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Starting issues 87 gl-10


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12 replies to this topic

#1 Paddlegirl

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:19 PM

when checking out the car I started it repeatedly no problems.. a few hours after getting the title in my hand I went out and could not get it to fire. key turned, the usual beeps happened but no starter kicking in. Eventually 10- or so attempts it fired right up. I reached the PO, he said one of the keys he gave me is rather worn out to use the other, he also said he had had no problems with it. Today I again cant get it to turn over, doesn't matter which key, actually one of them doesn't turn at all in the ignition. I have tried turning the steering wheel a bit, this did not help. any suggestions?

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:27 PM

It's a common problem with EA82's.

The first step is to inspect the entire crank circuit. Battery terminals, battery cables, starter solenoid contacts, etc. If all of those check out and the problem still returns.....

The most likely scenario is that you will need to install a relay between the original starter solenoid wire and the solenoid. This will supply full battery current to the solenoid and give it enough kick to close the contacts properly. It's a pretty simple circuit - you need a relay, a fuse holder to protect the power lead from the battery, some wire (14 AWG will do), and some spade terminals. Just hook up the relay so that the contacts are closed by the original solenoid wire on the back of the starter and from the positive battery terminal you run through the fuse holder, through the relay contacts, and to the solenoid. Works every time. I've probably done a dozen of these by now.

GD

#3 Paddlegirl

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 02:10 PM

thank you for the info. This leads me to the question of what is a good Subaru for dummies book to help navigate my way through things to come. Searching the forms turns up lots of information and most of it conflicting. I don't relay want to buy 5 books hopefully no more than 1 or two for things like this.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:05 PM

There are no books that will cover the question you just asked nor will any of them cover the important points of owning an old turbo-charged Subaru.

There is a book called "How to keep your Subaru alive" - it's out of print but some members here have PDF coppies and they can be found on ebay and Amazon at times. It's only somewhat applicable to your model though as it only covered the non-turbo models and only through your generation via the 2nd edition.

I would highly reccomend getting a factory service manual set for your year. They come up from time to time on ebay and you can check the for-sale section here or post a wanted add.

For aftermarket manual's I prefer the Haynes over the Chilton's. You want a "1600 and 1800" manual that cover's GL's through '89 and Loyale's through 94. Though again these are of only general use for the owner of a turbo equipped model as many things are different and not covered in these aftermarket manuals. Thus the Factory Service Set is much prefered.

Even the FSM will not cover the question you just asked about the ignition system though. That is general mechanical knowledge and troubleshooting and is expected to already be known by the reader of such books. The Subaru experts here on this board know such things but you will not find them in any book. Experience and this board are your best bet for keeping that car on the road. I'm sorry to say that you have a steep learning curve for that model and most member's here end up learning by mistake - they don't heed the warnings about the EA82T and end up either blowing the engine and looking for another (or maybe half a dozen :rolleyes:) or they give up on them as they can be quite troublesome, complex, and they are not user friendly owing to the primitive fuel injection and their overall age. If I were going to attempt to daily drive an EA82T (mileage is of little concern here - as I mentioned, the age of the car dictates a NECCESITY to change certain parts and do some preventative maintenance) I would pull the engine out, replace all the seals and gaskets and my first stop would be the dealer - I would have them pull up the diagrams for the engine and order EVERY SINGLE cooling system hose in the car. As well as the oil return line from the turbo, and some other bits and peices - such as manifold gaskets, thermostat & gasket, etc. I would order up a Fel-Pro head gasket set and replace those as well - mill the heads and lap the valves while you are in there. I would expect to spend a pretty penny for all that but it's really the only sure way to know you are in good shape with that engine. It's a time bomb - the worst engine Subaru ever put to market unfortunately.

GD

#5 Cougar

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

I think it would be a good idea to first clean the battery connections with a battery post cleaning brush to make sure there is no problem there. Also check the fusible link connections in the plastic bow mounted on the coolant reservoir. Make sure they are clean and making a good snug connection. Another possible trouble area is the starter solenoid contacts could be bad. If you hear a fairly loud click when the trouble happens then that is most likely the trouble. You can replace the contacts or get a rebuilt starter.

#6 hush777

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:17 PM

I have a similar problem with the wifes 87T wagon.
But if I back off on the key just a hair it will fire up just fine so I need to pull the ignition and clean it out.

Hush

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:40 PM

I have a similar problem with the wifes 87T wagon.
But if I back off on the key just a hair it will fire up just fine so I need to pull the ignition and clean it out.

Hush


The electrical portion of the switch is not serviceable - I do agree that is your problem though. You will need to replace the switch.

GD

#8 hush777

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:03 PM

GD I have had to tear several of them apart to fix this problem.
No money and lots of kids makes for necessity being the mother of innovation and repair not replace.

Thanks for the word though.

Hush

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 04:27 PM

GD I have had to tear several of them apart to fix this problem.
No money and lots of kids makes for necessity being the mother of innovation and repair not replace.

Thanks for the word though.

Hush


Yeah - you *could* uncrimp them and take them apart but they are plentiful and cheap in the yards around here. I probably have a few extra laying around. PM me if you want a good one that you don't have to mess with.

GD

#10 Paddlegirl

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:04 PM

Tons of great information everyone. It turned out to be corroded cables, Cleaned everything and starts up beautiful now. Working on other little odd and end issues. For the time being nothing major. Watching the temp like a hawk, carrying extra 50/50 with me.

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:52 PM

Glad it was the simple fix - that's always a plus.

GD

#12 Paddlegirl

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:16 PM

Honeslty I should have started there, then posted, Stress makes me do stupid things :eek:

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:19 PM

I've done that before myself. Eventually you will get mostly comfortable with the car and it's quirks won't bother you as much.

GD




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