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New owner with a few questions.(E82)


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29 replies to this topic

#1 Dj Syco

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:40 AM

About to purchase a 1986 Leone for 1300. Need to know a few things.

Previous owners information about the car:

I have a very hard to find 1986 Subaru Leone. It is a 5 speed and it is 4X4, It has the 2 speed Hi/Low range transfer case.
Has power locks, power mirrors, power windows, great working heat, and WORKING A/C!! It blows extremely cold.
Its in great shape for its age. it only has 122k miles and interior has no rips or anything.
It has the 1.8L EA82 flat 4 engine with an upgraded weber 32/36 Carb.
Custom exhaust, straight piped with just a resonator so its not very loud, but sounds pretty good.
It has height adjustable coilovers (currently maxed up)
It has hill hold, so when you have the clutch pressed in you can let off the brake pedal and it will hold you in place on a hill until you let the clutch out.
4X4 engages perfectly every time. In 4Low it has the torque to get anywhere you want.
It has viscous LSD front and rear with a 3.90 diff ratio
There is nothing mechanically wrong with it. Its in very good shape for its age.
Its a great off road wagon. Because of its light weight (curb is 2,300lbs), it never gets stuck. I have yet to find somewhere it couldn't go (Other than ridiculous mud pits)
I Rhino Lined the wheels, wheel wells, most of the under-body, and the lower half of the car from the side molding down. It is really tough, prevents rust, and looks cool.
There have only been 2 previous owners, the first owner sold it in 2000 with 96,000 miles, and i got the car with 120,00 miles.

Now for the bad:
The radio is currently out, and i have yet to wire up the new one i have. I have a radio
Its an old carburated 1.8L 4 cylinder, so it is not very fast. it has about 90hpDon't care, I like slow cars too
Its 26 years old, so some of the window motors are getting slow. They work, but they are a little slow.Don't care
the rear hatch shocks don't hold up the rear lift gateFound where to get them already)
The electric choke from the new carb interferes with the power steering reservoir, so i pulled off the reservoir. I might just pull off the choke and make it manual so i can have power steering again.He also fixed this already
With the new carb, it got rid of almost all of the vacuum lines, so under the hood has a lot of blocked off vacuum lines. It doesn't affect anything, it just doesn't look the greatestI've read about all that mess
The tires are a little out of balance, so it vibrates at driving speed. Nothing dangerous at all, its just slightly irritating if you're going a long distance.Going for a rebalance when I get it
The fuel level sensor needs a new float.I need to find one



Its currently getting a new clutch and new front axle as well as it just started knocking up front and the clutch was starting to slip too.


My questions,
1. It has the stock adjustable suspension, I understand how to adjust the front. how in the world to I adjust the rear?

2. Shifter is wayyyyyyyyyy loose. Needs new bushings, where do I get these said magical bushings as I've looked for hours with no info.

3. When I looked at it the motor was on a slight "lean" towards the back. is this normal?

4. I'm paying 1300 for it. worth it? Seems like it to me.


Sorry if thats a lot to read. I've wrenched on old BMW's for quite a while now and am wanting to branch out into other old cars. Please help a fellow mechanic out. Thanks guys!

#2 AKghandi

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:33 AM

are we talking about an ea81 or ea82?

im going to guess ea81 under the back seat is a black rubber plug with a bolt inside, this si the rear suspension adjuster.
its recommended to crank the suspension back down, to save the axles.

the shifter can be fixed with a bolt. theres a thread on it somewhere, use google and search "sloppy shifter fix, ultimate subaru"

the motor leaning towards the back is somewhat normal. depending on how far its leaning.

1300 is a bit high but for all the extra goodies, seems worth it.


Are you sure it has VLSD's front and rear??? rarely did they have rear lsd and unless there was alot of custom work there is no way it has vlsd in the front.

#3 Dj Syco

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:48 AM

here's the actual CL listing: Listing

he says its an Ea82 so idk about that.
The engine lean is slight. I barely noticed it and when I did I had to triple check to see if I was seeing things or not.
Glad the shifter can be fixed like that, so awesome.
1300 is trading for an 86 MR2 with problems. I just need a DD.

I have no idea about the vlsd. iirc I read somehwere that they did come with vlsd in the front at some point with an lsd rear end. I didn't test it but I do know the 4wd does work.

also thanks for telling me how to adjust the suspension. I don't want it maxed out for axle problems(which is probably why he's replacing them now).

I'm getting this just to have as a DD and possibly modify. Not looking for anything pretty.

#4 TomRhere

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:03 AM

Definetly an EA82 Wagon.

