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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well just as the title states it, quite the odd behavior that I'm experiencing with my forester. 2.5 DOHC

Where my issue began, I recently did a head gasket replacement on my forester (of course). I got it all together and started it up, bam first crank and she turned on purred like a kitten and ran drove but had a minor oil leak from the cam seals. Tore it up again and fixed the leak and again, first try ran purred like a kitten.

Took it out on a long drive noticed a few things, heard a strange sound (like it was shorting out) my check engine light (is on because of my gas cap) was dimming every time the sound was made (under the dash), also felt like a miss fire. Noticed I'm wasting way more gas than it normally would as well. Shut off twice on my way back. Ignored the issue went home since it would start back up. The shorting out sound stopped but it randomly buck, kept traveling eventually started bucking hard, everything went crazy temp sky rocketed, gas need dropped (had a full tank) and bam stranded on the side of the road. Didn't start until a few days later.

If you want to skip my lovely story about my issue lol

Ran, started bucking, everything went nuts, temp sky rocketed until it couldn't no more.
Gas needle dropped (even though I had a full tank)
Starts back up after a few days and does the same thing over

What I've done
I reset the ecu
replaced the coil/igniter on top of the intake manifold
Can't check for codes (won't throw any) no light either
Checked for spark and nothing at all, could my Igniter (the one on the fire wall be it?)

What could it be is my question?? No spark at all, replaced my coil on top of the mani, didn't fix anything. Maybe igniter (located on the fire wall) knock sensor, 02 sensor, crank positioning? I don't want to go on a rampage buying things I don't need. Help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance
-Sw21
 

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2004 forester XS Auto
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65 Posts
If this happened to me I would start by checking all electrical connections in the areas where the work was performed recently, there may be a pulled/broken/shorted wire. Next I would try swapping the ecu with a known working one, you can find the ecu under a plate below the passenger carpet, 10mm socket.
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've never touched any thing electrical on it aside from the engine harness, but definately worth a try.

I'd say so, I took it on a road trip and it drove just fine. If my timing was off it wouldn't of done anything from the start. I'd imagine
 

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1992 Forester S 5MT
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147 Posts
Look at the air filter over the throttle body. I doubt it would be it, but you'll be surprised. The smallest things cause the biggest problems. If you've ever had your throttle stick, and you have the MAF instead of MAP then it's a good possibility. The rubber ring around mine was destroyed, and had my Fozzy doing a lot of crazy things with no codes thrown
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll give that a try as well, never thought of that. Come to think of it I replaced my throttle body on it. mine was way rusty.
 

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1992 Forester S 5MT
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147 Posts
Took me 3 weeks to find that issue with mine. I didn't give it much thought when I saw what it looked like when I was trying to clean my throttle body
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
definitely going to check that than, thanks.

I'm going to reset my timing, chase wires, change igniter. see what happens
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I checked my throttle body, it's clean. I replaced the igniter, timing is fine I know I set it right and if it was bad to start with the car would of never ran.

But the car is still not turning on, at all now. Before it would start up once it was cold now nothing. Theres no spark at all (checked cylinder #1). Is there any fuses/relays by chance that I need to look at??
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Checked under my dash where it had made noise like it was shorting out, I don't see anything out of the ordinary, my keyless entry unit isn't plugged. Plugged it in and it just made clicking noises?? Other than that just checked for spark again on cylinder #2 and nothing.

I'm going to say that's my issue, but why. New coil pack, new igniter, grounds are fine. I'm lost....
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had just replaced it. I just replaced the cps and still no spark. My ecu fried?
 

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2006 FXT 6MT
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2,699 Posts
Checked under my dash where it had made noise like it was shorting out, I don't see anything out of the ordinary, my keyless entry unit isn't plugged. Plugged it in and it just made clicking noises?? Other than that just checked for spark again on cylinder #2 and nothing.

I'm going to say that's my issue, but why. New coil pack, new igniter, grounds are fine. I'm lost....
Green plug? Leave that disconnected.

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f77/why-green-plug-not-connected-26518/
 

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2002 Forester s 5-speed
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15 Posts
Have you made sure your cam and crank sensor are plugged in? cam and crank tell the computer when to send fuel and spark, without the signals the ecu will not tell the coil to send spark, and I have seen them cause your exact problem in a subie. Is there any way you can use a scan tool and read data? does the tachometer show any rpm change when you are cranking it over?
 

