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Old 07-02-2017, 10:29 PM   #1
dan macmillan
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Member#: 311323
Join Date: Feb 2012
Vehicle:
98 Legacy/Bradley
Ghost red on black

Default weird starting issue

Let me start by saying that I am a licensed automotive, truck and coach, and heavy equipment mechanic in Canada with over 30 years experience in the automotive world. I have tried everything but this has me baffled.

I currently have a 2.2 na with automatic transmission from a 98 legacy brighton that has a strange starting issue.

Every time I start the engine this problem occurs.

Turn key to crank and it instantly engages the starter and the engine rotates just fine. Cranking speed is definitely enough to start the car yet all it does is crank. There is no signs of it trying to ignite the fuel. It just cranks.

If I turn the key off and try a second time it will fire up instantly and run perfectly.

I have determined that to start the engine I just have to turn the key long enough to just engage the starter { just getting the starter drive to briefly engage the ring gear} turn it off and it will fire right up on the second attempt. In fact it does't even crank a full revolution before it starts, on the second attempt.

There are no check engine codes
Battery is new and fully charged
Fuel pressure is well within specs
Spark is present instantly.
Plugs and wires are new.
injector pulse is present
Compression is good.

This problem exists at all temperature ranges.

When it starts it runs perfectly. So smooth that you do not know it is running.

This is in a fully custom modified vehicle so bringing it to the dealer is an issue as they would not know where to start.

Here is the car I am referring to.


https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2357706

I have searched the net and cannot find a similar issue.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
Charlie-III
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Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

Default

How about if you turn the key "on", count to 5 and then crank?
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:09 PM   #3
dan macmillan
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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98 Legacy/Bradley
Ghost red on black

Default

Key on and waiting will not make it start. Starter must engage flywheel.
Even cycling the key from off to on multiple times to charge the fuel system makes no difference. Fuel pressure is not bleeding down. I can start the engine, run it for any length of time, turn it off and be back with the same problem if I try to start it immediately after shutting it down.

Last edited by dan macmillan; 07-03-2017 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:35 PM   #4
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan macmillan View Post
Key on and waiting will not make it start. Starter must engage flywheel.
Even cycling the key from off to on multiple times to charge the fuel system makes no difference. Fuel pressure is not bleeding down. I can start the engine, run it for any length of time, turn it off and be back with the same problem if I try to start it immediately after shutting it down.
OK, good info.
A real head scratcher.

Sorta sounds like the ECU is losing power, like when you do a CEL clear where the engine takes more cranks to first fire. The ECU loses "fine learning" as well as where the crank and cams are.
Thus, doing a CEL clear almost ALWAYS requires more cranking for the first start.
This is a Subaru thing, some others as well.

I would look to ECU power first.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:44 PM   #5
dan macmillan
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98 Legacy/Bradley
Ghost red on black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
OK, good info.
A real head scratcher.

Sorta sounds like the ECU is losing power, like when you do a CEL clear where the engine takes more cranks to first fire. The ECU loses "fine learning" as well as where the crank and cams are.
Thus, doing a CEL clear almost ALWAYS requires more cranking for the first start.
This is a Subaru thing, some others as well.

I would look to ECU power first.
Ok but when doing a cel clear the extended crank is just that, an extended crank that eventually starts without turning the key off.
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Old 07-03-2017, 11:52 PM   #6
Charlie-III
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1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT

Default

I'll have to sleep n this one.
Maybe someone else will chime in. You have given good info though.

Hmmmmmm.......

(Bradley, as in Bradley GT? If so, been a while since I saw one).
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:28 PM   #7
dan macmillan
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Join Date: Feb 2012
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98 Legacy/Bradley
Ghost red on black

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
I'll have to sleep n this one.
Maybe someone else will chime in. You have given good info though.

Hmmmmmm.......

(Bradley, as in Bradley GT? If so, been a while since I saw one).
Thank you.
Bradley as in Bradley GT2 electric. Well originally electric. First I recammed a corvair to run backwards but it lacked the power and sound that the car needs.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:35 PM   #8
v2rocket_aka944
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...how old is the crank position sensor?
maybe it needs to "warm up" magnetically with the first crank cycle
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:11 AM   #9
bdubblu
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Stage 5.1.2a.2

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How about a known good ECU swap for problem elimination purposes?
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:12 AM   #10
bdubblu
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Stage 5.1.2a.2

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Or what if this is some immobilizer malfunction? That sounds realistic.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:36 AM   #11
wtdash
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2016 Focus RS

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^No immob. on the '98...unless 'the Brad' has one.

Your LINK is from 2012 - been happening since then?

As this is truly custom, I'd think there's a 'missing link'...Ground, etc.

Older models (maybe '95-'98, too) had diodes...not sure on this.

Your friends in the VW swap-world may have info, too.

Any ECU from a '96-'98 Subaru 2.2 or 2.5 (AT or Man.) will work to test. (I have one I can ship out.)

Green diagnostic connectors still intact? Not sure what they'll tell you.

Do you have the AT Temp light hooked up? Is it blinking @ Key On/Start-Up?

As the car is wired for the AT (not a 5-speed)...... some of the sensors/switches, such as the Neutral switch, cause grief for those doing AT>5-speed swaps in otherwise stock Subies....so just thinking out loud about those possibilities.

Good luck
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