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93 Legacy no power at all under load, will idle, ignition relay?

legacy hesitation low power ignition

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29 replies to this topic

#1 travmo86

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:15 AM

Hello all!!

 

First let me say this is by far the most impressive Subaru discussion site I've found! Trust me, I've spent countless hours searching for an answer to my puzzle.

 

My problem, 93 legacy non turbo. I noticed a while back while driving at steady highway speed suddenly the car would feel almost as if it were running out of gas. It was to the point where I could push the pedal to the floor and nothing would happen. I would pull off the road thinking I needed to call the hook as the engine dies. However, it would start right back up and back on the road I was! This happened mabye 5 times over a period of probably a year so I didnt put all that much thought into it. It has 218000 on it so if it has a couple quarks so be it I thought. However it seems it recent months that it has slowly lost more and more power, whether this is a related issue I can't say with full certainty at this time. It has now come to the point that it will start and idle but has NO power even out of gear. The car will not move until the engine has warmed for 15 to 20 mins. Even after that I still wont drive it in heavy traffic. It is just too sluggish. Fuel eco is significantly lowered also (from about 23mpg to mabye 15 or 16mpg.)

 

The list of things I have done:

The basics plugs, wires, fuel and air filters

Engine coolant temp sensor (twice) also this significantly improved the ease of starting but none of the driveability

Verified fuel pressure

Verified vacuum line condition and the breather condition

Verified mass air sensor with a known good unit

Timing belt complete kit installed within 20,000 miles so it shouldnt be out of time

 

My best bet I have found was in these discussions where someone had traced poor running and random loosing power completly to the JITECO 25229 AA001 ignition relay. I was going to try this but locating one has been a joke. Also I read where a user had cross referenced to another part # available at Advance but I have been unable to locate that either. Does anyone know of an availble new direct fit replacement? Also I'm open to any other suggestions of my issue. I'm sure mine isnt the only one acting up.                      

 

Just a side note, while I will post updates, I dont get to mess with the car very often. I left it at a family members house when I moved to Missouri as I had 5 cars when I moved from Ohio. Getting anything done with vehicles as far as titling and registering in this state is a joke and an embarrassment. I left it there for that reason and so that when the wife and I drive back to Ohio, we each have something to drive. My folks drive it once or twice a week just to keep it from sitting. So I will be somewhat slow to be able it say it is fixed or not. I go back every month or two. Thank you in advance!



#2 john in KY

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:51 AM

My guess will be a clog somewhere in the exhaust system. Had a similar  problem years ago. Externally the muffler look great. Internally not so great. A baffle broke free and was moving around inside the muffler. 



#3 heartless

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:58 AM

failing/sluggish O2 sensor?

 

my 1990 Legacy's O2 didnt throw a code for quite a while when it started to fail - would run & drive ok for around 10-15 minutes, then bam - ran like crap, no power... by the time it finally set a code is was barely driveable and for never more than a few minutes.



#4 travmo86

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:04 AM

Ahhh I forgot to mention that, I verified the exhaust as well.....by accident. While driving an exhaust hanger (or apparantly the last one holding on gave way allowing the system to drag. Unfortunatly i was going 50mph down a gravel road so before I had a chance to pull over the entire system (yes the whole thing front to back) ripped off. That was quite fun loading red rump roast hot converters into the car. It has since been repaired however still same poor performance before the break, after the break, and after repair.

 

I have questioned the possibility of the o2 sensor. Only thing holding me back was I didnt think on that year of car the sensor did anything until the engine reaches running temp. When its cold its the worst and even warm, while its better, I wont take it on the highway anymore.



#5 travmo86

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:09 AM

lol at "rump roast." That's not what I typed.



#6 ivans imports

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 10:21 AM

1srt thing check pu screen on feul pump intake many runabbility problems there feul press ok how was the volume ? also might be maff problem or broken wires any CE light ? But sounds like feul delivery to me mabee time for new pump have been putting in Hp feul pumps in subarus as of late seems to realy help stock 140 lph hp 260 lph



#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 12:30 PM

Need to verify fuel pressure under load.
Should have 35 at idle and should go up to 43-45 under load. You can try a snap throttle test but you get the most conclusive result from actually driving down the road. If fuel pressure stays the same or drops lower under load the pump is bad or filter is plugged. Test before and after the filter.

