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2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #1
I've got fuel in my oil, a fair amount too. I'm hoping that the engine is just running very rich, but it might be an internal issue. Before I go off and do something I'll regret, like sell this money pit or yank out the engine, I thought I'd ask for some wisdom here. The engine is a completely stock EJ25, exhaust is stock, etc. Only 'mod' the car has is a gutted catalytic converter done by a previous owner. The last owner of the car stated that the cat would get red hot before the car would stall. That's why he put the car up for sale. Though I wouldn't trust this guy to know what a catalytic converter is, as he painted the grill, hood scoop/vents and engine plastics all gold...

So, right after purchasing the car I removed the cat to gut it myself. But I discovered that it is already properly hollowed out. The O2 sensors have not been modified though. Could this be the problem? The O2 sensors feeding the wrong info to the cars computer? If so, how do I fix this?

Extra bits of useful info, I'm in Canada. The gutted cat is fine and legal... I hope. It shouldn't have to pass inspection to get registered again. Plus, I plan on turning it into a weekend rally car, so I don't care how loud it is. I'd rather not buy a straight pipe or a new cat as this is a budget project car (Stupid, I know). Lastly, when the car starts I can immediately smell some sort of burning fuel/oil. I can't tell which it is for sure, but I think it's a fuel smell.

Thanks for the help!
 

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1995 EZ30 Coupe
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I can't think of many ways that fuel could get into your oil in a noticeable amount. Either your piston rings are so obliterated there's barely enough compression to run, or some evap/pcv lines got crossed with a fuel line somehow?

Did you drain the oil and noticed fuel or are you assuming because of the smell?
How does the car run? Does it produce smoke from the exhaust?

Also, oil leaks tend to find the exhaust manifold somehow, but that wouldn't smell immediately... Got some pics? Especially the engine bay but want to see that crazy front end as well...
 

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2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thing is, I’ve got great compression, I forget the exact number, but I believe each cylinder was doing around 160 psi.

I did an oil change after smelling fuel in my oil, I also noticed that the fluid level in my crankcase kept going up. The oil was very discoloured and when I did the change it had the viscosity of water, or fuel. I assumed this was just because it had been running on 3 cylinders for a while. It now runs on all for cylinders and the problem is worse.

The car hates cold starts. I have to hold the revs at around 1.5K to keep from stalling. After about 20 sec of that it can hold revs without stalling. It runs with a bit of blue smoke coming out the exhaust. It accelerates quickly and pulls hard. I get no strange noises from the engine while driving.

Yea, my head gasket is on its way out, so I’ve got some oil coming out the left side of the block. It leaks pretty badly when parked, but it seems to stop when the engine heats up. It mostly just leaks onto the lower control arm and the oil pan. Posting this from my phone rn, where I can’t post any pictures. I’ll reply to this from my pc with some pictures shortly.

Thanks for the help! I’d be completely lost without this community, glad I chose the Subaru community.
 

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1995 EZ30 Coupe
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That's tough... I'd start by finding a diagram of the fuel system for your car and compare, I wouldn't trust that it hasn't been 'modded' as well. I think white smoke is fuel, blue smoke should be oil, possibly not a big deal compared to however fuel is getting into the oil. I can't think of anything other than a mixed up hose.

Further research suggests a leaking injector(s) could lead to excessive fuel in the oil. If you can find a used set cheap...
 

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2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #5
I’ll have to check the hoses like you said, I will not be surprised if they have been mixed up. The previous ‘owner’ (abuser) of the car painted a bunch of the engine hoses gold. I’m guessing he took them out to do so. Thankfully today is a warm day, so I’ll be able to run the car and tell what colour the exhaust actually is. It’s been too cold to do so that past few weeks. I’ll also look into replacing the injectors.

Thanks again so much for your help! Merry Christmas!
 

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2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #6
Went through the engine bay, also checked the spark plugs. Sadly I found both oil and a little black soot on them... Every bit of rubber near the engine is almost 'goopy' like it's been overheated at one point. The more I look through the engine the more I believe that the previous owner did some serious damage by overheating the car multiple times, then lying about it to me.
 

