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i need help with my 1988 gl wagon


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17 replies to this topic

#1 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 06:47 PM

when i got this wagon 3 years ago it ran fine then before i could register it the timing belt broke. back then i didn't know much about subarus so it sat for a year and a half. then i found usmb and was told it wouldnt start because of the timing belt. so i had a local subaru only repair shop fix it. when i got it back from the repair shop it ran but, its much louder now than before. I let the loudness go and tryed to register it. when i went to smog it it failed(i live in california). and the smog guy said it is not burning all the gas. and that if i wanted it to pass i would need to get a new engine. kragen says the new engine costs 1900$.the local repair shop said it would be 1100$ for them to install it. the car has been running ok. is there somthing i could try, that might fix this. could it be the spark plugs. i dont know a whole lot about cars, and don't have 3000$ laying around to fix it with. i have a 2000 outback to drive. but the gl is special to me and i dont want to get rid of it. i put 5000$ into it over the past three years. it has tvs,an awsome stereo system and the interior is almost perfect still. what should i do?

#2 Cougar

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 11:30 PM

It would be good to know why the tech thought the engine was bad. Did he do a compression test on it? Get one done if you don't know what the readings are for each cylinder. If the fuel isn't burning correctly and compression is ok it could be just a matter of putting in new plugs (NGKs) and installing new wires and a disty cap. Having those replaced can make a dramatic change in emissions if there is a problem in that area.

If the loudness is due to a exhaust leak then than needs to be fixed.

#3 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 01:44 AM

no he did not do a compression test. i said the engine needed to be replaced because it wasn't burning all the feul. and that he didn't need to do a compression test to know that.when i asked him about the compression test he said i would be better off buying a new car than wasting the money. i was offended by his attitude so i stop asking him questions and left.i did buy a new car (the 2000 outback) beacause i needed somthing to drive and didn't have the money for the engine.but i don't think he knew what he was talking about. i think he just didn't want to do the work.it has new wires and plugs. but kragen says the plugs have to be gaped, and they werent gaped( i know because my dad put them in for me). does that make a difference? also i don't know why it's loud. if it has an exhaust leak, will that make in not pass smog? my dad can work on theses cars. so if the engine is bad he says he could rebuild it. but kragen does not have rebuild kits for these. is there a site that offers them? and do you have any info on what you have to do in these "kits"?

#4 daeron

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 02:47 AM

no he did not do a compression test. i said the engine needed to be replaced because it wasn't burning all the feul. and that he didn't need to do a compression test to know that.when i asked him about the compression test he said i would be better off buying a new car than wasting the money. i was offended by his attitude so i stop asking him questions and left.i did buy a new car (the 2000 outback) beacause i needed somthing to drive and didn't have the money for the engine.but i don't think he knew what he was talking about. i think he just didn't want to do the work.it has new wires and plugs. but kragen says the plugs have to be gaped, and they werent gaped( i know because my dad put them in for me). does that make a difference? also i don't know why it's loud. if it has an exhaust leak, will that make in not pass smog? my dad can work on theses cars. so if the engine is bad he says he could rebuild it. but kragen does not have rebuild kits for these. is there a site that offers them? and do you have any info on what you have to do in these "kits"?


i bet you a thousand dollars that the engine is not bad just based on your story.

a couple of points come to mind. please pardon the lack of capitalization, and certain punctuation marks, as my shift keys are somehow haywire right now...

1. do you have the emissions test data for your car/// for // please read a question mark, my shift keys arent working.... the readout on exactly what kind of emissions your car is emitting would be helpful in knowing where to begin here.

2. what brand of spark plugs// most recommend ngk's, as do i, and i have almost never gotten an ngk spark plug that was more than 0.05 away from what they are supposed to be gapped at.. 0.40. quite honestly, the gap should literally ''look'' exactly right.. and chances are that they were fine. however, a gap checking tool is only .99 at the parts counter.. a very worthy investment, which i use on every spark plug i examine, even though i already know when it is right or wrong. spark plug gap is more important at the threshold of performance; not the standard of economy.

3. http//ch601.org/engines.htm click there, find subaru ea82 fsm sections. it is only the engine and fuel injection sections, but it is still a major assistance to someone in your shoes.

