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I have a '96 Outback and I put in a rebuilt engine from Japan, and occasionally the engine will not start. The car turns over but there is no ignition spark. I got the following error codes:

Engine light is ON
Error codes:
-O2 Sensor
-Crankshaft Positioning sensor

I've had the Crankshaft Sensor replaced twice (first time was by some shady mech, second time factory parts and trust worthy guy), and I still have the problem of the car not starting every once and a while. I let the car sit for a little while, go get something to eat, come back and the car will start. Has anyone ever come accross a problem like this? I need help.
 

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i second what OneOBS said about checking the electrical connections, especially to the crankshaft sensor, check to make sure its getting the correct voltage, my guess (and this is completely a guess) is that it should get 5 or 6 V, someone with a service manual will have to confirm that.

the crank sensor is likely the problem, it can cause an intermittent start problem, I've not seen this on a Subaru before (but them im fairly new to subaru), but alot of VW autogroup cars (VWs, audis) have problems with them causign intermittent start problems. However its probably not that the sensor is bad, but its telling you that you have a problem. since you have replaced yours twice i'd say its not bad. So its problably trying to tell you your crankshaft position is wrong. Did check your timing? timing belt? what is the actual OBD code number you get? i dont know if you can adjust timing on these motors but on some you can adjust the timing through rotating the cranckshaft sensor.

a littl einfo is here:
http://ca.autos.yahoo.com/maintain/ignition_system9.html
 

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My Haynes says the crank position sensor should have a resistance of 1000 to 4000 ohms, so you can check the sensor against that but I don't know what to tell you about the electrical connection going to the sensor...It'd be worth seeing what kind of voltage you have there, you can get a general idea of if it's good or not depending on whether the voltage is constant and somewhere upwards of 3-4ISH. If you can measure those two things and post back we might be able to be of more help.
 

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I know this post is way old but a search brought it up and it's relavent to my questions. I apologize for the thread necromancy.

I have a 98 Legacy Outback and I've been having starting problems occasionly and when it does it throws a code. I checked the code and it says "Crank Position Sensor". Can anyone tell me where the senson is and how to get to it? Thanks much guys!
 

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Hi bestieboy and welcome! The crank position sensor is on the top of the oil pump kind of below the alternator/power steering pump.

Let's see, here's a pic of when I replaced my oil pump. The crank position sensor the reddish/orange thing at the top leftish of the picture. The crank pulley is mounted onto that crank snout you can see.


There is a toothed crank sprocket right below that sensor that enages with the drive belt (not shown in pic).

Also make sure the sensor tip is clean. (it's easy to remove, just that one bolt). Also it could be possible the crank sprocket has some sort of problem/wear/irregularity but that is unlikely.

Do you know the number of the code you got? Does the check engine light just come on, or does it flash? If you decide to replace it, some people also replace the cam position sensor at this time.
 

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Hi there! Thank you very much for that info!

When the light came on, it was solid. I can't remember the exact code #, but if it happens again, I'll get it for sure.

Looks like you've got quite a bit torn away there. If I went in just for this bit, what should I expect to have to take off? The cam sensor must be close as well if people do them at the same time. Can you tell me where it's at?

Thanks again.
 

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If you've got the tools to angle in there right, I'm pretty sure the crank sensor can be changed without removing anything other than the wire connector for it, and the one bolt that holds it in place.

The last cam sensor I can recall replacing was on the back side of the timing belt cover, on the driver's side head. Again, one bolt and 1 wire connector, like the crank sensor. It's been a while since I've had to mess with either, though.
 

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My pic only has it all torn apart because it was getting timing belt, water pump, oil pump check, etc. You should be able to get at and remove and reinstall this sensor without removing much, if anything.

Just locate it first by looking near the crank pulley below the steering&alternator pumps. You might have to remove those funky accessory belt protectors, not sure.
 

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Thanks so much for the info guys!

It happened again and I wrote down the codes. P0355 and P0356 were the two and they both seemed related to the crank position sensor. Autozone had it for $25 and when it cools down a bit I think I'll give it a go. If I have any more questions about it I'll be back.
 
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