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Old 10-29-2006, 10:50 PM   #1
dodgeboy69
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Thumbs up 1987 Subaru GL TBI Cranks but No start

I have a 1987 Subaru GL with 1.8 TBI motor. It is a low mile car (62K) and when I bought it, the owner told me it did not run right. I drove it home and it it run erratic at lower rpms but the upper rpms run fairly decent. Then I inspected it and found a bad distributor cap. I replaced the cap and it run fine. When it warmed up, I went for a test ride. It stalled at the end of my driveway. When it restarted,, it run rough so I parked it to work on it later. It has not run since. It has plenty of gas to the throttle body and voltage to the coil. But when it is cranking, it does not seem to be firing. I changed the distributor with a known good one and still nothing. The coil is also new. The timing belts are also good. Although there is good fuel pressure to the throttle body, it does not seem to injecting gas. Any ideas to what may be going on here? Any and all help is welcome.

Thanks,
Don
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Old 10-29-2006, 11:26 PM   #2
GLCraigGT
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Okay I'll start with the stupid question. Is the new distributor the crank angle sensor type? All of the SPFI EA82s use this one and they will not work with an inductive pick-up distributor. Also make sure the rotor has not come loose on the distributor.

Second, try spraying some starting fluid down the throttle body, then try to start it. This should help verify that the ignition system is working and timed close enough to get the engine to start.

The only way I know to visibly check to see if the injector is firing, is to get a spare intake snorkel and cut a hole in the top of it, over the location of the injector. The hole need to be big enough for you to see if the injector fires but small enough to cause air flow through the MAF.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:00 PM   #3
dodgeboy69
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Default more info

The car has a 4 wire distributor if that helps. How do you tell if it has a crank angle sensor? It does not try to run when putting gas in the throttle body. I have unplugged the battery to erase codes but they stay in there also. Could the ECM be shot? Most were created when I was randomly disconnecting plugs to see if there was any efeect in starting, which none did anything.

Don
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:08 AM   #4
GLCraigGT
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4 wires are correct for the Crankangle Distributor but other types sometimes have 4 wires too. Dose it have a vacuum advance module on it? If not, you should have right one.

Since it didn't try to start after putting some gas down the throttle body, you need to verify if you have any spark at all. Pull the coil wire from the distributor cap and hold it close to body, a bolt or something else that's metal and grounded. Have someone crank the engine while you hold the wire contact about a 1/4 inch away. You should be able to see the spark jump from the contact to ground.
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Old 10-31-2006, 08:10 AM   #5
dodgeboy69
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It does not have a vacuum advance. The coil wire does not have any fire at all. It has been replaced with a good unit from another running car and still has no fire. The coil wire was also replaced with a good unit and still no fire. When a test light is put on the coil post (both sides), the light does not pulse but remains steadily lit. The rotor does turn with the motor cranking. Is there any way to test the distributor module? How would it act if the MAF sensor were bad? ECM maybe? This a SPFI motor, VIN 4.

Don

Last edited by dodgeboy69; 10-31-2006 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
Tizzle
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Check the Idle air control valve?
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:06 PM   #7
dodgeboy69
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Today I replaced the ignition control module. It still did not start but when I put a small amount of gas in the throttle body, it did turn faster although I do not think it was firing. But before I replaced the module, the tachometer sit dead on zero when cranking. Now the needle will occassionally jump from 3000 rpm to burying the tach when cranking the motor over. But the motor does not fire. Any thoughts on this one?

Don
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:06 AM   #8
Flowmastered87GL
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Check your grounds, positive leads, fuses and fusable links. And alternator connection too. The tach jumping like that sounds like some wiring issue. Check the cheap stuff first.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:18 PM   #9
dodgeboy69
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Unhappy Electrical test

Today I put a meter on the "rascal". The Crank angle plug tested at 12Volts, 5Volts and 5Volts on three of the 4 wires. Coil had 12 Volts at each post. The power resistor under the coil has 12 volts at one wire and no voltage at the other wire. There was no voltage pulsing when the engine was cranked at the power resistor. Voltage at coolant temperature sensor was 4 volts one wire, zero voltage other wire and unit tested at 15K ohms. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-15-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
dodgeboy69
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Default What is this?

