Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

1994 Legacy GT - Repairs & Upgrades, A Build Thread


  • Please log in to reply
103 replies to this topic

#1 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:44 PM

So just last weekend, I picked up my next project - a 1994 Legacy GT. :banana:

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3290

It's in pretty decent shape for its age and location (Wisconsin, and apparently Pennsylvania and Connecticut before based on the paperwork), and considering it has been driven in the winters and not garaged for at least the last four years.

My Loyale (parked behind it) needs more work than I can do on it now, so it was time to pick up a more manageable project. ;)


The car is clean, but like any old Subaru, has a moderate list of issues to address. I'll try to keep things updated, and post my progress here in this thread as I go. :burnout:

#2 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

I should also add that I'm starting this journey literally within days of bheinen74 starting with his own '94 Legacy GT... and our cars seem to have many of the same issues. :rolleyes: So keep an eye on his thread as well, as I imagine we will have a lot of back-and-forth buildup as we go.

project 94 LEgacy GT wagon with 46k begins.
http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=126863

#3 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:52 PM

Ok, we'll start with the initial condition.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3292


The primary concern is that the car has a broken spring on the right front strut, with the last coil loose and just hanging up in the strut. :eek: This was the problem that made the previous owners let it go (they have upgraded to a newer Outback and Forrester). I'm not too worried about fixing this, but it does mean that the car isn't immediately drivable. :-\ The front tires are shot, with uneven wear, likely due to the broken suspension.

Body wise, the car is in overall good shape. The drivers side door has a generous dent in it, but still opens/closes fine and the window works, so I'm considering it cosmetic. The rear bumper has some scuffs, and there is rust in front of both rear wheels, coming through to the backside (visible when you open the rear doors). Minor rust behind the rear wheels, around the front fenders, and a small bit at the lower edge of the rear hatch. The underside is very clean, including the suspension - just very very light surface rust there.

The engine runs strong, and is definitely peppy coming from the Loyale. No ticks, and no leaks. A new battery was put in just a month ago by the previous owner. The only potential issue is that I don't have any record of the timing belt being done... and the previous owners didn't do it.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3291


The transmission seems good too, the clutch is fine, and all the gears work. The car is AWD with a 5-speed manual, and there is no torque bind that I can detect in slow tight turns. The shifter however is *very* loose... all gears feel like neutral! :D But it engages positively with no driveability issues.

The interior is in good shape, just missing the rear cargo cover and some screws holding the trim to the rear seats. A bit of dog hair and some stickers, but those shouldn't be a problem.


Other noted issues:
* The fuel gauge shows signs of life when the tank is full, but reads empty anytime it is below ~3/4 tank.
* The airbag light is on
* The check engine light is on
* The plastic headlights are hazy
* It has three separate keys - one for the ignition, one for the drivers door, and one for the hatch! (They are all different too!)
* The rear hatch is a bit loose when latched
* The wire for the rear window defroster has pulled off of the window
* The CD player doesn't play CDs.


All in all, not a bad list. Should be manageable to get this one fixed back up. :banana:

Edited by Red92, 12 October 2011 - 01:36 PM.


#4 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 12 October 2011 - 01:45 PM

Broken Strut Spring

Here is the broken spring. I'm holding up that last coil that is broken off. It seems to wrap just far enough around that it can't slip out...

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3289


I'm a bit undecided on how I want to fix this... as I have the whole range of "cheap" to "best" to chose from. As I see it, here are my options:

1) Get a replacement used spring, and reassemble the existing strut (assuming I don't find any other damage when I have it apart).

2) Get a replacement used strut, and swap the whole thing out. This would be easier and would take less time (no spring compressor needed, etc), but I couldn't guarantee that the shocks would be the same type.

** The disadvantage to #1 and #2 is that I would have mixed parts side-to-side, with the potential for different suspension heights or ride characteristics. **

3) Get *two* replacement used struts from the same donor car, and swap 'em both

4) Get two NEW struts with NEW springs and replace them both. (Something I'm considering, since the labor is the same either way...


Anyone have any advice or suggestions? :confused:


Other questions:
* Are the GT strut spring and shocks the same as those on the regular Legacies?
* Does anyone sell fully assembled replacement struts with all new parts (including the springs and top bushings?)

#5 1982gl4

1982gl4

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,348 posts
  • Worcester, VT

Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:21 PM

Nice car! I have it's twin, same color and all, but it's been parted due to a front end collision. Very cool you found a gt, they are super rare. I transferred all the parts onto my 92 L, I just don't have to cool roof...

#6 ShawnW

ShawnW

    Subaru Master Technician

  • Administrator
  • 12,914 posts
  • Denver, Colorado

Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:33 PM

I can sell you a pair of fronts that are already assembled with used front Springs and new Kyb strut assemblies, your choice on new tophats or not.

