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thesmith

1988 GL Wagon

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This is my '88 GL wagon. Picked her up in a car lot in Salinas with only 83XXX on her! It has the 3AT in it, and thus is a gutless wonder, but it'll go just about anywhere without complaining. Just not fast.

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Loose future plans for this wagon: EJ swap, 5spd DR swap, add a decent stereo, and find some different wheels. I'd like to keep it looking mostly stock because I bought it in such nice condition, but depending on how it looks after the body work is done I may also look for a different bumper.

 

Unfortunately I was in an accident only a week after returning to Seattle.

 

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I'm in the process of replacing the fender and radiator.

I pulled a fender from an '85 wagon I found in a pick-n-pull but haven't found a decent radiator yet.

 

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Nice wagon! Bummer about the fender bender though.

the 3 speed auto isn't *that* terrible. We've (girlfriend and myself) have put 40k on the Loyale since we got him. He's been to Canada and back.

Not the greatest gas mileage, and sure, you can only really comfortably cruise at about 65-68 mph, but I clocked 0-60 at 16 seconds and I've hit 100 mph in him!

And the trans is rock solid. No problems with it. Ever.

Despite all that, I still love the d/r 5 speed in my GL :)

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Yeah, it's slow, but I'm okay with it for now. I'm much more concerned with getting a radiator and having the car up and running. I figure it won't be worth the new tranny until I'm ready to swap engines.

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Oh, I figured I should state for the record what has been done to the engine since I bought it:

 

-Heads resurfaced

-Head gaskets

-Crank & cam seal

-Rear main seal

-Oil pan gasket

-Valve cover gasket

-Timing belts

-Drive belts

-Oil pump seal

-Transmission magnifier (what is this part? I couldn't seem to find any info on it. Can somebody enlighten me as to what this is/does?)

-New thermostat

-New fluids: Brake fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, engine oil)

-New spark plugs

-Fuel/oil filter replacement

 

I'm pretty sure that's it. This was all done by a shop in the Monterey area, since things like the crank and cam seal are beyond my skill level for now. I figure an EA82 is a good engine to learn to wrench on, though.

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Picked up a new radiator from O'Reilly's today, a Murray two row unit. Drop this thing in the car and it should be up and running!

Is it aluminum and plastic or all metal? Part number?

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Here's some photos of the first little day trip I took in the Soob. My high school sweetheart and I took a cruise up to the top of a ridge in Big Sur on a spectacular August day.

 


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Edited by thesmith

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So the radiator I got from O'Reillys doesn't fit, the mounting holes are all in the wrong places as are the hose connections and cap. I'm taking it back and exchanging it for a single row that should do the trick. Yet another delay in getting the wagon back on the road!

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So the radiator I got from O'Reillys doesn't fit, the mounting holes are all in the wrong places as are the hose connections and cap. I'm taking it back and exchanging it for a single row that should do the trick. Yet another delay in getting the wagon back on the road!

you may have ended up with one from an XT. try an 88 rx or 90 loyale RS for the listing

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Who knows. Their website says that the two row fits my year, turbo or no, but it doesn't fit. So I've opted for a single row option from them, hopefully this one fits correctly.

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The radiator cores are the same dimensions. The upper and lower mounting brackets are different.(from xt)

 

I forgot to mention that part is swappable. 

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A bit of a delay on the update, been super busy these last few weeks. The Murray single row radiator seems to be keeping the engine much cooler than the OEM one, which is nice.

The new fender is a slightly different silver, and the trim is a different size, but we'll just call it the jazz of car repair. I'll keep it like this until I can find a parts car or a matching '88 fender.

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Since my last post I've also installed a RAM mount for my phone/GPS setup, works like a charm. Did some detailing work today so the interior is looking pretty sparkly.

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On another note, can anybody comment on normal oil pressure ranges for the EA82? I just don't know what to look for. If it runs consistently at ~45psi, but starts around ~65ish, is that normal?

Edited by thesmith

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The oil pump may be missing the check ball pressure relief. You should get 45 or so at upper rpms, and near zero when idling, when the horribly inaccurate oil pressure gauge is working normally with normal oil pressure. 

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After an oil change (switched to Castrol GTX synth blend & Mobil1 filter) it seems that the gauge is operating closer to the way you describe. I think the car just likes the new filter and oil.

Also, it seems that the mechanic that changed the oil before me neglected to put a gasket on the drain plug, and as such removing it was a total pain. Bought a new one with gasket and all is well.

Edited by thesmith

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Hey all,

Been a while since I've posted here, busy times.

Recent work:

-disty cap/rotor

-spark plugs (NGK iridium IX) and wires

-oil changed to GTX 10w30 conventional, new Mobil1 filter.

-front bumper swapped for all black Loyale bumper

-new air filter

-replaced oil drain plug with Fumoto Qwikvalve

-installed RAM mount cupholders (essential!)

 

Work I'm waiting to do:

-rear disc swap, full brake system overhaul

-ordered Optima battery

 

I have all the parts needed to do the disc swap, but I'd like to install fresh new rotors and pads all around when I do it.

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Edited by thesmith

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post-39926-0-94407900-1417310957_thumb.jpg

 

Joined the 100k+ club a month ago. Still running strong!

 

A couple issues have popped up recently: 

The brake fluid light comes on from time to time. I check the master cylinder, usually put a tiny splash of new brake fluid in, and it turns off. But I think this is related to the fact that it's time for a brake job. 

 

AC doesn't blow cold at all. Not that I care for now, given that it's cold in Seattle, but it sucks in the summer. Given the complexity of retrofitting the whole system to run on r134, I might just get rid of it until I go for the engine swap.

 

Also, my power steering pump looks leaky. Anybody know where to get a reseal kit?

 

Work done recently:

Driver's side valve cover gasket

New Optima Redtop battery w/ Military spec terminals

routine oil/filter changes

 

Still waiting to do the rear disc swap until I can rebuild the old calipers and change pads/rotors.

Edited by thesmith

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Rear discs went on this weekend, what an improvement! 

The fluid leak was coming from the inside of one of the drums, what good timing for the swap.

 

Unfortunately my buddy and I noticed that the bushings on my control rods are worn out, and my shocks are toast too.

Edited by thesmith
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Hey all, been a while since I've posted here. Busy times.

 

Recent work on the Doobaru:

-Hacked in a new manufactured ACDelco 1991 Maxima alternator with some help from Autosport Seattle. I didn't feel comfortable grinding down the pulley spacer with the tools I had, so I took both alts, new and old, to Autosport. They did an amazing job, the Nissan alt almost looks like it came that way. I can't recommend them enough for machining work, and the attitude there is great. Love the shop, too, bits of MGs and Triumphs all over the place... but I digress.

Since the swap, I occasionally get some belt squeal, but I've tensioned the belt with the alt to what feels like appropriate tension. My guess is that the squeal is coming from a leaky/otherwise unhappy PS pump... thoughts? 

 

I still haven't done any of the bushings or suspension work, I haven't had much time to work on the car these days.

 

Oh well, still drives and runs pretty well! Here is my car next to a less fortunate GL wagon of the same color:

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[edit: for some reason I can't upload one of the pictures for this post, I keep getting a 403 error... ?]

Edited by thesmith

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