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92 Wagon 5 spd non turbo suddenly wont start


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Hi,

She turn over just fine, but will not start. Something intermittent is going on.

Stalled it pulling out of gas station. Cranks no problem but Would not start. 10 minutes later fired right up drove it home no issues.

 

Drove it normal for at least of week of daily driving, no problems.

 

Started it on a cold morning two days ago to defrost it. BAcked out of the driveway, foot slipped off clutch and stalled it. Restarted no prob, drove her down the street, then just no power at all engine died, WILL NOT RESTART AGAIN.

 

I HAVE: Good battery, good battery connections,

Good fuel pressure, new fuel filter

Good compression, good timing

Good spark

 

Oddly, the tach showed revs when cranking, but now, out of nowhere, the tack DOES NOT move at all when cranking. NOTHING was changed, it just suddenly started doing that.

 

Any different suggestions or anything else to try? Seems like an intermittent electrical gremlin, your thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance for any help

Ross

8016354542

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To me it sounds like a cam or crank sensor going bad. Probably crank sensor. It can of course be a connector as well.

 

 

It shall be possible to activate code flashing on the check engine light by using the test mode connector under the dashboard.

 

 

Look here for more info:

 

https://www.troublecodes.net/subaru/

 

 

The flashes are short and long, the longs are the first digit, the shorts are the second digit.

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Excellent input, fabulous suggestions and greatly appreciated.

 

Would a 92 2.2 liter N/A motor have a crank position sensor?

 

I did see (going from memory the car is 9 miles away from home and my last visit there a week ago) the cam position sensor on the engines drivers side just aft of the timing belt cover.

 

I suspected that could be the issue but didn't want to just start randomly swapping out everything. Time is precious.

 

The CE light flash codes should be a direct shortcut to determining what sensor/ECU input could be an issue. I'll diagnose ASAP, HOWEVER, the battery ground has been disconnected for days.

 

Does that erase codes? So, there may be nothing in trouble code memory to observe in test mode??? Just wondering. Please advise.

 

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, experience, and recommendations to chase down this gremlin efficiently and effectively.

 

I believe it's something very basic, yet at this point a no start that eludes me. Also this is my first Suby so I'm at the beginning of the learning curve.

 

Thanks again!

 

Best Regards

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Hi,

 

I'm considering an ECU swap to fix some issues. My car has rear disc brakes and ABS.

 

Does the ECU have anything to do with the ABS system or is that managed by a separate independent system? I sure don't want to introduce any incompatibilities or any other issues by trying this.

 

Also this 92 wagon has a 5 speed manual trans. I assume there's nothing computer controlled with this transmission, so an ECU swap from a donor car with an automatic should not be an issue?

 

Do you know what year range of ECU's for an EJ 2.2 liter engine will be correct?

My guess is 89-93 ECU's are interchangeable so I bet a 94 ECU won't work.

Please advise.

Thanks!

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This site is wrong for USDM (USA) cars.

1st Gen is '89-'94.

 

I'm 99% sure the ECU is transmission specific, so you'll need one that matches yours. This is for the NON-turbo models only (the '91-'94 SS and TW turbos were interchangeable).

Also, '90-'91 were different 'tuning' and had the metal MAF for the 5-speeds, different injectors and TPS (? - or one of the TB sensors was different).

 

TL;DR - get a '92-'94 5-speed ECU or you may have issues.

 

EDIT: Just saw your other post. And post of what issues you're having....maybe someone has feedback.

 

Also, https://bbs.legacycentral.org/ is SPECIFIC to these years and probably has your answer. It's not used much these days, but search the site.

 

 

GL,

TD

Edited by wtdash
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And see this for ECU code reading: http://legacycentral.org/library/literature/codes.htm

 

Esp. on these 1st Gen Legacys, the codes may show unrelated codes - usually for the Purge solenoid or other emissions stuff. Generally you can ignore those and focus on the codes that are specific to your issue...as cam/Crank sensors - which you do have both.

 

Also, the MAF sensor can cause no start and an abrupt 'dying' while running.

Edited by wtdash
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Thank you for this great info, very helpful as I'm a first time Subaru owner.

 

I found an ECU, guts only (condition unknown), in a salvage yard from a 93 Legacy wagon but it's non ABS and automatic trans. Before I hail mary this ECU into the car I have a few other things to try to get her to run, BUT, first thing is first:

 

SO it ran perfectly and just died and will not start back up. All basics are there, fuel, timing, spark, compression are spot on.

 

What is odd is that out of nowhere, the tach quit responding while cranking, it had been working in the sub 600 ish range while the starter rotated the crank. Now it's just no tach response.

