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Considering buying a 1988 GL-10 Wagon with EA82T - HELP!

EA82t

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#1 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:44 PM

Hi there - soob newb here. New on the forum as well - Nice to meet you all! I am currently driving a Corolla AllTrac Wagon - that is for sale to fund my next project (an 80's Subaru wagon). And this will be my first Subaru. I am currently looking for one - and boy are they hard to come by that aren't rusted to smithereens here in the salt belt. I found one not too far from here - 88 GL-10 with EA82T. 110k miles w/ 5 speed - blown head gaskets per usual. Car was driven by an elderly couple - interior 9/10. Factory roof rack. On factory steel 13s with good tires. Runs as it sits. Body is in pretty good shape - less rust than most in these parts. Rear wheel wells are the most of it. Some rust underneath, nothing that can't be worked with. Rockers are solid - car honestly looks fairly clean for the year (living most of it's life in the midwest) The guy is asking $1000 for it, which seems a bit high to me, but with my minimal knowledge about these cars, i figured i would go to the master resource. Another thing that concerns me is the turbo motor. Historically, are there any added issues to having the EA82T vs the non turbo EA82? Any reason why i should pass and wait for a non turbo? What are the +/- of having the turbo EA82? I am going to check it out in person this weekend (pics and info from current owner) - anything i should look for in particular? What would you guys pay for such a rig? Any input would help - i am stoked to have potentially found a 88 GL wagon in pretty damn good shape. Let me know what you think! Thanks!

 

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Edited by nkmilesAE95, 27 November 2013 - 09:01 AM.


#2 Uberoo

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:05 PM

when the motor blows swap in an EJ22 for more power and better reliabilty.Dont even think of turning the boost up unless you want to swap the EJ22 sooner.



#3 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:11 PM

when the motor blows swap in an EJ22 for more power and better reliabilty.Dont even think of turning the boost up unless you want to swap the EJ22 sooner.

Good to know - i plan to pull the motor and swap all seals while i am doing the head gaskets.  I would like to get it running reliably before i start modding - def do not plan to turn up the boost.  Will then probably run her until she's too tired or my wallet proves to be fat enough for an EJ22 swap.  Lift, wheels, tires, bumpers will be first things on the list after the motor is sound.  Thanks for the input! 



#4 suprjohn

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:13 PM

Value is kind of relative. In the end, it's what the buyer and seller agree on.

That being said, I tend to agree that seems a tad high. More in line with its price if the HG's weren't blown.

However, I don't know the market where you're shopping.

Here in nebraska, I got my non running '89 DL wagon for $100. Of course, that was from my nephew. Lol

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#5 NorthWet

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 05:42 PM

The turbo version is less neglect-tolerant than the non-turbo.  Cooling system has to be kept in good condition, hoses need to be checked and replaced more often.  The coolant hoses running to the turbo center-section gets exposed to really high heat on shutdown, becoming embrittled and failing spectacularly at times.  HG issues are mainly due to coolant system issues.  When you do the HGs, look at where the HG's fire-rings rub against the head and block: If yo can see where they contacted the surfaces, then you should surface the heads to get rid of the wear/indentations of the fire-ring.



#6 scoobiedubie

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 07:51 PM

110,000 is practically fresh off the showroom floor.  With an elderly couple, at least you can be assured that they did not abuse the engine and cracked the cylinder heads.  But it probably only has Gen 2 cylinder heads, so you are likely going to crack them once you get it running.  Gen 3 cylinder heads are hard to find.



#7 NorthWet

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:57 PM

"Gen 3" heads are a legend.  To the best of my knowledge there is no evidence that they are anything different other than being newer with fewer miles/heat-cycles on them. 



#8 Ziginox

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:58 PM

"Gen 3" heads are a legend.  To the best of my knowledge there is no evidence that they are anything different other than being newer with fewer miles/heat-cycles on them. 

 

Not to mention that the head cracking issue seems to be a little bit overblown, no pun intended.



#9 Cougar

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:06 AM

I used to have two of those and were even the same color. The first one I purchased new.

 

I would see if the owner would accept 6 or 700 dollars for the car since the heads are bad and is a common issue with that model. If you purchase it consider replacing the heads with the latest version and only use genuine Subaru gaskets. You might consider replacing the radiator also when doing the repair.

