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Guest Message by DevFuse

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The 1987 GL-10 Saga. Tune In!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 NuclearBacon


    Subaru World Rally ADDICT

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  • Chico / San Francisco

Posted 30 June 2005 - 05:18 AM

This is the story of a non-running 1987 GL-10 4WD 5sp Turbocharged 3.700 LSD Sedan, and its Transformation into a SCCA Rally Car.

Lets start at the beginning....

On Tuesday May 27th, I came accross an ad on Craigslist. I'd been searching for a rally car of some sort, and after my buddy got his 2000 2.5RS with crazy suspension, I was hooked on Subies. I had been searching for VW Golf's, or Escorts. Anything that could compete. But to compete, i need 4WD. Audi Quattros popped into my head, but all I wanted.. was a Subaru. Then in a mis-spelled header, while on a search for "turbo", it appeared. This ad was for a 1987 predescribed Subaru. JUST what I was looking for. Upon further research I found out that this diamond in the rough was over 150 miles away from me.


I decided to make an arrangement to go out and see this "mountian car". Sweet-talking my girlfriend into making the journey with me...and borrowing her air conditioned vehicle *wink wink* we headed east to a town called "Hathaway Pines" about 90 miles east of Stockton. For those of you outside California, heres a brief geography lesson... Take your fist and put it front of your face, far enough away where it seems big, but you can still see it. Your fist represents someplace close, and those surrounding areas to you. Now turn your head away so you can no longer see your fist. See that WAY over there? That's where I was. Out in the middle of NOWHERE. Over a quite steep and windy road. Something I craved for the Subaru, but not the truck and the trailer.. and the car on top.

Upon arrival, after getting lost (and counting over 36 frogs in Angles Camp ((which I don't recommend laughing at, The girl at the Glory Hole store will rip your arms off)) ), I saw the car sitting in the reddist dirt this side of the red planet. And here came Doug. Doug was a jolly mountian man in his 40's, slender and mighty polite. He seemed to know his way around cars as well as building things. Creations of Dougs were everywhere... A functional dumptruck from multiple trucks and vehicles...

moving on....

I arrived knowing full well the car had engine issues, but! Full Compression. I could fix this. It could be a fuel problem *clogged injector* or it could be an intake problem *flat cam*.

Doug Started the car after we ran a full compression test on it, and he personally brought the gauge to me while I sat. Service. We then went for a brief and spirited ride, even though the car was on 3 cylinders. Now I know some of you just pulled a chunk of hair out of your head. It was brief. Very brief. This gave me an idea of syncros, how the rear felt.. did the diff lock? ..all of the above. All was smooth. With 276,000 miles and Doug being the third owner, given to him by a neigbor, I fellt like I had to do something for this car which was purchased in the only car dealership for a 45 mile radius... Angels Camp Subaru... over 17 years ago. I left Enlightened, and told him "I'll be back"

After heated conversations about price, transport, ...price again, ideas for transport, talking with truckfriends *see "people who own trucks"* and U-haul trailer centers, I decided to put my perverbial foot down, and after a month of 100 emails and questions, I got my brother, his Tacoma, A U-Haul trailer ..and a day off work.... and I went to go get me a Mountian Subie.

When we got there, it wouldnt start. "No Problem" I said to Doug, Lets just roll it onto the trailer. and off we went. For $250 bucks (including gas, trailer, and lunch) I got my future rally car.

So now it sits outside, The muffler will be going back on (I guess something happened and the cat and muffler were removed) so my dad and I can hear the engine (my dad is going to be my cheif mechanic) and see if he can see/hear anything strange.

As things progress, I will add to this thread. The car sits Idle and already it has such a story. Lets see how this turns out!

Tune in next time when the Muffler goes on, the engine is diagnosed, and problems are solved. *if allowed* sound clips, video and pictures of progress, all the way up to RaceDay.

Questions? Ideas? Send Them!

#2 555Ron


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Posted 30 June 2005 - 06:03 AM

Cool, sounds like a sweet car you got yourself there.

A bit more info on the engine... what cylinder is down? Do a general tune first...


...then come back and tell us more. Maybe the distributor cap, leads or plug is bad. Don't put injector cleaner through it if you can help it, general consensus is it can do more harm then good (well, especially overuse).

Once you can find the cylinder that down, you can take the plug out and feel for the valves. This will tell you if your camshaft is ok.

Also, take the front timing covers off and make sure they're not a notch off. This would make it run horrible also.


