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Imported EA81 question


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3 replies to this topic

#1 NVBigBlue

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 01:30 AM

Hello all,
So here's a story for you all. And then two questions.
Round about 1991, I ended up with fairly nice little GL wagon. It's an '81, nice interior, decent body, 4spd, dual range. Got it for a song ($50 and a case of beer!:D ). It had about 110K on it. Was my daily driver for about 3 months, then something "bad" happened. After leaving for work one cold winter morning, I start overheating....no water in radiator. Refilled radiator, and immediately notice water running from a 2 inch crack on top of one of rear cylinders! Appearently, my coolant wasn't quite as good as the guy that sold it to me had stated. (Yes, I know I should have checked it myself...) So at any rate, turns out that when your coolant is probably around 10 below, but the nightime temp runs 40 below, it WILL freeze. Hence, then crack. So here's where things start get frustrating.....
After a couple of months of scraping cash together, I buy one of these "30,000 miles or less" import motors. Simple swap. Decent price, runs great, hey I'm golden....except....for two things:
Thing #1: The accelerator pump on the carb is shot, irritating on take offs, but otherwise runs great... But guess what? The tag on the carb isn't listed in any parts books. Store guy says not gonna find a match because it's an import engine....grrrrrr:confused:
Thing #2: For some reason the clutch is very adjustment sensitive.....in fact, I can't get it to adjust correctly. It really felt like I was not getting enough throw out of the fork to fully disengage the clutch. Now while trying to figure this out, the tranny kind of disinegrates going down the road....lots of noise....and I have 2 gear left. I don't know what failed....I never tore it apart. I get a used tranny from a pick-n-pull and swap it in. Back on the road, but still not enough throw. About 500 miles later...THIS tranny craps out. OK, now I'm really starting to get irritated. About this time, I get a nice little Tercel from my mom and I basically give up on the GL.:banghead:
<time passes>
OK, so now it's a few years later (gee....has it really been 13 years?), and I've been hauling this GL around with me everywhere I move, because I refuse to junk it out......it's got a great motor in it! (well that's what I tell the wife;) ) Now I come across this board (I wish I'd found it a few years ago...) and I read where you have to swap out the bell housing to exchange an auto tranny for a manual.
While this might not be my case, here's question #1: Is it possible that the import engine I bought, might have a thicker bell housing? If so, that would move the tranny (and fork) back, and hence, not quite enough throw. Anyone care to comment? Am I on the right track here? I don't know why I never considered this before, but hey....we've all missed the obvious some times....
Question #2: I've been reading a lot of posts about some of you running weber carbs on the ea81. Are you buying these new or pulling them from another vehicle, rebuilding them and away you go or what? Also, what model numbers, etc. should I be looking at?
I'd like to replace the tranny (and carb) and get this car going again, but I don't want to repeat the past. My oldest is almost 16 now, and of course, wants something to drive. I know this would be a great starter car and with some of the mods he's seen on this board, he's starting to get interested in something besides the playstation and tv!
I appologize for such a long post, but once you find people that will listen......

Thanks for the input guys (and gals?!?),
NV

P.S. As a side note, while trying to get the money together for the new engine, I patched the crack with JB Weld, and hacked up a radiator cap so it wouldn't build any pressure and ran that puppy for almost 2 months. I was only going about 10 miles each way....but it was good enough to get back and forth to work, and to the store, etc.!

#2 Ross

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 01:45 AM

I'm not sure about any bellhousing variations. I also have an '81 gl wagon (poo brown by the way), and it has always had very little travel in the clutch. This was with both the clutch that was in it when i bought it, as well as with the replacement clutch i put in. There was so little travel, other people used to tell me the clutch was nacked when they drove it. I just got used to it, and it hasn't caused any probs..... have you still got the old gearbox?

#3 NVBigBlue

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 01:59 AM

I'm not sure about any bellhousing variations. I also have an '81 gl wagon (poo brown by the way), and it has always had very little travel in the clutch. This was with both the clutch that was in it when i bought it, as well as with the replacement clutch i put in. There was so little travel, other people used to tell me the clutch was nacked when they drove it. I just got used to it, and it hasn't caused any probs..... have you still got the old gearbox?


No I don't have the original trans, but the second is still there. It did have very little travel when I first bought the car, but I should have mentioned...to make it drivable, I welded a piece of flat steel to the top of the clutch peddle where the cable connects. This moved the pull point up about an inch, and gave me a slightly longer pull.....enough disengagement to be able to drive it. Oh ya, I did replace the clutch, pressure plate, and t/o bearing when I swapped the engine. And for color...well....it's some type of silver. I think. Altho sometimes I think it might have been a blue....or green....or gray..... :confused:

#4 mudrat79

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Posted 29 November 2004 - 03:32 AM

In answer to the Bellhousing.....Yes they are slightly different between a Stick and Auto....I use auto bell in stick cars and Vise versa.....Only real issue is Relation of flywheel to starter.....Your clutch should have more than enough throw in it to compensate.....Did your Jap motor come to you with a flywheel on it by chance...?

Also.....Have you verified it is an EA-81 as apposed to an EA-71....?
EA-81 is Factory 1800 cc motor But there are several Jap motor places that got EA-71 1600cc Motors out of Hatchs, that had 1800 bellhousings on them....Flywheel would normally come with, cause it had to stay with that engine combo.....If you happened to get one of those you could have Trany input shaft to pilot bearing issues causeing premature death to tranny as well as pilot bearing ...?

Let us KNow where you stand on this one once you know or verify engine....It can be done by looking just to the pasenger side of your distributor....there is a stamp on the block saying EA_71 or 81.......:)

As far as Weber carbs go.......Yes if you are running the Jap carb you were on borrowed time anyway......You can buy a COmplete New Weber kit offline for around 340.00 or you can sourse one online or locally for cheaper....you will want to crack throttle to half way mark and Check for any side to side play if you go looking for a Used one.....If there is any play, the carb is Done....It will suck air at idle, as well as have a stumble somewhere in accelleration......

hope this puts you in the right direction......John




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