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Lack of power??


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30 replies to this topic

#1 Midwst

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 11:55 AM

When I test drove the automatic Loyale, the car was miserably slow. I turned onto a really steep hill and it took some time to get up it. The car seemed to work pretty hard to finally get up to 55 mph. The acceleration from a stop light is very slow. TheSubaruJunkie says thats just the way auto Loyales are. Slower than Geo metros. I spoke with another Loyale owner, who says it could be a sign that the car has been overheated and has engine damage. Other people said a possible problem with a restricted exhaust or the distributor. What IS normal for an auto Loyale? I am so damn poor I can't afford to replace an engine...or even rebuild one so I am very cautious. Besides, there aren't any decent used Loyale engines in my area, so I'd have to go reman or have it shipped in.

#2 soobmater

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:02 PM

the auto loyales are a bit sluggish but that seems to slugish. it could be a restricked exhaust. i had a plugged cat on one of my older cars(not a soob) but it ran like crap.

#3 Tom63050

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:17 PM

See my other post under your post, called "Loyale engine and exhaust", about the timing belts. With 25K miles, possibly the belts were never adjusted or at least could use it. Also, one way to get free power above 3500 RPM from the Loyales is to drill a bunch of small holes, or cut one bigger hole, into the underside of the airbox. The biggest power restriction in these engine systems is the air intake. When you have the filter box off, look at the difference in where the air comes in (from the frame), which is a little oval hole, and compare it to the other side, after it has been filtered and goes into the intake manifold. Big difference. I did this free conversion and noticed a substantial difference over 3500 RPM.



When I test drove the automatic Loyale, the car was miserably slow. I turned onto a really steep hill and it took some time to get up it. The car seemed to work pretty hard to finally get up to 55 mph. The acceleration from a stop light is very slow. TheSubaruJunkie says thats just the way auto Loyales are. Slower than Geo metros. I spoke with another Loyale owner, who says it could be a sign that the car has been overheated and has engine damage. Other people said a possible problem with a restricted exhaust or the distributor. What IS normal for an auto Loyale? I am so damn poor I can't afford to replace an engine...or even rebuild one so I am very cautious. Besides, there aren't any decent used Loyale engines in my area, so I'd have to go reman or have it shipped in.



#4 Midwst

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:17 PM

There are many possible causes. I guess what I am trying to determine is what is "normal". I don't think a 1.8L engine should under perform my 1.0L 3 cylinder Geo Metro!!

#5 soobmater

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:19 PM

no it probably shouldn't

#6 Turbone

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:21 PM

Have you found the maintenance records for it yet? I missed your first post on what exactly the car/engine is, but it obviously has a automatic in it. 3spd single range 4wd?
The worst thing Subaru ever put in a car :rolleyes: The SPFI should be a little quicker than a NA, but with the AT behind it, its a mute point. But, you can do a 5spd swap. Lots of them around, might find a good deal on one. The problem is, its very labor intensive to go from AT to Manual. Lots of parts to swap, but its all bolt on. If you think the car is worth it, maybe down the road a swap will look better.

#7 NorthWet

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:34 PM

Some advice: Don't go borrowing trouble by worrying about what MIGHT be expensively broken... unless you haven't sealed the deal on this yet. Do you have it in your possession yet? Can you describe how it runs? Idle quality, mid-range power/smootheness, WOT power/smoothness, willingness to rev, flatspots in the rev range, stuff like that.

I would still stick with the basics: Ignition maintenance items, fuel filter, maybe injector cleaner, check timing properly (involves some underhood diagnostic connectors), maybe check that timing belts are still timed properly.

I have no problems with power on my 3 automatics. One is a Turbo with 3AT that is slower than our Turbo 5-speed, but still beats the pants off of Hondas and such. Another is a Turbo 4EAT, but the Turbo is not working due to a cracked exhaust manifold; so, it is a 7.7:1 compression ratio engine with a restricted exhaust (the turbo is still a restriction) plus an automatic, and although I have to plan for hills (I have a 3000 ft pass that I often go over) it will make it over them and is happy to cruise at 90mph. The third is closest to what you have, an 89 SPFI sedan with 3AT that has no problems getting out of its way, easily hitting 60mph on an uphill freeway onramp.

#8 NorthWet

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:40 PM

Turbone, from what I have gathered it should be a 92(?) Loyale wagon SPFI with 3AT pushbutton 4WD. He wants/needs an automatic, so is unlikely to do the tranny swap. He describes it as being severly underpowered, even by 80's Subaru standards.

#9 Turbone

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:56 PM

I would be wondering what that Dealership did with the car maintenance wise. Did they bother to tune it up at all before they put it out for sale? It sure sounds like the timing is off from his description of being underpowered and pinging.

#10 NorthWet

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:09 PM

The other thing that is not in this thread is that it is supposed to have only 25k miles!!! Literally, a Grandma's car. Yeah, I'm thinking tune-up issues.