Not sure how big of a difference the knock sensor makes on the older cars but they're easy to inspect and only about $20 to replace. (eBay)
Pull the knock sensor and check it for corrosion and check the outer housing for cracks. If the housing is cracked replace it.

#8 cmmc

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 01:27 PM

this may seem like a dumb thing to look at but look at the wires coming from the speed sensor to the main harnass.

had a 98 forrester have the same type of intermitant problems and the fix was a short in the speed sensor pigtail.  I am still not sure how that would do it but it fixed it.  the car would drive along just fine then run out of power and die when you pulled off the road then start right up. 



#9 heartless

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:52 PM

I have questioned the possibility of the o2 sensor. Only thing holding me back was I didnt think on that year of car the sensor did anything until the engine reaches running temp. When its cold its the worst and even warm, while its better, I wont take it on the highway anymore.

 

if it is worse when cold, then probably not the O2 sensor - you are correct on the 1st gens (90-94) not really doing anything until reaching operating temp.



#10 travmo86

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 11:47 AM

I do intend on rechecking the fuel pressure or I may just replace the pump. Being 20 years old it is not like its going to do any harm. Its simple enough to do and fairly inexpensive.It's been so long now I cant remember the readings I had. I think before I turned the motor on I remember 65psi and I thought it was reading in the 35 range with the engine running. I forgot I also did replace the knock sensor about a year before this all started. Not because the engine was acting up, just looking over the motor I noticed the sensor had a crack in it. As far as the speed sensor, I suppose anything that shorts that reads to the computer could cause it to act erratic if the voltage in the ecu is jumping all over the place. The transmission was replaced with a used unit about 5 years ago at a buddy's shop. He's a great mechanic and does the transmission teardown and rebuilds. The other idiot that worked there did the removel and installation on all the vehicles. He ended up getting fired not long after I had my trans swaped when they found out he was strung out on coke and stealing change from the cars. I did have a problem with the speedometer right after. The guy I knew there fixed it no questions ask and apologized over and over and told me what had happened to the other guy who worked on my car. yay! I will look the wires over and see if I see anything exposed. 

 

 

http://www.ultimates...egacy-gremlins/

 

 

This is the forum I found that talked about the ignition relay. I do want to try this being its just swapping a relay. Does anyone know of a direct fit replacement that is available? The one mentioned in the discussions I couldn't find.



#11 lneulicht

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 08:13 AM

Have you checked compression? My wife's '91 experienced varying loss of power at about that mileage.  I added decarbonizer to the oil and gas and fixed it. The dealer was unable to diagnose the problem after having the car for 8 days. They said they thought it was "something electronic." (Yes morons, that's the reason I brought it in to you. You have scan tools that I don't.)  I heard a segment on Cartalk about Toyota valves sticking open due to carbonization and the symptoms matched ours so I took the car back and tried the cure.  It worked.


Edited by lneulicht, 08 December 2013 - 08:14 AM.


#12 ivans imports

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 11:41 AM

had a legacy with failed temp senser other day hard starting no idle cold and poor runability the fans also would not shut off have you tried a difernt maff



#13 travmo86

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 12:05 PM

Both ecu temp and maff (temp sensor replaced, maff checked.) Was going to take a can of BG 44K with me also for the fuel system. I have personally seen the positive effects on other vehicles (would hope for $20 a can.) What oil decarbonizer did you use?



#14 lneulicht

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

It was more than 10 years ago. I would have used an oil treatment from Advance Auto. Possibly Motor Medic Valve Medic?



#15 travmo86

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 02:50 PM

I will definitly do some research on it. That makes sense. If one intake valve doesnt seat all the way, its compressing into the intake, screwing up the the other cylinders. Plus it wouldnt sound like a steady miss......makes sense



#16 travmo86

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 02:53 PM

BTW I have never had any luck at the dealers either. Went through the same thing with an old volvo I had. Im with you on the dealers. They are for the most part a training ground



#17 lneulicht

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:46 PM

If I understood correctly the explanation was that as one valve lags the cam due to carbonization on its stem the engine runs hotter locally and makes the other valves' carbonized stems bind as well. So the engine progressively loses compression.



