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Everything posted by PlaneDriver

  1. I am slowly going about converting my '89 RX from R12 to R134a because the pulley bearing on my original compressor failed. I removed the evaporator today and took it apart to get the expansion valve out. The first thing I noticed was some weird rubber/tar gunk around one connection of the expansion valve and around where a piece of it touches a coolant line. What is this stuff? Is it necessary? I hope it wasn't put on to contain a leak. It wasn't tight on the parts so I don't think it was to fix a leak. The pictures below show what it looked like. I took the pictures after I peeled it off so it is just laying there as a representation in the pics. The new expansion valve I bought from RockAuto has different thread sizes than the original so it won't fit. It also won't fit over the pipes to seat against the O-ring. I will have to return it. It also has a third connector coming out of the top. I found this thread that says this was a feature of Hitachi A/C systems, but mine is Panasonic. I was going to get together with a local Subaru group on Saturday to work on this but I don't think I can get a new expansion valve by then. My thought is to use new O-rings and reuse the original expansion valve. It seems people frequently do this when switching to R134a from R12 with no adverse effects and I never noticed anything to think my original had problems. Thoughts on the weird gunk and reusing the expansion valve?
  2. PlaneDriver

    Turbo dash light

    The green square outline is the only light. Your description of the square light sounds normal. There is no light behind the turbo icon itself.
  3. I know I could save a lot, but like I stated before, I don't have the time to wait for a set to arrive nor the time to fix it. If I had a second car, I definitely would do it myself. In this case, it will be cheaper to have them do it because it will be done tomorrow.
  4. I had just started to drive to work this morning and was about 0.25 mi from home when my RX gave a shudder like it was stalling and the engine quit. I pulled over and tried to restart it and it cranked, but no start. I popped the hood and checked that the battery and alternator cables were connected and tight and that the distributor was connected. Nothing changed. I unplugged the distributor and cranked for a bit and went to smell the tailpipe to see if I smelled fuel. I couldn't. If the car is backed into a garage, I know this works, but being outside which is not a confined space may be the reason I didn't smell anything. I was out of ideas and so was my dad, who I awoke with a phone call at 0530 because I live 2 hrs ahead of my parents now. I called a repair shop recommended to me and had the car towed there. They called back in the afternoon and said they thought a timing belt had failed. This was very surprising to me because I had inspected the belts a month ago and they were in great condition. I had put them in in December 2009. The shop hadn't actually taken the covers off to check but said the distributor wasn't spinning. They started talking about it being an interference engine and I informed them it was not and they checked their books again and said I was right. They must have looked at a DOHC 1.8 engine. Most people on this site probably have more experience with EA8x engines than all the technicians at a non-Subaru shop. It will be $850 for the repair including the tow, which is hugely expensive but I don't have a spare car nor the time to wait for parts to come in and for me to install them, so I am going to let them fix it. Morals: I should have left the covers off after the work I did a month ago. I should carry a spare timing belt set and tools in the car. I should save up a lot of money if I am going to keep it as my DD (at least until I save enough to get something new so the RX is my spare).
  5. The A/C compressor on my '89 RX has started to make a groaning noise when the clutch is engaged. When the A/C is off, there is no noise. It sounds like the bearing needs lubrication. When the engine revs the groaning increases. What is the easiest way to fix this? Should I add more R12 (I don't think it was ever converted to 134 previously and I have never touched it) or is there another way to relubricate the compressor? Could it be a belt tension issue? Understandably, I would like to avoid replacing the compressor.
  6. PlaneDriver