4. you say your dad can do work on the car with/for you/// then, let me give you some advice.. search the forum for answers to your questions along the way, work on it with him.. [get him to help you, rather than do it for you] and pay attention ask him questions, ask us questions, and read anything that seems like it might ever be relevant to your car. most of these subarus were 95 percent identical if they looked the same anyhow.. [85 gl = 94 loyale] so about half of the posts in this particular sub forum are regarding issues that may be relevant with your car [outside of turbo posts, and posts about driveline combinations other than what you have, :rolleyes:]

i say this because i was born and raised a car guy/shadetree mechanic. i know how i learned, and it really is the best way.. working on it, with assistance and advice from someone who knows what they are doing. 90 percent of us learned that way.. the rest went the hard way and taught themselves.. made all their own mistakes, rather than learning from the mistakes of others. [not to say that we dont all make our own mistakes just to be stubborn, heh] just over two years ago i confessed to my dad that i had finally been overwhelmed, and realized that there was just way too much to the whole 'car' thing for me to really grok properly.. a boat, i can grok, a boat motor, i can grok, but i think the sum and total of diagnosing and keeping a whole car on the road may be a bit too much for me.. then i got my subaru.

it is a wonderfully simple vehicle, and the breakdown of the 'car' into its various simpler subsystems is readily apparent. the way the car is engineered just makes sense, over and over again. so many things are so easy to do.. the most difficult job i have had on my subaru was replacing the turn signal blinker. i did the headgaskets in march; that was WAY easier than the turn signal relay. took a little longer, but not much.. the flasher took me two hours of searching to find, and there are others who still havent found it....:lol: but *everything* else is easy. this car and this forum will teach you how to work on cars, if you approach it right.

hope this helps, and reply with answers about your car so we can get you on the right path. what you have been told simply does not add up. there are easy diagnostic procedures that you can do with a minimum amount of tools, and if you can find a harbo freight store near you then there is a source of cheap tools like compression testers that can allow you to do even greater diagnostics and repair.. a few inexpensive purchases at harbor freight greatly increse the utility of a standard socket/wrench/screwdriver/pliers toolkit.

good luck

#5 Cougar

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Posted 04 July 2007 - 03:26 AM

To see what the condition is of the engine do a compression test. If all the readings are within 15 pounds of each other and between 140-180 pounds (turbo models will be about 30 to 40 pounds less) then you should be good.

A air leak in the intake or exhaust will affect the emission readings though it sounds like your problem is a rich mixture which could be due to a bad plugwire, coolant temp sensor for the ECU (not the gauge sensor), or O2 sensor. You can also look at your plugs and see how well they are firing by checking there condition.

#6 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 04:44 AM

sorry i lost the test sheet, i think it got tossed out when the car was cleaned.but i remember it wasn't even close to passing.they were bosch spark plugs, but they were the cheapest ones(as i was out of work at the time). is that a good brand? because i put the best ones bosch had in my outback.are those ok? i have been learnig from my dad. i am good at the electrical stuff, i installed the new stereo and l.e.d lights my self, i did have trouble with the turn sig on the outback though,lol.but i don't know a whole lot about the engine. i have done some minor repairs with him on some of his cars (chevys and fords mostly) and i find my subies are much easyer to work on. i know the loyales are almost the same, i have taken parts from them in the past.i have tools but not a comp tester.can i get that at kragen? i think that, and napa are the only auto stores here(in tahoe). my dad and i can work on theses cars. so if the engine is bad he says he could rebuild it with me. but kragen does not have rebuild kits for these. is there a site that offers them? and do you have any info on what you have to do in these "kits"? i will try and check the spark plus after work and let you know how they look.

#7 daeron

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 05:22 AM

well, actually needing a rebuild on a shortblock (the term for the engine minus intake, exhaust, accesories, and cylinder heads) is a rather rare thing for an NA vehicle... it typically takes something extreme like running out of oil to really torpedo the bottom end.

As for the general "mechanicness" of the car, since it is SPFI (single point fuel injection) ninety percent of what is liable to go wrong is electrical in some sense or another... im getting a good vibe that you are already well enough on your way, and that this is the car for you.

