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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 12:29 am 
Hi everyone, I am new to this group and need some help with my subie.
I just purchased my first Subaru ever last week. It's a 1992 Legacy
2wd wagon with
auto trans. and power everything. I'm a long-time Ford Fiesta owner
(which is the
simplest car known to man), so this subie is quite different for me.
I've heavily
modified my Fiesta, so I understand low-tech engines pretty well,
however, this engine is
a whole new thing for me.

Last week, as my POS daily driver, a 1988 Plymouth Colt, finally died
on the highway, I finally decided not to fix it and get a new (used)
car instead. I
looked all day at a dozen used car lots and was at last directed to
this "dude" that fixes
up cars and sells em cheap. He had an old $500. Camry wagon that I
was considering,
when his partner pulled up in the Legacy. One thing led to another
and the Legacy was
mine for $1200. plus my Colt (good riddance!). The Legacy, which had
a minor front end
accident when he aquired it, now has two new unpainted front fenders,
a used hood, and a
used front bumper cover, but the car runs and drives perfectly. It
only has 96,000
miles, which I'm told is next to nothing for this engine. I feel like
I'm in the lap of
luxury with this car. I think I'm in love.

This weekend, I did all the standard stuff; oil change, filters,
belts, slick 50 in the
tank, pcv, fuel filter, wiper blades, Rain X, and cleaned the car
totally in and out.

So now I have a few stupid questions that I hope someone can help me
with. I don't have an owner's manual yet, so I'm kinda scewed until
my Chiltons arrives
from eBay.

Here goes;

1. What does the "Manual" switch do on the shift lever? It seems to
do nothing at all
to the transmission no matter when I push it. However, when pushed, a
little idiot light
lights up orange on the bottom of the instrument cluster that shows
"Manual". This
light is next to a green "Power" idiot light which only lights
upbriefly when I turn the
key to ACC. as I'm starting the engine.

2. Is there a parking brake idiot light? If there is supposed to be
one, mine does not
light when the parking brake is engaged. Once again, there is an
idiot light in the cluster
that says "Brake", but I don't know if that's just for low fluid in
the Mstr cyl. or my
parking brake light switch is not functioning.

3. On the steering column, there is a switch to turn on the parking
lights. Why? Can't
the headlamp stalk switch be used to do this? I have left the car
twice forgetting to
turn them off, and I'm afraid it will kill the battery. Are they on a
timer when I use
this switch??

4. When the car is driven over irregular bumps at slower speeds, the
passenger side
seems to bang a little from underneath, like the shock is loose. The
"dude" I bought it
from told me it had new front wheel bearings, front rotors, front
axles, but did not
mention struts. The car drives straight, stops straight, accelerates
straight, and goes
over road-width bumps (when both front tires hit at the same time)
without banging. Can
anyone give me some insight to this problem?

Okay, all for now. I hope someone can help me on this.

Dean


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 7:29 am 
Here goes…


1. What does the "Manual" switch do on the shift lever? It seems to
do nothing at all
to the transmission no matter when I push it. However, when pushed, a
little idiot light
lights up orange on the bottom of the instrument cluster that shows
"Manual". This
light is next to a green "Power" idiot light which only lights
upbriefly when I turn the
key to ACC. as I'm starting the engine.

A. The “Manual” button has the transmission start out in 2nd gear if the shift lever is in D3 or D2. It is used for slippery conditions.


2. Is there a parking brake idiot light? If there is supposed to be
one, mine does not
light when the parking brake is engaged. Once again, there is an
idiot light in the cluster
that says "Brake", but I don't know if that's just for low fluid in
the Mstr cyl. or my
parking brake light switch is not functioning.

A. same lamp. Best guess is the switch on the brake lever is dirty, keeping the lamp from coming on.


3. On the steering column, there is a switch to turn on the parking
lights. Why? Can't
the headlamp stalk switch be used to do this? I have left the car
twice forgetting to
turn them off, and I'm afraid it will kill the battery. Are they on a
timer when I use
this switch??

A. That switch is to override the normal key off/lamps off function. Not used under normal conditions.


4. When the car is driven over irregular bumps at slower speeds, the
passenger side
seems to bang a little from underneath, like the shock is loose. The
"dude" I bought it
from told me it had new front wheel bearings, front rotors, front
axles, but did not
mention struts. The car drives straight, stops straight, accelerates
straight, and goes
over road-width bumps (when both front tires hit at the same time)
without banging. Can
anyone give me some insight to this problem?

A. sounds like a strut or bushing. Possibly a sway bar bushing.


Todd Erickson
Total Performance Center, Inc.
"Todd the tuner. Can he tune it? Yes he can!!!"
Servicing the Minneapolis MN area.



