Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

johnnyjoejoejr
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Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:37 am

Hi guys,

Firstly, thank you for sharing your collective wealth of knowledge with the world. Not much is free these days, if the information here was monetized somehow it would be worth a lot.

I've been lurking here for a few months with the intention of buying a Brumby as it perfectly fits the criteria of what I want and need:
- Small car, easy to park and manouver in the city
- simple older car, easy to maintain myself, cheap to insure, satisfy my craving of 80's nostalgia
- Manual, deterrent for potential theives, fun to drive

With the going prices of Brumbies at the moment I was tossing up wether to go down that path or spending the money to get my old car roadworthy again (Leyland P76). Then I stumbled upon a gumtree ad and made an emotional, on the spot, impulse purchase, a 1987 L Series Wagon for $500.

The Good:
- Straight, clean, no rust, all original
- 1 owner, old lady (now deceased RIP), mostly driven on highways, was registered at the time of sale
- $500, plenty of change left over in the budget
- Potential club rego
- Similar cargo space to a ute, room for bike, camp gear etc.

While I haven't physically seen the car yet, the Bad:
- 422,000 kms
- EA82 engine with carby
- 2wd only
- Engine revs drop and stall with clutch engaged, fingers crossed just a carby tune to fix

After doing a bit of reading on the reputation of EA82s and complications around EJ conversions, now I'm a bit spooked that I've made a dumb purchase. I want to invest my time and money into a car, but I'm now worried that I've picked the worst possible car as a starting point. My dad was a mechanic, I have some basic mechanical knowledge (oil change, replace radiator etc.) but I don't have off-street parking in the city, and dad's health isn't that great at the moment so I don't have much access to free skilled labour.

Sorry if this is more of a blog entry than a query, but I guess my questions are:
- How much more life can I expect out of an EA82 with 400k+ kms if driven and serviced well?
- Could I downgrade to an reconditioned EA81 without having to modify crossmembers, use adaptor plates etc?
- Have I f*cked up?

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Gannon
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by Gannon » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:11 pm

How much more life can I expect out of an EA82 with 400k+ kms if driven and serviced well?
While that does seem like a lot of kms, a well serviced motor still should have a reasonable amount of life in it
Could I downgrade to an reconditioned EA81 without having to modify crossmembers, use adaptor plates etc?
Yep, the EA81 will pretty much bolt right in, you will just have to adapt any differences in the wiring to the alternator, carby and distrtibutor
Have I f*cked up?
Not at all.
Carby probably just needs a rebuild and retune, or you could put a weber 32/36 (I think) on it, but it will still need tuning properly to make it run right

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L-Rex
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by L-Rex » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:19 pm

The Hitachi carbs are well known for being shite.
I do have a good spare that came off a running car, with all the solenoids working.
Come and pick it up, you are welcome to it.

I also have an EA82, with 150K on it, that was running well when I pulled it out.
Once again, come and pick it up, and it's yours.

If you really want to get some awesome happening, I have a 4WD conversion available, but that will cost you :lol:
L-Rex

1992 L-Series Wagon, which used to be EA82 auto.

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El_Freddo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by El_Freddo » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:14 pm

$500 and you really can’t go wrong with these unless riddled with rust! The 2wd bit sucks a little, but would be better on fuel overall with less rotational weight to move.

Engine issue could be a number of things.

Check for vacuum leak(s), ensure the throttle cable is reasonably tensioned up but still with some slop for correct idle.

Check for wear in the dizzy shaft.

All the best with and let us know what you find ;)

Cheers

Bennie

johnnyjoejoejr
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:53 am

Thanks for the feedback, I'm feeling a bit better about taking the plunge.

Aiming to pick it up next weekend and hope it makes the drive from Wodonga to Melbourne. If roadworthy goes well and the stalling issue is a simple fix, I'll get a mechanic to do a compression test and give it a thorough look over. Will come back with an update soon.

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El_Freddo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by El_Freddo » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:34 pm

Before you leave Wodonga grab a 10L bottle of water, some heater hose, rad hose and 5mm ID coolant hose. Check the oil, top up as necessary.

Pack flat and Phillips head screw drivers, socket and spanners in 10, 12, 14, 17 and 19mm, and a pair of pliers.

Temp gauge should sit on about half IIRC.

It could be a good idea to carry a 10L can of fuel too.

Enjoy the drive, I hope it goes well for you. Not having cruise control on the Hume is going to suck though :/

Cheers

Bennie

johnnyjoejoejr
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:11 pm

Quick update: I've finally sat in the Subaru I bought on Gumtree and survived the drive between Wodonga and Melbourne. Got a bit of work to do to get it roadworthy and reliable, but it doesn't seem like it will be too difficult, yet...

The Good:
- No Rust, panels are mostly straight and paint is in pretty good nick for its age
- Engine doesn't blow smoke or leak oil, Oil looks due for a change but not black or milky (if the service sticker is true it was last changed in 2010!)
- Lights, heater, air con and instrument cluster all work.
- Expected decent fuel economy on the freeway but still surprised (1/3 tank/300km, approx 6.7L/100km)

The Bad:
- Carby needs some work, tried a squirt of carby cleaner but still won't idle
- Rear wheel bearings feel a bit sloppy
- Bit of travel in brake pedal, not very responsive
- Radiator needs a flush and coolant
- Finding second gear is sometimes a struggle
- Seems to handle poorly on the freeway, bounces around a lot and wants to point off the road after hitting a bump or a cross wind. Tyres can probably use a bit more air but could also need new shocks, bushes or wheel bearings.
- Factory radio doesn't work well
- suspect I've got a leaking exhaust

Its booked in for a service and RWC on Monday, will update with progress

Image

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Subyroo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by Subyroo » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:54 am

- Expected decent fuel economy on the freeway but still surprised (1/3 tank/300km, approx 6.7L/100km)
That equates 900km's out of a full tank, for a 31 yr old car that needs some TLC I'd be over the moon myself.
That also equates to 42.1613 Imp MPG. :shock: :shock:

johnnyjoejoejr
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:45 pm

Will have a more accurate idea of mileage once I fill up again, I suspect the fuel gauge is a bit of a guessing game

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El_Freddo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by El_Freddo » Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:28 pm

The L series fuel gauge is certainly not accurate by any means!! It’s just an indicator and not much more than that. Having said that, my gauge when on half seems to be about right.

