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User-Matt

Beater Challenge - And I picked a GL-10

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So a group of 5 (including me) are doing a beater challenge through interior B.C. Canada's logging roads in June 2018. Rules of the challenge are fairly simple, budget for the vehicles is $1000 and this includes any and all repairs/maintenance (tires, oil change, battery, you get the picture). This will be a 5 day trip that will consist of roughly 3000km of mostly off highway mountain gravel and dirt roads. There are 2 races that will take place on day 3, one is a drag race and the other is a rally cross. Other than the races we are also doing points based on; money left in budget, number of break downs, fuel economy and resale price (we only have two weeks to sell the vehicles at the end of the trip). We are all big fans of Top Gear and pretty much decided to set up our own trip inspired by their specials. We will actually be filming the whole ordeal so I'll post the Facebook page once it's set up (late May) so that any of you that want to laugh at us can partake.

 

Anywho, the reason I'm posting here is..... I've bought my vehicle for the trip.

 

1989 Subaru GL-10 AWD turbo - $700

Previous owner rebuilt the top end and replaced the head gasket 2 years ago and included several hundred dollars worth of parts in the sale, you'll see in pics below.

 

Current Upgrades I have completed since picking it up 4 days ago;

- Custom down pipe and straight pipe exhaust - $36

- New O2 sensor - $16

- New Exhaust manifold gaskets and turbo gasket - $18

 

So I figured I throw a log on the fire and see what upgrades you guys think my remaining $250 would get me the best bang for my buck. She's an ugly bird and I want to make it ridiculous so chuck whatever ideas you got my way and we'll see what I can get accomplished in the next 2 months.

 

 

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Needle fitting and 50 cents of grease into the timing pulley bearings.

 

Tack weld crank pulley to prevent separation. Free

 

Check (or replace) plug gap and cap and rotor wear.

 

Starter contacts $8 or something.

 

None of the sensors have significant failure rates. Maybe CTS? If reliability and repair is on the table get used MAF coil and alt and keep in trunk.

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Since this is a one time trip....

 

I would pay attention to the coolant system.  Make sure there are no leaks and the pump is not making any noise or vibration.  If there's fear of leaks, add some magic additive stuff to compensate.  Replace pump if there's spare in that pile.

 

If there's any ticking noise from the engine add some magic stuff like ATF to compensate.

 

Look carefully at brakes and lines to ensure no leaks or faulty parts.  Good to be able to stop.

 

Check all other fluid levels, take along some extra for each.

 

Remove timing belt covers if any are there and discard. Bring some used belts if existing are dodgy.

 

check all fuses, bring extra.

 

Zip ties for holding axle boots together if existing are dodgy.

Edited by Dee2
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In the pile of parts;

- Oil, coolant, break fluid and power steering fluid

- Oil filters x3

- Fuel filters x2

- Heat tape - used most of it on down pipe

- Oil pan gasket - currently leaking like a sieve

- water pump gasket

- thermostat

- cap and rotor - installed

- Spark plugs and wires - installed

- several packages of vacuum line - gonna be fun tracking down all the lines to be replaced

-  front and rear break lines - Current ones look ok but gonna replace anyhow to be safe

- left and right marker light lenses

- WRX intercooler - looks to me like way too much capacity for that little turbo, gonna look for a smaller one at the junker and sell this one to boost back up the budget. Unless you all feel different about the capacity I just don't wanna add a bunch of turbo lag?

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Going to clean the MAF and the downstream mesh is trashed so going to try to replace it or just delete it if it ends up being too much of a pain.

 

I'm ditching the air box and installing a cone filter (found brand new K&N cone for $20 on KIJIJI),

 

Appreciate the comments IDOSUBRU and DEE2, gonna try to take care of all the suggestions you mentioned.  

Edited by User-Matt

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That intercooler is too big and it's going to cause lag in the boost. I personally wouldn't add it since you are running a race, That being said, if you're willing to keep it at 4000-6000 rpm the whole time, it should work ok.

 

Also, if it has the mechanical fan, I would ditch it and grab another electric fan off another Subie and hard wire it on a switch running all the time the engine is. Put it next to the one that's already there.

Edited by skishop69
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Keep the original air box and DO NOT install the cone filter.  You will lose horsepower by having the engine draw in hot, underhood air.

