1984 Subaru



November, 20, 2008 AT 7:58 PM

Transmission problem
1984 Other Subaru Models 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Manual

Howdy. So heres the deal:
I wasn't being very smart and decided to drive my '84 " around town car" out way to far to go fishing. At about mile 55 and several steep up and downs through a canyon later I notice more smoke than the regular exhaust behind me. The engine was running fine so I pulled over checked the oil and fluids (were good) turned engine off to let cool for a bit. Starting back up she wouldn't pick up hardly at all and I couldn't get up to a speed greater than 45mph in any gear, so I pulled over again, turned off and let sit again. After starting the engine up again and putting in 1st she wouldn't move, just a very slight pull forward then settled in place. It was the same in reverse, very slight pull without moving the car and stop in place. So we towed it back to our house, I decided it was the clutch (I could be wrong) with some help from my friends and my own experience. After sitting almost a month in the garage (starting the engine a few times to keep it fresh) while I procrastinated replacing the clutch I went out to start the engine and thought maybe I'll just see what it does now when I put'er in gear. To my shock the transmission engaged and I was able to drive around the block. But I couldn't get over 15 mph this time in any gear. The engine still runs very solid and is well taken care of. I still think it is the clutch that has been giving me these troubles, but I thought it was really strange how she started driving again after sitting. I wanted to get some advice before I did replace the clutch in case there may be something else happening. Thanks in advance! Please let me know if there is any other info that would help or questions I can answer for you.


3 Answers



November, 20, 2008 AT 11:19 PM

Hello -

Howdy to you. Sorry the fishing trip was cut short.

Okay, let's start by getting a little more specific about the 1984 Subaru. There are numerous models, so. Would you give the exact model and engine size in liter and the 8th digit of the VIN. Also how many miles are on this baby.

Next, if it is drivable, please go to Auto Zone or O'Reilly's and for FREE they can pull the codes to the car. Most important: Once they check your codes, if they find something and you don't get it fixed and need to get back with us, please make sure you tell us exactly what the code was, number and all. Example, if the code was E0568 O2 Sensor bad. Then make sure you give us all of that. While there for FREE also they can bring their tester out and check your battery, alternator and starter. Now if it will just not do it, many times you can check the code reader out on the loan a tool program and pull the codes yourself. Then once this thing can fly, then I would sill swing in and get the battery etc checked.

Okay, a little more info. The smoke out the tail. Can you give me a color blue, white, black, grey.

You may have a blocked exhaust. Bad muffler, converter and it causes back pressure.



November, 21, 2008 AT 2:55 PM

Model is GL Wagon, 1.8 L, sorry I don't have the vin readily available right now, I can get back to you if you need it. I don't really remember exactly what color the smoke was, I would have to say a gray/white color, I don't recall any heavy dark smoke.

The battery is new. And the engine starts/runs fine.

I was told there wasn't a computer on this car, where can I find the interface to plug the tester in if there is a computer?

You don't think it has anything to do with the transmission/clutch?

Would the back pressure cause the car not to go when I got stuck and top out at a fixed speed when it was going?



November, 22, 2008 AT 2:01 AM

Hello -

Okay, I have reread all of this several times and I think I got a little sideways on this one as the "smoke' at the very start threw me off. I am sorry about that. Maybe there are a couple of things going on. We'll see.

I guess we need to figure out if the "gray/white color" smoke was coming out of your tail pipe exhaust or from under the car. Your clutch.

As you keep saying, the engine is running just fine. No missing, rough running, nice and smooth. So how about firing that baby up and looking at the exhaust to make sure no white smoke.

If this is okay, then let's do a clutch test. You need to bring your car on a level road where it will not move even when you have your handbrake down. Now make sure you have your handbrake ON and switch on your engine. Change to the fourth gear (or fifth if you have) and start releasing the clutch while giving the car more gas ie depressing the gas pedal. If your car engine does not stall or your car moves, your clutch needs replacing. Vehicle not picking speed as it would normally do when gas pedal is depressed is the sign of a bad/worn clutch.

Let me know how that test goes. And sorry for getting a little sideways there.

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