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Old 03-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #1
madkaw
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Default High mileage dilemma

I have a 96 2.2l mpreza with 181,000 miles. This car is in really decent shape-no rust and well taken care of. The car is nothing special, it doesn't even have power windows or cruise----kind of plane jane.
Things are starting to go bad on the car and I'm not sure if I want to invest the time and money with the high mileage. The engine started to spring oil leaks and from searching on this site(great site by the way), I'm going to have to pull the motor to fix some of the leaks. I also get a pretty loud tapping from the motor, but it seems intermittent as far as how loud and frequent it is. I am thinking it is a lifter, but not sure if that is common on these engines. Also the CV's are needing replaced as well as the rack boot torn and also a raw fuel smell-especially on cold start ups.

So at 180,000 miles am I looking at redoing the heads, and what cost is there. Should i do a compresssion test on motor to see if I am beating a dead horse or not? The engine seems strong, but my MPG as dropped a bit. Any other expensive fixes in my future with this car?

I did have the trans serviced when I first got the car when it had 175,000 miles on it, and the trans shop said the pan was clean. The car shifts great(automatic)

I will be using the car for a long commute here in the near future-55 miles each way.

Also, i tried ordering a FSM CD off the internet for my 10/95 ImpreZa, and it didn't cover the 2.2 motor. Can anyone direct me to a vendor for the proper FSM for this car?

I appreciate any input. As far as my mechanical ability, I think I can handle most of the work myself, but trying to justify my efforts.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
BDZ
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You didn't list your financial situation or free time available.
If money is tight, you can probably "limp" it along with relatively little investment and drive it till something major fails at which point you throw it away and get anther car.

If this is a "hobby" project assuming little to no rust then fix it, learn, and have fun realizing you'll never get your finacial investment back by selling the car.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:06 AM   #3
madkaw
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I have a hobby car already(1971 240z), and anymore that's all I want to work on. I guess as I am getting older I am not as motivated to work on my daily driver. Financailly, I don't want to buy a new car just yet, but I don't want to throw money at a money pit. I am aware of Subaru's toughness, I own three including this one, but haven't done much mechanical on them. As far as this particular year and model and engine, i'm not sure if the time and money investmeny is worth it.

Still would like a referal on a FSM for this particular car.

Thanks
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:57 AM   #4
wizzle-stick
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i ran into a similar predicament on my 00 2.5rs

i spent 1k on parts and intend to do a full rebuild because 1k is cheaper than a new engine or car.

something you may consider is to do a jdm swap as the 2.2 is fairly common from what i have seen. all you need to swap is the intake and engine.

those engines can be found for 800ish for a low mileage.

all depends on how much you are willing to dump in it
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
nasiocjunkie
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put a new motor if you're thinking of keeping it for a while.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
Eyedoc Orlando
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From the tone of your post I think you're better of steering away from the car. I would sell it while it runs to someone with full disclosure of the work it needs. It's probably ready to be retired and you can pick up a new to you used car with much lower miles.

I plan to do the same with my beloved 2007 which now has 80K on it. Once I get to the point it's too much hassle and finance to fix I will just swap for a newer DD. I think in the long run you'll be happier, but you can probably limp it along for another 20,000 until you can find another car.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:58 PM   #7
BDZ
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We bought our 2006 2.5i new, wife put first 110kmiles on it.
I replaced timing belt, water pump, and the worn out struts with D-specs/RCE blacks and am putting the next 140k on it.

Now at 125k it needs head gaskets. I like working on my daily driver.

I got my FSM from ebay. Paid for and tried using Subaru's service online and tore my hair out waiting for downloads.
$10 for an ebay DVD and I have the full FSM and am very happy with it.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:02 PM   #8
BDZ
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No offense to anyone but a 1996 with 181k and the issues you describe is in my opinion becoming marginally reliable and a potential money pit especially given you don't want to work on a DD.

Run it till it dies or until you find a great deal on its replacement.

Best of luck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:36 AM   #9
madkaw
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess my tone is somewhat directly related to my age and ambition anymore. I guess i was disappointed to find out that the oil leak was going to be that much work to fix.
I was hoping to keep this car going for my son(he's 14), but maybe I need to move on. The other big ticket item I see is the exhaust. I don't see any cheap way around this, and it seems the options are less with the 2.2, or maybe I need to search more.
I also just put new tires on the car and I feel the need to fix the car to get my moneies worth out of the tires.

I did the ebay FSM DVD, but like I said, the FSM for my year car didn't cover the 2.2, is 96 a transition year from the 2.0 to the 2.2?
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:22 PM   #10
Bluefoton
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Estimate a rough cumulative $ of repairs, and see what used car you can buy for the same amount of money. Maybe a well preserved bugeye would be a good option for you?
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:26 PM   #11
madkaw
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Can someone PLEASE tell me where to get an accurate FSM for this year and the 2.2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:23 PM   #12
wizzle-stick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madkaw View Post
Can someone PLEASE tell me where to get an accurate FSM for this year and the 2.2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


GOOOGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
Matt Monson
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madkaw,
We never got a 2.0l NA engine in the states. Just get a Haynes manual. It's more than adequate for that particular vehicle. I used mine 95% of the time and only go back to the FSM for very few things.

Does the engine have a rear main seal leak? If not all other oil leaks can be done in car. Most leaks on an Ej22 won't kill the engine and if it's really about limping along until you can buy something else, you can do some of them and leave others. The ones that are really a hassle are front cam seal leaks because they require doing the timing belt.

The ticking is the HLAs under the lifters. It usually happens when oil level gets low or the oil gets worn out and thin. Change your oil and make sure you keep it full and you'll likely only see if on cold mornings. Again, it's not really going to hurt anything if you neglect it.

