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Subaru Libero

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  • Subaru Libero

    I decided to move my thread from the Introductions section.
    So... let's get this thing started, right?

    The van:
    1992 Subaru Libero E12 Super Deluxe. Minibus, 5+1 seats. Seats turn into a 2 person bed or a 4 person table.
    The van comes with a big sunroof, side visors on the roof with covers, 2 speaker stereo, defroster on the tailgate window, child locks on side doors, fog lamps, catalytic converter, EGR system.
    1189 cc rear mounted NA engine with single barrel carburetor(automatic choke). 3 cylinders, horizontally mounted, water cooled. Belt driven timing, chain driven balance shaft. Engine produces 38Kw and 90Nm of torque. Transmission: manual 5+1, selectable RWD/4WD. Front/rear axles torque split in 4WD mode is 50-50.
    Built in Japan, first bought in Switzerland through the SUBARU dealer. Sold to the man I bought it from in the mid-'90s. The man who owned it took good care of it, used only high quality consumables. He's done a lot of work on the van, including rebuilding the engine 6000km ago.
    The van sat for a number of years before I bought it last summer. I'm working on getting it on the road again.

    At the moment I have to:
    fix the vacuum lines;
    4WD system(which relies on the vacuum lines);
    carburetor is off to be cleaned;
    electric issues and improvs (lights all acting up, loose wires, lots of bad soldering and electrical tape);
    I have to check the clutch(seemed to be rusted stuck, but I think all my tinkering with the starter motor and the engine has broken the rust bond. As soon as I have the carb back I'll be able to see.
    Must install new/salvaged horns and check/fix the horn system.
    Must install new fog lamps and check/fix the fog lamp system. I'm thinking some DIY LED fog lamps.
    Must install new tires.
    Must mod some wheels that I bought to fit(must widen CB hole). DYI stuff, one afternoon project. I'm changing the thickness as well, going from OEM 4.00 to 5.5. According to, they would fit. If not, spacers. The wheels are standard 13" VW Polo steel rims, but they are wider, they are shiny and almost picture perfect. They will make the van look better and the somewhat wider track will add some stability.
    Must do a lot of rust treatment and rust proofing.

    Since I bought the van I:
    Replaced a lot of engine compartment wires/cables;
    Got the starter out a few times, greased it, rust proofed it, installed it back in;
    Replaced all filters and fluids;
    Installed new clamps on rubber lines. I replaced most of them with constant tension clamps because they look better;
    Refurbished/rustproofed rusty bits like battery box, vacuum pipes, airbox;
    Replaced the old non-functioning stereo with a KENWOOD 50W CD player. Replaced speaker wires and stuffed some speaker wool inside the doors around the speakers;
    Did some water proofing, stuffed some silicone under the side visor gaskets, where I have some dripping marks.

    I'm currently working on:
    Refurbishing an old OEM handbrake cable. The original one was broken when I bought the van. I got one along with a big pile of spare parts and I want to use this one. New ones are mad expensive.
    Replacing ground wires in the engine compartment. I'm salvaging thicker wires from my brother's old Ford(don't worry, he knows), soldering new silver plated copper terminals on them to make better ground wires. Did that with the battery cables and the main power cable and it works a treat.
    Salvaging an old Ford brake line, shaping and exact copy of one I had to cut in half(rusty, un-cooperative, etc).
    Lots and lots more.

    I'm gonna be busy all summer long, hopefully I'll get to drive this puppy by mid-August.
    Pics over m'here:
    Desperate cries for help right about m'here: .

    Hope you guys will digg this little van at least as much as I do. It's a great thing for me, it's a great way to do what I like(getting dirty), learn cool mechanical and electrical stuff(lots of DIY to do on this bad boy and I love it).
    Hope to see lots of people interested of my van project. More pics and videos will follow .

