Friday, April 01, 2005

subaru - garage resident now.

the beloved subaru has blown some sort of gasket, or hose, or something and leaked all its antifreeze out. now when i try to turn it over (aka start it) it makes a very odd sound and it bothers me. i only tried this for about 3 seconds before i decided to take appart the engine before i tried THAT again.

alodia smelled what we thought was ciggerette smoke when we were driving today.
we got home and i popped the hood and smelled antifreze. as i kicked the drip pan BACK under the subaru (it had no been under it today) i noticed it had antifreeze on it at least 4 tablesspoons. these seemed odd, but no red flags whent up. I SMELLED antifreeze when i lfted the hooded, it smelled warm. so i pulled the cap on the radiator. bad idea. engine was still hot. anyays, i poked around briefly and found nothing. no big deal.

on the way to small groups tongiht i stopped at a stop sign, and when i excelerated it sounded like a stone was lodged in the drivers side front brake. as i accellerated the grinding squeeling sound got louder and sounded like the cycle became more rapid. hoping to dislodge the stone, i stomped on the breaks at the next block's stop sign and excellarted again and noticed no change. at this point i CLEARLY smelled something, like buring breaks. I went about 70 yards and pulled it into a parking lot (shopko, always were you need them).
i got out and found a pool of antifreeze forming under the font of the car. nothing leaking down the radiator, and liquid coming from the front of the engine in MULTIPLE spots (at least that is what the little droplets looked like - not just running down the engine and dripping from multple places, clearly multiple places leaking across the bottom front of the engine)
so i squeezed some hoses and checked the coolant level (not visible). turned the engine over to find the VERY bad noise that sounded like a compression leak or water in the pistons or something bad, who knows - and proceeded to walk to small groups.
they laughed at me when i showed up 20 minutes late and darin, my co-worker made a snyde remark about me having to walk there (no knowing that my car died) and i said 'oh no, just from shopko' - which was 2 blocks away. they asked why, and i said because my car died. that amused me.
Bill, from small groups towed me the 5 miles home after the meeting. good thing i had my chiltons manuel with me: i remeberd to pull a fuse and engage 'front wheel drive only' mode. subaru says the automatic transmission can be towed 6 miles with all four wheels on the ground as long as speed does not exceed 20 mph. looks like God was watching out for me. I didn't go to far, made it to small groups, and got home with my car. what more can you ask for?


palegreenhorse said...

keith wanted the highlights from the post (he is working on a computer for our friend jordan for bday). when i said, "smelling like burning," keith responded with, "highlights not the gruesome details!" i hate it when cars break! esp since i have no clue how to fix them.

forkev said...

i've got the timing belt off (going to replace it) and pulled the water pump. water pump pully was siezed.
Going to replace it and the hoses to it. (they were getting soft)

forkev said...

i figued out what was buring: the timing belt going over a pully that no longer turned (water pump) and the antifreese blowing back across a warm engine. I was excited to find around 1 gallon of coolant left in the radiator. that combined with the fact i checked the temp as it was failing and it never even got close to warm means the engine is probably ok.

palegreenhorse said...

excellent news! i'm so glad that the replacement parts are the not so expensive ones and that the engine is probably undamaged.

k2h said...

GREAT NEWS! is the car back in operation? if so, how much did the repair cost and how many hours of troubleshooting and repair?

i'm glad your on it! and I'm glad I can troubleshoot the car over the phone. alodia probably told you it was the water pump =)

forkev said...

50$ for a timing belt.
50$ for a water pump.
~30$ antifreeze, gasket seal, spark plugs, 1 replaced hose to water pump (i'll replace the other one too, just didn't prchase it yet)
13$ 26" freight and harbor breaker bar
13$ 26" friehgt and harbor chain wrench (to pull the main engine pully)
10$ i'm sure i left somethign out

now, i took the timing belt off wrong. the engine marks lined up on the main engine shaft, but not on the cam pully's. hmm. 4 stroke engine anyone? the fact there are four 'tops' in the cylce of the cylandar 1? without a pressure guage i guessed wrong and took if off on the wrong stroke. (I had a 50/50) and didn't' read close enought to check other marks on the pullys. SO - i put the old belt back on last nite and i'll turn the engine over to the write spots and then put the new belt on.

so far: the hardest part was the sparkplugs. I broke 1 taking it out. stupid aftermarket HIGH QUALITY cables and no space to work.
there are plastic inserts that surround the sparkplug, then the cable crimped real tight on the sparkplug, then a rubber seal on the top of the sparkplug hole and i'm suttpose to take that out the 3" gap HOW?

the most usefully tool: the chainwrench and the 20" prybar are tied.

k2h said...

so did you break the spark plug, or just the spark plug wire? there is a special pair of plyers. kinda of small end on a long needle nose thing that is made for pulling off spark plug wires so you don't damange the connecter. I got mine for a few bucks at some auto place. if you just pull on the wire you will pull the wire out of the wiring harness, so you pull from the base of the actual plug but you have to crimp hard enough so you don't pull the connector from the wire.. yeah.. kinda complicated.

hopefully you were still able to get your deep socket down there and get the spark plug out. if you mess those threads up it really screws things up so spend your time on that.. supposedly you can recover from a botched spark plug. .something called a helicoil that allows you to baiscally put new threads in the hole and some kinda insert but I'd really not like it.

good luck with all that. maybe you can commision dave to give you a hand if he is going to make it out that way. we put enough on his skool bill purchase some labor for you so pull in a favor if you need it

forkev said...

i broke the sparkplug, but only cracked the ceramics. i was prying against the sparkplug to get the wire off.
the subaru has a flat engine where there are aposing postons and the valve covers are basiclly smack dab against the wheel well. even if i had such a pair of pliers, there would be no way to get them into the sparkplug hole. the threads are fine. no damagae there. and the wires are fine. i just broke the plug pryig against it to get the wire off the top of it and the plastic spacer out from around the sparkplug.

~ AH ~ said...

hey hey hey, he doesn't need a little brother around when he's got a wife... granted, I've been mainly hanging out keeping company, only because there's only so much you can do in a little space, and only one tool to work with things. plus two of us frustrated with it does not make the job any better. :)

but, I did wander down the other night and ask what I could do, and he said "get that hose off the water pump." So I crawled under there and jiggled it until it finally loosened itself and came off. hooray for me!

palegreenhorse said...

i'm so happy to hear you were useful alodia!! i'm envious.

forkev said...

i'll give more detail, but 80 inch lbs of torque should not be misread as 80 foot lbs.
i snapped a bolt at the waterpump - but got real lucky as i was able to get out the fragment with my fingertips and get a replacement bolt at sucky napa for 47 cents.
few, that was a close one!