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EJ20Y intermittent low power NO CEL


Skidaroo
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I have a 2004 JDM legacy with the EJ20Y engine. I imported this car from Japan and have had no major issues.. until recently. I recall driving and the car just feeling “sluggish” from 3000-7000rpm the turbo was much quieter and it just took longer to go through the rpm’s. Then I would get in the car and the issue would be gone... this has happened at least 15+ times. Best way to describe how it feels is as if there’s a sock in the engine and it can’t breathe! I have no check engine lights (or stored/pending codes) car does not burn or leak a drop of oil and sounds very healthy, while down on power it runs great! Other than being down I’d say 30-60hp. I have checked for boost leaks, checked the vacuum lines, air filter, tried swapping the MAF sensor, resetting the ECU etc.

 

I’m looking for any insight or helpful information! Things I’m thinking are...

-sticky boost control solenoid?

-cats clogging? (I have noticed rotten egg smell many times after parking the car)

-JDM tune vs North American fuel/octane?

-AVCS banjo bolt screen slightly clogged m? (But no check engine lights?)

-turbo on its way out, but intermittently?

-fuel pump/regulator failure?

Please help!

 

 

Wondering if anyone has had this issue with this engine? Any information is appreciated, I love this car!

Edited by Skidaroo
Clarity
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I would datalog the car and proceed from there. Without that, we'd only be guessing and you'd just be trying things until something worked.

 

Do you have means to log the car?

 

For what it's worth, if the car is tuned for 100 RON, US gas won't suffice and you'd be knocking and pulling timing.

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Completely fair, I need to figure this out... to my understanding to data log I need a USB-OB2 cable, Laptop and some kinda software? Doesn’t sound too tricky.

If you have any recommendations on the best way to data log I would appreciate that.

Edited by Skidaroo
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  • 3 weeks later...

did you look at the up pipe ?? i had what sounds like very similar issue; sluggish, no boost, no power.... i was set to change the turbo, up pipe & downpipe. step 1 was remove up pipe and the honeycomb material inside was loose and could restrict the pipe. to me that would have caused the lack of power. i did however change the other parts. and now its a much livelier car.

so maybe it might be worth a look.

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I’ve been thinking clogged cat myself... but I believe the JDM EJ20Y engines do not have a cat on the up-pipe, I do plan on removing the cat in the DP for some more gogo juice. The car has been running great for the last two weeks... drove it home one night, was a sluggish and slow through the RPM range. Next morning car was a different animal, turbo was louder, much quicker through the RPM range and the car sounded “better”. I have my hands on a VAGCOM cable and will be downloading ROMRAIDER to log a pull while it’s running good, so I can compare it to when it decides to act up again...
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  • 3 months later...
SOLVED THE ISSUE! Turbo inlet hose ended up being split, found the issue by smoke testing the intake/charge system. The split was right at the turbo and caused additional air to enter the engine that was not accounted for from the maf sensor, then the lean reading was picked up by the O2 sensors, the ECU would attempt to richen the A/F mixture (at times this would work and give me full power) but if the ECU ran out fuel to add (engine leaning out beyond acceptable parameters) it would then put my car into “limp mode” and limit the car to 7psi, wastegate pressure. All Subarus will do this to prevent lean mixtures/pre ignition from blowing up your engine and you WILL NOT get a Check engine light to notify you. What a JOURNEY! hope this helps someone ��
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