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Subaru Domingo tips/maintenance thread

Discussion in 'Microvans' started by anthill, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. joe4560

    joe4560 New Member

    Hi guys i hv major starter issues i bought off the domingo frm a friend,i hv looked in many shops without success is there any other model of subaru that uses a similar starter motor
  2. anthill

    anthill Member

    Welcome to the board! The only cars that share the EF12 engine are a Libero (look on German ebay), or a Justy (which has the cylinder head on the opposite way).

    There's a good chance the Justy starter will fit, but I don't know for sure.
  3. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    What I do is take the starter down to my local rebuilder and get it done there. Warrantee and local, gotta love that!
  4. Bonsaivan

    Bonsaivan New Member

    VW Body Kit for a LHD 1200 Libero!

    I search for a VW Body Kit for my 97´ Subaru Libero. Does it works on a LHD Libero and where can I buy the parts? About an answer I would be very happy!

  5. anthill

    anthill Member

    This is the only Domingo body kit I know of. No-one on the forum has reported installing one. Maybe ask some of the Japan-based site sponsors?

    [EDIT] Don't believe me, observe this commercial!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  6. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

  7. MichaelPublic

    MichaelPublic New Member

    Coolant Check - Domingo - opaque reservoir

    Hi all,
    It's just started snowing here so I thought I'd double check the antifreeze/coolant reservoir and I can't see through it.
    I've put a fairly bright flashlight up against it and jiggled the tank (actually the whole Domingo, that's one thing that's easier) but can't see fluid moving in there.
    I don't think there's any other way to check the antifreeze.
    Anyone manage to with another method?

    I can try trailing a 500 watt halogen out there to look at the tank I guess.
  8. KleinerMuck

    KleinerMuck New Member

    I do have the same problem, and I guess like everyone with an old Domingo:D
    I think the best is to use f. eks. a peace of a steel wire, and check it by sticking the wire into the reservoir through the top lock opening. If you stick the wire down to the bottom of the reservoir, and take it out again, you can read the height of the coolant -like you do it when checking the oil, I mean.
    A Domingo-colleague told me that it doesn't help to clean the reservoir...
  9. franck2cv

    franck2cv Member

    Do you guies read French? I could scan the relevant pages of my E12 owners book if you wish.
    (eventually I'll scan the whole thing to post on this forum...)

  10. anthill

    anthill Member

    You talking about this expansion tank, or is there another reservoir?

    Mine was filled so full of antifreeze when I bought it that it was drooling coolant from the expansion tank overflow for the first week! A hint of green is still visible in the tank, even with the flash - unfortunately there's no way to back-light it for better visibility!

    I'd say the dipstick method is worth a try.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  11. MichaelPublic

    MichaelPublic New Member

    Yes indeed that's the expansion tank I was referring to, I guess I'll fill until I hear a bit of sloshing. Good picture by the way.
    If I come up with a better way I'll post, thanks everyone.

    Oh yes, I read a little French, pictures help. If you feel like posting a page or 2 of the manual that would be great.
  12. anthill

    anthill Member

  13. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    I'm guessing that maybe my post dealt too much with the trip I took, and not enough about the mechanical issues, in a thread that really is supposed to be about maintenance, so I'll try again.

    I took a drive down the highway and got awful gas mileage, 12.4L/100km. I'm sure I burned a little extra fuel idling to warm up and a little more to push through 2cm/1" of light dry snow, but not THAT much.

    I'm fairly new to the Domingo so I can't say for sure, but the RPMs seemed really high. I was cranking 4,000 RPM at 90 km/h, and around 2,800 at 75 km/h. My Domingo has the ECVT transmission. I did check that the transmission was in "D" and not "Ds". Speed limit in town here is 35 km/h, at that speed the engine does around 1,500 RPM in "D" and jumps to 3,000 RPM in "Ds" so I know I'm not permanently stuck in low range or anything.

    I was hoping that somebody else with an ECVT-equipped Domingo could tell me if their engine spins that fast on the highway.

    I was running both front and rear heaters the whole time, but they're just running off waste heat from the coolant system same as in any other car, aren't they?
  14. anthill

    anthill Member

    Hey EV, thanks for posting, what an unusual place to drive a Domingo! First off: You have a tachometer?

