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SVX ASSISTANCE! I found one! I need some help before buying it though


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#1 Exare

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:22 PM

Hi everyone! I'm new here and I'd like to tell you a little about myself. I like video games and I've been hunting down an SVX for a few months. I finally found one and you'll never guess how.

To make a long story short my g/f's mom took a wrong turn to the mall and BAM! I found one. I can afford it too! But first I need to know a few things and get a few recommendations:(.

Now, the car has 191K miles on it but the owner has told me that most of them are highway miles so it's in better shape than most cars (the previous owner used it for trips from NY to FL and back). It's a Subaru SVX LsL 1992, Forest Green and I'd kill to have it! There are a few minor problems with it and I'd like to get some recommendations.

First is the milage, what's the average lifespan of the original engines in the LsL's. Like I said, this one has 191K on it, should I get it? At about when do these cars bite the dust? (it's my first car^_^. I can't believe I found one!!!). There are a few problems with oil leakage.

Now, the engine shape. The owner has told me that the car has been off the road for a year now and if he wanted to he could start it up and it runs good. But the engine drops a cylinder, I'm not totally sure what that means but he said it runs great, picks up great, but shudders when you break. I need to know what could possibly be wrong and if anyone still recommends it.

I know this is getting long but bear with me here:). Now, the car has a brand new torque converter (950! and he's selling it to me for 1K!!!) and brand new tires. The previous owner used it to go down to Florida and back so most miles are highway models (Sorry to sound repetative:(). The cars exterior is in great shape and the interior looks nice too. The current owner did tell me that SVX's can go into the uppe 200K's, is this true?

To wrap things up, I need to know how long original engine life is on average (in mileage), what problems could be causing one of the cylinders to drop, and if anyone recommends picking up this particular car. Thanks everyone!^_^

One more thing, I need to know how safe these cars are. I've heard they were way ahead of their time and still stand up to the best now. Is this ture? I need to know accident safety, how likely might you be to get hurt in these cars? Flippage? Thanks again everyone!!!:).

#2 kingbobdole

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:30 PM

First thing to get is the repair history on the rear wheel bearings and the auto tranny. Those are the two biggest things for the SVX to break. First thing to know about SVXes, it may be $1k for the car, which is a steal by the way, but the parts are NOT cheap. SVXes are expensive to repair and maintain. As far as the shuddering when braking goes, the rotors in the front are warped, easy fix, just do a front brake job. What does dropping a cylinder mean? is it missing? Probably ign related, replace all wires cap rotor and plugs, that might clear it up. Check the tranny fluid for color, listen for any strange noises, play with the throttle and make sure it shifts good. Just be advised if it breaks, which it will at around 200k, its not goona be cheap to fix. Also, on the last bit of milage, SVX engines are very good, 200K sounds like its just broke in:drunk:

#3 X35 Performance

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:42 PM

First thing to get is the repair history on the rear wheel bearings and the auto tranny. Those are the two biggest things for the SVX to break. First thing to know about SVXes, it may be $1k for the car, which is a steal by the way, but the parts are NOT cheap. SVXes are expensive to repair and maintain. As far as the shuddering when braking goes, the rotors in the front are warped, easy fix, just do a front brake job. What does dropping a cylinder mean? is it missing? Probably ign related, replace all wires cap rotor and plugs, that might clear it up. Check the tranny fluid for color, listen for any strange noises, play with the throttle and make sure it shifts good. Just be advised if it breaks, which it will at around 200k, its not goona be cheap to fix. Also, on the last bit of milage, SVX engines are very good, 200K sounds like its just broke in:drunk:


All good info..though the SVX does not have cap/rotor/wires, it has direct ignition on each plug. Tranny issue is probably the biggest worry, but add a good cooler, and it should survive.

In the SVX pictured below, the guy survived. Yeah they are crashworthy...extremely so.

Just a note, you can replace the tranny with a legacy one if you change the rear differential to match. 5-speed swaps are also common and not incredibly difficult.

Good luck, and check out www.subuaru-svx.net/forum for the most SVX info you'll find.

