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Long ea82 road trip opinions please?

ea82 loyale oregon ohio wagon 1990 5spd road trip highway

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18 replies to this topic

#1 LoyaleSmith

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 10:03 PM

I just want some opinions here, my concern is through the roof. I am considering taking my 1990 Loyale wagon on a trip from Portland, Oregon to Gallipolis, Ohio, which is on the eastern side of the state. The trip is about 2600 miles, beginning on I-84, then moving onto I-80 and I-74. I'm a stranger to drives this far but if I do it, i'm not worried about lack of driving skill or anything like that. I'd maybe cruise a bit less than 500 miles a day until i got there. Who knows. What I AM worried about is ye olde ea82. Its a tough old gal, but it has given me trouble here and there, no surprises. I have a bit of an oil leak on the passenger side cam tower, which became pretty noticeable after cleaning the block. It's not enough so that I need to dump more oil in, in fact, I haven't noticed any oil loss whatsoever. What DOES go down the drain is some coolant, and I dont really know where it goes. Its not an absurd amount but, like i say, noticeable. The car drives like a champ for what it is, a yellow bellied ea82. However, I would kinda be up spoob creek with half a paddle if it blew up on the drive. I know my way around the engine bay no doubt, but thats not gonna save me if i throw a rod bearing or really cream the cam tower/head. Does anyone have experience with a trip like this in a "seasoned" ea82, or some insight they can give me? I would appreciate it greatly. I dont have much cash to save myself in the event of a mass failure. Is it worth trying? 

 

Car is a '90 Loyale wagon, optional 4wd, 5spd tranny.

 

Thanks in advance guys.

 

The car has been running pretty solid lately, it has had an electrical problem before but its fixed now. If spoob hits the fan, what kind of costs(jagged, rough estimates) can i expect to get this thing rebuilt? Any parts you see as impending doom-bringers?


Edited by LoyaleSmith, 11 July 2014 - 10:06 PM.


#2 l75eya

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:19 AM

Basic regular fail points;

Belts, alternator, water pump, timing belts and components, and less so, oil pump, power steering pump.

Make sure those are all in known good condition with relatively low miles on them and you should be OK. If you're running original alternator that now has like 200k plus on it, you might want to make sure you have a spare in the trunk lol

As far as catastrophic failure like you mentioned a spin bearing it something, that's really going to come down to how well you know your car. Do you know there's really no reason for something like that to happen? Because I mean if the car has never been abused badly or run with low oil or no oil or old oil for a very long time, catastrophic failure is pretty rare id say under normal diving situations.

I've driven my (then) 24 year old GL across the country 4 times. One thing I CAN say is replace your gear oil before you go. Your gear oil and your diff in the back too if you can.
I did those trips across the county on the original 24 yearold 46k miles (only) gear oil and ruined my transmission. ITs still working somehow 2 years later but it's really noisy.

All that being said look at it this way, if worse comes to worse and you do actually get stranded stranded, you can either sell it or scrap it and get a bus ticket. ;-)

Hope it never comes to that!

#3 l75eya

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:21 AM

Oh and tires! Make sure your tires aren't in bad shape. I really recommend trying to source another rim so you can mount a tire to it and have a full sized spare instead of the donut.

#4 ystrdyisgone

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:18 AM

I took a 2000 mile road trip last summer with my ol EA82. It had 196K on it at the time. I would say a good rule of thumb would be check the oil at every fill up. Better safe than sorry. My old engine had a noticeable oil leak, so I ended up having to put three quarts in over the whole trip.

 

I did make sure to do my timing belts (pulleys, and idlers as well) and v-belts. I also kept the old belts for backup on the trip.

 

Not too sure about the coolant issue, maybe look into the water pump and see if it's weeping?

 

I'd say go for it, but as l75eya said, only you know your car. I was pretty confident in my car, as well as my toolbox in the trunk, so I went for it.

 

If you wanna save on gas. Drive at 55. On a trip like that though 55 versus 75 sure adds on some time..



#5 Silas Cruse

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:19 AM

Deer whistles, active Deer whistles !!

 

Like this:

http://www.amazon.co...eywords=27512VA

 

Or something like it.



