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96 Legacy Wagon w/ Issues


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38 replies to this topic

#1 wentz912

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 01:55 PM

Looking at buying a 96 Legacy Wagon from a friend's dad that supposedly has a "blown" motor. I'm going to go ahead and get it, but what are my options? This thing is going to be a bit of a toy, and I'm into it right that I could spend a good bit on the motor. Somebody already mentioned to use the heads on a 2.5 block for a Frankenmotor set up, but I thought I'd sort of "poll the audience" and see what you guys come up with.

Also, I'll let it be known that the suspension on this car will be going down, not up. And that the most off road that it will see is snow taking me to the mountain and the occasional Ken Block-esque spirited gravel road driving.

#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:14 PM

A "blown" 2.2? Any details about that?
I'd check the timing belt first (you never know).
Cheapest way is just drop another 2.2 in it, if the engine is really damaged.
Frankenmotor is about the best option for inexpensive power. All you would need is a 2.5 shortblock basically and re-use the heads from the 2.2, assuming they aren't damaged. A set of Delta reground cams goes a long way too.

#3 wentz912

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:15 PM

That's what I'm thinking. I am basically STEALING this car, and crossing my fingers that it's just the belt. Just verified by looking at the car and other places, it was MF'd 8/95 which makes it a non-interference :headbang::clap::headbang::clap:

It's a Brighton trimmed 5spd car with 138k on the clock, won't tell you guys what I'm paying for it til it's in my driveway tomorrow.

#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 01:34 AM

Non-running 95 wagon should be pretty cheap. I'm definitely interested to know what broke.

#5 jboymechanic

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:17 AM

Probably just a timing belt or a head gasket. Miles are too low for the motor to be shot unless the oil was never changed or he did something else neglectful.

#6 wentz912

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 06:34 PM

Don't quite have the car in my possession yet, but did get to talk to him some more.

Says the car started making funny noises and then suddenly quit running one day. Spins over but no start in it's current state.

Could the noises be lifters like the EA82 TOD?!

#7 wentz912

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 10:33 PM

Well, got the car drug home. Strapped it to the back of my buddy's Tahoe and off we went!

Car wiggles a lot going down the road, pretty sure the front rotors and/or alignment are thoroughly trashed. Battery is DEAD as a friggin' doornail so haven't gotten to spin the motor yet. Going to pull the timing covers in the AM and see what I find.

Any good reputable aftermarket manufacturers of Timing components or should I go all OEM?

#8 Fairtax4me

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:40 PM

OE is way overpriced. TheImportExperts on ebay has a good after market kit. If you really want high quality parts they can sell you OE brand (Koyo, NSK, Mitsuboshi) parts for much less than the dealer.

Mizumoauto on Ebay has basically the same kit but they offer it with an OE brand water pump (Aisin) with a factory style gasket and cam and crank front seals for only about $125 shipped.

Noise, and then it quit, but it still cranks over. Timing idler locked up shredded the belt.
Rod bearing would have ended as a hole in the block. TOD on an EJ engine is a rod knock, and that's mostly a 2.5 problem. :-p
2.2 is practically bullet proof unless someone literally never changes the oil.

#9 wentz912

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:47 PM

Another thing, can I strip all the plastic covers off the front of this engine like I did on my EA? I like being able to keep an eye on my junk. After I get the outer covers off tomorrow I'm reasonable sure I'm going to end up ordering one of those kits!

#10 wentz912

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:57 PM

Is this the one you were referring me to? Might see if I can pay a little extra and have him overnight it to me once I determine for sure what is wrong!

#11 jboymechanic

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 08:39 AM

I've been running my EJ22s without timing covers for the last couple of years and many others do it as well.

#12 wentz912

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 12:26 PM

Well, timing belt seems to be intact removing the two end outer covers. Got a fresh new battery dropped in, no spin of the engine with the key, just a click of the relay but nothing happens at the starter. Tried the tapping of the solenoid with the hammer. No help.

Just turned the motor around by hand. Passenger side cam pulley "pops" occasionally in it's rotation? Possibly belt is slipping, tripping a cam position sensor resulting in a no start?

