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The mysterious Legacy from 'ell - very long story


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42 replies to this topic

#1 Skip

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 09:39 AM

Fill yer mug with your favorite brew,
sit back
and read this long winded tale of Woe.

As you can see by my number of posts I am not
new to the Su Bar of Ru.
Having owned dozens and currently have models
ranging from
gen 1 Brats, turbo Legs through a 6cyl VDC.

I do all my own maintenance / repair work.
I am by no means an expert but on the same page
know which end of a ratchet clicks.

Another member here (davebugs) needed an AWD sedan for his GF's son.
Being an auction frequent, he found a likely candidate in the form
of a 94 Legacy 2.2 auto. Two owner car with only 66 Kmi.
Dave drove the car for some 350 trouble free miles before we started work.
PLEASE remember this.

Topside rust -not bad
Floor pans underside ect - very nice!!
(Dave has a lift in his shop so we got up close and personal when he brought the car home.)
BUT - ya knew there had to be a BUT....
The entire non undercoated bits ->
all suspension pieces, all exposed bolt heads, exhaust, brakes
Looked like the car had been sprayed continually with brackish saltwater.!!!

Case in point - lower control arm rotted through in sections as large as the palm of my hand!!
Oil pan rusted on the exterior to the point a screw driver easily punched through.
Bolt heads that normally require a 14 mm socket (once the rust was chiseled off) would accept
a 7/16" socket - yes 7/16" - that folks is real close to an 11 mm socket!!

Long story longer.
Dave wanted the car to be reliable (kid's first car and he lives in the PA snowbelt),
Needing an oil pan, timing belts ect. we set forth and "yank da lump".
Aside from the aforementioned bolt heads and the block oxidation welded to the tranny , all went well.

Used a small bead of RTV on the replacement oil pan, knowing the problems too much goo could yield.
Same with the rear breather plate.
Timing belt and one idler pulley - no problem..

Remember 66 kmi, all evidence supports this low mileage - rust no doubt from sitting, pedal rubber ect.
Did not remove cam covers as things looked normal Subaru clean on the inside.

Stuffed da lump back in place, checking the torque converter position before we did.
All went reasonably well. Read no issues.

Changed oil 5w 30 and a pint of MMO (ambient temp in the low 40's F)
Changed plugs, air filter, fuel filter, drive belts.
Fire that muther up, some HLA noise - very minimal..


Normal power, no real strange noises.
Quieted down to a sewing machine smooth in just a few miles - normal -right?
Good to go, we thought!!

Dave takes the car on a maiden voyage of some 30 miles.
Slowing on an uphill grade for a statie's red-light special (some other guy's problem)
He gently gets back on the long pedal when........

The engines starts missing terribly, "clacking" noises to raise the dead are heard,
he barely clears the hill then
basically drifts to a parking lot.
No oil pressure light is seen on.
(it does work when the key is turned on)
Calls me on his cell and says -listen to this ----> The clacking is deafening.
Even over a cell phone it sounds like the engine has no oil in it!!

Obviously the first thing Dave did was check it, it was fine, right on the full mark
no foam , no milkshake - normal smell color ect.

He babies the car home after a cool down, still missing and clacking.
He says the temp gauge never went beyond half way.

I show up the next morning.
When he starts it on the lift, the underside noises are louder than the top.
Rod bearing like??? Serious business, these bottom ends are bullet proof, I think but...
It's whackin like the rod will punch through any time.

Thinking maybe the oil is too thin?? We change it to 20w/50 with a new filter.
Nothing in the drained oil shows signs of degradation. - no metal flakes, chips ect..

Fire it up - the miss is gone, the whackin' and clackin' now are much
less prevalent but still there..
We plumb in a temp oil pressure gauge -60 PSI at idle all is normal.
Decide to drive to a real Subaru mechanic and have him listen.
Yep, when we get there, it's back to Subaru sewing machine smooth - not a noise.
We all know - rod bearings do not fix them selves.

I think maybe some crud got into a oil passage, the lifters collapsed
the collapsed lifters caused some cylinders to not make the trip
and thus the power loss and missing.????

We drive around a bit and head back to Dave's shop.
About a quarter mile from the garage - whoop dar it is again.
Clackin and a whackin', stumblin' and a grumblin'.
Barely make it on the lift.
We're scratchin' our beans like we have
a bad case of lice.

In a matter of minutes the engine smoothes out again and sounds normal.