Harbor Freight, the store I mentioned, is a tool store not an auto parts store. they sell super cheap tools from china; you DO get what you pay for but for an amateur mechanic, for some rarely used tools, you quite frankly cannot beat the price. if you use it once and throw it away sometimes it is worth it.. Kragen should be able to get you a compression checker (they arent local to me, ive never really heard of them outside of car forums, and napa is a different beast here than it is elsewhere, they are about the worst store ever down here, and only survive on business from people up north somewhere, who are used to having good napas...) but i have no idea how much they would charge for it, and if they are anything like pep boys or advance auto parts, chances are it wouldnt be a much higher quality unit than the harbor freight piece. google harbor freight tools and check out their website; seriously, the store is like a daydream because of all the equipment and tools that they have for so little... even though they arent the best quality by a long shot.

Most swear by NGK plugs for all jap cars.. I personally hate all things bosch that arent high end electrical components; if it costs less than 30 bucks, i dont really trust bosch to do a good job. (okay, the windshield wipers are pretty damn impressive, but thats IT.) BUT normal bosch plugs arent incredibly widely known for causing problems or anything. sometimes the split fires or the four prongy ones have had bad reports... but not single point plugs, i dontt hink.

#8 suberdave

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 12:02 PM

As far as Bosch plugs. i wouldn't put them in anything but a VW or a lawn mower. i am auto tech. and i have seen Bosch plugs cause random misfires in many different kinds of cars. i would toss them and get some NGK's, also get a good dist. cap and rotor. and some good (again NGK) plug wires, and a new O2 sensor. change the oil and run some good fuel system cleaner through it. and fix the exhaust leak. and i would bet that it will pass SMOG.

if the car runns and drives it "DOSE NOT" need a rebuild... i wouldn't even wast my time doing a compression test on it. if it has low comp. in one cyl. you would feel it, it would have a slight misfire...

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#9 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 03:01 AM

i cheked out harbor freight, and there website does have good deals. i will order a comp tester and see if its good.our napa sucks too.kragen is way better, they are like pep boys.also the splitfires are whats in both my subies. so i will pick up some ngk's. what type of ngks should i buy(i.e split, quad etc)? the wires were also replaced when i had the timing belt changed(they are ngk).i will try the other things you mentioned too.
also suberdave, where did you find those wheels for your gl-10?
i can't find much for my gl because of the 4 lug. and ones i did find were from the 80's.

#10 Bucky92

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 04:23 AM

I would do what suberdave says..good tune up ..NGKs good plug wires..O2 sensor..put on a new gas cap ( you wouldnt believe the failures caused by just that alone) and check the codes...Is your check engine light on BTW?

It just sounds to me like that mechanic is trying to screw you. I know of very few people who have needed a rebuild on a running motor..if it doesnt smoke or make any wierd noises ( besides the normal HLA tick) I doubt it will need a rebuild..but to be sure...compression test.
Then take it to another garage..and whatever you do...dont DONT go in acting like you dont know a whole lot...do your research and act like you know what you are talking about.

Learn how to work on your car yourself...its super easy...looks worse than it actually is. Hands on is the way to go....and this is coming from a girl!!!! I do almost ALL the work on my cars myself..cept for welding but its coming.

#11 daeron

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 04:38 AM

regular old, snake-oil free, NGK BPR 6ES-11. one point, no splitfire BS.. just good old plain NGKs. ive run racecars on them; "performance" spark plugs are no better than the entire rest of your ignition system.

#12 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 06:05 AM

I'll Try Those Things. And The Check Engine Light Is On Sometimes. I Dissconnected The Baterry Before I Took It To The Smog Place. That Way It Won't Come Back On For An Hour. A Friend At Kragen Said The Check Engine Lights On Old Cars Are Just An O2 Senser, And Wont Effect Smog. I'm Thinking He Was
Wrong.whats The Hla Trick?i Will Have My Dad Help Me And Do The Repairs My Self. As I No Longer Trust Repair People.