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1999 Forester auto
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118 Posts
I'm not real sure the engine could start and run without having a crank and cam sensor reading. The ECU would have no signal to pick up the firing order and top dead center to even know spark and injector pulse timing.

The key is whatever was frying out under the dash. That's the out of place symptom. It could be as simple as the firewall connector where the harness passes thru. It may take checking the continuity of every pin on the ECU connector back to the sensor to determine which are shorted or open.
 

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2002 Forester s 5-speed
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15 Posts
Here is something fun I found.. maybe it will help!

Complaint: Applys to manual trans vehicles.
No start, blown power feed fuse for EMC. This can apply to most any wiring problems under dash. The main wire loom droops down and lays across the clutch release lever where it (clutch linkage to master cyl) exits the firewall (right side of brake pedal), cutting into the loom and shorting wires to ground/each other. Bad situation, as this almost graduated into a car fire. Would recommend this be checked on all manual trans Foresters to avoid future problems
Tech Notes: If problem suspected, check quickly BEFORE applying clutch as this action caused the wiring to burn back to a plastic wire-run mounted on firewall. To replace the entire harness requires complete removal of the heat/air system.
Fix Notes: The loom can be easily wire-tied up and out of the way with large wire ties.

There were also a few hits on O2 sensors causing the car to buck when vehicle was warm then go back to normal when cold. But that doesn't explain your shorting sound under the dash..
 

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1998 Subaru Forester 5 speed
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you made sure your cam and crank sensor are plugged in? cam and crank tell the computer when to send fuel and spark, without the signals the ecu will not tell the coil to send spark, and I have seen them cause your exact problem in a subie. Is there any way you can use a scan tool and read data? does the tachometer show any rpm change when you are cranking it over?
They are both plugged in, I even replaced the crank pos sensor because it looked broken. No I don't have a scanner. I tried one of those obd2 scanners that read codes and it said error can't read. No it doesn't my fuel needle doesn't even move and I have a full tank.

I'm not real sure the engine could start and run without having a crank and cam sensor reading. The ECU would have no signal to pick up the firing order and top dead center to even know spark and injector pulse timing.

The key is whatever was frying out under the dash. That's the out of place symptom. It could be as simple as the firewall connector where the harness passes thru. It may take checking the continuity of every pin on the ECU connector back to the sensor to determine which are shorted or open.
That I haven't tried. I need to buy a multimeter and give that a whirl.

Well I can get you any wiring diagram you need if you don't have them. and I can look up symptoms on Identifix..
If you would that would be greatly appreciated. she looks sad in the drive way :(

Here is something fun I found.. maybe it will help!

Complaint: Applys to manual trans vehicles.
No start, blown power feed fuse for EMC. This can apply to most any wiring problems under dash. The main wire loom droops down and lays across the clutch release lever where it (clutch linkage to master cyl) exits the firewall (right side of brake pedal), cutting into the loom and shorting wires to ground/each other. Bad situation, as this almost graduated into a car fire. Would recommend this be checked on all manual trans Foresters to avoid future problems
Tech Notes: If problem suspected, check quickly BEFORE applying clutch as this action caused the wiring to burn back to a plastic wire-run mounted on firewall. To replace the entire harness requires complete removal of the heat/air system.
Fix Notes: The loom can be easily wire-tied up and out of the way with large wire ties.

There were also a few hits on O2 sensors causing the car to buck when vehicle was warm then go back to normal when cold. But that doesn't explain your shorting sound under the dash..
That power feed fuse for the ecm is that on the rh side where the ecm is? I didn't even think of checking there. I pulled everything underneath the steering wheel and glove box section. Everything looked normal and while I was there I replaced the ignition relay.

I read a bit about the 02 sensor but I don't think those would be it. I'd imagine it would just foul the plugs if they were bad. I pulled a wire out and used a new sparkplug to check for spark and nothing
 

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2002 Forester s 5-speed
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15 Posts
well.. I am not sure what they really mean by "EMC fuse" but I would check fuse #11. Its for "engine ignition system and SRS airbag". I would check them all but that one for sure.

point me in a direction for diagrams if you want any.. there are too many for me to guess what you want.
 
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