How To Keep Your Alive

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How To Keep Your Subaru Alive
How To Keep Your Alive
If you downloaded this file please support my efforts. Contact me to arrange
the $4 payment. This was a lot of work and that’s all I ask.
Have Fun!
SoobyDoo
joelgrice@home.com
file:///E|/Website/htkysa/run_me2.htm [11/21/2001 12:19:39 PM]
John Muir Publications, P.O. Box 613, Santa Fe, NM 87504
© 1986, 1989 by John Muir Publications
All rights reserved. Published 1986
Printed in the United States of America
Second edition. Second printing, January 1995
Typeface: Text: Times Roman; Illustrations: Bookman Demi Italic, Venture Script and Helvetica Italic
Designer: Jim Wood
Typesetter: Copygraphics, Inc. Santa Fe, NM
Distributed to the book trade by:
Publishers Group West
Emeryville, California
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Owens, Larry, 19421975 to 1988-how to keep your Subaru alive: a manual of step by step procedures for
the compleat idiot/Larry Owens; illustrations by Joe Leahy. -2nd ed.
p. cm.
Rev. ed. of: 1972-1984-how to keep your Subaru alive. 1st ed.
©1986.
Includes index.
ISBN 0-945465-11-4
1. Subaru automobile-Maintenance and repair. I. Owens, Larry, 19421972-1984-how to keep your Subaru alive. II. Title. III. Title: How to keep your
Subaru alive.
TL215. S84097
1989
629.28'722-dc20 89-9457
CIP
PLEASE NOTE:
The repair and maintenance procedures in this book are based on the training, personal experiences and
research of the author, and on recommendations of responsible automotive professionals. If you follow all the
directions specifically, you should be able to complete the procedures in this book successfully and safely.
Please understand that the recommendations and warnings herein cannot cover all conceivable ways in
which service procedures may be done, or every possible hazard and risk involved. The author, illustrator and
publisher are not responsible for any adverse consequences that may occur in connection with the procedures
explained in this book. Please do not use the book unless you are willing to assume the risk of adverse consequences. We urge you to consult with a qualified mechanic before using any procedure where there is any question as to its completeness or appropriateness.
We especially advise you to heed all WARNINGS and CAUTIONS, to use all recommended safety precautions called for throughout the book-and to use common sense. Thanks.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Finally I get to publicly thank all the people who have helped me put this book together. From the tips and
technical material of the pros, to the people who greasied their hands and noses to check out the procedures,
you have all been great.
My heartfelt thanks to all the people at John Muir Publications and to Joe Leahy for the wonderful illustrations. I hope we all work together again in the near future.
Thanks to Dan Youngberg, Fred Heyler, and Steve Davis at Subaru of America, Inc., Pennsauken, New
Jersey, Ryoji Katow at the Subaru Technical Center, Garden Grove, California, Frank Barrow, Al Giles, and
Javier,Limon at Tom Williams Subaru, Santa Barbara, California, and to Frank Morales at Vreeland Subaru,
Ventura, California, for the valuable technical assistance.
Special thanks to Pam, Dennis P. Lewis (24 years in the business), Ken Antognini, Scott Taylor, and my
main man Mike Mahneke of Mahneke Motors, Goleta, California. You kept me going when the going got tough.
Thanks also to Dave Rees and Ralph at Import Auto Parts in Santa Barbara for letting me pester you
so much.
More special thanks to the people who "idiot tested" the book: Jeff Rosedale, Mark Schaenzer, Randy
Aslin, Paul Reid, Peter Porinsh, and Paul Chesnut.
Others who helped in the project are my wife Camille (Mimi), my son Oscar (Oz), Billy J. Trucker, Greg
Drust, Peter and Liz Porinsh, and Crystal LaVenture. And of course the good people at Santa Fe Auto Machine
in Santa Fe, New Mexico: Elmer Townsley, Mary Nichols, Mike Rodriquez, and Cris Deubel. Thanks to all
of you.
Thanks to John Muir for starting the whole thing. John, we miss you. I hope you're proud of this book.
Wilbur Kleenex-where are you?
This book is dedicated to Elmer Townsley, a wonderfully patient, understanding man who has helped countless "idiots" like myself make sense out of mechanical and personal dilemmas.
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
Whether you're thumbing through this book in a store or you've already bought it, in the back of your mind
you might be wondering if you can really do the maintenance and repair procedures in the following chapters.
Believe me, if you can read, you can do it. Here's why.
In the 60s and early 70s, Wilbur Kleenex, Billy J. Trucker, and I owned and operated an independent Volkswagen garage in Santa Fe called the Grease Pit (some people thought it was a restaurant). In 1969 John Muir
started hanging around the garage saying he was writing a VW repair manual for people with no mechanical
experience. We wondered how anyone could work on their own car without having first read all the hot rod and
custom car books in the Fifties! Anyway, we shared knowledge and experiences with John and sure enough he
wrote How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot.
We soon had a steady stream of transient flower children (and a few lawyers, housewives, musicians, outlaws, etc.) wanting to do their own VW repair work in the Grease Pit parking lot. At first we were quite skeptical whether John Muir's "idiots" (especially the spaced-out hippies) could actually do repair work like rebuild
ing an engine or repairing the brakes without us ending up doing most of the work for them (for free, of course!).
But in the spirit of those times, we wanted to help our fellow man, so we gave them a spot in the lot and let 'em
go for it. It didn't take long to convince us that given a John Muir book and a little space, any man, woman, or
adolescent who could read could rebuild an engine, could do a brake job, and could do almost everything necessary to keep their cars in safe, dependable working order. Some of the parking lot people enjoyed working on
their cars so much they ended up working with us at the Grease Pit. Through John's "Idiot" book we made a
lot of good friends, had a lot of fun, and were usually rewarded with a couple of dollars for the use of the parking
lot and an occasional tool. In all that time we were never ripped off! John's book soon became the standard of
the industry for Volkswagen repair manuals and sold in the millions.
The times they have changed, but people haven't. There are still friendly people in garages who will help
if you get stuck with a broken bolt or crossed wire. In fact, most mechanics and automotive machinists are
impressed by mechanically inexperienced people who have the ambition and guts to work on their own cars.
When you find a friendly, helpful mechanic or machinist, reward him with an occasional bag of donuts, a cold
six-pack, or whatever, so he'll stay helpful, knowing he's really appreciated.
Like the Volkswagen book, How to Keep Your Subaru Alive is written for people with little or no mechanical
experience. I've tried to write it so you'll feel as if my friendly hand is on your shoulder as you go through the
procedures. Working as a team, you and I can keep your Sooby Doo in tip-top condition.
This book covers the maintenance, diagnosis, and repair of all Subarus imported to the United States from
1975 through 1988, except Justys. Due to special tools, safety factors, and/or complexity, instructions for the
diagnosis and repair of air conditioning, power steering, and cruise control systems are not included in this man
ual. Also, diagnosis and repair of the fuel injection and turbocharger systems that are on some 1983-88 models
is not covered. However, other than the fuel injection, turbocharger, and a few related parts on the engine, these
models are the same as non-fuel-injected models, so all other maintenance, diagnosis, and repair work for those
cars is included.
Subarus are good, tough cars that are easy to work on. They are also rather forgiving and can stand an occasional flub by an amateur mechanic. Their engines are built on essentially the same pattern as the old air-cooled
VW engines. But, since Subaru engines are water cooled, they don't have the tendency to commit suicide by
breaking exhaust valves or throwing rods like the old hot-running Volksies did. Subarus tend to live long, useful
lives, aging gracefully with plenty of warning signs that resurrection time is approaching. Maintenance is the
key to keeping your Soob safe and reliable year after year.
Contrary to popular belief, modern cars are not too complicated for the average owner to maintain-often
at a savings of $100-$1000 per year! In fact, in most cases, it's easier now to do the maintenance than it ever was
because more and more things are computer-controlled and never require maintenance.
True, the computers and a few other high-tech gadgets on the newer cars are beyond the home mechanic's
means to deal with; but these systems rarely need to be messed with. All those hoses, wires, and mysterious
looking gizmos under the hood just make things look a lot more complicated than they really are. Basically sim8 Introduction
ple things like replacing the oil and oil filter, checking and changing the air and fuel filters and spark plugs, keeping the tires properly inflated and rotated, and so on, are the same as they have always been-well within the
ability of the average car owner.
Due to the engine design of your Subaru, a few of the repair procedures require engine removal, and at least
partial disassembly of the engine, to get to the broken or worn out parts. Don't panic at the thought of disconnecting all those wires and hoses in the engine compartment, then trying to find where they all go when the
engine is back in the car. Take it one step at a time, with adequate attention to detail, and you'll find it's really
quite easy. Same with tune-ups, brake jobs, and other repairs-take it one step at a time, pay attention to what
you're doing, and you'll reincarnate the old Soob so it runs like new again.
If you're still unsure of yourself after this pep talk, read Chapter l: How to Use this Book, then do the Vital
(yet simple) Chapters and Procedures listed at the end of that chapter, to slowly wade into the book. As you build
up confidence, gradually go deeper and deeper into Chapter 7. Soon you'll be changing the oil and filter, mas
saging away your Soob's aches and pains, and eventually you'll be doing thorough, competent tune-ups and
repairs that you would have to pay most garages a wad of money to do. Also, you'll have the satisfying security
of replacing worn parts before they fail completely, which might have left you on the side of the road with a roast
in the oven, the kids stranded at school, a hungry date waiting to be picked up, ad infinitum. Write to me at John
Muir Publications to let me know how it goes. I'm always open to suggestions for easier or better ways to do
things, interesting stories, compliments and complaints.
Just remember, IF YOU CAN READ, YOU CAN DO IT!
ASA NISI MASA
LARRY OWENS
CHAPTER 1
HOW TO USE THIS BOOK
To get your money's worth from this book, you gotta read it. Skipping paragraphs or sentences, sometimes
even skipping a word, can defeat hours of otherwise meticulous attention to instructions. When helping Volkswagen owners who got stuck using the How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive book, and when testing this book
on inexperienced mechanics, I found the most common problem was that people were skipping part of the
instructions. The information was there; they just weren't using it.
To make this book really work for you, please read the Orientation and Safety chapters before diving into
your Soob. Orientation will define some very important terms so you can correctly follow the instructions.
"Right side" and "left side" sound simple and concrete, but they are actually relative to where you're standing when reading the instructions.
The Safety chapter will tell you how to do things Safely. I wrote this book for two reasons: to make some
money and to help you save some money by doing your own car repairs. A trip to the emergency room could
quickly wipe out the money you saved. I want you to come through the procedures with nary a scratch, let alone
major damage.
Nobody knows it all! The people at the Subaru dealer will help you when they have time. I'll warn you about
procedures that require special tools, skills, and/or experience that are beyond the home mechanic's means.
That's when it's time to seek professional help. I also urge you to seek advice at a friendly, well-equipped
independent garage that specializes in Subarus.
Almost every car has idiosyncrasies that give it character and personality. For example, you may hear horrible scraping sounds when you step on the brake pedal, or the glove box door might fly open every time you
hit a bump. You can live with an open glove box door but the brake thing should be checked out right away. The
idea is to keep a sense of priorities. Get what's important fixed right away, then mess with the true idiosyncrasies
as you choose.
10
Chapter 1
There are three types of procedures in this book: Maintenance, Diagnostic, and Repair.
Maintenance Procedures: If you regularly perform the maintenance procedures, which include checking the condition of almost everything on the car, the likelihood of having to use the diagnostic and repair procedures will be reduced considerably. You'll know when some of the parts, like brakes, are nearing the end of the
trail and should be replaced. Waiting for something to break before replacing it won't save you money by squeezing a few extra miles out of the part. When it breaks, other parts could be damaged that were otherwise in good
condition. It's a lot easier on the nerves as well as the bank account to replace certain parts during your maintenance procedures rather than at the side of the road-or after having a tow truck haul your Soob back home.
The AAA estimates that 80 percent of road emergencies are caused by neglecting maintenance.
When you buy a used Subaru, assume the maintenance hasn't been done even if the seller swears on his
mother's grave - that it was faithfully performed daily. Go through the 12,000-mile and 30,000-mile maintenance
procedures (Chapter 7, Procedures 5 through 15) to replace all the vital fluids and to check the condition of the
various systems-brakes, steering, suspension, etc. This will acquaint you intimately with your "pre-owned"
Soob.
Diagnostic Procedures: When there's a clue that something is amiss, from fresh spots of oil on the driveway
to an engine that won't start or dies suddenly in rush hour traffic, use the diagnostic procedures in Chapter 9
to identify the problem. Chapter 9 describes the symptoms of various maladies, then either tells you how to fix
the problem or directs you to the appropriate chapter. Incidentally, at the beginning of each procedure in this
book, a Conditions paragraph describes the existing conditions of the car under which the procedure should
be performed. Oftentimes, diagnosing a problem is much more difficult than fixing it. But Chapter 9 and the
Conditions paragraphs will help you.
Repair Procedures Eventually some parts, like the water pump and brake pads, will give up the ghost
due to normal wear, no matter how well the car is maintained. When the telltale symptoms appear, use the diagnostic procedures in Chapter 9 to identify the problem, then turn to the appropriate repair procedure. Fix it as
soon as possible so you don't end up stranded in rush hour traffic or the middle of the desert.
PROCEDURE LAYOUT
The chapters are divided into Procedures which are broken down into Steps. At the beginning of each
procedure the Conditions are described under which the procedure should be performed. Occasionally, I'll
have a few words to say about the system in question at the start of a procedure.
Next comes the Tools and Materials paragraph, which will tell you what tools, parts, and supplies (such
as brake fluid, gasket sealer, etc.) are needed to do the procedure. The word Friend is capitalized because there
are times when two people are required to perform the procedures. Don't macho out and try to do everything
yourself-you might get hurt or become so frustrated you give up. Having a Friend around to help and give you
support and encouragement will make the procedures go faster and they'll probably be more fun.
The Remarks section gives you special instructions for the procedure, reminds you about things that should
be done before starting the procedure, etc.
Especially important are the Cautions! and Warnings! that alert you to possible dangers you might encounter in the procedure. Do not pass Go until you read and heed them.
Read the entire procedure through before you begin, then read each step and be sure you understand it before
you do it.
YEAR AND MODEL VARIATIONS
As with any instruction manual, it is of utmost importance that you follow the directions that apply to your
particular model. Below I've defined the various years and models; be sure you understand exactly which model
How to Use this Book
11
you have before attempting any of the procedures.
Mechanically speaking, there are two similar, yet different, types of Subarus. Here's how I've defined the
two types in the manual:
OHV models: All 1975-1984 models, all Hatchbacks, and all Brats have overhead valve engines and will
be referred to as OHV models.
OHC models: 1985 and newer Sedans, Station Wagons, XTs and Three-Door models have overhead camshaft engines so they will be referred to as OHC models.
In addition to the different engines in the two types, there are other mechanical differences throughout the
car. So even if the procedure you are following has nothing to do with the engine, if you have an OHV model,
as listed above, be sure to follow directions for OHV models. Likewise for OHC models.
Within the procedures, different tools, parts, or techniques are required for working on the various years
and models covered in this book. When there are differences, I'll indicate in boldface type which years and
models the instructions are for. If the years are followed by the word models (for example '75-'79 models),
it means ALL models (Sedans, Station Wagons, Brats, etc., made from 1975 through 1979). If the years are followed by cars, it means all models except Brats. Special instructions for Brats are always indicated by Brats
after the applicable years. Likewise, special instructions for XT models will be indicated by XTs. If the years
are followed by OHC or OHV, it means the instructions are only for whichever type is indicated.
Here's how I've designated other variations:
Instructions that apply to four wheel drive models are indicated by 4WD, and instructions for non-four
wheel drive models are labeled non-4WD.
Subarus designed to California specifications are called California cars and all others are called nonCalifornia or 49 State cars.
Until 1983 all Subaru engines had carburetors. Now there are also two different types of fuel injection systems, plus a turbocharger on some fuel injected models. Here's how the various fuel systems will be referred
to throughout the book: Models with carburetors will be called Garb models, models with Single Point Fuel
Injection will be called SPFI, and models with Multi Point Fuel Injection will be called MPFI. Instructions
that are specifically for models with turbochargers will be referred to as Turbos.
Here's how to tell which type of fuel system you have. (See Chapter 2 if you aren't sure where some of the
parts mentioned are located.)
Carb models: You have a large, flat, light blue, or black air cleaner sitting on the top center of the engine.
SPFI and MPFI models: The black, box-like air cleaner is located in the right front corner of the engine
compartment.
MPFI (OHV models): This setup is only on '83-'84 models. Locate the spark plugs on top of the cylinder heads. The fuel injectors are mounted in the heads right below the spark plugs.
MPFI (OHC models): Look at the outer ends of the intake manifold. There are two spark plug-size things
sticking out of the end of the manifold. Those are the fuel injectors. The rubber hoses attached to the ends of
the injectors supply the fuel.
SPFI models: You don't have fuel injectors mounted in the cylinder heads or intake manifold like the MPFI
models have. The throttle body mounted on the top center of the engine contains the single fuel injector.
Whew! All of this isn't really as complicated as it seems right now. You'll get the hang of it quickly, and
it's actually quite simple once you start doing the procedures.
When you come to a section that applies to your particular Soob, follow the instructions to the end of the
Step, or until you come to a section in the Step that doesn't apply to your car. Skip down through the section that
doesn't apply until you either come to another section that applies to your year and model or to one that begins
with the word EVERYONE. Obviously, everyone should do the EVERYONE section.
As you do the preliminary read-through, using a yellow marking pen to highlight the sections appropriate to your year and model will save you time and possible confusion later while you're actually doing the
procedure.
12
Chapter 1
STEP-BY-STEP
Read each procedure all the way through before starting to work. Often something that doesn't make sense
in the first part of the procedure will become obvious a little farther along. I've seen people become very perplexed and spend a lot of time trying to figure something out, whereas if they had only read the entire procedure before starting, they wouldn't have gotten hung up.
If possible, have someone read the steps to you as you perform the work so you don't have to stop and find
your place in the book so often. Also, there's nothing worse than trying to turn pages with greasy hands or trying
to read while lying under the car with dirt falling in your eyes. Have a pencil and paper handy so you, or your
reader, can jot down notes as you go along-about parts needed, or the disassembly sequence, or if there's a
discrepancy between what you have and what the book says you should have.
Take your time! Do the job once and do it right. DON'T IMPROVISE! Just do it the way it says. When you
strip a thread, twist off a stud, break a bolt and disasters like that, don't slit your wrists-turn to Chapter 18.
It was written for just these contingencies. Smile!
Keep everything clean as you go along. Clean parts so they shine, or get your Friend to do it. The job will
go easier with fewer frustrations. When you're through working on your Soob, clean your tools and put them
away before you take your funky clothes off. Then clean yourself and change your clothes before you drive the
car, or at least cover the seat with something so you don't get the inside greasy. Old sheets, large towels, or
blankets work well.
NOW WHAT?
Now that you know how to use this book, and before you jump into some of the full-scale repair procedures,
I suggest you read and perform the simple, yet vital, chapters and/or procedures listed below to familiarize yourself with your Soob and the actual doing of procedures. The only tools required are the lugwrench, jack and
jack handle that came with the car, a rag, and safety glasses. If any of these tools are missing, get them as soon
as possible. Knowing how to change a flat tire and check the vital fluid levels in the engine compartment will
give you confidence that you can perform the more complicated procedures when necessary.
VITAL (YET SIMPLE) CHAPTERS AND PROCEDURES
Chapter 2: Orientation. Learn the names and locations of some of the important parts in the engine compartment. While you're at it, copy the vital numbers for your Soob in the "My Specs" chart in Chapter 7. (If
you want to know how your Subaru does what it does, read Chapter 4: How a Subaru Works.)
Chapter 3: Safety. Read the safety rap, then pretend you have a flat tire and follow the instructions in Procedure 2 to practice changing a tire. Having leisurely done this in your garage or driveway, you'll be assured the
necessary tools are in the car, you'll know how to use the tools, and you'll have the confidence that you are prepared to do the job, if and when the dreaded event actually happens. Even if you belong to an auto club that will
change the tire for you for free, think of the time you'll save and the sense of pride you'll experience by confidently handling the situation yourself!
Chapter 7: Maintenance, Lubrication, and Tune-up. Read the introduction to the chapter, then do Procedures 1 and 2 to check the vital fluid levels and condition of the drive belts in the engine compartment. Doing
these two procedures (and Procedure 2 in Chapter 16) regularly will probably eliminate 80 percent of the causes
of roadside breakdowns!
Chapter 16: Cooling. Procedure 2 tells you how to check and replace the rubber cooling system hoses.
If any hoses look suspect (I tell you what to look for), replace them as soon as possible. It's a great way to get
hands-on experience taking things apart and putting them back together, and it's almost as easy as eating homemade apple pie.
CHAPTER 2
UNDER-HOOD ORIENTATION...
AND A LITTLE HISTORY
We'll get to the "under-hood orientation" in a few minutes, but first here's my personal, unofficial version
of the coming to be of the Subaru. A little history, professor, if you please. There won't be a pop quiz at the end.
Subarus are what classical music composers would call a variation on a theme. They are related in many
ways to their Japanese cousins, offering similar dimensions and body styles. The engine, however, is a rather
unique variation on a very familiar German theme. The original theme was developed before World War 11 by
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche (remember him?) for Adolf Hitler (remember him?). Hitler hired Porsche to design a
simple, efficient, inexpensive (and built to stay that way!) car for the masses. The theory was that the German
folks (volks in German) would give the Third Reich some of their money every year and the Third Reich in return
would put the volks on wheels (wagens). Guess what car Porsche designed? Right, the Volkswagen.
As you know, old Adolf used the money and some of Dr. Porsche's designs for less honorable endeavors.
Anyway, Porsche did what he was hired to do and developed a simple, efficient, horizontally opposed, aircooled, four-cylinder engine, which bolted to a combined transmission and differential (called a transaxle),
to be fitted in the rear of a small car. It eventually became one of the most popular automotive designs in the
world.
The original Volkswagen, as well as some variations on the original theme (like 356, 911 and 912 Porsche
sports cars), have become automotive legends. Other variations, like Chevy Corvairs, became less than
legendary.
In the 1960s some clever fellows at Fuji Heavy Industries (a Japanese airplane and heavy equipment
manufacturer) "borrowed" Dr. Porsche's engine/ transaxle design, put it in the front (thus front wheel driveyea!), used water to cool it (good idea!), made a few more improvements on the already good design (typically
14
Chapter 2
Japanese, right?), put it in a modern body, and called it a Subaru. Why didn't I think of this? Clever people, those
Japanese.
So in your Subaru you have a modern variation of an automotive legend living on and on. And doing quite
nicely, I would add.
Subaru, by the way, is the Japanese word for the star constellation we call the Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. Some starry winter night when the coyotes are howling at the moon, see if you can find a cluster of tiny
stars in the sky, above and to the right of Orion, that looks like your grille ornament.
Since the Subaru is named for a star constellation, I can't resist calling it Starship Subaru and having Captain
Quirk, Mr. Schpock, Snotty, and Dr. McJoy make occasional appearances in the following chapters.
OK, 'nuf of this. Now let's get on with the orientation.
WHICH WAY IS UP?
As a great philosopher once said, "Before we speak, let us first define terms." That's exactly what we need
to do before jumping into the maintenance and repair procedures. It's important to eliminate directions that may
be ambiguous because they're relative to things that change. For instance, you know which is your right hand
and which is your left hand, but that won't necessarily help you when the directions say something like, "The
widget is on the right side of the gizmo." Sounds simple, but right is relative to which side of the gizmo you're
standing on.
To keep things straight, throughout the book right will mean the passenger's side of the car; left will be
the driver's side. If you're standing in front of the car looking at the engine, the right side will be to your left
because right is always the passenger's side. Got it?
The front of the car is the end with the headlights, and the rear end of the car has the taillights. So front
always means toward the front of the car, rear means toward the back of the car. Assuming your Soob is standing
on its wheels, the top is the shiny side and the bottom is the mysterious underneath side you seldom see. And
that goes for every part on the vehicle. In other words, all directions (front, back, top, bottom) relate to the car
itself.
Here are two more: Inboard means toward the center of the car; outboard means away from the center
of the car.
When the instructions say, "Turn the key to ON," it means turn the key until the dash lights blaze, but don't
start the engine. "Turn the engine ON" or "Start the engine" means just that, so turn the key all the way and
start it.
Although it's technically inaccurate, for convenience I'll refer to nut and bolt sizes throughout the book by
whatever size wrench it takes to fit the nut or head of the bolt (technically, the size is determined by the size of
the threaded portion, not the wrench size). If you have to replace a bolt or nut, take the old one, or one just like
it, to the parts store with you.
All bolts and nuts on your Soob have right-hand threads (at least all which you'll be removing or installing). Right-hand threads mean you screw the nut or bolt clockwise to tighten it and counterclockwise to remove
it. That means clockwise or counterclockwise as viewed from the end of the bolt or nut you're turning. It gets
a little confusing when you're on your back under the car and removing a nut screwed on from the top. You need
to imagine an out-of-body experience so you can view the nut from above-the end you are turning. Clockwise and counterclockwise are sometimes italicized just to get your attention.
THINGS IN THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT
Knowing the names of some under-hood parts common to all Subarus will help you locate lesser known
parts. For example, telling you the automatic choke housing is on the right side of the carburetor won't help much
Under-Hood Orientation
15
if you don't know where the carburetor is. Please learn the names of the major parts in this section (indicated
in boldface) and where they are located in the engine compartment.
This section is only to familiarize you with the names and locations of common parts. What the parts do
and how they do it is explained in Chapter 4: How a Subaru Works, or sometimes in the rap at the beginning
of the chapter that covers maintenance and repair of the part.
To open the hood of your Starship, find the
small black knob underneath the dashboard on the
left, near your left knee when sitting in the driver's
seat. Pull on the knob until you see the front of the
hood jump slightly. Go to the front of the car and
grope about in the center between the hood and the
top of the grille for a little flat lever that releases the
safety latch. Pull up on the lever and the hood will
rise before you. Look for a long thin prop rod across
the top of the grille, held in place by a rubber or
plastic clip. Lift up on the free end of the rod and it
will pivot in a rubber grommet on the other end.
The free end of the rod fits into a bracket on the
underside of the hood on early models, or hooks
into a hole punched into the hood bracing on later
models. (On '80 and newer models there's an arrow
pointing to the correct hole.)
Subaru hoods can also be propped in a wide
open position by wiggling the end of the prop rod
out of the grommet and inserting it in a hole (or hole
in a bracket) on one of the strut towers. The strut
towers are those metal lumps that stick out into the
middle of each side of the engine compartment.
There's a round black rubber thing sticking up out
of the center of each strut tower which you don't
mess with. On models without a prop rod bracket
on the hood, the hole for the prop rod when the
hood is in the wide open position is either below or
a couple of inches to the side of the regular hole
(check the illustration).
On most Subarus the first thing you may notice
and wonder about when you open the hood is that
the spare tire is in the engine compartment. Actu
ally, storing the spare in the engine compartment
makes very good sense: more luggage space is available in the trunk on sedans, coupes, and hardtops,
and more hauling space is available for hatchbacks,
station wagons, and Brats. It's always accessible
(you don't have to unload all the vacation luggage to
get to it). Also, it offers a little more protection in
case of an altercation with something, like a tree that
grew where it shouldn't have or a kamikaze cab
driver. I use the top of the spare tire to stash spare
parts I may need on the road, such as drive belts, a
clutch cable, and an accelerator cable.
16
Chapter 2
Some people have actually told me that when they were shopping for a new car they didn't buy a Subaru
because the spare tire in the engine compartment looked weird. That's a weird reason!
If the spare tire isn't in the engine compartment, look under the rubber floor mat and piece of
stiff cardboard in the trunk of sedans and coupes, or
under the rear of the car on early station wagons. It's
mounted in the trunk on XT models. Still no spare?
It's gone AWOL and should be replaced as soon as
possible. Look for a Subaru wheel and tire at a
junkyard and save yourself some money.
Let's move right along with our engine compartment tour. Things are slightly different on carb
models and fuel injected models.
Carb models: The next thing you'll probably
notice is the light blue or black, round or ovalshaped air cleaner, smack dab in front of you. In
side the air cleaner is the engine air filter element
that filters out the dust, bugs, and gravel before the
air enters the engine. There's an air intake "snout"
on the right (passenger's) side of the housing with
a large, hot air intake hose attached to the bottom.
On OHC models the end of the snout connects to a
rubber hose. The carburetor is directly below the
air cleaner housing, in among some pipes and wires,
bolted to the top of the engine's intake manifold.
SPFI and MPFI engines: The large rubber
air intake boot (hose) on the right (passenger's
side) of the engine compartment connects to the air
cleaner housing, located on the inside of the right
fender. On non-Turbo models, the other end of the
hose connects to the throttle body assembly, which
is bolted to the top center of the engine's intake
manifold. The fuel injection type (SPFI or MPFI)
is probably stamped on the rubber boot. Turbo
models: Large rubber ducts (air intake boots) connect the turbocharger to the air cleaner housing
and to the throttle body assembly, which is bolted
to the top center of the engine's intake manifold.
The turbocharger itself is on the right rear corner of
the engine, hidden beneath sheet metal heat shields
so you can't see it.
OHV models: To the right rear of the engine,
near the spare tire, you'll see the wire-loop handle
of the engine oil dipstick. To the left rear of the
engine and also near the spare tire is the metal oil
filler tube and its cap. This is where you put fresh
oil into the crankcase.
OHC models: The engine oil dipstick is conveniently located near the front center of the engine.
Under-Hood Orientation
17
The oil filler tube sticks up from the right front corner of the engine.
Automatic transmission models: You have a second wire-loop-handle dipstick. You'll find it to the left
rear of the engine compartment, near the brake reservoir. It's called the automatic transmission fluid level
dipstick.
The distributor is a fist-sized thing mounted near the top front of the engine slightly to the right of center on OHV models and on the top left rear corner of the engine on OHC models. (To see it on some OHV carb
models you might have to peek around a black plastic shield clipped to the front of the air cleaner housing.) The
distributor has large high tension wires plugged into the top of its plastic distributor cap. The wires around
the top edge of the distributor cap are spark plug wires. They carry electricity to the spark plugs located on
top of the two cylinder heads (just follow the wires to find the cylinder heads). The wire plugged into the center
of the distributor cap is the coil wire. The other end of the coil wire is connected to the ignition coil, a cylindrical thing about the size of a soup can.
18
Chapter 2
The battery is the big, plastic rectangular box in one of the front corners of the engine compartment. Two
battery cables attach by clamps to terminal posts on opposite ends of the battery. The battery is held in place
by a hold-down bracket.
On 1975-1981 models, just to the rear of the battery is a black or bronze-colored metal box with a few wires
running from it. That's the voltage regulator. It's usually larger than the other boxes you may find near it.
The spark plugs are screwed into the cylinder heads. There's one head on each side of the engine. The
rounded things bolted to the outboard surface of each cylinder head, just below the spark plugs, are the valve
covers. Lurking inside the valve covers are such mysterious things as rocker arms, valves, and valve springs.
A hollow aluminum intake manifold connects the carburetor (throttle body on fuel injected models) to
the two cylinder heads. It bolts onto the heads right between the two spark plugs.
The large hunk of aluminum below the intake manifold and between the cylinder heads is the engine crankcase or block. The crankcase consists of a right and left half, bolted together in the middle. Within the crankcase are the cylinders, pistons, crankshaft, connecting rods, and on OHV models, the camshaft. How all these
internal parts relate is explained in Chapter 4: How a Subaru Works.
On the front of the engine you will see some round pulleys. The pulley on the bottom front center of the
engine is attached to the end of the crankshaft and is appropriately called the crankshaft pulley. It turns whenever the engine is running. Licorice-looking drive belts around the crankshaft pulley turn pulleys on other things
(described later).
Straight below the crankshaft pulley on the front of the engine is the oil pump. You won't be able to see much
of the oil pump unless you crawl beneath the front of the car. The round canlike oil filter sticks out of the left
side of the oil pump on OHV models, and out of the right side of the pump on OHC models. On OHC models,
you won't be able to see the oil pump because of the large plastic camshaft belt covers that enclose most of the
front of the engine.
Under-Hood Orientation
19
The water pump is bolted to the left front of the engine. A pulley on the front of the water pump is driven
by a drive belt from the nearby crankshaft pulley.
The alternator is mounted by brackets to the top left corner of the engine, on four-cylinder engines. On
six-cylinder engines it's mounted on the top center of the engine. The alternator is about the size of a short fat
coffee can sitting on edge. It has slots on the front and wires connected to the back. It has a metal fan-bladed
thing with a pulley on the front that's turned by the drive belt from the crankshaft pulley.
If you have air conditioning, the large, clunky looking air conditioner compressor will be to the left of
the alternator or between the alternator and carburetor or throttle body. A second drive belt from the crankshaft
pulley goes around the pulley on the front of the compressor. Two hoses are attached to the compressor to carry
freon gas under high pressure back to the passenger compartment. Don't mess with these two hoses.
If you have power steering on an OHV carb model, you'll have a third drive belt that turns a hydraulic power
steering pump, located on the top front of the engine on the passenger's side.
Let's move away from the engine now and explore other delights under your hood.
The aluminum brake master cylinder, with one or two brake fluid reservoirs mounted on top, sticks
straight out of the firewall (the wall between the engine and passenger compartments). It's near the left rear corner of the engine compartment. See the plastic filler cap(s) on top of it? A large, round, black Master Vac
(vacuum assist unit) is between the master cylinder and firewall.
The fuel filter for '80-'81 models and all fuel injected engines is mounted near the brake master cylinder.
The soup can-sized thing in the top, left, rear corner of the engine compartment (above the master cylinder) is the windshield wiper motor.
There's a large, white plastic windshield washer fluid reservoir somewhere in the engine compartment.
It's in the left rear corner on '75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats, and on the right side near the rear on '80-'84 cars,
'82-'87 Brats and all hatchbacks. It has a cap on top. On OHC models, the reservoir is hiding near the right front
corner of the engine compartment. You have to peek through a vertical oblong hole just beneath the filler cap.
The radiator is that large, flat black thing with a corrugated surface attached vertically to the body between
the engine and grille. An electric cooling fan is mounted to its right rear side. Late models with air conditioning
will have a second fan mounted on the left rear side of the radiator. The radiator cap is on the upper left corner of the radiator.
On OHC models, there's a white translucent coolant reservoir tank mounted on the left front side of the
engine compartment. That's where you check the coolant level.
Two large, black rubber radiator hoses attach to the back of the radiator. One hose goes from the lower
left corner of the radiator to the water pump; the other hose goes from the upper right corner of the radiator to
a fitting on the intake manifold.
Now peer down beneath the spare tire (if it's in the engine compartment). Bolted to the back of the engine
crankcase is the round flywheel housing and to the back of that, the transaxle.
The engine and transaxle are held in place by bolts and rubber engine mounts to the front crossmember,
a long, black metal piece that runs from left to right, below and to the rear of the engine crankcase.
On either side of the transaxle you'll see the axle shafts sticking out, one going to each front wheel. The
axle shafts have accordion-type rubber boots on each end.
We have now covered the main parts visible underneath the hood of your Subaru. Yes, there are sundry other
pipes, hoses, and wires. Many of them deal with emissions, and I'll get to them in Chapter 12: Exhaust and Emission Control Systems.
NUMBERS
This little section tells you how to locate the engine and body serial numbers, the production date (when
the car was made), and the engine type. I urge you to find the numbers now, then copy them down in the "My
Specs" chart in Chapter 7. Always take these numbers with you when buying parts. Changes in parts are sometimes made during a model year run, so you may need more than just the year model of your Soob.
20
Chapter 2
Production Date and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Open the driver's door and look for a metal
plate on the rear edge of the door or on the pillar the door closes against. You'll see numbers like 10/73, 12/82,
and so forth, that indicate the month and year the car was manufactured. That's the production date.
Near the bottom of the plate there will be a long Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The VIN is also
stamped into the firewall in the engine compartment near the spare tire. On late models, the VIN is also on the
top of the dash and you can read it by looking through the lower left corner of the windshield.
Engine Serial Number: Look on the top front
of the engine, just to the right of center. You'll see
a flat place with numbers stamped on it. That's the
engine serial number.
Engine Model Number: A set of numbers cast
(raised numbers) into the engine block identifies the
size of the engine:
' 75-'79 models: The engine model number is
cast on the top left rear corner of the engine crankcase (it's just above the rearmost spark plug).
' 80 and newer models: The engine model number is cast in place right above the engine serial number, on the top right front of the engine crankcase.
EVERYONE: The engine model numbers indicate the size of the engine in cubic centimeters (cc):
EA71 = 1600cc; EA81 = 1800cc OHV; EA82 =
1800cc OHC; ER27 = 2700cc six-cylinder OHC.
UNDERHOOD STICKERS
Most models have a white Emission Control Information sticker on the underside of the hood which contains valuable information about your particular Subaru. If your sticker is missing, try to get a new one from
the Subaru dealer. Be sure to take your vehicle identification number, engine model, and serial number with
you to ensure getting the correct sticker.
Here's the pertinent information the sticker can tell you: If your model has an exhaust catalyst, or if it's
a non-catalyst model (if the sticker doesn't mention a catalyst, you don't have one); the tune-up specifications for your engine (timing, valve clearance, idle speed, etc.); and the model year. If the car was built to
California specifications, the sticker will say something like, "This model complies with State of California
regulations applicable to 19?? model year new passenger cars when sold in the state of California." If California
isn't mentioned on the sticker you have a non-California (49 State) car.
You might also have a handy vacuum hose connections sticker. You can use the sticker to identify some
of the emission control gizmos and to see that all the vacuum hoses are connected to them correctly.
Models equipped with the skinny "T" type spare tire will have a caution sticker for using the tire. Read
the sticker and follow the directions when using the tire.
Some models will have a sticker showing how to orient the jack if it fits under the spare tire.
There's probably a sticker on the brace across the top front of the radiator that identifies the paint color number for your Soob. Write the paint number in this book or in the owner's manual so you'll have it even if the sticker
fades or falls off. Ok, that's it for Starship lore and orientation. To close the hood, hold it up with one hand while
you lower the prop and stick it in its clip on the right side above the grille with the other hand. Then lower the
hood about halfway, clear your fingers, and let it drop. Pull up on it to check that the safety catch has grabbed
hold and will keep it snugly down.
Snotty, beam us to Chapter 3, a most important mission.
CHAPTER 3
SAFETY!
Read this chapter all the way through, but don't let it scare you. It shouldn't intimidate you out of working
on your Soob; it is intended to make you aware of a few simple safety precautions that will prevent common accidents. A trip to Dr. McJoy's sick bay could quickly cost more than you'll save by doing your own car work.
Read on.
Besides being a fine piece of automotive engineering, your Subaru, dealt with thoughtlessly, can also be
dangerous and deadly. When working on your Soob, concentrate on what you are doing. If something is distracting you, STOP, deal with the interference, then go back to work with all your attention focused on the task
at hand. It's hard to keep track of what you've done and what you are to do next when being constantly interrupted. No matter how tired, cold, miserable, or pissed off you get, don't make borderline decisionsfor convenience but against safety.
Work at your own pace. Don't rush a job. And do EVERYTHING it says to do in the procedures. It's wise
to allow at least twice the time you think you'll need. Remember, cleanup is part of the procedure, and that takes
time, too. It's especially important to be patient near the end of a job. That's when you may be a little tired and
tempted to take shortcuts or rush things. Don't. It's often toward the end of the job that mistakes and accidents
happen.
I can't possibly come up with every bizarre situation you might run into, but I'll list the most common causes
of accidents, and how to avoid them:
EXHAUST GAS: Carbon monoxide first makes you drowsy and careless, then kills you. So never run the
engine in a garage with the large garage door closed. It's best to roll the car out of the garage far enough so the
exhaust pipe is outside. I stick a ten-foot piece of rain gutter downpipe on the end of the exhaust pipe to get the
fumes as far away from me as possible.
22
Chapter 3
FIRE DANGERS: The combination of a spark and a puddle of gasoline can turn your Soob into a nasty
black carcass in about ten minutes. Have you ever seen a car destroyed by fire? It's sickening. To prevent this
from happening to you, wipe up all drips, spills, and puddles of gasoline right when they happen.
Don't smoke anything while working on your car. If you smoke, take a break away from the car (you can
read the procedure or step you're about to perform while you light up).
Keep a modern fire extinguisher handy. Be sure it's capable of putting out gasoline fires. Check it regularly. Inform helpers of its whereabouts.
SAFETY GLASSES: Always wear clean safety glasses when banging on something with a hammer, when
you're messing with any kind of spring, when checking the battery, when using a spray can of carb cleaner (brake
cleaner, etc. ), or when you're working under the car or dashboard where crud could fall in your eyes. Your sight
is much too precious to even think about risking by not wearing safety glasses in these situations. I know there
aren't any designer safety goggles around and most people look pretty foolish in them, but swallow your vanity
and wear 'em.
CLOTHING: Take off all jewelry, including rings (forger, nose, or ear). Also remove scarves, neckties,
or any loose clothing, and tuck long hair into a stocking cap when working on a car. Wear comfortable clothing. If you have long sleeves, either roll them up or button them properly (loose cuffs are notorious for finding their way into moving parts).
RUNNING ENGINE: When the engine is running, some of the pulleys, fans, and drive belts spin so fast
you can't even tell they're moving. When doing a tune-up, BE AWARE and keep fingers, tools, rags, hair, clothing, and the wires from the timing light and/or the tach/dwell meter well away from the front of the engine.
Remember also that some engine parts get very hot soon after the engine is started.
BATTERY ACID: Battery acid loves to eat clothing, and it should be kept away from your eyes at all costs.
The vapor around the battery caps is explosive, so never check the battery fluid level with a match or lighter.
DUST MASK OR RESPIRATOR: Wear at least a dust mask (a painter's respirator is better) when working on the brakes or clutch. They contain asbestos, which can cause cancer if inhaled too often.
AIR CONDITIONING: If you have air conditioning (A/C), be very careful around the hoses attached
to the A/C compressor. They contain gases under high pressure. If any A/C stuff has to be taken apart, have
Subaru or a garage do it.
LIGHTING: You'll frequently need some kind of light to see what you're doing. Groping around in dim
light is dangerous as well as frustrating. Use either a flashlight or a drop light (the kind with the bulb surrounded
by a steel safety cage). Use "rough service" light bulbs. Never use a household type standing lamp. If it's
knocked over, the bulb can shatter, exposing the metal filament. If any combustible fuels contact the filament,
hope that your insurance is up to date. My recommendations for good work lights are in Chapter 5: Tools.
OILY RAGS: Don't keep a pile of oily rags in the corner of your garage. They have this weird ability to
build up heat and ignite themselves. Put them in a metal trash can outside. There are companies that supply rags
in bundles which you can buy or rent.
WASTE MATERIALS: Drain oil, coolant, and other fluids into a catch pan, then transfer them into a
sealed metal or plastic container marked POISON. Dispose of waste materials properly-not down the drain.
Recycling centers can tell you who accepts used oil if they don't.
BATTLE SCARS: Anyone who has worked on a car has experienced the skinned knuckle syndrome. To
protect your pinkies, think about where your hand will end up if the wrench slips or the stubborn bolt suddenly
breaks loose. If possible, position the wrench so you're pulling it toward you rather than pushing on it.
CLEANLINESS: Keep your work area clean and well organized as you go along. It's easier to find dropped
screws, bolts, and washers on a clean floor rather than having to dig through dirt clods, grease blobs, and
squished cigarette butts to find them. Stash the parts you remove from the car someplace where you won't be
tripping over them, causing damage to the parts or yourself.
Safety !
23
GETTING UNDER THE CAR
Knowing the right way to jack up your Soob safely is very important, because it can be very dangerous if
you don't do it right. Improper jacking is the most common cause of injury when working on a car.
When you need to support the car to work under it, support it well on level ground. Always put the gearshift in 1st (manual transmission) or PARK (automatic transmission), set the handbrake, and "chock" the wheels
on the opposite end from the end you're raising-use blocks of wood so the car can't roll. Stuff the chocks under
there snugly on both front and back of the tire. Use good quality jackstands to support the weight of the car
once it's jacked up. Jacks are notorious for slipping or falling over, so don't get under the car when it's only supported by a jack.
Keep kids and spectators away from the car while
it's jacked up. Have them take a walk or fix snacks.
If you're going to be working on the brakes,
suspension, steering, axles, or other things that require the car to be raised, I recommend buying, borrowing, or renting an inexpensive hydraulic floor
jack (they cost less than $50 now) and two good
jackstands (about $10 each) to safely raise and support the car. The jack that came with the car is meant
for raising one corner so a tire can be changed. It
works fine for that but is not designed to raise the car
high enough to make repair work convenient or safe.
Besides, the place where you jack up the car with the
Subaru jack is where the jackstand should be placed
after the car is raised. A peculiar Catch 22. But it will
motivate you to get that floor jack.
Here are a few NEVRS to keep in mind before
getting under the car.
NEVER use a bumper jack to raise your Soob.
The shock absorbers in the bumpers and probably
the bumpers themselves will be bent and ruined.
NEVER use cinder (cement) blocks to support
the weight of your car. They look strong and feel
heavy, but they are very brittle. Without warning, they
can crumble into a pile of dust. I would never get
under a car supported by cinder blocks and you
shouldn't either.
NEVER use a stack of lumber to support the car
if you're going to be working under it. Unless you're
using heavy beams at least 12 inches wide and several
inches thick, the stack would be so wobbly by the time
the car is high enough to crawl under that it would
be unsafe.
OK, with all the warnings taken care of, here's
how to properly Chock, Jack, and Block your Soob.
Procedure 1 tells you how to use a floor jack and jack
stands to get both front or both rear wheels off the
ground. You'll be referred to this procedure through24
Chapter 3 Procedure 1, Step 1
out the book, so be sure you have the equipment and know-how to do it correctly. Procedure 2 tells you how
to use the Subaru jack to change a flat tire or rotate the tires so they'll wear evenly. Procedure 3 tells you how
to tow a distressed car safely. Remember, read each procedure all the way through before you start the work.
PROCEDURE 1: CHOCK, JACK, AND BLOCK (using a floor jack and jackstands)
Condition: The car needs to be raised so the wheels can be removed; OR you need to get under the car to work
on it.
Tools and Materials: A hydraulic floor jack, two jackstands, at least two chocks to keep the car from rolling.
The chocks can be large blocks of wood (4x4 blocks about 12" long work well), wedge-shaped blocks of wood,
or store-bought metal wheel chocks.
If you're removing wheels, you'll need a lug wrench or socket and ratchet. Depending on the kind of wheels
you have (regular, spokers, or mags), the lug nuts are either 19mm or 21mm.
If you need to remove the axle nuts (those big nuts on the ends of the front axles on all models, and the center
of the rear axles on 4WD models), you'll need a 36mm socket and ratchet.
Remark: If you need to remove a wheel, or a brake drum or disc, loosen the lug nuts and/or axle nuts a little
before raising the car.
Step 1. Park the Car.
Park on a level, hard, smooth surface. Pull the
handbrake on, then put the car in lst (manual transmission), or PARK (automatics). Jacking a car up
on even a slight incline greatly increases the chance
of an accident. If the ground is soft or muddy, you'll
need to round up a large, thick, flat piece of wood
to set the jack on or you'll end up lowering the jack
into the ground instead of raising the car. Shoo people
and pets out of the car before raising it.
Step 2. Chock the Wheels.
Place blocks of wood (called chocks) in front
of and behind at least one of the wheels on the opposite end of the car from the end you're raising. It's
especially important to block the rear wheels before
raising the front of the car.
Step 3. Position the Jack.
Follow the directions that came with your floor
jack for properly positioning, raising, and lowering it.
FRONT: Look under the front of the car. You'll
see a black bulbous oil pan covering the bottom of
the engine. 4WD models will have a steel skid plate
below the oil pan to protect it from rocks and boulders. A little farther back than the oil pan or skid
plate, you'll see a nearly flat, black, steel plate called
Procedure 1, Step 4
Safety! 25
the front crossmember. That's where you position
the floor jack to raise the front of the car (not under
the skid plate or oil pan).
REAR: Depending on the year and model, there
are three different places to jack up the rear of the car:
'75-'79 non-4WD models: Look for two Ushaped clamps located on the bottom center of the
car slightly forward from the rear wheels. The clamps
attach two steel torsion bars to the bottom of the body.
Center the jack on the two U-shaped clamps to raise
the rear.
'80 and newer non-4WD models: Locate a
black steel tube that runs across the bottom of the
car about one foot in front of the rear wheels. Position
the jack as close to the center of the tube as possible.
The exhaust pipe or muffler might prevent you from
getting the jack exactly in the center.
All 4WD models: Center the jack on the bottom of the rear differential (that aluminum box
directly between the two rear wheels).
Step 4. Raise the Car.
If you're removing a wheel, brake drum, or disc,
remember to slightly loosen the nuts before raising
the car. Otherwise, a turn on the lug nut or axle nut
will simply make the wheel turn around.
Place a small block of wood on the round, business end (lifting plate) of the jack, then pump it up
so the block is directly under the proper jack point
identified in Step 3. Slowly jack the car up until it's
a little higher than it needs to be. To jack the car up
higher, use a 4x4 block of wood on the lifting plate.
Step 5. Position Jackstands.
Do this every time the car is going to be up for
more than just a quick wheel change. Never stick any
part of your body under there without the jackstands
in place.
Look for the reinforced areas along the bottom
of the car body just behind the front wheel well and
just in front of the rear wheel well (the places where
you raise the car with the Subaru jack). Place a jackstand under the reinforced area on each side of the
car-the forward points if you're lifting the front,
the aft ones if you're jacking the back. If your jackstands are adjustable, adjust them so the top is as close
to the car as possible. Be sure the adjusting pin or
lever on the jackstand is locked securely in place.
Now slowly lower the jack so the jackstands support
the weight of the car. If the floor jack won't be in your
26
Chapter 3 Procedure l, Step 6
way, leave it in position for added safety. (If the jack handle is removable, remove it. If it isn't removable, be
aware the handle's there, and try not to trip over it.) Check the bottoms of the jackstands to be sure they're squarely
on the floor, not tilted.
Now you can remove or work on the wheels, brakes, suspension parts, or whatever, without worrying about
the car falling on you.
Step 6. Lower the Car.
When you've finished the repair work, fit the tires onto the lug studs, then install and snug down the lug
nuts with a wrench. The final tightening has to be done after the car is lowered.
Be sure the wheel chocks are still in place, then use the floor jack to raise the car high enough so the jackstands
can be removed. Now lower the jack until the car is back on all fours.
Step 7. Torque Lug Nuts.
If you removed any wheels, the lug nuts should
be evenly torqued to 58-72 ft. lbs. with a torque
wrench. The reason for using a torque wrench is to
be sure each lug nut is tight enough so it can't loosen
and fall off but not so tight it strips the threads on the
bolt or will be a hassle to remove the next time. Unevenly tightened lug nuts can warp the discs (on cars
with disc brakes) or drums (on cars with drum
brakes), reducing the braking efficiency and causing premature wear on the brake parts.
When tightening the lug nuts, first tighten them
in a crisscross pattern-tighten one, then the one
directly across from it, then the other two. Then do
a final check going around in a circle to be sure none
were missed. If you don't have a torque wrench,
tighten them as evenly as possible with the lug
wrench. It would be wise for you to then take the car to a garage and have the lug nuts torqued.
Stash the jack, jackstands, and wheel chocks and you're finished.
PROCEDURE 2: CHANGING A TIRE
Condition: You're rotating the tires; OR you have a flat tire or a busted wheel; OR you don't have a floor jack
and it's necessary to raise the car for repair.
Tools and Materials: Subaru jack, chocks for the wheels, lug wrench, jackstand(s) if you're doing repair work,
an inflated tire mounted on a wheel that fits your car. The spare tire is stashed either in the engine compartment,
in the trunk under a mat and piece of heavy cardboard, or under the rear of the car (on early station wagons).
On some models you might need a 14mm wrench to remove the hub cap(s).
Remark: When rotating radial tires, all you do is put the front tires on the rear and the rear tires on the front.
(Don't crisscross the tires on the car.) Follow the directions in this procedure and substitute the spare for each
front tire while you move it to the rear, then mount the rear tire on the front. I keep the spare tire only as a spare,
so I only have to buy four tires instead of five when the old ones wear out.
If you have a skinny "T-type" spare tire (also known as a space-saver spare), it should only be used to drive
short distances at slow speed (less than 50 mph).
Procedure 2, Step l
Safety! 27
Step 1. Safety First.
If a tire goes flat while you're driving, don't slam on the brakes. Just carefully pull over to the side of the
road and switch on the emergency flashers (the switch is on the right side of the steering column). Don't change
a tire in the middle of the road, no matter how deserted it may seem. As soon as you get the car jacked up, sure
enough someone will come blasting by in a semi-truck.
Ask your passengers to get out of the car and keep well away from the road. Safety! The shoulder on a busy
highway is one of the most dangerous places on earth. Have someone hold onto small children, and keep pets
in the car so they can't run around and cause havoc.
Step 2. Chock....
Put the car in 1st or reverse gear (manual) or PARK (automatics) and set the handbrake. Get your lug wrench.
It's in the Subaru tool kit which is usually in the trunk, under a seat, or in the cubby hole on the left rear corner of '80 and newer station wagons. Maybe it's in the glove box. Or did you or a previous owner take it out of
the car thinking you'd never need it?
Anyway, find some big rocks, bricks, or chunks of wood to chock the tire on the opposite corner from the
one you're going to be changing. If you're changing a front tire, chock the rear wheel on the opposite side of
the car. If you're changing a rear tire, chock the front tire on the opposite side. Force the chocks into the gap
where the tire meets the road.
If there's a bolt visible at the center of the hub cap (even the small hub cap in the center of some "spoker"
wheels), remove it with a 14mm (9/16") wrench or crescent wrench. A 14mm wrench should be in the Subaru
tool kit.
If the spare tire is mounted in the engine compartment, unscrew the large wingnut-type bolt (counterclockwise as viewed from the top). Remove the bolt and flat plate. If the jack isn't mounted on top of the spare
tire, you can now remove the spare tire.
If the jack is mounted on top of the spare tire, the jack handle is mounted below the spare. To remove the
jack, find the end that has a flat tab with a hole in it. Turn the tab counterclockwise (as viewed from the tab end
of the jack) until the jack is loose in its holder. Remove the jack, then the spare tire, then the jack handle from
its clips.
OHV models: The jack is stashed near the front left corner of the engine compartment. The jack handle
is that long crooked metal rod with a hook on one end, mounted in clips near the jack. To remove the jack, twist
the end that has a flat tab with a hole in it counterclockwise (as viewed from the tab end of the jack). That will
loosen the jack from its holder so you can remove it. If it won't budge, use a screwdriver, pliers, or the jack handle
(if it isn't secured by the jack) to turn the tab. Remove the jack handle from the clips on the side of the engine
compartment.
OHC models: The jack is stashed either in the engine compartment or in a little cubby hole in the left rear
corner of the vehicle. Your owner's manual will tell you where to find the elusive critter.
EVERYONE: Put the lug wrench squarely on one of the wheel lug nuts and loosen it by turning it counterclockwise (as viewed from the end of the nut). It won't move? The lug nuts were probably put on by a sadistic
gorilla with an air impact wrench. You'll have to really throw your weight into it. Try this: put the lug wrench
on the nut so the handle is on the left side and is as horizontal as possible. Be sure the wrench is fully and firmly
engaged on the lug nut because if it slips you could end up with an ugly black and blue bruise on your shin. Put
one foot on the handle, and press down with all your weight. Put your hands on the car for balance. Now bounce
(carefully) on the handle, lightly at first.
Get all four nuts loose-just a half turn or so-we'll take them off later.
28
Chapter 3 Procedure 2, Step 3
Step 3. Jack. . . .
The Subaru jack is designed to fit into special
reinforced areas of the car body. These are a couple
of inches to the rear of each front wheel well and a
couple of inches in front of the rear wheel wells. The
top of your jack will have either a round pin sticking out of the top or a groove across the top. The bottom of the jack is flat. If your jack has a pin, find a
hole in the reinforced area, then turn the tab on the
end of the jack clockwise to raise it so the pin fits into
the hole. No pin? Then the long slot in the top of the
jack should be positioned between two small bumps
hanging down from the flange along the bottom edge
of body. Turn the tab on the jack clockwise until the
groove of the jack fits itself onto the flange between
the two tabs (see illustration).
Be sure the jack is sitting squarely on the ground,
then hook the end of the jack handle into the hole on
the tab. Hold the long part of the handle with one
hand while cranking clockwise the short end of the
handle with the other hand.
If the ground is soft or muddy, you'll have to
round up a flat piece of wood to put under the jack
to keep it from sinking. It's also probably getting dark
and starting to rain. Anyway, keep turning the handle
to jack the car up until the bottom of the flat tire clears
the ground by at least an inch or so.
Step 4... and Block.
Block the car to prevent disaster in case the jack
slips or fails. It happens more often than you might
think, so please do this whenever you're doing more
than just changing a tire. If you don't have a jackstand,
large wood block, or large rock, put the spare wheel
under the car right next to the jack. If the jack lets loose, the block (or wheel) will prevent the car from falling
all the way to the ground-or onto your hand or foot. If the jack falls while the tire's off and you don't have a
block under the car, you'll have a hell of a time getting it back up: there's no room to put the jack underneath again.
When it's safely jacked and blocked, rock the car gently to see if it is reasonably stable and safe. Too wobbly?
Check the block, jack, and chock Steps again. And make sure the handbrake is on and the car is in gear or in PARK.
Step 5. Exchange Wheels.
Now remove all four lug nuts. Put them in the hub cap, your pocket, or someplace where they won't get
lost. Gently remove the tire, using both hands and balancing your weight. Now roll your spare tire over to where
you're working. If you used it for a safety block, drag it out from under the car and put the tire you removed in
its place. Rotate the wheel until the holes in the wheel line up with the threaded lug studs. Lift the spare into
position on the wheel hub and screw on a lug nut by hand. Now screw on the other three. Spin them down with
the lug wrench until they are just firm. If you try to tighten them completely before the car has been lowered
to the ground, the wheel itself will spin, or you might force the car off the jack and onto your foot. Remove the
block or flat tire from under the car and lower the jack by turning its handle counterclockwise.
Procedure 3
Safety! 29
If you are rotating the tires, install the tire you just removed onto the other end of the car, then install that
tire where you just installed the spare.
Once the tire(s) are mounted, use the lug wrench (or your torque wrench if it's with you) to tighten all four
lug nuts. Tighten one, then the one directly across from it, then the other two. Now go around again to be sure
you got them all. If you aren't very strong or have a bad back, try using a foot and part of the weight of your body
on the lug wrench handle. Careful here: don't put all your weight on the lug wrench. One bounce on each lug
nut should do it. Put the hubcap on (and tighten the 14mm bolt if yours has one). Torque the lug nuts when you
get home, or have a garage torque them for you. The correct torque is 58-72 ft. lbs.
If you had a flat, head for the nearest service station or tire store because paranoia will lurk in your mind
in the shape of a flat tire. So get it fixed right away.
If the jack is stashed in the engine compartment, set it in its holder inside the left front fender, then turn
the cranking tab clockwise until the top of the jack is snug against the bracket on the body.
If your car has a T-type spare tire (the skinny low-rider kind), head straight for a garage or tire store to have
the flat tire repaired or replaced. T-type tires are for temporary use only. On the way, don't drive over 50 miles
per hour, avoid bumps and potholes like the plague, don't put the car in 4WD, don't pick your nose, and keep
your elbows off the table.
PROCEDURE 3: TOWING
Condition: Your Starship is broken down at the
side of the road; OR you're being a good Samaritan
and helping a fellow motorist.
Tools and Materials: Friend, tow car, and good quality tow rope, chain, or cable (See Chapter 5: Tools).
Remarks: You're broken down on the side of the
highway without the necessary tools or parts to get
you mobile again. It's 110° in the shade, you're tired
and hungry, the first mate is complaining, the kids
are all crying, and all you can think about is getting
the car towed to a safe harbor.
When help arrives, attach the towing chain or
rope to one of the towing hooks below the bumper
(some models have only one towing hook on the
front). It's very important that you don't tie the rope
or chain around either the front or rear bumper. A
jerky tow driver may drag your bumper off to another
galaxy and leave you and the rest of the Soob on the
highway. Don't wrap it around any of the suspension
parts under the car, either-could be costly and dangerous.
Before towing, be sure the parking brake is
released and the transmission is in NEUTRAL. 711im
the ignition key out of the lock position so the steering
wheel can turn. If your Soob has an automatic transmission, keep the towing speed under 20 miles per
hour and don't tow it more than six miles. Here's why:
the automatic transmission has an oil pump that
30
Chapter 3 Procedure 3, Step 1
pumps only when the engine is working. So, if the engine isn't turning over while the car is moving, the transmission
isn't being lubricated. The six mile, 20 mph towing limit is absolutely crucial. The dollars you try to save by
towing the car a few extra miles will soon be in the hands of the transmission shop owner. If it's more than six
miles to the nearest garage, and Snotty isn't around to beam you up, a tow truck will be needed to lift the front
wheels off the ground.
Towing a Soob with a manual transmission should be held to a 30 mph limit for safety reasons, but you can
tow it almost any distance. You should stop at least every fifty miles, however, to give everything a chance to
cool down.
Step 1. Prepare to Tow.
If you have some paper or cardboard and a magic marker handy, make a sign reading "Car in Tow" and
stick it in the rear window. Turn the emergency flashers for both vehicles ON.
Attach the tow rope, chain, cable, or strap through the towing hooks on the bottom of the car, and attach
the other end securely to the vehicle doing the towing. Whatever rope, cable, or chain you use, the length between
the two vehicles should be no longer than 15 feet or shorter than 8 feet. If it's longer, other drivers, not realiz
ing you're being towed, may try to cut in between the tower and towee, with quite spectacular and alarming results!
If you have a rag handy, tie it in the middle of the tow rope as a marker. If the rope's too short, you won't have
much margin for error if Friend slows or stops abruptly, and you may have trouble going around turns.
Step 2. Tow Away.
Once again, be sure the handbrake is OFF, the ignition key is ON, and the transmission is in NEUTRAL.
Since you have vacuum-assisted brakes, you'll have to press on the brake pedal harder than usual to slow
the car.
Have the tow car driver wave his arm when approaching a stop sign, or whenever he needs to slow down,
then you should do the braking for both vehicles. If possible, the person being towed should be the only one
using the brakes. This will keep the tow line tight at all times. If the tow line goes slack and the tow car takes
off suddenly, extra stress is placed on both vehicles, the tow line (it might even break), and you. If the tow line
does break while you're moving, don't slam on the brakes (someone might be close behind). Just coast until
you find a safe place to stop.
Tow the car to Subaru if you're still under warranty. If you attempt to repair a part or system still covered
by warranty, you may end up paying to have them complete the job.
Above all, keep your eyes on the towing car and the traffic ahead. If you doze off and the tower has to slow
or stop, your grille will end up eating his bumper. Remember: you're a team, and it's your job to get on the brakes
when your Friend signals you to slow or stop. If you're on a downhill grade, keep your foot lightly on the brake
to keep the tow rope/chain/cable taut. Slack (in the chain or in your brain) is your enemy.
CHAPTER 4
HOW A SUBARU WORKS
This chapter won't make you an automotive engineer, but it will help you understand the mechanical mysteries
going on in your car as you glide down the road. Although thorough understanding of how your internal combustion
engine works is not mandatory to carry out most of the procedures in this book, a general idea of how the parts
work and their relationship to each other will make the maintenance, diagnostic, and repair procedures much
more meaningful.
Relative to most cars made in the last ten years, Subarus are very simple and easy to work on. If you ever
had a VW bug or bus that you maintained yourself, you'll feel right at home working on a Subaru. The basic
simplicity and efficiency of the old VWs are also cardinal virtues of the Subaru. A few high-tech smog control systems have crept in, but the people at Subaru seem to have tried to keep things as simple as possible.
In this chapter, technical names for the different parts are followed by slang words or more common names
for the part. After reading this chapter you'll be able to talk (rap, chew the fat) with any mechanic (gear head,
grease monkey) in your favorite cocktail lounge (honky-tonk, dive, watering hole) about the transmission (tranny,
gearbox) that you just bought (scored) for your Subaru (Soob, Sooby Doo) from the local auto dismantler
(junkyard).
THE LAYOUT
All Subarus (since 1970) are equipped with front wheel or four wheel drive, front mounted, horizontally
opposed, four cylinder, four-stroke, internal combustion, water-cooled, gasoline engines. Whew! No diesels-yet.
32
Chapter 4
A few other cars of note which have horizontally opposed (flat) engines are Volkswagens until the advent of the
Rabbit series; 356, 911, and 912 Porsches; and last but not least, old Chevy Corvairs. The major difference, and
improvement in my opinion, between Subarus and these other famous cars is that the engine is water cooled
and is in the front with front wheel drive.
Built into the body of your Subaru is the frame (chassis). The frame is like the skeleton of the car; it provides
the strength and rigidity necessary to hold the various systems that make the car go and whoa. The engine, transmission, differential, steering gear, brake, and suspension systems are all bolted to this skeleton. Here's the basic
layout:
The engine sits in the front of the car with a combined transmission and differential (called a transaxle)
bolted on as a single unit behind it. An axle shaft sticks out of each side of the differential to carry the power
from the engine to the front wheels. Four wheel drive (4WD) models have a driveshaft (pilot shaft) that transfers
power from the transmission to a rear differential located between the rear tires. Two more axles carry the power
from the rear differential to the rear wheels when the four wheel drive is engaged.
Let's go through these systems one at a time and see how they work and how they relate. But first, a little history.
How a Subaru Works
33
A LITTLE HISTORY
Almost all of today's internal combustion engines are basically the same in design as they were over a hundred
years ago. In 1862, a Frenchman, Jean Etienne Lenoir, built the first practical gasoline engine. Lenoir also became
the first automotive commuter because he used his "mobile engine" to drive six miles to work and back. It only
took about three hours each way. Sounds like rush hour in L.A.
Next, a German, Dr. Nikolaus Otto, studied Lenoir's design and improved on it by developing the "Otto
Cycle," or four-stroke system that today's engines use. The four strokes (not a rock band) that made Dr. Otto
almost as famous as the Beatles (a rock band), refer to four strokes of a piston within a cylinder, the basic com
ponents of the engine. A stroke occurs when the piston travels from one end of the cylinder to the other. Sounds
simple, but it's the movement of the piston that is the heart of your internal combustion engine. We'll get back
to the four strokes and how they work after a quick tour of the major mechanical parts of the engine and two
systems (fuel and electrical) necessary to make the engine run.
ENGINE PARTS
The main engine parts are inside where you can't see them. Joe's pictures give you some x-ray vision to
these basic components.
The engine description below is for a four cylinder engine. Subaru introduced a six cylinder engine in 1988,
which is the same as the four cylinder OHC models described below, except that it has two extra cylinders.
Your Subaru engine has four cylinders, big holes bored into a strong, lightweight, two-piece aluminum
alloy box called a crankcase (case, block). Steel cylinder liners (sleeves) are mounted in the crankcase cylinder bores. Each half (right and left) of the crankcase contains two of the cylinders; the two pairs lie flat and
face away from each other. The center of the crankcase has front-to-rear holes bored through it-a large one
for the crankshaft and, on OHV engines, a smaller one for the camshaft. Bolted to the bottom of the crankcase is an oil pan to collect, store, and help cool the engine oil that lubricates the moving parts inside the crankcase.
A flat-topped cylindrical-shaped piston fits snugly inside each cylinder. Three special piston rings made
of spring steel fit into grooves on the pistons and press outward against the inside of the cylinder liner forming
an airtight seal. (The top two rings prevent exploding gases in the cylinders from escaping past the piston, while
the bottom ring prevents oil from the crankcase from entering the cylinder.)
The crankshaft (crank) is a heavy steel crooked-looking shaft. It has three main bearing journals and
four connecting rod journals (throws), or attaching places, designed into it. Each of the pistons is connected
to a journal on the crankshaft by a connecting rod (rod). A steel piston pin (wrist pin) attaches the piston to
the small end of the connecting rod; the other (big) end of the rod fits around a connecting rod journal on the
crankshaft. The big end is held in place on the crank with a rod cap and two rod bolts. The connecting rod journals
are offset from the center line of the crankshaft, and change the back and forth movement of the pistons into
the round and round motion of the crankshaft. Confused? It works just like pedaling a bicycle-your legs (connecting
rods and pistons) push down on the pedals (crank throws), which rotate the sprocket (crankshaft).
The end of the cylinder that's opposite from the crankshaft is capped by a cylinder head (head). There are
two heads, one for the pair of cylinders on the right, one for the pair on the left.
Each of the heads contains an intake valve, an exhaust valve, and a spark plug for each of the two cylinders
it caps. The valves act like gates to control passage of fuel and air and exhaust into and out of the cylinder. Each
cylinder has a pair of valves. A valve looks like a steel pencil stuck to the center of a disc about the size of a half
dollar. The pencil part, called the valve stem, sticks through a brass valve guide in the cylinder head to the outside
where it is held in place by valve springs and valve keepers. The coin-shaped end of the valve, called the valve
head, fits tightly against a valve seat that surrounds a port (hole) on the inside of the cylinder head.
34
Chapter 4
All of the valves are opened by the action of
camshaft(s) (cam (s)). On OHV engines, the camshaft is mounted in the center of the crankcase, below
the crankshaft. On OHC engines, there are two camshafts, one mounted on the outboard side of each cylinder head. A camshaft resembles a short piece of
broom handle with the mumps. Here's how the camshafts work on the two types of Subaru engines:
OHV engines: A large gear on the rear end of
the camshaft meshes with a gear on the crank. As the
crankshaft turns the cam, the cam lobes (lopsided
bumps on the cam) push against little tubular things
about the size of your thumb called cam followers
(valve lifters, tappets) that fit in small bores inside
the crankcase. The valve lifters in turn push hollow,
pencillike rods, appropriately called push rods,
against one end of a seesaw-like mechanism called
a rocker arm (rocker). The other end of the rocker
arm presses against the end of a valve stem and causes
a valve to open. When a lobe on the camshaft rotates
past a cam follower, the corresponding push rod and
rocker arm relaxes and a valve spring pulls the valve
back to its closed position. The next time the lobe
comes around the whole process happens again.
Some late model OHV engines have hydraulic valve
lifters that eliminate the need to periodically adjust
the valve clearance.
OHC engines: Two long rubber camshaft drive
belts connect the camshafts to a toothed pulley on the
front end of the crankshaft. The toothed pulley turns
the belts, and the belts turn the camshafts. As the
camshafts turn, the lobes (bumps on the cam) press
against short rocker arms, which press on the ends
of the valve stems, causing the valves to open. As the
cam lobe rotates past the rocker arm, the valve springs
pull the valve closed. In addition to making the engine
look a lot more awesome, the overhead camshaft
arrangement eliminates the push rods, thus making
the engine quieter and more efficient. Hydraulic valve
lifters on OHC engines eliminate the need for periodic valve clearance adjustments.
EVERYONE: The camshaft must be correctly
"timed" to the crankshaft so the valves open at the
right time. In a four-stroke (four-cycle) engine, the
crankshaft rotates two times per cycle and the camshaft only once per cycle. This is accomplished by
connecting the crank to the cam with different size
gears. The gear on the end of the crankshaft is smaller
and has half the number of teeth of the larger camshaft gear, and thus the crank will make two revolutions for each revolution of the camshaft.
How a Subaru Works
35
Thin metal shells called bearings are placed in vital locations where parts turn and rub against each other.
These bearings minimize friction where there's a lot of it and also take the burden of wear in order to save the
more expensive parts such as the crank and case. Main bearings fit at the places (journals) where the crank
shaft and crankcase meet. Rod bearings fit where each of the connecting rods wraps around the crankshaft.
36
Chapter 4
The crankshaft main bearings, connecting rod bearings, camshaft, cam followers, and rocker arms are all pressure
lubricated with oil. Delivery and pressure of the oil is done by the oil pump.
The oil pump fits into the lower front of the crankcase, just below the crank pulley. On OHV models, the
oil pump is driven by a short shaft that fits into a slot on the end of the camshaft. On OHC models, the oil pump
is turned by one of the cam belts. When the oil pump is turned, oil is forced through the oil filter and then into
small tunnels called oil galleys in the crankcase which deliver the oil to the vital locations. As the crank spins,
it splashes oil on the cylinder walls, which lubricates the cylinders, pistons, and rings. One way or another, oil
gets sprayed, squirted, splashed, or dripped on all those inside parts needing lubrication. Without this steady
supply of the slippery stuff, the engine would quickly get super hot and come to a screeching halt.
Bolted to the front end of the crankshaft is the crank pulley, which drives a drive belt (V-belt, fan belt).
The drive belt turns the water pump, which pumps coolant through the engine, the alternator, which makes
electricity and charges the battery, and a fan on some 4WD and/or air-conditioned models. Other belts driven
by the crank pulley turn the air conditioner compressor and/or power steering pump, if your Soob has these
accessories.
OK, that covers the major moving parts of the engine. Now we need a fuel system to get an explosive mixture
of fuel and air into the engine and an ignition system to supply a means of igniting the fuel mixture.
FUEL SYSTEM
Liquid gasoline will burn quickly when ignited, but in that state it won't make your engine run. The gasoline
must be mixed with air in a certain ratio so it becomes an explosive vapor. The proper ratio for starting a cold
engine, warmup, and acceleration is a "rich" mixture of about nine parts air to one part gasoline. For normal
driving conditions, the ratio is "leaner"-about fifteen parts air to one part gasoline. If the mixture is too rich,
the engine will "flood" and not start or run until some of the gasoline evaporates. If the mixture is too lean, it
won't burn because there is not enough energy present in the form of vaporized gasoline. Here's how your Soob
converts liquid gasoline into an explosive vapor: An electric fuel pump draws gasoline from the gas tank, forces
it through a fuel filter to clean it, then pumps it to the carburetor (carb) on carb models or to the fuel injector(s) on fuel injected models.
Carburetor models: Here's how the gasoline is mixed with air inside the carburetor to become the explosive
vapor needed by the cylinders: The first stop for the fuel is a reservoir called a float bowl. The fuel-air mixing takes place in two short vertical tubes called barrels. The front barrel is slightly smaller than the rear barrel
and operates when the engine is idling or running at medium speed. When you press the accelerator pedal more
than halfway to the floor, the larger rear barrel comes into action. With both barrels operating, more air and
gas can be sucked into the engine to provide the power for accelerating quickly, climbing hills, pulling heavy
loads, and racing Porsches.
The carburetor's barrels are shaped like a pair of hourglasses-slightly narrower in the middle than on the
ends. The narrow area is called a venturi, and its shape creates a partial vacuum as air is drawn through the air
horn on top of the carburetor and into the barrel. Located in the venturi is one end of a fuel nozzle tube. The
other end of the fuel nozzle is attached to the float bowl. When the engine is running, vacuum created in the
venturi sucks gasoline out of the float bowl and into the barrel(s) where it mixes with the downrushing air and
becomes a volatile vapor. A jet, a brass plug with a tiny hole in it, is set in the float bowl. The jet regulates how
much gas can be drawn out of the bowl and sent through the fuel nozzle into the barrel.
At the bottom of each barrel is a flat round throttle valve (butterfly valve) about the size of a quarter. The
throttle valve is activated by your foot on the gas pedal. As you push down on the pedal, the throttle valve opens,
allowing more air to be sucked into the engine. The increased airflow creates a greater vacuum in the venturi
and more gas is sucked out of the float bowl. The more gas and air sucked in, the more volatile vapor is available so the faster the engine runs. When the pedal is released, a throttle return spring closes the throttle valve
so less air-and thus less gas-can be drawn into the engine. The engine runs slower and less power is produced.
How a Subaru Works
37
Another butterfly valve, called the choke plate, is in the round air horn opening at the top of the carb. Its
function is to restrict only the airflow and not the gas flow. The choke plate enables the carb to make a gas-rich
mixture when the engine is cold. All carb models have an electrically operated automatic choke.
Once the gas and air is mixed in the carburetor, it flows through the hollow intake manifold to the right
and left cylinder heads, where it can be sucked into the cylinders when the intake valves are open. The volatile gas-air vapor is now ready to go to work, but it needs the ignition system to make it explode.
Fuel injection systems: Here's how the gas and air are mixed in a fuel injection system:
Single Port Fuel Injection (SPFI): This system utilizes a single fuel injector mounted inside a throttle
chamber, which is bolted to the top center of the intake manifold, just like a carburetor. In fact, it looks a lot
like a carburetor. The volume and density of air being drawn into the engine is measured by a Hot-and-Cold
wire system located in the airflow meter, which is mounted on the engine side of the air cleaner housing. The
cold wire measures the temperature of air flowing into the engine, then sends this information to the hot wire.
The hot wire, also located in the airflow meter, measures the amount of air flowing through the meter by utilizing
the heat transfer phenomenon between the incoming air and the hot wire (heating resistor). In other words, the
more air flowing in, the more it cools the wire. The hot wire sends an electronic signal to the computer to let
it know how cool it is and thus how much air is being drawn into the engine. The computer also receives electronic
signals from other sensors which tell it such things as throttle position, coolant temperature, exhaust oxygen
content, crankshaft angle, engine rpm, if the starter is in operation, if the air conditioner is on, and if the transmission
is in gear. As the signals are received, the computer calculates the optimum amount of fuel needed by the engine,
then sends a signal to the fuel injector, telling it how much gas to squirt into the engine. A nozzle on the end of
the fuel injector sprays the gasoline in the form of a fine mist into the incoming air stream.
Mufti Point Fuel Injection (MPFI): This system has four fuel injectors mounted in the cylinder heads near
the intake valves (six injectors on six cylinder engines). A hot-wire system, similar to the hot-and-cold wire
system used on SPFI models (described above), measures the volume of air passing through the airflow meter,
then sends the information in the form of an electrical signal to the computer. The computer incorporates the
airflow data with information from other sensors such as throttle position, coolant temperature, crankshaft position,
engine rpm, and exhaust oxygen content, then sends signals to the fuel injectors to let them know how much
gas to spray into each cylinder.
SPFI and MPFI: The computer for the fuel injection systems can "learn" the driving habits of the owner
and react to them as well as automatically compensate for wear of various components within the system. Although
these high-tech systems sound complicated, in terms of efficiency, reliability, and exhaust emission control,
fuel injection is a great improvement over a carburetor.
Turbocharger: Turbochargers (turbos) are available on certain models that also have MPFI. Basically,
what a turbo does is force the fuel and air mixture into the cylinders ("packs" it), rather than relying on atmospheric
pressure and vacuum created by the pistons to fill the cylinders. Here's how the turbo works: On its way to the
exhaust pipe, the exhaust gas passes through a turbine housing causing a windmill-like turbine wheel to spin.
The turbine wheel is attached via a shaft to a compressor impeller located in a separate compressor housing.
The compressor impeller sucks air through the air cleaner and forces it through the throttle body and into the
cylinders. As engine speed increases, more exhaust gas is created, so the turbine automatically turns faster to
meet the engine's demands. The turbine wheel/compressor impeller speed varies between approximately 20,000
and 130,000 revolutions per minute! Servicing the turbo unit should be left to the professionals because a misadjusted
turbo can quickly ruin the engine.
The nifty thing about turbochargers is that what would otherwise be wasted energy (the exhaust gas) is used
to make the engine more efficient.
38
Chapter 4
IGNITION SYSTEM
Each of the cylinders has a spark plug. In order for the fuel vapor in a cylinder to explode, a powerful electric
spark must jump across the gap between two electrodes on the ends of the spark plug at just the right moment.
The distributor is the gizmo responsible for getting a spark to each cylinder at the right time. And here's how
it's done:
OHV engines: Inside the crankcase just behind the crank pulley, a funny sideways worm gear mounted
on the crankshaft turns a gear (distributor drive gear) attached to the bottom end of the distributor driveshaft.
OHC engines: A worm gear mounted on the rear end of the left camshaft turns a gear on the bottom of
the distributor driveshaft, which turns the shaft.
EVERYONE: A rotor mounted on the top end of the rotating distributor shaft points sequentially to four
small metal posts inside the stationary distributor cap. Think of the cap and rotor as a clock: the rotor is like
a hand and the cap is similar to a clock face with four numbers (the posts) on it. The metal posts are connected
to the four large spark plug wires on the outside of the distributor cap, which carry electricity to the four spark
plugs.
The basic function of the distributor is to act as a switch (like a light switch) to turn electricity in the ignition
system on and off. Following is an explanation for why a switch is required:
Electricity is stored in your Soob's battery. When the ignition key is turned on, 12 volts of juice flow from
the positive (+) battery terminal through a wire to the ignition coil (coil). A mere 12 volts isn't powerful enough
to ignite the fuel/air mixture in the cylinders, so the coil boosts the original 12 volts up to about 30,000 volts.
How? The coil has two electrical circuits: a primary circuit and a secondary circuit. Electricity is invisible
and mysterious, so I'll try to make it as simple as I can. The 12 volts from the battery go through the primary
circuit winding (a wrapping of wires) inside the coil, then through a wire to the closed switch in the distributor, then to the distributor body, then back to the negative (-) battery terminal through the body of the car. As
the juice passes through the primary winding of the coil, a concentrated electromagnetic field is created. High
school science, remember?
The secondary circuit leaps into action when the distributor shaft is turned by the crankshaft. The switch
in the distributor turns off the juice for just a moment, thus interrupting the flow of electricity through the primary
circuit.
When the juice is off, the interruption of the primary circuit causes the magnetic field in the coil to "collapse," which generates a momentary but very powerful current in the winding of the secondary circuit, also
inside the coil. It is in the secondary winding that the original 12 volts is boosted up to around 30,000 volts. At
highway speed, this happens about 7,000 times a minute!
After the voltage has been boosted, it travels through the thick high tension coil wire that comes out of the
end of the coil and goes to the top center of the distributor cap. From there the high-potency juice goes to an
electrical contact on top of the rotor. As the rotor turns and points to one of the four metal posts inside the distributor
cap, the juice jumps to the post. The 30,000 volt jolt then travels through the spark plug wire connecting that
post to a spark plug. The current has to jump from the insulated electrode in the center of the spark plug to the
outer electrode to complete its circuit. When it does, it creates a hot spark at just the right time to ignite the
fuel/air mixture in the cylinder.
There have been three different types of distributor "switch" systems used on Subarus: breaker point; electronic
breakerless; and light emitting diode (LED). Here's how the three systems work.
Breaker point ignition system: This system is on all pre-1977 California models and on all pre-1979 nonCalifornia models. On the distributor shaft, just below the rotor, there is a cam with four corners called lobes.
The distributor lobes open and close breaker points (points, points set), which act as a switch to send electricity
to the rotor each time it's pointed toward one of the metal posts.
How a Subaru Works
39
40
Chapter 4
Electricity, like water, will follow the path of least resistance, so if one path is closed, it will follow another.
A small cylinder, called the condenser, located on the outside of the distributor, is part of the path while the points
are open (not touching). The condenser stops the 12 volt current and keeps it from jumping the point gap to get
to the distributor body. This stopping of the current also prevents the points from burning and pitting too rapidly.
Breakerless (electronic) ignition system: Starting in 1977 on California cars and 1979 for all Subaru models,
a new electronic ignition system was introduced which eliminated the use of breaker points. The advantage of
the breakerless ignition system is the absence of the mechanical breaker points, which are prone to wear and
thus require regular adjustment and replacement. Instead of four rounded lobes on the distributor shaft, there
is a thick round chunk of metal with four raised tabs, called a reluctor. The reluctor on these distributors serves
the same function as the breaker points, only it switches the electricity on and off electronically rather than mechanically.
The main operational difference between the breaker type and breakerless type is in the primary circuit.
In the breakerless system, juice from the primary circuit of the coil travels through a wire to an ignition control unit, then back to the battery. The control unit is actually a very reliable high-tech switch. When one of
the four tabs of the reluctor passes by a pickup coil mounted in the distributor, an electrical signal is sent to the
ignition control unit which breaks (switches off) the primary circuit. This brief interruption activates the high
voltage secondary circuit inside the coil, creating the 30,000 volt jolt-the same as opening the breaker points
did in the breaker-type circuit. The difference in switching systems (points vs. control unit) may seem like a
small one, but it makes a big difference in reliability.
Light emitting diode (LED) distributor: It was a great improvement in the late 1970s when electronic,
breakerless distributors replaced the old, trouble-prone breaker point-type distributors. The new LED system
even eliminates checking the air gap (easy as it is to do) on breakerless-type distributors. LED distributors are
on all models with SPFI and 1987 and newer models with MPFI. Here's how the system works:
A flat, horizontal, rotating disc in the distributor has 360 slots around the outer edge, plus four slots near
the center. Each of the 360 slots represents 1 degree of distributor rotation (since the distributor turns at half
of the crankshaft speed, each slot represents 2 degrees of crankshaft rotation). The four slots near the center
of the disc represent the location of Top Dead Center (TDC) of each of the four pistons. The LED is mounted
directly above the rotating disc, and a photodiode light sensor is mounted below the disc. Light from the LED
shines through the slots to the light sensor. As the disc rotates, the light beam is interrupted between the end
of one slot and the start of the next slot. This interruption causes a signal to be sent to the computer. The computer
combines this information with input from sensors on the position of the gas pedal and the temperature of the
engine, then tells the secondary circuit in the coil when to send the electrical charge (via the distributor) to each
of the spark plugs. Thus, the ignition timing is controlled electronically by the logic of the computer, rather than
with mechanical and vacuum advance and/or retard mechanisms. The LED distributor can be checked out by
connecting the test mode connectors for the computer. Any fault occurring in the system is stored in the computer's memory-even if the fault occurs only once. Pretty nifty stuff, eh?
We've covered a lot of territory, and here's the climax:
ALL TOGETHER NOW
Remember the four strokes? I explained that a stroke has to do with a piston's travel from one end of the
cylinder to the other. The outer limit of piston movement within the cylinder is called top dead center (TDC).
At TDC, the piston is closest to the cylinder head and farthest away from the crankshaft. Bottom dead center
(BDC) is when the piston is closest to the crankshaft and farthest from the cylinder head. A stroke is one piston movement from TDC to BDC, or from BDC to TDC; in other words, a complete movement from one end
of the cylinder to the other.
Each of the four strokes has a name and a function, which is related to the opening and closing of the valves.
They are:
How a Subaru Works
41
42
Chapter 4
1. Intake stroke: The intake valve opens as the piston moves from TDC to BDC and the fuel-air vaporous mixture is sucked into the increasing space inside the cylinder (like sucking fluid into a syringe). When
the piston reaches BDC, the intake valve closes.
2. Compression stroke: Both valves are closed as the piston moves from BDC to TDC, squeezing the fuel-air
mixture in the cylinder into the small area between the top of the piston and the cylinder head. This space is called
the combustion chamber.
3. Combustion (power) stroke: As the piston nears TDC, a spark from the ignition system jumps across
the spark plug electrodes igniting the compressed fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber. The resulting
explosion forces the piston to BDC and causes the connecting rod to turn the crankshaft. It's the power stroke
that does the work and turns the crankshaft as well as moving the pistons through the other three strokes. The
power strokes of all four pistons help each other. I'll have more about that in a moment.
4. Exhaust stroke: The exhaust valve opens as the piston moves again from BDC to TDC. The piston forces
the burned gas past the exhaust valve and into the exhaust system. At TDC the exhaust valve closes and the
intake valve opens, starting the cycle again.
We have just gone through one complete cycle of one cylinder in your Soob's engine: The piston made four
direction changes, giving us four strokes. The crankshaft was forced to make two complete revolutions, the camshaft
one revolution, and each valve opened and closed one time during the cycle. At highway cruising speed, this
cycle is repeated about 1,500 times every minute in each cylinder!
A multiple-cylinder engine runs smoother than a single-cylinder engine because the power strokes are distributed throughout a single rotation of the crankshaft. With a four cylinder engine, the locations of the connecting rod journals (connections) are staggered around the crankshaft so there are four power strokes for every
two revolutions of the crankshaft- or, you guessed it, two power strokes for one crankshaft revolution.
The combustion (power) strokes on a Subaru follow the same sequence over and over and over. The
pistons are all linked to the crankshaft in a very spe
cific pecking order. First, cylinder number one
"fires"; then number three, number two, and finally
number four. This is called the firing order and is
shown as 1-3-2-4. The result is that as piston number
one reaches BDC on its power stroke, number three
fires, which helps force number one back to TDC.
As number three reaches BDC on its power stroke,
number two fires, forcing number three back up.
Number four in turn helps number two get back to
TDC. As long as the proper fuel/air mixture and a
spark are supplied at the right time, the engine will
continue to run.
All of these explosions are smoothed out and
augmented by a heavy steel disc called the flywheel,
which is bolted to the rear end of the crankshaft. The
flywheel helps keep the engine rotating between power strokes by means of inertia. Inertia is the tendency for
a rotating wheel to resist any change of speed. The flywheel absorbs some of the energy from each power stroke,
then gives it back by keeping the crankshaft turning at an even speed through the other three strokes.
ON TO THE WHEELS
Now that the engine is running, let's see how the power gets to the wheels. We'll go first to the clutch and
transmission (manual shift Soobs).
How a Subaru Works
43
The engine is connected to the transmission main shaft via a friction disc in the clutch assembly, which
is bolted to the rear of the flywheel. The clutch assembly allows you to disconnect the engine from the transmission when you want to change gears or stop the car without turning the engine off. The working of clutch
is explained in Chapter 15.
Manual transmissions consist of different size gears that change the ratio between engine revolutions and
wheel revolutions. More engine rpms are needed to take off from a standing start or to climb a steep grade than
are necessary to cruise along a level highway or coast down a hill. The gears in the transmission allow you to
select the proper ratio between engine speed and wheel speed.
Automatic transmissions work by hydraulics-the use of a fluid to move and turn parts. The fluid in this
case is, of course, your automatic transmission fluid. Bolted to the flywheel (called a torque plate on automatics)
is a large donut-shaped torque converter. Inside, a set of windmill-like vanes attached to the torque plate rotate
and slosh fluid in a circular motion, which drives another windmill set of vanes attached to the transmission
shaft. A complicated set of planetary gears behind the torque converter is driven by the transmission shaft.
The gears are shifted automatically as you drive, through the magic of hydraulics. Automatic transmissions aren't
covered in this book. They are complicated devils, and when something goes wrong they belong in the hands
of a specialist.
From the transmission main shaft, the rotating power from the engine goes through the gears to another
shaft called the drive pinion shaft, which connects the transmission to the differential. A clever device, the
differential divides the power for equal delivery to the two front wheels. A worm gear on the end of the drive
pinion shaft meshes with a large ring gear inside the differential. The ring gear in turn meshes with gears connected
to the two axleshafts, which run out to the left and right front wheels which pull the car. The differential's magic
is in how it delegates rotating speed to the two driving wheels:
As a car goes around a corner, the outside wheel has to travel farther than the inside wheel, right? If the
axle was one piece with no differential, the inside wheel would drag slightly and wear out the tire very quickly.
But the ring and pinion gears work in conjunction with small spider gears so the two drive wheels can rotate
at different speeds while maintaining about equal driving power. Amazing, eh? I think the differential is one
of the all-time niftiest mechanical inventions.
Located at the differential (inboard) ends of the axle shafts are double offset joints (DOJs). At the wheel
end of the axles, constant velocity joints (CVJs) connect the axle shafts to short axles that pass through the wheel
bearing housings. Splines on the ends of these axles mesh with splines in the brake drums or rotors (depending
on the year and model) which are attached to the axles with large nuts. The DOJs and CVJs are similar to universal
joints (U joints)-they act as joints to allow the rotating axles to move up and down as the car goes over bumps
or pot holes. The CVJs allow the front wheels to turn so you can steer the car.
The turning power from the crankshaft in your engine has now reached the driving wheels. You're on your
way. Other vital parts and systems help out; for instance, to smooth out the bumps and holes in the road, MacPherson struts on the front and torsion bars or coil springs and shock absorbers on the rear fit between the
body and the wheels.
EVERYTHING ELSE
Everything else, like brakes, steering, exhaust, smog control systems, lights, hiccups, as well as more thorough
details on the systems just described, is covered in the appropriate chapters. If you want to know more about
how the transmission works, see Chapter 15; if you'd like to understand your MacPherson struts, see Chapter
14, and so forth.
44
Chapter 4
CHAPTER 5
TOOLS, PARTS, AND BOOKS
Some professional mechanics have been known to spend more for tools each week than for food. Others
can do quality work with a handful of tools they have collected in pawn shops, surplus stores, and at swap meets.
My tools have somehow found their way from the far ends of the earth into my tool box. Each one has a specific
purpose, so I'm not lugging around extra weight.
Tool selection is easiest if you're going to be working on the same car or the same make of car all the time.
Subarus use metric sizes, fortunately, so you'll want to have metric tools. Keep a basic set in the car at all times
so that if you're stuck on the road and a Mack truck driver stops to help, you'll have the right tools (and this book
of course) to get you on the road again. Most of his truck tools won't fit.
There are two ways you can approach buying tools. If you have the money, just go out and buy what's on
the list. If you can't afford to buy them all at once, read through the procedure you are getting ready to do and
buy only the tools you need for that procedure. Gradually you will build up a full-fledged tool set. Dropping
hints around Christmas time and birthdays sometimes works for me.
Ultimately, how much you need to invest in tools comes down to how independent of garages and dealerships you want to become. At the current hourly shop rates for garages, your tools will pay for themselves just
by doing a couple of tune-ups or simple repairs yourself. Bashing around off-road in your four wheel drive Soob
will be more fun knowing you have the tools, this book, and a few spare parts to get you back to civilization.
If you have a stash of tools for American cars, don't throw them away, because some of them can be used
on your Soob. Here's a list of direct conversions:
14mm = 9/16"
19mm = 3/4" 22mm = 7/8 " 17mm =11/16" 21mm 13/16"
Tool prices vary radically from brand to brand. The most expensive and generally considered the best are
Snap-on and Mac Tools. They look good, feel like silver jewelry in your hand, come with a lifetime guarantee,
46
Chapter 5
and cost about a third more than good medium-priced tools. If your last name is Rockefeller, go ahead and buy
all Snap-on or Mac tools. They're sold mainly to shops and garages out of the large company vans you've probably
seen around town. Even if you don't buy any tools, it's fun to look through the van. Stah1wille tools are my favorites,
but they're not always easy to find. Sears' Craftsman tools are also good, guaranteed for life, and rather expensive.
They also sell a cheaper line, just labeled "Sears." The most commonly used tools on Subarus are the 10mm,
12mm, and 14mm wrenches and sockets. If you want to splurge, get the expensive wrenches in those sizes.
You can buy good medium-priced tools at auto parts stores, swap meets, surplus stores, and reputable department stores such as Sears. Medium-priced tools work as well as the more expensive ones; they just don't feel
as good and usually aren't guaranteed. I've gotten a lot of good, hard use out of S-K Wayne and New Britain,
as well as Stahlwille, tools.
The really cheap brands (99 cents for a half dozen wrenches or screwdrivers) work once or twice, then break
or bend-sometimes taking large hunks of flesh with them. Those bargain sets of 40 sockets and a ratchet wrench
for $5-$10 you find at the discount stores also fall in this category. Watch out!
The large "Tool Sets" usually on sale at department stores aren't a good deal because you end up paying
for (and hauling around) tools that you'll never use. But good plier and screwdriver sets can save you some money.
It never hurts to have extra screwdrivers and pliers around.
When shopping for tools here are some things to consider in addition to price:
Wrenches: Combination wrenches have a "box end" on one end and an "open end" on the other. They're
generally the most useful. Buy wrenches with 12-point box ends because they allow you to get the wrench on
bolts and nuts in twice as many positions as 6-point box ends. Very handy in tight spots.
Most bolts and nuts on Subarus are 10mm, 12mm or 14mm. Having a selection of different lengths, shapes,
and box end "offsets" of these sizes will make things easier. I like the way the box end of Stahlwille wrenches
is attached: it's slightly offset and slightly angled so you won't scrape your knuckles as often. I get Stahlwille
wrenches from my Mac Tool salesman.
Sockets: Buy six-point sockets-they're stronger than ones with 12 points. (You don't need the 12 points
in sockets because the ratchet gives you an almost infinite option of angles for getting the socket onto the bolt
or nut.)
Ratchets: For 3/8" drive sockets, ratchets with about 6" handles are the most versatile. As you become
a tool aficionado you'll want one with a 3" handle for working in tight places and one with a 9" handle for added
leverage. For'/z" drive sockets, get a ratchet with a 12" handle.
Torque Wrench: Torque wrenches are a necessity for evenly tightening some nuts and bolts so they won't
be too loose and unscrew themselves or so tight they break, strip the threads, or can't be removed the next time.
The cheapest kind of torque wrench is a beam type. They're very accurate but when using them in certain positions
it's hard to read the indicator needle. I prefer the "clicker" type that you set at the desired torque, then the wrench
clicks when that torque is reached. To keep clicker types accurate, they must always be unwound to the lowest
setting after use to relieve the tension on the spring inside. They should be checked and recalibrated occasionally
(every six months to two years depending on use). How large a torque wrench do you need? Remove one of the
front hub caps on your Soob. If there's a cotter pin through the axle nut, you'll need a torque wrench capable
of tightening nuts to 154 ft. lbs. If there's no cotter pin through the nut and axle, but the edge of the axle nut is
bent ("staked") into a groove on the axle, you'll need a least a 174 ft. lb . torque wrench.
Tools, Parts, and Books
47
PHASE 1 TOOL SET
The following list of tools and materials will get
you through most of the procedures in this book.
Again, you can buy 'em all at once, or just as you
need them. A few special tools required for working on Subarus are listed at the end. Parts required
are listed in the Tools and Materials list at the beginning of each procedure.
Safety Glasses
An absolute necessity if you value your eyesight. And
who doesn't? Modern plastic ones are adequate and
inexpensive.
Flashlight
One with a magnet attached to the side so you don't
have to hold it. Or one small enough to hold in your
mouth. (Sometimes you need three or four hands anyway, so why waste one holding a flashlight?) Check
the batteries regularly.
Jack
The one that comes with the car is OK for changing
flat tires but don't crawl under the car while it's being
held up by that little thing. See Chapter 3, Safety.
Lug Wrench
One should have come with the car. If it's missing,
find either an original type or an X type ("starwrench") at a salvage yard or parts counter.
Combination Wrenches
6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, and
19mm. This is your basic wrench set. "Open end"
at one end and 12-point "box end" at the other. It's
nice to have a complete set of regular length wrenches
plus longer 12mm, 14mm, 17mm and 19mm
wrenches for added leverage on stubborn bolts and
nuts. You can't have too many different lengths and
shapes of 10mm, 12mm and 14mm wrenches.
3/8" Drive Sockets
Same sizes as the combination wrenches. I urge you
to get the 6-point type sockets.
3/8" Drive Ratchet
Get a good one. I got my favorite ratchet in the 1960s
when it cost only $12; the same ratchet now costs
about $35 (which is probably too much). I'll tell you
what it is, though-an S-K Wayne #3870. It's long
and has the kind of swivel head I like!
48
Chapter 5
3/8" Drive Ratchet Extensions
Several, ranging from 1" to 12 ". These make things
easier to reach. They snap on between the ratchet and
socket.
Screwdrivers
A variety of short, medium, and long ones with narrow and regular width blades. Get one giant one
(16"-24" long and strong).
Phillips Head Screwdrivers
Good quality small, medium, and large ones. The
cheap ones wear out quickly and ruin the screws.
These screwdrivers are for dealing with all those
screws with cross-shaped slots in their heads.
Torque Wrench
See the Torque Wrench rap earlier in this chapter. It
tells about the two kinds available.
Pliers
Regular and needlenose, and one set of large Channel Locks. Channel Locks are long-handled pliers
with adjustable jaws.
Vise Grips
One medium size (8") with flat jaws. Vise Grip is a
brand name of locking pliers. You'll learn to love this
tool-it's like having an extra hand.
Ball Peen Hammer
A 12-16 oz. model. Carpenter's hammers are not safe
for use on cars.
Battery Terminal Cleaner
The kind with internal and external wire brushes.
These are handy, cheap, and readily available, but
you can get by with a knife or the small wire brush
mentioned later.
12 Volt Test Light
For finding shorts (electrical) and checking for
"juice" in your wiring and electrical components.
Crescent Wrench
Handy when you can't find the wrench size you need.
Get a 4" and an 8 ". Don't use them when the rightsize combination wrench is available-they're not
as safe and tend to round off the edges of nuts and
bolts.
Pocket Knife
Swiss Army type with as many gizmo blades as you
can afford. That corkscrew or bottle opener could
save the day at a picnic.
Small Wire Brush
Get one about the size of a toothbrush. I've found
good cheap ones in art supply stores.
GOOD Tire Gauge
Absolutely necessary for radial tires. The cheap pencil types don't stay accurate for very long.
Rags and Paper Towels
To clean your hands and tools, and to mop up spills.
Worn out clothing, torn into 12" squares, makes perfectly adequate rags.
'/2" Drive Sockets
17mm, 19mm, 21mm, and 22mm. You'll need a
36mm socket to remove brake drums or discs. Again,
go for quality 6-point sockets.
'/2" Drive Ratchet or "Breaker Bar" and a 6"
Extension
For the '/2" drive sockets. Get a big one with about
a 12" handle. A breaker bar is a socket handle without
a ratchet mechanism-it's wonderful on really stubborn bolts.
