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satan

multiple questions from a potential 4wd loyale owner

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Hi, I looked at a Canadian '87 Loyale 4wd wagon today and before I pull the trigger on it, I want to ask some people in the know a few questions about these cars. I am moderately competent when it comes to wrenching on rusted old junk. I have lots of experience working on various vehicles we've owned over the years but my heart has always been with old 4wd Toyota Tercel and Corolla wagons. Subaru's don't get much love on the 4wd Tercel forum and there are definitely a few things I'm hesitant about, mostly the flat-4 engine design (I've worked on a handful of VW flat 4's and hate them with a passion so all flat-4's are a bit of a red flag to me now), but there are also lots of creative design details I really like -- like the dual range 4wd. That's super sick.

Anyway, this is all to say that I no nothing about Subaru's but have done a bit of wrenching.

On with my questions:

1) Are there any good replacements for front and rear springs? I see struts on Rock Auto but no springs, and no complete strut assemblies, and the car I looked at will definitely need all new suspension. I'll note here that I'm a stock kind of guy, not interested in lifts.

2) The car I looked at runs like spoob when cold, and idles high the rest of the time. From my experience with 80's carbs, I'm guessing the thing has some vacuum leaks and has been tuned by someone who doesn't have much carb experience. Does that sound likely to anyone here? And are there any common carb problems for these models I should be aware of?

3) Rock Auto lists a clutch cable for this car. Is it adjustable? The clutch seemed ok on the car I tried but the pedal needed to come way up before the clutch engaged so I assume it just needs to be adjusted.

4) One of my Subaru fears is head gasket problems. Were they much of an issue on these older models?

5) Which engine is in the '87 Loyale, OHV or SOHC? Is it an interference engine? Any common problems with it?

I think that's all the questions I have for now. Thanks in advance.

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Many parts are NLA from dealer or aftermarket,  so start collecting.  The oem carbs are.very complicated and tricky.  Most people running carbed ones seem to put in a weber.  These engines do not like to be run low on coolant, if you do that, headgaskets are in you future.  

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OHC is EA82 engine.  Distributor on the back drivers side.  Push rod EA81 distributor is up front.  The timing belts and idler bearings  are typically good for 50k miles,  after that, they can fail without warning.   Non interference either engine. 

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To be clear, the EA81 does not have a cam belt ;) not available in the L series. 

More modern fuel injected Subaru engines are a very worth while conversion and can get around many of the NLA parts for the engine side of things. Most common is probably still the EJ22 conversion from the Gen1 and Gen2 Legacy’s. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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I'm not.sure what year they changed the naming from GL / DL to Loyale.   My 88 and earlier were GL, 90 and later Loyale.  Same car, with minor differences. 

The 80s were the fade over years, between the EA81 push rod, no timing belt engine and the EA82 overhead cam with the notrious timing belts.

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Don't. The 80's Subaru's are a dead platform and the EA82 is problematic to repair or maintain. No parts availability. And the dual range is a *cute* feature but the reality is that a $500 early 2000's Forester with an auto will wheel circles around them. 

GD

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Subaru’s are easy. alternator 10 minutes. AC compressor 20 minutes   Starter 30 minutes.  Timing belts less than an hour.  Headgaskets aren’t hard to do int the car at all - but there are two of them.  Anyway it’s all easy -  engine pulls straight out like an old full size truck, no transverse mounted squeeze shoehorn job. The wheel bearings suck sort of but they’re not prone to issues besides just being old of course. 

comes down to personality - if you’re averse to learning new then yeah, you’ll have ample room to dislike it. Otherwise they’re rather simple and there’s very few situations that requires a special tool, and none of those are in the engine bay. Everything except a valve job and full on rebuild in the engine bay is done with basic garage sockets and such.


in the US an 87 loyale would be an EA82 with timing belt. Don’t know about CA.  I think they’re carb until 87 and 88+ is SPFI.

these don’t have headgasket “issues” but at this age, mileage and unknown history anything is possible. Look for new cooling  parts as a sign of recent repair attempts chasing headgaskets. 

EA82 Headgaskets are easy to do in the car, not a big deal if you’re into wrenching.

Who cares, you’ll be doing doing the clutch anyway. 33 year old car with high clutch getting dumped for cheap - adjust it but I’d be planning a clutch job and I’d wonder if that’s a main reason it’s on the market  

Carbs are trash. Just wait for a newer FI EA82 engine.  a carb rebuild, replacement, or thorough adjust will get it working if you want to keep that archaic useless trash.  Convert it to SPFI. 

springs - get aftermarket. Cheap and those springs are simple diameter length and spring rate type springs.  Often Subaru springs don’t need replaced though they may be trash at that age if the struts and general abuse are all bad.  I just bought a set last summer. Very inexpensive  

A quarter century ago those engines were great for inexpensive, predictable reliability (even if they are gutless dinosaur tech engines).  easy to run high mileage reliably with them.  Full timing belt job with new pulleys and crank/oil pump/cam reseal and plugs/wires/cap/rotor and they run 200,000 miles predictably with 50-60k timing belt changes.  

but they’re nearing 35 years old with unknown history so you have no idea what you’re getting.  The 35 years of history and maintenance are more of the question mark than the car/engine.  It’s a worthless 80s subaru, they rarely sit and get pampered for 35 years.  And parts availability is worse - around here nowhere will carry things in stock.  Which isn’t a huge deal if you’re on top of missntennace but few folks are that particular over inexpensive 1980s cars. So again - odds are stacked against it - but there’s definite possibility if you’re game depending what you’re after. B
 


 

 

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I honestly love my GL Wagon. Alot of Parts are NLA for engine and suspension. Bushings are hard to come by, so plan on making your own if they wear out. I have found 30+ years on my engine it is worn out. $2000 engine swap coming because I am buying proper parts. It all comes down to how much you love your car. Mine has a no cracks in the dash, the interiors rough but can be uplholstered and no rust. $2000 for an engine swal that I know will do well beats a 2K car i could replace it with that i know nothing about

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