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Old 05-05-2009, 04:14 PM   #1
FlightService
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Question 01 Forester engine vibration

A little help here. I am looking at purchasing a 2001 Forester for the wife. Nice little car. N/A and an automatic transmission. The engine is shaking at idle, but smooths out at run.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by FlightService; 05-05-2009 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:01 PM   #2
GrundleJuice
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shaking how much? Can you feel it when sitting in the drivers seat or only see it with the hood open? Whats the miliage and maintenance history? hope it works out for you
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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The whole car shakes. I don't know the maintenance history on this car. I wish I did. I am thinking something bad in the ignition circuit, vacuum leak or bad fuel injector. It does smooth out driving down the road (with a load, higher RPM) Doesn't act like a piston or burnt valve but I should have more info on it Thursday.

Thanks for the reply
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:20 PM   #4
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if it runs good under load i wouldnt think its a fuel delivery problem unless its not metered correctly at idle. can you check vacuum? that could rule out any intake leaks that could cause rough idle and otherwise good performance (slightly lean). Whats the idle speed? Also, a broken or damaged engine mount may be worth looking into.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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Ok more data on my sick forester. The shaking problem is confirmed to only happen below 1200 RPMs, very bad below 1000 RPM. I had advanced pull the codes and it said mis-firing on all cylinders. I inspected everything and replaced plugs, plug wires. I also noticed the previous owner overfilled the crank case by a quart! (idiot) Drained and replace with Rotella. Drives much better and more power, but idles still shakey. Still giving check engine light. CEL flashs after leaving a red light.

My assumption (and we all can spell assume) is that it is the air/fuel ratio sensor, since they are known to go and not directly trip the computer as them being the problem.

Any imput would be great.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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that sounds like a fuel issue to me. Maybe the injectors aren't performing well below a certain duty cycle, but as soon as the engine speeds up, it's all good. When's the last time the fuel filter was changed? I read that you don't know the maint history. May wanna change it out since they're scheduled for every 30K anyway. Pretty cheap/easy too.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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Excellent idea and one that completely slipped my mind. My grandfathers suburban exhibited similar symptoms when we were on a trip out west. Any body else got any ideas?

Oh yeah, the plugs were all showing running lean except for cylinder 1 it showed a little black. All were oil or fuel free.

I can snag a fuel filter at lunch.

Thanks again and keep the ideas coming.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
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Did you find/solve the problem?
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:53 AM   #9
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not yet, I have ordered a new coil pack (it checked bad on both primary circuits and one of the secondary) so it may be the problem. I will know more this afternoon.

a side bar does anyone know the cheapest place to get a wheel bearing removal special tool?

Post more this afternoon.
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Old 05-12-2009, 09:57 AM   #10
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what's the mileage on the car? is the idle RPM steady and at a good value? checking the vacuum / injector cleaning service, and seafoaming the heck out of it could help. Check the PCV valve as well, and maybe clean the TB using a carb spray cleaner while idling the car.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
what's the mileage on the car? is the idle RPM steady and at a good value? checking the vacuum / injector cleaning service, and seafoaming the heck out of it could help. Check the PCV valve as well, and maybe clean the TB using a carb spray cleaner while idling the car.
Mileage 154000

Idle RPM approximately 700 steady.

Vacuum hoses inspected and no leaks detected. Constant 30"HG at idle

I did a seafoam treatment 300 miles ago to verify cleanliness.

I will replace the PCV valve today with the coil pack.

Thanks for the interest. I should have more this afternoon.
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Keep us posted, I have a similar issue. I'm going to try injector cleaner and cleaning the IACV. JC
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:42 PM   #13
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Ok coil pack fixed part of the problem but not all of it. No longer has miss above 1000 rpm but now idles down too low.

I pulled a vacuum line and it started running normal. Where is the idle air solinoid located on this car?
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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Im happy that NASIOC is helping you solve this problem. There should be an IACV (Idle Air Control Valve) on the throttle body. Dont know if that is going to be the cause of the problem, though. it's beyond my subaru knowledge. I think they are fairly easy to clean and replace the seal/gasket on, too. try a serach for it, someone has done a how-to with pics and the like.
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Old 05-12-2009, 11:04 PM   #15
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Well I believe we have it licked. Idle Air Control valve was stuck closed so the engine was starving for air. So here is the issues as I see (think) they happened. (I am referring to owner as the previous owner or mechanic acting on their behalf)

Wires were not put in the loom properly

Wires rubbed against high pressure AC line and Power Steering lines till wires were arcing

Wires arcing caused coil to fail.