The above scenario has now taken place several more times.
Dave changed the coil pack to see if it
would cure the miss, it did for a short time.
The next few times it happens,
little sit and it's miraculously healed.

Oil passages don't clear when sitting,
but oil pump pressure relief valves can stick.

Going back to the collapsed lifter theory.
Maybe the oil pressure falls to say
10 PSI -keeps the light off but does not keep the lifters pumped.

What's next?
Add a permanent oil pressure gauge and see if this is the case.

Why did Dave have no issues before we did the work?

What could we have done to cause this.
Engine was on a stand, down side up, for the pan replacement.

Too late ... Dave gave the car to the kid yesterday.
It happened to them coming back from getting the title changed. Little sit--> fixed.

We nicknamed it "Boomerang" cause we know
it will come back.

I thank you very kindly for wasting
a few precious minutes of your life reading this.

If you have any words of wisdom,
in agreement or otherwise
please offer them up.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


Us twits and our wits and are at an end here.

(you may now go drain the processed beverage)

#2 Manarius

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:49 AM

I wonder if it's ignition related - having to do with the Mass Air Flow sensor perhaps.

#3 Skip

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 11:11 AM

Sir, I thank you kindly for your response, sir.

But you say
"I wonder if it's ignition related - having to do with the Mass Air Flow sensor perhaps."

My understanding of the MAF is to tell the ECU
how much air is entering the engine
upon which it controls fuel delivered.
not ignition / timing or?

Second:

I have never seen MAF or ignition problems to cause
the clacking and whacking issues I describe.

As mentioned I do appreciate your insight.

If you would... please explain your theory
as to enlighten me.

#4 Manarius

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:04 PM

Sir, I thank you kindly for your response, sir.

But you say
"I wonder if it's ignition related - having to do with the Mass Air Flow sensor perhaps."

My understanding of the MAF is to tell the ECU
how much air is entering the engine
upon which it controls fuel delivered.
not ignition / timing or?

Second:

I have never seen MAF or ignition problems to cause
the clacking and whacking issues I describe.

As mentioned I do appreciate your insight.

If you would... please explain your theory
as to enlighten me.

You are right in that the MAF tells the ECU how much air is going in, but ignition is affected by that. Sure, the knock sensor works in there as well, but the MAF, as I see it, is a major player. Why do I see it this way? A year ago my MAF went south on me. When the MAF was failing, all kinds of weird things happened. Things such as bucking, knocking, tapping, engine shaking, etc. If the car's reading too much or too little air coming in, the fuel would be adjusted accordingly and the knock sensor would read a bad mixture as knock and adjust ignition accordingly which would make the car just run like crap. It would probably also knock and tap as well. This is why I wonder if the MAF might be the source of your troubles.

#5 hankosolder2

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 01:46 PM

Why not install a more permanent oil pressure gauge in the cockpit you can monitor when the problem occurrs? Perhaps T it in with the factory oil pressure switch so you have some backup protection.

With all these corrosion issues on this car, I wonder if it's possible you have an engine/ecu grounding issue or a bad connector. If the timing gets all whacked out due to a bad ground, perhaps you are hearing really bad spark knock?

Finally, there was a lengthy tread here a while back about folks who experienced a mysterious miss/loss of power in early Legacies, usually under load which would go away on restarting. Many people said they had the symptom. Fellow claimed it was a design error in the ECU, he had some sort of fix for it and was developing a kit. It sounded a bit dubious to me.

Nathan

#6 Quidam

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 02:04 PM

Yep, the oil pressure gage while it's under observation. You added MMO.

A car that's sat without at least a yearly oil change and low miles, can be problematic. The condensates in the pan and motor can get pretty ugly. This is for a Pa. car, so the dryer climate folks might not fully understand.

Well, just some thoughts.

Edit: The old oil pan, did it rust from the outside in, or vice versa? I saw an oil pan from a 302 c.i. Ford that had actually rusted from the inside out. Believe it or not. It had low miles, short trips, and it seems once in a blue moon oil changes. As the guys pointed out, see if you're grounded.

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:01 PM

Does it throw any codes when you put it in read mode? Sure would be nice if the ECU could help us out a bit... I can't off the top of my head remember the OBD-I procedures, but if there is a "dealer check" mode it may report things that normal driving mode does not. The tendancy is to program them to be less strict with component diagnostics when they are not in "check mode" so as to not confuse and alarm the consumer :rolleyes:

Sounds ignition/wireing related by the intermittant nature of the issue. The coil pack you mentioned....