'/2" to 3/8" Adapter
So you can use the 3 /8" sockets on the '/2" ratchet,
breaker bar, and torque wrench.
TUNE-UP TOOLS
These tools are used only when tuning the engine. Several more of them are illustrated in Chapter 7.
Spark Plug Socket
Right. It's for checking or changing the spark plugs.
There should be a rubber boot inside to grab the spark
plug.
Tools, Parts, and Books
49
550
Chapter 5
Feeler Gauges
The "Go-No Go" kind are the easiest to use. What they are and how to use them is explained in Chapter 7, Procedure
7, Step 4. If you have a breakerless distributor, also get brass feeler gauges.
Spark Plug Gapper
Bosch makes a really nice one. A cheap one will do, though.
Strobe Timing Light
For setting the ignition timing. The inductive kind are easiest to use. Avoid the cheapies, which are practically
useless unless you live in a cave or mine shaft.
Jumper Wire
A jumper is a wire with an alligator clip on each end.
You'll need one about 6" long.
Tach / Dwell Gauge
For setting engine idle speed and the points dwell on
distributors with breaker points.
Compression Gauge
The kind that screws into the spark plug hole will eliminate the need for a helper. The cheaper kind that you
just push into the hole is OK-if you have a Friend.
3/16" (5mm) Vacuum Hose
Get about 12" -18" of this rubber hosing. It's for checking vacuum-operated gizmos on the engine. Don't use
the brake bleeding hose for this.
"Official" Valve Adjusting Tool
You can adjust the valves with a small (4") crescent wrench and 12mm wrench but it's a real pain. OR you can
spring for a genuine Subaru valve adjusting tool that makes the job almost easy. As of this writing, Subaru sells
them for about $25. Mac Tools sells them for about $45. The ones from Subaru fit a little loose on the adjusting bolt so you have to anticipate that the bolt will turn a little when you tighten down the 12mm nut. The Mac
tool fits just right.
Ruler or Small Tape Measure
For measuring things like clutch and brake pedal "free play." Either inches or centimeters is OK.
File
A small, flat, hard steel one to file burrs off parts.
Magnet
The kind about the size of a pencil is adequate. Fancy ones have radio antennae type extension handles.
Mirror
Get a small one with a pivoting head, like the one your dentist uses.
PHASE 11: OPTIONAL AND SPECIAL TOOLS
Consider getting these tools as need arises.
3/16" (5mm) Clear Plastic Tubing and Glass Jar
For bleeding the brake system (see Chap. 13). Suction tubing from hospitals works well.
Chisel
One with a sharp '/z" to 3/a " wide tip. Make sure it's one designed for use on steel. Do not use woodworking
chisels: you'll ruin them, and probably your eyes too.
Tools, Parts, and Books
51
Small Chisel
A '/a " (or less) chisel to unstake the axle nuts on some models. If your axle nuts have cotter pins through them,
you don't need this tool.
Cheater Pipe
A piece of pipe a couple of feet long that will fit over the handle of the '/z " drive ratchet or breaker bar. It's for
persuading extremely tight bolts or nuts.
Hacksaw and Blades (fine and coarse)
For when the going really gets tough.
Snap Ring Pliers (for circlips)
Wait to buy these until you definitely need them. If possible, get the kind that can convert to work on either internal
or external snap rings. The kind with changeable tips of different sizes and shapes are the most versatile.
Volt/Ohm Meter
A Volt/Ohm meter (VOM) is very handy to have around. Radio Shack sells good cheap ones. Minimum requirements are listed in Chapter 10, Procedure 11. The procedure also tells you how to use one.
Piston Ring Compressor
For installing the pistons in the crankcase. Prices range from about $10 to $20.
6mm (3/16") Punch
For removing the DOJs.
Jumper Cables
For when the battery runs down because you left the headlights on.
Tow Rope
To tow a disabled vehicle.
Long Neck Funnel
To add oil to the transaxle or automatic transmission.
Syringe
To suck brake fluid out of the reservoirs when you change the brake fluid. Get the biggest one you can find.
Oil Suction Gun
You might need one to get oil into the rear differential on 4WD models.
Rubber Gloves
To keep your pinkies pink. Following are tools specifically designed for Subarus. You'll probably have to get
them from the Subaru dealer or the Snap-on or Mac Tool truck.
Special Sockets for Retorquing the Cylinder Heads
You have to have these for retorquing the heads, for doing a valve job, or
for an engine rebuild. One socket is a specially designed shallow socket
on the end of a short extension. The length is critical due to limited space.
The other socket is a shallow, thin-walled 17mm. You can make your own
by grinding down the end of a thin-walled 17mm socket until there's room
for the socket and torque wrench between the rocker arm bolts and car body.
Disc Brake Piston Wrench
You might need this special tool to screw the pistons into the calipers. See Chapter 13.
52
Chapter 5
Wrist Pin Puller
Sounds like something you'd find in a torture dungeon. They're expensive and you'll only use it maybe once
every ten years for a ring and valve job or engine rebuild. Try to borrow or rent one, or hire a garage that specializes
in Soobs to pull the wrist pins for you.
Special Tools for Adjusting or Replacing the Cam Belts on OHC Engines.
To adjust the camshaft belts, you'll need a Belt Tension Wrench (#499437000). To replace the camshaft belts
you'll also need the following special tools; Tensioner Wrench (#499007000) and a Camshaft Sprocket Wrench
(#499207000). If you have a manual transmission, you'll also need a Flywheel Stopper tool (#498277000), or
if you have an automatic transmission, you'll need a Drive Plate Stopper tool (#498497000). These tools are
shown in the procedure for adjusting and replacing the cam belts. And yes, you'll probably have to get these
tools from the Subaru dealer.
PHASE III: DON'T LEAVE TOWN WITHOUT 'EM
Following is a list of tools and parts that should be considered part of the car. This survival kit will probably cover 90 percent of road emergencies (and several repair procedures). I roll them up in old towels and stash
them under the front seats:
Jack and lug wrench (stashed in the engine compartment), small and medium regular and phillips screwdrivers,
pliers (regular and needlenose), feeler gauges, plug gapper, crescent wrench, 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm wrenches
and sockets, ratchet, ratchet extension, spark plug socket, 12-volt test light, pocket knife, tire gauge, rags.
Here's a list of spare parts that could save you hours of despair and a large towing fee. Most of them can
be stashed on the spare tire: ignition points and condenser (if your car has them), distributor cap and rotor, a
set of spark plugs, spare fuses, drive belt (s), a quart of oil, one each extra clutch and accelerator cables.
GARAGE MATERIALS
The following materials are frequently needed for the maintenance and repair procedures. They're handy
to have around to avoid trips to the parts store early Sunday morning.
Hand Cleaner
Get the kind with lanolin to keep your hands soft and lily white. Ivory Liquid dish detergent is a good substitute if you're caught dirty handed. Goop it on full strength, then wash it off. Incidentally, Goop is also a brand
name of hand cleaner.
Rags and Paper Towels
Seems like you can never have too many rags around. Don't use fuzzy ones that might shed on things. Old towels
cut up into small (12" square) pieces work well.
Catch Pan
To drain oil and antifreeze into. You can also use it for cleaning parts. Plastic ones are cheap these days. Get
one that will hold at least five quarts.
Parts Cleaning Brush
Get a brush with long, stiff, fiber bristles. An old toothbrush is also very good for cleaning small parts.
Spray Cans of Cleaner
Berryman B-12 Carburetor Cleaner and Solder Seal Brake Cleaner are handy to have around. When sprayed
on parts, they dissolve the crud so it runs off, then they evaporate without leaving a residue. Try not to breathe
too much of the stuff and be sure to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
Tools, Parts, and Books
53
Penetrating Oil
Liquid Wrench, WD-40, and Marvel Mystery Oil all work well, but my favorite is Sili Kroil made by Kano Labs
in Nashville, Tenn. It penetrates, then lubricates with silicone.
Wheel Bearing Grease
A small can of high-temperature wheel bearing grease is always handy to have around. You may even need it
to grease the wheel bearings.
Cleaning Solvent
You can buy this by the gallon at some filling stations, parts stores, and machine shops. It's safer than using gasoline.
NEVER use gasoline in a closed area or near heat or flame. In fact, it's best to use the same precaution with all
cleaning solvents.
Drop Light
Get the kind that has a metal cage around the bulb (the plastic ones melt, then stink). Also good (but more expensive)
are the fluorescent drop lights called "Sunlights. "
Extension Cord
Get one with at least 14-gauge wire (12-gauge is even better). The length you need depends on how handily your
wall outlets are located.
Silicone Gasket Sealer
A tube of the blue stuff works on nearly all gaskets except those exposed to gasoline.
Hydraulic Floor Jack and Jackstands
You can pick these up pretty cheap these days. They make working on your car a lot easier and safer. Jackstands
are a must if you plan to crawl under your car.
Fire Extinguisher
The kind that puts out gasoline fires. Keep it handy and check it regularly. A small one, or two will do.
Conveniences and Odds 'n Ends
A role of soft tie wire (baling wire, machinist's wire). Pair of coveralls, stocking cap for long hair, low stool to
sit on while you work, a large piece of cardboard or plastic to lie on, a few sheets of fine emery paper, plastic
sandwich baggies, masking tape, rubber bands, indelible pen.
PARTS
When it comes to parts, Subarus seem to be the Rodney Dangerfields of the automotive world. They don't
get no respect. It's getting a little better now, but it's still more difficult finding parts and accessories for your
Soob than it is for the other major Japanese imports. Grumble, grumble.
Prices for Subaru parts vary so radically from store to store it's sometimes hard to believe. And the surprising thing is they're most likely the same brand! Store A might have good prices on some parts but not on
others. The price markup in Store B might be exactly the opposite from Store A. And the same applies to the
Subaru dealer parts department: some of their prices are the best you can find, while others are two or three
times more than for the same part in the parts stores. A few phone calls or a little legwork can save you quite
a bundle.
When trekking to the parts store, be armed with your Soob's production date, vehicle identification number
(VIN), and engine serial number. These will maximize your chances of getting the right part for Sooby the first
time. How to find these numbers is in Chapter 2.
If you get hung up for parts that aren't available in your area, call Mike at Mahneke Motors in Goleta, California
at (805) 683-1885. They probably have the parts or can find and send them to you.
54
Chapter 5
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
You should find a copy of the Owner's Manual stashed in the glove box. It has lots of little tidbits about your
particular year and model. If yours has disappeared, get one from the Subaru dealer.
All Subaru Workshop Manuals from the Subaru dealer (except for '73, '74, and '79 models) cover engine
removal, installation, and rebuilding. They also have complete wiring diagrams for each model of whatever year
the manual was written for. And they all have more specifications about your Soob than you'd ever want to know.
Like most automotive repair manuals, they assume you're an experienced mechanic and tell you what to do but
don't give any clues as to how to do it. (Hopefully, this book fills the gap between what to do and how to do it.)
There are two Subaru workshop manuals for '72 models; one for the engine and one for the body (which
includes brakes, suspension, steering, etc.).
The problem with the Subaru workshop manuals for '73-'77 and '79 models is that they only cover things
that are different from the '72 models or the previous year models. To have a complete manual for your '77 Soob,
you would have to buy each manual from '72-'77. That would be expensive.
The manual for '78 models is complete, but the '79 manual only covers changes from the '78 models.
The workshop manuals for '80-'84 models are pretty much complete for each year, except for '83 Turbo
models. If you have an '83 Turbo, get an '84 manual because Tbrbos aren't covered in the '83 manual.
The official Subaru factory workshop manuals for 1985-1988 OHC models are divided into two volumes
for 1985 models and four volumes for each year for 1986-1988 models. There are separate manuals for XT models.
The volumes are divided into sections. Those you would probably find most helpful are Section 1, which covers
tune-ups; Section 2, which covers most engine repairs; and Section 4, which covers suspension, steering, and
brake systems. Unfortunately, these three sections are in three different manuals. 1985-1988 hatchbacks and
1985-1987 Brats must use the 1984 factory manuals. The manuals for 1985-1988 models are also available in
Spanish.
In spite of all this, a Subaru workshop manual for your model is handy to have around. They have lots of
pictures and cover things not included in this manual such as transmission and differential repair and replacing bumpers and door handles, etc.
For all of you Subaru fanatics, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and caps with the Subaru logo are available through
the parts department at the Subaru dealer. The Bentley Manuals are pretty good. They have lots of photos but
give rather abbreviated instructions. Unless you're quite experienced (mechanically speaking), you may find
these other manuals don't give enough information.
SAFETY WITH TOOLS
Use your head! Not as a substitute for a 10-pound hammer but to select the correct tool for each job. Take
the time to pick out the right wrench, extension, and so on, for the task. Wear your safety glasses when underneath
the vehicle and wherever else called for to protect your eyes while working. Wear a painter's mask or respira
tor when dealing with dust, especially during brake and clutch jobs. Regardless of what else you might snort,
keep the black brake and clutch powder out of your nose. That asbestos stuff is very nasty.
If you haven't worked with hand tools before, gradually get the feel of them. Make sure sockets and wrenches
are fully on the nut or bolt head before you pull, and anticipate where your elbow or knuckles might land if a
tool slips. Clean your tools after each procedure so you can look forward to fondling them the next time. Unless
you've skipped ahead, you have already read my safety rap in Chapter 2. It's friendly-and essential. The John
Muir legal staff wouldn't have you open your toolbox without it. I want you to make it through each one of the
procedures without so much as a scratch. Thank you.
CHAPTER 6
HOW TO BUY A SUBARU
The time to start shopping for any car is before you actually need one-preferably, even before you can actually afford one. The desire for a new (or newer) car combined with a wad of money in the pocket or a fat bank
account creates a temporary "consumer insanity" in more people than would care to admit it. When bitten by
the buy-a-car bug, rational, logical thinking people (like you and me) are often overpowered by irresistible
impulses of emotion and impatience. I urge you to take your time and check out several Soobs before purchasing
one. This will help ensure that you get a cherry or a peach rather than a lemon.
Having to buy a car in a short period of time (like a day or two) adds pressure to a process that should be
performed as leisurely as possible. You're more vulnerable to sales ploys such as, "Several people are interested in the car," and "This price is good today only; tomorrow the price goes up." Don't let the personality
of the person selling the car influence your decision. High-pressure, sweet-talking salespeople who act like
they'll commit suicide if you don't buy the car should be ignored. You're there to get acquainted with the car,
not the person. It's your money, and the car you buy is probably going to be living with you for several years,
so the better your choice, the more enjoyable your time together will be.
If you're trading in a car, bear in mind that any spectacular offer you might get for it just represents a slice
out of the dealer markup, which you may be able to get even without a trade-in. If you don't need to use it for
a down payment, you'll probably be better off selling your old car yourself through the classifieds.
While the car is under factory warranty, resist the urge to do the procedures in this book which are covered
by that document until the warranty period is over. Repairs done by other than authorized service people may
void the warranty.
The place to start looking for a used car is in the classified ads of the local newspapers and newspapers of
surrounding towns. If there's a college in the area, check the student newspaper. (Students tend to run out of
56
Chapter 6 Procedure 1, Step 1
money near the end of the term and often have to sell something fast.) Banks and credit unions sometimes have
repossessed Subarus for sale. I bought a nice repossessed '81 Soob from a credit union for several hundred dollars less than I would have had to pay a private party or car dealer. Call your local financial institutions and see
what they have.
Independent used car lots tend to charge more for cars than individuals selling their cars through the classifieds. Check them out though; they might have just what you're looking for.
New car dealers charge more for used cars than independent used car lots. The new car places usually do
a little basic maintenance work and run a few tests on the used cars so they can offer some kind of warranty. If
they don't think a car is worth guaranteeing, they either sell it cheaper "as is" or unload it cheaply to an indepen
dent used car dealer. Before buying a used car with a warranty, be sure you understand exactly what's covered.
Sometimes the parts, sometimes the labor, and sometimes both are covered for a specific length of time. Some
warranties cover everything on the car and some cover only the engine and maybe the transmission. Whatever
they say is covered, be sure to get it in writing. Go through as many of the checks as possible in Procedure 3
in this chapter when considering any "as is" car.
You know your price range, right? Look at as many Soobs as you can within that range. Each will be slightly
different in the way it looks, sounds, rides, handles, and performs. After driving a few, you'll develop a feel for
Subarus. If you have time to make a few needed repairs to an otherwise sound car, you can probably save some
money. If you don't have the time, then buying a car backed by a warranty might be best for you. If you're going
to finance a used car, let the loan officer at your bank or credit union know about your plans ahead of time, so
you won't have to go scurrying for a loan after you've agreed to buy the Subaru of your dreams.
Wear old clothes when checking used cars because you'll be crawling around on your hands and knees looking under the car. Have a rag handy for checking the oil and cleaning your hands. The owner may be more likely
to lower the price for a person dressed in jeans, T-shirt, and old jogging shoes than for "Mr. Yuppie" in a threepiece suit.
Always have a notebook and pencil with you when checking a car. Write down the year, body style, color,
license number, mileage on the speedometer, the owner's name and phone, the quoted price, accessories, and
any obvious flaws (broken windshield, dented fender, oil leaks, etc). Before you leave, write down your impres
sions of the car (or give it a rating from 1 to 10). This will help you remember which car was which after you've
looked at several. Don't shop for a car at night (for obvious reasons), while it's raining, or in the middle of a
blizzard. Your attention will be divided between the car and how miserable you are. We'll get to the price later,
but nine times out of ten, you'll end up paying less than the quoted price-if you follow a few simple rules of
used car-buying etiquette.
I use four procedures when shopping for a car: (1) a looking, feeling, thinking procedure; (2) driving, listening, feeling, thinking procedure; (3) mechanical inspection procedure; (4) value assessment and bargaining
procedure. The car must pass each procedure before qualifying for the next. If you're not sure how to check
the vital fluid levels in Procedure 1, look at Chapter 7, Procedure 2. Here's how to perform the four procedures:
PROCEDURE 1: VISUAL PRE-PURCHASE CHECK
Condition: You're looking for a "pre-owned" Subaru to buy.
Tools and Materials: Time, a rag, daylight.
Remarks: Ignore pressure by the owner or salesperson.
Step 1. Visual Check of Everything.
Make a slow, thorough, visual inspection of the car, taking notes as you go. Are there dents or rust in the
fenders or bumpers? Are there oil spots beneath the engine, transmission, and on 4WD models the rear differenProcedure l, Step 2
How to Buy a Subaru 57
tial? Is the underside of the car and the exhaust system dented and bashed, indicating hard off-road use? If so,
the shock absorbers, engine and transmission mounts, and steering system will require a thorough check in
Procedure 3 (if the car makes it that far). Check the windshield corners for signs of body metal fatigue. Bend
over and sight along the fenders and door to look for waves in the metal that hint of accident repair. Check where
rubber or chrome moldings fit to the body for paint marks-often a sign of repaired damage. You'll want to find
out how extensive it was. See any little blisters in the paint? These often mean rust is lurking underneath. Now
open the doors. Do they open and shut easily? A clunky, ill-fitting door is another sign of accident damage-or
rough usage. Now look inside. Do the seats, dashboard, carpet, and headliner look like the owner took good
care of the car? If the interior is funky and dirty, you can almost bet the mechanical parts have been neglected
also.
Open the hood and prop it. Is the engine compartment covered with oil and mud? (If it's super clean, don't
be too impressed. It may have been prettied up just for the sale.) Check the oil on the engine and differential
dipsticks. If the oil is black and thick, you know the car has suffered from "deferred maintenance." Get some
of the oil from the engine dipstick between your thumb and finger and squish it around. Gritty, dirty-feeling
oil means the engine has more wear on it than the mileage might be telling you. If the engine oil looks like coffee
with cream in it, or there are green droplets in it, there's water in the oil from a leaking head gasket (a major
repair). Remove the oil filler cap and look at the inside of the cap and filler tube. White, frothy-looking stuff
there is a sure sign of water in the oil. Rust inside the cap indicates a leaking head gasket or that the car was
usually used for short trips to the market and the engine didn't have time to warm up properly.
If the car has an automatic transmission, pull out the transmission dipstick and give it a sniff. Does the oil
smell burned? Automatic transmission oil should be light to medium red in color. Dark red, brown, or black
oil means the oil and probably the transmission have been overheated and possibly damaged.
Is the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir(s) dark and dreary looking; or clean, clear, and fresh?
If one of the reservoirs has less fluid than the other, there might be a leak in the brake system. We'll check it later.
If the engine is cool, remove the radiator cap and look down into the radiator for bright green antifreeze.
Plain water or brownish-green coolant mean the cooling system hasn't been maintained properly. Stick your
forger down into the radiator opening and feel around for cruddy deposits. Thick, oily slime means the cooling system has been neglected and/or a head gasket is leaking. If the slime is brownish, there may be rust in
the radiator or water pump, a sign the system has been neglected.
Peek through the slots in the wheels at the brake disc (on some models the slots are too thin). The disc should
look smooth and shiny with no large grooves worn in it. Grooves mean a brake job is needed.
Take a look at the tires, especially the front ones. Are they worn evenly across the tread, or is the tread thinner on the inside or outside edge? Uneven wear indicates an alignment is needed (no big deal, but mention it
to the owner). Worn tires should be a consideration in what you'll offer for the car. If you need new tires right
away, consider them in your personal accounting of what this baby's going to cost you.
If the car is the right model (station wagon, sedan, Brat, etc.) and you like what you've seen so far, take a
closer look. How's the paint job? If the car is dirty, rub a small spot in the dirt with your finger to see if the paint
is good enough to shine. Look inside the wheel wells, along the bottom edges of the doors, and around the win
dows for signs of rust. Any of those little bubbles in the paint that indicate rust is about to blossom forth? Rust
is a four-letter word. If you find rust on the car, the price better be very attractive or you should quit looking
at the car right now. Once this "cancer" sets in, it can be almost impossible to stop.
Step 2. Spiritual Check (don't skip it!)
Sit in the driver's seat for awhile, but don't start the engine. Put your hands on the wheel and close your
eyes. Just sit and feel. Wiggle your butt around in the seat and soak in the car's vibes. Do you feel at home here?
The owner or salesman will probably try to get you to start the engine-but don't, not yet. This will drive them
crazy and that's OK.
Now stand back and look at the car again. Does it stand up with pride? Does it feel good to you from all
angles? Walk around a bit and let the data you've obtained soak through to your subconscious. "Grok" the car.
If you're lucky, you'll do all this without the owner or salesman fast-talking you from the sidelines; if not, tell
58
Chapter 6 Procedure 2, Step I
him or her you want a little time alone with the car. Then take that important uninterrupted time. (By now the
seller is really going bananas because you haven't yet started the engine.) If the car draws you back, you're ready
for Procedure 2. Otherwise, find another Soob and start again.
PROCEDURE 2: TEST DRIVE
Condition: You've found a Subaru that merits further attention.
Tools and Materials: Time, Friend, a large parking lot, a deserted street, a bumpy road, a highway. Maybe
a tire gauge.
Remarks: Unless you have a better than average memory, have Friend read the procedure to you while you testdrive the car. If you try to read and drive at the same time you might wreck the car and have to buy it regardless. Have Friend make notes as you go along about things that don't work or don't match my descriptions.
Step 1. Pre-Test Drive Inspection.
Ask if you can drive the car. Of course you can. You aren't going to buy a car without driving it.
Put the key in the ignition and turn it to the ON position but don't start the engine. Lightly rock the steering
wheel back and forth. The wheel shouldn't move more than 1" before you feel resistance.
Check the warning lights on the dash. The oil and charge lights, the handbrake warning light, and the
seatbelt warning light on later models should all be ON. Try the turn signals and see if the indicators on the
dash flash at you. If the car is 4WD, push the clutch pedal down, then put the selector in the 4WD position and
see if the 4WD light on the dash comes on. Move the selector back to FWD (front wheel drive) and release the
clutch. Toot the horn. If any of the electrical things don't work, make a note of it. Don't drive the car if the oil
warning light didn't come on (unless there's an oil pressure gauge).
Press on the brake pedal. It should go down an inch or two and stop solidly. A soft, squishy feel means
the brakes need to be bled. Keep that in mind on your test drive. The pedal should stop at least 2 inches from
the floor. If it doesn't, the brakes are worn out or need an adjustment. We'll check them in Procedure 3.
If the car has a stick shift (standard transmission), press lightly on the clutch pedal. The pedal should go
down about 1/2 inch before you feel resistance. Now push the pedal to the floor. It should go down fairly easily without binding or sticking in places (signs of a nearly worn out clutch cable). Shift the transmission through
the gears. Does the gearshift lever feel firm? If it's mushy or sticky, problems may lie ahead.
If the car is an automatic, run through the gears and see if the lever slips into each notch properly. Shift
to PARK. Does the lever stay firmly in place?
Try the seat adjustment. Does it slide smoothly forward and backward. Does the seatback recline and return
properly? Have Friend try the passenger seat too.
Step 2. Check Cranking System and Throwout Bearing.
OK, here we go. Pull the handbrake ON, put the gearshift in Neutral or PARK, then turn the ignition key
to START and listen to the sound of the starter. It should sound smooth and energetic. If it lugs and drags, the
battery might be weak. A grinding, clunking sound means damage to the starter or the gears on the starter or
flywheel. When the engine starts, turn it off and restart it a few times. A weak battery will poop out after four
or five engine starts. Did you feel resistance when you pulled the handbrake on? If not, it may need adjustment
(easy), or a new cable (big hassle).
Start the engine again and let it run. Lightly press the accelerator pedal a few times to get a feel for the
engine. If the car is a manual shift, slowly press down and release the clutch pedal several times. A squeal or
growl means the clutch throwout bearing is worn out (a clutch job is in order). Release the handbrake, put the
car in gear, and head for the street.
Procedure 2, Step 3
How to Buy a Subaru 59
Step 3. Check Suspension and Steering.
Find a bumpy road and feel how the car rides. Does every little bump nearly jar your teeth out and/or does
the car continue bouncing after hitting each bump? If so, the shock absorbers are shot. Rear shocks are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace, but front shocks are expensive and a full day's work to replace. Hear
clanks or clunks? Exhaust system or suspension parts could be loose or worn out.
How does the steering feel? Solid and positive; or does the car wander aimlessly back and forth? If the car
wanders, pulls to one side, or is hard to steer, check the tire pressure (Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 2), then check
the steering again. If the tire pressure was OK, some of the suspension parts may be out of grease and/or worn
out.
Step 4. Parking Lot Tests.
Find a large parking lot where you can drive in circles. Slow down to about 5 mph and turn the wheel all
the way in one direction. Do you hear clicks, clanks or clunks? Make a few circles in the other direction while
listening. Noises while turning a tight circle that go away when you straighten the wheel indicate worn DOJs
or CVJs (joints) on the front axles. DOJs are expensive and a nasty job to replace. CVJs are very expensive and
a real hassle to replace.
Manual transmission models: While in the parking lot, make a few stop sign-type stops and starts. Does
the car jerk forward no matter how slowly you release the clutch pedal? If so, there's oil on the clutch plate, the
plate is nearly worn out, or there's a problem with the clutch cable. Do you hear a clunk when you take off or
shift gears? Signs of worn DOJs, CVJs, U-joints on 4WD models, or worn engine and/or transmission mounts.
Stop the car and pull the handbrake ON. With the car in gear, press on the accelerator pedal lightly while
slowly letting the clutch out. The engine should die quickly. If the engine keeps running with the clutch pedal
out, a clutch job is imminent. Do this test only once so what's left of the clutch disc won't be worn away. If the
car moves forward when you release the clutch pedal while the handbrake is on, the brakes are badly worn or
in desperate need of adjustment.
Does the manual transmission shift into gear easily and stay in gear? Let's check it a little more. Be sure
there are no cars behind you, then take off normally. Get up to about 15 mph in first gear and suddenly let up
on the accelerator. The car should stay in gear. Now get up to about 35 mph in second gear and do the same thing.
Find a place where you can back up. Put the car in reverse and get up to about 10 mph, then let up on the accelerator pedal. If the transmission jumped out of any gear, check that gear a couple more times to be sure. We'll
check third and fourth gears in Step 6.
Step 5. Street Tests.
You probably have a pretty good idea how well the brakes work (or don't work) by now. Let's test them a
little more. On a deserted street, get up to about 40 mph. Loosen your grip on the steering wheel so you can
feel if the car tries to pull to one side. Now apply the brakes as you normally would. Does the car keep going
straight? It should. If it veers to one side, the brake shoes or pads have brake fluid on them or are worn out. You
can find out which in Procedure 3. Now get up to about 40 mph again, warn passengers that you're going to stop
suddenly, then press hard on the brake pedal. The car should stop quickly without making grinding sounds or
veering to one side.
If the car has 4WD, get on a straight road with the front wheels pointed straight ahead, push in the clutch,
then shift the 4WD lever into the 4WD position. Does it shift smoothly? Except for the 4WD light on the dash,
you shouldn't be able to tell any difference in the way the car handles or sounds when the 4WD is engaged. If
the car has "dual range" 4WD, try both HIGH and LOW positions. The LOW position will make the engine
turn faster (it's geared lower). Can you shift out of 4WD easily? On some Soobs it's easiest to shift out of 4WD
while going at least 10 to 20 mph.
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Chapter 6 Procedure 2, Step 6
Step 6. Highway Tests.
Head for the open road. Cruise along for a few miles while getting a feel for how the car rides. Firm and
solid feeling with no vibrations? If it seems to float and wallow along the road, the car may have worn shock
absorbers. Does the steering wheel shimmy (vibrate and rock side to side)? The tires might just be out of bal
ance (no big deal) or some of the suspension parts might be worn out (potential bigger deal). We'll check it further
in Procedure 3. Subarus aren't blessed with an excess of power, but you should be able to pass cars without too
much difficulty. Does it struggle to reach passing speeds? Does the engine run smoothly or does it stumble and
sputter? We'll do further engine tests in Procedure 3.
Drive the car up a fairly steep or long hill with the gas pedal pushed to the floor. Release the pedal a little
and listen to the sound of the engine. If you hear a light knock-knock-knock, the connecting rod bearings are
worn. If you hear a deep knock-knock-knock, the main bearings are suspect. If you hear either sound (or both)
the engine is in urgent need of a rebuild. A very good reason not to buy the car. Other signs of worn rod or main
bearings: at idle the oil light flashes or the oil pressure gauge shows a very low reading (around 5-10 psi).
Manual transmission models: Get up to about 50 mph in third gear and release the gas pedal suddenly;
then go to 55 mph in fourth gear and release the pedal. Both times the transmission should stay in gear. If the
transmission jumps out of any gear, is difficult to shift into gear, or makes a whine or growl while cruising down
the road, some expensive transmission work is needed. If you like everything else about the car, call a transmission shop and see how much they'll charge to rebuild a Subaru transaxle. If the car stayed in all the gears,
shifts easily, and doesn't whine or growl, it's probably in good condition.
Automatic transmission models: When driving along at highway speeds, does the transmission shift easily
into the passing gear when you floor the gas pedal? If not, a transmission shop should be consulted before purchasing the car. An adjustment won't cost much, but the problem may go deeper.
Does the transmission shift into high gear when you reach about 40 mph on level ground? If not, a small
plastic governor gear on the side of the transmission might be worn out. The gear is relatively cheap and easy
to replace, but if it's been worn out for a long time the engine and transmission have probably suffered from
being over revved. The automatic transmission oil probably has a burned odor. Best to consult with a transmission shop.
Repeat any of the steps in this procedure that resulted in less than satisfactory performance, just to be sure.
On the way back to the owner's house or the car lot, think about the tests you've just put the car through. Can
you live with this car? Will it meet your needs? Did you detect any problems that need further evaluation by a
professional mechanic? Will you be willing to put additional time and money into it to get it into safe and reliable
shape? If you're still interested in the car, we'll check a few more things in Procedure 3, then try to determine
what the car is worth in Procedure 4.
PROCEDURE 3: FURTHER MECHANICAL TESTS
To do Procedure 3, you'll need the car for a couple more hours. Work it out with the owner/ salesperson.
When buying a used Subaru, always check the engine compression, the distributor, the front shocks, and also
the DOJs and CVJs if the parking lot test indicated they might be worn out. These are the things that are expensive
to repair or replace. Also use this procedure to check out other things that didn't seem right during the road test.
Condition: You've found a Soob that passed the first two procedures.
Tools and Materials: Spark plug wrench, compression tester, phillips screwdriver, regular screwdriver, large
screwdriver, flashlight, 12" -18" length of 3 /16 " (5mm) inside diameter vacuum hose, rags, Friend. A jack and
jackstands are required for some of the suspension and steering checks. The tools required for checking the
brakes are listed at the start of the appropriate procedures in Chapter 13: Brakes.
Procedure 3, Step 1
How to Buy a Subaru 61
Remark: If you don't have the tools, the time, or the inclination to do the following mechanical steps yourself,
I suggest you take the car to a garage that specializes in Subarus and have them do a "pre-purchase inspection"
on the car. It takes about an hour, and they'll charge you accordingly. They should check the engine compression,
distributor, brakes, suspension, steering, and exhaust system. They'll usually give you a written report of the
test results and an estimate of what it would cost to fix the things that need fixing. You'll be able to use the figures
in the bargaining process.
Step 1. Compression Test.
Always do a compression test before buying any used car. Chapter 7, Procedure 11, tells you how to remove
and inspect the spark plugs, how to do a compression test, and how to evaluate the results.
Step 2. Check Distributor.
Subaru distributors are very expensive, easy
to check, and frequently found to be worn out. It's
certainly worth the effort to check it before buying
the car.
On OHV models, Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step
4, tells you how to remove the air cleaner so you can
get to the distributor. While the air cleaner is off,
look at the air filter (Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step
3). A dirty, greasy air filter is an indication of poor
maintenance.
Chapter 7, Procedure 9, tells you how to check
the various parts in the distributor for wear.
Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5, tells you how to
install the air cleaner, if you removed it.
Step 3. Oil Leaks.
It's usually difficult to determine the origin of
oil leaks on the engine because the fan and wind
blowing through the engine compartment scatter the
oil everywhere. However, except for an oil leak
between the engine and transaxle (the rear main oil
seal), most engine oil leaks are fairly easy and cheap
to fix. If the only leak seems to be at the rear of the
engine, count on removing the engine to fix it. The clutch might also be ruined by the leaking oil.
It's easy to tell if and where the transaxle and the 4WD rear differential is leaking; look at both sides and
the front and rear of the transaxle, and the rear differential if it's a 4WD model. If it's slightly greasy and dirty
but dry looking, it's something to check regularly but doesn't need to be dealt with immediately. If you find a
wet, juicy leak, it will have to be fixed by Subaru or a garage so get an estimate.
Step 4. Check Suspension and Steering.
If the steering wheel shimmies while driving, has more than 1" of free play when parked, or the car handled or rode in a way that made you suspect the shocks are worn out, see Chapter 14, Procedure 1, to check the
suspension and steering systems.
Step 5. Check Exhaust System.
Have Friend start the engine and repeatedly rev it up while you crawl along the side of the car listening for
exhaust leaks. Hisses, ssshhhhs, and rumbles mean there's a leak. Exhaust system parts are expensive, so get
an estimate from Subaru or a muffler shop as to what it'll cost to replace any leaking or damaged parts you find.
62
Chapter 6 Procedure 3, Step 6
Step 6. Inspect Front Brake Pads.
From the test drive you have an idea of how the brakes work. If they didn't work too well, use this step to
determine what the problem is and how much it will cost to fix it. Since the front brakes do most of the work
and are the most expensive to replace, check them first. Then, if no problems are found up front, check the rear
brakes. You'll find the listing of tools necessary to check the brakes at the beginning of the appropriate procedure
in Chapter 13. Procedure 4 covers checking rear drum brakes, Procedure 6 for rear disc brakes, and Procedure
8 tells you how to check front disc brake pads and the discs.
If one of the brake fluid reservoirs had less fluid than the other or the brake pedal was spongy feeling and
had to be pumped before the brakes would work, check the calipers (disc brake models) and the top of the backing plate (drum brakes) located just inside the wheels for signs of wetness. Wetness at these places indicates
a wheel cylinder is leaking. If you find even slightly damp areas, the car is unsafe to drive until the brakes are
checked out completely. You could be in for a brake cylinder rebuild and replacement of brake pads or shoes.
Call Subaru or a garage to see how much the repair will cost. Use their "guesstimate" when negotiating with
the seller, then fix it yourself for less than half of that amount using the procedures in Chapter 13.
Some tire shops and garages will do free brake inspections. If they tell you the brakes are in good condition, they probably are. If they tell you the car needs a complete brake job, use their word to help reduce the
price of the car, then check them yourself before hiring someone to do it for you. With the right tools, brake jobs
on Soobs are pretty easy.
Step 7. Further Drivetrain Checks.
See Chapter 7, Procedure 2, Step 10, to check the accordion-type rubber boots on the DOJs and CVJs.
If any boots are torn or missing, get an estimate for replacing the DOJ or CVJ, because the unit is liable to be
worn out due to the dirt that has entered through the broken boot. A torn boot should be replaced pronto. Chapter
15, Procedure 3, Steps 1 and 2, tell you how to check the DOJs and/or CVJs for wear.
If driving in circles in the parking lot or the start-and-stop test caused noises or clunks, or if the clutch chattered, grabbed, or slipped, see the troubleshooting guide at the beginning of Chapter 15. It will direct you to
the proper procedure to diagnose the problem. Once you've figured out what's wrong, call Subaru or a garage
to see what the repairs will cost. (If it's something you can fix, you can save the cost of the labor.) At any rate,
consider these potential expenses in your decision-and in your bargaining position with the seller.
Step 8. Finish Up.
If there are any broken windows, dented fenders or bumpers, tears in the upholstery, and such, make a few
phone calls to see what it will cost to have the repairs made. These figures may also come in handy when it comes
time to haggle over the price.
Put back together everything you took apart then go for one more test drive. Think about the new information you discovered while doing the mechanical checks. Is this the car for you? If you still feel good about
the Sooby you're driving, it's time to move on to Procedure 4 to determine what the car is worth and what the
seller will take for it.
PROCEDURE 4: EVALUATION AND BARGAINING
Condition: You're still interested in the car!
Tools and Materials: Brain, poker face, pencil, paper, access to a National Automobile Dealers Association
(NADA) used car Blue Book. Money, if you decide to buy the car.
Procedure 4, Step 1
How to Buy a Subaru 63
Step 1. Determine the Car's Value.
Call a bank, your insurance agent, or a car salesman you trust and ask for the Blue Book value for the year
and model of the car you're interested in. Many will actually let you browse through the book itself. Don't rely
on the figure that the seller gives you; you want to check independent sources of information. The Blue Book
gives the current wholesale and retail prices for used cars in your area. Extras such as air conditioning and low
miles increase the value; high miles, poor body/interior condition, and tire wear lower a car's value. Three values
are given according to the condition: poor, good, or excellent. Having done Procedures 1-3, you should have
a good idea about which category this car belongs in.
Jot down the Blue Book figure for the car, then subtract dollars for damage and/or repairs that need to be
made. Use the estimates you got from Subaru and/or garages even if you plan to do the work yourself. Now
decide what you are prepared to pay. Carefully consider all the car's negative points as well as the things you
like about the car (sun roof, sound system, good vibes, fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror, etc.). Even if this
is the fourth car you've looked at and you really need wheels, don't rush! And you shouldn't feel obligated or
pressured because everyone has been so patient while you checked the car out. Ignore any impatient remarks
or restless pacing by the seller. You're now ready to bargain.
Step 2. Bargaining.
In this culture we're expected to haggle over real estate and car prices. Why not also in supermarkets, department stores, garages, and with the IRS? Anyway, put on your best poker face and start by offering the seller a
few hundred dollars less than the asking price and less, of course, than you may ultimately be willing to pay.
If the seller has a heart attack or spits in your face, you started a little low. Try again, a little higher this time.
The seller will probably make a counteroffer a little below the asking price or try some pressure tactic like saying,
"Several other people are interested in this car." On that point, you have to look sellers straight in the eye and
decide whether they're B. S. ing or not. Who knows, maybe somebody really will be coming over right after lunch
with cash in hand. Try another offer below the counteroffer. Try to stay below your estimated top figure. At some
point you'll get the feel for when the seller is at his/her bottom dollar. If it's within your budget, shake on it.
You've just bought a Subaru! Whew. OK, now look at Step 3. (If you can't get the seller down to your price range,
it's back to the classifieds.)
Step 3. Now What?
Before handing over any cash, except for maybe a small "earnest money" check to hold the car, make sure
the paperwork is in order. You need to know if there are any liens on the vehicle. Exchange your bread for a
signed copy of the legal title to the car. Most individual sellers probably won't accept your personal check, but
will take a cashier's check from your bank.
Now that the car is yours, you can take your time and thoroughly check the condition of everything on the
car and make any necessary repairs. You'll then cruise around in your new wheels with a warm feeling of confidence rather than that anxious uncertainty about whether or not you can really trust it. To become intimately
acquainted with your "new" Soob, do the 30,000-mile fluid change and the 12,000-mile tune-up in Chapter 7.
If the Soob you bought came with a warranty, have anything that breaks or goes bad fixed by the seller. You
could violate the warranty agreement if you attempt repairs yourself. Make sure you're clear about the expiration date (or mileage) so that you can have as many things as possible fixed under the warranty terms. Dealers
are generally not inclined to stretch them an extra day or an extra mile.
64
Chapter 6
CHAPTER 7
MAINTENANCE, LUBRICATION,
AND TUNE-UP
"Translating words into actions is easy when you do it one step at a time. You are not going to intellectualize
on these mechanical things, you are going to do them and that's different. The idea to grasp well here is one
of Return. You are going to return the car to a position of well-being by adjusting or replacing certain things
that have worn, been used up or been bounced out of alignment. As the I Ching says, `Perseverance Furthers,'
and that is your thing. Take your time and do each step completely before you even think about the next. "
-John Muir, How to Keep Your VW Alive
Welcome! You have arrived at the most important part of the show. This is the chapter that you will use more
than any other in the whole book. It's the one that will keep your Subaru alive! That's what I promised up front
and I know we can do it. Doing these maintenance procedures REGULARLY will keep your Soob in a high
level of general health as well as put you in touch with the condition of your Soob, let you know what it needs
right now, and what can wait for a while. (The "Telltale Graphic Monitor" on some later models will warn you
when things like a stoplight bulb is burned out or the brake fluid level is low, but don't rely solely on it to warn
you that something needs attention.) Often, while doing an oil change or tune-up, you'll notice something that
could cause problems if not fixed right away. Look for loose bolts, oil leaks, broken or frayed wires, uneven
wear on the tires, and other potential problems as you perform the maintenance procedures. If you notice something
amiss, turn to the appropriate chapter and follow the repair procedures to remedy the problem as soon as possible.
By staying in close touch with your Soob, you'll probably never have to call a tow truck on a rainy night.
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Chapter 7
A popular book in the early days of motoring, Diseases of the Gasolene Automobile and How to Cure Them,
had this advice on maintenance: "When you buy an automobile, there is formed an unwritten agreement between
you and the machine. You expect to receive certain benefits. It, likewise, exacts a penalty from you in direct proportion to your own demands." Thanks to modern chemicals and technology, the "penalty" isn't a direct proportion
anymore. In fact, contrary to popular belief, newer cars are much easier to maintain and tune-up than older models.
With the help of this chapter, an occasional penalty of a Saturday afternoon should give you years of carefree driving.
HOW TO USE THIS CHAPTER
Here's how I've organized this chapter for you. It goes by time and mileage. From the top: things you do
daily, things you do when you stop for gas, and things you do every 3,000 miles (or 3 months), every 6,000 miles
(or 6 months), every 12,000 miles (or yearly), and every 30,000 and 60,000 miles. Included are such key car
maintenance items as oil and filter change and tune-up. You will notice that from the 3,000-mile maintenance
on, there's more than one procedure to do at each interval, so allow yourself several hours to do it all, at least
the first time through. You may need to set aside most of a Saturday. But, as I said, this is the chapter that's going
to keep your Subaru alive-perhaps longer than you ever imagined.
RECORD YOUR EFFORTS
Record all the work you do on your car in the log at the end of this chapter. It's not easy to keep track of mileage,
dates, and the little things you want to keep an eye on, unless it's all in one place and you make a habit of keeping
the record current. When the time comes that you (may) want to sell your car, your log will very likely impress
the buyer and bring you top dollar for your well-maintained Soob.
WARRANTY
If your car is still under warranty, let the Subaru dealer do the covered repair work. You've already paid
for it in the purchase price of the car. If your car is less than five years old, and you don't have a copy of the warranty,
ask a Subaru dealer for one. You might get a pleasant surprise. I sure did when Subaru replaced, free of charge,
the worn-out distributor on a used Subaru I bought. This saved me $140 because it was covered under the "Extended
Emission Control Warranty" for Subarus sold in California-five years or 50,000 miles, regardless of how many
people had owned the car before me. It never hurts to check.
If a recurring problem isn't fixed to your satisfaction while the car is under warranty, don't wait until the
warranty runs out to write a complaint. Later, if something major goes wrong on your car because the original problem was never properly solved by the agency, your written record may help you get it fixed by Subaru
for no charge.
BODY MAINTENANCE
Take good care of your body and you'll enjoy life longer! The same applies to your Subaru. Wash it on top
and underneath when it gets dirty (weekly, if you live where they salt winter roads) and wax it a couple of times
a year. Waxing has been made pretty easy these days, thanks to modern chemicals and our lazy culture. Touch
up little nicks and scratches with touch-up paint from Subaru and get fender-bender accidents fixed before rust
has a chance to start. It's harder to get motivated to spend time and money on a mechanically sound car if it's
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
67
filthy and funky looking. A good maintenance record will help you keep track of things and really dazzle a prospective buyer when it's selling time for the old Soob. When that time comes, the better it looks, the more it's worth
and the easier it will be to sell.
WHY LUBRICATE?
Rub the palms of your hands together really fast for a few seconds and see what happens. Come on, don't
be shy. Your palms get hot very quickly, right? Now imagine your hands moving 100 to 1,000 times as fast. The
heat buildup would be unbearable. Now, if you're really into it, try rubbing your hands together with hand lotion,
or even motor oil, on them. Amazingly, there's hardly any heat generated. The same situation goes on in your
engine every time you start it. Pistons are moving up and down in cylinders, rods are spinning on the crankshaft,
the crank and cam are spinning in the crankcase, and so on, and so on. As long as there's a thin film of oil between
the moving parts, everything goes smoothly. If there's no oil, too little oil, or worn-out oil in the engine, those
rapidly moving metallic parts overheat, then it's metal against metal. Soon the metal gets so hot it distorts and
very quickly you have a warped, burned mess of Fried Subaru. Preventing heat and wear caused by friction is
the main purpose of the oil in your engine. This, my friends, is called lubrication.
MY RAP ON OIL
Oil is truly the lifeblood of your engine. It not only reduces friction and wear but also helps cool the engine,
helps form an airtight seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls, cleanses the internal parts, and counteracts the corrosive by-products of combustion. Therefore, the kind of oil used in your engine plays a major
role in how long it will last.
Like most everything else, oil is made up of molecules. The difference between oils is in the ability of the
oil molecules to form and continue to form a lubricating film under pressure and heat. The oil molecules that
lubricate the longest are the best and usually the most expensive.
OIL QUALITY
To help sort out the various qualities of oil, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has developed a code
that is stamped on the label of oils they have certified. Don't buy any oil that doesn't have the round API certification symbol on the lid or label. Here's how to read the code.
For some reason gasoline engines are designated "S" and diesel engines "C." The S and/or C is followed
by the performance level of the oil -A to F for gasoline engines, A to D for diesels. Simply stated, SF is the
best for gasoline engines and CD is best for diesels. Some oils are labeled both SF and CC or CD. That's the
kind you want, even if your owner's manual says "SE or better." So when you buy oil be sure it has API service SF/CC or SF/CD somewhere on the label or lid.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Most major brands are rated SF and are certified to exceed car manufacturer's specifications. However,
Consumer Reports found that almost one-fourth of the brands they tested didn't live up to their certification.
Some of the brands that did and thus are recommended by Consumer Reports are:
68
Chapter 7
VISCOSITY BRANDS
5W-30 Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Multi-Vis
IOW-30 Castrol GTX, Pennzoil P-Z-L Turbo Formula
and Exxon Uniflo
IOW-40 Castrol GTX
20W-50 None were tested.
To read more about the Consumer Reports tests and to see which brands of oil they recommend NOT using,
hotfoot it down to your friendly neighborhood library and look up the February 1987 issue. In that same issue,
they also report tests on oil filters, oil filter wrenches, and tire pressure gauges.
Oil companies use different base oils and additives, so it's best not to mix oils of different brands. If you
have to mix brands in an emergency, change the oil and filter as soon as possible. If you choose a brand of oil
that is readily available, or carry a spare can or two, you will probably never have to mix brands.
By far the cheapest way to buy oil is to pick it up when it's on sale by the case. Some hardware stores, discount
department stores, even some drugstores, sell oil and filters at about half the price that gas stations and auto parts
stores charge. It's the same oil, so go for the lowest price you can find for the brand you prefer.
I buy oil that comes in plastic screw-top containers because it's easier to store partial cans of oil without
making a mess, and you can pour the old oil into the containers and haul it to the recycling center.
OIL ADDITIVES AND SUPPLEMENTS
Detergents are put in oils to dissolve burned molecules of oil, carbon, and other grunge that forms naturally inside the engine. As the oil is pumped through the engine, some of these contaminants in the oil are trapped
in the oil filter while others stay in suspension until the oil and filter are changed. Most modern oils also have
additives to retard corrosion and neutralize acids. Seems engines get indigestion too.
When you buy a quart of high grade oil, about 15 percent of it is additives, carefully blended so the oil will
meet the standards of the API and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Don't waste your money buying oil supplements that are probably already included. In fact, adding supplements might upset the balance
of ingredients in the oil and make it less efficient.
If you just bought a used Subaru, find out what kind of oil the previous owner used. If the car came off a
lot, they might give you the prior owner's name, or you might find the brand of oil used written on a door sticker
or in the Owner's Manual. If a detergent oil was used, you can switch to another brand of detergent oil, if you
change both the oil and the filter. Non-detergent oil is rarely used these days, but if that's what is in the engine
now, you should wait until after a rebuild to change to a detergent oil. The reason: non-detergent oil doesn't dissolve
contaminants as they form. The crud just sticks to the parts on the inside of the engine. Changing to a detergent oil would suddenly get all that stuff in suspension and overload the oil with contaminants. When the mess
gets pumped through the engine, it could plug oil passages and/or damage bearing surfaces. You can change
from detergent oil to non-detergent without ill effect, but don't-there's no reason to.
OTHER OILS
Synthetic, "man-made" oils are supposed to extend the period between oil changes to about 15,000 miles,
or one year. Sounds good, but even if the oil molecules maintain their lubricating properties for that long, there's
bound to be a buildup of contaminants in the oil.
I've tried synthetic oils and enjoyed the freedom from oil changes. But I found that without the regular oil
change every 3-6,000 miles, the overall maintenance of the car suffered. Things I normally do at oil change time
were neglected for too long. Also, I discovered that places where there were very slight oil leaks tended to leak
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
69
a lot more with synthetic oil. At $5 a can, the oil for even a slight oil leak gets very expensive. The cost of the
five quarts of synthetic oil was very close to the cost of a year's supply of regular oil so I didn't save much money.
If you decide to use synthetic oil, use one that's readily available, carry a spare can or two, and promise
your Soob you won't forget to do the regular maintenance procedures on schedule. Don't use synthetic oil just
after an engine rebuild-the rings won't "seat" properly.
Also available are the "slippery" oils with graphite. These oils are more expensive than regular oil and don't
last as long as synthetic, but it is are claimed they reduce engine wear. If you abuse your engine, it'll need all
the help it can get, and slippery oil might be helpful. However, I don't recommend using an oil with graphite
in an old engine that's burning a lot of oil because the graphite is a conductor and it might foul the spark plugs
sooner than a regular oil. Again, don't use slippery oil just after an engine rebuild.
AVOID any oil labeled "Recycled," "Remanufactured," or "New oil blended with 100 percent recycled
oil:' The ecological idea is noble, but in reality oil molecules wear out, especially when subjected to high engine
temperatures. Recycling or blending can never restore the molecules' lost ability to lubricate properly.
OIL FILTERS
Consumer Reports rated Fram filters best for
filtering harmful grit out of the oil. Fram filters cost
about a dollar more than most other filters, but they
are probably worth it. Other filters that were slightly
less efficient in the filtering test but that were comparable in their grit-holding capacity before becoming clogged were Lee, Purolator, and Sears.
VISCOSITY
Viscosity is a measure of how easily a liquid
flows. Oil with high viscosity, such as S.A.E. 50, is
thicker and doesn't flow as easily in cold weather.
In extreme cold, oil with a high viscosity can get so
sluggish it prevents the starter from turning the engine
over fast enough to start. On the other hand, high viscosity oil maintains its lubricating ability at high temperatures, whereas low viscosity oil becomes too
"thin" to do an adequate job as a result of the heat.
If you live in a climate where there are extreme
changes in temperature, you want an oil that is thin
enough to let you start the engine easily yet thick
enough to lubricate at high temperatures. Multiviscosity oils, such as 1OW-30 and IOW-40, are ideal
for these conditions. IOW-30 is the best grade to use
except in very hot climates, where IOW-40 would
be best.
If you happen to live where the temperature falls
below -13°F (-25°C) and it's difficult to start the
engine when it's cold, you can use 5W-30 oil if its
service rating is SE A word of caution, however. This
oil is not recommended for sustained high speed driving or for use in Turbo models, so change to one of
the oils in the chart as soon as the weather warms up
to a balmy 0°F (-18°C).
TRANSMISSION AND DIFFERENTIAL OIL
(Gear Oil)
Gear oil for manual transmissions and differentials is thick and heavy and isn't exposed to the byproducts (contamination) of combustion like engine
oil is. Unless a seal breaks and lets contamination
in, gear oil stays pretty clean. In fact, the latest Subaru
factory maintenance schedules recommend changing
the gear oil only if the vehicle has been used under
severe conditions!
I use Castrol Hypoy C 80W/90 gear oil because
it's a good multi-viscosity oil and it comes in a handy
plastic container with a pour spout built into the lid.
The pour spout eliminates the need for a funnel or
suction-type filler for getting the oil into the transmission, differential, or rear differential on 4WD
models. It's certified to meet the standards for Mack
trucks, so I feel safe using it in my Brat. If you have
a limited slip differential (LSD), you must use LSD
oil in the differential. No, it isn't hallucinogenic!
Also available through off-road specialty shops
is a synthetic gear oil called HPS. It is claimed to
make transmissions, differentials, and transfer cases
last longer and shift more smoothly. It costs about
$12 a can. If you prefer to drive on goat trails and
creek beds instead of roads, your Soob needs all the
help it can get, so the super-stuff might be a worthwhile investment.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID (ATF)
Like the gear oils, ATF doesn't get contaminated
by combustion. But since it's subjected to friction and
high temperatures, it should be changed at least every
30,000 miles. As with blood types there are different
types of ATE Some of these are Type A, Type F,
Dexron, and Dexron II. '75-'84 Subarus are designed
to use the Dexron type and '85 and newer models use
Dexron II. Also like blood, other types shouldn't be
mixed with the Dexron. Fortunately, Dexron is the
most common type. Some brands recommended by
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Chapter 7
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
71
Subaru are Texaco Texamatic 6673 Dexron, Castrol TQ Dexron, Mobil ATF 220 and Shell ATF Dexron. If
you have to add more than a quart every 6,000 miles, a seal or gasket is leaking and should be fixed right away.
Power steering units also use the same kind of automatic transmission fluid.
ANTIFREEZE
Also vital to your engine's health is antifreeze. It keeps the water in the cooling system from freezing and
breaking the radiator and/or engine. A mixture of antifreeze and water (called coolant) raises the boiling point
of water so that even a very hot engine won't boil away its cooling fluid. Most antifreeze also contains rust and
corrosion inhibitors that help keep the innards of the radiator and coolant passages in the engine clean and efficient.
Be sure to use an antifreeze with an ethylene glycol base in your Subaru's aluminum engine. Phosphorous-based
antifreeze can cause the aluminum to corrode.
Antifreeze should be changed at least every other year. I recommend replacing it every year. If you live in
a climate with severe temperature changes, fresh antifreeze every fall gives you assured protection and peace
of mind.
If you live in a very cold climate, either buy an antifreeze tester (cheap ones from Prestone and discount
stores will do) or regularly have a service station check the freeze protection level of the coolant. Add more antifreeze
if necessary. It's a good idea, although not always possible, to use distilled water when you fill or add water to
the radiator. Distilled water doesn't have minerals or other impurities that can form deposits in the water passages.
Using plain water with no antifreeze allows corrosion and rust to form in the water passages of the radiator and engine. The buildup restricts the flow of coolant and thus reduces the efficiency of the cooling system.
Water is more efficient than antifreeze for cooling the engine, so using straight antifreeze isn't as effective
as a mixture of the two. The proper mixture is at least 50 percent antifreeze to 50 percent water.
Antifreeze can be reused after you've drained it from the engine and radiator. It must be kept clean though,
so straining it through a clean rag before pouring it back in is important. In Chapter 16, Capt. Quirk and Mr.
Schpock will tell you more about the cooling system in your Starship Subaru.
TIRES and TIRE PRESSURE
If you're planning to keep your Soob for a long time, buying radial tires will save you money in the long
run even though they're initially more expensive. Radials last longer, give you better gas mileage, and a better grip on the road so they're safer than bias ply tires. The only car I have with bias ply tires is my old '53 Chevy
Bel Air that only gets driven on special occasions (like to the drive-in movies). I would have gotten radials for
it but I couldn't find any with wide whitewalls.
I put over 60,000 miles on my last set of Michelin ZX radial tires, and they still had a lot of miles left on
them when I sold the car. How did I do it? I kept them inflated properly, rotated them regularly, and kept the
suspension and steering systems in good condition.
I consider the tire pressure listed in the Subaru Owner's Manual to be the minimum allowable pressure for
radial tires. You'll find the maximum allowable pressure stamped on the sidewalls of whatever brand of tires
you have. Running your tires at the minimum pressure will give you a softer, smoother ride, but inflating them
to the maximum pressure or near the max will give you increased tire life, better gas mileage, and better handling. This is especially true of the P radials (the letter P will be stamped on the tire just before the tire size).
You can experiment with the pressure between the minimum and maximum pressures until you find the right
pressure for you. Just be sure both front tires and both rear tires are inflated to the same pressure. Inflate bias
ply (non-radial) tires to the pressures in the chart in the Owner's Manual.
Rotate the tires at least every 6,000 miles. The more often the tires are rotated, the more evenly they will
wear and the longer they will last. If the tires start wearing in funny patterns, go through Procedure 1 in Chapter
14 to check for worn steering and suspension parts that could be responsible for the uneven wear.
Have the front end alignment checked and the tires balanced by an alignment shop at least every two years.
Do it more often if you do a lot of off-road driving or have a tendency to bash into curbs on the way home from
parties.
Those of you who enjoy driving your Soob without the benefit of a road under it might want tubes in your
tires so that rocks that find their way between the tire and rim won't cause deflated tires and egos. Be sure to
use radial tubes with radial tires.
BUYING TIRES
The kind of tires and wheels you get for your Subaru should be determined by the kind of driving you want
to do, not by how good they look, which I think is how most people choose tires. (No matter what those flashy
white letters say, they won't do a thing for performance.)
All tires are somewhat of a compromise because none of them work "the best" in all situations. Street radials
provide excellent traction and cornering on hard surface roads but just don't have the "bite" needed when the
surface is soft. Combination tires are middle of the road, so to speak, and give acceptable performance on hard
surfaces, as well as added traction when you leave the pavement. Genuine off-road tires for soft surfaces have
large, aggressive treads with widely spaced tread lugs so they can get a good bite on whatever is available. On
the highway, however, the off-road tires are noisy, rough riding, and wear out quickly. Fortunately, there is a
wide variety of all three types available.
Here's what all those mysterious letters and numbers on tire sidewalls mean: Tires used to say 2 ply, 4 ply,
etc. on the side, which told you how many plies (layers) of material were built into the carcass of the tire. Tires
are now rated by "load range." Here's what the different load ranges mean: A=2 ply, B=4 ply, C=6 ply, D=8
ply, E=10 ply and F=12 ply. The higher the load range, the stronger the tire. Also, the higher the load range,
the stiffer the tire, so heavy duty tires make for a rougher ride.
The government has developed a Tire Grading System (TGS) that is put on the sticker on new tires to help
compare the countless brands and types of tires. Here's how to use the TGS:
Treadwear: This number gives you an idea of how much mileage to expect from a tire. The numbers are
given in tens from 40 to 230. Unfortunately, the numbers don't relate to how many thousands of miles the tire
will last; they are relative numbers, meaning that a tire graded 150 should give you 50 percent more mileage
than one graded 100, and so on. But, as the old saying goes, the actual mileage you get will depend on how you
drive and where you live.
Traction: Traction is graded A, B, or C and indicates the tire's ability to stop on wet surfaces. Tires graded
A will stop on a wet road in the shortest distance. Tires rated C have poor traction, not the kind you want.
Temperature Resistance: This is also graded A, B, or C. Tires rated A run cooler than those rated B or C
and therefore are less likely to blowout or have tread separation if driven over long distances at highway speeds.
Here are some more clues so you'll know what the letters and numbers on tires mean. A tire with 195 /70SR- 13,
for example, is 195mm at its widest part (the cross section, not necessarily the tread width). The 70 is the tire's
"aspect ratio," which means the tire's height is 70 percent of the width (thus it's a 70 series tire). The S means
the tire is able to sustain a given high speed. No letter before the R is lowest, S is higher, H is higher still, and
V is highest. The R stands for radial. And finally, the 13 stands for the diameter of the wheel in inches. Whew.
So the tire size is designated by a combination of inches, millimeters, percentage, and some arbitrary letters.
No wonder buying tires is a chore.
If you change to taller or wider tires, you'll probably want to change wheels. And there are hundreds of different
styles to choose from. Three things must be considered when buying wheels: compatibility with tubeless tires,
the wheel width, and the amount of offset (if any).
Compatibility: Any wheels will work if you plan to use tubes and tube-type tires. If you plan to use tubeless tires, be sure the wheels are made for tubeless tires.
Width: Generally speaking, the wheel width should be approximately two inches narrower than the crosssection of the tire. Be sure to ask the dealer if the tires and wheels you select are compatible.
72 Chapter 7
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
73
Offset: Wheel offset refers to the relationship of the wheel center to the wheel rim. Negative offset means
the rim of the wheel is moved inward making the car's track narrower. Positive offset means the rim is farther
outward, giving,the car a wider track, which will make the car corner better. Wheels with too much negative
offset will probably rub on the brake calipers and/or tie rod ends. Too much positive offset can cause the tires
to rub on the fenders and create greater strain on the wheel bearings and hubs.
MAINTENANCE SCHEDULES
How often should maintenance routines be done on your Subaru? Ask ten different mechanics and you'll
probably get ten different answers ranging from a daily 30-minute ritual to "wait until something breaks, then
fix it." Well, you won't find me wasting half an hour every day checking out my car, but you won't find me at
the side of the road with my thumb out because I waited for something to break either. Preventive maintenance
is the key.
When it comes to maintenance schedules, it seems like all car manufacturers are trying to outdo each other
in the length of time between maintenance services. And since they are also extending the length of warranties,
they must be convinced that modern lubricants and materials are capable of enduring longer periods between
inspections and fluid changes. Here are my thoughts about the current recommended maintenance schedules.
How you use (or abuse) your car greatly affects how often the maintenance procedures should be performed.
I'm very skeptical about regularly going 7,500 miles between oil changes. But I am satisfied that under normal driving conditions, good quality motor oil can withstand 6,000 miles between changes. If you drive your
Soob under the severe conditions listed below, the oil and filter should be changed at least every 3,000 miles,
or as soon as the oil starts looking dark and dirty.
The factory workshop manuals for '85 and newer models now recommend inspecting the front brake pads,
brake lines, handbrake adjustment, clutch and hill-holder system, and the steering and suspension systems every
15,000 miles or 15 months. This sounds reasonable to me, except why not get on a yearly schedule and do these
procedures every 12 months?
For 1985 and newer models, the factory manuals recommend that all engine tune-up procedures be performed at 30,000 miles or 30 months under normal driving conditions. I'm sure that materials and workmanship
have improved, but I still recommend doing these basic service procedures at least every 12,000 miles or once
a year. By spending one day a year inspecting the condition of critical parts and systems on your Soob, it will
probably last longer, and you'll greatly reduce the chances of a breakdown on the highway. In other words, you'll
be more in touch with your transportation. The choice is yours. If you decide to follow the factory schedule for
maintenance service (it's in the Owner's Manual that's stashed in your glove box), you can use this manual to
perform the recommended maintenance procedures, and you'll still be covered by their warranty.
At the start of this chapter I mentioned that it's easier to do tune-ups on the newer cars. Here's what I meant.
With the advent of electronic "breakerless" distributors on late '70s models, and the introduction of the LED
distributors on some '80s models, the most common cause of engine problems-the breaker points-was elimi
nated. Since there is essentially no contact between the parts in the new distributors, there's nothing to wear
out or change that would cause the engine's performance to decrease. Checking the distributor now simply entails
inspecting the distributor cap and rotor, a task that's much easier to do than programing a VCR or microwave
oven. Since things in the distributor don't change, the ignition timing doesn't change. So if the engine seems
to be running right, there's no need to check the timing on the later models. And the factory-sealed carburetors and fuel injection systems that were introduced in the early '80s have eliminated idle speed and mixture
adjustments.
So what's left to do? Basically, simple things like changing the oil (still as messy, but as easy as it's always
been), replacing the spark plugs (very similar to replacing the light bulb in a lamp), and checking things like
wiper blades, brake lights, and vital fluids. So you see, newer cars really are easier to "work" on.
I've listed Minor and Major Massage procedures to do every 6,000 and 12,000 miles. Massaging your Subaru
doesn't involve taking it to Madame Noogie's Massage Parlor. Massage means going over the whole car, checking
74
Chapter 7
things, lubricating things and looking for things that are broken, worn out, or that will be worn out before the
next massage.
Here is my recommended schedule for performing the tune-up and massages.
SEVERE DRIVING CONDITIONS
The following conditions are considered to be severe driving conditions:
1. Driving up and down mountain trails, on dusty, muddy, or sandy roads.
2. Pulling trailers.
3. Making frequent short trips of less than five miles.
4. If you live where there are extreme temperatures (above 90°F or below 0°F).
5. Driving on roads that get salted when it snows.
If you frequently drive under these conditions, you should do Procedures 1 through 4 every 3,000 miles
to replace the engine oil and oil filter, and to give your hard working Soob a minor massage. At 30,000 miles
you should do Procedure 15 to replace the gear oil in the transmission and differerential, and the ATF if you
have an automatic transmission. Remember, you can't change your oil too often!
If your car develops engine problems, run through the tune-up procedures in this chapter even if it hasn't
been 12,000 miles since the last tune-up.
NORMAL DRIVING CONDITIONS
Get in the habit of doing Procedures 1 and 2 to familiarize yourself with your particular Soob's characteristics,
idiosyncrasies, and appetite for the various vital fluids like oil, coolant, and brake fluid.
Under normal driving conditions follow the schedule listed below:
Procedure 1, Step 1
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 75
Make it easy on yourself. Get on a schedule so you do the 6- and 12-month maintenance in the spring and
fall while the weather is nice. My garage isn't heated or air conditioned. Is yours?
OK, enough verbiage-let's get on with the Procedures! Please read through each procedure before doing
it so you'll understand what you are going to do and know what tools and materials are needed. Also, arrange
for transportation in case you have to make an emergency run to the parts store. Have fun!
PROCEDURE 1: DAILY SENSORY CHECK
Condition: You want to stay in touch with your transportation so it will live a full healthy life.
Tools and Materials: Eyes, ears, nose, skin, brain.
Step 1. Use Your Senses.
Look for oil spots on the driveway or garage floor, know how your tires look when properly inflated, listen for new sounds when you start the engine and while you're driving. Be aware of different smells that usually
indicate something is overheating, and use the seat of your pants and your hands on the steering wheel to notice
new or different vibrations.
Make these simple sensory observations a habit whenever you're in or near your car. Mechanical problems are like diseases-the sooner they're detected, the easier and cheaper they are to fix.
If you've found anything that looks, sounds, or smells suspicious, better plan to deal with it pronto.
PROCEDURE 2: GAS STOP FLUID LEVEL CHECKS
Checking vital fluid levels when you stop to fill up on gas should be a regular habit. You might also find
it useful to do these fluid checks at other times-like when you suspect you might be low on one or more of them.
Condition: Gas gauge is on or near empty; OR you believe OPEC needs another hit of your money.
Tools and Materials: Money, a clean rag or paper towel. You may need motor oil, Dexron or Dexron II ATF
(automatic transmission fluid), a funnel, gear oil, DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, radiator coolant (water/antifreeze),
windshield washer fluid.
Remark: You don't have to carry engine oil, gear oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and antifreeze to the station
every time you go for a fill-up. Check the levels at home before you go or add the needed vital fluids when you
get home. The important thing is to check them regularly and the gas stop interval will help you remember.
If you notice oil spots on the garage floor or driveway, check all fluid levels immediately-even if you still
have a half tank of gas. If you have to add oil, fluid, or antifreeze at every fill-up or between fill-ups, a seal or
gasket is probably leaking and should be fixed right away. Chapter 9: Troubleshooting will help you identify
the source of the leak; then turn to the appropriate procedure to repair it.
Another Remark: There are three good reasons for filling the tank when you get gas instead of just adding a
few gallons: (1) Water condenses in the empty part of the tank when the air temperature changes. The water can
rust the tank and dilute the gasoline, causing the engine to run poorly. The fuller the tank, the less area there
is for condensation. (2) Fill-ups provide a sensible interval, 200-300 miles, for checking things under the hood.
(3) You can keep track of your gas mileage. Keeping track of gas mileage lets you know if something mechanical
has changed, causing the gas mileage to get (usually) worse.
Step 1. Check Engine Oil Level.
Park on level ground with the engine OFF. Open the hood and prop it, then go to the right side of the car.
The engine dipstick is at the top right rear of the engine on OHV models and at the top right front on OHC models.
76
Chapter 7 Procedure 2, Step 1
The differential and manual transmission dipstick is on the right side about 8" behind and slightly lower
than the engine. Don't get the engine and differential dipsticks mixed up. (A friend of mine did and added three
quarts of oil too many to the engine while checking the mysteriously unchanging differential dipstick!) On some
'83 and '84 models with lots of accessories, like cruise control and power steering, you might need to remove
the spare tire to locate the engine dipstick the first time. (It's kind of hidden below a black plastic thing.) Once
you know for sure where it is, you can fish it out without removing the tire. Painting the end of the dipstick a
bright color makes it easier to spot.
Dipsticks have a wire ring on the top for you to pull on. ('83-'84 Turbo models have a T-shaped rubber
end.) Pull the dipstick out of its tube and wipe off the bottom end with a clean rag or paper towel. (A pant leg
will do if you're wearing funky pants.) Stick the dipstick back into the dipstick tube as far as it will go. On the
way in, don't brush it against anything dirty or you'll insert unneeded crud into your engine.
Pull out the dipstick again. The oil on the stick should stop somewhere between the two little holes in the
dipstick. If the oil level is on or below the bottom hole, add one U.S. quart (0.95 liters) of oil. Use the same kind
of oil you already have in your engine. After adding the quart, check the level again.
If the oil level is halfway between the two holes, add 'h quart and check the level again. Be careful not to
add too much. If the oil is almost to the top hole, don't add any oil.
Oil is added to the engine through an oil filler neck that sticks up from the left rear side of the engine on
OHV models and on the right front corner of the engine on OHC models. The oil neck has a screw-type cap
that unscrews counterclockwise. Check the gasket that sits inside of the cap for cracks. Buy a new gasket if it's
broken.
Milky-looking goo inside the oil filler cap means
there's some water inside the engine where it
shouldn't be. Water condenses inside the engine
because of temperature changes. If you drive five to
ten continuous miles every day or so, the moisture
boils off and won't cause corrosion problems. Just
driving around the block once or twice a week doesn't
allow the engine to warm up enough to boil the water
out of the oil. If you notice the milky goo even after
a long drive, you should look in Chapter 9 for other
symptoms of a leaking head gasket.
Step 2. Check Manual Transmission and
Differential Oil.
The dipstick you'll find about 8" behind the right
side of the engine is for checking the transmission
and differential oil in cars with manual shift trans
missions. It's only the differential oil dipstick for cars
with automatic transmissions. Step 3 tells you how
to check the automatic transmission fluid level.
Be sure you're parked on level ground and the
engine is OFF. On some late models you'll need to
remove the spare tire in order to reach the dipstick.
Pull out the dipstick and wipe it off. Stick it back into
Procedure 2, Step 2
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 77
the tube all the way, then pull it out and look at it. The
dipstick has lines on it and an F, indicating the full
level. A heavy line about eight lines down from the
F line indicates '/2 quart low. On '86 and newer Turbo
models there are two holes near the bottom end of
the stick. The top hole is the full mark and the lower
hole is the '/2 quart mark. If the oil level is below the
heavy line or lower hole, add '/2 quart of gear oil
through the differential dipstick tube. You'll have to
use a funnel to get the oil in if you're not using oil that
comes in a pointed container (like Castrol). Check
the oil level again. Add oil until the level is between
the F mark and the heavy line. Be careful not to overfill it. Check the chart to see what grade oil to use.
If you don't have an automatic transmission, go
on to Step 4.
Step 3. Check Automatic Tiransmission Fluid
(ATF).
For this check, the transmission must be warmed
up. Driving about five to ten miles will do it. Park
on level ground, leave the engine running (or start
it if you turned it off to do Steps 1 and 2). Put the
handbrake ON and the gearshift lever in the PARK
position. Find the transmission fluid dipstick
located on the driver's side in the rear of the engine
compartment near the brake master cylinder. Pull
out the dipstick, wipe it off, put it all the way back
in, then pull it out again. The level should be between
the two little holes in the dipstick. The difference
between the two holes is a little less than '/2 quart.
If the fluid is low, use a funnel to add a little Dexron
('75-'84 models), or Dexron Il ('85 and newer
models) transmission fluid through the dipstick tube,
then check the level again. Be careful not to overfill
it because too much fluid could cause a transmission
seal to break. After checking for the last time, you
can turn the engine OFF.
Step 4. Check Power Steering Fluid.
If you don't have power steering, go on to Step
5. Power steering fluid should be checked after the
car has been driven a few miles to warm up the fluid.
Check the level with the engine OFF. The fluid
reservoir is a bulbous-looking black thing. On OHV
models (except 'Iltrbos), it's on the right side of the
engine, just behind the air cleaner. On '83-'84 Turbo
models and OHC models, it's at the top front and center of the engine. Unscrew the reservoir cap counterclockwise. The dipstick is attached to the bottom
78
Chapter 7 Procedure 2, Step 3
of the cap. Wipe the little dipstick off and screw the cap back on. Remove it again and check the level. The fluid
level should be somewhere on the lines above the arrow that points up from the word HOT. If the level is low,
add about a teaspoon of Dexron II ATF. Then check the level again. Be careful not to overfill it.
Step 5. Check Drive Belt (fan belt, V-belt).
CAUTION: Be sure the engine is turned off!
A drive belt looks like a long piece of black licorice wrapped around some pulleys on the front of the engine.
Soobs with air conditioning (A/C), and all '83-'84 Turbo models will have two drive belts. OHV non - Turbo
models with A/C and power steering (P/S) will have three drive belts. OHC models will have one or two drive
belts.
Put a finger on each drive belt about halfway between two of the pulleys and give a little push. If the belt
moves more than '/z" inward, it needs to be tightened. Replace the drive belt with a new one if it has cracks or
frayed edges. Check both sides of all the belts. Drive belt too loose or worn out? See Chapter 10, Procedure 3,
Step 1 to adjust or replace the drive belt(s).
Step 6. Check Brake Fluid Level.
Sticking out on the rear wall of the engine compartment, right in front of the driver's seat, is the brake master
cylinder. ' 75-'82 Soobs have two small white plastic brake fluid reservoirs mounted on top of the master cylinder.
On '83 and newer models, there is a single white plastic reservoir a little larger than a fist. Look for two lines
on the side of the plastic reservoir(s) marked MIN and MAX. The brake fluid level in the container(s) should
be somewhere between the two lines. You can see the fluid through the semi-translucent plastic.
If the level is low, wipe off the reservoir cap before removing it, then add fresh DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid
until the level reaches the MAX line. Pour the fluid carefully and wipe up any drips-it's corrosive to paint.
Check both reservoirs if you have two. Be careful not to get dirt in the reservoirs-dirt plays hell with the
little rubber seals inside. If brake fluid has to be added more than every six months, you probably have a leak
in the hydraulic brake system. Chapter 13 covers brake diagnosis and repair.
Step 7. Check Windshield Washer Fluid.
Tucked somewhere in the engine compartment
you will find a large (1-2 quart) white plastic container for the windshield washer fluid. On earlier
OHV models, it will be in the rear corner on the
driver's side, and on later OHV models, it's toward
the rear on the passenger's side. On OHC models,
it's tucked in the right front corner and you have to
peek through a vertical, oval slot in the body to check
the level. Don't confuse it with the smaller brake fluid
reservoirs (look at the illustrations). Add windshield
washer fluid and/or water when more than 1/a of the
fluid is gone. Don't add plain water if you live where
there's a chance it might freeze. Don't use engine
antifreeze either because it will damage the car's
paint.
Procedure 2, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 79
80
Chapter 7 Procedure 2, Step 8
Step 8. Check Radiator Coolant Level.
CAUTION: DON'T remove the radiator cap if the
engine is hot. Wait until the engine has been off at
least 5 minutes, then proceed with caution.
OHV models: The radiator is that big, black,
flat, square thing in front of the engine. The radiator cap is on the top left (driver's) side of the radi
ator. If your radiator cap has a black button on it, push
on the button before unscrewing the cap. Or, if your
cap has a pop-top looking lever on it, lift the lever
before you unscrew the cap. The button and lever are
there to release pressure inside the cooling system
before the cap is removed. No button or lever? Put
a rag over the radiator cap before removing it.
To remove the cap, push down on it while you
slowly unscrew the cap counterclockwise. If you hear
a hissing sound, stop turning the cap until the hiss
goes away, then slowly turn the cap a little more. The
hiss means there's pressure inside the radiator and
if you remove the cap suddenly, boiling hot coolant
will shoot out of the radiator. Scary!
Once you have the cap off, look down inside the
radiator. There's a little horizontal metal plate about
2" below the opening. If the fluid level is below the
plate, add coolant (water and antifreeze) until the fluid
level reaches the plate. If the fluid level is up to the
plate, the level is OK.
OHC models: A white translucent coolant
reservoir tank is mounted to the inside of the left
front fender. A rubber hose connects the tank to the
radiator, just below the radiator cap.
To check the coolant level, locate two lines on
the sides of the tank. The FULL line is in about the
middle of the tank and the LOW line is near the bot
tom. You should be able to see the fluid level through
the plastic. If the fluid level is between the two lines,
don't add any coolant. If the level is below the LOW
line and there's still some fluid in the tank, add coolant
until it reaches the full line.
If the tank is empty, wait until the engine is cool,
then follow the directions for OHV models above to
carefully remove the radiator cap and check the cool
ant level in the radiator. Fill the radiator completely
with coolant, install the radiator cap, then add coolant
to the reservoir tank until it reaches the FULL line.
EVERYONE: If you have to add coolant at every gas
stop check, there must be a leak in the cooling
Procedure 2, Step 9
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 81
system somewhere. Chapter 16 covers cooling system diagnosis and repair. It also has my rap on the ingredients
of a good coolant.
Step 9. Check Tires.
Eyeball the tires. Check them with your tire gauge if they look low (Procedure 4, Step 2). If you have to
add air to one or more tires at every fill-up, you have a slow leak that could become a fast one very suddenly.
Get it fixed right away.
Step 10. Check DOJ and CVJ Boots.
Here's a five-second check that could save you hundreds of dollars! If a DOJ or CVJ boot breaks, it's no
big deal as long as it gets replaced right away. A new boot, grease, and clamps cost around $20. However, if
you don't notice that a boot has broken and you drive a few hundred miles, the grease gets slung out of the joint
and dirt and crud gets in, which wears the joint out quickly. New DOJs cost around $100 and new CVJ/axle assemblies are almost $200 now. So it pays to check the boots every few hundred miles.
On most models you can see the black wavy rubber DOJ boots by looking down through the rear of the
engine compartment. To check the CVJ boots and DOJ boots that you can't see from the top, kneel down in front
of the car and look for the black rubber CVJ boots at the inside center of each wheel and DOJ boots at the inboard
ends of the front axles. If any boots are torn, Chapter 15, Procedures 4, 5, and 6 tell you how to replace them.
OK, that finishes the gas stop checks. Make a note to take care of anything you weren't able to deal with. After
you've done these checks a few times, they'll only take a couple of minutes.
PROCEDURE 3: OIL AND FILTER CHANGE
This is the most basic of maintenance procedures and ESSENTIAL to long life for your vehicle. If this is
your first time through, you may find it a little messy, but basically simple.
Also every 3-6,000 miles there are a series of checks and a rub-down that will keep your Soob lookin' good
and running great. These are all in Procedure 4: Minor Massage.
Condition: 3,000 miles of severe use; OR 6,000 miles of normal use; OR it's been 300 miles since you rebuilt
the engine; OR the TV is broken and you're looking for something to do.
Tools and Materials: Five quarts of oil (six quarts for 2700cc engines), new oil filter, new drain plug washer,
a pan to catch the oil in, oil filter removal wrench, 17mm socket and ratchet or 17mm box end wrench, oil can
spout or "church key," plastic containers to put the oil in for disposal, lots of rags or paper towels, a few old newspapers, safety goggles. Optional: rubber glove(s).
No filter wrench? Then you might need a long screwdriver, hammer, 10mm and 12mm wrenches, and patience.
Remarks: Something to lie on, like a large cardboard box flattened out or a sheet of plastic or garbage bag, isn't
absolutely necessary, but it sure makes changing the oil a lot more comfortable. A rubber glove (white with sequins?)
to wear while removing the drain plug is optional. The oil drain plug and oil might be warm, even hot, but not
hot enough to give you a first degree burn.
Plastic oil drain pans are very cheap these days and they're also useful for cleaning parts in during repair
procedures.
If the top or bottom of the engine and transmission are dirty or greasy, you can do yourself a real favor by
first driving down to the car wash and hosing the crud off. (Procedure 5, Step 2, tells you what things to bring
along in case the engine won't start immediately after its bath.) It is best, in any event, not to do this procedure
in your new Calvin Kleins.
The oil will drain quicker, and more inner crud will flow out with it, if the engine is warmed up to normal
operating temperature first. While draining the oil, be careful and don't accidentally grab one of those hot exhaust
pipes on the bottom sides of the engine.
When you buy a new filter, check carefully that
it's the right one for your car. It's a real disappointment, and an awful inconvenience, to discover that
the new one won't fit once the old one is off the car.
It's also a good idea to be sure you can loosen
the filter before draining the engine oil.
If you have a 4WD model, removing the skid
plate makes the oil drain plug easier to get to. Most
skid plates are attached with four or five l2mm bolts
and are easy to remove and install. Some other skid
plates consist of a large, flat sheet of heavy metal that
nearly covers the entire bottom front of the car and
is attached with 5.5mm allen head screws. If you don't
have the correct allen wrench, try removing the
screws with large pliers or Vise Grips. Unless you
do a lot of off-road driving, you might want to leave
the heavy skid plate off permanently.
Step 1. Drain the Oil.
Warm up the engine and park the car on level
ground. No level ground? Then park so the front of
the car is slightly higher than the back. Turn the
engine off, set the handbrake, and block the two rear
wheels so the car can't roll. Spread newspapers under
the engine to catch stray drops of oil, then spread out
a ground cover (cardboard, plastic, whatever) for
yourself. Slide the oil drain pan under the engine.
Put on your safety goggles, grab a rag or two, and
crawl on your back under the front of the car with
a 17mm socket and ratchet or a 17mm box end
wrench. You'll have to use a box end wrench on 4WD
models with skid plates.
The engine's oil pan is the black, bulbous-looking thing that covers the bottom of the engine. The oil drain
plug is on the bottom of the pan. On 4WD models with a skid plate, there's a hole in the plate so you can get
to the drain plug. It's more time consuming, but less messy, to remove the skid plate before draining the oil.
Put on your rubber glove (if you have one), then loosen the drain plug counterclockwise with the 17mm
wrench. Remember, the oil that's about to come gushing out might be hot, so be ready to move your hand quickly.
Don't worry if the plug and washer fall into the drain pan-you can fish them out after the oil cools off. When
the drain plug first comes out, the oil will shoot toward the outside of the car. Locate the drain pan accordingly,
then move the pan as the stream of oil subsides and moves toward the center of the car. On 4WD models, the
oil will splash on the skid plate and drip from several places. If the plug and washer didn't fall into the pan, wipe
them off with a rag and put them on the paper in a place where they won't get dirty or lost.
Step 2. Remove the Oil Filter.
When the oil coming out of the engine has slowed to a dribble, slide the drain pan to the front of the engine.
Put a rag beneath the engine drain hole while you change the oil filter.
The oil filter is on the bottom front of the engine. It looks like an oil can that's gone to Weight Watchers for
a while. Wipe the filter off with a rag so it won't be so slippery. Try loosening it with both hands.
82
Chapter 7 Procedure 3, Step 1
Procedure 3, Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 83
OHV models: Turn the filter counterclockwise as
viewed from the left side of the car (the front of the
filter should turn toward the ground).
OHC models: Turn the filter counterclockwise as
viewed from the right side of the car (the front of the
filter should move up toward the top of the engine).
EVERYONE: Be sure you're turning it the right way.
Keep your hand on the filter as it loosens up and starts
to come off. If it falls off, it'll make a big mess. When
the filter is off, pour the oil remaining in the filter
into the drain pan. Toss the old filter in the trash.
If the filter won't turn, use an oil filter removal
wrench if you have one (they sure make it easy). On
Turbo models, be careful not to bend the two metal
oil lines near the oil filter.
If the filter just won't budge, and you don't have
a filter wrench, here's an old Jedi trick that works
every time. It's very messy though. Be SURE you
have the correct new filter with you. Get under the
car and remove the four 10mm bolts that attach a
metal plate to the car body directly below the oil filter
on some early two wheel drive models, or the skid
plate on four wheel drives (see Remarks). Stash the
bolts where you'll find them. Next, take a long screwdriver and put the blade on the front of the filter, at
least an inch away from where the filter screws onto
the engine (watch out for those oil lines on Turbo
models). Now drive the screwdriver clear throughyes, through-the center of the filter with a hammer. This destroys the filter, but you're here to install the new
one anyway. Now pull down on the screwdriver handle (OHV models) or push up on the handle (OHC models)
and watch the filter loosen up. You may have to make two thrusts through the filter before you can unscrew it
by hand. Sure is messy. Makes you want to run out and buy a filter removal wrench, doesn't it? Empty the filter into the drain pan, then wrap it in paper and toss it in the trash.
Step 3. Install the New Filter.
Use a clean rag or paper towel to carefully clean the mounting surface on the engine where the filter sits.
Remove the rubber seal that went with the old oil filter if it's stuck on the engine. Take off the protective plastic
cap from the new filter, if it has one. Now squirt a little oil on the new rubber sealing ring and spread it around
with a clean finger. If you don't have an oil squirt can, just open one of the cans of fresh motor oil and use some
of that.
Screw the new filter clockwise onto the threaded pipe on the engine. Be careful that no dirt gets into the filter
or on the sealing ring. The filter should go all the way on just by turning it with your hand. If it's hard to twist
after the first turn, unscrew it and try again. Don't force it. When you're sure it's going on straight, tighten it
with your hand until the rubber sealing ring barely touches the smooth mounting surface on the engine. Now
follow the directions that came with the filter and tighten it. No directions? Tighten it another 3/a turn with your
hand. Don't use the filter removal wrench to tighten it. If the filter gets overtightened the rubber seal will break.
84
Chapter 7 Procedure 3, Step 4
Step 4. Put in Oil Drain Plug.
Find the oil drain plug (you might have to fish it out of the drain pan) and clean it off with a rag. Remove
the old washer and install a new one. The old washer can be used again in a pinch if it isn't cracked or bent.
Check the drain plug for stripped or flattened threads or rounded corners on the head. If it's getting funky, make
a note to get a new one before the next oil change.
Plug and washer OK? Be sure there's a washer on the plug, then screw the plug clockwise into the oil pan.
Use the 17mm wrench to get it good and snug but not so tight you won't be able to get it off the next time.
Install the metal plate and/or the skid plate if they were removed in Step 2.
Pull the newspapers, drain pan, tools, cardboard and yourself out from under the front of the vehicle.
Step 5. Refill Crankcase with Oil.
The oil capacity of Subaru engines is 3.7 quarts for 1600cc engines, 4.2 quarts for 1800cc engines, and 5.3
quarts for 2700cc engines. If you aren't sure which engine you have, look it up in the Numbers section of Chapter
2: Orientation.
Open the hood. The oil filler cap is on the top left (driver's side) rear corner of the engine on OHV models
and on the top right front corner of the engine on OHC models. Wipe the cap off with a rag, then unscrew it
counterclockwise. Wipe off the top of the appropriate number of cans then open one with your oil spout. No
oil spout? Use a clean screwdriver or "church key" to poke holes on opposite sides of the top. (For you youngsters,
a church key is what we called beer can openers before pop tops were invented.) Wrap a rag around the oil filler
tube, just in case you miss the hole. It does take a little finesse to avoid dribbling oil on the engine. Are you sure
you installed the drain plug?
Pour in 3'h cans (five for 2700cc engines), wait a few minutes, then pull out the oil dipstick. Wipe it clean,
stick it all the way in, pull it out again, and check the oil level on the dipstick. Add oil a little at a time until it
reaches the top hole on the dipstick. You'll have to look closely because it's hard to see clean fresh oil on the
stick. Tilt the stick from side to side, and look for the reflection off the oil's shiny surface.
Screw on the oil filler cap, start the engine and let it run a few minutes. Turn the engine off, then check the
oil level again. Since the new oil filter starts out empty, the level should have dropped about '/z quart. Add more
Procedure 3, Step 6
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 85
oil until it reaches the top hole on the dipstick. Be careful not to add too much. Check the drain plug and oil filter
for signs of a leak. A leaky filter or drain plug can quickly become a disaster.
Leftover oil can be stored in a clean plastic screw-top container and stashed in the trunk. If you don't want
to carry oil with you, or don't have a plastic jug, put a plastic baggie over the top of the can and secure it with
a rubber band, or use the plastic top from a one pound coffee can to keep dust and dirt out of the oil. Stash it
where kids can't get to it.
Step 6. Clean Up.
Pour the used motor oil into the containers the new oil came in, if they are the plastic screw top type. Or
use a plastic water, milk, or antifreeze bottle. Some filling stations or recycling plants will accept used motor
oil. If this isn't possible, put the capped bottle in the trash. Never pour used oil down the drain.
The next morning, or after a short drive, look again for oil leaks. If you didn't tighten the oil drain plug or
the oil filter enough, there will be a little oil beneath them. Tighten them if need be. If a leak continues after
tightening, it's probably due to a bunged-up drain plug washer or oil filter rubber ring.
Step 7. Keep a Record.
Clean your hands, then record the oil and filter change in the log at the end of this chapter.
You're finished with the oil change, so let's move right on to Procedure 4 and give the of Sooby Doo a nice
massage. The sensuous beast just loves its massage.
PROCEDURE 4: MINOR MASSAGE
Condition: Same as Procedure 3: 6,000 normal miles; OR 3,000 severe miles since the last massage.
Tools and Materials: Friend, tire pressure gauge, light source, maybe a 10mm wrench, safety glasses, maybe
some or all of the vital fluids for your Soob. You may also need: new air filter element, PCV filter (`80 and newer
carb models), distilled water for the battery.
Remarks: Park on level ground, handbrake on, engine OFF, for these steps.
Step 1. Gas-stop Checks.
Now that you're in your funky clothes (if they weren't, they are now) and your hands are no longer virgin
to the feel of oil, do those Gas Stop Fluid Level Checks you may have been skipping (Procedure 2).
Step 2. Check Tire Pressure.
Please read the blurb on Tires and Tire Pressure in the first part of this chapter, then come back here to check
your tires.
For an accurate reading, check tire pressure when the tires are "cold" (have been sitting still for at least
15 minutes). The warmer the tire, the higher the pressure. If you're parked so one side of the car is facing a hot
morning or evening sun and the other side is shaded, the tires on the sunny side might read 5-10 lbs. more than
the shady side. Don't let air out to lower the pressure-wait until that side is shaded, then check the pressure again.
To check the pressure, unscrew the dust cap from the tip of the valve stem (that little black rubber thing
sticking out of the edge of the metal wheel). If there's no cap, it's not serious, but make a note to get one. Press
your tire gauge firmly over the end of the valve and wiggle the gauge around a little until no air escapes. In other
words, no hiss. Read the gauge, making sure you get the number right. On some gauges each line counts for
2 psi (pounds per square inch) of air. Pull the gauge off quickly and screw the dust cap back on. Check the air
pressure in each tire, including the spare. If you have a T -type spare tire (the little skinny type), it should have
about 60 psi. If you need air in one or more, truck on down and fill 'em up. If you've read my blurb on Tire Pressure,
you know how much you want in each tire.
86
Chapter 7 Procedure 4, Step 3
A loss of about 6 psi of pressure between gas stop checks means you have a slow leak that may turn into
a fast one rather suddenly. It could be in the valve stem, the valve, the tire, or where the tire seals along the rim
of the wheel. Get it fixed. A high speed blowout can kill you dead.
While you're checking the tire pressure, examine each tire's sidewalls and treads for cuts, lumps, nails, chunks
of glass, armadillo parts, or anything (other than dirt or leaves) that isn't rubber. Is the tread getting a little thin?
If your tires start wearing more on the inner and outer edges than in the center of the tread, they are underinflated. If they wear more in the center of the tread than on the edges, they are overinflated. Adjust the tire pressure
accordingly.
Rapid wear or scalloped-looking wear spots along the outer edge means some suspension parts are worn
out or the front end is out of alignment. See Chapter 14 to check the suspension parts, then have the front end
aligned by Subaru or an alignment shop.
Random spots of excessive wear on the tread
indicate that the tire needs to be balanced, or the tire
is defective. Have the tires checked and balanced by
Subaru or an alignment shop.
Step 3. Check Air Filter.
CAUTION: When the air cleaner is open or off the
engine, be very careful not to drop anything into the
carburetor (carb models), or air filter housing, aluminum housing, or large rubber hose (fuel injected
models). If something accidentally falls in, don't slash
your throat, just be sure and fish it out before starting
the engine.
Carburetor models: The air cleaner is that large,
blue or black, flat thing sitting on top of the engine.
The parts of the air cleaner are the top (or lid), a pleated
paper air filter element, the larger bottom part called
the air filter housing, and a snout that sticks out the
right (passenger's) side of the housing. In 1980 the shape
of the air cleaner changed from round to peanut shaped.
First, take the lid off the housing.
'75-'79 carb models: Lift up on the bottom of
the four clips located around the outer top edge of
the air cleaner.
'80 and newer carb models: Unscrew the three
wing nuts on the top of the air cleaner.
ALL carb models: Now you can lift the lid off
the top of the housing. The pleated paper air filter
element is inside, and it lifts right out too.
Fuel injected models: The air filter is inside a
rectangular air filter housing located near the right
(passenger's side) front corner of the engine com
partment. A large round black rubber hose connects
a squarish aluminum housing (the airflow metering
assembly) to something on the engine (the blower
inlet elbow on Turbo models, or the throttle body on
non-Turbo fuel injected engines ).
To check the filter, lift up on the bottom tab of
the spring clips that attach the upper half of the air
filter housing to the bottom half. Raise the upper half
far enough to remove the rectangular, pleated air filter element from the housing. Note which side of
the filter is TOP so you can install it the same way.
If you have difficulty raising the housing, use
a screwdriver to loosen the large hose clamp that
secures the large black hose to the housing. Slide the
clamp farther onto the hose, then carefully pull the
hose off the connection.
EVERYONE: Tap the filter element gently
against a tire or your leg to remove any loose dirt.
Now lift the filter element up to an unshaded light
bulb or nuclear blast, whichever is handiest, and look
through the paper pleats. Look for dark areas, indicating dirt or grime, and pinholes of light. The filter
should be replaced if you see any holes or cracks in
the paper pleats, or if the pleats are clogged with oil
or dirt. Don't try to wash the filter because it's coated
with a special viscous liquid that traps dirt. Washing removes the coating.
'80 and newer carb models: Look inside the
oval air cleaner housing. On the rear corner closest
to the driver's seat there's a small white PCV filter.
Procedure 4, Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 87
88
Chapter 7 Procedure 4, Step 4
Pull up on the corners of the filter to remove it. If the filter is oily or dirty, use a spray can of carb cleaner to
clean it or replace it with a new one. Wiggle the PCV filter down into the holder to install it.
EVERYONE: Wipe out the inside of the air cleaner housing with a clean rag. Set the pleated air filter on
the rubber sealing ring. Is the lid clean too? OK, put it back on top of the air filter element. Depending on your
model, install the wing nuts or clamp the lid with the spring clips.
Fuel injected models: If you disconnected the large rubber hose, carefully slip it onto its fitting on the aluminum
housing. Run your finger all the way around the end of the rubber hose to be sure it's on properly and isn't kinked
or cracked. Slide the large clamp into its groove on the end of the hose and tighten it with a screwdriver or 10mm
wrench. Get it good and tight (the engine won't run if there's an air leak).
Step 4. Check Lights.
' I1im the key to ON, but don't start the engine. Switch the headlights ON, set the handbrake, put the transmission
in reverse, then walk around the car and see if the headlights, taillights, rear license plate light, and backup lights
are working. Switch the headlights from low to high beam and check them again. Is the high beam indicator
light on the dash working? Do the headlights burn equally bright on high beam? If not, the dim one's high beam
function is kaput. Check the Third Eye (passing lamp) on some 4WD models. The switch is on the dashboard
near your left knee when you're in the driver's seat. If you need to replace a light, refer to Chapter 10.
Turn the lights OFF but leave the key ON. Have Friend get in and pump the brake pedal while you stand
behind the car and check the brake lights. Brake lights are very important and should be fixed right away. See
Chapter 10 if any of the lights aren't working.
Turn on the hazard warning light switch and walk around the vehicle to see if all four turn signal lights
are working. Turn the hazard switch OFF and check the left and right turn signals. Are they blinking, front
and back? Watch the turn signal indicator lights on the dash, too, to be sure they're working.
To check the dashboard lights, set the headlight switch to the first position (parking lights). Most models
have a rheostat so you can dim the dash lights (so they won't keep you awake while you're driving?). Turn the
light switch counterclockwise to turn the lights up all the way (on '80 and newer OHV cars, and '82-'87 Brats,
the brightness is controlled by a smaller knob on the end of the headlight knob). Shade the dash or do this check
at night so you can tell if any bulbs are burned out. Turn the lights OFF.
If you have 4WD, shift the lever into 4WD to be sure the light on the dash warns you that you are in 4WD.
The handbrake warning light should come on when you pull up on the handbrake lever. The oil and charge
light and all those little pictures in the "Telltale Graphic Monitor" on later models should be on anytime the
key is ON but the engine isn't. (It's set up as an automatic check, but you have to tune your head to the display
to notice if any of the bulbs have gone bad.)
If any of the lights didn't light up, look at Chapter 10.
Turn the key OFF.
Step 5. Check Wiper Blades.
You usually don't realize you need new wiper blades until you're late for an appointment and caught in the
middle of a thunderstorm or blizzard. Then you notice the annoying blur or streak. Wiper blade refills are very
cheap these days, so check them often and change them before they're so worn out they dangerously obscure
vision or scratch the windshield. According to Murphy, of Murphy's Law fame, the blade on the driver's side
always fails first. A good Boy Scout would probably always have a spare blade or two stashed in the trunk or
engine compartment.
To check the blades, pull each wiper away from the windshield and feel along the sharp rubber edge for cracks,
nicks, torn places, or limpness. If they pass this test, thoroughly clean the bugs off the glass, then use the windshield
washer to squirt some water on the windshield. Now try the wipers to see if they leave streaks or miss some areas
completely. Replace the blades if even a few streaks show up -a sign of impending failure. Don't forget to check
the rear washer and wiper if you have one. Windshield washer doesn't work? See Chapter 10.
There have been so many different wiper blade styles over the years I can't specifically describe how to change
Procedure 4, Step 6
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 89
them all. It's a simple operation once you see how it's done, so have the nice man at the parts store or an experienced
friend show you how to change the blades the first time, if you can't figure it out.
Generically speaking, you usually squeeze the tabs on one end of the blade together, then pull the blade
out of the wiper arm. Insert the rigid part of the new blade into the grooves on the wiper arm until the two prongs
engage in the slots on the end of the wiper arm. That's it.
People who live where there's lots of (gasp) smog should check the wipers more frequently because smog
attacks and quickly deteriorates rubber. The blades fall apart even if you never use them!
Step 6. Check Battery
CAUTION: Batteries give off a very explosive gas
when the cells are open, so don't smoke anything
while you check the battery. Don't connect or disconnect the battery cables while the cell caps are off.
A spark could ignite the gas.
Wash your hands after touching anything on the
battery. Touching your clothes right after handling
battery parts will give them a religious experience
they'll become very holy the next time you wash them.
