('98-'00) Misfire on all 4 cylinders & crank pulley wobble - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Misfire on all 4 cylinders & crank pulley wobble

Hey guys I've got a pretty serious issue that has basically seemed to come out of nowhere and I'm stuck on what to do. My 1998 Forester with an Ej22 2.2l block and wrx turbo heads and cams is misfiring terribly in higher rpms, bogging and stuttering like crazy and idling pretty rough. Pulled the codes and I am currently getting codes for misfires on all 4 cylinders, crank sensor and torque converter clutch solenoid. I've gone ahead and already changed the spark plugs and wires, fuel filter and even checked the MAF and it was spotless.

Now for my crank sensor code. My crank pulley was very old and getting wobbly and since it was throwing a code I went ahead and ordered a new one and had it put on by a professional mechanic. He said he got it put on correctly and was not loose at all but t was still wobbling when the engine was on. He also said that at idle it seemed to clear up a bit but when he took it for a drive it still misfired and was getting codes for all 4 cylinders again.

Now my question is basically now what? Does anyone here have any possible idea what my Forester's problem could be given the information I posted? Has anyone had a similar problem?

Any and all help, tips, info, anything is greatly appreciated guys!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 05:46 PM
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Just a thought but did the mechanic check the key/keyway for the timing belt drive pulley and crank pulley?

His - 08 X Prem 5mt
Hers - 08 X 4EAT
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 08:38 PM
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Fix the crankshaft sensor before you do anything. The computer uses the crankshaft sensor to know when to fire the spark plugs. If you don't have an operating CS you get all the misfire codes because the computer never fires the coils. In your case, the CS isn't working at idle or at high rpms.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 08:58 PM
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DO NOT START THE CAR AGAIN UNTIL YOU CHECK THE TIMING BELT!

You have a misfire code on all 4 cylinders. VERY few things can cause all 4 cylinders to misfire. Fuel delivery, major electrical issue or component or a timing issue. I'm thinking it's the latter.

I'm not sure of the codes (you should really post up the codes you pulled), but usually when the car throws a crankshaft sensor code, it's usually a "crankshaft position" code prompting you that the crank is shouting that it's out of sync with the camshaft position sensors (which may or may not be out of time as well). You could have very well skipped a couple teeth on the crankshaft sprocket alone, causing the misfires. If it skips more than 3 teeth, that usually ends in catastrophic failure (bent valves, possibly cracked pistons, etc.)

I would post the codes you got so we can check them against the Subaru database (I just get the code from those readers, and then look it up with Subaru as the code readers are usually a more "generic" description.)

DO NOT start up the car again until you can verify that your timing belt, cams, tensioner, etc. are all properly timed and aren't faulty. Use an actual Subaru Shop manual for this as they have the number of teeth between each mark that you can verify. I simply had a weak tensioner on my old 04 XT, and it skipped 3 teeth on the crank sprocket. I got misfires, a couple other sensors freaked out as well as the crank sensor code as you described. One more tooth and I would have had catastrophic failure.

One thing I learned (and used to do this frequently) is that you can throw parts at the car all day long and hope that one of them will fix the issue. Sometimes is works, most of the time, you end up spending hundreds on parts you replace, then spend more on an issue completely unrelated. Happened to me. I was getting low power from my 04 XT, replaced the turbo, coil packs, MAF, O2 sensors, etc. Cost me about $1700 before I gave up. Guess what? Found out a month later it was simply a crack in my downpipe. $50 later for a second-hand one and my issue was fixed. I pretty much threw away $1700 because I didn't do more research, and didn't do enough troubleshooting. Lesson learned.

Troubleshoot first. Gather info, diagnose as much as you can, and ask for help (as you are). Hopefully, you'll find the issue and can resolve it without too much hassle.

2004 XT - RIP
2005 XT - 5MT - 2" LIFT JOURNAL
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Fox View Post
Troubleshoot first. Gather info, diagnose as much as you can, and ask for help (as you are). Hopefully, you'll find the issue and can resolve it without too much hassle.
Best advice given yet! Thanks Blue Fox.

