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more questions from new Subie owner


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12 replies to this topic

#1 thelynns

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:34 AM

Ok,

1986 4 x 4 Sedan, automatic. Never owned a Subaru or 4 x 4. These will seem like basic questions. Also, most I have ever have done mechanically is change oil…but willing to learn anything.

Took it out on icy, slightly snow covered roads, with some dry pavement intermingled.

Didn't want to trash the transmission on first outing.

1. Under these conditions, good candidate for 4WD?
2. Safe to switch into 4WD at any speed?
3. Safe to drive in 4wd at high speed, 50-60 plus (in conditions allow)
4. Usually good idea to be switching in and out frequently?

Also, I do have a Nissan 4 cyl. Truck. Noticed it idles at very low RPM and only during acceleration does it go up between 2000-2500. The Subaru seems to run at 2000 and accelerates to 3000.

1. Is this normal?

Oil Pressure guage This is floating around 45. Is this good or bad?

Volts meter shows 12v while in motion, but drops to 8 or so with some dimming. Alternator going bad or normal?

Finally, temp guage runs in the middle...my Nissan rarely gets to middle unless during summer.

1. Is this normal?

I have no history on this car or manual. I have had oil changed and radiator topped off. I have purchased a Chilton's manual and am reading online something called "How to Keep Your Subaru Alive".

Thanks,

The Lynn’s

#2 lostinthe202

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:07 AM

Ok,

1986 4 x 4 Sedan, automatic. Never owned a Subaru or 4 x 4. These will seem like basic questions. Also, most I have ever have done mechanically is change oil…but willing to learn anything.

Took it out on icy, slightly snow covered roads, with some dry pavement intermingled.

Didn't want to trash the transmission on first outing.

1. Under these conditions, good candidate for 4WD?
2. Safe to switch into 4WD at any speed?
3. Safe to drive in 4wd at high speed, 50-60 plus (in conditions allow)
4. Usually good idea to be switching in and out frequently?

Also, I do have a Nissan 4 cyl. Truck. Noticed it idles at very low RPM and only during acceleration does it go up between 2000-2500. The Subaru seems to run at 2000 and accelerates to 3000.

1. Is this normal?

Oil Pressure guage This is floating around 45. Is this good or bad?

Volts meter shows 12v while in motion, but drops to 8 or so with some dimming. Alternator going bad or normal?

Finally, temp guage runs in the middle...my Nissan rarely gets to middle unless during summer.

1. Is this normal?

I have no history on this car or manual. I have had oil changed and radiator topped off. I have purchased a Chilton's manual and am reading online something called "How to Keep Your Subaru Alive".

Thanks,

The Lynn’s





Welcome to the board! Actually I'm quite new here myself.

I'm not an authority on subaru's or anything so I'll let the heavys weigh in on your tech questions, especially concerning the 4x4 part as Subaru's have a number of different systems I haven't a clue as to which models/years have which transmissions and there seem to be different rules for each.

On the Alternator I would def. say that it's output is low. Check the belt tension and see what tests your book has.

On the book, be careful what you read, chiltons and haynes are notorious for incorrect/incomplete information.

Oil pressure seems good to me, but again i'll defer to the experts

On the idle/acceleration, I'm not sure I know what you mean. do you mean that it idles at 2000? If this is the case that is def. too high, should be around 1000 for carb. less for spfi/mpfi (I think!)

On temp. that's prolly high. Have your radiator flow tested and replace your thermostat with one from the dealer, there are tons of reports on this board that only the dealer ones are reliable. Also, make sure your cooling fan(s) are turning on.

On that note, searches on this board are your friend. I mean this, I've learned more information than I can retain just by searching and reading threads. Almost any question/problem you have someone has had before you.

For example, there have been a number of posts just recently about 4x4 do's and don'ts.

Good luck and have a good time!!

#3 Frank B

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:25 AM

Get your hands on a voltmeter, and test the voltage at the battery terminals as the engine idles, then throttle up with the voltmeter still attached. It should be 14.4 volts, not 12v. 12v will not charge a 12v battery, it must be more than 12v. 13 would do it, but 14.4 is best.

There's a really good chance that you need a new radiator. They are notorius for clogging and the bottom rows rotting out. Don't waste your time and money trying to flush it, or repair it, buy a new one. I suggest you spend a little more and get the thick core radiator, one listed for a turbo model.
But here's a deal for you,
http://cgi.ebay.com/...sspagenameZWDVW

As long as the oil pressure dosn't drop to zero at idle, your good.