OHV models: The battery is located in the
right front corner of the engine compartment.
OHC models: The battery is in the left front
corner of the engine compartment.
EVERYONE: Put on your safety glasses, roll
up your sleeves, and wipe off the top of the battery
with an old rag so dirt can't fall into the battery cells.
Throw the rag in the trash (don't use it on anything
else) and wash your hands.
You have one of the four or so types of modern
12-volt batteries. Some have screw-on plastic caps
(plugs), some use snap-off plugs that are often con
nected with two plastic bars, and some have broad,
square plastic caps you have to pry off with a screwdriver. Some "maintenance-free" batteries have caps
you can't remove. (Actually, on some maintenancefree batteries the filler caps are just hidden beneath
the labels. You can peel back the labels and add distilled water if the level gets low.)
Unscrew the cell plugs in the top of the battery or pop the cell tops up carefully with a screwdriver, depending
on battery style. Look into each hole. You should see a fluid in there. The fluid (electrolyte) level should be up
to the level of the split ring (or about '/a " above the metal plates you can see down inside the battery). Check
the level in each cell. If the electrolyte level is low, carefully add distilled water a little at a time, keeping your
eyes well away from the top of the battery as you pour. A clean plastic funnel is helpful, but don't use a metal
one. You can buy distilled water from a drugstore or grocery store. It's cheap. If none is available, use clean tap
water, but don't make a habit of it. Do not add acid or any type of additive to your battery. It's dangerous and
unnecessary. Don't overfill the cells. Install the cell caps, then wash your hands again.
If you have one of the new batteries with an indicator light, wipe off the sight glass and peer into the mystical
eye. There should be something on the top of the battery that tells you what color the eye will be when the battery
is fully charged or in need of a charge. Nothing on the battery? Generally the eye is blue if the battery is good.
Red or white usually mean the battery needs a charge.
90
Chapter 7 Procedure 4, Step 7
Check the battery cables where they attach to the two terminal posts on the battery. Wiggle each one with
your hand to make sure they're on securely. Now look for corrosion at the cable ends. Is there white flaky stuff
where the cables attach to the terminal posts? If the cables are loose, or there's corrosion on the terminals, look
at Chapter 10, Procedure 1, to clean, then tighten the connections.
Always wash your hands after checking and/or servicing your battery. If any clothing touched the battery
or cables, rinse it thoroughly in water right now. I'm serious about the religious experience mentioned at the
beginning of this step. Most mechanics have a pair of Levis and T-shirt that are very holy.
Step 7. Check Front of Radiator for Trash.
Look through the grille to check the front of the radiator for leaves, sticks, paper, bugs, and Mopeds. If
you see junk in there, remove the plastic grille (phillips head screws around the edges hold it on). Carefully brush
the junk off the front of the radiator with a rag. The little vanes that make up the front of the radiator are very
thin and fragile, so be gentle, darling. Screw the grille back on.
Step 8. Check Shock Absorbers.
Lower the hood if it's up, then bounce the car as hard and rapidly as you can by pushing down on a fender
or bumper. It's especially effective if you step up on the bumper at each corner, and bounce the car with your
full weight. Do this at all four corners of the car. If the car continues to bounce more than twice after you let
go, the shocks are suspect. Look at Chapter 14, Procedure 1, for further shock absorber tests.
Step 9. Body Massage.
Rake out the beer cans, dirty diapers, and McDooDoo wrappers. Wash and wax the car, vacuum the interior,
and clean the dash with a damp rag. Your Sooby will be so happy.
Step 10. Rotate Tires.
If 6,000 miles have passed beneath your Soob since the tires were rotated, look at Chapter 3, Procedure 1,
and do it now.
Step 11. Clean Tape Heads.
Being a devout audiophile, I find it very irritating to try to listen to a tape deck with dirty playing heads.
When the tape heads build up a layer of scum, the dynamic output range is narrowed considerably. Those brilliant
high frequencies and low rolling bass lines disappear into a muddy sounding midrange. If the heads aren't cleaned
and demagnetized occasionally, they start erasing high and low frequencies from the tape. After a tape is played
on a dirty, magnetized tape head a few times, it will sound bad even on a good, clean tape deck. A dirty tape
deck is much more likely to eat a tape (probably your favorite one) than a clean, well-maintained one. To protect
your tapes, you have to keep your tape heads clean. Here's how.
You'll need: Long'Q-tips and rubbing or denatured alcohol, and/or head cleaning and demagnetizing cassettes.
You can order the cassettes from the address listed at the end of this step.
First, clean the heads with Q -tips and alcohol. Shine a flashlight into the tape slot and locate the head(s).
You may have to hold the dust flap open with a finger. The head(s) will be either on a side or in the back, depending
on where the exposed tape ends up when the cartridge is inserted in the slot. The heads look like tiny curved
silver boxes with a couple of parallel lines across the surface. Dip a Q-tip in alcohol then rub it on the heads.
Do this about three times. Clean all the levers and tape guides that you can reach with the Q -tip. Let the alcohol dry before playing a tape.
Second, demagnetize the heads. To demagnetize heads you need a rather expensive demagnetizing cartridge or wand, or a relatively inexpensive demagnetizing casette. You can also use the demagnetizer on your
home stereo tape deck. Instructions for using the demagnetizer should come with it. If not, a stereo shop can
tell you how to use it. If you only have a tape player in the car and don't want to spend the money for a demagProcedure 4, Step 12
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 91
netizer, a car stereo shop will probably demagnetize the heads for a couple of bucks. It should be done at least
once a year and more often if you use the tape deck a lot.
Although a good stereo system doesn't change the way your car looks or performs, it can make driving a
lot more fun and can represent a significant investment of your hard earned cash. The only limit is the physical size of the stereo and your bank account; the combination of radios, tape decks, CD players, amplifiers,
speakers, and so on, is almost endless. When buying a stereo system, the confusing part is how to rationally
compare the features on comparably priced models. You need some cold hard facts and specifications that you
can mull over while sitting by the fireplace instead of in a crowded showroom with several radios blasting and
a hungry salesman breathing down your neck. Unfortunately, the choice is often made under these adverse conditions. I've walked out of several stereo stores suffering from total intellectual confusion.
Recently I've found a better way to shop for stereos. I highly recommend sending for the Crutchfield catalog
listed at the end of this step. The catalog could qualify as a textbook about selecting and installing stereo systems because it explains what the different components do, which components will fit into your car without cutting
any sheet metal, which ones require modification, which antenna to use, and most important, what all of those
technical specifications mean. For example, which is best, a higher or lower number for the FM sensitivity rating
of a radio? Answer: A lower number means the radio is more sensitive and will pick up weaker stations than
one with a higher FM sensitivity rating! And at some time or other we've all wanted to know what "Wow and
Flutter" really means. Crutchfield even has a toll free telephone hot line so you can call for help or advice.
I recommend getting the catalog and doing your homework about the specifications for the large number
of brands and models they sell. You'll be able to narrow down the products that fit your needs and budget to a
few makes and models. Then, if possible, go to your local stereo dealer to listen to those components and to
compare the dealer's prices to those in the catalog. Go for the best deal.
The address is Crutchfield, 1 Crutchfield Park, Charlottesville, Virginia 22906. Or you can call (800) 336-5566
to order the free catalog.
Step 12. Record All Work in Log
Turn to the log at the end of this chapter and jot down the date and mileage for the procedures completed.
Make notes about anything that still needs to be done or irregularities that need to be watched closely.
Have you remembered to install the drain plug and fill the engine with oil. More people than would admit
it have forgotten to do this. Are the new filter and oil filler cap installed? Walk around the car with an eye to any
loose ends or unfinished business.
OK, you're finished with the minor massage. I hope it was as good for you as it was for your Soob.
Step 13. Reward Yourself.
Depending on your slant on life-pour a stiff one, pop open a cool one, roll a fat one, chop a long one, chant
a mantra, go for a jog, snuggle up to the mate and ... whatever. The important thing here is to do something nice
for yourself-you deserve it!
PROCEDURE 5: PREP FOR 12,000-MILE TUNE-UP, MAINTENANCE, AND MASSAGE
This procedure gets everything ready for you to launch into the tune-up activities (Procedures 6-13). There's
nothing like doing a tune-up to give you a sense of mastery over the fate of your machine. Basically, you'll be
refreshing and adjusting the engine. This means inspecting, replacing, and adjusting parts in the ignition sys
tem (distributor and spark plugs), checking internal condition of the engine, and adjusting the carburetor (on
some models) for peak efficiency.
An oil and oil filter change is also part of the 12,000-mile maintenance, as are a few other checking, cleaning,
and adjusting items which you'll find in Procedure 14, the 12,000-Mile Major Massage.
92
Chapter 7 Procedure 5, Step I
Condition: It's been 12,000 miles since the last tune-up; OR the engine isn't running like it should; OR you
have an overwhelming urge to do some tinkering.
Tools and Materials: The first time you do this procedure all you need is a very small paint brush and a small
bottle of white paint (model airplane paint will do).
The tools and materials required for the tune-up are listed at the beginning of each procedure. Read the
conditions section of Procedures 6-13 to see which ones apply to your model. Make a list and round everything
up the day before.
Remarks: Here's where you really start being a mechanic! Read through each procedure before you start. Take
your time; do each step completely before moving on to the next. The first time through the 12,000-mile procedures
could take most of a day. Take your time and enjoy it. After you've done it a few times and become familiar with
the procedures, all of them will only take about 3 to 5 hours.
Remember, right side means the passenger's side and left side means the driver's side. Rear means toward
the taillights, and front means toward the headlights. OK, let's do it.
Step 1. The Day Before.
Engine clean? If you want to make this a clean, warm, caring relationship, give the engine a bath. Step 2
will tell you what tools and materials to take to the car wash in case the engine won't start after its bath.
Round up all the parts you'll need for these procedures the day before you plan to do the work.
Park the car overnight at the spot where the operation will be performed because you can't start the engine
before torquing the heads or adjusting the valves (not all models require this at every tune-up). And I've arranged
the tune-up sequence so you do as many things as possible while the engine is cool.
Step 2. Wash Engine.
What's happening: Engine looks like it just crawled out of a sewer; OR you're trying to locate the source
of an oil leak; Or you want to make the 12,000-mile maintenance a more pleasant experience.
You'll need: Several quarters, two large plastic bags (bread bags work well), tape or rubber bands, screwdriver,
clean dry rags or paper towels, safety glasses, an old beach towel or blanket.
Remark: Unless you spring an oil leak or drive on a lot of muddy roads, you shouldn't have to wash the engine
more than once a year. In fact, due to the sensitive, high-tech electronic gear, you shouldn't wash fuel injected
engines until they get really dirty. Wear funky clothes to the car wash. To get the engine and transmission really
clean top and bottom, you'll probably get covered with water, mud, and grease. Cover the seats with old towels
or blankets to protect the upholstery from your wet, muddy body.
Once you're at the car wash, turn the engine OFF, open the hood and put a plastic bag over the air intake
snout of the air cleaner on carb models (if there isn't a hose already connected to the end of the snout) and secure
it with tape or rubber bands. If the spark plug wires are marked for position, pull them out of the distributor
cap and cover the distributor with another plastic bag. Secure it with tape or rubber bands. If the wires aren't
marked, cover the distributor as much as possible with a plastic bag and tape the edges together. Remove the
spare tire if it's stored in the engine compartment.
Put on your safety goggles and use the water wand to wash the engine and transmission top and bottom,
the engine compartment, inside the wheel wells, the rear differential (4WD), and all the suspension parts you
can hit with the hot soapy water. Don't aim the high pressure nozzle directly at the alternator, distributor, or
plastic electrical wire connectors. Rinse everything off with plain water, especially any grease and crud that
got on the paint.
Remove the plastic bags and put the spare tire back in if you took it out. If you removed the spark plug wires,
dry off the ends with a dry rag or paper towel and plug them into the distributor cap.
Procedure 5, Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 93
If the engine won't start after its bath, don't run the battery down trying to get it going. A little water is in
the ignition system somewhere (usually the distributor). Remove the distributor cap (Procedure 9, Step 2) and
thoroughly dry the inside of the cap and distributor with a clean, dry rag or paper towel. Some car washes have
a hot air blower in or near the engine wash bay just for drying out the distributor. Install the cap with the notch
on the edge of the cap fitting into the groove on the distributor. Snap the clips securely onto the cap or tighten
the screws, depending on your setup. Dry the large and small wires connected to the coil. Presto, the engine
should start. If it doesn't, check inside the distributor again. It doesn't take much water to short the electrical
stuff in there and prevent the engine from starting.
Step 3. Remove Spare Tire (if it's in the engine
compartment).
The day of the tune-up, park on a level surface,
turn the engine OFF, and set the handbrake. Automatics in PARK. Open and prop the hood.
If you have already painted the timing marks on
the flywheel, and you are not going to adjust the
valves or check the ignition timing, you can skip down
to Procedure 8 (OHC models) or Procedure 9 (OHV
models).
If you need to paint the timing marks and/or you
plan to adjust the valves and/or check the ignition
timing, unscrew the large wing nut in the center of
the wheel then remove the tire (and jack on '83-'84
Turbo models).
Step 4. Remove Air Cleaner (carb models
only).
CAUITON: While removing the air cleaner (lid,
filter, and housing) and once it's off, be very careful to not let ANYTHING fall into the opening of the
carburetor! Cover it with a clean rag. If anything falls
in there, be sure to fish it out before starting the
engine.
The air cleaner is that big flat oval or round
thing sitting on top of the engine. '75-'79 models have
a round air cleaner, and '80-'87 carb models are oval
(peanut-shaped). Remove the top of the air cleaner
(Procedure 4, Step 3). Some late models have a black
plastic carburetor/distributor shield snapped onto
the front of the air cleaner. To unsnap the shield, grab
it by the top corners and pull toward the front of the
car until the shield pops out of the clips. Lift up to
remove the shield.
94
Chapter 7 Procedure 5, Step 4
Attached to the bottom of the snoutlike air horn part of the air cleaner is a large, black or silver, flexible
hot air inlet hose. To remove the hose, squeeze the two ears on the clamp and slide it down the hose. Grasp the
hose as close to the air cleaner snout as possible and twist until it moves freely, then pull it off. It's fragile so
squeeze gently. If the hose is torn or missing, make a note to get a new one.
'75-'79 models: Look on the right (passenger's) side of the air cleaner housing. There's a black hose about
as big around as your thumb going from the bottom of the housing to the top of the valve cover on the right side
of the engine. The hose might have a soft black rubber insulator around it, making it twice as thick as your thumb.
Anyway, with one hand, squeeze the two metal ears of the hose clamp located near the valve cover end of the
hose, then pull the hose off the valve cover with the other hand. Now look at the left side of the air cleaner housing.
If there's another hose just like the one on the right side, disconnect it from the top of the left valve cover the
same way. If the hose on the left side of the housing is short and goes to a black plastic gizmo with several other
hoses connected to it, squeeze the clamp and disconnect it from the black plastic thing.
Disconnect a small black hose from the right rear of the air cleaner AND/OR a small hose coming out
of the bottom of the air cleaner snout that connects either to the intake manifold or to a plastic T -fitting that connects
it to two other hoses. Disconnect this hose at the manifold or T- fitting because it's difficult to get to the housing end of the hose. These hoses can be carefully twisted and pulled off.
'75 models: Is there still an air pump (a round thing about the same size and shape as the alternator) tucked
under the air cleaner between the carburetor and alternator? If so, you'll need to disconnect the hose between
the top of the air pump and the bottom of the air cleaner housing as you remove the housing from the carburetor.
'76-'79 models: You'll have a thumb-size hose on the left rear side of the housing that connects to a round
little air injection muffler located about 3" from the air cleaner. Squeeze the clamp and disconnect the hose from
the muffler.
'75-'79 models: Remove the 10mm bolt on the left front side of the air cleaner housing, then gently lift
up on the air cleaner to remove it. '75 models can now disconnect the hose to the air pump. Set the air cleaner
in the back of the engine compartment where the spare tire goes, or take it out and put it on something clean.
Don't lay it on the ground-it'll get dirty or stepped on.
If the air cleaner is stuck, stand on the right side of the car and look under the rear of the air cleaner for
a clamp screw. The clamp screw secures the round clamp that holds the air cleaner to the top of the carburetor. Some have a thick wire sticking out with a loop on the end to turn. If you're not so lucky, there will be a phillips
head screw that's almost impossible to see under the back of the air cleaner. Standing on your head helps. So
might a flashlight. Loosen the clamp screw a few turns counterclockwise, then lift up on the air cleaner to remove
it. Disconnect the hose to the air pump on '75 models.
If you're going to start the engine with the air cleaner off, like for a tune-up, use small phillips screwdrivers,
small punches, pencils (break the lead off first), or tape to seal the ends of the small hoses (vacuum hoses) you
disconnected, and in some cases the places on the engine where the small hoses were connected. (Don't worry
about the larger thumb-size hose connections.) You can buy inexpensive rubber vacuum line hose plug sets.
They're handy, but the substitute tools I suggested will do.
'80 and newer Garb models: You have several hoses connected to the air cleaner, so keep track of the number
of hoses you disconnect when removing the air cleaner. Write the number down and be sure they're all reconnected
when you install the air cleaner. There are so many variations from model to model, depending on which engine
and accessories you have, that I can't specifically describe each setup. Luckily the hoses are cut to precise lengths
and bent in certain ways so they naturally end up right next to where they're supposed to connect when you set
the air cleaner back on the carburetor. But you have to be sure you find and connect each hose when installing
the air cleaner. The hose diagram on the inside of the hood will help (if you have one). Make your own diagram,
or use a grease pencil, paint or tags to mark the hoses if you want. When removing the hoses grasp them as close
to the end as possible and twist as you pull them off. Don't pull on the middle of the hoses.
'80 and newer OHV Garb models: Look at the right rear corner of the air cleaner just behind the air snout.
There will probably be two or three hoses laying in a bracket mounted to the corner of the air cleaner and another
Procedure 5, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 95
bracket on the air snout. Lift the hoses out of the brackets and push them away from the air cleaner. Disconnect the hose that goes from the air cleaner to the top of the right valve cover (it's about as big around as your
thumb). Squeeze the ears of the clamp that's near the cleaner, and twist and pull the hose off. Right next to that
connection there might be another thumb size hose to disconnect, and 1 to 3 pencil-size hoses. Some of the small
hoses come out from underneath the air cleaner housing or snout so look carefully. It's easier to disconnect the
small hoses from the engine end rather than from the air cleaner end. The small hoses don't have clamps, so
grab them near the end and twist and pull them off.
On the front side of the housing near the air snout, there's probably a small hose that goes down to a gizmo
on the engine. Pull and twist the hose off the gizmo. Some '82 and newer models also have another small hose
connected to a tube on the bottom right front of the air cleaner. Pull the hose off the tube. Don't disconnect the
hose going to the round thing on top of the air snout. It connects to the bottom of the air cleaner housing.
Move to the left rear side of the air cleaner. There should be a hose going from the air cleaner to a black
plastic thing that has several other hoses connected to it. Squeeze the clamp and disconnect the hose from the
air cleaner housing. '83 and newer models might also have a thumb-size hose to disconnect from the air cleaner
housing. Check for other hoses that hook up to that side of the air cleaner. Find any? Label, then disconnect 'em.
OHC models: Find two thumb-size hoses on the left side of the housing. Squeeze the ends of the clamps
together while you wiggle the hoses off the housing. There's a small round plastic thing with hoses attached to
it near the left rear corner of the housing. Pop the small hoses for the little round thing out of the clip, then disconnect
the medium size hose that's connected to the left rear side of the housing.
There's a small hose on the right front bottom of the housing to disconnect. There are two or three small
hoses resting in clips on the rear side of the air cleaner snout. Don't disconnect the hoses, just remove them from
the clip.
There are probably one or two thumb-size hoses on the right rear corner to disconnect. Look carefully for
other hoses attached to the air cleaner hosing.
'80 and newer carb models: Now remove the 10mm bolts and washers on the left front and right rear corners
of the air cleaner housing. Slowly lift the air cleaner off the carburetor while looking for any remaining hoses
that need to be disconnected. When it's free, lay the air cleaner where the spare tire goes or on something clean
(the spare tire?). Don't lay it on the ground because it might get dirty or stepped on.
If you're going to need to start the engine with the air cleaner off, plug the small, pencil-size hoses you disconnected or, in some cases, the places on the engine where the small hoses were connected. Don't worry about
the thumb size hoses. To plug the vacuum lines (small hoses) use pencils (break the lead off first), small phil
lips screwdrivers, small punches, or tape. You can buy rubber vacuum line plug sets fairly cheap. They sure
make it easy.
Step 5. Install Air Cleaner (carb models only).
Clean the air cleaner throat where it fits over the carburetor. Clean and check the rubber gasket on the carb
where the air cleaner fits and replace the gasket if it's cracked or bent out of shape. Set the air cleaner housing on the carb and tighten the clamp screw on the back if you loosened it ('75-'79 models). Install and tighten
the 10mm bolt(s) that secure the housing to the engine. Install the air filter, then the air cleaner lid. Screw on
the wing nuts or 10mm nut or secure the lid with the spring clips depending on your setup. Reconnect all of the
small vacuum hoses and the larger hoses going to the valve covers or to the plastic gizmo on the left side of the
engine. Look for other thumb-size hoses you might have disconnected. Attach the large hot air intake hose to
the bottom of the air snout. Pinch the ears on the clamp and slide the clamp to its original position, about 1"
from the end of the hose.
Check again to be sure all the hoses are connected. Use the diagram under the hood (if it's there) if you're
not sure where the hoses go.
Step 6. Mark Crankshaft Pulley and Timing Marks.
You only have to do this once. Skip this step if you painted the timing marks the first time you did a tuneup on this vehicle.
96
Chapter 7 Procedure 5, Step 6
Be sure the handbrake is ON, the wheels are blocked, the gearshift is in NEUTRAL, and the ignition key
is OFF.
Here.'s how you do it. First, remove the spark
plugs (Procedure 11, Step 2). Next, put a socket and
ratchet (usually a 19mm or 22mm) on the bolt in the
center of the crankshaft pulley. That's right-down
there at the front of the engine. See the big bolt head?
Be careful not to bang the wrench against the delicate radiator. If you have air conditioning (A/C),
you'll need to use a ratchet with a thin head in order
to clear the A/C fan bracket. If you just can't get to
the crank pulley bolt with the ratchet, use the nut on
the alternator pulley to turn the engine. (You might
have to press down on the alternator drive belt with
one hand to increase the tension so the belt doesn't
slip while you're turning the engine.)
Be sure the transmission is in Neutral, then use
the socket and ratchet to rotate the pulley clockwise
(as viewed from the front). This will turn the crank
shaft and internal engine parts, including the distributor shaft. The rotor will also gradually turn
until the brass tip points in the direction of the number
one spark plug wire terminal of the distributor cap.
The resistance you feel as you turn the engine is the
compression in the cylinders. Turn the bolt a little,
then look at the rotor tip, turn and look again-until
it's lined up with the #1 spark plug wire when the disHood up? OK, look at the engine and locate the
number one cylinder. It's the front one on the passenger's side. There's the #1 cylinder's spark plug,
with a wire sprouting from it. Follow the spark plug
wire to the distributor cap and note its location in
relation to the other wires. The cylinder numbers
might be stamped on top of the distributor cap. Also,
on some models, the spark plug wires have numbers
indicating which cylinder they're for. No numbers?
Note the location of the #1 spark plug wire on the distributor cap.
Use a medium screwdriver or your thumb to pry
open the spring clips that secure the distributor cap,
or if your distributor cap is secured with a screw on
each side, loosen the screws. Lift up on the distributor
cap and see where the copper tip of the plastic rotor
is pointing. Wherever it's pointing, you need it to
point to where the #1 cylinder spark plug wire was
when the cap was on.
Procedure 5, Step 6
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 97
tributor cap is on the distributor body. Got it? OK.
OHV non-Turbo models and OHC models
(except '87-'88 XT): On the rear of the engine there
is a rectangular timing hole in the flywheel housing (that large, round piece of aluminum sticking up
at the back of the engine). On OHV models it's on
the right side and on OHC models it's near the top.
The hole is about 1'/z " x 2 ". See it? If there's a rubber
or plastic plug covering the hole, pull on the tab or
pry on the plug to remove it.
Inside the hole you can see the face of the flywheel onmanual transmission cars, or the drive plate
on cars with automatic transmissions. For conven
ience I'm going to call them both the flywheel. The
flywheel is bolted to the back end of the crankshaft.
Timing marks are stamped in two-degree increments on the flywheel. You want to turn the engine
with the ratchet until the line under the 0 on the flywheel is lined up with the tip of the little triangle
pointer located on the bottom edge of the timing hole.
If the light is dim, use your flashlight to find the
marks. If you can't see the marks very well because
the flywheel is rusty or dirty, wipe it off with a rag
(lightly soaked in alcohol or solvent) or sand it a little
with fine emery paper.
Paint a very thin white line over the line below
the 0, then paint a vertical white line on the top front
of the crankshaft pulley. Chalk will work, but you'll
probably have to make new marks every time you
tune-up the engine. Paint is permanent.
Now look at the sticker under the hood for the
correct timing for your engine. No sticker? Look it
up in the specifications table at the end of this chapter.
Rotate the engine counterclockwise (as viewed
from the front) until the appropriate timing line on
the flywheel matches up with the little pointer on the
flywheel housing hole. Remember, each line means
2° and you should be to the RIGHT of the 0 line (as
viewed through the hole). If you see a B stamped above
the lines, you're on the right side. If you see an A,
you're on the wrong side of the 0 line. Unfortunately,
not all flywheels are stamped with an A (after) or B
(before). If you've got 'em, they're helpful. Paint a thin
line over the correct timing mark for your engine. Paint
the triangle pointer while you're at it.
OHV models (except '83-'84 Turbos): Now
rotate the engine clockwise with the ratchet 180°
until the white line on the crank pulley is right at the
bottom. Now look through the hole in the flywheel
housing again for one long line. Clean the line if
r 98
Chapter 7 Procedure 6 Step 1
necessary, then paint it white. Paint two vertical lines on the top front of the crank pulley. OK, Picasso, put
away the paint and brush. Remove the socket and ratchet from the pulley bolt.
'83-'84 Turbo models and '87-'88 XT models): The timing plate is bolted to the front of the engine on
the driver's side of the crankshaft pulley. It's rather difficult to see, let alone get to. If you have large hands, you
might need to tape the paint brush to a long thin stick or screwdriver to get to the timing plate. Look at the sticker
on the underside of the hood for the ignition timing for your engine. If the sticker is missing, check the Specifications
table at the end of this chapter. Paint a very thin white line over the appropriate line on the timing plate. While
you're there, paint the line next to the 0.
Step 7. Do Procedures 6 through 13.
You've finished the preparations, now you'll be doing what mechanics generally call a tune-up (Procedures
6 through 13). The steps in Procedure 14 complete the 12,000-mile massage.
Read the conditions section at the beginning of each procedure to see if it applies to your year and/or model.
Be sure to follow the instructions (OHV or OHC) for your engine.
PROCEDURE 6: TORQUE CYLINDER HEADS AND INTAKE MANIFOLD (OHV ONLY)
Condition: 12,000-mile tune-up on 1400cc engine; OR you suspect a head gasket is leaking; OR you just installed
new head gaskets; OR it's been 300 or 1,000 miles since new head gaskets were installed.
Tools and Materials: A good torque wrench, two special sockets for torqueing the heads (see Chapter 5: Tools),
12mm wrench, screwdriver, oil, maybe two new valve cover gaskets and the little gaskets for the valve cover bolts.
Remark: This is a very important procedure for 1400cc engines-don't skip it! Leaking head gaskets seem to
be the Achilles Heel of Subarus, especially on 1400cc engines. Usually, the head gaskets start leaking because
the cylinder heads weren't retorqued at the proper intervals.
After installing new head gaskets, start the engine and let it warm up to operating temperature (about 10
minutes), then let the engine cool for 3-4 hours, then retorque the heads. Retorque them again after 300 miles,
then again after 1,000 miles. Retorquing the heads on 1400cc engines once a year or every 12,000 miles will keep
them tight. Always check and adjust the valves after retorquing the heads.
Step 1. Remove Valve Covers.
Look just below the spark plugs on each side of the engine for a valve cover. It's shaped like the top of a
loaf of bread and most likely it's light blue like the air cleaner (a few are black). Squeeze the clamp on the rubber
hose that's attached to the top of the valve cover, then pull the hose off. Tuck it out of the way. Unscrew the two
l2mm bolts on the valve cover and gently pry the valve cover off. Use a screwdriver between the lip of the cover
and the head if necessary. Wiggle the valve cover around until you find a space wide enough to pull the cover
up and out of the engine compartment. Remove both valve covers.
Step 2. Loosen Intake Manifold Bolts.
On the right (passenger's) side of the engine, locate the three intake manifold mounting bolts. The manifold is bolted to the top of the cylinder head between the #1 and #3 spark plugs. Loosen the 12mm bolts about
60° (1 /6 of a turn). Don't loosen them more than 60° or water might leak into the engine. Don't loosen the intake
mounting bolts on the left (#2 and #4) side of the engine.
Procedure 4 Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 99
Step 3. Retorque Cylinder Head Nuts.
Do one side of the engine at a time. Look at the
Torque Patterns illustration to find nut #1 for your
engine. Use the long special socket on your ratchet
to loosen the nut 60° (1 /6 of a turn). Don't loosen
it more than 90°. Squirt motor oil on the bolt and
washer. Now tighten the bolt to its original position,
then loosen it 60°. Do this five times, then use a
torque wrench to torque the nut to 43 ft. lbs. on
'75-'78 engines, or 47 ft. lbs. on ' 79 and newer OHV
engines.
Follow the tightening sequence and repeat this
process on each of the head nuts one at a time. Don't
cheat on the sequence. You'll have to use the long spe
cial socket to retorque the #1 nut on all engines and
nut #8 on '75 engines and nut #9 on '76 and newer
OHV engines. Use the short special socket to retorque nuts #4 and #5. Either tool will work on the rest
of the nuts. After torqueing the last nut (#9), check
nut #1 again.
Now retorque the nuts on the other side of the
engine. After both heads are torqued, torque the three
intake manifold bolts on both sides of the engine to
15 ft. lbs.
Always check the valve adjustment (Procedure
7) after retorquing the heads. Fortunately, it's next
on the agenda. Put the valve covers back on at the end
of Procedure 7.
PROCEDURE 7: ADJUST VALVES (OHV
MODELS ONLY)
On OHV engines with mechanical (solid) valve
lifters, adjust the valves every 12,000 miles. Do it
when the engine is cold (hasn't been started for at least
four hours). The following models have mechanical lifters.
All '75-'82 models
All '83-'84 models with manual transmissions
The following models have hydraulic valve lifters so no valve adjustment is required.
d All '83-'84 models with automatic transmissions
All ' 85-'88 models
EVERYONE: Just to be sure, look at the sticker under the hood. If the sticker says the valve clearance is 0,
you have hydraulic lifters. If the sticker says Intake .010", Exhaust.014", follow this procedure to adjust the valves.
If you have hydraulic lifters, skip down to Procedure 8 (OHC models, or Procedure 9 (OHV models).
Condition: 12,000-mile tune-up; OR the valves sound noisy; OR you just torqued the heads.
100
Chapter 7 Procedure 7, Step 1
Step 2. Remove Air Cleaner. (Procedure 5, Step 4.)
Step 4. Adjust Valves For Cylinder #1.
Tools and Materials: You'll need either a l2mm box
end wrench and a 5mm open end wrench (these are
hard to find and break easily -a 6mm wrench or a
4" adjustable crescent wrench will work), or a genuine Subaru valve adjustment tool (see Chapter 5:
Tools). Also you'll need a feeler gauge with the correct blade sizes for your valve setting (Go No-Go
feeler gauges are easiest to use), screwdriver, ratchet,
and a 19mm or 22mm socket depending on the size
of your crank pulley bolt, maybe two new valve cover
gaskets and the little gaskets for the valve cover bolts.
Remark: Remember, the left side of the car is the
driver's side, and the right side is the passenger's side.
Front is toward the headlights and rear is toward the
taillights.
If you are adjusting the valves on a 1400cc engine
that has exhaust pipes attached to the front and rear
of each cylinder head, the valve positions are reversed
from the description below. Your exhaust valves are
the outside valves and the intake valves are the two
in the center of each cylinder head. Be sure you're
adjusting the right valve.
Step 1. Remove Spare Tire.
If the spare tire is in the engine compartment,
unscrew the large wing nut, then remove the tire.
Step 3. Mark Flywheel and Crank Pulley. (Procedure 5, Step 6.)
Skip this step if you've already marked the flywheel and crank pulley. If you haven't done it, do it now.
Remove the valve covers (Procedure 6, Step 1).
Remove the rectangular rubber or plastic plug in the flywheel housing so you can see the timing marks
on the flywheel (Procedure 5, Step 6). Now look at the distributor cap and find where the wire to the #1 spark
plug goes into it. Mark this place with pencil, crayon, or paint on the edge of the body of the distributor. Remove
the distributor cap (Procedure 9, Step 2). Turn the engine clockwise with the socket on the crank pulley until
the rotor points to the mark you made on the outside of the distributor body. Now turn the engine just a bit to
line up the zero line on the flywheel with the pointer on the flywheel cover. Be sure the rotor is pointing in the
direction where the spark plug wire from #1 cylinder connects to the distributor cap when it's back on the distributor.
The engine is now set at top dead center (TDC) firing position for cylinder #1. Now we're set to adjust the valves
for the #1 cylinder.
Procedure 7, Step 4
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
You'll be working on the right (passenger) side
of the engine first. The intake valves are the two outside valves and the exhaust valves are the two middle
valves. The valves for #1 cylinder are the two nearest
the front of the car. (1400cc engines, see the Remarks
section.)
To keep the following explanation simple, I'm
going to use the numbers .010 (ten thousandths of an
inch) for intake valves and .014 (fourteen thousandths
of an inch) for exhaust valves. This is the correct setting for all '76 and newer Subarus with mechanical
lifters. If you are adjusting the valves on a '75 Soob,
the correct setting for your engine is .012 for the intake
valves and .014 for the exhaust valves.
Your feeler gauge blades are the keys to successful valve adjustment. You're dealing with a slim gap
between the rocker arm and valve stem. To set a
valve to .010 (ten thousandths of an inch), adjust it
so an Oll feeler gauge blade won't fit, but a .009 blade
will. The same criteria applies for setting one to
.014-adjust it so a .015 blade won't fit but a .013 will.
This is where Go No-Go feeler gauges help. They
combine two sizes on each blade. The tip is one size
and the rest of the blade is another. For instance, .009
and .011, or .013 and .015. If the tip fits in the gap but
the blade doesn't, the gap is set at whatever number
is between the two sizes. They sure make adjusting
valves a lot easier.
Get out the feeler gauge with the appropriate
blades ready for action. Start with the front valve
(intake). Slide the .010 feeler gauge blade (or the cor
rect one for your intake valves) between the rocker
arm and valve stem. Slip it in flat and straight-don't
force it. If you're not sure where to stick the blade,
push the top of the rocker arm in and out to see where
it hits. It hits the valve stem sticking out of the center
of the valve spring. The space between the valve stem
and rocker arm is the distance we're checking.
If the .010 blade won't go into the gap, try a .009
blade. If it won't go, you have a tight valve. If an .011
blade falls through the gap, you have a loose valve.
If the .010 blade slides through the gap with just a
slight resistance to easy sliding, the valve is right. (If
it seems OK but you want to make sure, try a .011 and
a .009 blade. If the .011 blade won't go through and
the .009 does, you know the adjustment is right.) Take
your time. You can build up speed later but right now
give yourself all the time you need. It might be useful
to have a Friend who's used feeler gauges join you
for the first try. Ask him to check your first valve and
Timing Marks
for Valve Adjustment
Engine set at
TDC for adjusting
valves for ', 1
and ti2 cylinders
TDC for
, 3 and --4
cylinders
102
Chapter 7 Procedure 7, Step 4
Valve Gap
Valve
Spring
P"Throd
Lock Nut
compare notes. You can actually feel the blade slipping with a slight pull between the two metal surfaces
when the adjustment is correct.
Whether a valve is too tight or too loose, the
procedure for changing the setting is the same: you
change the position of the adjusting bolt in the bot
tom of the rocker arm. Turn the bolt clockwise to
decrease the distance between the rocker arm and
the valve, or counterclockwise to increase this clearance. Remember, clockwise is less, counterclockwise
is more.
The adjusting bolt has a locking nut to hold it
in position after it's been adjusted. The locking nut
must be loosened (counterclockwise) before you can
adjust the bolt to change the gap. You won't have to
turn it far. Use your genuine Subaru valve adjusting
tool, or the thinnest 12mm box end wrench you have,
to loosen the 12mm lock nut. Make sure the wrench
is secure on the nut because this is a place where
skinned knuckles abound. If the nut doesn't come
loose with one hand, use two (watch out for those
skinned knuckles). One way to avoid skinned
knuckles is to hold the wrench firmly with one hand
while you use the free hand to tap (or pound) on the
wrench to loosen the lock nut. When the nut is loose,
hold it still with the wrench and move the adjusting
bolt back and forth in the nut a few times to get the
threads in a little better adjusting shape. Use the
smaller handle on the Subaru tool, a 5mm or 6mm
open end wrench or the small 4" crescent, to turn
the adjusting bolt.
I have two methods for adjusting valve clearances. Which method I use depends on how easily
the lock nut moves on the adjusting bolt. If the nut
moves easily, I use the "Imprisoned Feeler Blade
Method," but if the nut turns hard on the bolt I use
the "Memorized Small Wrench Position Method:'
Sometimes I use a combination of both. (Small
wrench means the short handle on the Subaru tool,
the 5mm or 6mm open end wrench, or the 4" crescent wrench-whichever you're using. Big wrench
means the longer handle on the Subaru tool or the
12mm box end wrench.)
Imprisoned Blade Method: After the lock nut
is loose, put the big wrench on the lock nut and the small wrench on the adjusting bolt. Let the big wrench go
and slip the proper feeler blade between the rocker arm and the valve. (If it won't fit, turn the bolt counterclockwise
a little.) Now turn the adjusting bolt clockwise with the small wrench until it barely "imprisons" the blade by
pinching it between the valve stem and the bolt. The blade can be moved, but offers resistance. Let the blade
remain in the gap. Hold the small wrench in this position, let go of the feeler gauge and tighten the lock nut on
the bolt. Now try the feeler blade again to see if you got it right. If the blade is too tight, back off on the lock
Procedure 7, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 103
nut, then the adjusting bolt, and do the adjustment again. Be sure you're not letting the small wrench move at
all when you tighten the lock nut.
Memorized Small Wrench Position Method: This method is useful when turning the lock nut tends to turn
the adjusting bolt also. The 12mm lock nut is loosened and the large wrench is on the lock nut, right? Let go
of the large wrench and put the small wrench on the bolt and the feeler blade in place in the gap and tighten the
bolt until the clearance seems right. The blade should be held gently in the gap's grip, as in the Imprisoned Blade
Method. Memorize the position of the small wrench's handle at this point. Slip the feeler blade out. Now use
the big wrench to turn the lock nut down on the bolt. Just before the lock nut reaches its seat on the rocker arm,
loosen (counterclockwise) the adjusting bolt with the small wrench just a little so the lock nut will twist it clockwise
to the memorized place when you tighten it down. You'll see the handle of the small wrench turn as you tighten
the lock nut. First time through you'll need trial-and-error to determine how far you have to back off the adjusting
bolt to get it to return to the memorized position when you snug down the lock nut. Be patient-you'll get it.
In both methods, snug the adjusting nut down
tight and check the clearance again with the feeler
blade(s). If it's correct, go on to the next valve. If it
isn't, you're back where you started, so adjust it again.
Remember that a little looser is better than a little
tighter. It will take time and patience to get them right,
especially the first time. Hang in there. The gaps are
important so get them right.
When you're satisfied that the #1 intake valve is
adjusted right, go on to the exhaust valve. That would
be the second valve from the front. Use the appro
priate feeler gauge blade and check and adjust the
exhaust valve the same way you adjusted the intake
valve. After the exhaust valve is adjusted, take a short
break and give your back a rest. After you've been
setting your own valves for a while and are familiar
with them, the job will move quickly. Also, you'll
find that there will only be one or two in the whole
engine that need to be changed.
Step 5. Turn the Engine, Adjust Valves for
Cylinder #3.
Cylinder #3 sits right behind #1 on the passenger
side of the engine. Use the socket on the crank pulley
to rotate the engine 180° (1/2 turn) clockwise
(as viewed from the front of the car). The two white lines on the crank pulley will be on top after you rotate the
engine. Now check the flywheel marks through the hole in the flywheel housing. The pointer on the flywheel
housing must line up with the one long line on the flywheel. Use the socket on the crank pulley to get it right
on. Now check the rotor inside the distributor. If it isn't pointing to the #3 spark plug wire post on the distributor cap, you turned the engine the wrong direction. Turn it until the rotor points to the #3 spark plug post and
the line on the flywheel is lined up with the pointer on the flywheel housing.
Cylinder #3 is now in firing position-just where you want it. Now you can adjust the back two valves on
this side of the engine. Look at the illustration again to be sure which is intake and which is exhaust. Be sure
you use the right feeler gauge for each.
Check and adjust cylinder #3 intake and exhaust valves exactly as you did the cylinder #1 valves in Step 4.
Don't hurry. Now that you've turned the engine you can no longer check the adjustment on the valves for cylinder #1.
104
Chapter 7 Procedure 7, Step 6
Step 6. Install Valve Cover.
When all four valves on this side of the engine have been adjusted, you're ready to put the valve cover back
on. Feel all the way around the surface on the head where the valve cover gasket fits. It must be smooth. Scrape
off any remains of the old gasket with a knife, putty knife, or flat screwdriver. Leaving one little chunk stuck
there could cause the gasket to leak and you'd lose oil. Unfortunately, pieces usually remain on the bottom center
surface where it's most difficult to reach. Wipe off any gasket parts that fall on the valve springs, rocker arms,
etc. If the gasket stayed on the head, check it with your finger for cracks or missing pieces. If you find any, replace
the gasket. Wipe the inside of the valve cover clean and check and clean the surface around the edge where the
gasket fits.
If you have white lithium grease or wheel bearing grease handy, lightly coat both sides of the valve cover
gasket with the grease so it will be easier to remove the next time.
If the old gasket is still good, just bolt the cover on. If the valve cover looks like it's been leaking around
the edge, or the old gasket got mangled when the valve cover was removed, slip a new gasket in the valve cover.
Bolt on the valve cover with the two 12mm bolts. Use new valve cover bolt washers if the rubber part is broken or missing. Get the bolts snug but don't crank on them too hard.
Step 7. Turn Engine.
Rotate the engine another 180° clockwise with the socket and ratchet so the single line on the crank pulley is up and the 0 line on the flywheel lines up with the pointer on the flywheel housing. You're about ready
to adjust the valves for cylinder #2, the front cylinder on the left (driver's) side of the engine. Now follow the
spark plug wire from the front spark plug to the distributor cap. Slip the cap in place, then lift it off and eyeball the rotor. The rotor should be pointed toward the post where the cylinder #2 wire connects to the cap when
it's on. (If it isn't, the engine was turned the wrong direction-turn it until the rotor points to the #2 wire terminal and the 0 line on the flywheel lines up with the pointer on the flywheel housing.)
Step 8. Adjust Valves for Cylinder #2.
Remove the left valve cover (if you haven't already) and check and adjust the valves for the #2 cylinder (the
front two) just like you did for cylinders #1 and #3. Remember to use the chart for the correct intake and exhaust
gaps. Refer to Procedure 6, Step 1, to take off the valve cover, and to Step 4 of this procedure to do the adjustment, if you need to.
Step 9. Turn Engine (last time!).
Turn the engine another 180° clockwise (as you face it) to line up the long single line on the flywheel with
the triangle pointer. The two lines on the crank pulley will end up at the top. Cylinder #4 is right behind #2, so
find the #4 spark plug wire and follow it to where it connects to the distributor cap. Again, slip the cap in place
to see where the #4 spark plug wire connects to the cap, then lift the cap and see if the rotor is pointing to the
#4 terminal. If it is, you're set to do the last set of valves; if not, you'll need to turn the engine so the rotor is aiming
at the #4 terminal position and the long single line on the flywheel aligns with the pointer.
Step 10. Adjust Valves for Cylinder #4.
Adjust the rear two valves just as you did the others, then install the valve cover (Step 6). Remove the ratchet
and socket from the crankshaft pulley and snap the distributor cap back on the distributor (Procedure 9, Step
9). Make sure all the wires are snugly in place. If you're continuing with the tune-up now, leave the air cleaner
housing off (be sure to plug the vacuum lines). Leave the timing hole plug out, and the spare tire out.
If you've pooped out and decided to finish the tune-up later, put the air cleaner on (Procedure 5, Step 5),
install the timing hole plug, and put the spare tire back in place. Make sure all tools, rags, and other materials
are out from under the hood. Did you remove the wrench from the crankshaft pulley bolt? Turn the engine on
and warm it up, then check to make sure the valve covers aren't leaking oil.
Congratulations, you have just completed the most tedious, back-breaking part of the tune-up! Now that
Procedure 8
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 105
the valves are correctly adjusted, only one or two, or maybe none, will have to be changed at the next 12,000-mile
tune-up. Be sure and check them though. It's going to be easier and easier each time you do this procedure. Your
friends will be amazed.
Now, on with the tune-up. Go to Procedure 9.
PROCEDURE 8: CHECK, ADJUST, REPLACE CAM BELTS (FOUR-CYLINDER OHC MODELS
ONLY)
This procedure does not include adjusting or replacing the cam belts on six-cylinder engines. They have
a hydraulic adjuster that automatically adjusts the belt tension.
The overhead camshaft belts consist of two belts; one that turns the camshaft on the right side of the engine
and one for the camshaft on the left side. The cam belts run between drive sprockets on the crankshaft and
sprockets on the front ends of the camshafts. The distributor is driven by a gear on the rear end of the left-side
camshaft. The tension for each belt can be adjusted with a spring-loaded belt tensioner. The left-side belt is
longer because it also turns an oil pump drive sprocket and goes around an additional toothed idler sprocket.
As the belts stretch and wear away, slack develops (especially in the longer left-side belt). Slack allows the
belts to flap about and eventually break. Fortunately, it's always the longer left-side belt that breaks, which stops
the distributor and thus stops the engine. Periodically checking the camshaft drive belts is cheap insurance against
being left stranded in the middle of rush hour traffic.
Subaru recommends replacing the cam belts every 60,000 miles. Adjusting the belts, other than when new
belts are installed, is not mentioned in the factory maintenance schedules. In reality, the belts usually require
an adjustment sometime between 5,000 and 20,000 miles, and since the belts should only be adjusted once, the
average time for replacement is around 40,000 to 50,000 miles.
It's a relatively easy job to adjust the belts but significantly more involved to replace them. Be sure to read
through the entire procedure to see if you are up to the task before tearing into the engine.
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR strange noises are coming from the engine; OR a camshaft belt has broken.
Camshaft BH
Timing Belt RH
Exhaust Valve
Tensioner LH
106
Chapter 7 Procedure 8, Step 1
Tools and Materials: Friend, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm deep socket, 19mm, and 21mm sockets and ratchet,
torque wrench.
To adjust the belts, you'll also need the following special tools: a flywheel stopper CP for manual transmission models (Subaru part #498277000) or a drive plate stopper for automatic transmission models (Subaru
part #498497000) and a belt tension wrench CP (Subaru part #499437000). See the Remarks section for alternatives
to these expensive tools.
To replace the belts: Tvo new belts, a camshaft sprocket wrench (Subaru part #499207000), and a tensioner
wrench (Subaru part #499007000).
Remarks: Remember, left side is the driver's side; right side is the passenger's side.
If you were to buy all of the special tools listed above, it would cost almost as much as hiring someone to
do the work for you. However, the only tool you really have to buy is the belt tension wrench (#499437000).
With a little ingenuity and perseverance, the alternate tools described in the steps can be substituted for the expensive
factory tools.
Step 1. Check OHC Cam Belts.
To check the belts, all you do is open the hood, start the engine, then listen carefully on the left rear side
and on both front corners of the engine. The cam belts are loose and should be adjusted if you hear a thwapping noise from the left rear corner, near the distributor, which sounds like marbles rattling around inside the
distributor cap. The noise is from the drive gear on the camshaft slapping against the driven gear on the distributor shaft. This doesn't seem to cause any damage to the gears or cam box, but it's a definite warning that
if the cam belts aren't adjusted or replaced soon, one will probably break and leave you stranded. If the belts
have gone 40,000 miles or they've been adjusted once already, go ahead and replace them.
Another way to check for loose belts is to remove the distributor cap, then use a socket and ratchet on the
crankshaft pulley bolt to move the crank back and forth, a few degrees in each direction. Watch the distributor shaft as you move the crank. There should be no delay between crank and distributor movement. The dis
tributor is driven by the left-hand cam belt, and any looseness in the belt will delay distributor shaft movement.
If you hear a whine or high-pitched whirr from the front corners of the engine, the belts are adjusted too
tight and they are putting excess pressure on the front cam bearings. You will probably only hear this noise right
after adjusting the belts. It might not be noticeable at idle, so rev the engine a little and listen for it. If you hear
the whine or whirr, adjust the belts again and don't add that extra little "just to be sure" tug on the torque wrench.
If you determine that the belts are loose, do Steps 2, 3, and 4 to adjust them. If the belts have been adjusted
at a previous tune-up, or one has broken already, do Steps 2 and 5 through 9 to replace them.
Step 2. Remove Cam Belt Covers.
The engine should be cold when adjusting or replacing the cam belts.
First, let's clear some things out of the way so the cam belt covers are more accessible. Pull the hoses out
of the holder on top of the fan shroud on the right rear side of the radiator. Disconnect the wires to the electric
fan mounted on the right rear side of the radiator, then remove the four 10mm bolts that attach the fan shroud
to the radiator. Pull the fan and shroud up and out of the engine compartment.
If you have air conditioning, remove the three or four bolts that attach the shroud to the left rear side of the
radiator. Remove the four nuts that attach the rear of the vaned aluminum fan clutch to the pulley on the front
of the water pump. (Don't remove the nuts that attach the fan to the front of the fan clutch.) Remove the fan and
shroud from the engine compartment.
Cam belt replacers: To replace the cam belts, the crankshaft pulley must be removed. Loosening the crankshaft
pulley bolt is sometimes very difficult, even if you have the special Subaru tool for locking the engine. If you
are sure the cam belts need to be replaced, it would be a good idea to skip down to Step 5 now and follow the
instructions for loosening the crankshaft pulley bolt before taking things apart any further. Once the crank pulley
bolt is loose, come back and finish this step. If you can't loosen the crank pulley bolt, you'll have to buy the special
tool for locking the engine or put everything back together and seek professional help.
Procedure $ Step 2
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 107
When replacing the cam belts, the drive belts for the alternator and air conditioner compressor (if you have
A/C) and the water pump pulley must also be removed. Getting the drive belts and water pump pulley out of
the way makes the bolts for the cam covers more accessible. So if you are here to replace the belts, loosen the
water pump pulley nuts until you can turn them with your fingers, then remove the alternator and air conditioning
drive belts (Chapter 10, Procedure 3). Now remove the water pump pulley. If you are replacing the belts, remove
the crankshaft pulley also.
EVERYONE: Look at the "Timing Belt Covers" illustration for the location of the bolts that attach the lefthand, right-hand, and front covers to the rear covers. They are all 10mm bolts except the one at the bottom of
the left-hand cover-it's a bolt and nut (you might need to remove it from under the car). As you remove the
belt covers, pay close attention to the length of the bolts and spacers so you can reinstall them in the same places.
Drawing a sketch or writing the sizes (short, medium, or long) on the "Timing Belt Covers" illustration will
make reassembly a lot easier. While the covers are off, be very careful to not let oil, grease, antifreeze, or anything
else get on the belts. Always clean your hands before touching the belts. OK, now remove the left-hand and righthand covers. Remove the oblong rubber belt cover plugs from the front belt cover.
Cam belt replacers: Skip down to Step 5.
108
Chapter 7 Procedure 8, Step 3
Step 3. Adjust Cam Belts.
Here's how the belt tensioners work. A strong
spring pulls the tensioner toward the belt to eliminate slack. The spring isn't strong enough to maintain
the tension while the engine is running, so the tension is adjusted, then the tensioner is locked in place.
When adjusting the belts, a torque wrench is used
to apply a specified amount of pull on the belt to eliminate all slack, but not enough pull to stretch (overtighten) the belt. While the torque wrench eliminates
the slack, the tensioner spring forces the tensioner
against the belt, then the tensioner is locked in place
with two bolts. Got it?
Look at the illustrations for adjusting the lefthand and right-hand timing belts to locate the round
Tensioners. If the front cover is still on the engine,
the tensioners will be only partially visible.
Look at the illustration labeled "Timing Belt
Tensioner RH" and find bolt A and bolt B. Remem
ber that, as you face the engine, bolt A is to the right and above bolt B, and B is in the slotted hole. Now look
at the illustration labeled "Raising The Left-Hand Tensioner" and locate bolt C and bolt D. Remember that,
as you face the engine, bolt C is above and to the left of bolt D, and D is in the slotted hole. If the front belt cover
is still on the engine, you'll have to peek through the holes in the lower part of the cover to see these bolts.
Adjusting the Left-hand Timing Belt
Tighten Bolt D, Then Bolt C
Procedure 8, Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 109
We'll adjust the left-hand belt first. Loosen bolts C and D about 1/2 turn counterclockwise (as viewed from
the front of the car). Look at the illustration "Adjusting Left-Hand Timing Belt." Watch the tensioner while you
squeeze the belt together where the arrows are pointing at the belt. (Your hands are clean, right?) The tensioner
should be free enough to move a little. If not, loosen bolts C and D a little more.
Install the large round belt tensioner tool into the four holes on the left-hand camshaft sprocket. Set your
torque wrench to 18 ft. lbs., if it's a clicker type. Fit the torque wrench onto the tool so the handle is pointing
straight up. Put your socket and ratchet on bolt D so you can tighten it while holding torque on the cam sprocket.
Remove the rubber plug from the timing hole on the top rear of the engine. Use the Subaru flywheel stopper
(manuals) or drive plate stopper (automatics) to lock the engine. If you don't have this tool, have Friend use a
bent pry bar, a large screwdriver, or a strong punch to lock the engine. It's pretty easy to lock the engine while
adjusting the cam belts. It's much more difficult to lock it while removing the crankshaft pulley bolt for belt replacement. Anyway, here's how you do it. Stick the bar or screwdriver through the timing hole at the top rear of the
engine and engage the tip of the tool with the teeth on the flywheel or drive plate, or against a mounting bolt
on the drive plate. On manual transmission models, you can also use a strong punch inserted into one of the holes
around the edge of the flywheel. You might have to use a socket and ratchet on the crankshaft pulley bolt to turn
the engine until one of the flywheel holes appears in the timing hole. Don't push the punch into the hole tightly
before trying to lock the engine because if the punch should happen to break, it could be difficult to remove the
part that's stuck in the hole. If this misfortune should befall you, don't start the engine until the broken punch
is removed. A strong magnet might lift it out, or you might have to drill a hole in the punch, then use an easyout to remove it.
If you are replacing the cam belts and you can't loosen the crankshaft pulley bolt by using one of the above
methods, you can remove the starter for better access to the teeth in the flywheel or drive plate. See Chapter
10, Procedure 10, for starter removal and installation. Once the starter is off, wedge the bar or screwdriver between
the aluminum bell housing and the teeth of the flywheel or drive plate.
OK, once the engine is locked, move the torque wrench handle in the direction of the arrow in the illustration
(counterclockwise, toward the right side of the car) until it clicks or reads 18 ft. lbs. Hold the torque wrench there
110
Chapter 7 Procedure 8, Step 4
without moving the handle while you (or Friend) snugs down bolt D (the lower bolt) and then bolt C (the upper
bolt). After both bolts are snug, put the socket on the torque wrench and torque bolt D, then bolt C to 14 ft. lbs.
Check both bolts again. The left belt is adjusted. Wasn't too hard, eh?
To adjust the right-hand belt, loosen bolts A and B about 1/2 turn, or until you can move the tensioner slightly
by squeezing on the belt like you did on the left side. Set your torque wrench to 18 ft. lbs. (if it's a clicker), then
fit the belt tension tool and torque wrench onto the right-hand sprocket. Fit a socket and ratchet onto bolt B.
Lock the engine again, then turn the torque wrench counterclockwise, just like you did for the left belt, until
it clicks or reads 18 ft. lbs. Have Friend snug down bolt B, then bolt A. Torque bolt B, then bolt A to 14 ft. lbs.
Check both bolts again.
If you replaced the belts, go to Step- 9 to finish the job.
If you only adjusted the belts and didn't remove the crank and water pump pulleys, or the front cover, remove
whatever tools you used to lock the engine, then clear the fan, tools, rags, and stuff away from the engine. Start
the engine and check for the thwapping sound near the distributor and for a whine or whirr from the front corners
of the engine. If the distributor has quieted down and there's no whine or whirr coming from the front when
the engine is revved up, the belts are adjusted correctly. If there's a thwapping, whining, or howling sound, adjust
the belt tension again. If you can't eliminate the sounds, the problem could be worn-out belts or a worn-out cam
box that is allowing the cam to move back and forth causing the distributor gear to tap against the cam box. You'll
have to see the pros.
Step 4. Install Belt Covers.
Check the rubber seals for the belt covers and replace any that are torn, broken, or missing. Be sure there
are no loose parts in the belt covers (like bolts, nuts, and washers) before installing them. If the front cover is
off, install it, then install the left-hand and right-hand covers. On Turbo models, don't forget to install the metal
plate on the bottom left side of the covers. It slides in from the side. Be sure all the bolts are installed and snug.
Procedure 8, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 111
EVERYONE: If you have air conditioning, fit the A/C shroud over the water pump pulley while you install
the vaned aluminum fan clutch onto the pulley. Tighten the nuts that attach the fan clutch to the water pump pulley.
Install the fan shroud onto the rear of the radiator, then install and tighten the mounting bolts.
Install the electric cooling fan and shroud onto the right rear side of the radiator. Install and tighten the mounting
bolts, then connect the electric wires for the fan. Fit the wires and/or hoses into the holder on top of the fan shroud.
Look for other things that were removed or disconnected during disassembly. Connect or install them. Clear
all rags, tools, and beer cans from the engine compartment.
Now you can start the engine and enjoy the absence of the loose cam belt thwapping noise.
Let the engine warm up and check that the electric cooling fan kicks on. If it doesn't, check the electrical
connection again.
Step 5. Replace Cam Belts.
Always replace the cam belts as a set. Never replace only one of the belts.
Remove the drive belts (Chapter 10, Step 3).
Remove the four 10mm nuts that attach the water pump pulley and pulley cover to the water pump. Remove
the pulley and cover.
Remove the timing hole cover plug at the top rear of the engine. It's the hole where you check the ignition
timing. Fit the special Subaru flywheel stopper or drive plate stopper tool into the hole. Use a socket and ratchet
on the crankshaft pulley bolt to turn the engine clockwise (as viewed from the front of the engine). As you're
turning the engine, wiggle the stopper tool so it engages with the drive plate or flywheel and locks the engine.
If you don't have one of these tools, see Step 3 for alternative methods of locking the engine.
Now you can turn the crank pulley bolt counterclockwise to loosen it. The bolt might be pretty tight, so be
careful where your hands will end up if the bolt breaks loose suddenly or the engine lock slips. Once the bolt
is loose, remove the engine lock. Use the socket and ratchet on the pulley bolt to rotate the engine clockwise
until the timing mark (a small dimple) in the left camshaft sprocket is aligned with the notch in the top of the
rear belt cover (see "Aligning the Camshaft Sprockets" illustration). Look into the timing hole on the top rear
of the engine. Three lines should be visible, and the
centerline should be aligned with the tip of the triangle pointer (see the Flywheel Timing Marks illustration). Turn the engine, if necessary, to align the
pointer and the centerline. Now remove the crank pulley while being sure that the dimple in the cam
sprocket stays aligned with the notch in the belt cover
and the centerline on the flywheel stays even with the
pointer.
Disconnect the wiring harness from the oil pressure switch or gauge located at the bottom front of
the engine.
Find the bolt on the right front side of the engine
which attaches the engine oil dipstick tube to the
engine. Clean around the tube where it fits into a
lower tube (you don't want any dirt falling into the
engine when you remove the dipstick tube). Remove
the bolt, then wiggle the dipstick tube out of its holder.
Cover the open tube with a clean rag to keep dirt out.
Turbo models: Remove the three bolts that
attach the belt cover plate to the bottom left side of
the cam belt covers. Slide the plate to the left to
remove it.
112 Chapter 7 Procedure 8 Step 6
EVERYONE: Remove the left- and right-hand belt covers (Step 2), then remove the front belt cover.
If you are going to use these cam belts again, use chalk or paint to make an arrow on the top outside surface of the belts to indicate which direction they turn. Since the engine turns clockwise, as viewed from the front,
make arrows on the top surface of the belt pointing toward the left (driver's) side of the car.
The cam belts must be as slack as possible in order to remove them. To slacken the belts, the tensioner pulleys
must be pulled away from the belts, then locked in that position by the tensioner adjusting bolts. While loosening
the belts, you'll be struggling against the tensioner springs, which are trying to pull the tensioner against the
belts to tighten them. Let's do it. Loosen bolts A and B on the right-hand tensioner (see illustration for "Adjusting
Right-Hand Timing Belt"). Push down on the tensioner and hold it down while you snug the bolts to hold the
tensioner in the down position.
Wiggle the right-hand belt off the cam sprocket, tensioner, and crankshaft sprocket. If you are going to use
the belt again, stash it where it won't get dirty or greasy.
Loosen bolts C and D on the left-hand tensioner about 1/z turn. Use the tension wrench to raise the lefthand tensioner (see the illustration), then snug the bolts down again. Wrap tape or a rag around the end of the
wrench so it doesn't scratch the crankshaft.
If you don't have the tension wrench, look at the illustration for "Adjusting Left-Hand Timing Belt." Squeeze
the belt together where the large arrows are pointing at the belt. This should raise the tensioner while you tighten
the bolts to hold it in the up position. If this method doesn't work for you, use a strong, long screwdriver, broom
handle, or hammer handle to pry the tensioner up while you tighten the bolts. Be careful not to scratch the crank
or anything with your tool.
Now you can wiggle the left-hand belt off the cam sprocket, tensioner, crank sprocket No. 2, and the oil
pump sprocket at the bottom front of the engine. Stash it somewhere clean if you are going to use it again.
The belts are liberated!
Step 6. Check Belts, Sprockets, Tensioners, Idler.
Belts: I assume that you are here to replace the cam belts, but just in case you want (or need) to use the old
belts again, check them carefully for breaks, cracks, and any teeth that appear to be worn more than the others.
If you find any of these things, or if there's any trace of cracks on the outside of the belts, replace them.
Sprockets: Check the teeth for chips, cracks,
and areas that are worn more than others. If you find
any of these things, replace the sprocket. To replace
the cam sprockets, you'll need a tool like the one
shown in the illustration to hold the sprocket while
you loosen and tighten the mounting bolts. No tool?
Stick two phillips screwdrivers or punches into two
of the holes on the front surface of the sprocket, then
use a long screwdriver or hammer handle between
them to prevent the sprocket from turning.
Install the cam sprocket so the little timing mark
(dimple) is toward the front of the car. Thanks to a
little dowel pin in the end of the camshaft, the
sprocket will only fit on the cam in one position, so
it's impossible to install it incorrectly.
Tensioners: Spin the tensioner pulleys and listen
for noise. Try to wiggle each pulley on its shaft. If
you hear a rumble or scratchy sound, or if the pulley is loose on its shaft, replace the tensioner. Here's how. Just
remove the tension adjusting bolts, then disconnect the tensioner spring. Connect the tensioner spring to the
new tensioner, then install the two mounting bolts.
113 Procedure 8 Step 7
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
Idler: The idler is that sprocket on the lower left side of the engine, just below the left belt tensioner. Check
the idler the same way you checked the tensioners.
Step 7. Prepare to Install Cam Belts.
If both crankshaft sprockets came off the crank
when you removed the cam belts, install sprocket No.
2 (see the illustration). It doesn't have a dowel pin.
Then install crank sprocket No. 1 with the dowel pin
facing the front of the car.
Check that the centerline on the flywheel is still
aligned with the triangle pointer. If it isn't, slip the
crank pulley onto the end of the crankshaft and install
the pulley bolt. Use your socket and ratchet to slowly
turn the engine until the middle line is even with the
tip of the triangle pointer.
Now find the timing marks (little dimples) on
the front surfaces of both camshaft sprockets. The
dimples must be positioned so they are exactly
beneath little notches in the rear cam covers (check
the illustration). If the sprockets need to be turned,
use the sprocket wrench, if you have one, or stick a
couple of small phillips screwdrivers or punches into
two of the holes on the front of the sprockets. Use a
large screwdriver or hammer handle between the
screwdrivers or punches to rotate the sprocket clockwise until the dimple is aligned with the notch. Align
both cam sprockets.
Check that the right tensioner is down as far as
it will go (bolt B should be at the top of the slot). The
left tensioner should be as far up as possible (bolt D
should be at the bottom of the slot). Check that bolts
B and D are snug, then loosen bolts A and C 1/2 turn.
See Step 3 if you aren't sure where these bolts are
located.
OK, everything should be set up for installing
the cam belts. Leave the crank pulley on the crank
because removing the pulley bolt now would probably
turn the engine.
Step 8. Install Camshaft Belts.
Install the long, left-hand belt first. If you are using the old belt, find your arrow and install the belt so the
arrow is pointing toward the left side of the car.
Slip the belt over the crank pulley and onto the crank sprocket and oil pump sprocket. Pull the top of the
belt below the tensioner and slip the lower part of the belt under the idler sprocket. Now, keep tension on the
belt while you fit it over the cam sprocket and wiggle it all the way on. Loosen bolt D '/2 turn to allow the tensioner to press on the belt so it can't slip.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Whatever you do, don't skip the next paragraph.
Put your socket and ratchet on the crankshaft pulley bolt and rotate the engine one complete turn clockwise (as viewed from the front of the car). Watch for the three lines on the flywheel to come around again, indicating
114
Chapter 7 Procedure 8 Step 9
the engine has made one complete revolution. Align the middle line on the flywheel or torque plate with the
triangle pointer on the timing hole, just like it was before.
Grab the shorter, right-hand belt. Remember, if you're using the old belt again, install it so the arrow on
top is pointing toward the left side of the car. Check that the dimple on the right cam sprocket is still aligned
with the notch in the rear cam cover. The dimple in the left-hand cam sprocket will be at the bottom now.
Slip the right belt over the crank pulley and onto the crank sprocket. Lift the bottom part of the belt onto
the right belt tensioner. Hold tension on the bottom of the belt, next to the tensioner, while you slide it onto the
right cam sprocket. When the belt is on the sprocket, loosen bolt B by 1/z turn to allow the tensioner to press
against the belt.
Now use the socket and ratchet to rotate the engine at least three full turns clockwise. This aligns the cam
belts so the belt tension adjustment will be accurate.
Adjust the belt tension for the left belt, then the right belt as described in Step 3. After both belts are adjusted,
turn the engine clockwise and recheck that the flywheel mark and the cam sprocket dimples are still aligned
with the marks. Check the setting for the left belt, then rotate the engine one full turn and check the right belt.
If the marks are off, remove the belt and try again.
Step 9. Finish the Job.
Use the socket and ratchet to rotate the crank clockwise while you insert the flywheel or torque plate stopper,
or whatever tool you are using, into the timing hole to lock the engine. Once the engine is locked, turn the crank
bolt counterclockwise to remove it. Pull the crank pulley off the end of the crankshaft. Be sure the rubber seals
in the timing belt covers are in place. Check that nothing is in the front belt cover (like a bolt or washer), then
install the front cover. Install and tighten the front cover bolts. Fit the rubber plugs into the holes on the front
of the cover. Now install the left- and right-hand belt covers and tighten the bolts (Step 4).
Turbo models: Install the belt cover plate on the bottom left cam belt cover. It slides in from the side.
EVERYONE: Use whatever method worked for you to lock the engine, then install the crank pulley and
pulley bolt. Torque the bolt to 75 ft. lbs.
Fit the water pump pulley and pulley cover onto the water pump, then install and snug down the mounting nuts. Wait until the drive belts are installed to tighten the nuts.
Round up the engine oil dipstick tube and put a little motor oil on the little rubber O-ring that's on the tube.
Stick the tube into its hole, then install and tighten the mounting bolt. Insert the dipstick into the tube.
Reconnect the wire to the oil pressure gauge switch.
Install and adjust the alternator and A/C drive belts (Chapter 10, Procedure 3).
Now you can fully tighten the mounting nuts for the water pump pulley. The torque is only 7 ft. lbs., so be
careful not to overtighten them or they might break.
Install the A/C fan shroud and fan, then the electric fan and shroud, then reconnect the electric wires. This
is all covered in Step 4.
Look around for other things you might have disconnected or removed during disassembly. Connect or install
them.
Start the engine and listen to the sound of silence. Let the engine run to check that the electric fans springs
to life when the engine warms up. Congratulations. Job well done.
PROCEDURE 9: DISTRIBUTOR CHECKS
Condition: 12,000 miles have elapsed-tune-up time; OR engine is hard to start or running poorly.
Tools and Materials: To check the distributor cap and rotor, you'll need a medium screwdriver, a light wire
brush (the wire bush on the end of a battery terminal cleaner will do), a clean rag, and a little solvent or rubbing alcohol.
To check the mechanical and vacuum advance mechanisms that are on some distributors you'll need a 12"
length of 3/32" (5mm) vacuum hose, maybe a new advance/retard unit, needlenose pliers, and small phillips
screwdriver. You may need penetrating oil.
Breakerless distributor models: You'll need brass non-magnetic feeler gauges (.008"-.020"), a medium screwdriver, and a phillips screwdriver. You may need your ratchet and 19mm or 22mm socket.
Remarks: Here's the kind of distributor you have, and which steps to follow to check it:
1975-1976 California models and 1975-1978 non-California models: You have a breaker point-type
distributor. Instead of doing Step 5 in this procedure, you will need to do Procedure 10 while the distributor
cap is off to check, adjust, or replace the breaker points.
1977 and newer California models and all 1979-1987 models (except 1986 SPFI,1987 SPFI and MPFI
and all 1988 OHC models): You have an "electronic" breakerless distributor. These little jewels are about
40 percent more efficient than the old breaker points-type distributors and require a lot less maintenance. Technology
triumphs again! Do Steps 1-9 to check your distributor.
1986 SPIT models, 1987 SPIT and MPFI models and all 1988 OHC models: You have an LED distributor.
Other than inspecting the distributor cap, rotor, and distributor bushings, there's nothing inside the distributor cap to check. So do Steps 1-4 for the checks, then do Step 9 to install the rotor and cap. When the cap is back
on you can skip to Procedure 11.
Step 1. Get Ready.
Procedure 9, Step 1
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up ll5
Engine is turned OFF. Block the wheels, set the handbrake, then put the gearshift in Neutral and open
the hood.
OHV carb models: Remove the air cleaner housing if it's on (Procedure 5, Step 4).
EVERYONE: Locate the distributor. It sticks up out of the top front of the engine on OHV models or up
out of the top left rear corner on OHC models. It has five thick wires connected to the cap (seven on six cylinder models).
Step 2. Remove and Inspect Distributor Cap.
The distributor cap is attached to the top of the
distributor with two springy clips or two screws on
opposite sides of the cap. Use your fingers or a
medium screwdriver to pry open the two springy
clips, or loosen the two screws. Lift the cap up and
rotate the bottom toward you so you can peek inside.
Leave the wires attached to the cap.
Wipe off the outside and inside of the cap with
a rag lightly soaked in solvent or alcohol (not the
drinking kind). Eyeball the cap for cracks and chips.
A typical crack is a faint jagged line, usually near the
little metal posts inside the cap. Clean the four metal
posts on the inside of the cap with a knife blade or
wire brush. Check the little carbon tip hanging down
inside the center of the cap. It's spring-loaded and
should pop back out if you push in on it.
If the distributor cap is cracked, the carbon tip
is broken or doesn't pop back out when you push on
it, or if the metal posts inside the cap look burned
and won't clean up, the cap should be replaced with
116
Chapter 7 Procedure 9, Step 3
a new one (Step 10). If the cap is kaput and you're
going to replace it, replace the rotor also.
Step 3. Remove and Inspect Rotor.
Now look down into the distributor itself. The
rotor sits at the center of it-a plastic thing with a
metal tip. Look on the side of the rotor that's opposite
the metal tip. If you have an LED-type distributor,
you'll see a phillips screw there that you'll need to
loosen in order to remove the rotor. To remove the
rotor, just pull straight up on it. Check the copper
end of the rotor for pitting, carbon tracks, and general
funk (look at the illustration). Lightly clean the copper end with a fine wire brush. Don't use a file to
smooth it. If the metal tip has deep pits or the metal
is burned away on one edge, get a new rotor. Rotors
and distributor caps work as a team so if one is
replaced, replace the other one also.
Step 4. Check Distributor Shaft for Wear.
Grab the distributor shaft where the rotor fits
and try to move it side to side. (You can also do this
with the rotor installed as shown in the illustration.)
If the shaft is loose in the distributor housing, the distributor shaft bushings might be wearing out. Ask
Subaru or a garage for a second opinion. If the bushings are in fact wearing out, see Chapter 17 to remove the distributor, then take it to Subaru or an auto electric
shop to have new bushings installed. Chapter 17 also tells you how to install the distributor.
Step 5. Check and Adjust Air Gap.
See the Remarks section to see if this step applies to your model. If you have a breaker points-type distributor,
go to Procedure 10 to inspect, adjust, or replace the breaker points.
The Subaru factory manuals don't include this step as part of their periodic maintenance schedule. I would
still check the air gap at least every two years, or sooner if the engine seems to lose some of its power or starts
running rough.
To check the air gap, remove the opaque plastic dust shield in the distributor, if your's has one. Rotate the
engine clockwise using a socket on the crank pulley bolt or alternator nut while watching what's going on in the
distributor. The rotating thing with four pointy corners you see in there is the reluctor. The little black box is
known as the pickup coil. Look at the illustrations to see which setup you have and where to put the feeler gauge
to check the air gap. Line up a corner of the reluctor with the vertical metal line on the pickup coil or, on later
Hitachi distributors, line up a corner of the reluctor with one of the metal blades located on opposite sides of
the reluctor. The space between the reluctor and the pickup coil or blade is the air gap. About the only way the
air gap can change once it's set properly is if the distributor shaft wears out. This would let the reluctor move
closer to or farther away from the pickup coil. Be sure the ignition switch is OFF. Look at the sticker under the
hood for your air gap setting then check the gap. No sticker? Look at the tune-up specifications chart at the end
of this chapter, or set it to .014" which is within the correct range for all Subaru breakerless distributors.
Air gaps are easy to check and adjust because there's so much tolerance (clearance) to work with. Whip
out your brass non-magnetized feeler gauge set and try different blades between the reluctor and pickup until
you find one that slips through the gap with just a little resistance. If that blade thickness is between the toler
ance figures for your engine, everything's cool and no adjustment is necessary. You can advance to Step 6. If
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
117
118
Chapter 7 Procedure 9, Step 6
the air gap is wider or narrower than it's supposed to be, then make the adjustment. Here's how: Nippondenso
and Early Hitachi Distributors: Slightly loosen the two phillips screws that secure the pickup coil. Put one
corner of a screwdriver blade between the two little nipples on the distributor plate and the other corner of the
screwdriver in the slot on the pickup coil plate. Move the pickup coil toward or away from the reluctor by turning
the screwdriver a little, then tighten the phillips screws. Check the gap again. When the gap is within the tolerance
figures, snug down the phillips screws one last time and you're finished. Easy, isn't it? Late Hitachi Distributors:
Slightly loosen the two phillips screws that secure the blades on the sides of the reluctor. Move the blades to
change the air gap. When the gap is within the specifications, tighten the two phillips screws.
EVERYONE: Always check the ignition timing if you adjust the air gap (Procedure 13).
Step 6. Check Mechanical Advance.
A faulty advance/retard unit or worn out or loose mechanical advance springs can make the car backfire,
hard to start and idle, or have less power. To check the mechanical advance mechanism, grab the rotor and turn
it counterclockwise. The distributor shaft it's mounted on will turn slightly but should spring back to its original position as soon as you release the rotor. If it does, skip down to Step 8.
If the rotor doesn't snap back to its original position or if you can't turn the rotor, either the springs
in the depths of the distributor are shot or there's junk
down there. Do Step 7 to see if the circlip is loose
and jamming the works. If it isn't, it's the springs and
we can't fix them. They're set very carefully to comply with emission control standards. Have Subaru
or an auto electric shop check and replace the springs
if need be.
Step 7. Check Vacuum Unit Arm in
Distributor.
A little metal arm goes from inside the vacuum
unit to a pin on the movable distributor plate inside
the distributor. The points or pickup coil are also
attached to this plate, depending on the type of distributor you have. When vacuum is present in the
vacuum unit, it pulls or pushes on the arm and the
plate moves, altering the position of the plate to
advance or retard the timing. Depending on the year
and model, some of the vacuum units are strictly
advance units, some are retard units, and the ones
with two hoses connected to them advance or retard the ignition timing depending on the vacuum condition in
the intake manifold.
Remove the rotor and dust shield (if you have one) so you have an unobstructed view of the inside of the
distributor. Locate the arm and pin and see if the arm is still attached to the pin or if the pin has broken off the
plate. If the arm is off the pin, fit the hole on the arm over the pin. You might have to remove the screw(s) that
attach the vacuum unit to the distributor in order to wiggle the arm over the pin. Look for a small groove around
the pin near the top. Not all Subaru distributors have a circlip groove. If you find an empty groove, look for a
loose circlip laying somewhere inside the distributor. If you're remarkably lucky, you'll find it. Examine the
circlip; if it looks OK, slip it on the pin so it snaps into the groove. (Be sure the carburetor is covered so the circlip
can't accidentally fly in there while you're trying to install it.) Replace the circlip if it's bent or slides onto the
pin too easily.
If you removed the vacuum unit mounting screw(s), install and tighten it/them.
Procedure 9, Step 8
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 119
Step 8. Check and Replace Vacuum Advance/Retard Unit.
Disconnect the hose(s) from the round vacuum unit that's attached to the side of the distributor, then connect
one end of a 12" to 18" long, 3/16" (5mm) inside-diameter hose to the unit. (If you don't have a hose handy,
borrow one from someplace else on the engine. Be sure to put it back after checking the vacuum unit.) Suck
hard on the other end of the hose while watching the inside of the distributor. The arm on the vacuum unit should
move the distributor plate when you suck on the hose. If you have two vacuum hose connections on the unit,
check them both. One connection should make the plate move counterclockwise and the other connection should
make it move clockwise.
If the diaphragms in the vacuum unit are good, you should be able to suck on the hose, then cover the end
with your tongue to hold the plate in its advanced or retarded position. If the diaphragm is broken and leaking,
you'll have to keep sucking on the hose to keep the plate in the advanced or retarded position. Replace the unit
if it won't hold vacuum.
If sucking on the hose doesn't move the plate, try moving it by pushing and pulling on the pin where the
vacuum arm attaches or on the pin sticking through the points set. The plate should be free to move about 1/a ".
Plate stuck? Squirt a little penetrating oil around the outer edge of the plate and let it soak awhile. Try moving
the pin again. Sometimes a stuck plate can be loosened by repeatedly using penetrating oil and moving the pin.
If the plate just won't loosen enough to move by sucking on the hose, the distributor needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
If sucking on the hose didn't move the plate, but you could move it easily with your fingers, the vacuum unit
is broken.
To replace a vacuum unit, remove the screw(s) that attach it to the distributor body. Pry the circlip (if you
have one) from the pin with a small screwdriver. Don't let the clip fall through the hole in the distributor plate.
Pull on the vacuum unit until it's almost out of the distributor housing, then wiggle the arm off the pin. While
the vacuum unit is off see if the distributor plate moves easily by rotating it with the vacuum arm pin. If it doesn't,
squirt some penetrating oil around the edge and work the plate back and forth until it moves freely. If it's stuck
and won't loosen up, see Chapter 17 to remove the distributor. Take it to Subaru or an auto electric shop for repair.
To install the new vacuum unit, stick the arm of the new unit into the distributor and hook the arm over the
pin. Push the unit into the distributor housing. If you have a circlip setup, snap the circlip into the groove on
the pin (be sure the carburetor is covered with a rag). Install the screw(s) that attach the unit to the distributor
and tighten them. Attach the hose(s) to the vacuum unit. If there are two hose connections on yours, be sure to
hook them up the same as they were on the old one. Install the plastic dust shield if you have one, the rotor, and
distributor cap.
If you are here from the ignition timing procedure because the line on the flywheel didn't move when you
revved the engine, check the ignition timing again. The line should move now when you rev the engine.
Step 9. Install Rotor and Cap.
If you're going to check, adjust, or replace the points (Procedure 10), leave the cap and rotor off for now.
Come back here to install the rotor and cap when you're finished.
To install the rotor, line up the flat spring on the inside of the rotor's hole with the flat spot on the distributor shaft. Push the rotor down while turning it until it locks into place. If your rotor has a set screw on the side,
use a screwdriver to tighten the screw.
The bottom edge of the distributor cap has a notch in it that fits over a tab on the rim of the distributor body.
When fitting the cap back onto the distributor, rotate the cap until it slips down on the tab. Hold the cap in position
with one hand while you screw in the two screws (if yours has screws), or lift one of the springy clips up to the
side of the cap. Press on the rounded middle part of the clip until the top snaps into the groove on the cap. Now
fit the other springy clip the same way. If the springy clips won't fit, don't hammer on them; you haven't lined
the cap up properly.
120
Chapter 7 Procedure 9, Step 10
Step 10. Replace Distributor Cap and Rotor.
This is only for you if you're putting in a brand
new cap and rotor. Remove the cap and rotor from
the distributor. Leave the five thick wires in the old
distributor cap for the moment. If your distributor
has a flat plastic dust shield, be sure it's in place before
installing the rotor. Install the new rotor by lining up
the flat spring inside the rotor's hole with the flat
spot on the steel distributor shaft at the center of
the distributor body. Push the rotor down on the shaft
as far as it will go. It should fit snugly on the shaft.
Snug down the set screw if your rotor has one.
Put the new cap on the distributor, lining up the
notch on the cap rim with the tab on the rim of the
distributor body. Snap the clips into place, or tighten
down the screws.
OHV models: If you can't move the old cap far
enough out of the way to install the new cap, release
the #1 and #3 spark plug wires and the coil wire (the
one that goes to the center of the distributor cap) from
the white plastic clip on the right side of the engine.
Now you should be able to fit the new cap onto the
distributor.
EVERYONE: Transfer the spark plug wires one
at a time from the old cap to the new cap so they don't
get out of order. Just grab one close to the cap and twist
it back and forth while you pull it straight out. The
wires should end up in the same position on the new
cap as they were on the old one. Think; go slow, one
wire at a time. If the ends of the spark plug wires or
the coil wire are corroded or dirty, use your wire brush
to clean the ends before plugging them into the new
cap. Push each one all the way into its hole on the new
cap, making sure the connector boot is snugly over
the nipple on the cap. Fit the spark plug and coil wires
back into the plastic clip if you removed them.
PROCEDURE 10: INSPECT, ADJUST, RE-
PLACE BREAKER POINTS
Fast, read the Remarks section of Procedure 9 to determine if you have any breaker points to inspect, adjust,
or replace. If you have breaker points, read on.
Breaker points (usually just called points) are mounted to a flat distributor plate (also called a breaker plate)
inside the distributor. As various components of the points wear away, the critical point gap changes, so you have
to periodically adjust or replace the points set. This is a very important part of the tune-up, to ensure better engine
performance, improved economy, smoother running, and increased longevity.
Condition: 12,000-mile tune-up time; OR engine is running poorly.
Procedure 10, Step 1
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 121
Tools and Materials: Medium screwdriver, medium phillips head screwdriver, feeler gauge, Tach/Dwell
meter (if you can afford one), 10mm wrench or l0nun socket and ratchet, 19mm or 22mm socket and ratchet
depending on the size of your crank pulley bolt.
Step 1. Inspect Points.
Block the wheels, set the handbrake, put the gearshift in NEUTRAL. Be sure the ignition key is OFF.
Release the distributor cap (Procedure 9, Step 2) and push it out of the way. The plastic rotor sits in the
middle of the distributor body. Pull up on the rotor to remove it. If your distributor has an opaque plastic dust
cover beneath the rotor, lift it out so you can see the points. Now put the socket and ratchet on the crankshaft
pulley nut and turn the engine clockwise. (See Procedure 5, Step 6, if you need more detail). While rotating
the engine with the ratchet, take a look at what's happening in the distributor.
Right next to the end of the distributor shaft is the points set (or points) . There's a movable arm and a stationary
arm. The movable arm has a little piece of fiber or plastic that rides on the turning distributor shaft (look at
the illustration). The points open (spread apart, leaving a gap) as the squarish distributor shaft rotates its corners
(called lobes) under the fiber or plastic block on the
movable point arm. (I call the little block a lobe
rider.) At the high point of each lobe the points are
separated the maximum amount. When a lobe rotates
past the lobe rider, the points close. The next lobe
opens them again, and so on.
Some Subaru distributors have a second lobe
rider mounted on a spring opposite the one that opens
the points. It's called a spring damper. Don't confuse
the spring damper with the points.
Using a screwdriver as a lever between the long,
movable arm of the points and the distributor shaft,
spread the points and have a look at the two small
round contact surfaces on the end of the point arms.
(This is where the points meet when they are closed.)
They should be flat and smooth. Do either of the two
surfaces have pits or small white deposits on them?
Look closely. If so, they must be replaced. In days
gone by, you could file the points smooth and keep
using them. Today's points are made of such hard
material that filing on them is a waste of time, except
in an extreme emergency. It's just as quick and easy
to replace the points as it is to file them.
Check the condition of the lobe rider for wear.
If it's worn unevenly or worn down almost to the
metal arm, you need new points. If your distributor
has a spring damper, check it for wear the same way.
If the points are shot, go to Step 5 to replace
them.
Points OK? If you don't have a dwell meter, go
on to Step 2 to check the gap. If you have a dwell
meter, move ahead to Step 3.
Step 2. Check Point Gap (no dwell meter) .
The correct points gap is .020" for '75 models
and .018" for '76-'78 models. Put the socket and
122
Chapter 7 Procedure 10, Step 3
l Step 4. Adjust Point Gap (if necessary).
ratchet on the crank pulley bolt and rotate the engine
clockwise until the lobe rider is exactly on the corner of one of the lobes so the points are opened up
as far as they'll go.
Whip out the appropriate feeler gauge blade,
wipe it clean, then insert it between the end of the
arm that moves and the end of the stationary arm
right between the two contact surfaces. Hold the
blade parallel with the stationary arm. If you're lucky,
the gauge will just barely fit between the two points
without spreading them farther apart. A very slight
resistance when you slip the gauge out means they're
right on so you can skip to Step 6. If the blade won't
fit, or if it fits with room to spare, the points need to
be adjusted. Go to step 4.
Points are good? Install the opaque plastic dust
cover, the rotor, and the distributor cap if they are off.
Remove the socket and ratchet from the pulley bolt.
Step 3. Check Point Gap with Dwell Meter.
Hook up your dwell meter according to the
instructions that came with it. If the instructions disappeared the day after you got the gauge (mine
usually do), try hooking it up this way: If there are
two wires coming out of your dwell meter, connect
the black wire to the negative (ground) terminal of
the battery or to bare metal, and connect the other
wire (could be red or green) to the negative (-) side
of the ignition coil. If your meter has three wires,
connect the black one to the negative battery post,
the red one to the positive battery post, and the other
one (green maybe?) to the (-) side of the coil. Switch
the meter to thefour cylinder position (eight cylinder position, if yours doesn't have a four cylinder position).
Make sure the meter is set on the Dwell position if you are checking the points dwell, or to the Tachometer (Tach)
position if you are checking the engine speed.
Clear tools, parts, rags and dwell meter wires away from the fan and drive belt(s). Set the meter in a secure
position so it won't fall into the works. Remove the socket and ratchet from the crank pulley if they're still there.
Be sure all the vacuum lines that were connected to the air cleaner are plugged. Take the rag off the top of the
carburetor, then start the engine and let it warm up a few minutes. (Remember, you shouldn't run the engine
in a closed garage.) The dwell meter should read between 49° and 55° on a four cylinder scale or between 24.5°
and 27.5' on an eight cylinder scale. Since the point gap narrows as various components on the points set wear
away, I set my points at the wide end of the range (49°-50°).
If the dwell reading is below 49° (24.5), the point gap is set too wide. A reading above 55° (27.5) means
the point gap isn't wide enough. Either way it's points adjusting time. Not difficult, but you'll have to take the
distributor cap off again. Turn off the engine and proceed to Step 4.
Remarks: Changing the point gap also changes the engine timing so be sure to check the timing after adjusting the points (Procedure 13).
Procedure 10, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 123
Back in the days when the most popular cars on the road were Model T and Model A Fords, people used
a dime instead of a feeler gauge to set the points. Ah, the simple days of yore. (If you didn't have a dime could
you use two nickels?)
Remove the distributor cap, rotor, and plastic dust shield. Use a socket and ratchet on the crank pulley to
rotate the engine until the lobe rider is on the corner of one of the lobes again and the points are open as far as
they can go.
The correct point gap is .020" for '75 models and.018" for '76-'78 models. There are two different point
gap adjustment setups in Subaru distributors. If yours isn't covered under the description for your year, check
the other setup. Someone might have changed distributors.
'75 models: The points are adjusted by turning a screw head located in an oval hole near the stationary
points arm. To change the point gap, loosen the phillips mounting screw near the stationary point arm about
1/a turn. Now turn the screw in the oval hole clockwise to widen the gap or counterclockwise to narrow the gap.
If you still can't make the stationary post move, slightly loosen the phillips screw on the other end of the points.
'76-'78 models with breaker point type distributors: Your distributor has two little nipples in the distributor
plate near the stationary point arm and a slot in the shiny points plate right next to the two nipples. To adjust
the points in this setup, loosen the phillips screw near the stationary point arm about 1/a turn. Insert one corner of a regular screwdriver blade between the two nipples and the other corner of the blade into the slot in the
points plate. Turn the screwdriver slightly clockwise to make the points gap narrower. Turn it slightly counterclockwise to widen the gap. If the stationary arm won't budge, slightly loosen the phillips screw on the other
end of the points.
EVERYONE: Be sure the lobe rider is on the corner of one of the lobes. If you're adjusting the points with
a feeler gauge, narrow or widen the gap until the correct blade slides between the points with a very slight resistance.
Keep the blade straight. When the gap is right, tighten both phillips head mounting screws (tighten the one furthest
from the adjusting screwhead first), then check the gap again. Sometimes the gap narrows when the mounting screws are tightened. Try again, maybe anticipating a slight narrowing of the gap once the mounting screws
are snug. When you're satisfied that the gap is correct, install the plastic dust shield, rotor, and distributor cap.
If you're using a dwell meter to set the points, slightly widen the gap if your reading was high, or narrow
the gap if your dwell meter reading was low (Step 3). Now tighten the phillips mounting screws, doing the one
farthest from the adjusting screwhead first. Put the plastic dust shield, rotor, and cap back on the distributor,
snap it in place, start the engine and check the dwell meter reading again. Sometimes it takes a few tries. If it's
not on the money, turn the engine off, remove the cap, and try again. Be patient and you'll get it.
When you have the point gap set so the dwell reads right on your meter, rev up the engine while watching
the dwell meter. Here's how to rev (speed up) the engine without getting in the car and pushing on the gas pedal.
Locate a thin cable next to the lower right side of the carburetor. It's right behind the distributor. The cable
goes into a slot on the rounded top of a throttle lever that's attached to the carburetor. Put a finger under the
bottom front of the throttle lever and lift up to increase the engine speed.
OK, now rev the engine while watching the dwell meter. If the needle wanders more than 10 degrees on
the meter, the points are loose or the distributor shaft is worn. Turn the engine off again. Remove the cap and
rotor and see if the points are securely mounted to the distributor. Tighten the two phillips mounting screws if
they're loose. Try moving the distributor shaft front to rear and side to side. Just grab the end of it and wiggle.
If the shaft moves significantly, the distributor needs new bushings or a military funeral. (See Chapter 17 for
distributor removal and installation. Take the distributor to Subaru or an auto electric shop to see if they can
install new bushings.)
You can move on to Step 6 if the points are good and the point gap has been set to correct specifications with
either the feeler gauge or dwell meter.
Step 5. Replace Points and Condenser.
The points and condenser work as a team, so if you replace one half of the team, replace the other half too.
If the engine's running, turn it off, then remove the distributor cap, rotor, and plastic dust shield (if you have one).
The points are held in place by two phillips head mounting screws. Loosen the two screws just enough to
124
Chapter ,7 Procedure 10, Step 5
KEY
1. Moveable Points Arm
2. Sfafionary Arm
3. Spring Damper
4. Lobe
S. Vacwrnm Und Arm
G. Circhp
7. Points Wire
X. Lobe Rider
slide the set of points out of the distributor. Don't remove the screws completely-they might fall down into the
distributor. Move the little ground wire that's attached to one of the mounting screws to one side as you slip the
set out from under the loosened screws. Loosen the phillips screw or 8mm nut on the wire terminal on the outside
of the distributor. Pull up on the wire coming from the points. The points are now liberated.
The condenser looks like a small metal can
about the size of a thimble with a wire coming out
of one end. It's mounted to the outside of the distrib
utor with a phillips head screw. Remove the screw.
Slip the condenser wire off the terminal screw on the
outside of the distributor. If the condenser wire has
a washerlike loop on the end, you'll have to take the
nut off. Be careful not to let the little wire terminal
bolt fall into the distributor housing. You might need
to hold the other end of the bolt with needlenose pliers
while you remove the nut and lockwasher. Slip the
condenser wire off the terminal, then put the washer
and nut back on the screw so they don't get lost.
While the points are out, clean the inside and
outside of the distributor with a rag dampened with
alcohol or solvent, or spray it with some carburetor
cleaner, then wipe it with a rag or paper towel. Clean
the contact surfaces of the new points set with the
alcohol or carb cleaner, or at least wipe them with
a clean rag. New points sets are usually coated with
oil to prevent corrosion. If not removed, the oil can
cause arcing and premature burning of the contact
surfaces.
If the new points set didn't come with a wire
attached, you'll have to transfer the wire from the old
point set to the new set. Loosen the phillips screw
on the side of the old points and slide the wire out.
Install it on the new points just like it was on the old
points, then tighten the screw.
Slide the new points set into the distributor under
the phillips screws and washers. Move the set around
until the tab on the bottom goes into its hole on the
distributor plate. Be sure the little ground wire is
under the phillips mounting screw. Don't tighten the
two mounting screws completely until the points have been adjusted, just snug them down a little. Put the new
condenser in place on the outside of the distributor and attach it with its screw.
Slip the pronged end of the wire attached to the points onto the terminal on the inside of the distributor. Be
sure the plastic insulation block is between the wire and the distributor housing. Slide the condenser wire onto
the wire terminal on the outside of the distributor. Install the 8mm nut and washers, if they were removed, while
pressing a finger or needlenose pliers against the other end of the bolt on the inside of the distributor. Tighten
the nut or the screw depending on your setup.
Lubricate the distributor, Step 6, then go to Step 4 and adjust the point gap. Even if you have a dwell meter,
you'll have to set the gap with a feeler gauge the first time around with a newly installed points set.
Procedure 10, Step 6
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 125
Step 6. Lubricate Distributor (breaker points-type only).
The distributor cap and rotor are off, right? Eyeball the end of the distributor shaft. If there's a felt wick
in the top of the shaft, squirt four drops of any oil on the felt wick. If you bought new points, there was probably a small packet or capsule of grease in the package. Open the packet and put a small dab of grease on the dis
tributor lobes, lobe rider, and spring damper if you have one. No grease packet? Use Bosch grease #64139 or
High Temp wheel bearing grease. Just a dab about the size of a wooden match head or end of a Q -tip will do ya.
Adjust the points (Step 4) if you haven't already, then put on the dust shield, rotor, and cap. Snap the cap
in place with its clips.
If you're doing a tune-up, move ahead to Procedure 11 to check the spark plugs and do a compression check.
PROCEDURE 11. CHECK SPARK PLUGS, DO A COMPRESSION TEST
Tools and Materials: Spark plug socket, ratchet, 3"-12" extension for the ratchet, light wire brush, spark
plug gapper (gauge), antiseize compound. If you are going to do a compression check you'll need a compression gauge, paper and pencil, jumper wire (a piece of insulated wire with alligator clips on each end). Friend
to help with compression test.
Remarks: Unless the engine starts running rough, and a tune-up doesn't cure the problem, you don't need to
do a compression check until the car has 60,000 miles. After 60,000 miles it's a good idea to do a yearly compression check, and keep the figures, so you'll know if the internal engine parts are wearing out.
CAUTION! Never use Champion spark plugs in SPFI models.
Step 1. Warm Up Engine (maybe).
If you're going to do a compression test, you should first warm up the engine to operating temperature. Watch
the TEMP gauge, and shut the engine off when the needle gets to the middle of the gauge.
CAUTION! If the engine has been warmed up or if you've just now parked the car, the spark plugs and nearby
parts of the engine will be HOT!
Step 2. Remove and Inspect Spark Plugs.
First, number each spark plug wire with masking tape. On the passenger's side of the engine, plug number 1 is closest to the right headlight and number 3 is right behind number 1. On the driver's side, number
2 is closest to the left headlight and number 4 is behind number 2. On six cylinder models, plug number 5 is
right behind number 3 and plug number 6 is right behind plug number 4.
Twist and pull on the heavy part of the plug wires where they fit over the spark plugs. Don't tug on the middle
of the wire.
Clean around the spark plug so crud can't fall into the hole when the plug is removed. Use the spark plug
socket, extension and ratchet to unscrew the spark plugs counterclockwise. For quick removal, loosen the plug
a few turns with the ratchet, then snap the ratchet off and use your fingers and the socket to turn out the plug.
Keep the spark plugs in order as you take them out so you know which cylinder they came from. On some models
you'll have to use a long extension on the ratchet to reach through the air conditioner compressor bracket to get
to the #2 spark plug.
The condition of the plugs can tell you a lot about the condition of various components of your engine. The
electrodes consist of a central metal nubbin encircled by a white insulator, and the metal side wire that hooks
over the top. The space between them is the spark plug gap. Spark plugs removed from a good, well-tuned
'75-'78 engine will have a tan or light gray deposit on the electrodes. A light wire brush, like a battery terminal brush, will easily remove these deposits. Since '79-'84 engines run on unleaded gas, the central insulator
should be white and the rest of the plug should be free of deposits.
126
Chapter 7 Procedure ll, Step 3
If the electrode end of the plug is covered with
oily residue, the piston rings aren't sealing correctly,
or a valve guide seal is worn out. A compression test,
Step 3, will check the condition of the rings.
Electrodes that are burned away, with black or
gray spots on the central insulator, indicate the engine
is overheating. The ignition timing being advanced
too far is usually the culprit.
Plugs with rounded center electrodes and tapered
side electrodes are just plain worn out. The engine
is probably fine.
Black, sooty deposits on the electrodes indicate
the fuel/air mixture is too rich. Carb models should
do Chapter 11, Procedure 13, to check the automatic
choke. If the automatic choke is working, the carburetor might need adjusting. Procedure 12 will
correct the problem on '75-'79 and '80 nonCalifornia models. '80 California and all '81 and
newer models will have to go to the Subaru dealer
or a garage that specializes in Subarus to have the
carb adjusted or the fuel injection system checked.
Lots of white/gray deposits mean you buy
cheap gas or use Gasoline Helper additives.
Bashed or mangled electrodes mean the plug is
too long or there is something inside the cylinder
Wider that shouldn't be there. If the electrodes on all the
plugs are bashed in, someone installed the wrong
plugs. Replace them with the correct spark plugs for your engine. If only one plug is bashed and it has the same
number printed on it as the rest of the plugs, there must be something in the cylinder. Get your flashlight and
shine it in the spark plug hole while a Friend rotates the engine using the socket-on-the-crank-pulley method.
See anything? Bits and pieces? If you do, try and fish 'em out with a magnet or piece of wire (chewing gum on
a wire?). Be sure to do a compression test to see if any damage has been done to the piston or valves.
Step 3. Clean and Gap Spark Plugs.
If you are going to use these plugs again, clean the electrodes with a light wire brush. I use the end of a battery
terminal cleaner. Scrape off heavy carbon chunks with a knife blade. Be careful not to chip the central insulator.
After cleaning the plugs, blow the dust and crud from the space around the central insulator.
Before installing new or used spark plugs, check the gap and adjust it if it isn't .032" for '75-'80 models,
or .040" for '81 and newer models. If you have an '81 or newer Soob, be sure you have the new type plugjust widening the gap on the old style plugs doesn't work (except in an extreme emergency). The gap is the space
between the center straight electrode and the electrode hooked up and over the center of the plug. I have a spark
plug gapper, one of those round things with wires all around it, to set mine-but you can do it close enough with
any feeler gauge. Adjust the gap so the correct wire or feeler blade slides through the gap with a slight resistance.