#11 MilesFox

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:23 PM

yo midwst, i am a traveling subaru maechanic i should be attending the iowa II meet this year, so should you be there i could take alook at your car and give you my opinions, or if you dont make it to the meet i can swing by. should you have any work lined up for the car i would be happy to help. my profile says im from indian but now i live in mulkwaukee, wisconsin, i was just out towards ames iowa to pick up subarus, andif you need any parts i may be able to find some for you.

i also have a 92 loyal i just picked up with a broken timing belt. put a belt on it and now she runs good. im still working on getting the title so if there happens to be no title for this car it will be a source of parts. the car is a 2wd automatic and i lucked out it runs pretty good, 123,000 miles

what i would recommend to you is double check the timing belts, make sure they are properly aligned. i have seen subarus with the timing belts aligned to the wrong marks, but they would run although horribly.

maybe its possible the timing belts were serviced and installed wrong! you can remove the outer timing belt covers to inspect the belt alignment, and follow the instructions per the usrm article here: http://www.ultimates...rticle.php?a=24

if you have any technical questions regarding your car or any work you do to it give me a hollar milesfox@yahoo.com i will be happy to help!!

#12 Midwst

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 06:55 PM

Talking about a 1992 Loyale, auto, 3At, 25K miles, Sales price $1500. Some rust around wheel wells. Not real bad yet.
Thanks MilesFox for the offer. Everything is still up in the air.
Very much doubt that timing belt has been serviced. Which is not good. Could easily be streched. I hate buying cars from dealers. never have the info needed. If I knew...it would be a simple decision.
I have not sealed the deal. I do not have maintenance records. The fluids are all brand new. too new...if you know what I mean.
Idle quality, not great. runs rough at idle, not quite like a miss, just sort of uneven. Sort of reminds me of a car with a bad engine mount, but not quite. Hard to explain. Is it normal for Loayles to have a rough idle?
Have not tried WOT power/smoothness
Reves just fine. Hits 3000 comfortably. No obvious flat spots in rev range
Car struggles to accelerate up hills
Absoultely positively would not be able to easily hit 60 mph on an up hill freeway-on ramp. Car cannot get out of its own way, in fact would be a safety hazard on a crowded interstate.
Sifts okay...3AT
Some pinging or fluttering from engine area, especially in third gear, fully warmed up, under acceleration, higher rpms 35-45 mph range.
No obvious signs of head gasket problem, but car has been driven so little, it could have a problem, and just not showing yet. May have been overheated. Who knows! Could have a weak cylinder? Maybe its something simple, but doubt it.
Oil pressure rests near 0 at idle, but does not sound dry. Oil pressure rises when moving. I'm told the guages aren't very accurate.
Has been sitting at the dealer for a long time. Dealer dropped price by half!
One of the problems with being a shade tree mechanic, is that I don't pay attention to obvious warning signs because I think I can fix anything. Actually, I can fix most things, but money is a serious shortage issue and cannot afford to be dumping large sums into repairs.
Although the milege seams like a dream, I am considering walking away from this one. Why hasn't anyone else bought it if its such a "good deal?" Why did the previous owner trade it in? My guess is that if the repair was cheap/simple it would have been done. Instead grandma went into debt to buy a 2003 legacy. Why wouldn't she have kept the old car? A head gasket is not a big deal. A weak cylinder is a bigger deal$$.
Many mysteries.
I have a 91 Legacy with 190K miles. Love the car, but needs a tranny. Tranny has multiple problems. Am thinking about hiring someone to put in a junk yard tranny and keep on driving it. Comfortable car. LOTS of power! Many new parts, including 4 new tires. May have trouble selling it for $1000 as is, tranny problems are starting to become obvious. junk yard tranny, installed is $800.

Need to decide Monday at noon. Or stall for time. Dealer is waiting for a check. Think I may go back for a second test drive and take along my compression tester....find a shady tree...and look for myself. I will be a long way from home so I have to be sure to take the right tools.

#13 MilesFox

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 07:16 PM

my guess and bet is either the car broke a timing belt and grandma didnt want to pat to fix it and the dealer put new ones on althoug mis aligned.

my other bet is that the lady broke a timing belt and had one put on, misaligned, and the car did not run right and she traded it in assuming the motor was no good

make a lower offer to the car dealer, cash, 500 bucks or so and wave it in his face. if i could only see this car for myself icould tell you whats wrong with it.

