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loss of power on hills need help


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18 replies to this topic

#1 colin14

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 10:02 PM

new member.

have been reading your archives which is by the way great.i was reading the post by grounded1 and i am pretty sure i have his problem no power going up steep hills can any one tell me how would you find which catylytic converta is the problem one. front or back.do you have to replace it with anything or can you go without it what do you do hopo i have explained it ok i do need help not to mechanicly minded....tia.colin14

#2 grounded1

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 04:30 AM

I still have the problem. The car ran great for a while and then the problem slowly came back. Maybe the computer had to relearn itself. In any event the problem came back. I've since replaced the forward exhaust system. The aft cat looked very clean. I have performed every sensor check the that the subaru/haynes/chilton manuals have come up with. They are all ok. I have never gotten any codes at all. If you take this as a truth, then my problem is not a sensor. Since this began a year ago I have changed the following:
mass airflow sensor
coolant temp sensor
ignition coil
oxygen sensor
knock sensor
plugs
wires
fuel filter
air filter
pvc valve
and yesterday all 4 injectors.
No help.
I installed a vacuum gage, air fuel meter and an fuel pressure gage to monitor the engine. The fuel pressures are ok and never change all through the problem. The fuel air meter doesn't show anything unusual although it takes a lot to get that computer to go rich. I have performed a duty cycle check on each injector prior to replacing them and it was fine. I thought that maybe the injectors were malfunctioning mechanically but ok electrically (no codes). I plugged the purge valve vacuum line to rule out a leak
there also.
The problem is when you go up a steep grade. When demanding power the engine will bog down. If you continue the demand it will stall. If you catch it early (like I have been) and pull over fast, throw it in park the engine seems to be idling on 1 or 2 cylinders . If you rev it up it is smooth and revs as high as you like. Back at idle it shudders on 1 or 2 cylinders. If you let it idle it will eventually clear and off you go. If you run it to total stall I have to turn off the ignition and then restart. I can't restart by just going to start from ignition after the stall. You have to go to off.
Where am I now. The only things left in the system are the muffler which may be causing some kind of blockage/back pressure during a high power demand. It did run great for a week after I chopped tha cat. The speed sensor on the speedometer my be skipping a few beats . Not enough to give a code but maybe enough to give the computer a false speed reference or the ecu computer itself When I had the injectors out I could see my intake valve stems and they were all clean so I don't think valve mechanical problems. The vacuum gage would have showed me if I had a vacuum leak but at Idle its got 19-20 in. vac. and thats fine. My car is a 91 wagon ls so I didn't mind spending on the sensors. THey've been in there a long time and I need to trust the car on long trips. The injectors did piss me off. I had to pull the fuel rails off to remove the old ones and they didn't fix the problem. What else is left the igniter unit? I doubt it. It doesn't know engine load just firing the coil when it's told to by the ecu. When the problem occurs the rpm means nothing. 2nd 3rd,4th gears, 2500, 3000, 4000 rpm makes no difference. The load does it. Level/low grade no problem. Up a steep grade forget it. I also inspected the fuel pump for any blockages at the screen even though the fuel pressures are ok...nothing.
Advice, don't change any sensors if they are not faulted by a code. In the subaru service manual almost every sensor can cause drivability problems or stall. Thanks a lot. This goes beyond that. On interesting note for us suby heads, when I changed my injectors the hesitation skip I use to get between 3800-4000 is gone. So much for the Hobie Fix. The car did run noticably better after the injectors. I was impressed. The car actually shifted cleaner and faster right up till it ran like s#@t.
I might take it to a suby dealer to check but they all don't have select monitors. :banghead: :headbang:
Keep the Suby faith,we'll figure this out. Oh yeah, I did do the D check and drive it to stall. No codes. FYI...NO CODES. Next chapter soon......

Pat
Grounded1
91 Legacy Wagon LS
ps: kill me :temper:

#3 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:36 AM

MAN! how frustrating.
ok - just throwing out a couple guesses.
How did the plugs look? any sign of carbon ? I'm wondering if you could have carbon built up or even some burnt /leaky valves? Was compression OK?

Maybe having a shop trhow a scope on the high voltage? just to see if it is low?

