Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by jonathan909

  1. Pardon the intrusion here, but I just caught up with this thread and don't know anything about knurling. Is the idea just to expand the skirt by pushing the metal up, giving a tighter fit and reducing slap? How is it done? Chuck it into the lathe and go at it with a knurling tool? Honestly, I don't think I've ever had the sound of piston slap pointed out to me - I don't think I could recognize it.
  2. As you found, a bad fuel pump just means the motor slows or stops. A timing failure can result in a range of symptoms. If the belt skips a tooth (e.g. due to a failing tensioner) the timing's going to be out a little and degrade performance. Or you can experience what happened to me: The toothed idler seized, effectively stopping the belt. But the rest of the moving parts still had a lot of inertia, so the two passenger side timing (cam) sprockets shattered, smashing the timing cover on that side (that part was the giveaway when I raised the hood - lots of plastic bits), while internally three of the exhaust valves were bent by contact with the pistons. All that meant that there was a pretty abrupt THUNK as the motor stopped. I'm sure others here can relate the symptoms they experienced; perhaps together they represent a thumbnail guide to how the failures can present, though it may be less than definitive.
  3. Can someone please enlighten me as to how and why KYB are the preferred brand? As a general rule I go econo and ignore the expensive upsell to "greater quality" with most replacement parts. That is, unless there are compelling quantitative and/or qualitative arguments for the extra cost presented by people who know - a ready example is the OEM thermostat. So when I replaced all four struts on my '02 Forester (since its crash, transplanted to the '01), I went with Gabriel Ultra and FCS (from Rock). How much difference will it make?
  4. It's been quiet for a couple of days, so I thought I'd break the silence with a report of what kind of idiot I can be. Now that the holidays are over, everyone's back to work and school, and I can get some quiet time to crank up the stereo and get things done, I'm bolting up the heads on this EJ25D rebuild so maybe I can get the mill back in the car during the Chinook this week. Body count on this timing failure was three slightly bent exhaust valves, otherwise things look good. Having done the left head, I mounted up the right last night just before bed, and first thing this morning torqued it up. For anyone who hasn't done it, it's a procedure, and I still find some Zen focus in it, something I discovered a five or six years ago when I did my first head gasket job on this car, just after I bought it (my first Subaru). I'm normally very task-to-completion driven, but in the middle of torquing one of these heads for the first time, I found I wasn't thinking the way I usually do, rather, I was really enjoying the process. Quite a memorable moment for me. Anyway, in half an hour or so it was all torqued, so I went to the exhaust cam next, since I'm always nervous about falling lifters. But when I put it in place and reached for the cap... its markings were wrong - they were for the intake. So I looked at the cam - intake too. Confusing... I know where I put them just before bolting up the head... there are the exhaust parts.... oh... I'd put the head on upside-down. It's truly amazing, the big things you can miss when you're focusing on little details. We're all used to trying to be the smartest and most helpful we can, but I doubt I'm the only one who has these moments (and I have a few more, some pretty hilarious). Feel free to share.
  5. A few points: First, if you're trying to repair wiring faults, "twisting together" wires doesn't cut it. Either solder them or use a crimp connector (butt splice). Twisting will not give you the reliability you need. Second, Haynes manuals, while usually generally useful, do not contain model year specifics accurate enough for debugging electrical problems. They just don't, and you shouldn't try to do this based on their drawings, because you'll be wasting your time chasing ghosts. Somewhere, somehow, you need to find the exact drawings for your car. (This is a problem across the board, not just with Haynes' Subaru manuals.) Third, assuming your engine uses the same type of sensors as mine (which start at '95), they are passive devices that are unpowered - that's why they only have two wires. They're called "variable reluctance" sensors, and you can think of them as sort of like the volume control on an older stereo (which are variable resistors - potentiometers - that don't need to be "powered"). (A lot of newer audio equipment uses more complicated rotary controls like optical shaft encoders that are "active" devices and do need to be powered, but that's not what we're talking about here.) The upshot is that if you want to see whether the sensor is producing the pulses it's supposed to, you really have to put an oscilloscope on it.
