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Old 05-14-2006, 08:05 AM   #1
playball0331
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Join Date: May 2006
Default My old junker

Hey guys,

I have a 93 legacy with 230,000 miles, and until recently it ran great. It than began having some issues, which I will try my best to explain, and I will tell what I have done to correct it.

When accelerating up a hill (merging onto a 65 mph highway from a dead stop) I would wind it up a bit to get to the speed of traffic. Watching my tachometer, I'd hit about 4500 RPM in second and 4000 in third. As I reached the top of the hill, there is a "sputter" or "miss" and the engine runs very rough, and loses power, almost to the point of stalling. Several times I had to pull over and idle it for a few minutes to get it to run enough to get to work.

Since this started, my performance has diminshed. I have lost 3-5 mpg, and can no longer hold 4th and 5th gear on inclines like it did just a few thousand miles ago. When on a mild incline, in 5th gear, anything below 40 mph is difficult for the car to hold, and acceleration is out of the question. Everything requires a gear-down when it never did before.

So, since this is my "beater", I set out to correct it. This is what I have done:

1. New plugs and wires (didn't help)
2. New fuel filter (no help either)
3. New ECM (Yawn, no difference)
4. New O2 sensor (keep reading......

When I changed the O2 sensor, it ran great for about a week. Then the same old stuff started again. I thought maybe it was a faulty sensor, so I traded it for a new one. Nothing changed.

Does anyone have any ideas? A bullet through the engine block is a tempting option, but not practical.

I have no engine codes that I know of (engine lights does not stay on after starting).

Thanks in advance for your advice,

JD
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:17 AM   #2
LegacyJones
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02 bugeye
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How's the gas? Sometimes you can get crappy gas.
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
playball0331
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Good question.

I did do a throttle body clean up and fuel injector cleaner treatment, as well as changed gas stations.

Nothing has helped.

Jim
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:47 AM   #4
WRX2FFU
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What did the plugs look like? Runnning rich or lean? Compression test?
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Old 05-14-2006, 08:58 AM   #5
Wiscon_Mark
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1995 Legacy OB 5MT
2003 Forester X 5MT

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Sounds like bad gas. Your ECU detected knock and retarded the timing, hence the big stuttering. It's still retarding that timing, and you're experiencing dimished performance, and poor gas mileage, which would only make sense. Did you happen to hear pinging, or anything else that sounds out of place?

A standard tuneup was a good idea, btw.

You could also be running rich, explaining why the o2 effected your performance.

What about the MAF? Try cleaning that up.
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:04 AM   #6
playball0331
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HHHMMMMMM,

Mass air flow sensor.....I know where it is, and I took it off a few weeks ago and cleaned with carbureutor cleaner (was that a good idea?)

I didn't notice any pinging, just running like crap.

I'm going to yank the plugs when I get home. Clean and regap.

Next is the 357 magnum. Don't worry, I'll use eye protection.

I'm still intrigued by it running "rich". If it is, the plugs should be gas soaked or sooted pretty bad, right?

What about the ignition coil? Could a weak spark allow it to idle and run under light load but not be able to put out when the power is needed?

Thanks!

JD
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:06 AM   #7
Wiscon_Mark
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1995 Legacy OB 5MT
2003 Forester X 5MT

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Gapping the plugs is a good idea.

Yes, if it runs rich, the plugs will have a lot of crap on them, as well as the o2 sensor.

Coil pack could be messing things up as well, but you'd probably see a CEL for that. Even so, that could be your issue.

Don't shoot the block, i don't think the block is causing your issues. It's a good engine as well
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:12 AM   #8
playball0331
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okay,

What the he11 does the knock sensor do? I've read it can cause timing retardation (at this point I feel that MY personal time is retarded).

Is there a way to check it, and uh, WHERE is it?

JD
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:40 AM   #9
Wiscon_Mark
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2003 Forester X 5MT

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I have no idea where it is. But it detects detonation and sets the timing back so you don't destroy your engine.

If it were bad, you'd have a CEL.
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Old 05-14-2006, 02:49 PM   #10
sha_zapple
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1998 Legacy L

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what about the air filter?
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:16 PM   #11
NiTRoN
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over 250,000 Miles

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could it be knock sensor bad?

just an idea..
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:21 PM   #12
Wiscon_Mark
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2003 Forester X 5MT

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiTRoN
could it be knock sensor bad?

just an idea..
Like I said, I think it would have a CEL if it were.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:09 AM   #13
playball0331
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Okay,

Pulled plugs, looked fine, gapped fine. Pulled O2 sensor, wiped clean, wasn't bad either.

Air filter about 3 months old.

I don't know where the knock sensor is. Can anyone help?

JD
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:24 PM   #14
LegacyJones
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The knock is located under the throttle body. If your looking down on the engine it's to the right.Right near where the tranny and engine bolt up. It's a black round thing. I think the bolt is a 10mm.

Jason
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