The gap is changed by bending the outside electrode toward or away from the center electrode. Most spark
plug gappers have a notch for changing the gap. Hook the notch over the outside electrode down close to the
threads. Use the gapper as a lever to bend the electrode. If your gapper doesn't have a notch, the gap can be
widened with needlenose pliers and narrowed by lightly tapping the electrode end on a piece of hard wood or
clean metal. Check and adjust the gap until the proper wire or blade slips through the gap with just slight
resistance.
Procedure 11, Step 4
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 127
Step 4. Compression Check.
Remove the spark plugs if they are still in the engine (Steps 1 and 2). All of the spark plugs must be removed
so the starter can spin the engine fast enough to give you an accurate reading. The big wire connected to the center
of the distributor cap is the coil wire. To avoid getting a shock from the spark plug wires while doing the com
pression test, pull the coil wire out of the center of the distributor. Clip one end of a "jumper" (a piece of insulated wire with alligator clips on each end) to the metal on the end of the coil wire and clip the other end of the
jumper to a bolt or bare metal someplace away from the engine. This will ground the coil and keep you
shock-free.
SPFI and MPFI models: You need to disconnect the fuel injection system so the engine isn't
flooded with raw gasoline during the compression
check. All that unburned fuel could damage the
catalytic converter. Here's how to disarm the injector system:
On MPFI models, disconnect the electrical
connectors from all four fuel injectors. The injectors are located right next to the spark plugs.
On SPFI models, locate the two connectors on
the top front of the engine, right below and in front
of the throttle body. Disconnect the two connectors.
EVERYONE: Get a piece of paper and write
the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 across the top. Add 5 and
6 if you have a six cylinder engine. Have Friend set
the parking brake, put the gearshift in NEUTRAL,
press the clutch pedal and gas pedal to the floor,
and hold them down until the compression test is
completed.
Put on your safety glasses and screw the compression gauge into the spark plug hole of #1 cylinder.
If your gauge doesn't have threads, press the rubber
end into the hole as hard as you can and hold it there.
Now have Friend crank the engine over (by turning
the key to START) for about five seconds. Note where
the needle on the gauge jumped to first, then the number it reached on the last engine revolution. Write
these numbers below the number 1 on the paper. Pull
out or unscrew the compression gauge.
Click the gauge back to zero and check the other
cylinders the same way. Record the readings you get below the cylinder number on the paper. To keep things
straight, go from one side to the other on the engine doing the test in numerical cylinder order. It's a good idea
to go through the compression test twice for accuracy.
Step 5. Evaluation.
Look at your figures. These represent the pounds-per-square-inch (psi) of compression each cylinder is
developing. If one number is substantially lower than the others (say, at least 20 psi lower), repeat the compression
test for that particular cylinder. Be sure you pushed or threaded the tester fully into the spark plug hole. A hissing
sound means the gauge isn't seated properly and you'll get an invalid (low) reading.
Fuel injected models: Reconnect the fuel injector connectors. Be sure they click securely into place.
EVERYONE: At sea level all the numbers should be:
Subtract 2 psi for every thousand feet of altitude. When I do a compression test in Santa Fe, elevation 7,000
ft., I subtract 14 psi. In other words, slightly lower overall readings at high altitudes are OK.
If the readings for all the cylinders are within 20 psi of the lower figure in the chart, things are still OK for
now, but you should do a compression test every time you perform the 6,000-mile maintenance.
If there is a difference of more than 20 psi between the highest and lowest reading, do the compression test
again after driving the car a few miles. Sometimes when a spark plug is unscrewed, carbon flakes fall off the
plug and get lodged between a valve and valve seat preventing the valve from closing completely. Driving the
car will burn the carbon out. Don't forget to remove all of the spark plugs, even when you're just rechecking
one cylinder.
If the reading is still low on the later test, something is amiss. Let's see if it's a leaking valve or worn rings.
Squirt about four shots of motor oil (about a teaspoon) into the cylinder with an oil can or syringe (remove the
needle first if it's that kind of syringe). Crank the engine over a few times to spread the oil around inside the cylinder,
then do another compression check. If the number goes up by about 10 percent, chances are a piston ring is worn
out or broken, a piston is cracked, or the cylinder wall is scratched, allowing compression to escape into the
crankcase. You may need to rebuild the engine (Chapter 17).
If you don't get an increase in compression by squirting oil into the cylinder, a valve is leaking compression. (Carbon flake hopefully?) If the reading doesn't improve on a later test, it looks like a valve job is looming
over the horizon, so think about doing it before taking off on a long trip (Chapter 17).
If the readings for two cylinders on one side of the engine are 20 to 40 psi lower than the cylinders on the
other side of the engine, there is a possibility that the head gasket is leaking between the two low cylinders. Other
symptoms of a blown head gasket are: the engine runs hotter than normal, water shows up on the engine dip
stick and inside the oil filler cap and valve covers, and oil shows up in the radiator. See Chapter 9: Troubleshooting
for more information about leaking head gaskets.
If two low readings are on opposite cylinders (#1 and #2, #3, and #4, or #5 and #6), the camshaft lobes or
valve lifters might be wearing out and not opening the valves as far as they should.
If you want a second expert opinion on the internal condition of your engine, go to any well-equipped garage
for a "leak-down" test. This checks for leakage between the valves and their seats, the piston rings and the cylinder
wall sides, or the cylinder head and the crankcase. The test isn't expensive. It's a worthwhile investment, especially
if your compression readings are on the 100 psi borderline or you suspect a blown head gasket.
Oh yes, your Friend can take his feet off the pedals now.
Step 6. Install Spark Plugs.
Clean and gap the spark plugs if you haven't already (Step 3). Smear a light coat of antiseize compound
on the spark plug threads. Be careful; don't get any of the goo on the electrodes.
Screw each spark plug into the head BY HAND at least four complete turns. This will eliminate any possibility
of getting them cross-threaded. (Incidentally, it makes no difference which plug goes in which hole, even if you're
installing the used ones.) Tighten them the rest of the way with the spark plug socket and ratchet. They should
be good and snug but not super-tight. The torque is about 15 ft. lbs. Connect the wires to the appropriate plug-you
should feel them click into place. If you forgot to put number tapes on the wires and don't know which goes where,
check the illustration on page 154.
128 Chapter 7 Procedure 11, Step 6
MODEL PSI
1975 and newer OHV non-Turbo 120-175
1983-84 Turbo 115-160
1985 OHC carb models 139-168
1986-87 OHC carb models 132-161
1985-87 MPFI non-Turbo 132-161
1985-88 Turbo 117-145
1986-88 SPFI 139-168
Procedure 12, Step 1
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 129
If you did a compression test, remove the jumper wire and connect the coil wire to the center post on the
distributor cap. Push it firmly into place.
PROCEDURE 12: ADJUST IDLE SPEED AND IDLE MIXTURE
Condition: Tune-up time; OR engine idling too slow or fast; OR rough idle; OR poor gas mileage; OR you
just rebuilt the carb.
Tools and Materials: Long skinny screwdriver, tachometer, spray can of carb cleaner for carb models (see Chapter
5: Tools).
Remarks: Before adjusting the idle speed and/or idle mixture be sure the point gap or air gap (if you have it)
in the distributor is properly adjusted (Procedure 9), and the engine is warmed up to operating temperature.
Start this Procedure with the car parked on a level surface, handbrake ON, hood up, engine OFF.
1980 California and all 1981 and newer models: Checking the idle speed and idle mixture is not a part
of the regular maintenance recommended by Subaru. So, if your car seems to be running well, you can skip
this step.
CAUTION: Don't do this procedure in a closed garage! Exhaust fumes will take you off the tax rolls.
Step 1. Check Vacuum Hoses.
Inspect all the little rubber hoses in the engine compartment for cracks, holes, and loose connections. Replace
any hoses that are cracked, stretched at the ends, or slide onto their fittings too easily.
Step 2. Clean Carburetor (carb models only).
Remove the air cleaner lid (Procedure 4, Step 3).
Break out your spray can of carburetor cleaner. If a little tube came with the can, insert the tube in the hole
on the spray head. Use your finger or a screwdriver to hold the flat choke plate in the front part of the carb in
a vertical position, then spray the inside of the carb with the cleaner. Let it soak a few minutes, then hit it again.
Pay particular attention to the round brass jets and little holes. The inside of the carb should look clean when
you're finished. Install the air cleaner lid.
Step 3. Connect Tachometer.
Follow the instructions that came with your tachometer or Tach/Dwell meter and hook it up. If the dog ate
the instructions, look at Procedure 10, Step 3, Paragraph 1.
Step 4. Locate Idle Speed and Mixture
Adjusting Screws.
Look at the illustration for the location of the
adjusting screws. All OHC models with carburetors
have Hitachi carbs. If you have an '82 or newer OHV
carb model and aren't sure whether you have a Hitachi
or Carter/Weber carburetor, have Friend pump the
gas pedal a few times while you watch the carburetor.
You'll see a cable moving a rounded lever on one
side. If the cable and lever are on the right (passenger's) side, you have a Hitachi carb. If the cable
and lever are on the left (driver's) side, you have a
Carter/Weber carb.
130 Chapter 7
Procedure 12, Step 4
Idle Speed Adjustment Screw: Here's where
to find it:
'75-'88 models with Hitachi carburetors: The
screw is on the lower right (passenger's) side of the
carburetor pointing toward the front of the car (see
the illustration). The screw might have a thicker than
normal head, which makes it easier to spot.
'82-'88 models with Carter/Weber carbs:
The idle speed adjustment screw sticks out of a small
round can on the lower left side of the carb. It points
up toward the front of the car at about 45 degrees.
'83-'84 Tbrbo models: The idle speed screw
is on the front of the throttle body which is in front
of, and below the black metal thing on top of the
engine that has SUBARU 4WD TURBO written on
it. The idle speed screw is just in front of and below
the letter "O" in TURBO.
SPFI models: The adjusting screw is on the top
right (passenger's) side of the throttle body (see the
illustration).
'85 and newer MPFI models: The adjusting
screw is a large horizontal screw on the top rear of
the throttle body assembly. The throttle body assem
bly is at the top center of the engine. The idle adjusting screw is just below where the large air intake hose
connects to the top of the throttle body, except on XT
models. On XTs, the idle adjusting screw is just above
where the large hose connects to the rear of the throttle body. There might be a plastic plug covering the
screw. Just pry the plug out of the hole to make
the adjustment, then press it back in when you're
through.
Idle Mixture Adjusting Screw: Here's where
to find the mixture adjustment screw.
'72-'79 and '80 non-California models:
There's an idle mixture adjustment screw on the
bottom center of the front of the carburetor. If there's
a little plastic cap on the mixture adjusting screw, pop
it off. On some models the mixture adjustment screw
is almost hidden behind three short vacuum hoses.
'80 California and all '81 and newer models:
You only have a screw for adjusting the idle speed.
The idle mixture adjustment screw is set at the factory,
then plugged with a pin so you can't adjust it. The
mixture is controlled by duty solenoid valves and
vacuum switches. Dealing with these is out of our
league.
Procedure 12, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 131
Step 5. Adjust High Altitude Screw (carb
models only).
If your Subaru is equipped with a high altitude
fuel enrichment screw, it will be near the top left
side of the carburetor pointing toward the left front
fender. Not all Soobs have this screw, so if you can't
find it don't worry about it.
If you live above 4,000 ft. altitude, screw the fuel
enrichment screw on the top left side of the carb
clockwise all the way in until it stops, then unscrew
it counterclockwise six complete turns. If you live
below 4,000 ft., just turn the screw in clockwise until
it stops and leave it there. Sounds too easy doesn't it?
Step 6. Adjust Idle Speed.
'80 non-California models: Find the secondary
air cleaner. It's mounted on the inside of the right
front fender just in front of the brake master cylin
der. It's the same color as the air cleaner and about
the diameter of a 45 rpm record. Squeeze the clamp
and pull the hose off the fitting. Use tape, a cork, or whatever to plug the open end of the hose.
'80-'82 models: Locate a small plastic purge valve in one of the hoses just behind the left side of the carburetor.
That's the purge hose. Pull the hose off the engine side of the check valve and plug the end of the hose with a
piece of tape or something.
'83-'84 carb models: Follow the bundle of small rubber hoses coming out from behind the left side of
the carburetor to where three of them connect to three metal tubes on the inside of the left front fender. Pull the
top hose off the tube and plug the end of the hose with tape or something. That's the purge hose you just plugged.
'85 and newer models: Locate the large round black evaporative canister. It's usually lurking in one of
the front corners of the engine compartment and has about four small rubber hoses connected to fittings on the
top. Near the edge of the canister top you'll see a small round purge control valve with two hoses connected
to it. The fitting for the smaller of the two hoses is on top of the purge control valve. That's not the hose you're
looking for. You want to disconnect the slightly larger hose that's connected to the side of the purge control valve.
Cover the end of the hose with tape.
EVERYONE: A lot of good tach/dwell gauges have been eaten alive by the moving drive belt or fan, so
please keep the wires away from the front of the engine. Block the wheels, set the handbrake, put the gearshift
in NEUTRAL, start the engine and let it warm up for at least five minutes.
'81 and newer models: You need to warm up the 0 2 (oxygen) sensor before setting the idle speed. Here's
how: Rev the engine to 2,500 rpm for one minute after the five-minute warm-up. Now you can check and adjust
the idle speed if necessary.
EVERYONE: Switch the gauge to Tach and read the engine rpm scale. (You might have to double the number
on an eight cylinder scale if the gauge doesn't have a four cylinder scale.) Look at the sticker under the hood
to see what the idle speed for your Soob should be. No sticker? Look up your idle speed in the Carburetor Adjust
ment Table in this chapter. If the speed indicated on the Tach matches the rpms on the chart, leave things be.
If not, grab the skinny screwdriver and do the adjustment. Put the screwdriver in the slot of the idle speed adjustment screw and turn the screw clockwise to increase engine speed or counterclockwise to slow the engine down.
'80 California models and all '81 and newer models: Adjust the screw to the correct idle speed and you're
through adjusting the carburetor. Reconnect the purge hose. Reconnect the rubber hose to the secondary air
cleaner on '80 non-California models.
13 2 Chapter 7
Procedure 12, Step 7
CARBURETOR ADJUSTMENT TABLE
'72-'79 and '80 non-Calif. models.:
1. Adjust carburetor so engine idles best
(smoothest) at the RPM shown under A.
2. Turn the idle mixture screw in (clockwise)
until engine speed is at the RPM shown under B.
'80 Calif. and '81-87 models:
1. Plug the purge hose, then warm the engine
up for five minutes.
2. On '80 Calif. models, disconnect and plug
the hose to the secondary air cleaner.
3. On '81-'87 models, run the engine at
2,500 rpm for one minute after the five-minute
warmup.
4. Adjust the idle to the rpm indicated in the
tune-up specification chart at the end of this
chapter.
5. Reconnect the purge hose. '80 models,
reconnect the hose to the secondary air cleaner.
Step 7. Adjust Idle Mixture ('75-'79 and '80
non-California models only).
Put the screwdriver in the idle mixture adjustment screw (bottom center screw, remember?) and
slowly turn it counterclockwise until the engine rpm
just starts to drop. Slowly turn the screw clockwise
until the engine reaches its highest rpm. You may have
to turn the screw in and out a few times until you find
the right spot. Got it? Now go back to the idle speed
adjustment screw and adjust the engine speed to Figure A in the chart.
Now put your screwdriver in the mixture adjustment screw again (the one on your right) and screw
it in (clockwise) until the engine rpm drops to Fig
ure B in the chart. This setting will keep the carbon
monoxide emissions within the legal limits. If the
engine idles rough and you feel you just can't live with
it, turn the screw counterclockwise slightly to add
a little more gas. (You might not pass a smog test if
you add the extra gas.)
If turning the idle mixture screw doesn't affect
the engine rpm, check all vacuum lines and connections again for leaks. Turn the engine off and remove
the mixture adjustment screw and look at it. Replace
it with a new one if a groove is worn in the tapered
needle end of the screw. Squirt some carb cleaner into
the mixture screw hole before installing the pointed
mixture screw. Are the carburetor mounting nuts
tight? Check 'em with a 10mm wrench. Now start
the engine and try adjusting the carb again (Steps 6
and 7). If you still can't change the rpm with the mixture adjustment screw, some passages in the carb are
probably clogged. Remove the air cleaner lid and try
squirting carb cleaner in all the holes inside the carb
that you can reach with the nozzle. If you still can't
adjust the idle mixture, the carburetor probably needs
to be rebuilt. Turn to Chapter 11 for guidance and
inspiration.
PROCEDURE 13: SET IGNITION TIMING
Models with breakerless or LED distributors:
It isn't necessary to check the ignition timing unless
the air gap has been adjusted or the distributor has
been removed and reinstalled.
Condition: Tune-up time for models with breaker
point-type distributors: OR the distributor has been
YEAR A B
'72-73 850 800
' 74 850 800
'75 Manual 870 800
Automatic 970 900
'76 980 900
'77-'78 Non-Calif. 930 850
Calif. 990 900
'79 Non-Calif. 840 800
Calif. Manual 910 900
Calif. Auto. 930 900
'80 Non-Calif.
Hatchback STD
& DL, Sedan
DL, Hardtop DL 840 800
All other nonCalif. models 930 900
Procedure 13, Step 1
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 133
removed; OR the engine isn't running right.
Tools and Materials: Stroboscopic timing light, tachometer, tape or two pencils or rubber vacuum line plugs,
10mm wrench. Note: It's best to use an inductive type timing light on cars with electronic or LED
ignition, due to the increased voltage of these systems. Optional: A Friend would be handy.
Remarks: Changing the distributor points gap or air gap changes the ignition timing. Make the necessary adjustments to the distributor before checking the timing. Always check the timing after adjusting the points or air gap.
CAUTION: Keep the wires from the timing light and
tachometer away from the front of the engine where
they could get caught in the drive belt or fan. Remove
the socket and ratchet from the crank pulley and the
rag from the top of the carburetor (carb models) if
they're still there. Be sure all tools are out of the way
before starting the engine. If the air cleaner is off,
install it before checking the ignition timing.
Step 1. Get Ready.
Warm up the engine to normal operating temperature. Turn the engine OFF and hook up the
tachometer and timing light. (Procedure 10, Step
3, paragraph 1, explains how to connect a tach/dwell
meter.) The dog ate the instructions for the timing
light too? OK, connect the red lead wire to the positive
(+) battery terminal and the black lead wire to the
negative (-) battery terminal. These days most timing
lights have an inductive pickup connection that clips
onto the #1 spark plug wire. If the pickup has an
arrow on it, make sure the arrow points toward the
spark plug. If your light isn't of the inductive type,
hook one end of a small spring (usually supplied with
the light) to the end of the #1 spark plug. Fit the spark
plug wire onto the end of the spring, then clip the lead
from the timing light (usually blue) to the spring.
Keep the wires away from the drive belt and fanmake sure they won't fall in there while you're
working.
Carb models: Pull the vacuum hose(s) off the
round vacuum advance /retard gizmo on the side
of the distributor. If there are two hoses, mark them
so you can't get them mixed up when you put them
back on. Plug the hose or hoses with tape, rubber
vacuum hose plugs, round punches, small phillips
13 4
Chapter 7 Procedure 13, Step 2
screwdrivers, or pencils (break the lead off first so it can't accidentally get sucked into the engine).
EVERYONE (except '83-'84 Turbo models and '87 and newer XT models): Pop out the rectangular
rubber or plastic plug located on the flywheel housing just behind the engine dipstick.
'83-'84 Turbo models and '87 and newer XT models: Wipe off the timing plate on the front of the engine.
'83-'84 Turbo models: Disconnect the two-prong wire connector beneath the coil.
'85-'86 Turbo models: Disconnect the large, round, black 8-pole connector between the distributor and
the knock control unit. The connector is on the right side of the engine compartment, about halfway between
the strut tower and the air cleaner housing. It's buried beneath other wires and stuff, so you'll have to dig to
find it.
'86 models with SPFI: You have no vacuum hoses or wire connectors to connect or disconnect!
'87-'88 models with SPFI or MPFI: The throttle must be in the closed position to check the ignition timing,
so keep your foot off the gas pedal.
Also, you must connect the green, T -shaped test mode connectors. One or two wires (probably brown)
will be attached to each connector. Be sure to disconnect the test mode connectors after checking the ignition
timing. Here's where the test mode connectors are located:
SPFI models: The test mode connectors are in the left rear corner of the engine compartment, near the brake
master cylinder.
MPFI models except XT The test mode connectors are under the dash, just to the left of the fuse box. You'll
have to remove the large plastic panel around the fuse box to get to the connectors.
XT models: The test mode connectors are in the trunk, mounted to the bottom of the little shelf that holds
the rear speakers.
EVERYONE: If the ignition timing needs to be adjusted, use a 10mm socket, long extension and ratchet
to slightly loosen the distributor mounting bolt(s) located near the base of the distributor. If you haven't painted
the pointer and timing mark on the flywheel, or the timing mark and pulley notch, do Procedure 5, Step 6, before
going one step further.
When turning the distributor, grab it toward the bottom end away from the spark plug wires (less chance
of accidentally getting a charge out of this procedure). Watch out for the drive belt(s).
Step 2. Set Idle Speed.
If you haven't checked the idle speed, do Procedure 12, Steps 1 through 6, for adjusting the engine idle speed.
The correct speed for your engine is on the sticker under the hood, in your owner's manual, and beside the ignition
timing in the Tune-up Specifications at the end of this chapter. After the idle speed is set come back here to time
the engine. Don't do Procedure 12, Step 7 (adjust idle mixture), yet.
Step 3. Check and Adjust Timing.
Clear tools, wires, hoses, and stuff away from the fan and drive belt(s), then start the engine. Let it warm
up to normal operating temperature. Aim the timing light at the hole in the flywheel housing, or the timing
plate, depending on your model, and pull the trigger. Amazingly, the flywheel or crank pulley appears to be
standing still while the engine is running!
EVERYONE (except '83-'84 Turbos and '87-'88 XTs): If the white line you painted to the right of the
0 line is lined up with the triangle pointer on the housing, the timing is right on. If the timing line is to the left
of the pointer, the timing is advanced so rotate the distributor counterclockwise until the line matches the pointer.
If the line is to the right of the pointer, the timing is retarded so rotate the distributor clockwise until the line matches
the pointer.
'83-'84 Turbos and '87 and newer XTs: Each line on the timing plate is 5 ° on 1800cc engines, or 2 ° on
2700cc engines. The correct timing is 15° for '83-'84 Turbo models and 20° for '87 and newer XTs.
If the notch on the pulley is lined up with a number or line less than it should be, the timing is retarded so
rotate the distributor clockwise until the notch is even with the correct line for your engine. If the notch on the
pulley is lined up with a number above what it should be, rotate the distributor counterclockwise until it's even
with the 15 ('83-'84 Turbos) or the 20 ('87 and newer XTs).
Procedure 13, Step 3
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
EVERYONE: When the pointer or notch and
appropriate timing mark are lined up, tighten the
bolt(s) at the base of the distributor. Put the timing
light aside and adjust the engine idle speed if it
changed (same as you did in Step 2), then check the
timing again and adjust it if need be.
EVERYONE (except models with LED distributors): Have Friend rev the engine up a little
while you watch the timing marks with the timing
light. If a Friend isn't available, you can rev the engine
by rotating the throttle lever on the bottom of the carburetor or throttle body (fuel injected models). As
the engine speed increases, the painted timing line
should move to the left-probably out of sight-if
the mechanical advance mechanism in the distributor is working properly. If the line doesn't move,
the mechanical advance isn't working and needs to
be checked (Procedure 9, Step 6).
After the timing is set and the 10mm bolt is tightened, remove the plugs from any vacuum hose(s) you
disconnected and reconnect them to the vacuum
advance/retard unit on the distributor. Push the
hoses on the same as they were to begin with.
On Turbo models, reconnect the two-pole connector under the coil ('83-'84) or the eight-pole connector ('85-'86 models). You can't check the timing
with the hoses connected but that's how you check
the ignition advance/retard unit. Here's how.
Rev the engine up while watching the timing
marks with the timing light. Now the line on the flywheel should really move around when you rev the
engine. If the line doesn't move to the left, the vacuum
hose(s) are leaking (replace them), OR the hoses
aren't connected to the distributor correctly (fix 'em),
OR the vacuum/retard unit is broken (replace it,
Procedure 9, Step 8), OR the movable plate in the distributor is stuck (see Procedure 9, Step 8).
If the line on the flywheel dances around and
won't stand still at idle, the bushings in the distributor are probably worn. To be sure, remove the dis
tributor cap and rotor, then move the distributor shaft
side to side to see if it's loose. If you can move the
shaft more than a slight amount, see Chapter 17 to
remove the distributor. Take it to Subaru or an auto
electric shop to have new bushings installed. Chapter
17 also tells you how to install the new or rebuilt distributor.
When the timing is correct for your model,
check and adjust the idle speed again if it changed.
135
Timing Marks
for Valve Adjustment
Engine set at
TDC for adjusting
valves for #1
and #2 cylinders
TDC for
#3 and #4
cylinders
136
Chapter 7 Procedure 14, Step 1
Loosen the Diitribcdor hold-down bolt, then turn the
Distributor clockwise to advance the fi"ming, or coanierclockwise to retard the liming. Don't forget to fighter;
the hold-down bolt. ~Step 1. Do Procedures 2, 3, and 4.
Step 2. Check Front and Rear Brakes.
Step 3. Adjust Rear Brakes.
Step 4. Check Rear Differential Oil (4WD only).
Turn the engine off, unhook the timing light and
tach/dwell meter, then install the plug in the flywheel
housing hole (if that's where your timing marks are
located).
EVERYONE: Reconnect any hoses you disconnected from the vacuum advance/ retard unit on the
distributor.
'83-'84 Turbo models: Reconnect the two-pole
connector beneath the coil.
'85-'86 Turbo models: Reconnect the large
8-pin connector on the right side of the engine compartment.
'87 and newer SPFI and MPFI models: Don't
forget to disconnect the test mode connectors.
PROCEDURE 14: MAJOR MASSAGE (12,000
MILE WRAP UP)
Except for an oil and filter change and fluid checks, you're finished with the engine. Steps 1 through 4 of
the wrap-up refer you to other parts of the book. Most of these steps are fun to do, and they will make your Soob
a continuing pleasure for you to drive. The tools and materials you will need for these are right in the step itself.
OK, we've done the critical mechanical procedures. Let's go back and change the oil and filter and check
all the vital fluid levels. Steps 5 and 6 (coming up) can be done while the oil is draining, but don't forget to come
back to screw in the drain plug and filter and put in the new oil. Hang in there, we're coming down the home
stretch now. Remember, each time you do the procedures in this chapter they'll go easier and faster. Eventually most of them become a lot of fun!
Do this step when you rotate the tires. Turn to Chapter 13, Procedure 8, to check the front brake pads. Every
24,000 miles do Chapter 13, Procedure 4, to check the rear brake shoes, except on the following models:
'85 and newer Turbo models and '87 and newer 4WD and/or Turbo XT models should do Chapter 13, Procedure 6, to check the rear brake pads.
Not all rear brakes are self-adjusting, so you need to adjust them every 12,000 miles. It's as easy as toast.
Turn to Chapter 13, Procedure 1, to see if your model requires adjustment.
Put on your safety glasses, spread out a piece of cardboard or plastic under the rear of the car, grab a 1/z "
drive ratchet (3 / 8" drive won't do) and a rag and crawl under. The rear differential (pumpkin) is halfway between
the two rear tires. There are two plugs in the back of it-the top one for checking and adding oil and the bottom one for draining oil. You're going after the upper plug.
Clean the area around both plugs with the rag so dirt won't fall into the hole when the plug is removed. Put
the square part of the ratchet (the part where a socket usually goes) into the UPPER plug and unscrew it counterclockwise. It's probably pretty tight so you might have to hit the ratchet handle with your hand to pop it loose.
Procedure 14, Step 5
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 137
If the plug refuses to loosen, get out the jack
and place it under the ratchet handle so the jack will
force the handle counterclockwise. Put a rag on top
of the jack so it's a little less slippery, then slowly
crank up the jack until the plug breaks free. This is
a little tricky-the ratchet handle can slip off the
jack. Keep trying, go easy, and keep parts of your
body well clear of where a slip might hurt them.
When the plug is out, use a clean pinky for a
dipstick and gradually stick it into the hole, feeling
down in there for oil. The level should be at or close
to the bottom of the threads of the upper plug hole.
If the oil is more than 1/a " below the opening, add
gear oil until it starts to run out of the hole. Look at
the oil chart in this chapter to see what kind of gear
oil to add. If you aren't using gear oil that comes in
a plastic bottle with a pour spout, you'll need to
round up a suction gun, refillable squirt-type oil
can, or a large syringe (see Chapter 5: Tools). If it's
not worth the hassle to you to get one of these, screw
the plug in (see below), and take the car to a service
station to have the oil put in.
Oil level OK now? Screw the plug back in and
tighten it with the ratchet, but not so tight you won't
be able to get it out the next time. Now pull the
tools, oil can, plastic, cardboard, and yourself out
from under the back of the car.
Step 5. Replace Antifreeze and Check Cooling System Hoses.
Condition: You live where the winters are harsh
and it's been a year since the antifreeze was changed; OR you live in the banana belt where the livin' is easy,
the cotton is high, your daddy's rich, your momma's good lookin', and it's been two years since you replaced
the antifreeze.
Turn to Chapter 16, Procedure 3, and replace the antifreeze. Check the cooling system hoses and replace
any that don't meet the Starship Subaru standards (Chapter 16, Procedure 2).
Step 6. Replace Fuel Filter.
Fuel filters get clogged with dirt, rust, and water and can eventually cut off the fuel supply to the engine.
Turn to Chapter 11, Procedure 2, to change the fuel filter, then come back here and continue.
Step 7. Replace Brake Fluid.
Don't skip this step or you'll pay for it sooner or later. Brake fluid absorbs moisture that corrodes the
mechanical and hydraulic parts of the brake system. Brake fluid is a lot cheaper than master cylinders, wheel
cylinders, and disc brake calipers. Changing the brake fluid regularly will lengthen the life expectancy of the
brake system and yours too, perhaps. Turn to Chapter 13, Procedure 3, and follow the directions for replacing
the brake fluid.
Step 8. Check and Adjust Clutch (manual transmissions only).
Checking clutch pedal free play is as easy as eating ice cream. Adjusting the clutch is almost as easy. See
Chapter 15, Procedure 1.
138
Chapter 7 Procedure 14, Step 9
Step 9. Check Steering and Suspension Systems.
It only takes about ten minutes to thoroughly check the suspension and steering. Chapter 14, Procedure
l, tells you how.
Step 10. Check Emission Control Systems.
This is important! If parts of the emission control system become clogged, the engine won't run right no
matter how well you tune it, and/or the engine can be damaged by the malfunctioning parts. The devices are
easy to check and clean.
Look at Chapter 12: Exhaust and Emission Control Systems, Procedures 1-6, to check the emission control
devices that apply to your Soob. Depending on the year and model you might be checking and cleaning the
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Valve, the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) valve, the Air Injection
System (AIS), the secondary air cleaner on '80 models, the Evaporative Canister and its filter, and the Hot
Air Control System.
Step ll. Clean Up.
Pour all the old antifreeze and brake fluid into plastic containers and take them to the Hazardous Waste
Dump. There isn't one in your neighborhood? Put them in the trash. Put the old oil in plastic containers and
take them to a filling station or recycling center that collects used oil. If there isn't one, put the containers in the
trash also.
Use a rag to wipe off all the tools that were used before putting them back in the tool box. Wipe up any oil
that spilled on the floor with rags, then throw all the oily rags in an outside trash container (they can spontaneously burst into flames). Whew, one more step and we're finished.
Step 12. Record All Work in Log.
Record your valiant efforts in the log at the end of this chapter. Your Soob should now be in very fine running
condition. Now do Procedure 4, Step 13. See you here next year!
PROCEDURE 15: CHANGE TRANSMISSION and DIFFERENTIAL OIL (30,000 MILES)
1975-1984 models: At 30,000-mile intervals, you'll do the regular 6,000-mile maintenance procedures,
but don't add any transmission or differential oil-you're going to drain the old oil and replace it with new oil.
1985 and newer models: The Subaru manuals recommend replacing the automatic transmission fluid on
4WD models every 30,000 miles. On the other models they recommend replacing the gear oil every 30,000 miles
and the automatic transmission fluid on all models every 15,000 miles ONLY if the car is operated under severe
conditions. I think it would be a good idea to change the gear oil and ATF at least every 60,000 miles.
Condition: You just bought a Subaru with over 30,000 miles on it; OR it's been 30,000 miles since you last performed this maintenance; OR you feel like getting down and getting greasy.
Tools and Materials: If you aren't using gear oil that comes in a plastic squeeze bottle with a built-in pour spout
(like Castrol or Valvoline), you'll need a long neck funnel for filling the transmission and differential, or a
suction-type oil filler, which will work for the transmission and differential as well as the rear differential on
4WDs. You also need a catch pan, safety glasses, plastic bottles (at least two gallons) for disposal of the old oil,
plus 17mm, 19mm, 21mm, or 22mm socket and ratchet or box end wrench depending on the size of your drain
plugs, and rags or paper towels. Funky clothes aren't a bad idea either.
Automatic Transmissions Soobs: Get 7 quarts of Dexron for OHV models, or Dexron II-type ATF for
OHC models, 2 quarts of gear oil for the front differential, and new gaskets for the transmission and differential
drain plugs.
Procedure 15, Step l
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 139
Manual transmission Soobs: Get 3 quarts of gear oil (non-4WD) or 4 quarts (4WD) and one new gasket for the drain plug.
4WD people: You also need a '/z" drive ratchet and one quart of gear oil for the rear differential.
Remarks: Some gear oils, like Castrol and Valvoline, come in handy plastic bottles with a pointed pour spout.
These containers make filling the differential easy-especially the rear differential on 4WDs.
Look at the oil viscosity charts near the start of this chapter to see which grade oil you should use. Brands
of automatic transmission fluid that are recommended by Subaru are listed there also.
Step l. Go for a Ride.
The transmission and differential should be warmed up to operating temperature before draining the oil.
Go for a drive, at least 10 miles, then park the car on level ground and shut the engine OFF. Set the handbrake
and block the wheels.
Step 2. Get Ready.
Spread out your ground cover on the driver's side, right behind the front wheel. Be sure the handbrake is
on and the transmission is in gear or PARK. Slide the catch pan under the car. Grab your sockets and ratchet
or box-end wrenches, and the new drain plug gaskets. Install safety glasses on your face, then squeeze your body
under the car so your head ends up just inside the left front tire and your feet are pointed toward the rear tire.
If you have a clearance problem, perhaps it's time to consider that last piece of cake or six-pack you had. If you
just don't fit, jack up the car on the left side a little and put a jackstand under the frame (see Chapter 3). Be sure
the car is resting solidly on the jackstand before crawling under. After removing the drain plug(s), take the car
off the jackstand so the oil can drain completely, then jack it back up and slip the stands into position when you're
ready to put the drain plug(s) back in.
You'll be unscrewing the plugs in the Steps
ahead. After the drain plugs are out, come out from
under the car and look them over. They have mag
nets built into them to trap tiny metal particles that
wear off the gears. Hopefully, there aren't any large
chunks of metal stuck to the magnet, which would
indicate a chipped gear and potential trouble. Clean
the plugs thoroughly with a rag before you attempt
to screw them back in. If yours is a standard transmission vehicle, skip ahead to Step 5.
Step 3. Drain and Fill Automatic Transmission Fluid.
The drain plug for automatic transmissions is
on the left front corner of the black bulbous thing
hanging down behind the engine. One of the four
sockets or wrenches fits the plug. Put the correct
size wrench on the plug and unscrew it counterclockwise. When the plug is loose enough to turn by
hand, scoot out from under the car as far as you can
and remove the plug at arm's length. The oil will be
hot as it gushes from the drain hole so you don't
want any to splash in your face. Don't worry if the
drain plug falls into the catch pan, you can fish it out
with a magnet or your fingers after the fluid cools
off, or retrieve it when you pour the old fluid into
Automatic 11ransmission and
Differential Drain Plugs
140
Chapter 7 Procedure 15, Step 4
the disposal bottles. Let the oil drain for a few minutes.
Install a new drain plug gasket onto the drain plug, then screw the plug into the transmission. Tighten it
down with the wrench, but remember who'll have to take it out next time. Now get out from under and find the
dipstick for the automatic transmission located near the rear of the engine compartment on the driver's side.
Remove the dipstick, wipe it with a clean rag, then put it in a clean place. Stick the small end of the long, clean
funnel into the dipstick hole. Wipe off the tops of the new ATF cans with a clean rag. Open three cans and pour
2'/z quarts into the transmission. Put the dipstick back in.
Be sure the handbrake is on and the gearshift lever is in the PARK position, and start the engine. Now check
the fluid level with the engine running (Procedure 2, Step 3). Add fluid a little at a time until the level reaches
the upper hole in the dipstick. The bottom hole on the dipstick means the level is a little less than 'hquart low.
Be careful not to add too much fluid. When the transmission is full, put the dipstick in place and turn off the
engine. Check beneath the car for leaks around the drain plug. Empty the drain pan into the disposal bottles,
then go on to Step 4.
Step 4. Drain and Fill Differential (automatic transmission people).
The differential drain plug is about 4" in front of the transmission drain plug. It sticks out of the side of
the aluminum differential case and points toward the left front tire on most models. On some late models, it's
on the opposite side of the differential from the one shown in the illustration. Put the catch pan beneath it. Use
the correct socket or wrench to unscrew the plug counterclockwise. Again, back away so the oil won't splash
in your face when you remove the plug.
Wipe off the drain plug with a clean rag and install a new gasket. When only one or two drops per minute
are coming out of the drain hole, screw the plug back in and tighten it with the socket or wrench. Drag all the
tools and catch pan from under the car. Take the jackstand out and lower the car if you jacked it up.
The differential dipstick is about 6" behind and slightly lower than the top rear of the engine. The differential
dipstick has lines on it and an F indicating the full level. A heavy line about eight lines down from the F line
indicates '/z quart low. The differential dipstick tube is also the filler tube so stick a clean funnel in the tube if
your gear oil isn't in plastic bottles with pointed caps.
Clean the tops of two cans of gear oil. Open the cans and pour one quart down the differential dipstick
tube. The official capacity is 1.3 quarts, more or less. Check your owner's manual to be sure, or check the oil
level with the dipstick and add oil from the second can a little at a time until the level reaches the F mark. Put
the dipstick back in.
If you have 4WD, skip down to Step 6. No 4WD? Go to Step 7.
Step 5. Drain and Fill Manual Transmission and Differential.
Soobs with manual transmissions have one drain plug located in the bottom center of the aluminum differential
case that drains both the transmission and differential. The plug is just in front of and above where the two exhaust
pipes from the two sides of the engine merge together. On these models it's easier to get to the plug by crawl
ing under the front of the car rather than the side. You shouldn't have to jack the car up, but if you do, be sure
to block the wheels and use jackstands. Put the catch pan beneath the plug. You just warmed up the engine so
watch out for those hot exhaust pipes.
Put the goggles on and don't let the hot oil splash in your face. Loosen the drain plug with the correct socket
or wrench. When you can turn it by hand, unscrew it the rest of the way with your fingers. While the oil drains,
wipe off the drain plug with a clean rag and install the new gasket. When oil is only dripping a couple of drops
per minute, screw the plug back into the hole and tighten it with the socket or wrench. Slide the catch pan and
tools out from under the car. Lower the car if you jacked it up.
Remove the transmission/ differential dipstick (located about 8" behind the engine dipstick), wipe it with
a clean rag and lay it someplace clean. Stick the small end of the long funnel into the dipstick tube if you're not
using a gear oil that comes in a pointed plastic container.
Procedure 15, Step 6
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up 141
Clean the tops, then open three quarts of gear oil. It takes almost 3 quarts to fill non -4WD transmissions
and just over 3 quarts for 4WD trannies. In either case, pour 2'/2 quarts down the funnel and check the level with
the dipstick. Add oil a little at a time and keep checking until the oil level reaches the F mark on the dipstick.
Late model Turbos have two holes in the bottom end of the dipstick. The upper hole means the differential is
full and the lower hole means it's '/z quart low.
Step 6. Change 4WD Rear Differential Oil (4WD vehicles only).
Spread the ground cloth under the rear end of the car, then slide the drain pan between the rear wheels. Get
a 1/z" drive ratchet with a long handle (you won't need a socket) and dive under. The rear differential is that
big chunk of metal directly between the two rear axles.
The rear differential has two plugs facing the rear of the car. The top one is for checking and adding oil
while the lower one is for draining the oil. Clean the area around the plugs with a rag, then use the square end
(business end) of the ratchet to unscrew both plugs counterclockwise. Just insert the square part of the ratchet
into the square holes in each plug. See Procedure 14, Step 4, if you have trouble removing the plugs. Always
remove the top plug first to be sure you'll be able to get oil back in after draining the old oil.
When the oil is dripping out of the bottom hole only a couple of drops per minute, clean the plugs, screw
the one with the magnet on it into the bottom hole and tighten it with the ratchet. Open a can of fresh gear oil
and pour or pump it into the top hole until oil starts running out. It holds a little over 3/a of a quart. If the gear
oil you bought came in a plastic bottle with a pour spout on the end, you shouldn't have any trouble getting the
oil in the hole. If you bought oil in a regular can, you'll have to use a suction type gun to suck the oil out of the
can and squirt it into the differential. Either way, when the oil starts running out of the filler hole, screw the plug
in and tighten it with the ratchet. Wipe off any oil on the outside of the housing, then drag all the tools and catch
pan from underneath the car.
Step 7. Clean Up.
Pour the old oil in plastic containers and give it to a service station or the nice people at the recycling center.
PROCEDURE 16:30,000/60,000-MILE MAINTENANCE, LUBRICATION, AND PARTS
REPLACEMENT
Condition: It's been 30,000 severe-type miles or 60,000 normal-type miles since the wheel bearings were inspected
and/or greased. Although it's not part of the recommended Subaru maintenance schedule, the DOJs and CVJs
on the axles will probably last longer if they are cleaned and repacked with fresh grease every 60,000 miles.
Confession: Since it's such a hassle, I confess I only get around to greasing my wheel bearings and axle joints
when I have the brakes off and it's handy to get to everything. However, if you're in the habit of abusing your
Soob on mountain goat trails or crossing rivers and streams frequently, check and grease the bearings at least
every 30,000 miles. The Subaru manuals now recommend "checking" the grease in the bearings every 60,000
miles. To check the grease, remove the brake drums or discs, front and rear, and look at the grease around the
wheel bearings. If there's white, yukky looking stuff around the bearings, or the grease looks thin and runny,
turn to Chapter 14 to find how to grease the wheel bearings. Procedure 7 covers everybody's front wheel bearing
lubrication and Procedure 9 covers non -4WD rear wheel bearings. Special tools are required to grease the rear
wheel bearings on 4WDs so you'll have to have Subaru or a garage that specializes in Subarus lube them for
you. The others you can do yourself.
Chapter 15 covers greasing the double offset joints (DOJs) and the constant velocity joints (CVJs) on the
axles. Carefully inspect the rubber boots while greasing the axle joints and replace any that are cracked or torn.
On some models Subaru recommends replacing the emission control evaporative canister every 60,000
miles. Check your owner's manual to see if yours should be replaced. If it should, see Chapter 12, Procedure 5.
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Chapter 7
TUNE-UP SPECIFICATIONS 1975-88
If possible, use the tune-up specifications on the underside of the hood, or the specifications
for your year and model in your Owner's Manual. If the underhood sticker and Owner's manual are missing, use the specifications listed below.
75-78:
AIR GAP
49 0 -55 0
MODEL TRANSMISSION AIR GAP
77-79: All Manual . 008"-.016"
All Automatic . 012"-.020"
80-82: Non-4WD All . 008"-.016"
4WD All . 012"-.020"
83-84: HITACHI . 012"-.020"
NIPPONDENSO . 008"-.016"
1985 Carb Models
California Manual/Auto . 008"-.016"
Non-Calif 2WD Manual/Auto . 008"-.016"
Non-Calif 4WD Manual/Auto . 012"-.020"
1985 MPFI Non-Turbo Manual/Auto . 008"-.016"
MPFI Turbo Manual/Auto . 012"-.020"
1986 Calif 2WD, 4WD Manual .008"-.016"
Calif 4WD Automatic . 008"-.016"
Non-Calif 2WD Manual .008"-.016"
Non-Calif 4WD Manual/Auto . 012"-.020"
Canadian Manual/Auto . 012"-.020"
1987 Carb Models All . 008"-.016"
1988 No air gap to check!
VALVE SETTING Intake Exhaust
1975: . 012" .014"
76-82: . 010" .014"
83-84: OHV Manual . 010" .014"
83-84: OHV Auto 0 0
85-88: ALL models 0 0
SPARK PLUG GAP
75-80: . 032"
81-88: . 040"
POINTS GAP
1975: . 020"
76-78: . 018"
POINTS DWELL
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
143
ENGINE IDLE SPEED AND TIMING SPECIFICATION
YEAR ENGINE TRANSMISSION TIMING IDLE SPEED
1975: Manual 8° 800
Automatic 8 ° 900
1976: ALL 8 ° 900
77-78: Non-Calif. 8° 850
California 8 ° 900
1979: Non-Calif. 8° 800
California 8 ° 900
1980: All Calif. 8 ° 900
Non-Calif. Hatchback 8° 800
STD & DL, Sedan DL,
Hardtop DL
All other Non-Calif. 8° 900
81-83: Non-Turbo Manual 8° 700
Automatic 8 ° 800
1984: Carb 1600cc 4-speed 8° 650
5-speed 8° 700
Carb 1800cc Manual 8° 700
Automatic 8 ° 800
83-84: Turbo Models 15 0 800
1985: Non-Turbo DL 4-speed 6° 650
5-speed 8° 700
GL 5-speed 8° 700
GL Automatic 8 ° 800
GL-10 5-speed 6° 700
GL-10 Automatic 6° 800
XT 5-speed 6° 700
XT Automatic 6 ° 800
Turbo Manual 25 0 700
Automatic 25 0 800
1986: Non-Turbo Manual 8 ° 700
Automatic 8 ° 800
SPFI 20° 700
Non-Turbo XT Manual 6° 700
Automatic 6 ° 800
Turbo Manual, 25° 700
Automatic 25 0 800
1987: Carburetor Manual/Auto 8° 700
SPFI Manual/Auto 20° 700
MPFI Manual 20 0 700
Automatic 20 0 800
1988: SPFI Manual/Auto 20° 700
MPFI Manual 20° 700
Automatic 20 ° 800
Maintenance, Lubrication, Tune-up
145
146
Chapter 7
BRAND:
VITAL STATISTICS FOR MY SOOB
NOTES:
BRAND: VALVE SETTING CONDENSER:
WEIGHT: INTAKE: AIR FILTER:
OIL FILTER: EXHAUST: FUEL FILTER:
(BRAND AND #) IDLE SPEED: PCV VALVE:
MANUAL
TRANS. /DIFF. OIL TIRE PRESSURE BRAKE FLUID BRAND:
BRAND: FRONT: (DOT3 or 4)
WEIGHT: REAR:
AUTOMATIC TRANS.
FLUID SPARE:
ENGINE TYPE: POINTS GAP: PARTS NUMBERS
ENGINE NUMBER: POINTS DWELL: SPARK PLUGS:
BODY NUMBER: AIR GAP: DISTRIBUTOR CAP:
PRODUCTION DATE: SPARK PLUG GAP: ROTOR:
ENGINE OIL IGNITION TIMING: POINTS SET:
CHAPTER 8
DRIVING FOR ECONOMY
AND LONGEVITY
This little chapter is about how to help keep your Subaru alive and efficient without even picking up a
wrench or getting greasy. Driving for economy means more than just getting good gas mileage; it also includes
saving on repairs that can be avoided if the car is driven correctly, making repairs promptly that would end up
costing more if not done right away, and planning ahead so parts are purchased when they're on sale rather than
being stuck with the full price on the day of the tune-up or repair. Getting into the habit of driving for economy
and longevity will not only save you a bunch of money; you'll also become a safer driver because you'll be more
aware of driving conditions. Driving will be more interesting because every time you drive your Soob you'll
be challenging yourself to get the most possible value from your motoring dollar. Consider it a game played by
the rules of physics where you can come out a winner.
GAS MILEAGE
Gas mileage alone isn't everything. As far as I know, Subarus have never won a major gas mileage test, so
don't expect your Soob to get the same mileage as the cars at the top of the government's annual gas miser list.
Subarus are, however, usually near the top of the list in overall economy when repair bills over a period of time
are also tallied. Even a car that gets 50 miles per gallon (mpg) isn't economical to drive if it takes $50 a month
to keep it on the road.
What kind of gas mileage do Subarus usually get? From talking with dozens of Subaru owners (and owning
a few Subarus myself), I've deduced that with a manual transmission you should get 25 to 35 mpg on the highway
148
Chapter 8
and 20 to 30 mpg driving around town. Earlier models with 1600cc engines will probably get mileage close to
the high end of the scale, while models with options like the 1800cc engine, 4WD, air conditioning, and power
steering will probably be closer to the lower figures. Soobs with automatic transmissions usually get about 5
mpg less than models with stick shifts.
Here are a few good reasons to keep track of your gas mileage: 1. You'll know if something in the engine
has changed, causing gas consumption to change (usually for the worse). 2. You'll know approximately how
many miles you can drive on a tank of gas so you won't be as likely to run out. 3. You can use mileage calcu
lations to see which brand of gas gives you the best mileage. 4. You'll find out if changing your driving habits
as outlined below will really save you some money. (If it doesn't, drive how you've driven all along and don't
worry about it.)
FACTORS AFFECTING ECONOMY
Tune-ups: No matter how you drive, your Soob won't perform as economically if the engine isn't operating at peak efficiency. Therefore, the single most important factor in getting good gas mileage is to keep the
engine well tuned. Chapter 7 tells you the appropriate intervals for performing the various tune-up procedures.
Tire inflation: Keep the tires properly inflated to decrease the resistance (sluggishness) of the tires as they
roll along the road. The higher the tire pressure, the better gas mileage you'll get. However, don't inflate the
tires above the maximum pressure rating that's stamped on the tire just to squeeze out a few extra miles. It isn't
safe.
Extra weight: Hauling around excess weight in the trunk can lower your gas mileage. It's time to tell your
3501b. buddy to lay off those twinkies.
The carburetor: In order for your engine to perform satisfactorily under a wide range of conditions (such
as cold weather, quick acceleration, or climbing hills), the carburetor has three devices built into it which operate
only under certain conditions. The devices are the choke, the accelerator pump, and the power system. You
have at least partial control over these devices, and the less you use them, the better gas mileage you'll get. Here's
how they work and how you can control them to your advantage.
Choke: A richer (more gas to air) mixture is required to start a cold engine and keep it running until it warms
up. A flap on the top of the carburetor called the choke plate makes this adjustment automatically. As the engine
warms up, the choke flap is gradually opened. Since the engine uses more gas when the choke is "on" (flap
closed), it makes sense to warm up the engine as quickly as possible. However, racing the engine or holding
it at a very fast idle to warm it up causes excess wear on the engine parts. Driving warms up the engine more
quickly than idling, so as a compromise between thoroughly warming up the engine at idle and wasting a lot
of gas, or jumping into traffic before the engine is warmed up enough to run properly, let the engine idle just
a short while-just long enough to get the oil flowing. Warm up the engine well enough to be able to drive conservatively in traffic without lugging or racing the engine; this should take about one to five minutes, depending
on how cold it is outside.
Accelerator pump: When you push the gas pedal down suddenly (to pass a car or make a quick getaway after
a bank robbery), the sudden rush of air into the engine would cause a temporary loss of power if it weren't for
the accelerator pump. To keep the gas/ air mixture in a proper ratio, the accelerator pump squirts an extra shot
of gas into the engine when the gas pedal is pushed down quickly. If the gas pedal is pushed down slowly, the
accelerator pump is not activated, so the slower and smoother you operate the gas pedal, the less extra gas you
squirt into the engine.
Power system: The farther you press the gas pedal toward the floorboard during rapid accelerationclimbing steep hills, pulling heavy trailers, or racing-the more the power system in the carburetor is turned
on. The power system allows more fuel to be drawn into the engine under these conditions. If you keep your
right foot away from the floor and drive so you use the power system as little as possible, you'll save a lot of gas.
Brakes: It takes a certain investment in energy (i.e., gas) to get your car up to driving speed. Once you're
cruising, less energy is required because you've gained some momentum from the initial investment. When
you take your foot off the gas pedal, the car will coast for some distance without using much gas, and thus some
of your initial investment is being repaid. To get the car back up to the desired driving speed, another investment is required to gain back the momentum. Using the brakes to slow the car not only wears out the brake parts
but also quickly reduces the momentum you've achieved without getting the benefit of repayment by coasting.
Staying aware of the traffic conditions ahead so you can slow down just by letting up on the gas pedal rather than
having to apply the brakes allows you to get the most from the momentum you've already paid for. For example, when approaching stop signs, ease up on the gas pedal as soon as traffic will allow and let the momentum
carry you close to the stop sign. This way you'll need to use the brakes a lot less. If you drive with a minimal
use of the brakes, you'll save a lot of gas as well as wear and tear on the brake system.
Transmissions: The engine has an optimum rpm range that gives you the best economy, power, and longevity. This range is basically between 2,300 rpm and 3,700 rpm. Driving with the engine below this range is
called "lugging" the engine, and driving with engine above the optimum range is called "over-revving. " For
economy driving, it's generally best to keep the rpms to the lower end of the range rather than the higher end.
There are exceptions, though. For example, it's better to shift to a lower gear when going up a steep hill so the
engine is turning easily at a higher rpm rather than lugging and struggling along at a lower rpm. The tachometer
(if your model has one) enables you to keep the engine speed in the proper rpm range. If you don't have a tachometer, you can learn to regulate the rpms by the sound of the engine.
Manual transmissions: You can easily use the transmission gears to keep the engine within its optimum
range under varying circumstances. While driving, don't rev the engine to the top of the rpm range between every
shift; just rev it high enough so that when you shift up through gears, the engine will still be turning fast enough
so it won't bog down or lug when you release the clutch. Shift up to higher gears as soon as you can without slowing the engine below the optimum rpm range.
Automatic transmissions: These are notorious for reducing gas mileage. Regardless of what the EPA says,
if you have an automatic, count on getting about 5-10 miles per gallon less than your neighbor with the manual transmission.
The shifting in automatics is controlled by the engine speed, demands on the engine (going uphill or downhill, or carrying a heavy load), and the position of the gas pedal. The only economy driving tip I can give you
about automatics is to let up on the gas pedal slightly when you feel the rpms are high enough to change to the
next higher gear. This will cause it to go ahead and shift. Holding the pedal in one position tends to make the
engine rev higher than I think is necessary. One good thing about automatics is that they shift into a lower gear
by themselves whenever the engine is about to lug (which a lot of people don't do).
FACTORS AFFECTING LONGEVITY (and thus economy)
Driving for Economy and Longevity
149
Stay on top of your Soob's overall condition and make necessary repairs or adjustments right away. Putting off things-like not tuning the engine when it starts running poorly or not having the front end aligned when
the tires start wearing on the edges-tends to end up costing you more than if you attended to them right away.
When parking the car (especially on hills), set the handbrake before releasing the clutch pedal or putting
the transmission in PARK. This way the car is held by the brakes (which are relatively inexpensive and easy
to replace), and no strain is placed on the more expensive drive train parts that are involved when the engine
and transmission are used to hold the car.
Buying a cheap magnetic key holder so you can hide a spare key under the bumper or fender can save you
the time and expense of having a locksmith unlock your car on that fateful occasion when you absentmindedly
lock the keys in the car or lose them while backpacking in the Pecos Wilderness.
Plan ahead when it comes to anticipated maintenance replacements (see Chapter 7). Buying tune-up and
replacement parts (such as oil, filters, and brake shoes) when they're on sale at the local parts store can save
you quite a lot of money over a couple of years.
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Chapter 8
CHAPTER 9
TROUBLESHOOTING
You are probably here because your Soob is misbehaving in one way or another, right? If you're stuck on
the side of a busy road, you also have sweaty palms and a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. Regardless of
your present situation, there's no need to panic! Take one step at a time in a logical order, and you can proba
bly diagnose the problem. Then either fix it on the spot (if you have the necessary tools and parts onboard), nurse
it home, resign yourself to taking it to a garage or, in rare cases, call for a tow truck. At the very least, you'll
know if the problem is serious.
This chapter lists some of the problems you are most likely to encounter and tells you the chapter and procedure covering how to fix them. To use this troubleshooting guide, find the section that applies to your problem
(engine, brakes, noises, etc.), then locate the symptom that sent you here in the first place (engine won't start,
brakes squeal, steering wheel vibrates, etc. ). I'll either tell you how to fix it, direct you to the appropriate chapter
and procedure in the book, or advise you to seek professional help. Often the diagnosis is the hardest part. If
you can't identify the problem, take the car to Subaru or a garage for a professional diagnosis, which should
cost little, provided you insist that it's just a diagnosis you want. Once the problem is diagnosed, read through
the appropriate chapter and procedure, then you can decide if it's something you feel confident tackling or
whether you'd rather have someone else fix it for you.
A friend who has owned dozens of cars offers this wisdom on car problems: "Whatever is wrong, it is rarely
as bad as you first expect; only very occasionally is it far worse than you could ever imagine."
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Chapter 9
ENGINE PROBLEMS
1. Engine Stops and/or Won't Start.
A. Starter doesn't turn the engine or turns it very slowly:
Turn the ignition key to ON and check the dashboard lights, headlights and horn.
Al. Lights and electrical things DON'T work or just barely work (dim lights, etc.): See Chapter 10,
Procedure 2, Step 4, to check the fusible links. If the links are OK, see Chapter 10, Procedure l, Step 1, to check
and add battery fluid and Step 3 in that procedure to clean the battery terminal connections. If you don't have
the proper tools, try gently tapping on each cable clamp where it attaches to the battery (with the lug wrench,
a rock, etc.), then try to start the engine. The tapping might temporarily make the connection good enough to
start the engine. You might also try wiggling the ends of the battery cables where they attach to the engine and
starter (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 4). If the engine starts, clean both ends of the battery cables as soon as
possible.
If the electrical equipment still doesn't work after cleaning the terminals, the battery is discharged. You'll
either need a jump start (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 8) or you'll have to remove the battery (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 7) and take it to a garage or service station to be trickle charged. Why did the battery lose its charge?
Check the alternator drive belt and if necessary, tighten or replace it (Chapter 10, Procedure 3). If the drive
belt is in good condition and properly adjusted, see Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 5, to check the battery condition and Chapter 10, Procedure 6, to check the charging system.
A2. Lights and electrical things all work normally but the starter won't turn the engine: The problem is in the cranking system. Chapter 10, Procedure 9, tells you how to check the cranking system.
B. Starter cranks engine normally but engine
won't start:
To make the engine run, three elements are
necessary: air, fuel, and a spark to ignite the fuel and
air. Unless you live in a vacuum, there's plenty of air
available, so let's check the other two.
Bl. Coil tests: Disconnect the coil wire from
the distributor cap and test it for spark (Chapter 10,
Procedure 12, Step 1). If a Friend isn't available to
help you, just prop or tie the end of the wire close
to bare metal someplace (away from the carburetor
or fuel pump) where you can see it from the driver's
seat. Then crank the engine with the key to START
while you watch the end of the wire. If juice is getting to the end of the coil wire, you'll be able to see
(and probably hear) a strong blue spark as you crank
the engine. The ignition system is OK at least up to
the distributor. Skip down to B2. to see if the spark
is reaching the spark plugs.
If there's no spark, check all of the wire connections on the end of the coil for tightness. Tighten them
if necessary. Wire connections all tight? Check the
fusible links (if your model has them) and the fuse
in the fuse box labeled IGN (Chapter 10, Procedure
2). If you have a 12-volt test light, turn the ignition
Troubleshooting 153
switch to ON, then attach one end of the test light to the small positive (+) wire post on the coil and touch the
other end of the test light to bare metal. The test light should light up. If it doesn't, and the fusible links and fuses
are all good, then the problem is probably in the ignition switch. Have Subaru or a garage check it for you.
B2. Spark plug wire test: Remove one of the spark plugs (Chapter 7, Procedure 11, Step 2). Connect the
spark plug wire to the spark plug, then use a plastic- or wood-handled screwdriver or insulated pliers to hold
the metal part of the spark plug against a metal part of the engine. Have Friend crank the engine while you watch
for a spark across the electrodes on the end of the spark plug. If a spark intermittently jumps the gap, the ignition
system is OK; skip down to B4. No spark across the spark plug electrodes? If the coil wire test was positive (there
was spark at the end of the coil wire), but the spark plug test was negative (no spark across the spark plug electrodes),
then the problem is in the distributor.
B3. Distributor checks: If there's a small wire terminal on the outside of the distributor, check the connection for tightness and tighten the little nut or screw if necessary. Remove and inspect the distributor cap and
rotor (Chapter 7, Procedure 9, Step 2). Look for broken or loose wires inside the distributor.
Breaker points type distributors: If you have breaker points, do Chapter 7, Procedure 10, Steps 1 and 4, to
inspect and adjust the points. If the points are adjusted correctly and open and close as you rotate the engine,
rotate the engine so the points are closed (no gap). Turn the ignition switch to ON, then use a plastic- or wooden
handled screwdriver to push the movable arm of the points set away from the stationary arm. You should see
a spark when the movable arm breaks contact with the stationary arm. No spark? Check the wire between the
wire terminal and the points set and the little ground wire that connects the body of the distributor to one of the
points set attaching screws. If either wire is broken or disconnected, reattach or replace it as necessary.
If there's still no spark when you move the points arm, the plastic insulator for the wire terminal bolt on
the side of the distributor might be broken or missing, allowing the bolt to touch the distributor body. Replace
the insulator if necessary.
Still no spark? It's time for professional advice.
Breakerless distributors: If the car starts OK when the engine is cold but won't start after it's warmed up,
the electronic pick-up unit might be shot. Have Subaru or a garage check it and replace it for you if the unit
is bad.
B4. Fuel tests: You're sure there's gas in the gas tank and you've checked the ignition system and you're
sure electricity is getting to the spark plugs, right? OK. Do Chapter 11, Procedure 4, to see if fuel is getting to
the carburetor. You'll be directed where to turn according to the results of the checks.
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Chapter 9
2. Engine Starts OK, But Doesn't Run Right.
You can get the engine to start, but it isn't running the way you know it should. Symptoms are rough running, hesitation, lack of power, poor gas mileage, backfiring, and "pinging." Lack of power and/or poor gas
mileage can be caused by any or all of the following problems.
A. Engine pinging: Pinging sounds like someone's in the engine compartment shaking a coffee can full
of small pebbles. It usually occurs during rapid acceleration or when going up hills. What's happening is that
the fuel/air mixture is being ignited in the cylinder before it's supposed to. The causes and cures are:
Al. Wrong fuel: The fuel octane is too low; use gas with a higher octane rating.
A2. Ignition timing: The ignition timing is advanced too far. Adjust it. Chapter 7, Procedure 13, tells
you how.
A3. Faulty vacuum advance/retard unit: Check, and if necessary, replace the unit (Chapter 7, Procedure 9, Step 8). Not all models have these.
A4. Buildup of carbon in the combustion chambers: Check the automatic choke as described in B4. Also
check the spark plugs and do a compression check to see if excess oil is getting into the combustion chambers
(Chapter 7, Procedure 11).
B. Rough running: Your engine feels and sounds like it's not running on all its cylinders all the time. Often
there's a drop in power and gas mileage. If the engine is missing (stuttering, fluttering), a general rule of thumb
is that if the miss is regular and consistent, the problem is most likely in the ignition system. If the miss is irregular,
or comes and goes, the problem is in the fuel system.
BI. Vacuum leaks: If the engine has suddenly started running like a three-legged dog, look for a vacuum
hose that's come off its fitting. The open line will probably make a hissing noise when the engine is running.
If you find the culprit, reconnect the hose, or replace it if it's cracked or stretched on the end.
B2. Check spark plug wire connections,
spark plugs, and engine compression: Are the
spark plug wires securely connected to the distributor
cap and spark plugs? Check 'em: push down on both
ends of each wire. Remove the spark plugs and check
their condition. Do a compression test while the
spark plugs are out and evaluate the results. Directions
for these checks are in Chapter 7, Procedure 11.
B3. Coil and coil wire connections: Check the
coil and the wires attached to it (Chapter 10, Procedure 12). Replace the coil, or tighten the wires if
necessary.
B4. Carburetor checks: For these checks you'll
need to remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure
5, Step 4).
Choke: To see if the choke is working, start the
engine and let it warm up. When the engine is
warmed up, the flat choke plate in the top of the carb
should be in a vertical position.
If it isn't, feel for warmth in the round automatic choke housing. It's on the top right (passenger's) side
of the carb (Hitachi carbs) or on the top left side of the carb (Carter/Weber carbs). (If you're not sure which
kind of carburetor you have, see the rap at the beginning of Chapter 11: Fuel Systems.)
If the round choke housing doesn't feel warm after the engine has warmed up, the choke either isn't getting juice or the choke element inside the housing is shot. Follow the wire coming out of the housing to a wire
connection and see that the wire is attached securely. If you have a 12-volt test light handy, check the wire for
Troubleshooting 155
juice while the engine is running (Chapter 10, Procedure 5, Step 2). If there's no juice, locate and check the choke
fuse (Chapter 10, Procedure 2, Step 3).
If the fuse and choke wire connection are both good, remove the three tiny screws and weird-shaped washers
around the edge of the round choke housing. (Beginning in about 1980, some Hitachi carbs have rivets instead
of screws. If your carb has rivets, you've done all the checking you can do; see the pros.) Put the screws and
washers where they won't fall into the carb or get lost. Wiggle the choke unit out of its housing on the carb and
check the springs inside. The flat spring should be concentric around the center post. If it's distorted and off-center,
replace the choke unit. Check the small coiled wire inside the ceramic groove for breaks and distortion. Replace
it if it's broken or doesn't fit neatly into the groove. Chapter 11, Procedure 9, Step 8, tells you how to reassemble the automatic choke.
Anti-diesel valve (Hitachi carbs only): The symptom of a faulty anti-diesel valve is the engine runs OK
at high rpms but won't idle. Here's how to locate and check the anti-diesel valve.
The anti-diesel valve is a hexagonal, brass-colored, thumb-size gizmo sticking out of the front, left (driver's)
side of the carb. It points toward the left headlight. Turn the ignition key to ON, but don't start the engine. Follow
the wire coming out of the end of the valve to a wire connection. Disconnect the wires, then reconnect them
while listening for a click from the anti-diesel valve. Try disconnecting/ connecting the wires several times.
If the valve clicks, it's probably working correctly. No click? See Chapter 11, Procedure 8, Step 8, to remove
the valve, and Chapter 11, Procedure 9, Step 5, to install the new valve. On '80 and newer models, if your setup
is such that the choke wire, anti-diesel valve wire, and a wire from another gizmo on the carb (the switch vent
solenoid) all share a common plastic connector, you'll have to cut the old wire and splice the new wire to it. If
you aren't sure how to splice electrical wires, see Chapter 18.
Other carburetor connections: Follow all other wires attached to the carburetor to where they connect to
the wiring harness. Be sure the connection is clean and tight. Carter/Weber carbs have three electrical gizmos;
Hitachis have one to three depending on the year and model.
C. Engine backfires: If your Soob occasionally makes loud explosions that cause nearby motorists to duck
for cover, check the following systems as soon as possible or you run the risk of blowing the exhaust system apart.
C1. Idle speed: If the backfire only happens when you turn the ignition key OFF, the engine might just be
idling too fast. Check and adjust the idle speed (Chapter 7, Procedure 12).
C2. Coasting by-pass system (decel system on '75-'80 models): See Chapter 12, Procedure 7, to check
and adjust the coasting by-pass system.
C3. Anti-afterburning valve: See the rap at the start of Chapter 12, Procedure 8, to see if you have an antiafterburning valve (AAV). If you have an AAV, continue to Step 1 to check and replace the valve (if necessary).
C4. Improper ignition timing: See Chapter 7,
Procedure 13.
C5. Cracked distributor cap: See Chapter 7,
Procedure 9.
C6. Faulty vacuum advance/retard unit: See
Chapter 7, Procedure 9, Step 8.
C7. Crossed spark plug wires: Be sure the
rotor is pointing to the #1 spark plug wire when the
timing marks on the flywheel are aligned with the
pointer (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 6); then trace
the wires going counterclockwise from the #1 wire
on the distributor cap-the wires should go to
cylinders #1, #3, #2, and #4 in order.
C8. Clogged EGR system: See Chapter 12,
Procedure 1.
C9. Leaking or sticking exhaust valves: A
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compression test will tell you if the valves are leaking (Chapter 7, Procedure 1). An oil and filter change might
prevent the valves from sticking.
C10. Leaking or worn out exhaust system: The engine normally creates some backfires, but you don't
hear them because the muffler(s) muffle the sound. If the inside of the muffler(s) is worn out or there are leaks
in the exhaust system, you'll hear these normal backfires.
D. Engine hesitates when accelerator pedal is pressed down suddenly: This symptom is called a "flat
spot" and is usually caused by not enough fuel being pumped into the carb when the pedal is pressed down.
Here's how to check the carb. If you have fuel injection, you'll have to see the pros.
Dl. Check accelerator pump: Remove the air cleaner lid (Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 3). Hold the choke
plate in the top of the carburetor in a vertical position with a finger or screwdriver so you can look down into
the carb.
With the engine OFF and the choke plate in a vertical position, have Friend pump the gas pedal a few times
while you peer into the barrel of the carb (the front one on Hitachi carbs). If Friend isn't available, you'll have
to rotate the throttle arm on the side of the carb where the accelerator cable attaches. You should see a healthy
stream of gas squirt into the barrel from a small brass nozzle each time the pedal is pushed down or the throttle arm is rotated. A weak, puny stream, or no gas at all, means the accelerator pump nozzle is clogged.
For Hitachi carbs, see Chapter 11, Procedure 11, to remove the carb top. Squirt lots of carb cleaner through
the accelerator pump nozzle until it's clean. (See the large carburetor illustration in Chapter 1 to locate the nozzle.)
If possible, borrow a set of carburetor jet cleaners to clean the nozzle. Chapter 11, Procedure 1, Step 4, tells
you how to install the carb top and put everything back together.
For Carter/ Weber carbs, you'll have to have Subaru or a garage clean the accelerator pump nozzle for you.
D2. Check mechanical and vacuum advance/ retard unit on the distributor: If the accelerator pump
in the carb is working correctly but there's still a flat spot, see Chapter 7, Procedure 9, to check the advance/ retard
mechanisms in the distributor.
3. Oil Warning Light Goes ON or Oil Pressure Gauge Drops to 0 while Engine Is Running.
A. STOP! Check oil level. Stop the engine as
soon as possible and check the engine oil dipstick
(Chapter 7, Procedure 2, Step 1). If the oil level is
OK, skip down to Step B to check the oil pressure
switch and gauge. If the oil level is low or you can't
find any oil on the dipstick, don't drive the car until
you add oil to the full mark. Start the engine to see
if the light goes off or the gauge shows you have oil
pressure. If the light stays ON, or the gauge remains
at 0, turn the engine off immediately and skip down
to Step B.
If adding oil solved the problem, look under the
engine to see if you've developed a sudden oil leak.
See Section 5 to fix any oil leaks you might find. No
oil leaks? Slap yourself severely on the wrists, face,
and the top of your head for letting the oil level get
that low-and check the oil level more often from
now on!
Troubleshooting 157
B. Check oil pressure switch (OPS): If you only have an oil pressure warning light on the dash (no gauge),
the OPS will be screwed into the crankcase just to the right (passenger's) side of the oil pump. On models with
an oil pressure gauge on the dash, the OPS is screwed into the bottom front of the oil pump near the oil filter.
Models with an oil pressure warning light: Turn the ignition key to ON, but don't start the engine. Disconnect the wire from the OPS and check the oil warning light on the dash. The light should be off when the wire
is disconnected. If it's still on, there's a short in the wire someplace between the OPS and the gauge. See Chapter
10, Procedure 5, Step 3. If the light went off when you disconnected the wire, the problem is either a faulty OPS
or the oil pump isn't pumping oil. Skip down to Step C.
Models with an oil pressure gauge: Use your jumper wire or round up about a 12" piece of electrical wire
with 1/2" of insulation stripped away from the ends. Have Friend start the engine and let it idle. While Friend
watches the oil pressure gauge, touch one end of the jumper (or wire) to the screw on the bottom of the OPS
and touch the other end to bare metal. The needle on the gauge should go to the highest number. Quickly remove
the wire. If the needle on the gauge didn't move, there's a problem with the gauge. Have Subaru or a garage check
it for you. If the needle moved to the top end of the scale then moved back to zero when the wire was disconnected, the gauge is OK so the problem is either a broken OPS or there's no oil pressure. Do Step C to check
the oil pressure. If the engine has oil pressure, replace the OPS (see Section 5 of this chapter). Step C will tell
you what to do if there's no oil pressure.
C. Check oil pressure: To see if the oil pump is working, place a catch pan under the oil filter, then remove
the filter (Chapter 7, Procedure 3, Step 2). Have Friend crank the engine for a few seconds while you watch for
oil squirting out of the oil pump. If the engine starts, shut it off immediately.
If oil squirts out, the pump is working so the problem is a faulty OPS. The instructions for replacing the
OPS are in Section 5 a little later in this chapter.
If oil doesn't squirt out of the pump (or just dribbles out), the pump parts are worn out or broken, the oil
pressure relief valve in the pump is stuck or the oil screen in the oil pan is plugged. If you have an OHC model,
it's time to see the pros. If you have an OHV model, see Chapter 17, Procedure 7, Step 4, to remove the oil pump
and Chapter 17, Procedure 9, Step 4, to check it for wear. (You don't have to remove the engine to remove and
install the oil pump.) Chapter 17, Procedure 19, Step 1, tells you how to install the pump. If the oil pump checks
out OK, do the test below to be sure the screen in the oil pick-up tube isn't clogged.
If the oil pump checks out OK, the problem is either that the oil pick-up pipe is broken (unlikely) or the
screen covering the end of the pipe is clogged with crud. Is there a big dent in the oil pan that might have broken the pick-up pipe? To see if the screen is clogged, round up a 12" to 18" length of 3/8" (10mm) outside
diameter rubber hose. Then do the following while the oil pump is still off the car. Stick one end of the hose
into the hole on the lower right side of the oil pump opening in the crankcase and blow into the other end of the
hose. Be sure air isn't leaking around the hose. If you can blow through the hose, the screen on the end of the
pipe isn't clogged. If you can't blow through the hose, the screen is clogged.
To unclog the screen, remove the rubber hose, drain the oil from the crankcase (Chapter 7, Procedure 3,
Step 1), then squirt lots of carb cleaner into the hole where you stuck the rubber hose. Let the carb cleaner do
its thing for a while, then use the hose to try blowing through the hole again. (Use compressed air if it's avail
able.) Do this over and over until the screen is clear enough so you can blow easily through the hose, or until
you decide the Dark Side has won. If the screen is still clogged, see the pros.
If you're successful in opening the screen, pour a quart of oil through the engine to flush out the carb cleaner,
then follow the instructions in Chapter 17, Procedure 19, to install the oil pump. Install the oil drain plug and
a new oil filter, then fill the crankcase with fresh oil (Chapter 7, Procedure 3, Steps 3-6).
Start the engine and see if you have oil pressure now. If not, see the pros.
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4. Alternator Light Goes ON in Midflight
Pull off the road as soon as possible, and do the following:
A. Check alternator drive belt: Open and prop the hood and check the alternator drive belt (Chapter 10,
Procedure 3). If the belt is broken, whip out your spare belt and install it (Chapter 10, Procedure 3). You do have
a spare with you, don't you? If not, don't drive the car because the alternator drive belt also operates the water
pump and without the water pump the engine will overheat quickly.
B. Check alternator wire connections and battery voltage: If the drive belt is OK, do Chapter 10, Procedure
6, Step 1, to check the wire connections on the rear of the alternator. If the wires are connected properly, do Step
2 to check the voltage across the battery. You'll be instructed what to do according to the results of the tests. If
you don't have the tools to check the voltage, and the drive belt is intact and adjusted properly, you can still drive
the car but the battery will discharge if you try to go too far. Turn off all electrical accessories to minimize the
drain on the battery.
5. Engine Oil Leaks
To determine where the oil is leaking you might have to wash the engine (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 2),
then crawl under the car frequently to see where oil first appears.
If the engine seems to be leaking everywhere, check the thumb-size positive crankcase ventilation (PCV)
hoses that attach between the valve covers and the air cleaner. These hoses relieve pressure that builds up inside
the crankcase and if they get clogged with oil and carbon, the pressure will force oil out through the seals and
gaskets. To check the hoses, disconnect one end at a time and blow through the hose. You should be able to blow
through one end into the valve cover and into the air cleaner from the other end. I've seen a brand-new rebuilt
engine leak badly because the fitting on the air cleaner was clogged where the hoses attach. Clean the hoses,
valve covers, and fitting(s) on the air cleaner if necessary.
Here are the most common places for the engine to leak and how to fix them:
A. Valve covers (OHV models only): See Chapter 7, Procedure 6, Step 1, to remove the valve covers. Replace
the gasket that fits between the cylinder head and valve covers as well as the rubber-coated washers on the bolts
that attach the valve cover. Be sure there are no pieces of the old gasket stuck to the sealing surface of the cyl
inder head or valve cover before installing the valve covers. If the engine is cool, you might as well adjust the
valves while the covers are off (Chapter 7, Procedure 7). Chapter 7, Procedure 7, Step 6, tells you how to install
the valve covers.
B. Oil pressure switch (OPS): When the oil pressure switch starts leaking, it's like a kid with a runny nose;
no matter how often you wipe it, within a few minutes there's big drop hanging down again. If you suspect the
OPS is leaking, clean it thoroughly with a rag, then start the engine, and watch for the leak.
Before replacing the OPS, be sure the oil isn't running down the front of the engine from a leaking front
crank seal or coming from a leaking oil pump. Checking the front crank seal is described in the next section.
On models with an oil pressure light on the dash, but no oil pressure gauge, the OPS is slightly larger than
a 19mm socket and is screwed into the lower, front, right side of the crankcase just to the right of the oil pump.
A wire is attached to the end of the OPS with a push-on connector. On models with an oil pressure gauge in the
dashboard, the sending unit is round and screwed into the bottom of the oil pump near where the oil filter is attached.
A wire attached to the bottom of the OPS with a phillips screw connects, with a push-on connector, to the wiring
harness a few inches away. (For some reason, some models with an oil pressure gauge also have an OPS for an
oil warning light installed in its normal position. Like an appendix, it's there but doesn't do anything.)
Troubleshooting 159
If the OPS is leaking, remove the skid plate on 4WD models, disconnect the OPS wire, then use large pliers
(models with an oil warning light) or an open end wrench (models with an oil pressure gauge) to gently unscrew
the unit counterclockwise as viewed from the wire terminal end. Put gasket sealer on the threads of the new OPS,
then screw it into the crankcase or oil pump, depending on your model. Gently tighten it with the large pliers
or wrench (depending on your setup). Don't squeeze too hard with the pliers or you might distort the new unit
and cause it to leak. The threads on the OPS are tapered so you don't have to get it real tight, just good and snug.
C. Oil pump (OHV models only): First, be sure it's the oil pump that's leaking. The front crank seal is
right above the oil pump and if it leaks the oil runs down on the oil pump. Use a spray can of carb cleaner and
rag to thoroughly clean the oil pump and the crankcase between the oil pump and front crank seal. Start the engine
and let it run awhile, then shut it off. Use a flashlight and small mirror (like the one your dentist uses) to check
the area behind the crank pulley for signs of oil. If oil appears between the oil pump and crank seal, the crank
seal is the culprit. Skip down to the crank seal section. If the area between the crank seal and oil pump stays
dry but oil appears on the bottom of the oil pump, the oil pump is leaking.
Once you're sure it's the oil pump that is leaking, use a 10mm wrench to see if the four oil-pump mounting bolts are tight. They're small bolts, so don't crank on them too hard or they'll break. If the bolts are tight,
the rubber 0-ring between the oil pump and crankcase has probably become brittle and cracked, or one of the
oil pump gaskets has broken. To replace the 0-ring or gaskets, chock the rear wheels, then jack up the front
of the car and put it on jackstands (Chapter 3: Safety). If there's a piece of sheet metal attached below the front
of the car with four 10mm bolts, remove it. Remove the 12mm bolts or 5.5mm allen head screws that attach the
skid plate on 4WD models. See Chapter 17, Procedure 7, Step 4, to remove the oil pump and install new gaskets.
Be sure the two phillips screws that hold the two pump body pieces together are tight, then do Chapter 17, Procedure
19, to install the pump with a new 0-ring. If the engine has a lot of miles on it, now would be a good time to install
a new pump. Shop around for the best price.
D Front crank seal (OHV non-Turbo models only): See the oil pump section above to determine if the
front crank seal is leaking. To replace the crank seal, remove the drive belt(s) (Chapter 10, Procedure 3), then
see Chapter 17, Procedure 3, Step 3, to remove the crank pulley and crank seal. You'll be directed to the seal
and crank pulley installation procedures.
E. Rear crank seal: When the rear crank seal starts leaking, you'll notice oil dripping from the rear of the
engine just in front of the transaxle. Oil leaking from the front crank seal, the oil pump, or the oil pressure switch
will end up near the rear of the engine, so first be sure that none of these is the source of the oil leak. Another
check for rear crank seal leaks is to remove the rubber or plastic plug from the timing hole just to the rear of
the engine oil dipstick. With the engine off, stick a finger through the timing hole and feel for oil on the flywheel
(manual transmission) or converter drive plate (automatic transmission). If oil is present, the rear crank seal
is probably leaking.
Just to be sure, compare the smell of the oil dripping from the rear of the engine to the oil on the engine
dipstick, the differential dipstick, and the automatic transmission fluid dipstick if you have an automatic transmission.
(See Chapter 7, Procedure 2, if you aren't sure where the dipsticks are located.) If the dripping oil smells like
the differential oil or the automatic transmission fluid, take the car to a transmission shop and have them check
the leak and repair it (if it's the differential or automatic transmission that's leaking). If the oil drips smell like
engine oil, it's time for some serious contemplation.
Since it's such an expensive or time-consuming job to replace the rear crank seal, weigh the inconveniences
and expense of the oil leak (cost of the oil, messy driveway, insecurity about the engine oil level) against the cost
and/or effort required to replace the rear seal (see how much a garage would charge to replace the seal and read
the engine removal procedures in Chapter 17 to see if you're up to the task). Now you have to decide whether
to live with the leak, or fix it. OHC models will have to see the pros. OHV models: If you want to do it yourself, here's how.
Since the bottom of the car is probably covered with oil from the leaking seal, do yourself a favor; go to
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a car wash and wash the top and bottom of the engine (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 2) before removing the
engine. You'll be glad you did, or sorry if you didn't. To replace the rear crank seal, see Chapter 17 to remove
the engine from the car and to remove the clutch and flywheel (manual transmissions) or the drive plate (automatics). There are separate procedures in Chapter 17 for removing and installing the rear crank seal. Once the
seal is replaced, install the flywheel and clutch assembly (manuals) or the drive plate (automatics). It's all in
Chapter 17. Stick the engine back in the car, give it a good tune-up and you're finished. The ordeal is over.
6. Engine Overheats or Doesn't Warm Up.
If you're stuck at the side of the road with the temp gauge pegged on HOT and/or steam billowing from
the radiator, see Chapter 16, Procedure 11. If your Soob is starting to run a little hotter than normal but you're
not in an emergency situation, see Chapter 16, Procedure 10.
If it takes longer than you think it should for the engine to warm up or if it never fully warms up, see Chapter
16, Procedure 6, to check the thermostat.
7. Accelerator Pedal Goes to Floor but Engine Speed Doesn't Change.
See Chapter 11, Procedure 3, to check the accelerator cable and replace it if necessary.
8. Symptoms and Checks for Leaking Head Gaskets.
Some water normally condenses in the engine (especially in cold weather) but after the engine is driven
and warmed up, the water boils away. If after driving several miles, you notice any of the symptoms listed below,
retorque the heads on OHV models (Chapter 7, Procedure 6), and change the oil and filter. Drive the car 50-100
continuous miles and check for the symptoms again. If water is still evident in places where it shouldn't be, have
a garage do a "leak-down" test for leaking head gaskets. It shouldn't cost much and is probably worth the money,
just to be sure before removing the engine and taking it apart.
A: Symptoms of leaking head gaskets are: Water or white frothy looking stuff is evident inside the oil
filler tube, oil filler cap, and valve covers; the engine oil becomes a light brown color (like coffee with cream);
slimy oil is in the radiator; the engine might run slightly hotter than normal; the compression for two cylinders
on one side of the engine is lower than for the two cylinders on the opposite side; you have to add coolant to the
radiator frequently; you see water or antifreeze dripping from the bottom of the cylinder head(s) where they
fit against the crankcase.
BRAKE PROBLEMS
1. The Handbrake Handle Comes Up Too High.
The handbrake cables need adjusting (Chapter 13, Procedure 15), the rear brakes need adjusting (Chapter 13, Procedure 1), and/or one of the handbrake cables is broken (Chapter 13, Procedure 16).
2. The Brake Pedal Feels Mushy and You Have to Pump on the Pedal to Stop the Car.
There's air in the hydraulic brake system; read the rap on brake problems in the first part of Chapter 13. You'll
probably need to bleed the hydraulic brake system (Chapter 13, Procedure 2).
Troubleshooting 161
3. Brakes Squeal.
The friction surface of the brake shoes or pads might be worn out. First try to determine if the noise is coming from the front or rear of the car.
From the rear: If you have rear drum brakes, see Chapter 13, Procedure 4, to check the condition of the
rear brake shoes. If you have rear disc brakes, see Chapter 13, Procedure 6, to check the brake pads. If you
aren't sure which type of rear brakes you have, see the rap at the start of Chapter 13.
From the front: You have disc brakes up front; check the brake pads (Chapter 13, Procedure 8). If the
pads are in good condition, squirting the front brake system with the garden hose when it starts squealing often
solves the problem for awhile. This washes away the accumulated brake dust that seems to make the brakes
squeal. Don't squirt the brakes while they're hot (within an hour of driving the car) or the rotors might warp.
If the squeal returns, you might have semi-metallic brake pads, which naturally tend to squeal. If the noise really
bothers you (it bothers me), change to regular brake pads (I did).
4. The Car Pulls to One Side When the Brakes Are Applied.
This means the brakes aren't adjusted correctly (or one side is sticking) or there's oil, grease, or brake fluid
on the brake lining. See Chapter 13, Procedure 4, to check rear drum brakes, or Chapter 13, Procedure 6, to check
rear disc brakes, or Chapter 13, Procedure 8, to check front disc brakes.
NOISES!
If your Soob has developed a noise alerting you that something's amiss, first determine if the noise is related
to the engine, drivetrain (transaxle, axles, wheels), suspension system (shock absorbers, control arms, etc. ),
or steering system (ball joints, tie rods, steering gearbox, etc.).
1. Engine Noises.
If the sound is present when the engine is running but the car isn't moving, something on the engine is amiss.
Here are some clues to tracking it down:
A. Squeals: If you hear a squeal when you first start the engine, then the noise goes away as the engine
warms up, check the tension on the drive belt(s) (Chapter 10, Procedure 3), the water pump (Chapter 16, Procedure 4), and the distributor shaft for looseness (Chapter 7, Procedure 9).
If the squeal changes with the engine speed: If you have a breaker points-type distributor, the lobe rider
might need a dab of grease (Chapter 7, Procedure 10, Step 6). Or the alternator bearings might be dry; have
the alternator checked by Subaru or a garage. They might be able to install new bearings if the alternator is in
good condition otherwise. If the alternator must be replaced, see Chapter 10, Procedure 7. You can do it yourself.
OHC models: If the cam belts are adjusted too tight, you'll hear a squealing, whining sound near the front
of the engine.
B. Hissing sound: Check all the vacuum hoses in the engine compartment. Check the spark plugs to be sure
they're tight. Check the intake manifold and carburetor mounting bolts for tightness.
C. Clicking sounds: A regular clicking sound that changes with engine speed is probably a loose valve.
OHV models with mechanical valve lifters can adjust the valves (Chapter 7, Procedure 7). OHC models and
OHV models with hydraulic lifters can have the valves adjusted by Subaru or a garage.
A clicking sound that changes with the speed of the car, but not necessarily the speed of the engine, may
be in the wheel bearings or brakes. Try to determine which corner of the car it's coming from. Then search Chapters 13: Brakes, and 14: Suspension for solutions.
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D. Knocking sounds: A regular metallic-sounding knock when the engine is decelerating is possibly a
worn connecting rod bearing. A lower, hollow-type sound indicates worn crankshaft main bearings. Another
symptom of worn rod and/or main bearings is low oil pressure (the oil warning light comes on at idle or the oil
pressure gauge indicates lower than normal pressure). If you suspect worn rod and/or main bearings, I suggest
getting a second opinion from the professionals before yanking the engine out.
Knocking noises from underneath that come and go are often from a loose exhaust system (Chapter 12) or
possibly suspension parts (Chapter 14).
OHC models: A thwapping-type knocking sound from the area of the distributor means the cam belts are
loose and need to be adjusted. The thwapping comes from the camshaft banging on the inside of the cam box.
If the belts aren't adjusted soon, they are likely to break, leaving you stranded, distraught, and poorer. See Chapter 7, Procedure 8, to check and adjust the cam belts.
2. Steering and Suspension Noises.
You notice clunks, clanks, or bangs when you hit bumps or potholes in the road, or the car doesn't handle
the way it used to. Chapter 14, Procedure l, tells you how to check the suspension and steering systems. A knocking noise when the car is turned sharply might be a worn DOJ or CVJ. See the clutch, transmission, and
driveshaft troubleshooting guide in Chapter 15.
SMELLS
There are usually two causes for a stinky, smelly engine: (1) the engine is overheating; (2) oil from the engine
or grease from a torn axle boot is on the exhaust system.
1. Engine Overheating.
See Chapter 16, Procedure 10.
2. Engine Oil on the Exhaust System.
See Section 5 on engine oil leaks in this chapter. You'll be instructed where to turn for the solution.
3. Grease on the Exhaust System.
See Chapter 7, Procedure 2, Step 10, to check the axle boots (DOJs and CVJs). If an axle boot is torn, Chapter 15, Procedure 4, tells you how to replace a DOJ boot, and Chapter 15, Procedure 6, covers replacing CVJ
boots.
ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
If you're having trouble with electrical gizmos (such as lights, horn, radio, gauges, heater switch, etc.),
start by doing Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Steps 1-5, and Procedure 5.
CLUTCH, TRANSAXLE, AXLESHAFTS, AND DRIVESHAFT PROBLEMS
There's a troubleshooting guide at the start of Chapter 15 that tells you how to identify the problem and where
to turn to remedy it.
SHAKES, SHIMMIES, AND HANDLING PROBLEMS
Troubleshooting 163
If the car shakes and/or the steering wheel vibrates at certain speeds on the highway, or the car wanders
from one side of the road to the other, see Chapter 14, Procedure 1, to check the steering and suspension systems. If no problem is found, have the front end alignment checked and the tires balanced.
If the car pulls to one side of the road, it's most likely that the air pressure in one of the tires on that side
of the car is low. If the car pulls to one side only when you apply the brakes, you could have a leaking wheel cylinder; see Chapter 13 for diagnosis and cure.
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CHAPTER 10
THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
This high-charged chapter is about your Soob's electrical system. First off, we're going to see how electricity stored in the battery is used to start the engine and ignite the fuel/air mixture to make the engine run and
how the alternator "generates" electricity to keep the battery fully charged so it can supply electrical energy
to the various electrical components such as lights, horn, and wipers.
I freely admit that I don't completely fathom the theory that electrons dancing merrily from one atom to
another is what makes a light bulb light, a horn beep, or an electric motor turn. It's been explained to me in countless high school and college courses over the years and I could always pass the tests, even if I didn't really "grok"
it. The theory is relatively simple, but if something's invisible, I'm skeptical. I consider electricity a first-water
mystery and relate to it as "controllable magic." Sounds as reasonable to me as dancing electrons.
Furthermore, I think the reason most people, including electricians, refer to electricity as "juice" is because
they, too, have trouble relating to the dancing electron theory. Imagining something tangible flowing through
the wires is psychologically easier to digest, so throughout this chapter I'll be calling electricity "juice."
Anyway, I've found over the years that you don't need to know anything about electrons (or believe in them)
to keep your car's electrical system working. All you need to grasp is the concept that an electrical circuit makes
a complete circle (like a hula hoop). If the circle is complete, the electrical gizmos will work; if the circle is
broken, they won't. Just think of a circle whenever a circuit is mentioned and you won't have much trouble understanding the electrical wonders of your Soob. Simple enough? OK, with a circle in mind, I'll elaborate.
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WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS IN AN ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT?
Four elements are necessary for an electrical circuit to work: (1) a source of juice like a charged battery;
(2) a "hot" wire to carry juice from the positive battery post to the component; (3) a component-such as
a light bulb or horn-in the circle that resists (slows) the flow of juice; and (4) a "ground" wire to carry juice
from the component back to the negative battery post to complete the circuit. Why do you need the resisting
component? Without the resistance to the flow of juice, it would flow too fast and overheat the battery and wires
in the circuit.
Now let's add a switch to break the flow of juice in the circuit when we want to turn the component off (in
other words, break the circle). And let's add a fuse to protect the wires, components, and battery in case of a
problem (such as a "short," which happens when the resistance is bypassed, or an overloaded circuit). Now
we have a complete circuit, just like all the ones in your Soob.
What follows is an explanation of the two most common electrical problems-"shorts" and overloaded
circuits.
SHORTS (SHORTCUTS) AND OVERLOADED CIRCUITS
If the juice takes a shortcut from the positive battery post back to the negative post without going through
a component to slow it, it's called a "short." Shorts cause the battery and wires to overheat, melt, and maybe
start a fire. The battery might even explode. Nasty.
Circuits can occasionally be overloaded by turning on too many components at the same time. The wires
are designed to handle the load, but once in a while there's just too much going on. Again, the wires may overheat
or damage may be done to the battery.
FUSES AND FUSIBLE LINKS
To protect the wires, components, and battery when a short or overload condition occurs, fuses and fusible
links on '78 and newer models are installed in each circuit, with one exception-the cranking circuit. Fuses
and fusible links are made of lighter, more fragile material than the wires and components in the circle. They're
designed to melt and break if more juice is flowing through the circuit than the wires or components can handle.
A TYPICAL CIRCUIT (CIRCLE)
Let's follow the juice all the way around a circuit (circle) to see how it works. We'll take a taillight for example
and start and end the circle at the battery. (Turn the headlight switch ON to complete the circle and start the
juice flowing.) Starting at the positive (+) battery post, juice flows through a wire to the fuse box (on '75-'77
models) or to fusible links and then to the fuse box (on '78 and newer models). From the fuse box, the juice
goes through a wire to the light switch. For convenience, the taillight switch, parking light switch, and headlight switch are all incorporated into the headlight switch so they all go on by pulling or turning just one knob
instead of three. Switches simply cause an open place in the circle when you want to turn the component off.
From the light switch, the juice goes through a wire to a bulb on the rear of the car. The wire passes the
juice to the bulb through a contact (metal point) on the bottom of the bulb. Inside the bulb, the juice flows through
a tiny wire called a filament, which you can see inside the glass globe of the bulb. Since the filament is a smaller
wire, it resists the flow of juice. This resistance makes the filament get so hot it glows brightly, creating light.
After squeezing through the filament, the juice moves on to the large metal part of the bulb base, which passes
the juice to the metal bulb socket.
Now, here's a nifty part. The juice still has to get back to the battery to complete the circle, but instead of
using another wire to carry the juice back to the battery, the car body is used to do it. This is called a "ground,"
and all circuits work this way on their return run to the battery. In the case of our light circuit, here's how: the
bulb socket either touches the body itself or is connected to it with a wire. The juice flows through the metal
body, finally meeting the point where the negative battery cable is attached to the body (and/or engine). It flows
through the cable to the negative battery post and thereby completes the circuit (circle).
With all that electricity in the body, how come you don't get zapped when you touch the car? Because the
voltage is so low (12 volts) and it's in the form of direct current (DC), you can touch both posts of the battery
at the same time and not even feel the full 12 volts of DC current coursing through your body. The coil and spark
plug wires however should be left alone when the engine is running because the ignition coil hops the 12 volts
up to about 30,000 volts!
ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS IN YOUR SOOB
Your Soob has four separate electrical systems with four distinct jobs: the charging system, the ignition
system, the cranking system, and the accessory (everything else) system. The four systems have one important
common component: the battery. They also share the battery cables and the "ground" (body), so they are interrelated. Let's take it from the top and go through them one by one.
Main parts of the charging system are the battery, the alternator, the voltage regulator, and the wires that
connect them.
You know the battery, the big box with two posts sticking out of the top and plastic filler caps on top so you
can add water (except on maintenance-free batteries). The battery stores electricity so you can start the engine,
play the radio or tape deck while parked in Lover's Lane, and operate any of the other electrical gizmos even
if the engine isn't running.
The Electrical System
167
168
Chapter 10
How the battery stores electricity is another first-water mystery. Anyway, here's what they told me in school:
inside the battery, the interaction between a water/sulfuric acid-based fluid called electrolyte and a series of
metal plates creates a form of chemical energy that becomes electricity when you need it. That's why it's important to have enough water in your battery.
When the engine is running, a drive belt from the crank pulley turns the alternator, which then "generates" electricity. (This is very much like the generators at a power plant, like Hoover Dam or Three Mile Island.)
The fresh juice travels through a wire to the voltage regulator, then to the battery, and on to supply the elec
trical needs of the engine and accessories. Excess electricity is stored in the battery for use when the engine
isn't running.
Why the voltage regulator? The alternator is capable of generating more electrical volts than the battery
can handle. Limiting the excess is the job of the voltage regulator. When the battery is fully charged (has taken
on all the juice it can handle), the voltage regulator shuts off the juice supply from the alternator until more is
needed. When the supply in the battery drops, the regulator allows more to come through from the alternator.
CRANKING SYSTEM
The only function of the cranking system is to spin the engine fast enough for it to start. Here's how it's done.
Thepositive battery cable is attached directly to a part called the starter solenoid that's mounted on an electric starter motor. When you turn the ignition key all the way over, juice is sent from the battery to the igni
tion system (for the spark plugs) and to the solenoid on the starter motor. When the solenoid is energized by juice
from the battery, it does two things: it pushes the starter gear on the end of the starter motor shaft into teeth
on the outside of the flywheel of the engine and also starts the starter motor spinning. The starter motor thus
turns the flywheel, and the flywheel turns the engine to get it started.
IGNITION SYSTEM
The ignition system provides a large spark to each spark plug at just the right time to ignite the fuel/air
mixture in the cylinders. The main components of the ignition system are the ignition switch, coil, distributor, spark plugs, and the wires that connect them. When the ignition key is turned on, 12 volts of juice goes
from the battery to the coil. The coil boosts the 12 volts up to about 30,000 volts (WOW!), then sends the superjuice through a high tension wire to the center of the distributor cap. Inside the distributor, breaker points
on earlier models, a reluctor and pickup coil on some later models, or a light emitting diode (LED) on other
late models, act as switches to turn the juice on and off. This happens quickly: it goes on each time a spark plug
is supposed to fire. The rotor sequentially directs the hopped-up electrical charge to the right spark plug through
high-tension spark plug wires. There's more about the ignition system in Chapter 4: How a Subaru Works,
and in Chapter T Lubrication, Maintenance and Tune-up.
THE ACCESSORY SYSTEM
The accessory system includes the battery, ignition switch, and other non-engine related gizmos like
lights, heater, horn-and the wires that connect the battery to these components. This system includes everything electrical that isn't related to the cranking, charging, and ignition systems, with the exception of the battery
and ignition key switch, which all the systems share.
LET'S GET ON WITH IT
Procedure 1, Step 1
The Electrical System 169
The following procedures cover maintenance, diagnosis, and repair of the electrical things on your Soob.
When special tools or expertise are required, I'll refer you to your local Subaru dealer or an auto electric shop
for the repair. To avoid expensive accidents, please disconnect the negative battery terminal when I tell you
to. Thanks.
PROCEDURE 1: BATTERY MAINTENANCE, CHECK, AND REPLACEMENT
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR you've been referred here from another chapter; OR you need to replace
your dead battery.
Tools and Materials: Safety glasses, 10mm or 12mm wrench depending on your battery clamps, distilled water,
battery terminal cleaning brush or something abrasive like emery cloth or sandpaper, maybe a large screwdriver
or battery terminal puller, maybe a box of baking soda, maybe a new battery. To check the battery condition,
you'll need a 12-volt test light or a volt/ohm meter (VOM). To charge the battery, you'll need a battery charger
(I recommend a 4 to 6 amp "trickle" charger). Depending on the problem you may also need: a new battery
hold-down bracket, battery tray, bracket rods, battery cables, rags, jumper cables.
CAUTION: The electrolyte fluid in batteries is mostly sulfuric acid which can do a bad number on your eyes,
clothes, or any cuts or scratches you might have on your hands. Wear safety glasses and don't get any of the fluid
or white flaky stuff from the battery on your clothes (they'll end up full of holes the next time you wash them).