  6. As you've all illustrated, our work exists on a continuum from the "fun and games, keeping my own stuff running and staying stimulated by learning new things", through work for an employer and/or customer, to mission-critical/man-rated, where mistakes have the most serious consequences. As fate has had it, I've never been involved in the latter, and some of the very best programmers I've ever worked with have been categorical about not wanting that kind of responsibility. My career has been in the middle, and often as a contractor, where those mistakes sometimes came out of my own pocket. But back at the lighter end of the scale, here's another learning-on-the-fly boner move: For the longest time I had a persistent - and increasingly severe - drivetrain vibration in my old beater '91 Dakota 4x4. At one point I was so frustrated I was determined to just start disconnecting things until something changed. So off came the front driveshaft. No change. Then one front drive axle - I pulled it out and took it for a spin. No change. Then the other drive axle. I headed out our driveway and about a quarter mile down the access road to the secondary highway (we're out in the country). As I pulled out onto the highway, both front bearings (without the axles supporting the load) gave out, planting the front end on the pavement with the wheels splayed out like in a cartoon, or a newborn colt that can't quite stand up yet. I wish I'd had a camera - as I stood back and looked at it I just couldn't stop laughing. Then I trudged home, got the jacks and tools, and sorta wedged it all back together again well enough to limp back to the garage. To cap it, while I was fetching the tools, my girls' school bus driver passed by the poor thing, so the story got around. As my former business partner and I say: We know it's built right because we did it six times.
  7. One of the nuts on mine is mangled up, so I tried to fetch a replacement from the boneyard. Wasted a lot of time, chewed up my knuckles, and came away empty-handed. A regular flare nut wrench just couldn't cut it. What's the right answer? Does a crowfoot flare nut wrench work any better down there?
  8. Thanks - I'll see how it goes and may take you up on that. The problem was that with the engine in the (junkyard) car, there simply wasn't enough room to swing the flare nut wrench - or get a FH (B or otherwise) down there to help. I'm pretty sure the one I have was messed up when I first resorted to the Vise-Grips years ago. Nasty d@mn spot.
  9. Sure - we all have our parameters when it comes to this stuff, and if you're using the tools to make your living it's easier to justify buying primo product. For example, when it comes to electronic pliers, I absolutely won't touch anything but Snap-On because nobody else is even close e.g. I've been using their 710 flush cutters exclusively for nearly 40 years. When there was a (really) good used tool shop in town I bought as many Snap-On, Mac, etc. "mechanic's" hand tools as I could, because they generally charged 1/2 the new price. But if I can't find those deals, I don't have a lot of trouble with solid consumer-grade stuff, esp. Craftsman or others offering free replacement. It's the normal cost vs. quality vs. time calculus, and it constantly varies with application and circumstance.
  10. May not be the "best" way to test an ECM, but the most practical way for mere mortals to do it is to swap in another one and see if anything changes. I take it you're not getting any error codes?
  11. I can't be the only one here who finds that weird. Out here in Calgary we have three self-serve yards - Two Pick-n-Pull and one smaller regional independent. But a few years ago, out in Southern Ontario (where the vast majority of Canada's population is) I couldn't find one to save my life. I'm sure there's a pattern in this, but I sure haven't been able to suss it.
  12. True confession: (Within reasonable financial boundaries,) I'm a total tool queen. I need very little provocation to buy a new tool so that next time that particular problem comes around, I'm strapped. These pass-through sockets (which are as you described) are a good example - I don't mind dropping $50 or so in order to not have to stop what I'm doing and start making tools next time. I'm not a big fan of these "universal" sockets, but given how often I'll use this kit, I think they'll be fine: https://www.channellock.com/product/39100/
  13. I'm still trying to catch up with all y'all wrt what a "quick strut" is. Does that just mean "strut-with-spring assembly"?
  14. In other words, you homebrewed a pass-through socket. You could do it that way. And if your experience was like mine, you'd be doing it twice - once with a 17mm socket and once more with a 21mm.
  15. GD, I heard you and believe you. I'm just keeping my mind open at the moment to the possibility that this faked-up VSS signal is otherwise confusing the ECM and causing some other unpredictable behaviour unrelated to rev-limiting.