Underneath the coil and attached to the coil bracket, is a small electrical unit comprised of a transistor (or diode) and an epoxy filled box attached to back of tranisistor (or diode). It has two wires coming out of it to the coil and then from coil to a round connector. The wire that attaches to it (a two wire connector with flat post at 90 degrees) has voltage at only one wire and none at the other post with the ignition on. Is the voltage suppose to be this way on this "thing". I have a Mitchell CD on Subarus but it does not show this part in any of the wiring diagrams. Can it be bypassed for testing purposes? Also, all grounds, connections and wires look good. Please help.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:32 PM   #11
dodgeboy69
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Default It runs again

The problem turned out to be a bad ECU. Thanks for all the suggestions

Don
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
MilesAway1980
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Hi All,
I know this is an older thread, but I'm not able to start a new thread yet (0 posts), and this thread pertains a lot to what I'm currently dealing with.

I'm working on a 1987 Subaru GL with a 1.8 FI motor. It's my friend's car, so I don't have a lot of experience with it. She said she had been having issues with it not starting lately, although it would eventually start and then be fine for a few days.

Yesterday, she was leaving my house and while backing up the car quit and died and wouldn't start again.

The engine cranks but won't start. It doesn't even sound like it's trying to.
I started looking things over to see what it might be and it looked like the ignition was in desperate need of a tuneup. The battery cables were corroded, and the terminals were cracked and split. The spark plugs looked like they hadn't been replaced in a long time and looked like they'd been burned (they were white and ashy), and the distributor cap and rotor were very corroded.

So, I replaced the spark plugs, plug wires, battery cables, distributor cap, rotor, and the oxygen sensor.

The engine still wouldn't start.

I pulled one of the spark plugs out and grounded it to the frame and cranked it and it was getting spark.

The fuel pump and fuel filter were recently replaced, and while cranking the engine, I could smell gas, so I assume it was getting fuel. I don't know how to check on a fuel injected engine (I mostly work on carburetors).

I know the original solution in this thread was a bad ECU, but would there still be spark if the ECU is bad? Also, the car never ran poorly. Once started, it runs great. It just won't start now.


What could it be?
Thanks for any help.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #13
TurboneX
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Pull the disty cap off and crank the engine. If the rotor doesnt move this means the drivers side timing belt has broken (theres 2 belts). Not a major issue, it wont damage the engine (non-interference). Theres a write up and lots of info over at USMB about timing belt installation.
http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/...ht=timing+belt

If this isnt the problem, go ahead and register on the forum and post your question up in Old Gen.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:06 AM   #14
MilesAway1980
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Thanks for the write up on this. I'll check this out and see if this is it and report back.

Glad to hear it's non-interference!
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:55 PM   #15
sixtycg
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As soon as I get my requisite three replies in, I'll post a similar issue with my 87.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:50 PM   #16
Makermk
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Default Similar issues

Just joined so can't post my own thread. Getting my requisite replies in so I can post. Looking forward to input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgeboy69 View Post
I have a 1987 Subaru GL with 1.8 TBI motor. It is a low mile car (62K) and when I bought it, the owner told me it did not run right. I drove it home and it it run erratic at lower rpms but the upper rpms run fairly decent. Then I inspected it and found a bad distributor cap. I replaced the cap and it run fine. When it warmed up, I went for a test ride. It stalled at the end of my driveway. When it restarted,, it run rough so I parked it to work on it later. It has not run since. It has plenty of gas to the throttle body and voltage to the coil. But when it is cranking, it does not seem to be firing. I changed the distributor with a known good one and still nothing. The coil is also new. The timing belts are also good. Although there is good fuel pressure to the throttle body, it does not seem to injecting gas. Any ideas to what may be going on here? Any and all help is welcome.

Thanks,
Don
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:52 PM   #17
Makermk
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I tried following this thread but couldn't find any more of it. Was your problem timing belt related? Have similar issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MilesAway1980 View Post
Thanks for the write up on this. I'll check this out and see if this is it and report back.

Glad to hear it's non-interference!
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