 

Other common problems to watch for is the alternator and the ECU fuel pump circuit. A driver transistor can fail in the ECU and the pump won't work. There are past posting about that problem. I have fixed two ECUs with that problem in the past. One of them was on the second car I purchased and the other one I fixed was for a local shop that I went to for help on this problem before I found out what was really wrong. Their replacement ECU had the same problem mine did. They were going to throw it out so I asked them for. After I found out the bad transistor in my unit it was easy to fix their unit and I gave it back to them. This problem occurred in my car after the alternator was replaced. As soon as the engine was started it then died. I assume the higher charging voltage from the replacement alternator killed the weak transistor.



#10 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:06 AM

All useful information - thanks for the warning about the coolant lines.  That is def something to keep in mind.  I went ahead and uploaded some pictures.  Current owner says the rust in the pictures is as bad as it gets.  Pretty pleased with that!  I will add a radiator to the list of goodies.  I had a guy come and drive my CAT last night.  He is having a mechanic look at it today.  If all goes well, she will be gone for good after tonight.  Stoked to potentially pick up this 88 this weekend!  Yeehaw!



#11 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:38 PM

The Corolla is sold!  He is coming to hand over the rest of the cash tonight.  I am trying to line up a time to meet with the owner of the 88 this weekend. I could be the new owner soon!  Stoked for that! Thanks for the input guys - definitely helped in making up my mind!  I will see what he will come down to and let you guys know.

 

Not to mention that the head cracking issue seems to be a little bit overblown, no pun intended.

 

Do explain?  

 

 

"Gen 3" heads are a legend.  To the best of my knowledge there is no evidence that they are anything different other than being newer with fewer miles/heat-cycles on them. 

 

Thanks for the knowledge.  I will know this weekend when i get the car and get the motor out of it.  Stoked for this project to get rolling!



#12 scoobiedubie

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:58 PM

"Gen 3" heads are a legend.  To the best of my knowledge there is no evidence that they are anything different other than being newer with fewer miles/heat-cycles on them. 

 

Since evidence can pretty much only come out as some kind of scientific or user study, exactly who is willing or has the interest to put in the time to perform such a study.  Nobody.  I am a user and have used all 3 generations of gl10 cylinder heads.  In my opinion, the Gen 3 cylinder heads FAR OUTLAST THE GEN 1 AND GEN 2 CYLINDER HEADS.   The Gen 1 and Gen 2 cylinder heads fore me, were lasting no more than 30,000 miles before they developed a serious crack that allowed coolant into the combustion chamber, or coolant into the exhaust port.   There you go.  There is your evidence, or at least as much as you are going to find.



#13 NorthWet

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 02:40 PM

Regarding your "Do explain" request regarding head cracking being overblown, I will give you my view of it ("your mileage may vary"):

 

Typically, EA82 heads can get 2 types of cracks. 

 

The first, most common type, and the type that any type of EA82 head can get, is the crack in the combustion chamber between the valve seats.  This is very common (almost ubiquitous), and Subaru has a TSB out that states that as long as these do not extend into the coolant jacket (vast majority are superficial) they should be considered normal and ignored.  Most "my head is cracked" comments are people who see these superficial, officially "normal" cracks.

 

The other type of crack has, to the best of my knowledge, occurred ONLY on MPFI (dual intake port) heads, and ONLY on turbo versions.  This crack is visible in the exhaust port, and is in the divider that separates/directs the flow from the 2 valves.  This crack allows coolant to escape into the exhaust system.  This is ONLY a turbo-version problem.

 

My belief, supported by my looking at a couple dozen heads, is that the severe cracks that extend into the cooling jackets only occur because of severely low coolant level.  They are caused by little-to-no liquid coolant making it to the head, causing severe localized overheating, a condition that is encouraged by the cooling system design of the EA82. Keep the cooling system well-maintained and you are unlikely to ever see anything other than superficial between-the-valve cracks... and maybe not even those.  

   



#14 suprjohn

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

i got my radiator from rock auto for $70.