Shifter bushings can be purchased thru a Dealership.
There is a spring on the shifter assembly also, I have had a couple of them that the spring was missing, makes them way wobbly.

I would check the engine and trans mounts, or just go ahead and replace them.
Worn out, soft, broken mounts will cause front axle problems.

#5 AKghandi

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

ok that helps, the only LSD subaru offerwd on those is a clutch type rear LSD. front LSD's were not available till the wrx IIRC. but with the equal length C/V's its easy to see why someone would think its got front and rear LSD's, they really will go someplaces a car should not be able to go:headbang:


Its an 86 so on the rear struts(if they are factory) there is a sleeve that can be rotated one way or the other to lift the back a little, about 1.25 inch.

+1 on the shifter bushings, the bolt fix is for an EA81 car.

#6 scoobiedubie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:46 AM

For slow window motors, squirt lithium grease into the guide channels for the window wheels. It brings them up to original speed.

If you have a vacuum line that connects to the distributor in order to advance the timing, where is that vacuum coming from now?

#7 NickNakorn

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:32 PM

I also have an EA82 Wagon but on mine there's no rear suspension adjustment at all - here's a pic of the strut after being rebuilt:

Posted Image

#8 NickNakorn

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

Angle of Engine: There's a slight lean but not much. This is my rebuilt unit after being fitted yesterday.

Posted Image

#9 Dj Syco

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for all the help and responses guys!!! :headbang:

I'll deff go to the dealer then. I was just trying to find the right PN so I won't have to go through all the bs of getting the wrong parts. I also took a look at the mounts when I saw the car and they seemed solid. I'll make sure to check for the spring too!

I'll get to fixing the windows at some point. It'll be cold here for the next 3-4 months so I don't really need em.

Nicknack thats about what the rear looks like. but the rear end is pretty jacked up in person. Maybe it has a lift kit in the rear? I'll have to look more into it. Also the engine has that much lean. Just a tiny bit, but enough to catch your eye. lol.

#10 old sub freak

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

Hey I think you got a great deal on it for $1300 bucks.A weber with low miles, w/ Hi/low ,good score!! .How did you fix the power steering problem? I ran into that as well.Being I had a few power steering fluid tanks around I took a chance and hammered a big dent into the tank as to make room for the choke...Worked great.no leaks and a shot of black paint...bingo...That was years back and still no leaks...good luck and have fun with it....OSF

#11 Dj Syco

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:48 PM

Hey I think you got a great deal on it for $1300 bucks.A weber with low miles, w/ Hi/low ,good score!! .How did you fix the power steering problem? I ran into that as well.Being I had a few power steering fluid tanks around I took a chance and hammered a big dent into the tank as to make room for the choke...Worked great.no leaks and a shot of black paint...bingo...That was years back and still no leaks...good luck and have fun with it....OSF


Thermal gasket for the webber. Still haven't seen it with the fix so if I don't like it plan B was a hammer and some paint. lol.

#12 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

IIRC, the older EA82s had the 3 slotted adjustable coil seats on them where later ones did not (that's where the air-adjustable setup took over). Chances are, someone has put 2WD struts in the rear (the 2wd struts are approx 2 inches longer than the 4wd struts to account for the different mounts for 2WD cars/trailing arms)

If the distro in on the driver's side by the firewall, it's an EA82. Up front by the alt, p/s and A/C, EA81.

Also, you COULD have an LSD, but it would be the clutch-plate style, not viscous. Newer subies have them in the rear (WRX, some outback sports and legacy outbacks) and only the STi got a LSD up front (which IIRC, is a Torsen).

You also DO NOT have a fulltime/AWD gear box. Treat that 4WD like a truck's 4WD. Only on loose surface and in a straight line.

But nice find! Luckily, these are like legos. Also, I'd inspect/retorque the front spindle nuts (145 lbs-ft) and if you can, to to save and reuse the OEM axle.. unless it's an EMPI new axle, you risk vibration problems or popping CV joints.. these transaxles do not take kindly to poor quality CVs...

#13 Dj Syco

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:11 AM

Traded yesterday! Car has a few more issues than stated, but nothing major. And I've driven slow cars...but damn, this thing is in a league of its own. SLOW slow slow slow. Almost scary slow. Anyways I have a few questions and stuff.

1.Speedo doesn't work. What do I need to fix it? Cable? tranny gear?

2. I'm having the same electrical problem another member is having. Driving at night and no dash lights or running lights...unless I hit a bump or punch the steering wheel. I know its a loose connection, but where should I start looking? No fuses were blown.

