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Discussion Starter #1
New guy here folks...please be kind...I replaced the head gaskets on my 1999 Subaru Outback DOHC 2.5L. I have been turning wrenches for some 40 years as a hobby and I considered this job challenging.
The car ran fine before I took it apart. I marked everything, took pictures and notes. I put it all back together and now it will not start. The timing belt is on correctly and the timing marks are all lined-up...for sure...I did it 3 times now. First time I installed it with my marks and the last two times, with the factory timing marks. My marks lined-up with the factory marks by the way.
I have spark. I have 180 psi compression in all cylinders. I squirted gas into the intake...nothing?
The other day, I got it to run sort-of on like two cylinders after runnng the starter for like 20 seconds. It sounded bad and smoked alot.
Short of leaving my torque wrench in the cylinder, I am at a loss.
I read all about bent valves, but I never forced anything or tried to start it out of time. Any thoughts would be appreciated...I am very frustrated...
 

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The other day, I got it to run sort-of on like two cylinders after runnng the starter for like 20 seconds.
Timing problem. I know you checked it multiple times, but that's what the symptoms say to me. Do you have pictures of the timing marks as you aligned them?

As one member here is fond of saying for aligning the TB: "never the arrows".

A common mistake is to misalign the crank sprocket. Make sure to use the mark on the back of the sprocket, not the arrow on the front. Check the graphic for the correct alignment.

 

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Check to make sure your cam and crank sensors are plugged in all the way. They can feel like they're on but give them a good tug to make sure. Had one almost on, car wouldn't start so I started checking and the crank sensor plug pop off.

Can you scan for codes?
 

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The wrong marks are often used on the crank sprocket, apparently there's another mark on the sprocket that people confuse for the timing mark.

Or a vacuum hose. Brake booster, etc - spray starting fluid in the engine compartment while cranking will isolate a vacuum leak quickly.

Checking for codes is a good idea.
 

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The wrong marks are often used on the crank sprocket, apparently there's another mark on the sprocket that people confuse for the timing mark.

Or a vacuum hose. Brake booster, etc - spray starting fluid in the engine compartment while cranking will isolate a vacuum leak quickly.

Checking for codes is a good idea.
+1.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, I quadruple-checked the timing marks on the crank sprocket. I highlighted the line and TDC arrow marks with a paint pen. I even took pictures of it after I re-did the belt 3 times. I inserted a straw into the #1 cylinder to see what was happening as I aligned the marks as well. I understand the difference at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good suggestions! I feel like I tried most of them at least once. The only thing I have not been doing lately is hooking-up all of air filter plastic boxes that attach to the throttle body. I was assuming it would at least run without them; if not poorly.
Also, I did have the rad fans kick-on once during the repair when I connected the battery to get the car out of gear so I could move it a bit. I do see now that the Temperature gusge on the dask is pegged above "H" and doesn't move when I turn the key. That worked fine before I disassembled everything. Is there a fuse somewhere for that? Thanks folks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
EJ25 Engine Won't Start After H/G Replacement

:confused: Hello All...I posted a message a couple of weeks ago. I replaced the head gaskets and timing belt. It's all back together and cranks fine, but won't start. The timing marks are all lined-up; correctly according to the posts on this site. I have spark (new ignition coil), new plugs, new cam position sensor, 180 psi in each cylinder compression test, all of the electrical and vacuum connections are connected. I've been looking at this engine daily for 4 weeks now. The plugs are wet like it's got no spark. I have pulled the plugs out, connected them to the wires and watched them spark while the engine is cranked.
It sounds like a timing issue, but I am positive the timing marks are aligned correctly. Is there something I am missing here? can it be 180 degrees out of time somehow? If I remember from high school 4 cycle goes: intake - compression - power - exhaust. If it's a 4 cycle engine, how do you know whether you are setting the crank mark on the intake or power stroke? :confused:
 

