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Old 06-21-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
ROIDSgotBOOST
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Default 2006 STI wont start after rebuild, please help

OK guys I need some fresh thoughts/ideas on this nightmare, Im going to try to include as much info as possible so please bear with me. This is a buddy's car I'm trying to put back together for him, and the car is winning the battle right now

car:
2006 STI, aprox 70k miles
mods:
APS DR525 front mount
Cobb CAI
Invidia catless DP
some type of tune (dont know the specifics on the tune or what was used to tune)

The car shut off on him while cruising on the highway at aprox 80 mph, had it towed home (he's also my downstairs neighbor) checked spark and fuel in the driveway and those were good, but the car would just crank and never fire

had the car towed to my shop, pulled the timing covers to check base mechanical timing, timing was definitely off, pulled the belt and re-timed the motor, still wouldn't start, performed a compression test and got terrible resulst...took 14 (yes 14) revolutions of the motor to get the gauge to 125 psi at each cylinder, tried a different gauge, same results

pulled the motor and pulled the heads off and sent them to the machine shop...14 bent valves...ouch...had the machine shop replace all 16 valves and perform the valve adjustment, got the heads back and put everything back together with OEM subaru parts (including valves, seals, etc.)

dropped the motor back in the car, plugged everything in and expected it to fire up no problem...yeah right...would just crank and crank and never fire so I decided to check for spark...pulled the front coil on the pass head and stuck a spark plug in the coil and grounded it against the head and turned the motor over with my power probe with the ignition on and it had good spark! and it started! had my buddy shut it off right away, I had a small oil leak at the turbo I had to fix and clean up, put the coil back in and fixed the oil leak and expected it to fire up...no luck still just cranks and never fires

started doing some poking around and found a broken wire at the MAF for the IAT...fixed that and that got rid of my check engine light and -40c IAT temps...still no luck, just cranks and cranks

sometimes the car will start and come up to a 1500 rpm cold idle and immediately sputters and dies out, if I try blipping the throttle while its running it dies quickly and pops out the intake!

so I start thinking I've got the timing belt in wrong, pull it all back apart again, check the belt and the timing marks and everything is in time and ok, performed another compression check for hahas and got 125 psi at each cylinder within 3 revolutions of the motor so I'm pretty sure I didn't F up putting the motor back together

so far I've checked to make sure the intake cam gears are properly positioned on the dowels on the cams, swapped cam sensors from one head to the other, and I've tried starting the the car with one cam sensor unplugged, both cam sensors unplugged, MAF unplugged, MAP unplugged and the crank position sensor unplugged, all the same results, sometimes it starts and dies, most of the time it cranks and never fires

tried a new battery, same headaches, tried adding some additional gounds, no dice...

had my buddy call the tuner and ask him if it would be worth re flashing the ECU back to stock, still haven't got anywhere with that yet...

I still haven't gotten a good fuel pressure test on it, but if I pull the fuel supply line and turn the ignition on theres plenty of fuel there, checked, double and triple checked the fuel supply lines and I'm fairly certain I didn't mix those up, check for crimped/pinched fuel lines under the intake manifold and everything looks pretty good there too. That and the plugs were horribly fuel fouled when I pulled them to do the second compression check so I replaced them with new OEM plugs...still no luck

I've even smoked the motor with an EVAP smoke machine to look for injector leaks, gasket leaks or boost leaks and couldn't find anything...

so for those of you still reading...any ideas? anything else I can check or try? My buddies already missed the wicked big meet because of this and I would really like to get it back to him and honestly I need it out of my shop and I feel like I've hit the wall and don't know what else to check at this point, I've had a few other Subaru geeks stop by and once over the bay with me and everything looks like its plugged in, no check engine lights and no stored codes...so I'm willing to try anything short of magic pixie dust at this point, so if ANYone has ANY ideas for ANYTHING to try it would be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:50 AM   #2
ammo0000
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Junk it and get a new car haha. J/K, how long was he running that tune before this happened?
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #3
ROIDSgotBOOST
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about a month...maybe 2...guy that tuned it is a friend of mine, EFI 101 grad, lots of tuning experience etc. I dont think the tune had anything to do with the failure, I think it was the charge pipe from the APS front mount that was hitting the drivers side timing cover enough for the cam gears to grind holes in it

