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Old 04-28-2019, 06:05 PM   #1
SubbieNoob
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Default 02 WRX Phantom Misfire

Hola Nasioc family,

I just bought another bugeye and it has been pissing me off lol but I still love it.

I have been trying to fix a misfire for like a month now but it was an array of issues before I narrowed down a misfire in cylinder 2 and 4. However, the car does not drive any different.

HISTORY

I bought the car with a cracked valve and I bought used OEM heads. Brought them to the machine shop for cleaning, warpage testing, and valve seating. Everything checked out.

Then had the heads replaced and I started experiencing bucking under boost, turned out to be a vacuum leak, checked with a smoke test. Swapped my intercooler, y pipe and leaking hose, now my bucking is gone but the random misfires on cylinder 2 and 4 are still there. Oxygen sensor had a rip on the signal wire, I rewired it and the CEL for that code and the rough idle disappeared. MAF was also changed for precautionary purposes.

I will be changing my coilpacks since I heard one coilpack may cause a misfire code for that bank. Any other ideas?

Timing is not off since I installed the timing belt with the tech. Vacuum is perfect and idle is great. Car pulls amazing with zero issues, the spark plugs were changed with iridium and the clutch is oem exedy with an oem flywheel. Misfires occur randomly at cruising speeds or at idle but never under full throttle.



UPDATES (In Order)
1. Coilpacks changed
2. Misfires more heavily at idle and stalls
3. Used Seafoam in gas with no luck
4. Changed spark plugs, gaped to 0.025
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Last edited by SubbieNoob; 05-13-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:55 PM   #2
Powsurfer96
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I had random misfires from a bad Pcv valve, it doesnít seem like that would be it since yours is just in 2 and 4. I figured I would mention it since itís cheap easy to replace and it made my car run way better after I changed it
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powsurfer96 View Post
I had random misfires from a bad Pcv valve, it doesnít seem like that would be it since yours is just in 2 and 4. I figured I would mention it since itís cheap easy to replace and it made my car run way better after I changed it

Could be in the right directions here.

After a long drive last night, misfire on cylinder 3 popped up. Usually this is followed by cylinder 1 as well after some time. Typically I clear the code and cylinders 2 and 4 come back on and the process repeats. I thought nothing of it before because of the boost leak, but now I may skeptical of the spark plugs since they were never gapped to proper spec.

Last edited by SubbieNoob; 05-02-2019 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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Update: misfire is now on cylinder 1 as well.

So 2 & 4 instantly followed by 3 and then 1.

This is definitely a misfire now, I am noticing that the engine is sluggish and a bit shaky as well as idling inconsistently. Also realized that misfire flashes occur more frequently in the rain. Going to change coil packs when weather gets nicer. Seems maybe 1 & 3 are compensating for 2 & 4.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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" Oxygen sensor had a rip on the signal wire, I rewired it and the CEL for that code and the rough idle disappeared. MAF was also changed for precautionary purposes."

if you had to rewire other sensors I imagine you would fray a coil pack connection with little effort. i did this in november and chased a ground wire back to the ecu that was dickered replaced my number 4 plug connection and haven't had a problem since. also need to remember the wiring harness on bug eyes are 17-18 years old at this point. heck even just replacing the insulation around the wiring could help you out.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:46 PM   #6
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Before the rebuild, it actually wasn't misfiring except on the cylinder with the cracked valve. Also, the oxygen sensor may have ripped on engine removal.

But for an update, I changed coilpacks on cylinder 2 and 4. Cylinder 2/3/4 misfire came back instantly. Is it possible at this point that the spark plugs are to blame?

