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Advice on buying a 97 Outback?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 guysk

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 10:35 AM

Hi all,

I am new to the Subaru world and would like advice/opinions on a 1997 Legacy Outback thatI am thinking of buying. It has 140,000 miles and a few minor body scratches. I drove it twice now and inspected everything under the hood and I was impressed. The motor is quiet and it has great acceleration. It has a new timing belt and a few other parts. The clutch is original but seems smooth along with the five speed transmission. The only problem is that it has a rebuild title. I did a carfax and found out that it was totaled in 1997 with 10,000 miles on it. It was then salvaged and rebuilt and appears to have been running fine for the last 130,000 miles. Does a price of $3700. seem like a reasonable price? Is there anything specific that I should be be aware of before I buy it?

Thanks

#2 rweddy

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 11:10 AM

Hi all,

I am new to the Subaru world and would like advice/opinions on a 1997 Legacy Outback thatI am thinking of buying. It has 140,000 miles and a few minor body scratches. I drove it twice now and inspected everything under the hood and I was impressed. The motor is quiet and it has great acceleration. It has a new timing belt and a few other parts. The clutch is original but seems smooth along with the five speed transmission. The only problem is that it has a rebuild title. I did a carfax and found out that it was totaled in 1997 with 10,000 miles on it. It was then salvaged and rebuilt and appears to have been running fine for the last 130,000 miles. Does a price of $3700. seem like a reasonable price? Is there anything specific that I should be be aware of before I buy it?

Thanks

I am not sure about the price, check in your area. That would be a good price here in Colorado.



97 have a 2.5 that have head gasket issues. This mileage is around where they tend to go.
Unless you can do the work yourself be ready to pay $1500ish to have them replaced.
They can last 200k or I have seen them go as early as 60k. I really depends on maintenance, climate, luck, etc.
Is it an auto or stick? The automatic trannys can have some issues if they are not properly maintained.

Also it will be very hard to re-sell the vehicle with a Salvaged title, many buyers will not buy one. Also check with you insurance company, sometimes they will not fully insure a salvaged vehicle.


But overall you will love the vehicle; they are great riding, great in snow. And compared to other AWD vehicles, inexpensive to fix and mostly dependable besides the listed issues.

#3 Ranger83

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 04:47 PM

I think Mr. Eddy has given you good advice. My sister-in-law from VT has 202K miles on her '97. I have 143K on mine but just did the head gaskets preemptively - about $1,200.

$3,700 would be a good price because even if you had to do the head gasket job you'd be around $5K. But unless you drive it into the ground it will be difficult to sell. There are tons of '97 OBW out there so I'd look around. We sold a '97 with Cold Weather package and 87K miles for $6,250 last Fall, so I'd think you could get one with under 100K miles for closer to $5K.

#4 arracado

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 05:36 PM

I recently passed on a beautiful 96 Legacy wagon because it had a branded title. The guy that was selling it did all of the body work, and it really was immaculate. I decided against it because of safety issues (even though the airbags didn't deploy in the wreck, I was still leery about whether they would function properly in another accident), and the fact that it would be really hard to sell one day. $3700 is a good price though; I just bought a 97 Outback with 120K miles, and thought it was a steal at $6500. As far as the head gaskets go, people here seem to make it into a big issue, but I'm sure much of it depends on how you're going to drive the car, and the conditions of it (I think someone else already said that.)

#5 Ratpeters

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Posted 01 September 2004 - 09:53 PM

I have a 97 with 160k on it. I bought with 90k and so far have done 2 set's of head gaskets. Supposedly, the 2nd time the dealer said that Subaru had just re-engineered the head gaskets so we'll see. If they go again I'm finding a short pier and..........




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