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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Should I part it out or spend some $ ?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Chongo

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 09:20 AM

Ok all you East Coasters (or any of the rest of this great forum), my 86GL Wagon 4WD EA82 is on its last leg....Engine has 177k and needs a re-seal badly, timing belts, cam seals and a new water pump just months ago, but it still leaks around the heads at the block. Hitachi needs either another rebuild or a new one whatever, exhaust is real stinky. Frame rails where they curve up underneath at front suspension have major rust holes. Needs a new alternator for sure. I need to get my Y pipe re-welded, the place I ordered it from sent me one that was about 3mm short of clearing the studs on the heads so I it shortened it and had it re-welded but the guy missed a spot here and there on the sleeve so it leaks. The inspection dude that flunked me cited me for a leaky Y pipe, ok I can deal with that, leaky wheel cylinders in the rear end (funny I just replaced the rear shoes so it would pass for that and saw no leaks whatsoever, must have been all the brake cleaner I sprayed on everything) and a loose steering column, but it passed the year before with the same condition at the same place! Then this dude said "Left front strut at spindle loose" What???? I love this car to death and really enjoy being part of the SOOB bunch and met a lot of great folks at Carlisle in May and want to continue on with this wonderful band of maniacs that are enthralled with this devotion to the Subaru. What's a Soobie owner to do????

#2 northguy

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 10:01 AM

So, you're looking at putting over a grand into a car that books for about $8oo. What do you think?

#3 thealleyboy

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:30 AM

Chong:

I know where you are coming from, but sometimes a car is just too far gone, and you just have to accept it.

You may feel better about "retiring" your old car if you get another Subie and strip your old one down for spare parts. By recycling, your old Sube will still live on - in spirit if nothing else.

It's also ridiculously inexpensive, over time, to transfer good parts among several cars of the same model. Subes are perfect if your goal is rock-bottom transportation costs.

good luck, John

#4 NorthWet

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:38 AM

... Frame rails where they curve up underneath at front suspension have major rust holes...


Being on the wrong side of the country may slant my opinion on this item, but it struck me the most while reading. For me, this is a deal killer.

I also have empathy for what you are feeling. I bought a car SPECIFICALLY for parts, and am having trouble stripping it. ("It only needs this... and that... and...") In the end, it would cost far more than its market value, and it has parts to keep 3-4 cars in my stable running.

Good luck with your decision.

#5 89Ru

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 11:53 AM

Chongo,

Why does it need a new alternator? If you are like me, you want it replaced just because its old. I did mine at 200K for about $88 before a 1500 mile trip, but it wasn't showing any signs of needing it.
I understand the strange affection that may convince you to spend a few bucks more than the car is 'worth' (what a willing buyer will pay to a willing seller), but doesn't take into account the value of the invested time and knowledge of the repair history of the machine. I have yet to see a Subaru die so I have no experience about when to make that decision. My first Sub is like yours but 3 years younger. It has been taking more encouragement to keep running lately, so rather than dumping it I bought another Subaru.

What I would do is: Get the seals done so its not an oil spreader. Get the exhaust holes patched so it doesn't stink. Attach a CO detector to your visor. Run it until it dies a definitive death.

What's up with Virginia inspection? Did you recently buy the car or is this an annual thing? Maryland has frequent exhaust emissions testing (and fortunately doesn't care about other emissions prone to Sub's).

My wife has a brother that lives in Manassas that we visit here and there (90 min for me). If you part out your creampuff let me know.

89Ru

#6 Scoobywagon

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:53 PM

Here's the way I look at it.

"This is my car. There are many like it, but this one is mine!" Well...sort of like that. My cars aren't worth much to someone else, but they are worth PLENTY to me. Now, in the case of your car, you're looking at about $1000 to get it all fixed up, unless you pay someone else to do it in which case you're probably looking at something closer to $3k. Having spent that $1-3k, you will have a car that will last a LOOOOOOOONG time to come.

The other option is to take that $1-3k and buy another car. However, 3 large isn't much of a down payment on a new car and a $3000 car is still a bit of a beater. Since there is a REASON why someone is selling that car, and you won't know what it is until after the ink is dry, you would be inheriting someone elses problems. If, on the other hand, you put that money into a down payment on something newer, you'd then be looking at between $100 and $300 per month in car notes. Now I don't know about you, but there is a HELL of a lot of fixing and modding that I can do on $1-300 per month.

No, my personal preference is to turn my own wrenches. Not particularly good at it, but I do enjoy it. I also tend to buy a car and run it until the wheels fall off (sometimes literally). If you don't enjoy turning wrenches, then maybe a newer car is the way to go for you.

#7 thealleyboy

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 12:55 PM

Chongo,

I understand the strange affection that may convince you to spend a few bucks more than the car is 'worth' (what a willing buyer will pay to a willing seller), but doesn't take into account the value of the invested time and knowledge of the repair history of the machine.