#6 LoyaleSmith

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:08 AM

Thank you for the replies guys. I know the car fairly well.. I definitely check fluids religiously anyways so i'll be on top of that. As far as "has the car been womped on with no oil" i cant entirely say, i've put a few thousand responsible miles on her, but thats out of 280k on the car, and an unknown number on the motor. I know there's less than 200k on the current ea82 though. One of my biggest concerns is the death rattle it has. Not exhaust heat shields, or any of that. Personally i think it may be the cat, as the sound seems to be generated from that area. Im no master though, i feel it may be an internal sound, or tranny related, as that sits just above the cat. Happens under load, pretty bad when going up hill, but happens constantly. Also pretty bad when decelerating(in gear off throttle). I dont know. :/ i'll figure it out someday. I'm not willing to get rid of the car. Sounds ridiculous but i'm 18 years old and this car is staying with me until it gets completely destroyed or stolen. Its my pride and joy, and has taught me everything i know about cars. Dreams include an ej22t, 5 lug swap, etc. The works. Look at my profile pic, its a digi-snow camo wagon on white desert rats.. need i say more? the local chiropractor practically wants to sponsor me, I turn so many heads. no scrapping or selling for sure. Appreciate the replies greatly guys. Keep em comin if you have more thoughts.



#7 MR_Loyale

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:17 PM

 I am going to be doing a cross country trip Aug-Sep. in my Loyale sedan. Some things to ponder before you take the trip

 

Do you have tow insurance like AAA?  If you cannot afford this, start making subie friend along the route now, before you leave. Might be nice to meet some of the folks on the board in person too. Perhaps facilitate transportation of some hard to find parts in exchange for a safe haven should your old gal collapse.

 

Please tell us what sort of budget we are working with. total shoesting or adequate to financially handle any contingency?  Planning is different depending. Since you are 18, I will assume shoestring.

 

#1 Replace all belts and fluid - no exceptions. If you cannot afford this, stay home. Put old belts in trunk.

#1a Fuses. Carry some. Put them in the glove box. Look at fusebox for sizes needed and get some of those.

#2, Carry a gallon of pre-mixed anti-freeze and motor oil.

#3. Tools: Cheap socket set ($20 Walmart) pliers, standard and phillips screwdriver. Total cost under $30. Throw in Haynes book.

#4. Check the balljoints, bearings and brakes. Replace if any doubt.

#5. Do all the turn signals, tail lights and lamps work? You don't want some hick cop blowing your budget with a $600.00 ticket for a burned out lamp. Let Roscoe stick the next sucker instead of you.

#6. Is the clutch iffy? If so replace it. 2600 miles won't make it better. It is a clutch not a fine wine. If you neglect it the only fine wine you will see is you whining to mom and dad from 2000+ miles away.

 

#7. Take some shorter trips before you go sort of as a shakedown of sorts. Use a critical eye to find issues and evaluate if critical or not. Take someone along who doesn't know the "quirks" of your old gal and ask them to be critical. Often times we get to know our cars noises and become accustomed to them.

 

#8. Contingency plan. What if the car catches fire and burns to the ground in small tow hicksville while Goober and Roscoe watch. How will you get home?

 

#10. Carry a mobile phone and 12v charger. Have emergency numbers programmed in.

 

Hope this helps,


Edited by MR_Loyale, 12 July 2014 - 01:23 PM.


#8 joe5

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:13 PM

I just got back from a road trip last weekend from oregon to eastern utah and back on my 92 loyale with 230k on the ea82. (trip was 2100 miles including rabbit trails along the way). It was the first trip out the drive way after my first headgasket/timingbelt/water pump job (And thanks to gloyale for last minute help with the most ridiculous ball joint ever). Pretty bold "test drive" but the motor held up strong!

 

The one problem I did have...

 

I got a leak in the little coolant hose that connects the thermostat to the block. It took me a while to find because the coolant leaked onto the top of the block and evaporated without dripping onto the ground. It started as a slow leak but by the time we were in the salt flats we were loosing close to a gallon every 100 miles. By then it was gushing and easy to spot. 

 

The take away...double check old hoses! Especially since you mentioned you are loosing some coolant. Could be many things but with the heat and being under a lot of pressure during a road trip, you don't want a hose busting on ya in the middle of no where.

 

Good luck on the trip! 



#9 scoobiedubie

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:27 AM

The coolant leak could be the cylinder head gaskets, or the intake gaskets.  Coolant leaks can go from bad to really bad in a big hurry.  Are the plugs also white from burning coolant?  If it runs rough and looses coolant, that points more towards the intake gaskets.  Cylinder head gaskets can go out in 30,000 miles.  Water pumps can go bad in 20,000 miles if there is no extra gasket maker applied to the hole on top of the water pump, that then keeps dirt and grime out of the innards of the water pump.  You would then have to know exactly when you replaced the above mentioned items, before you headed out cross country playing russian roulette with your subbie.  Always carry an extra water pump, extra coolant and all the tools to change the pump beneath an overpass in the middle of nowhere.  Cylinder head bolts get loose and can be tightened somewhat in order to cut down on coolant leakage.  But when the gaskets go bad, not even tightening bolts is going to help that.  Also carry and extra distributor and belts.  You appear to need to do some work, before driving across the country. 



