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New 1st gen owner.. knows nothing


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28 replies to this topic

#1 RavenTBK

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:02 PM

Last night at the local dealers auction, I came across this ugly as sin Subaru, and was sucked into bidding on it just cause it was so cheap and nobody else wanted it. I know its a 1979 4wd wagon, but know not much else about it. I bought it not only for its attractive price, but also for the fact that I know it will get better mileage than my current daily driver, a 1989 full size Ford Bronco, and still have 4wd to get me in and out of my driveway.

Anywho, here we go.. can anybody analyze my VIN to give me some more information on exactly what I've got sitting on my car trailer right now?
A67L518180

It has quad headlights, manual transmission (cant count the gears till I get new shifter bushings), is rusted blue in colour, and amazingly enough, the 4wd appears to work as well as I believe it was designed to...compared to most 4x4 trucks where theres usually something wrong somewhere.

Also, could someone point me in the direction to where I might find a supply of parts for this new toy? AutoZone and the like are not much help from what I've seen so far...

Thanks! I'm looking forward to participating much more in the future!

Cheers
Raven

#2 calebz

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:21 PM

Without analyzing the vin, I can tell you a few things.,

it should have an EA71 1.6 flat 4
4sp single range 4wd( It works because they just don't break:D)

I like the looks of the 78-79.. Its the 81-84 I don't like.

There are other Gen 1 owners that can give you more detailed info. Congrats on a cool find.

#3 eyesore

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:26 PM

I'm not the expert that many on here are, but I'll help with what little info I have:
Quad headlights means you have a GL, (the high end model) the trans is a 4 speed and the 4wd is single range. assuming no motor swaps, (highly unlikely) it's a 1600cc boxer engine (67hp when new) My local O'reiley's & NAPA have been quite good with parts availability, but there are many other sources. If you are in need of something specific, post a request on the marketplace forum. Many of us on here are parts packrats, chances are someone has what you need or can steer you to it.
Congratulations on your purchase. those gen-1's are awesome little troopers.

#4 eyesore

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 04:27 PM

D'oh, Calebz beat me to it!

#5 Caboobaroo

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Posted 02 March 2004 - 09:38 PM

Welcome to the small population of gen 1 owners. I too have a 79 4wd wagon. The only place to get most o your part needs are either EBAY or the dealership. I'm having the problem of getting new bushings for my front end without paying a lot of $$$. They're fun cars when you get them runnin good and from what I've heard, they're pretty good off road too:D The quad headlights means that its probably either GL line or a very early DL like mine. One thing you can do is to convert it to an electronic distributor. Its not that hard, just search here on the board for that topic. If you need any gen 1 parts like fenders, doors, windows, etc. lemme know, I can get them for ya:D

Quad headlights means you have a GL, (the high end model)


Eyesore - this is not always true. My 79 DL 4wd wagon has quad headlights on it and I can tell they weren't put in there after the factory. From what I've gathered, some of the early gen 1 DL's had quad headlights on them

#6 eyesore

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 12:15 AM

And as Caboobaroo has shown, the USMB is an exellent source of information, and I stand corrected. I'm still learning all the little details on these cars myself.
And assuming you don't want to crawl up any steep inclines, they do do very well off road (and flat out rock in the snow.)

#7 Snowman

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 02:34 AM

Yeah, I'm not sure exactly what the deal is, but I've been getting parts off of a 78 DL with four headlights. I've never seen an ea71 gl in person, so I don't know what they've got.

Oh yeah, welcome to the board! A friend of mine used to have a 79, and he could never kill that thing. We often drove around with flashlights taped to the hood for lack of working headlights, but it always ran.

#8 SUBARU3

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 03:00 AM

Again Welcome to the board!

I have 4 Gen 1s and love them all! I'm also a parts pack rat!

Let me know if I can help you with anything! Read my pointers on my web page. Oh...what did they pay you for it? LOL

Regards, Todd

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#9 moosens

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 10:03 AM

quad lights do not necessarily mean a GL as there were quad lights on Standard models as well.

Be sure to email me when you want to let it go. :)

A67L-etc. is a 4WD wagon

Post on the board or email as you see what parts youy need.I'll be rounding up some donor cars in the next month or so.
Good luck and welcome to the club!!!!

#10 RavenTBK

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 11:25 AM

Thanks for all the replies... compared to some of the other specialty boards I'm a member of, this has got to be the best welcome I've received.

Back to the topic... I included the VIN in the initial post... here it is again A67L518180.

From my inspections this morning after driving it to work, it all seems to be in order. Only issues I found were a handful of missing/broken vac lines which were all replaced before I came in to work. Only outstanding issue is theres a rather large oil leak somewhere.. after topping it off this morning, the oil light came on once I arrived at work. Fortunately, I was at m destination, so I didnt run it much longer. The level dropped from H to the bottom tip of the dipstick along my 30 mile commute, so I topped it off before I went in.

I found a puddle underneath the car about 10 minutes ago, and the oil level is down about a quart.

What are the common places for one of these small beasts to leak? I intend on crawling underneath to investigate this evening.. just would like to know if there is anywhere particular I should start.

Once the bossman leaves for the afternoon, I'll run out and snap some pics for yall to see.

Cheers
Raven

#11 mtsmiths

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 11:28 AM

Are you expecting large amounts of snow?

