Jump to content

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse

- - - - -

Random dying problem is back :( Maybe carb??

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 10 January 2004 - 07:17 PM

Well... i THOUGHT i had fixed the problem, but it showed up again today. On the way to work, the car just stalls in the middle of nowhere. I can feel the car loose power, then it will abruptly stall out, and sometimes wont start again without alot of patience. It died 3 times on the freeway. The 3rd time it almost refused to start up. So i took some carb cleaner, sprayed it in the carb and 1st turn it fired right up, but stalled again until i could get it to start on gas. I checked to make sure the fuel filter is full, and it was.... also while the car was idling, i made sure fuel was being pumped into the filter... and it was.

I believe this might be a carburator related problem. Would a sticking float cause something like this? I think its time to give up on this Hitachi and just get a weber.

Thoughts? Ideas?


P.S. This is on the '84 Wagon, EA81, 2bbl hitachi.

#2 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:23 PM

dabumpity bump.


#3 calebz


    Andys Coupe killed my cat

  • Administrator
  • 7,547 posts
  • Tacoma

Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:26 PM

Bad Brian.. Its only been 3 hours since you posted the problem.. :D

Just busting your balls.

#4 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:33 PM

Yeah i know, but i have to drive home in an hour, and was hoping to have some sort of a responce before i left.

*slaps his wrists* wont happen again.


#5 TomRhere


    Certified BRAT nut!!!

  • Members
  • 4,600 posts
  • Hillsdale, Mi. USA

Posted 10 January 2004 - 10:47 PM

A sticky float, and or sticky needle valve would cause this.

The needle valve is what shuts off the fuel supply to the carb when the fuel level rises and causes the float to push the needle valve onto it's seat.

I have seen needle valves literally wedged into the seat. You don't get any fuel flow when that happens.

Other things that come to mind are,
plugged or restricted tank vent lines; try running with the gas cap loose or off to check that.
fuel pump going south on you; it may still be pumping fuel, but how much fuel is it pumping is the question.
pick-up tube in the tank; there's a sock type filter screen on the end of it, could be partially clogged with yuck, rust, whatever.

Don't have a good break-down of the carb pictured in either of the books I have here. But I wonder how the fuel shut-off solenoid on the carb would fit into the picture. If it shuts off all fuel flow when you turn the key off, then it could be a suspect in this case. Bad connection in the wires leading to it, could cause it to close, shutting off the fuel supply.

They let you run a Weber there in Ca.? If so go for it. I likes mine.

#6 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:02 PM

They dont let me run a weber, but what they dont know cant hurt me.

I have a FSM with a exploded view of the hitachi, so i will take a look at that. Thanks for the explination, the carburator is one of the only parts of the car i haven't tore apart and I didnt quite understand how the fuel is managed by the carb.

Makes sence that the needle or float would cause the problem. If i can find someone to smog my car, i'll put a weber on.


#7 NV Zeno

NV Zeno

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 3,100 posts
  • Ponderosa Ranch, Nevada

Posted 11 January 2004 - 01:50 AM

Kind of sounds like a clogged fuel line, or very possibly a weak fuel pump.

Just my 2 bucks

#8 MilesFox


    Catch this Fox!

  • Members
  • 10,686 posts
  • Madison/Milwaukee, WI

Posted 11 January 2004 - 02:13 AM

any rate it sounds to me that the fuel demand cant keep up.

#9 Snowman


    Midnight Passenger

  • Members
  • 3,538 posts
  • Haines

Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:17 AM

If you haven't disassembled and cleaned the carb yet, you should do that anyway just for good measure even if it doesn't fix this problem.

Hitachi carbs are REALLY easy to take apart, even if you have no clue how they work. Out of necessity, I ripped into one for the first time last spring, and now I wouldn't be scared to on the side of the road seeing only with a flashlight. While you have everything apart, you can check the operation of the fuel cutoff solenoid and anything else that could cause problems.

The idea of a failing fuel pump might be a good one. Maybe turn the ignition on with the fuel line disconnected and see how much comes out. Try restricting the flow a little with your thumb and see what happens.

Good luck.

#10 WRX1AB


    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 78 posts
  • global

Posted 11 January 2004 - 06:50 AM

next time it happens, smack the fuel pump nearest the tank with a heavy object. not too heave. Wait, its a reciprocating pump...... ok, start at the back and work forwatds. consume all the fuel, take out the sender and sock, syphon the rest, check for water. change the sock, move forwards, check/ replace fuel pump, (cheap at wrecking yard). I assume you ahve done the fiulters (both, remember there are TWO) then do the carb.

#11 NV Zeno

NV Zeno

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 3,100 posts
  • Ponderosa Ranch, Nevada

Posted 11 January 2004 - 11:21 AM

(Welcome back, Richard!)

#12 edrach


    RIP 6/28/14

  • Members
  • 12,326 posts
  • Bothell, WA

Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:24 PM

Next time this happens, verify that you have spark. Just because it was a fuel related problem before doesn't mean it is again. Eliminate spark as a potential before you go ripping apart the fuel system.

#13 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:37 PM

I'm almost positive its fuel cause the car feels like its starving right before it dies, also a quick squirt of carb cleaner will get it to fire right up.

