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Soob Noob 4x4 Questions


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26 replies to this topic

#1 brianbarber

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:44 AM

I just bought a '94 Loyale (5-speed manual) this week with 204k kms. There's a 4x4 switch on the shifter knob , but it doesn't seem to do anything. Is there supposed to be an indicator light on the dash when 4x4 is engaged? Second, how can I tell if the car is in 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive? I have the Haynes manual, but it's not glaringly obvious how to troubleshoot 4x4 issues. In fact, there doesn't seem to be too much on 4x4 in it at all; most of the transmission-related content is on 2-wheel drive.

Thanks,
BB

PS: I'll gladly receive any pointers to good Web sites with info on this kind of stuff.

#2 subie94

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:55 AM

you can try going on to a dirt road and push the button an gas it.

you'll know your in 2wd when jst the front tires spin in the dirt.hit button again and repeat.

if i remember correctly,there is a light on the instrument panel that tells you when your in 4wd mode..(bulb could be burnt out)


BTW-welcome aboard :banana:

#3 brianbarber

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:06 PM

Thanks, pal, and it's good to be aboard. I'll do the dirt road test when I'm on my way home from work. Got lots of 'em around my place. As for the indicator light, that's a good point - eliminate the easy stuff first.

Here's another bonehead 4x4 question: Do I need to be stopped to switch into 4x4 mode, or can I do it on the fly? (There was no owners manual in the car when I bought it.)

Thanks,
BB

#4 scrap487

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:29 PM

another thing you can do is turn the wheels to full lock on dry pavement, put it in 4wd and drive in a circle... the car shouldnt be too happy about that, will buck around, chirp tires, etc...

#5 mikeshoup

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:36 PM

Here's another bonehead 4x4 question: Do I need to be stopped to switch into 4x4 mode, or can I do it on the fly? (There was no owners manual in the car when I bought it.)

Can be switched on the fly. It won't pop into 4WD unless your pointing straight, and usually takes about 5 seconds (on my car) to do it. If you're sitting still and push the button with the windows down, you should be able to hear some clicking or something to indicate it went into 4WD (should go in immediately if sitting still).

Definitely an easy way to tell is just as scrap said, try making a tight turn in 4WD... it will bind and buck. Then put it in reverse in the same circular pattern to release all the strain.

#6 uncoolperson

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 01:13 PM

jack the car up.

#7 nvexplorer

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 01:22 PM

There is an indicator light in my 93 Loyale. The figure of a car in the center of the instrument panel shows when the doors are open and when it is in 4wd. I do believe that you see green tires all the way around when its in 4wd. When my button is up i'm in 2wd and when its depressed its in 4wd. Try to :burnout: on a dirt road with the switch one way and then try the other. You shouldn't be able to do much except accelerate when in 4 whereas 2 will send dirt and rocks flying.

#8 robm

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 02:15 PM

The indicator light is a true indicator, if it doesn't go in to 4WD, it doesn't light. Chances are good it is NOT going into 4WD.

The 4WD is pulled in/pushed off by vacuum. I would look into this system first.

The vacuum solenoids are on the driver's side of the car, under the hood, close to the firewall. Check that they are connected electrically, and to vacuum. Check that the other end of the vacuum line is connected to the tranny. The vacuum hoses may be bad, they are pretty old.

You should be able to hear and feel the solenoids clicking when pushing the button.

Good luck.

#9 Spiffy

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 06:56 PM

also the vacuum control by the firewall on the driver's side engine bay is controlled by the white vacuum conister as well... so if that's disconnected you wouldn't have any vent control or 4wd... but if just the 4wd part is disconnected you might still have vent control...

--Spiffy

#10 brianbarber

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 05:09 AM

I've got vent control (i.e. I can switch from panel vents to floor to defogger), and I checked all of the hoses running from the canister on the driver side to the white canister on the passenger side. All of them are connected and look to be in good shape. The rubber is supple and clean, not dry and cracked. This weekend I'll get into the engine a bit more and try to find the culprit. If you have any other tips, please don't hold back and don't worry about sounding obvious or patronizing. I'll take all of the help I can get.

