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1998 Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter #1
I let my son borrow my car and it wouldn’t start one morning. We have changed plugs, cam sensor and crank sensor. It doesn’t act like it is getting fuel. Has spark. It’s like computer isn’t telling injectors to fire. I pulled outlet line off fuel filter and it has fuel when key is on. Any ideas? Thanks and FYI, car has 205K but was supposed to have been rebuilt at 189K. Since I have owned it (194k) it has had miss on #2 cylinder. I think they got timing off on that cylinder. It actually fires at about 3,200RPM and up. Either way it has been my daily work car for 2 years and dependable until now.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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what does it have for a coil ? (should say "subaru" on it, aftermarkets suck)

automatic or manual?

what did it get for a timing belt kit? (chinese junk lasts about 30,000 miles, subaru OEM or Aisin, if buying )
 

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'98 Outback
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227 Posts
I'd start with my OBD-II scanner, look for pending codes for clues, make sure the ECM is in Ready mode. I assume the check engine light isn't lit. I would diagnose the injector wiring harness at least. See if everything looks good around and in the throttle body, check engine vacuum while cranking.Then I'd check the timing belt and look for other mechanical clues at the front of the engine.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter #4
I have changed coil pack and wires twice trying to get rid of misfire on #2 cylinder. Check engine light is on because of this code. I have fire To plugs. We have reset codes two times , while I was there with my son, by unhooking battery.
How do I know if ECM is in ready mode Andrew?
 

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'98 Outback
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Your scanner will indicate ready mode. If you've just reset codes, it won't be in ready mode until you complete a full drive cycle. (And it won't pass emissions, but that's not your concern now.) Are you certain there are no other codes? None pending?
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter #6
I am 40+ miles away from car now with my code reader. It’s my understanding unhooking the battery on these models resets all codes. Is that true? When I had car at home and unhooked battery the check engine from misfire on 2 always went away.
 

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'98 Outback
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I'm not sure about the Outback code reset by battery disconnect. I use the scanner because it's a pain to reprogram the radio. If it worked for you, it must be so.

But erasing codes is not always a good thing. It's good to have them in memory for troubleshooting. Pending codes can give hints.

The system will self-reset (go into Ready mode), and the light will turn off, if the problem is repaired (or very intermittent like a lot of misfires) and you put the car through a complicated drive cycle (driving around the block won't do it). If you want the particulars of the drive cycle for the '98, let me know and I'll post it--it's a full page long.
 

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99 OTBK 5MT, 2014 OTBK 6MT
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Howdy, I have a 99 otbk, manual, 278 k, with the same pesky misfire #2 , #1, every 200 miles, so I replaced a bunch of the vacuum lines that were old and hard, and that seemed to help, but I was still getting the code during normal operations at a cruise speed of 55 mph, so I put a bottle of Gumout fuel injector cleaner through with a tank of gas, and have continued for a 1000 miles with no codes, I intend to continue until 2500 miles and then stop using. So I am guessing that the fuel injectors weren't spraying a mist, so maybe this helped out cleaning them up, just my two cents worth of experience
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter #9
So far I have changed the injector, wires twice, can’t count how many plugs , and the coil pack. I gave up on the misfire on #2. It is funny that about 3,200 RPM that cylinder starts to hit and it feels like a little turbo kicking in, lol. I have driven car for a long time this way. My son was in a wreck and needed a car so I loaned him my Subaru. He works nights at a hospital and said on way to work the car was “bogging” down. That it wouldn’t hardly go up a hill or wouldn’t Rev up. He went out next morning and it wouldn’t start. We have changed plugs, cam sensor and crank sensor. Nothing. Had to tow it from hospital to his house. Sitting there dead now.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
what does it have for a coil ? (should say "subaru" on it, aftermarkets suck)

automatic or manual?

what did it get for a timing belt kit? (chinese junk lasts about 30,000 miles, subaru OEM or Aisin, if buying )
the coil pack was from Rock Auto. It isn’t a Subaru but I have about an inch worth of spark going to wire out of coil pack. I pulled wire off and laid it beside pack to check the fire. No clue what timing belt was used during rebuild.
 

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Some observations on the information provided:

I pulled outlet line off fuel filter and it has fuel when key is on.
Need pressure and flow. Have you checked the fuel pressure after the key is turned to On (but not to start) and then while cranking? If the pressure isn't correct, the injectors won't atomize the fuel properly, and the air/fuel mixture won't ignite.

It doesn’t act like it is getting fuel. Has spark. It’s like computer isn’t telling injectors to fire.
The injector operation can be checked by listening at each with a mechanic's stethoscope. There will be a distinct click at each when the injector is being activated. (To get an idea of the sound, if there is clicking at an injector, remove the connector, and note the relative "quiet". The electrical signal to the injectors can also be checked with a "node light".

Since I have owned it (194k) it has had miss on #2 cylinder. I think they got timing off on that cylinder. It actually fires at about 3,200RPM and up. . . .
It is funny that about 3,200 RPM that cylinder starts to hit and it feels like a little turbo kicking in, lol. I have driven car for a long time this way.
If the car has been driven for several years with a misfiring cylinder, the catalytic converter could be damaged, which often manifests as blockage. That would lead to the engine bogging down when driving, especially when trying to accelerate, and, if the engine can't breath, make it difficult, at the least, to start.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter #13
Update on Bru, went and checked car last night for codes. There are no codes. Car will not start. Unhooking the battery must have cleared the codes, my misfire code is also gone. Car spins over okay and doesn’t sound like it has jumped time. It was dark and been a long day so I didn’t check to see if injectors were clicking. Friday I am going to buy a fuel pump and strainer. I hate to give up on it because its a good old car that almost everything works on it but fuel pump is last shot.
 

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99 OTBK 5MT, 2014 OTBK 6MT
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Howdy, I have a 99 otbk, manual, 278 k, with the same pesky misfire #2 , #1, every 200 miles, so I replaced a bunch of the vacuum lines that were old and hard, and that seemed to help, but I was still getting the code during normal operations at a cruise speed of 55 mph, so I put a bottle of Gumout fuel injector cleaner through with a tank of gas, and have continued for a 1000 miles with no codes, I intend to continue until 2500 miles and then stop using. So I am guessing that the fuel injectors weren't spraying a mist, so maybe this helped out cleaning them up, just my two cents worth of experience
So, I got the pesky #2 misfire code again at 1427 miles, about 2800 rpm, @ 60 mph. I went online to Ebay and got a set (4) of remanufactured fuel injectors for my 99OB for $85 from a place in WA State., put them in last Friday the 7th. WOW, what an improvement in HP & Torque, now the OB moves with a purpose in life.
 
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