 

I don't think the WRX IC is too big, but properly fitting and plumbing it will be outside your budget, potentially.

 

A DIY manual boost controller set to about 10 psi could be fun, along with a RRAFPR.

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Keep the original air box and DO NOT install the cone filter.  You will lose horsepower by having the engine draw in hot, underhood air.

 

I don't think the WRX IC is too big, but properly fitting and plumbing it will be outside your budget, potentially.

 

A DIY manual boost controller set to about 10 psi could be fun, along with a RRAFPR.

 

+1

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Awesome thanks for the tips guys. 

 

That intercooler is too big and it's going to cause lag in the boost. I personally wouldn't add it since you are running a race, That being said, if you're willing to keep it at 4000-6000 rpm the whole time, it should work ok.

 

Also, if it has the mechanical fan, I would ditch it and grab another electric fan off another Subie and hard wire it on a switch running all the time the engine is. Put it next to the one that's already there.

 

As for the electrical fan, this unit had A/C but it was deleted by the previous owner, however the electric fan for the A/C is still there, so bonus just need to wire it to run when the car is on. 

 

 

Keep the original air box and DO NOT install the cone filter.  You will lose horsepower by having the engine draw in hot, underhood air.

 

I don't think the WRX IC is too big, but properly fitting and plumbing it will be outside your budget, potentially.

 

A DIY manual boost controller set to about 10 psi could be fun, along with a RRAFPR.

 

Good call with the air box, what I might just do instead is make some ram air piping from the underside of the bumper to increase air to filter box. Underside of bumper should be enough of an incline to keep water from migrating up the pipe to the air box if it rains. 

 

Also the manual boost controller is definitely on the list. trying to find a reasonably priced used one, otherwise going with a 3 way plumbing valve. I have a boost gauge to monitor the pressure so should keep it safe even if I go with the cheap plumbing option. 

 

 

Loving the ideas everyone!!

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I seriously wouldn't bother with any kind of intake snorkus.  The OEM air box pulls from the passenger's side inner fender, so as long as you have the fender liner installed, it will be pulling cool-ish, dry air.

 

The A/C fan isn't always running, even when the A/C is on.  I would be cautious about running that fan at 100% duty cycle for three days straight, especially given its age.  It will probably work, but it could fail.

 

Just thought of this:

 

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS IN ALL VEHICLES.

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I added a brake spring on the wastegate of my EA82T and it gave me a reliable 12 psi. Ran with that for many years. 

 

Those things had head cracking issues. An 89 should have the last version, identifiable by an embossed box around the "EA82" cast on the bottom of the heads. 

 

Like others have pointed out, make sure cooling system is solid. That is the main thing that will stop those cars.

 

I wouldn't get crazy with any performance mods. You will probably have an edge on the competition with stock power anyway, and reliability is more important than a few horsepower.

Edited by Subaru Scott
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rad is in rough shape unfortunately, is there an alternative rad that will fit without a ton of modifications as a stoke gl-10 rad is unlikely to cross my path? Luckily it usually isn't too hot in June in the mountains.

 

Might have to bite the bullet though, Rockauto can get me a new one for $120 so far cheapest I can find. prefer to get a used one from a different model if possible though.

Edited by User-Matt

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You need two fans if you're going to be racing it. One won't cut it for long on an EA82.

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I've got a nissan pulsar N13 radiator cooling my EJ22 powered L series. You will need to roll the upper rad support panel up for the rad to fit. I drilled new mounting holes to fit with the nissan rad mounts. Rad hoses may need a solution for your application.

 

A guy I know runs a small motorbike radiator BEHIND your passenger's side thermo fan - this rad is hooked up to the turbo coolant return line to help waste some heat from the turbo before it enters back into the engine. It seems to work well in Australian conditions and helps take some pressure off the cooling system.

 

A good bash plate come air dam under the engine can also do wonders for airflow being drawn through the radiator ;)

 

Rear springs swapped with the front springs from a late 80's honda will increase ride height/firmness/load carrying ability if you need those things.

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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Really though, if you have until June... it's not too late to find an early 90's Legacy... just slap on a fresh timing belt for good measure, and put the pedal to the metal!

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Also on the sump gasket - you'll probably find that it's actually the oil pump leaking and the oil moving over the sump gasket area of the engine at speed.