Poor ignition caused car to build up carbon in EG system.

This jammed the Idle Air Control Valve shut with carbon.

Missing and low idle caused valves to rattle causing owner to add extra oil to quiet engine to sell.

Solution: Change oil. Replace wires, plugs, coil and clean Idle Air Control Valve.

I am missing one cold start to confirm this fix, but I do not forsee a problem (The issue was always when hot not cold) If the problem re-occurs I will re-post to this thread.

Thanks for everyones help and I hope this helps someone in the future
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:52 AM   #16
Bluefoton
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that was such a by-the-book case of someone asking NASIOC for support and getting coherent and helpful answers, that it's just too good to be true And noone yet suggested he swaps his engine for a turbocharged one!

The typical scenario for NA people with issues:

NAguy - My idle is rough, my sway bar clunks, and my gas mileage sucks. I have 10$ left.
NASIOC - swap, upgrade your suspension with all the parts from a STi, and add some EM. Then go Stage II.
NAguy -

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Old 05-13-2009, 01:59 AM   #17
thejean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
that was such a by-the-book case of someone asking NASIOC for support and getting coherent and helpful answers, that it's just too good to be true And noone yet suggested he swaps his engine for a turbocharged one!

The typical scenario for NA people with issues:

NAguy - My idle is rough, my sway bar clunks, and my gas mileage sucks. I have 10$ left.
NASIOC - swap, upgrade your suspension with all the parts from a STi, and add some EM. Then go Stage II.
NAguy -

Haha, so true. You forgot though to add some insults and street racing comments in there though.

Anyway, I'll be picking up a new IACV gasket tomorrow and trying that for now.

On my other EJ20 engine, I had a similar problem and tried cleaning the IACV and it did nothing. That problem turned out to be a faulty psgr side FPR that was dumping extra fuel pressure right into the intake manifold! I have a thread somewhere on that as well. It cause some crazy oscillating AFR's I remember.

Another time I had wacky idle (again on my other engine), which turned out to be a tiny vac hose popped off under the intake manifold.

In my experience, idle issues generally seem to be easy fixes, luckily.

JC
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:55 AM   #18
FlightService
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejean View Post
Haha, so true. You forgot though to add some insults and street racing comments in there though.

Anyway, I'll be picking up a new IACV gasket tomorrow and trying that for now.

On my other EJ20 engine, I had a similar problem and tried cleaning the IACV and it did nothing. That problem turned out to be a faulty psgr side FPR that was dumping extra fuel pressure right into the intake manifold! I have a thread somewhere on that as well. It cause some crazy oscillating AFR's I remember.

Another time I had wacky idle (again on my other engine), which turned out to be a tiny vac hose popped off under the intake manifold.

In my experience, idle issues generally seem to be easy fixes, luckily.

JC
Oh yeah one other thing. My IACV did NOT have a gasket of any sort. Looking at the mating surfaces it never has.

Thanks for not suggesting a turbo swap my wife would have hounded me to no end to do it.

Last edited by FlightService; 05-13-2009 at 06:56 AM. Reason: make smart a$$ comment about wife
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:09 PM   #19
GrundleJuice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoton View Post
that was such a by-the-book case of someone asking NASIOC for support and getting coherent and helpful answers, that it's just too good to be true And noone yet suggested he swaps his engine for a turbocharged one!

The typical scenario for NA people with issues:

NAguy - My idle is rough, my sway bar clunks, and my gas mileage sucks. I have 10$ left.
NASIOC - swap, upgrade your suspension with all the parts from a STi, and add some EM. Then go Stage II.
NAguy -

Yeah, it's a breath of fresh air.

you forgot the part with the ignorant obnoxious member who offends the OP, gives bad advise/bad answers to questions no one asked and then talks about how fast his car is.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #20
thejean
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So, turns out that neither the IACV or FPR were my issue. Next item to look at will be the O2 sensor I guess.
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:51 PM   #21
GrundleJuice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thejean View Post
So, turns out that neither the IACV or FPR were my issue. Next item to look at will be the O2 sensor I guess.
Is this problem on your WRX? Do you have the tools to log?
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:03 PM   #22
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I have the cable and the knowhow to use RomRaider but my work laptop will not allow me to install any non-work approved programs on it. I tried to get around that by installing the program in My Documents, which seemed to work but when I hooked up to the Tactrix cable, it wouldn't recognize the ecu or even the cable for that matter. Get a message saying that I'm not allowed to install unauthroized hardware on the computer either. VERY frustrating!
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