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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Need advice on buying a non-running Legacy


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17 replies to this topic

#1 man on the moon

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:56 PM

I am emailing with someone selling a 97 Legacy on Craigslist. The car does not seem to be running, and is quoted as having a transmission problem, but I'm not so sure the problem is as big as she says. Could someone with a newer gen/2.2 car (I have a Loyale) take a look at what she's told me and share an opinion?

The ad says: (I edited out some non-relevant parts)

I have a 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon for sale. It recently has blown its engine (EJ22) & has some tranny work that will be need to be done. Those are the 2 major issues w/the vehicle. It is an A/T & it just turned over to 280K on the engine. I have been the 2nd owner of the vehicle & bought it 7yrs ago w/123K on the engine. It has been a very good car just the obvious age of the vehicle is the reasoning behind the recent major issues. It will need to be towed as the engine is blown & its not in operable condition.


And the email response I got (sic):

The subaru is still available & the issues that I am aware of is the engine as stated you can see the gold rod but the silver piece popped through a bit. As for the tranny I ahve been the 2nd owner & have had it since '05 upon start up it flashes about 15x the A/T oil temp light. I recently have had the check engine light which has popped up the PO740 code which I think has to deal with the solenoid. Other than that once a new engine was put in the car would be operable. I would suggest the timing belt being done when a new or rebuilt engine was put in as its been quite some time since that was done. I never really had any major problems w/the vehicle the 7yrs I have owned it. Its mostly been normal wear & tear w/tires & brakes. The biggest thing I did was a few yrs ago & I believe it was the transfer case. Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance or if you would like to see the vehicle.


The PO740 code is related to the clutch system in the automatic transmission, might be a wiring coupler, might be a solenoid, might be a bad solder/bolt connection...

I asked what, specifically, is wrong with the motor (the picture did NOT show the gold/silver bit she mentioned, not clearly anyway) and am awaiting the response.

In the meanwhile, any guesses or ideas? I'll post more info when I get it, or if I go look at the car.

Edited by man on the moon, 14 April 2012 - 02:00 PM.
change title


#2 987687

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:03 PM

Sounds like a rod escaped to me.

By transfer case being replaced, sounds like something was done with the clutches/duty C. Possibly run for a long time with the FWD fuse.

Unless it's a really good price, I probably wouldn't take it. Or buy it with the intention of swapping out the driveline. It sounds like a mess.

#3 Fairtax4me

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:05 PM

How much do they want for it? $500 it probably doesn't matter if the trans is dead. When you go look at it, pull the codes from the TCU (somewhere around here theres a tutorial on how to do it) and see what that says. CEL means nothing really. I would guess the trans issue might be a dead duty C solenoid.

#4 man on the moon

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:44 PM

Sorry, I thought I'd included the price. The listed price is $1200 but I'm pretty sure there's no way she's going to get that unless all I have to do is replace a rotor (gold thing?) and a fuse!

I'm waiting for her response to my further inquiries. If a rod is thrown, are the 2.2s much harder to swap out than a 1.8? I've swapped Ea82s a couple times, and had heads off. Not interested in splitting a case, though--if one rod went, I would want to do all four while I was in there and...I have street parking. I could conceivably do a swap but will NOT take the motor apart in my 3rd floor walk up studio--just not practical (though it would make for a good story!)

#5 987687

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:47 PM

Swapping the motor isn't too much different than ea. Everything is a bit more cramped, but that's about it.

That's a ridiculous price for a car that has a bad engine and transmission. I got my mint 98 LGT for $400. All it needed was an engine and a strut, and it was good to go.

#6 Gloyale

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:01 PM

That's a ridiculous price for a car that has a bad engine and transmission. I got my mint 98 LGT for $400. All it needed was an engine and a strut, and it was good to go.


Higher demand for Subarus in CO. Also, they don't rust out as bad so 15yr old car can still be in nice shape.

Still sounds like too much though.

I'd pass on that one.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:52 PM

Sorry, I thought I'd included the price. The listed price is $1200 but I'm pretty sure there's no way she's going to get that unless all I have to do is replace a rotor (gold thing?) and a fuse!

I'm waiting for her response to my further inquiries. If a rod is thrown, are the 2.2s much harder to swap out than a 1.8? I've swapped Ea82s a couple times, and had heads off. Not interested in splitting a case, though--if one rod went, I would want to do all four while I was in there and...I have street parking. I could conceivably do a swap but will NOT take the motor apart in my 3rd floor walk up studio--just not practical (though it would make for a good story!)


No ignition rotor on these. The "gold" thing is probably a rod and the "silver" piece is a chunk of the block. $1200 is way too much for a legacy wagon, if it were a running driving car with no major problems that would be a good deal. With a blown engine, and assuming the transmission is bad, at the very least the transfer clutch is shot which is about $500 in parts to fix, a car is nothing more than a boat anchor, it's worth it's price in scrap. If the car is mint otherwise with 4 new tires, good brakes, good struts and springs, and a new exhaust system, $500- $600 for an Outback.
Any one of those things needs work, $300.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 14 April 2012 - 05:54 PM.


