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SubyGl

ea82 gl wagon issues, wont start or run

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Apologies for the vague title but we really arent sure whats wrong at this point.

 

A few days ago we were headed out in the wagon when it just dead stopped, we figured a timing belt went or it skipped a tooth, no problem, tow it home and take the covers off, both timing belts are perfect and timing is right on.

 

Dad goes to reset the ecu and see if it will start after double checking everything, still no start, turn the key and... silence, the fuel pump isnt coming on in normal mode even though it just came on in check mode?

 

we have spark and the fuel pump does work in check mode but not in normal running mode, we arent sure at this point if its the ecm or fuel pump relay.

 

Thanks for all help

87 Gl ea82 spfi 5spd dual range with many many miles.

Edited by SubyGl

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"...arent sure whats wrong at this point...it just dead stopped"

 

typical of an electrical problem, likely a short or blown fuse somewhere.

 

"turn the key and... silence"

 

check all fuses and try to trace why starter isn't turning.

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Check your fuses with a test light.I have seen them that looked good ,but they were not..On the e81's I would bet $ on the dist going out.Thats just what happens...nothing ... just like you turned off the key. I once had something like this happen and it was the 4 way flasher fuse was bad...??changed it out and it ran... You just keep lookin,something is bound to fix it..

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My '87 wagon did basically the same thing a couple winters ago. I ended up putting on a new fuel filter and pump and started right up after that. Sounds like the pump runs at times? Sounds like a ground possibly? Try an alternate power and ground wire to the pump. Good luck!

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loyale2.7turbo is a member here and has a good write up on the relay. but for now ill tell ya the relays are above the fuse block on the left side of your ride, under the dash.

 

Did you take the disty cap off yet??? if not youll find a little screw sitting in there, dont lose it. pull the rotor off and look at the hole. thats where the screw goes through and into the disty shaft. button that up, drive to the store and buy me a beer.

 

 

RV

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Distributor is all good, everything tight and in its place, sorry for not mentioning i check that.

 

Dad thinks it may be the ecm or ignition control because it sounds like its firing at the wrong time. Hes thinking the ignition control or ecm is connected to the fuel pump relay and keeping it from coming on.

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It sounds like you're on the right track with the fuel pump relay or ECM. There might also be a fuel pump control unit ('fuel cut unit') as well. Loyales had them, but I'm not positive about the GL wagons. Here's the wiring diagram from the Subaru manual:

 

SubaruSPFIFuelCircuit.jpg

 

The fuel pump relay (on a Loyale at least) is under the driver's side dash to the left (I think) of the steering column. It is a cylindrical metal relay and should be next to a square brown relay (ignition relay). It gets power from fuse 11 (which is good on your car since the fuel pump runs with the check connector) and signal ground from the fuel cut unit.

 

I about pulled my hair out trying to find a wiring diagram for the fuel cut unit, but didn't have any luck. Basically the fuel cut unit gets a tach signal (yellow or yellow/green wire) from the distributor, a key-on power signal (or key-on ground from the ECM? I can't remember which, but that would make more sense), a constant power source, and a hot-in-start signal (black/red wire) from the ignition switch. From these signals, it will run the pump for a few seconds when you first turn the key on (from the key-on power signal/key-on ground), then stops until it sees the hot-in-start signal and then a tach signal indicating the engine is running.

 

The fuel cut unit is a blue box about 2"x3"x1.5" with a 6-wire plug going into the side of it. It's up under the dash near the fuel pump relay if I remember right.

 

Hopefully that is enough info to begin your diagnostics. There is a test procedure for the fuel cut unit which basically tells you to check each wire for the appropriate signal. I can dig it up if you need me to.

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Sorry, everything else works fine electrically and it will crank but it won't start.

 

Okay so it does crank. If the car did a little hurt dance when "it just dead stopped", then the problem is likely the fuel pump has gone out. This is a common problem and easily fixed by just replacing the pump.

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Well in my experance the fuel pumps seem to last forever.Its usually the wireing.Now on the e81's there is what people have called a "roll over relay",Its right above the hood release on the left side of the cab.small thing about the size of 1/2 of a pack of smokes..I have replaced this a few times and even hotwired one and drove it home.They call it a "roll over relay" cause in the event of a rollover it shuts off the fuel pump..Now this is stiff I have just heard... so hang on..you'll get it !! ps have you tried a little gas in the carb or starting fulid? that will tell you if it is a fuel problem or something different..C ya,OSF

Edited by old sub freak
old

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Well in my experance the fuel pumps seem to last forever.Its usually the wireing.Now on the e81's there is what people have called a "roll over relay",Its right above the hood release on the left side of the cab.small thing about the size of 1/2 of a pack of smokes..I have replaced this a few times and even hotwired one and drove it home.They call it a "roll over relay" cause in the event of a rollover it shuts off the fuel pump..Now this is stiff I have just heard... so hang on..you'll get it !! ps have you tried a little gas in the carb or starting fulid? that will tell you if it is a fuel problem or something different..C ya,OSF

 

You are referring to the Fuel Cut Unit. It was called the Fuel Pump Control Unit on EA81 cars if I remember right. It cuts power to the pump if the engine dies. They are black on EA81s and located where you say. I believe the wiring and operation is slightly different between EA81s and EA82s

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If it's SPFI, it needs the signal pulse from the disty before it will run the pump.

 

Timing belt is ussually the culprit.....are you positive they are good nothing is seized or striped?

 

After that i would suspect the disty. if not disty then ECU

 

Also, be sure that it is indeed an 87, and not an 88 or after.

 

If it's a true 87, the disty plug will be round. You will have to splice the round connector onto the newer disty. Match them color for color on the Disty side. Then on the harness side you need to swap 2 wires in it's harness side mate. The green and white wires IIRC

 

If you swap BOTH from an 88+ you can leave connector as is.

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SPFI will run the pump for 2-5 seconds when you turn the key to run, without a tach signal. Then it will not run again until it sees the tach signal or you cycle the key again (turn it off and then back on)

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The trouble you describe seems a little strange. The pump seems to work okay in the test mode but not in the normal running mode. I think it would be good to prove the rest of the engine is working okay by spraying a small amount of starter fluid into the intake to see if the engine will run that way. If the problem is just with the fuel delivery then the engine should start up with no trouble using the starter fluid to get it going.

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If it's trying to fire as you describe then it must have fuel and spark. That really only leaves compression/timing as potential failures.

 

As Gloyale mentions above - did you check to insure the timing marks are aligned correctly and that the belt isn't missing any teeth? Also check the distributor timing using the ignition timing marks on the flywheel. If something has slipped out of time then you will get a crank/no start and occasional pop when a spark ignites some fuel at the wrong time.

 

GD

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We're taking another look at the distributor but I found out I'm mistaken and its actually and 88 GL instead of 87.

 

Makes sense since most '87s were carbed. SPFI's were mostly limited to 2WD's in 86/87.

 

GD

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pulled codes, checked ignition module, checked fuel pump relay, checked fuses, checked everything else mentioned here, noda. dad finally got tired of it being in the shop after 2 weeks and its now in the local suby dealerships care.

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Turns out it was simply the fuel injector, which on a car with only one fuel injector can cause quite a few problems.

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