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OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


this was a compromise with my grandmother for agreeing to not buy a motorcycle while i'm living with her



it runs and drives, is rust-free as far as I've been able to find, and was $700. came complete with obama/biden 08 bumper sticker, period-correct aftermarket head unit, pretuned to NPR. libmobile

I love my prius way more than I ever expected to (that's a story for another time) but it's also boring as gently caress to drive. and while I'm stuck in suburbia for the forseeable future, with a pandemic on, I might as well find something better to do than play computer games. So I lurked the local craigslist and happened upon this. It's at about a quarter-million miles, but the engine sounds and feels fine. It's the 1.8L EJ, which apparently didn't have as many head gasket issues as the contemporary 2.2, or so I'm told. It's a salvage, from getting rear-ended about 20 years ago. comes with original dented rear hatch. but bonus: the PO said he got a replacement hatch, mounted it, but then it wouldn't shut because the striker and its mount got moved. so he put the original hatch back on and just left all the wires and the wiper fluid line cut. ok. also the driver's side exterior door handle and window didn't work when I got it, but I've already fixed that. there's a tiny bit of play in one of the front wheel bearings, and the PO said the ball joints and CVs had only been replaced once, about 20 years ago, but that he'd been greasing them. one or both of the right CVs are making a little noise, and at about 60mph there's a slight wobble in the steering wheel. So the suspension, while not currently completely hosed, will be there soon.

the interior is in mixed shape. the plastics and carpets are mostly in pretty good shape, except the dash is partially taken apart from a botched attempt to repair the HVAC. The PO warned me not to turn on the fan because it had been shorted to the charging circuit and would blow the fuse if you turned it on ok. There is an AC compressor under the hood, but it had no belt on it and the PO simply said "no A/C". ok.

comes with an aluminum WRX hood, in the wrong color, and missing the scoop. Lol

$700 was squarely in the middle of the KBB range for "fair" condition, and he'd been forthcoming about all the issues from the beginning, so after a halfassed attempt to haggle over the only issue he hadn't mentioned (the wheel bearing) I paid his asking price.

Goals: i want to make vroomvrooms in the dirt, but more importantly, I want this to not just become a monument to my ability to start things I don't finish. I want to keep it running and driving. Any portions that'll require tearing it down below that level, I want to be thoroughly prepared beforehand and get done as quickly as is feasible. I want to be able to drive this thing and get my stickshift fix often.

Checklist:

get it smogged
get it registered
fix driver's door handle and window
pop valve covers to assess level of gunk? or drop the oil pan?
change oil & filter
change engine air filter, and cabin if it has one
bleed brakes
inspect pads (& shoes! rear drums!)
inspect spark plugs & wires
new front wiper blades
the power steering pump sounds tired, so rather than bleeding that system I'll probably just replace the pump
un-tenderlycaress the HVAC wiring at least to the point that I can run the heater and defrost the windshield
once i can safely run the heat, do a full coolant flush and inspect the thermostat
inspect vestigial A/C compressor and decide if I want to repair and recharge, or simply delete and be fan & heater only
replace the jiggly wheel bearing
replace the noisy CV
reconnect all the cut wiring (& wiper fluid line) to the hatch, using spade connectors or something so I don't have to do this poo poo all over again if I ever replace the hatch
sauter the broken-off terminal back onto the rear window
the rear wiper blade spins freely so it's entirely possible the rear wiper motor is shot

the stick feels a little mushy, especially around first, so figure out if that's just bushings or if synchros are worn
diagnose and treat cooling system leak
drain and refill transaxle and rear diff with new gear oil

Once the above damage control is done, THEN I get to start on the fun stuff
total suspension rebuild front and rear with all new bushings, ball joints, and CVs
strut tower braces
better brakes (rear discs for sure, possibly bigger fronts)
LSD rear
LSD front?
cage?
port and polish?

Bigger, longer-term philosophical questions:
reassemble interior, or strip interior
paint or patina
smog-legal or outlaw

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 18:33 on Feb 2, 2021

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CAT INTERCEPTOR
Nov 9, 2004

SOOB UWU?!?!

