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Buying 1991 XT6 Manual, Need to know things to look for!


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Mephis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 07:47 PM

Hi, this is my 1st post here, im a mild mechanic and i currently own a nicely modifyed 1990 Mazda rx-7 and im looking for something AWD thats cheap, 1st thing comes to mind is XT6, well i found a really really beat up one but its all stuff i can fix easy sence i have a welder and a 35 gallon air compressor, and i need to know certant things to be aware of when buying, they are asking $1,100 OBO and im thinking its worth about $800, i just need some help on what to look for PLEASE.

I dont mean to make anyone mad, but i do need some answers/links soon i looked a little and i wasnt able to find what i wanted, i just need to know commin things that go out on thies cars that i should be aware of.

#2 Mephis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:18 PM

Bump, because this is extremely important.

#3 archemitis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:22 PM

air suspension shot, electric power steering broke, with all subarus, the radiator must be in good condition, or it will blow up very soon. check the mileage on the timing belts/tensioner pullies. torn cv boots, or clicking ones. other than that,they should be jsut as tough as any subaru, wich is very tough! way more tough than ford tough!_!

#4 Mephis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:23 PM

How do i know for sure if the engine is shot? If it smokes like crazy, and btw, how do i know if the rads bad, and im almost sure the air suspension is bad because one side seams to sit higher. could be cause part of the car is sitting in a hole.

Heh, ill prolly take the power steering out anyway.... if the car will still manage to turn.

Btw, the parts for this car amaze me, 3x cheaper then parts for my rx-7 air suspension right here $46 a strut http://www2.allsubpa...=Shock Absorber

#5 archemitis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:26 PM

oh man, that was a 15 minute bump, gotta give it more time

#6 archemitis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:28 PM

green fuzzy radiator is a sure fire sigh, the temp guage should sit at half way, or around there,sometimes less, a high guage is a good sigh, its goin out.

the struts replace jsut fine with legacy stuff, so junkyards are stocked

#7 Mephis

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:34 PM

Thanks for all the help man, Im prolly going to get it, nothing worries me unless i have to break into the engine, suspension, transmission, rearend and stuff dont bother me. And if he said it runs great i seriously doubt it has a bad rad (heh).

#8 Myxalplyx

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 08:38 PM

air suspension shot, electric power steering broke, with all subarus, the radiator must be in good condition, or it will blow up very soon. check the mileage on the timing belts/tensioner pullies. torn cv boots, or clicking ones. other than that,they should be jsut as tough as any subaru, wich is very tough! way more tough than ford tough!_!


I'll repeat some of this just so you know that it isn't just some random stuff.

1: Air Suspension problems (major problem),

2: Electric Power Steering problem (major problem),

3: Slimy green Water Temp Sensor,

4: Oil leaks (Like all older Subarus),

5: Valve tapping from bad oil pump seal,

6: Problems starting from ignition plug, coil or coil igniter

That's all for now off the top of my head.

#9 grossgary

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Posted 09 October 2004 - 10:58 PM

that strut you posted is not for a 4WD - that site is absolutely incorrect. it WILL fit, but it's really for a FWD XT6. if you use FWD XT6 coil overs in the front and back your car will look more like a wedge than it already does...it will *lean* forward because the spring rates aren't made for the 4WD weight, it's made for the FWD. you can cut a coil and a half off the back springs to level it out, but it will set very low. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS because it's a possible safety problem if you don't know what you're doing.
the air suspension for the Xt6 is an OEM subaru only product. gee whiz i have about 100 times more things to say that i have time to do it. new struts (AIR STRUTS - those you posted are just plain struts) run about 400 each (or 250 if you look around). get decent used ones and you can do things to them to make them last forever but i'm not about to type it all out. it's really simple, just wordy. generally the air suspension isn't that bad if you just maintain it like anything else. get new o-rings EVERYWHERE (that's like 2 dollars worth of parts) and RECONDITION your air struts and they'll last forever (cleaner, sand paper, paint). or convert to coil overs. the struts you show don't have the tops, bump stops...blah blah blah, they aren't complete, they'll need additional items to work, some of which may come off your existing rear air strut. i like the air suspension personally. i converted once to springs and have another XT6 with springs and i'm getting ready to sell it (because it's a manual) but i'm glad i'm keeping the one with air suspension. but i use the 4WD for off road driving so i want the ground clearance of the air suspension.
tires should match - if they are all completely different tread depths that's not a great sign. these transmissions are tough, but mismatching tires can wear the internals down. smell the transmission fluid (particularly for an automatic). see what shape it's in. make sure the diff lock works correctly for a manual transmission. for an auto, have it stopped and pointing up hill with the wheels turned and floor it - see if you can feel the transfer clutch work properly for the 4WD. your tires should slip for just a split second and then the transfer clutch engages and shoots the car forward.

