you'll notice a difference. The power just isn't there anymore and since these cars cannot compensate nor adjust to use the knock-retard ability of the E10. We just get poor power and worse milage.

#20 Hatched

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

I have checked the timing over and over. I even bought A new light to check with. I set the timing to 20 degrees, with the green wires attached. I unplugged the wires and checked the advance, and it advanced properly. Is there A way to bench test A MAS?

#21 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

Try unplugging the MAF and go for a drive, see if it makes a difference.

I also had a similar problem with mine, recently.. it got so bad it wouldn't rev past 5200 RPM. In the end, I didn't actually change anything except playing with the wire routing at the ECU, but I suspect it was/is a dying injector. It was noisy, sputtered at idle slightly and my fuel mileage isn't the best, one day it just "fixed" itself. I kept my foot down, it bucked a few times, then has been running like a top ever sense, but the idle problem is still there...

Anyway, I'd pull a plug or two and see how she's running..

#22 Hatched

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

You mentioned the fuel injector, and in the next sentence you said it was noisy and sputtered at idle. Were you talking about the injector or the car in general. The reason I ask is because there is A sound, with the motor running that sounds like A selenoid just hammering away. It is coming from the throttle body area. Could this be the sign of A failing injector?:confused:

#23 AKghandi

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

After I cleaned my MAF and it started giving me problems, it would click like crazy. My new MAF does no such thing.

#24 ivans imports

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

back to basics check compretion mabee a low hole or bad valve or brakes stuck or sticking feul volume and psi test. I bett its a mecanical problem of some kind.

#25 Hatched

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 10:44 PM

Hey AKghandi, Are you saying that your fuel injector clicked like crazy and you replaced the mass air sensor and it no longer makes any noise? Also, why did you replace it to begin with? How was the motor running before you replaced the MAS and how did it run after?

Edited by Hatched, 13 January 2013 - 10:57 PM.
Directing my question





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