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About the_bard

  • Birthday 02/17/1980

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Rexford, NY
  • Interests
    Aviation, Computers, and my Subie ;o)
  • Occupation
    Computer Technician
  • Referral
    I can't remember. It was a long long time ago...
  • Biography
    Subaru enthusiast. Also own a few sailboats, and my trade is leading a computer service desk.
  • Vehicles
    06 Baja Sport; 07 Tribeca

the_bard's Achievements

Certified Subaru Nut

Certified Subaru Nut (8/11)



  1. It's a long story, but I've got my Baja back. Short of it: guy who bought her kept in touch online. I asked for first dibs if he put her up for sale. A few weekends ago, she blew a head gasket in Saugerties. She's now sitting in my front yard, paid for. Just gotta finalize the paperwork with the DMV and swap my ISHKBAJA plates over from the Tacoma. My plan to rectify the head gasket situation is to pull the engine and throw it on a stand in the shed. That'll let me replace the head gasket and reseal the engine. It's been overheated, and I don't know how much I trust the lower end as a result. Doing the maintenance on it will be more of an educational adventure for me. In the meanwhile, I've got an '07 OBS with an engine that I've put 3k miles on myself. Runs well, consumes a bit of oil, but no more than usual. I'd like to drop it into the Baja, which means putting together a low end management system for the AVLS. I'll need to move the cam and crank sprockets from the old '06 engine to the new '07 engine, too. That leads me to a question... Since I'm moving the sprockets over, I should use the 304 timing belt to match the sprockets, correct? The timing belt on the '06 was replaced about 45k miles ago by myself; I'm half tempted to just replace it out of principle. They're not that expensive. Edit: should also note that I'll be using the intake manifold off the '06, since the '07 is drive by wire, and who knows what other emissions/sensors complications. Gonna hook up a digital RPM window switch to the AVLS solenoids; hardest part ought to be getting a tach signal to the switch. Assuming the '06 engine looks good otherwise, I'll pickle it and put it into storage as a back up should the '07 suffer an untimely death. Update #2: Looks like reports differ as to the tooth pattern on the belt; some folk say they're interchangeable, others not. Regardless, if I'm swapping out the sprockets and idlers, then I shouldn't have a problem matching up the belt. Also looks like the water pumps are different (t'stat sits on the bottom in the Baja, on the side in the OBS). Gives me reason to buy a new water pump. Yay, spare parts!
  2. Tested the battery by connecting a cheap multimeter up to both battery terminals, while the vehicle was off. ~12.5 volts. The negative terminal was pretty clean when I pulled the battery... postive wasn't, so I cleaned it up a bit prior to reconnecting the battery. I may just bite the bullet and take it into the dealership to have the code(s) pulled. Edit: I should mentioned that I found the two green diagnostic plugs (one male, one female) that have something to do with SSM/flashing the ECU/etc. They are disconnected. There's another white plug (eight ports?) with only one wire connected. Might try to track down what that one wire does.
  3. According to my copy of the FSM... seems that they integrated the ABS control module (computer, not the pump) into the ECU. I did pull the carpet and the protective shield off. No sign of water there. The FSM only mentions the SSM tool, unlike other versions I've ran across the web that detail the manual method without the SSM tool. There are four wires in that plug. Three across the top, one on the lower left. Going off my (horrible) memory: Port 1 (top left): Honks the horn. Port 2 (top center): blows a 15A fuse in the engine bay and renders the interior lighting, radio, and keyless entry unusable. Port 3 (top right): does nothing noticeable. Port 4 (lower left): does nothing noticeable. As luck has it, I tried port 4 first, then three, thinking they might be substitutes for port #6. Then I tried port #1... and finally ended up grounding out port #2. After blowing that fuse, I figured I might better stop grounding out any more plugs. Last thing I want to do is fry the ECU.
