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When do you shift your EA82 5 Speed?


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53 replies to this topic

#1 Ofeargall

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

I drive an older (1986) Honda Civic Si about 140 miles a day commuting to work. I picked up this 89 Subaru wagon, EFI, 4wd with a 5 speed - D/R. It has stock 13" tires and everything is stock on it.

I shift my Honda at different revs, it revs up quite higher, and I wondered what the general consensus is here for shifting your stock Subaru?

Based on my freeway driving, I'm guessing 3,200 RPM is kind of the normal operating range since that's about what I'm turning at 65MPH. But, when do most of you shift in a stock rig like this?

#2 jj421

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

For me, I usually shift at 2800-3200 RPM into the next gear. I had a conversation when I first bought my Loyale about shifting.

dont be afraid to wind this engine up. It performs best at rpms 2500-5500 roms. 3000-3500 is a good cruise rpm on the highway. 2000-2500 rpm is good cruse rpm in-town 30 mph surface streets.

1500 or lower rpms is dogging the engine and wasting efficiency and performance, and beating on the lower end.

If you can find the owners book, it will state that it does not recommend driving at rpms lower than 1500


Peak torque on the EA82 is between 3000 and 3500 rpm as stated earlier by MilesFox. Peak torque is where the engine is the most efficient at producing power.

1500 to 2500 is dogging the engine - not a very good thing to be doing - the engine has to work harder at those rpms to build speed - that is why it took you so long to get to 60 mph - sheesh...poor motor.

For best "efficiency and power" get those RPMS UP! You wont hurt it. In fact, you will help it by not dogging and making it work harder.

1st to 2nd is a fairly quick shift, but from second on up, bring those rpms up over 3500 - more like 4000 - then shift to the next gear. You will be amazed at the difference.

cruising rpms are just that - cruising at a steady pace - maintaining a speed. when you are trying to build speed, you want to be in the engine's most effective torque range, which on these cars = 3000 - 3500 rpms.


So I still shift a little early, but I've definitely gotten the RPMs up since I first bought the car. I increase my rev speed almost every week, albeit not by much. So yeah, shift at engine speeds upwards of 3500 RPM or more. Oh, and I am running about 2750 RPM at 60 MPH. At 65, my tachometer reads about 3000, in fifth gear, that is.

#3 Ofeargall

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

Beautiful! I started shifting at about 2800-2900 when I first got the car. Recently I've been shifting between 3000-3500 because it seemed more effective. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't over revving the old engine...

I'm headed over the mountain pass to Bend on Monday with a fully loaded car. I suspect we'll be in 3rd gear most of the way uphill. I'll keep it around 3200 or so. Hopefully that'll keep everything happy.

Thank you!

#4 TomRhere

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

Yeah, don't be afrid to take it to the Red zone on the tach every once in a while. They like it when you do that.
I have hit 55 MPH in 3rd a few times. Son asks me if I be crazy. But it's my car and I'll drive it my way...

Just "drive it like you stole it" every now and then.

#5 jj421

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

The most I've ever revved in my car is 4000 RPM, and I gotta say, I could really feel the power at those speeds. I just don't rev high because I'm too concerned with MPGs.... :banghead: Even though I've been told that revving at higher speeds will eventually make my MPG go up. Oh, and my clutch doesn't seem to like the high RPMs. Gonna get a new one soon.

I can carry one light-weight passenger fine, but if I have a lot of weight in the car, I can't really make it up hills, haha. I can feel the engine doesn't like the added stress. Not to mention the cars behind me don't like the slower acceleration. Even though I am usually the only one in my car, I still just try and avoid hills all together. :D

#6 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

I drive mine like I stole it all the time...

First gear usually goes up to about 5500-6000
2nd gear usually gets shifted at 4000-5000 (if Im passing, itll go higher)

Theres a hill here that my sister always goes into the slow lane, drops from 5th to 4th and does about 50 up the hill... saying the car cant go faster... When I take the same hill, I shift down to 3rd, run it out to about 6500, then 4th and still punching the gas and I can climb the hill at 75 no problems... I beg to differ that these cars are gutless...