#4 Frank B

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:30 AM

Oh, and for the 4wd, just use it when you need it, regardless of conditions. If the tires spin and you can't get traction, then use 4wd. You'll be amazed how little you will need it with good tires on your car. But when you do need it, you'll be even more amazed how well it does!
Just be sure to be going straight when shifting in and out. And if it's hard to come out of 4wd, drive over something slick like grass, dirt, gravel, snow, or mud, then shift out.

#5 MilesFox

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 02:35 PM

Ok,

1986 4 x 4 Sedan, automatic.

Took it out on icy, slightly snow covered roads, with some dry pavement intermingled.

Didn't want to trash the transmission on first outing.

1. Under these conditions, good candidate for 4WD?
>>
as long as it's not dry pavement. you can get away with driving in heavy rain, on a straight road, at modrerate speeds. rain is not recommended for slow speeds with turning(in-town driving) but ok on the highway on heavy downpours or your typical back roads.

2. Safe to switch into 4WD at any speed?
>>
use the 4wd at any speed you like, up to any speed, and engage/disengage at any speed. so long as engage/disengage is going straight, do not eng/diseng while turning(in town type turns)

3. Safe to drive in 4wd at high speed, 50-60 plus (in conditions allow)
>>
as fast or slow as you can make it go

4. Usually good idea to be switching in and out frequently?
>>
probably better than never using it. switch in or out based on the rosd surface more than anything

. The Subaru seems to run at 2000 and accelerates to 3000.

1. Is this normal?
>>the 85-86 n/a 3at transmission has a final drive ratio of 3.7. later models have a 3.9. FWD automatics will cruise at better than 3500 rpm

Oil Pressure guage This is floating around 45. Is this good or bad?
>>
typical, the oem gauge isnt the most accurate. go with a mechanical aftermarket gauge if this is important to you(which it should be!)

Volts meter shows 12v while in motion, but drops to 8 or so with some dimming. Alternator going bad or normal?
>>
you may want to investigate this. sometimes the gauge isnt accurate. the warning lights will start to clow ambiently when the voltage becomes a problem

Finally, temp guage runs in the middle...my Nissan rarely gets to middle unless during summer.

1. Is this normal?
>>
consider replacing the radiator. this can be considered normal, so long as the temp doesnt fluctuate towards the 3/4 mark. but better running soobs will hang within 1/4 the way up

#6 2K4 STI

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 07:36 PM


As long as the oil pressure dosn't drop to zero at idle, your good.


Mine drops to almost zero at idle,but is usually at around 45 while driving.
Since it drops while just idling,what causes this?

#7 thelynns

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:18 PM

I just noticed tonight my oil pressure dropped to zero at idle also, but went back up when I started driving.

The Lynn's

#8 BlueTrain

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 08:56 PM

I just noticed tonight my oil pressure dropped to zero at idle also, but went back up when I started driving.

The Lynn's


this is normal. it even sates this in the manual.

#9 DaveT

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:56 PM

Since it drops while just idling,what causes this?


The pump isn't turning fast enough at idle to move enough oil to keep the pressure high. Normal. No load on the engine at idle, so it doesn't need high oil pressure. Don't "lug" the engine, it's made for high RPM.

Volts meter shows 12v while in motion, but drops to 8 or so with some dimming. Alternator going bad or normal?


I have also seen this when the battery is near end of life. A lead acid starting battery, (car battery) under ideal conditions, is near end of life after five years.

Somewhere around 140K miles, one of the brushes in the alternator wears down to the point where it doesn't touch the slip ring. This was amazingly consistent on my 3 EA82 wagons. The charge light doesn't necessarily indicate the failure as it is very gradually reducing the charge current.

#10 2K4 STI

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 09:58 PM

Thats weird that the question about the Voltage drop shows it was posted by Me.But it wasnt.Just strange :confused:

#11 DaveT

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:06 PM

Thats weird that the question about the Voltage drop shows it was posted by Me.But it wasnt.Just strange :confused:

Oops, I cut & pasted the wrong thing. Fixed.

#12 2K4 STI

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 10:11 PM

Oops, I cut & pasted the wrong thing. Fixed.


AAhh Ok,Just looked weird when i read it :lol:

#13 Gloyale

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:51 AM

>> [/B] so long as engage/disengage is going straight, do not eng/diseng while turning(in town type turns)[B]


This is only apllicable to the Manual tranmission models. Because the 3AT uses a Hydraulic clutch pack to transfer, (not gears, that have to mesh), it can be engaged/disengaged at anytime, in turns, at any speed, doesn't matter. And it never gets "stuck" in 4WD from binding. Hydraulic actuation and release. It is the one truely good thing about the 3AT.




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