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Silly EA82T coolant problems


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12 replies to this topic

#1 drewcifer85710

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 04:27 PM

Hey, I'm new to all this and have a couple issues I couldn't find good answers to anywhere else. I picked up an '86 GL-10 4x4 Turbo wagon a couple weeks ago. Damn near perfect cosmetic shape and all the mechanical stuff seemed solid enough. The price was right for me at $1100. The car has 160k on the body and roughly 60k on a new (not rebuilt) EA82T. I've got a couple questions about a specific ailment and a few more general ones.

1. I was careful to say coolANT problems, not coolING problems. The car runs cool all the time. When it's started with a COLD engine, I get several drops of antifreeze on the ground. I can't pinpoint the source, but they seem to come from roughly the front left side of the engine. Most of it seems to hit the exhaust or the front skid plate before making its way to the ground. Once the engine warms up, the leak stops completely but whatever coolant is left sitting around on metal (presumably the exhaust, or engine, I dunno) burns off and is extremely obnoxious (and embarassing in traffic!) for a minute or so. Once that's done everything is fine as long as the engine stays even kind of warm. I'd think a bad head or gasket would explain all this, except I don't smell ANY coolant in the exhaust, and I haven't lost any appreciable amount of coolant yet. I guess it doesn't take much to steam up on hot metal. Any other guesses?

2. The coolant overflow tank is always at a more-or-less correct level. I tried to add a bit of pepper to the radiator
and noticed the water stays completely up to the cap all the time. I've never had to do anything to the radiators in any of my cars, but do recall that the water never stayed completely up to the top of the cap when the car was off. Is that normal, or is it blocked somewhere? I've run the car for hours at a time and it always stays very cool, so obviously it's still getting water.

3. The replacement engine in this car was brand-new, not a rebuild. I think I read there were differences in the
turbo set-up, and maybe some others, between the '86 and '87 EA82T's. If that's true, how can I tell which one I've got?

4. My digidash is 100% but the orange LEDs coupled with the age of this thing make it real hard to read. Will an '87-up digidash fit this with little to no modification? And is it worth doing? That is, is the green any easier to see or did those units maybe age any better?

5. Where can I get another one of those little spare tires? Mine's trashed, and I value my trunk (wagon?) space and would like to keep storing it under the hood.

Thanks in advance.
Drew

#2 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 04:30 PM

Hmmm not too sure about the coolant problems (my problem with my car is I cant find any drips, but it keeps vanishing!)

But with the spare tire... not sure if it fits under the hood on a turbo... but with a non-turbo you can fit a regular tire under the hood. You may need to remove that little black thing on the tire mount.... (note: I have not tried this, the tire may not clear the turbo heat shield... if it doesnt, well I guess you are stuck using donuts. Sorry I dont have a donut to sell though :( , but I'm sure many people do :) )

#3 ABdad

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 04:42 PM

Drew, Did you buy that off of a guy up here in Phoenix and is it white with blue interior? Said he worked at a Sooby dealer?

If so, I think it is one I looked at but the guy was asking $1500.
I thought I smelled coolant and the engine didn't seem to be running quite right so I gave it a pass. Also, it wouldn't go into 4WD.

#4 drewcifer85710

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 04:56 PM

Originally posted by ABdad
Drew, Did you buy that off of a guy up here in Phoenix and is it white with blue interior? Said he worked at a Sooby dealer?

If so, I think it is one I looked at but the guy was asking $1500.
I thought I smelled coolant and the engine didn't seem to be running quite right so I gave it a pass. Also, it wouldn't go into 4WD.




It's the same one. I actually picked the thing up at Camelback VW/Subaru. As far as I can tell that coolant's only sitting on/burning off something in the engine compartment. I can't detect anything in the exhaust, and got a couple second opinions just to be sure. :)

The 4wd thing is very low on my list of worries. Maybe once I figure out where the hell that coolant's coming from. It ran a little rough for me when I picked it up in Phx, too. I drove it across Camelback to a gas station, filled up and got a bottle of injector cleaner and proceeded to burn half of it up on the drive back to Tucson. It's run just fine since that.

Now that I think of it, the guy mentioned to me twice that there was extra coolant in the trunk, which pisses me off for two reasons:

1. There wasn't any extra coolant in the trunk

2. If it's leaking anything, just tell me. I don't expect to buy an $1100 car that doesn't need any repairs anyway.

Oh well. :)

#5 Meeky Moose

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 05:26 PM

your coolant issue... there is a tiny coolant line that runs from the intake manifold to the thermostat housing.. its about 1/4" in diameter.. they like to spring leaks in the form of pinholes.. you can't see the hole until the hose is off, and most of the time won't leak unless they either completely blow or you rev it up (3500 rpms or so) it'll be on the right side of the thermostat housing down low and runs under the intake manifold if i remember correctly..

check it first.. its always the first one that goes.. you can replace it with regular fuel line from a parts store.. that way it saves ya a littel bit of $$ vs going to the dealer for the hose..