Okay, all for now. I hope someone can help me on this.

Dean


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:29 am 
So now I have a few stupid questions that I hope someone can help me
with. I don't have an owner's manual yet, so I'm kinda scewed until
my Chiltons arrives
from eBay.

You can check out my manual for my 90 legacy that I've scanned. It should be similar
http://www.main.experiencetherave.com:8 ... Manual.pdf

Right click and save as, it's about 16 mb.



Here goes;

1. What does the "Manual" switch do on the shift lever? It seems to
do nothing at all
to the transmission no matter when I push it. However, when pushed, a
little idiot light
lights up orange on the bottom of the instrument cluster that shows
"Manual". This
light is next to a green "Power" idiot light which only lights
upbriefly when I turn the
key to ACC. as I'm starting the engine.

Todd, pretty much answered this one about the manual button. Only other thing it does is cause 50/50 torque split. The button only has an effect on things when the gear selector is in 3 or 2.

Just for posterities sake, the Power light pretty much is an indication when you've floored it, and the computer gets slightly more agressive shift maps. Also, it serves as a diagnostic indicator for the transmission.


2. Is there a parking brake idiot light? If there is supposed to be
one, mine does not
light when the parking brake is engaged. Once again, there is an
idiot light in the cluster
that says "Brake", but I don't know if that's just for low fluid in
the Mstr cyl. or my
parking brake light switch is not functioning.

The "Brake" light is the same for the parking brake and low MC brake fluid level. Check the switch for the parking brake. Also, you may want to try unpluging the connector on the MC to see if it illuminates the light. Just to rule out that the bulb works.

3. On the steering column, there is a switch to turn on the parking
lights. Why? Can't
the headlamp stalk switch be used to do this? I have left the car
twice forgetting to
turn them off, and I'm afraid it will kill the battery. Are they on a
timer when I use
this switch??

You can use the switch on the stalk to turn on the parking lights. As Todd said, the one on top of the steering column allows you to turn on the parking lights without the ignition on.

4. When the car is driven over irregular bumps at slower speeds, the
passenger side
seems to bang a little from underneath, like the shock is loose. The
"dude" I bought it
from told me it had new front wheel bearings, front rotors, front
axles, but did not
mention struts. The car drives straight, stops straight, accelerates
straight, and goes
over road-width bumps (when both front tires hit at the same time)
without banging. Can
anyone give me some insight to this problem?

Okay, all for now. I hope someone can help me on this.

Dean

You may want to paruse my site www.surrealmirage.com/subaru as well as the new bbs www.bbs.legacycentral.org

Josh


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 10:19 pm 
Josh, thanks to you and Todd for the great info. It's very helpful.

Dean


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:49 pm 
Hey Josh,
I'm wondering... since you seem to be the Subie-mega god, and since I'm brand new to all this Legacy stuff, would you mind helping me get up to speed, when or if you get a chance?

I'm just sittin' here looking on all these Legacy sites and I feel like a schmuck. I need to know stuff like what all the acronyms and lingo are... ie. BC /BF, what generation is my normally aspirated 92 Legacy wagon? Are the older Legacys considered better than the new ones? Is there cheap and simple mods I could do for increased power and handling? What stuff usually breaks on my car? Is there a list of vendors for parts? Should I use NKG's instead of the Denso plugs?.... etc. All I know is Ford Fiestas, so all this high-tech, acronym slingin' verbage has got me totally confused.

I'll be AOK once I'm edjakatid. If you need any Ford Fiesta info.... YA! (actually the Fiesta is very cool, too)

Dean
(92 Legacy 2wd Wagon, auto, 95,000mi)


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:49 am 
The glorified Vdub gets them all.


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 8:49 am 
I'll try and relay the info I know. It'd be best if you got questions, just list them out, and then someone else in the group or myself can answer them.

To answer what you posted this time around.

The BC/BF terms are chassis codes. You hear more about chassis codes over japan then the states, unless you're into a particular car like most of us are.

The BC is the sedan chassis
The BF is the wagon chassis.

These chassis codes are applicable for the 1990-1994 US spec legacies. Overseas the codes would be for the 1989-1993 Legacies or in Austrailia, it's called the Liberty.

Your 92 Legacy is for the most part a first gen legacy. However, there was a styling and several other updates in 92, so among the first gen legacy people, the 90-91 is referred to as the first gen, and the 92-94 is referred to as the gen-and-half or 1 1/2......whatever you want to call it. But like I said, for the most part, and for everyone else's concern, you have a first gen legacy.

