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EA82 How do we feel about it?

EA82

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#1 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:17 AM

Well. I took an EA82 engine to be re-manufactured today. It is the right engine for my 1988 GL and though I had considered replacing it with a EJ22 I dont have the money and I'm just not ready to go there as far as complications and more unknowns. Now, the guys at the shop did not seem too enamored of this particular engine type. They feel it leaks, it runs hot because the cooling system was not modified after the EA81 to give more cooling to the EA82, and it does not give a lot of power for its size. I hear them I totally hear them, but I also think these cars with this engine do tend to go forever. I also got the idea that what may fail if anything on a rebuilt engine is the heads can warp or crack, and the head gasket go, because of the fact that this engine runs hotter than other types, and that the water pump is on one side so the engine does not cool evenly on both sides and causes  it to warp. Because of this I am considering a radiator upgrade, or an oil cooler (just heard of those). Does anyone else have an opinion on the EA82 they would like to share? or have you replaced with a EJ22 and if so what is your feedback on that. I sure would like the extra horses. I just cant afford them/deal with all that right now....



#2 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:50 AM

Ive had EA82 engines with over 200,000 on them , not  a bad engine, they need timing belts every so often, not a very powerful engine, will give good service, just don't overheat them, EJ22 is by far a superior engine, I have the EJ swap in my car love it,  



#3 Subruise

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:59 AM

great engine. i own several. its not fast and its not free of maintenance but its really easy to work on yourself with a pocket full of tools.

 

ea81 is also a great engine, pushrods are awesome.

 

as Scott said the ej22 is the cats a s s but requires dollars and brain cells to accomplish. 

 

 

in summation i will mention i just got a 86 gl with a stock carb and it blew the doors off my 88 spfi...it also has 300k on the block.



#4 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:14 AM

I Agree that seems like an EA82 could run Forever if you care about it.

 

About Cooling System, yes there was an "Upgrade" somehow, let me Explain, there are Single Row and Double Row Radiators for the EA82, if yours run with a Single Row Radiator, you can Swap it with a Double Row one and it will increase the Cooling capabilities of the System.

 

Kind Regards.



#5 grossgary

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:35 AM

the EA82 is a great platform for inexpensive, reliable, high mileages.  200,000 is easy and they really don't wear out unless you run them low on oil or overheat them - which they don't do unless maintenance is skipped - valve cover gaskets, cam seals, hoses...etc. nothing major.

 

* replace the timing belts often - subaru says 60k, you are wise to replace a little early on these if you like long term reliability.

* use the ebay timing belt kits for $80 with all new pulleys, the old ones are devoid of grease, and a new water pump which are prone to fail more often than newer stuff.

 

reseal the engine - new valve covers, cam/crank seals, and reseal the oil pump.  or if you want to own it a long time and not have TOD, install a new oil pump.

 

their main problems are simply circumstantial:
1.  they're old - lots of hoses, gaskets, clamps, etc need replaced by now.

2.  they're not worth much - so many people don't do anything about the issues in #1.  people don't put much money into vehicles that aren't worth much so they don't get very well maintained.  though you'll find lots on this forum that are adept at it, that's not the norm.

3.  trying to get power or performance out of an EA82 is just not what it's good at.  they are very low powered engines, realize that and ignore it and you'll have a great, inexpensive, reliable commuter.

 

it's the EA82T (turbo variant) that has all the issues - headgaskets, cracked heads, blown blocks, blown turbos...not your engine.  but folks often sort of lump them together since they're so similar and the EA82's do get the visible cracks between the valve seats, though they are benign.


Edited by grossgary, 15 August 2013 - 08:36 AM.


#6 NorthWet

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:06 AM

+1 on everything grossgary typed.

 

In the USA, we are conditioned to think of things as good or bad, with nothing in between.  The EA82 engine is good at what it does, but not good at what it doesn't do... so, many just say it is bad.  Yes, they require maintenance.  Yes, their cooling design was not upgraded and can't handle power increase, regardless of how big of a radiator you put on it.  Yes, they are 20+ years old, and that is a long time for a headgasket to survive, especially one whose fire-ring tends to wear a groove in the head surface.