  4. So I got one for y'all. Despite the on again, off again showers this Sunday, I was bound and determined to get a few issues resolved on my Baja before the cold weather really sets in here in Upstate NY. Been having an intermittent P0420 code being thrown, so I ordered a replacement downstream oxygen sensor. I figured I ought to take care of that driver's side valve cover gasket that'd been leaking, as well. Ordered a new PCV valve, too... may as well, right? Put it up on ramps and chocked the rear wheels. Pulled the old oxygen sensor and installed the new, without incident. Discovered the new PCV valve is entirely different than the old (plastic vs metal; nipples were the wrong size; threads were the wrong pitch), but luckily the old PCV valve wasn't bad off. Cleaned it up a bit and reinstalled it. I did manage to rotate the plug the PCV valve screws into, but I understand the plug is press fit into the case, so it is what it is. Pulled the battery and windshield washer fluid reservoir, then the driver's side valve cover and replaced its gasket. Buttoned it back up again neatly, making sure to torque the valve cover bolts down in the proper order. Since all of the above went pretty smoothly, I finished ahead of time. Seein' as it was raining, I figured I'd address one other minor problem I'd had... a leak resulting in a small amount of water in the front passenger foot well. I'd also heard that unmistakable sound of water hitting the blower motor fan blades, but only once. I'd had problems tracking down the leak, since I had to park slightly uphill and leave it under a fairly hard rain to replicate it. I just left the Baja up on the ramps, and slowly poured a bucket of water over the passenger side of the windshield. Didn't get the expected result of lots of water in the footwell, but it did persuade me to address it some other day. Now here's where my problem lies... when I fired the engine up for the first time after doing all the above, the ABS light on the dash stayed on. At no point in my earlier wrenching did I come near the ABS system. I went back over and visually checked the wiring for the wheel sensors, and the wiring harnesses. I can't imagine that my pouring water over the windshield would've come close to the wiring either, but I suppose anything's possible. Cleaned up a couple of grounds, the first being the one located right next to the ABS module itself. Verified that all of the fuses are not blown, both behind the dash and in the engine bay. None of that made a difference. Now, I imagine life would be easier if I could pull the ABS code and know what the system is complaining about. Problem is... that little trick of finding the six port plug under the dash (usually black) and grounding out port #6 using the accompanying black wires located off the same harness as the plug doesn't work. There is no wire attached to that port #6, which makes grounding it out really really difficult . Obviously, an OBD-2 scanner is not going to pull an ABS code. I heard about FreeSSM, but it appears that it'll only talk to the ECU & TCM, but not the ABS system. Can't tell if the ABS system is working or not... hasn't rained since, and I don't have a good dirt/gravel road for miles around. Cruise control works perfectly fine. Is there any way for a shade tree mechanic to pull that ABS code? I'd have some difficulty convincing the wife I need to buy a Subaru Select Monitor device ($1,200 used off eBay). With my luck, I'd never have another ABS code thrown. I'd also love to stay away from the dealership if I don't have to... sure, $40-$50 to have the code pulled ain't horrible, but if it's something as stupid as a "Power Supply Voltage Too Low" (maybe when I was reconnecting the battery... a long shot, but with my luck...) then I'm going to be cursing.
  5. A month or so ago, I had slapped a quick coat of paint on my Mudrat bumpers, in an attempt to keep the salt off of them over the winter. I'm hoping to get them sandblasted and either POR-15/Rustoleum'd or powdercoated come spring/summer. I also found replacements for the missing bumper cladding on the rear corners. It's not perfect, but she looks a lot better than she did before.
  6. Take a look at the "back" of the engine: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/114457-96-impr-obw-oil-leak-guess-what-i-found-on-back-of-engine/
  7. John Bloom helped me out tonight via phone, and pointed me in the direction of what I figure is the right answer. RockAuto lists the KYB 341276 as fitting the 2003 Baja. The only rear shock they've got available for the 2006 Baja is a Monroe 71113, which seems to have a pretty bad reputation online. When Subaru lifted the 2004-2006 Baja's, I'm thinking they changed out that rear shock. I'll be waiting for warmer weather before I put in another set of shocks, though. It's cold out there.
  8. Nope. That would've made sense, but no. I ordered them off Amazon, and found it odd that they had shipped from two different locations, in two different boxes. Hence my "let's pair these up and see if they physically match".