3. I need a fuel level sender unit. Who has one for sale?

4. Anyone know of the Miata rear strut modification? Just going to go low and slow.

5. I went to our local Pull-A-Part today and pulled front corner lights and a front grill from a DL sedan...with quad lights. So neither fit. could I go back and get the quad lights and make them work so everything will fit? Or just sell them on here and try and find some front corner lights for the single lights? Mine are cracked. The set I got from PaP is mint.

I'll post pics soon.

#14 AKghandi

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:06 AM

With a weber, it should move pretty good. mayhaps you aren't revving it high enough. Take it to 6k and see if its still super slow:brow:

#15 silverback

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

For the speedometer cable. Reach up under the dash and feel for a loose cable. Sometimes they work loose or the previous owner pulled it out to stop the odometer. If you find grease/oil at the speedo end of the cable, it is wicking up from the transmission. Bad ju-ju.

#16 Dj Syco

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:24 AM

With a weber, it should move pretty good. mayhaps you aren't revving it high enough. Take it to 6k and see if its still super slow:brow:


lol, I really haven't taken it past 4k. I'm not used to having to do that unless I'm trying to slide. lol. I'll see what happens tomorrow on the way to work.

For the speedometer cable. Reach up under the dash and feel for a loose cable. Sometimes they work loose or the previous owner pulled it out to stop the odometer. If you find grease/oil at the speedo end of the cable, it is wicking up from the transmission. Bad ju-ju.


Will check in the morning! thanks!

#17 AKghandi

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:31 AM

These are short stroke, low displacement motors, peak HP is made at 5500. and peak TQ is around 3k

#18 Dj Syco

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

That makes a lot more sense. lololol.


The question I need answered real soon though is if I can retrofit the quad headlights to my wagon! everything is still there at Pull-a-Part, but I don't want to buy it if I can't swap it over.

Main reason for wanting to swap is so I can get projector housings.


Did some calculations this morning and the way I'm driving gets me ~20mpg. Is this decent? I figured I'd get better than that but I am driving mostly WOT on the highway just to keep up with the 65mph limit.

Edited by Dj Syco, 11 January 2013 - 12:43 PM.


#19 Dj Syco

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:52 PM

another discovery! speedo cable isn't screwed into the tranny...guy just had a clutch job done by a shop and I'm guessing they didn't screw it back in. I've been at it for 20 minutes and can't get it to screw in right. it never reaches the threads. any suggestions?

#20 AKghandi

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:14 AM

you may need to pull the cable out of the speedo and have someone turn it while you try to get it to screw in to the tranny.

#21 Dj Syco

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:25 AM

any help?

#22 TomRhere

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 04:45 AM

One front wheel off the ground, trans in neutral, spin the tire as you insert the speedometer cable into the drive gear.
Please have the vehicle on a jackstand when doing this.

Spinning the tire will, in turn, spin the speedometer drive and should allow the cable to drop in where it belongs. Just don't push on it hard as you are inserting it, and it should align itself with the drive.

Edited by TomRhere, 13 January 2013 - 04:48 AM.
more info


#23 Dj Syco

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Awesome. Will do!

#24 jcheinen

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

With a weber, it should move pretty good. mayhaps you aren't revving it high enough. Take it to 6k and see if its still super slow:brow:


I just bought an 87 GL Wagon that has a Hitachi carb and it has plenty of power. Just need to get it to pass emissions! The idle is intermittantly OK, then VERY low with a miss. Quite puzzling! Great little car, though! Does anyone know if it's supposed to have an oxygen sensor? I couldn't find one ANYWHERE! Autozone lists one and sold me one, but where does it go? It's not down by the catalytic converter where it shows it in the Haynes manual! Just wondering.........

JC Heinen

#25 old sub freak

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:43 AM

Those speedo hook ups can be tricky.There plastic and can get messed up easy.Take it slow and steady, hope once you get it hooked up your ok..Otherwise.??....I had a brat w/broken speedo.Chased everything down and found something was broken in the tranny...hmmmmm?? Boy, this sure is gettin involved???....??? So modern technology to the rescue !!! I got a Tom-Tom GPS thing ($50) my neighbor told me about...Stuck it on windshield,Plugged it in and Presto !!! Down on the lower righthand corner is your speed.....And it does 10,000 other things too!!So my speedometer problem is over.... Any way I thought it was a good fix,sure saved some cash and time...Its also good for checkin out your speed with bigger tires. No more trying to calibrate your speed UGGG ......So keep at it, you'll get it...OSF




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