But you should have NO problems shifting from 3000+

I should add when I am trying to conserve gas, I shift at about 3500 max rpms.

#7 Ofeargall

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

Theres a hill here that my sister always goes into the slow lane, drops from 5th to 4th and does about 50 up the hill...


I know the hill of which you speak... I would likely do the same for fear of blowing things apart. Maybe I'm being too cautious.

#8 jj421

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:42 PM

I drive mine like I stole it all the time...

First gear usually goes up to about 5500-6000
2nd gear usually gets shifted at 4000-5000 (if Im passing, itll go higher)

Theres a hill here that my sister always goes into the slow lane, drops from 5th to 4th and does about 50 up the hill... saying the car cant go faster... When I take the same hill, I shift down to 3rd, run it out to about 6500, then 4th and still punching the gas and I can climb the hill at 75 no problems... I beg to differ that these cars are gutless...

But you should have NO problems shifting from 3000+

I should add when I am trying to conserve gas, I shift at about 3500 max rpms.


Wow, you rev the engine pretty high. I find that in first gear, revving it more than 3000 doesn't seem to make a huge difference in power, at least not like the other gears. But I don't punch the gas; I'm very gentle.

Yeah, if you basically redline the engine all the time, you will get a large power output from the car, hahaha. If you put a rev limiter at 1200 RPM on a Pagani Zonda, you could call that car "gutless." :lol:

All this talk makes me wanna go out to my car and take a drive, trying to rev higher. :)

#9 Idasho

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

These motors are like diesels, having more torque than hp. USE IT. Reving them high really doesnt get you anywhere. The motor simply doesnt breath well enough at high revs, and the few additional HP are hardly noticeable.

My fresh high-compression EA81 has a load of torque between 2200 and 3000rpm. Beyond 4k rpm there is a serious drop in power, so there really is no need to wind it beyond there, as shifting at 4k or slightly above drops the motor right into the fat part of the torque curve when upshifting to the next gear.

My GL also has the digidash, so it gives me a RPM warning at 5k. It starts beeping at me :D


::EDIT::

OOPS, noticed this was EA82 Specific. My response is specific to a 5-speed EA81.

#10 l75eya

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:52 PM

You can say I'm a mix of Rugby-subie and JJ.

Most of the time I drive very casually, shifting religiously right at 3 grand.

Sometimes I'm feeling for a spirited drive and I'll wind it out through the gears. I haven't been able to do that in awhile though as my front axles are close to falling apart and if I give it the beans in 1st or 2nd gear I will get terrible clicks of objection from them....

That said;
I have noticed that 2nd 3rd and 4th the car really starts to pull around 3700 to 4800 RPMS. It feels like the nonexistant turbo in my car kicks in when the engine starts to hit that range. This naturally goes against the previous posts about where the cars torque and hp peaks are, but this is what I personally notice with my vehicle.

Oh and listen to the others that say don't be afraid to wind it out. When you're loaded down and going up a hill, don't be afraid to wind that boxer up to it's redline.
I've cruised at a steady 5200 rpm for almost an hour once. No objections. Smooth sailing.

#11 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

I have a weber on my EA82... so maybe thats it... I swear my GL is faster than my Loyale every was...

Err, maybe I should say, on MY butt-dyno, my Loyale wasnt as powerful as my 86 GL with a Weber is.

#12 92LoyaleH4

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

This talk makes me hate my 3AT...The gearing is so much better with the 5sp. I think the EA82 is a great little motor...And the comment about being like a diesel is dead on. But 3 gears is just not enough..i mean it is, but it'd be so much better.

