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Guest Message by DevFuse

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86' GL Wagon, looking to make some tasteful upgrades!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Danja44



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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:03 PM

Bought an 86 GL Wagon with 222k on the carb'd 1.8l. The interior is rough being from Arizona, but everything else is clean! I've always loved Subaru's and this was just to good to pass up!


Anyways, what I am thinking about doing upgrade wise is;


- A little bit of lift and larger tires. If anyone knows of a tires size that it would clear at stock height that would be helpful aswell! Also I have contemplated wheel spacers.


- Eliminate the Cat. Conv. (Its really sluggish at the top of the RPM range, so I am assuming its plugged.)


- Advance the timing a couple degrees, from what I have read that's an easy way to get a little out of it


- Possibly swap the Hitachi for a Weber


- Replace the ugly interior parts


- Roof Rack and Bumpers


If anyone has some input, information or insight please feel free to add!


Thank You!!!



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#2 Demolition


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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:24 PM


Those are pretty typical "upgrades" for gl/wagons. If you want more power do a EJ swap. Other than that browse the site look at other peoples rigs and use your imagination ;)

#3 suprjohn


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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:39 AM

I have an '89 DL wagon that looks very similar. I have had no luck finding interior parts, so I am repainting and refurbishing as much as I can. 



#4 djellum


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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:15 AM

good effect on interiors is to mix colors.  maybe blue dash, door tops, and seats (or whatever color yours is) and mix in a complimentary color for the flat vinyl on the doors or carpet or console.  not that any of that would actually look good, but grey and blue go together well and it makes it easier to find parts.


stay under/at a 25 inch total tire diameter (look up the tires by manufacturer to make sure the diameter is right, the printed tire sizes are approximate).  as long as your suspension is good you can clear it with no lift (if you lift it, then it depends on your lift).  I like to find Peugeot alloys cause they come in 14 and 15 inch sizes and have the proper lug pattern.  other than that you can drill your hubs for the common 6 bolt pattern, or drill flat center 6 bolt rims to fit your pattern. 


advancing the timing is more about usage than anything else.  changing it just alters where your power is, not how much there is.  extra advance is great for town driving, light throttle, etc.  less awesome for full throttle usually, but how much depends on the motor.  id leave it alone until its running very well and you have driven it enough to feel the difference.


webers are great, but not so great that I would pull a functioning hitachi for it.  if your carb is running well let it be.  if its not I would probably replace it rather than fix it, unless its something very simple.  same as the timing, it doesn't really give you "more" power as much as it changes when the motor generates it.


pull the cat if you wish, but I would probably check your fuel and ignition systems out before going to exhaust to solve your top end problem.  plugged cats just aren't as common as people think, though it can happen so worth checking into if the problem persists.  I have seen mufflers plugged with fiberglass as well, and a much easier check/fix.

#5 Danja44



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Posted 30 January 2014 - 11:03 PM

Thanks for the advice! You pretty much nailed all my questions! 👍

I was curious about how they react to opening up the exhaust, a friend of mine has a connection to muffler shop and we were thinking just replace the cat and open up the exhaust to a 2" and replace the muffler.

Edited by Danja44, 30 January 2014 - 11:07 PM.

#6 djellum


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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:35 AM

a little more flow on the exhaust is a good upgrade, wouldn't go over 2 inch though.  cats can be cleaned.  never done it but I have heard of it, check on youtube.  

#7 92_rugby_subie


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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:37 AM

It all depends on your style really. Id say on a white EA82 wagon Id be looking at getting a set of 15" Peugeot recessed spokes... painting them black. Going on a 205/60/15 tire or 195/60/15 is a pretty common size thus a bit cheaper. Id find a wagon spoiler and paint that either black or white.


Interior parts... hmmm... the LED gauge cluster is a good idea, pretty straight forward but there is a write-up with the bulb types and quantity you need. If youre bent on changing the interior, XT6 seats will fit the fronts (3 of 4 holes line up, people say they are secure and solid this way or you can make a bracket for the last bolt) but legacy stuff also can be modded to fit.

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