#12 RavenTBK

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 12:06 PM

Originally posted by mtsmiths
Are you expecting large amounts of snow?

lol, no. I live in the woods, only access is a long clay-impregnated dirt road, and my dirt driveway is almost as long as the road. When it rains, nothing 2wd can pass on the front road (having to pull out stuck cars is a regular occurrence), and unless you're lifted, or are sure you can pass deep water (30-38" worth on rainy days, 12-24" worth every other day), there is no access in my driveway.

On the side.. my bossman left early, so heres some pics of the Roo.. Clicky Clicky. They're not dialup friendly; unless you've got a lot of time to kill. If someone could look at the last pic in that series and let me know what goes there I'd appreciate it.

Raven

#13 eyesore

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 12:41 PM

You've actually got quite a fine looking little wagon there! the body looks mighty straight, and i couldn't see much of any rust in those pics. Yours is also the only other wagon I have seen with the round gauges. (doesn't necessairily make them rare....)
Plus you got Jackman wheels, and the A-bar (grill guard) Score!!
(again correct me if I'm wrong guys..) With A/C, and the wood look dash, Seems like a GL to me...
As for your missing piece, It's a dipstick. Maybe somebody has a replacement for ya?....

#14 ShawnW

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 12:44 PM

Thats your front differential dipstick tube. It should have a stiff dipstick in it.

#15 RavenTBK

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 01:07 PM

Okie...missing piece is a dipstick. I'll scour the local yards this weekend... I guess until I locate one, I'll pop in a rubber plug to keep any more junk from getting in there.

Any advice on the leak? With the amount of oil I've put in it just today, I can already see this could quickly turn into a large drain on my budget.

#16 Syrinx

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 01:42 PM

As far as your oil leak, My first suspition would be the oil pump gasket. For all my Brats have had the same problem at one point or another adn that was the oil pump gasket failed. Although the pumps are usually still good, you have to be careful when removing them to fix the gasket because they are thin and aluminum and the base can crack very easily. My next guess would be the oil pan gasket, it is cork and the old ones became real brittle on both my 79 and my 78.

Kurt

#17 Zefy

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 03:18 PM

hi all,

this is a little off topic but i have a question you about your car. what is that big shiny box with wires sticking out of it beside your alternator?
mine doesn't have one and in fact that spot on mine is filled with an air horn?:rolleyes: even though the real horn right behind it works!?! who ever put it in before i bought it is really weird... but then again i can have horn fights with myself!:D

so ya... what is that!?!?

#18 eyesore

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 03:35 PM

A/C compressor.

#19 RavenTBK

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 04:03 PM

Yep.. its the factory AC compressor.

Okay.. back to my leak... is the oil pump the device that the oil filter is spun onto? I dropped the skidplate just now, and let it idle while I crawled underneath, and found a small, but very steady flow from the device the oil filter is spun onto.. right at that gasket. Oil is also coming out at just as steady of a rate from whatever sending unit is on the backside of the mystery device.

Any gasket overhaul kit or similar available? Or should I just use orange (hitemp) RTV to seal that puppy up?

#20 calebz

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 04:36 PM

Thats your oil pump. Sorry, but I don't know the availability of gen one pump rebuild kits. I'm sure you can get them from from the dealer, or even (gasp) autozone. Some things are just better from the dealer though

#21 Syrinx

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 05:05 PM

Yeah that's what I figured. Very common. Get a new gasket which is very cheap, and replace. just be patient and careful when you pull the pump. That pump has been there for years and it won't want to come off very easily, so if you try to pry it side to side to loosen it it may crack.

The pump itself is probably a good pump. So I would go with trying to do just the seal first. if you do end up cracking the base (inspect it after removal because the cracks can be hairline) just go get a new one. No biggie, and they are not super expensive.

#22 moosens

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 06:56 PM

I am first in line for a blue dashboard....got it? :D

Seriously,that's the one piece I'd run you off the road for...just kidding again.....but I'm really in need of one in excellent shape.Yours look far worse than mine but that's Florida. ;)

I've got a heap of stuff,as does Subaru3 and a few others.Let me/us know if we can help.

If you go to restore it be sure to email me.If you just want to use it for a while be sure to let me know when you're all done with it. ;)

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#23 Caboobaroo

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 12:51 AM

and like Paul and Todd, I am also becoming a major gen 1 guy on the west coast. If you end up parting it out, I want the guages:D Sorry couldn't help bein a vulture:D

#24 eyesore

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 01:35 AM

since you brought it up, and for Raven TBK's and my own knowledge, how uncommon are those round guages? His and mine are the only ones I have seen. (not that I've seen all that many gen-1's in the flesh)

#25 SUBARU3

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 02:39 AM

Tidbits:

The round gauges, with tach, were on all 78 and 79 GFs and all late 79 GL 4WD wagons and 79-81 GL BRATs. I have that cluster on all my Gen 1s. They interchange and if you don't have the wire for the tach, just run one to the coil. All the plugs fit. So go find those GFs and get a tach!

No Gen one had true factory AC. All was installed in the states with "factory approved and designed" systems. There were a few different options. The sytem in that car was made in TX.( Lone star). (Look on the bottom of the evaporator case) It is a Mini York compressor. They are not that good of a compressor, but will work well when new. They are a piston type. The rotary vane compressors are better. You can chage the engine mount and get the Sanden 505-507. You will get twice the cold with that compressor!

You need a gasket for the oil pump. Easy to make too.

The wood dash was on all 79s and forward to 81 BRATs

At any rate .....VERY nice wagon! Don't beat it up, fix it up!

Todd




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