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'97 Legacy GT with '95EJ22- rougher idle, now no start

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I decided to do a couple of the same mods to the '95 EJ22 in our most recently acquired 1997 Legacy GT. Similar to what I did with our '98 Legacy EJ22 wagon, I swapped the air tube resonator for the earlier style '95 air tube (less air restriction). The vacuum lines all install pretty much the same way and it ran fine afterwards, although the idle might have been a light rougher (attributed it to the ECU needing the relearn the difference in air flow). 

Drove fine a couple of weeks then last weekend we were going to have my son drive the car on a longish trip and the car idled rough and got a CEL.  I checked the connections (especially the large hose to the IACV) and all looked good, but I swapped the originally air tube back on and cleared the code.

The car has a bit of miss at idle (almost has a rumbling sound coming from below the engine when it misses). Also idle is a little erratic. 


I went ahead reinstalled the '95 air tube and installed the MSD coil- no real differences or improvements in the way it runs. My son drove it about 40+miles for a driving lesson yesterday and it drove fine

I also played around a little with the TPS adjustment to try to up the idle speed a bit, which may have improved the idle speed a little.

Then this morning my wife went to take it to work and no start at all. The engine cranks and when it ties to catch the engine shakes quite a bit. It feels like some sort of misfire. I tried to read any codes from it and did come up with the P0505 IACV code again. I cleared it, but it does the same thing when you try to start it. (I wouldn't think IACV issues would cause a no start situation anyway).

So I'm thinking some of the recent work done on it is the cause- is the the MSD coil defective possibly- seemed to work fine at first. Totally unrelated but could it have jumped timing? (timing belt and idlers replaced 30K something miles ago when P.O. swapped the EJ22 in). Should whatever happened be throwing a code? (I'm not reading any new ones).

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if the hose from the IACV that goes to someplace under the intake tube is off or leaking, you will experience no/very poor idle.

 

I have also read of people cleaning-out the IACV.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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if the hose from the IACV that goes to someplace under the intake tube is off or leaking, you will experience no/very poor idle.

 

I have also read of people cleaning-out the IACV.

The hose is connected (and I added a clamp where it attached to the new intake tube as well. I thought of the IACV valve as the cause (especially since it's thrown a coupe, of codes now), but I'm not sure if a dirty or bad IACV would cause a no start situation like I'm now experiencing.

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That's an unusual code/ problem.  I never had or read of that one on 90's subarus.  Just replace it.  Get a used IACV from the junk yard.  After all, if the maf doesn't sense a air flow, there wouldn't be any gas injection.

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Figured out the no start- The wire connector wasn't firmly plugged into the coil so it starts and runs again.

 

What is weird is the miss I am hearing at idle. Actually it is making a resonating noise that's going through the air tube. Also, the idle is uneven, with RPM's fluctuating a bit. I had previously gotten the P0505 IACV code but that hasn't returned.
 
I first noticed this miss/ resonating noise after I changed  to the '95 air tube. At the same time, I attempted to change out the air box to the '95 box, but the intake hole was smaller, so put the '97 box with the MAF back on.
 
I rechecked how the vacuum lines were installed and a couple were switched around so i copied the way that are connected to the '95 air tube i installed in my '98 wagon a few years ago, but still the miss
 
For kicks, I swapped in a spare MAF that came with a bunch of Outback parts I acquired a few months ago. If anything the car idles even worse now which makes me think maybe the MAF needs a good cleaning, which I will try to do with my original before reinstalling it. What is the best method to clean the MAF?

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there's MAF spray cleaner - smells different from other stuff I use around the car so, might be best to just pick-up a can. Don't poke around inside the MAF with a nozzle or anything, there's a delicate wire in there somewhere.

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If it has the 97 air box make sure the bottom part of the box is together properly and the seal that goes between the halves is in place.

 

Misfiring is usually spark related. Could have knocked a plug wire loose.

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Actually plug wires and coil are (NGK wires & MSD coil) They made no difference,

 

What also concerns me is the noise that comes through the intake pipe when it misses- weird!