1. How much did that seem to change it's behaviour?

2. How long before it came back? Abnormally long?

3. What type of replacement did he use? In my readings at legacycentral.org I've found a good many folks swear by the "Diamond" brand coil pack from the AWD manual transmission EJ22's.... the auto's were apparently equipped with an inferior brand pack. :confused:

Another possibility - you said he replaced "one" idler pulley. What about the others? I'm wondering if a change in the timing belt tension, or the phase of the moon caused one of the other idlers that were not replaced to go sour. A bad idler bearing might come and go like that making a nasty racket....

Some thoughts anyway. What say ye?

GD

#8 Skip

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:41 PM

Thanks for all the replies, ideas, and help guys.
I will make a feeble attempt at answering
some questions left standing.

Spark knock, well anything is possible but my ear was 5" from the oil pan
while the car was on the lift,
and if this is spark knock, well then I don't know what spark knock is.

(Btw I drive several turbo Subes and have heard some nasty knocking from
many causes.)

The corrosion was located on the underside, the engine compartment was
fairly clean and not rusted. Grounds all looked normal.
Again the rust was localized. Interior is unmarked and free of water stains.

Inside the engine is very clean as mentioned.
Oil pan rotted outside in.

Not a diamond coil pack but two bad ones in a row?

Engine check light has never come on.

Idler pulleys felt / sounded normal the noise is mid/rear engine based.

He drove it for 350 miles with no problem.

I must say thanks again and keep'em coming.

Possibly Dave will correct some of my misgivings.


#9 davebugs

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 06:44 PM

Hello folks.

This is somewhat lengthy as well and it fills in some gaps and perhaps answers some of the questions those of you trying to assist us have had.

I can’t thank Skip enough for his assistance. I’m not a Suby expert – but learning more every day it seems – definitely when working with Skip. I’m a VW guy at heart and restore the old air-cooled stuff. The kids in the neighborhood try and say Dave with the bugs and it comes out “davebugs” so that’s my universal MB name.

First off I’ll list some of the other parts that were put into this car. Partly so that you can understand the effort and partly incase it helps at some of the guesses at what’s currently going on.

Joseph has his first car – we transferred the title on Saturday. When driving it to get the title transferred he did experience the problem while I was riding with him. The rod knocking sound on the passenger side, wouldn’t speed up, etc. This may be developing a pattern – mostly when getting back on the gas around 40-45. Although the other day it was fine when I shut it off, but it acted up immediately upon starting. It lasted less than a minute – we pulled over and let the car idle and it resolved itself.

Before much was done on this car (just brake pads and exhaust, oil and filter 5w30) we took it for a weekend and put 350 or so miles on it – uneventful other than rotor or axle and dust shield noise. After this maiden voyage she wanted the timing belt done, the tranny shifter and brake rotors needed fixed, and things kept going down hill the more we worked on it.

My list of parts:
Lucas PS fluid (2 bottles) – we never fixed anything to do with this.
Brake pads (all 4 corners)
New rotors (all 4 corners)
New front axles(old boots were dry rotted)
Caliper Rubber boot kit on RF
Oil pan replaced (external rust) bolt heads almost non-existent
RF Lower Control Arm (used) due to rust.
NGK plugs
Fuel filter (wix)
Air filter (Purolator)
About 5 oil/filter(Purolator) changes total
New coolant
New radiator hoses
Used Diamond coil pack
(Red plug wires seem fine)
Wipers
Lucas tranny and 6 qts tranny fluid
Rear caliper brackets (bolts broke off originals)
Exhaust gaskets


The tranny linkage was screwed up. Had to use a screw driver to get it out of Park and into neutral to be able to start it. The backup lights were on in Park. The tow truck driver who brought the car to the auction just ripped it out of Park. Skip fixed this (while I was working on the timing belt). The ‘fingers’ for lack of a better work on the side of the tranny were bent – really widened. Skip bent them back. Good thing – it’s all way too rusty to adjust the cable, change the mechanism on the side of the tranny, or anything like that. There are literally no threads on any of the bolts.