04 X a/t
14 Sonic w/turbo & row-your-own tranny
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:33 PM
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If it is anything like a VW, as mentioned, check the keyway/woodruff key, or also the crank snout for wear. Sometimes the snout and and crank gear can wear and only fitting a new crank gear will result in wobbling timing--therefore possible misfires, poor timing, etc.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 09:55 PM
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Had similar on a Toyota RAV4 that had just had the heads done by a "workshop". Got another mechanic to plug in his ECU monitor and found all sorts of wierd and wonderful codes that he couldn't tie down to anything. After the car got towed back to the original workshop when it wouldn't start they discovered a bad earth on the engine block. In this case it's more likely related to the crank stuff, but pays to check other things too.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses. It's so nice to wake up and have fresh info/tips specific to my problem. Other forums I posted in didn't respond or help me nearly as much as you guys.

Anyways. I have been doing lots of research but most of the threads that I read just die off and the OP never stated wether or not he/she found the solution. Well now I'm going to call the mechanic it's at and relay the information you guys gave me. I'll update this accordingly as soon as I get any new information on it. So far this has been like a puzzle and it's driving me insane!

Again thank you all.

-Tyler
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 12:36 PM
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Please post back any solution you find. My bet is on the crank snout being worn although I don't know these engines intimately yet.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 07:28 PM
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Here's why I think it has something to do with the timing......

First, the crankshaft was wobbling about. The crankshaft pulley bolts into the crank, which in turn hold the toothed crankshaft sprocket in place as well (which is what the timing belt rotates on). If the pulley was loose, and was wobbling around, that means the sprocket was slightly loose as well. If it was like this for a while those "key ways" that the pulley and sprocket line up in could have worn down. This in turn could have caused the sprocket to slip or rotate slightly on the crankshaft, and cause the timing belt to slip.

This is my best guess though being you have 4 misfires and a loose crankshaft pulley. Some people see those as two separate issues, but I don't necessarily believe in coincidences that two completely different problems occur at once. I'm willing to bet they're all related.

2004 XT - RIP
2005 XT - 5MT - 2" LIFT JOURNAL

Last edited by Blue Fox; 05-12-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-12-2012, 10:25 PM
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Misfires are detected by the crankshaft sensor. When the crankshaft sensor detects a loss of momentum of the flywheel, the CEL light will flash. A warped clutch, a wheel transmitting a bump back through the drive shaft, any thing that momentarily slows down the flywheel when it should be accelerating, can cause a Misfire light to come on and the engine hasn't misfired at all.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-14-2012, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Okay so no good news yet but he cleared the codes after he put on the new pulley and the newest and only codes that came up are for torque converter, crank sensor and the misfire codes. I just got off the phone with him and he said he can't remember the exact numeric codes it was throwing but I could get those if you guys think it would help. He seems to think that it could have something to do with my torque converter. Not sure exactly what his words were however. How do you guys think the torque converter code ties in to all of this?

Ps, he hasn't started it since he put the new pulley on but he said that it doesn't misfire at idle but it did under acceleration/load.

Any new ideas or thoughts? I can't wait to get this figured out!
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-15-2012, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Bring this up.
Any thoughts on if the torque converter code is at all related?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-21-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Nothing yet. I gave the mechanic a few days until I called him again. Just got off the phone with him and he said that his son has been missing for over 30 hours so he said that was his main priority at the moment, which I don't blame him.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Fox View Post
Here's why I think it has something to do with the timing......

First, the crankshaft was wobbling about. The crankshaft pulley bolts into the crank, which in turn hold the toothed crankshaft sprocket in place as well (which is what the timing belt rotates on). If the pulley was loose, and was wobbling around, that means the sprocket was slightly loose as well. If it was like this for a while those "key ways" that the pulley and sprocket line up in could have worn down. This in turn could have caused the sprocket to slip or rotate slightly on the crankshaft, and cause the timing belt to slip.

This is my best guess though being you have 4 misfires and a loose crankshaft pulley. Some people see those as two separate issues, but I don't necessarily believe in coincidences that two completely different problems occur at once. I'm willing to bet they're all related.
This.
I'm starting to think timing as well. Theoretically makes the most sense at the moment. Anyone know any good guides to check the timing? I am by no means a mechanic but I can follow instructions pretty well as long as it isnt too terribly difficult. I'd like to save some money and do it myself if I could.

Responses are greatly appreciated at this point.
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