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About alias20035

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  1. Subaru alternators are easy to rebuild and share many parts in common with both GM (bearings) and Nissan (bearings, brushes, voltage regulators, rectifier's, etc), so no real need to worry about who rebuilds it, so long as the bearings, brushes, rectifier and voltage regulator have all been replaced. Typically the brushes are the leading failure, followed by the voltage regulator. Voltage regulators are a common failure on Outacks with all of their optional electrical goodies such as heated seats. By plugging in other electical items and using high power aftermarket stereos many owners blow their voltage regulators. On my 93 Legacy I knew the brushes and front bearing were gone so for $18 in parts I rebuilt it, but if you do not have the knowledge to diagnose and repair alternators the rebuild route is the best approach. Since your alternator is not charging it is likely that either the brushes are worn out or the rectifier/voltage regulator has burned out. But your bearings are worn and the armature and commutator are nearing their mid life. So a rebuilt alternator with warranty is the best approach, even better if it includes the test certificate to prove that it produces the correct voltage and amperage at the correct RPM's. Under $100 for a new alternator is the best deal you are likely to find. Don't break electical system repair rule number one: Be sure to disconnect the negative battery terminal when working on the alternator, a friend of mine blew up his battery when his socket wrench grounded to the intake manifold. The wrench exploded causing shrapnel wounds and burns to his hands and arms, and he had acid burns on his face and eyes. BTW: With sound systems over 300 watts RMS I recommend the use of a 1 farad capacitor. The capacitor will stabilize the load on the battery and alternator, preventing the frequent power surges during "bass hits" that are very damaging to the voltage regulator within the alternator.
  2. Will the smoked plastic hood deflector cover the damage? If so it may be a good alternative since it will not absorb water or prevent proper drainage. Is the paint pealing due to severe stone chips or rust? Is the paint original? I am concerned that the peeling paint is not original Subaru paint. I have not seen peeling paint on any Subaru except in the case of body panel damage. Even in Canada where they drop a lot of gravel in winter that destroys hoods, headlights and windshields I have never seen any Subaru with peeling paint. Chyslers, GM's and Fords yes, but not Subaru's. Original Subaru paint is quite good for the fact that it stays on the car, although some people complain that it has an orange peel texture and is thin. Since peeling paint will ALWAYS continue to peel you will eventually need a new paint job. Be sure to have the vehicle painted by professionals who know what they are doing (do not go to Maaco). Proper sanding to remove the existing paint (at least all that is loose) is required as well as a proper priming before the new paint is applied. The quick/cheap places do not sand or prime properly and the result is paint flaking and peeling.
  3. This is a good way to identify either cracked spark plug wires or coil pack. But what you may not find is a crack that is on the spark plug wires boot that is inside the head of the engine. Pull the wires off, inspect them carfully and look for burn marks that would indicate signs of electricity arcing through the rubber boot material. I have seen arcing through the boots a few times, and always on the #1 cylinder for some reason. Use of dielectric grease is highly recommended. Lock-Tite Dielectric or Spark Plug Boot Grease is the major version of this stuff out there and is available at all auto parts stores. One question though, have you made any air intake modifications such as removing the air intake resonator, installation of a K&N filter or installed a cold air intake? Subaru's are really sensitive to air intake modifications and you can get a bogging condition that can be mistaken for misfire or hesitation. If you have a stock intake then you really do have a misfire or related problem, otherwise I recommend that you re-install the stock intake and road test the vehicle to determine if the modified intake was the cause. And yes rain will affect modified intakes causing problems (I've been there/done that). Since wet air is more dense than dry air the modified intake will confuse the air density system (Mass Air Flow/MAF sensor) causing odd fuel air ratios, which leads to bogging. The ECU is usually pretty good at identifying misfire, do you have any stored codes? The fact that you did not mention the "Check Engine Light" would suggest that it did not come on, which is why I am questioning if you might have the air intake modification bogging problem instead. But the dealer would have noted the modification and not serviced the car in its modified form. In any case I would check the wires and reset the ECU (unplug the negative battery terminal for fifteen minutes), sometimes the ECU learns something its not supposed to and does strange things. After a reset it may also detect the misfire problem that it apparently does not detect now. I am off for about two weeks, so best of luck. There are plenty of helpful board members who are familiar with hesitation/misfire/bogging problems that can provide further assistance and a few old related posts that you should search out and read.
