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Best bang for buck Subaru...


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32 replies to this topic

#26 heartless

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:17 PM

best bang for the buck - IMHO - would be an EA82 wagon with DR 5 speed and pugs!:banana: not the most comfortable car for long trips, but they do ok.

for back woods adventures you do not want anything with a turbo! they just are not reliable enough for that...

seriously tho - i got my first Subaru - a 1989 GL wagon, 5 spd FWD for $150 - drove that car for over 7 years! got 32-33 mpg consistently. and even tho it was only a FWD i drove it a few places that i probably shouldnt have! LOL was a blast to play on the snow with too (backwards donuts anyone?) :lol:

EA82 timing belts are no big deal - just make sure they get done on schedule and it wont leave you stranded. and even if you did loose one, it wont damage the engine internals.

Now if you need a little more creature comfort - the 1st gen Legacies are pretty nice - ride is much nicer, a little more elbow room - AWD is awesome, but i would prefer to have a 5 spd over the auto. the EJ22 is a pretty reliable engine with a bit more hp than the EA series

The thing mentioned earlier about 97 & later - it is not headgaskets, but it IS an interference engine - meaning if you blow a timing belt on one of those, you can cause serious internal damage - 1990 thru early 96 are non-interference - no problems if a belt goes. Late 96 (97my) and on are interference.

#27 Yo'J

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:09 PM

Looks like everyone here says the same thing sort of consistently. Any GL leone or loyale from 82 to 93 for under $200 with a grand worth of parts or a few junkers, will run you the next decade in all driving conditions if you're a conscious driver and can mod it yourself. And if you want power, put a bigger engine in the lighter car.

Sounds about right to me. Everyone hates the ea82 motor but they do go to 300k with good oil, regular maintenance and love (if weberized or FI).


Seems just about all mods cost a grand in the city, doing it yourself, if just to pay for parking for your junkers.

The important ones seem to be;
1)5sp d/r trans. the most trouble free one. In the early gls they die about 200k and everything else seems to die about 150k (am i wrong here?)
2)redline weber carb if your base model is carbed.
3) lift for off road use
4)better radio, tires, and simple amenities like cup holders

Not to bash the legacy models but they seem to go to 150k and get transmission probs unless babied.

#28 idahohay

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 11:46 AM

Yo'j, I think you summed it up for me. I am enjoying checking out C's list and look for EA81 cars with low miles.

#29 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:00 PM

The important ones seem to be;
1)5sp d/r trans. the most trouble free one. In the early gls they die about 200k and everything else seems to die about 150k (am i wrong here?)
2)redline weber carb if your base model is carbed.
3) lift for off road use
4)better radio, tires, and simple amenities like cup holders

Not to bash the legacy models but they seem to go to 150k and get transmission probs unless babied.


Ok, um, a few edits to your post...

Important Features
1)5sp d/r trans (yes they are the most trouble free in general, but the
4sp d/r's can last easily to 300k, and sorry but the EA81 components often
outlast the body of the car)

2) The redline weber carbs are often incorrectly jetted and include the wrong
air filter. Buying a weber carb from a different place is often a better
option. The Fuel Injected option is a very good option but includes a fair
amount of wiring.

3) Yes, lift it, if you're going for off road performance

4) These are common mods

And as for the legacy models getting tranny problems, I only know of the
autos having issues around that time.
The 5sp's often last beyond 200k. I have a 94 5sp with well over 260k on it,
and its still going strong.
Even with the previous owners abuse and my own as well.

Twitch

#30 Yo'J

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 12:47 PM

Hmm, Twitch, I dunno, but, its why I asked.

I hear the lego manuals have some fair probs, maybe mostly in the newer models, post 97', the TC or VC or whatever it is, is weak, like in the autos, its why you don't see used ones out there too often. They are hard to source in good shape and people snatch em up. I was just talking about transmissions in bullet no1. anyhow. Maybe I've just had bad luck with the 4spd trans as well as the price of mounts being the same as the price of a low mile 5spd. I don't hear about good long lasting auto transmissions in very many makes these days in general.

But I'm glad to hear there are some good AWD manual ones out there! Maybe I was getting disillusioned with the amount of work I hear on them and trouble finding them. I still want one for my brat but thats another story for another day.

Besides just trying to clarify the difference between the stock carter weber and redline weber carb, which has confused some in the past, who else makes the 32/36 dgv? Redline bought the weber end and holley has a knock off. You cant buy from them directly unless you have an account anyhow. Is there another I'm not aware of?

Anyway, Cheers!

#31 lkindred

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:29 PM

I would vote a Subie with an EA81 as the best bang for the buck. These things run forever. Hi/low 4WD and a 4 speed is what we have in our 83 wagon and our 86 hatch and we love them.

Lynn

#32 zyewdall

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 09:13 AM

As far as transmissions go, I've had several 4 speed dual ranges, and they were getting sloppy, and lost the synchro's on 3rd gear by the time there were around 220k, but still technically worked as a transmission... drove one on a 3,000 mile cross country trip. I've had a few 5 speed dual ranges with up to 265k, and they behaved just fine still. The only subaru manual transmission that I've had actually die is in the newest one I've ever owned... a 1997 impreza... it lost the input bearing around 230k, and I've heard that the impreza transmissions in general aren't as good as the legacy ones, for some reason ??? Automatic transmissions seem to be alot easier to destroy (offroading, rallying, bashing snowdrifts, at least).

#33 hatchsub

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 10:07 AM


who else makes the 32/36 dgv? Redline bought the weber end and holley has a knock off. You cant buy from them directly unless you have an account anyhow. Is there another I'm not aware of?

Anyway, Cheers!


No one but weber makes a weber (not counting the holley rip-offs). Redline is simply the weber distributor in North America. I think what he meant was buy from another redline distributor that will help you out when you run into jetting issues (bigjim on these boards). I will agree Redline did not jet my weber properly. The mains were fine but the primary idle jet was too small. It all comes down to fine tuning. What most people dont realize is although all EA81/EA82 engines are technically 1.8 liters and "should" require the same settings....they are not. Some have better compression than others from less use. Some just happened to be more balanced that others. Some are hydraulic and some are not. EA82s are a different design than EA81s yet the carb kit is jetted the same for both AFAIK. All these factor into how the carb needs to be tuned for the car to run correctly. NO carb straight out of the box is going to run 100%. If it does you should go play the lotto cause you are the luckiest person i know.




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