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Vanagon subaru conversion - running rich
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:16 pm    Post subject: Vanagon subaru conversion - running rich Reply with quote

My ej25 swap on my syncro just completely died after 300 miles and I want to make sure I don't have the same problem on engine #2.

On the first engine, after working my way through a few codes with success, the engine was still running super rich, occasionally showing misfire codes. The coil pack is sparking like a champ, wires and plugs brand new, swapped out the injectors... The injectors got rid of my misfire codes, but the engine was still running super rich. No numbers, but it was about halfway between .5 and 1 on the lambda scale, so I'm guessing it was about 11 afr. I'm being generous here. Anyway, it blew a piston ring and I'm on to engine #2. When I took out the plugs on the dead engine the new plugs looked about 100 years old, black as coal and dry.

I'm thinking the rich condition was a problem with the ecu, (auto transmission, 2002 forester) but no idea how to check. Also had two people suggest checking the ambient pressure sensor. Again, guidance or experience diagnosing this problem would be helpful.

Thanks!
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BCWesty
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have some way to read the engine values? What is the coolant temp. sensor reading? Not the gauge in the dash, but what the ECU is seeing.
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physast
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am having this same issue of running rich on my 2002 forester engine. I am doing a lot better than a year ago, but it's still some what rich.

Do you have a way to get your ECU readings (torque app?) If so what are the O2 voltages, Air Fuel ratio? What is your RPM at idle? How about your average MPG?

Things to check:
- O2 sensors? Are you running both?
- intake/exhaust leaks?
- vacuum leaks?
- idle air control functioning (dirty?)
- Pressure sensor?
- knock sensor
- try a different ECU
- wiggle wires at the ECU and see if you start getting different readings from the ECU

I ended up replacing the wiring harness (found weak wiring) cleaning my IAC sensor (very dirty), replacing the plugs and wires, found a several exhaust leaks so I replaced the header, replaced the knock sensor, and replaced the ECU. I also put my ECU in MT mode even though I am running an automatic. After all this I went from getting about 13 MPG to now averaging 18-20 MPG.
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad OS, unplug and give it a try.

I never heard of a bad Subaru ECU

Ben
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is an automatic ECU, it needs to be put into Manual mode (grounding a pin) and needs to have a speed sensor input. It also needs to be run in 'drive' mode, not 'neutral/park' mode. There is a switch that is in the subie harness that prevents starting in drive of course, but also gives it a lower (4500rpm) rev limit.

Are all of these things taken care of?

My step son and I did an auto-to-manual swap on his 2001 Forester and killed the first engine that way. On the 2nd, after we fixed all those issues, it ran MUCH better and got great mileage.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah shoot, nope. The ecu is probably in at mode. Greggearhead, do you have a link for the at to manual mod? I've checked most everything else.

Does anyone have values for the atmospheric pressure sensor? I haven't checked that.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have pinouts and a wiring diagram for the 2002 forester?
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snwbrdr435
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greggearhead wrote:
If it is an automatic ECU, it needs to be put into Manual mode (grounding a pin) and needs to have a speed sensor input. It also needs to be run in 'drive' mode, not 'neutral/park' mode. There is a switch that is in the subie harness that prevents starting in drive of course, but also gives it a lower (4500rpm) rev limit.

Are all of these things taken care of?

My step son and I did an auto-to-manual swap on his 2001 Forester and killed the first engine that way. On the 2nd, after we fixed all those issues, it ran MUCH better and got great mileage.


Is this true for earlier ej22's?
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vanagon1991
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm having a fuel issue too and this might help. I have a 2003 2.5 forester install in my 1991. I also installed a new aftermarket fuel pump. My fuel trims were running -30 and van hesitated on acceleration and also running real boggy at higher RMPs so it had excess fuel and ECU was trying to cut it back.

We did a fuel pressure check a few weeks ago and it pinned the needle at 100psi...so it was over that...??? Yikes! Spec for this 2.5 is 30-34 w vacuum hose attached.

Confused, we blew out the fuel rail w air and also switched out the stock fuel regular too with another one. Pressure dropped to about 50+. We're assuming it was the regular. Fuel trims dropped to about -7 so still running excess fuel.

So you might want to test your fuel pressure and get that accounted for right away since you're marrying VW pump w Subaru engine.

In my case though it's still running bad, so I just installed an aftermarket adjustable fuel regular and got fuel pressure to subaru spec. I figure that's better for the engine all the way around. Might want to consider doing that anyways.

But...I still have a weird fuel issue and right now it's acting as if the return line is plugging on occasion, but don't want to bogart this thread.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I checked the wiring on the harness. The 02 forester has pins 25 and 26 on the middle orange plug for the MT setting grounded on my engine, so I guess the guy who did my harness took care of it.

I guess when I get engine #2 in, I'll check fuel pressure and the atmospheric sensor and double check my vac lines. That's all I can think it could be.

Vanagon1991, do you have a recommendation for an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator? Did you add one inline or replace the stock one with aftermarket?
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wcdennis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ftp2leta wrote:
Bad OS, unplug and give it a try.

I never heard of a bad Subaru ECU

Ben


Listen to Ben. If you are running rich and not setting a code, you have a bad oxygen sensor.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I replaced the upstream o2 sensor and it still ran rich. I didn't replace the downstream sensor thinking that was just to monitor the cat.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An exhaust leak can cause things to run rich by diluting the exhaust with air, giving the O2 a reading that looks lean - causing the ECU to enrich the mixture. This will ultimately foul up your O2 and make maters worse.

