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New (to me) Loyale, possible restoration project, couple of questions

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Hi guys, new (first time) loyale owner here. Just picked up a 91 5spd 4 wheel drive version for nothing, it was basically being given away. I reckon the tires are worth more than what I paid for it. Ive always really liked the old subaru wagons, I needed a car after my 83 toyota got totalled, I saw this and it was pretty much a no-brainer. Theres a long list of things wrong with it (mostly fixable), cracked windshield, exhaust and cat that are full of holes (Im just going to weld a straight pipe through, no inspections here), filthy and slightly mouldy interior (going to steam clean it I reckon).


It runs great, fires up first time, sounds fine, no smoke, got enough power and I measured it at 8l/100km. all electricals work, 4 wheel drive works perfect, I tested it on some gravel/mud roads. It had new cvs and timing belt 10 ks ago.


The main issue I guess is the rust. Its not just body rust, the underneath is pretty bad too, the floorpan is actually perforated in the back, you can poke the carpet up from underneath. The back wheel arches are pretty bad too, where the rear seat belt mounts too is completely gone, you could touch the tire if you wanted to from inside, same with the tailgate area. The whole drivetrain is rust-free, the suspension and rear subframe are pretty rusty but solid enough for now. Strangely there is minimal rust up front, its all behind the front seats.


I showed it to my buddy who reckoned it would be worth fixing up (hes pretty handy at welding) but I was thinking that its that rusty that structurally its a bit of a lost cause. I dont mind a bit of a project, I like working on cars, but would I be better off using it as a beater for 6 months, learning all the quirks of it then buying another in better condition? Or is it worth restoring? I just dont know whether its really possible to make it great again, from the outside definitely fixable but the holes in floorpan worry me a bit. I really like it so far, was amazed how well it went off road, I dont think ive ever driven a car so capable, honestly think it would go places a lot of trucks and suvs couldnt go. Would be a shame to go to waste since its in such good mechanical condition, real pity the body is so bad. If anybody has any great experience welding/restoring these I would love to hear your opinion.


Ill try and get some pics up in next few days if anybody is interested.


One more question (in the longest first post ever probably) Im having great difficulty getting the wheel lug nuts off (Im replacing the rear hub assembly, bearing is totally shot) the axle nut was surprisingly loose, moved quite easy with a 20 inch breaker bar. But I cant get the wheel lug nuts off. Sounds pretty stupid really, Im not exactly useless with cars and I cant even get a wheel off :lol: Ive coated it in liquid wrench for 2 days, got a 20 inch breaker bar and a sledgehammer and none of the 4 bolts will budge. It did just occur to me now, do subarus have left hand threads? I know some cars do but never come across one yet myself.


Thanks for taking the time to read this long post!

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First off welcome aboard! Sounds like you have quite the project! As for the rust I have fixed some really bad ones. I have a 1982 GL wagon that was missing the rocker panels and the rear quarter panels, but the floor was pretty solid. There is a company that makes some replacement parts that I used and with some cutting and some welding they fit pretty well! It really depends on how bad it is, if it's breaking in half it's probably worth finding a good solid one that needs a few parts, and turn your current one into a parts vehicle. I'd say go with your instinct and use it as a beater for a few months and buy a really nice one afterwards! Even if you do get it looking really nice and weld in new panels, that rust is still under there somewhere and will comeback someday. As far as the lug nuts I have had a bear of a time getting them off on one Loyale but they are normal thread, somebody probably just way over tightened them and now the threads are stretched out so they wont come off.

If your interested here's the link for the repair panels!




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Ok thanks for the reply! I think that might be the way to go then. The rear quarter panels are almost gone, (with my friend who used to weld for a living) I am confident we could fix that and any other panels, the worrying thing is the floorpan and rear subframe integrity, which I probably would always worry about. I think using it for a while, and waiting until one with a nice body pops up is the way to go. I may try to pick up one with a dead engine or tranny and swap in my good parts, not sure how often these engines die though :lol:


Enjoyed working on it so far, seems all you need is a metric socket set to do most things. I just need to fix the wheel bearing then its my daily driver for now. I picked up the whole assembly from a junkyard, thought that would be easier than pressing out bearings etc. Ive actually got the whole hub assembly, with the arms, brake drum etc. Im wondering whether its better to take this apart and just fit the actual hub and drum or swap the whole lot? Its a bigger job with the suspension mounts involved I think, but these arms are in much better shape than mine rust-wise, maybe worth swapping for that reason alone


Got one lug nut off this morning using a propane torch to heat it, the others still wont budge. I love the smell of burning liquid wrench :lol:

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Welcome aboard!


I had a 1992 Loyale, 5 speed pushbutton 4WD... Great car, loved it.


Wish I could find who bought it, I wanna see how its been doing...


Pics? Build thread?


Good luck!

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