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98 Superu Impreza 2.5 rs...
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Thing is, I’ve got great compression, I forget the exact number, but I believe each cylinder was doing around 160 psi.

I did an oil change after smelling fuel in my oil, I also noticed that the fluid level in my crankcase kept going up. The oil was very discoloured and when I did the change it had the viscosity of water, or fuel. I assumed this was just because it had been running on 3 cylinders for a while. It now runs on all for cylinders and the problem is worse.

The car hates cold starts. I have to hold the revs at around 1.5K to keep from stalling. After about 20 sec of that it can hold revs without stalling. It runs with a bit of blue smoke coming out the exhaust. It accelerates quickly and pulls hard. I get no strange noises from the engine while driving.

Yea, my head gasket is on its way out, so I’ve got some oil coming out the left side of the block. It leaks pretty badly when parked, but it seems to stop when the engine heats up. It mostly just leaks onto the lower control arm and the oil pan. Posting this from my phone rn, where I can’t post any pictures. I’ll reply to this from my pc with some pictures shortly.

Thanks for the help! I’d be completely lost without this community, glad I chose the Subaru community.
Also, how the hell do you run on 3 cylinders? Like you literally don't have a spark in one of your cylinders?
You would be in limp mode, stuck to driving at about 5 mph. So, you're not "pulling hard" while running on 3 cylinders.

There are many ways to check head gasket. You tube for deatils
1 - open radiator. Start the car. Look for bubbles
2 - hold a sheet of paper to exhaust, look for vacuum.

That's tough... I'd start by finding a diagram of the fuel system for your car and compare, I wouldn't trust that it hasn't been 'modded' as well. I think white smoke is fuel, blue smoke should be oil, possibly not a big deal compared to however fuel is getting into the oil. I can't think of anything other than a mixed up hose.

Further research suggests a leaking injector(s) could lead to excessive fuel in the oil. If you can find a used set cheap...
How the hell do you cross fuel and oil? I can't think of any oil lines, which aren't metal. Fuel lines are rubber, and there is just 1 fuel line, and the whole fuel system is stand alone.

Idle problem is probably something's not tight and there's a vacuum leak. When the car is warmed up, take a can of WD40 and start spot testing for leaks. You tube for how to do this.
tldr: there is vacuum inside engine bay. WD40 is combustible. If it gets into the system, your RPMs go up for a few seconds.

Went through the engine bay, also checked the spark plugs. Sadly I found both oil and a little black soot on them... Every bit of rubber near the engine is almost 'goopy' like it's been overheated at one point. The more I look through the engine the more I believe that the previous owner did some serious damage by overheating the car multiple times, then lying about it to me.
Trying to imagine this, and I can't. When you get off the phone, post some pics of this.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"Also, how the hell do you run on 3 cylinders? Like you literally don't have a spark in one of your cylinders?
You would be in limp mode, stuck to driving at about 5 mph. So, you're not "pulling hard" while running on 3 cylinders."


The coil distibuter was not working. It's timing was off and it was not giving spark to all the cylinders at the right time, or at all. I never drove the car over 5mph like this, as the car shook like it had a cammed V8 in it and it was obvious something was very wrong. It now has a new coil distributer and it runs much smoother. Now that this is fixed it pulls hard and hardly shakes.

"Idle problem is probably something's not tight and there's a vacuum leak. When the car is warmed up, take a can of WD40 and start spot testing for leaks. You tube for how to do this.
tldr: there is vacuum inside engine bay. WD40 is combustible. If it gets into the system, your RPMs go up for a few seconds."


I was also able to fix the rough idle, turns out the throttle cable had come loose on one of it's mounts. I just zip tied it back on, problem solved. Thanks for thr tips though, I'll keep them in mind if I come across any other issues like this.

"Trying to imagine this, and I can't. When you get off the phone, post some pics of this."

I doubt you'll be able to tell anything from the pictures of the lines, as they look fine. It's when you touch them that they feel almost foam like and a bit squishy. I have still included some pictures of the engine bay, along with a video of the idle with the throttle cable fixed.