IMO.....the older legacies are more reliable then some of the newer subarus. The EJ22 motor was one of subaru's most bullet proof motors. It doesn't really have issues like some of the newer EJ25 motors that have head gasket problems. Sure the early legacies have their little quirks, but for the most part, I like them better. Plus if you take care of them, they will go and go, and go......

As for mods......speed costs.......how fast do you want to go? Start with a budget......how much do you want to spend on a particular part of your car. ie. I want to spend A on suspension, B on Performance, C on Looks......etc.

To give you an idea. I really don't have much engine mods on mine. I have standard NGK copper plugs $4-6, Magnecor 8.5mm wires $60-70, Unorthodox underdrive pulley $220, K&N drop in filter $20, snorkel in the fender removed, free!!, Upgraded ignition system which includes MSD Dis2 $325, & upgraded subie coil pack $50, and Optima yellow top battery $220. (oh yeah, and soon to be MRT axle back muffler $130.....it's for an impreza but is being modified to fit my car)

I may be forgetting something, but for n/a (normally aspirated) cars.....you won't see the power gains, turbo guys will for the same dollar spent.

Handling is a different story, because both turbo & sedan are on a similar playing field.

I'll tell you what I've got and give you some more ideas.

I've got KYB GR2 struts (~$70 a strut), Whiteline control lowering springs ($220, lowered 1.5" in front, 1" rear), sti hardened top mounts $45 a piece, FHI (Fuji Heavy Industries (subaru's parent company) 18mm rear sway bar....(fancy way of saying I stole an 18mm sway bar off a turbo legacy) $75-100....been too long don't remember price, whiteline front anti-sway bar endlinks, $30-40, 16"x7" wheels with 205/45 r16 tires.....will probably be going to 215/45 r16 rubber when the current tires burn off.....not sure....

For your car, you can get KYB AGX's. They are basically similar to the GR2's, but are adjustable to fine tune and tweak suspension. They are little more expensive though. I like the whiteline springs, they are a relatively good performer for the cost. You probably already have an 18mm rear anti-sway bar, so I'd probably recommend a whiteline adjustable 18-22mm one, with the heavy duty mounts.

Also since your's is a wagon, a rear strut bar would help more to stiffen things up. Do that and some wheels and tires, and you'll be surprised how well the car does.

The only other mods on my car I haven't mentioned is brakes. I've run quite a few different brake setups, and the current one is the best braking performance for the buck. I've got a set of WRX front calipers & rotors, and a set of turbo legacy vented rotors & calipers. The rotors are slotted and cryo-treated. I'm running mintex 1155 pads front and rear, and stainless steel braided brake lines. Current brake fluid is ATE super gold.

In my swap of brakes and such, I added too much front brake bias, and I also increased the volume demands of the system. So I'm in the process of trying to find a 1 1/16" bore master cylinder from a non-abs 93ish year legacy wagon. I also want to swipe the proportioning valve too. When I'm done, I will have essentually redesigned the entire braking system.

As for vendors.......I sorta hunt peck around. Check out my website www.surrealmirage.com/subaru I've got some vendors in there. Even if some of them don't list the first gen legacy, they can usually get the parts, or they are interchangeable.

Stuff that breaks.......hmmm....there's a little clip behind the door locks that breaks and causes doors to lock when you open the handle.....hmm....I don't really know......I haven't had many problems with mine......I could look through my maintenance records when I get home, but see what anyone else has to say.

NGK or Denso should be fine.....they're really close to being the same plug. I run NGK because I can find them easily.

I'd also recommend you checking out the legacy central bbs www.bbs.legacycentral.org . That board was started because some people got tired of the interface yahoo has. Most of the people have moved over to the new board, there are some that still hang around here.

Josh


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 10:49 pm 
Josh, thanks for taking the time to teach me bout this stuff, really! (insert a virtual hand shake here). I'll check out your web site and www.legacycentral.

I guess, for now, I just want to keep my car as reliable as possible til the weather gets warmer and I can get some time under the hood.

In the warmer future, I will work towards some modest engine performance and handling gains. For now; I just picked up new exact-fit Bosch ignition wires and Desno plugs. This weekend, I'll shine all the electrical connections, install the plugs and wires, (using dielectric in the boots and any other connections I can find) and fish the plugs into the head with some rubber tubing. Then, as per my normal luck, something will probably blow up, strip, break, or fall into the engine. : )

I'll look into the KYB AGXs you mentioned, as the car will need new struts soon.

Thanks again,
Dean
(92 Legacy 2wd wagon, two 4200lb thrust RR jet engines, afterburner, pull start, Phish bumper sticker)


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 Post subject: New Member with questions
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:19 am 
You're welcome on the info.....and good luck with the electrical stuff this weekend :)

Josh


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