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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Some GL hatchback gripes...

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10 replies to this topic

#1 K-111operator


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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:07 PM

Hello, I'm new here. I like subarus and I own a 1969 360 sedan, but that's not the point of this post...
I recently bought a 1984 GL hatchback to replace my dearly departed Renault Le Car - and there's just a few stupid things that really bug me. I think the Quad headlamps and the grille that goes with them are excessively ugly - is it possible to swap this out for the dual headlamp DL or an earlier dual headlamp grille? If so, would anyone be interested in trading?
Secondly (and this is really nitpicking) the interior has too much plastic and rubber, my previous two cars (the Renault and an '82 Tercel) as well as the 360 have a healthy does of painted metal showing in the interior - I feel like I'm driving a cave, not a car with this GL! Did the STD or the earlier hatchback models have a more basic and friendly interior?
And lastly (but probably most importantly) this car idles at a little under 1500 rpm when warmed up - does this indicate a problem? Or is the idle speed simply adjusted too high?
Anyway, this is the newest and most advanced car I've ever owned, perhaps I just need to get adjusted to it. Thanks for reading my whining, and thanks in advance for any answers to my questions.

#2 the sucker king

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:35 PM

wow. you had a le car. havn't seen one in years. my friend works on this crazy renault that looks like a le car w/ big fender flairs. it's turbo and in his words it will take a corvette. there are very few of these cars around.

anyway, you could swap out the grill and light set up with an earlier car (82 and older) or any std. some had square and some had round, but all stds or pre 83 hatches had two headlights and didn't have the ugly honeycomb grill. the body of the hatch never really changed, so any should work. i think brat and coupe grills of that era should work to, but check me on that. some of the older grills have the cool pop up centerlamp (called a passing lamp or cyclops)

the older ones had even more unatractive plastic. sorry.

#3 the sucker king

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Posted 14 July 2004 - 11:37 PM

just saw your in CO. where at?

#4 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 15 July 2004 - 03:10 AM

The headlight buckets in the sheet metal under all that stuff are different, and in order to do the swap properly, you would have to weld in the front end from either an 80, 81, 82, 83/84 STD or DL, 85-87 DL Brat, or 85-89 STD and DL Hatch's. There are at least three distinct styles of dual headlights - two styles of round, and one square, but some if not all have different sheet metal for where the headlights mount. The later STD hatch may be the same for sheet metal, I'm not sure as I haven't looked under one yet..... It's no direct bolt on from what I've seen, and the quad's give far better light output anyway. If you want to attempt it, I have a complete dual headlight grill and marker light setup I would part with....

As for interior - the STD and DL's have less amenities, but are still the same plastic. Pretty durable actually.

As for the idle - sounds like it's time for a carb rebuild - you can try adjusting it, but it probably won't do anything. The cable's stick sometimes, or the choke mechanism isn't working right..... basically the Hitachi's are a little weird like that, and you'll just have to live with it unless you want to rebuild it, or put on a weber.


#5 Allouez


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Posted 15 July 2004 - 05:50 PM

Yeah, I've owned a couple of 87's and I didn't much like the 4 headlamp set-up either. I looked into changing it around, but like another post says, you will have to either cut-out the metal or weld in something from an earlier hatch.
I now own an 81' and it looks much more aggressive with the 2 round headlamps, but what helps in any case is replacing the plastic honeycomb grill with something like a black mesh or billet-style grill of some sort. I've done this w/my 81' and then fastened the Subaru emblem back on in the center and it looks very sharp, almost FIAT-like...many have asked me what it is, taking it for some very small muscle car or something. It takes just a little cutting of the grill, but it will look quite different.

Otherwise, I've seen some really great bumper treatments on this board that made their later hatch look very sharp..some sort of bull-bar with fog lamps, ect., that sort of thing. All depends what effect you want...but have fun and good luck!

#6 boing


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Posted 15 July 2004 - 09:37 PM

Hello Everybody!!!!

You will probably find this hard to believe but the tiny town of LaConner, Washington used LeCar for their police cars quite a few years back. They put LePolice on the side of them. Pretty weird eh? As far as the GL ... I really like them and don't think they look so bad. You could always customize the entire grill and corner fronts from scratch I spose but I'm guessing it would cost you somewhere around 400-700 bucks. I have the 88 GL 3-door and really like the looks of the whole car.
I'm about to go take a look at another GL (88) that somebody has for sale for 450 bucks but I learned my lesson well..... I'll check out all the oil and CV joints and timing belts and seals before I jump into it.
Good Luck with the front end job... Nice meeting everybody.
The Ole Boingers!

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#7 Wasteland


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Posted 15 July 2004 - 10:09 PM

Where in CO are you? I'm on the western slope, right off I 70 and I've got both single round and single square set up's, hell I'll cut the front of my '81 DL wagon off if you wan't to go that far.

#8 MadMatt


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Posted 22 February 2005 - 11:33 PM

Those 4-light headlights come in pretty handy when one of the lights burn out (usually miles from a replacement)...just switch the wiring to the good ones.

#9 Ross


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Posted 22 February 2005 - 11:44 PM

THere is an alternative to the honeycomb grille, as seen here on my ea81t wagon, it still 'aint pretty though if you ask me.

#10 hooziewhatsit


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Posted 22 February 2005 - 11:47 PM


for your carb, it may very well need a rebuild, but a cheap something to try would be some Seafoam. Do some searches and you'll find out about it made many peoples' idles much better.

#11 MilesFox


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Posted 23 February 2005 - 12:12 PM

i know this guy, goes as ROOBAFLU on the board, i watched him convert the 4 headlights to round

the grille and bezels will fit the same, but the metal between the hole for the quats were cut out, the metal was bent and shaped a little to use tapping screws to hold it still

the 2 plugs for each set of lights, you plug both of them to one light to get the high lo beam functions, aske roobaflu for insight, he may take a picture for you

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