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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, newbie here. First of all, I appreciate all the good info there is on this website.

I have a 2001 SOHC Outback (2.5) and recently changed the head gaskets. I followed the instructions by the book (and some youtube videos) and put everything back on. I aligned the timing belt as is supposed to: the belt's marks aligned with the notch on each cam pulley at 90 degrees and the crank pulley's notch (not the square symbol) aligned with the mark at 90 degrees. I do have to say that the belt's marks for the cams align slightly to the right of the cam's mark, but I've read that this is normal for aftermarket belts. Once done with the timing belt (but before installing the crank pulley for the accessory belts), I gave the crank a few turns to try and get some oil into the cylinders.

When everything was back on, I tried to turn the engine on a few times. When it finally turned on, it did not sound smooth. The engine light was turned on and after a few minutes it stalled. I cranked it a few more times with no avail and every time a display of Christmas lights would light up in the dash. I gave up and left it sitting overnight.

The next day I re-checked all the sensors. A sensor going into cylinder 3 was loose and I clipped it correctly. Cranked the engine and it turned on beautifully. This time it was running smooth. However, for some reason I decided to turn it back off and try turning it back on again, you know, to check if it wasn't pure luck that it had worked. Well, it did not turn back on. It does have the check engine light on, but I don't have a scanner to check for codes. I triple checked all the connections and they're good. Fuel seems to be running through the fuel lines. It has spark. I've read quite a bit of people going through sort of the same problem and some times they've had to go back to the timing belt again. If it is the case, I just can't figure what could be wrong, since I installed it by the book.

Thanks in advance. Any ideas?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,324 Posts
just bumping,

but try jumping it from a known good battery.

and inspect the battery wires, one may feel tight at the bolt, but not actually tight on the terminal.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,477 Posts
Check to see if you have the crank sensor plugged in and make sure also that the cam sensor is plugged in. Bad crank, good crank is generally connection either with the battery as eagleeye posted or one of the sensors needed for crank/cam position.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Got it. I'll have the opportunity to work on the car again about a week from now. Whenever I tried turning it on unsuccessfully it did crank without a problem, but I'll double check the sensors and will post back for update. Thank you for the feedback eagleeye and cardoc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, I got back to the car today. I unplugged the cam sensor and plugged it back in. I got to the timing belt and re-checked that the crank sensor is connected. Inspected the marks on the pulleys and they are the same way as I had left them. As I mentioned earlier, the left (driver's) side pulley mark doesn't perfectly align with the notch, but that is the closest it'll get to it. When installing the belt I had tried to move it one ridge to the side and that didn't work.

The car cranks but it won't start. Does anyone have any ideas?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Those marks are good. Pull the fuel hose from the rail and turn the key on without starting and see if you get fuel flow. Have the hose in a container to catch the gas. It will only be a short burst and then shut off. The ECM does this as a primer, then after it sees a running condition, increased rpm, it runs the pump constantly. If you have fuel flow, then check that the coil output. It happens, a coil will quit without warning. So, the easy driveway manner is to have a spark plug handy, a spark tester (if available) and a helper. Not always easy, but the helper just has to turn the key. So, two ways - pull a wire from any plug, install the spark tester to the coil wire and the other end to the plug. Have your helper turn the ignition to crank over the engine and the spark tester will light up if the coil is firing. The other way, and have insulated gloves handy, is to remove the plug wire from the engine plug and insert the extra plug to the coil wire and lay the plug to ground, any ground, so the tip is grounded. If you can lay it to ground without holding it, good, otherwise, that's where the gloves come in - wouldn't want anyone to get a shock. Have the helper turn the engine over and watch for a spark. That's a lot of words there. So, here's a spark plug tester: https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p...dKO-xUCAmUg4kzoyoE0aAp6ZEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds And my personal favorite, which doesn't require all the extra effort I posted above, and it can be used to check injector pulse, is this: https://www.delcity.net/store/Tru-s...lTSKLT1II-sCQfflnaYPF45c4N9YA5kIaAo3rEALw_wcB

Fuel, Air, Fire 3 must haves to get ignition in a combustion engine. Find the missing link and what's causing it.
 
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