Subaru ff-1/1300/1400/1600/1800/Brat 1970-1984 Repair Guide

Engine

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OIL LEVEL CHECK



The engine oil level should be checked at regular intervals. For example, whenever the vehicle is refueled.


WARNING
If the low oil pressure warning light comes on while the engine is running, stop the engine immediately and check the oil level.

  1. The vehicle should be parked on a level surface.
  2.  
  3. Wait a few minutes after the engine is stopped before checking the oil level or an inaccurate reading will result.
  4.  
  5. Remove the dipstick, which is located on the right (passenger) side of the crankcase. Wipe it with a clean cloth, then reinsert it.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1 Engine oil dipstick location and marking



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Fig. Fig. 2 Oil filler cap location

  1. Pull the dipstick out again and, holding the dipstick horizontally read the oil level. The oil level should be between the upper mark and lower mark on the dipstick.
  2.  
  3. Add oil of the proper viscosity through the capped opening in the top of the valve cover. See the Oil and Fuel Recommendations chart in this section for the proper viscosity and rating of oil to use.
  4.  
  5. Insert the dipstick and check the oil level again after adding any oil. Be careful not to overfill the crankcase.
  6.  

OIL AND FILTER CHANGE



The oil in the engine of your Subaru should be changed every six months 7500 miles (12,000 km), whichever comes first. If you live in an extremely dusty or smoggy area, or drive for moderately short distances in cold weather (less than four miles with the temperature below freezing), change your vehicle's oil more frequently. The oil should be changed every four months 3000 miles (4800 km), under these conditions. A new filter should be installed with every oil change. The used oil should be placed into a suitable container and taken to a collection or reclamation point for recycling (many garages and gas stations have storage tanks for this purpose).



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Fig. Fig. 3 Engine oil drain plug location



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Fig. Fig. 4 Location of the engine oil filter


WARNING
Subaru recommends that the filter be changed every other oil change, unless the vehicle is driven under those conditions requiring more frequent changes or those in which the time limit expires before the mileage limit. Our recommendation is that, regardless of the interval, the filter should be changed at every oil change. This offers excellent protection against a situation in which the filter becomes clogged, bypassing dirty oil directly to the engine's wearing parts. It also permits a more complete removal of dirty oil from the engine's filter and oil galleries, which hold a quart or more of contaminated fluid.

The oil should always be changed while hot, so the dirt and particles will still be suspended in the oil when it drains out of the engine. To change the oil and filter:

  1. Run the engine for a short period of time. This will make the oil flow more freely and it will carry off more contaminants.
  2.  
  3. Park the vehicle on a level surface and apply the parking brake. Turn the engine OFF . Remove the oil filler cap from the oil filler tube which is located on the driver's side of the engine.
  4.  
  5. Raise the vehicle and support it with jackstands.
  6.  
  7. Place a drain pan of adequate capacity below the drain plug which is located either at the rear of the oil pan (ff-1, 1300G models), or on the driver's side of the oil pan (all other models). A large, flat pan makes a good container to catch oil.
  8.  
  9. Use a metric wrench of the proper size (not locking pliers) to loosen the oil pan drain plug. Put on a pair of heavy gloves and turn the drain plug out by hand while maintaining a slight upward force on it, to keep the oil from running out around it.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 5 Loosen and remove the oil pan drain plug


CAUTION
When you are ready to release the plug, pull it away from the drain hole quickly, to avoid being burned by the hot oil.

  1. Allow the oil to drain completely and then install the drain plug. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN the plug, or you will strip the threads in the drain hole and you'll have to buy a new pan or an over-sized replacement plug.
  2.  
  3. Using an oil filter strap wrench, remove the oil filter. Keep in mind that it's holding about a quart of dirty, hot oil.
  4.  
  5. As soon as you remove the oil filter, hold it upright until you can empty it into the drain pan. Dispose of the filter.
  6.  


CAUTION
The EPA warns that prolonged contact with used engine oil may cause a number of skin disorders, including cancer! You should take every effort to minimize your exposure to used engine oil. Protective gloves should be worn when changing the oil. Wash your hands and any other exposed skin areas as soon as possible after exposure to used engine oil. Soap and water, or waterless hand cleaner should be used.

  1. Using a clean rag, wipe off the filter mounting adaptor on the engine block. Be sure that the rag does not leave any lint which could clog an oil passage.
  2.  
  3. Wipe a coating of clean engine oil on the rubber gasket of the new filter. Spin it onto the engine by hand. DO NOT use the strap wrench. When the gasket starts to snug up against the adaptor surface, give it another 1 / 2 to 3 / 4 turn by hand (check the instructions provided by the filter manufacturer). Don't turn it any more, or you'll squash the gasket and the filter will leak.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 6 Remove the oil filter using a strap wrench



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Fig. Fig. 7 Before installing a new oil filter, coat the rubber gasket with clean oil.



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Fig. Fig. 8 Remove the oil filler cap ...



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Fig. Fig. 9 ... then add clean, fresh oil of the proper amount, grade and viscosity



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Fig. Fig. 10 Check the level on the oil dipstick

  1. Add clean, fresh oil of the proper amount, grade and viscosity through the oil filler tube on the top of the engine.
  2.  
  3. Lower the vehicle and check the oil level on the oil dipstick.
  4.  
  5. Be sure that the oil level is near the upper mark on the dipstick.
  6.  
  7. Start the engine and allow it to idle. Make sure the oil light goes out.
  8.  
  9. Stop the engine and allow the oil to drain back down for a few minutes, and check the oil level again. Add oil as necessary, but do not overfill.
  10.  
  11. Remember to install the oil filler cap. Check for leaks around the oil filter and drain plug.
  12.  

 
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