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78 dl automatic


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11 replies to this topic

#1 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:43 PM

hey there! i just bought my first old subaru. it's a 78 dl wagon fwdrive auto. it is in incredible shape. i have one problem with her and i need help! i have good compression and fuel delivery is good. carb is clean and functions well. timing and distro are set and good.

the problem: she starts and idles fine in park. when i put her in drive her idle "shudders". if i go in reverse, she stalls out completely. when she drives in "d" she is very sluggish and struggles until second gear is reached. as far as reverse, she wont stay running at all in that gear. is this a tranny issue? does it use vacume to shift?


thanks everyone!
s.crawford

#2 moosens

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 04:39 PM

vacuum line from the intake on? Check for oil in the line. Modulator on those cars on the passenger side lower end of tranny.

Been a while , pardon me if I forgot something. "Subaru3" has the same car , maybe he'll see this.

Has the car been sitting long? How many miles on it?

#3 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 08:22 PM

good idea. i havent checked the modulator valve. it's only been sitting for less than a year. the guy said he had the tranny flushed and it worked for a while. he really wasnt to mechaniclly inclined. as far as milage, i dont know. it is listed as "odometer exempt" on the title. from the looks of it, the engine has been overhauled at least once. it still has the hitachi carb on it. i'm gonna check it out some more in the am.


-sc

#4 Datsunrides

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 10:03 PM

May be an issue with the torque converter. The basic design of the converter is to allow it to "slip" until a certain RPM is reached. If the converter does not "slip" correctly, it would be kinda like a stick shift car coming to a stop without pushing in the clutch. A knowledgable transmission shop (and I don't mean double a, mco:lol:) should be able to verify if this is the issue, or maybe a line pressure problem. I do not think the vacuum modulator would cause this issue, as it is there more or less to control shift point.

Mark

#5 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 10:05 AM

i found a guy who has been overhauling subaru trannys since the 80s. i'm gonna pull it out this week and take it to him. these old frnt wd autos are hard to find....unless i could find one on here.

thanks alot guys,
sc

#6 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 12:24 AM

ok. new development....the carb seems to "spit-up" when i put her in gear and try to go. like i said before, she idles fine until i put her in gear. could it be a junky carb instead of a trans prob? i checked for vacume leaks using the "parts cleaner spray method" . seems solid. all the lines look good including the modulator valve line. aaaaaaahhhh! maybe just go with a weber and see????

#7 81EA81

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 12:40 PM

If you can you should post a few pics of your car. it sounds awsome!

Sorry about its problems, I have no input that I feel will help.

WEBER+1

#8 Dirk

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:39 PM

ok. new development....the carb seems to "spit-up" when i put her in gear and try to go.


Sounds like maybe timing is a little retarded. Deffinately keep working on the transmission but also take a good look at the igition system. Make sure everything is ok then have a crack at setting timing by ear or with vacuum gauge.

Timing marks on the flywheel may not be entirely accurate.

#9 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 06:21 PM

thanks Dirk! as it turns out, the fella i bought it from had installed new wires and a cap. HE HAD CYLINDERS 1 AND 2 SWITCHED!t i put them in the proper firing order, and blamo! no more spitting carb and stalling out. lesson learned.......never assume the previous owner knows what they are doing!!

however, the torque convertor seems to be slipping like a bad clutch. does anyone know where i can find one. i looked all over town and the intertron and zippo. would it be easier to convert it to standard????

yippie!

#10 grossgary

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 07:32 PM

i'm not really familiar with those old auto's but i have heard folks say many times that there are a few simple items that should be addressed on these - the modulator is one of them i think. in the same way the wires were the issue i would assume this is something simple before assuming the trans needs to come out.

check the fluid level yet?
fluid condition?
is the trans pan dented?

#11 78frontwheeldr

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 09:52 AM

after following my own advise, i discovered there is fresh OIL in the trans (as in 10w40). i thought automatics took auto/trans fluid not oil like a gear box. the previous owner said he had the trans flushed. i am beginning to think that guy was clueless on what he was doing!
aaarrrrrgggg! this little rig is a diamond in the rough.......

#12 Rust

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 11:12 AM

There are 2 dipsticks for your trans. The front one(near the engine dipstick) gets filled w/ gear oil. the back one (drivers side) gets filled w/ the red auto tranny fluid. Sounds like someone filled it incorrectly. My 77DL 3speed auto had the wrong fluid in the rear, drained it, flushed it, re-topped it....runs great.




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