 

ALSO the CE lite does not work so I can't see codes. I pulled the cluster and put known good bulbs in, also swapped the good working seat belt bulb to the CE position and vice-versa to insure the CE light is good.

Now I connected the sensors/system check under dash green plugs(no CE lite came on), turned the ignition to on/run(not start) and nothing happens at all. No fan cycling, no sensors/solenoids clicking, no fuel pump operation, just nothing at all.

 

Next, turned it off, undid the green plugs, connected the black plug, diagnostics CE test connectors and switched the ignition to on/run. As expected no CE lite so no codes and of course no hints as to why the CE light is not working.

 

Summary: -Suddenly won't run but have the basics.

-ALL fuses under hood and above kick panel all good

-CE light bulb good but no CE lite at all

-Tach up and failed out of nowhere while cranking, now no response.

 

There must be some elusive electrical gremlin teasing me. Perhaps a harness short or open somewhere (fuses aren't blowing) a relay gone bad, or the ECU went belly up...

 

What would you advise next? I'm a Subaru newbie but a 50+ year mechanic and this car has me stumped. Any input is tremendously appreciated, Thank you.

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Summary: -Suddenly won't run but have the basics.

-ALL fuses under hood and above kick panel all good

-CE light bulb good but no CE lite at all

-Tach up and failed out of nowhere while cranking, now no response.

 

 

 

SO it ran perfectly and just died and will not start back up. All basics are there, fuel, timing, spark, compression are spot on.

 

What is odd is that out of nowhere, the tach quit responding while cranking, it had been working in the sub 600 ish range while the starter rotated the crank. Now it's just no tach response.

 

ALSO the CE lite does not work so I can't see codes. I pulled the cluster and put known good bulbs in, also swapped the good working seat belt bulb to the CE position and vice-versa to insure the CE light is good.

Now I connected the sensors/system check under dash green plugs(no CE lite came on), turned the ignition to on/run(not start) and nothing happens at all. No fan cycling, no sensors/solenoids clicking, no fuel pump operation, just nothing at all.

 

Next, turned it off, undid the green plugs, connected the black plug, diagnostics CE test connectors and switched the ignition to on/run. As expected no CE lite so no codes and of course no hints as to why the CE light is not working.

 

 

I found an ECU, guts only (condition unknown), in a salvage yard from a 93 Legacy wagon but it's non ABS and automatic trans. Before I hail mary this ECU into the car I have a few other things to try to get her to run, and of course ANYTHING you knowledgeable enthusiasts can share.

 

 

 

There must be some elusive electrical gremlin teasing me. Perhaps a harness short or open somewhere (fuses aren't blowing) a relay gone bad, or the ECU went belly up...

 

What would you advise next? I'm a Subaru newbie but a 50+ year mechanic and this car has me stumped. Any input is tremendously appreciated, Thank you.

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Hi,

Did CEL work b4 these issues? It should come on (or did) w/the Key ON, Engine OFF.

 

Regarding your assuminption the 5-speed isn't computer controlled. No, it's not but the neutral safety switch and speed sensor are and they may be incompatible w/the AT ECU - BUT would they cause a 'no-start'????

 

Ebay probably has your ECU. I saw this one for $56, but doesn't specify AT or 5speed.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/332660732849

 

Get your part number and search on there. Car-part.com also has them.

 

I highly recommend creating an account here: https://bbs.legacycentral.org/

And posting your issue in the Electrical section.

 

Josh C. is the Admin AND guru on a lot of these older Subarus. He may not respond immediately, as he's a busy guy, but will given a few days.

 

I found this related - but UNanswered - post on the USMB (another valuable site):https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/150320-1990-legacy-blowing-the-fusible-link-constantly/

It may have more info.

 

 

 

Did you check your fusible link(s)? There is one "fusible link" and also a few "Slow Blow Fuses" or SBF, from what I found online.

 

Could also be a bad alternator - as you know they can 'backfeed' and kill fuses/batteries/small rodents (that's a bad joke).

 

And here's the pin-out for the '90-'94 ECUs. It shows what the ECU is looking for: https://www.surrealmirage.com/vrg3/ecupins/ (This covers ALL versions so note the footnote.)

 

Looks like (at the bottom) that maybe '90-'92 were the same, not '90-'91. But look at your MAF sensor. Metal is older style; plastic is newer and all years Automatic.

 

GL,

Td

Edited by wtdash
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If the tachometer stops I'd start with the crank sensor and the wiring for it, but in general for old cars wiring can be an issue, corroded wires on the back side of fuse box for example.

 

 

Also pull and test all fuses, not just visually but with a multimeter. Add to it check voltage for all important fuses, both under the hood and the dashboard.

 

 

The ignition lock could also be a culprit on an old car.

