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Old 11-08-2004, 02:00 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Question 1981 Subaru problems! Confused!

I have my beloved 1981 Subaru that I bought for $5, yes $5 that had 209,000 miles and a new everything except for some suspension pieces. After those were replaced, it failed DEQ/Smog/inspection due to a overflowing carburator. That was professionally rebuilt.
It now has major issues, they have been getting worse, and I believe some of the exsisted before the carb rebuilt.
At around 2500 RPM, there is major accelatation hesitation, and I give it more gas to make it keep going.
In cold mornings, the car seems to flood itself, as I have to pulse the gas to keep it alive. And large amounts of gray smoke that doesnt smell like oil comes out.
The Idle is searching for a home. Sometimes it doesnt idle, sometimes its around 2000 rpm.
When traveling around right hand turns, the car will die when not in gear.
The distributor is around 30,000 miles old, and one shop said both the carb, distributor needed to be replaced.
Temperature seems to be an issue, as the car will get warm (even on cold days) but the fan keeps the car at good temperature.
Exhaust smells like maybe coolant...no water in the oil etc.
This problem blew a major hole in the muffler.

Anyone have Ideas? I dont want to see this car go!
Maybe EGR value, thermostat, choke settings, or wireing to the choke?
Other electrical errors, the car does have a small history of blown fuses.

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Old 11-08-2004, 02:31 PM   #2
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Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Portland Oregon
2005 Baja Sport
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my 87 GL used to have a blown head gasket. THe coolant oil would not mix, but it would overheat if you didnt watch it. So there is a possibility your head gasket it blown
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:16 PM   #3
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Can't help you much but it does sound like your carb needs to be adjusted/rejetted. But the biggie is what you said about large amounts of grey smoke that does not smell like oil. That may very well be coolant getting into your combustion chamber via blown headgasket or cracked head. See if your coolant level is constantly going down. On the flip side when you first turn on your motor with the coolant filled to the top does it overflow? If it does that's chamber pressure going into the coolant. Carbs are funny animals wish I could help more than giving you bad news.
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:21 AM   #4
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Default Old News?

I am new on this forum and this is my first post, but I have had Subarus most of my life and in cold climates sometimes if you took off the air filter and stuck a pencil in the throat of the carb jacking open the choke(?) until the engine warmed up you would getter better performance while cold. If you do that you may find that as the weather got colder someone adjusted the idle screw higher and higher to compensate for the difficulty while cold. Now it appears to vary between barely going while cold and a high idle when warmed up. No idea on the smoke unless it is a blown head gasket (white smoke) or unburned fuel if more towards black. The latter may go away with the pencil fix.
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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Old 03-07-2007, 02:11 AM   #6
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1986 4x4 gl
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one thing you might want to check is the ign. the 1981 had a external regulated coil witch if it is going that would have a efect on your acceleration. check that out it sits pigie back on your coil.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:36 PM   #7
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Warning - this is an absolutely useless post. I have a Subaru question, am completely new to NASIOC, and apparently have to reply to three existing threads before I can ask a question in a new thread.

This thread does sound like a more serious problem than just a misadjusted carburetor, though. And just adjusting the carb to factory specs while other things are also wrong is not necessarily an improvement on someone having tweaked a funky engine into barely functioning. Good luck finding all the problems.
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:23 PM   #8
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It does sound like you have several problems. I have heard that older subarus are prone to getting cracks in the head, which may be why you're blowing smoke. Also could be the thermostat.
But it dying while going around a turn in neutral? thats just wierd.
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