    A/C Compressor Noise

    I haven't done much on this recently because I was in the process of moving from Tucson to St. Louis. Before I left Tucson, I had the R12 evacuated from the system. Yesterday I took the AC compressor apart. The front armature came off without trouble because there is only the one hex screw. At this point I saw that the cover for the sealed pulley bearing was no longer attached to the bearing and I could take it out. Turning the armature around, I saw streaks of bearing grease that must have come out when the cover came off. With the cover off and the lubricating grease coming out, it was only a matter of time before the bearing seized. When I rotated the pulley, the ball bearings moved with the pulley and did not rotate themselves; they were just dragged along. I removed the snap ring and it took some hammering to get the pulley off. There are some indentations around the back side of the pulley at the outer diameter of the bearing. I don't have access to a press so I don't think I will be able to get the bearing out. There also appears to be damage to the magnetic coil that was behind the pulley. This is a Panasonic AC compressor. Were these compressors used with all EA-82 engines? A pull-a-part store in STL has a 92 Loyale. I am going to go this weekend and see if it has its compressor still. Damage behind pulley Bearing sealing piece Indentations behind bearing
  7. PlaneDriver

    A/C Compressor Noise

    So it looks like the compressor bearing is done for. I noticed a strange smell the past couple days when driving, with the AC on or off. It's unlike any smell I have experienced with a car before. Almost like cigarette smoke. Yesterday there was a constant rubbing noise when I was driving. I opened the hood when I stopped and noticed a little bit of smoke coming out of the three holes on the front of the compressor clutch plate. I took the belt off so the pulley no longer rotates. I didn't see a fuse labeled specifically for the AC in the fuse box. Is there one? I am moving from Tucson to St. Louis later this week so I don't have time to fix it or look for parts at a pull-a-part. I am considering just having the system evacuated and working on it in St. Louis. I found on RockAuto that I can buy a new bearing for the AC compressor. This would be an inexpensive alternative to replacing the whole thing. Is it worth trying? I would then convert it to an R134a system. Besides seals and O-rings, anything else I should replace? Edit: I had planned a few weeks ago to use a trailer and tow the car to STL. Now I won't have to drive through the desert in the summer with no AC. The pulley is also more difficult to spin now. When I replaced the belts a couple weeks ago, it spun easily, and now it does not.
  8. PlaneDriver

    A/C Compressor Noise

    I was doing some work on the car this weekend and replaced the accessory belts. The A/C compressor now runs without making a groaning noise. Must have been a belt tension problem. I should still have the system topped off with R12 because the car did not cool off much driving around this afternoon with air temps around 107F. The air was cold, but not cold enough, IMO.
  9. PlaneDriver

    RockAuto Brake Pads?

    I will second grossgary's comment to crossreference the part numbers on RockAuto. I ordered new pads for my RX last year and there were different part #'s for sedan and coupe. I have a coupe so I ordered those. When I went to install them, I noticed the front pads I received were much smaller than the ones on my car and couldn't be held by the calipers. They were not mistakenly labeled rear pads either. The rear pads I received were correct and smaller than the too-small front pads. I went to AutoZone to check part numbers and the AZ part #'s for coupe and sedan were the reverse of what RA had. I bought what AZ said were RX coupe front pads and they fit perfectly. I emailed RA about the incorrect labeling and they refunded me for the front pads I bought but didn't want them shipped back, so I have a new set of what apparently are RX sedan front pads I'll never need. I also wonder why the sedan has smaller pads than the coupe. So, double check with another store to be sure.
  10. PlaneDriver

