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I'm in Panama trying to start a '98 Outback Legacy which hasn't run for ten months.

The engine is turning over but not firing.

There is clean (but old) fuel at the filter and also at the injectors.

The plugs are clean and sparking.

Is there something I've overlooked?

Anyone have any tips?

 

Cheers, Richard

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Are sure the fuel is really good? Does it smell clean or a sicky sweet smell? 10 months (assuming fuel was fresh was car last ran) seems like a stretch without using fuel stabilizer.

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I'm only assuming the fuel is good because it looks clean. Could that be the problem?

I had some starter fluid and was able to get the engine to fire. There was very little left (I'm in a somewhat remote location) and I'm now trying to start it by spraying WD40 into the air intake without a result. I would have thought that even if the fuel was old, the spray would combust.

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As for fuel pressure, I would have thought that when the fuel line is disconnected at the filter, for example, and the engine is turning over, fuel would squirt from the open fuel line. This doesn't happen. Is it supposed to? Surely the fuel pump would be forcing fuel towards the engine.

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When you first turn the key on, you should hear the fuel pump run for a few seconds to build pressure.

 

If you hear it run, you should have fuel coming out the filter hose.

 

You can always pull the air box off the throttle body and put a cap full of fuel in the throttle.  Put it back together, it should start and run for a bit.

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I've removed the fuel pump and emptied and cleaned the tank. The pump works but is getting no power (there is battery voltage for the sending unit on the same plug though). Supposedly there is a fuse for the fuel pump but I can't locate it. Also a relay which is under the dash on the driver's side, near the fuse box, according to the manual, which I also can't locate. Any clues?

Edited by Aquaticus

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Fuse and relay aren't usually the issue but ghey do exist. Fuse is in one of the two fuse panels. Download the 98 FSM and check the diagram. The relay is a canister relay with a green electrical plug way up under the dash above the left knee.

 

It's often a wiring corrosion problem between the relay and the fuel pump connector.

 

GD

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... The pump is works but is getting no power ... Any clues?

 

Remember that the Power for the fuel Pump is cut off, if the engine does not run; so there will be Power on the wiring for the fuel Pump, only few seconds after turning the key to the "ON" position.

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Thanks very much for this advice, guys, it's most encouraging.

 

It had to be the one with the green plug, damn it! Why did they have to hide the fuel pump relay in such an out-of-reach spot. Well, I eventually got it loose and it's showing 70 ohms and making an audible click when energized.

As for the fuse, it's not in either fuse box and I haven't been able to open the '98 Legacy FSM which I downloaded. Where else could that fuse be hiding?

I bridged the connection on the green plug and my assistant couldn't hear the pump whir.

So, fuse or wiring? what's the next step? do I start checking continuity between the relay and the pump?

Edited by Aquaticus

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The wire between the relay and the fuel pump is continuous and by bridging the relay I am able to hear the fuel pump operating.

I've tried setting it up like this and quickly trying to crank the engine over but now I can't even get it to fire, even with a cap of gasoline in the throttle body.

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