#3 NuclearBacon


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Posted 01 July 2005 - 03:38 AM

The number 1 cylinder is having issues (front passenger side) The car came to me without the muffler and cat attached, so i will be patching the holes, fitting it, and setting it up by this weekend, hopefully to get some engine diagnostics done. From the previous owner, the spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, rotor, and fuel filter all have been replaced. BUT! before anything is assumed, all will be run through. how great it would be to have a broken spark plug wire, or a stuffy fuel filter. Until the engine diagnostics, I've been doing silly things, like taking all the tow hooks off the body, sanding down the 18 years of mud and goop *I'm not sure this car was ever washed* and then i'll paint them fluorescent orange. you know... for the course. ...So someone can tow my rump roast out when i get my car stuck in a tree... bwahahaha!

....and cleaning. God the cleaning. I realize the carpet is coming out. I understand the car will get dirty. But I've got to be able to get into the car without feeling disgusting on the way out. and FINALLY its getting there. I will post before and after pics that will BLOW YOUR MIND. ...and you'll see the sweat that already has gone into the car in its first week.

Until next time! and THANKS for the suggestions!!!! I will keep the forum posted!

#4 4WDFrenzy


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Posted 01 July 2005 - 06:11 PM

Sweet Dude! Keep us posted. I know how you feel about this car. I felt the same way when I saw my 88 GL-10. It's a long, hard road ahead. But in the end it will be worthwhile.


#5 NuclearBacon


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Posted 02 July 2005 - 04:42 AM

Today was an interesting day. After coming home from work, i took to the subie by bringing out a battery (i dont keep one in the car, just ....cuz) and ran through some of the electronics. Since i bought the car, it has sat right there *points* it will move sooner or later, but until then, i wanted to make sure things still...functioned. One of the things was the air ride suspension. The most famous "Ride Height Control". I took to my Chilton manual. It spoke of turning the ride height on ... ignition ... turning it off... ignition. back and forth in a certian sequence so i could get an error code. Now keep in mind, this car has its butt in the air. Mine didnt have an on-off switch, just a push-button. SO! I gave up on that and started hunting for the problem.

Looks like the height controller is stuck. I wanted to actually SEE this hidden compresser and lines that give my car the slowest hydraulics this side of Compton. When i started looking under the hood, i noticed plugs that plugged into nothing... Curious.. i had no pictures of the air ride system, so i was going on whatever i could see alone. Nothing was plugging into the tops of the struts. No options anywhere to plug...anything. ...and dangling plugs... on both sides... matching each other.. hmmm.....

SO! i went hunting for the compressor. Inside the driver front fender? Easy! Jack it up, pull the fenderwell, boom! ...Vacent... Hanging plugs. and normal struts, yet in the back...air ride, still hooked up to nothingness...

Now i decide if i want to short the controller somehow to release pressure, or replace the rear end suspension,... or whatever. It looks kinda neat all jacked... but *laughs*, i dunno man.

so i went into the garage, patched the cat and muffler system, ready to go on tomorrow morning. At least the Trip Computer works!


#6 NuclearBacon


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Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:48 AM

Well! The cat and muffler are on and ready to sing. *laughs* i ran my hands over the fans to see how they were, to make sure they were free and all... and the electronic fan *for the AC* felt like it was hitting something. I removed it to find that the entire assembly looks a bit bent and one of the blades had hit the radiator pretty bad. the radiator is fine, but the blade was pretty chewed up. So! I'll apply power to the fan to see if it runs, and if so, hit the pick a part place. The AC is going to be removed anyway, as will the rest of the climate control, but It'd be nice to have some extra cooling... maybe just wire a switch for the Co-Driver. Extra cooling never hurt anyone!!!

Another thing i was looking for was the home for the mysterious belt that was handed to me as I picked the car up. I looked everywhere for a place this belt went to. The guy that sold it to me explained how "when the guy came to fix the hose, he wanted to drive it santa cruz.. and he took this belt off, i think its for the turbo..." and i was like.. what!? the turbo doesnt run on a belt....

and it was a wierd belt with grooves instead of notches....

he then wrote me this email...

Maybe that belt came from my Camry I sold.. But I know he somehow
disconnected the turbo, maybe I am wrong about that also. I tried to keep an eye on him at all times. I don't see everything.
All I know is he did replace the injector and claimed that now that there was fuel to the cylinder perhaps its why it is running worse becuase it's not firing at the right time due to the knock sensor cuasing a detune
situation. So I would look into the Knock sensor.

So!! i think it solves the mysterious belt... We will see. I'll keep everything up to date. :)

#7 NuclearBacon


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Posted 09 July 2005 - 04:45 AM

Today i tested the MPFI resistor pack for proper OHm Readings.... each contact should read anywhere from 5.8 - 6.5 OHm's and each read 6.3 and 6.4 ... so thats not my problem... tomorrow a full go through will be done... The electric fan is formed and fixed, ready to be hard wired for extra cooling. I'll start taking parts off carefully, and precicly, that way if anyone needs an air conditioner compressor, or lines or whatever, they'll be good to go!

An oil change and Fluid flushing will also be on the agenda for tomorrow...
All will be reported ;)

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