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Blown 85 Subaru GL Wagon Engine


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14 replies to this topic

#1 rosser1982

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 01:18 PM

First of all hello everybody I am new to this forum. I recently inherited an 85 subaru GL Wagon from my grandma. The nice thing is. It has been garage kept and has like 52,000 miles on it. The interior is in excellent shape. Its only been driven for the most part around her small town. It has tons of dings on the roof and hood where the car was caught in a hail storm. It also the passenger side corner is crunched somewhat. Otherwise the thing ran great. you see I let my friend borrow the car. He decided for giggles to try racing a BMW M5...obviously he lost but he alos over heated the engine so bad that after I take the spark plugs out it blows water out when I turn the engine over. Nice huh...

So now I have to figure out what to do with the car. Junk it...or try and fix it. I'd like to keep it because I clean windows for a living and would like to have it to put ladders on. Any opinions? How much do you think it would cost to fix?

#2 Scoobywagon

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 01:27 PM

Welcome to the board. Sorry about your car. Maybe you should get your "friend" to cough up for some repair work.

Anyway, it shouldn't be terribly difficult or expensive to fix. Being an 85, it is most likely a carbed engine. That being the case, you can simply go to your local wrecking yard and get another engine. Doing an engine swap isn't real hard in these cars. And if you feel like turning your own wrenches, you may be able to simple get a set of heads and head gaskets and not replace the whole engine.

Definitely worth keeping if you can do your own work. If you don't feel comfortable with that, look around on the board and you're likely to find someone on here that is close to you. Just ask, there's lots of people here who are willing to help out.

#3 rosser1982

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 01:31 PM

It is carbourated. (I noticed on the interstate it has a real problem maintaining its speed) I don't mind turning the wrenches. I'm not as adept as my dad he's pretty good although we've never worked on any subarus before. he was worried that there might be some other damage to the car that would result from overheating... what do you think? Is there anything else to watch out for?

#4 85Sub4WD

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 03:45 PM

depending on how comfident you feel (mechanically and electrically) you could conver to SPFI when you do the engine swap (more power/better fuel economy) http://www.ultimates...rticle.php?a=61
I did the conversion before the manual was written, so I ran into a few issues that you probably will not (if you follow the manual) - try to get a running donor car - just make sure you have VERY good grounding for everything, and you will be fine

or you could stick with carb and put in a SPFI block (will bolt in, but you need to chuck the ASV system - no big loss) and as it has more compression (9.5:1 for SPFI vs. 9:1 for Carb) you will have more power - SPFI engines are easier to find too (they were produced from 1986-1994)

at the very least I would change the headgaskets and reseal any engine I got from the JY - actually that may be all you need to fix your current engine

the car is DEFINATELY worth fixing - it has a lot of miles left on it

#5 Scoobywagon

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 03:50 PM

Generally speaking, when one of these engines overheats, the first thing to go is the head gasket immediately followed by the head itself. The bottom end on these engines is about as bullet proof as anything else. Since it is a low-mileage engine, I'd be more tempted to get a known-good set of heads and then do a complete engine reseal.

It is carbourated. (I noticed on the interstate it has a real problem maintaining its speed) I don't mind turning the wrenches. I'm not as adept as my dad he's pretty good although we've never worked on any subarus before. he was worried that there might be some other damage to the car that would result from overheating... what do you think? Is there anything else to watch out for?



#6 NorthWet

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 05:16 PM

I haven't seen/heard much about the carb and SPFI engines cracking their heads... that seems mostly to be an MPFI-style head thing, and even more specifically on the turbos. So, I wouldn't "borrow trouble" until I pulled the heads off and looked. If it had been sitting for several years, you probably had the headgasket corroding as the antifreeze aged. My guess is that unless it was a spectacular overheating that the headgaskets just gave up and died.

In the same vein of sitting around, many of the other gaskets and seals have probably not aged gracefully, including the carburetor gaskets (fuel/vacuum leaks) and the various oil seals that Subaru owners are encouraged to replace for a "reseal".

#7 wintersubaru

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 06:32 PM

I haven't seen/heard much about the carb and SPFI engines cracking their heads... that seems mostly to be an MPFI-style head thing, and even more specifically on the turbos. So, I wouldn't "borrow trouble" until I pulled the heads off and looked. If it had been sitting for several years, you probably had the headgasket corroding as the antifreeze aged. My guess is that unless it was a spectacular overheating that the headgaskets just gave up and died.

In the same vein of sitting around, many of the other gaskets and seals have probably not aged gracefully, including the carburetor gaskets (fuel/vacuum leaks) and the various oil seals that Subaru owners are encouraged to replace for a "reseal".

How long can an engine sit untill head gaskets corrode from antifreeze? how can you tell if they are with out starting engine?

#8 critical_max

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 09:23 PM

Fix it if you can. I put 50-100 miles a day on an 85 GL carbed 5spd wagon for a few months with a full painter's crew kit in it. 20ft extension ladder up top, 12ft ladder, sprayer, pressure washer, 30+ gallons of paint, tools, cloths, bins inside. Never a hiccup. Oh yeah, it had 255K on it too.

#9 MilesFox

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:21 PM

DO NOT JUNK THE CAR!!! if you are going to get rid of it give it to me:)

anyway its definately worth fixing the car, if you are handy with tools and such. dont let the shop rip you off if you are going to have someone fix it i myself would come fix it for you. seriously. im from fort wayne indiana but it looks like im relocating to milwaukee wisconsin, i have parts and spare motors as well, i will be hauling back several soobs from iowa i could even trade you for a soob.

anyway send me an email milesfox@yahoo.com we will pull something together for you if you want to take on this offer of opportunity. i have references of my work better ax somebody!

#10 breaffyaviation

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 10:47 PM

]
How does a decent carbed Ea 82 delivered to Peoria for 175 bucks sound ?
Let me know
Jude

#11 rosser1982

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 12:37 PM

OK thanks for the info all. I'm looking into my options. I'm going to tear the heads off and see where I'm at on this. Anyone have any how to's on that. If you do let me know. I'll try and keep this thread updated. Thanks for the support. I'll post some pictures pretty soon of the car so you guys can see it.

#12 85Sub4WD

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 04:15 PM

Here is part of an FSM for the 1989 MY
http://www.finleyweb...ault.asp?id=142
look under EA82
use the specs for the engine internal work, no you don't have FI, but head bolt loostening and tightening proceedure is still the same, as it has the same basic engine

#13 NorthWet

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Posted 11 May 2005 - 05:20 PM

How long can an engine sit untill head gaskets corrode from antifreeze? how can you tell if they are with out starting engine?

Almost impossible to say, as it depends too much on unknown variables. The corrosion would not occur from the antifreeze per se, but rather from a depleted anticorrosion-additive package in the antifreeze, along with contaminants such as acids and salts. If the engine was stored with fresh antifreeze and/or anticorrosion suppliment, then the headgaskets may be pristine. This would be aided by a fresh pre-storage oil change, plus pre-storage cylinder lubrication.

In general, headgaskets (and most other gaskets and seals) live longer lives when the engine is regularly run.

#14 baccaruda

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 01:55 AM

park it in your friend's front yard? :)

#15 MilesFox

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:56 AM

take it apart in his yard, then move it away from the mess it leaves behind:lol:

check the freeze plugs i know of 2 particular head gasket jobs that no sooner than the car was started and coolant was added milkshake agian. the last time just today in iowa, no driving that car 400 miles after it sat for 10 years




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