Wipe off tools you've used on the battery before putting them away. Throw rags used for cleaning the battery
or tools in the trash so you can't accidentally grab one to wipe your brow or blow your nose. Always wash your
hands after messing with the battery or its cables.
Remark: With proper maintenance a good battery should last at least three to five years. I've had batteries that
lasted eight years!
Step 1. Check and Add Battery Fluid.
Safety glasses on? Lift the hood. Look at Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 6, to check the fluid level in the battery and add some if necessary.
Step 2. Clean Battery.
If the battery is dirty or has white flaky stuff around the terminal posts where the cables connect, use a solution of baking soda and water and an old rag to remove the crud. Be sure the caps are on snugly when you do
this, so as not to contaminate the electrolyte. The baking soda neutralizes acid that's around the battery so it
isn't so caustic. When the battery's clean, be sure and rinse the battery and the area in the car around it with lots
of fresh water. Throw the rag in the trash immediately.
Step 3. Disconnect and Clean Battery Terminals.
Normally the negative (-) terminal is the one closest to the front of the car. Thepositive (+) terminal is
toward the rear of the car. To be sure, look for a + or - stamped on or near the round battery posts. There's a
picture of a battery somewhere nearby.
Use a l0mm or 12mm wrench (depending on your clamps) to loosen the nut on the end of the bolt sticking through the end of the battery cable clamps. Remove the negative (-) clamp from the battery first, then
the positive (+) clamp. If the clamps are stuck, twist them side to side and/or put a large screwdriver in the slot
where the bolt goes through and twist it to spread apart the end of the clamp. Don'tpry up on the clamp to remove
170
Chapter 10 Procedure 1, Step 4
it because the post might pop out of the battery. If the clamp still refuses to budge, you'll need a battery terminal
puller. But patience and the above method will usually do the trick.
Once the clamps are off, use a battery terminal brush, sandpaper, emery cloth, wire brush, or a knife to
clean the two posts on the battery and the inside of the cable clamps until they're bright and shiny. If the clamp
bolts are funky or the inside of the clamps won't clean up, you can either replace the clamp on the end of the
cable or replace the entire cable.
When you're done, place the clamp back on the correct post, wiggle it down until it's snug, then tighten
the nut on the clamp bolt with your wrench. Put the positive (+) clamp on first, then the negative (-) one. Don't
force them. If one won't go on, spread the ends of the clamp apart a little more.
Step 4. Clean or Replace Battery Cables.
If you're here because the battery checked out OK but the starter still doesn't crank the engine very fast,
or the lights don't shine as bright as they should, check both ends of both battery cables for looseness, funk,
and corrosion. Replace the cables if the clamps are funky and can't be cleaned, or if the clamp bolts are broken, stripped, or mangled, or if the cable itself is corroded where it attaches to the ends.
There's a cable and a wire attached to both battery cable clamps. If you're replacing a cable, be sure the
new cable has a little wire just like the one on the old cable attached to its clamp.
First, disconnect the negative (-) battery clamp from the battery (Step 3). The negative cable goes from
the negative battery post to the engine, where it's attached to the cylinder head or intake manifold. The little
wire attached to the negative cable clamp attaches to the body with a screw or bolt. The positive (+) cable goes
from the positive battery post to a terminal post on the starter solenoid. The little wire attached to the positive
cable clamp goes to the fuse box ('75-'77 models) or the fusible links ('78 and newer models).
To clean or replace the negative (-) battery cable, detach the cable from the battery post and follow it to
where it bolts to the engine. Make a note if other things are attached to the engine with the same bolt. Remove
the bolt (probably 12mm). If it's a cleanup job, clean both sides of the cable end and the bolt with a wire brush
or sandpaper. Clean the terminal post if you haven't already done so. Follow the smaller wire from the cable
clamp to where it's bolted to the body (probably in front of or beside the battery). Remove the bolt or screw and
clean the end of the wire just as you cleaned the large cable.
If the cable is terminally funky and you're going to replace it, pull the old one all the way out now and install
the new one. Connect the cable end to the engine with the bolt, then torque the bolt to 15 ft. lbs. Bolt or screw
the end of the little wire to the body. Don't connect the clamp to the battery until after you've cleaned or replaced
the positive cable.
To get to the other (starter solenoid) end of the positive (+) cable you'll need to remove the spare tire, if
it's in the engine compartment. Disconnect the negative (-) cable clamp from the battery post if you haven't
already. Now follow the cable from the positive battery terminal to where it connects to the solenoid on the starter
motor. Peel back the rubber boot covering the cable end, then remove the 12mm nut and washer that secures
the cable to the solenoid. Clean the cable end with a wire brush or sandpaper and the threaded post on the starter
solenoid with a wire brush.
Disconnect the positive battery clamp from the battery post, then clean the battery post and cable clamp
(unless you're replacing the cable). Step 3 tells you how. If you're here to replace the cable, disconnect the small
wire that's attached to the fuse box or the fusible link (depending on your setup). Now you can pull the old cable
out and install the new one.
Slip the cable end onto the starter solenoid post, then install and tighten the washer and nut. Pull the rubber
boot over the starter solenoid post. If you replaced the cable, attach the small wire on the cable clamp to the fuse
box or fusible link. (See Chapter 18 if you need to splice the new wire to the old one.) Wiggle the positive cable
clamp onto the positive battery post, then tighten the clamp bolt with the 10mm or 12mm wrench.
Now attach the negative clamp to the battery (Step 3). Install the spare tire if you removed it.
Step 5. Check Battery Condition.
If your battery seems tired, if it has to be charged
frequently, or if the engine sounds like it's struggling
to turn just fast enough to start-don't rush out to buy
a new battery before you check the old one. The problem might not be the battery.
First, check the fluid level in the battery and add
some distilled water if need be (Step 1), then clean
and check the battery terminals (Steps 3 and 4). Try
driving the car to see if the battery will charge up now.
If you have a Volt/ Ohm meter (VOM), set the
meter to 15 DC volts. Touch the red (+) probe from
the meter to the positive (+) battery terminal and the
black (-) probe from the meter to the negative (-) battery terminal. The meter should read about 12 volts
with the engine off. If it's less than 12 volts, either
the battery is worn out or the alternator isn't charging
it the way it should. Do Procedure 6 to see if the battery is getting a charge from the alternator. If the
charging system checks out OK, come back here and
finish this step.
If you don't have a VOM, or if you checked the
battery and charging system with a VOM and everything checked out OK, check the cranking system
(Procedure 9). You don't need a VOM to check this.
If the cranking system is good, take the car to
an auto electric shop or garage and have them check
the specific gravity of the battery fluid, the voltage
and amperage of the battery, and do a "load test" to
see how much reserve cranking power the battery has.
These tests only take a couple of minutes, and
shouldn't cost much. If the battery, charging and
cranking systems all check out OK, you should run
through Procedure 5, Step 3, to check for electrical
shorts.
Step 6. Charge the Battery.
Naturally, you'll need a battery charger to do this
step. Small ones are usually available at reasonable
prices from auto parts stores or department stores.
Before charging the battery, disconnect both
cables from the battery posts (Step 3) to protect the
various components in the charging system. This is
especially critical on Turbo models to protect the delicate electronic fuel injection system. Check the fluid level in the battery and add some distilled water if need
be (Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 6). Leave the filler caps loose while the battery is being charged.
It's best for the battery to charge for 5 to 8 hours with a 4-6 amp "trickle" charger, rather giving it a 1-2
hour "quick" or "booster" charge at 8-10 amps. Never charge the battery with more than 10 amps. Follow the
instructions that come with the charger to give your battery a full charge. All Soobs are 12 volts, so the switch
Procedure 1, Step 5
The Electrical System 171
172
Chapter 10 Procedure 1, Step 7
(if yours has one) should be at the 12-volt position on the charger. Do not plug in the charger or turn it on until
after you hook it up to the battery. Attach the red clamp to the positive (+) battery post and the black clamp to
the negative (-) battery post. When you're ready to disconnect, turn the charger off (or unplug it) before detaching
the clips to the battery.
After the battery is charged, tighten the filler caps, then reconnect the cable clamps. Tighten the clamp nuts
with your 10mm or 12mm wrench.
If the battery becomes weak again within a few days, do the battery check (Step 5), the charging system
check (Procedure 6), and the cranking system tests (Procedure 9) before buying a new battery.
Step 7. Replace the Battery.
To give your new battery its best shot at a long and happy life, replace the battery hold-down bracket, battery
tray, cables and/or clamps if they're corroded and funky.
Remove the negative and positive cable clamps from the battery posts (Step 3). Remember that the negative
cable should come off first. Remove the two 10mm nuts you'll find around the top edge of the battery-the ones
that secure the battery hold-down bracket. The rods beneath the nuts are hooked into slots on the little shelf
that holds the battery or to the body behind the battery. Push down on the rods to unhook them, then lift off the
hold-down bracket.
Carefully lift the battery out of the engine compartment, keeping it level so the acid (electrolyte) can't spill.
Hold it away from your clothes as you lift it out. Don't set the battery on the fender or anything you don't want
full of holes. If the battery hold-down bracket is corroded and funky, replace it with a new one (available at Soob
or parts stores). Clean the old one if it's still in good condition. A solution of baking soda (Arm & Hammer soda
bicarb) and water really does a good number on corrosion. Use the solution to wash the plastic battery tray (if
there is one) and the shelf where the battery sits. Rinse them with lots of fresh water and old rags. Toss the rags
in the trash.
Set the plastic tray (if yours has one) on the battery shelf in the engine compartment. Set the fresh battery
on the shelf with the negative (-) post toward the front of the car. Fit the hold-down bracket on the battery top,
hook the bottom ends of the bracket rods in the slots on the shelf, then fit the top ends of the rods through the
holes in the hold-down bracket. Install the washers and 10mm nuts and tighten them. (You may find it convenient
to secure the rod closest to the fender loosely with its nut before you work with the other rod.) Now clean, then
reconnect first, the positive, then the negative cable clamps to the battery posts (Step 3). Snug the clamp nuts
with your wrench.
You may be able to turn the old battery in for some $$. If not, give it to a service station or car dealer. Be
careful while handling it because it still contains acid! Don't set it on the seats while transporting it-put it in
a box and carry it in the trunk.
Step 8. How to Use Jumper Cables to Get a Jump Start.
You'll need a set of jumper cables for this step. Avoid cheap ones that will come apart or fail you when you
need them most. Good ones have a solid, heavy feel to them.
If your battery is too weak to start the engine, or you're being a good Samaritan and helping someone else
start their car, follow this sequence to safely connect and disconnect the jumper cables.
Park the car with the good battery close enough so the jumper cables can easily reach from the "live" battery
terminals to the "dead" battery terminals. If you have to stretch the cables, there's a good chance one of the cable
ends will touch something you don't want it to touch. Be sure the car bodies (or bumpers) aren't touching.
One of the jumper cables will be red and one black, or at least the handles will be red or black. First, connect
one end of the red jumper cable to the positive (+) terminal of the live battery, then connect the other end of
the red cable to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery. Now connect one end of the black cable to bare
metal on the alive car and the other end to bare metal on the dead car. The bumpers are a good place to connect the black cable. The reason you don't connect the black cable to the negative battery terminals is because
of the sparks that usually fly when the last connection is made. Since batteries are known to give off an explosive
Procedure 2, Step 1
The Electrical System
gas, you sure don't want to take a chance of igniting any gas that might be lurking around the top of the battery.
Start the car that has the live battery and rev it up a little. Then attempt to start the car with the dead battery. If it doesn't crank strongly, either the jumper cables are a little loose (wiggle them where they connect),
or a clamp on one of the dead car's battery cables is loose or corroded, which could be your problem in the first
place. When the dead car starts, disconnect the black cable first, then the red cable.
Thank the chap who helped you. Buy him (or her) a brew, if camaraderie has developed over the cables-and
it usually does. If it was your Soob that needed the jump start, turn to Procedure 1, Step 5 to check the battery
when you get home.
PROCEDURE 2: CHECK AND REPLACE FUSES AND FUSIBLE LINK
Condition: An electrical component (lights, heater, etc.) isn't working. If several components aren't working,
start by checking the fusible links (Step 3). If nothing electrical is working, check the battery, battery cables,
and clamps (Procedure 1).
Tools and Materials: Maybe new fuses, and maybe a 12-volt test light or Volt/Ohm Meter (VOM).
Remarks: You can't always tell whether a fuse is good or bad just by looking at it. The little flat wire you can
see in the glass part of the fuse might look perfect, but be burned or broken near the end where you can't see
it. When checking fuses, always start by trying a new fuse. You can check fuses with a VOM to see if they're
good (Procedure 11).
'75-'81 models: While you're in the fuse box, take a quick look at all the other fuses. The wire in the fuse
tends to bend with age, then break due to vibration. Replace any fuses whose inside wire looks bent.
CAUTION: The correct fuse amperage (15, 25, etc. )
for the different electrical circuits is stamped on the
fuse box cover, or on a piece of paper inside the fuse
box. When replacing fuses, always use new ones that
are of the correct amp rating. You'll find the amp rating stamped on the metal ends of the fuse. In an emergency you can replace a burned fuse with one of a
lesser amperage rating-just be sure and replace it
with the correct fuse as soon as possible. Don't substitute tinfoil for a fuse because expensive electrical
components could be damaged very quickly! It's dangerous, too.
Step 1. Locate and Check Fuses in Fuse Box.
'75-'77 models: The fuse box is just behind the battery in the engine compartment.
'78 and newer models: The fuse box is near
your left knee when you're driving the car. It's under
the dash near the hood release knob.
'75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats: To open the
fuse box, press in on the ends of the cover while pulling it away from the box. The tabs on the ends of the
cover are different sizes so the cover can only fit on
the box one way. There's a little clip in each end of
173
174 Chapter 10 Procedure 2, Step 2
the cover to hold spare fuses. It's wise to always have
one 15 amp and one 25 amp stashed in the cover.
'80 and newer cars and '82 and newer Brats:
Press down on the top edge of the fuse box. The lid
is hinged and will swing down.
'80-'81 models (except Brats): A fuse holder
will also swing down when you open the fuse box.
There should be a spare 15 amp and a 25 amp fuse
sticking up out of two small holes between the two
rows of fuses.
'82 and newer models: There are rows of colored fuses and a tweezerlike fuse puller/installer
inside the box. Yours will be similar to the one in the
illustration. Spare fuses should be lurking in the
corners of the cover, or in the fuse box (see the fuse
chart in or on the cover for their location). To change
a fuse, pull the tweezer thing out and use it to remove
and install the fuses in the holder.
EVERYONE: The proper fuse amperage and
a list of the components on each fuse circuit are
stamped on the fuse box cover or on a printed paper
inside the fuse box. If you're missing the cover or
paper, get a new one from Subaru.
Find the circuit on the list for the component
that's not working. Remove the fuse for that circuit
from the holder and insert a new one. (You proba
bly have a new fuse stashed in the box somewhere.)
Turn on and check the component to see if it works
now. If it does, throw the old fuse away and go merrily
on your way. Replace the spare fuse you used with
a new spare as soon as possible. If the component
still doesn't work, do Step 2.
Step 2. Check Fuse Holder for Juice.
If the component still doesn't work after installing a new fuse, you'll need a 12-volt test light or a
YOM to see if juice is getting to the fuse.
If you have a VOM, set it to 15 DC volts. Turn
both the ignition key and the component you're checking ON and touch the red (+) probe of the VOM to
one of the two clips that holds the fuse ('75-'81
models) or to one of the tiny slots near the end of the
fuse ('82 and newer models). Ground the other probe
by touching it to bare metal (not the other fuse clips).
Test both fuse clips or both slots depending on
your setup. The test light should light or the VOM
should register about twelve volts on one of the clips.
If you get juice on both ends of the fuse, the fuse is
good and the component is getting juice-so the
Procedure 2, Step 3
The Electrical System 175
problem is either in the component itself or in the wire between the fuse box and the component. See Procedure 5 to check the various components. If you get juice only on one side of the fuse, the fuse isn't carrying the
juice. Try another fuse.
If there's no juice to the fuse box, there's a problem in the wire between the battery and fuse box (see Procedure
5), or the fusible link is burned (see Step 4).
Step 3. Locate and Check Other Fuses.
Radio fuse: The radio might have an extra fuse in the wire (usually red) going from the fuse box to the radio
or in the radio itself. If the radio isn't working and the fuse in the fuse box checked out OK, you'll have to dig
around under the dash to find a long, opaque plastic in-line fuse holder. If you find one, press the ends of the
holder toward the center while twisting one end counterclockwise. The holder will come apart, letting its fuse
drop out. Put a new fuse of the proper amperage (or less) in the holder, align the little tab with the slot, press
the ends of the holder toward the center, then twist one end clockwise. If the radio still doesn't work, head for
a radio repair shop.
Air conditioner fuse: There's usually a fuse in a white plastic holder on the right side of the engine compartment just to the rear of the ignition coil. On some models, it's in a clip on top of three little boxes. Check
it the same way you do the radio fuse, or use a 12-volt test light or VOM.
Additional fuel pump and automatic choke fuses:
'76-'81 models: There are two fuses (5 or 10 amp) in separate fuse holders tucked under the dash. These
fuses are part of a circuit that shuts off the juice for the automatic choke and the fuel pump when the engine stops,
even if the ignition switch stays on. It's a safety measure to help prevent fires in case of an accident. On '76-'79
models, the fuse holders are white and located in the corner below the glove box in front of the passenger's seat.
On '80-'81 models, the fuse holders are dark blue and located in the tangle of wires just above the fuse box.
You might have to cut a piece of black tape that's wrapped around the holder before you can open it. To check
these fuses hold the two tabs on the ends of the holder while lifting the tab in the center. The holder will open
like a little jewelry box. Pull the fuse and wires out of the holder, then pull the fuse out of the connectors on the
ends of the wires.
'76-'79 models: Insert a new fuse of the same amp rating between the connectors.
'80-'81 models (except Brats): If the choke fuse is blown, Subaru says to replace it with a 15 amp fuse
even if the blown fuse was 5 or 10 amp. Replace the fuel pump fuse with one of the same amperage as the original.
EVERYONE: Fit the fuse and wires into the holder and close the lid. Check the wires for juice if the new
fuses didn't solve the problem (Procedure 5, Step 2).
Step 4. Check and Replace Fusible Link(s)
('78 and newer models only).
A fusible link is really just a high-tech fuse.
There are two wires in the link on '78-'81 models and
three or more wires on '82 and newer models. Except
for the juice for the starter motor, all current flowing from the battery goes through the fusible links.
If the current flowing through one of the wires in the
link is higher than it should be, the fusible metal in
the wire melts and breaks the circuit to protect the
wires and electrical components on that circuitjust like a fuse '78-'81 models: The fusible link is
located just to the rear of the battery. The smaller wire
attached to the positive (+) terminal clamp goes
straight to a plastic connector on one end of the link.
The link itself consists of two red or green cloth176
Chapter IO Procedure 3, Step I
covered wires with a plastic connector on each end.
To check the wires in the link, feel along the cloth
on each wire to see if the wire is still intact. Sometimes the cloth will be burned and black at the point
where the wire melted. The fusible link is a unit, so
if one of the wires is burned or broken you have to
replace them both. Be sure the new link has the
proper rating for your year and model.
To replace the fusible link, separate the plastic
connectors on each end of the two wires by pulling
them apart. Connect the plastic connectors onto the
ends of the new link the same as they were on the old
link.
'82 and newer models: The fusible link wires
are in a little plastic box near the positive (+) battery terminal. To get to the links, pry out on the bot
tom of the gray plastic lid, then wiggle the lid off the
box. The links are colored cloth-covered wires arching up out of the box. To check the wires in the links,
feel along the cloth for breaks in the wire. If you find
a break in the wire or the cloth looks burned, the link
is broken. Buy a new one with the same color cloth
(rating) as the old one.
To replace a broken link, just pull on the rubber part of the link where it disappears into the little box. Remove both ends. Then insert the ends of
a new link into the two slots. Install the cover.
EVERYONE: If the new link blows (breaks)
right away, there's a problem in one of the components in the circuit controlled by that link. Procedure
5 tells you how to trace faulty components.
PROCEDURE 3: CHECK, REPLACE, AND/
OR ADJUST DRIVE BELT
People used to call drive belts "fan belts." Once
upon a time, they just drove the fan, water pump, and
generator (predecessor of the alternator). Today, they
drive lots of things, but no longer the fan in many
cases! Be sure the engine is off when you deal with
the belts. Everyone should do Step 1, then go to the
specific belt step that concerns you.
Condition: Drive belt(s) are too loose, too tight, worn out, or broken; OR the drive belt(s) have to be removed
in order to take off the alternator, water pump, or other engine parts.
Tools and Materials: 12mm wrench, a large screwdriver (or broom handle, long ratchet handle, etc., to use
as a lever). '83-'84 Turbo models and OHC models also need a 12mm socket, short extension, and ratchet. To
adjust the power steering belt on OHV models, you'll need a 10mm wrench, large pliers, and a rag.
Procedure 3, Step l
The Electrical System 177
Remarks: After three or so years of use, drive belts can break suddenly regardless of how good they look. I
recommend that you make a habit of replacing the drive belt(s) every three years, or at least carry a spare belt
and the tools to change it. On top of the spare tire is a good place to stash a spare belt.
Adjusting and changing drive belts is easy on models without air conditioning and/or power steering. If
you have these accessories, read the appropriate Step and look for the adjusting method that applies to your Soob.
If you aren't sure which bolts to loosen, or where to place the lever to pry on the alternator, air conditioner com
pressor, or idler pulley, you might want to have a garage show you how to change and/or adjust the belts the first
time.
'75 4WD models: See Step 6 to adjust or replace the drive belt for the belt driven fan.
OHV models with air conditioning and/or power steering: You'll have to remove the air conditioning
(A/C) and/or power steering (P/S) drive belts before you can remove the alternator drive belt.
OHC and '83-'84 Turbo models: Do Step 1 to check the condition and tension of the belts, then skip down
to Step 5 to change and/or adjust them.
Step 1. Check Condition and Tension of Drive
Belts.
All drive belts are located on the front of the
engine. So, with the engine turned off, open the hood
and peer down there.
Look at the outer edges of the drive belt(s) for
signs of fraying (little threads of material will be
unraveling from the belt). Now twist the belt 180°
so you can see the inner side of the belt. Look for
cracks, tears, or missing chunks. If you see any of
these maladies, the belt should be replaced now.
To check the belt tension, push down on the belt
midway between two of the pulleys. (It's best to check
it between the two pulleys that are farthest apart.) Subaru says to use 22 lbs. of pressure. You'll have to guess
how hard you're pushing (or maybe use a fisherman's spring scale and pull on the belt with 22 lbs. of force) while
you measure the distance the belt deflects. To make things simple, use two fingers and push a bit harder than
you push a doorbell. A new belt should deflect about'/z" and a used belt about 9/ 16".
Loose belts tend to squeal and don't turn the components (such as the alternator) as fast and efficiently as
they're supposed to. Belts that are overtightened are hard on the bearings inside the components and can cause
them to fail prematurely. I think just a little too loose is better than a little too tight. When you install a new belt,
always check the tension again after running the engine for about 15 minutes, to see if the new belt stretched a little.
Step 2. Replace and/or Adjust Alternator Drive Belt on OHV Models (except '83-'84 Turbo models).
The alternator is attached by two brackets to the engine. Locate an "ear" on the front side of the alternator that points toward the left front fender. The 12mm bolt screwed into the ear is the drive belt tension adjustment
bolt. Notice how the adjustment bolt goes through a long, curved slotted bracket. There's one long or two short
bolts going through ears on the opposite side of the alternator that allow the alternator to pivot.
Replace drive belt: Loosen, but don't remove the bolts that attach the alternator to the brackets on the engine.
Push the alternator down until the adjusting bolt hits the bottom of the slot in the outer bracket. Slip the belt off
the alternator pulley, water pump pulley, crankshaft pulley, and the belt-driven fan and air pump pulleys (if you
have them).
Fit the new drive belt over the same pulleys, then pull up on the alternator with your hand to hold tension
on the belt while you lightly snug down the adjuster bolt with the wrench. Now go on and adjust the belt to the
proper tension. If the old belt still looks pretty good, stash it on the spare tire for emergency service.
Adjust drive belt: Slightly loosen the 12mm tension adjusting bolt and the pivot bolt(s) if you haven't
already.
If you have a late model Soob, look for a bolt and
nut on top of the slotted bracket. If you have this bolt
and nut, turn the nut clockwise to tighten the belt or
counterclockwise to loosen it. When the tension is
right (see Step 1), tighten the bolt in the slotted bracket
and the pivot bolt. Too bad it isn't this easy on all
models.
If you don't have a bolt and nut on top of the slotted bracket, slide a large screwdriver, broom handle, or ratchet handle (or whatever you're using for
a lever) below the alternator so the end is on the top
of the engine. Be sure you're not smashing any hoses,
tubes, wires, or other parts, with the end of the lever.
Now pull up on the lever to raise the alternator and
tighten the drive belt. Loosen the adjuster bolt a little
if it's too tight. Pull up on the lever with one hand
while you check the tension on the belt with your
other hand. Get the tension so the belt will deflect
about 9/ 16" (used belt) or 1/2" (new belt) when you
push on it midway between two of the pulleys. Step
1 tells you exactly how to check belt tension. When
the belt is tight enough, keep the pressure on the lever
while you tighten the adjuster bolt with a 12mm
wrench.
To loosen a too-tight belt, you can usually just
push down on the belt between two of the pulleys after
you loosen the two bolts. This will pivot the alternator toward the engine slightly.
Check the belt tension again (see the illustration)
and tighten or loosen it if necessary. When the tension
is right, tighten the pivot bolt(s). New belts quickly
stretch a little, so if you installed a new belt, check
the tension again after running the engine for about
15 minutes. Turn off the engine and tighten the belt
if need be.
Step 3. Replace or Adjust Air Conditioner
Drive Belt on OHV Models (except'83-'84 Turbo
models).
There have been so many different air conditioner setups, I can't specifically describe each one.
Luckily, however, there are basically only two meth
ods for replacing or adjusting the A/C drive belt.
You'll have to determine which type you have and follow the appropriate directions. Good luck.
One style/method, which I'll call the slotted
bracket type, is very similar to replacing or adjusting
178
Chapter 10 Procedure 3, Step 3
Procedure 3, Step 3
The Electrical System 179
the alternator drive belt. The air conditioner compressor is mounted to a slotted bracket on the engine.
Moving the compressor up or down in the bracket
tightens or loosens the drive belt. The other style/
method, which I'll call the idler pulley type, relies
on a movable pulley to tighten or loosen the drive
belt.
Slotted bracket type: To adjust the drive belt,
loosen the bolts that go through the slots in the bracket
and into the compressor. Use a large screwdriver
(broom handle, etc.) as a lever to pry up on the compressor to tighten the belt. When the belt deflects
about'/z" when you push on it between two of the
pulleys, hold tension on the belt with the lever while
you tighten the bolts in the slots.
To replace the drive belt, loosen the bolts that
go through the slots and into the compressor, then
push down on the compressor so it slides down in the
slots far enough to allow you to lift or pull the belt
off the pulleys. Wrap the new belt around the pulleys;
be sure the belt is in the groove of both the crankshaft
and compressor pulleys. Adjust the belt tension as
described above.
Idler pulley type: You'll see that the A/C drive
belt goes around the crank pulley, the A/C compressor pulley, and one or two smaller pulleys. One of
the small pulleys might be in a bracket near the top
center of the engine and the other one in a bracket
below the compressor on the lower left front side of
the engine. You might have one of the small pulleys
or both. One of these small pulleys can be moved to
tighten or loosen the drive belt.
There are two types of movable idler pulleys.
Here's one type:
Some late models have a vertical 14mm bolt and lockwasher in a bracket just behind the upper idler pulley. If you have this bolt, turn the bolt clockwise to tighten the belt or counterclockwise to loosen it. If you're
replacing the belt, loosen the bolt far enough that you can slip the belt off the pulleys, then install the new belt.
Tighten the bolt until the tension is correct. Check the tension again after running the engine for about 15 minutes.
Why aren't all belts this easy to adjust?
The offset bracket type has a small pulley mounted on a bracket in such a way that when the bracket is rotated
the pulley will increase or decrease the drive belt tension. The bracket is attached to the engine with two bolts.
One bolt is in a slot so the bracket can rotate. To figure out which pulley is offset, look for a slot in the small
idler pulley mounting bracket(s). When you've found it, slightly loosen the two bolts in the bracket. To tighten
the belt, use a large screwdriver (broom handle, or whatever) as a lever to pry the pulley bracket toward the outside
of the belt. Hold tension on your lever and check the deflection. When the belt deflects about'/z" as you push
on it between two pulleys, tighten the bolts in the pulley bracket. Check the tension again after tightening the
bracket bolts, and adjust it again if necessary.
To replace the belt, loosen the bolts in the idler pulley bracket, then push on the pulley to loosen the belt.
Slide the belt off the idler pulley(s), compressor pulley, and crank pulley. Install a new belt around the same
pulleys and adjust the tension as described above. Check the tension again after the engine has run about 15 minutes.
180
Chapter 10 Procedure 3, Step 4
Step 4. Replace and/or Adjust Power Steering Drive Belt on OHV Models (except '83-'84 Turbo
Models).
The drive belt for power steering (P/S) goes around the crankshaft pulley, up over the pulley for the P/S
pump (located on the top front right side of the engine), then down around a small pulley mounted on a long
slotted bracket near the bottom front right (passenger) side of the engine. The belt tension is adjusted by moving
the small pulley up or down in the slotted bracket.
It's easiest to get to the adjusting bolt from underneath, so remove the flat piece of sheet metal below the
small pulley and bracket (four 10mm bolts attach it to the body). Now crawl under the front of the car with a
12mm wrench, large pliers, and a rag.
Find the small plastic cap on the front of the small pulley in the slotted bracket. Put a rag over the cap, then
squeeze it with large pliers and it will pop off. Now loosen the 12mm bolt in the center of the pulley about two
turns counterclockwise (as viewed from the front of the car). The bolt head at the bottom end of the long bracket
is the adjusting bolt.
If you're replacing the belt, turn the bolt head (adjusting bolt) a couple of turns counterclockwise (as viewed
from the bottom end of the bracket). Now see if the belt will slip off the pulley. Keep turning the bolt counterclockwise and pulling on the belt until you can pull the belt off. If the belt doesn't loosen, use a hammer or screwdriver handle to tap the head of the bolt toward the bracket.
Pop the carburetor /distributor shield off the front
of the air cleaner, then remove the old belt from the
pulleys. Slip a new belt over the crank pulley, over
the pump pulley, then over the small adjusting pulley.
To adjust the belt tension, turn the adjusting bolt
clockwise until there's about 1/z" to 3/a " deflection
when you press on the belt halfway between the
adjusting pulley and the pulley on the power steering
pump. When the deflection is correct, tighten the bolt
in the center of the adjusting pulley with a 12mm
wrench. If you just installed a new belt, check the
belt adjustment again after the engine has run for
10-15 minutes. Now coat the edge of the plastic cap
with oil or grease (you can use a little oil off the dipstick), then pop it in place on the pulley. Rotate the
cap a little to be sure it's securely attached. Install
the sheet metal piece to the bottom of the car with
its four bolts, and the carburetor/ distributor shield
if you removed it.
Step 5. Replace and/or Adjust Drive Belts on
OHC and '83-'84 Turbo Models.
These models have two drive belts that work in
tandem for the air conditioning compressor, water
pump, and power steering pump. The front belt
(closest to the radiator) drives the alternator so I'll
call it the alternator belt. The rear belt (closest to
the engine) drives everything but the alternator. I'll
call it the compressor belt.
Adjust alternator belt tension: Loosen the
12mm bolt in the slotted bracket located near the bottom front of the alternator. Now slightly loosen the
Procedure 3, Step 5
The Electrical System 181
long 12mm pivot bolt that goes through the two ears on the top of the alternator.
OHC models with Panasonic air conditioning: If you have Panasonic air conditioning, the A/C compressor
will be mounted on the left side of the alternator.
Slip a large screwdriver (broom handle, etc.) below the alternator and pry the alternator upward with one
hand while checking the belt tension with the other. (Be sure the end of the screwdriver isn't resting on anything
fragile while prying on the alternator.) When the tension is correct, tighten the 12mm bolt in the slotted bracket.
Release the tension on the screwdriver, then check the tension again. If it's still correct, tighten the long pivot bolt.
'83-'84 Turbo models and OHC models with Hitachi air conditioning: If you have a Hitachi air conditioner,
the A/C compressor will be mounted on the right side of the alternator.
Insert a large screwdriver between the alternator and air conditioning compressor. Using the black bracket
above the compressor for a pivot point, push the screwdriver handle toward the center of the engine. On Turbo
models, be careful to not pry against the brass-colored pipe that might be attached to the top of the bracket. Hold
pressure on the screwdriver lever while you check the belt tension. There should be about '/a " to 1/s " deflection when you push on the belt midway between the crank pulley and the power steering pump pulley. When
you have the tension right, tighten the 12mm bolt in the slotted bracket. Check the tension again. If it's still right,
tighten the 12mm pivot bolt on top of the alternator.
Replace/install alternator drive belt: If you
have air conditioning, look at the illustration of the
pulser. If your model has a pulser, remove the two
bolts that attach it to the A/C compressor. You'll need
to lift it up slightly in order to remove and install the
drive belt(s).
'83-'84 Turbo models: Remove the two 10mm
bolts that attach a small fan shield to the top left
(driver's) side of the radiator.
EVERYONE: Loosen the 12mm adjusting and
pivot bolts (see Adjust Belt Tension section above).
If you have power steering, slightly loosen the two
10mm bolts on top of the power steering fluid reservoir. Lift up on the reservoir while you remove the
belt from the compressor and power steering pump
pulleys. Remove the belt from the other pulleys, then
carefully slip it under the bottom front of the fan that's
attached to the engine. Be careful of the radiator as
you slide the belt up between the fan and radiator to remove it from the car. Unless you're also replacing the
compressor belt, you're ready to put on the new alternator drive belt.
Slide the new belt down between the fan and radiator until it clears the fan. Now you can fit the belt onto
all the pulleys. Adjust the belt tension and tighten the two 12mm adjusting bolts on the alternator. If your model
has power steering and/or a pulser, install and tighten the two bolts on the pulser and the two bolts on the power
steering reservoir. If you removed a part of the fan shield, reinstall it on the radiator and tighten the two bolts.
Be sure to check the belt tension again after running the engine for about 15 minutes. New belts quickly
stretch a little. Tighten the belt again if need be.
OHC models without air conditioning: Loosen the 12mm bolt and pivot bolt (see adjusting the alternator
belt above). Push down on the alternator to loosen the drive belt. Now you can remove the belt.
To install the drive belt, thread it over the pulleys, then adjust the tension as described above in the adjustment
section.
Dealing with the compressor drive belt: First remove the alternator drive belt (earlier in this step). Look
at the A/C drive belt adjustments illustrations to see which type air conditioner you have. An intelligent, intuitive
person like yourself knows that you should follow the appropriate instructions below. So I won't have to mention it.
182
Chapter 10 Procedure 3, Step 6
Hitachi-typeA/C: Find a 12mm bolt between and below the alternator and air conditioning compressor.
Use a 12mm socket and short extension to loosen the bolt a couple of turns. There's another l2mm bolt with
a long head sticking out of the engine farther to the right, below the compressor. Use a long 12mm box end wrench
to loosen it a couple of turns. Push the small idler pulley between the two bolts up toward the compressor until
you can slip the belt off the pulley. Remove the old belt from the car the same way you removed the alternator
belt. Fit the new belt onto all the pulleys, then adjust it. Here's how.
There are two ways to adjust the belt tension. If you have a deep 17mm socket, you can do #1 below. No deep
socket? Do #2.
1. There is a 17mm nut behind the left (driver's side) bolt that you loosened to remove the belt. Fit your deep
17mm socket onto the nut and turn it counterclockwise to tighten the belt. Check the tension on the belt and when
it deflects 1/a " to 1/3" tighten the bolt on the right-the one with the long head. Check the tension again and adjust
it if need be. When the tension is right, tighten the 12mm bolt in front of the 17mm nut.
2. Position a large screwdriver so its shaft is against the battery side of the compressor pulley and the tip
is on the crank pulley side of the idler pulley. Use the screwdriver to lever the idler pulley down and away from
the compressor. Check the belt tension between the crank pulley and power steering pulley. When the belt deflects
1/a " to 1/3 ", hold tension on the belt with the screwdriver while you tighten the bolt with the long head. Check
the tension again. When it's correct, tighten the other 12mm bolt.
Panasonic-type A IC: Loosen the lock nut in the center of the idler pulley a couple of turns. Now turn the
adjustment bolt until the belt is loose enough to remove from the pulleys. Fit the new belt over the pulleys, then
turn the adjustment bolt until the belt deflects about '/a " to 1/3 ". Tighten the lock nut. Easy as toast, right?
EVERYONE Install the alternator drive belt (above). New belts quickly stretch a little. So be sure to check
the tension after the engine has run about 15 minutes. Adjust the belts if necessary.
Step 6. Replace and/or Adjust Belt Driven Fan ('75 4WD Models).
On '75 4WD models a second drive belt turns a fan mounted to the front of the engine. To adjust the belt
tension, slightly loosen the bolt in the slotted bracket just below the small idler pulley on the lower front left
(driver's) side of the engine, and the bolt at the upper end of the long idler pulley bracket. Use a lever (long screw
driver, broom handle, etc.) to force the idler pulley toward the left side of the car. Hold tension on the pulley
while you tighten the bolts.
To replace the drive belt, loosen the two adjusting bolts, then push the idler pulley toward the center of the
engine. Slip the old belt off the pulleys and over the front of the fan. Fit the new belt onto the crank pulley, fan
pulley, and idler pulley, then adjust the belt tension as described above. Check the belt tension after running
the engine for about 15 minutes and adjust it if necessary.
PROCEDURE 4: REPLACE LIGHT BULBS
This procedure covers all kinds of light bulbs. If a headlight is your problem, do only Step 1. If it's one of
the other light bulbs, read Step 2, then go to the Step that deals with your particular bulb. Turn the ignition key
and light switch OFF when replacing bulbs. If the hazard (emergency) or turn signal lights and the indicator
light on the dashboard light up but don't flash, see Step 10 to replace the flasher unit(s).
Condition: One or more of the lights aren't working; OR the turn signals or hazard lights won't flash.
Tools and Materials: Phillips screwdriver. Maybe new bulb(s), new flasher unit, a wire brush, and a flashlight.
Remarks: If lights on both sides of the car are out, check the fuses before changing the bulbs (Procedure 2, Step
1). The little owner's manual for your car shows the location of all the bulbs and tells you how to replace them,
kind of. If you still have the book, take a look at it.
Step 1. Replace Headlight (and parking and turn signal bulbs on some '80 and newer OHV models).
Before buying a new headlight, check the fuses (Procedure 2, Step 1) and the connection on the back of
the headlight bulb. Headlights are expensive these days, especially for the late models, so be sure the headlight
is dead before buying a new one. Most parts stores won't let you return electrical parts even if you bring them
back unused and virginal.
Here's how to check the electrical connection on the headlights: Open and prop the hood, then locate an
electrical connector on the engine side of the nonworking headlight. You'll see the backs of the headlights poking
back toward the engine compartment on either side of the radiator. Wiggle the connector off the back of the headlight,
clean the three flat metal prongs on the back of the headlight with a wire brush, then wiggle the connector back
onto the prongs. Now try the headlights. If the headlight still doesn't work, you probably need a new one.
OHC GL models (except XTs): You have the
super-duper extra large headlights with small halogen
bulbs: To replace the halogen bulb, look in the engine
compartment for the rear end of the headlight assembly. There's a large round collar at the rear center of
the headlight. An electrical connector is mounted
behind the collar. Press down on the plastic strip that's
on top of the electrical connector, then pull the connector rearward and off. Twist the collar counterclockwise until it unlocks, then pull it out of the headlight assembly. There's the little halogen bulb. Replace the bulb, then fit the collar back onto the assembly and turn it clockwise until it locks in place.
Reconnect the electrical connector and you're
finished.
EVERYONE (except OHC GL models and
XTs): To change a headlight bulb, the grille and
Procedure 4, Step 1
The Electrical System 183
184
Chapter 10 Procedure 4, Step 1
maybe a piece of plastic molding around the headlight(s) has to be removed. This is done from the front of the
car. It's easy because they're held on only by phillips screws. Here's how.
Remove the phillips screws around the edge of the grille, then pull the top of the grille out slightly and lift
up to remove it. If the parking lights are mounted in the grille, gently lower the grille and let it hang by the wires.
'75-'77 and '80 and newer OHV models (except '80-'81 Brats): Now you need to remove another molding
that's around the headlight. Remove the two screws on the corners toward the center of the car (if they weren't
removed with the grille screws), then the other screws in the molding.
'80 and newer OHV models with one headlight on each side: Remove the screw in the top of the outer
turn signal lens and the screw beneath the parking light lens that's sandwiched between the headlight bulb and
the turn signal lens.
'82 and newer OHV models with two square headlights on each side: Remove the screw above the white
parking light lens and the screw on the bottom of the molding on the side of the car. Don't mess with the screw
directly below the headlight bulb(s).
'80 and newer OHV models: Pull the molding out far enough to remove the parking light and turn signal sockets from the rear of the light holder assembly. Turn the sockets counterclockwise (as viewed from the
rear of the holder), then pull them out of the holder. Lay the holder aside. If you're here to replace the parking light or turn signal bulb, do it now, then skip down to the reassembly.
'85 and newer OHC DL models (except XTs): Remove the phillips screws that attach the grille, then remove
the grille. Lay it where it won't get stepped on.
XT models: Here's how to change the bulbs in your fancy retractable headlights. Set the headlights in the
OPEN position. There is a plastic panel on the inboard side of the headlight assembly that must be removed
so you can get to the headlight cover screws. Remove the bolts that hold the plastic panel to the body, then remove it.
Remove the four screws from each side of the headlight assembly. The top two attach the lid, so be careful that it doesn't fall off and get scratched when you remove the screws. When all eight screws are out you can
remove the headlight cover.
EVERYONE: Now that the decorations are off, you'll see several phillips screws around the edge of the
headlight. Two of the screw heads will be larger than the others (three smaller screws on round headlights or
four smaller screws on square headlights). Don't mess with the two larger screws, they're adjusters used only
for aiming the headlight. Remove the three or four smaller screws and pull the metal retainer ring and headlight out of the headlight cradle (socket). On round headlights, you only need to loosen the screws a few turns,
then rotate the retainer ring counterclockwise to remove it. You'll see how the screw slots are bigger at one end
so the ring can lift off. The headlight will lift right out into your hands.
Disconnect the electrical connector from the back of the old headlight. It just pulls straight out (use both
hands so you don't put too much tension on the wires). Then plug the electrical connector onto the new headlight. Look for TOP stamped on the front of the new headlight. Insert the bulb into the cradle so TOP is, you
guessed it, at the top. The bump(s) on the back of the light fit into the slot(s) on the cradle. If the new bulb isn't
marked TOP, orient the light so that the bump(s) fit into the slot(s). Hold the headlight in place with one hand
while you install the metal retainer ring and tighten the three or four phillips screws. Remember, don't touch
the two adjusting screw heads. If your headlights are the round type, slip the retainer ring over the light, aligning
the big part of the slots over the mounting screws. Turn the ring counterclockwise, so that the narrow part of
the slots tucks under the screw heads. Then tighten the mounting screws.
'75-'77 models: Install the plastic molding around the headlight with its phillips screws.
'80 and newer OHV models (except '80-'81 Brats): Fit the parking light and turn signal sockets into the
rear of the molding, then turn them clockwise (as viewed from the rear of the molding) to lock them into place.
Attach the molding to the car with the four phillips screws.
'78 and newer OHV models and OHC DL models (except XTs): If there are tabs on the bottom of the
grille, fit them into the holes on the body. Be sure they're all in place, then install and tighten the phillips screws
around the edge of the grille.
Procedure 4, Step 2
The Electrical System 185
XT models: Fit the headlight cover in place and install the phillips screws. Now install the lid and secure
it with the phillips screws. Install the plastic panel on the inboard side of the headlight.
EVERYONE: If you accidentally messed with one or both of the larger phillips screw-heads that aim the
headlights, or you don't think the headlights are aimed correctly, have Subaru or a garage adjust the headlights.
It's faster and easier for them to do it. The car has to be on level ground a specified distance away from a headlight
aiming target.
Here's how the headlight aim is adjusted in case you're desperate and have to do it yourself. Screw the large
phillips screw-head on the side of the headlight clockwise to aim the headlight more toward the side the screwhead
is on. Turn it counterclockwise to aim the light more in the opposite direction to the side the screw is on. If there's
a large phillips screw-head above the headlight, turn it clockwise to aim the headlight higher, or counterclockwise
to lower the aim. If the large screw-head is below the headlight, screw it clockwise to lower the beam, or counterclockwise to raise the beam.
Step 2. How to Replace Light Bulbs (except
headlights).
The rest of the steps in this procedure (3 through
9) tell you how to get to the different bulbs by removing the lenses or the bulb holders. This step explains
how to replace the bulb after you've gotten to it. So
find the step below that relates to your particular dead
bulb, then return here.
Once the lens is off or the bulb holder is removed, you'll see either a small round bulb or a tiny
oblong bulb.
Replace round bulbs: Tail lamps and parking
lights are typical of the round-bulb style. To remove
a round light bulb, push in on the bulb and gently turn
it counterclockwise until it stops, then lift it out. It
should come out easily. If it won't, push and turn
again-you may not have turned it far enough.
To install a new round bulb, align the two little bumps on the sides of the metal part of the bulb with the
little grooves in the bulb socket. Push in on the bulb until it touches bottom, then hold pressure on it and turn
it clockwise to lock it into place. Bulbs with two filament wires have to be installed in a certain position because
one of the bumps on the side is farther from the end than the other. Try the bulb one way and if it won't go into
the socket all the way, pull it out, turn it around 180° and insert it again. It'll turn and lock into place this time.
Replace tiny oblong bulbs: To remove a tiny oblong bulb, just wiggle it out of its holder.
To install a new tiny oblong bulb, align its flat bottom with the slot in the socket, then wiggle it in.
EVERYONE: After replacing a bulb, test the light with the switch to see if it works. If the light still doesn't
work, see Procedure 5.
If you removed a lens to replace the bulb, clean off the inside of the lens as well as the shiny reflector behind
the bulb with a rag. Then carefully fit the rubber gasket (if you have one) and lens in place and secure them with
the phillips screws.
If you removed a bulb holder, fit it into the hole so the tabs on the sides of the holder fit into the slots in the
hole, then push on the holder while turning it clockwise to lock it into place.
Step 3. Front Light Bulbs (except headlights).
The front lenses are easy to remove on most models; just unscrew and remove the phillips screws, then carefully
pull the lens off. (You want to be careful, so as not to tear up the rubber gasket that may be between the lens and
the body.) If you can't find any phillips screws in the lens, you'll have to remove the headlight molding to get
to the bulbs. Step 1 tells you how to remove the headlight molding. Changing the bulb is explained in Step 2.
186
Chapter 10 Procedure 4, Step 4
Step 4. Bulbs in Side Marker Lights.
OHC models: The front side marker lights are built into the front light bulb assembly (see Step 3), and
the rear side marker lights are built into the rear light assembly (see Step 6).
OHV models: Most models have side marker lights mounted on the sides of the body near the front or
rear or on the side of the bumper; yellow in the front, red in the rear. On some '80 and newer OHV models,
the rear side marker lights are mounted in the side of the rear combination light assembly (see Step 6).
To remove side marker lenses that are not mounted in the headlight or taillight assembly, unscrew the two
phillips screws in the lens, then carefully pull the lens off the car. Replacing the bulb is explained in Step 2. The
bulbs are usually the tiny oblong type.
Install the lens with the two phillips screws, then try the light switch to be sure the light works. If it still doesn't
work, see Procedure 5.
Step 5. Brake Lights.
If the brake lights aren't working, check thefuse (Procedure 2, Step 1) and the bulbs (Step 6 in this procedure).
If the lights still won't work when you step on the pedal, look at Chapter 13, Procedure 14, to check the brake
light switch.
Replacing Bulbs
Your round bulbs are in holders like these. Push in
on the bulb, then turn it counterclockwise
First remove the screws that
secure the plastic bar, then
remove the bulb
Step 6. Rear Lights.
The bulbs for the brake lights, taillights, turn signals (and sometimes the backup lights and side
marker lights) are all in what's called a rear com
bination light assembly. The backup lights have a
white lens, the brake lights and taillights are red, and
the turn signal lens is red or yellow depending on the
year and model.
OHV Sedans, Coupes, Hardtops, Hatchbacks: The bulbs are removed from inside the trunk.
On Hatchbacks and'80-'84 Coupe GLF models,
you'll have to remove an inner body panel or piece
of cardboard to get at the bulbs. To remove the plastic
panel on Hatchbacks, use a thin screwdriver to gently
pop out the round panel fasteners located around the
edge of the panel.
On some models each bulb has a separate holder
mounted in the combination light assembly. Turn the
holder counterclockwise (as viewed from inside the
car), then pull the holder out. On other models, the
bulb holders are all in a long plastic bar across the
combination light assembly. Remove the two or three
screws securing the plastic bar, then pull the bar away
from the light assembly to expose the bulbs. How to
change the bulbs is explained in Step 2 of this
Procedure.
Hatchbacks and Coupe GLF models: Install
the panels you removed. On Hatchbacks, align the
holes in the panel and body then use your thumb to
press the fasteners back into place.
OHV Station Wagons and Brats: The lens is
held in place by a metal ring around the outside of
Procedure 4, Step 7
The Electrical System
the lens, or by phillips screws through the lens itself.
On some models you'll have to open the rear gate to
get to some of the screws.
'75-'79 Station Wagons and '77-'81 Brats:
Remove the phillips screws, then carefully pry the
lens away from the combination light assembly and
lay it aside. Now you can replace the bulb (Step 2).
Check the bulb to see that it works. Before putting
everything back together, clean the inside of the lens
and the reflector. Be sure the rubber gasket for the
lens is in place, then fit the lens on the assembly and
install and tighten the screws.
'80-'84 Station Wagons and '82-'87 Brats:
Remove the phillips screws, then carefully pull the
lens and combination light assembly away from the
body. A rubber mounting pad may come out with it.
Each bulb has a separate holder mounted in the rear
of the combination light assembly. Find the holder
that matches the location of the nonworking bulb, twist the bulb holder counterclockwise (as viewed from inside
the car) until it stops, then lift it out. See Step 2 of this procedure to change the bulb.
Fit the rubber mounting pad, combination light assembly, lens, and metal ring (if yours has one) in place
on the body. Install the phillips screws and tighten them. If the light still doesn't work, see Procedure 5.
OHC models: Bulbs located in the rear combination assembly are replaced from inside the car. Look for
a plastic panel in front of the light assembly.
Station wagons: There's one large panel in each rear corner. Remove the panel and you'll see three plastic bulb holders. Push on the holder while turning it counterclockwise to remove the holder. See Step 2 to replace
the bulb(s). Align the tabs on the bulb holder with the slots in the rear light assembly, then push on the holder
while turning it clockwise to lock it in place. Install the plastic panel.
Sedans and 3-Door models: There are two panels, one large and one small, on each side of the car. The
smaller outer panel contains the bulbs for the turn signal and side marker and the larger panel covers the back-up
and stop/taillight bulbs. Remove the panel and you'll see the bulbs. See Step 2 to replace the bulbs, then install
the panels.
Step 7. Replace Rear License Plate Bulbs.
Whenever the headlights are on, the license plate light should go on too. In some places the cops may stop
you if it's not working.
If there are two phillips screws in the license plate lens, remove the screws securing the lens and pull the
lens off to expose the bulb. If there are no phillips screws in the lens, remove the bulb holder from inside the
car by turning it counterclockwise until it stops, then pull it out. On Hatchbacks and Coupe GLF models you
have to remove a trim panel to get to the bulb (see Step 6). Step 2 tells you how to change the bulb.
Install the bulb holder or the lens, depending on your setup, then switch on the lights to see if it works now.
If not, see Procedure 5.
Step 8. Dash, Warning, and Indicator Light Bulbs.
OHC models: The instrument cluster must be removed to replace the bulbs. Better let the experts do it.
OHV models: You'll need a flashlight and maybe a phillips screwdriver to locate the instrument panel illumination bulbs and the bulbs for the warning lights (brake, oil, charge, etc.) and indicator lights (high beam,
turn signals, 4WD, etc.).
If all of the dash lights are out, the problem is probably a blown fuse, a broken headlight switch, or a faulty
187
188 Chapter 10 Procedure 4, Step 9
ignition switch. Rotate the headlight switch knob counterclockwise to check if the dash lights aren't just dimmed
all the way down by the rheostat. If some of the dash lights work, you probably have one or more burned-out
bulbs. Burned-out bulbs in the back of the instrument panel are fairly simple to replace. See the Other Dash
Lights section in this step to replace bulbs not located behind the instrument panel.
'80 and newer OHV cars and '82-'87 Brats: You have to remove some phillips screws securing a plastic panel that covers the bottom left side of the dash below the instrument panel to get to the bulbs.
OHV models: With a flashlight in hand, wiggle into a position (probably uncomfortable) so you can peek
under the dash and at the back of the instrument panel. Through the wires you'll see several short knobs all turned
at about a 45' angle. Determine which knob is closest to the unlit area of the instrument panel or to the non
functioning warning or indicator light. Grasp the little knob and turn it counterclockwise (as viewed from the
back of the instrument panel), then pull it out. It'll come out easily. With this little unit in hand, crawl out from
under the dash. Wiggle the small bulb out of the knob. If it doesn't look burned out, you may have pulled out
the wrong knob and bulb. Check the dash lights again to make sure you've got the culprit.
Take the bulb with you when you buy a new bulb. Some of the bulbs are small and some are downright tiny.
Insert the new bulb into the knob, then crawl under the dash again and stick it in the hole and rotate it until you
feel the tabs on the knob fit into the notches on the instrument panel. Push in on the knob while twisting it clockwise
to lock it into place.
Other dash lights: On some models there are other illumination lights behind the heater/vent/air conditioner/fan controls. To get to these bulbs, the plastic panels (and maybe the radio and tape deck) have to be
removed. I can't describe how to remove all of the variations used over the years, but here's a general description.
Pay close attention to how everything comes apart so you'll know how to put it all back together. If your setup
doesn't fit the description and it looks bewildering, seek professional help.
Locate the phillips screws that attach the panel around the controls to the dashboard. Some of them are cleverly
hidden so they're almost impossible to find. Remove the screws, then gently try to pull the panel away from the
dash. If you can't pull the panel out far enough to get to the bulbs, see if other panels need to be removed or if
the radio is holding the panel. If it's the radio, pull the radio knobs off, then remove the nuts hidden under the
knobs. You'll need a small crescent wrench or a pair of pliers. Try the panel again. If you still can't pull the panel
out far enough to reach the bulbs, seek guidance from Subaru or a garage.
If you're successful in reaching the bulbs, see the Step 2 in this procedure to change them. Now put everything
back together in the reverse order of removal.
Step 9. Other Light Bulbs (dome, glove box, etc.).
Dome light: The interior dome light on the ceiling is covered by an opaque plastic lens. Look for a Fuji
symbol (^) or a dash mark (-) on the lens. Turn the lens until the symbol or dash mark is aligned with the switch
knob, then pull down to remove the lens. If there's no symbol or dash mark on the lens, just turn the lens while
gently pulling down until it pops off.
The bulb is tube-shaped with pointed metal ends that fit into the holes in two springy clips. To remove the
bulb, push it toward one of the ends until the other end can slip out of the clip. The bulb will fall out now. Insert
one end of the new bulb in one of the clips and push on it while pushing the other end of the bulb into the other
clip. Be sure the pointed bulb ends are in the clip holes. Now put the lens back on. Align the Fuji symbol or dash
mark (if your lens has one) or the small tab on the lens with the switch knob and push the lens into the holder.
Turn the lens to lock it into place. Move the switch to see if the light works. If the light works with the switch
but not when the door opens, either the switch is in the wrong position (try all three positions) or the switch in
the door opening is broken. If the light doesn't work in any switch position, see Procedure 5.
Spot lights: Use a very thin screwdriver or knife blade to pop the lens off the light. See Step 2 to replace
the bulb(s). Hold the lens in position while you push on the center. You'll feel it click into place.
Glove box light and trunk light: Not all models have these lights. Twist the plastic lens to remove it. See
Step 2 in this procedure to change the bulb (probably the tiny oblong type). Then fit the tab(s) on the lens into
the groove of the holder and twist the lens to lock it into place.
Procedure 4, Step 10
The Electrical System
Step 10. Check and Replace Turn Signal and Hazard Light.
Flasher Unit (OHV models only). OHC models: The flasher unit is buried beneath the dash where only
trained technicians dare to tread. Let them replace it for you.
OHV models: The symptoms of a defective flasher unit are: The turn signal lights go on when the turn signal
lever or hazard switch is turned on, but the lights flash very slowly, very quickly, or not at all. It's a good idea
to buy the new flasher unit before digging around under the dash so you'll know what you're looking for. If you
have separate turn signal/ hazard light units ('75-'82 models), replace the one that has the same part number
as the new part, or replace one, then the other until you find the defective unit. (I've substituted a General Motors
flasher unit #SF 552 for the turn signal unit when I couldn't find the correct Subaru unit.)
If the turn signals work on one side of the car, but neither the lights nor the indicator light on the dashboard
work for the other side, the turn signal switch might be broken. Have Subaru or a garage check and replace it
for you.
'80 and newer OHV cars and '82-'87 Brats: Remove the phillips screws that secure the plastic panel to
the bottom of the dash in front of the driver's seat, then remove the panel.
'75-'82 models: There are two small round flasher units mounted in a white plastic clip under the dash.
One is for the turn signals, the other is for the hazard (emergency) system that flashes all four turn signals at
the same time. The flasher units are about the same diameter as a size D flashlight battery, but only about half
as long. The white clip is attached to the left side of the clutch pedal bracket ('75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats),
or attached straight above the hood release cable ('80-'82 cars and '82 Brats). An L-shaped two-wire connector
is attached to each flasher unit.
'83 and newer OHV models: The flasher unit is a small box-like gizmo with a plastic three-wire connector
attached to one end. The unit is attached with a screw to the clutch and/or brake pedal bracket. A triangle with
an arrow on either side might be stamped on the unit.
OHV models: Peek up under the dash and locate your type of flasher unit(s). Remove the phillips screw
that secures the unit ('83 and newer OHV models), or pull the units out of the plastic holder (everyone else).
Pull the plastic wire connector off the unit, then fit it onto the new flasher unit. It will only fit one way. Now
fit the unit back into the holder, or attach it with the mounting screw. Turn the ignition key to ON (don't start
the engine), then try the turn signals or hazard lights to see if the problem is solved. If everything's working
properly, turn the key OFF. If there's still a problem, see Procedure 5, or seek professional help.
'80 and newer OHV cars and '82-'87 Brats: Attach the plastic panel to the bottom of the dash.
PROCEDURE 5: HOW TO DIAGNOSE NON-ENGINE ELECTRICAL PROBLEMS
This deals with electrical failures or gremlins not related to the way the engine starts or runs. If the engine
has cranking or charging problems, go to Procedure 6 or Procedure 9 later in this chapter.
Condition: An electrical component isn't working; OR the battery loses its charge; OR a fuse keeps blowing
(breaking); OR anything amiss that seems like it may have an electrical source.
Tools and Materials: A 12-volt test light or Volt/Ohm meter (VOM), maybe new fuses, light bulbs, or whatever
component you're checking, maybe a 10mm or 12mm wrench to disconnect the negative battery terminal. Also:
sandpaper or knife for cleaning contacts, a piece of wire about 12" long for testing "ground," some extra fuses
to help locate shorts, electrical tape for patching shorts.
Remarks: Most problems with the electrical system are due to a blown fuse, a poor wire connection, or a worn-out
component (bulbs, etc.). Very seldom is a broken wire the problem.
If you've never used a Volt/Ohm meter (VOM), or need a refresher course, see Procedure 11.
189
190
Chapter 10 Procedure 5, Step 1
Step 1. Check Fuses.
Start by locating the fuse box and the fuse for the component that isn't working (see Procedure 2). Replace
the fuse for that component with a new fuse, then try the component to see if it works. Don't forget to turn the
ignition key to ON if the component is switched by the ignition system. If the fuse blows within a few seconds
after installation, see Step 3.
Is yours a headlight problems? Some models have three fuses that affect the headlights: One fuse for the
high beams or right headlights, a separate fuse for the low beams or left headlights, and a master fuse that controls
all the headlights and a few other lights. Check all three fuses if you have them (Step 3).
Step 2. Check for Juice and Ground at Component.
All electrical components receive their supply
of electrical energy from the positive (+) terminal
of the battery. The electrical energy (juice) arrives
at the component through an insulated wire, passes
through the component to make it light, beep, pump,
or whatever it was designed to do, then returns to the
negative terminal of the battery through the car body
and frame (the "ground"). This circuit must be completed for electrical things to work. Here's how to see
if there's juice getting to the component through a
wire, and if there's a good ground connection so the
juice can get back to the battery.
Light bulbs: Remove the lens and bulb (Procedure 4), then come back here to check for juice and
ground connection.
The juice for light bulbs gets to the filament
inside the bulb through small brass or aluminum contact(s) inside the bulb socket that touch a metal contact
(or contacts) on the bottom of the bulb. The contacts
inside the socket and on the bottom of the bulb have
to be clean and free of crud and corrosion for the bulb
to work properly. Be sure the ignition key and light
switch are OFF, then use sandpaper, a knife, or a
small screwdriver to clean the contact points in the
bulb socket and on the end of the bulb then try the
bulb again. On small round bulb setups, also clean
up the metal walls of the socket and sides of the bulb
holder. If the light still doesn't work, see if there's
juice to the contact(s) in the socket and if the socket
is grounded. (See Check for Juice and Check for
Ground, just ahead.)
On some lights, the bulb socket and/or its
mounting screw(s) touch the car body and act as the
ground to return the juice to the battery. Other light
sockets have a wire (usually black) that runs from
the socket to a part of the body to provide the ground. Check to see that the wire is firmly attached at both ends.
Other components: There's usually a wire connection on or near the electrical component (windshield
washer motor, windshield wiper motor, fuel pump, etc.) that supplies the current to make the thing work. To
Procedure 5, Step 3
The Electrical System 191
complete the circuit there's either a wire connecting the component to the body, or the component itself is mounted
to the body, which provides the ground directly. Get out your test light or VOM.
Check for juice: Turn the ignition switch and the component's switch ON. If you have a VOM, set it to
15 DC volts. Disconnect the wire that supplies current to the component. Touch one probe of the test light or
the red (+) probe of the VOM to the wire and touch the other probe to bare metal. Test both contacts if there
are two. If none of the wires to the component lights the test light, or moves the VOM needle, there's no juice
getting to the component. If the fuses are good, the problem is probably in the switch. The switches are usually
complicated and difficult to get to, so I suggest you take the car to Subaru or a garage and have them check the
switch.
If more than one wire goes to the component and one of the wires has juice but the other one is black and
doesn't have juice, check the black wire to see if it's a ground wire. Its other end will attach to bare body metal
somewhere. Here's more about grounding.
Check for ground: If there's juice to the component but it still won't work, maybe the component isn't grounded
properly. Again, first turn the ignition and the component switch ON. You'll need a VOM or a piece of wire
to test the ground. Set the VOM to RX 10, then touch one probe to the component's metal body or to the black
ground wire that didn't have juice in it. Touch the other probe to bare metal. The needle should swing over to
0 ohms if the component is properly grounded. No VOM? Install the bulb if it's a light you're checking. Check
again that the component is switched on. Touch one end of a piece of wire to the metal part of the bulb socket,
or to the metal body of whatever thing you're checking. Touch the other end of the wire to bare metal. If the bulb
lights up or the component works, the thing itself is good but it isn't properly grounded.
If that's the case, turn off the switch and remove the mounting nuts, bolts, or screws that attach it to the car
body, or follow the black wire from the component to where it attaches to the body and detach it. Use sandpaper
or a wire brush to clean the place where the screw, nut, bolt, wire, and/or socket touches the body. Make it shiny.
Now attach the light socket or component to the body, turn on the switch, and see if the problem is solved.
If the component is getting juice and is grounded properly but still doesn't work, the component is probably bad. Replace it with a new one.
If the component isn't getting juice or you can't get it grounded, you'll have to seek professional help.
Step 3. Checking for Shorts.
A short means the juice is taking a short cut back to the battery before going through the component. How?
A break in the insulation (the wire's plastic sheath) allows the wire to contact the body or frame of the car and
this completes the circuit. Without the resistance in the component to slow the flow of juice, the juice flows so
fast it overheats the wires and blows the fuse for the circuit. If new fuses blow within a few seconds after you
install them, you have a major short for sure. A minor short can slowly drain the battery over a period of a few
days without blowing the fuse.
Check for a minor short: Put your safety glasses on, then disconnect the negative (-) terminal of the battery
(Procedure 1, Step 3). Turn the ignition switch and all electrical components OFF, then gently touch the negative
battery clamp to the negative battery post while watching for a small spark. If you see a spark, you have a short
in some circuit somewhere. Now to find the short. Go to the fuse box (see Procedure 2, Step 1, to locate it) and
pull out one of the fuses, then try the ground-clamp-to-negative-post-test again. Still sparks? Put the fuse back
in and try another fuse. Try each fuse like that until you find the circuit that doesn't cause a spark when the fuse
is removed. The short is in that circuit. Put the fuse back in, then read the next section.
Identify faulty component: If you have a major short, the fuse will blow immediately or very soon after
the faulty component is turned on. It might take several ones to locate the problem so be sure you have several
new fuses handy. Disconnect the components on the problem circuit one at a time. Then do the spark check
(for minor short) or install a new fuse (for major short). Keep disconnecting components, then testing one at
a time. When you find the component that doesn't cause a spark or blow a fuse when it's disconnected, you'll
know the short is in that component or the wiring to that component. Note the color of the wire(s) to the component,
then follow that wire until it disappears into a large bundle of wires taped or wrapped together (the wire harness). If you find a bare place in the wire, tape it with plastic tape. Look for a wire running from the fuse box
192 Chapter 10
Procedure 6 Step 1
that's the same color (color code) as the one to the component and check it for bare places. Reconnect the component
and try the ground-clamp-to-negative-post spark test, or install another new fuse, to see if the short is eliminated.
If you can't find a break or bare place in the wire, the short is either in the component itself or in the wiring where you can't find it. It's time to seek professional assistance.
PROCEDURE 6: CHECK CHARGING SYSTEM (ALTERNATOR, VOLTAGE REGULATOR)
The red alternator (charge) light on your dashboard is the key to checking your charging system. If the
battery's completely dead, it won't go on-you'll have to first charge the battery or jump-start the car with jumper
cables. When you turn the ignition key ON, the alternator light turns on, so you know the bulb's OK. As soon
as the engine starts it turns OFF and should stay off if the charging system is OK. It's the charging system that
operates everything electrical while the engine's running and is designed to keep the battery full of juice to run
accessories while the engine's off, and to start your car in the morning.
Condition: The red alternator light stays ON while the engine's running; OR the battery needs recharging every
few days.
Tools and Materials: Volt/Ohm meter (VOM) or 12-volt test light. If you don't have these, you'll need a 10mm
or 12mm wrench to remove the positive battery clamp.
Remarks: If the red charge light goes OFF when the engine is running, but the battery needs frequent recharging,
do Procedure 5, Step 3, to see if it's a minor short that's draining the battery.
Step 1. Check Electrical Connections.
Check the connections on both ends of the battery cables to be sure they're clean and tight (Procedure 1,
Steps 3 and 4). Check the alternator drive belt for tightness (Procedure 3, Step 1). Check the electrical connections
on the alternator (Procedure 7, Step 1) and voltage regulator (Procedure 8, Step 2). Disconnect the wire con
nections, clean them with a wire brush, then reconnect them. Now see if the red alternator light on the dash
goes out with the engine running. If there's a voltmeter in the dash, the needle should go to about 14 volts when
the engine is revved above idle. Still a problem? Read on.
Step 2. Check Voltage Across Battery.
Checking with VOM or test light: Start with the engine off. If you have a VOM, set it at 15 DC volts. Touch
the red probe to the positive (+) battery terminal, and the black probe to the negative (-) battery terminal (or
touch the probes of the test light to the battery terminals). The VOM should read about 12 volts or the test light
should light up. Now start the car and read the meter again. If the battery is too weak to start the engine, use
jumper cables to fire it up (Procedure 1, Step 8).
Evaluation: With the engine revved above idle the VOM should read about 13.5 to 14.5 volts, or the test
light should glow brighter than at idle. In other words, there should be a slight increase in voltage when you rev
the engine a little above idle.
If the voltage is slightly higher (up to 14.5 volts), the battery is probably the problem since the alternator
and voltage regulator are supplying the proper voltage.
If the voltage is too high (above 14.5), the voltage regulator isn't functioning properly and the battery cells
in the battery might be burned out due to constant overcharging. Replace the voltage regulator (Procedure 8)
and have the battery checked.
Procedure 7, Step 1
The Electrical System 193
If the voltage is too low, there's obviously a problem with the alternator and/or the voltage regulator, but
it's difficult to determine which one is bad. You need an ammeter to test the amperage output of the alternator, including an amperage output test with the voltage regulator bypassed. Since it's probably cheaper to have
the alternator/voltage regulator checked by a garage than to buy a good ammeter, I suggest you have a garage
determine which component is bad. You can replace either of them yourself and save some money.
PROCEDURE 7: REMOVE AND INSTALL ALTERNATOR
Condition: Alternator needs replacing; OR you need to remove the alternator for engine rebuild or some other
repair procedure.
Tools and Materials: One 8mm and two 12mm wrenches, masking tape, and pen. Maybe a new or rebuilt alternator,
if your old one has died. You'll also need a large screwdriver (or lever) to tighten the drive belt after installing
the alternator.
Remarks: Brand new alternators from the manufacturer are pricey. Fortunately for you, rebuilt alternators can
be found at parts stores and are generally about as reliable as new ones. They usually cost about half as much
as replacement ones from the factory.
Step 1. Disconnect Electrical Wires.
Disconnect the clamp from the negative (-) battery post on the battery (Procedure 1, Step 3).
If there's aplastic wire connector plugged into the rear of the alternator, wiggle it out. Or, if there's a plastic
wire connector a couple of inches from the alternator for the bundle of wires coming from the rear of the alternator,
wiggle the connector apart. Use masking tape and a pen to label the small single wire (s) attached to the rear of
the alternator with the letter or number stamped on the alternator next to where the wire attaches. Now remove
the nut (probably 8mm) and washer that attaches the single wire(s) to the alternator. Stash the nut and washer
so they won't get lost.
Step 2. Remove Alternator.
Remove the drive belt (Procedure 3, Step 2), then remove the belt adjustment bolt from the slotted bracket.
There should be a flat washer and a lockwasher on the bolt. Stash them where they they won't get lost. Now
unscrew thepivot bolt(s) while holding the nut(s) on the rear surface of the bracket. (The nuts are probably attached
to spark plug wire looms.) When the nuts are off the bolts, support the bottom of the alternator with one hand
while you remove the pivot bolt(s). Now you can lift the alternator off the engine. Stash the pivot bolts with the
adjustment bolt and washers.
Step 3. Install Alternator.
If you have two pivot bolts, hold the alternator so the two ears on one side of the alternator are on the front
sides of the inner bracket. If you have one long pivot bolt, the ears on the alternator go on the outside of the bracket.
The pulley should be toward the front of the car. From the front, slide the pivot bolt(s) through the alternator
ears and the bracket holes. Screw the bolt(s) into the nut(s) until they're lightly snug. Fit the drive belt onto the
alternator pulley. Be sure it's also in the groove on the crank pulley, water pump pulley, the fan pulley (if you
have a belt-driven fan), and the air pump pulley on '75 models. Now pull up on the alternator so there's enough
tension on the belt to hold it in the pulleys. Be sure there's a lockwasher, then a flat washer on the adjustment
bolt. Fit it through the slotted bracket and into the ear on the alternator, and screw it in. See Procedure 3, Step
2 to adjust the drive belt tension.
194 Chapter 10 Procedure 8, Step I
Step 4. Attach Wires.
Now plug the plastic wire connector into the rear of the alternator or reconnect the two plastic wire connectors. (Due to the shape, the connectors will only fit one way.) Finally attach the wire or wires that are held
in place with the small nut(s). If there's more than one wire, your label will tell you where each one attaches.
Slip the wire, washer, and nut over the stud and snug it down with your wrench.
PROCEDURE 8: REPLACE VOLTAGE REGULATOR ('75-'81 only).
Condition: You, or your garage, have determined the voltage regulator has reached the end of a long, highcharged life.
Tools and Materials: New voltage regulator; phillips screwdriver or 10mm wrench depending on your setup;
10mm or 12mm wrench depending on your battery clamp nut.
Remarks: Voltage regulators tend to outlive the car so be sure yours is bad before replacing it. The voltage regulator
is built into the alternator on 1982-1984 models so you can't replace it separately.
Step 1. Detach Battery Cable.
Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable from the battery (Procedure 1, Step 3).
Step 2. Remove Regulator.
Step 3. Install New Regulator.
Position the new regulator the same way as the
old one. Notice that the ends of the plastic wire connectors are shaped so they can only fit together one
way. Align the connectors, then press them together
until they lock in place. Reconnect the single wire
if you have one. Attach the new regulator to the car
with the screws or bolts and tighten them. Connect the negative battery clamp and tighten its bolt, and you're
finished.
The voltage regulator is attached to the side of
the engine compartment just to the rear of the battery. It's approximately 3" x 3" and has a bundle of
wires coming out of it. Some models also have a separate single wire sprouting from the regulator that
attaches to a single wire connector.
Remove the phillips screws or l0mm bolts that
attach the voltage regulator to the car. Follow the bundle of wires to a plastic connector. On some models
you have to squeeze two tabs on one end of the bundle
connector while pulling on the ends of the connector
to separate it. If there's a single wire attached to the
regulator, follow it to a connector, and gently pull on
the wire on each side of the connector to disconnect it.
PROCEDURE 9: CHECK CRANKING SYSTEM (STARTER MOTOR, SOLENOID, IGNITION
SWITCH)
The starter solenoid is mounted on the starter motor. Its function is to engage a little gear on the starter motor
with teeth on the flywheel of your engine. Thus engaged, the starter then cranks the engine around to get it started.
The solenoid or starter can be replaced separately by Subaru or an auto electric shop. The cable from the positive
(+) battery terminal mounts at a post on the solenoid. For simplicity's sake, I'll sometimes refer to the solenoid/motor combo as "the starter."
Condition: The engine won't turn over when the ignition switch is turned to START; OR you can hear the starter
engage but it won't turn the engine; OR the engine turns over too slowly to start.
Tools and Materials: A screwdriver or insulated pliers; for some '80 and newer models you will also need about
" of heavy insulated wire.
Step 1. Check Battery.
First, let's be sure the battery is delivering a good
supply of juice to the starter. Turn on the headlights
and see if they shine brightly. If not, check the battery
connections (Procedure 1, Steps 3 and 4). If that
doesn't make the headlights bright, check the battery (Procedure 1, Step 5). Now try to start the car.
If you still have problems, move on to Step 2.
Step 2. Check Ignition Switch Wire to Starter.
The battery and cables are in good shape, right?
Remove the spare tire if it's in the engine compartment.
Follow the positive (+) cable from the battery
to a terminal post on the starter solenoid. Right next
to the terminal post, there's a small wire from the igni
tion switch attached to the rear of the starter with a
push-on connector. Wiggle the ignition wire off the
starter. It should be tight. If the wire came off easily, use pliers to gently squeeze the little grippers on
the sides of the connector so it will fit tightly on the
starter. Put the wire back on the starter and see if your
problem is solved. If it is, secure the spare tire in its
place and consider yourself lucky. Problem still not
solved? Then let's check the starter solenoid and
motor.
Procedure 9, Step 1
The Electrical System 195
196
Chapter 10 Procedure 9, Step 3
Step 3. Check Starter Solenoid and Motor
(first test)
Set the handbrake, then put the gearshift in
NEUTRAL (manual transmission) or PARK (automatics). Be sure the ignition key is turned to OFF
Caution: Be sure tools, rags, neckties, long hair, etc.,
stay away from the drive belt(s).
Now you need to get juice from the positive (battery cable) terminal post on the starter to the little
flat post on the starter where the ignition switch wire
connects. You can do this with a screwdriver, insulated pliers, or a piece of insulated wire. First, peel
the rubber boot back so the end of the battery cable
is exposed where it attaches to the starter. Then disconnect the small ignition switch wire to the starter
(Step 2).
Make a metal connection between the battery
cable terminal on the starter and the ignition wire terminal on the starter. Touch only those two points with
your jumper (pliers, etc.). Don't worry, you won't
get a shock if you follow the instructions. If the starter
rapidly turns the engine, the starter motor and solenoid are both good. The problem must be in the ignition switch. Have Subaru or a garage replace the
switch for you. Put the boot back over the battery
cable end.
If the starter didn't turn the engine over, or turned
it very slowly, do Step 4 to further check the starter
solenoid and motor.
Here's a note you may find useful. You can use
this step to start the engine even if the ignition switch
is bad. Connect the little ignition wire to its termi
nal on the starter, turn the ignition key to ON, then
go back under the hood and use your jumper to connect the terminal post and ignition switch terminal
on the starter. Quickly remove the jumper when the
engine starts.
It used to be easy to start (borrow, steal) cars even
if you didn't have the key by installing a jumper wire
from the positive battery terminal to the coil, then using another jumper wire from the battery cable terminal
post to the ignition switch terminal on the starter-the same as you do when checking the starter solenoid. You
can't use this method any more because on modern cars you must have the key to unlock the steering wheel.
Bah, foiled again.
Checking the Starter Solenoid
and Motor (second test)
Terminal
to Starter
Motor Solenoid
Positive
8aftery Cable
Terminal
Positive
8afery Cable
Terminal
Step 4. Check Starter Solenoid and Motor (second test)
There's another nut on the starter like the one securing the cable from the battery. On all '75-'79 models
and some '80 and newer models, the second nut is right below the battery cable nut. On some '80 and newer
models it's on the opposite side of the starter and covered with a rubber boot. To check the starter motor, you
Procedure 9, Step 5
The Electrical System 197
need to get juice from the battery cable terminal on the starter to the other nut. You can use a screwdriver blade
or pliers for a jumper if the nuts are right next to each other, but you'll have to round up a piece of heavy insulated wire if the nuts are on opposite sides of the starter.
Be sure the handbrake is set and the transmission is in NEUTRAL (manuals) or PARK (automatics). Connect
the two large nuts with your jumper. The starter motor should whir like an electric motor without turning the
engine. If it doesn't, the starter motor has problems.
It's time for an evaluation. If the test in Step 3 was negative (jumping from the battery cable terminal post
to the ignition wire post didn't turn the engine), but jumping from the battery cable post to the other nut on the
starter made the motor whir, then the solenoid is either bad or the starter is hung up in the flywheel. Let's hope
it's just hung up. If the starter isn't hung up in the flywheel, you'll need to remove the starter (Procedure 10) and
have the solenoid replaced by Subaru or a garage.
If the starter motor didn't whirr when you connected the battery cable post to the other nut on the starter,
the motor is kaput. Procedure 10 tells how to replace the starter.
Step 5. See If Starter Is Hung Up in the Flywheel
Check both starter motor mounting nuts and tighten them if they're loose. A loose starter can easily get hung
up in the flywheel.
Manual transmission models: CAUTION: If you happen to be stuck on a hill, either have Friend sit in
the car with one foot ready to stomp on the brake, or do the automatic transmission routine, below. Anyway,
stand on the uphill end of the car while you rock it back and forth.
Put the gearshift in 4th, take your foot off the clutch pedal, then release the handbrake. Now open and prop
the hood. Push on the front of the car to rock it back and forth while watching the engine drive belts. If the engine
(belts) turns a little, the starter isn't hung up. If the engine doesn't turn, rock the car a little harder while listening
for a satisfying clunk. A clunk means the starter just broke free and the engine should turn now. No clunk? Then
you'll have to remove the starter (Procedure 10). Be sure and read the EVERYONE section of this step.
Automatic transmission models: Set the handbrake, then put the gearshift lever in NEUTRAL. Use a
socket on the crankshaft pulley nut to turn the engine clockwise (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 6, tells you how).
If the engine won't turn, remove the starter (Procedure 10), then try to turn the engine again. Read on.
EVERYONE (who has removed the starter): Once the starter is off, try to turn the engine with whatever
method you were using (car rocking in gear or socket on the crankshaft pulley). If the engine still won't turn,
the GOOD news is that the starter is probably OK. The BAD news is that something inside the engine is locked
up so an engine rebuild or replacement seems imminent. And, brethren, that is BAD news.
If the engine turns after the starter is removed, the starter motor is probably bad. Take it to an auto electric shop to see if they can salvage it. If you have to buy a new or rebuilt starter, shop around because the price
can vary radically from store to store.
PROCEDURE 10: REPLACE STARTER (MOTOR AND SOLENOID)
Fortunately, Subaru starters are simple and relatively easy to take off and put on. This is another part which
can be replaced by a quality rebuilt one for much less than it would cost for a new one. Call Subaru and several parts stores for starter prices, then call an auto electric shop to see how much it would cost to rebuild your
old one. Sometimes you can trade your old starter in on a new or rebuilt one and save some money. Be sure
and ask.
Condition: Starter appears to be dead; OR you wish to examine your starter at close range.
198 Chapter 10 Procedure 10, Step 1
Tools and Materials: 10 or 12mm wrench to disconnect battery, 14 or 17mm wrenches depending on the size
of your starter mounting bolts, and maybe a new or rebuilt starter.
Step 1. Get Ready
Disconnect the negative (-) battery terminal (Procedure 1, Step 3). Remove the spare tire if it's in the engine
compartment.
Step 2. Disconnect Wires from Starter
Wiggle the small ignition switch wire off its post on the rear of the starter. Peel the rubber boot away from
where the battery cable attaches to the starter. Remove the 12mm nut and washer, then lift the end of the cable
off the post. Tuck it out of the way. Stash the nut and washer where they won't get lost.
Step 3. Remove Starter
If the starter is on the top center rear of the flywheel housing, it's attached with a l7mm nut and lockwasher
on each side. Early models with the round solenoid directly on top of the starter motor are a cinch to remove.
On later models the solenoid is kind of on the side of the starter motor, making it a little more difficult to reach
the nut on the driver's side. Due to the limited space, a 12-point l7mm box end wrench is almost a necessity
to remove this nut.
If the starter is mounted on the driver's side of the flywheel housing, it's attached with a 17mm nut and lockwasher toward the bottom and a 14mm bolt, nut and lockwasher on the top. You'll have to hold the nut on the
end of the bolt with a wrench while unscrewing the bolt. The top mounting bolt is also one of bolts that attach
the engine to the transmission. On some models it's easiest to remove the bottom bolt from beneath the car with
a socket, long extension, and ratchet.
Remove the two mounting nuts, or nut and bolt (whichever you have), then wiggle the starter toward the
rear of the car. Be careful to not bang the starter against the small metal brake lines on the firewall. Now thread
the starter through the lines and wires and out of the engine compartment. Kind of heavy, isn't it?
Step 4. Install Starter
Thread the starter through the lines, wires and cables in the engine compartment and into position on the
flywheel housing. Fit the starter over the mounting stud(s), then push the bolt through the starter and flywheel
housing if yours is that type. Put it through the same way it came out. Install the two lockwashers and nuts and
tighten them.
Step 5. Connect Wires and Finish.
Connect the battery cable to the starter terminal post with the nut and lockwasher, and slip the rubber boot
over the connection. Then fit the ignition switch wire snugly onto the small post. Be sure the cable and wire
are on tight. Reconnect the negative (-) battery terminal and tighten the clamp nut. Put the spare tire back in
its place if you removed it.
PROCEDURE 11: HOW TO USE A VOLT/ OHM METER (VOM)
Small Volt/Ohm meters are readily available, and relatively inexpensive, at your local electronics store.
(Is there a town in the world that doesn't have a dear old Radio Shack?) You don't need a big fancy one to check
out your Soob. Just be sure it will measure at least 15 volts DC and has an OHM scale.
Condition: You need to check the voltage of the battery; OR you're checking the charging system; OR you're
checking for juice at the fuse box or one of the electrical components; OR you're checking a fuse or wire to see
if juice can go from one end to the other (continuity check).
Tools and Materials: A Volt/ Ohm meter (also called a VOM).
Procedure 11, Step 1
The Electrical System 199
Remark: The VOM you have may look different from the one illustrated, and use slightly different names or
symbols for the various scales, but they all measure the same electrical phenomena: AC and/or DC volts, and
resistance in ohms.
A good VOM will test a number of things, but I'm going to limit the explanation to things that are applicable
to your Soob: Volts, Continuity, and Resistance. Caution: The VOM is a very sensitive instrument and you should
just touch the probes lightly to whatever you're testing, so you can quickly see if you have the dial set at the wrong
scale (the needle will jump all the way across). Setting the VOM to the wrong scale can burn it out. Never test
for continuity or resistance on anything that's plugged in to a battery or wall outlet. If you're testing voltage and
have the VOM set to DC volts and the needle takes a dive to below zero, you have the wrong polarity so switch
the probes around ... that is, put one where the other was. Don't try to check the voltage of the large spark plug
or coil wires with a VOM; you might fry the meter.
Step 1. Set Up Volt/Ohm Meter
Most Volt/Ohm meters require one or two small flashlight batteries. Be sure yours has good batteries before
using it to do tests on your Soob.
Untangle the two wires for the VOM. You'll notice that the plastic insulator on one end of each wire is longer
than the one on the other end. The longer insulator end is called a probe and the shorter insulator end is called
a jack. Plug the jack for the red wire into the positive (+) V-ohm-A hole on the meter. Now plug the jack for the
black wire into the negative (-) COM hole on the meter.
Step 2. How to Measure Voltage
Set up your VOM according to Step 1. Since your Soob has a 12-volt DC electrical system, set the selector knob on the VOM to the next higher DC volt setting above 12 volts (probably 15 volts DC). (Your VOM might
say DC V Volts DC, etc.) Now to find the proper scale on the meter for your setting. Look at the column of numbers
under the DC on the right side of the meter. Find the number that corresponds to your selector knob setting (probably
15). The numbers to the left of that number on the same row are the ones you use to read the voltage of the component
being checked. Look at the illustration of my VOM on page 171 (if you don't have one handy) so you'll know
what I'm talking about. In the illustration, the selector knob is set at 15 DC V (volts) and the needle is showing 12 volts (two lines to the right of the 10).
To check the voltage in the battery, touch the black probe to the negative (-) battery terminal and the red
probe to the positive (+) battery terminal. If the battery has any juice in it, the needle on the meter will move
to the right telling you how many volts the battery is putting out. If it's less than 12 volts, the battery needs a charge.
Doing this test with the engine running should give you a higher reading, like about 13.5 to 14.5 volts, if the alternator
and voltage regulator are working properly. If your readings are different, see Procedure 6.
To see if there's juice in any wire on your car (except spark plug and coil wires), turn the ignition switch
and the switch for the component being tested ON. Touch the red probe to the metal on the end of the wire and
the black probe to bare metal on the car body or engine. The VOM should show 12 volts. If it doesn't, the wire
or component isn't getting any juice or is shorted out, or there may be a loose connection.
Step 3. How to Check for Continuity.
CAUTION: This is not a test to see if the battery or a component is getting juice. Turn the switch to whatever
you're testing OFF or disconnect the negative (-) battery cable clamp to be sure it's not getting juice. Use this
test to see if juice is capable of flowing through a wire, fuse or ground connection.
Set up your VOM as described in Step 1. Turn the selector knob to the RX10, RX100, or RXIK position in
the OHMS section. To adjust the VOM, touch the metal ends of the two probes together. The needle should swing
toward the zero (0) on the right side of the OHMS scale on the meter. If the needle doesn't point to the 0, turn
the Ohms adjust knob until the needle points to the 0.
Now you can test wires, fuses, paper clips, your body, etc., to see if electricity can flow from one probe,
through whatever you're testing, to the other probe. To check continuity in a fuse, you must remove it from its
receptacle. Touch a probe to each end of the fuse. If the needle swings to zero, the fuse is OK; if it stays at infinity
200
Chapter 10 Procedure 11, Step 4
(oo), the fuse is blown. Use the VOM in the same way to test for continuity through any wire or component, touching
the probes to the opposite ends of the electrical connector (juice path) you want to test.
Let's play with the VOM for a while. With the selector knob set at the RXIK position, touch the two probes
together. The needle goes to 0 so there's no resistance to the flow of electricity and you have continuity. Check
a paper clip, belt buckle, or anything metal that isn't connected to a source of electricity. If the needle goes to
the 0 on the OHMS scale, you have continuity. If the needle doesn't move, there is no continuity or you're testing
something that's nonconductive (incapable of carrying electricity). If the needle moves part way toward the 0
and stops, electricity is capable of flowing through the object, but there's a resistance to the flow (see Step 4).
Step 4. Test for Resistance
Some wires and electrical gizmos on your Soob are designed to have a certain amount of resistance to the
flow of electricity. For instance, the coil and spark plug wires on most Soobs have a built in resistance factor
to help eliminate electrical static on the radio. The wires work fine as long as the resistance is within a prescribed
range, but when the resistance becomes greater than it's supposed to be, the current flowing through the wires
to the coil or spark plug(s) will be insufficient to "fire" the plug efficiently.
If you're handy with a VOM and have the Subaru workshop manual for your model, you can check the resistance of almost every wire and electrical component on the car, then compare your meter readings to the specifications in the manual. Space just doesn't allow me to include all the specifications for all the years and models.
Anyway, here's how you use a VOM to check wires for resistance: Set up the VOM as described in Step l. Now
set the selector knob at RXIK. The R stands for resistance (to the flow of electricity), the X means times (as
in multiplication), and the lK stands for 1000. Touch the probes to the palm of your hand about 1" apart. Don't
worry, you won't get zapped. If you have a sweaty palm, the needle will move just a little. A dry palm probably won't move the needle. Now lift off the probes, lick your palm and try again. The needle will probably move
to about 200 on the OHMS scale. Multiple 200 times 1000(1K) and you get 200,000 ohms resistance in 1" of
wet palm skin. If the probes are clean and you haven't used them on a battery, touch the probes to your tongue
and see what the resistance is. There's probably less resistance on your tongue than your sweaty palm because
more moisture is present (water is a good conductor).
I'm trying to figure out a way to use a VOM to measure the resistance of my kid to taking out the trash and
making his bed. If anyone knows how to do this, please write me.
PROCEDURE 12: CHECK AND REPLACE IGNITION COIL
Condition: 12,000-mile tune-up; OR you're here from Chapter 9.
Tools and Materials: To check the coil: Friend, insulated pliers or a wooden spring-type clothes pin or thick
rag, maybe a 12-volt test light. To replace the coil: Phillips screwdriver, 8mm and 10mm wrenches.
Remarks: The ignition coil is a black cylinder about 5 inches long. It's located just to the rear of the battery.
There might be a white ceramic gizmo (a ballast resistor) and/or a small box (the control unit for electronic
ignition) mounted piggyback on the coil. A thick wire connects one end of the coil to the center of the distributor
cap. One or more smaller wires are attached to posts on each side of where the thick wire connects to the coil.
Step 1. Check Coil.
Engine OFF. Pull the thick center wire (the coil wire) from the top of the distributor cap. Roll the rubber
boot away from the end, then hold the wire with insulated pliers, a wooden clothespin, or a thick rag. Don't use
your bare hands; the results could be painfully shocking. (In an emergency you can use two plastic handled screw
drivers like chop sticks to hold the, wire.) Have Friend put the transmission in neutral and turn the engine over
with the key while you hold the end of the coil wire about '/a " (6mm) away from any bare metal surface except
the carburetor or fuel pump! A hot blue-white spark should jump from the tip of the wire to the bare metal
(the ground). If the spark is a weak sickly orange, the coil is shot and must be replaced. A strong but yellow
spark that can jump the gap indicates the coil is going around the bend toward old age but will last a while yet.
If there's no spark at all, check the two small posts on either side of where the large wire plugs into the end
of the coil. Are the small wires securely attached to the posts? Wiggle them to be sure. Turn the ignition key
to ON, then touch one end of a 12-volt test light to the positive (+) wire post on the coil. (It's usually marked
with a + and is the one closest to the front of the car.) Touch the other end of the test light to bare metal. The
test light will light up if the coil is getting juice. No juice? The ignition circuit isn't being supplied with electricity. Check the fusible links (if your model has them) and the ignition fuse (usually marked IGN) in the fuse
box (Procedure 2). If the fuses are good but no juice is getting to the coil, the ignition switch is suspect. Have
Subaru or a garage check it and replace it for you, if broken.
If the coil is getting juice but a spark didn't jump the gap from the coil wire to ground, pull the coil wire
out of the end of the coil and check the wire and its socket for corrosion. Use a wire brush to clean them if need
be. Is the socket on the coil cracked or chipped? If so, replace the coil. If you have a VOM check the coil wire
for resistance to see if it's broken (Procedure 11).
Evaluation: If the coil is getting juice, isn't cracked or corroded, and the coil wire is in good condition but
no spark will jump the gap, the coil is kaput. Step 2 tells you how to replace it.
Step 2. Replace Coil.
Disconnect the clamp from the negative (-) battery post (Procedure 1, Step 3).
Before removing the old coil, transfer the wires one at a time from the old coil to the same position (+ orterminal) on the new coil.
A large flat clamp around the center of the coil holds it in place.
'75-'77 models: Use a phillips screwdriver and 10mm wrench to loosen the long thin bolt going through
the top of the clamp. Slide the old coil out of the clamp and insert the new coil. Tighten the phillips clamp screw
while holding the nut with a l0mm wrench. Check the electrical connections to be sure they're tight.
'78 and newer models: Remove the two phillips screws that attach the coil clamp to the car's body. Note
any other things that are held in place by the two screws. When the clamp is free, use a phillips screwdriver and
10mm wrench to loosen the long thin clamp bolt that goes through the clamp beneath the coil. Slide the old coil
out of the clamp and install the new one. Hold the clamp nut with a 10mm wrench while you tighten the phillips clamp screw. Position the coil clamp on the car body, then install and tighten the two phillips mounting screws.
Be sure anything else held in place by the screws is securely attached.
EVERYONE: Reattach and tighten the clamp on the negative (-) battery post. Do the spark jump test again
to see what a good spark looks like. Fit the coil wire back into the center of the distributor.
PROCEDURE 13: CHECK AND REPLACE SPARK PLUG WIRES
Eventually the insulation in the spark plug wires wears out, the wires break, or the connections on the ends
get broken. It's an easy and satisfying job to replace them.
Condition: Spark plug wires are worn out or broken.
Tools and Materials: To check the wires: a Volt/Ohm meter. To replace the wires: new set of wires.
Remarks: If possible, buy a set of spark plug wires that are designed for Subarus. (NGK makes nice Subaru
spark plug wires.) The wires in generic "one size fits all" four-cylinder replacement sets are generally much
longer than necessary. When installed they look awful and are frequently in the way while you are working on
the engine.
Procedure 12, Step 2
The Electrical System 201
202
Chapter 10 Procedure 13, Step 1
Step 1. Check Spark Plug Wires.
Set up your VOM to check for resistance (Procedure 11, Step 4). The knob should be at set at RXIK. Remove
the distributor cap (Chapter 7, Procedure 6, Step 2).
Disconnect the #1 spark plug wire from the #1 spark plug. Stick one of the VOM probes into the spark plug
end of the wire so it's touching the metal end. Now touch the other probe to the metal post i nside the distributor cap that corresponds to the #1 spark plug wire. The needle on the meter should move toward the zero end
of the scale.
OHV models: If your Soob has resistor sparkplug wires (and most of them do these days) the needle will
stop at around 4 or 5 on the scale. Multiply the number on the scale by 1,000 (RXIK) to see how much resistance is in the wire and distributor cap. With resistor wires you should have about 4,000-5,000 ohms resistance.
If the resistance is more than 15,000 ohms or the needle doesn't move (wiggle the probes around to be sure),
the wire is shot. Non-resistor wires should have 0 (zero) resistance.
OHC models: The resistance for the coil and spark plug wires should be within the following values:
EVERYONE: Check all four spark plug wires the same way. If any wires are defective, replace all of them
(see Remarks). Step 2 tells you how. Install the distributor cap (Chapter 7, Procedure 9, Step 9).
Step 2. Replace Spark Plug Wires.
Arrange the new spark plug wires according to length. Replace the wires one at a time so they don't get
mixed up. Be sure the wires are securely fastened in the plastic holders (looms) on the engine. This would be
a good time to use tape and an indelible marking pen to label each end of the wires with the appropriate cyli nder number. A new coil wire usually comes with spark plug wire sets. Install it if you have it.
PROCEDURE 14: FIX HORN
The horn is an electromagnetic noise-making device. Here's how it works. A "hot" wire from the positive (+) battery post goes through the fuse box to a wire terminal on the horn. The ground wire, to complete
the circuit. runs from another wire terminal on the horn up through the hollow steering rod to the horn button.
Pushing on the horn button touches the end of the ground wire to bare metal completing the circuit and the horn
goes BEEP. 1 f your horn ever starts to blow without your consent and keeps blowing, the ground wire is shorting
out somewhere between the horn and button. To stop the racket, disconnect the two wires from the horn. Or
i f one of your horns is located behind the grille, remove the horn fuse so you don't have to listen to it while you're
removing the grille to get to the wires. Be sure to reinstall the fuse after disconnecting the wires because other
electrical things are probably also on the horn circuit.
Subaru horns are about the size and shape of small pancakes. They're round (about 4" in diameter), thin,
and have two wires attached with push-on connectors. Some Subaru models have only one horn (high tone),
but most have two (high and low tone). Thus some Soobs are hornier than others. The horns have migrated around
over the years so here's a directory to find them:
'75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats: The horns (high and low tones) are in the engine compartment mounted
on the front of the left strut tower.
'80-'82 cars and '82 Brats: A high tone horn is behind the grille next to the left headlight. If your model
has two horns, a low tone horn is just in front of the battery.
Carb models MPFI SPFI
Coil wire 2.33-2.54 2.33-5.67 2.43-5.67
Wire #l 9.10-21.24 9.58-22.36 8.38-19.56
Wire #2 2.99-6.97 2.99-6.97 2.99-6.97
Wire #3 8.14-19.00 9.58-22.36 7.90-18.44
Wire #4 2.41-5.62 2.41-5.62 2.41-5.62
Procedure 14, Step 1
The Electrical System 203
'83 and newer OHV models: A high tone horn is in the engine compartment just to the rear of the left headlight. If your model has two horns, a low tone horn is behind the center of the grille.
OHC models: There is a horn mounted behind each headlight assembly. On XT models, the horn is behind
the front bumper.
Condition: Horn doesn't work; OR the sound of the horn has changed indicating one horn isn't working.
Tools and Materials: Depending on the problem you might need some or all of the following: sandpaper or
wire brush, new horn fuse, 12-volt test light or VOM, two lengths of wire, Friend, new (or used) horn(s).
Remarks: If the sound of your horn has changed, one of the horns has quit working (if you have two) or the horn
adjustment has changed (see Step 4).
You can probably find a used horn in a salvage yard and save some money. Be sure the horn has the same
high or low tone as your old one.
Step 1. Check Fuse, Wire Connections, and Mounting Nut.
Check the fuse for the horn (Procedure 2, Step 1) and replace it if necessary. Try the horn now. Still not
working? If one of your horns is behind the grille, remove the phillips screws around the outer edge of the grille
to remove it. Set the grille someplace where it won't get stepped on. If your horns are behind the headlight assembly,
you'll have to remove the headlight bulbs and the cradle they are mounted in. On XT models, you have to remove
the front bumper to get to the horns.
Locate the horn and wiggle the wires off each connection. Use sandpaper or a wire brush to clean the wire
terminals. Reconnect the wires, then try the horn again. Still not working? Tap the horn with a small hammer
or screwdriver handle. Sometimes the plate which vibrates inside the horn and makes the noise gets stuck, and
the tapping just might free it. Try the horn again. Still won't beep? Have Friend repeatedly push and release the
horn button while you touch the horn(s). If the horn is getting juice you'll feel and probably hear a click. If the
horn clicks you can skip down to Step 3 to hot wire the horn. No click? Do Step 2.
If the horn is loose in its bracket, the adjusting screw in the rear of the horn might be too far out of adjustment
for the horn to work. Here's how you adjust the screw. Use a crescent wrench to remove the large nut that attaches
the horn to the bracket, then pull the horn away from the bracket. Disconnect the wires to the other horn (if you
have two) so you'll know which horn you're listening to. Use your fingers or a screwdriver to gently turn the
large screw into the horn (clockwise) until it stops. Don't force it in. Try the horn button while turning the large
screw counterclockwise '/z turn at a time until it's all the way out. If the horn works when the screw is in a certain
position, adjust the screw so the horn is loudest, then fit the screw through the hole in the mounting bracket.
Install and tighten the large nut without allowing the screw to turn. You might need Friend to hold the horn while
you hold the screw with a screwdriver in the slotted end while tightening the nut. Reconnect the wires to the
horn(s). Install the grille if you removed it.
Step 2. Check for Juice at Horn.
