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I purchased a 1999 Legacy Brighton 2.2L manual transmission wagon in Dec 2011 with 189k miles for my college son.  I purchased it from the original owner who gave us complete repair records including original purchase receipt - the clutch was replaced at 179k... timing belt and head gaskets, valve cover and O2 sensors at 187k... all expected maintenace done on time... only issue was a leaking power steering pump which occurred when timing belt was replaced - the power sterring pump has now been replaced twice but still leaks??  That is a separate issue. 

 

At around 200k the engine started leaking a bit of oil from the rear engine seal.  About two weeks ago he was unable to make it up the hill to Tahoe - high RPM but no power.  He smelled buring oil - which I  believe is  the rear oil seal leak onto the exhaust manifold/muffler.  I checked all engine codes with scan tools and all is good.  Reading the boards I thought it might be the mass air flow sensor and the scan tool did read it eratic but when I went to Autozone the MAF sensor they had for a 1999 did not exist on my engine instead the 2000 model year 2.2L air flow sensor did.  This is despite the fact the engine serial number matches the VIN etc... is this a phase two or phase one 2.2L engine??

 

Anyhow replaced the air flow sensor, plus the air filter, the fuel filter, the spark plugs and spark plug wires. 

 

And still no power...

 

Clutch in 5th gear with brake on stall engine and replaced at 179k I believe it is good...  All codes read clean... the engine is not burning any oil nor blowing any blue smoke... no noise from the clutch and all trans gears shift smoothly...

 

Just no power - difficult to get power over 55-60 MPH and on a steep hill just no torgue at all... everything else runs great..

 

HELP

 

 

 

 

 

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The 2.2 phase 2 started in 99 so it should be phase 2. Didnt know those had MAF sensors though.

 

I always start looking for vacuum leaks. If there are no codes and no CEL you may get a few clues by looking at live data, but not always. Check the condition of the knock sensor, they are known to cause power issues without setting a code.

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Thanks Fairtax4me, There is not a MAF on this engine but inserted into where the air filter is located a small air flow sensor which I replaced.  The old one was reading eratically on the scn tool and the new one seems to be stable.  Reading the data everything seems to read fine - nothing abnormal.  I cannot find any vacuum leaks either.

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About the only way a MT car can be revving at a high RPM and not be able to make it up a hill is clutch slip. Am I understanding the description of the symptoms correctly? Or do you mean it can rev to high RPM when the engine is not under load?

          If oil has leaked on the the clutch or it is misadjusted (this is cable operated clutch on the 2.2 brighton, yes?) it doesn't matter how recently it was replaced, it can be bad.

 

Good luck,

Nathan

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Plugged exhaust,maybe?

My own truck revved high and had no power until I gutted the 3rd and last cat.

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Thanks Luko, Naru and Hankosolder2,

We checked both the exhuast and the fuel pump angle.  Last night I had a good friend over and we came to the same conclusion Hankosolder2 did.  We believe that if the rear seal is leaking a significant amountof oil into the clutch housing then that would both cause the burning smell as well as cause the clutch to slip.

 

Whats running through my head now is given I have to pull the engine, replace the rear seal and replace the clutch doesn't it make sense to just rebuild the engine?  At 200k miles it has been very well maintained, all oil changes on time, new timing belts, etc... but for I am thinking about $600-900 I can both get the rebuild kit including piston bearings etc and have the heads resurfaced.  It will take more time but then I essentially have a new engine.  The other way would be to drop a rebuilt engine in but that sounds more expensive.

Really appreciate everyone's feedback and would be curious for your thoughts on this overall diagnosis and approach to repair

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Did your friend drive it?

 

Seems like way too much work based on an uncertain diagnosis.

Slipping clutch should be trivial to diagnose.Does the car gain speed in step w/rpm increases or will rpm increase w/o speed gain?

 

I would not touch the rest of the motor w/fixing the leak unless it had problems.

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Yes he did.  The car does not gain speed consistently with RPM.  The RPM increases w/out speed gain.  Its fairly good in first gear but starts to lose power/slip in 2nd , 3rd and 4th... tough to get it over 55 mph on a flat surface let alone on mountain roads.  But what is interesting is that when I put in it park and shift into 5th and let out the clutch it will stall the engine.  That is why I initially did not believe it was the clutch and the fact the clutch was replaced by the previous owner by the dealer at 179k.  So I had been ruling out the clutch but the fact it is leaking a fair amount of oil into the housing makes sense that it would be slipping.  My buddy also does not believe we should rebuild the engine as well.  His thoughts are that if we had an engine problem we would number one be seeing a huge loss in power if even one of the cylinders were bad given it is just a 4 banger and we would be seeing blue smoke or burning oil which it does not - nor does it have any rattle or weird bearing sounds.  He believes the engine could go another 50-80k just fine as the records show it has been well maintained.  Really appreciate everyone's insights...

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The "park test" is to put the gas pedal on the floor and let the clutch pedal out. Bet if you did it that way the engine wouldn't stall.

Either way, rpms increasing without a gain in speed means the clutch is slipping.

Really doubt the rear main seal is leaking. It's almost always the separator plate.

No point in rebuilding a 2.2 at 200k. It'll do double that without a rebuild if you just change the oil on time. I'd pull it and just do a basic reseal, replace the clutch and put it back.

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I'll bet money you don't have a leaking rear main seal either, most of the time it is the oil seperator plate that leaks on these things.  Plenty of info here on the forum about that as well.

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I have the same problem but with an auto.

High revs and no torque on long hills.

Engine runs rough like its on 3 cylinders.

Stop engine and start minutes later and ok.

Eliminated the fuel filter,

???????????????????????????

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Thanks to everyone with comments and suggestions.  We pulled the tranny and as was suggested the clutch was gone and a huge leak from the oil separator cover.  Replaced both.  Rear main seal also had a small leak that I could have left alone but after a fair amount of debate replaced as well given the mileage - hopefully it will last.  Finally replaced the valve cover gaskets.  Runs like a champ and should be good to go for a while.

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