#10 jonas

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:02 PM

MR_Loyale, on 12 Jul 2014 - 11:24, said:

 I am going to be doing a cross country trip Aug-Sep. in my Loyale sedan. Some things to ponder before you take the trip

 

Do you have tow insurance like AAA?  If you cannot afford this, start making subie friend along the route now, before you leave. Might be nice to meet some of the folks on the board in person too. Perhaps facilitate transportation of some hard to find parts in exchange for a safe haven should your old gal collapse.

 

Please tell us what sort of budget we are working with. total shoesting or adequate to financially handle any contingency?  Planning is different depending. Since you are 18, I will assume shoestring.

 

#1 Replace all belts and fluid - no exceptions. If you cannot afford this, stay home. Put old belts in trunk.

#1a Fuses. Carry some. Put them in the glove box. Look at fusebox for sizes needed and get some of those.

#2, Carry a gallon of pre-mixed anti-freeze and motor oil.

#3. Tools: Cheap socket set ($20 Walmart) pliers, standard and phillips screwdriver. Total cost under $30. Throw in Haynes book.

#4. Check the balljoints, bearings and brakes. Replace if any doubt.

#5. Do all the turn signals, tail lights and lamps work? You don't want some hick cop blowing your budget with a $600.00 ticket for a burned out lamp. Let Roscoe stick the next sucker instead of you.

#6. Is the clutch iffy? If so replace it. 2600 miles won't make it better. It is a clutch not a fine wine. If you neglect it the only fine wine you will see is you whining to mom and dad from 2000+ miles away.

 

#7. Take some shorter trips before you go sort of as a shakedown of sorts. Use a critical eye to find issues and evaluate if critical or not. Take someone along who doesn't know the "quirks" of your old gal and ask them to be critical. Often times we get to know our cars noises and become accustomed to them.

 

#8. Contingency plan. What if the car catches fire and burns to the ground in small tow hicksville while Goober and Roscoe watch. How will you get home?

 

#10. Carry a mobile phone and 12v charger. Have emergency numbers programmed in.

 

Hope this helps,

#8 reminds me of the scene in "vacation" when Clark is dealing with the two mechanics after driving off the road.



#11 Indrid cold

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:50 AM

I like the reply above about the slow coolant leak possibly from the two intake gaskets. That is the probable leak and cheap change out regardless if they haven't been done in a long time. Subie real parts only on that one. As others stated, check things. Head gaskets, possibly.

Well, You could have thousands in the bank and that won't keep the car from bursting into flames. Or the car could burst into flames sitting in your driveway. I have seen people sit at rest areas with a sign, need cash for gas, people give, some don't.

You could look back 20 years from now on how you were driving down the Dakota Highway and you could hear a tick get louder and louder and then wham, your engine comes unhinged along the highway... wow.. and you still may reflect on those that pulled over to watch, or help as your favorite car bled out or burned up along a long empty highway... or it didn't.. and you made it to and from Ohio. Or you didn't go and nothing ever happened.
You could look back on how sad you were when it failed and you had to have it scrapped, buy a bus ticket and with tail between your legs, ride back home. But what a tale to tell!

Something else you can do is get on Craigslist and post your trip East ward and see if anyone needs a ride for gas, as however long that ride will last.

I bet if you broke down and you needed help there would be a local church, fellow traveler, or even post on here and someone would help. But those are just words of comfort and little meaning when your 1,500 miles from home. If you have a major engine failure or tranny dumps along a distant hwy, the cost of repairs or towing to bring it back home would probably not be worth the value of the car. Like a horse with a broken leg, shoot it, walk away into the sunset. but you never know, maybe a parts car sitting behind a repair shop just waiting.

Regardless, it is just a car and sooner or later it will be gone.

Good luck, regardless of your choice.


Edited by Indrid cold, 16 July 2014 - 11:31 PM.


#12 jono

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 04:26 AM

just go, and send us a postcard.



#13 el_freddo

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 04:47 AM

Along with all fluids, I'd also check out your bearings and make sure your drive shafts are in good order, any clicking ones either replace or carry a spare with the required tools to swap out.

 

While probably not so much of a concern compared to Australian heat/weather, but if your radiator is of an unknown age with plastic end tanks have it replaced along with any rad/heater/coolant hoses that you don't know the age of.  I blew the side out of my radiator in the middle of no where on a 45C day - that killed the old faithful EA82 I had at the time.  It was a great trip though!

 

Don't modify your engine and decide it's a good idea to do a trip that takes you across a continent and back without a decent amount of run time - I had barely 1000km on some solid lifters before we left, after the first 1000km of the 8500km round trip I relaxed about the solid lifters...  One died.  I had the tools to strip and replace with originals but it could've been so much worse than it was!  Great trip, did I mention that!