#7 bheinen74

bheinen74

    Banned

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 0 posts
  • central Iowa

Posted 12 October 2011 - 07:36 PM

It will be cool to watch someone working on one with about same type of needed attention to repairs....wish you some luck too.

#8 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:36 AM

Thanks everyone.

1982gl4 - What all parts did you transfer over to your L?

ShawnW - Thanks for the offer, I'll definitely keep that in mind. I'm going to try to find parts locally first I think, as I *********ume the shipping costs would be quite high for a pair of struts... :eek: But again, thanks.


I'm hoping to do this suspension change pretty quickly here, as I'll be quite busy late October / early November, and I *really* want to get this drivable and get a few more things done to it before the snow hits. ;)

#9 1982gl4

1982gl4

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,348 posts
  • Worcester, VT

Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:46 AM

1982gl4 - What all parts did you transfer over to your L?


I used the rear lip, side skirts, painted mirrors, and it still had both of the badges on the back which is rare in itself, so both of those are on. I would have loved to swap the front bumper (it's different for the L, and looks to be about the same as a turbo front bumper) but it got torn in the wreck. I'm thinking about swapping over the door handles when I paint my current car, but that won't be until next year at this point. Other then that stuff I swapped on some newer parts, such as wrx seats (best thing I've done) wrx struts, and newer outback front brakes which have dual pot calipers, instead of the factory singles, in doing that I had to switch to 15" wheels though. All have been really good upgrades.

#10 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:16 PM

Yeah, mine is missing both of the hatch badges as well. :( They tend to fall off after a while... I lost one on my other Legacy as well.

Do you have any pictures of the WRX seats? Were they a straight swap?



I took another look at the broken strut today, to see if I could get that loose coil out so that it would be safer to shuffle the car from place to place without worrying about it getting caught up.

After trying to free the coil, however, it seemed like it just wasn't free enough, and I couldn't figure out why... then I turned it around, and found that it had a pair of wire ties (one sturdy, one just a thin twist-tie) holding it in place! :eek:

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3293

So someone in the past had known that this coil had broken, and decided not to fix it, and to rig it instead. :banghead: The previous owners said they hadn't known it was broken until they took it in for some brake work... and I'm inclined to believe them... so perhaps this has been broken for the whole 4+ years they owned it? That would explain the wear on the front tires... and the rust on the broken ends would back up the theory that this wasn't a recent breakage.


So I unwrapped the wire, and jacked the car up so that I could slip it past the strut center where it is smaller (above where the plastic boot covers).

Anyone need a new earring? :D

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3294



I decided to check the rest of the strut out, to see if I would be OK with just a spring replacement, or if I should replace the whole thing. The rest of the strut was fine, but I found out that the TOP coil of the spring had also broken off! :eek: It is still sitting in the top mount, wedged in place by the spring pushing it up from below.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3295


I don't know what they did to this poor car to cause a spring to break *twice*! :-\

Edited by Red92, 13 October 2011 - 12:19 PM.


#11 987687

987687

    Rally Suby!

  • Members
  • 3,524 posts
  • Northern Maine

Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:35 PM

I don't know what they did to this poor car to cause a spring to break *twice*! :-\


Rust. Rust, and more rust. That's a pretty common thing to break.

I'm jealous, I want a first gen legacy wagon...

#12 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

Hmm, that's an interesting thought. I bet you're right. It certainly is rusty on the broken ends, but I attributed that to the ends being exposed unprotected metal. The majority of the spring still has its protective paint and looks pretty good... but I suppose it will always break at the weakest point. So if the protective paint got nicked or cracked and it rusted in those two places, then that's where it would break.


The first-gen Legacies are out there! When I was looking for an EA82 wagon, it seemed to be a 20:1 ratio of cars for sale, with Legacies everywhere. Not a lot of "good" ones, but plenty of average ones. Are you looking for one now?

#13 987687

987687

    Rally Suby!

  • Members
  • 3,524 posts
  • Northern Maine

Posted 13 October 2011 - 12:54 PM

Hmm, that's an interesting thought. I bet you're right. It certainly is rusty on the broken ends, but I attributed that to the ends being exposed unprotected metal. The majority of the spring still has its protective paint and looks pretty good... but I suppose it will always break at the weakest point. So if the protective paint got nicked or cracked and it rusted in those two places, then that's where it would break.


The first-gen Legacies are out there! When I was looking for an EA82 wagon, it seemed to be a 20:1 ratio of cars for sale, with Legacies everywhere. Not a lot of "good" ones, but plenty of average ones. Are you looking for one now?


