I'm excited to be writing this post. I'm one of those many hundreds or even thousands of people who have been lurking on the USMB for years but have never posted ANYTHING, I just hope I'm not too late. I've been a Subaru fanboy ever since I bought my silver 92 Loyale wagon back in 2014 with a vague notion that an old subaru might look cool lifted. I quickly found the USMB and the information here was instrumental in the building of my first 2" lift, which I did by hand, in the driveway, with little real mechanical experience. As I got to know my car better I delved deeper into the forums, chasing electrical bugs, basic disty tuning on the ea82, and then the headgasket blew and I was really out of my element. At my time of greatest need the USMB has my back and I was able to rebuild my blown daily, in my parents back yard, on weekends, commuting 100 miles by train and ferry to get there.
Sometime around then I convinced my little brother to buy an 88 GL Wagon for $300 for he and I to work on. It was the first carbureted car I had ever worked on and his first car period, so we had fun. Deleted all the emissions junk and put on a Weber carb. Coudn't have done it without Loyale 2.7 Turbo and his excellent and detailed writeups on the process. He is my hero. I hope the Bumble Beast is still ripping the roads of Honduras.
(No pictures )
I went through a few sets of tires on the Loyale, did a six lug swap, eventually complimented my 2" strut lift with a 2" engine drop. Had to replace a main bearing seal. Sadly, I ended up selling my lifted Loyale before I ever really got it dirty. I was in school and broke and I needed a more reliable daily driver. This guy wanted to trade for a 98 Chevy Astro and I was down. The Astro turned out to be an awesome work truck and is built like a tractor. So I was subaruless.
At some point I did an engine swap for a friend with a blown ej25. Warped heads or something. We put in a JDM 2.2 with low miles. It was a little green Outback Sport and handled the minor loss of power with ease. She is still loving the car today with no major problems last I heard.
My little brother upgraded from the weberized GL to an 03 Golf GTI (kind of a leap). But barely a year later he rolled the GTI and was back in a Subaru. He picked up a straight piped black 98 Forester S with 300K on the body but supposedly 140K on the engine. With a straight pipe, a resonator aaaand unequel length headers this was easily the craziest sounding subaru I had ever heard (at the time). It came with a worn out set of cheap Raceland coil-overs and was stanced in a way that just looks amazing on a forester. When he got it it was fully blacked out with pasti-dip, but over time he restored the original goldish accent color on the cladding and added a sweet set of custom fender flares to fit massive three piece wheels. The wheels came and went but he continued to break necks with that sexy sexy forester, slammed about as low as he could manage (way lower than I was comfortable with #liftedlife). He and I lived together so I ended up doing a lot of mechanical work on the car, most of which was had to do with suspension. I did do a clutch job on it, which went off without a hitch. He recently sold the Forester, mostly just because he had a good opportunity to sell for a great price. We all miss it terribly. Now he drives a 2003 Lexus IS300
Anyway, I came here to say I'm back in the subie game. I got maybe my dream car, except I didn't know it existed until I saw it. An '88 RX sedan. Turbocharged 1.8L making 120 whp running on subaru's first (and only?) fulltime AWD system with a locking diff and hi/low transfer case. A bright white rally shark car in a classic 80s 4 door sedan body with oh so alluring ground effects and crazy grid pattern hubcaps. It was love at first sight. It was obviously a project, likely a blown headgasket and a fair amount of rust in (hopefully) non-critical places. Worn interior, crap paint, a bit of body damage. But I had a lot of respect for the guy I was buying it from and when he told me that it was a unicorn and that I was the perfect owner for this car, I believed him. (The the guy was Scott In Bellingham, a USMB OG and now a good friend).
I have spent a lot of time with the RX since I bought it in November. Cleaned it up pretty nice, tore down the engine thinking I was going to pull it then found a torn coolant hose and put it back together thinking maybe I had found the issue. Did a compression test and didn't like what I saw but decided to try to get it running anyway. I was already so close. This thing hadn't been run in at least 4 years and I really just wanted to hear it growl a bit before I separated it into boxes in my shop. I did get it running and even had it warmed up to a purr at one point, but then it started blowing out coolant and I knew that I had had my fun. The headgasket was definitely blown. I did another compression test and read 30 and 70 psi on the right side cylinders (the turbo side, go figure).
I figured now was a good time to take a break from working on the car and tell my story here on the USMB. I'm a journalist (kinda) and a filmmaker (working on it) so documenting my projects is second nature and actually a really productive way for me to stay sharp. I went and made a video about my RX that you can see on youtube:
I hope to keep on making videos on my RX build and whatever other car stuff catches my interest. I've got some footage of my brother's departed foz that I'm pumped to edit into something and share. I can't wait to get the RX up and running and explore some of the PNW back roads I've been hearing about my whole life. I hope to get it dirty on the regular but also to be able to drive it to work when I don't feel like taking the van (which I hope to be most of the time). I don't have plans to ej swap it anytime soon, but the desire is definitely there. I do have a soft spot for the ea82 just because it was the engine that I learned to wrench on.
So that's me and my entire Subaru history. Lot's more posts to come, I think. Thanks for reading. It's nice to meet you