#6 ABdad

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:03 PM

Drew,

For what it's worth, I thought the rest of the car looked in great shape. And I coudn't see the Digidash that well either.

I had also run the vin and it was ok, originally out of portland I think. But I had my heart set on a BRAT and he didn't want to come down from the $1500. so...

I'm picking up TheSubaruJunkie's Silver Brat on Wednesday, Yea.
So I guess we both win. Hey Hey.

good Luck

#7 drewcifer85710

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:13 PM

Originally posted by ABdad
Drew,

For what it's worth, I thought the rest of the car looked in great shape. And I coudn't see the Digidash that well either.

I had also run the vin and it was ok, originally out of portland I think. But I had my heart set on a BRAT and he didn't want to come down from the $1500. so...

I'm picking up TheSubaruJunkie's Silver Brat on Wednesday, Yea.
So I guess we both win. Hey Hey.

good Luck



Congrats on your find. And thanks are probably in order, maybe it was your rejection that let me take it for $400 less? :)

Meeky: thanks for the suggestion. A bad rubber (well, whatever it is) hose shrinking with the cold might explain that only intermittent loss, and the location looks like it might be right. I'd certainly prefer that over any head/gasket/block issue. I'll have a look in the next couple days when I get time to tinker with everything and let you know.

Thanks.

#8 drewcifer85710

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:14 PM

While I'm thinking about it, will a plain old analog dash plug up to where my digidash goes? Common sense tells me that the sending units would all be different and this wouldn't work at all, but what do I know :)

#9 calebz

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 06:48 PM

Sure, You can swap from the old digidash to an analog dash, but be prepared for some pretty hefty rewiring.. Would definitely recimmend having the FSM diagrams for your car. the analaog dash would also have to be from an 85-86.

#10 Ozsubie

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 07:10 PM

Just to answer your question about the coolant being right up to the cap in the radiator this is how the Subaru should be. If the coolant isn't right up at the cap that's when you've got problems.

#11 Turbone

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 08:05 PM

A common problem with these are the waterpumps, or to be more exact, the waterpump to lower rad hose o-ring. On the right of the waterpump theres a large metal tube that comes out about 8in, and then into the lower rad hose. Theres an o-ring on the end of the tube that goes into the waterpump. The o-ring comes with a new waterpump. This is just an option, and probably wouldnt hurt replacing before summer gets there.
Rob

#12 junkyardgabe

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 08:21 PM

if you really want to find that coolant leak go buy a bottle of leak detector from napa and run that through your system for a day. then you'll need a black light where ever there's a leak it will show up as a florescent yellow and go from there. the bottle of stuff is only about $2 or $3

#13 baccaruda

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Posted 19 January 2004 - 10:37 PM

hey drew. I'm another andrew with an 86 GL10 turbowagon. :cool:

i'd go to a radiator shop and get a leakdown test done. they pressurize your cooling system and look for coolant to squirt out. It's easy and they probably won't charge you anything.
the turbo motors are more prone to coolant hose leaks due to the extra heat and fun generated during use. I would advise you to take a day and replace all the little coolant hoses at once. Some can be found at Napa for maybe less than the dealer; some will be dealer only, and a couple are just cut to fit.
The turbo has 4 lines to it; one metal oil line, one rubber oil line, and two silicone coolant lines. the rubber oil line and the L shaped coolant line with the foil are dealer only, and best accessed by pulling the downpipe and turbo and passenger front axle.

You can definitely fit a regular full size spare under the hood. I kept my spare mostly deflated so it would squish in there better, as i carry a $10-$20 inflator/compressor in the back of the car. "oh no, the spare's flat too!" hehe

the differences in the turbo involved how the wastegate was activated; the difference is a small rubber elbow hose on the wastegate or two separate rubber lines to a solenoid on the passenger side strut tower. your car has the elbow.

I also intend to put an analog turbo dash in my car but i'm not even close to having started on that yet. mark, if you're reading this, have you?

Also, if you cut out the bottom of the air filter's box, you'll enjoy driving the car a lot more as it'll breathe much better. you will lose a few MPG and gain.. speeding tickets? brow




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