Not looking, no. A sedan pretty much just fell in my lap. But maybe someday...
So far between two 2nd gen legacys in Maine I've had three broken front coil springs. Not really abuse related, just rust :/

#14 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 05:17 PM

So far between two 2nd gen legacys in Maine I've had three broken front coil springs. Not really abuse related, just rust :/


Huh. I guess this isn't as rare of an occurrence as I thought. ;)

#15 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:31 PM

Ok, I drove it a bit tonight, and have a few more things for the repair list.

* The right front speaker doesn't work at all

* The shifter moves forward/backward a bit when you accelerate. I'm assuming this means the transmission or engine mounts need to be done? Any tips on which ones are most likely to be the problem, and how difficult they are to replace?

#16 1982gl4

1982gl4

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,348 posts
  • Worcester, VT

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:08 PM

Do you have any pictures of the WRX seats? Were they a straight swap?


Sure do, and they were a bolt in swap, I had to swap out the seatbelt latch on the seat for the legacy one as they changed them between the two models, but other than that the bolted right in!

Posted Image

Posted Image

As for the shifter, I take it yours is if a five speed?
Mine does that as well, I was thinking about replacing the engine mounts with something a bit more sturdy, the early legacy ones are very flimsy. They engine mounts can be a PITA to swap out in the car I've done it it's okay with a lift...

#17 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:58 PM

Those seats look great! Much more in tune with what I am looking for. :cool:
Is it just my eyes though, or is the car an auto in one picture and a manual in the other? :confused:


Yep, mine is a 5-speed manual. I'm not a big fan of automatics in general. ;)



I'm looking at a '92 service manual... it looks like there are two engine mounts up front, a pivoting mount up on top ("Pitching stopper rod"), and a crossmember assembly with several different "cushions" on it.

Without crawling under my car, it seems like that top one would be pretty easy to change.. and my hunch is that those rear mounts on the trans would be easier to change than the engine mounts. Those are just guesses though, I've never changed any of them before.

#18 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:42 PM

I just found a pair of really good threads over on Legacy Central about replacing the shifter bushings. Diagrams, how-to guides with pictures, and part numbers! :banana:

Shifter bushings... Floppy shifter questions with NEW pics*
http://bbs.legacycen...php?f=7&t=40266

P/N's and pic of shifter bushings (now with 56K warning)
http://bbs.legacycen...pic.php?t=37134


It sounds like a time consuming job, but everyone says it is worth it. I probably won't do this right away, but eventually I will.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


Edited by Red92, 13 October 2011 - 10:44 PM.


#19 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:35 PM

I should also link in a separate thread I have going for my lock issues:

Re-Keying a '94 Legacy? (3 separate keys!)
http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=126804

#20 1982gl4

1982gl4

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,348 posts
  • Worcester, VT

Posted 14 October 2011 - 07:35 AM

Those seats look great! Much more in tune with what I am looking for. :cool:
Is it just my eyes though, or is the car an auto in one picture and a manual in the other? :confused:


Yep, mine is a 5-speed manual. I'm not a big fan of automatics in general. ;)

Pretty much any ej seat is a bolt in. I don't know about the newest ones, I just found the wrx ones for a good deal and I find them to be the most comfortable so I put them in. Plus I have some back issues, and anything I can do to help I do.
Mine came to me as an auto, although the 4eat is a really good transmission, I couldn't take another auto I'm not a big fan of them as well.... I swapped it about two weeks after I got it made the car 100x better.

#21 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 14 October 2011 - 10:38 AM

Found another good reference on Legacy Central - how to fix the broken off connector on the rear window defroster:

connecting rear defroster wires
http://bbs.legacycen...hp?f=19&t=45294

#22 Red92

Red92

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Bronze Subscribers
  • 425 posts
  • Wisconsin

Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:47 AM

I found these pictures a few days ago... another red ('Cranberry Pearl') '94 Legacy GT that was for sale a while back.

Posted Image

Posted Image


What do you guys think of the wheels? They're the same as the wheels I have, just painted a bit deeper brass color instead of the very light (faded) goldish-silver that they came in. They look a lot sportier to me when they're painted, but I can't decide if I like 'em or if it is too much. :confused:


Mine again for reference:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3292

#23 bheinen74

bheinen74

    Banned

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 0 posts
  • central Iowa

Posted 16 October 2011 - 02:01 AM

wow, my springs good so far...suspension is tight and like new for ride etc luckily.

#24 1982gl4

1982gl4

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,348 posts
  • Worcester, VT

Posted 16 October 2011 - 08:36 AM

Looks good I like the deeper gold color. I also like the front lip they put on that!

#25 The Dude Abides

The Dude Abides

    WileE Coyote Super Genius

  • Members
  • 2,943 posts
  • West Des Moines, IA

Posted 16 October 2011 - 09:12 AM

I think the gold looks kinda cheesy. I would paint them black with a silver lip.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users