#8 jarl

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:32 PM

" Has some very minor things like front windows don't open, needs switch. Etc.".
"The body is in perfect condition the only issues is minor dings, a minor crack on the front bumper & a cracked windshield. Newer items I just have recently done is 2 tires, rear brakes, etc. It has some very minimal issues that can be easily fixed like the front windows don't open, the switch needs to be replaced. the locks have always had an issue, the rear windshield wiper doesn't work". The intake manifold looks oily (catastrophic engine failure?), and the fender has a little bump on it. IMHO, not even remotely worth what she's asking.

I have some issues with cars being sold by "tech centers" as well. You should ask for the VIN to run a carfax or something like that... I won't be surprised if you find it was sold at auction not long ago.

Edited by jarl, 14 April 2012 - 08:34 PM.


#9 man on the moon

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:34 PM

" Has some very minor things like front windows don't open, needs switch. Etc.". The intake manifold looks oily (catastrophic engine failure?), and the fender has a little bump on it. IMHO, not even remotely worth what she's asking.

I have some issues with cars being sold by "tech centers" as well. You should ask for the VIN to run a carfax or something like that... I won't be surprised if you find it was sold at auction not long ago.


The tech center is referring to a neighborhood, in this case one located around a University campus. They aren't the seller.

That said, you must have googled the ad... :)

The little ************ doesn't bother me, and even swapping a motor is no problem. I just DON'T WANT TO WORK ON A TRANSMISSION. If she brings the price down? Who knows, I'm still waiting on a reply to my last inquiry.

#10 1997reduxe

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

look around in other areas than yours.
i once drove from southeast pa to elmira ny to look at, and then drove back up, to buy one with i think 140k on it.
it seemed like it had a bad axle but i bought it anyway, took it to suby and they said it was a tire. got one and that was it.
here's another one on the denver list:
http://denver.craigs...2957945165.html
it looks like a better deal, at least it runs, for 50 more.
and also remember to check cars.com. i see about six in Co area
some better prices than what you're seeing
(though you're right God! the prices are high in your area!)
and much better condition than that one.

'97

Edited by 1997reduxe, 14 April 2012 - 08:57 PM.


#11 jarl

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:41 AM

The tech center is referring to a neighborhood, in this case one located around a University campus. They aren't the seller.

That said, you must have googled the ad... :)

The little ************ doesn't bother me, and even swapping a motor is no problem. I just DON'T WANT TO WORK ON A TRANSMISSION. If she brings the price down? Who knows, I'm still waiting on a reply to my last inquiry.


Je je... that makes sense. Still, the car is listed as being sold by a dealer, not by the owner. In my book, that means that someone is making money on the car, ergo the car is worth much less.

I agree some minor damage is acceptable as long as you get something in exchange for it. But with the long list of things not working as they should, a cracked windshield, blown engine, and dubious transmission, I wouldn't pay that money for it. With that many miles the struts are probably shot, and there are probably other things needing attention.

#12 man on the moon

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 12:49 AM

There are loads of them all the time, this girl actually responded and still had it! Most of the running ones either don't respond or I find too late. Eventually I'll find one! Whether it's this one or another one, I don't know. I'm not in a hurry to have one, so if she makes a good deal I might take it, and if not, I won't.

#13 1997reduxe

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:49 AM

see, the value of cars.com, is that it's a little different than craigslist
in rather than just being a completely online service, it also
aggregates the classified car ads from most small town or
regional newspapers, so for in the case of that elmira ny
car i bought it had only been placed by them in the elmira paper,
so it had only been checked out by a few locals who didn't want it.
awww-yeah!!!
:drunk:

#14 Rooster2

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 06:43 PM

Non-running Legacys with bad motors, and bad trannies, are what you find in a wrecking yard. A wrecking yard would buy this car for max of $400. You needn't spend more.

#15 man on the moon

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:31 PM

Well, going on two days now and still no more response. I'd consider a scrap-yard offer if she were communicative. I could make a spot to park it and find a place to reseal a motor, but it's not worth the trouble to me of long back and forths in communication--especially if the tranny is going to need some love in the near future, too.

Thanks for the ideas, if nothing else they will help me untangle the next ad I try responding to :).

#16 man on the moon

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:01 AM

Ok, she eventually responded but wants the cash she is asking for it due to financial reasons. I don't think she's going to get it, and as if in evidence of that I just came across her re-post of the ad a week later. Good luck to her, I guess!

#17 jarl

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:17 PM

Well... if she gets the money she's asking, good for her. And good luck to the buyer.

#18 man on the moon

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:36 PM

Well... if she gets the money she's asking, good for her. And good luck to the buyer.


Touche!




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