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Old 05-14-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
fastenova
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default Legacy not starting

Hello friends,

It's been a while since I've been on here, mostly because I've decided to spend my time modding my house instead of my car. Better payback and less greasy

Anyway, I was headed to work last week, I started the car, it idled for 15 seconds or so, then as I was backing out the driveway (rolling out in neutral) the car died. I tried to restart it and it wouldn't fire. Cranked just fine, but wouldn't light up. After killing my 7 year old battery trying to get it started, I waited a few days and got a new battery. Still won't start. Here are the symptoms:

-Turn key from ACC to ON and I can hear the fuel pump priming. I unhooked the outlet from the fuel filter and the pump works for a few seconds just after key goes to on, so fuel is getting to the injectors.

-Pulling the plugs shows them wet with gasoline, so fuel is getting into the manifold/heads.

-Pulling a plug and resting the spark plug on the manifold bolt (plug still connected to the coil) shows a spark, or so my friend says ( I didn't see it myself, will verify this weekend) but he said "It's yellow, not blue".

-Pulled the blowby tubes to find a fair amount of congealed oil in them. I cleaned them out and reinstalled.

-Swapped the idle air control valve with a spare I had sitting around with no improvement. Same story with the ignition coil.

-Every once in a while, while cranking, it'll fire once or twice as if it's going to start running normally but then stop and just crank.

-Timing belt is intact, although I have no way currently to verify timing. The belt is new (<10K miles).

-Checked all hoses/plugs and couldn't find anything disconnected.

-ECU has been running at stock clock speed for months leading up to this event (this only makes sense if you know my efforts to increase rev limit/idle speed) so I don't *think* that's a factor

-Perfect Power 6 piggyback ECU works, and is getting a MAF signal and ignition signal, and reading RPMs correctly while cranking.

-The only CELs I got was a IACV code before I replaced it, and now crankshaft/camshaft accuracy codes which I think are due to the random combustions that ARE happening...


My plan is to swap the ECU with a spare I have sitting around, then go over all of my PP6 connections to make sure they're all good. I need to verify that I'm getting a good spark before I do a whole lot else, because that would define where I go from here. Assuming I DO have spark, my next move is to check the wiring for the cam/crank sensors and the sensors themselves.

Am I heading in the right direction? Is there something simple I'm forgetting?

Thanks for your input!
Aaron
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Old 05-14-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Maybe you have a bad cam position sensor ?

I am, of course, assuming your timing belt didn't let go on you.
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
fastenova
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

Timing belt is fine.

It looks like I'm not getting any spark, so my variables are:

cam/crank sensors (which both ohm out fine)
wiring for cam/crank sensors
ECU (overclocked but not running in overclocked mode right now - it's on a switch)
coil (ohms out fine and swapped coil with a spare, no change)
ignitor (no way to test this part - FSM says that if there is no spark and harness is good, replace it)

On that note, does anybody have a spare ignitor laying around? I sold mine to a local guy who needed one for like $10 and I'm kicking myself now (I like having spares around to troubleshoot)...

Even if you don't have one you want to sell, I'd pay the few bucks for shipping both ways to "borrow" yours to test with? I hate throwing money at parts if I don't know they're bad.

Thanks!
Aaron
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #4
Easy_k
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the ignitior and coil are the same part..ignitor is built into the coil. You said you swapped coils already?
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
fastenova
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Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy_k View Post
the ignitior and coil are the same part..ignitor is built into the coil. You said you swapped coils already?
Definitely NOT the same part. See https://www.partswebsite.com/stores/...s7/7521093.gif

The ignitor is #12. Perhaps on different years they're the same part, but from 90-99 they're separate.

The ignitor actually files the primary coils in the coilpacks based on signals from the ECU. It also manages ignition dwell based on the current flowing to the coil.

I did swap my coil with a spare and there was still no spark.

Last edited by fastenova; 05-26-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 05-26-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
fastenova
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

I will mention that another reason I suspect the ignitor is because there is a known issue with the PP6 when wired to advance/retard ignition with it burning up ignitors if the ignition is left in the on position. Although I've been ridiculously careful not to leave my ignition on more than about 10 seconds without the car running, I don't know the actual length of time required to fry an ignitor.

Since there's no procedure in the FSM to test the ignitor that doesn't involve an oscilloscope, and the FSM says that if the wiring is fine to replace the ignitor, it seems like as good a place to start as any, especially since the car just randomly died, without anything leading up to it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:01 AM   #7
iamthelazerviking
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Perhaps a bad ground somewhere? Or the alternator could have an issue
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:44 AM   #8
fastenova
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

I swapped out the ECU with my spare one and it's doing the same thing. I also put a "shorting plug" on my PP6 which basically just removes it from the loop and passes all the signals through to their proper wires without modification, with no changes. I'm picking up a used ignitor on Friday.
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #9
Easy_k
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blue

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yes my bad 2 different parts..
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:14 PM   #10
Jonathan
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1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Did the new igniter work ? Is the car fixed ?
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
fastenova
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

No luck on getting it running by replacing the ignitor.

I'm going to check resistance/continuity of the ignition trigger lines going to the ignitor and the wires between the ECU and crank sensor.

All I should need for spark is power to the ECU, a good crank signal, a good ignitor and a good coil, right?

Anyone else know what other signals the ECU uses for ignition? I know engine temp, throttle position, and load (MAF) factor into the ignition advance/retard.
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Old 05-31-2010, 12:55 PM   #12
fastenova
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Member#: 38829
Join Date: Jun 2003
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Tigard, OR
Vehicle:
Not your usual 1997
Legacy GT

Default

Well, I've got spark now. Not sure exactly what did it but it is sparking. The timing was also off - must have jumped a tooth sometime when it was cranking over. That's fixed.

It still isn't starting, is firing occasionally, but it might just be flooded. Gotta pull the plugs again and blow out the cylinders to get rid of any excess fuel.

Anyone want to buy a very modified Legacy GT? I have my eye on a newer GT Wagon... Haha.
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