  4. This should be the correct link, but you can just go to the main page http://www.endwrench.com and drill down through the current issues. http://www.endwrench.com/current/Current6/03/WhBearRep.pdf
  5. Possibly a bad engine coolant temperature sensor. The torque convertor will only begin to lock when the engine is warm, not when the transmission is warm. As far as I know the transmission sensor is just there to indicate transmission overheat conditions. By not locking up the torque convertor, the engine will warm up faster and more importantly the catalytic convertor will "light up" faster to reduce emmissions. This fact is stated in your owner's manual, and I believe that there are a few TSB's out there to provide to owners who complain about odd cold temperature transmission performance. The engine coolant temperature sensor is a very routine item, practically affecting all Subaru's at one point or another. Erratic transmission low temperature performance is one of the signs of trouble, but usually improper idle is the primary symptom. But if the torque convertor eventually does lock up, it's very possible that nothing is wrong. Track how long it takes the engine to warm up, if the engine takes a long time to warm up the torque convertor should also take longer to begin normal operation. To help your engine warm up faster turn off your heat until the engine is warm, with the exception of blowing air through the defrost vents to avoid frost buildup on the windshield. If the engine takes a really long time to warm up, or you never get "hot" heat, then it is possible that your thermostat is stuck open, and your engine is running too cold, which will in turn prevent the torque convertor from locking up. At 0 C (32 F) both my 93 Legacy and 01 Outback were at temperature within 3 or 4 minutes of driving. At -10 C (14 F) it takes about 6 minutes of driving to reach temp. Even at -30C (-30F) it only takes about 10 minutes. If your engine takes more than 10 minutes to warm up you either are taking away too much engine heat to warm the interior or have a thermostat that is stuck open. Below -7C (20F) it is advisable to plug in your cars engine block heater (if you have one, if not consider getting one). You only need to plug in the block heater 3 hours before startup, you do not need leave it plugged in overnight, and timers are availble to turn on the block heater automatically. By using the block heater you will cut your engines warm up time by half or more, improve cold weather starting, reduce fuel consumption (saves way more $ of fuel than the $ electical usage), and reduce engine wear. Subaru block heaters usually replace the driver's side engine coolant drain plug. Given that you are in central NY you should have a block heater already installed? They are standard items on all Subaru's in upstate NY, VT, ME, and NH, and have been since at least 1990. SNE (Subaru of New England) orders all Subaru's from the factory with the block heater already installed.
  6. Check for loose hood deflector or windshield molding. Both can vibrate and really shake the car starting at about this speed. Also are your roof rack cross bars oriented correctly? Fat part of the cross bar is forward!! It is amazing the vibration that a simple loose hood deflector can cause, it actually can produce vibration as bad as a bent driveshaft! With the hood deflector it is essential that the rubber stick on pads be stuck to the hood and not the deflector itself, most dealers install the rubber bumpers incorrectly to the deflector because apparently they are illiterate when it comes to reading instructions. If the rubber bumper are on the deflector you can get a high speed vibration and worse than that you will quickly wear out the paint on the hood wear the bumper rubs (which is the real reason to attach this to the hood). Since you have a bump related sound you could also have a bad transmission mount or pitching arm, both are common failures. For vibration you should rule out aerodynamic items such as roof rack, hood deflector, etc first, simply because this is easy to do and a far more common problem then most people would beleive. Then move from tires to drivetrain, tires, CV joints/axles, differentials, driveshaft, transmission and mounts, clutch is generally the order to follow to trace this problem. You've covered tire pressure, but how about a tire problem such as a broken belt or bulge in the tire or other tire damage? Does the sound eminate from any particular corner of the car? Wheel bearings are common failures, but usually you have a high pitched whine for several months before it progresses into a vibration type rumble, although front wheel bearings can go from whine to rumble in a week or less. Is the vibration affected by turning? Is so it could indicate a problem with one of the front wheel bearings. Is the vibration felt in the steering wheel or the seat of your pants? Generally if steering wheel it is a front wheel related problem, while the seat of your pants vibration is usually rear wheel or drivetrain related.
