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1989 RX coupe EA82T 4EAT restoration

1989 rx ea82t loyale leone subaru turbo awd 4eat

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23 replies to this topic

#1 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 02:27 PM

Last week I finally took possession of a 1989 RX coupe with 74,270 miles on the odometer. I have decided to name her Ruth after her original owner. The car was purchased new in New Hampshire, and I bought her from the original owner's granddaughter in Washington, DC. Ruth is pretty solid overall, and the interior is immaculate but for two holes in the driver's side headrest and a bit of wear to the trunk carpet. I've decided to get her back on the road and clean her up to the extent I can without going broke.

 

g1eTeV4.jpg

 

I wanted to take Ruth to Carlisle, PA this past weekend, so I launched into a flurry of activity to make sure she was roadworthy. The front brakes turned out to be completely shot, but the calipers moved easily and worked fine, so all I needed were rotors and pads. The rear pads and rotors need replacement, but they could wait. I ordered a full set of rotors and pads from my local Subaru dealership; apparently I got the last set of NOS rear pads in the country. 

 

IuTamve.jpg

kUxIjyI.jpg

 

While driving home, I noticed that the temp gauge didn't work. When I checked the connector, the terminal popped right off. 

 

VgpdJzH.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the dealer ordered the wrong temp sensor, so I had to improvise. The copper wire was still lodged in the sensor, and there was just enough length to crimp on a connector from my toolbox. Not ideal, but it worked. Now I can replace the sensor at my leisure. 

 

Next up: the passenger outer CV boot was completely gone, and the bearings were clacking around in the race. When I got home with the replacement drive axle, I discovered that the crown nut had been crossthreaded so badly that it was unusable. I packed grease into the joint and jury-rigged two boots I cut off of old Forester axles, tying them together with twine and reusing the metal clamp near the hub. This somehow lasted 62 miles before disintegrating in spectacular fashion. Surprisingly, it was the metal band that failed - the twine had held together and had to be cut away to remove what was left of the boots. I drove another 200 to Carlisle and back to DC with a completely bare outer joint.

 

The last thing I checked before taking Ruth on the highway was the timing belt. The belt itself looked good, but it was frighteningly loose. I was about to give up on driving her to the show, but then I discovered that the tensioners on the ea82 are manual, not hydraulic. And there are even access holes to reach the bolts for the pulleys! Ten minutes later, the belts were nice and snug. 

 

pSDVDaw.jpg

 

I started to feel nervous when I felt some nasty vibration from the outer CV joint around 65mph, but I discovered that it smoothed out above 75. Cruised all the way there and back at 75-80, grinning like a madman the whole way. 

 

Among the highlights at Carlisle was meeting Nipper, whose posts on all these Subaru boards I've been reading for years now. Also loved seeing his CVT-powered Justy.

 

eSrWQYK.jpg

 

My biggest problem now is some odd noise from the rear suspension, along with left rear camber that is not exactly within factory specs. I suspect it might have something to do with this:

 

41OSyEf.jpg

 

The worst area of rust is the rear crossmember. If anyone has a replacement in good condition or knows where to find one, please let me know. I'm not terribly keen on the rear suspension falling apart while I'm driving. I also need new bumper beams front and rear, because the front is bent from a small accident, and the rear is more rust than metal. I'm holding out hope that the plastic bumper covers will be reusable.

 

In the 250-odd miles I've driven, I have fallen completely in love with this car. It's small, sprightly for its age, and like few other cars on the road in my neck of the woods. I am grateful for any assistance I might receive here, and I hope to keep you posted while I return Ruth to her former glory.



#2 Caboobaroo

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:21 AM

Awesome, welcome to the RX owner club! Looks like you founds decent one for the east coast. Doesn't appear to have much body rot in it which is great!

I'm currently getting ready to move so it might be a few weeks but I might have some parts you're looking for. Shipping wouldn't be cheap but I do have a rust free subframe and a rear bumper beam.

#3 jj421

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:52 AM

Nice RX! I probably can't help you with anything or sell you any parts, but I definitely want to follow this thread. Have fun with this project, and I'll definitely be looking for updates!  :)



#4 Gloyale

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:16 PM

Very nice RX.

