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Poor Engineering (fit and finish) rant - WARNING...


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54 replies to this topic

#1 MR_Loyale

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 01:57 PM

***WARNING*** RANT AHEAD **** WARNING *** RANT AHEAD ***

 

 

This is just a whining rant so if you cannot stand that I am about to blaspheme the hall of Subaru, don't read this post. Please don't tell me I am a whiner or a cheap bastard, I already know these things. Hell I embrace them. :P

 

Last weekend I was installing a new stereo/video head unit (93 Loyale Sedan), needed the speaker wiring layout so decided to pull the panel on the passenger door. While I was there I decide that lubing the electric window tracks and mechanism would be beneficial. It was very much so. It glides like new now, not top end slowness.

 

Then I said to myself, hey why not the other doors as well? Not as if more use will make them glide easier right?  They have been slow like this for years and this is a "to do" job that somehow life takes precedence and you never get to it. So I proceeded to work my way around clockwise, trying the window, removing the panel, lube reassemble and good for another 10 years.

 

So I get to the rear driver side door and before I have even removed anything, I go to press the rocker switch and it crumbles and all the bits fall off the side of the door. WTF? I have never used this switch in the 20 years I have had the car. It shouldn't just crumble. What kind of cheap POS !$@$#%@!!!!^^^##@!!@##^@%@$%#%@^@^#  crap did Subaru use for a SIMPLE thing like a rocker arm switch? I cannot roll the window down at all even with the driver side master panel. Good thing it was UP and not down when the thing fell off especially given all the rain we had recently.

 

Must be a one off oddball right? WRONG!  I just got back from the Pick and Pull Tacoma where the white 91 Loyale Wagon is at(row 26). I walked up to it, opened the driver side passenger door and there was a grey panel on there that the owner must have got from a junk yard because the rest of the interior is blue. My interior is blue aand I am not going ghetto with a grey switch. I notice that someone before me had got the same window switch from the passenger side front as the entire panel is sitting on the back seat with the switch removed.  So I found the passenger rear panel still there. The switch is filthy as hell but I can clean that up. I remove the switch and as I am walking back toward the checkout office I notice the posts that holds this switch are cracked just like mine were on the door. The only difference is that the inner part is still attached and * I HOPE* this switch still works electrically.

 

It is then that I realize that this switch is just a crap design. Probably they used screws too big for the holes they had in it and over time the stress cracks them. Now if this was just the face plate, that would be annoying but not rant worthy.  Clearly when these cars were made, Subaru decided to use the wrong screws figuring as long as the cars made it out of warranty, it was the owners problem.

 

Sorry folks, I cannot drink anyone's kool-aid. If I won't drink the US car maker kool-aid, being a vet, with a flag thrown in my face, I sure as hell won't drink Japanese kool-aid either. I am not cool, I am not hip.  All I want is my vehicles to last. Frankly crap switches like this are the type of "engineering" I expect out of crapola Chevy, not Subaru.  If the switch had seen some use at all, I could let it go, but this part never saw a day of use in its entire lifetime and I have owned this car since day one brand spanky new. I always used the driver master panel. So for today it is CRAP-aru, Screwbaru and IamPissedatUbaru. Tomorrow I will be over it.

 

 

Let's see, eight paragraphs, over 500 words, yeah I think I am ranted out. Got my money's worth in rants.

 

Now please excuse me while I go buy some epoxy to fill in the switch plate, so I can then redrill new hole of a size proper to the mounting screws. Should eat up my entire day.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 18 May 2013 - 05:42 PM.


#2 Gloyale

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

The switches are in a bad place on the rear doors. Loading cargo into the back seats can often bump them.

#3 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:50 PM

Also keep in mind these parts are 20+ years old.  Heat and direct sunlight causes plastic to become brittle and break down over time.



#4 Dj Syco

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:41 PM

Also keep in mind these parts are 20+ years old.  Heat and direct sunlight causes plastic to become brittle and break down over time.

 

 

Seriously, its almost like people don't know what chemestry or age is.



#5 l75eya

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 05:43 PM

What flowmaster said, especially for a part that never gets use.

Also, what was the MSRP for these cars when they came out? I mean these cars were built cheap. Especially the Loyales.