#13 Bucky92

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 06:42 AM

I'll Try Those Things. And The Check Engine Light Is On Sometimes. I Dissconnected The Baterry Before I Took It To The Smog Place. That Way It Won't Come Back On For An Hour. A Friend At Kragen Said The Check Engine Lights On Old Cars Are Just An O2 Senser, And Wont Effect Smog. I'm Thinking He Was
Wrong.whats The Hla Trick?i Will Have My Dad Help Me And Do The Repairs My Self. As I No Longer Trust Repair People.


Do a search on here for checking your ECU codes ( Its under the steering wheel .you have to remove a cover) Run the codes then either check back here or ask us what the code is for ...it will flash..long then short..so 3 long followed by 4 short ..code 34..EGR sylinoid..etc.

There are a couple fixes for tappy HLAs..first off ..it is common..second .it depends on the degree of it..sometime just a good oil change a new oil filter ( DO NOT USE FRAM!!).to running a quart of ATF in place of a quart of oil..or Marvels Mystery Oil or Seafoam ..to replacing the Mickey Mouse Gasket in the oil pump ( likes to suck one of the ears in over time)...to actual replacement of the HLAs..alwasy try the easy cheap fixes first.

Somewhere on here someone has a link to the How To Keep Your Subaru Alive book in pdf..or also..if you ask nicely ;) :-p some of us have FSMs on pdf and could either make you a copy or email it to you.

#14 somick

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 05:28 PM

You can rent compression tester at Autozone. Free.

You must replace O2 sensor. I bet this is your main problem! Once again, rent oxygen sensor tool from Autozone for free and replace the sensor. The sensor is something about 22 dollars. I have the cheapest one from Bosch. This week end I passed smog with no problems!

Check engine light usualy comes on for PURGE CONTROL SOLENOID or EGR SOLENOID. It could also contribute to your probems. Read the codes.

You are on the right track! Do not be discouraged by bad people=mechanics!


Good luck!

Sam

#15 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 09:47 PM

i checked the ecu code it flashed 6 over and over and over and over.not short than fast. but all the same
mabey because the check engine light is not on right now.

Bucky92 There are a couple fixes for tappy HLAs

what does hla stand for? also the oil was changed when the timing belt was and it was fram. whats wrong with fram?atf as in auto trans fluid? in the oil? also i would like to read the How To Keep Your Subaru Alive book in pdf in some one would email it to me(my email is listed in my profile).and whats fsm's?and all we have here is kragen and napa. no autozone. but i will order parts and comp tester on friday(payday).

#16 daeron

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 10:26 PM

HLA == Hydraulic Lash Adjuster or lifter.. they are inside your cylinder heads, its part of the valvetrain.

FSM == Factory Service Manual http://ch601.org/engines.htm find subaru EA82.

HTKYSA- go to advanced search and look for HTKYSA with the user name baccaruda (maybe two Ds, the field should auto-complete the name once you get as far as "bacca" just give it a second)

ATF -- yes trans fluid, it has more detergents and they help clean out the gunk that can block the narrow oil passages in your HLAs. IF you choose to do this (many have but some still refuse to add anything but oil to their oil) you do need to drain your oil shortly thereafter.. 500 miles is good.

FRAM- they are cheap. that should set you on guard right there. paper filter medium, with inferior flowing capabilities, junky construction, people have had them come apart and get sucked into their engines in the past. not every single one is a motor-killer, but the number of motor killing fram oil filters is disturbingly high; most use NAPA or WIX brand (same part) or a few others.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 09:44 PM

the code 6 you got was identifying your car. it would have a series of long then short flashes to designate codes like 3-6, etc. the lifter tick could be due to the oil pump seal.

you would have to take the belts off but it wouldnt hurt to get that farinto the motor at leeast to familiarize yourself wityh the layout.

take off the egr valve and clean it good. you may have to re-gasket the exhaust flanges as far as exhaust noise. be careful with torque. use new stids and loc-tite(red). use the orange copper silicone or the copper spray to seal the gaskets

you can get new studs in the HELP aisle in the adcance auto zone type store. 10mm x 1.25 "import exhaust studs" comes in sets of 2 with nuts.

read some of this:

http://www.economysu...ice/service.htm

#18 silverracerkh2005

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 11:23 PM

ok i'll try those things thanks guys:)




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