 

But I would not drive it at all, espesciaslly not at 75-80 until you fix that rear crossmember.

 

I'm sure someone from out west will ship you a rust free one. 



#5 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 07:53 PM

Awesome, welcome to the RX owner club! Looks like you founds decent one for the east coast. Doesn't appear to have much body rot in it which is great!

I'm currently getting ready to move so it might be a few weeks but I might have some parts you're looking for. Shipping wouldn't be cheap but I do have a rust free subframe and a rear bumper beam.

 

The body isn't too bad. Some spongy sections at the bottom of the front fenders and a little under the plastic cladding at the rear quarters, but most is just surface rust. The rear crossmember is the big worry. If you have one, I want it badly. Even with shipping costs, it would probably be cheaper (and vastly easier) than fabricating new ends and brackets. I may have found a rear bumper beam on ebay, though.


Edited by Hydropneumatic, 24 May 2013 - 07:54 PM.


#6 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:06 PM

Is the rear crossmember the same for any AWD Loyale? I found one from an AWD non-turbo wagon, but the salvage yard's computer apparently says the turbo crossmember is different. Both my car and this wagon's fifth VIN digit is G. 



#7 capn_r

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:12 PM

The front turbo and non-turbo crossmembers are different but I'm sure the rears are the same.



#8 naru

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:32 PM

Is the rear crossmember the same for any AWD Loyale? I found one from an AWD non-turbo wagon, but the salvage yard's computer apparently says the turbo crossmember is different. Both my car and this wagon's fifth VIN digit is G. 

 

No,there are many flavours.

Parts book shows 19 different rear crossmembers for ea-82 cars.

You need one from a RX w/a build date of Jan. 87 or later.



#9 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:54 PM

No,there are many flavours.

Parts book shows 19 different rear crossmembers for ea-82 cars.

You need one from a RX w/a build date of Jan. 87 or later.

 

If I have to find a rear crossmember from an '88 or '89 RX coupe, I may as well start calling fabrication shops.

 

Are they really different, or are there just different part numbers for the different models? I can see that there could be 19 different configurations of G-body Loyales, but I can't imagine each one had a fundamentally different suspension component. That would be insane.



#10 Numbchux

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:55 PM

No,there are many flavours.

Parts book shows 19 different rear crossmembers for ea-82 cars.

You need one from a RX w/a build date of Jan. 87 or later.

 

I call BS on that last sentence. Different part numbers doesn't mean not interchangeable, or even different at all.

 

 

I've had many of them apart, mixed and matched, and the only significant difference I've noticed is the tabs for the forward rear diff hanger (FWD vs 4WD).

 

The '85-86 ones had tabs for little flaps to deflect debris away from the axle boots.

 

And I think the turbo ones had a slightly different exhaust hanger on it....

 

 

 

My '92 Loyale got one from an 85 GL wagon originally with the 4WD swap, then I swapped in the whole mess from an '86 XT turbo (sway bar mounts on the arms themselves), and that recently failed in a similar way to what's shown here, and I believe it got one from a later turbo wagon (the car has changed hands a couple times since I owned it....so I'm not 100% sure).



#11 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:07 PM

And I think the turbo ones had a slightly different exhaust hanger on it....

 

Modifying an exhaust hanger I can handle. What I don't want to do is fabricate brackets for the swing arms and have my camber just as screwed up as it is now. 



#12 MilesFox

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:48 PM

any 4wd ea82 rear crossmember is the same. even the xt6. if parts were scarce, you could even use a 2wd unit igf you fabricated the diff mounting tabs. good luck. 

 

If that part wasn't as rusty, it could be beefed up with tubing inserted inside and welded on.



#13 rpholz

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:04 AM

I 3rd any 4wd crossmember will fit.

It would be such a waste of time and money to fabricate 19 variations of the same exact crossmember.

#14 naru

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 09:11 AM

I 3rd any 4wd crossmember will fit.

It would be such a waste of time and money to fabricate 19 variations of the same exact crossmember.

 

You may not like it and the differences may be minor,but, there are 19 variations.



#15 naru

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 09:17 AM

If I have to find a rear crossmember from an '88 or '89 RX coupe, I may as well start calling fabrication shops.