I just find it odd that pretty much all the spark plugs would have failed here. Considering that they should have came pre-gapped. I did begin to notice that the shaking occurs on deceleration of the engine.
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:44 AM   #7
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Update : Running fuel injector cleaner (sea foam) through the tank now. The car is not misfiring as bad but I am still getting a flashing CEL, just less frequently. Misfire remained on cylinder 2 and 4 after the reset. Only 10 miles so far on the cleaner.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubbieNoob View Post
Update : Running fuel injector cleaner (sea foam) through the tank now. The car is not misfiring as bad but I am still getting a flashing CEL, just less frequently. Misfire remained on cylinder 2 and 4 after the reset. Only 10 miles so far on the cleaner.
uhh a flashing Cel is knock
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:22 PM   #9
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Flashing can just be a misfire, it doesnt flash all the time. It does it for a little then stays solid. I'm going to swap the plugs next weekend and check timing
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubbieNoob View Post
Flashing can just be a misfire, it doesnt flash all the time. It does it for a little then stays solid. I'm going to swap the plugs next weekend and check timing
can you datalog to see if its pulling timing
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:42 PM   #11
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Yeah - when I get the chance I can data log on my V2 Cobb and see what I get.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:12 PM   #12
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What gap are you running on the plugs? .024 is the recommended.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fierysun View Post
What gap are you running on the plugs? .024 is the recommended.
Honestly, they were just thrown in with the stock gap from NGK. I believe .03 but this could be off. I am throwing in new plugs this weekend (tomorrow) and checking timing. Gaped them myself to .03.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubbieNoob View Post
Honestly, they were just thrown in with the stock gap from NGK. I believe .03 but this could be off. I am throwing in new plugs this weekend (tomorrow) and checking timing. Gaped them myself to .03.
Gap them to .024 unless you want misfire.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:57 PM   #15
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I had a slight vac leak once that would cause a phantom type misfire like you're describing drove normal boost gauge seemed happy and stable at idle

but after warmed up I would sometimes just get a cylinder 2/3/4 misfire usually in a drive through or at a red light never while moving
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valarius Starchaser View Post
I had a slight vac leak once that would cause a phantom type misfire like you're describing drove normal boost gauge seemed happy and stable at idle

but after warmed up I would sometimes just get a cylinder 2/3/4 misfire usually in a drive through or at a red light never while moving
Hmmm this sounds promising. I'll have them check this as well
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #17
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Okay update, the tech double checked timing and said everything looked good. I am getting the plugs done now and will be gaped to 0.025. If this doesn't fix the issue, I will be on to finding the vacuum leak.


Just found out that the car has gone through 2 quarts of oil in the past 200 or 300 miles or so. Could this possibly be a bad PCV?

Last edited by SubbieNoob; 05-13-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 06:11 PM   #18
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That is a LOT of oil, has this engine had a compression check, before or after the heads were swapped?

Until you said that I was going to suggest fuel pump, but now I am thinking ringlands or excessive blowby.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:33 PM   #19
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I think he might have been exaggerating on the oil. Got the car back, nothing's changed. Still same old misfire on 2 and 4....

He also didn't do the plugs which he thinks are 100% okay. Which I doubt still...
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:13 PM   #20
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Rings worn out oil slips past and you get a low octane fuel/oil/air mix ANDDDDD misfire
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Old 05-15-2019, 01:53 AM   #21
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Shouldnít you pull the plugs and inspect them, see what they look like. I donít know why people are so afraid of doing spark plug work on this cars, really isnít so hard. Remove battery, remove air box, proper combination of wrenches.
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:35 PM   #22
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I am going to do the plugs but I started to notice something pretty important.

The misfire only occurs once the engine starts getting warm.
When the temp needle actually starts moving, the misfire appears.
Also realized that the engine stays cold then moves to operating temperature very quickly.

Still drives good though, just misfires at idle still.

Last edited by SubbieNoob; 05-15-2019 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:05 PM   #23
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Did the shop check valve clearance when they did the heads, seems like everyone kinda skips checking because it's a pitas.
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:58 PM   #24
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Finally got around to changing all the plugs, the pcv valve, and the coilpacks. Still misfire on cylinder 2 and 4. At this point, I believe it may be an internal issue.

No, they didnt check valve clearance unfortunately. I feel like this may be my issue.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:46 PM   #25
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Do you know if you have OEM flywheel or lightened flywheel? The 02 WRX ECU can't properly read the lightened flywheel spinning down quicker than the 22lbs OEM flywheel. So the ECU reads this as random misfires.

Just a thought.

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