  • #2
    Got to work for a bit on my van yesterday evening.
    I decided to check the status of my EGR valve. I was quite surprised to find out that it was completely stuck and full of soot. So I grabbed a can of penetrating oil, sprayed a bit on the tie rod, and I poured some old gas in the valve. I put gas in, let it sit for a few minutes, spill it out, put some more in and so on and so forth until the gas stopped coming out black. Then I took a can of intake/carburetor cleaner, sprayed some in it and inside the engine where the valve sits.
    I pushed the end of the rod with a screwdriver handle until I got it to move.
    A few more gas soaking turns and that was it. Now it works really well. I can even actuate it by sucking air on the vacuum connection. Set the gasket back in, smeared some petroleum jelly on and that's it. It should make quite an improvement.
    I did the same thing today on an EGR valve that I'm thinking of installing on my Ford to replace the original one. I'm thinking of keeping my Ford and keeping it's original 2.3 turbo, even if it's a complete mess.

    Today I also molded an old Ford brake line to fit my SUBARU. Will most likely fit it on tomorrow. At the very least a test fit, since I have to clean it and rustproof it before.
    Another thing that I did yesterday, when it got dark and I had to scram inside, I took the freshly painted airbox cover back inside and I manually painted the lettering(old Fuji Heavy Industries + the word SUBARU) BLAAACK. I just have to fix a small chip in the paint tomorrow and then it's clear coat time.
    The airbox was originally BLAAACK, but the enamel paint was all chipped and the cover was rusty.
    At first, I brushed the base with heat resistant silver paint and the top cover with red industrial primer. The locking nut on top was brushed with the same silver paint.
    Let's face it, silver sucks, so I grabbed a can of satin BLAAACK and sprayed over it(the base and the nut on top). The cover remained primer red, but now that I did the lettering BLAAACK it looks miles better.
    I'm not really worried about the heat damaging the paint, the airbox sits right next to the engine, on top of the gearbox.
    I wish I had a Justy airbox. The airbox cover on the Justy has the Rising Sun embossed on and it's soooo awesome.

    Much more work to come, hopefully I'll decide to keep my Ford as well and start work on it too.
    Have a good day!
    Last edited by Krieger-san; 05-07-2012, 10:03 AM.


    • #3
      Got the brake line installed today, rustproofed the damn thing, I hope I never need to work on it again. Will get new brake fluid(DOT 3) and replace the old one, bleed the system and all that.
      I also fixed the small chip on the airbox cover and I clear coated the hell out of it. Atm is drying off, will have it bake in my brother's car tomorrow. Yeah, coolest DIY paint oven. Old car used for storage, sitting in the sun.
      Will do some wiring tomorrow(I think) and I'm gonna help my brother work on his car. Some bodywork, cleaning a clogged EGR valve, de-greasing engine...stuff like that.


      • #4
        Got my van all fixed in working condition. All taxed and registered, working and putting a smile on my face every time I drive it.
        Since the last time I posted here I:

        -fixed the 4WD system(it's great and I mean GREAT during winter, it helped me a lot this last couple of weeks);
        -cleaned and tuned the carburetor. Will Frankenstein a MAAAAD fuel injection system next summer;
        -fixed some of the electric issues(not all, unfortunately, still have to work on the lights and the starter);
        -replaced the clutch. JDM EXEDY clutch kit went in, POS totally busted factory clutch went out. Will make for an awesome clock on the wall.
        -installed new aftermarket fog lamps and new horns with rebuilt wiring;
        -installed new winter tires.
        -installed new genuine SUBARU handbrake cables.
        -started applying some dubious JDM stickers on the interior;
        -bought a really cool aftermarket tacho(the van didn't came with one, I don't really use it in traffic, but I think it would help for time attack and when I mess with the carburetor settings); will install when the weather warms up.
        -bought/installed accessories: new windshield/back window wipers, first aid kit, emergency tool box, fire extinguisher, jumper cables, towing line, etc.
        I'm not done with it, I still have to do a lot on it, but at least I got it to run, it runs great, it's a lot of fun and it's so unique. People look at me in total surprise/confusion in traffic. Sometimes they forget to cross the damn street, they stop in the middle of the road and gorp at my little Japanese tin can. No BS, it did happened.
        Will make some videos, this thing is hella fun.
        Last edited by Krieger-san; 04-01-2013, 11:31 PM.