  9. Count this as a lesson learned, and experience under my belt. The old one was busted up. The shaft, as you can see below, separated at the top. The amount of rust at the break line makes me think it had been broken for a while. In case y'all didn't know already, that bend in the shaft ain't supposed to be there either . Now, that being said, I may have a different problem on my hands. I removed the obviously broken shock first, and installed the new one there. I didn't compare the two, since it would've been pretty difficult considering the shape of the original shock. However, I did make sure that both new shocks were identical. Problem is, when I took out the "good" shock on the passenger side, I did compare it to the old shock. This is what I found: The bottom spring mounts aren't the same height. Methinks I'll be blessed with more experience installing shocks at some point in the near future, probably as soon as the weather warms up. I'm no genius when it comes to struts, but I figure that's going to alter the ride height of the rear of the Baja. It shouldn't blow up on me, but it'll be something I want to correct in the near future (Please tell me if I'm wrong, though I'm dreading it). I believe John "Mudrat" Bloom put the lift on, at the same time as he installed the bumpers. I figure I'll get a hold of him and see if he used different shocks, or if he cut & welded those bottom mounts. *sigh*. Story of my life. Makes for good stories, though.
  10. Woohoo! Old shock is out, new one is in. All I had to do is follow the recommendations above: pound the bolt back in, get the shock supported so it didn't travel with the bolt, and support it from underneath a bit. The spring was at such an angle there couldn't have been much weight on it, but I still wrapped it with a towel, strapped it in, and packed the area in with that grungy mattress and old pillows. By the time I got the bottom half of the shock out, the spring simply hung in place, so there could not have been much weight on it. Putting the new shock in wasn't bad, either. Compressing the spring is the most labor intensive bit, since I was taking my sweet time and being very careful to compress both sides at the same time. Pics to follow. I want to swap the other side first.
  11. I have in my hand, right now, a trim cap for the Baja. Part #91067AE01A. It's a piece of molded plastic, about half an inch in diameter. Paid $10 for it. I just wanted to see what it looked like, since they're rumored to self-destruct pretty well if you try to remove one from an existing trim piece. Gonna see if I can't find some way to recreate them using a cheaper method...
  12. Yep. '06 Baja. I had enough room to get two compressors in, but because the spring's bent outwards, I couldn't get them 180 degrees apart. They were more like 90 degrees. If I can get the bottom half of the shock in its proper position, I'm hoping the spring will follow suit and give me enough room to get the compressors on proper. We'll see. The weather's supposed to turn cold and windy for the rest of the week. I'm not sure when I'll be in the mindset to brave the weather and get back at it. This business of being in your mid thirties, realizing you're not as young as you were a decade ago, and being all sore after working on the car all day long is for the birds. Now I know why Dad had kids. So he could lay under the car and have a gopher grab the tools for him. On a good note, the mortgage was submitted and we're waiting on a closing date. After that, I can start looking at building a garage in the back yard. Four walls, a roof, a level floor, and a wood stove. Nice big wood stove.
  13. There's the crux of the matter. I need it to unload slowly. If it unloads quickly, it's liable to launch the bottom of the shock downwards. I can stay put of that path well enough, but when it hits the pavement, all of my bets are off as to where it may go. Heh. All I gotta do is tilt the Baja up onto it's side. Then I can knock the bottom loose and fire the remants of the shock into a net. Sounds like a plan. Hmm... What if I used three or four of the straps I usually use for tying kayaks down? They've got that knurled knuckle bit that clamps down on the strap. I certainly don't trust them well enough to hold the spring compressed by themselves, but would their clamping action slow down the decompression event? My original thought was to use the temporary restraints long enough to get it off the Baja, then put the proper spring compressors on, letting me remove the temporary restraints and back off the compressors slowly.
  14. Hmmm... Never thought about using hose clamps. They're likely to hold better than straps and zip ties. Good idea!
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