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Guest Message by DevFuse


Ruby - 1994 Legacy Alpine Sport

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#1 pwbset


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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

Hi. Long time Subaru owner, first time poster (more or less). I'm the proud new owner of 'Ruby' a 1994 Legacy L Wagon with the Alpine Sport trim. Cranberry red.

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I'm posting here because there are already a couple things about Ruby that I could use help with. Quick acquisition story first:

I live in Montana & my '97 Legacy died recently (transplanted East coast rust bucket). It's getting really, really hard to find an old Suby in Montana. After much searching I found Ruby in Denver. Flew down there with my fiance and drove back to Montana (in blizzards.. fun). Ruby did great.

Ruby has been owned by the same lady since mile 12 in 1994. One owner. Extremely well taken care of. Zero rust. Perfect interior. They put a 2.5l from an '04 donor (EJ251 I think, it's definitely a SOHC) a few years ago. Odo says almost 250,000, but I think the 2.5 has <100k on it. Timing belts/water pump, front CVs, head gaskets, rear brakes all recently done (head gaskets just done last week). Ruby is a runner and tackled the mountain passes on the way home with aplomb. Cruises at 80mph @ 3,250rpm no sweat. Easy peasy. I was really leery when I heard it had a 2.5 in it, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Of course the day after I got home (and with liability only) I slid on pure sheet ice in our post office parking lot and gave Ruby her first taste of some Montana 'character'. Doh! :-\

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Now to the meat of the matter... I know Ruby and I are going to have a long, fruitful relationship, but she's got a couple quirks I've never felt in a Suby before. Tips appreciated.

1) I work at a ski resort. On a mountain natch. In all other Subys I've owned I routinely stick it in 3rd or 4th and use a little engine braking on the long decent. With Ruby when I do this she'll 'surge' for lack of a better term. Like try to engine brake a bit, but then just rev up with no resistance, then brake again. What could that be?

2) This may be related to 1. At idle Ruby will 'pulse' slowly between about 1,400 rpm and basically stall. Never does stall, but the pulsing is slow and consistent. Bad Idle Control Valve? Those are $$$ aren't they? Anything else it could be?

3) Ruby is eating coolant. I just this morning noted 'smoke' coming out from under the hood after my climb to work and saw some coolant pooled on top of the engine block toward the back causing steam/smoke (glad the oil is tight). Visually I can't see any cracked hose or anything back there. Where else could coolant be coming from back there at the top? Gonna dig around with a head lamp more later. Hoping it's just a hose.

I've ordered the Haynes manual for Legacy models. Despite having owned Subarus for the last 20 years Ruby is the first one I've owned that I've felt is worth keeping up tip top and working on. Having been restoring a '72 VW bus for the last 3yrs I enjoy learning how to fix things up.

Thanks! Glad to be here and learn!!

Edited by pwbset, 02 February 2013 - 01:59 PM.

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