AWD stickshift shitbox buddies

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


MY man!

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

MY RELIGION IS THE SMALL BLOCK V8 AND COMMANDMENTS ONE THROUGH TEN ARE NEVER LIFT.



Pillbug

My favourite car was my 2.2L '97 Impreza Outback Sport, so this is great.

Wrar
Sep 9, 2002



Soiled Meat

The 2.2 is one of the best Subaru motors. You're thinking of the 2.5.

Nice shitheap. I want to get another very soon myself.

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester



So jealous. The cheapest running/driving Subaru popping up locally is usually around $3k, and if you want 3 pedals that price goes up real quick.. no matter how lovely it is.

Voltage
Sep 4, 2004

MALT LIQUOR!


My friend sold me his semi shitbox Ď04 impreza wagon stickshift for ~500 with a blown headgasket - was the first engine iíve ever pulled and I successfully completely ďrestoredĒ it and sold it to another friend for 3k - which he drove flawlessly across the country, and then was completely consumed by a flood and totaled almost immediately

What a great little car - shouldnít have ever sold it. I can definitely chip in some advice for this!


22 Eargesplitten
Oct 10, 2010

moderately


Seat Safety Switch posted:

My favourite car was my 2.2L '97 Impreza Outback Sport, so this is great.

There's a reason I've put way more into my '99 than it is worth.

Good job OP, now turbo swap it

CAT INTERCEPTOR
Nov 9, 2004

SOOB UWU?!?!

22 Eargesplitten posted:


Good job OP, now turbo swap it

Ohhhh I can tell you how exactly to do it annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd then OP will be Waaaaaaaaait I thought these cars were LEGO and I'll laugh and laugh and laugh about the little traps everywhere that makes it annoying as gently caress esp if you are trying to swap post MY97.

Just knowing the irritiations and also the changes in wiring on year models saves the irritation so it's a "Ask someone" to be pre-warned. Also a lot of the info on how to do it has left the Internet as it was on now dead forums.

quote:

strut tower braces
better brakes (rear discs for sure, possibly bigger fronts)
LSD rear
LSD front?
cage?
port and polish?

Front strut brace meant for any GC/GF/GD will work
Rear I think from memory is actualy compatible with Gen2 Forester and GD NOT GC
Brakes are a no brainer - GD 4 pots / rear 2 pots. Watch what hubs you use as ABS tone rings make for some differences if you switch hubs. Shouldnt need to, that is all LEGO in ease to swap. GD WRX brakes were on a car 200 kgs heavier so you will have a car that *really* wants to stop and will keep stopping.

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


bought a multimeter and a bunch of crimp connectors and got all the wiring to the hatch reconnected. door ajar sensor, wiper, and 3rd brakelight all work. sautered the connector back onto the rear defroster, and figured out which of the two blue-with-red-stripe wires was the defrost, and it's showing 3 ohms between the two terminals, but without any frost to de i can't be sure its working, but it should be.

i even got the rats nest of crimps wrapped up and crammed back in, so the little rubber grommet tube thing is back in place. hopefully it doesn't leak.

the wiper fluid line is on the other side, and i need some kind of double-male connector to patch it, and god knows where i'll find that

the rear wiper blade spinning freely was just a loose nut

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 10:15 on Jan 19, 2021

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


CAT INTERCEPTOR posted:

Ohhhh I can tell you how exactly to do it annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd then OP will be Waaaaaaaaait I thought these cars were LEGO and I'll laugh and laugh and laugh about the little traps everywhere that makes it annoying as gently caress esp if you are trying to swap post MY97.

Just knowing the irritiations and also the changes in wiring on year models saves the irritation so it's a "Ask someone" to be pre-warned. Also a lot of the info on how to do it has left the Internet as it was on now dead forums.