Today I'm working on doing a compression test. Is there a fuse I can pull to keep the fuel pump from working? Most of the clips on the car are brittle/broken and impossible to remove without completely destroying them, so I can't remove the wires going into the fuel pump. Thanks for your help! Photos/video below:

 

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General pain in the ass
98 Superu Impreza 2.5 rs...
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Clips are squishable metal rings, but if they're old/broken - replace them.

Replace all gaskets, clips, hoses. Whatever you touch that's bad, replace it. If you remove a gasket, get a new one. All this stuff is $1-5 parts. Most dealers' parts guys can hook you up with a student/army/aaa/dealer discount so you don't have to wait on shipping and price is the same.

I still think it's a good idea for you to vacuum test your engine. Good piece of mind.

Zip tie on t-body - not sure what you mean. Cable goes into a hole on the spring part, and there is a hook that holds it place.

You can rent a scan tool. Some places just ask for your driver's license and it's free. Check throttle position sensor. It should be at 0 at idle, and 100 at WOT.

There is a fuse for fuel pump, it's labeled in the box inside engine bay.

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Discussion Starter #10
I can't seem to find the fuse, it isn't labeled anything obvious and I don't have an owners manual. I don't think there is a fuse for that. Any other ways to keep the fuel pump from working during the compression test?

I'll do a vacuum test before the compression test, thanks for the help with that.
 

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98 Superu Impreza 2.5 rs...
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I think it's some kind of acronym, or maybe not a fuse bit a relay. Or you could just unplug it under the back seat.

There should be pins of manual all over this forum. You sound like a resourceful guy, I'm sure you'll find it here or in google.

I got a copy on my PC, but far from it.

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Discussion Starter #13
For future people reading this thread. It is much easier to just remove the rear seats and disconnect the fuel pump then it is to browse through old forums for 2 hours trying to find a fuse or relay. It's just a few 12 mm bolts and some carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just did the compression test. C-1 showed 180 psi, along with C-3 and C-4. C-2 was at around 170psi.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
New development. I've discovered that the fuel is leaking into my crankcase while the vehicle sits. Does this help rule out a few possible causes for the problem? The fuel seems to burn off/magically disappear while the vehicle runs. I haven't run my car in a while and the dipstick shows that the crankcase fluid level is twice what it should be. If I run the vehicle for a while the levels seem to return to just above the full mark.
 

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Crank case....magic..... good compression, pulling hard.


ok, why do you think it's fuel?

I am no magician, so I'll just throw random ideas into the mix.

* You could drain the oil, open oil plug, prime the pump and see if anything comes out. Based on your theory, fuel should start leaking out of the drain plug.
If that's the case, perhaps one of your injectors is just stuck open

* I don't recall specifics, but during one of the engine swaps I used a wrong sip stick (or didn't secure it.. or secured it to a wrong hole, etx..). The point is, I was getting oil half way up in the stick before I fixed it by using the right stick (or right holes. .. or maybe I had broken the mounting bracket. Anyway, you get my point maybe.

* So did you do the exhaust paper test?

* Is there oil in coolant?

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Discussion Starter #17
"ok, why do you think it's fuel?"

I think it's fuel because it smells very strongly of fuel, it lightens the colour of the oil to one that is similar to fuel, and it greatly lowers the viscosity of the oil.


"You could drain the oil, open oil plug, prime the pump and see if anything comes out. Based on your theory, fuel should start leaking out of the drain plug.
If that's the case, perhaps one of your injectors is just stuck open"


Thanks for the idea, I'll try that.

"I don't recall specifics, but during one of the engine swaps I used a wrong sip stick (or didn't secure it.. or secured it to a wrong hole, etx..). The point is, I was getting oil half way up in the stick before I fixed it by using the right stick (or right holes. .. or maybe I had broken the mounting bracket. Anyway, you get my point maybe."

That's another good idea, but the dip stick returns to normal, proper levels after the vehicle has been running for a while.

"So did you do the exhaust paper test?"

I did... I must have done it wrong though because the paper just ripped along the middle to let the exhaust out. I felt and saw no suction at all.

"Is there oil in coolant?"

I looked for bubbles with the vehicle running for around 2mins. Got nothing. The coolant looks fine to me, seems to be the right colour. I can't tell without properly testing it though. I don't have a test kit at the moment, but I'll look into getting one.
 
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