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About ayykimber

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    2002 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon
  1. Hey all, Just wanted to do a quick update. I drove the car home this afternoon and left it with my stepfather since he has access to all the diagnostic tools out there, so he can have a look and weigh in on things. On the way there the CEL came on, I had it scanned at the nearest Autozone off the interstate and the code was P0172-Mixture too rich bank 1. Is it safe to assume the coil and plug leads need to be replaced at this point, or is there something else we can consider now with this code? Thank you all so much again for your help! Ill keep posting if we find anything else. -A
  2. Hey all, I managed to get some audio of the stutter on my way home from class today. It's faint since I literally just started recording with my phone my dash cubby, so you will need earphones or something with goo bass range to hear it. It is there however, especially towards the end around 1:15, 1:30, and 2:45. Also I am aware of the squeaking at the beginning, my clutch throw-out bearing wasn't broken in properly so it squeaks like crazy and my power steering pump is going (I have a pump on my shelf waiting to go on, and I plan to do that in November so expect a thread on that here in a month or so.) I haven't been able to get good audio of the tapping yet. You can catch it in the video posted below with your speakers or earbuds on max and the bass removed, but it is very very faint and barely heard even with your speakers all the way up. It's best heard at low revs when moving, so I may try again later tonight to get audio of it. Hopefully it will be a smaller file this time so I can just upload it straight to here rather than going the long way around like this time. Hope this helps! -A https://youtu.be/6EGD7Eki3w8
  3. The noise at 5:33 is definitely not what I am hearing. But that at least rules out one possibility. Thanks -A
  4. The Check Engine Light definitely works. I just got the bugger to go away after replacing the catalytic converter and both O2 sensors. The timing belt and pulleys were done when we did head gaskets a few years ago. It shouldn't be piston slap, since the tap is pretty recent, there haven't been any signs of it up until like two weeks ago, and its a phenomena that does come and go no matter the temp it is outside, the water or oil temp, or the load on the engine. It also sounds very much like top end noise, the best I can describe it is an extremely noisy injector. Volume doesn't really get louder with revs, but the tapping does get faster. -A
  5. I'll give that a look as well. Also just a quick update on the situation, the stuttering has been pretty minimal to non existent in the mornings lately, which is strange considering the mornings in the area have been pretty cool and pretty wet from all the humidity and condensation. This morning for example it was about 50-60 degrees, humid as all get out, and the car was covered in condensation from the 96% humidity yesterday. However, it didn't stutter once on the way to work this morning. I didn't run with my windows down, but from what I could hear through the firewall the tapping was either gone or quiet enough that the noise wasn't making it inside. The afternoons have been the worst, exhibiting the symptoms I've described before, but it doesn't last quite as long as it used to. Current plan of action is checking out the coil and plug wires, and doing a visual inspection of the knock sensor since that's the best I can really do in terms of that with the tools I have at my disposal. If they look fine/don't arc, I'll just put some miles on it and see where that gets me. For better or worse. -A
  6. Thanks, Ill give those a look too! -A