Front strut brace meant for any GC/GF/GD will work
Rear I think from memory is actualy compatible with Gen2 Forester and GD NOT GC
Brakes are a no brainer - GD 4 pots / rear 2 pots. Watch what hubs you use as ABS tone rings make for some differences if you switch hubs. Shouldnt need to, that is all LEGO in ease to swap. GD WRX brakes were on a car 200 kgs heavier so you will have a car that *really* wants to stop and will keep stopping.

i'm still learning the vin codes. remind me what gcfd means?

e: after some digging i found this:
https://en.m.wikibooks.org/wiki/Vehicle_Identification_Numbers_(VIN_codes)/Subaru/VIN_Codes
so gc is 1st-gen sedan, gd is 2nd gen sedan, gf is 1st gen wagon, right?

also i'm in california so the engine is staying as-is for a loooong time, likely forever. i want to drive it, not trailer it

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 10:37 on Jan 19, 2021

STR
May 12, 2006

I thought I was a nice jester



OMGVBFLOL posted:

the wiper fluid line is on the other side, and i need some kind of double-male connector to patch it, and god knows where i'll find that

https://www.amazon.com/Windshield-Washer-Connector-OTUAYAUTO-Universal/dp/B07MZQY32N

You may be able to find a single one in the Help! section of a parts store.

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


STR posted:

https://www.amazon.com/Windshield-Washer-Connector-OTUAYAUTO-Universal/dp/B07MZQY32N

You may be able to find a single one in the Help! section of a parts store.

oh, theres standard dimensions for washer fluid hoses? well that should make it easier than i was expecting

e: this seems obvious in retrospect

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Jan 19, 2021

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


i'm bleeding the brakes (my first time doing this ever) with the help of a $10 kit from the parts store. i'm glad i bought the big bottle of brake fluid because good god this stuff looks like motor oil. the first batch to come out was drat near opaque

jamal
Apr 15, 2003

I'll set the building on fire

I like to just leave the bleeder open and pump for awhile to push a lot of fluid through. Then do the regular thing once or twice after.

Also 2nd gen impreza strut braces don't fit your car.

Olympic Mathlete
Feb 25, 2011





OMGVBFLOL posted:

bought a multimeter and a bunch of crimp connectors and got all the wiring to the hatch reconnected. door ajar sensor, wiper, and 3rd brakelight all work. sautered the connector back onto the rear defroster, and figured out which of the two blue-with-red-stripe wires was the defrost, and it's showing 3 ohms between the two terminals, but without any frost to de i can't be sure its working, but it should be.

i even got the rats nest of crimps wrapped up and crammed back in, so the little rubber grommet tube thing is back in place. hopefully it doesn't leak.

the wiper fluid line is on the other side, and i need some kind of double-male connector to patch it, and god knows where i'll find that

the rear wiper blade spinning freely was just a loose nut

Seems like a cool project for virtually no money, nice!

And I screwed my face up reading this word and was like "you fried it in a pan?!"

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


saute window ala shitbox

here's a pic of the old brake fluid. and this all of it together, including a bunch of clean fluid pushed through. yikes


I topped up the power steering fluid and coolant too, both were slightly low

I was able to bleed the brakes without removing the wheels, since I don't have a jack and stands yet, but that also means i wasn't able to inspect the pads and shoes while i was at it.

old dusty air filter out, clean new filter in

Looking at jacks, it seems like the best bang for my buck would be to get a bottle jack that barely fits under the side rails ($60) instead of spending two or three times as much on a shittier floor jack, t/f?

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 23:57 on Jan 20, 2021

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





To test the defrost get a can of canned air. Turn the defrost on for a few minutes to let it warm up, then invert the can and spray it on the outside of the window where the wires run. It will freeze some water out of the air and it melts faster over the wires if theyíre hot. You can spray a stripe vertically down the window and check them all at the same time. Itíll be easier to see on a colder evening if you can get one though youíre California so take what you can get.

mobby_6kl
Aug 9, 2009

"You are the best poster... do not let anyone say otherwise."


Ooh that's a really good idea, I suspect the defroster on my Fit did not work but eventually remembered to bring a multimeter and measure the 12v across the terminals. It still doesn't seem to actually do anything so I'll this a try.