    Unfortunately there's not many Domingo owners on this forum, and what few there are have the 5-manual transmission. So I can't give you a firm answer.

    This page from the Subaru Justy forum suggests that the ECVT provides drive ratios from 2.503 to 0.497. This page at Wikipedia :rolleyes: says the Justy's ECVT final drive / diff ratios are 4.666 and 3.900 respectively. And, if you have 155/80R13 tires, that should give you a tire circumference of 1.815 meter/rev.

    That info should let you calculate your gear ratios or speed - I've attached a little spreadsheet I cooked up out of curiosity. I'm skeptical of the final drive/diff ratios given for the Justy, and changed the diff to 1.75:1 to make the numbers add up.

    The only thing I can say for sure is that 4000rpm at 90, and 2800 at 75km/h takes different gear ratios - therefore your ECVT was not set in top gear at 90km/h.

    How cold is it out there? Do you have your owners' manual? I'm pretty sure that you're going to need lighter weight fluids for the tranny and engine soon, if not already.

    Attached Files:

  15. KleinerMuck

    KleinerMuck New Member

    Hi EchoVictor,
    I agree with anthill, that it looks like the gear wasn't set in it's top gear. So I would guess to have the motor oil and gear oil checked and/or changed.

    How cold was it on your trip?
    The gas mileage, of course, depends also on the outside temperature. I live in Norway, 60°, but we - for sure - don't have that low temperatures like you out there. This winter we had it down to minus 13, and when additionally using the 4WD (my Domingos doesn't have permanent one) the gas mileage of my Domingo went up to about 8,5 liters/100 km (otherwise it's about 7,5 l/100 km). But right away after having bought the car I did shift spark plugs, air filter, motor oil and filter, etc. - things I usually do when not knowing what and when the former owner has done so far.
    But, bear in mind that my Domingo has manual 5-gear.
  16. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    Not just any tachometer, my friend, but an entire cheap plastic aftermarket cluster on the center dash that rattles when the engine idles! It's got tachometer, voltmeter, and an outside air thermometer. Photo attached.

    I played with the spreadsheet you made (thanks!), and even if I move my own observed numbers around (maybe "4000" was as low as 3800, and "2700" as high as 3000; it's a tiny dial and I was paying attention to driving, how accurate could I really be?), it still looks like there were different ratios, so the variable transmission MUST have been, um, varying. That's a good sign...

    The temperature was -11C the day of that test drive in November.
    • Engine oil: Fresh 10W30 & filter in September, with less than 500 km since. The German Libero manual I found online indicate 10W30 & 10W40 are good down to -10C, and I should be using 5W30 for 0C and below.
    • Transmission oil: Dusty's Justys says "Dexron/Mercon III" for the ECVT, no other alternates for cold weather. I *think* the importer changed this in September too. Will check records.
    • Coolant: Fresh in September, and for what it's worth the James Danko Subaru Sambar manual says 50/50 mix is good to -35C.

    Good policy. But these were all changed by the importer in September, and I've put less than 500 km on the vehicle since then.

    The temperature today is -29C with a 6 km/h breeze. I just stepped outside to snap the dashboard photo, didn't want to get fully suited up so I only wore a light 3-season polyester jacket, it started to get firm and crinkly in about 90 seconds.

    Attached Files:

  17. anthill

    anthill Member

    Dang, that's cold! There are a few non-maintenance reasons why your fuel economy could suck so badly.

    I wonder if there's a way to tell if your engine was too cold and the ECU was riching-up the mixture?
  18. EchoVictor

    EchoVictor New Member

    If you lock your keys in your Domingo, the vehicle does not appear in the local locksmith's directory of car unlocking instructions. The locksmith first tried to hook the interior door handle after wedging the top of the passenger (left) side door open at the top, but the angles didn't work right. It took a few tries, but the solution was to grab the lock knob with a tool that pulled a lasso-like loop tight around the knob from inside a long plastic shaft.

    Don't lock your keys in your Domingo.