Use a 12-volt test light or VOM (set at 15 volts DC) to check the two wires that attach to the horn (Procedure 5, Step 2). One of the wires should light up the test light or show about 12 volts on the VOM. If there's juice
in one of the wires, skip down to Step 3. No juice? Check the fuse holder for the horn fuse to see if there's juice
on both sides of the fuse (Procedure 2, Step 2). If there's no juice at the fuse holder, the wire between the battery (or fusible links) and fuse box is broken. If there's juice on both sides of the fuse holder when the fuse is
installed but there's no juice at the horn connection, the wire between the fuse box and horn is broken. Procedure
5, Step 3, tells you how to trace wires in search of a short. If you can't locate the problem, have Subaru or a garage
deal with it.
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Chapter 10 Procedure 14, Step 3
Step 3. "Hot Wire" Horn.
The is the final check to see whether the horn is broken or there's a problem in the wiring.
Reconnect only the horn wire with juice to its terminal on the horn. Leave the other wire disconnected.
Strip about '/z" of insulation from the ends of a piece of wire that's long enough to reach from the open horn
terminal to bare metal on the car body or engine. Hook one end of the wire to the open wire terminal on the horn,
then touch the other end of that wire to bare metal. If there's no sound, try reversing the two wires on the wire
terminals of the horn. Ground the wire again. Still no sound? The horn is shot and must be replaced (Step 4).
If hot wiring the horn made it toot, the horn is OK but the wiring from the horn to the button on the steering
wheel is defective. Go through Steps 1 and 2 again, or take the car to Subaru or a garage.
Step 4. Replace Horn(s).
If the horn you're replacing is behind the grille, remove the phillips screws around the edge of the grille
and lift it off. Set it someplace where it won't get stepped on.
The horn is attached to a flat metal strap that is bolted to the car body. Disconnect the wires from the wire
terminals on the horn, then use a 12mm wrench to remove the bolt from the flat metal strap. The horn is now
liberated.
Position the new (or used) horn the same as the old one, then install and tighten the mounting bolt. Attach
the wires to the terminals on the horn. Push the horn button to be sure it's working. BEEP! BEEP!
Now install whatever you had to remove to get to the horns.
CHAPTER 11
FUEL SYSTEMS
Every time you buy gas for your car and drive it, you're committing a political act. You're turning MONEY
into POWER, and isn't that what politics is all about? However, by using simple physics rather than politics,
your car makes the conversion in a more predictable, rational, and efficient manner. Here's how it works on
a Subaru.
CARBURETOR, FUEL INJECTION, AND TURBO SYSTEMS
The gasoline in the tank is pumped to the engine through metal and rubber fuel lines by an electric fuel
pump. On its way to the engine, the gas passes through a replaceable fuel filter which removes rust, bugs, and
other debris that could clog the system. '82 and newer carburetor models have an additional replaceable vapor
separator.
The liquid gasoline pumped to the engine is flammable and will burn easily and quickly, but just being flammable won't make the engine run. The stored energy in the gasoline must be mixed with the air drawn in through
the air cleaner in a precise ratio to create an EXPLOSIVE mixture. On carb models, the carburetor accom
plishes this feat with jets, venturi tubes, floats, float bowls, and other tiny parts. Fuel injection models have electronically controlled fuel injector(s) that squirt a precise amount of fuel into the cylinders relative to such things
as engine speed, throttle position, engine temperature. See Chapter 4: How A Subaru Works, for a complete
explanation of how fuel and air are combined into an explosive mixture.
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Chapter 11
Your carburetor (carb for short) or fuel injection system are very delicate and sensitive instruments, yet
they can work well for many years, forever maybe, if proper maintenance procedures are followed. Besides
things like a five-pound sledge hammer, dirt and rust are their two main enemies. Dirty air and/or fuel can clog
the tiny passages inside the carburetor or injection system and cause the fuel/air ratio to get out of whack so
the car won't run well, or at all. By inspecting the air and fuel filters frequently, and replacing them when they
become contaminated, you can extend the life of your fuel system indefinitely.
ORIENTATION: WHICH SETUP DO YOU HAVE?
All '75-'81 models and '85 and newer OHC carb models have Hitachi carbs. '82 and newer OHV Soobs
have either a Hitachi or a Carter/Weber carburetor, or a Turbo/fuel injection setup. '85 and newer fuel injected
models have Single Port Fuel Injection (SPFI) or Multi Point Fuel Injection (MPFI). Some MPFI models also
have a Turbocharger (Turbo).
Here's how to tell the difference between a Hitachi and a Carter/Weber carburetor. Remove the air cleaner
(Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4), then have Friend get in the car and pump the gas pedal while you watch the
sides of the carburetor. On one side you'll see a cable rotating a rounded lever. If the lever is on the right (pas
senger's) side of the carb, you have a Hitachi carb. If the lever is on the left (driver's side), you have a
Carter/Weber.
If you have fuel injection, the air cleaner housing will be located in the right front corner of the engine compartment. Models with Single Port Fuel Injection have a throttle body on the top center of the engine. It looks
a lot like a carburetor. On Multi Point Fuel Injection models you'll see a fuel injector with a fuel line and electric
wire connector sprouting from its top mounted near each spark plug. MPFI will probably be prominently displayed somewhere in the engine compartment.
If you have fuel injection, and still aren't sure which type you have, see the Year and Model Variations section of Chapter 1, and/or look at the sticker on the underside of the hood.
HITACHI CARBURETORS
On Hitachi-equipped Soobs, there are two vertical holes, called barrels, going through the carburetor, one
right behind the other. Since there are two barrels, you have what's called a two-barrel carb. The slightly smaller
barrel closest to the front of the car is the primary system (sometimes called the lst stage). It operates when start
ing the engine and while driving under light to moderate conditions. When you push the gas pedal more than
halfway to the floor (or "put the pedal to the metal") the larger rear barrel, called the secondary system (second stage), of the carb comes into action. This allows you to drive economically on the smaller primary system
until you need the power to pass a car, drive up a steep hill, or do something silly like race a Porsche, when more
fuel and air (power) are needed.
'80 California Soobs, all '81-'82 models, and all '83-'84 California carb models and non-4WD, nonCalifornia models (whew!) have electronically controlled carburetors (ECCs) to help reduce harmful exhaust
emissions. ('83-'84 4WD non-California and Canadian Soobs don't have electronically controlled carbs.) On
models with ECCs, the fuel mixture is regulated by a small computer (the "brain") located under the dashboard
in front of the driver's seat (it's behind the driver's seat only on '81 Brats). Here's how it works. Signals from
sensors on the engine and exhaust system go to the brain where they are analyzed, then the brain sends signals
to duty solenoids that regulate the air/ fuel ratio (duty ratio) in the carburetor.
CARTER/WEBER CARBURETORS
The Carter/Weber carb is an electronically controlled one-barrel carb. Sensors on the engine and exhaust
system send signals to a computer ("brain") located under the dashboard in front of the driver's seat. The brain
analyzes the signals from the sensors, then sends signals to a duty solenoid valve that adjusts the air/fuel ratio
of the carb for different driving conditions (idle, acceleration, etc.). Procedure 12 tells you how to remove and
install Carter/Weber carbs. I haven't included a Carter/Weber rebuild for two reasons: (1) there aren't that many
around, and (2) they seem very durable and seldom cause problems.
FUEL INJECTION SYSTEMS
I'll describe how the fuel injection systems work even though how to repair them isn't covered in this manual.
Tune-up and lubrication of fuel-injected and Turbo models is included in Chapter 7. If you suspect something
is wrong with the Turbo or fuel injection system, take the car to Subaru or a garage that specializes in Soobs.
Here's how the systems work.
Single Port Fuel Injection (SPFI): This system utilizes a single fuel injector mounted inside a throttle
chamber, which is bolted to the top center of the intake manifold, just like a carburetor. In fact, it looks a lot
like a carburetor. The volume and density of air being drawn into the engine is measured by a Hot-and-Cold
wire system located in the airflow meter, which is mounted on the engine side of the air cleaner housing. The
cold wire measures the temperature of air flowing into the engine, then sends this information to the hot wire.
The hot wire, also located in the airflow meter, measures the amount of air flowing through the meter by utilizing
the heat transfer phenomenon between the incoming air and the hot wire (heating resistor). In other words, the
more air flowing in, the more it cools the wire. The hot wire sends an electric signal to the computer to let it
know how cool it is and thus how much air is being drawn into the engine. The computer also receives electronic
signals from other sensors that tell it such things as throttle position, coolant temperature, exhaust oxygen content, crankshaft angle, engine rpm, if the starter is in operation, if the air conditioner is on, and if the transmission
is in gear. As the signals are received, the computer calculates the optimum amount of fuel needed by the engine,
then sends a signal to the fuel injector, telling it how much gas to squirt into the engine.
Multi Point Fuel Injection (MPFI): This system has four fuel injectors mounted in the cylinder heads
or intake manifold near the intake valves (six injectors on six cylinder engines). A hot-wire system, similar
to the hot and cold wire system used on SPFI models, measures the volume of air passing through the airflow
meter, then sends the information in the form of an electrical signal to the computer. The computer incorporates
the airflow data with information from other sensors such as throttle position, coolant temperature, crankshaft
position, engine rpm and exhaust oxygen content, then sends signals to the fuel injectors to let them know how
much gas to squirt into each cylinder.
SPFI and MPFI: The computer for the fuel injection systems can "learn" the driving habits of the owner
and react to them, as well as automatically compensate for wear of various components within the system.
Although these high-tech systems sound complicated, in terms of efficiency, reliability, and exhaust emission
control, fuel injection is a great improvement over a carburetor.
Turbochargers are available on certain models that also have MPFI. The turbo unit (turbocharger) is driven
by the engine's exhaust gas. Basically what a turbocharger does is force the fuel and air mixture into the cylinders
("packs" it), rather than relying on atmospheric pressure and vacuum.created by the pistons to fill the cylinders.
Here's how the turbo works.
Fuel Systems
207
TURBOCHARGERS
On its way to the exhaust pipe, the exhaust gas passes through a turbine housing causing a windmill-like
turbine wheel to spin. The turbine wheel is attached via a shaft to a compressor impeller located in a separate compressor housing. The compressor impeller sucks air through the air cleaner and forces it through the
throttle body and into the cylinders. As engine speed increases, more exhaust gas is created so the turbine automatically turns faster to meet the engine's demands. The turbine wheel/ compressor impeller speed varies
between approximately 20,000 and 130,000 revolutions per minute! Servicing the turbo unit should be left to
the professionals because a misadjusted turbo can quickly ruin the engine.
ECS: HIGH-TECH SELF-DIAGNOSING CAPABILITY ON FUEL INJECTED MODELS
Starship Subarus with fuel injection have an onboard computer called the Electronic Control System
(ECS) that is capable of diagnosing problems in the electrical sensors and components related to the fuel injection
systems.
I'll explain how the ECS works because it's so fascinating (to me anyway) and is probably an indication
of how high-technology gizmos will be involved in automotive diagnosis in the future. Before long our cars will
probably speak to us when something is wrong. (Can you imagine getting in your Soob, turning the ignition
switch on and hearing a voice say, "Not now, darling, I have a headache.") To do these checks yourself, you'll
need the Subaru workshop manual for your year model so you can look up the code number for the various components. Here's how the ECS works.
If there's a problem in one of the electrical sensors or components, the ECS light on the dash goes on. To
locate the problem, two "test mode" wire connectors must be snapped together, which puts the ECS system
into its test mode. The unit checks the performance of all components related to the fuel injection system, then
blinks a Morse code signal for any faulty components that it detected.
The ECS diagnosing light (it's also the exhaust 02 monitoring light) is on the black box right below the
steering column. I call the black box the "brain" but Subaru calls it the SPFI Control Unit on models with SPFI
or the Electronic Controlled Gasoline Injection (EGI) system on MPFI models.
This high-tech stuff is nifty, eh? It's great for identifying which system has a problem, but it doesn't tell
you which part of the system is broken-whether it's the electrical component, the wiring for the component,
or maybe even the ECS unit itself. The Subaru workshop manuals devote pages and pages of flow charts to diag
nosing the various engine electrical systems using a volt/ohm meter and dwell meter. If you're electrically
inclined, buy the workshop manual for your year and model, let the ECS diagnose which system is malfunctioning and follow the flow charts. Otherwise, have Subaru diagnose the problem and replace the faulty part
for you.
EVAPORATIVE CONTROL SYSTEM
An elaborate Evaporative Control System has been added to the fuel system to help your Soob meet smog
control standards. This system simply captures gasoline fumes before they evaporate into the atmosphere, then
either returns them to the gas tank where they condense to a liquid again or allows them to be sucked into the
intake manifold of the engine so they can be sucked into the cylinders and burned. Except for inspecting the rubber hoses and checking the charcoal canister for cracks and changing its filter occasionally (Chapter 12), the
system is pretty much maintenance-free and rarely causes problems. Isn't that nice?
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Chapter 11
CARBURETOR PROBLEMS
If your Soob starts misbehaving suddenly, or dies and won't start no matter how much you beg and plead
with it (or cuss at it), follow the troubleshooting chart in Chapter 9. You will be referred back here at the appropriate time.
The fuel system is easy to check, so before tearing into the carburetor or fuel injection system because the
engine doesn't run right, go through Procedures 1, 2, 4 and 6 in this chapter, to do some simple tests to locate
the problem. Do a carburetor rebuild or replace the carburetor only as a last resort.
If it's determined the carburetor is faulty, the carburetor can be removed, then rebuilt ('75-'79 models) or
replaced with a new or factory rebuilt unit. Procedures 7 and 10 tell you how to remove and install Hitachi carbs.
Procedures 8 and 9 tell you step-by-step how to rebuild a '75-'79 Hitachi carb. If you're broken down in the
boonies and determine the carburetor is the problem, Procedure 11 tells you how to remove the carb top and
check the needle valve and seat (the most likely cause of your problem). Procedure 11 also includes a "quicky"
rebuild for those of you who don't feel up to a full-scale rebuild. If you're looking for more power, see Chapter 18, Procedure 2: High Performance Parts.
Rebuilding your carb will require relaxed determination and attention to detail. It'll take at least a full day
counting mental health breaks. Don't try to rebuild the thing the night before a Monte Carlo rally; wait until
you have peace and quiet ... and time. The work is really more like fine watch repair than car repair, and you'll
need an uncluttered, clean place in which to work.
In case you're interested, in Chapter 4: HowA Subaru Works, there's a great (in my opinion) description
of how the carburetor atomizes (mixes) the fuel and air as they pass through the barrels. There's more about
the electronically controlled carburetors in Chapter 12: Exhaust and Emissions Control Systems.
CAUTION! FIRE WARNING: When doing anything with the fuel system, be aware that a spark could turn
your Soob into a large black ugly mess. When I tell you to disconnect the battery, please do so; this will eliminate sparks made by accidentally touching live wires to metal. Please read Chapter 3, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
PROCEDURE 1: CHECK AND REPLACE AIR FILTER
Condition: Regular 6,000-mile maintenance; OR you just went through a Texas-type dust storm; OR your
engine seems sluggish and the gas mileage has taken a nosedive.
Tools and Materials: Maybe a new air filter element, '75 models require a 10mm wrench.
Step 1. Do It.
Turn to Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 3, to check and/or replace the air filter element.
PROCEDURE 2: CHECK AND REPLACE FUEL FILTER (All Models) AND VAPOR SEPARATOR
('82 and newer OHV models).
Condition: Regular 12,000-mile maintenance; OR fuel isn't getting to the carburetor; OR the fuel in the gas
tank is contaminated.
Tools and Materials: Maybe a new fuel filter, maybe a new vapor separator ('82 and newer OHV models).
Depending on the clamps, you will need either a regular or phillips screwdriver, or pliers, and a rag or two.
Procedure l, Step 1
Fuel Systems 209
210
To check the filter on '82 and newer models and converted '81 models (see Step 1) you'll need a jack and
jackstand. To change the filter on these models you'll need Vise Grips and an extra rag.
Remarks: If it's been 24,000 miles since you replaced the filter, don't bother checking it, replace it.
CAUTION: The smoking lamp is OUT. Keep smokers busy making sandwiches or something while you replace
the fuel filter. Fuel-injected models: Release the pressure in the fuel system before changing the filter (Step 4).
Chapter 11 Procedure 2, Step 1
Step 1. Locate and Check Fuel Filter.
Look at the fuel filter illustrations so you'll know
what you're looking for. Be sure the ignition key is
OFF.
'75-'79 models and '80 Brats: The fuel filter
can be found on the shelf in the right rear corner of
the engine compartment.
'80-'81 models (except Brat): The filter is in
the left rear corner of the engine compartment.
Converted '81 models: If you have an '81 and
can't find the filter, don't panic; it's been moved to
the bottom of the car just in front of the left rear
wheel.
Carb models '82 and newer, '81-'87 Brats:
The fuel filter is located under the car in front of one
of the rear wheels.
Fuel-injected models: The filter is in the left
rear corner of the engine compartment. It's a soupsize metal can with a hose attached to each end. Since
it's metal you can't see inside to check it, so just
replace it at least every 24,000 miles. Skip down to
Step 4 to replace the filter. Be sure to release the pressure in the system before removing the hose clamps!
Carb models: To check the fuel filter, pull it out
of its clip-type holder and look through the plastic
for signs of dirt and crud, especially on the bottom.
If you see any dark residue or little chunks of stuff
in the gas, replace the filter (Step 2). If the filter is
clean, snap it back into the holder. You can't check
a metal fuel filter-just replace it every 12,000 miles,
or sooner if you suspect it's dirty. You can replace
the metal filters with plastic filters except on fuelinjected models.
Step 2. Replace Fuel Filter (carb models
only).
Before removing the old filter, make a mental
note or draw a picture of which hose connects to the
outlet end of the filter. You'll see an arrow pointing
to the outlet tube. The hoses must connect to the same
places on the new filter. Have some rags handy to
mop up any spilled gas. After replacing the filter, start
the engine and check for gas leaks. Replace the clamps
or hoses if they're cracked, leaky, or broken.
Procedure 2, Step 3
Fuel Systems 2ll
Fuel filter in engine compartment (except fuel-injected models): Depending on your type of hose clamps,
loosen them with a regular or phillips screwdriver or pliers. Just do the two clamps right next to the filter. On
the wire type where you need pliers, just squeeze on the two tabs and slide 'em back with the pliers. Slide the
clamps away from the filter a few inches. Hold the filter while you twist the hoses off the connections. Put the
hoses on the new filter (be sure the arrow is pointing toward the hose that runs to the fuel pump), then slide the
clamps to the end of the hoses where they used to be, and tighten them if they're screw type. Tighten them snug
but not so tight you risk breaking the clamps. Push the filter into the holder clips. Start the engine and check
for leaks.
Fuel filter under car: Put the gearshift in lst or PARK, set the handbrake, chock the front wheels, jack
up the rear end of the car and put it on jackstands. Put your safety glasses on, grab the new filter, your Vise Grips
and several rags, then crawl under the car. Find the filter and note where the two hoses attached to the filter go.
One hose from the filter goes to the fuel pump and the other hose goes to a metal pipe from the gas tank. Put
a few folded layers of a rag over the hose between the filter and gas tank pipe, then use your Vise Grips to pinch
the hose closed a few inches from its end. Be sure the rag is between the grips and hose, protecting the hose from
the teeth in the Vise Grip jaws and don't set the Vise Grips any tighter than necessary.
Once the fuel line is pinched, loosen the two hose clamps at the filter and slide them away from the filter
a couple of inches. Locate your body so your face isn't under the fuel pump. Gasoline in the eyes, ears, or mouth
is a big league bummer so work at arm's length. Twist the hoses off the old filter. Slide the hoses on the new
filter (be sure the arrow on the new filter is pointing toward the hose going to the fuel pump), then slide the clamps
into position and tighten them if they have screws. Squeeze the tabs on the other type to free it so it can slide.
Release the Vise Grips, remove the folded rag, then slip the filter into its holder.
Wipe up any gas that spilled, slide out from under the car, then lower the car to the ground. Start the engine
and check for leaks around the filter and where you clamped the hose.
Step 3. Replace Vapor Separator (converted '81 models and '82 and newer ORV models).
The vapor separator is located in the left rear corner of the engine compartment. It looks a lot like a fuel
filter except it has a third hose connection attached to the domed top. Replace it when you replace the fuel filter.
Pull the vapor separator out of its holder. Loosen the three hose clamps and slide them out of the way. Note
where each hose goes, then twist and pull them off the old separator. Put the hoses on the new separator, slide
the clamps into their original position, and tighten them if they have tightening screws. Fit the separator into
its holder, then start the engine and check for leaks.
Step 4. Replace Fuel Filter on Fuel-Injected Models.
Fuel filters for Turbo models are very important to the long life of the fuel-injection system. If
you neglect the filter, you'll pay for it later in injectors.
Since the fuel system is under high pressure, you
have to release the pressure before removing the fuel
filter hoses. If the ends of the hoses or hose clamps
are getting funky, replace them with new ones while
you're changing the filter. Be sure to get high pressure
fuel line hoses.
Before removing the fuel filter, first set the handbrake, put the gearshift in PARK, block the front
wheels, jack up the right rear corner of the car, then
lower it onto a jackstand. Put on your safety glasses
and slide under the rear of the car. The fuel pump is
shaped like a short tube of sausage and is mounted
212
Chapter 11 Procedure 3, Step I
in front of the right rear wheel. It's on a little square shelf on cars, and mounted to the frame on Brats. Follow
the wires coming out of one end of the pump to a wire connector. Disconnect the pull-apart-type connector.
Slide out from under the car, be sure the gearshift is in PARK, then use the ignition key to crank the engine
for at least five seconds. If the engine starts, let it run until it dies. You've now released the pressure in the fuel
line. Turn the key OFF. Now you can replace the fuel filter. Be sure you're using a fuel-injection filter; the plastic
ones can't withstand the pressure and will burst!
Pull the filter out of its holder. Loosen the screws on the clamps and slide the clamps out of the way. Twist
and pull the hoses off. Install the hoses onto the new filter just as they were on the old filter. The curved fitting
on the Turbo filter goes toward the rear of the car. Fit the filter into the holder and check that the hoses aren't
kinked. Slide the clamps to their original positions and tighten them.
Crawl under the car again and reconnect the wire to the fuel pump. Crawl out and lower the car, then start
the engine and check for fuel leaks around the filter.
PROCEDURE 3: CHECK AND REPLACE ACCELERATOR CABLE
The accelerator cable is the vital link between the gas pedal and the carburetor. It consists of a woven wire
cable inside a thicker black cable housing-the whole works is usually just called the accelerator cable.
Condition: Engine will start and idle, but won't speed up when you step on the gas pedal.
Tools and Materials: Maybe a new accelerator cable, l0mm open end wrench, medium phillips screwdriver,
regular pliers, and a flashlight. Some models require an 8mm wrench.
Remark: Before buying a new cable, check the old one to see if it's broken or has just come loose. If it's loose,
we can probably reconnect and/or tighten it. If it's broken, remove it and take it with you to the Subaru parts
department when you buy a new one.
Step 1. Check Accelerator Cable.
Carb models: Remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4).
EVERYONE: Check the illustration to see where and how the cable is attached to the carburetor. Open
your hood up and compare. You'll notice that the cable on '75-'79 models is clamped to the throttle arm (lever)
with a nut or screw and on '80 and newer models the cables are hooked to the throttle arm with a little metal cylinder.
First, let's see if the cable is still correctly and firmly attached to the Garb (or throttle plate on fuel injected
models). Pull on the exposed wire cable between the cable housing clamp and the throttle lever.
'75-'79 models: If the wire cable end is just loose in the clamp at the bottom front of the throttle lever, adjust
the cable, then tighten the clamp (Step 7).
EVERYONE: Is the cable in the groove of the throttle arm? If it isn't, slide the cable through the gap beside
the metal tab on the outer edge of the throttle arm and into the groove. Check the gas pedal to see if you get some
action now. If the end of the cable is broken off, or if the cable comes completely out of the black cable hous
ing when you pull on it, the cable is broken and has to be replaced (Steps 2-8). However, if the cable only slides
out of the housing a few inches then stops, it might still be intact but just unhooked from the gas pedal. Look
under the dash at the top of the gas pedal to see if the end of the cable is still hooked into the slot. It's the same
type connection as the '80-'84 carb connection -a little metal cylinder hooked into a slot. Connect it if it's unhooked
(Step 5).
Check the black cable housing where it's clamped to a bracket on the engine and also where it goes through
the firewall. The housing has to be clamped securely or the accelerator cable can't work properly. See Step 5
for the firewall clamp and Step 6 for the clamp on the engine.
Procedure 3, Step 2
Fuel Systems 213
Step 2. Disconnect Accelerator Cable from
Throttle Arm.
'75-'79 models: On the right side of the throttle
arm, hold the clamp nut the cable sticks through with
a 10mm wrench while you loosen the phillips screw
or 8mm nut that pinches the cable. Loosen it just
enough so you can pull the cable out.
'80 and newer models: Rotate the top of the
throttle arm toward the rear of the car (carb models),
or toward the front of the car (fuel injected models).
Hold it there while you align the wire cable with the
slot in the side of the throttle arm. Slide the little metal
cylinder on the cable's tip out of the throttle arm. You
can disconnect one end of the throttle return spring
if it's in your way.
Step 3. Release Cable Housing from Bracket.
'75-'79 models: Remove the phillips screw and
clamp that secures the cable housing to the bracket
a few inches behind the carb.
'80 and newer models: The cable housing is
bolted to a bracket on the engine a few inches behind
the throttle arm. Hold the metal part of the cable
housing with pliers while you unscrew the l0mm nut
on the front side of the bracket. Pull the cable housing
toward the rear of the car until the cable can slide up
through the slot in the bracket.
Step 4. Remove Accelerator Cable and
Housing.
'75-'79 models: Use pliers to remove the spring
clip that attaches the cable housing to the firewall in
the engine compartment.
'80 and newer models: The cable housing is
attached to the firewall with a plastic clip. From inside
the car, use needlenose pliers to squeeze the sides of
the clip so you can push it through the firewall and
into the engine compartment.
EVERYONE: Look for the end of the cable inside the car under the dashboard. A flashlight helps. It's at
the top end of the metal lever part of the gas pedal. Pull on the cable until you can line up the wire cable with
the slot in the side of the lever. Slide the metal cylinder tip out of the lever.
'75-'79 models: Pull the cable housing through the firewall from inside the car.
'80 and newer models: Pull the cable housing through the firewall from the engine compartment.
Step 5. Attach Cable End to Gas Pedal Lever and Cable Housing to Firewall.
CAUTION: Don't kink or bend the new cable and housing during installation. A bent cable will bind in
the housing causing premature wear and a scary, sticking accelerator.
'75-'79 models: From inside the car, push the cable housing through the hole in the firewall. If it won't
go through the hole, try the other end. From the engine compartment, use pliers to insert the spring clip into
the groove on the cable housing.
214
Chapter 11 Procedure 3, Step 6
'80 and newer models: From the engine compartment, push the cable end with the black plastic clip through
the hole in the firewall. Align the clip with the hole, then push it in until it locks into place.
EVERYONE: To attach the cable end to the gas pedal lever, align the wire cable with the slot in the pedal
lever and insert the metal cylinder cable tip into its hole on the lever. Pull the cable toward the front of the car.
Step 6. Attach Accelerator Cable Housing to Bracket.
'75-'79 models: Thread the cable to the bracket on the engine so there are no sharp bends. Lay the metal
end of the housing on the bracket. Install the clamp on the housing so the end of the clamp fits into the slot on
the bracket, or so the tab on the clamp hangs over the rear edge of the bracket, depending on your clamp type.
Install the phillips screw and tighten it.
'80 and newer models: Thread the cable housing to the bracket so there are no sharp bends. Install one
10mm nut onto the housing end, or unscrew one of the nuts off the cable end if there are two there. Slide the
cable through the bracket slot, then pull forward on the housing so the threaded part goes through the bracket
hole. Screw the other 10mm nut onto the cable housing but don't tighten it yet.
Step 7. Attach Accelerator Cable to Carburetor Throttle Arm.
'75-'79 models: Thread the cable through the groove in the throttle arm and into the little hole in the
clamp nut.
'80 and newer models: Rotate the top of the throttle arm toward the rear of the car (carb models), or toward
the front (fuel injected models). Hold it there while you thread the cable into the groove on the throttle arm.
Align the cable with the slot in the arm, then slide the little metal cylinder on the end of the cable into the hole
on the throttle arm. Let the top of the throttle arm rotate to the idle position. Be sure the cable stayed in the groove.
Reconnect the throttle return spring if you unhooked it.
Step 8. Adjust Accelerator Cable Tension.
When properly adjusted, the cable should have about l/ 8" slack ("give") when you push on the cable between
the cable housing and throttle arm (see illustration). Before adjusting the cable tension, set the choke plate in
the top of the carb to the OFF (vertical) position. If it flips back to the ON (horizontal) position while adjusting the cable tension, reset it to the OFF position. Here's how:
Carb models: Rotate the top of the throttle arm toward the rear of the car and hold it there while you reach
into the top of the carb with a finger and push down on the front edge of the flat choke plate covering the front
half of the opening. Hold the plate in a vertical position while you let go of the throttle arm. The choke plate
will stay in the vertical position unless you rotate the throttle arm. If the choke plate flips closed while you're
adjusting the cable, repeat this paragraph to set it in the horizontal position again.
'75-'79 models: Use pliers to pull the accelerator cable through the clamp nut, and hold it with a little tension.
Now adjust the cable so it has about l/ 8" of slack ("give") when you push down on the cable between the throttle
arm and the housing clamp. (There's an illustration of this somewhere nearby.) When the slack is right, hold
the 10mm nut on the throttle arm while you tighten the phillips screw or 8mm bolt.
'80 and newer models: The adjustment is made with the two 10mm nuts on the end of the cable housing.
Screw the rear nut forward (turn the top of the nut toward the right fender) to tighten the cable and remove slack,
OR screw the front nut toward the rear (turn the top of the nut toward the left fender) to loosen the cable and add
slack.
To adjust the slack, first decide whether the cable is too loose or too tight and which nut you need to move
to make the adjustment. Now screw the other nut a few turns away from the bracket and out of your way. Hold
the smooth unthreaded metal part of the cable housing with pliers while you turn the nuts-you don't want the
housing to get twisted. When the slack is correct, tighten the other nut against the bracket.
Step 9. Do This and That.
Carb models: Install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5).
Procedure 4, Step l
Fuel Systems 215
EVERYONE: Start the engine and let it warm up. Press the gas pedal a few times to be sure it operates
smoothly. If it sticks, the housing is kinked or the wire cable is bent inside the housing. Can you see the problem?
Remove the cable and install it again.
Check the idle speed and adjust it if need be (Chapter 7, Procedure 12, Steps 3-6). If the engine won't idle
slow enough by adjusting the idle speed adjustment screw, give the cable a little more slack (Step 7), then set
the idle speed.
PROCEDURE 4: CHECK FUEL SUPPLY AT CARBURETOR (Carb Models)
Condition: You were sent here from Chapter 9 because your car won't start, or starts but runs poorly.
Tools and Materials: Friend, 10mm wrench, pliers, rag, maybe a regular screwdriver or phillips screwdriver
depending on the kind of fuel line hose clamp that's on the carburetor, 12-ounce beer or soft drink can with the
top removed. CAUTION: There is a possibility that some gasoline will run out of the fuel line when you disconnect it from the carb. Place a rag under the connection to catch the gas. NO SMOKING.
Step 1. Remove Air Cleaner. (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4)
Fast, peek under the left side of the air cleaner for the round sight glass on the left side of the carb. A flashlight
helps. If you can clearly view the sight glass, it won't be necessary to remove the air cleaner.
Step 2. Check Float Bowl for Gas.
Wipe off the little round sight glass on the left side of the carb and check the fuel level in the bowl. You'll
see a round dot in the center of the glass. If fuel is in the bowl, you can see a horizontal line indicating the level.
No fuel? Start the engine if possible, or crank it with the starter for about ten seconds. Turn the key to OFF. The
electric fuel pump should fill the float bowl up to the dot on the sight glass. Still no fuel? Go to Step 3. If you
can see fuel in the float bowl, the line should go through the dot on the glass, or at least be very close to the dot.
If the fuel level is more than l / 16" (1.5mm) above or below the dot, do Procedure 11 to change the float level.
If the fuel is at the proper level, let's see if the fuel pump is supplying a sufficient amount when the engine is running.
Step 3. Test for Fuel Supply at Carb.
CAUTION!: A spark near an open container of gas
can cause a fire. While doing this test, hold the pop
or beer can as far away from the engine as possible.
If you have a jumper wire (a piece of insulated wire
with alligator clips on each end), disconnect the coil
wire from the top center of the distributor cap, clip
one end of the jumper wire to the metal tip of the coil
wire and clip the other end to bare metal away from
the can. The fuel supply hose is on the top left rear
corner of the carb. '80 and newer models have a Y
connection with a smaller fuel return hose attached
next to where the fuel inlet hose attaches to the carb
(see illustration). Put a rag under the fitting to catch
any gas that might dribble out of the hose.
Disconnect the fuel supply hose from the carb.
It's attached with a clamp that you unscrew with a
regular or phillips screwdriver, or a clip that you
squeeze with pliers. Loosen the clip or clamp and
216 Chapter 11 Procedure 5, Step 1
slide it away from the carb. Grab the hose close to
the fitting on the carb and twist and pull it off. Cut
the top off a 12-ounce beer or pop can and stick the
hose into the can.
Have Friend pull the handbrake ON and put the
transmission in PARK or neutral. Hold the hose in
the can while Friend turns the key ON and cranks
the engine for ten seconds (time it with your digital
watch). Have Friend turn the key to OFF. Measure
the gasoline in the can. There should be between 1"
and 2" of gas in the can. If there is, the fuel supply
is sufficient so the problem isn't the fuel pump. Skip
to Procedure 7. If there is less than 1" of gas in the
can, not enough fuel is being pumped to the carb. See
Procedure 2, to check the fuel filter and vapor separator (if you have one). If they appear to be OK, let's
check the fuel pump. Remove the jumper wire (if you
used one) and reconnect the coil wire to the distributor cap. Reconnect the fuel hose to the carb, then
slide the clamp back to its original position over the
fitting and tighten it (if it's that kind). Install the air
cleaner if you removed it (Chapter 7, Procedure 12,
Step 8).
PROCEDURE 5: CHECK AND REPLACE
FUEL PUMP
Condition: Fuel supply at carburetor is insufficient; OR loud clacking noises are coming from the
direction of the fuel pump when the engine is
running.
Tools and Materials: To test the fuel pump you'll
need a regular or phillips screwdriver, or pliers,
depending on the type of clamps you have, 12-volt
test light or VOM meter, wire brush, emery cloth,
a 12mm wrench. Maybe a new fuel pump. To replace
the fuel pump you'll need a new fuel pump and 10mm
and 12mm wrenches.
Remarks: Subaru fuel pumps tend to outlive the car,
so be sure the fuel pump is dead before replacing it.
If you're not sure how to use a Volt/Ohm meter, look
at Chapter 10, Procedure 11.
Step 1. Locate Fuel Pump.
Look at Procedure 2, Step 1, and find the fuel
filter. The arrow on the filter will point to the hose
that connects the filter to the fuel pump. Follow the hose a few inches and you'll run right into the pump. The
fuel pumps on all '75-'79 models, '80 Brats and fuel-injected models are round and about the size of a large
frozen orange juice can. '80 and newer carb model fuel pumps are square and only slightly larger than the fuel
filter.
The fuel pump on converted '81 models and all '82 and newer models is mounted under the rear of the car,
just in front of the gas tank.
Converted '81 models: A bit of detective work may be necessary to locate the fuel filter and pump on converted
'81 models. The fuel filter and pump both might be in the engine compartment, or both might be under the car,
or the filter might be located under the car and the pump in the engine compartment. There also might be a vapor
separator in the engine compartment (the same as '82 and newer OHV models). Good Luck!
Fuel-injected models: The fuel pump is located under the car in front of the right rear wheel.
Step 2. Check Electrical Stuff.
'75-'82 models: Check the fuse for the fuel pump (Chapter 10, Procedure 2). If all is well in Fuseville,
let's see if the juice is getting from there to the fuel pump.
EVERYONE: If your fuel pump is located under the car, put the car in gear (or PARK), set the handbrake,
chock the front wheels, jack up the rear of the car and put it on jackstands. If yours is in the engine compartment, there's no need for those preparations.
Turn the ignition key to ON. Disconnect the wire(s) going to the fuel pump. Use a test light or VOM meter
to check for current in the wires you disconnected from the fuel pump (not the wire(s) coming out of the pump).
Insert one probe of the test light or the red probe from the meter into one of the wires (there's only one wire on
'75-'79 models and '80 Brats), then touch the other probe to bare metal. Test both wires if you have two. One
of the wires should light the test light, or the VOM should read 12 volts. It does? Then the pump is getting juice.
No juice? First trace the wire back, looking for a broken or bare spot where it may have shorted out. If there's
just one wire going to the pump, locate a little ground wire that has one end attached to the fuel pump body with
a screw (usually on the front) and the other end secured by one of the fuel pump mounting bolts. Release each
end of the wire and clean the wire and its attaching place with a wire brush, or emery cloth. Reattach the wire
and check for juice again. Got some? Lower the car and start the engine to see if the fuel pump is working now.
If not, do Step 3.
Step 3. Replace the Old Fuel Pump with the New.
Wear safety glasses and be careful; the no smoking rule applies. Put a rag down or have one handy to catch
any gas drips.
'75-'79 cars and '77-'80 Brats: First, disconnect the wire to the fuel pump. Loosen the fuel line hose clamps
or clips and slide them away from the pump. Unscrew the two 12mm mounting bolts that attach the fuel pump
to the car body and the pump comes right off. If the new pump you're installing doesn't have a black ground
wire attached to the pump with a screw, remove the one from the old pump and attach it to the new pump in the
same position as it was on the old pump. Slip the other end of the ground wire onto one of the mounting bolts,
then set the new pump in position and install and tighten the two mounting bolts. (The ground wire should be
under the front bolt.) Be sure there's a flat washer between the bolt head and the rubber grommet on the pump.
Fit the fuel hoses onto the new pump, then position and tighten the hose clamps over the connection. Reconnect
the electrical wire. If you don't remember which hose goes where, the one from the fuel filter goes to the bottom
fitting on the pump and the hose to the carburetor connects to the top fitting. Start the engine and check for leaks.
'80-'81 (except Brats): Disconnect the wire connector to the fuel pump. Now remove the two l0mm bolts
that attach the brass-colored fuel pump bracket to the top rear of the left (driver's side) strut tower. This will
let you lift the bracket up so you can loosen the hose clamps and slide them away from the pump. Pull the hoses
off the fittings on the pump. Now remove the two 10mm nuts that attach the pump to the bracket, then slide the
pump off the bracket.
If the new pump doesn't have rubber grommets in the mounting tabs, use the ones from the old pump,
or get new opes if the old ones are funky. Fit the mounting tabs of the new fuel pump into the grooves on the
Procedure 5, Step 2
Fuel Systems 217
218
Chapter 11 Procedure 6
grommets so the thicker side of the grommet is on the bracket side of the pump. Orient the pump so the large
nut-looking thing with the fuel line sticking out is on the left (driver's side) of the car. Be sure there's a flat washer
on top of the grommet before you put the nut on. Attach the pump to the bracket with the two nuts and tighten
them. Attach the fuel hoses to the new pump and position the clamps over the connections. In case you've forgotten,
the hose from the fuel filter goes to the fitting on the left (driver's) side of the pump. The hose on the right side
of the pump should go to the carburetor. Now attach the fuel pump bracket to the car body with the two 10mm
bolts. Reconnect the wires and you're finished.
'82 and newer carb cars, '81-'87 carb Brats, and converted '81 cars: Chock the front wheels, set the
handbrake, put the transmission in gear or PARK (if yours is automatic), then jack up the rear of the car and
put it on jackstands.
If the fuel pump is on a little shelf, remove the 10mm bolts that attach the corners of the shelf to the brackets
on the body, then lower the shelf. Disconnect the electrical wire connection to the fuel pump. Pinch the hose
between the fuel filter and car body (not the hose between the fuel filter and fuel pump). Use Vise Grips lightly
applied, wrapping the hose with a rag first to protect it from cuts. Now, working at arm's length, loosen the hose
clamps, slide 'em back, and twist the hoses off the fuel pump.
Fuel-injected models: Release the pressure in the fuel system just as you do when changing the filter (Procedure 2, Step 4). OK, the car is up on jackstands and the fuel pump wire is disconnected. Now locate the fuel
hose attached to the pump on the opposite end from where the electrical wires stick out of the pump. Use Vise
Grips and a rag to pinch the fuel hose between the fuel pump and car body (see fuel filter under car in Procedure 2, Step 2). Use a screwdriver to loosen the hose clamps on each end of the pump and slide them back; then
working at arm's length, twist and pull the hoses off the pump.
EVERYONE: Remove the mounting bolts or nuts that attach the fuel pump to the bracket or shelf.
To install the new pump, be sure the rubber grommets are in place on the pump mounting tabs (the thicker
side of the grommet goes toward the bracket or shelf). Install the new pump onto the bracket or shelf and secure
it with the nuts or bolts. Connect the fuel hoses to the pump and position and tighten the clamps. Remove the
Vise Grips and rag, then reconnect the electrical wire connector. If the pump is mounted on a shelf, fit the shelf
into the brackets, then install and tighten the mounting nuts or bolts. Lower the car, start the engine, then check
for fuel leaks.
PROCEDURE 6: CHECK FOR WATER IN THE GAS TANK ('75-'79 Station Wagons and Brats and
All '80 and Newer Models)
Condition: The car sputters and flutters, you've already checked the ignition system and fuel supply, and everything
else seems OK; AND/OR you've noticed water in the fuel filter.
Tools and Materials: Clear glass jar, large crescent wrench for '75-'79 models, 12mm wrench for '80 and newer
models, rags, goggles.
Remarks: There are commercial products called "fuel conditioners" available that you pour in the gas tank
to remove small traces of water. You might want to try a can of the stuff before doing this procedure. If the fuel
conditioner doesn't work, do this procedure to drain the gas from the bottom of the tank. If you have a '75-'79
Sedan or Coupe, trying the fuel conditioner is all you can do without removing the fuel tank from the car.
CAUTION! Fire Hazard: Don't light any matches, rub two Boy Scouts together, think about former lovers,
or do anything that could create a spark while draining gas from the tank. Have a fire extinguisher nearby and
ready.
Step 1. Get a Gas Tank Specimen.
Locating the bottom of the gas tank requires a bit of detective work on your part. Look at the bottom rear
of the car for a large, black, contoured sheet metal tank. The drain bolt is in the lowest section of the tank.
Tie strips of rags around your wrists so gasoline can't run down your arm and into your armpit when you
remove the plug. Seriously, gasoline irritates delicate bare skin so wash your hands, arms and any place touched
by gasoline with soap and water after obtaining your specimen. Put on your safety goggles.
Now crawl under the car and clean the area around the drain bolt with a rag. Loosen the drain bolt with
the wrench while holding the jar under the drain bolt to catch the gas. You don't need to remove the plug. When
you have a couple of inches of gas in the jar, quickly tighten the drain plug. Crawl out from under the car without
spilling the gas.
Step 2. Diagnosis Please, Doctor.
Clean gasoline is normally a transparent reddish-orange color. Water in the gas will turn it a milky offwhite color, or form round beads or blobs in the bottom of the jar. Remember that water is heavier than gas,
so it will be on the bottom. See anything besides clean fresh gas? If not, be sure the drain plug is tight, then lower
the car if it's on stands. If the gas is milky looking or has blobs in the bottom of the jar, drain the rest of the gas
from the tank and stash it in metal screwtop containers. Take it to the recycling center or a filling station for disposal.
Replace thefuel filter and vapor separator, if you have one (Procedure 2). Install the drain plug and tighten it,
then fill the tank with fresh gas.
PROCEDURE 7: REMOVE HITACHI CARBURETOR
You'll be using this one if you're going to replace or rebuild your Hitachi carburetor (people with Carter/ Weber
carbs should go to Procedure 12). Rebuilding a carburetor essentially means taking it apart and cleaning it, then
putting it back together with new gaskets, new accelerator pump and so on. Most of the critical parts are accessible
by simply removing the top of the carb while it's still on the engine so you might want to run through the quicky
carb check and clean (Procedure 11) before yanking the carb out by it roots.
Condition: You've done the 12,000 mile tune-up and checked all the things in Chapter 9: Troubleshooting, and
have come to the conclusion your carburetor needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
Tools and Materials: 10mm and 19mm wrenches, phillips and/or regular screwdriver, notebook and pencil,
masking tape, indelible pen. You'll need a tachometer to adjust the carb once it's back on the engine.
Remarks: If you decide to buy a rebuilt carb from a parts store or Subaru, be sure the rebuilt carburetor has
the same part number stamped on the top left rear corner as your old carb. Shop around for the best deal; prices
can vary radically from store to store.
If your engine compartment is dirty, nasty, greasy, and filthy, give it a bath (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step
2). You don't want any junk to get in the manifold when the carburetor is off. Always cover the hole in the manifold
left by the departed carb with a clean rag or paper towels.
Before removing the carb, draw a simple diagram of the vacuum hose(s) and electrical wire connection(s)
for your setup. As you disconnect the hoses and wires, label them A, B, C, and so on, with masking tape and
indelible pen. This is important! It's impossible for me to describe what goes where on every year and model,
but this is something you can (and must) do yourself. Before disconnecting anything, refer to the hose layout
diagram under the hood (if you have one) to see if the hoses are presently connected correctly. Now, with masking
tape, notebook, and pen at hand, you can begin to remove the carburetor.
Step 1. Disconnect Negative (-) Battery Terminal (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 3).
Procedure 6, Step 1
Fuel Systems 219
220
Chapter 11 Procedure 7, Step 2
Step 2. Drain Coolant from Engine Block.
Look at Chapter 16, Procedure 3, Step 5, to locate the engine block drain plugs (they're in the bottom of
the cylinder heads). You only need to remove one of the plugs, so remove the one in the right (passenger's side)
cylinder head since it's most accessible. When the coolant has stopped draining, install and tighten the drain
plug. Be sure it has an aluminum washer.
Step 3. Remove Air Cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4).
Step 4. Remove Fuel Inlet, Return, and Vent Hose(s).
Locate the rubber fuel line hose on the top rear left (driver's) side of the carburetor. The other end of the
hose is connected to the fuel pump or vapor separator depending on your year and model. Put a rag below where
the hose connects to the carb, loosen the clamp and slide it back, then pull the hose off the carburetor fitting.
If the carb fitting is Y -shaped and has another smaller fuel return hose connected to it, loosen the clamp and
remove that hose also.
If a vent hose is connected to the top left front of the carb, release the clamp (if there is one) and pull the
hose off the fitting.
Step 5. Disconnect Dashpot, Servo Diaphragm, Secondary Diaphragm Hoses.
If you have one or two small round things (choke diaphragms) mounted in a bracket on the right rear of the
carb, disconnect the hose from the fitting on the right (passenger's side).
If there's a small round thing in the center of the back of the carb (the servo diaphragm) and/or a round thing
on the top right rear corner (the choke diaphragm) label the hose(s), then pull them off the fitting. Some late
models have two hoses so label them top and bottom.
'80 and newer models: If there's a large round thing mounted to the right rear corner of the carb at an angle,
disconnect and label the hose. That's the secondary diaphragm that controls the secondary throttle valve.
Step 6. Disconnect Choke.
'75 and newer models: Locate the electrical wire for the automatic choke coming out of the round automatic
choke housing on the top right side of the carb. Disconnect the wire at the connector a few inches from the choke
housing. On late models, other wires may be connected to the choke wire at a white plastic connector. Push on
the sides of the white connector and separate the two halves.
Step 7. Disconnect Hoses from Front of Carb.
There might be anywhere from zero to four vacuum hoses attached to the front of the carb that go to the
front of the intake manifold and/or to small metal pipes below the intake manifold. Pull the hoses off the carb
fittings but leave them attached to the manifold and/or the metal pipes. The hoses reconnect in the same order,
left to right, so it's hard to get them mixed up. Draw a simple picture of your hoses if they're different from the
ones in the illustration.
Step 8. Disconnect Anti-Diesel Valve.
If you have a thumb-sized gizmo known as the anti-diesel valve sticking out of the front left corner of the
carb and pointing toward the left headlight, follow the wire from the gizmo to a wire connector. It might share
a connector with the choke wire. Disconnect the wires. Use a 19mm open-end wrench or crescent wrench to
slightly loosen the valve but don't remove it from the carb yet.
Emergency and Quicky People: On '81 and newer models you'll need to carefully unscrew the anti-diesel
valve without damaging the wire. When it's off, pull the pointed plunger out and stash it where it won't get lost.
Step 9. Disconnect Accelerator Cable.
See Procedure 3, Step 2, in this chapter to disconnect the accelerator cable from the lower right side of the
carb.
Step 10. Disconnect Other Stuff.
You may have some, all, or none of the following hoses and wires to disconnect from the carb. A hose or
two on the top left rear corner (from the duty solenoid valves). A hose attached horizontally just below the large
screw at the top front center (from the slow duty solenoid valve). A hose or two attached to the left rear corner
(altitude compensator or duty solenoid).
Emergency and Quicky People: Only disconnect hoses connected to the top of the carb.
Step ll. Remove Carburetor.
Check all around your carburetor to see if there's anything else hooked to it that would prevent lifting it off.
All clear? Proceed.
Have a few clean rags or paper towels handy to wipe up the coolant that might leak out of the manifold when
the carb is removed. Unscrew (counterclockwise) the four 10mm bolts on the bottom corners of the carb (a long
Procedure 7, Step 10
Fuel Systems 221
222
Chapter 11 Procedure 8
skinny wrench makes it easier). If there's a bracket attached to the round brass-colored EGR valve on the back
of the manifold, remove the two 12mm nuts and washers and remove the bracket if it's in your way. Lift the carb
straight up to remove it. Watch for any wires or hoses still connected to the carb. Once the carb is off, hold it
over a can and tilt it so the fuel in the float bowl can drain out the fuel inlet fitting. You're now ready to take it
apart (Procedure 8), or put on a new or rebuilt one (Procedure 10). If you're replacing the carburetor, you might
want to consider installing a high performance Weber carb (see Chapter 18, Procedure 11).
PROCEDURE 8: DISASSEMBLE, CLEAN, AND INSPECT HITACHI CARBURETOR ('75-'79 Models
Only)
This procedure does not include rebuilding '80 and newer Hitachi carbs. They are more complicated than
the earlier carbs and put together so as to discourage rebuilding by amateurs like us. If you've rebuilt a few carbs
before, with a little ingenuity and the instructions that come with a rebuild kit, you can probably follow this procedure
and rebuild an '80 or newer Hitachi. It's up to you, but don't blame me if you run into problems.
However, the '75-'79 Hitachi carb is relatively simple and straightforward, and together we can rebuild
this baby.
Condition: The carburetor needs to be rebuilt.
Tools and Materials: Safety glasses, maybe a magnifying glass; 10mm, 12mm, and 19mm wrenches; needlenose pliers; medium phillips screwdriver; very small, small, and medium regular screwdrivers; carburetor
cleaner (see Remarks), spray can of carb cleaner, a medium screwdriver with a notch in the blade (see the illustration), carburetor rebuild kit for your carburetor, one can or tray labeled "Tiny Parts" and another can or tray
labeled "No Soak," rags, knife or razor blade, an old toothbrush, time, and patience.
Remarks: If you carefully record the jet numbers in the circles next to the jets' name in the jet location illustration, you'll know where to put them during reassembly. All the jets will have different numbers stamped on
them and most of them will fit in only one place!
Before you start rebuilding your carb, get a large can of liquid carburetor cleaner-large enough to soak
the carburetor body and various parts in once it's all apart. (Get the kind that comes with a strainer basket in
the can.) Carb cleaner is rather expensive (it will probably cost more than the carb rebuild kit) but you can also
use it to clean things like wheel bearings and nuts and bolts, when doing other repair procedures. It's handy to
have around. If you don't have a place to store it or can't afford it, you might find a garage that will clean the
carb parts for you and blow them out with compressed air for a couple of dollars. Or get at least two (three to
be sure) cans of spray carburetor cleaner. It works almost as well as the large cans of carb cleaner. Have at least
one can handy for giving the parts a final shot of "clean" before assembling them.
Get a couple of one pound coffee cans or medium-size bread pans and label one TINY PARTS and the other
one NO SOAK. I'll tell you which can to put the parts in as you remove them. Parts that don't go in the TINY
PARTS or NO SOAK cans can go in the carb cleaner strainer basket. No strainer basket? Label another coffee can STRAINER BASKET.
You'll need a notched screwdriver to remove one of the jets. You can either buy one or file a notch in one
of yours (see the illustration).
If you disassemble the carburetor and find it full of crud/water, check the gas tank (Procedure 6). After
rebuilding or replacing a carb, always install a new fuelfilter (Procedure 2) and check the air filter (Chapter
7, Procedure 4, Step 3) before you start the engine.
Take your time during both disassembly and reassembly so you'll be absolutely sure you're keeping track
of everything. There may be variations I don't cover, especially in the "little stuff," but these should be fairly
straightforward and logical and my instructions will serve as a guide to removing any unmentioned oddball parts
your carb may have.
Step 1. Remove Little Stuff.
Most carb rebuild kits come with new cotter pins and gaskets, but hold on to the ones you remove until you're
sure you have new ones. Emergency people here from Procedure 11, be sure and save everything!
Get the Tiny Parts and No Soak containers handy. If you have a can of liquid carb cleaner, pull the strainer
basket out of the carb cleaner and set it on a rag.
Remove the throttle return spring that's between the throttle arm (lever) and the bottom of the dashpot
bracket (early models) or a bracket on the right front corner of the carb. If there's a small spring attached between
the inner side of the throttle lever and a short lever from the choke housing, remove it. Put the springs in the
strainer basket.
The long piece of metal going across the top front of the carb is the accelerator pump lever (or just pump
lever). If there's a large coiled spring between the pump lever and carb, use a small screwdriver to flip the hooked
end of the spring off the top of the pump lever. Now loosen the large screw that attaches the pump lever to the
carb body. Watch for a flat washer and lockwasher that are on the carb side of the pump lever. Remove the screw,
washers, and spring and put them in the Tiny Parts can. If your pump lever has a pin on the left (driver's side)
end, pull the pump lever away from the carb until the pin is out of the accelerator pump shaft. The right (passenger's) end of the pump lever is attached to a crooked rod which is in turn attached to the inside of the throttle arm.
Rebuilders: Carefully rotate the pump lever so it comes off the hooked end of the rod. Leave the other end
of this rod attached to the throttle arm shaft. Put the liberated pump lever in the strainer basket.
Emergency and Quicky People: Rotate the lever to the right (passenger's) side of the carb so it's out of
the way.
EVERYONE: The round thing attached to the right side of the carb top is the automatic choke housing
and cover. There's a lever sticking out of the lower front inside of the choke housing that I'll call a choke arm.
Use needlenose pliers to remove the tiny cotter pin and washer from the end of the rod that's attached to the choke
arm. Pull the end of the rod out of the choke arm. Put the tiny washer and cotter pin in the can for Tiny Parts.
Now look at the top rear of the carb. If there's a bracket attached to the top rear or top left of the carb body
with two or three phillips screws, remove the screws and lockwashers. If there are no round dashpots on the
bracket, remove the bracket and put it in the basket. If there are two dashpots on the bracket, the outer pot has
a spring and retainer washer held onto its shaft by a small rod coming from the outside of the choke housing
cover. Press the retainer and spring on the outer dashpot shaft toward the bracket while you pull the choke rod
out of the dashpot shaft. Put the spring and retainer washer in the can for Tiny Parts. Now rotate the outer pot
on the bracket toward the bottom of the carb until the rod attached to the inner pot can slide out of its holder on
the carb. Put the dashpots and bracket in the No Soak can.
Step 2. Remove Carburetor Top.
Remove the phillips screws on the top of the carb body. There are five altogether, but you might have already
removed two of them with the bracket. Everything that would keep you from lifting the top off should now have
been removed or disconnected.
Carefully pry the carb top off the carb body. If the carb is off the engine, keep the carb body upright after
the top is off so some little pieces won't fall out and get lost. Try to remove the top without tearing up the main
gasket (carb top gasket) so you can use it to match with a new gasket (or reuse it if you don't have a new gas
ket). Be careful with the black plastic thing that hangs down into the carb body. That's the float. Once the top
is off lay it down bottom side up so the float isn't damaged.
Emergency and Quicky People: If the carb is still on the engine, skip ahead to Step 3.
Rebuilders: Be sure to do the next paragraph.
Remove the spring sticking out of the large hole near the front of the carb body. In some cases, the accelerator
pump plunger may be sitting on top of this spring. Now hold your hand across the front of the body to catch a
couple of pieces that will drop out as you tilt the carb body upside down toward your hand. Presto! A little BB-size
ball and a smallpointed hexagonal shaft will fall into your hand. Put the spring, BB ball, and pointed shaft in
the Tiny Parts can.
Procedure 8, Step 1
Fuel Systems 223
224
Chapter 11 Procedure 8, Step 3
Step 3. Remove Float Needle Valve.
Now set the detached top of the carb upside down on your work surface, and we'll take out its innards. The
metal arms on one end of the float are attached to two posts on the carb top with a straightpivot pin. Gently lift
up on the float to see where it pivots. Pull the pin out with your fingers, then lift the float off the carb top. Put
the pin with the Tiny Parts and the float with the No Soak pieces.
In the carb top next to the two posts that hold the float pivot pin, is the brass needle valve. This is the valve
that shuts off the gas when the fuel in the float bowl reaches the proper level. Use a 10mm wrench (early models)
or screwdriver (later models) to unscrew the needle valve. Save the gasket for the needle valve. There's prob
ably a tiny brass screen in the needle valve hole. Turn the carb top over and dump the screen in your hand. Put
the needle valve, gasket, and screen in the Tiny Parts can.
Here's how the needle valve works. The fuel pump pumps fuel through the fuel lines into the float bowl in
the carb body. As the fuel level rises, the float also rises because it's hollow and floats on top of the fuel like a
rubber ducky. When the fuel in the float bowl reaches a certain level, the little tab between the float arms presses
on thepin sticking out of the needle valve. The pin in turn pushes a pointed shaft into the fuel inlet line so no
more fuel can enter the float bowl.
If you were referred here from the Emergency Procedure, or you're a curious carb rebuilder, use a small
screwdriver or your fingernails to pry the tiny wire clip off the pin end of the needle valve. Be careful so none
of the very tiny things inside the needle valve fall into dirt or gravel. You'd be up the creek without a needle valve.
Inside the needle valve is a very, very tiny spring that fits inside the larger hollow end of the pin. The larger end
of the pin and spring fit inside a hollow square shaft that has a pointed end. That's the needle!
Rebuilders and Quicky people: There should be a new needle valve in the kit; see if you can find it. Got
it? OK, lay the old one aside and put the new one back in the kit for now. Go on to the next step.
Emergency people: Lay the small parts on a clean rag so they won't get lost. Look in the needle valve housing
for dirt and crud that could prevent the needle from seating in the hole or cause it to stick in the hole. Check
the pointed end of the needle to see if a groove has worn in the tapered part. If you're stuck on the side of the
road, all you can do is clean the needle valve parts, put it all back together and hope you solved the problem.
Emergency people go to Procedure 9, Step 1.
Step 4. Remove Accelerator Pump and Rubber Boot.
Hold the carb top upside down. The accelerator pump is mounted in a rubber boot near the front edge
of the carb top and has a spring wrapped around the shaft. (Don't confuse it with the long skinny shaft sticking up from the center of the carb top.) Pull the accelerator pump out of the rubber boot, then use a small screwdriver
to push the edge of the rubber boot through the opening in the carb top. Put the pump and boot in the No Soak
can. At this point you can lift the main gasket (carb top gasket) off the carb top mating surface, if it's been hanging
on there.
The accelerator pump does just what its name implies; it pumps a small shot of fuel into the carb when you
want to accelerate.
Step 5. Remove Choke Housing Cover (except '81 and newer models).
The choke housing is that round thing on the right side of the carb top. Remove the three phillips head screws
and funny triangular-shaped washers around the edge. Gently pull the choke cover off and look inside. You'll
see a flat spiral-shaped piece of metal wrapped around a center post. Now look a little deeper into the cover
until you see a brass-colored spring inside a porcelain groove. Are the coils of both springs evenly spaced and
round? If they're lopsided, uneven, or broken, you need a new (or used) choke cover. Make a note to get one.
The function of the springs is explained in Step 14. Put the choke cover in the No Soak can.
Step 6. Remove Jets from Carb Top.
Use the jet illustration to record the numbers of the two small brass jets called the primary and secondary
slow air bleed jets screwed into the bottom of the carb top. Now use a small screwdriver to remove the jets. Take
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Chapter 11 Procedure 8, Step 7
the time to find the right screwdriver; these jets get bunged up easily. Put them both in the strainer basket. Lay
the carb top aside for now.
Step 7. Remove Servo Diaphragm.
Now look at the carb body, right side up. If there's a round diaphragm attached to the rear of the carb with
three screws, remove the screws and carefully pull the diaphragm shaft out of the body. If there's a rubber Oring around the shaft, save it to compare to a new one.
Besides preventing the carb from becoming pregnant, this servo diaphragm allows more air to enter the
carburetor when the car is coasting or decelerating. The leaner (more air relative to fuel) mixture reduces HC
(hydrocarbon) emissions. Check the rubber tip on the end of the shaft. If it's cracked, ragged, or anything but
smooth and flat, replace the servo diaphragm. Set the servo diaphragm and its three screws in the No Soak can.
Step 8. Remove Anti-Diesel Valve, (if you have one).
Use a crescent or 19mm wrench to unscrew the thumb-size thing sticking out of the left front side of the
carb, if it's there. That's the anti-diesel valve. Pull the pointed plunger out of the valve so it doesn't get lost.
Stash the valve and plunger in the No Soak can. The function of the anti-diesel valve is explained in Step 14.
Step 9. Separate Carb Body from Throttle Chamber.
Ttirn the carb body upside down and remove the large phillips head screw and its toothed lockwasher. Be
careful not to damage the screw because it has a very important vacuum hole drilled through it. Turn the body
right side up now and remove the two large phillips screws on the throttle arm (right) side of the body. On some
carbs you can't get a straight shot at the screws with your screwdriver so you'll have to press hard while turning. If the screws get mangled during removal, make a note to round up new ones before reassembly. Put all three
screws in the basket; keep their lockwashers on so they don't get mixed up.
Now pry the carb body away from the throttle chamber just beneath it. There are two gaskets and a fiber
insulator plate (block) between the carb body and throttle chamber. Carefully pull the fiber block and gaskets
off the carb body and/or throttle chamber and put them in the No Soak can. You may have to wiggle the fiber
block and gaskets off a hollow dowel pin on one side; go easy so you don't snap the block.
Step 10. Remove Idle Adjustment Screws.
Remove the short idle mixture adjustment screw and its spring. The screw sticks out of the front center of the throttle chamber at about a 45' angle. Some are covered by a plastic cap, with a groove for inserting
your flat screwdriver. You may need to pop the cap off to get the screw out. Now look at the tapered needle end
of the screw. If you find a groove worn into it, make a note to get a new mixture screw. A new one should come
with rebuild kits, but I haven't found a kit that supplied one yet. Put the screw and spring in the strainer basket.
Rebuilders: Remove the long idle speed adjustment screw and spring on the throttle arm side of the throttle
chamber. Put them in the strainer basket.
Step ll. Remove Jets from Carb Body.
Look at thejet location illustration. You'll notice a circle beside each of the jet names in the illustration.
If you carefully record the number of each jet in the circle next to its name in the jet illustration before removing
it, you'll have no trouble installing them in the correct position during reassembly. Luckily, each jet in your carb
will have a different number stamped on it. If you have jets located differently than the ones in the illustration
(there were slight variations over the years), make a circle where the jet is located, then make a circle for the
jet number. Joe, the illustrator, won't mind.
I won't bore (or confuse) you by explaining what each of the jets does. Suffice it to say that they meter out
fuel or air and that each jet has a specific purpose and must go in the correct position in order to do its job.
If the carb is off the engine, arrange the throttle chamber, body, and top the way they are in the jet location
illustration before removing the jets.
Procedure 8, Step 12
Fuel Systems 227
There are a few hidden jets. Here's how to find them: Look carefully for numbers on all the plain looking
brass screws on the top of the carb body. If there's a number on it, it's a jet so write the number in the circle before
removing it. No number on the screw? Then it's a plug, so remove the plug to get to the jet that's under the plug.
Write all the jet numbers in the circles, then use a screwdriver to remove the jets. Be sure the blade of the screwdriver
fits into the slots on both sides of the jet. On the small jets that may be below the surface, use a screwdriver that's
narrow enough to clear the threads in the bore. Don't remove the two main air bleed jets just yet. They're located
in the rectangles near the center of the carb. Put the jets you removed in the strainer basket.
Quicky People: Find the two main air bleed jets, record the numbers, then remove the jets. You won't be
able to remove the emulsion tubes so skip the EVERYONE paragraph.
Rebuilders: There are two emulsion tubes hiding beneath the two main air bleed jets. The main air bleed
jets are located in the rectangles between the float bowl and the main nozzles. You need to know which emulsion tube goes in which hole so don't remove both jets at the same time. Write the numbers of the two main air
bleed jets in the circles in the illustration, then remove one of the jets. Turn the carb body upside down and catch
the tube that will fall out. Count the holes on one side of the tube and write the total in the appropriate circle.
Now remove the other jet and emulsion tube, count the holes on that tube and write the number of holes in the
circle. If one or both of the tubes are stuck in the carb body, hold the body upside down over a rag or paper towel
and tap the sides of the body with a screwdriver handle.
If the tube(s) still won't fall out, you'll need to find a gas station or someone with an air compressor to blow
'em free. You'll have to put the main jets and plugs back in if you've already removed them. Hold a finger over
the emulsion tube hole so the tube can't fly across the street (into a weed patch where it will never be found),
then put the end of the air compressor nozzle against the hole in the bottom of the float chamber below the stuck
emulsion tube and pull the trigger. It might take awhile but the tube should eventually come out. If it still won't
budge, try blowing it out again after soaking the body in the carb cleaner for a while or after spraying carb cleaner
around it.
Quicky People: You can't reach the main jets while the carb is on the engine so skip the next paragraph.
Just move on down to the EVERYONE paragraph.
Rebuilders: The main jets are located below the sight glass on the side of the carb body. You'll have to remove
the two 12mm brass plugs to see them. If there's a thin metal lock plate around the plugs, pry it off with a small
screwdriver. Save the copper washers off the plugs so you can match new ones to them or reuse them if you don't
have new ones in the rebuild kit. Use a small screwdriver to unscrew the jets . Record the jet numbers on the
illustration as you remove them. Use the right flat screwdriver so you don't score the threaded bores.
EVERYONE: Use the special screwdriver
with a notch in the end to remove the power jet that's
screwed into the little shelf in the float chamber. Toss
it in the strainer basket.
Check the carb body and top for other jets. If you
have more, draw their location on the jet location
illustration and record the number the same as you
did for the other jets. Put all the jets and their
plugs in the strainer basket.
Step 12. Cleaning.
Quicky People: If you have a new gasket for the carb top, use a rag or paper towel to mop up any gas left
in the float bowl. If you don't have a new gasket, leave the gas in the bowl-you might need it later. Shoot spray
carb cleaner in all the holes in the carb body and top. Wait a few minutes and spray them again. Clean all the
parts in the cans with a toothbrush and carb cleaner.
Rebuilders: If you don't have a can of carb cleaner to soak the parts in, use an old toothbrush and a can
of spray carb cleaner to clean spotlessly the parts in each can except the No Soak can. Also clean the carb body,
top, and throttle chamber. Be sure you're in a well-ventilated area because the fumes are pretty strong. Wear
a respirator or dust mask if you have one, and/or take a break every few minutes and get some fresh air.
228
Chapter 11 Procedure 8, Step 13
Have a can of carb cleaner to soak the parts in? Put the following parts in the cleaner: the throttle chamber, carb body and top, and the strainer basket with all the jets and screws. Don't put the parts in the Tiny Parts
and No Soak cans in the cleaner. These include the float, choke cover (the part that has the springs in it), accelerator
pump, dashpots (diaphragms), gaskets, fiber insulator, the BB ball or the tiny washers and cotter pins (they might
get lost). Soak everything else (except the carb body) for at least two hours. You should not soak the carb body
for more than two hours because the sealing ring for the sight glass might deteriorate. If possible, try to prop
or hang the body in the cleaner with a piece of wire so everything except the sight glass is in the cleaner; leave
it there until you're ready to take the other parts out.
While the parts are soaking, clean up your work area. Wipe up the grease and crud, then spread clean rags,
newspapers, or paper towels on the workbench. Wash your hands.
When the parts have soaked for at least two hours, pull them out of the cleaner and rinse them thoroughly
with clean solvent or water. Use an old toothbrush (not a wire brush) to remove the large chunks of crud on the
outside of the large pieces. Soak the parts in the cleaner longer if they don't look brand new.
If you have access to an air compressor, blow everything dry. Pay particular attention to the holes in the
jets and all the holes in the throttle chamber and carb body and top. No air compressor? Dry the large parts with
a clean rag and lay them in the sun to dry. When they've dried, squirt spray carb cleaner in all the jet holes, and
all the holes and passages in the throttle chamber, carb body, and top. You'll have to move the butterfly valves
back and forth in order to see all the tiny holes in the throttle chamber barrels. Lay the parts on clean fresh
rags, newspapers, or paper towels.
Step 13. Fondle the Parts.
Quicky People: Since your carb isn't completely apart, you'll just have to vicariously enjoy some of the
fondling that's about to take place.
Rebuilders: Now that all the parts are clean and naked in front of you, it's an opportune time to fondle them
and find out what they do. Let's start by arranging them in a logical order. Orient the carb body and top the way
they are in the jet location illustration. Now set the throttle chamber top side up to the left of the carb body so
the throttle lever is on the left.
There are two holes, called barrels going through the carburetor throttle chamber, body, and top. Since
there are two barrels, you have what's called a two-barrel carb. The slightly smaller barrel closest to you is the
front barrel when the carb is on the engine. It's the primary (sometimes called the 1st stage) part of the carb that
operates when starting the engine and while driving under light to moderate conditions. When you push the gas
pedal more than halfway to the floor (or put the pedal to the metal) the larger rear barrel, called the secondary
part (2nd stage) of the carb, comes into action. Pick up the throttle chamber with your right hand and rotate the
top of the throttle arm toward you. Now slowly rotate the top of the throttle arm toward the rear. Watch the two
round plates in the throttle chamber move as the throttle arm rotates. The round plates you're moving are called
butterfly valves (or throttle valves). When the butterfly valves are fully open they are vertical in the throttle
chamber so the maximum amount of fuel and air can be sucked into the engine. You can see that the primary
butterfly valve opens about halfway before the larger secondary butterfly starts to open. This allows you to drive
economically on the smaller primary system until you need the power to pass a car, drive up a steep hill, race
a Porsche-times when more fuel and air (power) are needed. You step down on the gas and the larger secondary
system kicks in.
There's another butterfly valve called the auxiliary valve located in the secondary barrel of the carb body.
It's attached by a shaft to a sickle-shaped arm with a round counterweight on the end on the outside of the carb
body. The function of the auxiliary valve is to keep the secondary system from operating when the engine is running
slowly under a heavy load. In this condition, if the intake air could pass through both the primary and secondary sides of the carburetor at the same time, the air flow in the barrels would become slow and the fuel in the
barrels wouldn't be atomized (mixed with air) sufficiently, resulting in a loss of power instead of gaining power.
The counterweight (or the secondary diaphragm) holds the auxiliary valve closed until the engine is turning
fast enough to create enough vacuum to pull the valve open.
The round gizmos hanging in the barrels of the carb body are the primary and secondary main nozzles.
Procedure 8, Step 14
Fuel Systems 229
When the engine is running, gas is sucked out of the float bowl, through jets, and through the small brass tubes
in the middle of the main nozzles. This is where the gas is atomized (mixed with air) as the air rushes through
the barrels.
Now look in the front barrel of the carb top where there's one more butterfly valve called a choke plate.
This butterfly is operated by the choke mechanism, be it automatic or manual. When the engine is cold, a richer
fuel mixture is required to get the engine started and enable it to run until it warms up. Richer means more fuel
relative to the amount of air in the fuel/ air mixture. On '75-'84 models, when the engine is cold the flat spiral spring in the choke cover pulls the choke plate (butterfly) closed. The closed choke butterfly changes the
mixture by restricting the amount of air drawn into the carb. When the engine is running, electricity passes through
the small brass-colored spring in the choke cover causing it to heat the inside of the choke housing. The heat
causes the large flat spring to expand (unwind its spiral) which allows the butterfly shaft to move the butterfly
to the open position, so the engine gets a leaner (less fuel relative to air) mixture.
There's more information about how the carb works in Chapter 4: How A Subaru Works.
Step 14. Inspect Everything.
Quicky People: Again, you'll just have to do the best you can since your carb isn't completely apart.
Rebuilders: Now that all the pieces are clean, let's give them an inspection that even the IRS would envy.
If you find something that doesn't look right to you, take the part to Subaru or a garage for their opinion. Give
all the parts one more shot of spray carb cleaner as you inspect them, just to be sure everything's copacetic. Be
sure to wear safety glasses when spraying. I know from experience how much that stuff burns when it gets on
the eyeballs. Let's go through our audit, part by part:
Throttle chamber: Grab the throttle chamber and rotate the throttle arm to see that everything operates
smoothly. Do the butterfly valves open to a vertical position when you rotate the throttle arm? The secondary
butterfly valve (the larger one) should snap shut completely when you release the throttle arm. If it doesn't, there's
a problem with the spring wrapped around the end of the shaft. One end of the spring hooks over the arm on
the shaft end, and the other end sticks into a hole on the outside of the throttle chamber.
Use a razor blade or sharp putty knife to carefully scrape off any traces of old gasket material you find on
the top or bottom.
Squirt some spray carb cleaner into all the holes in the throttle chamber, especially the tiny ones inside the
primary barrel. You'll have to open the primary butterfly valve (the smaller one) to see some of them.
If everything looks good, lay the throttle chamber aside.
Carb body: Now pick up the carb body and carefully inspect it for cracks. Examine the holes that things
screw into for stripped or damaged threads. Check all the holes and passages for dirt and blockage. Squirt spray
carb cleaner into all the holes and passages to make certain they're open. (If the spray can comes with a little
tube, attach it to the nozzle to reach down into those tiny places.) Pay particular attention to the brass accelerator
pump nozzle (see illustration).
Clean the inside and outside of the sight glass with spray carb cleaner and a clean rag or paper towel. Be
sure it's clear or you won't be able to check the float level.
Grab the counterweight and rotate it back and forth to check the auxiliary butterfly shaft for smooth operation.
Set the carb body aside.
Carb top: Pick up the carb top, turn it over, and press on the end of the spring-wrapped rod sticking out
of the bottom. This is the vacuum piston that activates the power valve. The spring should pop the rod back
out when you release it. To be sure it's clean, squirt some spray carb cleaner around the rod where it goes into
the carb top while pumping on the rod. The rod movement should be smooth. Squirt some cleaner in the two
jet holes on either side of the bottom surface of the carb top.
Check the choke butterfly shaft for smooth operation. (You may have to hold the arm sticking out between
the choke housing and carb top in a certain position so it doesn't interfere with the choke shaft. Experiment a
little and you'll find the position.)
Examine the holes in the two metal arms that hold the float in position. The holes should be round, not oval
or egg shaped.
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Chapter 11 Procedure 9
Everything look good? Set the carb top aside.
All that other stuff: Examine the holes in all the jets to see that they're clean. Squirt some spray carb cleaner
through the holes.
If you have a servo diaphragm, wipe off the hose fitting with a paper towel, then suck on the fitting. The
rubber tipped plunger should retract into the round housing. Suck, then put your tongue over the hole to see
if the diaphragm holds vacuum. If you have to keep sucking to keep the plunger retracted, the diaphragm in the
housing is broken. Inspect the rubber pad on the end of the plunger for wear. The end should be smooth. If the
diaphragm is broken or the rubber pad is funky, get a new servo diaphragm.
Check the two dashpots mounted in the long bracket (if you have them) the same way you checked the servo
diaphragm. Suck on the hose fitting on the end to see if the plungers retract. If they do, see if they hold vacuum
when you suck and put your tongue over the hole. If the plungers don't retract or won't hold vacuum, replace
the dashpots. They come as a complete assembly.
Check the black plasticfloat and its metal bracket for cracks. The holes in the bracket should be round.
If they're oval, replace the float. Inspect thefloat pivot pin and replace it if there are grooves worn near the ends.
Clean the fiber insulator block that fits between the throttle chamber and carb body. Carefully use a razor
blade or knife to remove traces of old gasket material on both sides. Use spray carb cleaner and a paper towel
to clean the holes. Check the block for cracks and replace it if you find any.
Check the tiny brass filter that was behind the needle valve. Gently pull on the ends to straighten it. Look
for tears or holes in the screen.
If you have an anti-diesel valve (that thumb-sized gizmo attached to the front of the carb with a wire sticking
out of the end), pull the pointed plungerout of the valve. Now look inside the valve for a thin spiral spring. The
spring has to be centered in the hole to do its job. If it isn't, try to center it with a small screwdriver. Insert the
large end of the pointed plunger into the valve. Push gently on the pointed tip to see if the plunger pops back
out. If it does, all's well. If it doesn't, you'll have to mess with the spring some more or replace the valve. Check
the wire where it disappears into the valve. Is it broken or frayed? If it is, replace the valve.
Here's why you have an anti-diesel valve. Sometimes a hot engine can continue to run even after the ignition
key is turned off. How? The temperature in the cylinders is hot enough to ignite residual fuel in the cylinders.
This sucks more fuel through the carb and the engine continues to run like a diesel engine; heat rather than a
spark is igniting the fuel. With an anti-diesel valve, a pointed plunger inside the valve closes an opening (the
primary slow passage) in the carburetor so no more fuel can be sucked in when the key is off. Without fuel,
the engine can't "diesel."
Now we're ready to put the whole mess back together. Go slowly, and double- or triple-check each jet's
number and location before installing it.
PROCEDURE 9: ASSEMBLE HITACHI CARBURETOR
Condition: You have a table covered with spotlessly clean carburetor parts and you're dying to get it all back
together to see if works; OR you're doing a quicky rebuild and/or you're in an emergency situation and need
to install the parts you removed.
Tools and Materials: Same as Procedure 8, maybe plus a small metric ruler.
Remarks: Make sure your hands are surgically clean. Arrange everything neatly on your workbench so the different
parts are easy to find. When installing the jets, needle valve, plugs, etc. in the carb body and top, get them good
and snug but don't crank on them so hard you damage the slots in the jets or strip the threads in the carb body
or top. Carefully check the jet numbers and locations to be sure they're right before installing each jet.
Emergency people will have to reuse the old parts.
Step 1. Assemble Carb Top.
Emergency People: Do the steps applicable to you (install the needle valve and float).
Rebuilders and Quicky People: Arrange the throttle chamber, carb body, and carb top the way they are
in the jet location illustration. Let's take it from the top.
Carb top upside down on the bench? OK, let's go. Find the primary and secondary slow air bleed jets. Use
a small screwdriver to screw them into the appropriate holes in the carb top.
If you had a small round brass filter screen under the needle valve, find it and straighten it if it's squished.
Drop the filter into the needle valve hole. It should fit over the round dowel at the bottom.
Find the new needle valve in the rebuild kit. See if the pin pops back out when you push on it and that the
little spring clip holding the pin is securely in its groove around the holder. Find a new round gasket that just
fits over the threaded end of the needle valve. Slide it on. Hold the carb top firmly on the bench while you screw
the needle valve in. Tighten it with a 10mm wrench or screwdriver depending on your type of needle valve.
Find the new accelerator pump and rubber boot in the rebuild kit. Insert the grooved end of the boot into
its hole from the outside surface of the carb top (yep, you'll have to turn it over). If necessary, gently push the
boot through the hole with a small screwdriver. Turn the carb top on its back again. Rotate the boot until it fits
neatly in the hole. Insert the accelerator pump rod through the rubber boot from the float side (bottom) of the
carb top. The small end of the boot fits into a small groove encircling the pump rod.
Gather thefloat and itspivot pin. Hold the float so its bracket arms are on the outside of the float posts on
the carb top. The tab (float seat) between the two arms should be straight above the needle valve pin. Align the
holes in the arms and posts and slide the pivot pin in so its ends extend equally on both sides. Now gently press
down on the float. It should pop up when you release it.
Step 2. Adjust Float Level.
Emergency People: If you don't have a metric
ruler handy, skip down to Step 7.
Rebuilders and Quicky People: If you checked
the float level in the sight glass before removing the
carb and it was right on the dot, skip this step. If you
didn't check the float level before disassembly or if
it was more than 1 / 16" above or below the dot, adjust
the float level. Here's how:
Get your little metric ruler handy. Checking the
float level is a bit awkward, but you can do it. The
carb top should be upside down on the table with the
float side toward you. Gently lift the float until the
tab on one of its bracket arms touches the mounting
post. Slowly lower the float while watching the end
of the needle valve pin. Measure the distance between
the float and the rim of the carb top just as the pin
touches the central tab (float seat) on the float bracket.
Yes, you'll probably need to look at the illustration.
If the measurement you get isn't approximately
10.5mm (7/16" or just a tad over 3/8"), you'll need
to bend the float seat up or down. It's easy if you pull
the float pin and remove the float. Use needlenose
pliers to slightly bend the float seat up or down, then
install the float and measure again. Keep checking
and changing until you've got it.
Procedure 9, Step 1
Fuel Systems 231
232
Chapter 11 Procedure 9, Step 3
Step 3. Assemble Carb Body.
Quicky People: Follow the Rebuilders' instructions to install the parts you removed.
Rebuilders: Set the carb body right side up on the workbench. Insert the primary and secondary emulsion tubes into their holes in the carb body. Be sure each is in its correct hole. Now install the primary and secondary
main air bleed jets. Tighten them snug with a screwdriver, but don't use so much force you strip 'em.
Install the power valve with a new gasket into its hole on the shelf in the float chamber. Use the notched
screwdriver to tighten it.
Install the primary slow jet into its hole and tighten it with a skinny screwdriver (not one that will scrape
the threads in the hole). Now install the primary slow jet plug and tighten it.
Install the rest of the jets on the top of the carb body and tighten them with a screwdriver. Remember to go
by the numbers.
Turn the carb body over and install the primary and secondary main jets. Be sure you get each in its right
hole, then tighten them both with a small screwdriver. Find new gaskets for the main jet plugs, and slip them
on. Install the plugs and tighten them with a 12mm wrench. (Put the lock plate on the plugs if you have one. Press
the teeth over the plugs with a screwdriver after the plugs are tightened.)
If you have a servo diaphragm, install a new O-ring (if your diaphragm had one) then fit the rubber-tipped
shaft into the hole on the rear of the carb body. Rotate the triangular mounting plate so the three screw holes
are aligned with the holes in the carb body. Install and tighten the three small phillips screws and lockwashers.
Step 4. Attach Carb Body to Throttle Chamber.
Quicky People: Skip this step.
Rebuilders: Find two new gaskets that match the shape of the fiber insulator plate. There should be a hole
in the gaskets wherever there's a hole in the insulator.
The carb body is upside down, right? Orient one of the new gaskets so all the holes match the holes in the
bottom of the carb body. Be sure a hole in the gasket fits over the hollow dowel sticking out of primary end of
the carb body. Now install the fiber insulator block, then the other gasket. All the holes match up? Good.
Find the large, long hollow phillips screw and its toothed lockwasher, and the other two short fat phillips
mounting screws and their regular lockwashers. Put the lockwashers on the screws then lay them someplace
close. Grab the throttle chamber, turn it upside down, then set it on the bottom of the carb body so all the holes
line up. (You might have to wiggle the lever on the auxiliary butterfly shaft a little so it clears the throttle chamber.
Be sure the two rods attached to the throttle arm shaft are sticking out in front and clear of everything and have
not slipped between the throttle arm shaft and the secondary shaft on the carb body.) Everything lined up? The
insulator plate should be neatly and evenly sandwiched between the throttle chamber and carb body (slip it into
place with your fingers if it isn't quite there yet). With the whole "sandwich" upside down, insert the long hollow
phillips screw into the hole between the two butterfly valves in the bottom of the throttle chamber. Screw it in
until it's lightly snug but don't tighten it yet. Turn the carb over and install the two fat mounting screws into their
holes on the throttle arm side of the carb body. Tighten them with a phillips screwdriver (yes, you'll have to angle
it in there). Now turn the carb over again and tighten the hollow phillips screw.
Step 5. Install Anti-diesel Valve (if yours has one).
Be sure there's a thin gasket on the valve, then screw it into the carb body. Tighten it with a 19mm or crescent
wrench.
Step 6. Install Tiny Drop-in Parts.
Quicky People: Install the parts named in this step now if you removed them.
Rebuilders: Turn the carb body right side up. Look in the rebuild kit for a new accelerator pump inlet
valve (a BB-size ball). If there isn't one, you'll have to reuse the old one. Drop the ball into the large accelerator pump hole in the top front of the carb body. That's right, just drop it in. Jiggle the carb around until the ball
falls into the small hole at the bottom. Now find the spring that's bent so one end of the wire forms a U shape
across the end of the spring. Insert the U-shaped end of the spring into the accelerator pump hole where the
little ball lives.
Here's another drop-in part. Look in the Tiny Parts can and find the accelerator pump outlet valve (injector
weight). It's a short solid hexagonal shaped shaft with a pointed end. Drop it into the hole between the accelerator
pump hole and the primary main air bleed jet. The pointed end goes down.
Set the carb body aside for now. Remember that those little pieces are just lying in the carb body now and
you'll have to catch them if you turn the carb upside down for some reason.
Step 7. Install Carb Top on Carb Body.
Emergency People: The old gasket might have shrunk and wrinkled while you were cleaning the needle
valve. If it did, carefully soak it in whatever gas is left in the float bowl, then try to install it.
Rebuilders and Quicky People: Find a new carb top gasket in the kit that exactly matches your old one.
Compare the holes and the shapes of the gaskets carefully. Set the new gasket on the carb body so all the holes
line up. Check 'em carefully. If they didn't line up, you'll have to fetch the right gasket. Take the gasket off and
set it aside for now.
Go to the carb top, which should be upside down. Remove the float again and slip the new gasket onto the
carb top. (Don't try to stretch it around the float!) Do all the holes match? Be sure the gasket fits around the outside
of the rubber accelerator pump boot. Install the float.
Hold the gasket in place with your fingers while you turn the carb top over and align it with the carb body.
Guide the accelerator pump and float into their holes as you gently lower the top onto the carb body. Wiggle
it a little to be sure it's seated. Install the longest top-mounting screw into the hole on the top front of the carb
right next to the choke housing. (One early version has a single dashpot bracket that mounts beneath this long
screw. If that's you, install the bracket at this time, as well as the two bracket mounting screws that fit into the
right side of the carburetor body.) Install mounting screws and lockwashers in the holes next to the accelerator pump and above the sight glass. Snug the screws with a phillips screwdriver. (On later models, you'll install
the two rear screws later with the dashpot bracket. If you have an earlier model with no rear dashpot bracket,
install the two rear screws now.)
Step 8. Assemble Automatic Choke.
There should be two rods still attached to the throttle arm shaft. Lift the shorter, straighter rod up to the
lever attached to the bottom front of the choke housing. Fit the end of the rod through the hole in the lever, then
install the tiny washer and cotter pin you stashed in the Tiny Parts can. There might be a new cotter pin in the
rebuild kit you can use. Bend the cotter pin around the shaft. If you didn't remove the choke cover, skip down
to Step 9.
The choke cover is clean, right? Hold it next to the choke housing so the words CLOSE and OPEN are at
the top. The hook on the end of the flat spiral spring in the cover has to hook the little lever sticking out of the
choke housing. Here's how to do it: Before fitting the cover to the housing, rotate the cover clockwise about 90°
('/a turn). Now fit the cover between the three ears on the housing. Push on the cover while you rotate it counterclockwise until the short line on the edge of the cover is aligned with the short line just to the left of the long
line on the housing. Hold the cover in that position while you install and tighten the triangular washers and phillips
screws. The washers are slightly bowed so install them with the convex side toward the screw head.
Step 9. Install Rear Bracket to Carb Top.
If you don't have two dashpots mounted in the bracket that attaches to the top rear of the carb, install the
bracket with the two remaining mounting screws. Snug them down, then tighten all five of the carb top mounting
screws. (A few versions may have no bracket here at all-just put in the screws and tighten them all.)
If you do have two dashpots mounted in a bracket, grab them. Look in the Tiny Parts can for the spring and
retainer washer that go on the outer dashpot shaft. Lay them nearby and handy.
The hooked end of the rod attached to the pot in the middle of the bracket has to hook into the slot of the
small brass-colored arm hanging down between the carb top and the choke housing. It's rather difficult to see.
Procedure 9, Step 7
Fuel Systems 233
Pick up the carb and turn it so the rear is toward you.
The choke cover and housing will be on your right.
Hold the carb in your left hand and the dashpots and
bracket in your right hand. Hold the bracket up to
the carb in its installed position, then rotate the
bracket clockwise until you can hook the end of the
rod into the slot in the little arm. Now rotate the
bracket counterclockwise into position on the rear
of the carb. Set the carb down. Install the spring, then
the washer, onto the outer dashpot shaft. The little
tabs on the retainer washer fit inside the spring. Pull
the washer toward the dashpot while you fit the end
of the rod that's dangling from the carb top through
the hole in the dashpot shaft. Install the two re maining
mounting screws and washers through the bracket
holes and into the holes on the carb top. Snug the two
screws, then tighten all five top-mounting screws.
Step 10. Install Accelerator Pump Lever.
Remember the accelerator pump lever? It's a
strip of metal with two or three small holes in one
end, a small pin sticking out of the other end, and
a large hole toward the pin end.
Set the carb so the front is toward you. Lift the
long crooked rod attached to the throttle arm shaft
up toward the choke housing. Stick the hooked end
through the small hole that's second from the end in
the pump lever. Insert it from the pin side of the lever.
Wiggle and rotate the rod through the hole until you
can stick the pin on the other end of the lever through
the hole in the accelerator pump shaft that's sticking up out of the top of the carb. You might have to
rotate the accelerator pump shaft so the pin can slip
into the hole.
Look in the Tiny Parts can for the pump lever
screw (it's the one with the big head), a flat washer,
a lockwasher and large round pump lever spring
(some very early models don't have a spring). Pull
the pin on the lever back out of the accelerator pump
shaft. Stick the large screw through the large hole
in the lever. Wiggle it until the shoulder on the screw
fits snugly in the lever hole. Hold it there while you
slip the flat washer, then the lockwasher, onto the
screw. The spring (if you have one) has a hook on one
end and a 90° bend on the other. Put the spring on
the screw so the hooked end is next to the bottom of
234
Chapter 11 Procedure 9, Step l0
the pump lever pointing straight down. The other end should be pointing toward the carb. Now try to hold the
screw in the lever, and the washers and spring on the screw, while you guide the pin on the lever back into the
hole in the accelerator pump shaft. Be sure the 90° end of the spring ends up on the carb top right next to the
rubber boot. Screw the large screw into the carb with your fingers. You'll probably have to push down on the
accelerator pump shaft to align the screw and its hole on the carb. If the pump lever slipped off the screw shoulder,
wiggle it back on and hold it in place while you finish tightening the screw with a screwdriver. Is the 90° end
of the spring next to the rubber boot and the hooked end hanging down below the lever? You should be able to
wiggle the lever a little even after the screw is tightened. Check it. Is the pin engaged in the hole in the accelerator
pump shaft? If anything's amiss, remove the screw and start over. Everything's where it should be? Good.
Now you need to get the hooked end of the spring over the top of the pump lever. Slide a small screwdriver
between the pump lever and spring on the choke side of the screw. Put the end of the screwdriver in the hooked
end of the spring and, using the screw as a pivot point, push the screwdriver handle to your right. When the hook
is even with the top of the lever, press it against the lever with your finger while you pull the screwdriver out
of the spring. The end of the spring will hook over the top of the lever. The other end of the spring should be
on the carb top near the accelerator pump boot. Check it.
Step H. Whew! Finish the Job.
Find the throttle return spring. It has a hook on each end. Hook one end of the spring in the hole on the
lever sticking out on the bottom of the throttle arm, then hook the other end in the hole on the bottom of the dashpot
bracket or choke housing, depending on your setup.
If you have a single dashpot carb with the dashpot bracket mounted on the throttle arm side of the carb body,
now's the time to attach the dashpot's little rod to its hole on a lever on the throttle arm. A cotter pin locks it into
place.
Slip the short coiled spring onto the pointed idle mixture adjustment screw. Now install the screw into the
hole on the front of the throttle chamber. Gently screw it in until it stops. Now unscrew it four complete turns.
We'll do the fine adjustment with the engine running. (If your mixture screw has a plastic top with a tab, the tab
may not clear the carb body as you screw it in. Use pliers to gently pull the top off; then push it back on once
the screw is in place.)
Find the long idle speed adjustment screw and spring. Fit the spring onto the threaded end of the screw,
then screw the screw into the threaded hole in the throttle chamber just above the throttle arm shaft. It goes in
at about a 45° angle, just like the mixture screw. Screw it in until the end barely touches the tab on the throttle arm shaft. You'll have to do a final idle adjustment with the engine running.
The carb is now assembled. Or should be. Any loose screws or springs left in the cans? Some may be old
ones you have replaced with new, or extras. Turn the carb around to see if everything's secure and the throttle
arm rotates back and forth smoothly. If it's all together, you're ready to put the carb back on the engine.
Quicky People: You'll be doing some Procedure 10 stuff, starting with Step 2.
PROCEDURE 10: INSTALL HITACHI CARBURETOR
Condition: You've removed the carb for whatever reason and now you want to put it back on; OR you're installing
a new or rebuilt carb; OR you did a quicky rebuild.
Tools and Materials: 10mm wrench, phillips and/or regular screwdriver, knife or putty knife or razor blade,
new carburetor mounting gasket. (Quicky people won't need the gasket or razor blade.)
Step 1. Attach Carburetor to Intake Manifold.
Emergency and Quicky People: Skip this step.
Rebuilders: Stuff a clean rag or paper towel into the hole in the manifold where the carburetor fits so pieces
Procedure 9, Step 11
Fuel Systems 235
236
Chapter 11 Procedure 10, Step 2
of the old gasket can't fall into the engine. Use a knife, putty knife, or razor blade to scrape all traces of the old
carburetor mounting gasket off the intake manifold. Be sure the surface is absolutely smooth. A little solvent
will help get off the last of the crud. Remove the rag or paper towel from the hole. Remove any traces of dirt
or gasket that might have fallen in there.
Find a new mounting gasket that matches the old one. Fit it over the four studs sticking up on the manifold,
making sure the holes match perfectly. Now set the carb on the four mounting studs. Remember, the adjusting screws are on the front, and the round choke housing on the side of the carburetor top goes toward the passenger's
side of the car.
Here's where your patience will be tested: Put a lockwasher (or whatever was under the nuts) and a 10mm
nut on each stud, then screw the nuts down as far as you can with your fingers. Use a 10mm wrench to tighten
them evenly in a diagonal pattern (first one corner, then the far opposite corner, then back to the other side, etc.).
Go around a few times until all four nuts are snug.
Step 2. Connect Vacuum Hoses and Wires to Carb.
Connect the vacuum hoses and/or rubber plugs to the front of the carb. They might go like this as you face
the carb: the left hose to a fitting hiding under the carb top just above the idle-speed adjustment screw; one or
two hoses or rubber plugs to fittings on the front center of the carb; the right hose might go to a fitting stick
ing out of the top left (driver's side) of the carb. Late models have hoses that attach horizontally to the front and/or
rear of the carb. Refer to the illustration or your sketch to be sure. There may also be a diagram under your hood.
You'll need all the help you can get. Persevere.
Connect thefuel inlet hose to the fitting on the top rear corner of the carb, then position and tighten the clamp.
Attach the fuel return hose and the hose to the switch vent solenoid (if you have them) the same way.
If your carb has dashpots, connect the vacuum hoses to the dashpot(s) on the rear of the carb.
Attach the accelerator cable to the throttle arm (Procedure 3, Step 7).
Connect the automatic choke wire to the wiring harness. If you have them, connect the anti-dieseling valve
wire and the switch vent solenoid valve wire to the wiring harness.
EVERYONE: Be sure the vacuum hoses are securely attached to the intake manifold, metal pipes or whatever.
Check for any loose hoses or wires; Reconnect them if you find any. It's like a puzzle; it's not done till the last
piece is in place.
Step 3. Do This and That.
EVERYONE: Reconnect the negative (-) battery cable clamp (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 3).
Rebuilders: Add coolant to the radiator and be sure to check the coolant level again after the engine has
warmed up (Chapter 16, Procedure 1, Step 2).
Step 4. Adjust Carb.
Install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5), then start the engine. It will take a few seconds for
the fuel pump to fill the float bowl, so don't panic. You might have to screw the idle speed adjustment screw in
(clockwise) a little to keep the engine running at first (Chapter 7, Procedure 12).
Once the engine will idle, check thefuel level in the sight glass on the left side of the carb. If the level is
more than l / 16" above or below the dot, you'll need to remove the carb top and adjust the float level (Procedure 11).
Fuel level is right on? OK, let the engine warm up to normal operating temperature, then adjust the idle
speed and idle mixture (Chapter 7, Procedure 12). If the engine won't idle slow enough after unscrewing the idle
adjustment screw, give the accelerator cable a little more slack (Procedure 3, Step 7).
Check the coolant level again and add some if it's needed (Chapter 16, Procedure 1, Step 2).
Go for a test drive. Does the car accelerate properly and idle as it should? Sit back and wallow in the pride
of your accomplishment.
Procedure 11, Step 1
Fuel Systems 237
PROCEDURE 11: EMERGENCY! OR QUICKY GARB CLEAN AND/OR REBUILD (Hitachi Carbs
Only)
Carburetor problems can often be cured without a full-scale carb rebuild. Step 1 might solve your problem. The rest of the procedure is for people who merely need to adjust the float level, or for those unfortunate
souls who are broken down at the side of the road with a stuck needle valve (open or closed), or for lazy peo
ple (like me) who are in the mood for just a "quicky" rebuild. It might solve your problem with less hassle, but
it's not a complete job, mind you, so you won't qualify for the Carburetor Rebuilding Merit Badge. If all this
fails, you'll have to remove the carb and do a complete rebuild.
For people who need to adjust the float level or are in an emergency situation, and have been referred here
from other procedures and steps in this chapter, read the Emergency People instructions, then do the step using
whatever tools and ingenuity you have available. Basically what you'll be doing is removing the top of the carburetor,
adjusting the float level (if necessary), and checking the needle valve assembly for dirt.
People here for a quicky, read the special instructions in the procedures and steps designated Quicky People,
then follow the Rebuilders instructions also. You'll be removing the top of the carb, then removing and cleaning
the accessible jets and replacing the gaskets and needle valve assembly.
Condition: You're stranded on the side of the road and suspect the carburetor is the culprit-gas is pouring out
around the top of the carb, or there's no gas visible in the sight glass on the side of the carb; OR the engine isn't
running right and you want to do a quicky carb clean and/or rebuild.
Tools and Materials:
Emergency People: You'll need a 10mm wrench, phillips screwdriver, and pliers. Some clean rags would
be helpful (handkerchief, tie, socks, etc.). If you just happen to have a spray can of carb cleaner, you are truly blessed.
Quicky People: I'm assuming you aren't in an emergency situation and can round up a few parts and supplies
before you start.
For Step 1, you'll need a spray can of carburetor cleaner and maybe a 10mm wrench to remove the air cleaner
top. To do the quicky rebuild, you'll need all the tools and materials listed in Procedure 8 except the 12mm wrench
and the big can of carb cleaner (you'll use spray cans). If possible, have a carb rebuild kit handy.
CAUTION: Be careful not to drop anything into the carb while you're working on it. If something does drop
into it, try to fish the part out with a magnet, or remove the carb if you can't get it out otherwise.
Step 1. Quicky Carb Clean.
Emergency People: If you don't have a spray can of carb cleaner, skip down to Step 2.
Emergency and Quicky People: One day on the way home from work, my Brat decided it would only run
at idle or full throttle, with nothing in between. What a frantic ten miles of driving just to get home! All the way
I was thinking for sure I'd be up late that night rebuilding the carb instead of going to a beach party I had been
looking forward to for weeks. In desperation I yanked off the air cleaner and doused the inside of the carb with
carb cleaner. I must have used half a can of the stuff. When I started the engine it coughed, sputtered, belched
a cloud of blue smoke that nearly brought out the fire department, then smoothed out and purred like a kitten.
My evening wasn't ruined after all, thanks to the "mechanic in a can." Maybe you'll be just as lucky. There's
only one way to find out.
Remove the 10mm nut or the three wingnuts on the air cleaner top, or flip up the retaining clips around the
edge depending on your setup. Lift the air cleaner top off the housing, then remove the air filter element.
Put the little tube that comes with it in the nozzle of the carb cleaner can and spray the inside of the carburetor. Let it soak a few minutes then spray it some more. Stick the tube into the holes in the rear of the carb
and give them a good shot. Look for small round brass screws to squirt. Use your finger or a screwdriver to hold
238
Chapter 11 Procedure 11, Step 2
the flat choke plate in the front half of the carb straight up and down so you can clean the front part of the carb.
