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1983 Subaru gl wagon has high idle and chokes

High idle Engine Subaru gl

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15 replies to this topic

#1 peterelliott05

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

Hello,

I am new to the forum. I am from Beaverton/Portland Oregon. I just got a 1983 Subaru gl wagon four door. I am hoping to fix it up and turn it into a cool machine. It has high miles, at 190,000. Body is good aside from rust specks on the hood. Interior could use new seats in the front and the dash is cracked.

The first problem I have encountered is that the engine after it warms up has a high idle. Up around 2000 rpms. I have a few ideas of what the problem could be after reading other posts on the forum, but I have not found anything that sounds exactly like my problem. The engine also seems to choke and sputter a bit as well. Yesterday it actually just turned all the way off.

If anyone has any suggestions on where to start, I would greatly appreciate it!

#2 Nick Nack

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:22 PM

Honestly, my mechanical experience is fairly limited, but have you messed with the idle adjustment screw on the carb? i can probably take/find a picture of it if you wanted, but it's right on the front of the carb and is a simple flathead screw. counter-clockwise increases the idle and clockwise decreases\

 

if adjusting your idle while the motor is running doesn't calm it down, i'd start with new oil/air/fuel filters, new plugs/wires, and new fluids. a good tuneup will at least eliminate any of the minor problems and let you focus on others.


Edited by Nick Nack, 22 August 2013 - 09:23 PM.


#3 peterelliott05

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 12:52 PM

I have tried turning the idle screw. It did increase the idle speed, but it did not decrease idle speed. I am definitely going to start with an oil change and other fluids and just do a general cleanup around the engine and see if that helps. I have also heard that a vacume leak can cause a high idle. Might have to check for a leak some where in the hoses.



#4 djellum

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:23 PM

you have to adjust the idle screw along with the mixture screw to adjust the carburetor.  it could be the mix but you will have to adjust the idle to get it around 750 or so to set the mix.

 

attempt to turn the mix screw all the way in.  dont wrench it hard but lightly bottom it out.  if the car still runs theres a larger problem than the adjustment.

 

also you should check if the carb you have is a feedback carb (will have sensors and such to run).  check and see if you have an oxygen sensor in your exhaust.



#5 Subaru_dude

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 02:48 PM

Yeah check under your steering wheel behind the plastic panel to see if there's a black box there. That would be the feedback computer if it's a feedback carb. You might be able to see a little red light blinking through a peephole... I can't exactly remember. But it does sound like you have a vacuum leak somewhere. Good luck finding that crap, you'll be better off pulling the carb off and learning everything you can about it and getting rid of the unnecessary plumbing. Owning an older Subaru with a carb myself, I can tell you life will be a whole lot easier if you put the time aside to learn everything you can about the carb because if it needs some work, more than likely you will have to do it yourself.

 

Hint: There are better carbs you can upgrade to that are simpler in operation and SUPER easy to rebuild.

Hint #2: The name of the particular brand I'm speaking of is also known for making cooking equipment, such as grills.



#6 hatchsub

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

I personally was only able to get the hitachi to run well once.  Otherwise my suggestion is to not waste your time chasing problems and vacuum leaks.  I put a weber on my old car and never looked back.  In fact i wouldnt own another EA81 without one.  It made it drive that much better.  



#7 Subaru_dude

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 08:40 PM

I personally was only able to get the hitachi to run well once.  Otherwise my suggestion is to not waste your time chasing problems and vacuum leaks.  I put a weber on my old car and never looked back.  In fact i wouldnt own another EA81 without one.  It made it drive that much better.  

 

Ain't no lie been spoken in this statement!!!



#8 peterelliott05

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 10:53 PM

I will definitely have to go for a Weber eventually then! I tried to look for a good walk through for the swap and didn't find a good one. Does anyone have a link to where I could go to read up on this swap? 



#9 peterelliott05

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:04 PM

Do you guys run the electric choke or the manual? 



#10 Mykeys Toy

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Posted 23 August 2013 - 11:52 PM

electric and the write up will be in the usrm written by Jeszek / loyale2.7. It is written for a gen3 or ea82 but all the same steps are used for gen2.  don't make it too complicated by trying to remove all the unneeded stuff at the same time.. Just do the carb then a few things at a time and it will be a lot easier.

 

Mike



#11 hatchsub

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 08:31 AM

The other thing you may want to do in the chase for your high idle is to check your intake manifold gaskets right on the heads.  With age those tend to degrade and you may have a fairly good vacuum leak there too.  If thats the case then when the intake is out would be a great time to get ride of all that vacuum mess that goes under the intake as well as a weber swap :)



#12 RCW

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

on my brat I found the metal tubes that the rubber vacuums lines coonnect to had rusted through under the manifold. Fixed that and all was well. It had the same symptoms



#13 ferox

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 01:22 PM

As others have mentioned, you've got a classic vacuum leak.  I have been running a feedback Hitachi for eight years with great results.  299K and it flew through emissions 200 miles ago.  190k, is not high mileage for an ea81 btw.  Once you get to 300k you can start throwing that term around. 

 

Messing with the idle mix and idle speed screw will just make it harder to dial in when you get the vacuum leak(s) fixed, so it's probably best to start identifying leaks. 

 

The charcoal canister valve degrades over time and will cause a vacuum leak that is hard to identify, so make sure you check that too. 

 

A carb rebuild is also probably in your future. 

 

Adjust you valve lash as well, it won't necessarily cause the problem you are experiencing, but if they are out of adjustment it will partially confound your other efforts to diagnose problems.



#14 bertmann73

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

new webers are around 250 if you research...check ebay and craigslist and sometimes you'll get a cheap used one if you are lucky.
only things to look for on a used one is the power valve and accelerator pump diafragm. Bug shops always carry individual parts as apposed to getting whole kits. I personally use the holley diafragms at orileys for about 8 bones and a small bit of scissor skills.
Adaptor plates can be found sometimes on ebay or maybe someone here knows where they sell them.
that to me is the easiest fix to your delima unless you want to keep her stock.
Best of luck

#15 olamoree

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 09:12 PM

Hi Guys,  Had a brand new US$6,000 1979 Brat (Japanese version with 25 watt headlights! as I live in Costa Rica and that is what is imported to there) and a few years ago traded it for an 87 Brat GL (what else?) after 30 years of faithful service.  IMHE, the inability to get an idle around 800 rpm is due to AIR LEAKS here and there.  In the case of the Hitachi original carb, it was the throttle shaft that had worn the accelerator plate and air was entering around the shaft... thus the idle screw adjustment had no effect as it is essentially an "air screw".  While the Hitachi was off and being redone by my machinist... he put in bronze bearings on both sides and that sealed it well.  I got an offer of a Nissan carb for a 1500 cc engine for $30 and it was "like new" so I had my mechanic adapt it... he said it was almost a "bolt on" and today, several years later, the Nissan carb is working very well... better pick up than the Hitachi (the two butterflys open together, not one after the other like the Hitachi), more economical and never a problem.  So when you have an unadjustable idle, look for air leaks.  I have read good things about the Webers, but they are expensive and a friend couldn't get his air cleaner to adapt and still close the hood.  We have annual inspections and a non original air cleaner will have them snooping for illegal modifications... like a replacement carburator not of the same manufacture.  The Suby air cleaner adapted well to the Nissan carb.



#16 MilesFox

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:11 AM

I would suspect the intake gaskets are likely. i had this problem with 86 GL 3door.







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