#18 travmo86

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 01:42 AM

That makes sense as well. Do you remember how long it took afterward? Didnt know if it was something you had to drive it for a while to dissolve the carbon deposits or if you noticed it right away



#19 lneulicht

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:38 AM

The wife's mail route was 90+ miles at the time. I think it took a couple of days on the route. I'll ask her if she remembers when she gets off work today. It being pre-Christmas she should finish her route and be home by Dark-thirty.



#20 travmo86

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 12:38 AM

Just to get an opinion what are everybody's thoughts on the fuel pressure regulator? I've been doing hours more of research and watching different Subaru repair videos. Seem to have similar issues (slight difficulty on cold start, it smells rich when it runs, mpg has plummeted, horrible hesitation to where I dont even want to drive it.) Just wondering if other members have ever had theirs go bad? When I looked at the car when I was in Ohio for thanksgiving, I did pull the vacuum hose off with the engine running and it did raise a couple hundred rpm I would guess. However I did not pull the hose with the engine off to check for fuel in the line (didn't know to do that.) I am heading back to Ohio in 4-6 weeks. Would love to hit the nail on the head with this old heap haha



#21 naru

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:25 AM

Need to verify fuel pressure under load.
Should have 35 at idle and should go up to 43-45 under load. You can try a snap throttle test but you get the most conclusive result from actually driving down the road. If fuel pressure stays the same or drops lower under load the pump is bad or filter is plugged. Test before and after the filter.

Not sure how big of a difference the knock sensor makes on the older cars but they're easy to inspect and only about $20 to replace. (eBay)
Pull the knock sensor and check it for corrosion and check the outer housing for cracks. If the housing is cracked replace it.

 

The fuel pressures you quote are incorrect.

 

Fuel pressure should be 36 psi above intake manifold pressure.

So 36 psi w/engine stopped.

25 psi w/engine idling assuming 19 inches Hg(-9 psi) of intake vacuum.

Approaching 36 psi at WOT.



#22 naru

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 03:34 AM

Just to get an opinion what are everybody's thoughts on the fuel pressure regulator? I've been doing hours more of research and watching different Subaru repair videos. Seem to have similar issues (slight difficulty on cold start, it smells rich when it runs, mpg has plummeted, horrible hesitation to where I dont even want to drive it.) Just wondering if other members have ever had theirs go bad? When I looked at the car when I was in Ohio for thanksgiving, I did pull the vacuum hose off with the engine running and it did raise a couple hundred rpm I would guess. However I did not pull the hose with the engine off to check for fuel in the line (didn't know to do that.) I am heading back to Ohio in 4-6 weeks. Would love to hit the nail on the head with this old heap haha

 

Recheck your fuel pressure.That will tell you everything you need to know about the reg. and more.The numbers seem questionable.

 

I was taught that a fuel pressure check is the FIRST thing to do on a poorly running injected engine.

I`ve found it to be good advice.Saves a lot of time and effort.



#23 ivans imports

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:39 AM

have you checked feul volume ? this seems more important than preshure can have good psi and no flow this I find a lot as pumps get old

Carbon on valves doubt it have only seen this cause problem by burning valves then it would have dead hole. I bet would take me 20 min to fix this car



#24 naru

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

have you checked feul volume ? this seems more important than preshure can have good psi and no flow this I find a lot as pumps get old

Carbon on valves doubt it have only seen this cause problem by burning valves then it would have dead hole. I bet would take me 20 min to fix this car

 

+1

 

I had 36 psi,but,no volume.Ran better than expected.



#25 travmo86

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 05:48 PM

I did not test the the volume. Gauge only tests pressure. As cheap as this pump is, I'm probably better off just buying it for testing purposes. If it makes the car run right and crapps out a week later, at least I know to get a reputable good fuel pump. Would probably cost significantly more for a gauge that measures pressure as well as volume. Also found a "good used" FPR. I posted links to both below. Bear in mind when Im in town the car gets driven maybe 150-200 miles and 10-15 a miles a week while im gone so it doesnt sit. If this were not the case I would never consider using such cheap a** s***.

 

 

http://www.carparts....2L/M314501.html

 

http://www.ebay.com/...221bbdd&vxp=mtr







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