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Pretty much hearing it from under the hood at idle along with somewhat erratic idle speed.You can hear it from the intake tube.  No CEL's except a P0505 a couple of times. I posted a video where you can hear the sound 

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I can't tell if the clicking is from the lifters or the fuel injectors. If it's from the lifters you need to pull the valve covers and pull the rocker shaft assemblies off and clean out the oil feed holes and possibly bleed out the lifters with kerosene and replace the o-rings on them.

 

I hear the puffing sound and its either a broken PCV or brather hose, or it's a pulse of air going back into the intake from a stuck open intake valve (Which could be caused by a stuck lifter). It seems too irregular to be timing related.

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For one thing, you CANNOT adjust the idle speed. By ANY means. Messing with the TPS will only result in it being out of proper adjustment. The computer targets a specific idle speed and will compensate once it learns the new TPS position. I know that it appears that the idle is too low by how the tach is labeled but rest assured it's targeting about 750 RPM. And if this seems to low it's only because the engine is running rough and generally poorly at the requested 750 RPM. Raising the idle speed would tend to smooth the engine but is only masking the real problem.

 

You need to determine the cause of the roughness. Compression test, valve timing, fuel delivery, spark, etc. 

 

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder

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Do yourself a favor, and install all new oem-style spark plugs. Hand gap them (they are not pre-gapped). If the wires are old, replace those as well (it matters). If there is nothing wrong with the factory ignition coil, reinstall it or get another oem. Reset the battery. Drive it 50 miles.

 

Engines with weak spark (whether that's from the coil, the wires, or old plugs) will usually idle low. Misfires are usually bad/old spark plugs or coil related. After the engine is at normal operating temp (middle of temp gauge is where my 95' ej22 sits), if the exhaust still smells like raw gas (like a car without a catalytic converter or an old 60's car), chances are there is a weak spark or something funky with ignition. I ran into an issue with a DOHC Ford V8 where one COP was failing, and it caused the engine to sound like it had a knock, idled nearly 200 rpm too low, had a misfire, and would stall when coming to a stop. One coil with weak spark on V8 can cause that. And for whatever reason, it never threw a code for the coil.

 

The lifters on these are notorious for getting noisy and collapsing and even staying collapsed. When I got my 95', all but I think one lifter was bad. After hand cleaning and priming, there were still some that wouldn't hold firm. I ended up finding another ej22 with about 20k less miles, and ALL of it's lifters (after hand-cleaning then priming) held firm, and they haven't made noise in 4 years, even with car sitting for last several months and only started twice, still quiet. Yours sounds like some are staying flat (like a diesel tick). The rumble sounds like incoming air in air intake when the idled surged briefly @0:22 in the video.

 

If the engine swap was done by someone else, then go over everything; all vacuum lines, whatever they did/didn't do to the EGR, check for vacuum leaks, etc. A full tune up is a must unless you watched someone do it. Fuel filter, plugs, wires, air filter, and FRESH oil. If it's been run for some time with weak spark, etc. it'll contaminate the oil. 

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Spark plugs were in the car when i got it. I pulled one and it had normal deposits. Wires are new NGK wires. Made the same rumbling noise in the intake with either new MSD coil or older OEM coil. Oil was just changed (after the noise started). Not really concerned with the tick as much. I think it sounds louder in the video because I had my phone near the valve covers. Tick is no worse on this car than my other EJ equipped Subaru's. Might be worth throwing a new set of plugs in, but I plan to get some MAF cleaner tomorrow and see if that helps at all.

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No improvement with spraying the MAF cleaner a few times (actually smells just like the electrical contact cleaner I have). I should probably throw a new set of double platinum or iridium plugs in.

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I must have misread somewhere, I thought you replaced plugs already?

Intermittent misfire, step one: replace spark plugs!

NGK copper are best in the old 2.2. No need to waste money on more expensive plugs.

Edited by Fairtax4me
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