If you have a clean rag handy, use it to wipe away as much crud as possible from inside the carb.
Now try to start the engine. If it starts it'll probably belch out a huge cloud of blue smoke. That's the carb
cleaner burning off so don't worry. Just be sure you're not in a closed garage. Try revving the engine with the
gas pedal. Is your problem solved? If so, put the air filter in the housing, put the air cleaner top on and secure
it with the 10mm nut, wingnuts, or clips. Go for a test drive to be sure you've eliminated the problem. If your
Soob still doesn't run right, let's dig a little deeper for the solution.
Step 2. Tap Carb Top to Free Needle Valve.
EVERYONE: Remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4). Look at the sight glass on the left
(driver's) side of the carb. If the fuel level line in the glass is near the top or bottom of the glass, use a wrench
or the handle of a screwdriver or hammer to tap on the top of the carb near the fuel inlet. Tap, don't bash! The
tapping might free the needle valve, if it's stuck. Tap the carb a few times, then start the engine if possible. If
the fuel level in the sight glass returns to the dot in the middle, you may have solved the problem. Replace the
needle valve as soon as possible to avoid future emergency situations (and possible ulcers).
If there doesn't appear to be any gas in the float bowl after tapping the carb top, check the fuel supply (Procedure
4). If fuel is getting to the carb and tapping the top didn't solve the problem, do Step 3.
Step 3. Remove Carb Top, Clean Needle Valve, Adjust Float Level.
EVERYONE: To remove the carb top, do Procedure 7, Steps 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Do Step 8 if the wire for the
anti-diesel valve is connected to the choke wire. Do Step 10 but disconnect only the hoses attached to the top
of the carb. Do Procedure 8, Steps 1, 2, and 3, to disconnect the carb top from the body, remove the float, and
check the needle valve.
If you don't have a new gasket for the carb top, leave the gas in the float bowl. You might need it to soak
the old gasket in later. If you have a new gasket, clean the inside of the float bowl with a clean rag or paper towel.
Step 4. Install Carb Top.
Emergency People: After the needle valve is cleaned and the float is adjusted, go to Procedure 9, Step 1,
to start putting the carb back together. You'll need to do the following steps in Procedure 9: 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, and 11.
Procedure 10, Steps 2 and 3, will get everything reconnected. Hopefully the problem is solved and you can
drive off into the sunset with a satisfied smile. If not, I offer you my sympathy. It's complete rebuild time, so
call for a tow or a miracle.
Quicky People: In Procedure 8, you can do any of Steps 4-14 (except Step 9) that you feel needs doing.
The more steps you do, the better your chances of having a healthy carburetor. To put things back together, read
Procedure 9 and do the steps that are applicable to you.
Do Procedure 10, Steps 2, 3, and 4, to get everything reconnected, the engine running, and the carb adjusted.
Hopefully your problem has been solved. If not, a carb rebuild or replacement is necessary (Procedure 7).
PROCEDURE 12: REMOVE AND INSTALL CARTER-WEBER CARBURETOR
Condition: Your Carter-Weber carb needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
Tools and Materials: 10 and 12mm wrenches, phillips screwdriver, masking tape, indelible marking pen, rags.
Remarks: Use masking tape and pen to label the fuel and vacuum hoses before disconnecting them.
Step 1. Get Ready.
Do Steps 1 through 3 in Procedure 7. These preliminaries are the same as for the other carburetor.
Step 2. Disconnect Fuel Hoses.
The fuel inlet and return hoses are attached to a Y -shaped fitting on the left rear corner of the carb. The
larger hose is the inlet hose. Label the hoses, then use a phillips screwdriver to loosen the clamps. Now disconnect the hoses.
The vent hose is attached to a bracket near the left front corner. Label the hose, squeeze the hose clamp
and slide it away from the end of the hose, then pull the hose off the fitting.
Step 3. Disconnect Electrical Things.
There are two electrical harness connectors on the right side of the carb near the round automatic choke
housing. Separate the two connectors. They're shaped differently so you don't need to label them.
Step 4. Disconnect Vacuum Hoses.
Label, then disconnect the small hose for the vacuum advance unit on the distributor from the bottom front
of the carb. Now label and disconnect the vacuum hose for the EGR valve from the round gizmo on the rear of
the carb. See any additional vacuum hoses? If so, label them for location and disconnect them.
Step 5. Disconnect Accelerator Cable.
See Procedure 3, Step 2, to disconnect the accelerator cable from the throttle arm on the carb.
Step 6. Remove Carb.
Remove the 10mm nuts and lockwashers on the bottom front and rear of the carb, then gently pull the carb
off the intake manifold. Check all around and disconnect and label any hoses or wires that might still be attached
to the carb. Remove the fiber insulator plate from the intake manifold or the bottom of the carb; it may be stuck
either place. Cover the hole in the intake manifold with a clean rag or paper towel.
Step 7. Prep for Installing Carter-Weber Carb.
Use a knife or razor blade to carefully remove traces of the old gasket from each side of the fiber insulator plate. Scrape the old gasket from the carb mount on the intake manifold, then remove the rag or paper towel.
Remove any gasket parts that may fall into the manifold. Now install a new carb mount gasket, then the insulator,
then another carb mount gasket onto the manifold. Be sure all the holes are aligned.
Step 8. Install Carter-Weber Carb.
Fit the carb onto the manifold, then install and tighten the l0mm lockwashers and nuts on the bottom front
and rear of the carb.
Connect the accelerator cable to the throttle arm (Procedure 3, Step 7).
Reconnect the two electrical harness connectors.
Connect the hose from the vacuum advance unit to the bottom front of the carb.
Connect the hose from the EGR valve to the round thing on the rear of the carb.
Connect the hoses for the fuel inlet and return to the Y fitting on the left rear corner.
Connect the vent hose to the vent solenoid valve on the front of the carb and tighten the clamp. Attach the
bracket to the top of the carb with the 10mm bolt.
Connect any other hoses that you disconnected from the carb.
Step 9. Do This and That.
Reconnect the battery cable (Chapter 10, Procedure 1, Step 3).
Add coolant to the radiator (Chapter 16, Procedure 1). Be sure to check the coolant level after the engine
has been warmed up, then cooled off.
Install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 12, Step 8). Start the engine and let it warm up, then adjust
the idle speed (Chapter 7, Procedure 12, Steps 1, 3, 4, and 5).
Have Subaru or a garage set the idle mixture and adjust the fast idle mechanism for the automatic choke.
Procedure 12, Step 2
Fuel Systems 239
240
Chapter 11 Procedure 13, Step 1
PROCEDURE 13: CHECK AUTOMATIC CHOKE (Carb Models Only)
Start this procedure when the engine is cool. Read Procedure 8, Step 9, for an explanation of how the automatic
choke works. It's the same principle on Hitachis and Carter-Webers.
Condition: It's hard to start the engine on cold mornings; OR the engine starts but won't idle; OR the engine
starts easily but runs poorly and the gas mileage is down.
Tools and Materials: 10mm wrench, maybe a phillips screwdriver, maybe a file and pop rivet gun and rivets
if yours is a 1980 or newer model.
Step 1. Remove Air Cleaner.
Remove the air cleaner, then plug the vacuum lines that were connected to the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4).
Step 2. Check Position of Choke Plate.
With the engine off and cold, push the accelerator pedal to the floor one time and release it. This should
set the choke to its horizontal ON position.
Now look in the top of the carb. On Hitachi carbs the choke plate (butterfly valve) should be covering the
front half of the opening in the top of the carb. On Carter-Weber carbs the choke plate should cover the entire
opening. If it does, skip to Step 4. If the choke plate isn't in the horizontal ON position, do Step 3.
Step 3. Remove Choke Cover and Check Springs.
If the choke plate isn't covering the opening, the choke isn't working. See if you can move it with your fingers
or a screwdriver. If it's stuck, squirt a little penetrating oil on both ends of the choke plate shaft inside the carb
opening, then squirt some on the shaft that connects the choke plate and the round choke housing on the right
(passenger's) side of the carb. If you can't free the choke plate, do Step 5 to remove and check the choke cover.
Step 4. See if Choke Opens.
Clear tools, rags, and stuff away from the drive belts and fan(s), be sure the vacuum lines are plugged, then
start the engine. As the engine warms up the rpms will increase. Tap the accelerator pedal occasionally and see
if the engine slows to idle. It should. The choke plate should gradually open to a vertical position as the engine
warms up. If it doesn't, feel the round choke housing on the right (passenger's) side of the carb. It should be warm.
If it isn't, see if the wire to the choke is connected. Wire OK? Then check thefuse (s) for the choke (Chapter 10,
Procedure 2, Steps 1-3). If all's well in Fuseville, see if there's juice in the wire at the connection to the choke
(Chapter 10, Procedure 5, Step 2). If there's juice getting to the choke wire but the choke housing doesn't warm
up, the little heater wire inside the choke cover is probably kaput. Do Step 5 to remove and install the choke cover.
Step 5. Remove, Check, and Install Choke Cover.
'72-'79 models: Remove the three screws around the perimeter of the round plastic choke cover and their
little triangular washers (Procedure 8, Step 5).
'80 and newer models: If the choke plate is stuck and you can't free it or the choke housing isn't heating
up, you'll have to remove the phillips screw at the bottom of the round choke cover (right side of the carb), then
file the two rivets off the top corners. (Don't let the metal filings fall into the carb.) You'll need a pop rivet gun
and a couple of pop rivets to reinstall the cover, or hire someone to rivet it for you. If you aren't up for it, put
the air cleaner on and take the car to Subaru or a garage and have them check the choke for you.
EVERYONE: Lift off the cover to see if the springs inside are broken or bent. The flat spiral-shaped spring
should be wound evenly around the center post and the small brass spring should be neatly tucked into the
Procedure 14, Step l
Fuel Systems 241
ceramic groove. If the springs look good, try to move the choke plate again. If it moves now or if the springs
are distorted and weird, get a new choke cover. If the choke plate is still stuck, have Subaru or a garage check
it for you.
To install the choke cover, see Procedure 9, Step 8. If you filed off rivets to remove the cover, install the bottom
screw then pop new rivets into the top two holes (or have Subaru or a garage rivet it for you). If you're installing a new choke cover and the old choke wire is permanently connected to other wires, you'll need to cut the
old wire and splice on the new choke wire. See Chapter 18, Procedure 10, to splice the wire.
Install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5).
PROCEDURE 14: CHECK AND REPLACE ANTI-DIESEL VALVE (Hitachi Carbs Only)
Condition: The engine will start but won't idle. It will run as long as you pump the gas pedal or keep the engine
running at high speed.
Tools and Materials: l0mm and l9mm wrenches, maybe a new anti-diesel valve.
Remark: Early Hitachi carbs don't have an anti-diesel valve. Check the description in Step l.
Step 1. Check Anti-Diesel Valve.
Remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4).
The anti-diesel valve is a thumb-sized, six-sided gizmo sticking out of the front left (driver's) side of the
carb. It points to the left front headlight and has a wire coming out the end.
Follow the wire from the valve to a wire connection. Disconnect the wire, then turn the ignition switch to
ON but don't start the engine. Now connect the wire from the anti-diesel valve to the connector while listening for a click at the valve. Do it several times. If you hear a click, the switch is working but the spring inside
might be bent. Do Step 2 to remove the valve and check the spring and plunger. If you don't hear a click when
connecting the wires, use a 12-volt test light or Volt/Ohm meter (VOM) to check the wire for "juice" at the connector
(Chapter 10, Procedure 5, Step 2). If there's juice going to the anti-diesel valve wire but the valve doesn't click
when you connect the wires, the valve is kaput. Step 2 tells you how to replace it. If there's no juice in the wire
where the valve wire connects, the wire is broken somewhere between here and the battery. Follow the wire
until it disappears into a bundle of wires. Follow the bundle as far as you can while checking for breaks. Check
the wires around the fuse box for breaks. If you find a broken or frayed section of wire, splice it (Chapter 18,
Procedure 9). Can't find a break? You'll have to have Subaru, a garage, or an auto electric place locate the problem.
Step 2. Remove and Install Anti-Diesel Valve.
Disconnect the wire to the anti-diesel valve, then use a 19mm wrench to remove the valve counterclockwise as viewed from the front of the car. (If the wire for your anti-diesel valve wire is attached to a connector
with other wires and doesn't disconnect separately, go ahead and unscrew the valve; the wire will twist enough
to get the valve out.) Don't lose the thin copper gasket (washer). Pull the pointed plunger out of the valve. Is
the plunger dirty or bent? Is the tiny spiral spring inside the valve crooked or missing? Replace the valve if the
plunger is bent or the spring is crooked or missing. If the plunger and/or the inside of the valve are dirty, clean
them, then install the valve and see if it works. Still no luck? Replace the valve.
To install the valve, insert the fat round end of the plunger into the valve. Be sure there's a thin copper washer
on the threaded end, then screw the valve into the carb. Tighten the valve clockwise with a 19mm wrench, then
connect the wire. If you're replacing the valve and the wire is directly connected to other wires with no handy
local connector, you'll have to cut the wire and splice it (Chapter 18, Procedure 9).
Install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5).
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Chapter 11
CHAPTER 12
EXHAUST AND EMISSION CONTROL
SYSTEMS
This chapter is basically about waste; what to do with the leftovers after the good stuff has been removed.
The problem has plagued humanity for years, from human waste to nuclear waste. If it isn't dealt with properly, we all suffer from the resulting pollution. Other than furtive protestations, you and I can't do much about
nuclear waste, but we can help reduce air pollution by keeping our cars well-tuned and the emission system in
good working order.
Automotive exhaust fumes contain hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrous oxides (NOx) that
react chemically in sunlight. These chemicals form inside the engine when gasoline is burned, then get pumped
through the exhaust system and into the air. Since the '60s, car manufacturers (under pressure from environmen
talists and the government) have been using a trial and error process to develop ways to reduce these harmful exhaust
emissions. The first steps were rather simple, but in recent years, they've developed into complex systems controlled
by electrical and vacuum devices. Sure enough, since emission control laws went into effect, the amount of pollution pumped out of exhaust pipes has dropped significantly. Here's how the miracle is accomplished.
EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEMS
Some mechanics (and would-be mechanics) blame emission control devices for poor gas mileage, decreased
power, premature engine failure, acne, hemorrhoids, famine, and floods. The truth is, emission control devices
rarely cause the problems they're frequently blamed for. A good, thorough tune-up (which includes some emission
control maintenance) will usually remedy most engine performance problems.
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Chapter 12
If the engine still runs poorly after a tune-up or there's a sudden decrease in gas mileage, first check all
vacuum hose and wiring connections under the hood. A poor connection is the most frequent cause of problems. When disconnecting hoses, pull on the end, not the middle,of the hose. When disconnecting wires, pull
on the connector, not on the wire. Label all hoses and electrical connections before disconnecting them and double
check that they're reconnected correctly when the job is finished. Even Subaru mechanics often label and recheck,
due to the multitude of variations from year to year and model to model. If you have one, use the sticker under
the hood for reference.
Your Soob uses a combination of systems to make it one of the cleanest running machines on the road. I'll
start by describing the various systems and the years they were used. You might want to use a yellow marking
pen to highlight the systems that apply to your particular year and model so you won't have to read through all
the systems. I'll also tell you which components in the systems you can check at home and which ones require
special tools or expertise to diagnose or replace.
Here are a few precautions to follow to avoid damaging some of the emission control devices: Use only unleaded
fuel in '79 and newer models. Avoid coasting with the car in gear and the ignition off. (The unburned fuel being
sucked through the engine will coat the catalyst on some models and ruin it.) Be careful not to bang against electrical
devices while working on the engine. Also, prolonged engine idling can cause the exhaust system to overheat
and possibly damage the exhaust system (maybe even start a fire).
CRANKCASE EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM
When the fuel is ignited in the cylinders, some of the burned gas (called blow-by gas) squeezes past the
piston rings into the crankcase. As the engine runs, the blow-by gas builds up pressure inside the crankcase which
must be relieved or it will blow out the engine seals and gaskets. Back in the old days, the pressure was released
through a pipe directly into the air. Nowadays, the gas is recirculated through the engine to be burned again,
then passed to the exhaust system.
On early Soobs, the two hoses connected to the tops of the valve covers carry the blow-by gas to the air cleaner
where it's sucked into the Garb and burned again. Starting in '77 on some models and in '79 on all models, a
gizmo called a positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve was added to allow fresh air from the air cleaner
to be sucked into the crankcase to mix with the blow-by gas before being sucked into the intake manifold.
On '77-'79 models, you can tell if you have a PCV valve by looking at the hose connected to the top of the
left (driver's side) valve cover. If the hose connects directly to the air cleaner, you don't have a PCV valve. If
the hose connects to a plastic elbow, the hose on the other end of the elbow connects to the PCV valve that's screwed
into the intake manifold. A smaller hose attached to the side of the elbow connects to the air cleaner. The hoses
attached to the top of the valve covers and the PCV valve need to be checked and cleaned periodically. Procedure 2 tells you how.
EXHAUST EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEMS
Depending on the year and model, the exhaust emission control system utilizes vacuum and electrical devices,
temperature sensors, revolution counters, and timers to reduce the pollutants pumped out of the exhaust pipe.
Here's how some of these gizmos work:
Vacuum: When the engine is running, the pistons create a vacuum on the intake stroke which draws the
fuel/ air mixture from the carburetor, through the intake manifold, and into the cylinder to be burned on the next
combustion stroke. It's the same principle as filling a hypodermic syringe; pulling the plunger away from the
needle end of the syringe creates a vacuum that sucks the fluid into the syringe. In the case of your Soob, you
have four plungers (the pistons), one inlet like the syringe's needle (the carburetor), four syringes to be filled
(the cylinders), and a manifold to connect the four syringes to the single needle.
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems
245
The difference between the hypodermic needle and your Soob is that the opening in the carburetor can be
opened or closed by pressing or releasing the accelerator pedal. When the accelerator pedal is pressed down,
the throttle valve (butterfly) in the bottom of the carburetor opens and allows the fuel/air mixture to be drawn
in easily. When the accelerator pedal is up and the throttle valve in the carb is closed, the pistons still try to suck
the mixture through the carb, but can't as well as they might because the opening is partially closed, so a vacuum
is created.
The amount of vacuum in the cylinders and intake manifold varies relative to the position of the butterfly
valve in the carburetor; there's low vacuum when the throttle valve is open (accelerating, cruising, heavy load),
and high vacuum when the throttle valve is closed (decelerating, idling, light load). The variation of vacuum
in the intake manifold just beneath the carburetor is used to regulate several engine and emission control components
to increase the engine's efficiency and decrease nasty emissions.
Some examples of vacuum operated emission control devices are the vacuum advance or retard unit on the
distributor, the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, and the coasting bypass (deceleration) circuit in the
carburetor. Some of the vacuum gizmos are controlled by other gizmos like these:
Thermovacuum valves open or close vacuum passages between the intake manifold and various vacuumcontrolled devices depending on the coolant temperature or the temperature of the intake manifold.
Thermoswitches turn electrical and vacuum devices on or off depending on the temperature of the coolant or the intake manifold.
Timers determine how long some of the electrical and vacuum devices will be on or off after the ignition
switch is turned on.
Now that you know the principle of how some of the various emission control devices work, here's a list
of the components and how the principles are applied to reduce exhaust emissions.
'75-'76 models: A simple hot air induction system is used to vary the air temperature entering the carburetor.
The function of the hot air system is explained later in the '77-'84 hot air induction section.
'75-'80 models: A coasting bypass system (also called the deceleration system) operates when the car
is decelerating or coasting along easily. Here's how it works. A vacuum control valve is mounted on the top
right side of the intake manifold (it's on the front center of the manifold below the carb on '76 models). This
valve operates in conjunction with the carburetor and a small round servo diaphragm on the rear of the carburetor. When the car is decelerating, higher than normal vacuum is created in the intake manifold. The increased
vacuum overpowers a spring inside the vacuum control valve and opens a poppet valve which allows the vacuum
to operate the servo diaphragm. The servo diaphragm opens the bypass passage in the carburetor and allows
more air to be drawn into the bottom of the carb. The added air makes the air/fuel ratio leaner (less gas relative to air), and thus reduces the amount of gas being burned during deceleration when gas isn't needed anyway. Procedure 7 tells you how to check and repair the coasting bypass system.
'75-'80 models: A vacuum retard unit is mounted on the side of the distributor. When the car is decelerating,
higher vacuum is created in the intake manifold. The increased vacuum causes the vacuum retard unit on the
distributor to retard the ignition timing, which promotes the combustion of unburned fuel. See Chapter 7, Procedure
9, to check and/or replace the vacuum retard unit.
'75-'76 California cars and all '77 and newer models: On carb models, an exhaust gas recirculation
(EGR) valve is mounted to the rear of the intake manifold just below the carb. A metal EGR tube connects the
exhaustport of the #3 cylinder and the intake manifold. On fuel-injected models, the EGR valve is on the top
left side of the intake manifold and the EGR tube connects the intake manifold to the exhaust port of the #4 cylinder.
Here's how the EGR system works.
When the engine is decelerating, a vacuum hose from the intake manifold opens the EGR valve and allows
some exhaust gas to be drawn into the intake manifold to be recirculated through the combustion chambers. The
recycled exhaust gas lowers the combustion temperature in the cylinders which reduces the formation of nitrous
oxides (NOx).
Over a period of time, the passages for the EGR system can become clogged with carbon and the EGR valve
can get stuck. Procedure 1 tells you how to check, clean, and replace the EGR components.
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Chapter 12
'75 models only: An air pump was added to inject "secondary air" into the exhaust ports of the cylinder heads when the car is decelerating. In the exhaust ports, the secondary air promotes recombustion of unburned
hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. A check valve is installed between the pump and cylinder heads to prevent exhaust gas from flowing back into the pump.
An anti-afterburning valve (AM) is attached between the air pump and intake manifold. The AAV allows
the air pump to pump air into the intake manifold when the car is decelerating to prevent "backfiring."
The air pump is mounted between the carburetor and alternator and turned by a drive belt. The air pump
was only used on '75 models. Such a short life. Maintenance and repair of the air pump is in Procedure 3. The
anti- afterburning valve is covered in Procedure 8.
'75 California models only: A small round dashpot was added to the carburetor to prevent the throttle
arm from snapping to the idle position when the accelerator pedal is released suddenly. The dashpot allows the
throttle arm to return to the idle position slowly. The theory behind the dashpot is that if the throttle valve closes
suddenly, the combustion in the cylinders will be incomplete, resulting in increased unburned hydrocarbon emissions. Procedure 10 tells you how to check, adjust, and replace the throttle dashpot.
'76 models only: The vacuum control valve was moved from the top right side of the intake manifold to
a plate (vacuum modulator cover) on the front of the intake manifold just below the carburetor. Due to special
tools and expertise required, you'll have to have a Subaru garage check and adjust the vacuum control valve.
'76-'79 models: A vacuum modulator is bolted to the bottom front center of the intake manifold. It's sort
of triangular-shaped and has vacuum hoses connected to the top and right side. The modulator is a thick aluminum plate with channels machined into it to connect various vacuum ports. The function of the modulator
is to reduce the number of hoses required to operate the various vacuum devices. No maintenance is required
for the modulator, but I always clean mine when I rebuild the carburetor.
'76 and newer models (except '81): A pumpless air injection system (AIS) replaced the air pump used
on '75 models. In this system metal tubes connect the exhaust ports of each cylinder to a reed valve which in
turn connects to the engine air cleaner ('80 models have a separate "secondary" air cleaner for the air injec
tion system). When vacuum in the exhaust system is high (deceleration, low engine speed, light load), the reed
valve opens to allow "secondary" air from the air cleaner to enter the exhaust ports. The secondary air promotes oxidation of residual hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide before they're pumped through the exhaust system
and into the atmosphere. When vacuum in the exhaust ports is low (high speed, heavy load), the reed valve closes
the passage to the air cleaner so exhaust gas can't be sucked into the air cleaner. Procedure 3 covers AIS maintenance
and repair.
'76-'80 models: An ignition timing advance unit was added to the retard unit on the distributor. When
there's low vacuum in the intake manifold (acceleration, heavy load), the advancer advances the ignition timing
to give the engine a little more power. The retard unit retards the timing when there's high vacuum in the manifold
(deceleration, idle). Chapter 7, Procedure 10, tells you how to check the advance/ retard unit and how to replace
it if it's broken.
'76 and newer models: Stainless steel exhaust port liners were added to the cylinder heads to promote
better oxidation of residual hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO). There's no maintenance required
for the liners.
'77 and newer carb models: A hot air control system is incorporated into the air cleaner snout to reduce
hydrocarbon emission when the engine is cold. When the air temperature in the engine compartment is below
100°F, a flap in the snout closes the opening so hot air is sucked into the air cleaner through the large hot air
intake hose that connects the air cleaner snout to an air stove on the right exhaust pipe. When the temperature
is 100-127 °F the flap in the snout starts opening so both hot and cold air can be sucked into the air cleaner. Above
127°F, the flap opens fully so cool air only is sucked into the air cleaner. Besides reducing hydrocarbon emissions
in cold weather, the hot air control valve helps the engine warm up quickly and prevents carburetor icing. Procedure
6 covers maintenance and repair of the hot air control system.
'79 California models: In my opinion, this is when "high tech" emission controls began appearing. A timer
and two solenoid valves control the vacuum advance/retard unit on the distributor to reduce exhaust emissions
when starting the engine. Here's how the setup works. When the ignition switch is turned on, a timer causes
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems
247
two things happen: (1) the timer tells Solenoid Valve I to release the vacuum going to the advance unit on the
distributor to the atmosphere so the advancer won't work; (2) the timer tells Solenoid Valve II to change the
vacuum source for the retard unit on the distributor from the carburetor to the intake manifold. When 130 seconds
have elapsed, the timer turns off so the vacuum advance works normally and the vacuum source for the retard
unit becomes the carburetor. The two solenoids are in a bracket mounted to the thermostat housing on the engine.
You'll have to have Subaru or a garage check the solenoids and timer for you.
'80 models: The air injection system (AIS) used is basically the same system used since '76, but a separate air cleaner was added. It's about the diameter of a 45 rpm record, painted the same color as the engine
air cleaner, and mounted on the left side of the engine compartment near the brake master cylinder reservoirs.
It should be checked periodically for dirt (Procedure 4).
'80 all California models, all automatic transmission models, and all manual transmission models
except non-California Hatchback standard and DL, Sedan DL, and Hardtop DL models: A timer and solenoid
valves similar to those used on '79 California models (described above) were used. A 245-second timer is on
automatics and a 130-second timer is on cars with manual trannies.
'80 manual transmission non-California and Canadian Hatchback standard and DL models, Sedan
and Hardtop DL models: An anti-afterburning valve (ASV) is mounted on the top left side of the intake manifold
to inject air into the manifold when the engine is decelerating. Procedure 8 covers AAV check and replacement.
'80 California models: The carburetor idle mixture is set at the factory, then a tamper-proof pin is installed
on the carburetor so you can't change the idle mixture (without removing the pin, at least).
'81 models: The air injection system (AIS) used on '76-'80 models changed to an air induction system.
Here's how it works: A gizmo called "thermo-vacuum valve (II)" is screwed into the intake manifold to monitor
the coolant temperature. When the coolant is cool, the valve allows air to be sucked into the intake manifold
to provide a "leaner" mixture (less fuel to air ratio) which reduces carbon monoxide emissions while the carburetor
choke is on. When the coolant temperature reaches 114°F, the valve closes, cutting off the air induction. Have
Subaru check the thermo-vacuum valve.
'81 and newer models (except models with LED distributors): Only an ignition timing advance unit is
used on the distributor. The retard unit was dropped. See Chapter 7, Procedure 10, to check the vacuum advance
unit. A tamper-proof pin prevents changing the idle mixture of the carburetor on all models. An exhaust gas
analyzer must be used to properly adjust the idle mixture within emission control limits. The day of "tuning
by ear" is over.
Some 1981 and newer models: A three-way catalyst is added to the exhaust system to reduce hydrocarbon
(HC), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrous oxides (NOx) emissions. It's mounted where the two exhaust pipes
from the engine merge together. The catalyst is a compound of platinum (Pt) and rhodium (Rh); a thin coat
ing of the compound covers an oval-shaped honeycomb made of porous ceramics. The catalyst permits simultaneous
oxidation and reduction to reduce exhaust gas emissions. (See your high school chemistry book for an explanation of oxidation and reduction.) An oxygen (OZ ) sensor screwed into the catalyst monitors the ratio of oxygen
in the air compared to the oxygen in the exhaust gases. Have Subaru check the O Z sensor for you.
'81 and newer carb models: On most models an electronic "brain" and an Electronically Controlled
Carburetor (ECC) were added so the fuel/air ratio could be changed automatically according to varying conditions.
On '81s the brain is called an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and on '82 and newer models it's called an Electronic
Control Module (ECM) because a few more components were added to the system. To simplify things I'll just
call both systems "the brain:'
The brain is mounted under the dash in front of the driver's seat (it's on the wall behind the driver's seat
on '81 Brats). Here's what it does: The brain receives signals from various emission control devices on the engine
like thermosensors, solenoid valves, vacuum switches, revolution control sensor ('82 and newer models), and
the oxygen sensor on the exhaust catalyst. According to the signals it receives, the brain sends signals to duty
solenoids (two on Hitachi equipped cars, one on cars with Carter/Weber carbs) which control the fuel/air mixture
of the electronically controlled carburetor (ECC). As you can see, some things are getting very complicated
and beyond our ability to deal with at home.
If you're handy with a Volt/ Ohm meter and dwell gauge, you can buy the workshop manual for your year,
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Chapter 12 Procedure 1
then follow the diagnostic flow charts to track down problems in the electrical emission control devices. I don't
want to discourage you, but there are eight pages of flow charts for '81 models, 14 pages for '82 models, 22 pages
for '83 models, 31 pages for '84 models, and more pages than I can count on '85 and newer models. If you're
not up for it, take the car to Subaru and let them diagnose the problem, then replace the faulty component yourself.
Most of the components are easy to replace.
'82 and newer carb models: An all-new Air Injection System (AIS) returns after a one-year absence.
The new system injects air into the exhaust pipes instead of the exhaust ports in the cylinder head as the old system
did. The air suction valve for the AIS is mounted on the lower right rear corner of the engine on some models,
and on both lower rear corners on other models. When there's high vacuum in the exhaust system, the air suction
valve (ASV) allows air from the air cleaner to be sucked into the exhaust pipe(s). On its way from the air cleaner
to the exhaust pipe the air passes through a rubber hose into a black softball-size plastic muffler that muffles
the exhaust noises, then through the ASV, then through an air suction pipe and, finally, into the exhaust pipe.
The "secondary" air promotes oxidation of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide in the exhaust gas and thus decreases
the emissions.
Depending on the model, the new AIS system is controlled by a timer, a solenoid valve, a thermosensor,
and the brain. Under certain vacuum and temperature conditions the brain tells the air suction valves to not allow
secondary air to be injected into the exhaust pipes. Due to the control mechanisms, servicing and repair of the
new AIS should be left to Subaru or a garage that specializes in Soobs.
Fuel-injected models: An efficient electronically controlled fuel injection system is used instead of a carburetor. There's more about the fuel injection and Turbo systems in the rap at the start of Chapter 11: Fuel Systems.
Repair of the Turbo and/or fuel injection system is beyond our means.
'83 and newer models: An Electronic Control System (ECS) is added to monitor the "brain" and several
of the emission control and fuel system devices on the engine and exhaust system. When the ECS detects a problem
in one of the emission control or fuel system devices, the ECS light on the dash comes on and a small light
on the "brain" indicates in Morse code which system is misbehaving. There is more about the ECS system in
Chapter 11.
If you're electronically inclined, you can buy the shop manual for your year, then using pure Vulcan logic,
follow the flow charts to check the devices in the malfunctioning system with a Volt/ Ohm meter and dwell gauge.
EVAPORATIVE EMISSION CONTROL SYSTEM
Unburned gasoline is very volatile and causes pollution if allowed to evaporate into the air. The evaporative
emission control system on your Soob captures the gas fumes before they have a chance to evaporate into the
air, then either sends them back to the gas tank (where they condense into liquid again) or sends them to the car
buretor to be burned. On '77-'84 models, a coffee-can-size black canister in the engine compartment serves
as a holding place for the vapors until they're sent to the tank or carb. If you've ever wondered why the gas pump
nozzles in California are so weird, it's because they capture the vapors that are displaced by the gas as you fill
the tank. The vapors go through a separate hose to the station's tanks where they condense to liquid gas again.
Hmmm.
The evaporative emission control system is mainly composed of rubber and metal lines to carry the vapors
from the engine to the gas tank or canister, and from the canister to the engine. A few check valves are in the
lines to prevent the vapors from flowing the wrong direction. There's not really much that can go wrong with
the system, so checking the rubber lines and canister periodically is the only maintenance required. Procedure
5 tells you how to check and replace the canister and/or canister filter.
PROCEDURE 1: EGR VALVE: CHECK, CLEAN, REPLACE
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR you were sent here from Chapter 9.
Procedure 1, Step I
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 249
Tools and Materials: To check the valve: 18" to 24" piece of 3/16" (5mm) inside-diameter vacuum hose. To
remove and clean the valve: new EGR valve gasket, 10 and 12mm wrenches, maybe a sharp screwdriver, and
spray can of carb cleaner. If the EGR pipe has to be removed, you'll also need a 17mm open-end wrench (and
patience to get it back on).
Remarks: The EGR valve should be removed and inspected at least every 30,000 miles. On '80 and newer carb
models it's easiest to remove the PCV valve while the EGR valve is off, so coordinate your efforts accordingly.
On '75 and '76 California models and some '85-'86 models, an EGR warning light in the speedometer housing
lights up every 25,000 miles ('75-'76 models) or 60,000 miles ('85-'86 models). When the light comes on, be
sure to check the EGR system. Here's how to turn the warning light off:
'75-'76 Calif. models: Reach behind the speedometer and flip the little black switch to turn the EGR warning
light OFF. It's on the passenger side of the large white housing on the backside of the speedometer.
'85-'86 models: Remove the plastic panel on the lower left side of the dashboard. Remove the screws that
attach the fuse box, then pull the fuse box away from the dash. Dig around amongst the wires behind and above
the fuse box until you find a blue connector plugged into another connector. There should be a green connector nearby that's just like the blue one, except that it isn't connected to anything. Disconnect the blue connector and plug in the green one where you disconnected the blue one. Install the fuse box and plastic panel.
CAUTION: Don't soak the EGR valve in solvent or degreaser because the diaphragm will be damaged.
Step 1. Check EGR Valve Operation.
Remove the spare tire if it's in the engine compartment.
'82 and newer carb models: There might be a flat white plastic heat shield covering the rear part of the
engine behind the carburetor. The shield is held in place by clips on the intake manifold. If you have a heat shield,
note where it's attached, then wiggle it toward the rear of the car to remove it.
250
Chapter 12 Procedure 1, Step 2
EVERYONE: The EGR valve is a round, brass-colored thing about 3" in diameter. On carb models, it's
mounted to the rear of the intake manifold just below the carburetor, and on fuel-injected models, it's on the
rear side of the intake manifold, near the center. A small rubber vacuum hose is attached to the side of the valve.
On some models, a thumb-size hose from the anti -afterburning valve connects to the base of the valve.
To see if this valve is working, start the engine and let it warm up to normal operating temperature. Due
to a timer on some '83 and newer models, the engine has to run for at least eight minutes before you can check
the EGR valve.
Look through an opening on the EGR valve body so you can see the thin shaft in the center. The shaft should
move toward the rear of the car when the engine is revved up to 3,000-3,500 rpm, then return forward when the
throttle is released. If the shaft moves, you know the valve is working. If the shaft doesn't move, see Step 2.
To be sure the passages aren't plugged with carbon, disconnect the small rubber vacuum hose from the round
brass-colored valve and connect your test hose to the fitting. With the engine at idle, suck on the open end of
the test hose you attached to the valve. If, while sucking on the hose, the engine begins to idle roughly or dies,
you know the passages are open and the EGR system is working properly. Sucking on the hose opens the valve
and allows exhaust gas to be sucked into the combustion chambers. At idle speed the engine can't handle the
high concentration of exhaust gases so it stumbles or dies.
If the shaft didn't move when the engine was revved up, or the engine didn't stumble or die when you sucked
on the hose, remove the EGR valve to clean and inspect the valve and passages (Step 2).
Step 2. Remove and Clean EGR Valve.
The EGR valve is mounted to the intake manifold with two 12mm nuts and lockwashers. Before removing it, make a note of other things held in place by the two nuts (accelerator cable bracket, wire connector brackets,
etc. ).
Disconnect the rubber hose(s) from the EGR valve, then remove the two 12mm nuts and washers and other
things held in place by the nuts. Wiggle the EGR valve off the mounting studs.
If the shaft didn't move when testing the valve in Step 1, press on the end of the shaft where it sticks out of
the valve to see if it moves. If it does, connect the piece of hose to the valve and suck on it. If the shaft doesn't
move when you suck on the hose but moves when you press on it with your finger, the diaphragm is broken and
the valve must be replaced.
If the shaft is stuck, use a small screwdriver to clean the carbon away from the tip and out of the rectangular hole in the valve. Set the valve so the shaft tip is sticking up, then squirt penetrating oil around the tip and
into the hole and let it soak awhile. Keep working at it until the shaft moves freely when you suck on the hose.
If the shaft refuses to loosen, buy a new EGR valve. If you get the shaft to move smoothly, test the valve with
the rubber hose as described in the previous paragraph.
Dig the carbon chunks out of the EGR holes in the intake manifold with a small, sharp screwdriver until
the passages are clean and smooth. Pull the chunks out of the manifold so they can't get sucked into the cylinders.
The upper hole in the manifold connects the EGR valve to the EGR pipe. If the EGR shaft moved but the
engine didn't stumble or die when you sucked on the hose in Step 1, or if the hole in the manifold is severely
clogged, remove the EGR pipe and check it for clogging. It's attached with 17mm fittings to the intake manifold and one of the cylinder heads. Some models have a heat shield attached to the pipe with 10mm bolts. If you
have a shield, loosen the bolts and slide the shield out of the way so you can loosen the upper pipe fitting. When
the pipe is off, tap it with a small hammer and run a piece of stiff wire (like a coat hanger) through it to loosen
the chunks of carbon. Blow through the tube to be sure it's clear.
If you have an '80 or newer carb model, remove and check the PVC valve before installing the EGR valve.
Step 3. Install EGR Valve.
Everything clean and working smoothly? Install the EGR pipe if it was removed (be sure the threads are
started correctly before tightening it with a wrench). Tighten the heat shield around the EGR pipe (if you have
one) or it will rattle and buzz. Install a new gasket onto the manifold, then fit the EGR valve onto the studs. If
there were other things attached to the EGR valve, install them on the studs, then install the lockwashers and
Procedure 2, Step 1
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 251
nuts and tighten them. Connect the hose(s) to the valve.
'82 and newer models: Install the white plastic heat shield if you have one.
EVERYONE: Install the spare tire if you removed it.
PROCEDURE 2: CHECK AND CLEAN PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) VALVE.
This procedure only applies to some '77-'78 models and all '79 and newer models.
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR you were sent here from Chapter 9.
Tools and Materials: To check the valve: a phillips screwdriver or pliers depending on your clamp, Friend,
a finger. To remove and clean the valve: a l9mm open-end wrench, maybe a crescent wrench, a spray can of
carb cleaner, wire brush.
Remarks: Subaru says to clean the PVC valve every 30,000 miles. To be sure, I clean mine at every 12,000 mile
tune-up. It ain't hard.
Step 1. Check PCV Valve.
Remove the spare tire if it's in the engine compartment.
'77-'79 models: The PCV valve is on the top right side of the intake manifold. A black rubber hose from
the top of the left valve cover will eventually lead you to it. Use a phillips screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp,
then pull the hose off the PCV valve.
'80 and newer carb models: The PCV valve sticks out of the rear of the intake manifold at about a 45°
angle just to the left of the EGR valve. Use pliers to squeeze the two ears on the clamp together, then slide the
clamp away from the valve. Pull the hose off the valve.
Fuel-injected models: The PCV valve sticks out ofthe left side of the large aluminum lump on the rear
of the intake manifold. Use pliers to squeeze the ears of the clamp together, then slide the clamp away from the
valve. Pull the hose off the valve. Fuel-injected models won't run ifany part of the PCV system is opened (including
the oil filler cap!) so you'll need to have Friend start the car while you hold a finger over the end ofthe PCV
valve and the open end of the hose.
EVERYONE: Start the engine and cover the end of the PCV valve with a finger. Rev the engine a little several
times (by rotating the throttle arm if you don't have a Friend inside the car) while you feel for suction on your
finger. If your finger isn't sucked, or it's been 30,000 miles since you cleaned the valve, you'll need to remove
the valve (Step 2). If the valve seems to be working and you aren't going to remove it, reconnect the hose and
set the clamp in place.
The cap on the oil filler neck is also an integral part of the PCV system. Unscrew the cap and check the
gasket. Replace it if it's stiff, cracked, or broken.
Step 2. Remove and Clean PCV Valve and Hoses.
Remove the hose attached to the PCV valve if you haven't already (Step 1), then use a 19mm open-end wrench
to unscrew the valve (counterclockwise as viewed from the hose end). On some models there's a fitting between
the PCV valve and the manifold. If you have a fitting, hold it with a crescent wrench while you unscrew the PCV
valve.
When the valve is out, shake it to see if it rattles. If it doesn't rattle, replace it with a new one (they're pretty
cheap). If the valve rattles, spray carb cleaner into it and let it soak; do this several times.
While you're at it, check the thumb-size hoses attached to the top ofthe valve covers for clogging. Remove
them from the engine, then tap them with a wrench or hammer to loosen any carbon that might have collected
on the inside. Run a piece ofwire (like a straightened coat hanger) through the hoses to be sure they're clean.
Put the hoses back on the engine.
252
Chapter 12 Procedure 2, Step 3
Step 3. Install PCV Valve.
Clean the threads on the PCV valve with a wire brush, then screw the valve into the intake manifold and
tighten it with a 19mm wrench. Not too tight. Fit the hose onto the valve and secure it with the clamp.
'80 and newer models: Install the EGR valve if it's off (Procedure 1, Step 3).
EVERYONE: Install the spare tire if you removed it.
PROCEDURE 3: CHECK, CLEAN, REPLACE AIR INJECTION SYSTEM (AIS)
This procedure only applies to '75-'80 models.
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR you're here from Chapter 9.
Tools and Materials: To check the AIS: Friend, maybe a phillips screwdriver. To clean or replace AIS components: 10mm, 12mm, and 14mm wrenches, phillips screwdriver, maybe carb cleaner or solvent, knife or razor
blade, feeler gauge to check reed valves and reed valve gaskets (Step 3).
Step 1. Check Air Injection System.
'75 models: The air pump looks a lot like an alternator only it doesn't have vanes around the pulley. It's
located between the alternator and carburetor. When the bearings in the air pump wear out the pump will growl,
grumble, and/or squeal. Step 2 tells you how to replace the pump.
To see if the air pump is working, loosen the hose clamp on the hose attached to the rear of the air pump
and slide it away from the pump, then pull the hose off the fitting on the air pump. Have Friend start the engine
and rev it up a few times while you hold a finger or thumb over the hose and feel for vacuum. You should feel
Procedure 3, Step 2
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 253
the hose sucking on your finger, not pressure trying to blow your finger off the hose. If you feel pressure, the
air injection valve needs replacing (Step 3).
Now put your finger over the fitting on the rear of the air pump and have Friend rev the engine a few times.
You should feel air pressure against your finger. You do? The pump is working; reconnect the hose and clamp
to the pump. No pressure? Check the hose between the air pump and air cleaner for clogging and clean it if necessary.
If the hose is OK, the air pump is shot and not pumping air. Step 2 tells you how to replace it.
'76-'79 models: There's a small round muffler for the AIS located behind and to the left of the air cleaner.
A rubber hose connects the muffler to the bottom of the air cleaner. Disconnect the hose from the front of the muffler.
'80 models: A secondary air cleaner for the AIS is located on the left side of the engine compartment near
the brake master cylinder. It's round and painted the same color as the engine air cleaner. Disconnect the hose
attached to the front of the secondary air cleaner.
'76-'80 models: Have Friend start the engine and rev it up a few times while you hold a thumb over the
muffler fitting where the hose was attached ('76-'79 models) or over the end of the hose you disconnected from
the air cleaner ('80 models). You should feel a little suction on your thumb. If there's no suction and/or there's
air pressure coming out of the fitting, the AIS reed valves need to be cleaned and checked. It's easy, see Step
3. If the fitting sucked your thumb, the AIS is working so reconnect the hose(s).
Step 2. Replace Air Pump ('75 models only).
New air pumps cost over $200 now so it would be worth your time to look around for a used one. If the pump
bearings are worn out and the noise is driving you crazy and you can't find a used one or can't afford a new one,
remove the pump from the engine and plug the hoses that were attached to the pump with corks or rubber plugs.
You'll have to use a shorter drive belt to turn the alternator and water pump (a belt for '76 Soobs might work).
The car will work fine, but keep in mind that you could get busted in some states for tampering with the emission
control system.
To remove the air pump, take off the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 3), then disconnect the hose
from the rear of the air pump. Loosen the alternator drive belt (Chapter 10, Procedure 3, Step 2).
4WD models: Loosen the bolt in the slotted bracket below the belt-tension-adjusting idler pulley (see Chapter
10, Procedure 3, Step 2). Push the small pulley toward the crankshaft pulley, then remove the drive belt for the
engine-driven fan.
EVERYONE: Remove the four bolts around the edge of the air pump pulley. Carefully wiggle the air pump
and bracket off the engine without smashing it against the carburetor.
To install the air pump, wiggle it into position on the engine, then insert the long mounting bolt through
the bottom right hole in the air pump bracket (the one closest to the distributor), the bracket on the engine, then
through the mounting ear on the air pump. Push the bolt through the ear at the rear of the engine bracket and
screw it in a few turns. Now install the other three bolts through the bracket. Two of the bolts screw into the air
pump and one of them attaches the alternator to the bracket. Tighten the three pump mounting bolts but not the
alternator mounting bolt. Install and adjust the alternator drive belt (Chapter 10, Procedure 3, Step 2). If you
have 4WD, install the drive belt for the fan and adjust the tension (Chapter 10, Procedure 3, Step 2). Attach the
hose to the rear of the air pump and tighten its clamp, install the air cleaner, and you're finished.
Step 3. Clean and Inspect AIS Reed Valves.
This step applies only to '76-'80 models. Be sure new gaskets for the reed valve assembly are available before
taking it apart. If you suspect the AIS system on your '82-'84 model is misbehaving, have Subaru check and
repair it.
'76-'80 models: The reed valves are located in a square reed valve housing on the top left rear corner of
the engine. A pipe attached to the top of the housing connects to a small round muffler on '76-'79 models or
to a rubber hose connected to a pipe on the secondary air cleaner on '80 models. Disconnect the hose attached
to the muffler or pipe, then use a crescent wrench to unscrew the nut on top of the housing to remove the muffler
or pipe. Follow the pipe coming out of the front of the square housing to see if it's attached to the oil filler tube.
254
Chapter 12 Procedure 4, Step 1
If it is, remove the 10mm bolt to free it. The pipe coming out of the rear of the housing branches into two pipes
that are attached to the top of the left cylinder head with 14mm nuts. Unscrew the nuts and lift up on the pipes.
The one under the alternator is a bit difficult to reach.
Remove the four 10mm bolts on the reed valve housing, then carefully pull the housing apart. Be very careful
with the thin metal pieces (reed valves) attached to each side of the thick center part (the valve body). Use carb
cleaner or solvent to carefully clean the thin reed valves, the rubber seat behind the valves, the curved reed valve
stoppers, the passages, and the muffler or pipe that attaches to the top. Use a knife or razor blade to remove all
traces of the old gasket from the mating surfaces of the valve housing and the square plates attached to the pipes
on the engine.
Use a feeler gauge to measure the gap between the tip of the reed valve and the rubber seat. If the gap is
more than .008" (.2mm) replace the valve. Inspect the valves for cracks and warps, and the rubber seat for cracks,
indentations from the reed valve, and looseness in the valve body. Replace the whole valve body if any abnormalities
are found.
To assemble the reed valve assembly, use new gaskets on each side of the valve body, and fit it between the
two plates so the fitting for the muffler or air cleaner pipe is at the top. Install and tighten the four 10mm bolts,
then fit the pipes into the top of the left cylinder head and tighten the 14mm nuts. Install and tighten the 10mm
bolt that attaches the pipe to the oil filler (if you removed it). Install the muffler or pipe to the top of the reed
valve assembly and tighten the nut with a crescent wrench. Attach the rubber hose from the air cleaner to the
muffler or pipe, depending on your setup.
PROCEDURE 4: CHECK AND REPLACE SECONDARY AIR CLEANER ('80s Only)
Condition: Routine maintenance.
Tools and Materials 10mm wrench, maybe a new secondary air cleaner.
Step 1. Do It.
The secondary air cleaner on 1980 models is on the left side of the engine compartment. It's blue, like the
air cleaner, round, and about the size of a 45 rpm record.
To check this air filter, disconnect the hose from the front, then lift straight up to remove the air cleaner.
Remove the two 10mm nuts and bracket from the rear, then pry the front away from the back (it's stuck pretty
tight sometimes). The air filter element is attached to the rear part. If it's only dirty on the side near the air intake
opening, you can rotate it 180° and use it again. If more than a small part is dirty and oily, or if the pleated filter element is torn, replace it with a new one.
To assemble and install the secondary air cleaner, fit the back part with the filter element into the front so
the two bolts fit through the holes. Now hold the air cleaner so the tube on the front is pointing down. Install
the two rubber washers on the bolts, then fit the bracket onto the bolts so the rounded top end of the bracket is
up. Install the two nuts and tighten them. Fit the tabs on the sides of the air cleaner bracket into the slots of the
bracket on the car, then push down on the air cleaner. Attach the hose, secure it with the clamp and you're finished.
PROCEDURE 5: INSPECT AND/OR REPLACE EVAPORATIVE CANISTER AND/OR REPLACE
FILTER ('77 and Newer Models Only)
Condition: Regular 60,000-mile maintenance; OR you smell gasoline but can't find a leak.
Procedure 5, Step 1
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 255
Tools and Materials: New canister filter, maybe a new canister, 10mm wrench, a phillips screwdriver or pliers
depending on the type of clamps on the canister hoses (some of the hoses don't have clamps), masking tape,
and pen to mark the hoses.
Remark: Check your Owner's Manual to see when your canister should be replaced. Step 1 tells you how to
remove and install it.
Step 1. Inspect Canister, Replace Filter or
Canister.
The canister for the evaporative emission system
is big, black, round, and has 3 to 5 hoses connected
to the top. It's located in one of the corners of the
engine compartment. Label the hoses on the canister,
then pull them off. Loosen the bolt or screw in the
bracket holding the canister ('82-'84 models have
a clip to flip), then pull the canister out of its holder
and out of the engine compartment.
Inspect the canister and replace it if it's cracked
and/or blistered, or if your Owner's Manual tells you
it's time to replace it.
To replace the filter, carefully remove the old filter from the bottom. It's hard to remove without tearing it to shreds so go slowly. The smaller the pieces,
the more difficult it is to remove them.
Carefully insert the new filter into the canister.
Gently push and pull it into position. Be sure it completely covers the bottom of the canister.
Fit the canister into its holder and tighten the
clamp. Inspect the hoses that attach to the canister
for cracks and replace any that are funky. Attach the
hoses to the canister with the clamps and you're
finished.
PROCEDURE 6: CHECK AND REPAIR HOT
AIR CONTROL SYSTEM (Garb Models Only)
There are two ways for air to enter the air cleaner
housing: cool air can enter through the end of the air
cleaner snout, or hot air can enter through the large
hot air intake hose connected to the bottom of the
snout. The other end of the large hose is connected
to an air stove on the front of the right exhaust pipe.
Determining which way air enters the carburetor is
what the Hot Air Control System is all about.
To promote efficient combustion and mi nimize
exhaust emissions, the temperature of the air drawn
into the carburetor should be between 100° and 127°.
256
Chapter 12 Procedure 6, Step 1
Drawing warm air into the carb in cold weather also shortens engine warm-up time and helps prevent carburetor icing.
'75-'76 models: There's a simple system for controlling the temperature of the intake air. You can set a lever
on the air cleaner snout to the "winter" position so only hot air is drawn into the carb, or to the "summer" position
so only cool air is drawn in.
'77 and newer models: There are two simple gizmos to control the air temperature automatically: a vacuum
motor and a temperature sensor that controls the vacuum motor.
The hot air control system is easy to check and should be inspected at every 12,000-mile/ 12-month tune-up.
You probably wouldn't notice a malfunction of the system in hot weather, but in cold weather the engine might
use more gas, lose power, stall easily, or hesitate when you want to accelerate.
Condition: Periodic maintenance; OR the carburetor has been icing up or the car runs poorly and balky during
cold weather.
Tools and Materials: '75-'76 models: maybe pliers or screwdriver to remove the hot air intake hose. '77 and
newer models: a small mirror and flashlight, an 18" -24" piece of 3 /16 " (5mm) vacuum hose, maybe a new hot
air intake hose, vacuum motor, or temperature sensor.
Step 1. Inspect, Replace Hot Air Intake Hose.
Check both ends of the hot air intake hose that connects the bottom of the air cleaner snout to the air stove
on the front of the right exhaust pipe, or to the top of the catalytic converter. If the hose is torn, crushed, or missing,
replace it with a new one.
To remove the hose, squeeze the ears on the clamp and slide it away from the end of the hose. Grab the hose
as close to the end as possible (over its fitting) and gently twist until it's loose, then pull the hose off the fitting.
Remove both ends the same way.
Before installing the hose, slide both clamps onto the hose a few inches, then carefully enlarge the ends
a little with your fingers. It's made of heavy tinfoil so it bends easily. Now align one end the hose with the fitting and gently slide it on while rotating it slightly back and forth. If the end of the hose gets crimped or caught
on the tube and messed up, remove it and straighten it with your fingers. When the hose is on the fitting, squeeze
the ears of the clamp and slide it to about 1/2" from the end. Do the other end the same way.
Step 2. Check Hot Air Control System ('75-'76 models).
Do Step 1 to check the hot air intake hose. Hose OK? Now look at the lever on the front side of the air cleaner
snout. Set the lever in the "winter" (UP) position when the average ambient air temperature (what the average of night and day temperatures outside have been running lately) is below 59°, or in the "summer" (DOWN)
position when the ambient air temperature is above 59°. Simple, eh?
Step 3. Check Vacuum Hoses ('77 and newer models).
It's easiest to check the hoses while the air cleaner is off. If you're here from the tune-up chapter, the air
cleaner is already off. If the air cleaner is still on, remove it (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4).
A rubber vacuum hose connects the round vacuum motor on top of the air cleaner snout to a temperature
sensor fitting on the bottom of the air cleaner housing. Another vacuum hose (right next to the hose from the
vacuum motor) connects the temp sensor to the intake manifold or to a T-fitting in another vacuum line. Check
both hoses for cracks and breaks and see if they fit tightly on the fittings. Replace them if they're damaged or
fit loosely.
Step 4. Check Vacuum Motor ('77 and newer models).
Do this step with the engine turned OFF.
'77-'79 models: Release the four clips around the top of the air cleaner and remove the lid and air filter.
Set the air filter on something clean. Look into the snout from the air filter side. A round flap should be covering
Procedure ( Step 5
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 257
the hole in the bottom of the snout where the hot air intake hose connects. In this position the flap is in the cool
air position.
OHC Garb models: Peel the rubber hose off the end of the air cleaner snout so you can peek into the snout.
'80 and newer models: The flap in the end of the air cleaner snout should be open (horizontal). This is
the cool air position.
EVERYONE: Disconnect the rubber vacuum hose from the round vacuum motor on top of the snout. Attach
a piece of 3/ 16" (5mm) vacuum hose to the motor, then suck on the open end of the hose.
'77-'79 models: Sucking on the hose should raise the round flap away from the hole in the bottom of the
snout. This is the hot air position.
'80 and newer models: Sucking on the hose should move the flap to a vertical position and close the opening
in the snout. This is the hot air position.
EVERYONE: If the flap doesn't return to the cool air position when there's no vacuum applied to the vacuum
motor, the flap is stuck. If sucking on the hose didn't change the position of the flap from the cool air position
to the hot air position, the diaphragm in the vacuum motor is broken or the flap is stuck in the hot position.
If the flap moved to the hot air position when you sucked on the hose, suck on it again and hold vacuum
in the hose while you quickly cover the end of the hose with your tongue. The flap should stay in the hot air position
for at least 30 seconds. If it doesn't, there's a leak in the vacuum motor diaphragm. Step 6 tells you how to see
if the flap is stuck and how to replace the vacuum motor if it's shot.
Step 5. Check Temperature Sensor ('77 and newer models).
The engine must be cool and the vacuum motor must be operating correctly (Step 4) to test the temperature sensor. With the engine turned OFF and cool, the flap in the air cleaner snout should be in the cool air position
(see Step 4).
If you're here from the tune-up, see if the flap is in the cool air position, then check the temperature sensor after the engine is tuned, everything's back together and you've gone for a test drive. It takes several minutes
for the temp sensor to warm up so don't waste your time waiting for it.
'77-'79 models: Install the air filter and air cleaner lid if you removed them. You'll need to use a mirror
and maybe a flashlight to see the flap inside the snout while checking the temperature sensor.
EVERYONE: Start the engine and see if the flap moved to the hot air position. If it did, check it occasionally
to see if it gradually changes to the cool air position. Depending on the air temperature, it might take up to 20
minutes to change.
If the flap doesn't move to the cool air position, and the vacuum motor and hoses are all in good condition
and connected properly (you checked them in Steps 3 and 4, didn't you?), there's a problem in the temperature
sensor (see Step 7).
Step 6. Replace Vacuum Motor.
The vacuum motor is attached to the air cleaner snout with a flat strap. The vacuum motor shaft hooks
into a slot on the flap to move it.
Disconnect the vacuum hose from the vacuum motor, then remove the two screws on top of the air cleaner
snout. Hold the vacuum motor down while you gently lift up on the screw end of the flat strap until it clears the
motor. Lift the strap out of the slot on the snout and set it aside. Carefully lift up on the vacuum motor while
tilting it toward the rear of the snout. You'll have to wiggle and tilt the motor to disengage the shaft from the flap.
When the motor is out, notice that the hole in the snout and the matching one on the bottom of the vacuum motor
are square.
While the motor is out, check the flap with your finger to see if it moves freely. If it sticks, the snout is bent
or the flap shaft is bent. If you can't straighten things so the flap moves smoothly, you'll have to replace the air
cleaner housing. Look for a used one and check its vacuum motor (Step 4) before buying it.
To install the vacuum motor, hold it so the hook on the shaft is pointed toward the rear of the snout. Insert
the shaft into the snout and fit the hook into the round tab on the flap. Gently push and pull on the motor while
258
Chapter 12 Procedure 6, Step 7
watching the flap to be sure the shaft is engaged. When you're sure, wiggle the motor down so it fits into the
square hole on the snout. Hold it there while you insert the end of the strap into the slot on the snout. Press the
strap over the vacuum motor, then install and tighten the two screws. Reconnect the vacuum hose. If you're replacing
the temperature sensor, go on to Step 7. Otherwise, install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 5).
Step 7. Replace Temperature Sensor.
Remove the lid and air filter and set them someplace clean. Look inside the air cleaner for a small plastic gizmo on the snout side of the carburetor. That's the temp sensor. Make a note of how it's oriented so you
can install the new one the same way. Now look at Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4, to remove the air cleaner housing.
Follow the hose from the vacuum motor to where it connects to the temperature sensor on the bottom of
the air cleaner. There's another hose connected right next to the hose from the vacuum motor. Make a note about
which hose goes where, then disconnect both hoses. You might have to use a small screwdriver to pry the metal
clips away from the hoses as you remove them. The temp sensor is held in place by the clip around the two metal
vacuum tubes. Pull outward on the two clip arms to release the clip, then slide the clip off the metal tubes. Now
pull the temp sensor out of the air cleaner. There should be a rubber gasket between the sensor and the air cleaner.
If it's stuck to the air cleaner, leave it there; if it's torn or funky replace it.
Install the new temp sensor into the air cleaner housing so it's oriented the same as the old one. Be sure the
rubber gasket is in place. Hold the sensor in place with one hand while you fit the clip over the vacuum tubes
on the bottom of the air cleaner. When the clip is on as far as you can get it with your fingers, press on the sides
with a screwdriver until the sensor is held tightly in place. Reconnect the vacuum hoses to the sensor, then install
the air cleaner housing, air filter and lid (Chapter 7, Procedure 12, Step 8).
PROCEDURE 7: CHECK AND ADJUST COASTING BYPASS SYSTEM ('75-'80)
There are two components in the coasting bypass system: a servo diaphragm on the rear of the carburetor that's controlled by a vacuum control valve (also called a decel valve) mounted to the right side of the intake
manifold. Basically, the coasting bypass system allows more air to be drawn through the carburetor while coasting
and/or decelerating (creating a leaner mixture), thus reducing the amount of gas being burned. The vacuum
control valve has a rubber plug covering the adjustment screw. The rubber plug faces the front of the car on '75-'79
models and the right front fender on '80s.
'76 models: Your setup is different. The vacuum control valve is mounted to the front of the intake manifold below the carburetor and there's no servo diaphragm on the back of the carb. It takes two vacuum gauges
and a special tester to adjust the valve. If your Soob backfires or the engine surges while you're cruising down
the road, have a Subaru dealer adjust the deceleration valve for you.
Condition: You were sent here from Chapter 9 (engine backfires or surges); OR routine maintenance; OR excessive
fuel consumption.
Tools and Materials: Friend, 18"-24" of 3/16" (5mm) vacuum hose, maybe small regular and phillips screwdrivers,
maybe a new vacuum control unit and/or servo diaphragm, maybe a small swatch of paper.
Remarks: This procedure should be performed after the engine has been tuned. If you don't have any friends
or none are available, you can rev the engine by rotating the throttle lever. Here's how: Locate a thin cable near
the lower rear of the carb. Follow the cable to the arc-shaped throttle lever on the side of the carb. To rev the
engine, rotate the top of the lever toward the rear of the car.
CAUTION: Don't turn the adjustment screw in the air control valve more than two turns in either direction.
Procedure 7, Step l
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 259
Step 1. Check and Replace the Servo Diaphragm.
Locate the small round servo diaphragm on the rear of the carburetor (see the carburetor illustrations in
Chapter 11). Disconnect the vacuum hose, then connect a piece of 3/16" (5mm) vacuum hose to the fitting. Suck
on the open end of the hose, then quickly cover the end with your tongue. Does your tongue stick there by vacuum
suction? If the diaphragm won't hold vacuum, it's broken and should be replaced. If it holds vacuum, it's good,
so remove the test hose, reconnect the vacuum hose, then skip to Step 2.
To replace the servo diaphragm, remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure 5, Step 4). Loosen, but don't
remove, the two screws that secure a bracket to the top rear of the carburetor. Disconnect the vacuum hose from
the servo diaphragm, then remove the three small screws that attach it to the rear of the carburetor and wiggle
the servo diaphragm off.
If the old servo diaphragm had a rubber O-ring around the part sticking into the carb, be sure the new servo
diaphragm also has one. Install the new servo diaphragm onto the rear of the carb so the three screw holes are
aligned (it will only fit one way). Install and tighten the three mounting screws, then reconnect the vacuum hose.
Tighten the two screws for the bracket on the top rear of the carb, then install the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure
5, Step 5).
Step 2. Check, Adjust, and/or Replace Vacuum Control Unit (all except '76 models).
Remove the air cleaner lid (Chapter 7, Procedure 4, Step 3). Start the engine and let it warm up to operating temperature. Have Friend rev the engine up to around 3,000-4,000 rpm, then quickly release the accelerator
pedal (see Remarks if a friend isn't available). When the accelerator pedal is released, there should be a slight
delay, then you should hear a fizzing, sizzling noise coming from the carburetor while the engine is decelerating. Try it several times if you don't hear the fizzing sound at first. Still no fizzing? Pry the rubber cap off the
vacuum control valve, then use a very small screwdriver to turn the small screw inside the valve clockwise about
'/a turn. Rev the engine again and listen for the fizz. Continue revving and adjusting until you hear the fizzing
sound after a slight delay when the engine is decelerating. Don't turn the adjusting screw more than two turns.
If you hear the fizzing noise when the engine is idling, turn the adjusting screw counterclockwise slowly
just until the noise goes away (not more than two turns). Now go through the above paragraph just like everyone else, to adjust the vacuum control.
If you can't adjust the vacuum control valve so
you hear the fizzing sound and you've checked the
servo diaphragm and it's good, replace the vacuum
control valve. Here's how: Label the vacuum hoses
before disconnecting them from the valve, then
remove the two 10mm bolts and washers that attach
the valve to the manifold. Attach the new valve to the
manifold with the two 10mm bolts, then reconnect
the vacuum hoses. Adjust the valve so it fizzes (first
paragraph this step).
PROCEDURE 8: CHECK ANTI-AFTER-
BURNING VALVE (AAV)
The following Soobs have an anti- afterburning
valve (also called an anti-backfire valve): '75 models,
'80 models (except Hatchback STD and DL, and
manual transmission Sedan and Hardtop non-California and Canadian models), and '83-'84 nonCalifornia 4WD and all Canadian models. For '85
260
Chapter 12 Procedure 8, Step I
and newer models, look at the emission control sticker on the underside of the hood. If you see a gizmo labeled
AAV, you have one.
The valve allows a little extra air to be drawn into the intake manifold when the engine is decelerating.
The extra air prevents "backfiring."
Condition: You were sent here from Chapter 9 (engine backfires when decelerating); OR regular maintenance.
Tools and Materials: To check the valve: a small piece of paper, Friend. To replace the valve: 10mm or 12mm
wrench depending on the model.
Step 1. Check and Replace AAV
'75 models: The round brass-colored AAV is mounted to the top left side of the intake manifold. It has two
vacuum hoses that connect it to the intake manifold and one vacuum hose that connects it to a fitting on a pipe.
Here's how to find the connection on the pipe: Follow the hose coming out of the back of the airpump to where
it attaches to a pipe. (The air pump is that round thing between the alternator and carburetor.) Follow the pipe
to the other end and you'll see a small hose from the AAV connected to the side of the pipe. The rear end of the
pipe points downward and is connected to the air injection valve with a rubber hose.
To check the AAV, first disconnect the hose from the AAV where it attaches to the pipe. Start the engine
and let it idle while you put your finger over the end of the hose. You shouldn't feel any suction from the hose.
If you feel suction on your finger, the valve is bad and should be replaced. Now, while you hold your finger over
the end of the hose, have Friend rev the engine to about 3,500 rpm and release the throttle quickly. You should
feel vacuum in the hose (it should suck your finger) while the engine is decelerating. If it does, the AAV is operating
correctly. If it doesn't, check the two hoses that connect the AAV to the intake manifold for clogging and tight-fitting
connections. If the hoses are clear and attached tightly, the AAV is shot and should be replaced.
To replace the AAV, label the hoses so you know where they go, then disconnect them. Remove the bolt
that attaches the AAV bracket to the engine, then pull the valve off the engine. Remove the nut that attaches the
AAV to the bracket. Insert the bolt on the new AAV into the hole on the bracket, then install and tighten the nut.
Fit the bracket onto the engine, then install and tighten the bolt. Connect the vacuum lines to the new AAV.
'80 models: The anti- afterburning valve (AAV) is mounted on the top left side of the intake manifold. Use
the sticker under the hood to see if the vacuum lines to and from the AAV are attached correctly and are in good
condition.
'83-'84 Non-California 4WD and Canadian models: The AAV is located in the left rear corner of the
engine compartment next to the white plasticfuel vapor separator. Use the sticker under the hood to see if the
hoses are attached correctly and are in good condition.
'80 and '83 and newer models with AAVs: To check the valve, hold a small piece of paper under the valve
while Friend revs the engine up to about 3,000 rpm, then quickly releases the accelerator pedal. If the valve is
working correctly, the paper will be sucked toward the bottom of the valve. Try it several times to be sure. If
the paper isn't sucked toward the valve, the valve isn't working and should be replaced. Here's how.
If there isn't a sticker under the hood showing where the vacuum hoses connect, label the hoses then disconnect them from the AAV.
'80 models: Remove the nut that attaches the AAV to the bracket on the manifold, then pull the valve off
the engine. Fit the bolt sticking out of the new AAV into the hole in the bracket, then install and tighten the nut.
Reconnect the hoses.
'83 and newer models with AAVs: Remove the two bolts that attach the brass-colored AAV bracket to the strut
tower. Move the AAV and bracket far enough away from the strut tower to remove the nut that attaches the AAV
to the bracket. Be sure there's a rubber grommet in all three of the bolt holes in the bracket, then attach the new AAV
to the bracket with the nut. Attach the bracket to the strut tower with the two bolts. Reconnect the hoses.
Procedure 9, Step l
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 261
PROCEDURE 9: CHECK AND REPLACE ALTITUDE COMPENSATOR ('80 California Models Only)
'80 California Soobs have an altitude compensator in the engine compartment that varies the fuel/ air ratio
according to the altitude. To test the compensator you need to know the approximate elevation where you're doing
the testing.
Condition: You've tuned the engine and it still doesn't run right, so you're checking everything you can check.
Tools and Materials: 18" to 24" of 3 / 16" (5mm) vacuum hose, maybe a new altitude compensator.
Step 1. Do It.
The altitude compensator is located near the right rear corner of the engine compartment and has three rubber
hoses attached to it. Label the bottom two hoses "front" and "rear," then disconnect them. Check the two bottom
hose fittings on the compensator one at a time by connecting your vacuum hose, then gently blowing into the
hose. Here's what to look for:
At 1,640 ft. or lower elevation, you shouldn't be able to blow air into either fitting on the compensator. Between
1,640 ft. and 5,905 ft. you should be able to blow air into the compensator with some resistance. The higher
the altitude, the easier it should be to blow. Above 5,905 ft., the compensator is wide open and air should pass
smoothly through both fittings. If your results were different than this description, the compensator is suspect.
To replace the altitude compensator, label the three hoses, then disconnect them. Remove the three screws
that attach the compensator to the bracket. You might have to remove the three screws that attach the bracket
to the car in order to get to the front compensator screw. Remove the compensator from the bracket, then install
the new one and attach it with the three screws. Attach the bracket to the car if you removed it, then reconnect
the three hoses.
PROCEDURE 10: CHECK, ADJUST, REPLACE THROTTLE RETURN DASHPOT ('75 Models Only)
Condition: You were sent here from Chapter 7 or 9 because the engine idle speed is too high.
Tools and Materials: Small ruler or tape measure, 12mm wrench, maybe a new throttle return dashpot.
Step 1. Locate, Check, and Adjust Throttle Return Dashpot.
Warm up the engine to operating temperature, turn it OFF, then remove the air cleaner (Chapter 7, Procedure
5, Step 3). Look down the front half of the carburetor top to see if the carburetor choke plate (butterfly valve)
is in a vertical position. (If it isn't, see Chapter 11, Procedure 13, Step 2). If the choke plate is vertical, the choke
is working properly, so you're set up to check the throttle return dashpot.
If you aren't sure what the dashpot looks like, have Friend press on the gas pedal (engine OFF) while you
watch the right side of the carburetor. When Friend presses on the gas pedal a cable rotates an arc-shaped throttle
lever on the lower right side of the carb. When the pedal is released, the bottom edge of the throttle lever presses
against apin sticking out of a small round can. The can is the dashpot. The pin should slowly retract allowing
the lever to return gradually to the idle position. Got it?
Lift the throttle lever away from the dashpot. Press lightly on the dashpot pin with a finger. The pin should
slowly (with resistance) retract into the dashpot as you press. If the pin is stuck or offers no resistance, replace
the dashpot. If the pin retracts slowly, quickly remove your finger from the pin to see if it pops up. If the pin
doesn't pop up to its original position, replace the dashpot.
To check the dashpot adjustment, set a small ruler on the dashpot so you can measure the distance the lever
moves the pin. Raise the throttle lever until it clears the pin, then slowly lower it until it barely touches the pin.
Position the bottom of the ruler at the bottom edge of the lever. Now let go of the throttle lever, wait a few seconds,
262
Chapter 12 Procedure 10, Step 2
then check the position of the bottom edge of the lever on your ruler. The lever should have moved .024"(6mm).
That's almost exactly '/a ". Measure it a couple times to be sure. If your measurement was different, loosen the
locknut on the bottom of the dashpot mounting screw where it screws into a mounting bracket sticking out of
the intake manifold. Screw the dashpot clockwise into the intake manifold until the pin clears the throttle lever.
Now slowly turn the dashpot counterclockwise until the pin barely touches the throttle lever. Each complete
counterclockwise revolution of the dashpot will raise it .004" (lmm), so turn the dashpot six complete turns counterclockwise and it will be set just right. Hold the dashpot in that position while you tighten the locknut. Start
the engine and see if the idle speed is correct. If the engine still idles too fast, do Step 2 to replace the dashpot.
Step 2. Replace Dashpot.
To replace the dashpot, loosen the locknut on the bottom of the stubby dashpot mounting shaft. Hold the throttle
lever up out of the way while you unscrew the dashpot counterclockwise to remove it. If there isn't a locknut on the
mounting shaft of the new dashpot, screw the locknut from the old dashpot onto the shaft. Screw the new dashpot
into the threaded hole in the intake manifold until the pin clears the throttle lever. Now adjust the dashpot (Step 1).
THE EXHAUST SYSTEM
The exhaust system serves two basic functions: silence and safety. It stifles the noises made by all those
little explosions in the cylinders, and carries the burned gases from the engine to the rear of the car so they don't
go into the passenger compartment. A noisy, leaky, worn-out exhaust system is not only embarrassing and irritating,
it's downright dangerous. One of the by-products of burning gasoline is carbon monoxide. This is an odorless
gas that first makes you sleepy, then as you doze off, it kills you. Dead. It's a method of choice for those bent
on suicide, but I presume you're not one of them. The lethal potential of carbon monoxide poisoning is the main
reason it's wise to keep your exhaust system in shape.
Starting in 1980 on some models, and '81 on all models, a catalytic converter (cat) was added to the exhaust
system to help reduce noxious exhaust emissions. The cat is made of special metals that convert most of the carbon
monoxide in the exhaust gas to harmless carbon dioxide and water. Models with a cat must use unleaded fuel
because lead coats the special metals and renders them ineffective.
The exhaust system on all non-Turbo Soobs is essentially the same. The exhaust gases created in the cylinders
rush past the exhaust valves into the exhaust pipe assembly (sometimes called the exhaust manifold) that is
bolted to the cylinder heads. The pipes from each of the two cylinder heads merge into one pipe beneath the car,
just to the rear of the engine compartment. The catalytic converter (on models that have 'em) is inside the "Y"
where the two sides merge. The whole Y-shaped works is one piece called the exhaust pipe assembly. The
exhaust moves along into the muffler/tailpipe assembly, then into the air (and everybody's lungs).
On Turbo models the section of the exhaust pipe assembly bolted to the bottom of the left cylinder head
goes across the bottom front of the engine to the right cylinder head. This front pipe assembly then curves upward
to where it bolts to the bottom of the turbocharger. The rear exhaust pipe assembly, bolted to the rear of the tur
bocharger, carries the exhaust gas rearward to the muffler/ tailpipe assembly, the same as on non-Turbo models.
Metal and asbestos gaskets fit between these components to prevent leaks.
The rear end of the exhaust pipe assembly is securely bolted to an exhaust pipe bracket that's attached
to the frame. On all models the exhaust pipe assembly, pre-muffler, and muffler/tailpipe assembly are attached
to the body with rubber cushions which dampen vibrations. On some models the rear end of the tailpipe is bolted
to a rubber tailpipe hanger that's attached to the frame.
Replacing most exhaust system components is relatively straightforward. Here's how you do it.
Procedure 11, Step 1
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 263
PROCEDURE Ill: REPLACE EXHAUST SYSTEM COMPONENTS
Condition: Your Soob sounds like an angry truck and you're getting hostile stares from fellow motorists, OR;
you smell exhaust fumes inside the car. Holes may be visible in the exhaust pipe and/or muffler/ tailpipe.
Tools and Materials: Safety glasses, penetrating oil, 10mm, l2mm, and 14mm wrenches and sockets, ratchet,
a long extension for the ratchet is sometimes handy, new exhaust gaskets, a block of wood, maybe new exhaust
pipe(s), muffler/tailpipe, head pipes. I recommend using new nuts, bolts, lockwashers, and flat washers when
replacing exhaust components. At least have a few handy because, due to the heat and rust they're subjected
to, exhaust nuts and bolts tend to break easily when you remove them. You might need a hacksaw to remove some
of the rusted bolts.
Remarks: Replacing exhaust system components is a cinch nowdays. Why couldn't it have been that easy when
I was a teenager?
If you're planning to keep the car for several more years, check out the muffler shops that give a lifetime
guarantee on their mufflers. The slightly higher price may save you money in the long run.
You can probably find exhaust system components cheapest at local parts stores or through mail order catalogs.
CAUTION: Don't try to work on the exhaust system while it's hot; let things cool down for 20 minutes after
you shut the engine off.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Depending on the location of the component you're replacing, you might need to jack up the front or rear
of the car. See Chapter 3: Safety, on how to do it safely. Be sure to use jackstands!
264
Chapter 12 Procedure 11, Step 2
Step 2. Replace Exhaust Pipe Assembly and/or the Gaskets between the Cylinder Head and Exhaust
Pipe (non-Turbo models).
Turbo Models: If there's a problem with the exhaust pipe assembly on your Turbo model, take it to the pros.
EVERYONE (except Turbo models): Depending on your size, you might need to jack up the front of the
car (skinny people probably won't need to). Try replacing the gaskets without jacking the car up (it's quicker
and safer). If you just don't fit, put the car in gear or in PARK, chock the rear wheels, jack up the front of the
car and put it on jackstands (Chapter 3: Safety). Since the exhaust pipe assembly is a one piece unit, you should
replace both cylinder head exhaust gaskets even if only one is leaking. Safety glasses on? Continue.
Start by removing the flat piece of sheet metal (splash shield) below the right exhaust pipe connection (it's
attached to the front and side of the body with four or five 10mm bolts). Now disconnect the large hot air inlet
hose from the front of the right side of the exhaust pipe assembly. Just slide the clamp away from the end of the
hose, then put your hand around the hose end and gently twist to break it free from the fitting. The hose is usually
stuck, and if you try to pull it off without twisting it first, the hose will tear. Pull the hose off the fitting.
'81 and newer models: If you're removing the exhaust pipe assembly, disconnect the wire attached to the
oxygen sensor on the top front of the exhaust pipe assembly where it merges together. Just grab the rubber boot
(not the wire) and wiggle it off. Be careful not to bang anything against the sensor-it's delicate and expensive.
'76 and newer models: The hot air intake hose was connected to an air stove which is attached to the right
front of the exhaust pipe assembly. On OHC models the air stove is on top of the catalytic converter-that large
lump where the two exhaust pipes join. On some models, the stove is simply a tube welded to the exhaust pipe.
On other models, the stove consists of two pieces of sheet metal wrapped around the exhaust pipe and attached
with two or three 10mm bolts. The kind of air stove that wraps around the exhaust pipe must be removed so you
can get to the exhaust pipe mounting nuts on the bottom of the cylinder head. To remove the air stove, remove
the 10mm bolts below the hot air hose fitting, then spread the two halves of the stove apart until you can unhook
the tabs from the slots on the top and remove the two halves.
Squirt some penetrating oil on the two nuts and studs that attach each side of the exhaust pipe assembly to
the bottom of the cylinder heads. Use a 14mm socket on a long extension to remove the nuts.
If you're just replacing the gaskets, on some models you can pull the exhaust pipe assembly down far enough
with your hands to remove the old gaskets and slip the new ones in. If there's a raised edge on the gaskets, it goes
toward the pipe and the smooth side goes toward the cylinder head. Don't pry on the exhaust pipe assembly with
anything or you might damage the pipe assembly or yourself.
If you're removing the exhaust pipe assembly to replace or repair it, or you can't pull it down far enough
with your hands to replace the gasket, you need to remove a bolt or two that attach the rear end of the exhaust
pipe assembly to the car. Follow the assembly rearward to where the pipes merge together (the crotch). Go just
a little farther and you'll see where the rear end of the exhaust pipe assembly is bolted to a bracket. Place a board
Procedure 11, Step 3
Exhaust and Emission Control Systems 265
on top of your jack and slide it under the crotch.
Raise the jack so it supports the weight of the pipe
assembly (it's heavier than it appears).
If you're removing the exhaust pipe assembly,
remove the two bolts that attach the rear end of the
exhaust pipe assembly to the pre-muffler or rear
exhaust pipe assembly (see illustration). Now
remove the l2mm bolt(s) from the bracket. On '75
models there's also a retaining bracket that attaches
the left side of the assembly to the bottom of the
transmission. Remove the two l2mm bolts. If you're
removing the exhaust pipe assembly, carefully lower
the jack all the way, then drag the works out from
under the car.
If you're just replacing the gaskets, slowly
lower the jack until you can remove the old gaskets
and slip new ones in. Don't lower the jack any far
ther than necessary. If the gaskets have a raised edge
on one side, the raised side goes toward the exhaust
pipe and the smooth side goes toward the cylinder
head.
Now that the new gaskets are in, raise the jack
(if you're using one) or push up on the exhaust pipe
so you can get the nuts started. Once the nuts are
started, you can remove the jack. Torque the exhaust
pipe nuts to 20 ft. lbs. Install and tighten the exhaust
pipe bracket bolt(s) if you removed them.
'75 models: Don't forget to install and tighten the two bolts that attach the assembly to the transmission,
if you removed them.
Clean the air stove with a rag if it's oily, greasy, and funky. Wrap it around the right side of the exhaust pipe
assembly and engage the tabs in the slots. Wiggle it into position so you can install and tighten the 10mm bolts.
Reconnect the hot air inlet hose and secure it with the clamp. Install the splash shield and secure it with the 10mm
bolts. Lower the jack if it's still holding anything up under there. Remove the jackstands and lower the car if
you jacked it up.
Step 3. Replace Exhaust Pipes and/or Muffler/Tailpipes.
Chock, jack, and block the rear end of the car (Step 1).
To replace the muffler just unbolt it from the rear of the exhaust pipe assembly or pre-muffler and unhook
the rubber cushions from the brackets on the muffler. If the end of the tailpipe is bolted to a rubber hanger,
remove the 12mm bolt that attaches the tailpipe to the hanger. Now the muffler/ tailpipe assembly can be
removed. On 4WD models you'll have to thread the pipe over the rear axle shaft. Inspect the rubber cushions
and tailpipe hanger (if you have one) and replace them if they're cracked, funky, or missing.
To install the new muffler/ tailpipe, thread the pipe on the front of the muffler into position (over the rear
axle shaft on 4WD models). Fit the rubber cushions over the hooks on the muffler, then install a new gasket
between the muffler flange and exhaust pipe (or pre-muffler) flange. Install and tighten the bolts and nuts. If
you have a tailpipe hanger, install and tighten the bolt. Lower the car, start the engine and check for leaks around
the gasket. Do this outside, where exhaust fumes won't zap you. Tighten the bolts a little more if necessary.
To replace the rear exhaust pipe assembly or pre-muffler, remove the bolts, nuts, washers (and springs on
late models), just to the rear of the rear exhaust pipe bracket, which attach the rear exhaust pipe or pre-muffler
to the front exhaust pipe assembly. If you want to raise the car for access, be sure to use jackstands to support
266
Chapter 12 Procedure 11, Step 3
the car. Remove the bolts that attach the rear exhaust pipe assembly or pre-muffler to the muffler/tailpipe assembly. Now you can remove the exhaust pipe or pre-muffler.
To install the new rear exhaust pipe assembly or pre-muffler, fit it into place using new gaskets on each
end, then install and tighten the bolts, washers, nuts, and springs (on late models). Lower the car and start the
engine. (Don't do it in an enclosed space.) Feel around both gaskets for leaks. Tighten the bolts a little if necessary.
CHAPTER 13
BRAKES
"The ability to stop is often more important than any other capability-humans, cars, what-have-yous.
Do a good slow solid job on your brakes. "
-John Muir
Your Subaru has two brake systems that work independently of each other-a hydraulic system and a mechanical system. The hydraulic system is operated by applying pressure on the brake pedal with your foot. This pressure
ends up activating the brakes on all four wheels. The mechanical system is operated by pulling up on the "emer
gency" handbrake lever located between the front seats. Only the front brakes are activated by the mechanical handbrake system.
Let's go through the hydraulic system first. When you push on the brake pedal with your foot (ear, nose,
or whatever), a rod attached to the pedal is moved into the master cylinder which is bolted to the firewall in
the engine compartment. The rod pushes against two pistons located inside the master cylinder. The pistons
are fitted with rubber seals which form an air- and fluid-tight seal against the smooth walls of the master cylinder. When the plungers are forced forward by the rod attached to the brake pedal, pressure is created in the
fluid in the master cylinder. It's like a hypodermic syringe: a plunger forces fluid into a hollow metal tube. The
brake lines are hollow metal tubes that carry the hydraulic pressure to wheel cylinders at each of the four wheels.
HOW THEY WORK
268
Chapter 13
These wheel (or "slave") cylinders are bolted to brackets near the end of each axle. A short rubber brake hose
takes the place of the metal lines near each wheel, allowing the wheels to move up and down and the front wheels
to turn right and left.
There are two types of brake systems used on Subarus-drum brakes and disc brakes. Some 1975 models
have drum brakes up front. Replacing the brakes on these models is not covered in this manual. You'll have to
find the first edition of this manual, or write to me at John Muir Publications and I'll send you the instructions.
All 1976 and newer Soobs have front disc brakes and all models until 1985 have rear drum brakes. Starting in
1985, OHC Turbo models and some non-Turbo XTs have disc brakes on the rear. I'll describe how the drumtype works first:
When the hydraulic pressure reaches a rear wheel cylinder, it forces two plungers inside the wheel cylinder to move outward against the tops of two brake shoes. The shoes are hinged at the bottom and secured to
a backing plate by a pin. The brake shoes move outward and contact a heavy steel brake drum bolted to the
wheel. Friction created by the brake shoe rubbing against the rotating brake drum makes it harder for the wheel
to turn, thus slowing the car. This is happening at all four wheels at the same time. The plungers in the wheel
cylinders are fitted with rubber seals to form an air- and fluid-tight seal, just like the master cylinder. Brake
springs attached between the two brake shoes pull the shoes back away from the brake drum when the pressure is released from the brake pedal.
DISC BRAKES
Disc brakes derive their name from the shape of the strong metal disc bolted onto the front driveshaft which
rotates along with the wheel. Bolted to the front axle housing is a "floating caliper" which surrounds the disc.
Pads mounted inside the calipers will contact the disc when the brakes are applied. Machined into the caliper
body is a wheel cylinder bore which houses the brake piston. When you press the brake pedal with your foot,
hydraulic pressure goes out to the wheel cylinder where the piston is forced outward, pushing the inside brake
Brakes 269
pad against the inside surface of the disc. Since the caliper "floats" (can shift slightly), pressure applied to the
inside brake pad moves the caliper body away from the inside of the disc and draws the outside pad against the
outer surface of the disc. Thus the disc is squeezed from both sides, which slows and stops the wheel. Disc brakes
are very efficient and are used on all four wheels of most high performance and racing cars. For example, all
1985 and newer Subarus with Turbo engines, as well as models with the six-cylinder engine, also have rear disc
brakes. Since the front brakes supply most of the stopping power, they wear out faster than the rear brakes, so
inspect them regularly.
Front disc brakes have been standard on GL and GSR coupes since 1972. For some reason sedans and station
wagons were denied the nifty, efficient disc brakes until 1976, when all Subarus imported to the U.S. came with
front disc brakes. In 1980, Subaru changed from Bendix calipers to AD calipers on all models except Brats. Brats
got the AD calipers in '82. A thicker, ventialted disc was introduced on '83 4WD station wagons with automatic
transmissions. All models after mid-1983 have the thicker ventilated discs.
Disc brakes seem to have a natural tendency to
squeeeeel even when the pads and discs are in good
condition. That's the trade-off we make: noisier but
more efficient disc brakes, rather than quieter but less
efficient drum brakes. The disc brake pads on '80
and newer cars and '82-'87 Brats have a built in
wear indicator that makes the brakes squeal when
the pads are nearly worn out. If your pads and discs
are in good condition but tend to squeal, try squirting
them with the garden hose occasionally to wash the
accumulated brake dust off the pads. Don't do this
while the discs are hot from a recent drive; the discs
might warp.
When buying replacement pads for disc brakes,
often you can choose between regular pads that are
quieter but wear out faster, or hard pads that tend to
squeal more but last longer. The choice is yours.
Except for screwing in the caliper pistons,
changing the brake pads and removing the caliper for repair or replacement is a breeze with either the Bendix
or AD system. Rebuilding the calipers, especially AD calipers, is very tedious and difficult and should be left
to the professionals.
OTHER PARTS OF THE BRAKE SYSTEM
All 1975 and newer Subarus (except for 1975 two-door sedans) have a master vac unit. It's located between
the brake pedal and master cylinder. The pretentiously named master vac uses vacuum from the engine to reduce
the amount of pressure needed on the brake pedal to stop the car.
Since 1972 all Subarus sold in the U.S. have tandem master cylinders. This means there are two separate
hydraulic circuits in the master cylinder body. The primary circuit operates the right front and left rear brakes.
The secondary circuit operates the left front and right rear brakes. If a seal in the master cylinder or wheel cylinder
of one of the circuits breaks, the other circuit still provides 50 percent of the normal braking action. It's like having
a safety net.
Until 1979 a brake failure switch was incorporated into an octopus-looking brake line junction block on
the firewall behind the engine. When the pressure in one of the hydraulic circuits on these cars is less than the
pressure in the other circuit, a red light on the dash lights up. This is the same light that reminds you that the
handbrake is on. In 1979, Subaru changed to a low-brake-fluid warning system (Brats got this system in '78).
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Chapter 13
Each brake fluid reservoir cap has a switch that lights the brake warning light on the dash if the fluid level is low.
Here's how your outside brake lights work: A switch for the brake lights is mounted to a bracket near the
top of the brake pedal. When the pedal is pushed away from the switch the rear brake lights light up.
BRAKE ADJUSTMENT
When there's friction, there's also wear and tear. Naturally it's best to have one surface (the cheaper one)
wear out before the other. That's why replaceable asbestos compound brake pads and brake shoe linings are
softer than the metal discs and drums they rub against. Eventually, the brake pad and shoe linings wear thin and
have to be replaced.
For the brake system to operate at maximum efficiency, the brake shoes and pads must ride as close to the
drums and discs as possible. The front brakes on all models are self-adjusting, so no manual adjustment is necessary.
The rear brakes on all OHC Turbo models and all XT6 (six-cylinder) models are discs, so they don't require
manual adjustment. The rear brakes on all OHC 4WD models are self-adjusting drum brakes, so they don't
require periodic adjustment. Nice for us lazy people.
Brakes 271
The following models have rear drum brakes that must be manually adjusted every 12,000 miles to compensate for wear: all OHV models, 1985 and newer four-cylinder, non-Turbo, non-4WD (2WD) models. Procedure
1 tells you how to do it.
HANDBRAKE SYSTEM
The mechanical handbrake system (also called the emergency or parking brake) works when you pull
up on the brake lever between the front seats. The lever pulls on two cables that are attached directly to the front
brake shoes (or calipers) and applies those brakes. When you park, set the handbrake before releasing the clutch
(manual transmission cars) or before putting the automatic shift lever in PARK. This way no strain is put on
the drivetrain and things last longer. If you're ever cruising down the road and (gulp!) the brake pedal goes to
the floor when you press on it, DON'T PANIC. Just keep the button on the handbrake lever pressed in and gently
use the handbrake lever to slow you down. It's unlikely this will ever happen to you, thanks to the dual master
cylinder.
BRAKE PROBLEMS
All brake shoes, disc pads, and rubber seals in the master cylinder and wheel cylinders are mortal, like you
and me, and will eventually wear out due to normal usage. Keeping the system filled with fresh fluid and adjusting
the rear shoes regularly (if yours require adjustment) will prolong the brake system's life (and maybe yours),
but sooner or later you'll encounter one or more of the following problems.
If the brake pedal feels solid, but goes to within three inches of the floor before any resistance is felt, the
brake pads or shoes aren't making contact against the discs or drums as quickly as they should. Try adjusting
the rear brakes (Procedure 1). If that doesn't help, inspect the front and rear shoes or pads for wear (Procedure
4 for rear shoes, Procedure 6 for rear pads, Procedure 8 for front pads).
Squeals, growls, and rumbles coming from the wheels when the brakes are applied means the asbestos compound has worn through and the metal part of the shoes or pads is contacting the drums or discs. Very bad. This
causes scratching or scoring which can quickly ruin the expensive drums and discs. 1980 and newer models
(except '77-'81 Brats) have a wear sensor built into the pads that squeals at you (a cry for help!) when the pads
are almost worn out. If you hear this plea for attention, check the pads.
If the brake pedal feels spongy, mushy, or has to be pumped a few times before any resistance is felt, air
is in the hydraulic system. Since air can be easily compressed, the pressure applied to the system by pumping
the brake pedal merely causes the air pockets to get smaller (compressed) and thereby undermines the hydraulic
fluid's job of forcing the wheel cylinder plungers outward to move the brake shoes or pads.
Air can enter the system if the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir gets too low, when the hydraulic
system is opened for inspection or repair, or when a seal in one of the wheel cylinders wears out. Check the fluid
level in the master cylinder reservoir and top it up if necessary (Procedure 2, Step 2). Look on the inside of each
wheel and around the master cylinder for any signs of wetness (signs of an opening in the system that would let
fluid out and air in). But don't do this on a rainy day. If no leaks or wet spots can be found, adjust the rear brakes
(if yours require manual adjustment), then bleed the system (Procedure 2). Check the pedal again for firmness.
Problem solved? Congratulations. If no leaks were found and the pedal is still mushy after bleeding the system,
the master cylinder seals are probably incapable of holding pressure in the system. The master cylinder needs
to be rebuilt or replaced (Procedure 12).
If you find a damp-looking area on the inside of a wheel or backing plate, check the smell of the wet spot
to see if it's brake fluid. How? Get some of the goo on your finger and compare the aroma to an open can of brake
fluid. Don't give it a taste test because brake fluid is poison. Smell the same? If so, a wheel cylinder rebuild is
in order (Procedure 7). On drum brakes, it's best to rebuild or replace both rear wheel cylinders even if only
one side is leaking. If a caliper is leaking, also take the caliper on the opposite side to Subaru or a garage and
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Chapter 13 Procedure 1
have them both rebuilt. Back to the smell test-if the smells don't match, the wet spot could be from a neighborhood dog. Wash your hands and make a note about what to do to that dog the next time you see him.
A leaky master cylinder is easy to spot because it's sticking out of the firewall or master vac in the engine
compartment in plain view. Carefully check all the brake line connections at the master cylinder and the brake
line junction block for leaks. The junction block is located on the firewall behind the engine on '75-'79 cars
and '77-'81 Brats, and below the master cylinder on '80 and newer cars and '82-'87 Brats. Make sure the clamps
on the bottom of the brake fluid reservoirs are snug, and check the reservoirs for cracks.
If the master cylinder is leaking, don't try to rebuild it yourself. Take it to an expert! It is vital that the job
be done perfectly. Procedure 12 tells you how to remove and replace the master cylinder.
Always adjust the rear brakes (if yours are adjustable) before bleeding the system and always bleed all the
wheels, even if the pedal seems firm after bleeding the first wheel or two. It's worth the effort.
Dragging brakes can affect your car's performance in several ways: decreased gas mileage, engine overheating, and dangerous wheel lock-up when the brakes are applied. To check for dragging brakes, park on level
ground with the gearshift in NEUTRAL and the handbrake OFF. You should be able to push the car without
much effort. If you can't, jack the car up one wheel at a time, then check the turning resistance on each wheel.
The handbrake has to be off to check the front wheels so be sure to block the rear wheels.
If you find that one or more of the brakes is dragging on your '81 and newer Soob, check the hill-holder
system if you have one (Procedure 17).
If you don't have a hill-holder, or that wasn't your problem, jack up the car at the wheel that's dragging and
put it on jackstands. If the wheel has drum brakes, remove the brake drum (Procedure 4) and check for broken return springs and linings that have come off the metal part of the shoes. If it's a disc brake wheel, remove
the wheel and check the caliper and brake pads to see if they are free to move in the holder (Procedure 8, Steps
1 and 2). Check the handbrake cable lever on the caliper to see if it's sticking and holding the front brakes on
(Procedure 8, Step 5).
If all looks well at the brakes, or all the brakes
are dragging, the master cylinder might be holding
residual pressure after the brake pedal is released.
Rebuild or replace the master cylinder (Procedure
12).
Since almost every brake procedure involves
jacking up the car, please read the safety precautions
in Chapter 3.
PROCEDURE 1: ADJUST REAR BRAKES
This procedure is for all OHV models and OHC
non-Turbo, non-4WD models (except six-cylinder
models).
Condition: Your car doesn't stop as well as it used
to; OR the pedal goes over halfway to the floor before
resistance is felt; OR it's been 6,000 miles since the
rear brakes were adjusted; OR you're tired of sticking
your foot out the door and dragging your foot to stop
the car.
Procedure 1, Step 1
Brakes 273
Tools and Materials: Safety glasses, jack, jackstands, blocks for the wheels, can of penetrating oil, a 6mm open-end
wrench or small crescent wrench. '75 models also require a 14mm box-end wrench.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Park on level ground, put the car in 1st gear (manual transmission) or PARK. Set the handbrake, and put
chocks in front of and behind the front wheels. Place the jack under the jack point in front of a rear wheel and
raise the car until the wheel is off the ground. Block the car up with a jackstand in case your jack fails (Chapter 3).
Step 2. Adjust.
Put on your safety glasses and crawl under the rear of the car. Look behind the wheel at the round brake
backing plate attached to the outer end of the rear axle. Except for the very top and bottom, it's pretty much
covered by the suspension arm. The backing plate serves as a bracket for the brake components and prevents
dust and moisture from entering the mechanisms.
Look at the bottom of the backing plate for two short bolts with nuts on them. Between the short bolts is
a longer threaded bolt with a square head on the end. This is the brake adjusting bolt. Squirt some penetrating
oil on the threads of the adjusting bolt. If there is a nut on the adjusting bolt right next to the backing plate, loosen
it a couple of turns with the 14mm box-end wrench. (If there's no nut, don't worry about it; Subaru quit putting them on in '76.)
Put the 6mm or crescent wrench on the square end of the bolt and turn it clockwise as far as it will go. You'll
feel the bolt get tight then loose, tight then loose, as you turn it. Here's what's happening: On the other end of
the bolt, there's a four-sided wedge that sits between the bottom of the brake shoes. Screwing the bolt in spreads
the shoes and thus moves the brake linings closer to the drum. When the bolt is screwed in as far as it will go,
unscrew it counterclockwise 180° (half a turn). This leaves about .004" to .006" (0.1 to 0.15mm) clearance between
the lining and the drum. Spin the tire while you rock the wrench back and forth a little. Leave the bolt set in a
position where the tire spins freely. Tighten the 14mm nut if there is one (hold the bolt head with the wrench
if it turns with the nut). Spin the tire with your hand to see that it rotates freely. If it seems to drag, loosen the
adjusting bolt 90° (quarter of a turn) and spin the wheel again. A very light scraping sound when you rotate the
wheel is normal. Easy, isn't it?
Repeat this step to adjust the other rear brake.
PROCEDURE 2: BLEED BRAKES
The purpose of bleeding the hydraulic system is to eliminate all air bubbles and air pockets in the system.
This is accomplished by forcing brake fluid into the system from the master cylinder and forcing air and water
out through the bleeder valves. Seems like blood should squirt out but it never does.
Check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir(s) frequently while you're bleeding the brakes (Step
2). Never let the fluid go below the MIN line. If the level gets too low, air will get pumped into the system and
you'll have to start all over.
Bleed the brakes in this order:
OHV models: Bleed the master cylinder, then the left rear, then the right front, then the right rear, and finally
the left front.
OHC models: Start with the left front wheel, then bleed the right rear wheel. Bleed the right front, then
the left rear.
Read all the way through the brake bleeding steps before you do them. They go too fast to thumb through
while you're under the car.
274
Chapter 13 Procedure 2, Step 1
Condition: Brake pedal feels spongy or mushy and
it takes a few pumps on the pedal before any braking action occurs; OR some part of the hydraulic system has been opened for inspection or repair.
Tools and Materials: Pint of DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid,
small glass jar with lid, at least 18" of 3/ 16" inside
diameter clear plastic hose (old suction tubing from
a hospital works well), 8mm and 10mm box-end
wrenches, safety glasses, jack, jackstands, a Friend
who can hear and is willing to follow your instructions. My son has been helping me bleed brakes since
he was 3 years old.
Remarks: Wear safety glasses while you bleed the
brakes and be careful not to get any brake fluid in your
mouth-it's extremely poisonous. Use the glass jar
to catch the used brake fluid, then properly dispose of it. Brake fluid also ruins paint; if any gets on the car, wipe
it off immediately and wash the spot with warm soapy water.