I just went through the exact same thing, except I started at the driver's side door and made my way counter-clockwise.

Night and day difference in the window.

Put your own switch on there.



#6 Subruise

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 06:20 PM

weird, ive never run into this and im into double digits on soobs. its gotta be a situational issue

#7 mikaleda

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 07:27 PM

I hate the 90s subaru window switches, I've had tons of problems with them in my legacys

#8 MR_Loyale

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 08:10 PM

Seriously, its almost like people don't know what chemestry or age is.

 

Well sonny at my age I know exactly what both are. Google fillet and learn how it helps reinforce molded structures. ;)



#9 grossgary

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 08:42 PM

don't you know cheap plastic is intended to be constantly protected by a film of finger oils that it doesn't get if you don't use it LMAO

 

unfamiliar with that switch but sometimes it seems as if lesser used and low mileage subaru's/parts have weird, non-traditional issues....it's as if the parts/plastic/bushings degrade quicker in certain situations without use. 

 

be careful if you end up in a newer subaru in the future...you'll hate the increase in "warped" rotors, torque bind, wheel bearings, caliper pin bushings, and other goodies that Subarus eat more of now than they did in the 80's....you'll wonder why Subaru went backwards in so many ways.



#10 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 12:48 AM

As funny as this sounds, I really do believe this... Look at things like the steering wheel, shifter, door handle, radio knobs... how many "low mile" cars you see with sundamage, cracking, fading... now look at the daily driver stuff: polished pleather/plastic... yeah, some of the grip texture might be gone from the shifter or steering wheel, but are they cracked? dried out? rough? nope. 

 

This stuff's meant to be used, so I'm just as leery at a low mile example as a high milage one.. and if push comes to shove, I'd take the high milage.. at least you know it's been driven and SOMEONE had to have at least looked at it, if not maintained it...

 

don't you know cheap plastic is intended to be constantly protected by a film of finger oils that it doesn't get if you don't use it LMAO



#11 MR_Loyale

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:40 PM

The car has almost 147K on it, so to me that isn't low miles. Now to others here that may be low miles. However if you saw my driver seat, you would not have any confusion as to whether or not this car was a garage queen. The only time it sat unused was in 2002 when I got a brand new Dodge Ram 1500 to pull my speedboat. Just sitting, the tires became out of round and when I drove it again I got terrible vibrations at higway speeds as if the front end was shaking apart.

 

My  Dodge has less than 36K on it. Nothing faded, cracked or warped on it and it doesn't get half the care (washing, waxing etc) as the Loyale. It is a more luxurious ride than the Loyale, though it is more fuel hungry and less nimble.

 

I do think there is something to Gary's theory though especially when it comes to the engine. I make sure to drive my Ram Truck periodically on long highway runs to keep the moisture out of the fluids. But for the switch, just looking at the pieces and where it crumbled, I lean to a poorly made switch. Or maybe just a "budget plastic" switch as others have suggested. I noticed the manufacture name on the switch was Koite. I wonder if Subaru still uses them as a subcontractor.

 

At any rate, I filled the voids surrounding the extrusions where the screws attach with some epoxy and this switch will probably outlast the rest of the car.


Edited by MR_Loyale, 19 May 2013 - 04:41 PM.


#12 Subaru_dude

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:11 PM

Yeah the thing that sucks about EA82s is you either get spfi but CRAPPY electric windows with crappy switches, or you get awesome manual windows with a CRAPPY carburetor. It might be time to upgrade to an EJ as your daily.



#13 mikaleda

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:55 PM

Yeah the thing that sucks about EA82s is you either get spfi but CRAPPY electric windows with crappy switches, or you get awesome manual windows with a CRAPPY carburetor. It might be time to upgrade to an EJ as your daily.


The early ej's arn't much Better, I've had this problem in a few first gen legacys

#14 Ricearu

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 10:54 PM

The car has almost 147K on it, so to me that isn't low miles. Now to others here that may be low miles. However if you saw my driver seat, you would not have any confusion as to whether or not this car was a garage queen. The only time it sat unused was in 2002 when I got a brand new Dodge Ram 1500 to pull my speedboat. Just sitting, the tires became out of round and when I drove it again I got terrible vibrations at higway speeds as if the front end was shaking appart

 

I do think there is something to Gary's theory though especially when it comes to the engine. I make sure to drive my Ram Truck periodically on long highway runs to keep the moisture out of the fluids. But for the switch, just looking at the pieces and where it crumbled, I lean to a poorly made switch. Or maybe just a "budget plastic" switch as others have suggested. I noticed the manufacture name on the switch was Koite. I wonder if Subaru still uses them as a subcontractor.