 

john



#15 eulogious

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:15 PM

After owning a turbo ea82 I would say buy the car for the body and the interior, not the engine. It's a little too finicky for my taste, and you don't really get any more power with the turbo. For $1000, hell no. You can buy a running legacy for that price with a newer and better motor in it. $500-$700 is all I would pay for that one, in the condition it is in, and only if the exterior where rust free and the interior was in perfect condition. Otherwise, just wait it out man, don't get too excited and buy something that is just going to be a pain, IMHO. I would try to get the car for $500, and then take the other $500 you saved and put it towards an EJ swap and then EJ swap it right away and be done with it. Much better use of you time and $$ then rebuilding the turbo motor that is most likely going to blow again.

 

Any reason why you want an EA body style instead of the legacy ("EJ" body series also would include legacy's and impreza's...)? After owning my 1990 loyale, and then my 1990 leggy, there is no way I will own a ea as a daily driver! The EJ series are great cars, and honestly cost about the same as a good running ea series. Just a thought, but you might want to look into the first gen legacy, much better bang for your buck!

 

But if you are insistent on getting an ea series car, just focus on the interior and the exterior of the car, and save some money for an EJ swap down the road for when the motor blows. The ea engine is really about the only bad thing in the ea series cars, especially the turbo version!

 

Good luck with whatever you do, at least you are now looking at Subarus!


Edited by eulogious, 27 November 2013 - 04:21 PM.


#16 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:28 PM

After owning a turbo ea82 I would say buy the car for the body and the interior, not the engine. It's a little too finicky for my taste, and you don't really get any more power with the turbo. For $1000, hell no. You can buy a running legacy for that price with a newer and better motor in it. $500-$700 is all I would pay for that one, in the condition it is in, and only if the exterior where rust free and the interior was in perfect condition. Otherwise, just wait it out man, don't get too excited and buy something that is just going to be a pain, IMHO. I would try to get the car for $500, and then take the other $500 you saved and put it towards an EJ swap and then EJ swap it right away and be done with it. Much better use of you time and $$ then rebuilding the turbo motor that is most likely going to blow again.

 

Any reason why you want an EA body style instead of the legacy ("EJ" body series also would include legacy's and impreza's...)? After owning my 1990 loyale, and then my 1990 leggy, there is no way I will own a ea as a daily driver! The EJ series are great cars, and honestly cost about the same as a good running ea series. Just a thought, but you might want to look into the first gen legacy, much better bang for your buck!

 

But if you are insistent on getting an ea series car, just focus on the interior and the exterior of the car, and save some money for an EJ swap down the road for when the motor blows. The ea engine is really about the only bad thing in the ea series cars, especially the turbo version!

 

Good luck with whatever you do, at least you are now looking at Subarus!

 

Thanks for the tips man - an EJ swap would be sweet.  I will do some searching for a Legacy tonight. I am partial to the body style of the EA cars but if i can avoid a few headaches by going with a newer legacy, i will do that.  As of right now, i am having a hard time setting up a time to meet with the owner of the 88.  At least this will give me time to consider other options.  Being car-less right now puts the pressure on a bit.  Looks like i will be spending some additional time commuting on my bike...



#17 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:30 PM

Regarding your "Do explain" request regarding head cracking being overblown, I will give you my view of it ("your mileage may vary"):

 

Typically, EA82 heads can get 2 types of cracks. 

 

The first, most common type, and the type that any type of EA82 head can get, is the crack in the combustion chamber between the valve seats.  This is very common (almost ubiquitous), and Subaru has a TSB out that states that as long as these do not extend into the coolant jacket (vast majority are superficial) they should be considered normal and ignored.  Most "my head is cracked" comments are people who see these superficial, officially "normal" cracks.

 

The other type of crack has, to the best of my knowledge, occurred ONLY on MPFI (dual intake port) heads, and ONLY on turbo versions.  This crack is visible in the exhaust port, and is in the divider that separates/directs the flow from the 2 valves.  This crack allows coolant to escape into the exhaust system.  This is ONLY a turbo-version problem.

 

My belief, supported by my looking at a couple dozen heads, is that the severe cracks that extend into the cooling jackets only occur because of severely low coolant level.  They are caused by little-to-no liquid coolant making it to the head, causing severe localized overheating, a condition that is encouraged by the cooling system design of the EA82. Keep the cooling system well-maintained and you are unlikely to ever see anything other than superficial between-the-valve cracks... and maybe not even those.  

