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Check Engine Light Blinking after timing chain Tensioner Replacemen Fixed - Now P0420


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43 replies to this topic

#1 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:16 PM

2003 Outback H6
- Just had both timing chain tensioners replaced
- Battery was unplugged for about 5 days
- After getting the car back, it seems to be idling up and down, almost stalling at times
- Check engine light blinks while idleing in park
- Stays on steady while driving.

Any thoughs on what this might be?

#2 EVOthis

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:32 PM

i believe the only time the CEL should blink is when there is a SEVERE misfire.....do you smell it burning rich? (fuel smell) did you do the job or did you have a shop perform the work?

#3 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:38 PM

i believe the only time the CEL should blink is when there is a SEVERE misfire.....do you smell it burning rich? (fuel smell) did you do the job or did you have a shop perform the work?


My Neighbor (Who is a licensed tech, works at GM Dealer) did it for me. He had marked the chain, and it did not move at all while he was replacing each tensioner.
The engine sounds fine once your driving, or giving some gas in neutral. Just at idle the rpms flucuate and if you just tap the gas a little it almost stalls.

- No fuel smell as far as I can tell

#4 EVOthis

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:42 PM

i would have him take it back and there should be some kind of code stored in the computer if the CEL is on.....(im not to sure how it is outside the US.......with OBD 2)...nonetheless he should have a scanner and be able to tell you what the CEL means.....

#5 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:43 PM

i would have him take it back and there should be some kind of code stored in the computer if the CEL is on.....(im not to sure how it is outside the US.......with OBD 2)...nonetheless he should have a scanner and be able to tell you what the CEL means.....


He didn't have a scanner at home, and he only has the GM Dealer ones at work. I will grab a code reader tomorrow and read the codes and see what it says.

Do you think it's possible this has anything to do with the ECU having to relearn?

#6 EVOthis

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:46 PM

i was just thinking about that.....i do assume it is possible......there are way smarter people on here..... im sure they will chime in and be able to tell you more. im not that familiar with the H6 as of yet.....

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 07:58 PM

Hi. Any generic ODBII scanner will work. Flashing CEL is often cylinder misfire. Did he disconnect any coil-on-plugs or anything when this work was done? Typically after any timing work with this kind of issue one would question whether the timing is a tooth off, but I'm not too familiar with the timiing chain......but I have some pics!

Posted Image
Posted Image

#8 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:03 PM

[quote name='porcupine73']Hi. Any generic ODBII scanner will work. Flashing CEL is often cylinder misfire. Did he disconnect any coil-on-plugs or anything when this work was done? Typically after any timing work with this kind of issue one would question whether the timing is a tooth off, but I'm not too familiar with the timiing chain......but I have some pics!

I had printed him off complete instructions from alldatadiy.com which has everything including pics as far as removing and installing tensioners. He's pretty confident the chain didn't move, he marked it the moment the cover was off before replacing the tensioners.

#9 scrapdaddytatum

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:44 PM

do a relearn
unplug battery
step in brake pedal
hook battery back up
and start car, dont touch anything
wait for it to warm up
and dont touch anything
when it is warm, shut it off
and restart, is it normal then
this is the standard relearn prcedure
if you touch something during that first restart
it can effect the relearn
cheers
good luck

#10 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 08:46 PM

do a relearn
unplug battery
step in brake pedal
hook battery back up
and start car, dont touch anything
wait for it to warm up
and dont touch anything
when it is warm, shut it off
and restart, is it normal then
this is the standard relearn prcedure
if you touch something during that first restart
it can effect the relearn
cheers
good luck


The car is warm as I had it running for a while, just shut it off about 15 minutes ago, should I wait for it too cool down for a while before trying this?

#11 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:17 PM

do a relearn
unplug battery
step in brake pedal
hook battery back up
and start car, dont touch anything
wait for it to warm up
and dont touch anything
when it is warm, shut it off
and restart, is it normal then
this is the standard relearn prcedure
if you touch something during that first restart
it can effect the relearn
cheers
good luck


Reset ECU as stated above, on first restart ( I did not touch anything) within about 1-2 minutes the Check Engine light came back (Blinking). According to manual it appears as if Blinking is Misfire code, hopefully the code reader will tell me more tomorrow. Now i'm questioning on whether the timing could be off, or if maybe he missed plugging something back in.

#12 scrapdaddytatum

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 09:29 PM

Reset ECU as stated above, on first restart ( I did not touch anything) within about 1-2 minutes the Check Engine light came back (Blinking). According to manual it appears as if Blinking is Misfire code, hopefully the code reader will tell me more tomorrow. Now i'm questioning on whether the timing could be off, or if maybe he missed plugging something back in.


did you check all your plug wires?? and check all the connections??
besides stating the obvious,but sometimes we forget the little things

#13 dbullen

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Posted 12 February 2008 - 10:07 PM

did you check all your plug wires?? and check all the connections??
besides stating the obvious,but sometimes we forget the little things

Going to have my mechanic check it out tomorrow, will see if he can figure it out. If I read the codes would it give a code for the timing being off, or would it just be a misfire code, I assume if I get a misfire code it will just tell me the cylinder and that's about it?