  7. These are the inexpensive type which are also more difficult to get a correct torque reading, especially above 25 lb ft just at the point where it can be difficult to hold the tool steady under strain. After a while the metal arm will become less resistant to bending and your torque settings will be low. How long will this take? A long time but it will happen. The better torque wrenches allow you to dial the handle to the desired torque and when the proper torque is reached the wrench will release and click. These type of torque wrenches can and should be calibrated every 2000 or so torque cycles (100 cars worth of wheel installations). The dial a torque wrenches cost between $50 and $500, which is far more than the needle/graph type, but they are far more accurate, much easier to use and more durable in the long run. With some of the lower priced dial a torque wrench you simply have the tool tested and if more than 5% out you toss the tool out and get a new one. They are usually good for several thousand torquings if treated properly. One drop and the tool is usually out of calibration. The problem is finding a place that can calibrate these tools. I found a place in Calgary that calibrates scales that can test the wrench for $3 and calibrate for another $4. Mine are tested every year and thus far I have only had to have one calibrate to correct a +2% error.
  8. A good friend of mine worked at Wal-Mart changing oil and tires to pay for college. Wal-Mart insisted on the use of these torque sticks for lug nuts, and he got into trouble for using a proper torque wrench instead because it took too long (like 2 minutes too long). My Wal-Mart friend once worked with a new employee who could not get the huge combination oil drain/oil filter holder off of a GM Quad 4 engine. He used an impact wrench but instead of releasing the trigger when the drain/filter holder began to spin loose, he kept holding the trigger and spun the whole 4" diameter drain off the engine and 5 litres of oil promptly dumped on his head! Needless to say this co-worker did not last long.... I consider impact wrenches to be the tool of last resort if a bolt or nut does not come off, but I would never personally use one to reinstall any bolt or nut. Too many issues with over torqued and stressed bolts to deal with when impact wrenches are used. Everytime my car is serviced and the tires are taken off I often find the lug nuts are at or above 125 lb ft, which is way off the 72 lb ft spec, and the itty bitty lug wrench included with the car will only work to release these overtight lug nuts if jumped on. In my case the worst offender was Subaru of Calgary who should have known better. I documented the problem and photographed my torque wrench settings to remove these bolts and sent a note to Subaru Canada. Subaru of Calgary sent me an apology letter and a complimentary oil change coupon, but I have to leave the car with them for the day so they can change the oil at their convenience instead of mine! Merry X-Mas :santa:
  9. Having the torque on the wheel lug nuts and axle nuts is important for optimum wheel bearing life, but provided you use a 10-12 inch wrench you will get the desired 72-85 lb ft for the lug nuts. I use my torque wrenches religiously, but many mechanics do not and the majority of the time no problems are encounter, but when overtorquing problems do occur the fix can be costly. You can develop a good feel for the appropriate torque, and can estimate within reason by adjusting wrench length. Knowledge of bolt size/grading is also recommended, since both affect torquing. I am a bit of a torque nut since my hobby includes rock climbing where the proper torquing of rock bolts is required to avoid the possibly of slipped expansion sleeve (too little torque) or sheared bolt head (too much torque). Lives are on the line in these cases, but they are on the road too! I have three torque wrenches, a high torque 1/2 drive, a medium torque 3/8 drive and a low torque 3/8 drive. I even go so far as to have them re-certified yearly, full-time mechanics should re-certify their torque wrenches far more often. Heavy truck mechanics are required to keep of log of there torque wrench calibrations and certifications. BTW: when alloy wheels are torqued, they should be checked in about 1,000 km or a week since they can come loose due to the expansion/contraction of the alloy wheel. Typically new alloy wheels or alloy wheels coming out of winter storage will show signs of loose lug nuts a week or so after installation.
  10. The SE cars are a good deal, you just got a slightly decontented 2.5GT! When the shocks fail, replace them with aftermarket KYB GR2 or AGX ones and swap the rear sway bar for a stiffer one and you will have better handling than the GT too! The SE has the same engine as the GT and is lighter, so it actually accelerates better. The only other things missing beside some trim items are the 6-cd changer (aftermarket radios are better), rear LSD diff, the 4 beam headlights, and the option of the Sportshift 4EAT. The only downside of the SE is resale value, but this applies to the GT as well. The demand is higher for the Outback so it tends to hold value a little better, but you pay more up front too.
