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'New to me' 95 Subaru Impreza, Help!


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4 replies to this topic

#1 natness

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:02 PM

Hi all-

I'm new. New to Subarus and new to these boards. I just bought a 1995 Impreza wagon with AWD and manual transmission, 1.8 engine, 84,000 miles. I've never had an AWD vehicle OR a stick... I bought the car even though I couldn't drive it-- shows you how much I loved it. (I've learned to drive it in the last couple days... woo-hoo!)

Anyway, I bought it from a private seller who appeared to maintain it regularly-- all receipts, timing belt changed, oil changes. The tires don't match; the rear tires match each other (50% tread remaining) but the front tires (both relatively new) don't match anything. I took it to my mechanic before I bought it. He said it needed a new exhaust from the cat back, new rear struts, valve gasket covers and 4 new tires. I also think it has some AC issues. (By the way-- my mechanic said even with these problems his gut feeling was that it was a good car... wouldn't have bought it if he didn't.)

OK, so here is where the questions come in. I have $1,100 dollars to fix the car. (I managed to talk the seller down pretty far armed with my mechanics report.) How should I prioritize these repairs? Can I wait on any of these without damaging the car? I intend on driving this car forever if I can. I would like to do anything I can to help it on the gas mileage (prices here in Chicago are 2.22$ a gallon!) and I've heard picking the right exhaust system can help this. I also know the tires have got to be a major issue with the AWD system. I've been having trouble finding tires in the 175/70/14 size that have good consumer reviews. Does anyone have tires this size they are happy with and can recommend? I need ones that are pretty tough since Chicago streets are often filled with nails and/or snow. Are there any other 'known' problems with this model or my circumstances that I should watch out for?

Sorry to be such a chatterbox. I'm excited about this car (first car I've ever owned that I acually LIKE) and I want to do everything right.

Thanks in advance,
Natalie :D

#2 BlueTrain

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:06 PM

i have some bfg control t/a's on mine... great tire for a good price.. and good reviews on tirerack.com.. get some new tires, get the valve covers fixed, new struts, then exhaust.. should be a great ride for ya..
good luck

id also swap out all the fluids, filters, and plugs.. this could help your mpg..

#3 Schmoo

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 03:17 PM

He said it needed a new exhaust from the cat back, new rear struts, valve gasket covers and 4 new tires. I also think it has some AC issues.

There are some threads to read in this forum about tires. If the tires have good tread, then you should measure them (search for threads about this) and see how much of a problem you have.

All the other problems are things you can probably put off, in my opinion. You may wish to deal with the exhaust first. A bad exhaust system can potentially confuse the engine computer, though I don't really have any experience with this. Might also affect emissions testing, if you have that. Otherwise, it's just an issue of noise (assuming that no gasses can leak into the car).

You should also probably take car of the cover gaskets. Shouldn't cost too much, and the important thing is that you'll be able to check for other oil leaks once this one is fixed.

You can run a long time on leaky struts. You can put these off while you save up some more.

#4 Kostamojen

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 05:56 PM

You can get a used set of WRX rims and basically brand new tires (i seen sets all the time with like 8k miles, or even only 100 miles on them) for ~$200 on Nasioc or I-club private sale forums, the strust the cheapest route are GR2's, V5 struts, or just a used RS/WRX suspension. ($50-$200 for used suspensions, GR2's are like 200 for a set, the V5 struts are a little more). For a catback you can just get a custom one made at a shop for $200 or so, or just get a WRX or RS muffler and stock midpipe which might require flange rotation or exhaust hangar moving via a muffler shop, but you can get WRX, etc. stock mufflers/midpipes for basically free (ive had two free WRX mufflers, and a free RS muffler, for different purposes :P )

If you need to know anything else, let me know. I bought my 95 also for pretty much the sole purpose of learning how to drive a manual tranny :)

#5 Setright

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 01:29 AM

Start with four new tyres. Uneven wear is potenially damaging to the AWD system.

Valve cover gaskets, PCV valve and spark plugs next. If the exhaust is seriuosly on the fritz, get a new one. Bear in mind that buying an aftermarket exhaust can pose fitment problems. A Subaru exhaust will fit, last a long time, and not be loud.

New rear dampers last, that way you will have learned how well the car drove with worn dampers, and when you replace them it will be like getting a new car!




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