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1994 Legacy GT - Repairs & Upgrades, A Build Thread


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103 replies to this topic

#76 Red92

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:30 PM

So it turns out that it wasn't actually that low on coolant after all... I just wasn't seeing it right. :rolleyes:

I had looked into the filler quickly with a flashlight and not seen any coolant, and figured it must be nearly empty. But when I went to fill it up, I checked it again (in the daytime), and realized that the filler has that 90-degree bend in it. D'oh! :banghead: :D

So I just started adding coolant, and it only took a small amount to make it rise up in the filler neck again. I'm just too used to cars where you can look straight down into the end tank I guess. ;)

So I filled it up and bounced the car until the bubbles stopped, and then filled up the overflow tank to the mark. After driving it a bit, I had to add about another two inches worth to the overflow tank, and it seems to have stabilized there.

So that is a relief. ;)

#77 Red92

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 12:48 PM

I scored some parts at a local junkyard, and replaced my battery hold down clamp. The old one was pretty rusty and corroded, so I suspect it was not original to the car. There really wasn't much holding it together! :eek:


Old:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3422


Old vs New (used):
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3423


New installed, with a cover over the positive terminal now as well:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3424

#78 Red92

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:19 PM

I also took the opportunity to partially polish out my yellowed headlights.

I've had great luck in the past with a pair of products from "Blue Magic"- Headlight Lens Restorer, and Headlight Lens Sealer. In this case, I wasn't able to use the sealer because it was too cold to apply it, but when I have a chance, I'll put it on. The polish just goes on with a pad or cloth, about 20 minutes of elbow grease per light, and you're done. The lights need to be cleaned and thoroughly dry before the sealer goes on, otherwise the sealer won't coat evenly.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3429

This polish does a great job I think, especially since I've never wet-sanded any lights before I've used it, and I've never used any drill attachments or electric buffers. I'll give these lights a quick re-polish and a coat of the sealer next time I can borrow someone's heated garage. They get one more notch shinier when the sealant is on. Posted Image


Driver's side headlight, before:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3425

Driver's side headlight, after:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3428


Passenger's side headlight, before:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3426

Passenger's side headlight, during:
http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3427


I use blue painters tape on the bodywork, so that I can just polish like crazy right up to the edges of the light without having to worry about the paint. The bottle says to do even strokes in the same direction, but I just go every which way and it works great. Posted Image

#79 1982gl4

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:42 PM

Good idea polishing the headlights. It was the first thing I did to my 92. These headlights were never that good. I added hella lights to mine just to help out. Made a huge difference.

#80 Red92

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:55 PM

Good idea polishing the headlights. It was the first thing I did to my 92. These headlights were never that good. I added hella lights to mine just to help out. Made a huge difference.


What kind of lights are the Hellas? Driving lights, fogs, etc?

The stock lights might not be very good, but they sure are much better when they're cleaned up! :brow:

#81 Red92

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:59 PM

Found some "inspiration" today. :slobber:

Posted Image

http://autospeed.com...56/article.html

#82 bheinen74

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:00 PM

^^

tape off your radiator support next time, i see some splatter of the rubbing compound above right light ....
good job.
the poster probably talke of hella 500

even with polish, the light yellow in 3-4 months. repeat as necessary.....

#83 Red92

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 11:18 PM

tape off your radiator support next time, i see some splatter of the rubbing compound above right light ....


It really doesn't splatter at all, especially when doing it by hand. If you were careful with the sponge/cloth, I'm sure you could do the headlights without taping anything at all if you wanted to.

I think that the white on the radiator support was from when I squeezed some water on there to clean up some of the dirt. I probably should have washed the sponge a bit better. ;) But it is such a mild abrasive, I'm not too concerned. This definitely isn't a perfect paint car.

#84 Red92

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:20 PM

Just got the car back from the shop this morning - had the steering rack boots replaced (both were shot!), and they replaced an inner tie rod end while they were in there. Plus a full alignment (all four wheels), since this car had had a bad suspension for so long. :rolleyes: It isn't huge, but it actually does drive a bit better now.

It still needs a lot more work, but it's starting to come together. :)

#85 Red92

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

Here's something else that caught me off-guard:

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3434 http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3435


Is it normal for these Legacies to collect so much crud inside the front fenders? :confused:

I was digging with a stick, but I didn't even get half of it out... it's mostly dirt, but a bit of sand, and some small twigs and leaves too.


Where does it come in from? Is this where it drains from the windshield area?

#86 bheinen74

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:38 PM

That is normal for those not on the forums.

Recommend all owners to thouroughly use a hose to flush that area every wash time, until the water flows clear.

Obviously the owner before did not read the forums to do so.

Clean it out and always keep it clean, or you will have no fender left due to rust.

#87 Red92

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:36 PM

Will do. I'll have to wait until the temperatures are back above freezing though. ;)

So was I right that this debris is from the windshield area? Or does it come in some other way?

