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spamanon

1981 Subaru FWD won't start.

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7 minutes ago, naru2 said:

The plugs are complete garbage.Of course it will not run.

The filter is near the pump underneath.You did not look hard enough.

What would cause all that buildup?

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, naru2 said:

oil

Burning oil?  Could it be running rich?  I ask because, as I mentioned in the first post, this car sat idle for 5 years before I got it running again.  Initially, it kept dying at idle and so I took it to the autoparts store to get a Haynes Manual for it and the dude behind the counter got to talking with me about the car and what it was doing. He suggested he could come out and turn up the idle for me, which seemed to work - it stopped dying at idle. I am now wondering if the dude actually adjusted the fuel air mixture and it took a while to impact the plugs from carbon buildup.

 

The screw he turned can be seen in the from side view of the carburetor video I posted earlier, at the lower left of the screen.

Edited by spamanon
Clarification

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Posted (edited)

That is baked on oil.

Change the plugs and check resistance of the plug wires.

It will run.

Buy a fuel filter while you are at the store.It needs changing and will help you see what you are looking for,

 

Edited by naru2

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2 minutes ago, naru2 said:

That is baked on oil.

Change the plugs and check resistance of the plug wires.

It will run.

Ok so cleaning the plugs is not enough?

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Not when the are that bad.

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2 hours ago, spamanon said:

this car sat idle for 5 years before I got it running again.  Initially, it kept dying at idle and so I took it to the autoparts store to get a Haynes Manual for it and the dude behind the counter got to talking with me about the car and what it was doing. He suggested he could come out and turn up the idle for me, which seemed to work - it stopped dying at idle. I am now wondering if the dude actually adjusted the fuel air mixture and it took a while to impact the plugs from carbon buildup.

 

The screw he turned can be seen in the from side view of the carburetor video I posted earlier, at the lower left of the screen.

How old is the gas? Did you clean or drain the tank?

If you trace the fuel line from the inlet at the carb all the way back to the gas tank outlet, and you don't see a canister of some kind in the way, the fuel filter was removed for who knows what reason. Honestly, it looks to me like something was in a hole in that bracket above your brake booster, but that's just an observation. Subaru's are luckily cheap for most parts. Don't try to clean plugs when it costs you less than $10 to buy a full set. If you have an old car with a carb, you really should pick up a tach/dwell meter and a vacuum gauge.

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O.k., update:

I changed the plugs and all of them are visually confirmed to spark.  Still no start or even sputter when spraying the carb cleaner down the carburetor for a few seconds before trying.

Next steps?

 

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There are four things needed to fire an engine

-fuel

-spark

-air

-compression

Do compression check.  If there is still no fire then your timing is way off.  Check to make sure the plug wires are in the right order.  Check the timing belts to make sure they haven't slipped. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Dee2 said:

There are four things needed to fire an engine

-fuel

-spark

-air

-compression

Do compression check.  If there is still no fire then your timing is way off.  Check to make sure the plug wires are in the right order.  Check the timing belts to make sure they haven't slipped. 

 

 

Ok, so I checked spark and that is good. I also tried to start it without the gas filter cover on, so I think it is getting air. The carb cleaner should have functioned as a fuel, according to others who replied, at least to catch a few times. This model has push rods, so there is no timing belt. Why would the compression suddenly be way off?  I mean, it ran daily for 5 months with no problem and suddenly wouldn't start.

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Posted (edited)

I missed the post where you found the fuel filter....behind a cover?

Now it is no longer a no start thread, you say no longer dying at idle???

Edited by Step-a-toe

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1 hour ago, spamanon said:

Ok, so I checked spark and that is good. I also tried to start it without the gas filter cover on, so I think it is getting air. The carb cleaner should have functioned as a fuel, according to others who replied, at least to catch a few times. This model has push rods, so there is no timing belt. Why would the compression suddenly be way off?  I mean, it ran daily for 5 months with no problem and suddenly wouldn't start.

Something's not right, so you have to keep verifying until something is found....

Once it's found then we can figure out why....

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54 minutes ago, Step-a-toe said:

I missed the post where you found the fuel filter....behind a cover?

Now it is no longer a no start thread, you say no longer dying at idle???

No, I never found any fuel filter.  Why do you say it is no longer a no start thread?  It hasn't started since this thread began. It hasn't even caught one little puff of starting.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Dee2 said:

Something's not right, so you have to keep verifying until something is found....

Once it's found then we can figure out why....