The filters were replaced.

Im still intimidated by the carb, i have a couple spare carbs (one of which i got from WRX1AB as a matter of fact) that I will tear down 1st... just to get the idea of its workings. Then tear into the 2BBL on the wagon.

Also, the fuel pump only pumps when the engine is rotating and the alt is rotating. My ignition doesnt activate the pump... but ive been thinking of re-wiring the pump to a switch anyhow just to eliminate that possibility.


p.s. WELCOME BACK RICHARD!!! When are you gonna be back in the states? PM me :)

#14 87 Pimped Gl

87 Pimped Gl

    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts
  • Denver Colorado

Posted 11 January 2004 - 04:51 PM

I had almost the same problem in my 95 legacy but it turned up to be a crank shaft position sensor and cam shaft position sensors, but it never showed up on my check engine light? Had to go to Subaru and hook it up to the computer. I forgot which subie you had, so I don't know if this applies.

#15 clantieri


    Subaru Freak

  • Members
  • 521 posts
  • Hebron, CT

Posted 11 January 2004 - 06:06 PM

Hey Brian,

The HTKYSA first edition book has a great test for the fuel pump. If you don't have that book, let me know and I'll PM you the procedure.

Is it a DCP 306-26? I have a spare if you need one. Also have one with only 3k on it if you want to just try it and then buy a reman.

Good Luck, Chris

#16 TheSubaruJunkie



  • Members
  • 1,938 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 11 January 2004 - 06:40 PM

Yah, i got the 2nd edition HTKYSA, but i also have the FSM for '83. Not sure the model of the carb tho.

Pimped GL, this is a '84 EA81 wagon, pretty much a 4cyl lawn mower engine. There are no crank sensors or anything, thanks for the tip tho :)

If i replace it, it wont be with another hitachi. I'll tear down my crappy hitachi tonight just to see what parts look like what, and where i can fix what.


#17 Scoobydoo


    New User

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Vancouver, Canada

Posted 11 February 2004 - 02:53 AM

I had similar symptoms on my old car. I took the carb apart several times and the problem would go away and just when I thought I had solved it it would die again. I took it to a shop for a carb tune up and it died on the way home. Finally out of frustration I took it to the dealership and (suprisingly) they properly diagnosed it as an air leak around the axle that the butterfly valve turns on in the carb. Seems the car was so old and worn that there was no longer a tight fit, and air would leak in around the axle and screw up the mix once in a while. Talk about obscure! You could probably test for this by putting heavy grease around the ends of the butterfly axle where they protrude from the carb body.
Being a cheap student at the time, I carefully wrapped the axle ends with teflon tape to take up the slop, and it ran like that for awhile until I got another carb.

I used to have an '83 GL that I took to 330k km before the underbody rusted to the point of it sagging when being put on the lift. Loved that car....

#18 RickOregon


    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Burns, Oregon

Posted 11 February 2004 - 12:59 PM


I had a similar problem with our '86 GL 5sp EA-82 carbed. At first I thought it was fuel related. I was thinking carb wasn't getting enough gas. Turned out it wasn't getting enough air!

Normally most of the air is drawn from the air stove around the catalytic converter when our car is warming up. In my case, all the air was coming from the cat, even after the engine warmed. Eventually, because the suction was so great down by the cat, dirt particles caused it to become partially plugged, and if there was any water or snow around they'd try to come up that pathway, as well.

So what we had was a carb that was hardly getting any air and sometimes it would get a mix of air and water vapor... wouldn't run well - acted like it wasn't getting enough gas - poor performance and sometimes would die and not start for awhile. Really frustrated my wife, Kate, who drives it most of the time..

See my earlier post for what I did to fix this. Might be a problem on your car, too, if it's similarly equipped (with pre-heater hose that goes from air cleaner down to exhaust).

Here's the link: http://usmb.ultimate...&threadid=11280

Hope you find the problem. Rick

#19 rallyruss


    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 1,653 posts
  • San Jose CA

Posted 11 February 2004 - 03:15 PM

I know this has been discussed before and just wanted to bring it up again. The fuel pump has no relay on yours correct? if you hot wire the fuel pump to the coil + and the problem goes away. its not the pump. dont use a toggle switch. its too easy to forget to shut it off.
my 85 wagon did the same thing I finally decided it was the transistor in the ecm that had failed. I was too lazy to fix it correctly so I just left it wired off the coil +. ran good untill the 2nd owner after me totaled it:(

#20 Sweet82


    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,273 posts
  • Salt Lake City

Posted 11 February 2004 - 03:49 PM

The only time in 21 years my Subie ever let me down it did the same thing as your experiencing.

My subie would just loose power and die for no real reason:confused:

It was the Professor Pulmb in the study with a carving knife!
Oh! no wait, sorry I was thinking of something else......
It was the Fuel Pump in the Garage with a Socket wrench!

The old light attached to the fuel pump trick diagnosed my problem.

Two other thoughts,

Have you checked all your coil/spark wires for cracks or resistance?

A basic tune up has always worked magic on my old Subie.

82 Hatch, well it started out as one........
01 Forester, bent but not broken!

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users