if you pass the car up and its not going anywhere i will se if i can stop in and take a look at it at the dealer, if he would let me take a wrench to it to checjk the timing belt

i am almost certain this car has misaligned belts, both cams up at o deg instead of oposing cams at the timing belt alignment mark. easy mistake for any maechanic to make not knowing about subarus, as i have seen 2 guys get 2 cars for cheap with this problem, one was abandonned at one shop after paying big money to have the timing belts at the shop before. put on wrong. the other case a car broke a timing belt and the opwner paid 400 bucks to have them put on wrong and tell the customer the valves were bent. sold it to someone i know for 85 bucks and i re-aligned thebelts and it runs like a charm yet to this day

all i can say is if you can get the car for a super price, if the dealer is desperate to sell, may as well get it.

cnances are the dealer has been sittin on it a while and will take anything for it to get rid of it and make a quick buck. do some haggling and see what you can get it for

another thing i can say if you do get this car for a decent price its not at a loss as whatever is wrong with it can be fixed right easily, just need to go over everything and check it out, its not a loss to take this car

#14 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 07:57 PM

TheSubaruJunkie says thats just the way auto Loyales are.



Not loyales... Automatic tranny's are that way. Nothing wrong with the car, it was probably that slow when it drove off the lot in 1990.

-Brian

#15 MilesFox

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:30 PM

junkie, althoug the 3at is a dog this car sounds like its something else besides the tranny. i got a 92 loy-a and it runs just fine, and will scoot on the freeway. so does jim wood's car

too bad this guy doesnt know the history with themaintenance, but as old as it is its likely the belt has broken and it was changed and aligned wron

a timing belt is more likely to break from age rot sitting than being driven all day long. i have seen cars with 140,000 miles on their factory original belts

like i said my bet is on the misaligned belt. the only problem with this is the guy doens want to plunker down the cash without knowing specifically whts wrong withthe car, and may be no way to find out until he buys it, and doesnt wat to make the gamble

rule the tranny out its something else and all signs to me point to misaligned belts

midwst if you want to talk to me on the phone i can try to help you troubleshoot the problem as i have seen cars with misaligned belts and know how thay drive compared to perfectly working motors and also know what a 3at should drive like, and a trasnny is a tranny its not like a tranny can run bad because its driven by tne motor, not itself

call me (tim hansen's phone) 262-325-0346 ask for miles fox

shoud you get this car it wouldn be too terribly inconvenient for me to come and take a wrench to it. offer on the house. just let me know if you get this car or not, but if you want my opinion its still worth gettin but i would try to haggle the price down a little more, use the poor performance as an excuse the car lot is probably more interested in gettin rid of it than top dollar, because any amount for cheap is still better than sitting on it with no buyer

#16 NorthWet

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:41 PM

I would tend to side with Miles on this, that there is something intrinsically wrong with the way the engine is set up (t-belt, ignition timing, or similar). His reasoning is pretty good, too. It is very common to find Loyale-class Subarus with a "bad engine" where the only problem was that the t-belt was removed/replaced and not properly aligned, causing the right (passenger side) cylinders to not make power. I would be surprised that they actually got it to run, but I have seen more bizarre things. It might also account for the rough idle. (BTW, I lost out on a $100 4WD wagon because, after hearing the owner's story, I told him that it was probably just the passenger-side t-belt was not set properly. He fixed the problem and thanked me...)

I would also agree with Miles that the car is probably still overpriced, as the Dealer must know that it is not running right. Out here in the West, a private-party would probably sell that car for maybe $500; almost certainly not for more than $1000. The only time I bought a bad-/not-running car from a Dealer I spent $200 for a 90 Legacy.

IMHO (as if you know me from Adam :lol: ), Miles is pretty good with his knowledge and abilities. But his car is called Trashwagon for reasons... watch out for his ghetto (backalley??? What would it be called in IN???) engineering. :grin: (Sorry Miles, couldn't resist!) I would certainly let him do my t-belts, but personally I would make sure he put the covers back on.

Anyway, talk the Dealer down in price. If you feel comfortable doing some wrenching, there should be nothing insurmountable.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 09:59 PM

well the trashwagons are for fun. i actuall do others work far better than my own, as i do mine as i go and work i do for others i do right through and through. largely because my stuff is mix and matched stuff wheras work i do for others they have new parts, thats all

if you want references to my work i can refer you to people. i have met northwet in person at jim woods place, and he has seen for himself that all of jims fleet that i have put together are in sound running order, even the 2wd to 4wd conversion i did for jim, the same car with themisaligned belts for 85 bucks!

#18 Turbone

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 10:09 PM

Reves just fine. Hits 3000 comfortably. No obvious flat spots in rev range



Never seen a Soob run like this with mis-aligned belts.
They run like crap at all times when the belts are wrong.

MW, when you test the comp in the cylinders take a timing light with you and check it too. I would say go ahead and change the fuel filter, but one for a FI car is around $20.
The car has been sitting for quite a while, I take it, so fuel delivery and quality could be the issue.

