First, I want to say a big thank you to everyone here that takes the time to post their knowledge on this forum. It is so rare to find a forum with a useful knowledge base, but I found one here.
I bought a 92 Loyale Wagon 5 spd 4WD about the end of July 2013 from a used car dealer. About 225,000 miles. Probably paid way too much for it... In any case, it was exactly what I was looking for, it just needed a little bit of work . I knew the clutch needed replacing when I test drove it, but thought to myself that shouldn't be too hard, I've replaced dozens and dozens of clutches in my former life (16 years) as a professional mechanic. Little did I know...
I joined USMB the same day I brought home the Loyale and started reading everything I could find out about the clutch job. I have never done a Subaru or a 4WD clutch before, but it's just a few more pieces to remove and replace, right? Thanks to the videos that Miles Fox has posted on YouTube, I thought I was ready to go.
I live in an apartment building, no place to work on a car, they frown when I lift the hood to check the oil in my wife's Suzuki. I found a gravel pit about 30 miles away out in the woods that I can use to work on the car. No power tools, no shelter, no lift, no engine hoist. This is the Pacific Northwest, where it rains every other day, and I drive the car daily to work, so my opportunities to work on the car are very limited.
When I crawled under the car, the first thing I noticed was the torn axle boot on the inner drivers side, so off the wife went for a new axle ($60 from O'Reilly's, and they stock it!) I had ordered an Exedy Clutch kit from Amazon ($155 including shipping!) No way to pull the engine, so had to slide the transaxle back and down, using bungee cords to hold the driveshaft in (no oil loss). It only took about 3x longer than I had planned, and I had to leave the car overnight and return to finish the next day.
While buttoning up the project I noticed coolant dripping out of the timing belt cover area. I had already given some thought to replacing the timing belt since I did not know the history, so I added a water pump to the mental shopping list, as well as the mouse o-ring for the oil pump.
Over the next two weeks it became a ritual to add about a quart of coolant every day as the water pump was dripping steadily. Finally, back to the gravel pit last weekend with a new Aisin Water pump ($40 from Amazon), a new oil pump gasket ($7 from Amazon), a Cloyes Timing Belt Kit ($70, Amazon) and the upper and lower radiator hoses and the other small right-angle hose that connects to the water-pump, as well as a Subaru OEM Thermostat and radiator cap that I picked up at the Subaru dealer in Tacoma.
Following Miles' video it was a snap to change the timing belts. The covers had been broken previously and wedged back into position; I threw them away as I removed them. Changed the Water Pump and hoses and the oil pump gasket (it was OK) while the radiator was out. Inspected the radiator, I've seen lots of these plastic side tanks come off, but these looked OK, and as far as I could see inside the filler neck the interior of the radiator looked good also.
Everything went back together well. I (once again, a HUGE thanks to Miles!) followed Miles' video instructions on getting the air out of the cooling system. Everything went well.
Headed for home, about 5-6 miles up the road, the temp gauge started to climb. Pulled over, added about a half gallon of coolant. Back on the road, about 5 miles later the gauge started to climb. Pulled over, added coolant. See the pattern yet? About 5 miles, stop, add coolant...
I considered that it might be possible that I was not successful in getting the cooling system purged of air. The next day, after work, while still parked at work, I removed the thermostat. I filled the radiator until the block was full up to the thermostat housing (a little trick I figured out back in the early 80's for those new-fangled front wheel drive cars with low radiators), inserted the thermostat, buttoned up, and once again followed the video procedure for purging the system. After it was purged, I sat and idled for about 20 minutes, no drips, no visible coolant, system has pressure on it. Started towards home. About 5 miles later, the temp gauge again started to climb...
While washing my greasy, oily clothes at the local laundromat, I parked out back and removed the Subaru OEM Thermostat and closed up the engine, filled the system, good coolant flow all the time of course.
Now, the temp gauge barely nudges off the bottom line, until suddenly, at about 5 miles, it starts to climb up. Again, I stop, add about a half gallon of coolant, drive 5 miles, add half a gallon, drive 5 miles, add half a gallon...
I don't think I have actually overheated it yet, the highest the gauge has gone is about 3/4 to the red line (Used to run at about 1/4). I'm no longer leaving an antifreeze puddle on the ground when parked. I don't know where the coolant is going. Heater works great, no discernible leakage in the interior. No clouds of smoke from the tailpipe of any sort. When I stop to add coolant, there might be a little whiff of coolant on the top of the engine, near the throttle body, but it vanishes so quickly when I open the hood that I'm not sure yet.
Does anyone have any idea what I am not seeing here? It's been 20+ years since the last time I worked on a Subaru, I'm not familiar with their quirks and special needs.
What am I missing?
Edited by ehartshorn, 10 September 2013 - 05:13 PM.