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Guest Message by DevFuse

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E82 Won't Start!

Old Subaru

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7 replies to this topic

#1 3crows


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:21 AM

Just put an '87' engine into an '86' wagon. Didn't think there was much difference between the '86' and the '87' but am finding out I was wrong. The '86' was running but  had over 300K. The '87' was also running when I pulled it and has 154K I was told. I took the carb off the '86' and put it on the '87' engine. I replaced the distributor from the '87' with the one from the '86'( the wiring is different with the '87'). Rotated flywheel to TDC and rotor at #1 with the distrbutor about in the middle but closer to retarded than advanced. Tried to start it but no go. Has good spark and smells gassy. Turned the distributor 180 degrees but still nothing, well, flame through the carb. Is there a way to determine TDC on compression without having to take off the valve cover since the timing marks line up at TDC on both the compression and exhaust stroke? I've worked mostly on overhead cam engines where it's easy to see the valves.  Is there a way to do a static test on an electronic ignition? I've done it with point type ignition systems but since the spark between the rotor and cap jump the gap there's no actual contact to transmit current as with points. Since I can't get it started, adjusting the timing is a guess. As it's set up now, the rotor is just back a squeek from the pin in the cap at TDC so that if I rotate the distributor anti clockwise, it should be retarding the spark. When you're a tooth off, there's a major difference in rotor location. And I don't think I have any vacuum leaks and I didn't disconnect the vacuum hose from the distributor.

Love these things when they run, hate 'em when they don't!

#2 rrgrr


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:39 AM

Sounds like a tooth off, or 180 +or- a tooth now. I think you could rotate the motor with your finger over the #1 plug hole to feel compression, or put a chopstick or something in there to confirm top of the stroke. I did a similar swap from an 85 n/a to a newer spfi motor, kept the old intake and disty -must have got lucky, but the last thing I did was switch distys, eyeballing the old one into the same position. hth

#3 naru


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 05:44 AM

Motor only needs to crank,not run,in order to use a timing light.

#4 Hondasucks


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Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:17 AM

If you take the cap off and look down inside the distributor, you'll see the four points of the reluctor, and the pole of the pickup coil for the electronic ignition (Spark fires when the reluctor point crosses the pole of the pickup coil.) Turn the engine over by hand until the pointer in the bellhousing lines up with the 10 degrees BTDC mark on the flywheel. Rotate the distributor housing until the reluctor is lined up with the pickup coil. This is static time, and it should be enough to start. I'm not too terribly familiar with the differences in the carb engines from 86 to 87, but the EFI engines are significantly different, and it might benefit you to swap the entire intake manifold from the 86 engine onto the new engine, replace the vacuum lines while you're at it. (Enough silicone line to replace all of them and have plenty left is pretty cheap at CarQuest, just do it carefully and one line at a time to avoid mixing anything up.)


If the distributor won't line up, pull it out, rotate the shaft one tooth, and reinstall. You may need to do this a few times to get it right.

#5 3crows


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:06 PM

If anyone is still looking at this, here's what I did. I did a static test by attaching a piece of brass shim material (.004) to the rotor that extended just enough to make contact with the pin in the distributor cap ( a small 1/16th in.). Hooked up my multimeter for continuity, turned the flywheel to 8 degrees BCD on #1, rotated the distributor all the way to advance (clockwise), then rotated the distributor back until the meter signaled contact with the pin in the cap. Found that I was a tooth off. Made the correction by moving the distributor one tooth clockwise and the old man came back to life! Put the timing light on and it was 'dead nuts' on 8 degrees BCD.


The brass piece on the  rotor of an '87' extends out beyond the bakelight so is easy to attach the shim material to by wrapping it around then cutting it a squeek longer. The rotor on an '86' is different and you have to remove the bakelight that extends to be able to attach the shim. But it works.

Thanks for the help

Edited by 3crows, 24 July 2014 - 11:13 PM.

#6 Gloyale


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Posted 23 July 2014 - 12:12 PM

If the timing belt covers are off you can determine TDC #1 compression by looking at the marking dots on each Cam pulley.


When you are at TDC compression the dots will be at 45 degrees out and away form eachother............


If you are 180 out.(TDC #1 end of exhaust stroke) the dots will be again at 45 degrees....but pointed in towards the center of motor and eachother.

#7 Suba_GL_87


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 10:41 AM


This YouTube May help you...

#8 3crows


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Posted 24 July 2014 - 11:22 PM

I think the way I did it was easier since the engine was in the car. I pulled the #1 plug and rotated the engine to compression stroke as suggested by rrgrr said ( I KNEW THAT! I just forget things.) and set the flywheel at 8 degrees BCD. Then I did my static test as stated above. Found that I had to turn the distributor all the way counter clockwise to get the engine to fire at all but it wouldn't run. I backed it off one tooth by moving the distributor one tooth clockwise and it started right up!

Thanks, all of you, for the input and taking the time to respond.

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