 

 

The ECU - possible, but I'd save that for last. To me it seems more like it's a power supply issue or possibly a grounding issue for the ECU. Mixing in an ECU for an AT into an MT or the other way around is usually a cause for headache unless you can transfer the software and make sure it's pin compatible on the connectors.

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Next step is cleaning the MAF...

 

I did swap out the cam position sensor with a salvage yard donor (not guaranteed functional) and no change.

 

Cranks just fine but still a solid no start, no CE light, no tach response while turning over.

This no tach response issue crept into the mix a good bit after she first failed to re-start.

 

Was showing starter motor cranking speed on the tach, but out of nowhere the tach shows no response at all. Very curious.......

 

I have a donor cam position sensor to swap in as well, but will give that a shot after MAF cleaning. I prefer changing only 1 thing at a time when attempting to chase down issues.... :D

 

Thanks for your replies I greatly appreciate any input on this annoying no start issue.

Regards,

Rosco

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Hello,

 

Great input, info and links to resources, thank you!

 

the CE lite....I honestly don't recall for sure if it was operational or not, but "I THINK" is was. It is not working now. I swapped bulbs in the cluster to be certain theres a good bulb in there.

 

All fuses and links check good. I verified the 4 ground pigtails (that I found....)in the motor box are all solid.

 

Also I find it odd that with the 2 green test connectors linked, and KOEO, there are no signs of life at all, no fan cycling, no fuel pump, no solenoids clicking, nothing.

 

This is my first ever Subaru so learning about things quickly.

 

I do know that after this no start thing happened, the tach WAS RESPONDING during cranking, but then after a while trying to start her it now shows no movement at all. Essentially just quit working seemingly out of nowhere.

 

Next steps are MAF cleaning, verify a good alternator, than cam pos sensor(did the crank already) if no positive results.

 

 

 

RE-CAP of my other post:

 

 

 

 

Next step is cleaning the MAF...

 

I did swap out the cam position sensor with a salvage yard donor (not guaranteed functional) and no change.

 

Cranks just fine but still a solid no start, no CE light, no tach response while turning over.

This no tach response issue crept into the mix a good bit after she first failed to re-start.

 

Was showing starter motor cranking speed on the tach, but out of nowhere the tach shows no response at all. Very curious.......

 

I have a donor cam position sensor to swap in as well, but will give that a shot after MAF cleaning. I prefer changing only 1 thing at a time when attempting to chase down issues.... :D

 

Thanks for your replies I greatly appreciate any input on this annoying no start issue.

Regards,

Rosco

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Hello,

 

Great input, info and links to resources, thank you!

 

My next move is to verify the ignition switch itself is good, then clean the MAF, confirm good alternator, and cam pos sensor. Already tried a different crank pos sensor swap, no change.

 

the CE lite....I honestly don't recall for sure if it was operational or not, but "I THINK" is was. It is not working now. I swapped bulbs in the cluster to be certain theres a good bulb in there.

 

All fuses and links check good. I verified the 4 ground pigtails (that I found....)in the motor box are all solid.

 

Also I find it odd that with the 2 green test connectors linked, and KOEO, there are no signs of life at all, no fan cycling, no fuel pump, no solenoids clicking, nothing.

 

This is my first ever Subaru so learning about things quickly.

 

I do know that after this no start thing happened, the tach WAS RESPONDING during cranking, but then after a while trying to start her it now shows no movement at all. Essentially just quit working seemingly out of nowhere.

 

Next steps are MAF cleaning, verify a good alternator, than cam pos sensor(did the crank already) if no positive results.

 

 

 

RE-CAP of my other post:

 

 

 

 

Next step is cleaning the MAF...

 

I did swap out the cam position sensor with a salvage yard donor (not guaranteed functional) and no change.

 

Cranks just fine but still a solid no start, no CE light, no tach response while turning over.

This no tach response issue crept into the mix a good bit after she first failed to re-start.

 

Was showing starter motor cranking speed on the tach, but out of nowhere the tach shows no response at all. Very curious.......

 

I have a donor cam position sensor to swap in as well, but will give that a shot after MAF cleaning. I prefer changing only 1 thing at a time when attempting to chase down issues....

 

Thanks for your replies I greatly appreciate any input on this annoying no start issue.

Regards,

Rosco

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>> Just make sure you have power&ground to the ECU and no traces of rodents in the car.

 

+1 to that. The other relatively easy thing is to pull a spark plug wire and set it up to verify there is spark.

 

The lack of tach, lack of check engine light, and lack of running makes me think there is an ECU problem. Likely to be simply a lack of power. Our ECUs don't often just die without the help of a drill or flooding or welding, etc.

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