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Guest Message by DevFuse

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A Brat man, now looking at a Forester.... words...

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Indrid cold

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 03:15 AM

I love my old school (down to my 84 Brat) and usually abide in the Old School area, but I need your input if you could.  


Local private party here in Kennewick, WA, has a 2000 Forester for sale, before they put it in the paper they wanted to know if I was interested.


2000 Forester,

5 sp. Manual

170,000 with new timeing belts.

lots of extra's, power seats, heated what ever..





Don't know anything about these new--er, Subies.  Ej. motor I guess?  don't know... will have to go look. 

Any quick thoughts?  I will road test and poke... but don't know much other than that.  Looking at it for my daughter.  She drives, I fix.  It's what dads do, or are these a mess of a rig?  I am average, home mechanic.  I keep my old school rigs running along with my 2000 Ford Taurus, so I only pretend to be a mechanic, but I do keep them running.... most of the time.  


Your words are appreciated.  

#2 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 09:55 AM

Fozzy's are pretty good cars.

They're based on the Impreza platform, so pretty much all the major bits will swap over.

Finding one that has a lot of options AND a 5sp is pretty awesome.

If you know the timing belt was done recently and properly, that is a big bonus as they are interference engines.

The price isn't bad either. I've seen those years go for $5-7K around here.


As for the engine, you'll have an EJ251, or the SOHC 2.5. They do have headgasket issues, but they leak externally instead of internally.

So you won't have to worry about it vaporlocking your coolant passages if the headgasket does let go.

And changing head gaskets are the same as most any other SOHC Suby.

You can do it in car, but plucking the engine is probably the faster route.

EJ cars are typically reliable and solid. Not as solid and unkillable as our EA81's, but I would still roll in one ;)


My final verdict: Gopher it.



#3 idosubaru


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Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:05 AM

headgaskets are the main issue and they are significant to repair and happen often.  that particular year leaks externally - so you can simply look underneath where the head meets the block and see if it's leaking or not.  if those check out - it's a great vehicle and that's a decent price i think for the PNW.


at this age/mileage all the timing components need replaced.  Gates kits on amazon are $115 for belt, tensioner, and all the pulleys.  It's an interference engine so if one of the pulleys fail the engines usually incur bent valves.  They are normally devoid of grease by now and ocassionally fail.  But it's expensive if they do fail.


the timing belt stuff is easy to replace - can be done in an hour, add a little more time for a first timer.

#4 Prwa101


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Posted 03 August 2014 - 02:42 PM

My 2000 forester has 275,000 on it and is still going. 00 was the 251 sohc, the head gasket issue is fixed with the 257 (STI) head gasket. Subaru claimed they redesigned the old head gasket for the 251 but in fact it didn't change anything.

Wow 3500 is a pretty good price. I'm toying with selling mine sadly, king springs, 1" lift, the hole shibang. I upgraded to the 04 FXT's and am addicted now. I'm planning on running the same set up as I got on my 00.

#5 Stelcom66


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Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:52 PM

Good to hear about a Forester with 275,000 miles on it. My 2002 only has 116,000. It's an S model with the 5 speed. I love driving it, I don't very often since I have a company vehicle. I do hope to keep it a long time. It's a great winter vehicle. Of course good in snow, the heater and heated seats are great. To me it rides well, has a decent amount of room. Although it just fit, I was able to put a 24" snowblower in the box inside. I bought it in 2011 and still look forward to driving it. I'm in my late 50s and see no reason to trade it in for anything else, for me it does everything well. Fuel economy averages in the low 20s. Sure there's many vehicles that will do better, but there's other sacrifices along with better miles per gallon. Oil changes are easy, the filter very accessible. I've had many Subarus, been using PH3593 filters for years. My sons have a Legacys, one a 2007, the other a '95 with 177k,


I'd get that 2000 for sale.

#6 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 11:19 PM

I've had many Subarus, been using PH3593 filters for years. My sons have a Legacys, one a 2007, the other a '95 with 177k,


Not to be a stickler, but please change to a better brand of filter if you're going over 3000 miles per oil change.

FRAM filtration media leaves a lot to be desired. I recommend Wix (aka: Napa Gold), Bosch, Mobil 1 (if you're running synthetic) or Donaldson (if they have a filter available for your car). If you don't believe me, please, cut open one of your filters and another brand and compare them.

You'll see the materials used and the quality of construction.



#7 Gloyale


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Posted 04 August 2014 - 10:59 AM

I want a 98 forester.........The DOHC 2.5 can be easily swapped to non-interference 2.2 or even EJ18 for fuel economy and durability.


99+ use Phase II more complicated to swap......really impossible without a CEL.


2000 is great I just really wouldn't want to rely on a 2.5.

#8 Ratpick


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:41 PM

I agree with Twitch. Gopher it. Don't be afraid of the 2.5 head gasket scares. Swap to a 2.2 or 1.8? Won't it become a traffic hazard by not getting out of it's own way? ;)

#9 Stelcom66


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Posted 01 September 2014 - 08:25 AM

"but please change to a better brand of filter if you're going over 3000 miles per oil change" - Thanks for the advice - been getting the FRAM only because I'm used to it, a habit I guess. Just changed the oil in my son's '95 Legacy, I already had a FRAM on hand. His 2.2L with 177k is running fine, want to keep it that way.

#10 Turbone


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Posted 01 September 2014 - 11:29 AM

My 02 was wrecked when I got, I'm into it around $1500. Just about to hit 200k and theres no sign of the engine having any issues.

The struts are shot, mostly due to the abuse I heaped on it during my move last year.

Its a work horse and I dont treat it like my RX, its like a shop truck.

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