 

But, yes, if well maintained and used as intended and not abused, they can run seemingly forever.  People like to complain that they are underpowered, but I think that is just people wingeing:  I am quite happy with mine.  I also have a couple SVXs, and both types have pleasurable qualities. 

 

As long as your expectations are reasonable, the Ea82 can be a pleasurable, economical and reliable engine.



#7 MilesFox

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:14 AM

I am quite fond of the ea82 as it has been the bread and butter of most of my wrenching experience. I have done countless timing belts and head gaskets, and all of my repairs to these engines so far have been reliable. Aside from the engine itself, the car that they come in are great platforms regardless of engine, for a simple, practical, even modular car.

 

I have had several 200,000= mi engines, one 300,000 plus engine. Generally i see them go 150,000 mi before anything breaks, aminly from lack of maintenance (broken timing belt, bad hoses, old water pump, etc.

 

I have rescued some pretty shagged ea82 cars and really, it didn't take much effort or investment to make a reliable car out of one that otherwise would have gone to the junker.

 

If you are trying to go fast and furious gran turismo, then just get something newer like a legacy or impreza. But this lightweight ea82 sure is fun to throw around and rev the snot out of. Think of it as a cafe racer motorcycle cb350 compared to a modern crotch rocket. Driving a slow car fast os more fun than a fast car slow.

 

Moral of the story this is a simple car to keep arpund. Don't be scared of timingbelts since there is no damage when they fail. Ditch the covers and you can repair one off the side of the road with 2 tools in 20 minutes.



#8 l75eya

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:16 AM

Oil pump us barely off center. Overheating? If anything they tend to run on the cool side. Throw a weber on it for more pickup.

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 11:34 AM

You could run a used EJ22 for less than the cost of a full rebuild on the EA82.

 

Just saying, it's not as hard as it's made out to be.  And either an EJ18 or an EJ22 would be WAAAAY better of an engine.

 

 

with that said, If you want to rebuild the Ea82, do it.  They are smooth revving gas sippin little motors when running good. 



#10 NorthWet

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 12:15 PM

You could run a used EJ22 for less than the cost of a full rebuild on the EA82.

 

Just saying, it's not as hard as it's made out to be.  And either an EJ18 or an EJ22 would be WAAAAY better of an engine.

 

 

with that said, If you want to rebuild the Ea82, do it.  They are smooth revving gas sippin little motors when running good. 

+1.  I did not mention that it is not economically practical to get the engine professionally rebuilt as you said that it was already sent off.  There is little point on most of them to split the cases to do bearings and rings. wear and failure rates are very low, and it is cheaper to just find a used block.

 

I75eya:  OP typed that the WATER pump was on one side (which it is), and it feeds the right-side case through a small passage at the very top of the engine.



#11 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:48 PM

Thanks on your comments all. Next time I will probably move up to the EJ22. The reason I am shy to go with a used engine is I had a bad experience with that last time. (first go-round). I bought a used low miles engine, had it put in they did a crap job, I had to move across country just when it happened and it basically leaked the coolant and the oil. The coolant I caught and fixed. (seal on thermostat casing)The oil only leaks when I go higher speeds (like 65-75) and possibly over mountain passes. I don't understand why this is, but it ran really low on oil before I caught it so I am sure the engine got screwed. That made me regret not putting in the money to get a remanufactured by a quality outfit and I decided to try that this time. Also came to the realization that if I love this kind of car (and I do) there is a big investment required in the relationship. I have to know the car and learn a lot more about auto mechanics. You cant just trust your car to random people out there in the world, and finding an good mechanic for this car seems less likely than striking gold.  
One of you said this engine does not run hot, but the majority of you do and the people I have spoken to in person, so I am going to go with either the double radiator, or the oil cooler. I wonder if one is better than the other? I like the Idea of the oil cooler just cause its a new Idea to me, seems cheap and not to hard, kinda fun...: )



#12 l75eya

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 05:49 PM

Thanks for the correction. I meant to say water pump is barely off center.



#13 grossgary

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:52 PM

not sure where you're seeing that but actually, not one person said they run hot.  if everything is operational they're fine.

people only mention "additional cooling capacity" - as an aid to performance, towing, heavy use, etc. 

a properly operating EA82 will never overheat for normal daily drivers duties.

