Well, it looks like this may be the beginning of the end. If you've been following along, you know that I replaced the cylinder head in my 1995 Subaru Legacy daily driver earlier this year, which supposedly cured a misfire issue I;d been having.
As of this past week, the misfire is back, unfortunately. The car threw the same P0302 code again. I did a compression test and verified that I have low compression in cylinder 2. This is the same test I did back in April. I had meant to re-test the car after replacing the cylinder head, but never got around to it. Earlier this year, cylinder 2 clocked in at around 70 PSI. This time, it's showing around 100 psi, which is still bad compared to the other three cylinders, which are showing 165, 165, and 160.
I'm not 100% sure why the misfire took so long to return, but it may be because I cleaned the carbon buildup off the cylinder 2 piston when I replaced the cylinder head. To buy myself some more time, I ran a can of Seafoam through the car this past weekend and replaced the spark plugs. As it is, I think I'll get through the winter (most likely with the check engine light coming on at times). But, come springtime, I'm hoping to be driving the Mercedes project, and hopefully can start looking for a "new" daily driver.
I was hoping for more miles out of this car (I've put around 45,000 very well maintained miles on the car as of now). But, the car has never run quite right for me. I'm guessing that cylinder 2 has been problematic for as long as I've owned the car, most likely due to mistreatment by a previous owner.
Because of the car's overall poor cosmetic condition, including rust, a rear suspension crossmember that's suspect, an aging transmission, an already-patched gas tank, a leaky cooling system, and numerous other issues, it's probably not worth it for me to try and replace the engine, and rebuilding it is out of the question. So, I'm most likely going to end up replacing the car. With what? Time will tell.