I was just thinking maybe there was a corrupt file in the ecu or something because I think his stock battery has a bad cell...sometimes the battery tester tells me the battery has 48cca other times its over 300cca. I dont know nearly enough about the subaru ECU to know if thats even a possibility but I've had other makes of cars have bad files in the ecu with an aftermarket tune and flashed it back to stock and re-tuned and the problem went away

I'm no subaru expert, I'm a honda geek at heart, but the mechanics of rebuilding and reinstalling an engine aren't very different

btw he's had the car for a total of 6 months, all mods except for the invidia downpipe and the tune were done by the previous owner, he's still making payments on it, and its been at my shop for about 2 months (had to get the money together for all the parts and the machine shop labor)
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
thenick
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Distributor? Cap? Rotor? Coil packs? Bump for you.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
ROIDSgotBOOST
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no dizzy on this motor and it has good spark from the coils, but thank you for the thought and the bump
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #6
the suicidal eggroll
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Flash it to stock and unplug the MAF, if it still doesn't start then check the fuel pressure. If that checks out as well, make sure you don't have a torn injector o-ring that's flooding the cylinder.

That's all I can think of right now.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
ROIDSgotBOOST
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the suicidal eggroll View Post
Flash it to stock and unplug the MAF, if it still doesn't start then check the fuel pressure. If that checks out as well, make sure you don't have a torn o-ring injector that's flooding the cylinder.

That's all I can think of right now.

thats half my nightmare...tuners a couple towns away and very busy, so it comes down to either towing the car to him or trying to get him to my shop...im still leaning towards flashing the car back to stock, I suppose I could tow it the local subie dealer and have them flash it...
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:31 PM   #8
thenick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROIDSgotBOOST View Post
thats half my nightmare...tuners a couple towns away and very busy, so it comes down to either towing the car to him or trying to get him to my shop...im still leaning towards flashing the car back to stock, I suppose I could tow it the local subie dealer and have them flash it...
If you know anyone local with an Accessport maybe you could have them give it a shot?
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
the suicidal eggroll
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Definitely flash it to stock, none of the mods that are installed will prevent the car from starting and idling properly on the stock tune (except maybe the CAI, but that's why you unplug the MAF).

You need to find out what the car was tuned using. If it was open source, you should be able to find somebody local with a Tactrix cable and you can download the stock map online and flash it on. If it's AP (and the owner doesn't have the AP that it's married to) or Ecutek then things are a bit more complicated.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:38 PM   #10
ROIDSgotBOOST
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its probably open source, I'm still trying to get the tuner on the phone...I might just see if I can pull a favor from the dealer and get somebody over here to re-flash it
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #11
austinbbmopar
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Take a look at the Front crank sprocket, If its missing or has damaged tabs on it, it will not run. past experiance w/05 WRX jumped time because of tensioner ruined half the valve... re built and wouldnt crank, would hit everyonce in a while but wouldnt turn over... was the sprocket, had a missing tooth
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:58 PM   #12
mavstang73
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Wow I just realized your in RI.
Where are you located maybe I could swing by with my Tactrix cable and help.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:00 PM   #13
06Limited
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When you tore the heads down what kind of tool did you use to hold the intake cam sprockets? If you do not use the proper tool you can mechanically spin the avcs gear inside the sprockets and cause the same issue. Get a proper cam tool and replace the intake cam sprockets. I'd bet money that this is it.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
06Limited
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Do me a favor though first. Unplug the driver's side cam sensor and try to start the car. If it starts then this will prove my suggestion.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:28 PM   #15
kellygnsd
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What CELs do you have?
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:46 AM   #16
ROIDSgotBOOST
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions...I had the car towed to the dealer due to the fact I needed it out of my shop and felt I was just going around in circles with it

turns out that according to the dealer the problem was a bad o ring on the filter on the fuel pump! Go figure! I never touched the fuel pump and never thought to check it due to the fact that I thought it was something I screwed up somewhere between pulling the motor, rebuilding it and reinstalling it

just goes to show you how much of a PITA cars can be sometimes
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