    OTOH, my Domingo did finally come up to operating temperature after about a half hour idling to de-ice, half hour driving, and another half hour idling waiting for the locksmith...
  19. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    Well, picked up the Domingo on Friday last week. As soon as it stops raining I'll take some pictures and start a new thread.
  20. franck2cv

    franck2cv Member

    Can't wait Jason. :)
    One more E12, yepeeeee :D
  21. Badr Fawzy

    Badr Fawzy New Member

    Hi everyone, my name is Badr from malaysia. I just got to know about this thread and joint yesterday. I've a Subaru Domingo E 12, abaout 3 yrs already, and never gave any problem, until recently about 4 mnths ago, I'm experiencing jerk (cut off) for about half a second for a few times, then back to normal. And when idle the timing varies (high to low then normal).

    Not sure whether it's electrical or fuel, most mechanics I when to given up. Pls advice....

    Thank you
  22. KleinerMuck

    KleinerMuck New Member

    Hello, and welcome!
    What kind of engine do you have?
    I do have the 1.2 liter engine for the european market.
    But maybe, it's the same at your engine: Check the white plug where 2 cables coming out of the distributor are connected to the main cable harness. Open the plug, and use a spray which cleans from oxides. Additionally, I would recommend to clean the distributor cap and distributor rotor arm.
  23. Siegfried

    Siegfried New Member

    Hello .....

    I am a happy owner of a libero in Greece..Thank you sll for the helpfull tips that i have read here..

    Now I am looking for a new pcv or iac valve dont know how it is called (the cold start valve and my little van will run smoothly again..:D

    Does any one have any service manual even in different language?

    If any of you need the english owners maual i can scan and upload it on the forun in pdf format!!
  24. anthill

    anthill Member

    Hey Sigfried, thanks for posting! No-one has the service manual that I know of. :( Owners manuals and electrical diagrams are all I've managed to find.

    Liberos don't have PCV valves as far as I know. There are a few doo-dads running from the air intake around the throttle body to the intake manifold, is one of them the valve you suspect?
  25. Siegfried

    Siegfried New Member

    I am sure that is one of these valves...the check engine light shows the 54 error so i disassembled it and it runs perfect until 4500 rpm ..

    i managed to find the german service manual so if anyone wants it send me a pm and i will send it to you...(its about 400 pages!!!:frustration: )

    I asked subaru original parts store here in greece and the told me that the price for the doo-das :D is about 500 and 120 euros !!!!!
  26. olddatsunfan

    olddatsunfan Member

    I found a set of aftermarket VW aluminium rims in 13"x5.5" with an offset of 45mm and a 70mm centrebore for the Domingo. These came off of a 80's VW Cabriolet Convertible. I think I'm going to try a set of 185/70/13 all season tires on them, should fit with just a tad of pop.
  27. Kei King

    Kei King Member

    Oil Filter is Fram PH6607.
  28. MichaelPublic

    MichaelPublic New Member

    accessories belt, or air con/alternator belt -Canada Lordco

    I was getting some extra vibration from the motor and squeaking so I checked the accessories belt, or air con/alternator belt. Sure enough it was at the end of its adjustment stretch.
    Found a 378mm belt at Lordco that fits and leaves a good deal of room for stretch adjustment. See attached image for sku/model $30
    Canadian Tire couldn't search or wouldn't search by belt length.

    I used a pry bar to set the 10mm deflection with 10 kg of pressure belt tension, there's not a lot of room to set the tension with a screw driver.
    Canadian Tire conversion of spark plug information yields the NGK PVBPR5EY as a current replacement for the NGK BPR5ES-11 that was in my Domingo as delivered.
    I replaced the old spark plugs with the new V Gap NGK's and they seem to start a little better.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  29. Siegfried

    Siegfried New Member

    German service manual..

    Hello to my fellow e12 owners here...As i have posted before i have the german service manual in my hand in pdf format but it is too big to fit in any email attachment....
    For those who asked for it via pm sorry guys but the things here in greece have been crazy and i didnt manage to split it in half but i will do it in the next few days...
    Does anyone knows how to post a file this big in this topic???:confused:
    If i dont get any lucky with this maybe a rapidshare account will do the job!!

    Thank you guys..
  30. anthill

    anthill Member

    Siegfried is the man. Thanks for the repair manual!

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