Cheers,
BB

#11 brianbarber

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 05:42 PM

I finally got around to poking around the engine to sort out the lack of 4x4 and I think I found the source of the problem. I pulled out the spare tire and found two hoses coming from the left side vacuum canister not connected to anything. They stop under the spare tire and are sitting there open. The numbers on the hoses (if it helps) are 3701 and 3704. I have a Haynes manual, but it isn't very helpful.

Can anyone out there with a FSM tell me where these hoses are supposed to connect? I'll also need to know what parts (couplers, hardware, etc.) are required to get everything connected.

Thanks,
BB

#12 gregvdd

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 06:12 PM

I finally got around to poking around the engine to sort out the lack of 4x4 and I think I found the source of the problem. I pulled out the spare tire and found two hoses coming from the left side vacuum canister not connected to anything. They stop under the spare tire and are sitting there open. The numbers on the hoses (if it helps) are 3701 and 3704. I have a Haynes manual, but it isn't very helpful.

Can anyone out there with a FSM tell me where these hoses are supposed to connect? I'll also need to know what parts (couplers, hardware, etc.) are required to get everything connected.

Thanks,
BB


brian, let me know when you fix it, I have the same problem...greg

#13 scrap487

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 09:17 PM

ok so I guess your 4wd doesnt work... I dont know anything about how the system works but try to find the mechanism that engages the 4wd, should be near the back of the transmission and trace wires/vacuum lines back from there.

#14 Virrdog

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 12:03 PM

To find out for sure whether you have 4wd look behind the rear wheels and see if there are half-shafts going to them. You should also see a driveshaft going to the rear into a pumpkin shaped thing that the half shafts would connect to. :)

#15 brianbarber

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 01:29 PM

Inspired by the fact that there is a sticker on the rear of the car that says "4WD" and a button on the shifter knob to engage 4WD, I verified that there is a driveshaft, u-joints and a rear differential before asking for help to restore 4x4 capability.

BB

#16 Virrdog

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 02:31 PM

Cool, people have been known to find the wrong engine / transmission in their cars... :-\

I think one guy found out he had an EJ18 in his Legacy :lol:

#17 brianbarber

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:55 PM

I've got the vacuum hoses on order from the dealer (~$27.00CDN). When I was in at the shop, I got talking to the service manager and he raised a really good point. He's wondering if the fact that there's no hoses is deliberate and if a previous owner had them removed because the transfer case or rear diff is hooped. If that's the case, what is the effort for replacing these parts? I figure I can get replacements from one of the three wreckers close to my place.

Thanks,
BB

#18 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:00 PM

He's wondering if the fact that there's no hoses is deliberate and if a previous owner had them removed because the transfer case or rear diff is hooped.


Rear diff and t-case both turn regardless of being in 4WD or not. So if they are shot, you would already know.

GD

#19 brianbarber

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 08:21 AM

Rear diff and t-case both turn regardless of being in 4WD or not. So if they are shot, you would already know.


Right, doh. Where's my head? When the hoses come in, I'll connect them (not quite sure where they connect to the trasfer case, but I'm sure it will be blatantly obvious when I get under the car :) ), and I'll replace the diff and transmission fluid, too. I haven't done that since I got the car a couple of months ago.

Thanks, GD, and if anyone else wants to chime in with tips, I'm still all ears.

BB

#20 brianbarber

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 01:24 PM

I just got a call from the Subaru dealership and it says that the vacuum hoses I need are not available from Subaru Canada anymore. I'm hoping that I can use something more commonly availble, like something from the plumbing section of the local building centre. Is that possible? If not or it's not the best option, what should I use?

BB

#21 robm

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 02:31 PM

Try the wrecker. There are probably little rubber hose bits that connect hard plastic pipes. The hose bits can be replaced with standard vacuum hose. Or you could just run vacuum hose all the way, with tiewraps to keep it out of the way.

Good luck.