Congrats on the poo poo box OP, cool Subaru. I also considered it but eventually passes as I was worried the boxer would poo poo itself somehow and I wouldn't want to pull the engine in the driveway during the winter.

mobby_6kl fucked around with this message at 08:41 on Jan 21, 2021

Seat Safety Switch
May 27, 2008

MY RELIGION IS THE SMALL BLOCK V8 AND COMMANDMENTS ONE THROUGH TEN ARE NEVER LIFT.



Pillbug

Get a floor jack and use the central jacking point on the front subframe and the rear diff - so much faster and feels less sketchy. Put jack stands on the pinch welds on the side before you get underneath!

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


changed the oil and filter, topped up the coolant and power steering fluid. ran it to operating temp as part of the oil change and while I was in there, i (carefully) took off the radiator cap to take a peek and the coolant is still bright yellow and was flowing, so the thermostat and coolant can wait until i unpoop the HVAC and can flush the heater core too. I bought the wrong rear hatch lift supports (too short, they were for the 02-07 wagon) and have subsequently banged my head on the hatch enough times that i buckled and dropped another fifty bucks on the right ones. hopefully autozone lets me return the wrong ones, but if not i'll probably be able to unload them eventually on someone with a second-gen wagon.

engine oil was pitch black, so i'm glad i did that. i thought about using ultraplatinum fancy oil but elected instead for plain high milage oil. I don't need the extra detergents and dispersants revealing any leaky seals yet.

I did find a leak in the radiator. there was a quiet hissing sound from one corner of the radiator after warming and turning it off. there was some dried antifreeze around the sound and it immediately stopped when i popped the radiator cap. it seems high enough up that it's just leaking pressure most the time and not fluid, but adding the leak to the to-do list.

i bought a bigass jug of 85w gear oil and will be draining and refilling the transaxle and rear diff at some point

so far so fun

e: i've also been hitting bits and pieces with simple green as I go. the engine compartment is coated in oil and dust. Oh! and the worn CV boot has now completely seperated and the CV is exposed the open air. no puddles!

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Jan 24, 2021

ThirstyBuck
Nov 6, 2010


STR posted:

So jealous. The cheapest running/driving Subaru popping up locally is usually around $3k, and if you want 3 pedals that price goes up real quick.. no matter how lovely it is.

IMO itís not a true shitbox if there isnít rust. (Iím looking at you upstate NY).

OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


ThirstyBuck posted:

IMO itís not a true shitbox if there isnít rust. (Iím looking at you upstate NY).

That's fair. I'm definitely not up against the kind of uphill battle I'd be fighting if this thing came from somewhere it snows.

e: although the bits of surface rust ive been finding, i've been wire wheeling and spritzing with rustoleum. it's ugly but looks are at the absolute bottom of my priorities. in fact, i started to wire wheel what's left of the hood's blue paint and then said forget it, because even if i get rid of it all, i still have a hood with broken blue plastics and a missing hood scoop.

OMGVBFLOL fucked around with this message at 21:11 on Jan 25, 2021

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OMGVBFLOL
Dec 20, 2003


woof. im glad i took a second look at the power steering. the fluid was way lower than i initially thought, because the little screen filter that drops into the tank and sits at the rim of the entrance was so clogged it was making the dipstick read as full while the tank was half empty. i swapped it with a much cleaner one i found in the assorted parts box that came in the back seat, but not before i got my little siphon pump and emptied the tank. freakin yikes dude, more opaque brown fluids that should be translucent and colorful. So I did the closest thing to a bleed i can do without unhooking hoses. filled the tank with clean atf (the specified fluid), turned the steering wheel lock to lock a few times with the engine running, then pumped out the tank again. more dirty atf, but much closer to translucent. i quit while i was ahead and topped it off at that point. lo and behold, the power steering pump sounds much, much less tired than it did before. now it only gets noisy in the last 10-20 degrees of steering wheel turn before lock, where it was whining across its whole range before. there may be more life in that pump and steering rack than I thought.

How much should I expect to pay a shop to make sure the AC is completely drained of refrigerant before i start tinkering with the compressor and condenser?

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