 

think about it - if they ran hot there wouldn't be any left after a quarter century, there would have been massive warranty work and issues all over the internet from when people were driving them more often years ago, they all would have overheated in the first 10 years.  nope, they're still trucking.



#14 Buddy

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 10:59 PM

ea82 goodness that engine is the most reliable lil machine I have ever seen!! My 85 GL wagon has been in the family for 10 years now and has been the most reliable car EVER! I'd be a huge liar if I said the ea82 was junk. Sure it's underpowered for today's standards but I doubt that any new car today with 200+ hp is going to last as long as our trusty lil ea82s.

#15 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:04 PM

@ GrossGary: Northwet said "Yes, their cooling design was not upgraded and can't handle power increase, regardless of how big of a radiator you put on it." ..but I guess you're right that is talking about with a power increase. The people at  http://www.ccrengines.com/ where I am having it rebuilt said their cooling design was not upgraded when they went to the Ea82 form the Ea81. They also said those engines run hot, as did someone in the world who related it to the fact they run better at higher RPMs.  Also when I drilled the people at the rebuild place about what goes out in these engines after the rebuild it was 1. they leak (not the end of the world, wish they didn't, but I am told they do) and 2. the head or the head gasket. I was told this happens because they run hot and warp, causing the head gasket to leak, and the head to crack (I think) eventually. I just don't understand why people say a rebuilt will last 100 to 200 thousand when I think of a new one lasting up to around 300,000. One on one of my cars is at 268,000 and runs well. The one I took out of my old one in my foolish quest for perfection was at bout 250 and ran pretty good too. I am trying to grock the weak point on a rebuild, as well as on this engine in particular and do what I can to protect and take care of it. 
I have not been told they over-heat, but that they run hot, and that causes problems with the head over time. 
Thank you for your thoughts on this.: )



#16 BestCar/OnlyCar

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:05 PM

@ Buddy: Thanks! Every girl loves to hear good things about her engine! 



#17 grossgary

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 11:26 PM

those are EA82T symptoms and failures, not the EA82.  covered most of that stuff and the circumstantial nature by which EA82's get slapped in my first reply.

 

the block, heads, valve train don't have much of a weak point...besides horsepower.

the HLA's can get tired...how old are they, what are they doing about those?

CCR knows them well so they should have a good approach.

 

they are prone to oil leaks, new oil seal materials are better, the oil lays in the seams due to the horizontal configuration, and Subaur's have twice the numbers of gaskets as many comparables - two heads, two valve trains.

 

good luck!



#18 djellum

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:12 AM

nothing wrong with the 82.  id still go EJ if the EA is going to cost a significant amount.  my preference would be EJ, followed by EA81 for the chain and pushrods, EA82 is last in line, but I drive mine happily.  I certainly wouldn't worry about it unless theres a catastrophic failure, and then I would do the EJ.



#19 Subaru_dude

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:37 AM

nothing wrong with the 82.  id still go EJ if the EA is going to cost a significant amount.  my preference would be EJ, followed by EA81 for the chain and pushrods, EA82 is last in line, but I drive mine happily.  I certainly wouldn't worry about it unless theres a catastrophic failure, and then I would do the EJ.

Correction, it doesn't have a chain. It has gears!!!



#20 MR_Loyale

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

I like the EA82. It kind of grows on you. I have had mine since I bought the car new in 1994. I was quite shocked to see that it was dripping oil at 65K miles. I recall that at 85K miles the stealership tried selling me a rebuilt engine because of all the oil. Stopped going to that stealership, actually that is when I started coming here to get my info on fixing the car myself. By then the car was getting to the point in book value where the cost of failure was not so great, so I decided I could do just as bad a job as any buttcrack BOB and it wouldn't cost me as much money if it ended up broken. 

 

The one thing I will say about the engine is that every time I have turned the key,it has started up. That has never been my experience with any other car I have owned. That simple fact means a lot to me. It means I won't be stranded. It means that when life is throwing me crap, this won't pile on.

 

Parts are still relatively cheap and easy to get for it. Lots of room in the engine bay. Fairly forgiving for the learning backyard mechanic. If you are just learning how to work on engines, not rich and want the highest chance of a successful outcome with a high degree of forgiveness for your mistakes, I would take an EA82 over any engine out there.

