View Full Version : 96 Legacy wag - loose crank pully bolt.. now won't start.

07-19-2008, 12:34 AM
Hello this is my first post.
My legacy wagon (2.2L, auto trans) made a grinding noise from the engine, which I found out today was a loose crankshaft pulley nut. I took off the fans for the radiator to get a wrench on the nut. I tightened it as best I could for not having the pulley stationary, and ended up turning the pulleys over a bit. I then read about the the bar_in_the_starter_plate trick, hwich did the trick. I put a breaker bar in the hole, and tightened the nut to ~95ft-lbs.
I put the fans back on and plugged them back in, then turned on the car, which turned on without any problem.

Later on in the night, I tried turning on the car to go to the store, but it would not turn on. The starter spun, and the engine tried to catch, but no luck getting it on. I tried another turn, and still no luck. I turned the third time, and it came on and idled fine, but the check-engine light came on. I drove to the store, baffled at what happened..

Upon leaving hte store, I coulnd't get the car on.. it turned on with an extremely low idle, immediately turning off. I had to give it gas, but it would rev painfully.. I ended up finally revving while I changed gears and drove home, electing not to let my foot off the gas.

I got home, distressed and angry, and went inside to cool off a bit. I went out about 5 minutes later and felt over the wires near the hole that I stuck the bar in, moving the wires around and pushing on the plugs.. I tried turning on the car and it started perfectly.

So what do you think it could be?
-timing screwed? despite running with the noise, the engine ran without any problem before I did the tightening. Also i owuld expect the car to run bad every time instead of being on and off
-fan wiring screwed up? I plugged the fan plugs back in, but i bent one of them back in order to get the left fan in, and maybe I broke the wire.. Does this screw up the computer with regards to the coolant electrical system?
-starter plate messed up? - did I mess something up by locking up the starter plate? I just saw a little mar from where hte bar was pressing up against it..
-wires pulled from the breaker bar? - A couple of wires connected to plugs were in the way above the trans hole that i stuck the bar in.. perhaps they got pulled? ? I would obviously want this to be the problem, but why would it start and then not start and then start again?
-Fuel pump? I don't know what would make it fail, but going in and out can be that
-coolant sensor? - I had to replace this once, and I had these same symptoms when it failed, although they weren't as bad as tonight's.. sensor location is below the spot where the bar was jammed in.

That is about all I can think of.. I can take photos if needed. ANY help would be apreciated.. I will try to get a computer check at autozone tomorrow if i can drive to it. THANKS

07-19-2008, 11:38 PM
Didn't have any issues today and turned the car on 10 times throughout the day. The Radiator fans both came on, so they are OK. No luck with the cpu due to no opportunity to visit the autozone.. Maybe it was temporary, or maybe a sensor's wire lost contact due to the bar pressing against them.. Fingers are crossed!

07-20-2008, 11:09 PM
Just a guess here- and a story

I replaced an engine in a mazda once, and wanted to start it before going to bed (1 AM after a HARD day swapping the engine). We elected not to put either cooling fan in, decided to watch the gauge and shut it off it it got hot. It ran fine without the fans until I let it get to about 50% on the temp gauge, where the fans would normally come on. The sucker died like turning the key off and the temp gauge went to gag, even tho it didn't get hot. The next morning the gauge went to hot and it wouldn't start. I hooked up a code reader and it wouldn't communicate with the ECM. I checked the fuses and the one for the ECM was blown to hell. Replaced the fans and the fuse and all has been well ever since.

Point being, if the wire from the fan got disconnected, the ECM may have very well put you into a default "limp home" mode.

08-03-2008, 12:49 AM
Well a couple of weeks on and Suba starts fine every time! I Reckon that the cables for a sensor got tweaked by the jamming bar, causing an open circuit and that ECM "limp home" mode! Now just the bloody check engine light stays on, and I still haven't had it checked :rolleyes:
Incidentally the AC works about 500% better than it did before.