('98-'00) rough idle engine shaking poor mileage - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2011, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Car Year: 1999
Car Model: Forester
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Angry rough idle engine shaking poor mileage

OK, I searched the forum over and over again to see if I could come up with any answers to my problem, but no luck. I hope this wasn't answered anywhere else and I missed it. Here goes...

99 forester, automatic, check engine light comes on #1 Cyl misfire code. Can reset it and it comes back. Here's where I'm at: Changed the plugs and wires, made it go away for a while but now it's back again.

All connections are good to the coil pack and so on. I ran a stiff amount of lucas injector cleaner through it for a couple of tanks, no improvement.

Seems like it's only at idle that I have the problem, otherwise runs pretty good. Plugs look normal.

Everything I read on here leads me to the knock sensor but I don't know what the test is to test that sensor, or the oxygen sensor for that matter. How to test the two I mean, besides buying expensive new parts?? I guess that's where I go next. Anyone know the procedure? I was also wondering how I test the fuel pressure?? Is there a port for this or do I have to attach a gauge to the rail somewhere? I see many posts on here where people had the same problems but they never post what the solution was. I will do that when I get it figured out. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2011, 05:15 PM
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Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: 4EAT
HI - Welcome to the site.

I don't know how to test the sensors - just look for a cracked knock sensor (KS) and the O2 should be repl. if over 100K. They're avl. from Amazon or local auto parts stores for WAY less than the dealer and should be OK quality.

The fuel press. regulator (FPR) is on the end of the fuel rail on the passenger side. It's #4 in this PIC.

-The KS would throw a code if bad. They aren't too $$ for new or find a used one....make sure it's not cracked.


Miles? If you're over 105K miles you may be past due for a valve adjustment. I had the same issue on a '98 Legacy w/the EJ25D & it turned out to be a burnt valve on #4.

O2 should only matter in 'closed loop' mode after the car reaches operating temp. It's ignored when the car is in the 'fuel enrichment' phase of warming up, from what I've read about 'em. Does the CEL come back immediately after the car is started when cold after a reset?

I'd do some research on here about fuel injectors...if you've got one not working, it may cause this. They're not too hard to remove, and you could swap #1 and #3 to see if follows. If it were bad I'd think you'd get a CEL for it, but not sure. Its resistance may be OK but be leaking/plugged??

Did you use Subaru OEM (NGK) plugs/wires? Subarus don't like the autolites/Bosch/etc. too much.

Last idea for today is the coil pack...they don't go bad often but could be related.

GL,

Td

Last edited by wtdash; 12-31-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Update

OK, here's what I know: Replaced the upstream O2 sensor and no change. I swapped the injectors 1 and 3 and still get the #1 Cyl misfire code after I cleared the codes, it still comes back and the car still idles like crap. It does seem to run OK at everything other than an idle.

So, I tested the compression on cylinder number one and came up with 60psi, not good, tested number three and came up with 120psi.

I guess I should start looking for a motor? Any ideas?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 03:39 PM
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I'd also suggest a leak-down test, which should tell you whether if it's valves. If it's the valves, just get the heads redone, replace the HG, which probably needs done anyway, reseal the block (if you pull the engine to do the heads), T-belt job and you'll be good for another 100K.

As far as engines, your '99 is the SOHC, phase 2 and you'd need to find the same or newer - can't use anything older (well, you could use the short-block from an older one, but you'd have to swap heads anyway).

You'll likely see more info on engine options over on the UltimateSubaru.org\forum.