 

At any rate, I filled the voids surrounding the extrusions where the screws attach with some epoxy and this switch will probably outlast the rest of the car.

 

WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! I know you didn't just compare dodge plastic to subaru plastic. Obvoulsy if your dash panel(the trim across the dash on the 02+ and the whole freaking dash on the 01 down) is not completely gone or broken to hell without ever being touched, your truck is a garage queen or you are darn lucky. Do some back research on dodge truck dashes and tell me subaru plastic is junk...


Edited by Ricearu, 19 May 2013 - 10:55 PM.


#15 MR_Loyale

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:31 PM

WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! I know you didn't just compare dodge plastic to subaru plastic. Obvoulsy if your dash panel(the trim across the dash on the 02+ and the whole freaking dash on the 01 down) is not completely gone or broken to hell without ever being touched, your truck is a garage queen or you are darn lucky. Do some back research on dodge truck dashes and tell me subaru plastic is junk...

 

Just stating the facts ma'am. I think you are implying more into what I wrote. Did I not state that the truck has less than 36K miles? This was in response to the theory that not using a vehicle will result in faded cracked plastic. The Dodge was offered as a counterexample, not to incite a religious war of the who's plastic is better or worse.  In fact the Dodge doesn't get driven much (it is a toy and trash hauler) but is not a garage queen as it sits outside unsheltered enduring the slings and arrows of Wet-stern Washington weather. If we accept your premise that Dodge plastic is junk compared to Subaru plastic, then the fact that the Dodge has not crumbled buttresses my argument that inactivity should not have caused the superior plastic of the Subaru switch to crumble. Thanks for helping.

 

Furthermore, I am not saying all Subaru plastic is junk. And in regards to the switch, I am not even sure I can say that particular plastic is junk. I can say the design of the switch is junk, the way it was assembled was junk. Had it just been my switch, well that is one thing. But there is a reason all the specimens at the junk yard are stripped of their window switches don't you think? It probably isn't because they are just so darned reliable right? That they looked kind of like they were from Radio Shack, from the factory, well I can live with that. Like I said, I am not cool or hip so no problem there. I bought the car for reliability, not style or coolness. Though the automatic seat belt are still very very cool to me even after 20 years.

 

So if that means a fatwa will be issued for my destruction, then so be it.  Subaru Akhbar!



#16 86BRATMAN

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:20 AM

I sure wish I only had cheap plastic interior parts to cry about on a 20 year old car.  The fact that it has lasted that long without any sort of care given to it must say something right.  How many times have you applied armor-all or (insert favorite interior protectant here) to your car over the course of 20 years.  If you haven't taken the time to do that then its no wonder it has crumbled.  I'm sorry but maintaining a car is more than changing oil and rotating tires.  Its an inside and outside job. 



#17 Uberoo

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

Think of the bright side, after all this time its not something major that gives out.Like for instance some cars had bio degradable wiring harnesses or were just wired incorrectly.

 

I owned a 93 volvo 240 that everything would still work even if all of the fuses were pulled.

A friend had an 83 VW that he had to turn the left blinker on for it to start every morning.

 

However with that being said subaru plastic from the 80's-90's did degrade abit more than everyone elses plastic in the same time frame.One of the reasons I put my EJ22 ECU in an ammo box under the hood rather than in the dash was that I knew the subaru plastic would crumple if I looked at it funny (car is an 81) and my dash was still pristine..

 

I owned a 74 dodge colt(mitsubishi) and its interior was about on par with 80's subarus in terms of degradation.I had an 82 nissan/datsun 200SX and its interior was pretty good short of it needing a new headliner and the fake wood trim was peeling.

 

the difference is that the subaru still runs and drives.The colt was a demolition derby car,and the 200sx ate its ENGINE at 100K.