The exhaust on this was a thing of beauty. There were 8 places where they had used 2 hose clamps, metal wrapped around the pipe, and muffler cement.
While replacing the axles (I had a shop do the exhaust and axles, and actually the pads the first time) they beat on the LCA. They actually knocked a whole or two in it. They welded a patch on and warned me about it. Skip and I decided to replace it since it was for the kid. We took a severe beating to it but the ball joint wouldn’t pop out. We were causing it to get more and larger holes though. I ran to Advance and borrowed the tool to remove the balljoint.

Never did a CEL or oil light come on.

Heat has never gone above half way – and the electric fans do work

Original oil when this happened the first time was 5w30 with 1 pint MMO

The car now has 4 qts 20w50 and 1 pint MMO

The coil pack was replaced before the last time it happened on our way to transfer the
title.

The idler pulley was the splined one – I had a scrap motor that the splined pully made a little less noise when spun. Luckily I have a 2.2 from a 97 OB that needs a head gasket. It also donated the oil pan and coil pack.

I also have a 92 Legacy wagon on the car hauler that has been a money pit that I’m gonna scrap. The motor has high miles but sounds great, had the tranny replaced, and now a bearing in the front transfer case is bad – and whines like crazy. The fuel pump is just laying in the tank so that I can move it around to scrap it. The lower front fenders are shot, I had to add a starter switch, I stole the fuel pump with a good sending unit for another car, etc. But I do have this car to swap parts from. I also plan on scrapping the 92 this week. But until it is scrapped I can pull parts off of it. I’m not looking to swap things just for something to do but I do have a running but wimpy Legacy wagon here.

The kid has the 94 now but I know it will be coming back – if nothing else for the next oil change in 3k. Since he drives 100 mi/day for work and has his first car I don’t expect it will take long to hit 3k


When I called skip the first time this happened the whole motor was thrashing – top, bottom, and middle were making noise. So much noise that I couldn’t pinpoint it. Sounded like all the connecting rods and lifters wanted to come out of the motor. The last several times it won’t speed up, seems to usually be in 2nd or going to 3rd gear, and most noise is from passenger side bottom – like the connecting rods. It idles real, real rough but doesn’t die. Revving it a little really does nothing unless you get the RPM’s up a bit that it’s harder to notice that it’s missing.
I have never noticed any strange exhaust. The rough running/metallic sounding issue has happened when Skip was here in the garage and we didn’t look – but didn’t notice any nasty exhaust. Same thing as when this has happened on the road – never looked but would have noticed a big cloud of smoke.

I got the kid AAA premium just in case. The 100 mile thing doesn’t lick in for 10 days. He lives 50 miles from me. Worst case when this thing does I can unload the 92 wagon from the car hauler if need ba and go get it.

A perverted part of me can’t wait to see what fails.


Thanks for the suggestions - keep them coming.

Dave

#10 WoodsWagon

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:32 PM

How did the flexplate look when you had the engine out? If it's cracked bad enough, it can sound like bad bearing knock, and phase in and out. The TC also acts as the engines flywheel, so if the Flexplate is sheared completely, it'll idle rough. The impact of a cracked flexplate can also set off the knock sensor, which will retard the timing, way back. Like so far back the engine can be floored and be bogging on the flat. If you have the engine out of the 92 which is good, I'd give this car a couple of italian tuneups and see if you can either get the problem so bad it's obvious, or get whatevers causing problems to loosen up and work right.

#11 Skip

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 08:45 PM

Thanks for the reply 91Loyale,

I knew of the flex plate problem and examined it
concisely when we had it off to service the breather cover.

It showed no problems.

As always I thank you for your expertise and time.

#12 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 09:07 PM

The next time it acts up, perhaps try disconnecting the knock sensor. The knock sensor may be sensing whatever is causing the noises and retarding the timing enough to make the symtoms so pronounced that it's impossible to pinpoint where it's comming from. If the ECU doesn't see the knock sensor it will retard the timing only to safe (limp mode) levels and that may be just enough difference to locate the source of the problem.

It's an idea anyway.

If you can get it to act-the-fool again for you try pulling some plug wires. If both plugs on one bank don't affect the way it's running then something is wrong with the coil pack - since it's a bank-fired wasted spark ignition there's only two sides to the coil pack. I worked on a Hyundai recently that had the exact same symtoms. The coil pack had failed (only 130k on it) and it would work fine for a while, and then all of a sudden would miss on two cylinders. When it was running right it was as if nothing had happened. Being it was an OBD-II car it would throw a misfire code (to protect the cat).... but I don't think the OBD-I legacy can detect that. It ran very rough when the coil pack would act up, and had no power at all. Perhaps the differences in noise can be explained by the way the OBD-I's ECU handles the misfire - what it does to the timing, and the nature of the boxer design. Perhaps.....