 



#21 jono

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:14 PM

Get some kind of engine metal temperature monitor like enginewatchdog.com TM2 for that extra piece of mind. Has an alarm that will scream at you if it even thinks of overheating on you. Mine was reading just 5C above what I thought was normal, found coolant was just half litre low - averted overheat damage. Use genuine head gaskets. Just completed 80,000km on my EA82T fitted with welded heads, genuine HG's, timing belt kits and new seals, new HLVA's and new from Japan valve springs. Love the old EA82T's :)



#22 djellum

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:18 AM

Correction, it doesn't have a chain. It has gears!!!

 

mu baad



#23 briankk

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:44 AM

@ GrossGary: Northwet said "Yes, their cooling design was not upgraded and can't handle power increase, regardless of how big of a radiator you put on it." ..but I guess you're right that is talking about with a power increase. The people at  http://www.ccrengines.com/ where I am having it rebuilt said their cooling design was not upgraded when they went to the Ea82 form the Ea81. They also said those engines run hot, as did someone in the world who related it to the fact they run better at higher RPMs.  Also when I drilled the people at the rebuild place about what goes out in these engines after the rebuild it was 1. they leak (not the end of the world, wish they didn't, but I am told they do) and 2. the head or the head gasket. I was told this happens because they run hot and warp, causing the head gasket to leak, and the head to crack (I think) eventually. I just don't understand why people say a rebuilt will last 100 to 200 thousand when I think of a new one lasting up to around 300,000. One on one of my cars is at 268,000 and runs well. The one I took out of my old one in my foolish quest for perfection was at bout 250 and ran pretty good too. I am trying to grock the weak point on a rebuild, as well as on this engine in particular and do what I can to protect and take care of it. 
I have not been told they over-heat, but that they run hot, and that causes problems with the head over time. 
Thank you for your thoughts on this.: )

 

When I bought my Loyale a few years ago, the PO said the thing overheated to the point it was near useless, he'd added a M.Mouse electric fan, was running the thing on straight 50W oil.

 

The Tstat was missing, I replaced it, the sending unit for the temp gauge, and the one for the FI were both shot, replaced them, now I drive up mountain freeway in the dead heat of summer at 75 mph in 5th, when it gets too steep, back to 4th and floor it for miles, temp gauge never goes over half way...  The fact that this thing cools so well is one of the things that sparked my interest in the 82T engine.

 

Oh, and I tossed the extra fan and now run the car on 15-40 Shell Rotella T.  FWIW,,



#24 MR_Loyale

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 11:20 PM

the EA82 is a great platform for inexpensive, reliable, high mileages.  200,000 is easy and they really don't wear out unless you run them low on oil or overheat them - which they don't do unless maintenance is skipped - valve cover gaskets, cam seals, hoses...etc. nothing major.

 

* replace the timing belts often - subaru says 60k, you are wise to replace a little early on these if you like long term reliability.

* use the ebay timing belt kits for $80 with all new pulleys, the old ones are devoid of grease, and a new water pump which are prone to fail more often than newer stuff.

 

reseal the engine - new valve covers, cam/crank seals, and reseal the oil pump.  or if you want to own it a long time and not have TOD, install a new oil pump.

 

their main problems are simply circumstantial:
1.  they're old - lots of hoses, gaskets, clamps, etc need replaced by now.

2.  they're not worth much - so many people don't do anything about the issues in #1.  people don't put much money into vehicles that aren't worth much so they don't get very well maintained.  though you'll find lots on this forum that are adept at it, that's not the norm.

3.  trying to get power or performance out of an EA82 is just not what it's good at.  they are very low powered engines, realize that and ignore it and you'll have a great, inexpensive, reliable commuter.

 

it's the EA82T (turbo variant) that has all the issues - headgaskets, cracked heads, blown blocks, blown turbos...not your engine.  but folks often sort of lump them together since they're so similar and the EA82's do get the visible cracks between the valve seats, though they are benign.

 

+5 on the new oil pump suggestion.



#25 ford'ssubaru's

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

I like the + EA82 posts.....I believe it was given a bad rap because mechanics did not know how to service and maintain it.

Parts are cheap and readily available.

 

Cheers,

 

Eric







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