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88 GL10 - issues to look for?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Syonyk

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:39 PM

I may be looking at an 88 GL10 Turbowagon in the next few hours. 200k miles or so, otherwise looks like a fairly straight Subaru.

I'd be replacing an 02 Outback with it as a weekend driver/ski car, and am quite comfortable with the EA82 motors, to the point that rebuilding the engine isn't a huge concern.

Any specific issues to look for on the 88s, or EA82Ts specifically? I've owned a few EA82s, just never a turbo one.

#2 Subruise

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:00 PM

run a search. itll tell you to go to the dealer and buy EVERY coolant hose for that thing. thats a good start, as overheating kills a great majority of ea82ts. lets see some pics!:popcorn:

#3 Syonyk

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:06 PM

I'll post pics if I buy it. :)

And, yes, was aware of the coolant/overheating issue on them.

Is there a good way to check for head gasket issues in a short test drive? I was planning to verify that the coolant levels looked sane, and look for bubbles in the coolant while idling.

#4 Subruise

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:09 PM

smell the radiator, and overflow tank. smell exhaust(y)? hows the color? dark? also look at the underside of the oil filler cap, milkshake?

#5 AKghandi

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:41 PM

there's alot of people who say the ea82t is junk(some even say the ea82 is junk) im not one of those people.

theres really only 2 things to worry about overheating and poor maintenance.

keep it cool and keep it stock, do regular maintence and drive the everloveing snot out of it!!! (an intercooler might be a good cooling mod,along with elec rad fans to free up a few hp.

87 gl-10 wagon ea82t D/R(sold but i'm getting it back!!!) 250k miles orig engine. stomps every honda with a fart tip ive ever come across.running stock with 10lbs of boost. still going strong.

87 RX 3 door ea82t D/R(sold) 246k miles still going strong.


i drove the gl-10 all last winter redlined sliding boosting my rump roast off and i put 6k miles on it like that. it is a monster.:brow: i might join up with Tundrabrat this winter to do some ice racing with his 85 gl turbo, show the wrx's who started it all.:headbang:

also crawl under it and check to see if it has a LSD.

EA82T FTW!!

#6 Syonyk

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

theres really only 2 things to worry about overheating and poor maintenance.

keep it cool and keep it stock, do regular maintence and drive the everloveing snot out of it!!! (an intercooler might be a good cooling mod,along with elec rad fans to free up a few hp.
...
also crawl under it and check to see if it has a LSD.


Thanks!

I'm going to jet out soon to look at it, since I'd rather not let this one get away.

As long as it's cool & on stock boost, it's fairly reliable? I know the EA82s run forever.

How easy is it to plumb in an intercooler?

#7 AKghandi

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:33 PM

I have no expirence installig an intercooler but it looks pretty simple. I run my gl-10on a little extra boost during the winter becaue its colder out(-40 regulary)
So it doesnt have a problem staying cool i would not recomend that during the summer without an intercooler.

It will be the most fun subaru you have ever driven. Especially in the snow.

Worse comes to worse you have a wagon with disc brakes and f/i system so its the perfect canidate for an ej swap.