 

I'd also say check out as much stuff along the way as possible, don't leg/rush it to the destination thinking you'll see it all on the way home - if it goes pare shaped you'll luck out on your chance to see those sights!

As for the bottom end of your EA82 - they're pretty much bullet proof - what lets the EA82 down is the rubber band cam belts and the cam box with it's factory oil leaks.  Best to get on top of any oil leaks before you go.

When you do the cam kit put new oil seals on the crank and cams, make sure they're lubed with a plastic grease so they don't prematurely wear out due to being dry, or start leaking due to an incorrect grease used to lube them with (such as what I've accidentally done on my EJ).

If you think it needs replacing, replace it.  If you need to save to do the maintenance on your vehicles, save for it - don't take the money out of your travel budget!

If you're not on a time schedule for an event or something of the like, you've got time up your sleeve.  If it makes it easier, build an EA82 up on the side while you daily run your L (if this is an option).

Most of all, once you're on the road, have fun, enjoy the drive and make some good memories!

Cheers

Bennie



#14 john in KY

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:45 AM

Use the seat belt. Don't pick up hitch hikers. Avoid driving through cities during rush hours. Better to sleep during the day and drive all night. Summer heat is hard on the driver, the car and especially old tires. Have enough cash on hand to buy a bus ticket.



#15 grossgary

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

good advice from John!
 

they can be reliable vehicles if properly maintained.  new timing belts, water pump, oil pump resealed, cam seals, crank seal, valve cover gaskets/grommets, drive belts, spark plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and PCV valve, and have a spare alternator in the trunk since those commonly fail.  all of that isn't hard to do. 

 

the coolant loss is the scary one.  i'd want to know where it's going.



#16 MilesFox

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

based on my experience, the most likely failures are tire, radiator hose, or timing belt. This is why you run open timing belts, so that if one fails, you can change it oer the side of the road.

 

Watch the temp gauge like a hawk. That is the most important gauge in the dash,.

 

Do not use 5w30 oil. Use at least a 10w30, or ever a 5w or 10w40 oil. Perhaps even 0w40 synthetic if the car does not consume oil.

 

Expect it to though, check oil often a d add as necessary. The single most thing you can to to help with oil consumption is replace the PCV valve.

 

Otherwise, Hit the road. Stop by Milwaukee Wisconsin if you need to make any repairs while over the road. Good luck thru Chicago.The Indiana toll road is death, don't break down in Goshen.



#17 rdweninger

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:00 AM

Finally, MilesFox mentions the radiator hoses.   For some reason, they always blow in the middle of a long road trip.   Also, replace the 2 heater hoses at the firewall.... or be ready with the parts.

  Always have drinking water (a lot) in the rig.   You can use it for coolant, windshield cleaner and personal hydration.    I remember heading east on I90 a few years back... we hit a super swarm of bugs (caddis flies?) around Moses Lake.   Late at night... no exit... middle of nowhere... could not see thru the windscreen.   Had to 'clean' the windshield with water from my canteen.



#18 MR_Loyale

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 02:09 PM

based on my experience, the most likely failures are tire, radiator hose, or timing belt. This is why you run open timing belts, so that if one fails, you can change it oer the side of the road.

 

Watch the temp gauge like a hawk. That is the most important gauge in the dash,.

 

Do not use 5w30 oil. Use at least a 10w30, or ever a 5w or 10w40 oil. Perhaps even 0w40 synthetic if the car does not consume oil.

 

Expect it to though, check oil often a d add as necessary. The single most thing you can to to help with oil consumption is replace the PCV valve.

 

Otherwise, Hit the road. Stop by Milwaukee Wisconsin if you need to make any repairs while over the road. Good luck thru Chicago.The Indiana toll road is death, don't break down in Goshen.

 

Uh, I am going through Indiana in August. Can you please elaborate on the "toll road is death" comment? I don't want Buford Pickens pulling me over.  Thanks.



#19 Ibreakstuff

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

I once drove from Lake Tahoe Cali to Miami Florida in a beat 200k mile 1994 ford explorer with 2 sets of firestone recall tires. I split a radiator in texas, shredded 2 serp belts of death, had 3 spontaneous tire tread separations, and a exploded power steering pump. Just be thankful you are in a subaru, my guess is your trip will be much more rewarding.

Everyone covered pretty much everything, my only tidbit to add is bring/buy more water than you think you need during the entire trip. Of all the prep and tools/parts I gathered for my trip, water ended up being the most precious thing of all when stranded.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ea82, loyale, oregon, ohio, wagon, 1990, 5spd, road trip, highway

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