 

Are they really different, or are there just different part numbers for the different models? I can see that there could be 19 different configurations of G-body Loyales, but I can't imagine each one had a fundamentally different suspension component. That would be insane.

 

Subaru does not use more than one part # for the same part.(updated can be different).



#16 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:00 AM

Subaru does not use more than one part # for the same part.(updated can be different).


Sure they do. For example: the 1998 Forester was the only year with the DOHC EJ25 motor. The '99 and '00 use the SOHC motor. The body is exactly the same, with only the mechanicals and incidentals changed. Somewhere along the way i learned that Subaru uses different part numbers for the taillights from '98 versus '99/'00. Having compared them side-by-side, however, I can tell you that there is absolutely no difference between them.

There is no way Subaru made 19 variants of a rear crossmember. I'll be sure to photograph the parts together for reference and note any difference.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 10:21 AM

I could see there being 19 combinations of parts using same parts in either combo.

 

For example, a 4wd wether it was a wagon, sedan, etc, as these had different bump stops, different spring heights or rates, the difference with 86/86 with the little mud flappers, and overlaps of year/generation 85-89 with brats and hatches being in the mix, and of course, fwd variants, and also xt variants, trailing arm variants with swaybar mounts. turbo swaybar vs xt6 swaybar, etc, etc...

 

All using the same parts that all fit the same. The only incompatibility is putting a swaybar on trailing arms without the mounts, or adding 4wd parts to a 2wd subframe (the diff hanger mount)



#18 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:00 PM

So after taking a detour to acquire a 1975 Peugeot 604, a hoard of Peugeot parts, and a hoard of new old stock Subaru parts, I finally got back to dealing with the rear crossmember. To answer the question last debated, the rear crossmember I found from a 1991 AWD non-turbo station wagon is 100% identical to the one on my RX.

 

qfm9NRK.jpg

 

New England vs. Oregon:

 

BWx6UbF.jpg

 

I could fold the outer portion of the swingarm bracket by hand. I think this might have had something to do with my negative camber. 

 

8KdtVBa.jpg



#19 Crazyeights

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 07:51 PM

I am working on a project and I could really use a picture of your transmission cross-member and mounts if you have the time.  I just need to know what parts I will need to swap an EJ 4EAT in to a Loyale body.

 

Thanks!



#20 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 10:21 AM

I'll see what I can do.

As much as it pains me, I've decided to sell the RX once I get the crossmember replaced and new rear brakes installed. I need to clear my plate of projects, and I need to free up some cash. I'm leaning toward posting it on eBay, but if you're dying to have a car like this, PM me.

#21 Crazyeights

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 01:19 PM

I'll see what I can do.

As much as it pains me, I've decided to sell the RX once I get the crossmember replaced and new rear brakes installed. I need to clear my plate of projects, and I need to free up some cash. I'm leaning toward posting it on eBay, but if you're dying to have a car like this, PM me.

I'm sorry to hear that but I certainly understand. I think I've figured out a solution so no worries. Good luck!



#22 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:02 AM

Started to remove the front bumper in order to straighten it as much as I could before advertising the car for sale. After an hour or two of struggle, I realized nearly the whole front end needs to come apart on these older cars in order to get the bumper off, and every other bolt is blocked by some other part. Something to be said for CAD-based engineering, if you ask me. What really made me throw in the towel was needing to reach the bumper bracket bolts blocked by the windshield washer reservoir and resonator box in the front passenger corner.

Anyway, I'm selling it as it stands, warts and all. New OEM brakes at all four corners, new right front axle, new rear crossmember, replacement taillight to fix broken backup light lens, first thorough (sort of) cleaning in years. This car is so fun to drive I'm really going to miss it.

#23 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

And we're live:

 

http://r.ebay.com/pEf581



#24 Hydropneumatic

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:22 PM

Just sold the car locally to a guy in Maryland who sounds like he appreciates it and will do it justice. Let it go for $500-600 less than what I had into it, but oh well. I'll make up for that when I sell the Peugeot I bought for $500.

 

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 1989, rx, ea82t, loyale, leone, subaru, turbo, awd, 4eat

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