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Last Post 22 Jun 2009 07:47 AM by  johnr3
Subie Owners - HELP!
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KBroeker
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15 Jun 2009 12:12 PM

    For those of you who don't know me, I have a 2001 Impreza RS. I used to be on the NASIOC forums, but the club moved where they had the forum, and I did not follow. So, I am posting here.

    Well, I was making my weekly Sunday drive from home in Ft. Wayne to my rental in Richmond. I started down IN-1 as my wife was coming back from seeing a patient and we could meet to say good bye for the week (awwwww!). I know there is construction on IN-1 before I would get to US-35. So, just north of Blufton, I throw a Portland gas station into the old GPS and it takes me on a backroads diagonal that will bring me to US-27 on IN-18 just north of Bryant. There were some lumpy roads and some fun curves, so I was enjoying myself. When I am aproaching the interesection of US-27 on IN-18, I decide to pull into the Shell station there to pick up a pop or a water or something. As I slow and start to turn in, the engine starts "missing" or running very rough and the oil light starts flickering. I had the oil changed at a Jiffy Lube on Thursday night, so my first thought was that either I cracked the oil pan on one of the lumpy roads or that the Lube guys did not get the plug in tight (of course I had not noticed any fluids either in the garage or the driveway where I had parked at home over the weekend). So, I park it and look under the front for oil drippage. Nothing. I pull the dipstick and it reads full. So, I try to start it. It turns over3-4 times, but does not start. I try again, this time 1-2 revs, but again no start. Eventually, it will not turn over at all. Just to verify that it is not the battery, I get a jump, but no help.

    So, it seems to me I have a seized motor. I have changed out the starter on our Minivan and I know what that acts like, so I do not believe it is the starter. Also, again, the oil light issue. So, last night I am thinking that I have an oil pump failure. The temperature never went up, but I guess it might not, depending on how close the coolant comes to the cylinder walls. The car had 166,000 miles on the original oil pump. A co-worker suggested that possibly the oil filter installed at the lube place was incorrect, but the paperwork shows the correct filter (I will jack it up tonight so see if the numbers on the filter match the paperwork just to be sure).

    So, I am asking for advice. First off, is it possible the oil pump failed and should I have replaced it at a certain interval. I have already replaced the timing belt and water pump twice in the life of the car. If it is oil pump failure, what sort of damage should I expect? Scored cylinders, tore up bearings at the crak to connecting rod joint, scoring at the rocker arm to rocker arm shaft joint, valve guide damage? I do not have an engine puller and have never done internal engine work, so I will probably be looking at a shop to do any work. Am I better of installing a rebuilt engine or rebuilding this one? Or is it time for that WRX or STi swap?

    wrheadle
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    15 Jun 2009 06:09 PM

    Major Bummer. Might want to Cc: this to the tech forum...

    Bill

    KBroeker
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    16 Jun 2009 08:17 AM

    Bill-

    Thanks for the tip.

    I talked with Chris Smith (says he works at FW Metals, but I honestly think his main purpose in life is to build Franken-Subies) and he gave me a few tips to try and he has spares I can swap out for trial and error. First thing he had me do is check the dip-stick for metal and that was negative (jeeeze, such an easy thing to do, why didn't I think of it). He also hasd me pull the spark plug boot and oil on the boot cionfirms the head gasket issues that I know I have. So, when I get the Subie back to FT. Wayne this weekend, and I have my tools, there are some things I can try on my own to try to get my RS up and running before I resort to taking it to a shop.

    Thanks,

    johnr3
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    22 Jun 2009 07:14 AM

    Kyle-

    Go to indianaimpreza.com and sign up, there is alot of smart people on there that would be willing to help.

    The Fort Wayne Subaru Club has its main thread there.

    I am pretty sure if you got the some food and drinks there would be a group willing to come out to help, myself included.

    I just hate to see a good guy spend more then he has to at a shop when there are a large amount of people in the area with the knowledge to help.

    John R.

    KBroeker
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    22 Jun 2009 07:34 AM

    John-

    I appreciate the advice and it was good to see you again yesterday.

    I spoke with Chris Smith last week and he suggested a few quick checks I could do without tools. I work and stay in RIchmond, IN during the week and had the car hauled down there to my rental just because that was where I was on my way to when it died. He had me check the oil for metal fines/particles and there were none, so that is a good thing. But I know I have head gasket issues that need to be addressed (pretty much already knew, butr Chris had me look at the Spark Plug Boot and there was quite a bit of oil on it).. Chris also pointed out that the oil light might have been coming on because of low voltage and that the issue may be a combo of tired battery and both an alternator and starter with 166K on them. I have brought my tools back with me this week and I have the Haynes manual for the Legacy, which covers EJ251 engine which I have. So, I should have some time this week to do some diagnostic work (like pull the plugs and turn the engine over by hand with a socket and wrench on the crank shaft pulley bolt to make sure it is not siezed) and look into whether or not I want to get into the head gasket change at home. I will have the Subie hauled back to my house in Ft. Wayne on Friday so I will have all resources (all tools + local intellectual and physical support) available. Chris also said he has used, but working, alternators and starters that I might swap out for diagnostic purposes, so I might rely on him a bit.

    Thanks and althogh I have not been to active in the Ft. Wayne Subie Club much recently, I really appreciate the offer for support.

    Sincerely,

    johnr3
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    22 Jun 2009 07:47 AM

    It was good seeing you too, no worries about the forum stuff.

    Your in good hands with Chris, I would love to have even half of his knowledge.

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