#88 Red92

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:55 PM

Another change on the car - new wiper blades! The old ones had torn blades, and the metal frames were dangerously close to contacting the windshield. :-\


http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3436


The replacements are Bosch ICONs, a "frameless" or "beam" style blade. I've used them on all of our vehicles for several years now, and I've been very impressed by them. They sit lower so they aren't in your field of view, they are MUCH easier to clean when they get snow/ice on them (and they stay cleaner themselves), and so far, they seem to last a long time too. Posted Image They also don't get leaves stuck in them, and should be more aerodynamic, for what it is worth.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3437

If you look at the wiper selection guides in the parts stores, they don't list any sizes for the ICON on '94 Legacies... but the Bosch website has it. I ended up with a "20A" and an "18A", and they fit perfectly. They used to just sell them by the length, but now they have an A and a B style, with different curvatures. Some websites and review sites incorrectly state that "A" is the drivers side and "B" is the passenger side - but as we can see with the Legacy, this isn't always the case. It just depends on the curvature of your windshield and how the wiper arms sweep across it.

http://www.ultimates...&pictureid=3438


The only real problem I hit is that the rear needs replacement too, and Bosch doesn't make the ICON in the 15" length. I started looking at other brands, and in fact, it seems as though NOBODY makes a 15" beam-style wiper blade except Goodyear... and none of the local Goodyear stores stock Goodyear wiper blades. :banghead:

I'll probably end up putting a 16" on the rear.

#89 bheinen74

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 12:01 AM

http://bbs.legacycen...er gunk#p326543

the 96-99 outback does the same with gunk, so EVERYBODY on here, please clean this area unless you like rust.

#90 1982gl4

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 02:14 PM

I just cleaned behind one of my fenders at the beginning of the summer when I replaced it, it had equally as much behind it as yours did. I just did the other one about a month ago when i oil undercoated my car. I made sure to undercoat behind the fenders at the same time. I've seen what that debris can do, before you know it you will have no fenders to clean out behind. You reminded me that my wipers are garbage. I think I'm going to go out and try those Bosch ones for a change!

#91 Soob-a-dude

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Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:02 AM

What seem to be the best ways to lower these first Gen legacys? I have heard accord springs and 4 runner struts also wrx combos but no years were really provided for me I'm looking for the optimum price and performance ratio. Sorry if this has been covered before just point me that way lol. I'm a noob to the usmb

#92 Red92

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 01:01 AM

What seem to be the best ways to lower these first Gen legacys?
...
Sorry if this has been covered before just point me that way lol.


Welcome to the forum. Posted Image

There's a ton of info about Legacy suspension swaps over at LegacyCentral. In particular, the threads linked in this thread:
http://bbs.legacycen...php?f=6&t=35322

#93 Red92

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:22 PM

Ugh... so just this morning, I picked up my car from the shop after getting the rear brakes replaced (thread here: http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=128637), and this afternoon I came out to where I had parked it, and there was a puddle about a foot in diameter, right under the front of the car (passenger side). This car doesn't leak anything, so this is new. :banghead:

I figured the shop might have forgotten to close a bleeder on the ABS pump, since the puddle is directly under it, and the tray under the ABS pump is damp... but the brake fluid reservoir is still full. I pulled out a flashlight, and the fluid puddled in the suspension arm is green. It must be coolant. :(


The overflow tank still has some antifreeze in it, but when you pull the radiator cap it isn't completely full. It's hard to tell how much is in the radiator though, because of that bend in the filler neck.


Do I even want to know how much a radiator costs? :(


We've had some really cold days here lately... temps down in the single digits at night. But it was slightly above freezing today. Not sure if they are related.

A leak would also explain why the coolant was a bit low when I bought it.

#94 bheinen74

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:42 PM

maybe the radiator petcock drain valve o-ring is shot.


That would be on the right side for coolant puddle, also would the top radiator hose.

#95 Olnick

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 06:45 PM

Do I even want to know how much a radiator costs? :(


Actually not too bad these days--I think you can get one for around $100 delivered from Radiator Barn (or some name like that!)

But give the hoses, clamps, etc. a good inspection before you jump to a new radiator.

Good luck.

#96 Red92

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 01:40 PM

Thanks guys. I'll give it a good visual check today.

I'm assuming that the best way to locate the leak is to clean everything, fill it back up with antifreeze again, run it until it warms up (pressurizes), and then see where it is leaking from?


I've been reading that cracking of the plastic end tanks is pretty common, and it looks like the radiator at RadiatorBarn ($155 with free shipping) is listed as "all metal", so that's good. It looks like they only come in the "Manual and Automatic Transmission" variety though - you get the trans cooler regarldess. If it comes down to it, would it be better (cooling or reliability wise) to source one without the auto trans cooler in it?

#97 Red92

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

Ok, in the daylight with a flashlight, I found the problem. The passenger side plastic end tank is cracked, about a quarter of the way down from the top on the front side. :-\

I also noticed that the bottom of my radiator isn't sitting right in the supports, and the air conditioning condenser is deformed (pushed back by several inches in the center). It looks like you would expect from a low speed collision with a trailer hitch. :-\

So even with a replacement radiator, I'll probably have to straighten the condenser before I can put the radiator back in the supports.

#98 Red92

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

A few more questions-

When I replace the radiator, I'll probably take the opportunity to replace the hoses and clamps.

Are these items that are on the "Get from the dealer" list, or are the parts store brands OK?

Also, is it advisable to treat this as a 'flush', and replace the coolant while it is all drained out, or should I just get a funnel and put all the old coolant back in when I'm done?

#99 Red92

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:05 PM

The radiator has been ordered, and should be coming in tomorrow. I'm picking up new hoses, clamps, and those lower mount cushions too. Posted Image

I don't know if I'll get to it this weekend, but hopefully pretty soon here. zzz

#100 Red92

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:25 PM

Well, the radiator swap didn't go quite as smoothly as I would have liked... but as of last night, the radiator is installed, burped, and ready to go!

Just in time too, because we're getting snow today! :banana:




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