#13 AKghandi

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:49 PM

a redline a day keeps the mechanic away.

fisrt thing i do with a subaru after i get it is a tune up. after that i take it on the highway at high rpm to clear it out, you can almost bet the P/O never took it to the redline.

i shift at 5500 most the time if i shift too low i just get wheel spin from the torque :burnout:

#14 djellum

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:16 PM

I dont really pay attention to shift rpms, it depends on what im trying to do. i generally dont take it much beyond 3k-4k just because its not really needed. occationally on an on ramp or something i might kick it in the pants just because.

I generally cruise around 2800 in 5th on my drive cause of the speed limits in oregon. for any major hill (on the freeway) I stick it in 4th and run 3k-3.5k. the motors will likely lug down a bit better than your honda, but theres no reason to. motors like rpms in most cases.

#15 mudduck

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

I got 2 EA82s with over 300,000 on them. It ain't gonna hurt a thing to wrap these little motors out to 7k rpm. The best performace gain for these motors is a heavy right foot!

#16 WoodsWagon

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:48 PM

I did horrible things to EA82's when I had them, and I can say that high RPM's will not kill them. Even 150k mile plus EA82's will still rev to 8,200 before valve float limits them. They'll only do 7k after bending 3 rods hydrolocking it.

There's no point to rev them much over 6k because the cams, heads and intake have run out of breath by then. But going to 6k when accelerating hard is good, especially since it's an underpowered car compared to everything else out on the road today.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:11 PM

after 40 or so subarus, i find myself short-shifting this 89 ford strait six with the rpms under 1500. enjoy the rpm's. happy soobing.

#18 Ibreakstuff

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:34 AM

Here's my formula: when oil psi x 100 is < rpm = SHIFT!

I just did a oil pump reseal tho, so every shift should be redline right? :brow:

#19 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

... I have noticed that 2nd 3rd and 4th the car really starts to pull around 3700 to 4800 RPMS. ...


Something Similar here, I noticed that my Weberized "BumbleBeast" love Higher RPM's since long years ago, but I feel that "Pull" starting from 3K... it became More noticeable since my EA82 is 2" Lifted and runs on 25" tires.

I Usually Shift gears in the 3K ~ 4K band.



I have a weber on my EA82... so maybe thats it... I swear my GL is faster than my Loyale every was...

Err, maybe I should say, on MY butt-dyno, my Loyale wasnt as powerful as my 86 GL with a Weber is.


I Agree with You... Those Weberized EA82's feel more Powerful than their EFi counterparts, but maybe it is because the Added Noise under acceleration :burnout:

Kind Regards.


#20 oskar_subaru

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:01 AM

when i had my GL the throttle pedal was used as an on/off button and seeing how far past the redline i could get was just part of the fun (valve float was just below 9000rpm)

never skipped a beat



Posted Image

so much love for the EA82's

Edited by oskar_subaru, 18 November 2012 - 12:35 PM.


#21 Uberoo

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

let me put it to you this way.I am saddened that the EJ22 in my offroader the ECU cuts the fun at 6500.Mainly because with the ea81 that was in there I shifted out of 1st and 2nd when the valves started floating...

#22 Gloyale

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

5K + or nothin:headbang:

#23 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:21 AM

I noticed that on my Dads 90 Legacy... it seems to cut him off around 6500 rpms, I thought he was doing it but seems it has a rev limiter?

#24 LPGsuperchargedBrumby

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 04:55 AM

the EA82's i drove got changed at 4 to 5k unless i was late for something or just fanging it....then was 7k was the order of the day


I noticed that on my Dads 90 Legacy... it seems to cut him off around 6500 rpms, I thought he was doing it but seems it has a rev limiter?


with a dizzy and LPG carb the EJ22 will rev to 9300 in 1st and 2nd:burnout:....my fuel supply won't support 3rd gear at those revs, she bogs from lack of fuel before 9000rpm...valve bounce at 9800 no load

Edited by LPGsuperchargedBrumby, 19 November 2012 - 05:08 AM.


#25 Uberoo

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:14 PM

Jebus,10K! that would be wild in a mud hole.:D




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