  16. Easy enough to confirm with a scope whether in fact the speedo circuit is just doing a simple waveshaping/level shifting without otherwise altering the signal. Unlikely, I think, that it's "random". Random is actually pretty hard to do, and I don't see how it would be useful in this case. More likely that it's variable or adjustable or something that's easy to implement with a 555 timer or similar. You wouldn't happen to have the schematic for it, would you? Might be helpful at some point. And yeah, I'm an electronics geek, mainly embedded systems (like this one). I'll be interested in hearing the outcome of the test with the VSS fed through the speedo.
  17. I specified a self-serve yard because they're a completely different animal than a full-service yard. They're utterly indifferent to the removal of the valve body devaluing the remainder of the tranny. As far as they're concerned, any money they make on any portion of a car is gravy in advance of the rest going to the crusher for metal weight value. I didn't pull that $50 (CDN) figure out of my butt; that's what they actually charge around here: http://www.picknpull.com/part_pricing.aspx?LocationID=76&NavItem=12&SearchCriteria=&#partpricing I'm not going to argue the point further - it's your money, spend it as you wish. I just want you to understand that I'm not blowing smoke here. On the reprogramming part, I don't know, but my guess is that it wouldn't be necessary.
  18. Disclaimer: I know nothing about ATs; the extent of my experience is replacing the 4EAT in my '99 Forester. It was suffering from a neck-snapping 4-3 downshift under power - if you stepped on it for passing, to get power on a hill, etc., it felt like you were being rear-ended at speed. No codes. Xmission repair shop estimated $2400 (a nonstarter). Found a matching transmission in a junkyard car; it had body damage (implying it was mechanically sound when taken off the road), so I took a flyer and spent $130 and an afternoon dropping it. When I bolted it up it worked perfectly. Having said that, if I were in your situation I'd get my butt to a (preferably self-serve) wrecking yard and pull a valve body. Around here they charge $50 for them.
  19. Oh, I get it. You're feeding it a pulse train slower than normal to make the ECM think the car's groundspeed is lower than it is. I can't speculate on what other implications that might have. Any idea what normal is, in Hz/mph or something? What do you think your top end speed should be? [Edit] That's interesting - the xmission's speed sensor output doesn't go straight to the ECM. It gets fed into the speedometer circuit (in the gauge cluster) which in turn feeds the ECM VSS input. That could either just be a wiring "convenience", or the speedo circuit is conditioning that signal somehow. Seems to me the easiest approach to debugging this would be to unplug your VSS hack and put a gauge cluster in to see if it behaves differently.
  20. I really don't know $h!t about $h!t, but I'm kind of curious about this. Assuming that by "We built a circuit to simulate the 5 volt signal on pin 83 to the ECM for the VSS." you mean you built an oscillator that feeds a pulse train to the VSS input, why would you go to all that trouble instead of just connecting the transmission's speed sensor output to it as usual? (I was also briefly confused by this, as "VSS" has a totally different meaning in my world - it's a power supply rail, usually ground.) And is p.81 grounded to tell the ECM that it's connected to a 5MT?
  21. Here's the thing: That's what I found while disassembling the strut - that I was able to get a (cheap) offset onto the stock 17mm nut. However, no way no how was there enough room to get one onto the 21mm nut that the aftermarket shocks came with. That's why I'm getting a pass-through set.
  22. To be fair, I've only replaced one pump (out of the six cars I've owned - not thousands!), and it was in the '02 Forester that I rescued from a country junkyard after it'd been sitting there for nine years. Fools hadn't drained the tank when they parked it, so after I replaced the motor the fuel pump was the next step. It was seized solid, there was corrosion all over the bracket, and the rubber mount had dissolved into a sticky gob resembling half a dozen packages of well-chewed Black Cat gum.
  23. Why, you're lucky. Around here, we walk uphill both ways. (For anyone wondering - and those who weren't - Monty Python were ripping off Stephen Leacock when they did that bit - Cleese admitted it.)
  24. Well, or another carrier (USPS?), or leave a note saying "sorry for the blocked driveway, please leave package in car", or deliver to a neighbor, or...