#13 wentz912

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:46 PM

Well, pass side cam is definitely NOT turning in time with the pulley, can see the bolt stop turning and then pop as it kind of catches up. Bet that's why it didn't run! Now if I can figure out this screw driver trick to get the crank pulley off I'll be set! That and get the starter figured out.

EDIT: Got the pass side pulley off, camshaft to pulley pin is gone and the hole the pin used to be in has been destroyed. Looks like it's time for a set of cams and another timing set! No progress on the no spin from the starter though.

Edited by wentz912, 08 October 2012 - 01:54 PM.


#14 johnceggleston

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:11 PM

the last time i tried to buy a cam shaft the yard said it was $100, and it came with a head, no charge. 97 should have HLAs make sure you get the right stuff.

#15 wentz912

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:30 PM

My car is a 96, looking into how much it will run me to slip some Deltas in while I have it apart. Still need to see if I can get the starter to spin the motor now that I have the timing stuff off of the motor.

#16 johnceggleston

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:07 PM

try jumping 12 volts from the battery to the SMALL spade connector on the starter. if that does not spin it then either really bad contacts in the solenoid or a bad starter all together.

if you need one get it used.

#17 wentz912

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 04:18 PM

try jumping 12 volts from the battery to the SMALL spade connector on the starter. if that does not spin it then either really bad contacts in the solenoid or a bad starter all together.

if you need one get it used.


Why used versus a reman'd unit?

#18 johnceggleston

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 05:25 PM

the starters are pretty hardy and not prone to failure. but some of the after market or remans are just crappy. so rather than spend a bunch of money on a crappy reman just get a good used. a local buy would be best in case you need to return it. but you might look at a cheaper one from some other part of the country.

www.car-part.com sort by distance to see what is close and then by price to see what is cheap.

the ''contacts'' in the solenoid getting old and scorched is a common issue and for $15 - $20 you can get the replacement parts and DIY. but a good used unit for $35??, maybe, is a good deal too.

#19 wentz912

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:41 PM

I'll try taking it apart and see what I do. Got a good bit of time on my hands lately.

#20 johnceggleston

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 07:45 PM

there are several good post on the replacement of the contacts. do a search.

#21 wentz912

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 01:14 PM

Well, my timing kit is here, cam shaft and pulley replacement are in the mail, got a line on a good used starter. Can't wait to put this thing together and see if she fires!

I'm hoping I can get away with throwing these couple of new parts in and having her go. If she makes a lot of noise, I will pull the heads off and go all the way through her.

I can't lose!

Total investment so far: $950

#22 darsdoug

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 01:07 AM

I just bought a used 95 Legacy 2.2 starter last weekend when I didn't really need one. I just had a loose + cable end. Auto Zone tested it and it's strong. Nothing wrong with it. It's yours for $30 if you still need one and you can pick it up. I'm right here in south Seattle. Just waiting to hear what you determine in regard's to your 2.2.

#23 Cougar

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 03:03 PM

Before you remove and take the starter apart I suggest you follow JCEs advice and connect 12 volts to the solenoid and see if that makes the starter work. If it does the you need to check out the inhibit switch for a problem. It also would be no real surprise if the solenoid contacts need to be replaced. Starters that are more than 10 years old usually do need to be serviced.

Once you get the starter working then I suggest you check out the compression. I hope you don't have a bent valve issue on the right side. I don't like the sounds of things there.

Edited by Cougar, 14 October 2012 - 03:06 PM.


#24 wentz912

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 07:35 PM

I've got a Subaru buddy that informed me that all these starters are the same from EA on up through second gen legacy as long as they are 5MT starters, which he happens to have a few of so I'm going to pick one up from him to see if that gets me going.

Cougar, thanks for the reminder on checking compression! Wicked good way to see if there is something bent before I try to start it!

Now concerning that, what is the best way to do it with these cars, being distributorless ignition and all that. Pull all the plug wires off the coil and spin it like that? You guys are great motivation!

#25 Cougar

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:54 PM

If you remove fuse SBF-5 in the panel under the hood you will disable the ECU but I think the starter system will still work. I might be wrong though.




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