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2001 OB, 2.5
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey information gurus, I need some serious help withy legacy. It will not start.

It is a 2001 legacy gt, 5 speed with a 2.5.

Car was running fine, then parked for a couple months, now it will occasionally start, run for about 2 minutes but you can't drive it/ give it any gas or the engine rough isles and quits. But any time after that or most times you try it will just whirl, pop and hiss and kick like it's just about to start but that's it. It's throwing a p0336 crank sensor code.

Now, I thought it was bad gas so we drained the gas tank and put in new gas, we then checked fuel pressure, we then checked the injector pulse, all good.
Then wr did a compression test on all 4 cylinders and came up around 190.
Then we checked for spark, coil is good, brand new plug wires and plugs and fuel filter.
Checked the cam sensor and triple checked the timing.
Sanded and cleaned all grounds and checked all sensors on car.
Visually inspected the computer( Took it apart)

Now comes the weird stuff.

When you unplug the main engine harness and the key is off, the check engine lightvflickers faintly, if your whirling the car over with the harness unplugged then plug it in it will briefly start, very very rough last about 10 seconds of pure struggle and die. I'd compare it to an older engine with a distributor being like 30 degrees out. Sometimes after this ordeal if you turn the car off some of the dash lights stay on ( check engine, break light and the top green lighted areas that display time and temp)

I've cleaned and dielectric greased the harness connectors and checked the wires, there all good as far as I can tell.

I haven't changed the crank sensor because if it were bad it shouldn't be getting fire.

I have had my 35 year experience father look at it and a 20 year Subaru mechanic and after hours of frustration, nothing.

I'm quite open to educated suggestions or if anyone has experience with this issue.
Also there is NO after market alarm or started or evidence of it ever having one.

Please help!
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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12,916 Posts
The crank sensor code doesn't mean the crank sensor is bad, it means that it is not in sinc with the cam sensor. It will still provide a spark based on the sensor signal. If its backfiring, its a timing issue.

If you are checking the timing marks using the hash marks and not the arrows and they all mate with the marks on the block and rear cover, then you may want to check the crank pulley itself to make sure it is stationary on the crankshaft. If the key is worn or the key way in the gear is worn, the crank gear won't be in time with the crankshaft so timing will be off. It happens.

More likely, the timing belt has jumped. Probably happened when you parked it and shut if off, since the next time you tried to start it is when the issue was made apparent. Sitting would not cause a backfire.

Attached is a pic of the timing marks.

As for the "lights"; there is still a connection when you think there isn't. Its just a weak connection. Check all your cables and make sure you don't have a short to power/ground. Look close at the alternator. Recheck the amperage output of the battery, not voltage.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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1,401 Posts
I haven't changed the crank sensor because if it were bad it shouldn't be getting fire.
Check wires etc for rodent damage.
testing the continuity on the harness wire to the crank sensor is a good idea. any evidences of mice, acorns, nuts, leaves, or any thing like that on top of the block?

but i would probably swap in a used sensor first. they have to be cheap since they don't fail often and they are pretty easy to swap. and i have heard of them being intermittent.
 

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2001 OB, 2.5
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Alright I finally had some time to work on the car, andstill to no avail. I took the crank pulley off and removed the timing cover, checked the timing again, both cam pulleys line up with the notches and the crank pulley drift pin and marks line up. No skips. Double checked the alternator wires. I guess next step I'm going to track down a sensor and if that doesn't work I'm going to take out the engine harness and check every inch of wire .
 
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I am having a similar problem with a friends "99 Outback. did you ever get yours fixed? his also sat for an extended period of time. hope you can point me in the right direction. Thanks
 

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I had the same issues on my '97 Legacy Outback. The sensor must have been intermittently failing. I replaced it. Started right up. $26 at Autozone.
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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12,916 Posts
A weak starter will cause this code. If your starter is turning the engine over, it may not be turning it fast enough. A bad positive cable to the starter reduces the amount of current and you'll get a weak spin. Same with a bad ground cable.

Other things to look in to is water/moisture in the harness connectors where the engine harness meets the body harness. Or, the same at the cam or crank sensor connector.
I have also run into this code and the cam sensor was the culprit.

Either sensor, cam or crank, should have the same resistance, 1-4 kOhms. They are essentially the same sensor. The cam sensor has an added sleeve to increase it's diameter for how it fits in the sensor bracket.
 
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