#22 brianbarber

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 03:30 PM

There are probably little rubber hose bits that connect hard plastic pipes. The hose bits can be replaced with standard vacuum hose.


Thanks. I picked up a length of new vacuum hose (sold by the foot at my local parts store) and a package of 3/16" couplers. The only thing that's not jumping out at me is where I connect the hoses at the transfer case. I've found information on how it works and what parts I need.

I'd really like to have a picture of the connections. Does anyone have the page out of the FSM, diagrams or, better yet, a photo of the connections? My Haynes manual is no help at all on this.

Thanks,
BB

#23 WoodsWagon

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 11:58 PM

There should be two solenoid valves for the vacuum feed between the firewall and the left front strut tower. These solenoids are controlled by the switch on the shifter. The solenoids then direct vacuum to one side or the other of the vacuum diaphram on the side of the tranny. Take out the spare tire, look down alongside the side of the tranny, and you will see a 5" diameter can with a cable sticking out of it. Two vacuum hoses should come off of the can. This is the diaphram. Hook a vacuum line straight from the white plastic vacuum resavaur on the passenger side of the firewall to one side of the diaphram. One side will put it in 4wd, the other in 2wd. That will verify that the mechanical side of the drivetrain is working.

#24 brianbarber

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:03 PM

There should be two solenoid valves for the vacuum feed between the firewall and the left front strut tower. These solenoids are controlled by the switch on the shifter. The solenoids then direct vacuum to one side or the other of the vacuum diaphram on the side of the tranny. Take out the spare tire, look down alongside the side of the tranny, and you will see a 5" diameter can with a cable sticking out of it. Two vacuum hoses should come off of the can. This is the diaphram. Hook a vacuum line straight from the white plastic vacuum resavaur on the passenger side of the firewall to one side of the diaphram. One side will put it in 4wd, the other in 2wd. That will verify that the mechanical side of the drivetrain is working.


Oh, man. Thank you, thank you, thank you for responding. This is exactly the kind of information I have been looking for. It was a bit chilly this morning (-15C) so I didn't take the opportunity to look. I'll try to get the car in the garage tonight where I'm somewhat sheltered from the wind. This doesn't sound like a very time consuming job, and I'm hoping I'm right because I don't like getting frostbite before Christmas. Hypothermia, I can handle. :)

The situation right now is that I have connectivity between the cylinder close to the left strut tower and the cylinder on the right side of the cylinder, and IIRC there two hoses about 2' long that look like they are coming off of the cylinder on the right strut tower just dangling there - not capped off, not connected to anything. It was information on the "last mile" that I needed. I couldn't find a connection point for these hoses on or around the tranny.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

BB

#25 brianbarber

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 08:55 PM

It was really nice out there today (+5C) and I took advantage of the warmth to get at the car a bit. Using 91Loyale's directions, I found the diaphram on the tranny and the one inlet in about 30 seconds. I had to get under the car for see the second one. Knowing where everything hooks up, I connected about 6" of new vacuum tubing to each of the connectors on the diaphram and then used 3/16" couplers to join the new tubing to the old tubing. I tried connecting the old tubing to the diaphram, but the rubber was so hard, even after softening it up with hot water (an old plumbing trick from my renovating days), I was afraid that I would break the connectors off when I forced the tubing onto the them, which would leave me in a bigger pickle. I got 4WD as soon as I turned the car on. Apart from inverting the connections on the first try, it was very easy. The conservative route paid off because all I had to do was disconnect the tubing at the couplers, which are now at a really convenient height, and switch them. To me it looks like a lazy mechanic in this Subaru's history who just wasn't thorough or conscienteous enough to reconnect the hoses.

The warm day made for some muddy dirt roads around my place and I did some rally driving to test the 4WD and I was blown away. I was doing 90kph on mud where I would normally do no more than 70kph when it's dry and the car stuck to the road like glue, and I've got pretty mediocre, cheap tires. What an unbelievable feeling and I've got you folks to thank. A big thank you to all who chimed in with information. I hope that there are a whole bunch more who can benefit from this.

Take care,
BB




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