good luck buddy

#4 colin14

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 10:47 PM

Originally posted by grounded1
I still have the problem. The car ran great for a while and then the problem slowly came back. Maybe the computer had to relearn itself. In any event the problem came back. I've since replaced the forward exhaust system. The aft cat looked very clean. I have performed every sensor check the that the subaru/haynes/chilton manuals have come up with. They are all ok. I have never gotten any codes at all. If you take this as a truth, then my problem is not a sensor. Since this began a year ago I have changed the following:
mass airflow sensor
coolant temp sensor
ignition coil
oxygen sensor
knock sensor
plugs
wires
fuel filter
air filter
pvc valve
and yesterday all 4 injectors.
No help.
I installed a vacuum gage, air fuel meter and an fuel pressure gage to monitor the engine. The fuel pressures are ok and never change all through the problem. The fuel air meter doesn't show anything unusual although it takes a lot to get that computer to go rich. I have performed a duty cycle check on each injector prior to replacing them and it was fine. I thought that maybe the injectors were malfunctioning mechanically but ok electrically (no codes). I plugged the purge valve vacuum line to rule out a leak
there also.
The problem is when you go up a steep grade. When demanding power the engine will bog down. If you continue the demand it will stall. If you catch it early (like I have been) and pull over fast, throw it in park the engine seems to be idling on 1 or 2 cylinders . If you rev it up it is smooth and revs as high as you like. Back at idle it shudders on 1 or 2 cylinders. If you let it idle it will eventually clear and off you go. If you run it to total stall I have to turn off the ignition and then restart. I can't restart by just going to start from ignition after the stall. You have to go to off.
Where am I now. The only things left in the system are the muffler which may be causing some kind of blockage/back pressure during a high power demand. It did run great for a week after I chopped tha cat. The speed sensor on the speedometer my be skipping a few beats . Not enough to give a code but maybe enough to give the computer a false speed reference or the ecu computer itself When I had the injectors out I could see my intake valve stems and they were all clean so I don't think valve mechanical problems. The vacuum gage would have showed me if I had a vacuum leak but at Idle its got 19-20 in. vac. and thats fine. My car is a 91 wagon ls so I didn't mind spending on the sensors. THey've been in there a long time and I need to trust the car on long trips. The injectors did piss me off. I had to pull the fuel rails off to remove the old ones and they didn't fix the problem. What else is left the igniter unit? I doubt it. It doesn't know engine load just firing the coil when it's told to by the ecu. When the problem occurs the rpm means nothing. 2nd 3rd,4th gears, 2500, 3000, 4000 rpm makes no difference. The load does it. Level/low grade no problem. Up a steep grade forget it. I also inspected the fuel pump for any blockages at the screen even though the fuel pressures are ok...nothing.
Advice, don't change any sensors if they are not faulted by a code. In the subaru service manual almost every sensor can cause drivability problems or stall. Thanks a lot. This goes beyond that. On interesting note for us suby heads, when I changed my injectors the hesitation skip I use to get between 3800-4000 is gone. So much for the Hobie Fix. The car did run noticably better after the injectors. I was impressed. The car actually shifted cleaner and faster right up till it ran like s#@t.
I might take it to a suby dealer to check but they all don't have select monitors. :banghead: :headbang:
Keep the Suby faith,we'll figure this out. Oh yeah, I did do the D check and drive it to stall. No codes. FYI...NO CODES. Next chapter soon......

Pat
Grounded1
91 Legacy Wagon LS
ps: kill me :temper:



grounded1 as you know i have the same problem as you loss of ppower on hills i went to the local subaru dealer and got them to test drive the car up a big hill locally near my place here in australia and the same thing happened to the subaru guy no power going up the hill they checked the catalytic converta that was okay he said the problem was a carbon build up in the inlet manifold and valves apparently the ej22 engine is known for a build up of carbon and junk all they did was use there own brand of
engine cleaner called here in australia. cleaner upper engine all
sa/459. they also recommened using shell optimax feul as it cleans carbon build up . hope this helps you. they also test drove my car after using there upper engine cleaner up the same hill and they said no problem no power loss.colin14.........

#5 grounded1

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 12:15 PM

1LT,
I'm at that point now. I'm going to do a compression check now. I can get a boroscope and check for the valve carbon build up. I've read this before on the board. It's hard to believe that two intake valves(per cyl) can carbon up to the point of a performance loss but I've learned not to ignore to much from this board. I will check it. Thanks.
Colin, any after effects of running that stuff through your fuel other than the problem is gone?

Pat

#6 colin14

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 04:57 PM

grounded1 yes big improvement idling smoother,more acceleration,yes there is a notable differance.actually this stuff they use is not a fuel additive it is in a spray can and they sray it in the plastic pipe that goes into the exhaust manifold apparently
all the instructions are on the back of can in australia the can of stuff they use is only au$16.00 and they will do it for you for a pretty reasonable price they test drive car after jobs done and give you a report i let them do it because they do it to ej22 engines all the time when needed they do suggest use it every
service or six months they also said if problem becomes persistant
the car might need a in car engine clean out.give it a try $16.00
bucks here is nothing only $8.00 bucks in the USA hope it works
ps/ they also suggest shell optimax fuel apparently it helps clean the valves and other gunk.good luck col.

#7 grounded1

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 08:10 AM

Colin,
Is there any other name for SA/459. I can't seem to locate it. Who make this product.