  7. I do know that the plug wires and the valve cover gasket were replaced along with the head gaskets, it is unlikely that that is the case, and I didnt note any breaks in the wire when I was checking it out. However, I will give them a check because I did notice a bit of oily/watery residue on part of the lead that go into the head to contact the plug (what ever that's called) of the number one cylinder when I pulled it so there may be something there and Im not gonna rule anything out considering what I've seen on this thing. Just spray water around the plug wires and where they go into the head, and see if anything happens? I was also thinking fuel filter this morning when I was driving in so that my be my next step, Ill also see if I can get my hands on a scanner next time I'm home to look for codes and see what the idle mix is doing. I've also never heard about the knock sensor issue on these cars, I'll look into that as well. Where would it be located and what will I be looking for? Most other threads I've looked into says it's an O2 Sensor, but since they were replaced so recently I'm somewhat doubtful that it's faulty. Best explanation I can come up with that one is that one of em didnt get plugged back in quite properly when I did the cat, but I would imagine that the fault would have popped up earlier since that was done about a month ago. Thanks for your help! -A
  8. Hello all, My 2002 Outback has developed a very strange misfire recently, and while it probably inst a Subaru specific issue (I don't think at least), I wanted to ask y'all for help since y'all haven't done me wrong yet. The misfire started last week, it wasn't too bad at first, but got progressively worse and worse up to the point where it was feeling down on power, and stuttering to the point where it would almost stall out when moving away from a light. There was and still is no check engine light, it stuttered like crazy moving off from a standstill, it backfired like crazy, and it developed a small tapping noise that sounds like either an injector, something else top end, or even a small exhaust leak when I was moving/accelerating. I started running through the procedures of figuring out what the issue was, and I had narrowed it down to bad gasoline since I had filled up from a station that ran its tanks dry and had their pumps sitting for a few days. I threw a can of Sea Foam into the tank later in the week in the hopes that it would help fix any weirdness in the fuel. It did help, so over this past weekend I refilled from about half a tank and drove 300 miles round trip to my hometown and back to run out the tank and squeeze out any junk in there. While I was in town I pulled the spark plugs on the passenger side as well as the injectors. They were acceptably clean upon visual inspection, so that sealed the deal for me that it was a fuel issue (I didnt get a chance to flow test the injectors since I didn't really have the time/money to see if they were up to snuff however.) I also checked the plug wires and there were no breaks in them, they haven't been shorting on anything, and the contacts looked clean. When I returned back to town I refilled from very nearly empty, and drove it around town a bit. It was a night and day improvement, it didn't stutter anywhere nearly as bad, (the coupled of times it did stutter it was quickly killed off by adding more gas when moving away from a light), and even the tapping noise had either gone away or had quieted down to the point that I couldn't hear it. So, I thought everything was fine and dandy, I went ahead and poured another can of Sea Foam into the tank to stabilize any bad fuel left in the system, and called it a day. However this morning when I got in to drive to class, the stutter and tap had returned in force. What was interesting about this round is that it subsided quite a bit once the motor got some heat in it, and the noise was either very quiet or non existent. There still isn't a check engine light either. I'm pretty thoroughly stumped by this. I'm good with a wrench, but I cant diagnose to save my life so any help will be greatly appreciated. Just a little background on the car to make things easier (hopefully), it has 177k miles on it, it has had head gaskets done in the last 20k miles, O2 sensors replaced in the last 5k miles, and I just put a new catalytic converter on it less than 1K miles ago. It's also had the fuel filter replaced at some point, although I have no idea when. This thing has seen a pretty hard life, so honestly anything on this thing breaking wouldnt surprise me at this point. Thank you all in advance, -A
  9. ayykimber

