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EA81 Top Speed!!! valve adjustment?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Seantheimpaler

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:22 PM

So ive got a 83gl wagon and ive gotten it up to 83mph on a level straight away, i think if i get a wind behind me downhill i could get it up to 88mph and do a little time travel... is this a typical top speed for a stock ea81? ...also it sounds like the valves need adjusting. do you have to pull the motor to adjust them, or can it be done in the car?

Edited by Seantheimpaler, 02 September 2010 - 09:33 PM.


#2 hatchsub

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:46 PM

There are most likely more things going on than just a valve adjustment. Ill touch on some that come to mind right off the top of my head.

-Fuel filters (both!)
-Timing (stock is 8 degrees...you can probably advance it to 9 or 10)
-When was the last time the engine had a tuneup (plugs,wires, rotor, cap)?
-wheel bearings...you would be surprised how much that could keep your car held back
-plugged up exhaust/cat

And yes valves can be a part of it. Intake valves are supposed to be .10 and exhaust are supposed to be .14. Check how to keep your subaru alive HTKYSA for the detailed instructions of how to do it. Once you do it once or twice it gets easy. And no you dont need to pull the motor to do the valves. Very easy to do with the motor in the car.

Just so you know a stock EA81 is nothing to write home about for power but your does sound like its a bit on the low side. I was able to top out my gauge on a flats pretty easy and downhill i estimated about 100 or so if not more once.

#3 Seantheimpaler

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 10:08 PM

There are most likely more things going on than just a valve adjustment. Ill touch on some that come to mind right off the top of my head.

-Fuel filters (both!)
-Timing (stock is 8 degrees...you can probably advance it to 9 or 10)
-When was the last time the engine had a tuneup (plugs,wires, rotor, cap)?
-wheel bearings...you would be surprised how much that could keep your car held back
-plugged up exhaust/cat

And yes valves can be a part of it. Intake valves are supposed to be .10 and exhaust are supposed to be .14. Check how to keep your subaru alive HTKYSA for the detailed instructions of how to do it. Once you do it once or twice it gets easy. And no you dont need to pull the motor to do the valves. Very easy to do with the motor in the car.

Just so you know a stock EA81 is nothing to write home about for power but your does sound like its a bit on the low side. I was able to top out my gauge on a flats pretty easy and downhill i estimated about 100 or so if not more once.


just did a tune up, adjusted timing, fuel filters are newerish and im pretty sure its got an exhaust leak. it is a 4speed tho... were you rockin' a 5speed?

#4 Indrid cold

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:26 AM

83 mph! you must be wearing the big "S" on your chest or your in your 20's... yup.. 20 something.
I have never pushed to the limit, When I am feeling frisky I do 75 with my 5-sp, but usually cruise around 65, so 83.. I think that is awsome. 3 years ago I had my Brat over on I-5.. my gosh you people drive crazy fast over there.. I thought the Hanford 500 was bad (drive to work) no wounder you want a bit more kick but 83 is good I think or put a 5 speed tranny in.. give you a bit more go.

If it is the original engine and sounding a bit loud under the valve covers then yes, probably due for an adjustment. Do the search thing.
When I did my first adj. General Disorder recommeneded coating the valve cover gaskets (cork) with High Temp sealant, let them dry and then put them in... years later not a drop leaking.

The books show re-setting the torque on the head bolts.. best to leave the head bolts alone, adjust the rocker arm gap, put covers back and call it good.

Edited by Indrid cold, 03 September 2010 - 01:33 AM.


#5 Yo'J

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:37 AM

Everybody forgets a valve adjustment. Just do it every year or just check. Its the cost of the valve covers but its really so important for mileage and the life of the motor. I needed to do it to my old motor at every 20000 or less(every year) just to keep it in tune. It really makes a difference if its not a hydro lifted motor. Its really good to get the valve wrench too as a regular wrench doesn't do as nice a job and wants to slip and goober the square head. I always watched the mileage and drivability (sp?) suffer if I wasn't prompt on it.

I'd just (almost) bury the needle with my 5spd and 26.5r14s (on the flats of course), thats about 95 or a (very little) more.:lol:

#6 hatchsub

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:04 AM

just did a tune up, adjusted timing, fuel filters are newerish and im pretty sure its got an exhaust leak. it is a 4speed tho... were you rockin' a 5speed?



Yea i have a 5 speed 2wd. That does make a bit of difference i suppose seeing as how i have never rocked a 4 speed 4x4 subaru (oh the horror! :lol:).

#7 TeamCF

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:38 AM

Yeah valve adjustment is an important one.
Just did mine last night as it's been about a year since I put that engine in and I did it then. Feels like a new engine. Only about half of them were out of spec. And only by a hair. But we are talking thousandths here, a hair is miles.

I've had my speedo buried. (geeze that sounds just wrong...... :eek: )
Got the 4 speed. It can do it if you are patient. :lol:

But they don't like it. At least mine doesn't.
Old Soobs like to take their time and enjoy the scenery. May not get there fast, but you will always get there. :)

#8 LeoneTurbo

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:34 PM

My 84 Wagon easily cruises at 140 kph (80 mph) with lots of throttle travel left. On a flat it will do about 95 to 100 max, and downhill 10 mph more.

#9 Seantheimpaler

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 03:20 PM

sweet! i'll adjust them this weekend. thanks folks!




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