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Old 01-06-2013, 08:50 AM   #1
Seahawk
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w/ 03 WRX Swap

OMGHi2U 94 Impreza 1.8 Crank but no start

Hi everybody, I recently picked up a 94 Impreza base project car that I'm trying to get started. It cranks about 4 starter rotations then sorta chokes. I am getting a 23 for MAF sensor so I got a replacement green label one from the scrap yard yesterday, but still the same symptoms.

Yesterday I tried to get the crankshaft position sensor out to check it and fubared it, so I'm going to get one from the yard today, as well as a cam sensor.

The guy I bought it from said some gear broke and he took the timing belt of and replaced it and couldn't get it started since. I checked the timing with the marks on the camshaft sproket and the cam gears and it all lined up. I understand the 1.8 is a non-interference engine so at least I don't have to worry about valvetrain damage.

My question right now is - are the camshaft sproket and cam gears notched so they only go on one way (with a woodruff key or similar)? I just want to make sure the PO couldn't have put those on incorrectly and have my timing inspection incorrect.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
Charlie-III
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Yes, everything is keyed.....but, different gears (cam & crank) from different engines can fit other engines. This could be a reason it won't start.

Go to basics....
-Do you have fuel? (plugs should be wet with gas)
-Do you have spark?
-Then start looking at sensors & timing gears.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #3
Seahawk
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Thanks for the response. It is getting fuel and I was about to check for spark yesterday until I botched the crank sensor...going to pick one up then get back at it. I wanted to make sure timing was correct if the previous owner had been messing with it. I assume he was talking about the idler pulley going bad. I can't see a cam gear breaking just randomly so I think it's probably the right one.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #4
Seahawk
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Still no luck. I got a set of lightly used crank and cam sensors today and put those in, as well as checked for spark and fuel. All good there. But, still no start. Still only code 23 for MAF sensor.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
Charlie-III
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I'm still wondering if the cam/crank sendors are correct for your vehicle.

As I stated before, the crank gear and cam "gears" can fit many years/models, but will NOT correctly work the ECU.

The ECU is looking for one thing, but seeing something different.

"Just because it fits, does not mean it's correct."
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:47 PM   #6
Seahawk
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Well I guess my next step is to take off the L side "gear" and see if it is correct or has any missing points that the cam pos sensor is looking for.

If anybody has a pic of one from a 1.8 so I can compare I would appreciate it!
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
Seahawk
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Still no luck. I read that a bad coolant temp sensor can cause starting issues, so I unplugged that and tried to start, same issue although now it is showing a code 21 for the ECT sensor being unplugged.

I also asked the previous owner about what he replaced and it was an idler pulley and not a cam pulley. So I am concluding that the left side cam pulley is the original one.

Ideas? Would a bad MAF sensor still allow it to start? It is possible that the one I got at the bone yard is bad but I need to go exchange it within 30 days.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:30 AM   #8
Charlie-III
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Silver Sleeper Wagon

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If the MAF is bad, you should be able to unplug it and get the engine to start. The ECU will see a failed signal for the MAF and go by a set of "safe" tables to run the engine, but it will likely be very rich, but can "get you home".

If you have the tools, do a compression test. If it's out of time (I know the later model 2.5L's had "2" crank timing marks......) the pressure you get will be lower than expected.

Not sure what yours looks like, but here is sorta what I mean....


You need to check the REAR mark for crank timing, NOT the front mark that goes against the crank pully. The "incorrect one" in this picture is at about 3 O'clock.

Last edited by Charlie-III; 01-09-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: Added picture & info
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
Seahawk
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Thanks a lot for the help. I did previously try starting with the MAFS unplugged but it didn't help. I'll do a compression test and report back, and also verify the timing at the crank. It is very possible the PO was using the wrong mark to set the timing at the crank but that's why I asked about the pulley being keyed because I used the mark on that to verify the timing. I couldn't get the middle timing belt cover off earlier because a bolt was seized but I'll work on that and get a good look at the timing of the crank gear itself rather than the pulley.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
Seahawk
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I got the timing cover off, had to break it around that seized bolt on the bottom but no big deal. Anyway, the crank gear does look like that one above with a mark on a tooth on the rear and a mark on the "front" at about 3 o'clock. The mark on the front was used to set the timing. I lined everything up using the rear mark, tried twice to set it but it looked like it was 1 tooth off each time. Called it quits for tonight but will try again in the morning.
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