The amount of noise it's making though sure sounds aweful. The Hyundai sounded rough, but didn't sound like a bag of hammers.

Pulling the plug wires one at a time while it's performing for you could also track down what cylinder it's related to. Perhaps a valve is sticking open.

GD

#13 gbrand

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:23 PM

Very interseting story-I'm very curios now. I would zero in on action of the oil pressure during the malfunction-sounds to me as if MAYBE something unusual is happening, such as the return path for the oil is restricted by sludge, and the oil gets pumped to the top of the engine, and then after sitting, drains down. Or maybe something else strange. If the oil pressure is normal during malfunction then all bets are off.

#14 davebugs

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 10:50 PM

Thanks for the fresh idea's.

We did check the flex plate bolts and look at what we could see of the flexplate when we got back from the Subaru mechanic.

I actually have an extra knock and camshaft positioning sensor in my van form another motor that only ran on 3 cylinders and was junked by a friend. I also have them on the 97 2.2 sitting in my garage.

I was gonna pull plug wires the last time this happened - but didn't get around to it before it started ruinning well. It ran crappy for less than a minute. We got off the road, popped the hood, and I was trying to diagnose where the noise was coming from, from time to time I'd reach back and give it a little gas to see what happened.

I forgot to mention that I had been running a lot of 5-10-15 dollar batches of gas thru it lately (since the 350 mile trip before we worked on it)- I don't think it ever got below 1/4 tank. I did add my only bottle of dry gas (I'm not a big dry gas fan)and about 10 bucks when I went to pick up my girlfriend. We filled up the car on the way back before we ate lunch on our way back to do the title work. I'm guessing that we made it 10-15 miles from the last fillup when we had the problem.

On the flexplate - wouldn't it make noise more than a few minutes avery hour or so? Also I have tried it in forward, reverse, neutral, and park - and when this is happenning it makes no differnece. I might expect a noticable difference if it was the flexplate?

Heat appears to have no bearing on this issue either. Neither does moisture.

FYI I saw nothing with the naked eye wrong with the coil pack that I took off of this motor.

So far the only progress has been that subsuquent occurances since the initial one when my dad was with me - haven't been nearly as noisy or seemingly all engine encompassing as that first time.

I do need some ideas to do when I get the car back - assuming that it runs that long.

Perhaps we should try to prioritize them. I don't know how long I'll have to perform whatever we come up with.

So far probably the toughest would be adding a real oil pressure gauge, and then having him remember to look at it if this happens again.

Thanks again.

Dave

#15 RallyKeith

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 10:41 AM

My vote is carbon build-up in the cylinders. Previous owner never revved the engine past 3000rpm and never let the engine get up to temperature for very long. This caused carbon deposits to build up on the pistosn and valves. Now that's Dave has taken ownership the car is being driven harder (Not hard, but harder than the previous owner) and being brought up to full temp for longer periods of time. Now you are getting small or large pieces flaking off that are causing terrible noises until they break up into small enough pieces that they get blown through the exhaust valves. The initial incident happened under load (Going up a hill) after the car had been up to temperature. The fact that it didn't happen in the first 350 miles is just circumstance. In that time things were loosening up on their way to these events. Possible the jarring of pulling the motor out and workign on it contributed to the loosening.

Also, this exact same thing happened on my father's 91 Legacy at somewhere around 160k miles. His car did it when starting it up after work one day. It had perfect oil pressure and nothing wrong in spark land. Since we had another motor sitting in the garage we replaced it. He tore the knocking motor apart and never found anything. A mechanic friend of ours told us that the mid 90's Jeep Grand Cherokees are known for having this exact knocking issue because of carbon build up, so the carbon build up theory is what we figured happened with his car.

Good luck,
Keith

#16 WAWalker

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 10:54 AM

How many miles have been put on since this started? If it were lower end noise it should be dead already.

Useing a stethascope you should be able to pin point were the noise is coming from. That would be very helpfull in determining were to look for the problem.

Broken flex plate should not cause a violant misfire.

If the noise in fact is top end noise............Drop the exhaust at the heads and inspect the valve guides to see if any are protruding from the head further than others.