#14 mdjdc

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:07 AM

Not to be down on your friend, but he is a GM mechanic and this is a Sube. They are peculiar animals and I wouldn't let anyone who doesn't regularly work on a Sube work on mine. Especially on a job as delicate as the timing chain.

The H6 is a very expensive engine and difficult to replace.

To me is sounds like the timing is off, but you could have a plug wire loose.

Check all of your connections and then get it looked at by an experienced subie mechanic.

If the timing is off, you may have already done damage to the valves, so be careful how much you run it.

Good Luck

#15 dbullen

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:18 AM

Not to be down on your friend, but he is a GM mechanic and this is a Sube. They are peculiar animals and I wouldn't let anyone who doesn't regularly work on a Sube work on mine. Especially on a job as delicate as the timing chain.

The H6 is a very expensive engine and difficult to replace.

To me is sounds like the timing is off, but you could have a plug wire loose.

Check all of your connections and then get it looked at by an experienced subie mechanic.

If the timing is off, you may have already done damage to the valves, so be careful how much you run it.

Good Luck


If the timing is off by one link could this potential damage the valves?

#16 Skip

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:34 AM

In dbullen's defense,
I'd like to point out

1) there are no sparking plug wires,
as Porcupine points out,
the EZ30 has coil on plug ignition.

2) looking for loose connections is a tuff nut
to crack as this engine bay is not what you
very well wishing folks are used to.

3) I do not believe he is one to
go where others have gone before
and would like the bloke that
was "in there" have a look.

Here is what I mean,
Posted Image
It scares me to look in there and
I have been wrenching longer than most board
members have been alive. ;^)

The pictures of this engine posted by
my man Porcupine73
are fantastic.

#17 mdjdc

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 10:18 AM

One tooth probably won't do any damage and the picture just supports my admonition to have and Subie mechanic do the work on this engine.

Doesn't look like much fun to get into.

#18 dbullen

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 07:03 PM

One tooth probably won't do any damage and the picture just supports my admonition to have and Subie mechanic do the work on this engine.

Doesn't look like much fun to get into.


Got a code reader today, misfire code on cylinder 1,3 and 5. I'm guessing this indicates the timing is off. My mechanic doesn't have time to look at it again for a week so I guess I will take it into the dealer and have them fix the problem, I really hope there has been no damage done. I assume they will have to take everything apart again to set the timing? Should have just got them to do the tensioners in the first place.

#19 Bigbusa

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 07:54 PM

My mechanic doesn't have time to look at it again for a week


that's kind of bogus. He messes up your car, you pay him and now he can't look at it for a week? :mad:

I'd be PO'ed.

#20 ShawnW

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:34 AM

Sounds like he didnt get the pass side bank chain lined up perfectly to me. Possibly bent valves but not terribly likely with all 3 misfiring on the same side that almost has to mean he didnt line up the chain instead of damaging something. If he had damaged something the problem would usually be far worse sounding at idle.

The engine looks like a chain driven EA82 engine with 2 extra cams and 2 extra cyl's every time I look at it.

Unfortunately it is an interference engine so valve damage is always potential BUT it still sounds like 1 tooth off.

Its also very possible he pinned the tensioner too fast in a vise. You need to watch it as it compresses squarely as you can bend the piston in the tensioner if you do it too quickly.

Agree with above...dont let GM tech work on Subie.

#21 dbullen

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:55 AM

Sounds like he didnt get the pass side bank chain lined up perfectly to me. Possibly bent valves but not terribly likely with all 3 misfiring on the same side that almost has to mean he didnt line up the chain instead of damaging something. If he had damaged something the problem would be far worse sounding at idle.

The engine looks like a chain driven EA82 engine with 2 extra cams and 2 extra cyl's every time I look at it.

Unfortunately it is an interference engine so valve damage is always potential BUT it still sounds like 1 tooth off.

Its also very possible he pinned the tensioner too fast in a vise. You need to watch it as it compresses squarely as you can bend the piston in the tensioner if you do it too quickly.


Thanks a lot for the info. The subaru dealer is about a 30 minute drive, I wonder if I should drive there or have it towed.

#22 ShawnW

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 03:00 AM

Id tow it.

#23 nipper

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:57 AM

SOunds like something is off a tooth.

Why were the tensioners replaced? I know that there are some bad tensioners out there, and subaru has been replacing them as the cars come in for service. I think it was 2003, not sure.

BTW you better be sitting down when subaru gives you an estimate.


nipper

#24 dbullen

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 09:03 AM

SOunds like something is off a tooth.

Why were the tensioners replaced? I know that there are some bad tensioners out there, and subaru has been replacing them as the cars come in for service. I think it was 2003, not sure.

BTW you better be sitting down when subaru gives you an estimate.


nipper


Tensioners were making a noise and had it checked at two subaru dealers who said it was the tensioners that needed to be replaced. Yeah I think i'm looking at 5-8 hours of labour @ 80/hr. Car is being worked on as we speak.

#25 johnceggleston

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 09:35 AM

any chance something like a bad cam sensor on that side could cause this?

is it cam = fuel and crank = spark, i can't remember?




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