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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Should I restore my old subaru

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9 replies to this topic

#1 mitch_steindler



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Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:43 AM

Hi guys,


This is my first time posting on this forum, but I need some advice. 

I own a 1995 impreza 2.2L sedan (it might be LX im not sure) and it needs some work. Basically I'm wondering if you all think it is worth it.



1. Catalytic converter needs replacing

2. brake pads and rotors need replacing

3. needs new door and window seals

4. Probably needs suspension work, that is yet to be seen

5. Needs paint


My car has 104,000 miles and I like to use it around town but also for biking and camping trips as well as visiting friends from college several hours away. 

The interior is in pretty excellent shape and the four wheel drive system works well and has performed well in the snow. I recently had to replace an oil pressure valve. 


Is it worth it to spend a few thousand dollars restoring the car or am I better off buying a newer one?  (about 10 grand from 2006 70,000 miles) What problems can I expect 

to pop up with continued driving? What preventative measures should I take to ensure a long life if I decide to keep the car?


Thank you!!



#2 heartless


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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:59 AM

at 104K it will need the timing belt & related components replaced asap if they havent already been done


what condition is the body in? I see you are in Illinois, so probably got some rust issues?


the 95 2.2 is a great motor, if properly cared for, and can go over 200K easily - my 95 Legacy is at 214K now and going strong.


a failed cat converter at that mileage is kind of suspect, tho - why has it failed?

#3 upnorthguy


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Posted 05 August 2014 - 07:12 AM

Even if you had to do all the things on the your list, your still looking at hundreds of dollars and not $10k for a 2006 car (that could still need work now, or in the near future!).


I would fix it up.  If you have a few tools, you can do most of that work yourself.  Youtube videos, online descriptions and info posted here (and other forums) provide enough info for you to make these repairs.

I'm not sure I would invest in new paint on that car unless the rust attack was minimal.  Otherwise, enjoy a solid performer (mechanically) for as long as you want to and wait until your next car to have a nice paint job.


+1 on the timing belt/components.  You can get a kit from ebay (mizumoauto is one used by folks here, $135) with a timing belt, pulleys and a water pump.  Your vintage of the engine is great because it is non-interference so a broken belt will not damage the engine, but it will leave you stranded.

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:33 AM

you can swap parts from just about any 1990-1990 legacy and impreza. If there is no rust, it's wrth it. 

#5 mitch_steindler



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Posted 05 August 2014 - 03:32 PM

Alright. So I am not sure why the cad failed. But Here are some pictures showing body issues such as paint and rust. Also a couple engine pics and a pic of the cad.


Pics from google drive: https://drive.google...ZU0&usp=sharing

#6 mikec03


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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:13 PM

I would say that is almost no rust at all!  The car is in great shape. 


I think that your catalytic converter worries are probably based on a misunderstanding of the codes.  Post the code and people here will help you.


If you buy an 06, be prepared for head gasket problems.  The fact that you have a 2.2 engine and the trans is OK, should lead you to keep it.  It should make 200K easy.


And as others have posted, where do you stand on the timing belt replacement.  It should have been done at 60K miles and, if it was, then it needs to be done at 120K miles.  If you don't know when it was done, then you have to do it right away.  Replace everything that the belt touches, pulleys, water pump and tensioner.  It is an easy job.

#7 mitch_steindler



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Posted 05 August 2014 - 05:45 PM

The code is P0420 "low catalytic converter efficiency related to catalytic converter failure". Note that the check engine light was on, which is why I got it checked out in the first place. Also I am unsure if the timing belt was every replaced.

Edited by mitch_steindler, 05 August 2014 - 05:46 PM.

#8 mitch_steindler



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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:13 PM

Okay so I looked around on this site and found a plethora of info on that error code. It doesn't help me much though because I have no mechanic experience. Any work that would need to be done would be done by my mechanic. So...what do I have him do to decide if it is the catalytic converter or not?

#9 MilesFox


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:24 AM

#10 spazomatic


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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:38 PM

In my experience, a bad cat will show other signs as well. Has it lost power? Does it smell terrible during heavy acceleration?

Even if you just replace it for peace of mind; that car is still very worth keeping. But, im a gearhead so i look at it from that perspective. I can do the work myself and am not afraid to get dirty in a junkyard scrounging for parts. Paying somebody of dubious integrity and skill to work on it? Uuuuuuh i dunno. If i were in those shoes id probably have a lease and get a new car every two years.

Luckily, my skills afford me to be able to drive around in old pieces of character saturated crap!

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