    2002 Subaru Legacy Outback

    I am too, compared to other Japanese makes I've had the chance to work on over the years, this is definitely one of the better ones in terms of maintenance. However it isnt as easy as it could be most of the time since previous owners seem to have taken a "that'll do" approach to maintenance, and I've been having to undo all of that when I go through and do my work. That and occasionally parts are expensive and hard to find, but that said It genuinely is a joy to work on. -Ayy
  10. Hey all, I finally got around to changing out my gear lube, and I have been driving it around for about a month now. I ended up going with Motul Gear 300 75W90 like GD recommended, and it cured all the crunchiness in the gear box. It is now smooth as butter, and it quieted it down immensely. If you can justify the extra cost It is absolutely worth the extra money!
  11. ayykimber

    2002 Subaru Legacy Outback

    Hello All, I finally am getting around to telling the story of my daily, and laying out my plans for what I want to do with it in the future once daily duty is over. I am currently the proud owner of a 2002 Subaru (obviously) Legacy Outback Wagon Rocky Mountain Special Edition (I don't know what "Rocky Mountain Special Edition" is either don't worry). It has the base EJ251, and while it's a factory 5-speed car, it now has the 5-speed from a Bugeye WRX added by a long past owner. I'm not entirely sure what the rear diff is, one would assume it is WRX as well, but I have yet to check. As far as other mods go it's pretty tame for now, it has a polyurethane transmission mount that was put in when the original unit wore out, and my stepfather for what ever reason put on an exhaust from a Blobeye STi that has a sloppily welded cannon suck on the end and a dying catalytic converter. Everything else that has been done has been general maintenance, my stepfather did the head gaskets, timing belts and water pump when we first got it, I did the O2 sensors last year, and some more thorough suspension work the year before that (replaced both ball joints, and a new passenger side control arm and bushes). Everything else is fairly stock, stock wheels with Subaru recommended BFG's, stock interior with a new head unit, a body with some rust in the rockers and passenger side rear quarter, and its fair share of dents and scratches from daily driver duty for the last 15 years or so. This car was my family's gateway into the world of Subaru, my parents bought this car 5-6 years ago from a transmission shop for $1.5k, put a new clutch in it and tires on it. At the time they were going through bankruptcy, and needed something to drive while my stepfather was going back to work. It served as a daily for my stepfather for 4 years until they got back on their feet, and were able to trade up to something newer. He got himself a widebody Meaneye WRX hatch, and my mother got herself a later model Outback 3.6R. Rather than letting this car be wholesaled by a dealer, they kept it around and sent me off with it to college, which is what it has been doing for the last 2-3 years. It's currently sitting at 174k and change miles, and I absolutely have no intention of getting rid of it. My plans for it right now consist of making it the best daily it can be until I'm finished with school in another 2-3 year's time. Once I have the job and the time to do it, I very much intend to modify it. I'm leaning towards a rallycross/WRC offroader build with either a frankenengine, or just going the more expensive route and building an EJ257 from the ground up. Either way I will be bolting a 6 speeder to it, and uprating the suspension for high speed use and offroad duty. Expect more posts on this thread with updates, and posts from me asking questions as I'm still somewhat new to the intricacies of these cars. The last car I dailyed (and still have) was a '92 GMC so I have a ways to go and lots to learn before Im a Subaru pro. I hope y'all enjoyed my ramblings and this story. I look forward to posting more and reading more about these cars. -Ayy
  12. Thanks for the advice, like I said I'm extremely familiar with the general maintenance aspect of it all, and painfully familiar with the aftermath if one doesn't keep track of it as I have had to do engine swaps on cars because owners never kept oil in them. As a result I generally check at least once a week which is why it's been driving me nuts trying to get a read on it. Ill let it cool overnight and check. It's not really using anymore than the general quart per 3k (ish) miles that I learned, so I'm not particularly worried about that. However, considering the reputation of these cars for oil leaks, and that this one is sitting at about 174k and change I'm sure to check often to get anything fixed before it's a problem. Once again, thanks for the advice!
  13. Hello all, Even though I have my fair share of experience as a mechanic (been working on and around cars since I was 8), sometimes you need help with the basics. I am the owner of a 2002 Legacy Outback wagon with the base EJ251, and I cannot for the life of me get an accurate reading on the dipstick when I check the oil. I'm still somewhat new to this community and new to the nitty gritty details of these cars, so sometimes even with the basics I need to ask for advice. The problem I am having is that I can get anything from no oil at all when hot/warm, to the front of the stick (the side with the L and F stamped on it) registering no oil at all and the back side registering overfull, and once in every 10 tries or so it will actually register something meaningful. Ive tried waiting anywhere from 15 mins to 2 hrs to get as much oil drained back into the sump as possible as these engines don't really have the help of gravity to get the oil back to the sump like a V or inline engine would, and Im officially out of ideas on how to do something as basic as checking the oil on this thing. Just a little bit of background to help with things, it does not leak or burn oil (the head gaskets were done a few years ago shortly after my stepfather purchased the car, and there is no smoke, smell, or indication that it is burning an abnormal amount of oil.) Also according to records and testimony from previous owners the oil was always changed regularly, and has been as long as it has been in the possession of me and my family. I've had this problem during the five or so years my stepfather had this car, and the two years that I have had it. Are there any suggestions anyone can offer up on checking the oil in EJ's? I appreciate any advice or help I can get!
  14. Thanks so much for the advice, Ill look into some new gear lube and go from there. Hopefully this will cure my problems, and Ill post in this thread what I find for future reference.
  15. When they did the rebuild the guy from the shop claimed that there were some shavings on the magnet, but on further inspection there wasn't any significant damage to anything, which considering what I am hearing about this shop nowadays makes me reconsider my choice and what he said. However, considering the car itself is sitting around 175K miles (and those haven't been easy miles either considering the car's history, which is another story for another time) and the transmission probably isn't far off of that number as well, the shop just cleaned it up a bit, replaced the clutch, throw-out bearing, and the center diff and called it good. On the subject of lube if I were to go with temp ranges it would be almost impossible to find anything that'll work as it gets to be well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Summers and into the negatives in the Winters, I was looking into OEM lubes like GD suggested since I've generally had better luck with OEM stuff. I will keep your story in mind however should a rebuild be necessary. Thanks!