Right.  At this point I am wondering if it is more worthwhile to just sell it, rather than spend months trying to get it going. The body is in decent shape, and as I said it only has ~60k original miles. 

Is there much of a collectors market for these cars?  I looked up the value but there is apparently a difference between the hatchback and the wagon.  My car looks just like this one, same color and everything. Is this considered a wagon or a hatchback?

Thanks.

Edited by spamanon

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4 hours ago, spamanon said:

. I also tried to start it without the gas filter cover on,

So, what is a gas filter cover, not a fuel filter cover then if you are still to find

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8 hours ago, spamanon said:

Burning oil?  Could it be running rich?  I ask because, as I mentioned in the first post, this car sat idle for 5 years before I got it running again.  Initially, it kept dying at idle and so I took it to the autoparts store to get a Haynes Manual for it and the dude behind the counter got to talking with me about the car and what it was doing. He suggested he could come out and turn up the idle for me, which seemed to work - it stopped dying at idle. I am now wondering if the dude actually adjusted the fuel air mixture and it took a while to impact the plugs from carbon buildup.

 

The screw he turned can be seen in the from side view of the carburetor video I posted earlier, at the lower left of the screen.

Oh, my apologies

I missed the word "initially"

This was when you had it running, it had some problems.

I got you now, that was mentioned as a but of history

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Posted (edited)

Just thinking out loud, reflecting on all my no starts or stops in EA81

Fuel line needed a compressed air blast. Started from front to tank pick up, one steel line section at a time. The final blast was initially ( there is that word I missed earlier !)

initially met with some resistance. Finally, with tank empty and sparkling inside, sender removed, I heard a release, THUNK, as crusty crud landed on the floor of the tank.

Mopped it out on the end of a coat hanger and rag.

New rubber fuel hoses everywhere.

Problem fixed . Yeeha!!

But in the meanwhile I had just bought it running fine, then problem developed. Just start but no drive power.

I replaced every consumable, I kitted the carby, fitted a new and noisy fuel pump and it still intermittently failed me mainly at 4am end of shifts. I was determined to keep this new 4x4 wheel barrow - 22 years ago this October long weekend I bought it !!

Figured out now why last owner sold it. They fitted low km import engine, another gearbox, roof and painted it up for mums farm to city runabout. They even overhauled the dizzy....then gave up and offered it for sale on warm days, not cool nights where I think crud stuck together better

Battery cables looked good but oxidising up alloy cables needed a clean.

Battery terminals needed a clean

Fusible link corroded equalled no cranking

Coil tower build up of corrosion fluff, no start

Ran out of fuel, no start

Dead alternators flattened batteries

Corroded Welch plugs, buttermilk , steam engine

Failing dizzy modules, gave hard starts as a hint they were gonna go soon

Edited by Step-a-toe

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, spamanon said:

Right.  At this point I am wondering if it is more worthwhile to just sell it, rather than spend months trying to get it going. The body is in decent shape, and as I said it only has ~60k original miles. 

Is there much of a collectors market for these cars?  I looked up the value but there is apparently a difference between the hatchback and the wagon.  My car looks just like this one, same color and everything. Is this considered a wagon or a hatchback?

Thanks.

This is a simple car. As others have stated, you need to verify that it has compression, fuel, and spark. If you were running it on 5 year old gas, it's possible crud in the tank clogged up the needle and seat since you apparently have no fuel filter. The same could be true for the carburetor inner passages and jets. That's WHY Subaru and every other manufacturer installed a fuel filter.

When you look in the carb, I don't see how you can see the pump squirt with the choke blocking the throttle bore. Hold the choke open and THEN pump the gas to look for a shot of gas. Maybe I'm just used to BIG carbs, but the principal is the same. BTW- if you're still trying to start the car with those plugs, you're wasting your time. Sometimes even plugs you clean just won't get it going. I ran into this once with my old Chevy. Spend the $10 and start with NEW plugs.

If you keep the car, you need to buy some tools and a basic book to keep it on the road, as I stated earlier. That's just the way it is with old cars. There are people who can set idle and mixture screws by ear, but they've been doing it for years. Same goes for timing. I doubt the guy at Autozone was one of those guys. 

A car is always worth more running than sitting. You will take a loss and the next guy will probably turn around and fix it with not too much fuss.

Edited by subaru1988

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Posted (edited)

Ok, I can see I need to do a complete update and restatement of some of the facts of the case. I appreciate everyone's help so far!