#19 VaporTrail

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 11:06 PM

I have a 91 Legacy with 190K miles. Love the car, but needs a tranny. Tranny has multiple problems. Am thinking about hiring someone to put in a junk yard tranny and keep on driving it. Comfortable car. LOTS of power! Many new parts, including 4 new tires. May have trouble selling it for $1000 as is, tranny problems are starting to become obvious. junk yard tranny, installed is $800.

Need to decide Monday at noon. Or stall for time. Dealer is waiting for a check. Think I may go back for a second test drive and take along my compression tester....find a shady tree...and look for myself. I will be a long way from home so I have to be sure to take the right tools.


I'd spend the money on the Legacy trans.....

#20 Midwst

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 03:45 AM

I think I am leaning towards putting a junk yard tranny in the Legacy and skipping the Loyale. 2 reasons. First, can't afford to sell the Legacy for $700 if buyers discover tranny problem. Second, not really comfortable with the Loyale. I don't think it is misaligned belts simply because the car runs okay...even idles sort of okay, but not perfect. I would expect if the belts were off, it would run like a dead miss....or worse. If TheSubaruJunkie is right, then I may never be happy with the thing, even fixed. Too many gambles. Of course the first junk yard tranny could be a dud and then I'd still be dumping money down the toilet. Sigh. Being poor sucks! The Legacy is paid for and had very good maintenance, except for broken half shaft that damanged the front differential. Tranny pump whines, torque bind is bad.

#21 Bucky92

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 04:55 AM

I have to agre with McBrat on this..fix the legacy. You are just haveing too many issues with the Loyale.I feel the price is too high with the problems you say it has.Granted the book on my 92 Loyale with the mileage is alittle over $1300 (FWD 5 Spd) but mine runs like clockwork, and I paid only $600 for it 2 years ago from a dealer.

Loyales oil pressure does read at close to 0 at idle so that isnt a problem its normal BTW. Also like I stated before..too low of miles is worse than too high..take it from someone who knows. Sitting is bad for cars...causes many issues. Manytimes they need RUN a good bit before they get back to where they should be.Meanwhile things go bad..frequently...from dried out seals,belts,etc.

If you are happy with your legacy then fix it...or look for something private party.If you are looking for something you can buy today and drive it tomorrow without any worries then it sounds like this is not the car for you.The 1.8 motor in the EA82s is quirkie but not in a completely bad way..just likes to go through EGR sylinoids,they leak oil,oil pump gaskets get partially sucked in and can cause HLA ticks (but they run forever ticking) or the HLAs get dirty and tick,plus timing belts (at least they are non-interference motors). Just stuff you have to think about if you want to deal with it...none of it major stuff ..just annoying at times.

#22 Midwst

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:13 PM

Yeah. I am leaning towards making the 91 Legacy immortal. It has rust, but I have a 94 geo metro...no rocker pannel metal left...all bondo. Bondo is good. Still holding up nicely after 1 year of heavy use. Rust isn't so horrible if you keep up with it. I'm not sure I am willing to deal with the Loyale excentricities.

#23 MilesFox

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 02:23 PM

well i think maybe you just got a bad impression on the loyale or the ea82 for the reason this car doesnt run right.

anyway, should i make it out to the iowa meet, i would like to meet up with you, if you can take me to the car dealer i would just like to look at it, and see for my own eyes this car. maybe the dealer will pay me to fix it, as i have stopped in at another place to ask of a soob was for sale and ened up selling him a tranny and puttin it in for him

suppose if i found the problem i could whisper it over to you and you can grab it for a steal, winter is still some months away

suppose you find another ea82 based subaru in the future you will consider it, if it werent the same situatin as this loyale. good luck and have fun!

#24 Midwst

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 06:21 PM

I'm quite sure the Loyale will be long gone by august. Will be paying someone $420 to put a junk yard tranny in the Legacy. I can swing that if the first one is a charm. If the first one tanks, the next $420 will hurt pretty bad. Are there any junk yards in the midwest that would install a subaru tranny for me at a better price? Maybe not a good idea actually, since if the "new" tranny is bad, it may not make it back for the second round, but its worth looking in to. hope to see you guys and gals in august.

ps. check out my "oil overfill" story in the New Generation forum. Kind of funny.

If anyone is interested in the 92 Loyale, send me a personal message and I'll give you the dealer details.

#25 MilesFox

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Posted 27 June 2005 - 06:50 PM

we parted off a 4spd automatic legacy at j.c's junkyard in columbus, oh. if i were out that way i may be able to get it for rock bottom cheap, say 50-100 bucks, as we took everything off the car i thought it was gone, but i found it in back buried behind a stack of crushed cars, its still there

although i hae no immediate plans to be out that way, if i do find my way out there i will see about grabbing it for you

and as always, should you get into any heavy duty work involving subarus, i could come out that way and do work for half of shop rate, say you get the tranny alone and need someone to put it in for you. anyway my email is milesfox@yahoo.com just hollar if you need some work




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