Also keep in mind that most of these auto auction cars are there for a reason. Your first 350 miles may have just be "lucky". This could have been a pre existing problem. So rather than second guessing your work, focus on pinpointing the sorce of the noise, and go from there.

#17 davebugs

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

About the car.

I called the previous owner. They had it setting in their driveway for years hardly ever driving it so they decided to donate it. The fellow that I talked to was the original owners nephew. The original owner is now 83.

The fella I talked to didn't think his Uncle was capable of remembering much about the car. He did know that it had been tuned up one time but doubted that the Timing Belt (big job) had been done.. He said that he had done the fancy exhaust work. It had Carquest accessory belts on it and red plug wires that I though I had read here were good. They do look good - the wires and boots.

They donated it since they didn't use it much for the past few years. Said the engine/tranny were super. The rust underneath, PS line, exhaust, front axle boots dry-rotted, etc. was the reason for donating it.

This car is probably now approaching 1k miles since purchased. ABout 350-400 before we took it apart. About 300 after we took it apart. And the kid has had the car a few days at 100 mi round trip to work.

I'm awaiting any word that he's had it act up again. Yesterday apparently he had no issues.

If the carbon theory is correct I would expect to see something in the oil at some time. This thing has literally had the oil changed about 5 times. It was super clean the last time - as you would expect - infact the last several times. Then again perhaps they are more like chunks - which makes me glad that I've been changing the oil filter everytime but 1.

Dave

#18 uniberp

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:13 PM

About the car.

I called the previous owner. They had it setting in their driveway for years hardly ever driving it so they decided to donate it. The fellow that I talked to was the original owners nephew. The original owner is now 83.

The fella I talked to didn't think his Uncle was capable of remembering much about the car. He did know that it had been tuned up one time but doubted that the Timing Belt (big job) had been done.. He said that he had done the fancy exhaust work. It had Carquest accessory belts on it and red plug wires that I though I had read here were good. They do look good - the wires and boots.

They donated it since they didn't use it much for the past few years. Said the engine/tranny were super. The rust underneath, PS line, exhaust, front axle boots dry-rotted, etc. was the reason for donating it.

This car is probably now approaching 1k miles since purchased. ABout 350-400 before we took it apart. About 300 after we took it apart. And the kid has had the car a few days at 100 mi round trip to work.

I'm awaiting any word that he's had it act up again. Yesterday apparently he had no issues.

If the carbon theory is correct I would expect to see something in the oil at some time. This thing has literally had the oil changed about 5 times. It was super clean the last time - as you would expect - infact the last several times. Then again perhaps they are more like chunks - which makes me glad that I've been changing the oil filter everytime but 1.

Dave


How about a slightly bent valve or valves? Or possibly match-worn guides?
As they rotate in the guides while running, they might clatter more or less.

I notice random but seemingly cylcic periods of tapping in my Legato and Forester as they are idling, that has no relation to operating temperature or anything.

#19 RallyKeith

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 12:41 PM

About the car.

He said that he had done the fancy exhaust work. It

Dave


I just went and re-read your first post on this topic. All of that exhaust work lends itself to support my theory. If the car isn't run very long water condensation lays in the exhaust and rusts it out. Running the car for longer periods of time helps evaporate it, and revving it up more blows it out. We've got lots of high mileage subarus on factory exhaust in my family. My 95 Legacy has 210k miles on it and all original exhaust. My vote is still with carbon, but I could easily be wrong.

Keith

#20 edrach

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 07:07 PM

Granted no check engine light seen; but has anyone put a Subaru Select Monitor on it to see if any funky codes are left in memory?

#21 Skip

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 08:45 PM

Thanks Ed no select monitor is available at this time.
I wish we had access to one.

I wish Dave or I would have had the foresight to record these hellaisous noises.

Carbon deposits could maybe be responsible for some missing rough running ect.
But sounds that make one think the rod bearings went south... well ???

Dave is no stranger to using the loud pedal -- if you get my drift
- doubt any deposits are left now. :^)

I forgot to take my stethoscope but the long screwdriver handle in the ear trick
showed more noise toward the rear of the engine.




I am hoping the oil pressure relief valve was sticking from varnish
or the same reasons Keith suggests the carbon deposits,
thus allowing the oil pressure to drop and
the collapsed lifters causing the noise and not allowing cylinders to fire.

Maybe the MMO and the oil changes are going to solve (dissolve) the problem.