89Ru


Excellent point.

"Knowledge of the repair history" should be a big part of your final decision. If you do decide to get another Sube, you should learn as much as possible about that car too. If you decide to stick with the EA82 platform, you'll be able to piece together a very reliable vehicle if you save your old parts. Other than the uniboby, it sounds like a decent car mechanically.

good luck, John



#8 All_talk

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 01:16 PM

I also have empathy for what you are feeling. I bought a car SPECIFICALLY for parts, and am having trouble stripping it. ("It only needs this... and that... and...")


I've been there many times, a real car lover wants to save them all. But remember a part out is a more noble end to an old friend than rotting in a field or the crusher... organ donors live on.

And like NorthWet said... the frame rust is a deal breaker.

Gary

#9 NorthWet

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 01:27 PM

... And like NorthWet said... the frame rust is a deal breaker.

Gary

On the Devil's Advocate side, major rust isn't a fact of life near me. We don't salt our roads, and we get Nature's Car Wash enough to keep rust to a minimum. Rust might concern me more that it would you.

Moss... well, that is a different story. Constant battle for me. :grin:

#10 Chongo

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 02:36 PM

Great replies from all, thanks very much, still have yet to hear from the East Coast Bunch or am I missing something??? Looks like I'll part this one out and get me another SOOB............

#11 Bucky92

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:20 PM

Ok ..words from an East Coaster.. I agree with many of the points the others have made. Has the car been dependable?? If the rust on the unibody isnt too bad..it can be fixed..I have done it before.Floor pan rot..easy to fix..not saying you had any.I had a friend fix a rotted frame rail on one of my old Hondas was better then new. But I have seen some that were beyond repair. I was recently having the same feelings as you when everything started to go on my Loyale.But I did the cost thing and it is better for me to fix it. I have gotten over a year of trouble free use from mine so I figured dumping some money into it..even though by the book..its more expensive to fix it than it is worth. I found some cost saving methods..using used parts...they will hold you over till you can get new ones. My exhaust is used..ask Moosens,Brus Brother and Scoobadooba ..they put it on for me. Once I can afford a second car..my future project Sub..I will put my Loyale down for a few weeks and do more of the work that is needed now. But for now I just have to fix it as it breaks. I am lucky though..for a NE car mine is pretty much rust free..and I try to keep up with it as soon as it starts showing up ( auto body class way back makes it easy for me)

I love my Loyale dearly..more than any other car even my other Subs. It will be a sad sad day when it is time to let Bucky go. I hope that he will be able to help someone else out when it happens like others have for me.That way I know Bucky will live on.

#12 moosens

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:41 PM

Charlie,If you can make it up here I'll hook you up with a ton of stuff for super cheap or even free.There's a good chance you might even be able to get some welding done here at the neighbor's place.

As for the engine re-seal,no sweat.Lots of us have done all out own re-seals and R&R pumps,belts,etc.....If you stop up during the week before 5PM I can get you dealer parts at my discount.No way do you need to spend a grand to keep you car going for a couple more years,trust me,it's my way of life.I know you could do that real easy,but between what I have and my discount you'll be tight and dry,er uhh,your engine will be anyways. :drunk:

#13 thealleyboy

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 07:54 PM

I'm not sure what the difference is between east coast, and midwest, but I suspect the cars deteriorate similarly. Road salt is used extensively in these parts, and this exposes any "weak spots" in a hurry.

Sorry boys, but these cars have some serious defects in unibody construction (ducking!!). I have taked to body guys that swear up and down that Japanese steel is far inferior to US virgin steel. I can tell you from experience that US-built vehicles, including Japanese makes, hold up alot better than the ones shipped from Tokyo in terms of unibody integrity.

But if you can deal with the corrosion issues, these cars are damn near perfect otherwise. If you are committed to the EA82 design, you can keep a set of wheels going for next to nothing. Alot of people forget that these cars are built with high-quality components made by the big-time Japanese suppliers. Same ones that supply Toyota and Honda. These componenets are very reliable, and when paired with the Subaru motors,these cars can go for a long time with only minimal attention.

I don't feel bad anymore about scrapping out cars when they are at the end of the line. Yeah it sucks - but unibody deterioration is a losing battle. If you commit to the EA82 platform, and you are willing to build "new" cars as needed, your old Subie can live on as long as you want it to.

good luck, John









#14 Chongo

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 02:38 AM

My tags and registration expire Oct 31, can't get it re-newed without a pass on the emissions. The Soob is in my driveway and will stay there till I either get it fixed or decide to part it out....Once inside the garage I'm either gonna fix it or tear it apart.......I'm so bummed out, what a great little vehicle these Soobies R




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