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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Newbie Question

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9 replies to this topic

#1 LlamaKeeper


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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:06 PM

Howdy fellow Subaru owners.

I know this is a total newbie quesiton and I apologize for it.

I currently own a 1990 Legacy LS wagon / automatic with about 220,000 miles on it. I bought it about 3 years ago with 175,000 on it. I do a lot of driving for work and needed something reliable and was pretty broke. Its been the best car in terms of mileage and maintenance cost I've ever owned.

I need to replace it. It needs a transmission, tires, and I'm pretty worried about the motor.

I'm looking for something in the 100,000 mile range for between $3500 - $6500 price range. I prefer a manual transmission. I'm also 6'2" tall and so my current seat doesn't go back far enough.

What should I get? I love wagons, I'd like decent snow performance, and something I can put 100,000 miles on without getting reamed on repairs. I've heard about issues with clutch shudder on Outback and Forester models with manual trannies.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Anybody wanna buy my current ride :)


#2 Suzam


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Posted 16 February 2004 - 10:42 PM

If you're not looking for flash, just reliable wheels, I'd go for any model with a 2.2 liter. They are pretty much bulletproof motors.

#3 DerFahrer


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Posted 16 February 2004 - 11:11 PM

Strange that you're concerned about the engine. Believe it or not, 220k miles isn't all that much for a 1st-gen Legacy. Some people put 1st-gen Legs with more miles than that through tougher things than you could ever dream of. My 91 Legacy is still sucking its thumb with 127k miles. I am not lying to you when I tell you the car runs better than most new cars I've driven. They're simply fantastic cars. I'm also 6'3", and I have plenty of room in my seat.

Nevertheless, if you still want a Subie with similar reliability, go with what Suzam said and try to stay with a 2.2. The Phase II 2.2's, while they did have some piston slap problems, are still much better than a 2.5 Subaru I'm afraid.

You could look into a 95-99 Legacy wagon with the 2.2, or an Impreza wagon in the same age and with the same engine. I too prefer a manual, but keep in mind that you really can't slam a Subaru gearbox around like say a Honda. The synchros aren't designed for it.

Good luck, and you might wanna post your car for sale on the Legacy BBS, that's a forum just for 1st-gen Legacies, might spark some interest there...

#4 LlamaKeeper


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Posted 16 February 2004 - 11:19 PM

Thanks for the info thus far. A couple of responses.

I'm not interested at all in something flashy, just a reliable car that I can put a lot of miles on.

I'm worrried about the motor because of what my mechanic said.

I took it to the import shop in town (when my check engine light was on) and the mechanic who is their Subaru guy recognized my car.

Apparently the person I bought the car from replaced the motor about 1 year before I bought it. This replacement motor had 180,000 miles on it when it went into my car and so now is at 260,000 miles or so. Their is a problem with it (I'm not real car savvy, I'll repost the problem tomorrow) and this mechanic recomended I begin looking for a new car. (I trust this mechanic, he's buddies with my mechanic cousin)

I've got to drive pbly 50,000 miles in the next 4 months and don't want my motor to crap out on me.



#5 ScoobySchmitty


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Posted 17 February 2004 - 04:57 PM

Weird that a 2.2L would go crappy, especially after only 260k miles :D They are really good engines. I have worked on this one, and GM's venerable 3800 series, and while a good engine, it's a bit of a pain to work on. This one I LIKE. Hope you find something better. For the price you are stating, you can probably find something like a 95-96 legacy or outback. But the fact still stands, STICK with the 2.2L. There are far far more good 2.2L's out there than there are bad ones. Good luck!

#6 cookie


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Posted 17 February 2004 - 07:32 PM

boy there are some nice 2.2 Legacys for sale in this area of CA with no rust.

#7 joybell


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Posted 17 February 2004 - 09:19 PM

My mom is hanging on to her 1998 Impreza with the 2.2L engine. She was looking at trading but found out that the new Imprezas all have 2.5L engines. She has had no problems with this car other than rear wheel bearings which were replaced a long time ago under warranty. Now that's a Subaru!

#8 bennettsweb


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Posted 10 March 2004 - 09:58 PM

I'm new here too and was looking at buying a 02' 2.5 TS wagon.

What's the drawback that you are referring to? All I know about is some issue with the intake manifold.


#9 Nug


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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:13 PM

Sudden Unprovoked Head Gasket Failure Syndrome (SUHGFS?)

They sometimes blow for no good reason. 2.2 closed deck engine is more stable, apparently, than the 2.5's open deck design. Redesigned h/g's are available, and while better, it doesn't completely cure the problem. External h/g leaks are not uncommon either.

#10 mattocs


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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:52 AM

look for a 1995 Legacy L. I am semi-tall (6ft1in) and its very comfortable. Recently I saw a 1995 Legacy L with 90k miles for $4400 at a small dealer. It was sold before I could go look at it....but for the price and that low of miles...heh...it woulda been a sweet ride if it wasnt abused by the prev. owner.

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