No, the gasoline is not 5 years old.  As I said, the car sat for 5 years and then, after that, the car ran for 5 months of almost daily use before the day it wouldn't start.  Thus, the gasoline is no more than a week old.

I do have tools (I mentioned my timing light) and I also have a compression check gauge and a 500 piece wrench/socket set. I was simply asking how it could be than the engine suddenly, overnight, lost compression enough that it won't start (or even catch!) when it had no symptoms such as loss of power and it ran nearly daily just fine for months before that. I also wonder about the need to check to coil when I visually verified a bright spark on each of the new plugs before seating them into the engine.  If the coil were bad, wouldn't that mean no spark?

When I said that I tried to start it with the "gas filter cover" off, I meant the "air filter cover" was off, and thus it should be getting air (because of my job I tend to frequently refer to either gases like air, or liquids, not remembering that "gas" is also short for gasoline in some contexts).  I will head out to check the compression next.

Again, I do appreciate the time people have taken to try to help me.
 

Edited by spamanon

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19 hours ago, spamanon said:

O.k., update:

I changed the plugs and all of them are visually confirmed to spark.  Still no start or even sputter when spraying the carb cleaner down the carburetor for a few seconds before trying.

Next steps?

 

Pull a couple of the new plugs and inspect for wetness.Verify they spark w/removed.

Be aware that plugs might spark OK outside the engine,but,fail  w/engine compression etc. especially if the spark is weak.

How is the distributor cap and rotor?If they are anything like the plugs,you are not going anywhere.

Check the coil and plug wires w/an ohmmeter

I would use a half thimble of gas (before cranking).I have never used carb cleaner as starting fluid.

Pull the fuel line and verify fuel flow w/cranking.

No reason for compression to suddenly disappear in all cylinders,but,a test would still be a good idea.

Don`t be such a quitter-This does sound like a simple repair

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Alright, just to make sure, which side am I supposed to put a thimble full of fuel in?  The left side with the valve or the other side?

 

Here a picture.  Left side or right side?

 

Thanks

 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, spamanon said:

Alright, just to make sure, which side am I supposed to put a thimble full of fuel in?  The left side with the valve or the other side?

 

Here a picture.  Left side or right side?

 

Thanks

 

If you were running the car without draining the tank, you ran it on 5 year old gas. You'd think that after 5 months all the crud would be gone, but you have yet to verify a fuel filter, which means from the day you drove it first until now, all that crud that was in the tank had to go somewhere, and so far we can say it wasn't the fuel filter. I don't know if Subaru put a filter on the tank outlet/sending unit like old American cars have, but sometimes those can get full of gunk.

If it's like any other carb, which it might not be in every single aspect, do the side with the choke valve. Hold the choke and throttle open when you do it, obviously.  Speaking of that, did you happen to see what that valve did when it was running ok? Was it open? That is the PRIMARY side of the carb.

The point here is if you're adding gas manually to the carb and you have decent spark and compression, it should do something because you're eliminating the tank, lines, fuel pump, fuel filter that should exist, and accelerator pump from the equation. I'd try it choke open and choke closed. Some cars are pretty choke sensitive.

Edited by subaru1988

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, subaru1988 said:

If you were running the car without draining the tank, you ran it on 5 year old gas. You'd think that after 5 months all the crud would be gone, but you have yet to verify a fuel filter, which means from the day you drove it first until now, all that crud that was in the tank had to go somewhere, and so far we can say it wasn't the fuel filter. I don't know if Subaru put a filter on the tank outlet/sending unit like old American cars have, but sometimes those can get full of gunk.

If it's like any other carb, which it might not be in every single aspect, do the side with the choke valve. Hold the choke and throttle open when you do it, obviously.  Speaking of that, did you happen to see what that valve did when it was running ok? Was it open? That is the PRIMARY side of the carb.

The point here is if you're adding gas manually to the carb and you have decent spark and compression, it should do something because you're eliminating the tank, lines, fuel pump, fuel filter that should exist, and accelerator pump from the equation. I'd try it choke open and choke closed. Some cars are pretty choke sensitive.

So that butterfly valve in the picture I shared is called choke valve?  I do not think this car has a manual choke, at least I have not ever seen one.  I understand the point of the test, I just don't want to put gasoline down the wrong side of the carb. The two sides look totally different and so I am not sure what will happen with gasoline down the wrong side, if anything.

I made it simpler: 

Here is a picture looking down the carb throat.  <Click To See Picture>

Do I put gas in the side with the red rectangle or the side with the blue oval?  Thanks!

Edited by spamanon
Clarify

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