 

so would you rather have crap plastic but runner/driver or good plastic but non functional car?



#18 jj421

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:47 PM

Yeah the thing that sucks about EA82s is you either get spfi but CRAPPY electric windows with crappy switches, or you get awesome manual windows with a CRAPPY carburetor. It might be time to upgrade to an EJ as your daily.

 

Hah, I got the best of both worlds. I've got an EA82 with SPFI, but I have manual windows. I believe only some '90 Loyales had manual windows. Later years had power windows. I've seen a handful of late-'80s DLs with SPFI and manual windows.

 

The only thing I really have to say with this thread is, this is why I love manual windows (manual everything, for that matter). Less stuff to go wrong and generally outlasts any automatic feature. Manual steering outlasts power steering, manual trannies outlast auto trannies, manual windows/locks/mirrors/seats outlast power windows/locks/mirrors/seats.



#19 MR_Loyale

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:06 PM

Think of the bright side, after all this time its not something major that gives out.Like for instance some cars had bio degradable wiring harnesses or were just wired incorrectly.

 

I owned a 93 volvo 240 that everything would still work even if all of the fuses were pulled.

A friend had an 83 VW that he had to turn the left blinker on for it to start every morning.

 

However with that being said subaru plastic from the 80's-90's did degrade abit more than everyone elses plastic in the same time frame.One of the reasons I put my EJ22 ECU in an ammo box under the hood rather than in the dash was that I knew the subaru plastic would crumple if I looked at it funny (car is an 81) and my dash was still pristine..

 

I owned a 74 dodge colt(mitsubishi) and its interior was about on par with 80's subarus in terms of degradation.I had an 82 nissan/datsun 200SX and its interior was pretty good short of it needing a new headliner and the fake wood trim was peeling.

 

the difference is that the subaru still runs and drives.The colt was a demolition derby car,and the 200sx ate its ENGINE at 100K.

 

so would you rather have crap plastic but runner/driver or good plastic but non functional car?

You make a valid point. That is why I let it go after a day.



#20 MR_Loyale

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

I sure wish I only had cheap plastic interior parts to cry about on a 20 year old car.  The fact that it has lasted that long without any sort of care given to it must say something right.  How many times have you applied armor-all or (insert favorite interior protectant here) to your car over the course of 20 years.  If you haven't taken the time to do that then its no wonder it has crumbled.  I'm sorry but maintaining a car is more than changing oil and rotating tires.  Its an inside and outside job. 

You put armor-all on switches? How does that strengthen the screw mounts behind the switches ?



#21 Rust

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:29 PM

Here ya go.  It even comes with a magical wand.....Abra, Cadabra!     Presto, chango.....plastic reborn. 

 

WipeNewMaster%20NP_1.jpg



#22 Subruise

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:03 PM

aromor all type products DESTROY plastic over time. decades of detailing exp makes me aware of this. to the OP: im in tacoma, come take your pick of switches i have a pile of em.

#23 Ricearu

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:22 PM

aromor all type products DESTROY plastic over time. decades of detailing exp makes me aware of this. to the OP: im in tacoma, come take your pick of switches i have a pile of em.

 

correct. petroleum distilates degrade it. 

a uv protective coating, sans the petroleum

 

and to the OP, I wanted to let you know I wasn't trying to start a peeing match, I work for a shop and we frequently have dodges come in and are just terrible. I had to goop a window switch back into a charger just today. fell out when I merely rolled the window down.


Edited by Ricearu, 20 May 2013 - 08:24 PM.


#24 rdweninger

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:54 AM

Wow! All this over plastic?
I had to epoxy the front passenger e-switch on my '85 EA82 a few weeks ago. It looked like it took a 'hit' from the PO. But after reading this, I almost believe it was cheap plastic. Cheap plastic.... that's funny!

#25 Uberoo

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:14 PM

Here ya go.  It even comes with a magical wand.....Abra, Cadabra!     Presto, chango.....plastic reborn. 

 

WipeNewMaster%20NP_1.jpg

 

 

Here ya go.  It even comes with a magical wand.....Abra, Cadabra!     Presto, chango.....plastic reborn. 

 

WipeNewMaster%20NP_1.jpg

does it work on engines?If so I'll take a crate!






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