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Old 12-06-2012, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 96 Impreza Outback: no power at takeoff

Hello....we have a very second hand '96 Impreza Outback that my son drives back and forth to school. It has 218k on it and has been a great car for the pas two years with very little trouble. Well she is basically dead in the water right now and undrivable. I'm at a loss in which direction to go next. I will list it's symptoms and then what we have done so far.....
-idles rough around 500rpm
-put in gear and go to drive away, it just boggs and will not go. If you play w/ the pedal you can get it to slowly build and then you can drive it fine.....upper rpm's seem to be ok.

What we have done so far:
-new NGK copper plugs
-new Duralast wires
-new NAPA coil
-new Bosch fuel pump & filter (we checked fuel flow since we don't have a gauge and it was pathetic, new pump doubled flow)
-cleaned EGR
-cleaned MAF sensor
-pulled CAT to see if it was plugged and killing the exhaust flow (good)
-around the time we got it 2yrs ago I did timing belt, water pump, seals & vc gaskets so I'm pretty sure it's not out of time, but we did attempt to check the timing w/ a SnapOn light and could not find the mark. Even rotated it 180deg w/ light and still no mark. One thing that is odd is the crank pulley has a wobble to it....don't remember if it's been there all along.....

Please help...........
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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crank pulley is either loose or the rubber between the 2 pieces is deteriorated.

seems like cam timing may have slipped a few teeth and you have reduced power is a good possibility.

any CEL codes?
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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interesting about the crank pulley.....and yes I was thinking the same thing.....I think Saturday I will be pulling the timing belt...if off time, new belt and tensioner.....no cel codes
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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coolant temp switch will make it run like poo.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well I decided to teach my 17yr old more about working on cars and let him start taking it apart today and this is what we found. Crank shaft and both pulleys toast! Options I'm considering right now are:
- I have a buddy that is a fabricator and mechanical engineer.....having him look at it and see if he can weld a new keyway to shaft and pully, getting a new outer pulley and firing her up.
- JB welding it all back together and letting it set for a few days and see.....but honestly I have real concerns about JB weld getting a solid attachment to the polished hardened crack shaft
- or junk yard motor swap if I can find one at a reasonable price

any thoughts or suggestions.......please

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jrb1x8bmer...207_113756.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/70l8toiay8...207_120421.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvuf1d1vyg...207_122241.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/12rq9tje5l...207_120413.jpg

PS....if the pic links do not work, please let me know and I will try another way....thanks
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have found this and this looks promising.....

wobbling pulley ruined crankshaft keyway - Ultimate Subaru Message Board

I hope it is ok to link to this forum.....I believe I've seen others do it.......
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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this is not an uncommon problem. usually caused by not torquing the crank bolt to 137 ft. lbs. be ware. some manuals mis-quote this spec.

replace the crank sprocket, pulley, key and maybe the bolt.
you do not have to do anything to the crank it self.

i would also also replace any and all parts related to the timing belt,
belt, all idlers, water pump, and seals. once done you will not have to deal with the crank bolt for 60k - 100k miles.

install the new parts and line up the new crank sprocket. the damage to the crank will let the sprocket ''slop'' in the counter clockwise direction, not the clockwise direction. if you install everything with the correct alignment and torque it to spec, you should be good to go.

the key does not hold the sprocket in place. if it did you would not have this issue. the key only aligns the sprocket while you tighten the bolt. thge bolt dose all the actual ''holding''.

good luck.

note: not the arrows, never the arrows.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice....Thank You canubaru. I'm still leary about not welding the spot at the keyway but I will discuss w/ my mechanic buddy who is coming over tonight to help me fix it. He's bringing his welder and after he finished laughing at the pics he said not problem we will have it fixed tonight. So keeping my fingers crossed. As far as replacing everything else, the timing belt, water pump and seals barely have 10k miles on them and the car has over 218k miles on it and I don't think its worth spending the hundreds of dollars it will take to replace all that stuff for this vehicle. So my son and his buddy are headed to the junk yard right now to pull the two pulleys off another motor which just happens to have a 96 2.2ltr Impreza there. So we will see what happens later......

Thank you all again for all the info and help! Todd
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hey, if you have a friend with a welder and he can fix the crank without screwing it up, go for it. but i would not recommend welding the sprocket to the crank, not that you said you would.

good decision on the timing belt parts. 10k is too early to replace them. but if there is anything you did not replace before, do it now.


you have what is generally referred to as a ''bullet proof'' non-interference engine. 218k is nothing for this engine. it will go 300k easy. just keep oil in it.

remember the commercials for the outback with ''crocodile dundee'' in the austrailian outback? well this is the engine that should have been in that car. it is easy to work on, non-interference, and it will take a lot of abuse and keep running. it has HLAs, hydraulic lash adjusters so no valve adjustments and if the oil gets really low it will let you know when they start to clatter. add oil and go again.

good luck with the fix.

let us know how it turns out.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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speaking of oil, now might be a good time to re-seal the oil pump
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