 

A couple of spray paint cans (rattle cans over your way I believe) to do a wicked street art/street graffiti paint job :D

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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Ah yeah as far as the paint job goes, I'm going to do a wrap on the majority of vehicle (fenders might be excluded if I don't have the budget to repair the rust holes) . One of our sponsors is wrapping all the vehicles going so it doesn't come out of the budget.

 

Good call on the oil pump though, I'll check on it.

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If resealing the oil pump ensure you do the shaft seal.  Also a good idea to inspect the shaft to ensure there's not a groove worn into it.

 

A small 2-3mm spacer behind the oil pressure release spring can help with lifter tick/upping oil pressure a bit if needed.  We did this to several of our EA82s with good results.  On one it stopped the engine dying from a dying big end bearing for another two months.  Before this mod it would knock at idle once warmed up.  After the mod the knock wasn't there at warm idle - but it did eventually die which at that point was always on the cards :/

 

Seat:  If you're not happy with it, swap it.  RX turbo driver's seat gives great comfort and support (Unless the GL10 already has this seat).

 

Cheers

Bennie

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Dude cut your self some lift blocks about $5 worth of steel and pick up a set of old chevy or toyota 6lug wheels and tires i got mine for $100 the best mod you can do for the gl10 off road the plans for the simple 2" lift are still running around on this site somewere im sure with a alittle sawsall work you can fit 30" tires

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For the air box pull the pasenger fender and remove all the intake piping it will help alot with throtle responce ther3s only a 1" opening to feed the motor leave the under hood piping alone its fine for what the motor is capable of

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Been busy applying all of the great ideas you guys/gals brought up. I was thinking of changing the O2 sensor to a 3 wire sensor for a more accurate reading to hopefully increase engine efficiency with my increased boost. Has anyone done this and any thoughts of if the juice is worth the squeeze?

 

Also adding a bottom lip the lower air dam to increase air flow into the lower section of the radiator to hopefully stave off the dreaded overheat issues. Cooling system seems to be able to keep up but it hasn't been race tested yet. 

 

I'm going to be adding early 90's honda accord springs to the back (seems to be the route to go that I've found in historical threads).

 

I found a few mentions of Ford Taurus front springs for the font. The mentions I've found regarding the ford springs were pretty vague and only saw it on really old threads so I was hoping someone could weigh in on that?

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Three wire O2 sensor will really only help on initial warm up and maybe around town driving in winter (I guess). When pushing hard I highly doubt it'll need the heater element to keep the O2 at optimal temp under these conditions.

 

Front springs I can't help with I'm sorry. But might have to check it out myself ;)

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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is it an auto?  if so a trans cooler.

 

look up Jeszek on here, he has writeups on the springs your changing.  you can also fit bigger struts and other goodies.

 

imo dont mess with the boost, keep it low.  ea82 turbos are temperamental already.  course fun is a factor, so if you do mess with the boost, try adding a temp sensor for the exhaust gasses close to the motor.  it can show you how hot the combustion chamber is getting so you can take your foot out of it, but I believe it needs to be very close to the chambers.  never done it but when people used to build turbo 82's with high boost or over the 150 hp line they swore by it. 

 

build a gnarly skid plate, easy to rip up the exhaust and oil pan with the flat motors.

 

for cold weather bypass the blower resistor and put a manual dial control on it.  failure of the defog is a real possibility on these rigs.

 

lifts are super easy, but so is cutting the fenders.  I wouldnt worry about it, but you should do a 6 lug redrill for bigger and stouter rims/tires.  all it takes is a drill bit and 2 extra lug studs per tire.  basically you use 2 holes from the stock pattern and drill out the other 4 for a standard six lug setup. theres writeups if you search. 13 inch tires are all crap anymore, even 14's would give you options.  I know a few guys that cut strips out of 5 gallon and 50 gallon plastic containers for fender flares if such a thing is needed.

 

Heat is your mortal enemy.  people have mounted intercoolers under and on the hood with cutouts, and I would put at least an extra electric fan in somewhere.

 

if you do the pan seal a few people suggest just epoxying it on.  they suck in general.

 

id bring a full timing kit or as close to one as you can afford.  at least a nice new set of belts and hopefully tensioners. 

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