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Old 03-07-2013, 07:25 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 158955
Join Date: Sep 2007
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
1997 Legacy Outback

Default MY97 Legacy Outback EJ25D intermittent hesitation/timing issue?

Hello all, it's been too long.

First off I want to start on saying that I had bought this car with a timing belt failure and bent valves. Had valves replaced and heads resurfaced, MLS gasket, new timing belt and water pump. After I had the engine put back together and in the car I notice that the engine now hesitates from 2000 rpm~3000 rpms, also I get 15 MPGs. List of parts replaced:
-Head gasket & bolts
-Timing belt
-Water pump & pulleys
-NGK double platinum plugs
After driving the car about 5,000 miles I replaced the timing belt tensioner (old style, Phase I) and has seem to improved the problem...for a few days.

Now the hesitation is worse than ever and I am stumped on where to start looking. A lot of people are saying they are getting a hesitation from the knock sensor retarding the ignition timing. Other possible causes:
-Poor engine vacuum
-Ignition timing
-Timing belt maybe a tooth off(?)
-Carbon build up
My spark plug wires have not been replace but I checked the resistance and they are all in spec. I ran a fuel system cleaner and it made no difference. P0302 and P0304 cylinder misfire on 2 and 4. Being that those cylinders are on the same bank leads me to believe this is a timing issue. Anyone else have had this issue?
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 30669
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: USA, North NJ, 07456
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper BK, 5MT


I would check the timing, yes, you could be off a tooth on either of the cams on that side.
If I'm doing belt timing "engine in the car", I use a small mirror to get a good frontal view of the timing marks. If I just "look down", you can be aff a bit.

Plugs on the older NA's, I use NGK coppers. You have to have the shop look up the same year Impreza RS since they (for some stupid reason) don't list those plugs for the Legacy.

I also recommend OEM plug wires. I've had issues with other brands.....ESPECIALLY Bosch wires & plugs.

If it's the knock sensor, you will likely get a CEL.
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