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Pull plugs and heat them with a small soldering torch. It worked for me last summer when I had difficulty firing a engine that had sat for a year and a half. Jon
 

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Follow-up to EJ25 Engine Won't Start After H/G Replacement

After weeks of searching through posts on this site and elsewhere and not finding the answer to my problem, I used my own logic to finally resolve the issue. I had spark, fuel and compression and my DOHC 2.5L would not start. It did crank, but would not start. I kept feeling like it was a timing issue, but everything I read said if all of the timing marks are all lined-up, it can't be miss-timed. After trying numerous other avenues i.e., using TDC on crankshaft by mistake, fuses, electrical components, fouled plugs, weak ignitor, bad wires, low fuel pressure, broken crank gear tab, bad crank position sensor, bad cam position sensor, bad wiring, loose ground, plugged exhaust, bent valves, bad neutral safety switch, bad ignition switch etc..., I kept coming back to the timing issue in my gut. I don't have a 3D model to work with to see the position of each piston in relation to each cam and the sensors, but it seemed to me that it DID matter where the #1 piston was in relation to everything else. It also made sense to me that if the cam pulleys lined up to the marks correctly and if I just rotated the crankshaft 180 degrees and lined-up those marks, I would effectively move the #1 position back into synchronization with the camshafts. Well, it worked!
I will let the "experts" say it isn't so and try to tell me the engine can't be out of time if all of the timing marks are lined-up either way, but I know what worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Follow-up to Replaced Head Gaskets; engine won't start

After weeks of searching through posts on this site and elsewhere and not finding the answer to my problem, I used my own logic to finally resolve the issue. I had spark, fuel and compression and my DOHC 2.5L would not start. It did crank, but would not start. I kept feeling like it was a timing issue, but everything I read said if all of the timing marks are all lined-up, it can't be miss-timed. After trying numerous other avenues i.e., using TDC on crankshaft by mistake, fuses, electrical components, fouled plugs, weak ignitor, bad wires, low fuel pressure, broken crank gear tab, bad crank position sensor, bad cam position sensor, bad wiring, loose ground, plugged exhaust, bent valves, bad neutral safety switch, bad ignition switch etc..., I kept coming back to the timing issue in my gut. I don't have a 3D model to work with to see the position of each piston in relation to each cam and the sensors, but it seemed to me that it DID matter where the #1 piston was in relation to everything else. It also made sense to me that if the cam pulleys lined up to the marks correctly and if I just rotated the crankshaft 180 degrees and lined-up those marks, I would effectively move the #1 position back into synchronization with the camshafts. Well, it worked!
I will let the "experts" say it isn't so and try to tell me the engine can't be out of time if all of the timing marks are lined-up either way, but I know what worked for me.
 

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Couple of quick thoughts for anyone tearing their hair out. Yes, you can mis-connect the fuel hoses. You can mis-connect the TPS and ECT (!) and the engine thinks at 240 deg. And the throttle is wide open. These timing marks are a bitch, sport for a good paint marker and mark everything first! And sport for a Haynes manual, the pics of the sprockets are best you will find. And lastly, the TDC used for timing belt replacement is not the acual TDC. It's off so the pistons are away from the top so you don't bend a valve if one of the driver's side cams decides to jump. While you are lining things up for the eighth time. And yes the passener side cams are supposed to move free like that. Company23 makes wrenches for the cam sprockets, worth the money. S.
 

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So I just did my HG's. I used Felpro, they are marked this way up. But not this way out. So I put them on with the up arrow out. Wrong, drivers side arrow out, pass side in. duhhhh S.
 

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Did you ever figure it out? I"m in the same boat right now...
start a new thread about your car. (including what year, engine, trans, timing belt kit, etc. you got)
 

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You guys are life savers! I had just done head gaskets and timing belt but it wouldn't start. Switched the two funky gas lines and whola! started right up. They need to mark or distinguish those better...
 
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