#8 scoobiedubie

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:41 PM

1. Ask the owner how often he needs to add coolant to the overflow bottle. If it was added to recently, then either the cylinder head bolts need tightening or the cylinder heads are already cracked.
2. Look under the engine for Gen 3 cylinder heads that are both marked with EA82 inside of a raised rectangular box. If it is either just EA82 or EA82 with a line underneath it, then they are the poorer Gen 1 or Gen 2 versions, which are more likely to leak coolant when the vehicle is driven hard and cracks formed between the intake and exhaust valve. So don't drive it hard. You want Gen 3's but probably won't get them.
3. Look for a white deposit in the tailpipe which is indicative of a cracked cylinder head at the exhaust outlet, or a cracked turbo.
4. A stick requires a new clutch plate every 125,000 miles if `you drive it easy. If a kid owns it, he probable toasted it already, just like the cylinder heads.
5. Drive it and floor it from a standing stop. Go through all the gears and look for synchro mesh to be out, because the gears will grind during fast shifting. The engine should sound real good. If you hear sucking or blowing noise, then you have a leak in the intake air system. If the turbo doesn't kick in then you have an exhaust leak, which should be making a lot of noise. Or the turbo is already shot. If you hear a rattle then the exhaust crossover pipe needs replacement but the new ones are no longer available and there is no after mark ones.
6. Shift it in and out of 4WD on the fly. You may hear a loud thunk when shifting out of 4WD. None or some noise is OK. (Look for LSD printed on the rear differential tag, which is what you want. Otherwise it is open slip differential)
7. Loof for UV damage to the interior doors right next to the glass. This happens when stored outside.
8. Let the engine idle and see if it shakes. Shaking says that the timing is off or you have a bad plug or plug wire connection.
9. Look at the plugs for the same color on all plugs. If one is blacker then you may have an oil leak from loose cylinder head bolts. If one has more white deposit than the others, then either the cylinder head is cracked or the cylinder head bolts are loose.
10. With the engine in neutral, run it up to 2700 rpm and see if it shakes. If it shakes then the suction pump in the distributor may be getting resistance from the vaccuum advance system inside the distributor, and needs rebuilding.
11. Look at the fusible links for a brittle black wire, which would mean imminent failure due.
12. Turn on the radio as see how scratchy it is when changing stations by hand.
13. Look at the color of the oil.
14. Look for a film deposit in the bottom side of the radiator cap. It it is there then the engine overheated recently and blew cylinder head gasket material back into the coolant lines. Or you have a serious crack between the valves.
15. Look for uneven wear on the front tires, which indicates an alignment problem.
16. Follow the car in another vehicle and see if it tracks straight.
17. Look for any offset between the hood and the quarter panels which indicates that it has been in a crash.
18. If the drivers seat has seat covers, peel them up and see how bad the cushion is. It can be replaced but you need an intact OEM cover.
19. Find out when the water pump and timing belts were replaced last. The water pumps must be replaced every 20,000 miles and the belts get done at the same time.
20. Look for a double core radiator because they need them.
21. Kick the tires and see if they fall off.:lol:

Edited by scoobiedubie, 15 September 2012 - 04:49 PM.


#9 robm

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:02 PM

Every 20,000 miles for water pump and timing belts? That seems like somewhat excessive preventative maintenance.

#10 scoobiedubie

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:47 PM

Som subaru dealers change water pumps at 15,000. I had one go at 23,000 miles and I was 50 miles from a tow, on an Indian Reservation, out of cell phone coverage and in the middle of the night. It was an all nighter driving 2 miles, pouring water on the engine, driving 2 more miles, etc., etc. I had at least 80 miles to get home in the middle of the night with no tows available.

In order to replace the water pump, you have to drain the coolant, then remove: the radiator, the fan blades, the aux. fan, the balancer and all front cambelt covers. Changing the cambelts at this point in time then is a no brainer since belts are cheap compared to the labor to get to this point in tearing apart the engine again.

#11 Syonyk

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for all the advice.

It turns out it's in slightly rougher shape than I'm really looking for.

BUT... if any of you northwesterners are interested:

Have at it.

http://seattle.craig...3237884411.html

Various notes:
- Top of the windshield is caulked in.
- Bottom of windshield has some rust.
- Power windows are very slow
- Driver's side outside door handle doesn't work, guy selling it said he'd fix it.
- Turbo smokes a bit (just burning off oil?)
- Shifter is a bit loose, but shifts fine, and I've driven *far* worse.
- Center locking diff appears to work - clunks when toggled.
- Brakes make a bit of metallic noise, probably a low pad warning somewhere.
- Dashboard works fine!
- Trip computer appears to work fine!
- Sunroof works fine!
- Body is straight except for some scrapes that have started to rust.
- Check engine light is on.
- Stop Lamp light is on.
- AC compressor does not turn when engaged. Not sure if it has refrigerant or not.
- Interior is a bit rough, but not awful.

Overall, it seems like it's in good condition, and if someone had some time, it would be a great car fairly quickly. Just not for me.

#12 AKghandi

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:23 AM

doesnt look that rough.. looks really clean actually..oh well. tis neither here nor there.




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