Pat

#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 11:18 AM

In the old days we used Berrymans B-12 but it involved pouring it into the carb while jooking the throttle up to keep it from choking, then puposely stalling it bu dumping the las 1/3 of the can in fast. Let it sit for 1/2 hour or so before starting. Seemed to help about 1/2 the times I used it. Other times I think I was 'hoping' for a 'mechanic in a can' fix. I think brake fluid and even water have been used to some success. Sound like a spray can would work well, especially if some 'high tech' new stuff has been developed.
thanx for the reports too.

#9 colin14

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 07:18 PM

Originally posted by grounded1
Colin,
Is there any other name for SA/459. I can't seem to locate it. Who make this product.

Pat


grounded 1 sorry about that SA\459 as far as i know is a subaru product so the only thing i can suggest is . e\mail subaru America
and quote the australian number of the product availiable here.
it might be another ptoduct number there, it has to be avalable
in America because this is an ongoing problem re/ power failure
my car is a 91 gx auto fwd i am the second owner i even rang the previous owner and asked if there is anything i should watch for
and she said the only thing to watch for is the build up of carbon and gunk because it makes the car sluggish and lose power she also said take it to subaru and get them to use the sa\459 and that fixes it.hope this helps colin.

#10 colin14

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 07:37 PM

Originally posted by grounded1
Colin,
Is there any other name for SA/459. I can't seem to locate it. Who make this product.

Pat


grounded 1 i found this sight it 's not about subarus but it's cars
with carbon and gunk build up and btw i read on this board that
legacy 777 uses this stuff (sea foam) i don't know what this stuff is but heres a link to tell you all about it.colin.
http://members.nuvox...28/seafoam.html
hope it helps you..........

#11 grounded1

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 09:31 AM

I hear you Colin. I'm going to look for it today. I still have to admit that even with the problem the new injectors have made a noticable difference. I was talking to a couple of Jeep Cherokee people. For Jeeps there are air/oil separator kits for the pvc breather hose to cut down on the oil vapor entering the intake system and thereby reducing the carbon deposits on the valves. I'm surprised that these kits haven't surfaced for the boxer. Especially since the boxer has a rep for being a heavy breather.
Well, off on the sea foam hunt.

Pat

#12 colin14

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Posted 29 November 2003 - 08:23 PM

Originally posted by grounded1
I hear you Colin. I'm going to look for it today. I still have to admit that even with the problem the new injectors have made a noticable difference. I was talking to a couple of Jeep Cherokee people. For Jeeps there are air/oil separator kits for the pvc breather hose to cut down on the oil vapor entering the intake system and thereby reducing the carbon deposits on the valves. I'm surprised that these kits haven't surfaced for the boxer. Especially since the boxer has a rep for being a heavy breather.
Well, off on the sea foam hunt.

Pat


grounded1, pat good luck let me know how you get on.the only other suggestion i have is e\mail subaru australia and ask them if
this sa 549 is availiable in the states.colin.

#13 AusLegacy

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 04:36 AM

Colin,

Could you put me onto the the Mechanic that did the carbon clean out, I'm having the same problem.

#14 colin14

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Posted 07 December 2003 - 08:17 PM

Originally posted by AusLegacy
Colin,

Could you put me onto the the Mechanic that did the carbon clean out, I'm having the same problem.



auslegacy apparently its a common problem over here with liberty
ej22 engines any subaru service centre should have this stuff they spray into the exhaust manifold and it cleans carbon and gunk on the valves ist not exspensive $15.00 bucks a can if you want to do it yourself the instructions are on back of can.colin.

#15 Danbob99

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 12:59 PM

Drop your exuast and try and run it, see if you can hi rev it, with your cats clogged your car should stop revving at around 5 grand, depending on how clogged they are, youshould be able to stand, foot on the floor and not rev through the roof.

#16 AusLegacy

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Posted 08 December 2003 - 02:42 PM

She revs well over 5G.

I have read that if your exhaust pressure is above 5psi (measured at the manifold with a pressure gauge) then the catalytic converters could be clogged. (I haven't tried it)

#17 Legacy777

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Danbob99
Drop your exuast and try and run it, see if you can hi rev it, with your cats clogged your car should stop revving at around 5 grand, depending on how clogged they are, youshould be able to stand, foot on the floor and not rev through the roof.



There's really no safe way to do this. The first cat is part of the manifold, and you definitely don't want to run the engine without any manifold.

AusLegacy, you can get a decent idea of catalytic converter condition by checking the engines vacuum. There is a thread that specifically describes what vacuum will do if cats are clogged.

Please do a search, if you can't find anything, let me know and I'll see if I can help.

#18 AusLegacy

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 05:39 PM

Thanks Josh, i did a quick search and found some great information ( http://auto.howstuff...ys/catalyti.asp ) . Testing the vacuum, the pressure at the O2 sensor, the temperature before and after the Cat and knock testing the cat. All probaly worth a try.

#19 Legacy777

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 10:26 PM

glad you found some info.

This was the thread I was thinking of

http://usmb.ultimate...ght=vacuum test




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