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Guest Message by DevFuse

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79 Subaru GL - transmission =

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4 replies to this topic

#1 DerFahrer


    Formerly subyluvr2212

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  • Orlando, FL

Posted 10 February 2007 - 11:36 PM

Ummm, a 79 Subaru GL without a transmission :lol:

After literally hundreds of things coming up between May of 06 when I bought the car and now, I finally had the time today to drop the transmission out of it.

I've already dropped and reinstalled the transmission in my Legacy to fix a loose clutch fork, so that knowledge helped me a ton. The overall concept is largely the same. But there is SO much stuff that is different, and most of it is different in a bad way :mad:

Don't get me wrong, I love Gen1 cars. But I can definitely tell that Subaru was still a new company and not designing things the best way when this car was made.

1) To remove a top-mounted starter, you have to disassemble the pitch-stop mounting system. I tried and tried, but there's no way to get the starter out around the cable that mounts to the transmission.

2) OMG... I hate the balljoints on this car! If anyone knows of a better way to remove them, PLEASE inform me! I had to get them off the control arm by ruining the bolts by hammering them out because the body of the balljoint itself interferes with the bolt removal.

3) This is the kicker right here. I have never actually been underneath the car until today, and once I saw that the front swaybar mounts to the tranny crossmember, I dropped my jaw. As I started to look around, I also noticed that the trailing arm on the front was welded onto the front arm, and is also bolted to the tranny crossmember (EA82 cars have the trailing arm bolted to the front arm and is mounted to the frame, not the tranny crossmember). Once I got to it, I realized that I was going to have to drop BOTH front control arms, the swaybar, and the tranny crossmember as one piece. WTF! That was interesting to say the least.

But the transmission is out, that was my goal for the day and the weekend, and now I'm very happy that I actually got something done on this car and also that I know it A LOT better now.

Oh, and Raven, where the hell have you been with this thing? I'm not sure whether I got covered more in oil or in sand! :lol:

#2 GoldDiggerRoo


    Pizza anyone?

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 03:16 AM

.....Don't get me wrong, I love Gen1 cars. But I can definitely tell that Subaru was still a new company and not designing things the best way when this car was made......

You've got to be kidding right? The gen 1 Subaru is the easiest thing I've ever worked on and I've had experience working on most everything. They're far easier than any EA82 car or most Subarus since (the new impreza isn't bad)

I've always thought the engineering was dead on with the Gen 1 cars, come on....it takes less than half an hour to pull the whole dash and another half hour to strip off all the removable body parts and you're gonna tell me they didn't know how to engineer a car?!

They weren't that new to the car building business in '79 either, 25 years in at that point.

#3 DerFahrer


    Formerly subyluvr2212

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:11 AM

I forgot to add, I changed the starter in my Legacy before starting on the 79 yesterday morning, and I'm not telling any lies, I'm not exaggerating... it took me 15 minutes from the time I opened the hood until the time I hopped in the car and turned it over with the new starter.

The first-gen Legacies are still the easiest Subarus I've ever worked on, IMO.

I can just look at the dash on the Gen1 and tell you it would be way easier to pull than the Legacy's dash, I don't doubt you on that at all. And I will say something else, neither my Legacy nor my XT have as tough of a body as my GL. Every time I close a door or close the hatch, I can tell just how much of a tank it is.

But mounting the swaybar to the tranny crossmember??? I can't think of any benefit in suspension geometry, and it just makes things more difficult.

#4 Caboobaroo


    USMB Drunk

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:30 PM

gen 1s and gen 2s have a lot in common but there are things you can do to make life easier on yourself. I believe that I have been the only person on the board to put a full EA81 suspension setup that bolted right into a gen 1. Granted the control arms I had to do some fab work to but it wasn't anything difficult, just need a metal lathe and a welder. When you start looking for new parts for your gen 1, you'll find that the balljoints are roughly $35 a piece for lifetime warranty, plus as you found out, are a bear to get off when they've been on there awhile. The EA81 lifetime warranty balljoints are roughly $18 a piece which is a huuuge difference IMHO. This is also another reason why I decided to upgrade. If you can do fab work or know of a friend that does fab work, you can do quite a few things to it to help beef up the brakes and keep costs down for future repairs.

How I did it was I used the EA81 control arm, knuckle, balljoint, vented discs with matching calipers and used my stock EA71 struts. Everything bolted right up except the stabilizer bar that goes from the control arm to the tranny crossmember. The stock EA81 stabilizer bar is about 6" too short and like you said, the stock one is welded to the control arm. This is where the lathe comes in. I found some solid round stock that was a little larger in diameter then the original, cut it the same length as the original EA71 stabilizer bar, stuck it in the lathe and turned the end down to the same measurements as the original (where it bolts to the tranny crossmember). I then tapped the end of it to a standard thread pitch since the hardware and the tap were cheaper, then bolted it to the tranny crossmember, bolted in the rest of the suspension and put the weight of the car on the control arm with a jack. After that, I tack welded it to the control arm with a 110 volt welder, pulled it out and welded it up nice and strong with a big 220 volt welder. I got some pics of it on the wagon if you care to see but if you do decide to do something like this, it'll save you headaches for trying to get the right parts, plus it'll give you the better vented brakes!

#5 DerFahrer


    Formerly subyluvr2212

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:54 PM

I already have new OEM balljoints for it, and what I found surprising was the new balljoints I bought are sealed and non-serviceable, while the original balljoints had little grease nipples in the bottom of them.

It wasn't the fact that they were in there a while that was a problem, it was those bottom two bolts. They won't come right out, the body of the balljoint itself gets in the way! I don't understand it.

The bushings in the control arms look a little rough, but might be salvageable. If I were to replace the front arms though, I'd like to keep everything as original Gen1 stuff. Call me weird.

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