    Changing timing belts

    Does that include the EA-82T? I think the pumps are different from what I have seen listed in parts lists, but how about the seals?
  11. The brake pads on my RX had started to squeak recently so I checked the pads and decided to replace them. I searched the forum for what other people were using and saw most used the organic pads as were OE. I went to Rock Auto and found some organic pads part #'s PD314 and PD291. The description said "Organic; Front; Coupe" and "Organic; Rear" and that they were ThermoQuiet. This car is my daily driver and I don't auto-X it or anything like that so I don't need any extra performance from the braking system. I got the shipment today and the pad boxes say "ThermoQuiet Ceramic". From what I read about the ceramic and semi-metallic pads, they are ok replacements but will wear down the disc more quickly. Should I return these ceramic pads and get some actual organic ones or should I install them and live with it?
  12. I have searched the forum and couldn't find and threads on this, but I'm sure someone can help me. Where do I connect a hose so my boost gauge reads vacuum and boost? I looked around the engine bay and found what appeared to be the line the controls the turbo light and when I am boosting I read about 8 psi. I don't ever see any vacuum though. Can someone post a picture of where they have their vacuum/boost gauge connected? I would appreciate it very much.
  13. Last weekend I replaced the transmission and diff fluid in my RX with Redline 75W90NS. While under the car I noticed the outer right front CV boot had cracked so I had that replaced today. Since I had a coupon for a free oil change from the shop I use, I figured I would let them do that too. I need to address to oil leaks at the front of the engine sometime. It will have to be after this semester, at least.
  14. I want to change the transmission and rear diff fluids in my RX soon and have searched here for threads on the fluids to use. I have been able to find suppliers online for both Subaru OEM fluid (the Extra-S stuff) and the Redline 75W-90NS which seems to be the most popular and recommended aftermarket brand. Is one of these better than the other or can I go with either? The Redline fluid is cheaper by a few dollars, so if they are virtually the same, that is what I will likely go with. I have also found the Subaru LSD oil (part # K0305Y0900) online as well. Would the alternative be adding the Redline LSD Friction Modifier to the 75W-90 I will put in the transmission?
  15. PlaneDriver

    OEM or Aftermarket Tranny Fluids

    Is that the Extra-S you are referring to?
  16. PlaneDriver

    OEM or Aftermarket Tranny Fluids

    Not if you know where to look. http://www.fredbeansparts.com/index.php/subaru-75w90-extra-s-gear-and-transmission-quart-bottle.html
  17. I replaced the headlight bulbs on my RX a few weeks ago. Put in Silverstar Ultras. The bulbs I removed were stamped "SEP 87." One of them is still good too. Impressive!
  18. My driver's side wiper had been crashing into my passenger side one. Found this thread and fixed it. http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/showthread.php?t=71979&highlight=wiper+driver
  19. PlaneDriver

    Fuel pump noise?

    The fuel pump on my '89 RX sounds like a mosquito (buzzing) after the car has been running for than 15 minutes, especially when it's hot out. It has done this off and on for a while so I'm not extremely worried, but if this is a sign of impending failure, I would like to take care of it.
  20. When I had my '89 RX apart a few months ago I noticed the distributor rotor and cap could use replacement soon. The connections were a tiny bit corroded. Rock Auto has some caps and rotors on closeout and I wanted to know which ones to get. http://www.rockauto.com/RSS/vehiclefeeds.php?carcode=1270213&m=wc&l=en&html=true Scroll down to ignition. The cap I need should be the third one. I have the center connector, 4 around the outside, and a fifth on the outside that appears to be a vent. The third one has these. And should the rotor I get correspond to the cap? IE Hitachi rotor with Hitachi cap, don't mix them around?
  21. In August 09 my dad and I took my '89 RX through Colorado for the primary purpose of visiting Pikes Peak and Mt. Evans. Saw some beautiful scenery and had a great time overall. The car ran great and we averaged 34 mpg in some parts of Colorado. My conclusion was that Mt. Evans has much better scenery than Pikes Peak and now that Pikes Peak is being paved to the summit, it has lost its special attraction. Here is the approximate route we took: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=I-19+N&daddr=Apache+Campground+to:Mechem+Dr+to:CO-67+to:Fountain+Ave+to:Pikes+Peak+Hwy+to:Pikes+Peak+Toll+Rd+to:S+Santa+Fe+Dr%2FN+US-85+to:Bear+Creek+Rd%2FCO-74+to:Chicago+Creek+Rd%2FCO-103+to:US-24+to:Poplar+St%2FUS-24+to:W+Main+St+to:CO-133+to:CO-62+to:CO-145+to:33.458943,-112.085266+to:I-10+E&geocode=FTQ-6wEddJli-Q%3BFecI9wEdhrGy-Q%3BFTi6_AEdPoiz-Q%3BFQ6bVAIdJFO8-Q%3BFRqIUQId4j2--Q%3BFUWvUQIdyR---Q%3BFTapUAIdSiq9-Q%3BFf69WgIdEKy9-Q%3BFYpDXQIdtJ25-Q%3BFVIeXQId4bO0-Q%3BFV17WgId_vuo-Q%3BFfz6VgId-B2q-Q%3B*********EVgIdhP6h-Q%3BFfybUQIdSLmW-Q%3BFeKdRAId44mP-Q%3BFQYUQwIdwPqR-Q%3B%3BFTDr7AEd8K9h-Q&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=7&mrsp=16&sz=9&via=2,4,5,7,8,10,13,14,16&sll=33.380999,-111.555176&sspn=1.128382,2.043457&ie=UTF8&ll=36.155618,-106.677246&spn=8.724681,24.719238&t=h&z=6 Some pictures are below. Hail from a severe thunderstorm near Colorado Springs Atop Pikes Peak Ascending Mt. Evans Denver from the summit Telluride We ran into one problem on the drive home from Telluride. Driving south on I-17 in the pouring rain a pickup truck traveling northbound lost control and spun into the median which knocked a good sized rock into our path. It hit the upper part of the windshield on the passenger side where I was sitting. The windshield stayed intact and we taped over the impact point so we could drive home. The highway patrol stayed with the truck because he bent his rims and busted his low profile tires.
  22. PlaneDriver