The CVs aren't a major job. Figure about 2 hours a side. You need a large socket (32 or 30mm IIRC) to get the axle nut off and then you need a drift to knock the pin out. It helps if you disconnect the strut from the hub, which takes about 15 minutes. Just be sure to mark location for the alignment.

I am also becoming like you. I'd rather work on my old 914 project than my daily driver. But sometimes you just suck it up and do the service because on these sorts of things if you've got the tools and the skills, why on earth pay some service lackey at the dealership $80/hr to do this stuff?
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:23 PM   #14
Storm
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Quoting this for good solid common sense advice.

Jay
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
madkaw,
We never got a 2.0l NA engine in the states. Just get a Haynes manual. It's more than adequate for that particular vehicle. I used mine 95% of the time and only go back to the FSM for very few things.

Does the engine have a rear main seal leak? If not all other oil leaks can be done in car. Most leaks on an Ej22 won't kill the engine and if it's really about limping along until you can buy something else, you can do some of them and leave others. The ones that are really a hassle are front cam seal leaks because they require doing the timing belt.

The ticking is the HLAs under the lifters. It usually happens when oil level gets low or the oil gets worn out and thin. Change your oil and make sure you keep it full and you'll likely only see if on cold mornings. Again, it's not really going to hurt anything if you neglect it.

The CVs aren't a major job. Figure about 2 hours a side. You need a large socket (32 or 30mm IIRC) to get the axle nut off and then you need a drift to knock the pin out. It helps if you disconnect the strut from the hub, which takes about 15 minutes. Just be sure to mark location for the alignment.

I am also becoming like you. I'd rather work on my old 914 project than my daily driver. But sometimes you just suck it up and do the service because on these sorts of things if you've got the tools and the skills, why on earth pay some service lackey at the dealership $80/hr to do this stuff?
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:39 AM   #15
madkaw
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Thanks Matt,

i've decide to suck it up and preserve the car. I bought a new compression tester and the cylinders were pretty strong; 155+ thru 165.
After researching some more I think my ticking noise is just a failing HLA , which I bought at autozone for 13$. I plan on doing the valve covers seals and hope to narrow down the culprit and change it out. It must be a HLA because it is random.
The CV's are 100$ shipped to my door. One PS hose for 20$ and hopefully all my leaks except for the rear will be stopped! I also ordered a timing belt kit w/water pump and I guess I will do the cam seals at that time.

Then lastly i will have to find a hoist to fix the oil leak on the rear main.

I guess I will just keep an eye out for exhausts in the junk yards to have as a spare. I mostly concerned about the manifold pipe, since I can find anyone making it for the single port head.

In the end, I hope to get another 100K out of the car without much more upkeep---beats a new car payment and allows for more money for the 240Z.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:14 PM   #16
madkaw
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Well I dove in head first today with a fist full of parts. I probably spent the better part of the day doing the timing belt and PS hose. The belt wasn't too bad once i realized that I wasn't going to get the new belt on correctly until I removed the new idler pulleys first. I bought a kit that included the water pump. I hated to change out a perfectly good water pump(looked like a quality subby part), but the replacement was made in Japan. The impeller was a stamped steel one compared to the original cast type, but I hope it will do the trick. The kit also included all new pulleys, but no tensioner.
Now that i have done this once, I think I could knock it out in a couple of hours--it's not too bad. I didn't get a hold of a hoist so the rear main will have to wait. It will give me time to research it more and gather the right parts, like the metal separator plate. What was interesting was that I found a video on you tube that walked thru the whole procedure of pulling a motor just like mine, with the auto trans. The fear of doing that job is almost gone now.
Tomorrow will be CV axles, better get on you tube--
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #17
madkaw
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Well i figured I would finish my thread, I did get all the work done. The CV's turned out to be a bigger job then I thought. The pinch bolts were frozen up bad. I broke a socket trying to break them loose. I actually wound up removing the inner control arm bolts on the drivers side in fear of breaking the pinch bolt. That was a bitch, since those bolts are 6" long (it semmed) and they fought me hard. The passenger side pinch bolt finally came out after much PB blaster and finesse. It was much easier job with the ball joint seperated.

Then-my daughter calls and says that her WRX overheated

The lower radiator hose came loose because some dickhead didn't know what he was doing(prior owner I guess) and didn't push it all the way over the bung. It had a non-Subaru clamp on it, so I know it was tampered with. Now I'm looking at 2100$ fix on a car with 25k miles.

Someone else is doing this work-I don't have the time to mess with it-Damn cars.
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #18
HeyChris
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Good to read you got things flowing on your maintenance check list. I always hated doing the CV boots on my car. After replacing a 2nd one, I decided to take the stance of replacing the whole shaft to make the ordeal faster and less painfull.

Was the socket you broke a non Craftsman/Husky? Hate it when that happens....

How much oil loss are you experiencing with the leak? A quart a week/month/gas tank?
(Recommend same info as MM posted.)

Hopefully your daughter wasn't too far from home, and the final bill won't be as high as your estimating...


C.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:24 PM   #19
madkaw
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I also forgot to mention that my valve ticking has gone away for now! There was a HLA that was not pumped up all the way, so I cleaned it and repumped it with oil and for now, it is working well. I also made sure my oil level was topped off--as advised.

The oil leak is not a lot, but annoying just the same since it is near the Y pipe. My commute is so short to work that I haven't noticed the level going down much. When i move and start driving 50 miles one way, I will probably notice it much more. It will have to get pretty bad for me to want to pull the engine to fix it. It might be time to trade-off then.

My daughter wasn't close to home, but she did shut it down immediately when the oil light came on. She is pretty good about watching the guages and swears the temp guage was in the middle when the oil light came on. This is not her first turbo car, her last car was a Datsun 280zxt, and she was good about telling about any strange noises or if the guages didn't look right.
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