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About JPX

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    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru
  • Birthday 05/05/1971

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  • Location
    San Jose
  • Occupation
    Subaru Owner
  • Vehicles
    1996 Legacy L Sedan
  1. I ran into a bizarre electrical issue captured in this thread: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/158835-96-legacy-22-electrical-shutdown-when-driving-cranks-wont-start-no-warning-lights-will-come-on/?do=findComment&comment=1325934 Aging wiring at the connectors - like the spades or multi-wire connectors that plug into the fuse blocks - may cause intermittent problems. In my case, the big red wire for the dash fuse block had a flaky spade which is embedded in the connector B52. You can have all good fuses and relays, but if any of the wiring is damaged or corroded, you will need to get down and dirty with verifying every leg of the wiring - connector to connector. Good luck!
  2. My CA based 96 Legacy has not had front timing covers since I replaced the long-block several years ago. It's true the timing belt and the pulley surfaces get a little grubby. But the probability of a negative consequence is lower given the posh street life the car enjoys (no gravel, mud, snow, hard driving and low chance of bad rust). I gave up on the covers after a rough roundy-round with the crankshaft pulley keyway and a more recent head gasket debacle. I wouldn't recommend running without covers for most users. But if you are at the point of taking your engine apart anyway, then it is a personal choice. My choice is based on the fact it is more likely I have to take something apart anyway before I encounter a problem caused by a missing belt cover on my $1000 KBB-value Subaru!
  3. Yeah the plunger usually has plenty of life on it. The alternator shop I bought a set of contacts from simply gave the plunger a quick run over with a light gauge wire brush to freshen it up. I hadn't thought of soldering the contacts! I need to remember that for this as well as other applications next time. I love learning things like this from these forums. There are kits out there - this is one of MANY examples available : Victory Lap Solenoid Repair Kit
  4. Both ports were clear. After repositioning the plungers manually without the big spring, it was possible to drive compressed air through each port-set. The tiny plungers at the tips were both fine. Have gone about 80 miles so far and the brake bias seems to be okay.
  5. I've changed out the contacts only and got many more years of life out of the existing starter and plunger. This addressed a problem with weak, intermittent click from solenoid when trying to start the car. I've preemptively conducted another contacts change along with a new plunger - still using the same starter motor. Pictures are from 2013 from the plunger and contacts swap.
  6. Here are photos of the 96 brake proportioning valve partially disassembled.....the big spring under the cap is removed with a 12mm nut and a lot of pressure on the spring (similar to taking apart rocker arm springs on heads). Use a small screwdriver to pry out the small circlip. Still wondering what the assembly looks like with the spring mounted properly to address both plungers.
  7. In a previous life I would have cringed at using so much brake fluid. But now I feel such a sense of satisfaction when the brake fluid flows clear and the reservoir looks like the day I bought the car new!
  8. The new proportioning valve is from a 97 Legacy wagon. I don't have any documentation on the 96 Legacy sedan or the 97 Legacy wagon's valve's pressure points. When I jammed on the brakes during the testing, the ABS kicked in predictably and the car stopped straight and promptly. I could not discern any excessive bias to the rears.
  9. A friend of mine was cruising Pick N Pull today and grabbed a newer model proportioning valve (without the brass cap). I've installed this to the car today and it seems to be workable. Fluid flows happily through both the left and right channels, I took off the spring from the original valve. The plungers could be moved by hand. But without the mysterious "whatever goes between the two plungers under the spring" part, it is worthless. I am in the middle of bleeding the rest of the system and changing out the pads. Then we'll see how the newer valve works with the system.
  10. I am a big fan of Motive's power bleeder - happily used with adapters for my GM and VW vehicles. So easy and efficient to push old fluid and air out of all four wheels quickly! But there is no cap adapter available for the 1996 (not sure what other years) Legacy brake fluid reservoir. The so-called universal adapter is a big pain. So I took a trip to the junkyard to pick up an extra 3" cap. I drilled out the center for a barb fitting and used large washers on each side to distribute the load on the silicon gaskets for the fitting. I attempted to use the original gasket for the cap. I cut out the center for the fitting. But it would not seal at all. Turns out the original gasket is meant to use the center membrane - there is a small pressure relief groove on the edge of the gasket. This prevents a true seal with the cap mod. I tried several rigged "gasket-like" setups to try to get a good seal. But it just wouldn't happen. Then I realized that the three tabs under the gasket prevented anything from seating flat. I ground these down flush with a Dremel and a craft knife. Then I placed a toilet gasket (shown in the picture) that had an excellent bevel to it. Cap seals perfectly. - and now I can power bleed my Subaru!
  11. While inspecting my 96 Legacy's brakes, I discovered that the right rear caliper was not functioning. The slide bolts are in good condition and sufficiently lubed. The piston is fine as well because I could push it smoothly back in the caliper bore easily AFTER I opened the bleeder screw to relieve the pressure. When I tried to bleed the caliper from the reservoir with my power bleeder modification (different post!), I could not force any fluid to that caliper. The rear left caliper bled fine. Troubleshooting so far: - Caliper is clear - can push fluid (and air) through both the bleeder screw hole AND the hose connection. - Rear brake hose is clear - disconnected from the hard line in the rear wheel well and fluid/air flows freely through it both ways. - Hard brake line from rear wheel well to the proportioning valve is clear. When I removed the hard line from the valve, the trapped fluid immediately drained of the rear brake hose. Testing the proportioning valve: - I could readily blow compressed air through the ports for the left side caliper. - I could NOT get any air to flow through the ports for the right side caliper. - Conclusion so far is the valve is not working. Upon disassembling the valve cover, pieces of some type of gasket fell out with some black colored brake fluid. The main gasket for the valve cover was intact and in good shape (probably would have brake fluid leak in engine bay if this particular gasket was bad). I can't find any information about how this particular valve is constructed to operates. It appears that gasket debris was located UNDER the spring. Further, the spring is pressing on one of the plunger buttons - but it is not touching the other button at all. My next step is to remove the spring retaining bolt and seeing what the plungers look like. Anyone have more ideas on how to proceed? (other than the obvious buy a new proportioning valve)
  12. Good on you winginit! You pretty much went down the same path I did with my 2.2L head gasket change. It seems to be holding up!
  13. I used one of those El Cheapo Airtext fuel pumps on my 1996 Legacy L. It works fine. Has been running fine for >7K miles. (2 years). Needed the usual wire crimping and a fuel hose tweak to make it look like a factory unit. You have to be patient and in a zen mood as you pull the pump stack out of the tank hole since it needs a little finesse to take it out with the float, sender, pump and all through the hole. The real fun was when the car wouldn't start one night and the AAA guy started pounding on the fuel tank with a rubber mallet while yelling at me to try starting the car. It got the car running so I could drive it home rather than be towed. But the next day I promptly changed the fuel pump out.
  14. I just finished a head gasket changeout on a 96 EJ22 in the car. I didn't really have the space to deal with pulling the engine (and I have done it before with this car). I wish I had pulled the engine this round. The driver side head is the absolute worst to get to.....it took 6 hands to get the head back on and it was really difficult. The head bolts are too long to remove fully from the head. And these are the "easy" ones since they are SOHC heads. My back was very sore from the ordeal. I can't even imagine trying to do this on the DOHC engines.