With the handling you’ll find your rear shocks are dead. If it does a “crabbing” type sensation when you hit a bump around a corner that’s a dead give away that the rear shocks are completely cactus!

Rust: check around the windscreen carefully, these are notorious for windscreen rust. Expect to find some if you have to have the windscreen replaced. Treat it before the new screen goes in otherwise you’re setting your L up for certain death by excessive nasty rust!

Rear wheel bearings will usually whine before they get sloppy - they’re not a normal bearing replacement job either. The “special” retainer nut is the biggest PITA on this job!

Brakes - rear shoes will probably not be automatically adjusting any more or are very well worn down. Old flexible hoses are also an issue. Get some new braided lines, RWC spec units are available or a any decent brake shop can make up and fit the set. That’ll give you some good brake pedal feel once again. L brakes aren’t the greatest to begin with - keep that in mind ;)

The EA82 is guaranteed to have oil leaks. This will probably be your main issue for RWC I reckon. Give the under side of the engine a good degrease, scrub, degrees then high pressure wash while avoiding the sealing areas with close high pressure nozzle contact - you don’t want to further damage any seals before the RWC!

I’ll leave it there and see what comes back on the report... best of luck with it!

Cheers

Bennie

johnnyjoejoejr
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:43 pm

Checked in onto the progress on the RWC this arvo, few surprises jumped out at me but should be easy enough to resolve. Didn't get a written report but off the top of my head:

- Adjust rear wheel bearings
- Rear shock absorbers are cactus
- Exhaust leak near the engine
- Rusted out muffler
- Brake and clutch pedal rubber (seemed ok to me)
- Hand Brake adjustment
- Oil leak (somewhere behind timing case)
- Frayed seatbelt (very minor, seems a bit nitpicky)
- Lenses (replacements coming in the post)
- Power steering leak
- Tailgate struts regas
- 1 x tyre (hoping I can swap with spare)

Still won't idle, mechanics diagnosis is the carby has an air leak and needs a rebuild. I told him I was slightly relieved as it was an excuse to put a weber on it. He recons the weber would not pass roadworthy because of the emissions gear, will just have to wait until after its registered, hehe...

Overall the mechanic thinks its in pretty good shape for its age, it doesn't blow smoke and there's no knocks or rattles. He forgot to do the pressure test but will do that later this week. Got my fingers crossed I can get the work done and RWC for $1000, will find out in the next couple of days :/

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El_Freddo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by El_Freddo » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:19 am

Just a short list! And very short in the oil leaks department!

Oil leak behind the cam cover could be cam seals, crank seal or oil pump seals (always do the shaft seal too).

Air leak in the carb could be from wear in the throttle shaft. If there’s lateral movement in the shaft it’s worn and will always suck air. New carb or it could be torn down and a machine shop fits some bushes at the wear points (if that’s even possible).

Only adjustment in the rear bearings is via the castlated nut. If this can’t be tightened any further then it’s bearing replacement time, which could still be needed anyway after tightening.

If the seatbelt fray is just a few hairs, use a cigarette lighter to gently melt them off. If it’s a major fray then you’ll need a new seatbelt ;)

Cheers

Bennie

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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:41 pm

Got the results of the compression test, and I might be in strife. The two back cylinders are fine, they have 140psi. The cylinders at the front have 90 and 20psi. Getting the valve clearances checked but got fingers crossed its nothing too serious :|

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El_Freddo
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by El_Freddo » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:35 pm

Hmmm... 80psi isn’t “too good” and 20psi isn’t very flash either...

You sure the test was done properly?

I doubt you’ll find any adjustment in the valves due to hydraulic lash adjusters.

Best thing it could be is weak valve springs or a burnt out valve. I’d be hoping for weak valve springs! But it’d probably still need a valve lapping to remove any crud that’s built up in the non sealing areas of the valve seat.

Side note, I’ve not known the compression to be a RWC issue if it’s running fine... edit: re-read the idling issue. That’s definitely a RWC issue :(

Cheers

Bennie

johnnyjoejoejr
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Re: Buyers remorse, need inspiration!

Post by johnnyjoejoejr » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:46 pm

I'm a little sceptical if his results to be honest, I would have thought the cylinder would not fire at all at 20psi and would have an occasional miss at 90. I'm hardly a mechanic but when I had a v8 I could pick a missing cylinder so spotting a miss on a 4 cylinder engine should be easy. I couldn't get it to ping or bog down under load, the only thing I can think of that would be of concern is down shifting into intersections didn't seem to slow it down very much.

Was hoping to put if off for a few years but I might have to start hunting around for an EJ sooner than I thought ...

**UDATE** Going to catch up with the Mechanic tonight but he has given the engine the last rites :cry:. Boy do I feel stupid right now.

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