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Old 12-29-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
Sloewag'n
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1990 Legacy L
Light Sandstone Metallic

Legacy Help! '90 legacy L off-idle problem

OK guys I have fought this problem for a few days now and am getting nowhere but broke in a hurry. Like the title says I have a 90 legacy wagon with the EJ22 engine and an automatic transmission that has a serious off idle stumble it also burned a half a tank of gas in a 100 mile stretch. I have checked the o2 sensor, TPS, FPR, Knock sensor, cam and crank angle sensors, plugs, wires, coil packs, fuel pressure, fuel filter, knocked out the catalytic converters and as of this afternoon replaced the o2 sensor. The knock sensor shows continuity to ground which I understand it shouldn't but if I unbolt it or disconnect it entirely the problem gets worse, I have ordered a new one which will be in about 8am tomorrow but I don't have much faith in it curing the problem. I have also checked to see if I have power to the MAF but without a scan tool I can't check much else on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. It had a flat spot in the throttle when I first brought the car home. It would hesitate after 1k rpm gain ( i.e. if you held the throttle steady at 2k rpm then leaned on the throttle it would snag at 3k, if you started at 1k it would snag at 2k etc. etc.) This problem went away when I disconnected the knock sensor from the block but then it started hunting through out the rpm range (aside from the off idle area where it simply sticks at 1k rpm or less until you shift to neutral and baby it up over 1200- 1500 rpm)
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Last edited by Sloewag'n; 12-30-2006 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 12-30-2006, 09:15 AM   #2
Sloewag'n
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Also, I forgot to mention that I ohm'ed out all the injectors and they are well within specs and I see no signs of tracing on the plugs or coil towers.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:40 PM   #3
Legacy777
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AWD 6MT EJ22T AWIC Swap

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I'd recommend replacing the knock sensor as you're looking to do.

If you have a laptop, you can use this
http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/~v/b10scan/

I'd also recommend checking out www.bbs.legacycentral.org if you haven't.

Josh
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:23 PM   #4
Sloewag'n
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Cool TY Josh. I put in the new knock sensor and still have a bad hesitation and very limited power up to about 3k ( I have to feather the pedal VERY carefully or it bogs down) I pulled the IACV today and cleaned it though it semed to operate smoothly before I cleaned it out and there was very little deposition on the valve itself or the other interior surfaces.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:35 PM   #5
Legacy777
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Hmm....Did you reset your ECU after you replaced the knock sensor?

The computer remembers if you had a bad sensor, and could take some time to relearn everything. Resetting it will get rid of those things, and start from the factories original set points.

I've got info on how to reset the ECU on my site
http://www.surrealmirage.com/subaru/....html#resetecu
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Old 01-02-2007, 01:51 PM   #6
Sneeky Pete
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reset reset reset!Must reset to relearn.....other than that I think its 30 key cycles to reset or somthing???
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Old 01-02-2007, 06:41 PM   #7
Legacy777
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nah...just disconnect the power from the ECU for about a 1/2 hr.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
Sloewag'n
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Ok I put the IACV back on yesterday and just for the hell of it cleaned the T/B... and the problem got worse. I'm going to try resetting the ECU today and hopefully that will get me somewhere.

Thanx very, very much for the help ya'll, I really appreciate it. Great site as well Legacy777.
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:37 PM   #9
Legacy777
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Does your throttle body have a screw at the top when looking down? If so, cleaning it can cause you all sorts of problems.

That screw is like a needle valve that allows air to bypass the throttle plate. There is a black sealant/goo that is put on the throttle bodies. When you remove this, more air goes by the throttle body, and can cause too much air to go by, causing a high idle, or the IAC valve to be outside of it's operating window.

Here's some pics of the TB with this screw
http://www.main.experiencetherave.co...aru/images/tb/
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:07 PM   #10
Sloewag'n
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OK I do have the screw on mine and I did remove it to check for blockage. I figured it was some sort of idle air by-pass so I marked the setting before I tampered with it. I was surprised to find that the only thing holding it in place (setting wise) was an o-ring, no goo or paint or anything.

I reset the ECU as per your website and the car ran perfect at idle for 1 minute then went back to the way it was before. I also hooked up an Stoichometer yesterday when I put everything back together and it says the car was running at ~MOL for the first minute then went to running extremely rich after that. I took the car for a spin for about 20 minutes in the hope that the ECU might re-educate itself, which it didn't, and kept an eye on the air/fuel ratio which only twitched off of the extreme rich reading when I firewalled the pedal and only briefly then. I have dug out the diagnostic connectors and will be getting the codes in a few minutes. Oh and when I reset the ECU the CEL did not come back on, but when I first picked the car up it wasn't on either, it only came on after I tinkered with it a bit. It doesn't flicker or dim out so I don't think it is a bad connection but I haven't pulled the cluster to make sure.
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Old 01-03-2007, 01:14 PM   #11
Sloewag'n
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Light Sandstone Metallic

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I forgot to mention that during the test drive the car did some really weird stuff, it would intermittently lose power when I held the pedal at 50% or less, it would slowly decelerate then, at an apparently random point in the RPM range, catch and accelerate weakly it would then lose power at another seemingly random point in the RPM range and do it again. The Stoichometer gave consistently rich readings while it did this though I suspect the gauge was pegged out.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:28 PM   #12
Sloewag'n
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Hmmm, No CEL = No codes.... Duh! I can't get the check engine light to come on now! Could the catalytic converters being gutted cause the O2 sensor to give a faulty reading? I haven't encountered this on other cars, but I'm not terribly experienced so maybe I've just been lucky. I also have an exhaust leak at the flex joint after the cat' which I don't think is causing a problem since the o2 sensor is reading rich (wouldn't it be the opposite if the exhaust leak was the problem?) but once again inexperience could be playing a part here.
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:02 AM   #13
Sloewag'n
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bUMP?
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Old 01-06-2007, 10:12 AM   #14
Sloewag'n
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Light Sandstone Metallic

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Can anyone give me a setting for the idle air bypass screw on the top of the T/B? I noticed in your pics Legacy777 that the screw was almost flush with the tower, mine was almost bottomed out. I suspect someone may have tampered with it since there was nothing to hold the factory setting.
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:48 PM   #15
Legacy777
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You're better off with it closed off completely, then open too much.

Ideally, you'd want to look at the IAC valve duty % settings and turn that screw. When the duty % get's in the middle of the acceptable range, then that'd be good.

The reason I say to close it is because the later throttle bodies do not have that screw at all. So you should be safe to completely close it off.

If you have a laptop you can read the info from the ECU
http://www.bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?t=16219

Also, check out this post for info on what the various sensor values should be
http://www.bbs.legacycentral.org/vie...select+monitor

Josh
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:48 PM   #16
Sloewag'n
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1990 Legacy L
Light Sandstone Metallic

Thumbs up

Hey thanx Josh I am working on a laptop ATM, My desktop is a little big to stuff in the car and practically hardwired to my desk. I ran a timing light on it yesterday and the timing is 90 deg out on cylinder 1 @ ~450 rpm so I think the timing belt may have slipped. I looked the covers over and I don't see any sign of them ever having been removed so I'm guessing the timing belt is original and at 126k definitely needs replacing. I picked up a IACV from another legacy since mine seems a bit weak and I also got a spare MAF. I will take a peek at those values as I need to set the IACV, hopefully I will have the laptop by tomorrow, in the mean time I willl be trying to find a dry spot to swap out that timing belt.

Once again thanx for all the help, Jon
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