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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Looking at 1981 GL wagon, requesting advice.

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Subaru_dude


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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:25 PM

225,000 miles, rocker panels are a little rusted but otherwise it's solid and has the third headlight. It's been sitting for a little over a year because of a broken axle. A local Subaru mechanic who has been out of business for a few years rebuilt the motor, and the owner said when he rebuilds motors he holds it to the floor for several seconds upon first startup, logic being that if it's going to fly apart it's gonna do it right then (he was present at the time of first startup). That was 10,000 miles ago according to the current owner. Should I expect that motor to last? I probably drive about 10,000 miles a year, so if I can get a few years out of it then that's good enough.


These cars are hard to come by, especially as non-rotten as this car. What do you guys think it's worth? I have not heard it run, I plan to take a battery over there in about a week and being sure the 4wd works.


It's not perfect, but it's a nice example of an older Subaru for these parts. I'd like to get away from EA series cars but if I can get this one for a fair price I'll go for it. Thoughts?

#2 Gloyale


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Posted 19 June 2013 - 08:06 PM

Hard to say til you can tell how it runs. But generally I'd say......

Wheeler beater. Yes

Daily driver you need. to count on. No

Although I have a customer with rusty as hell 81 DL fwd 5spd that car keeps tickin along good car ugly a sh@t outside sweet DL dash inside keeps Rollin I see it driving around all the time.

#3 djellum


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:48 AM

ive heard different methods for motor breaking, drive it softly, drive it like you are going to drive it, etc.  in the long run I dont think it matters as much with the RPMs as it does with the level of lubrication all the parts get off the start.  do they use the right amount of assembly lube, prime the oil pump, and/or lubricate the top end before starting it.  i fthey start it dry and rev it to 6k off the bat with no load on it, I would cringe a bit, but if it lasted 10k and you believe the guy, its probably fine.

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 08:44 AM

Get it. Broken axle? just put it in 4wd and drive it away. then fix the axle when you get home.

#5 ivans imports

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 09:18 AM

i break them in hard like he said if its going to have a problem will be in the 1rst tem minutes idleing or lightly reving a new motor is not a good idea needs to be worked

#6 rdweninger


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 02:22 PM

$995.50     Not a penny more.

Good grief - no pics - look at the oil - transmission fluid - tires - cracked glass?  It does have rust.

My last 4 Subies were $200, $200, $100 and $500.   The nice one was $200.  Hatchie was $500... but I HAD to have it !!!

But that's here in Oregon... sometimes, you just find them sitting in the forest.

#7 Subaru_dude


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:13 PM

The coolant was a bit low but looked clean, oil was full. Glass is in good shape, didn't check the tranny grease. Another plus is today I found out about an old gen junkyard about 30 mins from here. That's a huge plus because the thing turning me away from the older Subes was the complete and utter lack of junkyard parts support. The nearest places to get parts would be either North Carolina or Virginia.

#8 N0TKG


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Posted 20 June 2013 - 11:41 PM

A 32 year old car with a broken axle and some rust that has been parked for a year is probably not going to attract many buyers. To anyone other than Subie fanatics it is just scrap metal. If it starts and moves, offer $100 and see what he says. Good luck. My fist Soob was an 81 GL wagon. I will always regert seling it.

#9 mikaleda


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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:42 AM

Unless he can show receipts for a rebuild I would price as if its the original engine, as for his break in logic, It doesn't sound smart to wind up a rebuilt engine on initial start up, even if they primes the oil pump and lubricated the top end first that makes me cring. I would take it for a spin and see how trans shifts and the 4wd works, this guy sounds like he's hard on his cars to have a rebuild at 215k in a subie, at least check the trans fluid.

With what I know about it I would offer him $400 at the most, maybe if it drives good I would offer $600 at the most. I wouldn't worry about it as a daily driver, my ol 80 has been put through a lot of abuse and has always got me around when I really need it.

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