Thanks for the explanation.  I have read another post about doing the head gasket swap and seen pics of the superficial cracks you are describing. If i go with this car, i will be sure to keep an eye of for said cracks.  All the help from you guys is great.  I appreciate it all more than i can express!



#18 ferp420

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 10:42 AM

i have a choice of 3 subies a impreza obs and a lagecy outback and a loyale for daily drivers although the ej cars are faster handle better i choose to drive the loyale the power difference isent that much from 1to the other as set up the loyale lightened up with a few minor mods and useing low range gearing it dose ok and seems to be more reliable than both then 97 outback and the 2000 obs even though the loyale is lifted and beat on and driven harder than the other 2 but ill tell you what that impreza sure is fun on the back mountain roads

#19 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 03:45 PM

Over 10 years ago I would pay $300-400 for one like this RUST FREE (though they are more common in Oregon)  I think $1000 is way too much.  The miles are irrelavant in my opinion as its still an old car and will still need head gaskets and all engine seals / hoses if you decide to rebuild it.  The one hose you don't change when you have the engine out WILL CRACK AND LEAK.

 

Thats not a GL-10 either... its just a turbo GL

 

A GL 10 would have the upgraded interior, digidash and sunroof (and maybe surviving air suspension)


Edited by Flowmastered87GL, 30 November 2013 - 03:47 PM.


#20 mandalore4411

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:37 AM

id go for 1000 if i had to. 5spd turbo gl-10 is a nice car. but 600-800 would be a good deal on that nice car, head gasket considered. perfect the cooling system while you have it apart doing the gasket



#21 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 07:42 PM

<p>Update - I ended up getting the car for $700. Picked it up last Sunday, got her home and pulled the motor. Car seemed great, REALLY well taken care of, especially living it's entirely life in the salt belt states. Motor out, pulled the head. The headgaskets blew due to a broken head bolt. I have those on order right now. I was swapping the valve stem seals when I noticed that the &quot;acceptable&quot; crack between the intake and exhaust ports is not acceptable. The crack runs up the cooling jacket. It can be seen both in the intake and exhaust ports. I assume these are toast and I am in the market for a new to me set of heads. Can anyone confirm this? Maybe NorthWet - you mentioned this before I looked at the car. Anyhow. Not totally discouraged, but this is def a let down. Was hoping to have the car running this week. Anyone got a set of heads they are willing to let go of? PM me if you do! For some reason, it is not letting me upload pictures. I have tried from my home computer and work now. Not sure what the deal is. Any tips are greatly appreciated. I am getting an error saying &quot;Error: File Upload skipped&quot; Pretty sure they cooling jackets are cracked though. Bummer Edit** I think this might work. This link should take you to my photobucket with the images. Let me know if you still can't see them!</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><a href="http://s790.photobuc...iles27/library/">http://s790.photobuc...iles27/library/</a></p>

Edited by nkmilesAE95, 09 December 2013 - 10:27 AM.


#22 MilesFox

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 08:04 PM

After owning a turbo ea82 I would say buy the car for the body and the interior, not the engine. It's a little too finicky for my taste, and you don't really get any more power with the turbo. For $1000, hell no. You can buy a running legacy for that price with a newer and better motor in it. $500-$700 is all I would pay for that one, in the condition it is in, and only if the exterior where rust free and the interior was in perfect condition. Otherwise, just wait it out man, don't get too excited and buy something that is just going to be a pain, IMHO. I would try to get the car for $500, and then take the other $500 you saved and put it towards an EJ swap and then EJ swap it right away and be done with it. Much better use of you time and $$ then rebuilding the turbo motor that is most likely going to blow again.

 

Any reason why you want an EA body style instead of the legacy ("EJ" body series also would include legacy's and impreza's...)? After owning my 1990 loyale, and then my 1990 leggy, there is no way I will own a ea as a daily driver! The EJ series are great cars, and honestly cost about the same as a good running ea series. Just a thought, but you might want to look into the first gen legacy, much better bang for your buck!

 

But if you are insistent on getting an ea series car, just focus on the interior and the exterior of the car, and save some money for an EJ swap down the road for when the motor blows. The ea engine is really about the only bad thing in the ea series cars, especially the turbo version!

 

Good luck with whatever you do, at least you are now looking at Subarus!

