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15 replies to this topic

#1 jcstoke


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Posted 04 February 2004 - 08:20 PM

Well a few weeks ago I picked up an '86 Gl Wagon in order to replace my '94 Integra. I thought I was taking a step backwards, but to my surprise I love this car. I got it from a friend's grandma and when I went to test drive it I noticed a bit of noise coming from the tranny (5 sp). I took it to a tranny shop before I bought it and the guy told me that the trans was shot. So I offered my buddy $150 and the car is mine. It still runs and drives fine, but who knows when I'll loose the trans (I guess that's why I'm posting). I've never owned a Subie so I'm not sure how it is supposed to act. I was wondering if there was someone in the Portland area that had a decent knowledge of these and would be willing to check it out and offer me advice.


#2 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 February 2004 - 08:49 PM

What does the noise sound like? Grinding - squeeling - etc?


#3 Trailduster


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Posted 04 February 2004 - 09:16 PM

I live in Vancouver and I take my subaru to RichieRich's place in NE Portland anytime I can't figure something out. He and his Dad are great and their prices are very reasonable.

Of course, you'll get plenty of help on this board if you can't afford to spend any money.

#4 electryc_monk


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Posted 04 February 2004 - 09:46 PM

is it shifting smoothly into every gear?
does the gear shift vibrate or ratle excessively (think common sense here) in any of the gears or is it fade in and out of noise making?

Does it hold its fluid? have you checked it(does it leave stains on the ground?)

#5 jcstoke


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 05:22 PM

For the most part the tranny is just noisy. It makes a bit more of a ticking sound when it it in 2nd gear that you don't hear in the other gears. I'm not sure how much gearbox noise is common for these things so that's why it would be nice if someone would be willing to listen to it for me. I haven't checked the fluid level on the tranny...How am I to do that? It is often difficult to get into gear too. I don't know a whole lot about these things so any help would be great. Here are some picks to show off this great bargain!

Posted Image Posted Image
Posted Image
I am pretty proud of this install...one of the cleaner insalls I've seen in a subie.

So there she is. Thanks for any help with this car, and have a great day.


#6 Subi81


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 09:18 PM

Might want to check the trans fluid. My dad didn't on our 81 wagon and it blew 3rd gear out. For the longest time it had a really wierd grrrrrrring noise. I am not saying you will lose 2nd gear its just a good idea to check the fluid ever once in a while.

to check the fluid, look for a dipstick on the passinger side opposite the clutch fork.


#7 clantieri


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 09:25 PM

Good find and welcome to the board. Get a second opinion on your transmission problem. someone should at least tell you why its making the noise. Maybe you were just getting hosed with the first opinion?? There are plenty of great guys on that coast to help you too.


#8 electryc_monk


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:44 PM

the dipstick is on the pass side underneath the spare tire support BUT, you can get to it without removing the sparetire holder... you will have to take the spare tire out.

the dipstick is almost exactly parallel with the engine oil dipstick up front too. should be within about 5 or 6 inches of the passenger side bolt that holds the engine and tranny together.

make sure your on reasonably level ground and the engine is OFF... its not an automatic so it has to be off to read the dipstick correctly... Just like the engine oil checking.

as for the clicking, whirrrrrring, CLUNKing, tapping, clinking or what ever phonetic attempt at spelling the sounds I think your ears can help you spell out *WHAT* a Wwrrrrrrrr sound is as aposed to a (high-pitched helium inhailing voice)"clink" sound....

dare I guess that made sense to ya?

I'm not trying to be disrespectful at all, just trying to find some common ground to offer help via the electronic fronteer... ya hear me? (thinks to self, "Man I hope I didn't just set myself up for sarcastic jokes later. I do that enough without trying even.")

#9 jcstoke


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:47 PM

Yeah, it's the best $150 that I've ever spent. I work up at Mt. Hood so I've been loving it in the snow too! Anyway, I checked the trans lube and there was plenty so apparently that isn't the problem. I'll see if I can have someone else look at it (any takers?). If I end up needing to replace this tranny what is the best way to go about that? Again it's an '86 with 195k and it has the dual range x-fer case. Is it something that can be rebuilt affordably (the two guys that I saw quoted me $800-1600) or could I just swap it out with a used one that still has some life left in it? If that's the case (no pun intended :cool: ) how difficult is it to replace this transmission. I have a bit of experience working on light truck transmissions, but never on cars. Thanks again for any info, and this is a creat community!

Oh, and as for the whrring/clunking/clicking :) it sort of a clicking sound when I accelerate in 2nd gear ("chick-a-chick-a-chick-a") and more of a subtle winding noise when it is powering (is there a technical term for that?) as well as under compression). That is more of a "whissshhhhhhhhhh............................" short of recording the noise and posting an mp3 of it I think that's the best I can do.


#10 electryc_monk


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Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:58 PM

you got mail!

#11 Flowmastered87GL


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 12:46 AM

Sweet... awesome find for $150 (cheapest I ever found was a neglected turbowagon for $350, this beats it by far)

If the tranny IS indeed bad, it uses a 5 speed dual range which is a VERY common transmission (you could find one at almost any junkyard in town) I got one for a friend for 12 bottles of Alaskan Amber (cost to me $2.50 total!!!!)

#12 jcstoke


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:43 AM

So now the real question that begs to be asked is how do you get Alaskan Amber 12 packs for $2.50? I found a d/r tranny at U-Pull it (already pulled) for $175. With 140k on it I wasn't sure how good of a deal that was. I think the beer/tranny trade sounds a bit better. If anyone has any leads on one I would love to hear about it. It's good to hear that they are fairly common. Now the only question left...what am I still doing up at 4:42am?...If you've ever played rook you might understand :) Thanks again for the info.


#13 Skip


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 08:59 AM

first: You should be ashamed of yourself for ripping off the poor little old lady.
second: get some sleep
third: reread this post and follow the excellent advise Trailduster gave you instead of re-asking the same question.
forth: email Richie richslaw@hotmail.com and go meet him and his Dad, they will be of great help to you should you want to stay away from the dark side of Acura
Note: these are just casual observations and mean NO offense

#14 Meeky Moose

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Posted 06 February 2004 - 10:29 AM

good steal.. lol i've done that with my last 2 cars ($60 89 hatchback) and a ($600 88 gl wagon, 15 min fix really)

got the hatchabck after me wife totaled my mint 89' integra :(

anyways.. check out your cv axles.. owning an acura you should know what they sound like when they start to go..

if it is the tranny i would say drive it until it doesn't drive no more then replace it..

post in the marketplace about a 5-speed d/r trans, i know someone has one.. i have one but its being saved for when my auto tranny takes a dump entirely..

as far as swappin a tranny out its fairly easy really.. much easier than in an acura, lol.. just like pullin one outa an f-150 really.. umbolt it, drop the crossmember, pull the cv axles, unbolt the rear driveline, unhook the linkage, cables, etc.. and whala out she comes..

#15 Subafreak


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Posted 06 February 2004 - 07:20 PM

I would say it's alot easier than doing one in an F-150:rolleyes: For one the exaust will come off, the crossmember will unbolt and come out, and it's a hell of a lot lighter.:) I hate F-150's:mad:

Anyway, nice looking wagon. I can't belive it doesn't have any body rust on it. Sweet;)

I would say a $175 tranny for a $150 car ain't to bad. I had to put a $550 tranny in my $200 Legacy, that sucked.:(

Go wheelin!:D

#16 baccaruda



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Posted 07 February 2004 - 01:18 AM

i doubt there's anyone here who wouldn't have bought that for $150! nice job.

good luck!

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