I dealt with a troubled EJ22 install (by others) that had this problem along with the starting circuit wired to full time power that also enriches the mixture. Once I fixed the exhaust leak things got better but still idled high and rich. Corrected the wiring and it ran perfect.

If there is no leak, your O2 is good, the ECU is set to manual not auto, I'd look closely at the wiring harness to see if the starting circuit is properly powered.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I have my new (used) engine in the van and I'm dealing with it not starting before I go back to it running rich.

For the new engine I went with PMP in Philly. They had great reviews on the subaru forums, but quoted me a delivery date and then shipped it out a day after it was supposed to arrive, then told me it would be there in a day, and it took 3. Two weeks later... It wouldn't matter except I'm doing the swap in a friends driveway and he's getting sick of my van being there.

When I went to start it, the new codes were cam position sensor performance and crank position sensor performance. I replaced the sensors, still no start....which means I'll be redoing the timing belt tomorrow. Thanks PMP!

Needless to say I wouldn't recommend buying an engine from them at this point. I hate to write a negative review, but having to redo my timing belt from a shop that does them all the time, and buy another $150+ in parts and new tools, and two days of my life gone. I should start a thread titled, "How not to put a subaru engine in your vw van" I thought I'd passed my low point with this project but this is a new nadir.

On a brighter note, the fancy Stan's header I got for the engine doesn't quite press fit as they suggested, and is leaking unburnt gas. Just noticed this. So there's definitely an exhaust leak there to fix so that might be part of my rich condition. During the swap I also checked MT/AT mode. It's wired for MT, so that's good. I also checked for vac leaks and double checked pins to the harness. I replaced the fuel pressure regulator with one from the new engine, but haven't gotten to check fuel pressure yet. I also have not checked the starter wire to the ECU but one thing at a time. Gotta get this thing to start first.

Hopefully I'll have a running engine by Saturday and I can go back to testing fuel pressure, dealing with exhaust leaks and worrying about the issue of running rich.
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kalispell365
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You most likely have the wrong crankshaft timing sprocket on your engine...years ago I learned this the hard way when working at the dealer. There are two different sprockets and you will get a no start as well as the codes you mentioned. One has many small teeth for the sensor to read off, the other has few. Look down the hole after you remove the crank sensor on each motor and youll see they are different. Change them out and youll be good to go. Youlllnow need to change your oil, as it is filled with gas from cranking the engine.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is what it is.

A step a time...even if its backwards from time to time. That ride will be well worth it, and you'll know that van inside and out.

Take note too if you're using the small car engine mount/adapter. Depending on which was you pass the bolt through to hold the adapter to the mount, will determine whether you can just unbold the adapter from the vw mount and raise engine up to get the get covers off to change the belt, or have to unbolt the entire engine mount because you can't back the bolt out in one of these directions.

I've got a pic if anyone needs to see.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doode, bummer on the new motor.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the support guys. Kalispell365, you nailed it. Photos of the gears attached below. They sent me a 2004 engine to replace my 2002 and both cam and crank gears had totally different teeth. The computer probably thought it was going at 9k rpm at idle with all the extra teeth on the new engine's gears. That would explain why it was dumping fuel.

I took the old engine block to my subaru mechanic. We pulled the tensioner, cam and crank gears and he showed me how to do the timing. Super nice guy. Not as big a deal as I thought, just a pain to pull the exhaust and take the mustache bar off... again.

Once the timing belt was done with the old gears in, it fired right up and sounds better than the old engine, and no smoke out of the tailpipe.

It's definitely got an exhaust leak where the two parts of the header come together and there's something going on with the O2 sensors. One is reading, but showing incomplete test. The other one doesn't show up on the scanner. My vacuum pressure on the scanner shows 22hg, so that's looking good. I won't be able to work on it for a week , but I'll just have the exhaust welded when I get back and start trouble shooting the o2 sensors.

So glad the van is running again. Thanks for all the help.
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Surfy Murphy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, back to the running rich issue.

I had the exhaust leak welded closed (where the two parts of the manifold fit together) and now it's backfiring more.

I'm running the torque app and it shows vacuum pressure at 22" of mercury at idle, holding steady, and it drops a little when I throttle. I should check again to see how much. That makes me think there isn't a vacuum leak, but I'm suspicious because the light on the decoupler stopped working-not sure if it's actually decoupling or not.

I looked at the data for the upstream O2 sensor and it appears to be running pretty rich, but it's hard to read the graph-it's looking like it was around .7 lambda steady when there was an exhaust leak, now it's going up and down pretty aggressively. I took screen grabs from the o2 sensor. Does anyone know how to read this?? This is my second o2 sensor. Could this be another bad one? Could this be a good reading and I'm just reading it wrong?


Ignore the bottom graphic, it doesn't do anything. In the top graph (yellow) it looks like the bottom line is zero, middle line is .5 and the top line is 1 for lambda.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fought a running rich scenario on my EJ22 for some time. I bought a Haynes and Chilton manuals for the motor. After bench testing my sensors I found my TPS was shot. My IAC was also shot. Between the two of them my ECU was dumping fuel all the time. Sorry not more help.
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