engine - as old as it is - expect timing belts, water pump, oil pump resealing i guess unless the dude tells you it's been done recently. look for leaks. particularly the oil pump, head gasket, crank/rear main seals. they require the most work. drive the car a bit and bring it back and park it, leaving it idle for a few minutes.....look under it for oil leaks or coolant leaks. listen for valve tapping (very loud, you can't miss it) or watch the temp gauge. run the a/c on high while yo'ure driving and see how the temp gauge reacts. if it creeps up with the a/c on, might have coolant loss or pressure loss somewhere in the system.

be prepared to change your oil OFTEN. these motors do not act as well with infrequent oil changes as other makes. the hydraulic valve last adjusters (HLA's) don't function properly if they get dirty. dirty oil means dirty HLA's. change your oil regularly and you won't have a problem with them (until your oil pump needs resealed, but that's another story). the benefit is that the valves never need (and actually can't be) adjusted. the downfall is the system is more susceptible to poor maintenance. be ready to change oil frequently when you get it, just expect that one of the previous 4 owners didnt' change the oil enough. it'll pay off in the long run.

radiator needs to be good. head gasket is old, who knows how well the previous owner(s) took care of this thing....any extra heat on an old headgasket is a bad thing. subaru radiators - look to spend 300-400. DO NOT LOOK FOR AFTERMARKET RADIATORS. please don't waste time on this, i've owned 5 of these things over the past 10 years. i don't feel like replying to a post that someone found some, which i always do - they don't exist. when you find one, it will be 150 dollars, but it's really the 4 cylinder radiator and they don't know what they're talking about. it WILL fit with some minor modifications, but it's smaller. don't waste your time, get either the original subaru XT6 radiator for 300-400 or get a company to make you one for quite a bit more than that.

power steering - no big deal. they fail - they just need cleaned internally. most people tell you it needs brushes which are only 15 dollars. really they normally just need cleaned internally, get's dusty in there. if you have close to 200,000 miles, then it will probably need brushes. i've had 3 XT6's with 200,000 miles and only one required new brushes (my current one), the others were fine, just cleaned them once each with electrical contact cleaner. if your pump broke entirely you cna always buy one for 50 bucks, but i see you're pulling it off anyway. good for building your forearms.
cv axles, usually a boot or so is torn. i drove 50,000 miles on my last torn FRONT cv boot and my back one has been torn for like 70,000 miles, doesnt' really bother me that much. i drive off road and it doesn't affect them, just stay out of the sand. that's eats they alive. they aren't a big deal though, basically maintenance items. buy a new axle for 65 bucks or just put a used on it or leave it like i do until you're doing something else.

brakes are about as problem free as you can get on these things. i've driven 100's of thousands of miles on my Xt6's and i've never replaced anything but brake pads and fluid, that's it. i did just buy new rotors this summer, but that's just because i'm rebuilding much of the car, the old rotors were fine.
use 1999 chevy cavalier rotors - they are like 10 bucks instead of 70 dollars and work fine. they are like 1/16th inch thinner and don't have the retainer screws, that aren't needed anyway (they are actually a pain the a!!).

check compression - that will give you an indication of the motor internals. the freaking blocks on these subaru motors are rediculous, they will last a very long time. i almost don't want to rebuild mine (for performance) just to see how many miles this mofo will go. compression check only requires removing the spark plugs, that's it.

XT6's rule
pardon the length, i hope you get this thing....
have fun,

#10 Mephis

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for telling me all this, but a rad is $300? DAMN!!! yea, screw that, ill just have it repaired or pluged if its bad, thanks for the hints tho, and screw air suspension, ill get suspension off a mazda or toyota or something, we put mazda rx-7 front struts on my friends AE-86. And this is going to be my winter car, then im going to spend the summer restoring it, i have no idea how the engine is yet and i doubt for $900 they will take it to a shop for compression check(i dont have the gauge pump thingey) Im pretty much buying it as is and going to replace stuff as it breaks, but im overjoyed to hear they have good engines because this thing has got to last. I hope i get as much enjoyment out of it as i do my 1990 RX-7, you can check it out at www.halffastauto.cjb.net , i plan on doing the same amount of work to this XT, i love restoring old Japenese cars. :D

And i know all about oil changes, Any rotary has oil injection to keep it lubed, you gotta put a quart in per month if you drive it alot, and they smell like 2 strokes, but they dont smoke or leak.

#11 grossgary

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 01:21 AM

i'm tired. straight to the point and to bed:

the side tanks are plastic, making them difficult to repair. although they can be replaced (with used ones, can't buy them new of course), i mailed one to a guy in New Zealand. plugging, brazing, soldering, welding....etc is low percentage. someone this summer had a leaky radiator and kept trying to fix it....he blew his head gaskets. once they get green, corroded and old, repairing them becomes marginal at best. don't take your radiator seriously and your head gaskets won't take you seriously. i hated it when i was in college, trying to replace a radiator was not convenient. i went the used route back then, not any more.

you will not fit any air suspension to the XT6 without major modifications. if you do, you are either very experienced with custom fabrication and welding, know someone else who is or are willing to put alot of money into the suspension. if you're not concerned about ground clearance, go the coil over route. FWD XT6 and even certain front legacy struts (withe one minor mod) are bolt on replacements.

hope you get it, i like 'em. the 4WD rules.




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