CAUTION!: Brake fluid is like a magnet for moisture
in the air. An open can of brake fluid can become
contaminated within a few minutes on a humid day.
So keep the can of brake fluid tightly sealed and the
reservoir caps on except when adding fluid.
Don't reuse fluid pumped out during the bleeding process. It's become aerated (full of minute bubbles) and thus useless.
If you're stuck on the road, you can bleed the
brakes without the glass jar or plastic hose. Hold a
rag over the end of the bleeding nipple to keep the
fluid off the tires and out of your eyes. Do it this way
only in a real pinch.
Step 1. Adjust Rear Brakes.
See Procedure 1 to see if your model requires
periodic rear brake adjustment. If it does, always
adjust the rear brakes before bleeding the brake
system.
Step 2. Check Brake Fluid Level.
The brake fluid reservoir(s) is on top of the
master cylinder. To keep dirt out of the brake fluid,
clean the cap(s) and reservoir(s) with a rag before
removing the cap(s). Lay the cap(s) someplace clean
and cover it with a clean rag or paper towel. Look
for two lines on the side of each reservoir marked
MIN (minimum) and MAX (maximum). Fill the
master cylinder reservoir(s) to the MAX line with
fresh DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, then put the reservoir
cap(s) on.
Procedure 2, Step 3
Brakes 275
Step 3. Locate Bleeder Valves
Bleeder valves look like hollow bolts that screw into the wheel cylinders. They tend to be rather fragile,
so be sure you use a box-end wrench when loosening and tightening them. Open-end wrenches quickly round
off the corners and leave you unable to bleed!
OHV models: There are two bleeder valves on the side of the master cylinder. Bleed the rear one first, then
the front one.
EVERYONE: The bleeder valves for drum brakes are near the top of the brake backing plate, and rather
difficult to reach. Removing the wheels makes the job a lot easier, especially the first time through.
On disc brakes the bleeder valves are located near the top rear of the calipers. With difficulty they can be
reached by turning the wheels opposite the side of the car you're working on. Again, it's easier to reach the bleeder
with the wheel off-especially the first time.
Step 4. Bleed 'em.
Put on your safety glasses. Find the bleeder valve and peel off the rubber cap, if there is one. Position the
box end of an 8mm wrench (10mm on the master cylinder) over the bleeder valve so the valve can be opened
counterclockwise at least '/a turn. Slip one end of the clear plastic hose over the end of the bleeder valve nip
ple and stick the other end of the hose into the glass jar. Pour about one inch of fresh brake fluid into the jar and
check to see that the end of the tube is submerged in the fluid.
Bleeding the brakes is a team sport, so you and your Friend should read and practice the next five sub-steps
at least once before bleeding the brakes for real.
276
Chapter 13 Procedure 3, Step 1
A. Friend slowly pumps the brake pedal about 10 times then, while holding his or her foot firmly on the
pedal, yells, "READY!"
B. When you yell, "DOWN." Friend presses on the brake pedal while you open the bleed valve 1/a turn (counterclockwise). Friend's foot forces the pedal to the floor and HOLDS IT DOWN. When it hits the floor Friend
yells, "IT'S DOWN." You'll watch fluid and air bubbles coming out of the bleeder valve.
C. When Friend yells, "IT'S DOWN," you quickly close the bleeder valve by tightening it (clockwise).
When the valve is closed, yell, "UP" at Friend.
D. Friend slowly lets the pedal come up to its normal position, then yells, "IT'S UP" If the pedal is released
while the bleeder valve is open, air or used fluid will be sucked into the system. Don't panic, just repeat A-E.
E. Check the fluid level in the reservoir, fill it to the MAX line, then repeat steps B-E until no bubbles can
be seen coming out of the bleeder valve. It might take two times, or it could take several.
When you're sure all the bubbles are gone, make sure the bleeder valve is closed tight, replace the rubber
cap if there was one, and wipe up any fluid that might have spilled. Move on to the next wheel and try not to
think about how silly you and your Friend sound to the neighbors.
After the master cylinder (OHV models) and all four wheel cylinders have been bled, put the lid on the jar
of old brake fluid and throw it away-never reuse brake fluid. Never store anything but brake fluid in a brake
fluid can; someone might accidentally use it with bad to fatal results. Keep spare cans of brake fluid tightly sealed
so the fluid can't be contaminated by moisture in the air.
PROCEDURE 3: CHANGE HYDRAULIC BRAKE FLUID
Condition: You just bought the car; OR you're doing the 12,000-mile maintenance.
Tools and Materials: Same as for bleeding the brakes (Procedure 2) except three pints of brake fluid will be needed.
Remarks: This procedure is usually performed in shops with a machine called a pressure bleeder, but we can
do it without one. Read Procedure 2 before performing this Procedure.
Brake fluid absorbs water, which hastens the demise of the wheel cylinders and master cylinder. Changing the brake fluid regularly will save you money in the long run and make your car safer to drive- a nice combination.
Step 1. Drain Master Cylinder Reservoirs.
If there are two wires coming out of the top of the reservoir cap(s), follow the wires to a connector located
a few inches from the reservoir(s) and disconnect the wires.
Clean each master cylinder reservoir cap to prevent dirt from falling into the reservoir, then remove the cap
and little strainer basket inside the reservoir. Store the cap(s) and strainer(s) in a clean, safe location while you
change the brake fluid.
OHV models: Locate the two master cylinder bleeder valves on the side of the master cylinder. Remove
the dust cap from one of the bleeder valves, put a 10mm box-end wrench on the valve, then slip one end of 3 / 16"
inside diameter clear tubing over the nipple. Stick the other end of the tube into ajar or can.
Open the bleeder valve and have Friend slowly pump the brake pedal while you watch the fluid level in the
reservoir. When the fluid level reaches the aluminum part of the master cylinder, tell Friend to hold the pedal
down while you tighten the valve. Be sure to leave a little fluid in the master cylinder.
OHC models: Don't add any fluid to the reservoir while you bleed the left front wheel until there is only
a little fluid left in the reservoir. Don't completely empty the reservoir.
EVERYONE: Clean the strainer(s) with a clean rag, then install it/them in the reservoir(s). Fill the reservoir(s)
with fresh brake fluid.
OHV models: Bleed both nipples on the master cylinder the same way you did in Procedure 2. After going
through substeps A-E a few times, the fluid flowing through the tube will be clear and no air bubbles should
Procedure 3, Step 2
Brakes 277
be seen. Have Friend hold the brake pedal down while you tighten the bleeder valve and install the dust cap.
OHC models: Bleed the left front wheel just like you did in Procedure 2 until the fluid in the tube looks
clean and clear and has no air bubbles in it.
Step 2. Bleed Wheel Cylinders.
Bleed each wheel cylinder in the sequence described in Procedure 2. Start with fluid in the master cylinder reservoir at the MAX line and bleed each wheel cylinder until the fluid is at the MIN line. Keep filling the
reservoir and bleeding the wheel cylinder until the brake fluid flowing through the plastic hose is clear and has
no bubbles in it. It will probably take 3-4 reservoirs of fluid for each rear wheel and 2-3 reservoirs for front
wheels. Be sure to tighten the bleeder valves and install the rubber dust caps.
Fill the reservoir(s) to the MAX line with fresh brake fluid, then install the cap(s). If there are wires coming
out of the cap(s), be sure they are securely connected to the wiring harness.
If you removed any wheels, install them and snug down the lug nuts. Lower the car and torque the lug nuts
to 72 ft. lbs. Lower the hood and be sure it's latched securely. Record the brake fluid change in the log at the
end of Chapter 7. Thanks.
PROCEDURE 4: REMOVE BRAKE DRUMS OR DISCS, CHECK REAR DRUM BRAKES
This procedure tells you how to remove and install the brake drums to inspect or replace the rear brake shoes,
or how to remove the disc on models with disc brakes. If you only need to check the brake pads on models with
disc brakes, see Procedure 8.
Condition: You just bought the car; OR you're doing the regular maintenance; OR strange noises are coming
from the rear of the car when the brakes are applied; OR the drums or discs must be removed for repair or
replacement.
Tools and Materials: Everyone will need the following tools: Safety glasses, a dust mask or respirator to protect
you from the nasty carcinogenic brakedust, ruler or small tape measure (to measure the brake shoes), jack, lug
wrench, jackstand(s), rags or paper towels, newspapers, large pliers, medium screwdriver, hammer 10mm and
14mm wrenches. Depending on how tight the axle nuts and drums are on, you might need a cheater bar, penetrating oil, and a brake drum puller. Additional tools for the various years and models are listed below.
'75-'78 front discs and 4WD rear drums: 36mm socket, 1/z" drive ratchet or breaker bar, 175 ft. lb . torque
wrench, 3/16" chisel, wire brush, and some oil (any kind). Maybe new axle nuts.
'79 and newer front discs and 4WD rear drums: 36mm socket, 1/z" ratchet or breaker bar, two new cotter
pins, 154 ft. lb . torque wrench, wire brush, some oil (any kind).
All non-4WD (2WD), rear brakes: You'll need two new lock plates for the rear axle nuts.
Remarks: CAUTION! WARNING! When you remove a brake drum, disc or caliper, wear a surgical mask
or respirator and DON'T breathe any of the black brake dust. Before removing the brake drums or discs spread
a newspaper under the wheel to catch the dust. As you remove the drums or discs, dump the accumulated dust
onto the newspaper then fold the newspaper so the dust is safely wrapped inside. Secure it with a rubber band
or piece of string and put it in the trash, then put a fresh newspaper under the wheel. After handling brake parts,
wash your hands before eating or smoking anything.
DON'T press on the brake pedal while a drum or disc is removed. The pistons will shoot out of the wheel
cylinder and you'll have a nasty mess to clean up.
27'8
Chapter 13 Procedure 4, Step 1
Step 1. Remove Brake Drum or Disc.
Park on level ground, put the gearshift in 1st
or PARK, put chocks in front of and behind the
wheels on the opposite end of the car you're going
to check. If you are removing the front discs, release
the handbrake (OFF). Remove the l4mm hubcap bolt
or pry off the hubcap with a screwdriver, depending
on your setup. Loosen the lug nuts counterclockwise
about one turn.
'75-'78 non-4WD rear drums: Jack up the car
and put it on jackstands. Remove the wheel. Unscrew
the three 10mm bolts on the brake drum cap (that
bulbous little thing in the middle of the brake drum)
and remove the cap. Be careful when you remove the
cap so you don't tear the gasket under the cap. If the
gasket is stuck to the drum and isn't torn or broken,
leave it there. Replace it with a new one if it gets
garbaged.
'79 and newer non-4WD rear drums or discs:
Jack up the rear end of the car and put it on jackstands. Remove the wheels. There's a bulbous drum
cap in the center of the brake drum that you pry off
with a screwdriver. Here's how: Put a thin screwdriver
blade between the brake drum or disc and the little
ridge around the cap. Tap lightly in the groove all
around the cap until you can pry the cap off. Replace
the rubber O-ring on the cap if it breaks.
All non-4WD rear drums: Once the drum cap
is off, you'll see that a big flat lock plate has been
bent over one side of the axle nut to keep it from turn
ing. Pry the lock plate away from the axle nut by
lightly hammering a small screwdriver or chisel
between the nut and plate. Straighten the plate enough
so it won't interfere with removal of the large axle nut.
Remove the axle nut with large pliers, then pull off
the thin lock plate and thick washer that's right behind
it. Wiggle the drum until the wheel bearing slides
out enough to grab with your fingers. Remove the
bearing and put it somewhere clean. When you install
the bearing, be sure it goes back on the same wheel. Support the weight of the drum, then pull straight out on
the drum to remove it. Dragging the drum off the axle can damage the grease seal on the inside of the drum.
Front disc brakes and 4WD rear drum or disc brakes: If there's a cotter pin sticking through the axle
and axle nut, straighten the pin with pliers then tap it out of the axle. No cotter pin? Locate the groove in the
axle where the axle nut has been bent ("staked") down into the groove to lock the nut in place. Tap a 3 / 16" wide
chisel into the groove under the staked portion of the nut until the end of the nut is round enough to clear the
threads on the axle.
Put the 36mm socket and ratchet on the nut so you can push down on the handle to loosen the nut counterclockwise about 1/2 turn. These nuts are hard to crack sometimes, so you might have to put a foot on the ratchet
handle (keep one foot on the ground) or slide a cheater bar (a 2 to 3 foot long piece of pipe) over the ratchet handle
Procedure 4, Step 2
Brakes 279
for added leverage. Be sure you're turning the nut counterclockwise.
When the axle nut is loose, jack up the car and put it on jackstands. Remove the lug nuts and wheel. Remove
the axle nut. Remove the big flat washer and the split center piece. Pull straight out on the drum or disc to remove
it. If it's stuck, see the next paragraph.
Stuck drum or disc: Here's an old Jedi trick that
usually works on tight drums or discs. Squirt some
penetrating oil on the axle splines and around the split
center piece and let it soak for a few minutes. Be sure
your safety glasses are on, then put the sharp end of
a chisel in the groove between the drum and center
piece and tap it with a hammer. Do this all the way
around. Once the center piece pops out, the drum
can usually be removed. If the drum still won't come
off, the Dark Side has won and you'll have to borrow, buy, or rent a drum puller.
Step 2. Inspect Brake Shoes.
OK, now that the brake drum is off, check the
brake shoes and the wheel cylinder at the top of the
backing plate for any signs of wetness-an indication
that the wheel cylinder is leaking fluid. A slight leak
will make the brake dust darker right around the cylinder. A bad leak will coat everything with brake
fluid. If any fluid is present, the wheel cylinder must
be rebuilt or replaced (Procedure 7). Replace the
brake shoes if any brake fluid or grease is on the
linings.
Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the brake
lining where it looks the thinnest-don't include the
metal part of the shoe. If the lining of the rear shoes
is 1 / 16" or less, the shoes should be replaced (Procedure 5).
Use a clean, non-oily finger to check the surface of the brake lining and the contact area inside
the brake drum. Both surfaces should feel almost
smooth with no large ridges or grooves worn in them.
If the linings and drum are real groovy, the shoes
should be replaced and the drums turned (machined),
Procedure 5.
Check the rubber brake hoses for cracks, worn,
split, or bulging spots. To find the rubber hoses for
the rear brakes, follow the brake line forward from
the top of the backing plate to the top of the torsion
bar. There it is. Replace the hoses if any of the aforementioned abnormalities exist (Procedure 11).
If the shoes, drums, and wheel cylinder are OK, go on to Step 3 and install the drums, then do Step 4 to
tighten the axle nuts.
280
Chapter 13 Procedure 4, Step 3
Step 3. Install Brake Drums or Discs.
Non-4WD rear drums or discs: Check the wheel bearings for dark blue or black spots on the rollers and
races. If the bearings aren't bright and shiny they should be replaced (Chapter 14, Procedure 9). Clean the outside
of the rubber grease seal that's on the inside of the drum or disc with a rag. Don't let the dirt fall into the wheel
bearing hole. If the seal is cracked or you can see a thin metal spring hanging inside the seal, or if the spring
was pulled out of the seal by the inner wheel bearing, you need to replace the seal (Chapter 14, Procedure 9).
Seal OK? Get a dab of grease from inside the drum or disc and smear it on the grease seal lip.
Hold the drum so your fingers won't get squished between the drum or disc and the backing plate-ouch!
Line up the hole in the drum or disc with the axle and carefully slide it onto the axle. Keep the axle centered
in the hole so the seal doesn't get damaged by the wheel bearing. Push the drum or disc over the axle as far as
you can. It helps to wiggle the drum or disc slightly while pushing on it. Wipe the outer bearing race in the
drum or disc with a clean rag, then slide the wheel bearing onto the axle with the larger part of the bearing to
the outside. Slide the thick washer onto the axle with its tab in the groove. Install a new lock plate on the axle
with the tab in the groove and the flat edge hooked over the flat part of the thick washer.
Screw the axle nut on and torque it to 36 ft. lb., if you have a torque wrench and the proper size socket handy.
Otherwise, use the large pliers to get the nut good and snug, but not real tight. Rotate the drum forward and backward
several times to seat the bearings. Now turn the nut counterclockwise so the edge of the nut moves about 1 / 8 ".
Rotate the drum with your hand to see if the drum turns freely. There should be a little drag but not much. If
it's hard to turn, loosen the axle nut just a bit more and check it again. When it turns smoothly, try moving the
drum side to side and up and down. If any looseness is felt, tighten the axle nut slightly and check it one more
time. When the drum rotates smoothly with no looseness in the bearing, use the large pliers to bend the lock
plate over one of the flat sides of the axle nut. Squeeze the lock plate so it touches the entire side of the nut.
'75-'78 non-4WD rear drums: Install the brake drum cap and gasket (if it came off the drum) and tighten
the three 10mm bolts.
'79 and newer non-4WD rear drums or discs: Install the rubber O-ring onto the bulbous cap. Press the
cap into its hole on the brake drum, then use a hammer or screwdriver handle to tap it in until the little ridge
touches the drum all the way around.
All non-4WD rear drums: Install the wheel and snug the lug nuts. If you don't have auto-adjusting brakes,
adjust the brakes (Procedure 1).
All non-4WD rear discs: Go back to Procedure 6, Step 4, to install the caliper holders and calipers.
All front discs and all 4WD rear drums: Clean the round center part in the middle of the inside of the
brake drum with a rag. That's the surface the wheel bearing seal rides on. Clean the splines on the axle and inside
the drum with a wire brush, then give them a very light coat of oil. Wipe off any excess oil with a rag. Hold the
drum up to the axle and wiggle it until the splines engage, then gently push the drum all the way onto the axle.
If you used a screwdriver or chisel to loosen the split center piece, smooth off any rough spots with a file.
Slip the split center piece onto the axle and into the drum or disc. The large washer is slightly cone shaped. Fit
it onto the axle so the raised center part is toward the outside.
Screw the axle nut onto the axle so the tapered staking lip ('75-'78 models) or the slots for the cotter pin
('79 and newer) is to the outside. Snug it down with the 36mm socket and ratchet.
DRUM BRAKE PEOPLE: Put the wheel on the drum and snug the lug nuts. Lower the car then torque
the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. Look at the illustration in Chapter 3 for the tightening sequence.
DISC BRAKE PEOPLE: Do Procedure 6, Step 5, to install the rear caliper holder or Procedure 10, Step
8, to install the front caliper holder.
EVERYONE (except non-4WD rear drums or discs): When the wheels are back on and the car is off
the jackstands, don't forget to come back here to do Step 4 to tighten the axle nuts.
Step 4. Tighten Axle Nuts on Front Disc, 4WD Rear Drum or Disc.
OK, the brakes are all back together and the lug nuts have been torqued to 72 ft. lbs., right? If not, do it.
If your axle nut is the kind that was staked into the groove on the axle shaft, torque the axle nut to 174 ft. lbs.,
then "stake" the edge of the nut into the groove with a hammer and large screwdriver. Be sure the staked part
of the nut reaches the bottom of the groove. If the axle nut has been staked so many times there's nothing left
to stake, replace it with a new nut. Install the hubcap.
Those of you with a castle nut and cotter pin setup, torque the axle nut to 145 ft. lbs. then see if a gap in the
axle nut lines up with a hole in the axle. If it does, slip in a new cotter pin and bend the ends of the pin around
the axle nut. If a gap in the nut doesn't line up with a hole in the axle, tighten the axle nut a little farther until
the cotter pin can slide through the hole in the axle. Bend the ends of the cotter pin around the axle nut. Install
the hubcap.
PROCEDURE 5: REPLACE REAR BRAKE SHOES
This procedure is only for models with rear drum brakes.
You can buy new brake shoes from Subaru, or rebuilt ones from auto parts stores. The rebuilt units seem
to work as well and last as long as new ones, so call around for prices and go for the best deal.
Condition: Groans, growls, or squeals come from the rear of the car when the brakes are applied; OR the brake
linings are 1 / 16" or less; OR a wheel cylinder has taken a leak on the brake linings.
Tools and Materials: Jack and jackstands, Phase 1 tool kit, new set of brake shoes for both rear wheels, safety
glasses, dust mask or respirator, needlenose pliers, medium screwdriver, catch pan, can of brake cleaner or solvent,
rags, old newspapers, baggies, rubber bands or tape, wheel bearing grease or antiseize compound.
Procedure S
Brakes 281
282
Chapter 13 Procedure 5, Step 1
Remarks: Read Caution! Warning! in the Remarks in Procedure 4.
Remove and replace the brake shoes on one wheel at a time so you can use the other side for reference when
assembling the shoes.
Step 1. Remove Rear Brake Drums (Procedure 4, Step 1).
Step 2. Identify Rear Brake Components.
The top ends of the brake shoes fit into slots in the wheel cylinder pistons. The bottom of the shoes fit into
slots on the brake adjustment mechanism (non-auto-adjusting models), or the brake shoe anchor (auto-adjusting
models). Two brake shoe return springs keep the shoes pulled away from the drums until the brakes are applied.
An anchor pin sticks through the backing plate and the center of the shoes, and is held in place by a retaining spring clip.
Step 3. Remove Rear Brake Shoes.
Non-auto-adjusting models: Unscrew (counterclockwise) the brake adjusting bolt on the back of the
backing plate several turns (Procedure 1, Step 2).
EVERYONE: Safety glasses and respirator on? Spread out some newspapers under the side you're working
on. Locate the retaining spring clips half way between the top and bottom of each shoe. Grab the little flattened
anchor pin sticking out of the center of the clip with pliers. Turn the pin 90° in either direction until the flat part
of the pin lines up with the slot in the clip. The clip will pop off when they're aligned. Put the clip aside, then
push the pin through the hole in the brake shoes.
There are three bolts on the backing plate-two toward the front of the car and one toward the rear. Put a
medium screwdriver blade against the front of the lower front bolt. Pry against the bottom of the front brake
shoe with the screwdriver while pulling out (toward you) on the bottom of the brake shoe with your other hand.
When the bottom edge of the shoe is out of the slot, release the tension on the screwdriver and let the shoe come
over the outside of the adjuster or anchor. Pull the bottom of the other shoe out of the adjuster or anchor with
your hand. Using both hands, slide both shoes down and out of the slots in the wheel cylinder. Your shoes are
off. Ah, doesn't that feel better? Lay the old shoes on the newspaper as a unit with the springs still attached.
Step 4. Clean and Inspect Brake Parts.
CAUTION!: Protect the rubber parts on the wheel
cylinder and the wheel bearings from solvent, brake
cleaner, and dirt. Stash the new shoes somewhere
safe and clean until you're ready to install them.
If you are replacing the shoes because the wheel
cylinder leaked on them, rebuild or replace the wheel
cylinder (Procedure 7) before installing the new shoes.
Replace springs and clips that are broken or bent.
Non-4WD models: Put a baggie over the wheel
cylinder and secure it with rubber bands, tape, or
wire. This would be an opportune time to repack the
wheel bearings (see Chapter 14, Procedure 9).
4WD models: Slide a baggie over the wheel cylinder and one over the axle and wheel bearing housing located
in the center of the backing plate. Secure the baggies with rubber bands, tape, or wire.
EVERYONE: Put a catch pan or rags under the backing plate and use brake cleaner, or a rag or stiff brush
soaked in solvent, to clean the backing plate and inside of the brake drum. If you're using solvent, dry them off
with a clean rag.
Remove the baggies and put a very light coat of wheel bearing grease or antiseize compound on the six bumps
on the backing plate where the shoes rub. Two are near the wheel cylinder, two are near the adjuster at the bottom,
and one is next to each anchor pin. Now use a small screwdriver to smear a little grease or antiseize compound
Procedure 5, Step 5
Brakes 283
in the slots on the ends of the wheel cylinder and adjuster or anchor where the ends of the brake shoes fit. Wipe
off excess grease with a rag.
If the friction surface of the brake drums has grooves, scores, or ridges, you should get them smoothed out
by having them "turned" by a machine shop, parts store, garage, or Subaru dealer. If the grooves are too deep,
the drum will have to be replaced. You might find a good used one at a junkyard and save some $$.
Step 5. Install Brake Shoes.
Clean and dry your hands before handling the brake shoes.
The old shoes are on the newspaper with the springs still attached, right?
Shoe replaces : If you are replacing the shoes, break out the new ones and put one on each side of the old
shoes. Position them so they are exactly like the old shoes. If the shape of the metal part of the new shoes doesn't
match the old, the parts store gave you the wrong shoes. Put the old shoes in a paper sack and take them, along
with the shoes they gave you, back to the store to get the right ones.
Shoes match? OK, the new shoes are laying on the outside of the old shoes. On auto-adjusting models, the
auto-adjusting strut is between the two shoes, near the top. Look at how the strut is attached to the front shoe
with a spring hooked through the rectangular access hole. Unhook the end of the spring in the access hole.
284
Chapter 13 Procedure 5, Step 6
To remove the shoe-return springs, turn the old shoes so the inside metal part is facing up and the lining
part is on the newspaper. Unhook the springs from one shoe at a time. Replace the old shoes with the new shoes
in the same position. Hook the ends of the springs through the appropriate holes in one new shoe, then twist
the shoe so the lining is toward the outside. Replace the other old shoe the same way. Be sure the springs are
secure in their holes. The smaller spring goes at the top of the shoes and the heavier spring goes at the bottom.
If you have auto-adjusting brakes, be sure the short end of the strut spring is inserted in its hole on the bottom
of the strut, then use pliers to insert the longer end of the spring into the access hole on the front shoe, just like
it was on the old shoe. The notch on the front end of the strut fits into the notch on the metal part of the brake
shoe. The little lever on the rear end of the strut goes in the access hole on the rear shoe. Pull the lever toward
the front shoe while you fit it into the access hole on the rear shoe.
EVERYONE: Lift the shoes up to the backing plate while pulling outward on them to keep the springs in
place. Slide the top part of the rear shoe into the slot on the wheel cylinder and the bottom of the rear shoe into
the slot on the adjuster. Pull the top of the front shoe into the slot of the wheel cylinder, then use the screwdriver
blade against the bolt head again to lever the bottom of the front shoe into the slot on the adjuster. Check that
the springs are properly in place.
Retrieve the anchor pins if they've fallen out of the backing plate, then push them toward you through the
holes in the backing plate and brake shoes. You might have to use a screwdriver because there's not much room
back there. Hold the pin from behind the backing plate while putting the clip on the pin. Align the slot in the
clip with the flat end of the pin. Press against the clip with pliers until you can grab the pin with the pliers. Turn
the pin 90° so it fits securely in the groove of the clip. Now install the clip on the other shoe. Tap the ends
of the shoes up or down until the very tops of the shoes are even with the top of the wheel cylinder.
If you have auto-adjusting brakes, check that the notch on the front of the strut is still engaged in the notch
on the front shoe, and the lever is engaged in the access hole on the rear shoe.
Slide the drum onto the axle and over the brake shoes. Watch those fingers-if they get caught between the
brake drum and backing plate, you'll be running around like a moth on dope!
The ends of the shoes may have to be tapped up or down with a hammer or screwdriver handle until they
are centered. If the drum refuses to fit over the shoes, loosen the brake adjusting bolt some more, or move the
little lever on the auto-adjusting strut farther forward.
Step 6. Install Rear Brake Drum.
Procedure 4, Step 3, tells you how to install the rear brake drums.
Non-auto-adjusting brakes: Adjust the brakes after the drums and wheels are on, but before you lower
the car off the jackstands.
Procedure 5, Step 6
Brakes 285
Auto-adjust models: After the drums and wheels are on, lower the car to the ground, then pump on the
brake pedal several times. This adjusts the rear brake shoes.
EVERYONE: This would be a good time to change the hydraulic brake fluid if it hasn't been changed recently
(Procedure 2).
Don't forget to torque the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. after lowering the car to the ground.
286
Chapter 13 Procedure 6 Step 1
PROCEDURE 6: CHECK AND REPLACE REAR DISC BRAKE PADS, REMOVE AND INSTALL
REAR CALIPERS AND DISCS
This procedure is for 1985 and newer OHC Turbo models and XT6 models.
Condition: Routine maintenance; OR the rear pads are worn out; OR the caliper is leaking; OR you hear a growling
sound from the rear of the car when you step on the brakes; OR you need to remove the caliper and/or the disc.
Tools and Materials: Jack and jackstands, Phase 1 tool set, maybe new brake pads, safety glasses, dust mask,
small wire brush or old toothbrush, spray can of brake cleaner, two pieces of string or wire at least 18" long.
If you remove the caliper, you'll also need a 10mm flare-nut wrench and the brake bleeding tools listed in
Procedure 2.
2WD models: If you remove the disc, you will need two new axle-nut lock plates.
4WD models: If you remove the rear disc, you'll also need a 36mm socket, a large ratchet or breaker bar,
a torque wrench that goes to 145 ft. lbs., and two new cotter pins for the axle nuts.
Remarks: Read the rap about brake pads at the start of Procedure 9. Take your time on this procedure-if possible,
do one side at a time so you can look at the other side for reference.
CAUTION: Wear a dust mask or respirator while working on the brakes, and don't breath any of the black brake
dust. Don't press on the brake pedal while the caliper is off the pads-you'll have a nasty mess to clean up.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Park on a hard, level surface, put the transmission in 1st gear (manual) or PARK (automatics). Set the handbrake, and put chocks in front of and behind the front wheels.
4WD models: If you are going to remove the disc, you'll need to loosen the axle nuts before jacking up the
rear end of the car. Follow the instructions in Procedure 4, Step 1. When the axle nut is loose, come back here
to remove the brake pads, caliper, caliper holder and disc. Leave the handbrake ON while working on the rear
brakes.
EVERYONE: Loosen the lug nuts for the rear wheels, then jack up the rear end of the car and put it on
jackstands. Remove the rear wheels. If you are here to replace the brake pads or remove the caliper or disc, tie
one end of a piece of string or wire to the upper end of the coil springs that surround the rear shock absorbers.
You'll use the string or wire to hold the caliper up once it's released from the caliper holder.
Step 2: Inspect Rear Brake Pads, Disc, and Caliper.
Do Procedure 8, Steps 2, 3, and 4 to identify the brake components and check the pads and disc. If everything
is OK, skip to Step 6 to put everything back together. If the pads are worn out, and/or the disc is grooved, do
Step 3 below to remove and install the pads. If the caliper is leaking, do Steps 3 and 4 below. If the disc needs
to be removed, do Steps 3, 4, and 5 below.
Step 3: Replace Rear Brake Pads.
The caliper is attached to the inboard side of a heavy metal caliper holder with two bolts, one near the top
and one near the bottom. The upper bolt is also a pivot pin. Remove the lower bolt and rotate the lower end of
the caliper up and away from the disc. Tie the string or wire to the bottom of the caliper to hold it up out of your
way. Wiggle the pads, one at a time, away from the disc until they are out of the holder. The outer pad has a thin
shim clipped onto the outer metal part of the pad. If you are replacing the pads, remove the shim. The inner pad
has a wear indicator tab mounted on the bottom end.
Procedure 6, Step 4
Brakes 287
Look at the thin metal pad springs (clips) in the
caliper holder where the ends of the pads fit. Remove
one of the clips and clean it with a rag and a squirt
of brake cleaner. Carefully inspect the clip for cracks
and worn areas. Get new clips if you find any cracks
or worn spots, or if the clip is bent. Install the clip
back into the caliper holder. Remove and inspect the
other clip, then fit it back into the holder.
Inspect the caliper for signs of wetness which
would indicate a leak. If the caliper is leaking, or you
need to remove the caliper in order to remove the disc,
do Step 4.
If you are installing the old pads, you won't need
to push the piston into the caliper. So skip the next
paragraph.
If you are installing new pads, you'll need to push
the large round piston located in the center of the caliper as far into the caliper as you can. If you can't push
it in, loosen the bleeder valve screw about one turn,
then push the piston in. Be sure to tighten the bleeder
valve after the piston is pressed in. If you still can't
get the piston in, remove the caliper (Step 4) and take
it the Subaru dealer or a garage and have them press
it in for you.
Fit the shim onto the metal side of the outer brake
pad. If the shim is loose on the pad, remove it and
bend the tabs a little so they grip the pad securely.
Here's how to install the pads: Wiggle the pads
into the holder so the tabs on the ends fit into the clips
in the holder. If necessary, wiggle them around a bit
until they fit flush against the disc. The wear indicator(s) should be at the bottom of the pad.
Untie the end of the caliper and guide it down
and over the pads. Install the lower mounting bolt and tighten it to 16-23 ft. lbs. Skip down to Step 6 to finish
the job.
Step 4. Remove and Install Rear Brake Caliper.
If you are only removing the caliper so that you can remove the disc, don't disconnect the brake line. Just
remove the upper caliper mounting bolt and let the caliper dangle by the string or wire (not by the brake line)
while you remove the disc. If you need to remove the caliper because it's leaking, see Procedure 11, Steps 1 and
2, to disconnect the brake hose from the metal brake line. When the hose is disconnected, remove the upper
bolt that attaches the caliper to the holder. The caliper is now liberated.
To install the caliper, fit it onto the holder and install the top mounting bolt. Tighten the bolt to 16-23 ft.
lbs. If you didn't disconnect the brake line, go to Step 3 to install the brake pads. If you disconnected the brake
line, clean the ends of the rubber brake hose and the metal brake line, then fit the metal end of the hose through
the brake line bracket. Be sure the hose isn't twisted or kinked. Screw the nut on the metal brake line into the
fitting on the end of the hose. Hold the hose fitting with a wrench while you tighten the nut on the brake line.
Wiggle the spring clip into the slots on the sides of the brake hose fitting. Use the string or wire to hold the lower
end of the caliper up while you install the pads (Step 3).
288
Chapter 13 Procedure 6 Step 5
Step 5. Remove and Install Rear Brake Disc.
The caliper and brake pads have already been removed, right? Now remove the two bolts that attach the
caliper holder to the axle. Lift the holder off the disc.
Non-4WD models: Follow the instructions for non-4WD models in Procedure 4, Step 1, to remove the
disc. To install the disc, follow the instructions for non-4WD models in Procedure 4, Step 3.
4WD models: Follow the instructions for 4WD models in Procedure 4, Step 1, to remove the disc. To install
the disc, follow the instructions for 4WD models in Procedure 4, Step 3.
EVERYONE: When the disc is on, install the caliper holder and tighten the two mounting bolts to 34-43
ft. lbs. Step 4 tells you how to install the caliper.
Step 6. Finish the Job.
Put the wheels on and snug the lug nuts. Lower the car and torque the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. If you disconnected any brake lines, do Procedure 2, to bleed the brake system.
4WD models: If you loosened the large axle nut, do Procedure 4, Step 4, to tighten the axle nuts.
PROCEDURE 7. REBUILD OR REPLACE WHEEL CYLINDERS (Drum Brakes Only)
Condition: Wheel cylinders of drum brakes are leaking.
Tools and Materials: Jack and jackstands, Phase 1 tool kit, new wheel cylinder(s) or wheel cylinder repair kit(s),
10mm flare nut wrench, fine steel wool and alcohol, at least a pint of DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid safety glasses.
Remarks: The wheel cylinders force the brake shoes into contact with the brake drum. If they're leaking fluid
or admitting air, they won't do their job properly, and therefore you risk a dent in your fender at the very least.
There are two ways to go. You can buy new wheel cylinders from Subaru or a foreign car parts store (they don't
cost much), or you can rebuild the existing cylinder for about one-third the cost. Go for the new ones if you
can afford it.
If you decide to rebuild the old wheel cylinders, but when you get the thing apart you find that the inside
of the wheel cylinder is rusted, scored, or nicked at all, don't try to save money by installing a rebuild kit. The
cylinder won't work properly and may contribute to your demise. Buy a new cylinder if you can't decide whether
to replace or repair, take the cylinder to someone who knows. If one of the mounting bolts or the bleeder nipple breaks off the cylinder you have no choice but to replace the cylinder with a new one.
The Bendix brake people say never use a wheel cylinder hone on aluminum wheel cylinders because it removes
the protective anodizing layer and brake fluid will quickly corrode the cylinder.
Step 1. Remove Wheel, Brake Drums and
Shoes.
See Procedure 4, Step 1, for brake drum
removal; Procedure 5, Step 3, for rear brake shoe
removal.
Step 2. Remove Wheel Cylinder Components.
Remove the little rubber dust cap (if you have
one), then use an 8mm box end wrench to loosen
the bleeding nipple (sounds painful) on the rear of
the wheel cylinder. Unscrew it one turn. Put a rag
under the nipple to catch any brake fluid that might
come out.
Procedure 7, Step 3
Brakes 289
Put the rubber boots from each end of the wheel cylinder. As you remove the boot, out will come a piston with a rubber cup attached to the inside end. Note how the rubber cup is oriented on the end of the piston. The large flange on the cup faces toward the center of the wheel cylinder. On 1985 and newer models, a
small spring will be in the cylinder, between the two pistons. Pull the spring out.
Step 3. Clean and Inspect Inside of Wheel Cylinder.
Once both pistons are out, dip a piece of steel wool in alcohol and push it into the wheel cylinder. Stick a
screwdriver into the center of the steel wool and twist it around and around so the steel wool tangles with the
blade-but don't let the blade touch the side of the cylinder. Put a good shine on the inside of the cylinder. Don't
push the steel wool backward and forward-only 'round and 'round until the cylinder bore is nice and smooth.
You can stick another screwdriver into the steel wool from the other end of the cylinder for better action.
When the inside of the cylinder is clean, inspect it for grooves and corrosion pits. If the inside of the cylinder is nice and smooth, you can rebuild the cylinder (Step 4).
Dark spots near the center of the bore are indications that the surface of the cylinder has been etched by
water and crud in the brake fluid. Play dentist for a minute and gently probe the spots with a small screwdriver
to see if they are indeed "cavities. " If they are, that's probably the reason you're doing this procedure. If there's
any doubt, replace the cylinder with a new one (Step 5). New wheel cylinders are a lot cheaper than hospital bills.
Step 4. Rebuild Wheel Cylinder.
Remove the old, tired rubber cups from the inside ends of the pistons. Pry them off with a small screwdriver, being careful to avoid scratching the piston. Clean the pistons with the steel wool and alcohol. Be sure
the little holes in the end of the pistons are clean. Dry the pistons with a clean rag and blow through the holes
to remove any traces of the steel wool.
Wash your hands thoroughly to remove any traces of grease. Break out your can of brake fluid and pour
a little in a clean container. Dip a corner of a clean rag or your forefinger in the brake fluid and thoroughly swab
out the inside of the wheel cylinder.
Take the wheel cylinder rebuild kit out of the box and put the two round cups and the clean pistons in the
container with brake fluid. Don't soak the two large end boots. Take one of the pistons and one of the rubber
cups and slip the cup into the groove of the piston. The large shoulder of the cup should be closest to the end
of the piston that has the tiny holes.
Next, slide one of the rubber end boots into the groove on the other end of the piston. Push and wiggle the
piston into one end of the wheel cylinder, rubber cup end first. Snap the end of the boot over the groove on the
end of the wheel cylinder so the piston won't fall out. If your wheel cylinder has the little spring between the
pistons, insert it now. Put the other cup and boot onto the other piston and push it into the opposite end of the
wheel cylinder. Turn the pistons so the slots are vertical, as shown in the illustration. Slip the new dust cap on
the bleeder valve.
Now put the brake shoes on (Procedure 5, Steps 4 and 5), then install the brake drum (Procedure 4, Steps
3 and 4). After the cylinders on both sides are rebuilt or replaced, bleed the entire brake system (Procedure 2).
I mean it-it's tedious but very important.
Step 5. Replace Wheel Cylinder.
If you've done Step 4, you can ignore Step 5. It's just for people who discovered they need a new wheel cylinder.
There are three easily avoided hazards to removing and replacing wheel cylinders:
1. The nut that attaches the brake line to the wheel cylinder gets rounded off because a 10mm flare-nut wrench
wasn't used. If this happens, and you can't unscrew the nut, cut the metal brake line with a hacksaw and replace
the line with a new one (Procedure 11). Use a flare-nut wrench!
2. The attaching bolts for the wheel cylinder break off when you try to unscrew the nuts, thus ruining the
cylinder. This is common no matter how careful you are, or how much holy water (penetrating oil) you put on
the nuts. If you're replacing the cylinder anyway, so what if they break?
290
Chapter 13 Procedure 8, Step 1
3. The threads on the brake line nut get cross-threaded when they are screwed into the wheel cylinder, ruining
both the cylinder and the brake line! Cross-threaded means the threads on the nut aren't aligned with the threads
in the cylinder. When this happens the nut goes in at an angle, tearing up the threads and preventing the nut from
going into the cylinder far enough to make a good seal. To avoid this catastrophe, move the brake line as little
as possible and don't even think about using a wrench on the nut until it's screwed into the cylinder at least half
way by hand.
Now, on with the show.
Use a l0mm flare-nut wrench to unscrew the brake line nut from the back of the wheel cylinder. Unscrew
it but don't pull it away from its hole. We want to keep the brake line aligned with the hole and also avoid bending it.
Soak the two 10mm nuts on each side of the brake line connection with penetrating oil. Let it soak in for
a few minutes, then unscrew the two nuts with a 10mm box-end wrench. Pull the cylinder off the backing plate
being careful not to kink the brake line.
When installing a wheel cylinder, don't let any dirt, dust, or dung fall into the bleeder hole or brake line
connection hole. Be sure the end of the brake line is clean and uncontaminated before you screw it in.
To install the wheel cylinder, slip the wheel cylinder bolts into their holes in the backing plate while guiding
the brake line nut into its hole. Tighten the brake line nut with your fingers until you are absolutely positively
sure it's not cross-threaded. It helps to wiggle the wheel cylinder a little while screwing in the brake line nut.
Screw it in as far as you can with your fingers. Install the lockwashers and 10mm nuts and tighten them with
the box-end wrench. Tighten the brake line nut with the lomm flare-nut wrench.
Now put on the brake shoes and drums (Procedure 5, Steps 4-6). Install the wheels and snug the lug nuts.
Lower the car and torque the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. After both sides are rebuilt or replaced, bleed the entire brake
system (Procedure 2).
PROCEDURE 8: CHECK BRAKE PADS FOR
WEAR
Condition: Regular maintenance; OR you just
bought the car; OR the front brakes are squealing like
a ruptured pig.
Tools and Materials: Safety glasses, dust mask,
small tape measure or ruler, jack, jackstands. You
may need: penetrating oil, high-temp wheel bearing grease.
CAUTION: Avoid getting grease, brake fluid, or anything but water or brake cleaner on the disc and brake
pads.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, Block, and Remove
Front Wheel.
Block the rear wheels, loosen the front lug nuts
a little, release the handbrake, put the gearshift in
NEUTRAL, and turn the ignition key to unlock the
steering wheel. Now turn the front wheel in the opposite direction from the side you're going to check;
in other words, turn them so you have access to the
back of the wheel. Jack the car up and put it on jackstands (Chapter 3). Remove the wheel.
Step 2. Identify Disc Brake Components.
Rotate the disc by using the lug bolts to turn it. It should turn fairly easily by hand. The big flat shiny surface
that rotates with the axle is the disc (sometimes called the rotor). The large lumpy looking hunk of metal that
the disc passes through is the caliper and caliper holder.
Step 3. Measure Pad Thickness.
If you're lucky, the caliper will have an inspection hole in the rear for checking pad wear. Look through
the hole while rotating the axle so you can see which part is the moving disc. On either side of the disc is a brake
pad. Most pads have a slot in the middle that serves as a wear indicator. When the pads wear to the bottom of
the slot it's time to change pads. If your pads don't have the wear indicator slots, cut a strip of paper 1 / 16" wide
to measure the pad thickness. Look at the illustration to see where to measure pad thickness. Don't include the
metal backing plate in your measurement. If the pad thickness is less than 1 / 16" (1.5mm), it's time for new pads
(Procedure 6 for rears, Procedure 9 for fronts). Just to be safe, I change my pads when they're down to 1 / 8 ".
No inspection hole? Then the caliper must be removed to check the pads. Look at Procedure 6, Step 4, for
rears or Procedure 9, Step 2A or 2B, for front caliper removal. When the caliper is off, measure the pad thickness.
Step 4. Check Disc.
Run a clean fingernail over the disc surface to check for grooves. Does your nail hang up on ridges and scoring?
If so, the disc should be machined ("turned") to make it smooth again (Procedure 10).
Step 5. Check Cable Lever on Caliper (front brakes only).
Reach in the car and pull the handbrake up and release it a few times, then leave it in the OFF (down) position.
Check the amount of drag on the disc by using the lug bolts to rotate the disc. Get a feel for how easy or hard
it is to rotate. Now grab the little lever on the top of the caliper that has a cable attached to one end. Try to pull
the cable end of the lever toward the rear of the car. If the disc turns easier after you pull on the lever, it means
the lever isn't returning to the off position by itself and the brakes are staying on slightly. This can cause brake
squeal, rapid pad wear, overheating of the brake system, engine overheating, and reduced gas mileage. Rust,
collapsed springs, or a bent spindle in the caliper are probable culprits.
If the lever doesn't return properly, there's a chance you can fix it by lubricating the lever shaft. Locate the
rubber boot covering the lump sticking out of the inboard side of the caliper. On some models, another boot
covers most of the lever and the top of the boot on the side of the caliper. If you have a top boot, use pliers to
pull on the end of the handbrake cable, then pull it up and out of the slot in the lever. Carefully pull the top boot
off the lever.
Locate a metal clamp securing the side boot to the caliper. Spread the ends of the metal clamp with your
fingers and slip it up off the boot. Be careful not to tear the boot. Pull the bottom of the boot toward the center
of the car until you can lift it up over the lump on the caliper. Now move the cable lever back and forth so you
can see where the shaft goes down into the caliper mechanism. Look for rusty or white-looking grease around
the shaft and on the mechanism. These are indications that water has gotten into the boot. Wipe out the old grease
and try squirting a little penetrating oil around the lever shaft where it goes into the top of the caliper. Work the
cable lever back and forth with your hand while squirting the penetrating oil. If this doesn't loosen the lever so
it returns freely, the caliper needs to be rebuilt or replaced (Procedure 10). If the penetrating oil loosened the
lever, pack some high-temp wheel bearing grease around the shaft and caliper mechanism, then install the rubber
boot and secure it with the clip. Replace the boot if it's torn. Install the top boot if you have one. Use pliers to
connect the handbrake cable to the cable lever.
Step 6. Examine Brake Hose.
Inspect the rubber brake hoses attached to the caliper and replace them if they are hard, cracked, split, or
bulging in places (Procedure 11). There are two rubber hoses between the caliper and body on cars with Bendix disc brakes; check both of them.
Procedure 8 Step 2
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292
Chapter 13 Procedure 8, Step 7
Step 7. Put It All Back Together.
Install the caliper if you removed it (Procedure 10, Step 9). Put the wheel back on, lower the car, torque
the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs., then install the hubcap if you removed it. Check the front brakes on the other side of
the car the same way.
PROCEDURE 9: CHANGE FRONT DISC BRAKE PADS
ABOUT BRAKE PADS (Read Before You Begin!)
When buying replacement pads for disc brakes, often you can choose between regular pads that are quieter
but wear out faster, or harder semi-metallic pads that tend to squeal more but last longer. The regular pads are
fine for normal driving, but if you're a leadfoot or do a lot of high speed freeway cruising or mountain driving,
the semi-metallic pads might be best for you. The choice is yours.
Subaru made a few subtle changes in pad and pad holder dimensions through the years that sometimes makes
finding the right pads harder than installing the pads on the car. To be sure you're getting the right pads, have
your chassis number, production date, and the old pads with you when you trek to the parts department. Before
installing the pads, carefully compare the length, width, and dimensions of the tabs and/or notches on the ends
Procedure 9, Step l
Brakes 293
of the new pads to those on the old pads. The new pads should be free to move in the caliper holder without binding.
They shouldn't be so loose they rattle either. A nice, lightly snug fit is just right. If the pads are too tight, return
them for some that fit. Pads from the Subaru dealer usually fit the first time around.
For Soobs with AD systems, I urge you to always get pad kits from the Subaru dealer. The kits come complete
with new pads (your choice of regular or hard linings), new spring clips, packets of silicone grease, PBC grease,
and installation instructions in English and Japanese. The price of the kit is comparable to parts store prices.
When installing new pads, always replace the pads on both left and right wheels. It's the law in some states.
Do one side first, so you have the other side as a reference for the proper location and placement of the pads,
shims, and clips.
Condition: Brake pads are worn out; OR brake fluid or grease has gotten on the pads; OR the brakes have to
come off so you can remove the disc, wheel bearing housing, or axle.
Tools and Materials: Jack and jackstands, Phase 1 tool kit, new brake pads for both front wheels, 8 new caliper hairpin clips for models with Bendix type brakes, safety glasses, dust mask, pliers and large screwdriver
or brake piston wrench, small wire brush, PBC grease or antiseize compound, silicone grease for AD calipers,
alcohol or spray can of brake cleaner, two pieces of wire or heavy string at least 18" long.
Remarks: When installing new brake pads, Subaru caliper pistons must be screwed into the caliper and not just
pressed in like most other cars. Pressing the piston in without turning it will buckle, and thus ruin, the handbrake spindle inside the caliper. Some Subaru mechanics use an inexpensive garden valve wrench like the one
being used in the "Brake Piston Tool in Action" illustration. Just be sure the two prongs fit squarely in the piston
notches. You get these at hardware stores or nurseries. K-D Tools makes a nifty little inexpensive brake piston wrench (#2545, available in most auto parts stores for about ten bucks) for screwing brake pistons in. The
tool is shown in the top right side of the "Brake Piston Tool in Action" illustration. You can buy brake tools that
make the job easier, but they are more expensive. Subaru sells these tools for about $65. The tool I prefer is made
for screwing in the rear caliper pistons on early '70s model Fords-costs about $50.
Sometimes it's possible (but usually difficult) to screw the pistons in without a piston wrench. If you don't
have a brake piston wrench and get hung up trying to do it by the alternative method I describe, you can remove
the calipers from the car (Procedure 10) and take them to a garage and have the pistons screwed in. If you remove
the calipers you must bleed the brakes after reassembly. Don't try to screw the piston in by grabbing it around
the edge with pliers.
CAUTION: Wear a dust mask or respirator while working on the brakes. Don't press on the brake pedal while
a caliper is off the caliper holder. The piston will come flying out of the caliper like a cannonball!
REMEMBER: The kind of calipers you have depends on the year and model Subaru you have. Bendix calipers
are on all Soobs with front disc brakes from '75-'79 and on '77-'81 Brats. AD calipers are on '80 and newer
cars and '82-'87 Brats. There are differences in pre-1985 AD systems and 1985 and newer AD systems. The
parts (pads, clips, etc) are not interchangeable, so be sure to compare your old parts to the new ones before trying
to install them.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, Block and Remove Front Wheel.
Do Procedure 8, Step 1, then tie one end of a piece of wire or string to one of the coils of the strut. It's way
up under the fender. Let the other end hang down for now.
Step 2A. Release Bendix Type Caliper ('72-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats).
Use pliers to pull the end of the handbrake cable up and out of the slot in the handbrake cable lever located
just above where the brake line screws into the caliper.
About 2'/z" from the end of the cable is a thin metal clip that secures the cable to a bracket on the caliper.
Grab the bent part of the clip with pliers and lift up to remove it.
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Chapter 13 Procedure 9, Step 2
Use needlenose pliers to remove the four tiny
hairpin clips located near the outer ends of the stopper plugs. Place a screwdriver against the inner edge
of the top stopper plug and tap lightly with a hammer. When the plug is out as fir as you can get it with
the screwdriver, try pulling it out with your fingers.
Stuck? Put a rag on the plug to protect it, then grab
it with pliers and pull it out. Remove the lower stopper
plug the same way.
Push the caliper up as far as possible, then pry
the bottom of the caliper out of the caliper holder.
When the bottom is out, push down on the caliper
and pull the top end out of the holder. The handbrake
cable will slide out of the bracket as you remove the
caliper. Hang the caliper up by the wire or string.
Don't let it hang by the brake line!
If you encounter extreme difficulty removing
the caliper from the holder, take out the two 8mm
bolts that clamp the handbrake cable to the front of
the disc cover.
Step 2B. Release AD Type Caliper ('80 and
newer cars and '82-'87 Brats).
The end of the braided handbrake cable fits into the slotted lever on the upper inboard side of the caliper.
Use pliers to grab the lump on the end of the cable, then pull rearward on the cable while you slip the cable out
of the slot on the lever. Follow the cable forward to where it is fastened to a bracket. Use pliers to wiggle the
thin metal spring clip off the metal fitting on the end of the brake hose.
Look at the lower inboard side of the caliper and locate a 17mm bolt. If there is a 10mm bolt near the head
of the 17mm bolt, unscrew it counterclockwise. Unscrew the 17mm bolt counterclockwise until you can pull it
out with your fingers. Models with solid discs have two sets of threads on this bolt, so be sure it's completely
unscrewed before pulling it out. There's a little rubber lock pin boot there that you may need to hold in place
with a forger while unscrewing the bolt, so it won't twist and tear.
Pull up on the bottom of the caliper and it will rotate away from the disc. Leave the top end of the caliper
on the pivot pin (early type), or guide pin (later type), and tie the bottom end up out of your way with the wire
or string. Don't let it dangle by the brake line.
If you are here only to measure the pads, do it now. If the pads are OK, skip down to Step 6 to install the
caliper. If the pads need to be replaced, do Step 3.
Step 3. Remove and Examine Pads.
Wiggle the inner and outer pads out of the holder; just grab them with your fingers and pull straight back
away from the disc. Mark them "inner" and "outer" if you're going to reuse them. As you do, notice the position
of the clips that hold the pads in place, top and bottom.
Examine the pads for scoring or uneven wear. If they are worn down to the metal, I'll bet the disc is scratched
and scored and needs to be resurfaced. If the pads have worn down evenly, and haven't reached the metal, the
disc is probably OK. But check both sides of it for grooves, uneven wear, and dark blotchy-looking areas anyway.
Remove the disc and have it machined smooth if it's rough, uneven, or has dark "hot spots" on it (Procedure 10).
Is there any brake fluid on or around the pads or any part of the brake mechanisms? Yes? Then the brake
cylinder will have to be rebuilt. Even if only one side is leaking, rebuild both front calipers/ cylinders at the same
time (Procedure 10).
Carefully examine the rubber boot around the wheel cylinder piston. If the boot is torn, you should remove
it, clean the piston with a clean rag, then install a new boot after the piston is screwed in.
All looks well? Proceed...
If you're not changing brake pads, or will have to have the wheel cylinders rebuilt, skip to Step 5.
Step 4. Screw Brake Piston Into Caliper.
Do this step only if you are installing new brake
pads. Put the new pads where there is no danger of
getting brake fluid on them. They must stay dry and
uncontaminated.
Put one end of your clear plastic brake bleeding hose on the brake bleeder nipple and the other
end into ajar or can. Open the bleeder valve at least
1/z turn with your 8mm box-end wrench.
AD type: There are two ways to hold the caliper while you screw in the pistons. You can either
leave the caliper attached to the caliper holder, or
remove it. The best way is determined by which tool
you use, how strong you are, if someone is helping,
and whether you have a vast quantity of good Carma
stored up. Try screwing the piston while the caliper
is still on the pivot pin or guide pin. If that doesn't
work, push the caliper toward the center of the car
and off the pivot pin or guide pin. You might have
to pry the rubber boot off its seat on the pin. Be careful so the boot isn't damaged.
After the piston is screwed in (see 4A or 4B),
hang the caliper up again by the string or wire while
you install the pads.
If you have a brake tool, go to Step 4A. No brake
tool? Go to Step 4B.
Step 4A. Screw Piston Into Caliper (using
brake tool).
Even with a brake tool, an extra pair of hands comes in handy for screwing in the brake piston. If you have
K- D tool #2545, put a 17mm socket with a 3" to 6" extension and ratchet on the end of the tool. Hold the caliper firmly with one hand (or have Friend hold it) so as little pressure as possible is on the pivot bolt or pin (if
the caliper is still attached to the holder). Grasp the head of the ratchet (or whatever tool you're using) and put
the two round tabs on the end of the tool into the center of the brake piston slot (Bendix type), or in the two notches
that angle out to the edge of the piston (AD type).
Press hard on the tool while you screw the piston clockwise into the caliper until the surface of the piston
is even (flush) with the caliper or until it will go no further. While screwing in the piston, hold the caliper so
no strain is placed on the delicate brake hose, pivot pin, or guide pin. Adjust the piston slot (Bendix) or notches
(AD) so they are perpendicular to the caliper (see illustration). Just turn it a partial turn counterclockwise if need
be. Remove the piston tool, then tighten the bleeder valve clockwise and remove the plastic hose.
Use a small screwdriver and fingers to carefully straighten the bellows-type sealing rubber that's around
the edge of the piston if it turned with the piston and got twisted up. The rubber should fold neatly between the
piston and cylinder bore in the caliper body.
If you can't get the piston screwed into the caliper, you will have to remove the caliper (Procedure 10, Step
4) and take it to Subaru or a garage and have them screw it in for you.
Procedure 9, Step 4
Brakes 295
296
Chapter 13 Procedure 9, Step 4
Step 4B. Screw Piston Into Caliper (no brake tool).
A Friend with helping hands is almost a necessity for accomplishing the job this way. If you have AD-type
brakes, you might find it easier to leave the caliper on its pivot pin. During the operation, make sure the caliper isn't slipping back off the pivot pin.
Bendix type: Grasp the caliper firmly with one hand (or have Friend hold it) so no strain is on the brake
hose. Insert the end of your largest screwdriver into the brake piston slot. Push in on the screwdriver while turning
it clockwise until the piston is even with the cylinder bore in the caliper body, or until it will go no more. Turn
the piston so the slot is perpendicular to the caliper body (see illustration). Tighten the bleeder valve and remove
the plastic hose.
If the screwdriver keeps jumping out of the slot, either the screwdriver is too small or you're not getting
enough pressure on the screwdriver. If the slot is getting damaged, remove the caliper (Procedure 10, Step 4)
and take it to someone with a brake piston tool.
AD type: Put the ends of your largest pliers in the two notches and press hard while turning the pliers clockwise.
I know it's hard to squeeze, push, and turn all at once. Perseverance furthers, but don't persevere if the piston
notches are getting damaged. Don't use the pliers to grab the outer edge of the piston; scratches or burrs will
cause the piston to stick in the cylinder. If you have a pair of 5" or 7" Vise Grips, snap them shut on the inner
ends of the two notches. Press and turn as described above. Use a crescent wrench on the handle of the Vise
Grips to turn the piston. Screw the piston in until it is flush with the end of the wheel cylinder bore in the caliper body, or until it stops. Carefully fold the bellows-type sealing rubber as described at the end of Step 3. Rotate
the piston back a partial turn so the slots are perpendicular to the caliper body.
Procedure 9, Step 5
Brakes 297
If you can't get the piston screwed in, remove the caliper (Procedure 10, Step 4) and take it to Subaru or
a garage to have the piston screwed in.
Step 5. Install New Pads.
Use a clean cloth dipped in alcohol, or a spray can of brake cleaner, to clean the caliper holder and brake
disc. These brake parts are your first line of safety-be certain you assemble them correctly.
Bendix type: Use a wire brush or emery cloth to clean the pad springs, both sides of the stopper plugs,
and the surfaces on the caliper and holder that contact the stopper plugs. Smear the contact surfaces of the springs,
stopper plugs, and the tabs on the ends of the pads with a little PBC grease or antiseize compound. Don't get
any of the grease on the pads or disc! Clean your hands before installing the new pads.
You've labeled the old pads so you know which new pad goes where, right?
Slip the new pads into the holder while pushing forward against the pad springs until the ears on the pads
engage in the notches on the holder. The new pads should touch the disc, top and bottom, front and back. Wiggle
them in the holder until they do. Are they "lightly snug" as I said in the "About Brake Pads" rap?
AD type: Use a wire brush or emery cloth to clean the pad clips on the caliper holder. Check them for cracks
and worn areas that might prevent the new pads from sliding smoothly; replace any clips that are broken, bent,
or questionable. Remove the pad shim from the outside of the old outer pad and inspect it for damage; replace
it if it's broken, bent, or rusty. If you've got new clips and shims in your brake pad set, by all means use them.
Replace them one by one, so you'll be certain they're going on correctly. If you're not sure, you can look at the
setup on the opposite side of your car. Your instructions from Subaru may ask you to file a small surface on the
holder that the pad ends rest against; this is to assure the right "lightly snug" fit. Lubricate the pad clips, and
the little tabs or notches on the ends of the brake pads with a dab of PBC grease or antiseize compound. Don't
get any grease on the pads or disc. Clean your hands before installing the new pads.
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Chapter 13 Procedure 9, Step 6
OuterAD pad: Smear PBC grease on the outside of the pad and inside of the pad shim (see illustration), then install the shim on the outside of the
pad. If necessary, bend the little tabs slightly to make
the shim snug. Install the pads so the wear indicators are at the bottom.
On early AD brakes, squeeze the springy part
on the lower pad clip against the clip and fit the notch
in the bottom of the pad over the clip. Fit the upper
notch over the upper clip the same way.
On later AD brakes the tabs at the top and bottom of the pad fit into the notches in the clips. The
wear sensors always go at the bottom of the pad.
Inner AD pad: On early AD pads, install the
wear indicator spring that's attached to the bottom
of the pad into the lower notch on the pad holder.
Press down on the pad until the spring is against the
pad, then slip the tab at the top of the pad into the
notch in the holder.
On later AD pads, fit the tab and wear indicator
at the bottom of the pad into the notch in the lower
pad clip, then fit the tab at the top of the pad into the
notch in the upper clip.
EVERYONE: Both pads should be flat against
the disc and feel securely in place. Sometimes you
have to wiggle them until they seat properly on the
clips. Do a final visual inspection of the setup before
moving ahead to the next step.
Step 6. Install Caliper.
Bendix type: Untie the caliper from the string or wire. Slide the handbrake cable through its hole on the
top of the caliper. Put the caliper into the holder-top first, then the bottom. You might have to pry up on the
bottom with a screwdriver to get it to slide in. Is the handbrake cable in its bracket properly?
Slide one of the stopper plugs between the bottom of the caliper and holder (see illustration). Pry down
on the caliper and slip the upper plug into place. Put the four tiny hairpin clips in the four holes near the ends
of the stopper plugs.
Pull the black handbrake cable housing through its bracket until you can slide the handbrake clip into its
slot. Use pliers to pull on the end of the cable until the cable fits into the slot of the handbrake cable lever. Cover
the cable with the little rubber boot. If you removed the handbrake cable clamp on the disc cover, bolt it on with
the two 8mm bolts.
AD type: If you didn't remove the caliper from the pivot pin or guide pin, release the caliper from the wire
or string and let the caliper rotate down and over the brake pads. If the brake piston slots are aligned right, they'll
slip right over the little nubbins on the back of the inner pad.
If you removed the caliper from the pivot pin, be sure the caliper pivot pin or guide pin sticking out of the
caliper holder is clean and shiny. Replace the rubber pivot pin boot and lockpin boots if they are dry, hard, and/or
cracked.
Coat the pin (especially on the end) and the inside surface of the pivot pin hole and rubber boot on the caliper
with silicone grease (NOT silicone sealer). Use a Q-tip or small screwdriver to get the grease into the hole. Lightly
lubricate the pivot pin and lower lock bolt (pin) with silicone grease. Untie the caliper from the string or wire
and fit it onto the pivot pin. Pull hard on the caliper
toward the outside of the car and hold it there for
about ten seconds. While you're holding pressure on
the caliper, use a small screwdriver to gently pry up
on an edge of the rubber boot that's between the caliper and caliper pivot bolt. Air trapped in the pivot
pin hole, or too much silicone grease, can keep the
caliper from seating properly and this causes the outer
pad to drag. And that's a drag. Fit the rubber boot
into the groove on the pivot pin.
Early AD type: If you have ventilated discs there
will be a groove around the outer edge of the disc.
If you have solid discs, the disc is one solid chunk
of metal. Look at your discs to see which type you
have.
Solid disc models: Clean the 17mm lockpin bolt,
then smear silicone grease on the smooth end.
Straighten the rubber lockpin boot between the cal
iper and caliper holder so the bolt can screw into the
holder. If the little boot twists as you turn the bolt,
hold it in place with a finger. Torque the bolt to 54
ft. lbs, then screw the 10mm bolt into the side of the
lockpin housing and tighten it (not all models have
this little bolt).
Ventilated disc models: Slide the metal sleeve
out of the rubber boot that the lock bolt (lock pin)
goes through. Lightly coat the outside of the sleeve
and lock bolt, and the inside of the boot with silicone
grease, then slide the sleeve into the boot. Stick the
17mm lock bolt through the sleeve, screw it into the
caliper holder, then torque it to 17 ft. lbs. on pre-1985
models, or to 25 ft. lbs. on 1985 and newer models.
Late AD type: Follow the instructions for ventilated discs, above, to lubricate the lock pin, boot, and sleeve.
Tighten the lock pin to 25 ft. lbs.
All AD types: Use pliers to grab the end of the handbrake cable and pull it rearward until you can hook
it into the slot on the end of the handbrake lever. Fit the thin spring clip into its groove on the metal fitting that's
on the end of the rubber brake hose.
EVERYONE: Now look at the whole assembly. Recheck the position of the shims, pads, and clips, and
recheck the bolt tightness. Your life depends on these parts. Repeat Steps 1 through 6 for the opposite front brake.
Unless you've jacked up just one side of the car, don't put the wheels on quite yet.
Step 7. Adjust and Bleed Front Brakes.
Check the bleeder valve on both calipers to be sure they are tight, then check the brake fluid level and add
fluid if necessary. After both calipers are on, pump the brake pedal a few times to adjust the brakes. Bleed the
front brakes (Procedure 2). This would be a good time to flush the brake system if it hasn't been flushed recently
(Procedure 3). Check the operation of the handbrake lever; if it's not right do Procedure 1.5 to adjust the handbrake.
Step 8. Do This and That.
Put the wheels on and snug down the lug nuts. Remove the jack stands, lower the car to the ground, and
Procedure 9, Step 7
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300
Chapter 13 Procedure 10, Step 1
torque the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. Clean up all traces of brake dust, then throw the old brake pads and the dust mask
in the trash. Clean your hands before eating or smoking anything. It's a good idea to blow your nose now to remove
any brake dust. This isn't intended to be funny-that stuff is dangerous. Now take your Soob for a slow and easy
drive around the block to test the operation of your new brakes.
PROCEDURE 10: REMOVE AND INSTALL CALIPER AND BRAKE DISC
Condition: You weren't able to screw the brake piston into the caliper when installing new pads; OR you found
a fluid leak in one or both of the brake cylinders; OR the handbrake lever on the caliper doesn't return properly; OR the pads have worn to the metal and gouged the discs so they need to be removed and turned or replaced;
OR you're removing the brakes in order to remove the wheel bearing housing or axle.
Tools and Materials: Phase 1 tool kit, 3 / 16" chisel, PBC grease for Bendix type calipers, PBC and Silicone
grease for AD type calipers, two new copper brake line gaskets for each caliper removed, two cans or jars to
catch the brake fluid when the brake hose is disconnected, two pints of fresh DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, dust mask,
baggies, and rubber bands.
Remarks: Please don't try to remove the calipers when they are hot. Also, always remove the caliper and holder
before trying to remove the disc.
Step 1. Loosen Axle Nuts.
Do this step ONLY if you are going to remove the disc.
'75-'78: Remove the hubcap. Locate the groove in the axle where the outer edge of the axle nut has been
bent ("staked") into the groove to lock the nut in place. Tap a 3/16" chisel into the groove under the staked portion
of the nut until the end of the nut is round enough to clear the threads on the axle.
'79 and newer models: Remove the hubcap. Use pliers to straighten the ends of the cotter pin that goes
through the axle nut, then pull the cotter pin out.
EVERYONE: Loosen the 36mm axle nut at least one full turn counterclockwise. If it's on really tight, you
can use the cheater pipe setup described in Chapter 18: Mechanics' Tips.
Step 2. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Chock the rear wheels, loosen the lug nuts a little, jack the car up, lower it on jack stands or blocks, then
remove the wheel. (See Chapter 3 if you need details.)
Step 3. Release Calipers and Remove Pads.
See Procedure 9, Step 2A or 213 and Step 3 to release the calipers and remove the pads. If you're going to
use the same pads again, mark them left inner, left outer, and so on. Stash them where brake fluid can't splash
or drip on them. If you're replacing the pads, stash the new pads someplace clean and safe.
Step 4. Remove Calipers.
Bendix type: If you are just going to remove the disc, leave the caliper hanging by the string or wire and
skip to Step 4.
If you need to remove the caliper, put a can or jar under the brake hose to catch the brake fluid. Unscrew
the 14mm "union" bolt that attaches the end of the rubber brake hose to the caliper. Use two screwdrivers to
gently pry the union brake hose fitting off the pin in the caliper. Hold onto the two copper union fitting gaskets
until you find new ones. Reuse the old ones if you can't find new ones, but carefully check for leaks when everything
is back together. Untie the caliper from the wire or string and remove it. When the fluid has drained, put a baggie
and rubber band over the end of the hose to keep dust and dirt out.
Procedure 10, Step 5
Brakes 301
Before hauling the caliper away to be rebuilt or replaced, inspect the rubber brake line hoses and replace
them if they are hard, stiff, cracked, or bulging in places (Procedure 11). If you're not removing the disc, skip
to Step 8 to install the caliper.
AD type: If you are just going to remove the disc and not the caliper from the car, push the caliper toward
the center of the car until it slides off the pivot pin. Let the caliper hang by the wire or string-not by the brake
hose.
To remove the caliper from the car, untie the string or wire and let it rotate down to its normal position. The
brake pads are already out, right? Put a can or jar under the brake hose to catch the brake fluid, then unscrew
the 14mm union bolt that attaches the union fitting end of the brake hose to the caliper. Use two screwdrivers
to gently pry the union fitting out of the notch in the caliper body. Hold onto the two copper union fitting gaskets
until you find new ones. Reuse the old ones if you can't find new ones, but carefully check for leaks when everything
is back together.
When the hose quits dripping, put a baggie and rubber band over the end to protect it from dust and dirt.
Hold a clean rag over the hole where the brake line was attached, then rotate the caliper up until it will clear
the disc. Push the caliper toward the center of the car and off the pivot pin. You might have to pry the rubber
boot out of its groove on the pivot pin.
Before hauling the calipers away to be rebuilt or replaced, inspect the rubber brake line hoses and replace
them if they are worn, cracked, broken, or bulging in places (Procedure 11).
If you're not removing the disc, skip to Step 8 to replace the caliper.
Step 5. Remove Caliper Holder.
If you need to remove the disc, locate two 17mm bolts on the inboard side of the brake disc. They are slightly
forward from the inside brake pad slot. Unscrew the two bolts counterclockwise, then pull the holder away from
the disc.
Step 6. Remove Disc.
Remove the 36mm axle nut and cone washer, then try to pull the disc off the axle. If it's stuck, you may need
to fetch a puller (look at the end of Procedure 4, Step 1). Subaru disc brake hubs attach to the axle just like front
brake drums.
If you removed the discs because they are scratched or grooved, take them to Subaru, a machine shop, or
garage and have them turned (resurfaced).
The minimum legal (and safe) thickness for the disc is:
Replace the disc (Step 7) if it's worn out (less than the minimum thickness). Thin discs can't dissipate the
heat properly and thus warp easily.
Step 7. Install Disc.
If the disc was worn out, unscrew the four 14mm bolts that attach it to the hub. Fit a new disc onto the hub,
lightly oil the bolt threads, then screw them in and torque them in a crisscross (upper left, lower right, etc.) pattern
to 12 ft. lbs., then around again to 22, then 32, and finally to 42 ft. lbs. It's a good idea to have the new discs
turned (machined) before installing them. Even though the disc is made of heavy steel, mounting it to the hub
often distorts it slightly which could cause brake squeal.
Before installing the disc on the car, peek at the wheel bearings and grease seals. The wheel bearings are
the round things the axle sticks through. Look for white gooey-looking stuff that would indicate water has gotten
inside the bearings. See any? If you do, the wheel bearings should be repacked and the grease seals replaced
(Chapter 14, Procedure 9). The grease seals are the round rubber things just outside the wheel bearings. If they
Bendix Type: 330 in. (8.5mm)
Early AD Type: 394 in. (10mm) solid disc
610 in. (15.5mm) ventilated disc
Late AD Type: 630 in. (16mm)
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Chapter 13 Procedure 10, Step 8
are hard or cracked they should be replaced (Chapter 14, Procedure 9). Everything OK? Proceed. . .
Clean the brake disc (even if it's new), caliper holder, mounting bolts, and caliper lock bolt with brake cleaner,
or alcohol. Lightly oil the threads on the two caliper holder bolts, the splines on the axle, and the splines inside
the disc hub. Wipe excess oil off with a clean rag. Clean your hands before installing the clean disc and hub.
Slide the disc and hub onto the axle, then install the split centerpiece and the cone washer with the raised
center part facing out. Install the axle nut and snug it down with the 36mm socket while holding a wooden hammer
handle or a piece of wood across two lug bolts to keep the hub from turning. The final tightening must be done
after the wheels are on the ground.
Step 8. Install Caliper Holder and Brake Pads.
Hold the holder up to the disc so the two threaded bolt holes are between the disc and the bolt holes in the
wheel bearing housing. Screw in the two 17mm mounting bolts, then torque them to 51 ft. lbs.
Install the brake pads (Procedure 9, Steps 4 and 5).
Step 9. Install Caliper.
If you had the calipers rebuilt or are replacing them, be sure the brake piston is screwed all the way in and
the grooves (Bendix type) or notches (AD type) are positioned properly. Look at the illustration.
Bendix Type: Procedure 9, Step 6, covers Bendix caliper installation. After the caliper is installed, come
back here and do Step 10 to connect the brake line.
AD Type: Do Procedure 9, Step 6, to install the caliper. After the caliper is installed, come back here and
do Step 10 to connect the brake line.
Step 10. Connect Brake Line.
Inspect the rubber brake hose. Replace it if it's stiff, cracked, split, or bulging in places (Procedure 11).
Hose OK? Clean the brake line union fitting and the union bolt that attaches the fitting to the caliper. Don't
put oil or anything on the threads. Blow through the end of the union bolt to be sure the little hole on the side
is clean and clear. Put a new copper gasket on the union bolt, insert the bolt into the union fitting, then install
another new gasket on the bolt. Install the union fitting onto the pin (Bendix) or into the slot (AD), then screw
the bolt into the caliper. Torque the bolt to 15 ft. lbs.
Step 11. Finish the Job.
If the calipers were removed from the car, go back to Procedure 2 and bleed the master cylinder, then the
front brakes; then follow the bleeding sequence in Procedure 2 and bleed all four wheels.
Put the wheels back on, lower the car and torque the lug nuts to 72 ft. lbs. If the axle nuts were loosened
or removed, remember to torque them (Procedure 4, Step 4). Install the hubcap.
If you had the discs turned, or you installed new discs, check the handbrake adjustment (Procedure 15).
The thickness of the disc affects the handbrake setting.
PROCEDURE 11: REPLACE RUBBER BRAKE HOSES
Condition: The hoses are worn, cracked, split, or bulging in places.
Tools and Materials: Phase 1 tool kit, 10mm flare nut wrench, new hoses, a couple of cans of DOT 3 or 4 brake
fluid, solvent or carb cleaner, copper gaskets for the union bolt. If you are replacing hoses that connect directly
to calipers, you'll need two new brake line gaskets for each caliper.
Remarks: If one brake hose is worn out, the others are probably nearing the end of the trail also. Check them
carefully. When you buy a new hose, compare the length of the new against the old.
Bendix disc brake systems have two rubber hoses under each front fender. Be sure to check both of them.
To locate the rubber brake hoses for the rear wheels, follow the metal brake lines forward from the top of
the brake backing plates until you come to the rubber hoses.
Step 1. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Chock the wheels, loosen the lug nuts a little, jack up the car and put it on jackstands or blocks. Remove
the lug nuts then the wheel.
You don't want any dirt to get into the metal brake line or caliper when you divorce, I mean separate, the
brake lines, so clean the connections on both ends of the rubber brake hose before removing it. A squirt can
of carb cleaner or a stiff brush and solvent works well.
Step 2. Remove Brake Hose (all except hose ends attached to calipers).
Use a rag to catch the brake fluid that's sure to run out of the line. Keep the nut at the end of the rubber brake
hose from turning with a 17mm open-end wrench while you use a 10mm flare-nut wrench to unscrew the nut
on the metal brake line. When the nut is completely unscrewed, use pliers to remove the spring clip that attaches
the rubber brake hose to the bracket. Pull the rubber hose away from the bracket. Don't pull the metal brake
line away from the bracket. If it gets bent, even slightly, it will be hard to screw the nut into the new brake hose.
Remove the other end of the hose the same way.
Step 3. Detach Brake Hose from Caliper.
Use a 14mm box-end wrench to unscrew the union bolt that attaches the brake hose to the caliper. Use two
screwdrivers to gently pry the fitting off the caliper pin (Bendix type) or out of the groove (AD type). To remove
the hose, separate the other end of the hose from the metal brake line as in Step 2.
Don't throw away the copper gaskets unless you already have new ones. The fitting will leak like a sieve
without the gaskets. If you can't find new gaskets, use the old ones again, then check carefully for leaks when
everything is back together.
To remove the hose on models with AD type calipers, use pliers to remove the spring clip that attaches the
hose to the strut bracket. Pull the caliper end of the hose through the bracket.
Step 4. Install New Caliper Hose.
Procedure 11, Step 1
Brakes 303
Bendix type: Clean the union bolt and union fitting. Use a new gasket on each side of the fitting. Install
the fitting onto the pin, then attach the hose fitting to the caliper with the union bolt. Torque the bolt to 15 ft.
lbs. Stick the other end of the hose through the bracket. Position the hose so it isn't kinked and can't rub against
anything. Skip down to Step 5 to attach the remaining end.
AD type: Thread the caliper end of the hose with the union fitting through the bracket on the strut. Clean
the union bolt and union fitting. Use a new gasket on each side of the fitting. Slide the union fitting into the groove
in the caliper, then attach the hose fitting to the caliper with the bolt. Position the hose so it isn't kinked and can't
rub against anything, then torque the bolt to 15 ft. lbs. Secure the hose to the strut bracket with the spring clip,
then stick the end of the hose through the mounting bracket on the inside of the wheel well. Step 5 explains how
to attach the rubber hose to the metal brake line.
Step 5. All Other Fittings.
You've stuck the end of the brake hose through the mounting bracket hole, right? Screw the nut on the metal
brake line into the hose by hand until you're sure the threads have started correctly. Position the hose so there
are no kinks and so the hose can't rub against anything. Secure the hose to the bracket with a spring clip. Use
a l7mm wrench on the brake hose nut to keep the hose from twisting while tightening the 10mm nut with a flare
nut wrench. Make it tight.
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Chapter 13 Procedure 11, Step 6
Step 6. Bleed.
After replacing the worn-out hoses, bleed the brake system (Procedure 2). When the brakes have been bled,
have someone press the brake pedal a few times while you watch the hose connections for leaks. Don't forget
to replace the dust caps on the bleeding nipples. That's it.
PROCEDURE 12: REMOVE AND INSTALL MASTER CYLINDER
The master cylinder sticks out from the left side of the firewall and has one large or two small semi-opaque
white plastic hydraulic fluid reservoirs on top. If your car has a black cylindrical "master vac" brake booster,
the master cylinder is mounted on the front of it. You remove the master cylinder the same way for Soobs with
or without the master vac.
Condition: Master cylinder is leaking; OR no matter how much you bleed the brakes the pedal is still spongy;
OR you have to bleed the brakes frequently; OR the master vac has to be removed.
Tools and Materials: Phase 1 tool kit, 10mm flare-nut wrench, three pints of fresh DOT 3 brake fluid, brake
bleeding hose and jar (Procedure 2), two baggies, rags. Optional: Syringe or eye dropper.
Remarks: If you've determined the master cylinder isn't performing the way it should, call a few garages to see
how much they'll charge to rebuild your old one. Then call Subaru and a few parts stores to see what a new or
rebuilt one costs. If the prices are close, go for a new or rebuilt one. They usually come with new reservoirs
and sometimes even have new reservoir caps.
Step 1. Unplug Wires, Bleed Cylinder.
Remove the spare tire if it's in the engine compartment. Place a large rag under the master cylinder to catch
stray drops of brake fluid. Brake fluid is harmful to eyes and paint, so be careful!
If there are wires coming from the reservoir cap or caps, trace the wires to a connector located about 3"
from the master cylinder. Disconnect the wires by pulling the connector apart.
Pull off the reservoir cap(s) and remove the little plastic strainers (if you have them) and put them someplace
clean and safe. Use something like an eye dropper or syringe to empty the brake fluid out of the reservoir(s).
Don't suck the stuff out yourself-POISON!
As an alternative, you can connect a hose to the bleeder nipple(s) on the side of the master cylinder, stick
the other end of the hose into a can or jar, and open the bleeder valve with a 10mm wrench. Turn the nipple counterclockwise a half turn or so, and the fluid should start to flow out. Pump the brake pedal a few times to get
rid of all the brake fluid. Do it to both master cylinder bleeder nipples. When the reservoir's empty, tighten the
nipples and remove the hose. If you need to know more about bleeding, see Procedure 2.
Step 2. Remove Master Cylinder.
Remove the two brake line nuts from the bottom of the master cylinder with a 10mm flare nut wrench and
pull the lines just slightly clear but don't kink the lines! Put a baggie over the end of each line to keep it clean
Remove the two 12mm nuts that connect the master cylinder to the master vac unit or firewall, one above and
one below. Carefully pull the master cylinder forward and free. Pour any brake fluid remaining in the master
cylinder into a suitable container. Stuff a clean rag into the hole left by the departed master cylinder. Clean the
outside of the master cylinder if you're going to take it to a brake specialist for rebuilding.
Step 3. Install Master Cylinder.
Remove the rag from the hole and coat the little rod sticking out of the firewall or master vac with a fingerfull of brake fluid. Guide the rod into the rubber boot on the end of the master cylinder as you slide the master
cylinder onto the two mounting studs. Don't put the nuts on yet. Now remove the plastic baggies and put the two
brake lines into their respective holes in the master cylinder. Get the threads on both lines started by hand. Please
make sure they're not cross-threaded. Then install and tighten the two 12mm mounting nuts and washers. Next
tighten the two brake line nuts with a 10mm flare nut wrench.
Step 4. Prepare Master Cylinder for Action.
Clean each brake fluid strainer with a clean rag, then insert it into the reservoir. Replace any that are torn,
broken, or greasy. Fill the reservoir(s) with fresh clean brake fluid to the MAX line. Slowly pump the brake pedal
five times, then check the fluid level. Add more fluid if necessary to keep the level at the MAX line. Pump and
add, pump and add until the fluid level doesn't drop.
Now bleed the master cylinder and then all four wheels (Procedure 2). After replacing the master cylinder, it will take more bleeding than usual to get the air out of the lines. Be patient and persevere. When you're
finished bleeding, fill the reservoir to the MAX line. Clean each reservoir cap and round white fluid level indicator
(if your cap has one) with a clean rag, then put the cap on the reservoir. Reconnect the electrical wires for the fluid
level indicator (if you have them). Put the spare tire in its place if you removed it.
PROCEDURE 13: CHECK, REMOVE, REPLACE MASTER VAC UNIT
The master vac unit is attached via a rubber hose to the engine's intake manifold. When the engine's running,
a vacuum is created in the intake manifold as the pistons suck air and fuel into the cylinders. The master vac utilizes
this vacuum to reduce the amount of pressure required on the brake pedal to stop the car. A check valve in the
rubber hose prevents the vacuum from flow back to the manifold.
Only coupe GSRs were equipped with master vac units until 1975, at which time all models except two-door
sedans got the master vac treatment. All 1979 and newer models have master vac units (as well they should).
Condition: Everything in the brake system checks out OK, but extra force must be applied to the brake pedal before
braking action occurs.
Tools and Materials: Phase 1 tool kit, 10mm flare-nut wrench, big baggie.
Procedure 12, Step 4
Brakes 305
Remarks: If it almost takes both feet on the brake pedal to slow the car, run through the master vac check (Step
1). If the tests indicate the unit is faulty, have a Subaru dealer check the old unit with gauges before replacing it
with a new one. They're expensive, so be sure the old one is dead before replacing it.
Step 1. Check Master Vac Operation.
Be sure the handbrake is on.
Air tightness check: Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes, then turn it off. Push on the brake pedal
a few times with the same force you usually use to stop the car. If the master vac is working properly the pedal
should go farther toward the floor the first time you press on it and stop farther away from the floor with each following
stroke. If there is no change in the distance the pedal travels, check the check valve and rubber vacuum hose
(Step 2).
Operation check: Before starting the engine, pump the brake pedal a few times using the same pressure.
Make sure the pedal height doesn't vary with each pump of the pedal. Hold the pedal down and start the engine.
When the engine starts the brake pedal should move toward the floor slightly. If the pedal doesn't drop a little,
do Step 2.
Loaded air tightness Check: Hold the brake pedal down while the engine is running, then turn the engine
off. Hold the pedal down for 30 seconds. If the pedal height stays the same, the master vac is OK. If the pedal
moves up away from the floor, the master vac has a problem; do Step 2.
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Chapter 13 Procedure 13, Step 2
Step 2. Test Check Valve and Vacuum Hose.
Check the large black hose that connects the master vac to the intake manifold on the engine. Look for cracks,
splits, and/or loose connections. Replace any hoses that are suspect.
Somewhere along the big black vacuum hose, between the master vac and the intake manifold on the engine,
is a brass-colored check valve about the same diameter as the hose (sometimes it's almost hidden under a clamp).
If it's under a clamp, remove the phillips screw, then the clamp. Use pliers to squeeze the little tabs on the spring
clamps next to the check valve, then slide the clamps up the hose, away from the valve. Twist and pull the hose
off each end of the check valve. The valve is now free.
Hold the valve while you blow into each end. Air should only flow through the valve in one directionfrom the master vac end toward the engine end. If air passes both ways, replace the valve with a new one and test
the master vac again.
Install the check valve back on the hoses so that the tapered shoulder is toward the engine. Slide the clamps
into place on each end of the valve, then secure the valve in the holder and tighten the phillips screw.
Step 3. Remove Master Vac.
Remove the master cylinder (Procedure 12). Put it in a clean baggie and stash it someplace clean and safe.
Use pliers to squeeze the clamp on the end of the large black vacuum hose where it attaches to the master vac.
Slide the clamp up the hose a few inches, then twist and pull the hose off the master vac.
Look at the brake pedal inside the car. About 6" above the foot pad is a clevis (a U-shaped thing), with a round
clevis pin going through it and the brake lever. Attached to the clevis is the brake pushrod that goes through the
firewall and into the master vac unit. Use needlenose pliers to remove the little cotter key or snap pin on the end
of the clevis pin. If there are little plastic barbs on the end of the clevis pin, squeeze them toward the pin and push
the pin out of the clevis. No barbs? Just tap the clevis pin out of the clevis.
Still under the dash, remove the four 12mm nuts around the hole that the brake pushrod goes through on the
firewall. Now the master vac can be removed from the car. Go back under the hood and carefully pull the unit
away from the firewall without bending the master cylinder brake lines.
Step 4. Install Master Vac Unit.
Carefully slide the master vac over the brake lines, then push the four mounting bolts into the holes on the
firewall. From under the dash, screw on and tighten the four 12mm mounting washers and nuts. Slide the clevis
over the brake lever and install the clevis pin. Install the cotter key or snap pin in the end of the clevis pin. Bend
the end of the cotter pin around the clevis pin.
Connect the black vacuum hose to the master vac unit in the engine compartment, then use pliers to slide
the clamp back over the connection to secure it.
Install the master cylinder (Procedure 12). Now bleed the master cylinder and then the whole brake system
(Procedure 2).
Go through Step 1 to see that the master vac is operating properly before you hit the road.
PROCEDURE 14: CHECK, REMOVE, REPLACE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH
Condition 1: The brake lights stay on all the time. Do Steps 1 and 2.
Condition 2: Brake lights don't light up when the brake pedal is pressed. Do steps 1, 3, 4, and 5 (omit Step 2).
Remarks: If condition 2 is your problem, check the brake light bulbs andfuse (Chapter 10) before testing the brake
light switch.
Tools and Materials: Step 2 requires a new rubber
brake pedal stopper, Step 3 may require some penetrating oil. Steps 4 and 5 require other items.
Step 1. Locate Brake Light Switch.
Look up under the dash while pumping the brake
pedal with your hand. When you release the pedal,
a rubber pad on the brake lever pushes a plunger
into a little round switch. See it? On some models
with cruise control there will be two switches. The
switch on the right is the brake light switch.
Step 2. Replace Rubber Brake Pad.
If the rubber pad is missing, the brake lights will
stay on all the time. Buy a new pad from Subaru and
press it into the hole. The brakes lights should go off
now when the pedal is released.
Step 3. Check Plunger.
While holding the brake pedal down, push on
the end of the switch with your finger to see if the
plunger moves freely. If it's stuck in the switch, spray
some penetrating oil on it and try to move it in and
out until it slides easily. If you can't get it unstuck,
you need to replace the switch (Step 5).
Step 4. Test Electrical Source.
Tools and Materials: 12-volt test light, short piece
of insulated wire. Follow the two wires from the
switch to a plastic connector. Pull the connector apart.
Use a 12-volt test light to check for electricity in the
two slots of the connector that the brake light switch
wires plug into. Stick one of the test light wires (or
the metal probe on the test light) into one of the slots
on the connector and touch the other wire to an
unpainted piece of metal or screw head that's attached
to the car. Try both slots. One of the slots should light
the tester.
If no electricity is getting to the connector, the
wire must be broken or shorted somewhere between
the switch and the fuse box. You did check the fuse,
didn't you? Look at Chapter 10, Procedure 5, Step
3 to track down the broken wire.
If the test light goes on, there's "juice" at the terminal. Find a short piece of spare insulated electrical
wire and strip about 1/a " of insulation from each end
of the wire. Now stick one end of the wire into each
of the terminal slots in the connector. Check the rear
Procedure 14, Step 1
Brakes 307
308
Chapter 13 Procedure 14, Step 5
brake lights. If the brake lights are on, the brake light switch is bad. Replace it (Step 5). Still no lights? Either
a wire is broken between the switch and brake light bulb, or the brake light system isn't grounded properly. See
Chapter 10, Procedure 5.
Step 5. Replace Brake Light Switch.
Tools and Materials: 14mm open-end wrench, new switch, small ruler (either in. or cm. i s OK), Friend. Disconnect the two wires coming from the switch at the plastic connector if you haven't already. Unscrew the 14mm
nut that's on the opposite end of the switch from the wires. You may have to be patient here; Subaru hasn't made
it particularly easy to get at because of a bend in the mounting holder (bracket). Slide the switch out of its holder.
Remove the other nut from the switch.
Screw one of the nuts about halfway onto the new switch. Slide the switch into the holder with the plunger
end pointed toward the brake lever. Hold the brake pedal down while you screw the other nut onto the switch.
Don't tighten it yet.
Adjust the brake pedal height so there is .20"-.43" (5- 11mm) free play. Free play is the distance the pedal
travels before encountering any resistance (see illustration). A little free play is important; otherwise, you could
have the brake switch putting pressure on the brakes without help from your right foot. That would be a real
drag. Screw the two nuts farther onto the switch to decrease the amount of free play, or farther toward the end
of the switch to increase the free play. When the free play is right, tighten the 14mm nut that's closest to the plunger
end of the switch, clockwise against the mounting holder. Then reconnect the wires to the plastic connector.
Finally, test the light by pressing on the brake pedal a few times while a Friend looks for the lights to turn
on and off at the back of the car.
THE HANDBRAKE
The handbrake (also called emergency orparking brake) is operated by a hand lever (handle) between the
two front seats. Two steel cables run from the lever to the front brakes. When the handbrake lever is pulled up,
the cables tighten and push the front brake shoes against the brake drums or brake pads against the discs-depending
on the year and model. The lever is held up (brake ON) by a notched locking arrangement: pawl teeth fall into
ratchet teeth. To release the brake, just press the button at the end of the handbrake lever. (Aha! You remember!) The button knocks the pawl away from the ratchet teeth and lets you push the handle down.
The handbrake usually needs to be adjusted (tightened) after the discs or drums have been "turned" at a
machine shop. Installing new discs or drums might necessitate loosening the handbrake cables a little.
PROCEDURE 15: ADJUST HANDBRAKE
Condition: Handbrake lever goes up nine or more notches (clicks) '75-'82; six or more notches (clicks) '83-'84;
or four or more notches '85 and newer. If your handbrake won't keep your Soob from rolling on a slope, adjust
it now.
Tools and Materials: Medium phillips screwdriver, 10mm and 12mm wrenches.
Remarks: Before adjusting the handbrake, be sure the rear brakes are adjusted (Procedure 1), and there is no
air in the hydraulic system (Procedure 2). If you have disc brakes, check that the handbrake lever on the caliper at each front wheel returns fully after the handbrake is released (Procedure 8, Step 5).
CAUTION: Be sure the transmission is in 1st gear (manual) or PARK (automatics) and the wheels are blocked.
Step 1. Remove Handbrake Handle Cover.
Begin with the handle pulled up (applied). This will permit easier removal of the cover and access to the
handbrake adjusting nuts.
'75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats: If there is a plastic console in front of the handbrake cover, remove the
phillips screws located around the edges and remove the console. Lift the carpet just in front of the handbrake
cover and remove the two phillips screws. If there are two little containers to the rear of the handbrake lever,
remove the phillips screw in the bottom of the left container. If there is an ashtray in the rear of the cover, remove
the ashtray, then remove the phillips screws. Push the cover toward the rear while lifting up on the front. Slide
the cover over the handbrake lever.
'80 and newer cars and '82-'87 Brats: To get to the handbrake adjusting nuts, lift up on the rear edge of
the plastic panel that's just in front of the handbrake cover. If you have 4WD, lift up on the 4WD lever, then rotate
the plastic panel forward until the handbrake adjusting nuts are visible (check out the illustration).
Procedure 15, Step 1
Brakes 309
310
Chapter 13 Procedure 15, Step 2
Step 2. Adjust Handbrake.
The handbrake lever pulls on a threaded rod that passes through an equalizer bar. Cables going to the front
brakes are attached to each end of the bar, which is free to pivot on a half-moon shaped pin (actually, it's more
like a 3/a moon). Thus the force applied to the lever is transmitted equally to both front brakes.
To adjust the handbrake, locate the two nuts on the front end of the threaded rod. They're right between
the two cables. Hold the larger nut with a 12mm wrench while you loosen the 10mm nut just a little. Now put
the handbrake handle in the OFF position (down). Turn the 12mm nut toward the equalizer bar with your fingers
until you can only lift the handbrake lever 6-8 clicks (3-4 clicks '83 and newer models), using moderate force
(Subaru says 55 lbs.) Put the handbrake all the way OFF again and check the pin in the center of the equalizer
bar for slack. Put a finger under the pin and your thumb on top of the pin and try to move it up and down. If the
pin is tight, unscrew the 12mm nut until you can wiggle the pin slightly with your fingers. If the cables are overtightened so that the pin won't wiggle, the brakes will be on all the time. When the adjustment is correct, pull
the handle up again and hold the 12mm nut with a wrench and tighten the 10mm nut against it.
Step 3. Put Cover Back On.
'75-'79 cars and '77-'81 Brats: Slide the handbrake cover over the lever and install the phillips screws.
Put the console back on if you have one, and all that other stuff.
'80 and newer cars and '82-'87 Brats: Snap the plastic panel back in place. If you have 4WD, rotate the
plastic panel back in place, then push the 4WD selector down.
PROCEDURE 16: REPLACE HANDBRAKE CABLE
Condition: The handbrake handle comes up with no resistance and the parking brakes don't function. Adjustment
(Procedure 15) does nothing. Conclusion: One or both handbrake cables have broken.
Tools and Materials: Phase 1 tool kit, new handbrake cable, new rubber grommet.
Step 1. Find Broken Cable.
Remove the handbrake handle cover (Procedure 15, Step 1). Grab either of the cables with a pair of pliers
and pull it toward the rear of the car. Now try the other cable. A broken cable will come out in your hands.
Step 2. Release Broken Cable.
Release the cable end from the equalizer bar. If there is a clip on top of the equalizer bar, remove the clip
with needlenose pliers then push the cable retainer down through the hole with a small screwdriver. If there
is no clip, pull the cable so it aligns with the slot in the equalizer bar, then lift up on the cable.
Follow the cable forward to where it disappears into the body. Use pliers to lift up on the spring clip tab
that secures the cable housing (sheath) to the car body.
Step 3. Chock, Jack, and Block.
Chock the rear wheels. On the side that has a broken cable, loosen the front lug nuts slightly, and if you
have drum brakes, loosen the axle nut a little (Procedure 6, Step 1). Jack up the front of the car and put it on secure
blocks or jackstands. Remove the wheel.
Step 4. Release Cable End from Brakes.
Pull on the end of the brake cable with pliers until the cable will slide out of the slot in the handbrake lever.
Now follow the cable toward the front of the car about three inches. Use pliers to pull up on the spring clip that
secures the cable housing to the bracket on the caliper. Models with Bendix calipers ('72-'79 cars and '77-'81
Brats): You have a cable clamp on the back of the axle housing a couple of inches forward from the spring clip
bracket. Remove the two 8mm bolts to remove the clamp and free the cable.
Step 5. Remove Broken Cable.
Use a 10mm wrench to release the cable housing (sheath) from the holders (clamps) on the tie rod (if you
have one there), the control arm (also called the transverse link), and the rear crossmember (the black, flat
piece of metal that holds up the rear of the transmission). Some automatic transmission models have an extra
cable clamp on the rear crossmember. Pull the cable housing through the cable guide in the transmission tunnel
and out of the body.
Step 6. Install New Cable.
Compare the length and hardware of the new cable with the old cable. When you're sure you have the right
cable, get under the car and thread the end without a rubber cable protector through the cable guide that's fastened
to the inside of the transmission tunnel. Push the end of the cable through the hole and inside the car.
Get in the car and install the spring clip that secures the cable to the body. Pull on the end of the cable and
attach it to the equalizer bar. You might have to loosen the adjusting nuts a little. Put on the cable retainer and
pin if that's your setup, or line up the cable with the slot in the equalizer bar and push the round cable end into
the hole.
Get back under the car and attach the cable holders (clamps) on the rear crossmember, the control arm,
and the tie rod (if you have one there).
Thread the cable through the bracket on the caliper, install the spring clip to secure the cable to the bracket,
then connect the cable end to the lever arm on the caliper by slipping the cable through the slot and fitting the
cable end in place. You may have to slide the little rubber boot up the cable in order to slip the cable onto the
slot. If your setup has a cable clamp on the backing plate, install the clamp and tighten the 8mm bolts.
Put the wheel on and snug down the lug nuts. Lower the car and torque the nuts to 72 ft. lbs.
Put the hub cap on, then adjust the handbrake (Procedure 15), then do Procedure 4, Step 13, in Chapter 7.
HILL-HOLDER
Some Subarus have a unique gadget called a hill-holder that allows you to stop on a hill and take your foot
off the brake without rolling backwards. How does this miracle work, you ask?
There's a unit called a pressure hold valve (PHV) in the engine compartment right below the master cylinder.
Inside the PHV is a cylinder and in the cylinder is a ball that is free to roll from one end to the other. When you
stop on a hill with the clutch and brake pedals depressed, the ball rolls to the rear of the cylinder and seals a hole
that prevents the release of hydraulic pressure in the primary brake system when you release the brake pedal.
This locks the left front and right rear brakes and prevents the car from rolling backward. When the clutch pedal
is released, a cable attached to the clutch lever on the engine pulls on a lever mounted on the PHV The lever
pushes a pin against the ball and moves it away from the hole, releasing the pressure on the brakes. Nifty, eh?
Works, too!
I've heard that people who live in hilly places like San Francisco and heavy-duty off-road people have developed severe love relationships with their hill-holders!
PROCEDURE 17: ADJUST HILL-HOLDER
Condition 1: When stopped on a hill, the hill-holder doesn't hold and the car slips backward. Do Steps 1
and 2.
Condition 2: The brakes stay on momentarily after the clutch pedal is released and the engine tends to stall.
Do Steps 1 and 2. If the brakes are locked on so you can't drive the car at all, see Procedure 18, Step 2.
Procedure 16, Step 5
Brakes 311
312
Chapter 13 Procedure 17, Step 1
Condition 3: The hill-holder works fine on steep hills but not on moderate hills. Do Step 3, then Steps 1 and
2 if necessary.
Tools and Materials: For conditions 1 and 2: pliers, maybe 8mm, 10mm, and 14mm wrenches (depending on
your setup), maybe a new PHV cable and/or a new PHV return spring. For condition 3, 10mm socket, ratchet,
and short extension, one or two hill-holder shims (Subaru Part No. 725807000).
Remarks: The hill-holder system is designed to only work on a grade of 30 or more, so it doesn't work on extremely
slight inclines.
Before adjusting the cable, try the hill-holder on a hill and apply more pressure on the brake pedal. Maybe
you're just not pushing hard enough. It requires a little more than normal braking pressure on the pedal to activate
the system. If pressing harder on the brake pedal before releasing it doesn't keep the car from slipping backward, do Steps 1 and 2.
Step l. Adjust Clutch.
The clutch pedal free play has to be set correctly before adjusting the hill-holder cable. Chapter 15, Procedure
1, explains how to check and adjust the clutch.
Step 2. Adjust Hill-Holder PHV Cable.
The pressure hold valve (PHV) is located on a ledge in the engine compartment below th