    Crank pulley...what about a gun?

    I used the breaker bar and starter method when I redid the head gaskets in my RX last month. We had the breaker bar sitting against the garage floor though so it didn't fly away.
  23. PlaneDriver

    subaru coloring book?

    You could copy certain pages of the full service manual to color. They aren't perfect but many of the pictures show most of the whole car.
  24. Since winter is here and I have a month between semesters, I decided that now would be a great time to replace the engine seals and some other parts in my '89 RX. The parts I currently have on my list are: Head Gaskets Valve Cover Seals Cam Seals Timing Belts and Tensioners Water Pump Oil Pan Gasket I see that RockAuto has a Fel-Pro head gasket and seal set (part # HS9392PT). The PT means perma-torque which is what I want, correct? This set comes with valve cover seals and a bunch of other seals. It appears to come with cam seals as well. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1989-89-SUBARU-RX-Cylinder-Head-Gasket-FEL-PRO-HS9392PT_W0QQitemZ160380688834QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item25576f19c2 This is the timing belt kit I'm looking at. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1989-89-Subaru-RX-1-8-Timing-Belt-Kit-EA82-EA82T-NEW_W0QQitemZ310186524172QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item48388ebe0c I have also noticed that it tends to idle high after a cold start. Today it was 50 *F when I started it and initial idle was 2500 rpm. Normally it idles around 2000 rpm after a similar start. Should I replace the thermostat too? Posts here recommend replacing the front oil seal. To do this do I just remove the crank shaft pulleys and sprockets? My goal is to do this work without pulling the engine. I could since I have access to an engine stand, but all this should be doable without right? Should I also replace the spark plugs at this time? Lately I have noticed a squeal just after starting that takes ~10min to go away. My guess is the alternator. I know of a place I can take it to get it rebuilt. I have the Subaru service manuals and my dad has done an engine rebuild before so I'm confidant we can do it. My main concern is removing the camshafts and putting them back on correctly. Anything else I should watch out for?
  25. PlaneDriver

    My RX Winter Rebuild Plan

    New problem. Today I was followed by a massive white cloud of smoke. It was coming from the exhaust pipe and had a sweet smell to it. Just screams burning coolant. When I got home I looked all over the engine and saw nothing except for some oil leaking off the back of the passenger side. I looked at what I could see of the head gaskets, valve cover seals, valve cases, and intake and exhaust gaskets. I saw nothing. All the edges look as clean as when I put them on. What to do? Re-torque head bolts? I haven't been driving the car hard. A week ago I did take it to 6000rpm. I had no issues with smoke or anything until today.