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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Test drove a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.5l Manual..

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2 replies to this topic

#1 anchoricex


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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:42 PM

Hello everyone,

I'm in the market for a new Subaru (previously owned two STI's, one 2005 WRX Wagon) and my eyes have been opened to the Legacy Outback. Did my research about all of the notorious head gasket issues, looked around for a few months and finally went ahead and test drove my first one today---a 99' with around 100k on it. 

Problems I noticed:
-Clutch seemed like it had a reaaaaally short throw. Perhaps this is because I'm coming from a WRX (my most recent car) but the clutch just feels entirely different. Very difficult to tell where the catch point was. 

-Car was a little "bumpy" when I was letting out the clutch (sort of felt like I was going down a gravel road).

-Yes, the car is 13 years old. It had a somewhat noisy fan that was noticeable when the car is given gas. Almost like you'd hear on an 4 cylinder pick up truck.

-Rear passenger window seems like it's ready to give up (barely went up all the way, had to use my hand to push it the rest of the way up). I'm leaning towards this being a shot window motor. Anyone replaced one of these? Difficult? Expensive?


Other than that everything seemed to check out okay. I do plan to take whichever Subaru I purchase in and have it overhauled (timing belt, head gasket, tensioners, etc) by an independent subaru specialist (allwheeldriveauto.com here in Kirkland, WA). I wasn't able to check the coolant to see if there was any bubbling/gas smell (but I really should if I go back to make an offer). Should any of these things I listed steer me away from the purchase of this car, feel free to bombard me with knowledge. This week I plan to go test drive a couple more to compare the clutches and see if this is a regular thing for these cars. I'd appreciate any and all insight that could help educate me to purchasing the right Legacy. It's quite a step back going from newer Subaru models to this, but I believe these cars offer what I need in a vehicle and more.

Thanks in advance!

#2 Fairtax4me



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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:10 AM

Fans on these are electric, no connection to the engine, therefore fan speed has no correlation to engine speed.
The buzz/whirr noise is due to some other issue. Possibly bad belt tensioner or idler, power steering fluid level low, or could just be the classic loose heat shield.

Clutch should start to disengage at about 1/3 pedal travel. Should be fully disengaged by about 2/3 travel. Probably just old clutch, shuddering is usually due to hot spot glazing on the flywheel and/or pressure plate. Did you check the hydraulic fluid level?

#3 nipper


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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:11 AM

It is possible that it may have a tired clutch. If you are going to have the engine reselaed, I would just write it off as wear and tear.


Check the tires make sure they are all equally worn and match.

But what you do need to do is check for torque bind. Go out to a flat paved parking lot. Once the car is moving at idle speed have the car make a tight circle. The car should not need any throttle (or very little) and there should be no jerking andthe steeringwheel should not fight you. If it does it has torque bind. Torque bind in a manual means you need a new center diff/viscous coupling. 


Struts are probably getting tired.


Rear hatch handle may stick or is rusty, that is not a deal killer. They are cheap to fix with new parts.

good luck.

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