I w ould say that it is not a mistake to get this car and for the right price. Being a born and rased hoosier myself, it will be very rare that you find one in less rusty condition in indiana. My prefect 'rust free' 86 coupe cane from fort wayne, where i was froom, but only after i moved here!. It so far is the cleanest example i have ever seen with an ea82, the fenders and the rear quarters were mostly rust free, but there is wheel arch rust. I cleaned it up and por-15's it and some light fiberglass patching and i was happy. 

 

If you are doing the HG yourself, the cost will be minimum. The ea82t will be reliable with cooling system upkeep. Ispect the radiator for corrosion, use only oem thermostat with the jiggler ball. When adding coolant, do so through the upper hose into the block first, before the radiator. Perhaps this car was overheated by an air pocket. The maintenance schedule calls for re-torques of the head gaskets, but you need a short socket to do so, and no one ever does it. I would say it likely failed due to age, and with that low of mileage vs age, mostly sitting more than driving.



#23 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:25 AM

I got a link up to my pictures that is now working! Take a look and let me know what you think - thanks!

 

http://s790.photobuc...iles27/library/


Edited by nkmilesAE95, 09 December 2013 - 09:45 AM.


#24 nkmilesAE95

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

Update - I ended up ordering reman'd heads from a place out of St. Louis called RAMS Cylinder heads.  They had them sitting on the shelf and ready to roll with a 3 year, unlimited mile warranty.  Hard to pass up, especially when they were going to ship next day (as i am in a hurry to get my car back together)  At this point, i had EVERYTHING i needed to get the car back together.  All seals, waterpump, gaskets, thermo, dual core radiator, EGR block plate created, timing belts, tensioners, etc etc.  Well the heads finally showed this past friday - turns out they didn't ship the next day as the passenger side head needed some work. They also had an issue with finding an threaded EGR head... I wish they would have called bc i just plugged it anyway.  The driver side head looked great - looked damn near new and installed without an issue.  I was stoked.  The pass side looked like crap.  Sloppy welds, the turbo oil return had been hacked off and something welded on in it's place and was the wrong size.  The PCV port was plugged.  It hadnt been surfaced where the intake meets the head...   It was a mess - and i was pissed.  So i marked up the head with a sharpie, put all three heads in a box (my two cores, and the "reman'd")and shipped them back today.  Called and got no answer.  So i sent a nicely worded email explaining all the issues with pictures etc.  I called back again about an hour later and spoke with a cat named Ivan, who was great to deal with while inquiring and ordering.  He apologized many times and seemed surprised that the head was in as bad of shape is it is.  I begged that they fixed my head and ship it out this week (even with xmas)  but he didnt think this would be possible as it would need to spend a day in the oven.  Anyhow.  I will wait another week or more to get this car together.  it has just been one thing after another, and with no car, I'm kinda getting burnt out.  I just want to get the thing together and running!! :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  :banghead:  

 

I also stopped by the BMV saturday to register the car, but totally forgot that a physical VIN check is necessary for vehicle with out of state titles.  So i have to have a member of the 5-0 come take a look at it before i return to the BMV.  Just another hassle.  I can't tell you how excited i am to get this thing running.  One nice thing about the head issue is that Subaru ordered the wrong parts, but in the meantime, i got the correct ones!  It's the little things! 

 

Anyhow - i hope to have the car back together and running as soon as i get the head.  I have done EVERYTHING that i can do without the other head.  Anyone know if you absolutely MUST use anaerobic sealant between the head and cam towers?  I totally forgot and used red gasket maker instead.  I dont mind pulling it off to re-do it, just figured i'd ask.  I read somewhere that the silicone stuff will fail...  Thanks for reading!

 

TLDR: It is taking forever to get my car back together.  But i will have it together soon.  



#25 MilesFox

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

What state is the title? That must be a new law since i used to title cars from ohio without a notary (as within ohio) when i lived there. Don't get me going on about Indiana and the BMV as i have had my fair share of it before they modernized it. Only in Indiana the Motor Vehicles is a 'Bureau' instead of a 'Department'. Your story reminds me of trying to get an inspection to register a home made trailer.

 

The one thing i did like was being able to get 30 days on a title before transferring the plate. Here in WI it's only 3 days, and no temp plates for within-state titles.


Edited by MilesFox, 23 December 2013 - 06:41 PM.






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