Well "Bomerang" you gonna kick out the skinny?

My utmost thanks to all that have given time and thought --
to this conundrum.


#22 ccrinc

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 09:59 AM

I'm not the diagnostic wizard that my husband is, but a few things come to mind:

1) Fuel filter. If there's crud in there, it can float up and down, causing erratic behavior.

2) Thrust bearing. Try a heavy oil, like 20W50. A thrust bearing knock can come and go depending on rpms. If the heavier oil helps, that's a good probability. (What weight did you say you tried? I forget.)

3) Off brand or old timing belt. Sounds almost like it's jumping timing (and back :confused: ). Luckily, with a '94 model, that's not doing the internal damage a newer engine would suffer.

4) Knock sensor. I agree with the earlier post that this is something to be looked at. Could be corroded or broken. They go bad with no warning. Use only a Genuine Subaru one!


Since it sat for so long, this poor car could have all sorts of electrical gremlins. But there's no Subaru so old that it can't be resurrected!

Emily
http://www.ccrengines.com

#23 WAWalker

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 10:32 AM

Just another little note.

I'm sure you have been over this car with a fine tooth comb already but..........I just had a '97 OB in a while ago that had a bad misfire on cyl's 1 & 3, also had a knocking noise that sounded a little like rod bearings. I traced the noise down first. The engine had been replaced in this car and they had taken a clamp off the steel power steering lines and the lines were hitting the engine craddle causeing the noise. That was the easy part. Figureing out that this "rebuilt" engine had two different cams (neither being right for that MY engine) causeing the misfire wasn't as easy.

What I'm getting at is....................Is the noise and the misfire caused by the same thing? Or is the noise something different and only being created due to the misfire?

#24 Skip

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 10:58 AM

Hi Emily, always a delight to see/read from you.

As this post is very long and convoluted
I know some items "get lost" in the shuffle.

I will do my best to answer your thoughts.

1) Fuel filter. If there's crud in there, it can float up and down, causing erratic behavior.
Fuel filter was replaced - no difference.
I have experienced semi clogged fuel filters.
These due to crud, bad gas (H20) ect.
But I have never known one to cause a noise similar
to rod bearing failure at idle?

2) Thrust bearing. Try a heavy oil, like 20W50. A thrust bearing knock can come and go depending on rpms.
If the heavier oil helps, that's a good probability.

We now are running 20w/50. I have never read or heard
of a thrusht bearing causing severe stumbling --
(feels all the world like a bad miss -
not just timing retard {please see below})

3) Off brand or old timing belt. Sounds almost like it's jumping timing (and back :confused: ).
Luckily, with a '94 model, that's not doing the internal damage a newer engine would suffer.

Brand new Felpro, not OEM but not exactly off brand.
Tensioner felt/compressed slowly and acted fine.

4) Knock sensor. I agree with the earlier post that this is something to be looked at. Could be corroded or broken.
They go bad with no warning. Use only a Genuine Subaru one!

I know of this problem personally with my 94 GT wagon.
The typical crack w/failure - power was down for sure .. but
did not feel like a severe miss this one has.

This miss/stunmling is accompanied by severe clacking and whacking.

I will look into this when it comes back.

As always thanks for your time and insight.



WA, thanks for the thought whch is very much welcomed.

With the car on a lift, standing under it, I used the long handle screwdriver stethoscope trick,
the noise sure sounded internal.

The engine had never been apart according to the pervious owners
(see Davebugs post above).

The miss/ stumble/ noise occurs simultaneously and
goes away in the same fashion.

#25 WAWalker

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

Internal at the center of the engine or out at the heads?

In my experiance..............collapsed lifters do not cause a misfire. Have seen many 2.2L engines that have had to much sealant put on the oil pump and get pumped into oil bleed holes on the rocker arms causing the lifters to collaps, none with a misfire due to this. Lifters pumped up all the way will cause misfire, but no noise.

Worn rod and main bearing noise should not completly go away intermittently, and should not cause a misfire.

Back to inspecting the valve guides. I have not personally had the chance to see this, but have heard from many professinals in the business that it does happen. Valve guides will come loose in the cyl head and slide down the valve steam holding the valves open and causeing a misfire. Valves hammer the guide back in place and misfire goes away, untill guides move again. I have to assume there is going to be noise associated with this problem.

Good luck.............will be interseting to hear what you find.




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