Td
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I think I'm going to wait until the spring/summer and do the big teardown. Might rebuild the one that's in there, depends on what I find when I get it out of the car because it also leaks oil like a PIG from under the timing belt cover, I'm assuming the cam pulley seals, maybe valve covers contribute to this also. If I can find one for a decent price from early 2000's, I might go that route also and then rebuild the original motor as I go to have on the shelf ready to go. Thanks again!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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All righty then, here's the update for those who might be subscribed. Pulled the motor and found that the head gasket was blown, guess where, right by the number 1 cylinder, amazing. Valves were good, so I got the full head gasket and seal kit made by Felpro. Made sure it wasn't the "paper" gaskets like the OEM subaru gaskets that were on there. 165,000 miles on the original head gaskets, not too bad. Original water pump also, looked like it was still new. However, some jackass did the timing belt and didn't put the "belt jump protector" back on that goes over the crankshaft pulley so I'm either going to make one or see if the dealer has one in stock tomorrow because I need to get it put back together this weekend. Put quite a few thousand miles on it since I bought the car without it and nothing happened, but I don't trust it without it. One dumb *** thing that happened and you all might laugh about this is when I put it all back together on the engine stand it just didn't look right.... well, turns out the oil filler was on the left side of the motor (looking at the front) in the rear. Put the valve covers on backwards... duhhhhh. Everything else is correct because the CPS is in the right place. Now, get it put back in and cross the fingers and see if it starts. Any words of advice so I don't forget anything else???
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckparty View Post
However, some jackass did the timing belt and didn't put the "belt jump protector" back on that goes over the crankshaft pulley so I'm either going to make one or see if the dealer has one in stock tomorrow because I need to get it put back together this weekend.

EDIT - 8/22/12: The timing belt guide may be for shipping but also to keep it from jumping time if you pop the clutch to start it (bump-start).

Hi,
I was told that protector (timing belt guide) is for 'shipping' - something to do w/5-speeds and keeping the T-belt from moving when in transit.. It's not needed after purchase. And the Automatics don't have one, if that tells you something.

Since I don't know your level of mech skill......:

Make sure you adjust the valves...I'd recommend having them checked @ a shop unless you know they're 'like new'. Burnt valves are no fun.

You checked/resealed the rear separator plate?

You don't say, but you are replacing all the t-belt/pullies/idlers/tensioner/water pump/gasket/T-stat /gasket?

Also, recommend pulling the Oil Pump and checking the philip's head bolts on the reverse side....they can work loose.

By no means a complete list, but gets you an idea.....


GL,

TD

'98 S-Sold
'04 FXT-SOLD
'93 SS-SOLD
'02 GG

Last edited by wtdash; 08-22-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-01-2012, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Son of a gun... I didn't see that anywhere in my readings so I assumed the part was missing. After reading this, I put the covers back on and put the motor back in the car this weekend. No more oil and coolant leaks/consumption but it still has the same misfire issue as before.

Valves adjusted, check
Resealed the rear separator plate, was leaking like a pig.
Replaced timing belt and water pump, pullies and tensioner were good. replaced thermostat gasket.

Got it back in the car and it fired right up. Still have rough idle and #1 cylinder misfire code. Everything internal was checked and is within specifications so that leaves either a fuel or electrical problem???
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckparty View Post
Everything internal was checked and is within specifications so that leaves either a fuel or electrical problem???
I'm no expert, but others have recommended to move injectors around to see if follows. Spark plugs and wires are NGK/OEM Subaru? Coil pack?

And I know everything internal was checked, but I'd double-check w/a compression/leak down test.

GL,
TD

'98 S-Sold
'04 FXT-SOLD
'93 SS-SOLD
'02 GG
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's not the plugs or wires, checked all that. Here's what I found out today. When I unplug the injector while the car is idling, no change, still misfire. When I give it some gas, misfire clears up with the injector plugged in. When you give it gas with it unplugged, misfire continues right on up with the rpm's. That kind of narrows it down a bit. Someone in another post said to check the voltage and resistance which would be the logical next step, so I'll do that tomorrow. I'll have to reference the shop manual on that to find out what it's supposed to be and see where the signal for the injectors originates, or what controls the injectors. I'll post whatever I come up with as this seems to be a common problem. Lots of threads on it but no answers so far.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Resolved

Passenger side head ended up being bad. Got a slightly used one off of ebay, installed it, didn't have to pull the engine this time. Now have about 5000 miles on it, no CEL, runs like a top. After you do your head gaskets, RE leak down check is necessary. My theory on this is that whoever had the car before me ran it for many miles with a bad head gasket and ruined the head from blowing antifreeze and oil out the exhaust for so long.
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