  11. Well I don't see anyone indicating that the car will not last for the duration of my journey, so off I will go. I have tracked the leak to the left head gasket near the exhaust collector, virtually impossible to see without a flashlight and mirror. I am loosing about 50-100ml of coolant each night, which is not a significant amount. Still no signs of cross contamination between oil/coolant and no apparent leak while the engine is running (after a five minute warmup, I can smell coolant for a few minutes, but then the smell disappears and does not return until the following morning). The expert opinion that I would give anyone is to get their gaskets fixed ASAP if this problem is encountered. But in this case I will ignore my own advice since the dealers have closed for the holidays and I really need to get to Calgary. My major concern is that the head gasket will let go causing a major leak. I have not seen this happen and no one seems to have posted any concerns. I will be monitoring the coolant level and watching for signs of overheating. My Outback did have this problem when the car was brand new, but it was -30C to -35C for about 3 weeks straight just after I bought the car, and new seals do need a bit of time to set in (and -35C is about the worst conditions cars will ever see). The last two winters were above average temperatures in Calgary, and I did "garage" the car most nights and did not encounter any coolant smell or signs of a coolant leak. My car is still under its powertrain warrenty, so their is no issue as to who is going to pay for this. Thus far my 01 Outback has chocked up $2100 in warranty repairs, which happens to be about the same amount that I spent in 6 years and 410,000 km on my 93 Legacy. So needless to say I am a little concerned about the quality of Subaru's newer products, although the vast majoriy of problems that I have encountered are one time events. I will have a wide selection of outdoor equipment with me, so I can survive being stranded for several days (which can happen in Canada if a major blizzard happens to pass through). Merry X-Mas everyone
  12. My 01 Outback just started to leak coolant out of the left side head gasket. It was doing it three years ago when the car was brand new in -30C weather, the dealer indicated the leak was just because the car was new and the leak would seal itself. Well it did, but only until yesterday morning. It appears as though coolant is leaking out into the exhaust collector overnight. The leaked coolant boils about five minutes after starting the car which is when I notice the smell. I can not see any sign of a leak, but I am fairly sure that it is the left side since the dealer reported signs of a very minor coolant leak on that side back in 2001. I have lost less than 1/2 litre of coolant (coolant has now dropped about 1 1/2 inches lower than "Full" in the overflow tank), and once the initial coolant smell is gone it does not return until the car is allowed to fully cool down (overnight) at which point it again leaks a small amount of coolant. So I can assume that I am not loosing coolant when the engine is warm and running. I have no cross contamination, no oil in coolant or coolant in oil, and there are no signs of bubbles in the coolant. The local dealer's service department is now closed until January. I have to drive from Northern Ontario to Calgary (about 3200km) on Boxing day (Dec 26th) towing a small trailer. I do know of one failed head gasket as the result of this leak, but it was neglected and leaking for over a year and very low on coolant. But I am reasonably sure that I can make it to Calgary without any serious problems and plan on monitoring the engine for loss of coolant, overheating and fluid contamination. Does anyone think that I can NOT make it? I may try adding coolant system stop leak, since Subaru does add it to the new cars at the Factory and I recently changed my coolant and do not currently have coolant stop leak in the system at present. I seem to recall that some people have temporarily sealed this type of leak on the Phase II EJ25 SOHC engines by adding stop leak, but the leak always returns a few months or so later.
  13. Kevin Thomas turned his OBS into a virtual WRX, and would know a lot about the possible mods. He checks in to this forum from time to time (I know he posted back in Oct/Nov). Do a search for his posts/replies. His OBS is white with the black racing stripes and was featured on the Motorweek Impreza 22B special as well as some other videos floating around on Kazaa. As far as I know the OBS can use the regular Impreza struts and sway bars. The OBS did not seem to get much of a ground clearance increase (if any) unlike the Legacy model. My KYB table shows that the AGX will bolt right on to the older OBS, and I can confirm that the GR2 will fit because I did one a while back (so the AGX should too). I don't know too much about the 02 model, except that the underpinnings of the car did not get many changes from the earlier model (none were needed, the car was already good). Working on the suspension and brakes before migrating to engine upgrades is a good idea. Its more fun to corner fast than accelerate in a straight line anyways! The 02 has the Phase II EJ25!! Only the 99-01 models had the Phase II EJ22 engine, while the earlier model had the Phase 1 EJ22.
  14. Sylvania Silverstars are probably best suited to your needs. They are standard wattage, but use a more efficient filament so they do produce quite a bit more light. They are coated to produce "white" light which only looks "blue" when compared to the standard "yellow" halogen bulbs. You will not melt the lenses with higher wattage bulbs, but you will likely melt the wiring harnesses. The wiring harnesses barely handle the stock wattage, even a 10 watt increase has been known to melt the wires.
  15. The clock should be built into the radio on this model, but I believe unless set it will not display anything, unlike most others that will default to 12:00. Which radio is installed? The security system is mounted to the radio bracket, but the two are completely distinct systems.