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#4 Exare

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:48 PM

First thing to get is the repair history on the rear wheel bearings and the auto tranny. Those are the two biggest things for the SVX to break. First thing to know about SVXes, it may be $1k for the car, which is a steal by the way, but the parts are NOT cheap. SVXes are expensive to repair and maintain. As far as the shuddering when braking goes, the rotors in the front are warped, easy fix, just do a front brake job. What does dropping a cylinder mean? is it missing? Probably ign related, replace all wires cap rotor and plugs, that might clear it up. Check the tranny fluid for color, listen for any strange noises, play with the throttle and make sure it shifts good. Just be advised if it breaks, which it will at around 200k, its not goona be cheap to fix. Also, on the last bit of milage, SVX engines are very good, 200K sounds like its just broke in:drunk:


WOW! You guys are fast and you know your stuff! Awesome! Ok, first things first. I'm DYING to get this car but I don't have thousands of dollars to put into it for repairs. I won't have my license for a few months so I can save up for the repairs.

I think dropping a cylinder is something like a heart murmur or skipping a beat. The previous owner told me it could be a collapsed valve lifter or just air filtration problems. I'm still not to clear on all of that, does that help any? Could you clear it up?

As a high maintenance vehicle how high maintenece is it? How often do what parts break and do you have a ball park for the costs? I need some safety info too. Are they safe cars for a 17 year old to be driving;)?

200K jsut braking in!? That's nuts! I REALLY want this car. 4WD man! Yeah! I heard these cars have great handeling and fantastic vision for such a low car, can anyone vouch for that? Everywhere I check I hear nothing but great things about these cars:).

This car looks and sounds to be in great shape:). I let everyone know when I take it for a test run:). Anything else I should look for visual/audio wise on the test run?

#5 ShawnW

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:49 PM

Im not sure how they came to 950 for a torque converter unless they went into the tranny too.

The engine is amazing but parts are hard to come by and are expensive...heck the whole car is that way. But for $1000 if you like Subarus, like working on Subaru's and dont mind pouring a little money in here and there you will enjoy the beast.

#6 Exare

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:51 PM

All good info..though the SVX does not have cap/rotor/wires, it has direct ignition on each plug. Tranny issue is probably the biggest worry, but add a good cooler, and it should survive.

In the SVX pictured below, the guy survived. Yeah they are crashworthy...extremely so.

Just a note, you can replace the tranny with a legacy one if you change the rear differential to match. 5-speed swaps are also common and not incredibly difficult.

Good luck, and check out www.subuaru-svx.net/forum for the most SVX info you'll find.

I didn't post my above reply until after you got yours in,. you sneaked under me while I was writing it c_c. lol. How much do coolers and transmissions go for?

That car is trash! That's nuts! I'm glad to know it's a safe car^_^.

Thanks for the link! I'm checking it out now:).

#7 Exare

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 08:54 PM

The engine is amazing but parts are hard to come by and are expensive...heck the whole car is that way. But for $1000 if you like Subarus, like working on Subaru's and dont mind pouring a little money in here and there you will enjoy the beast.

I've loved this car since the first day I've seen it. I'm going to enjoy this thing till it falls apart on the highway! I'm STOKED! I can't wait to get it:). I REALLY hope I do!

As for the test run, is there anything I should look/listen for? waoh, de ja vu O_o. I really need to know though:). Thanks again you guys!

#8 Gnuman

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:29 PM

I would buy the car. You would not be able to get half the car for twice the money.
As far as safety goes, the biggest safety issue with this car in the hands of a 17 year old is testosterone poisoning. The SVX is a lot of car, treat it with respect and it will do well for you. Go easy on the throttle and live longer. . . (sorry for the soapbox, but I see too many crosses along the side of the road belonging to kids that were handed way more car than they knew how to handle, and thought that a fast car negated simple physics. . .) Remember, Death is not behind you. You cannot outrum Him. He is waiting for you around that bend that you just took way too fast to react to anything that may happen. . . Put simply, do not drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly. . .

Other than that, have fun with the car. THe SVX is expensive mostly in the way of parts, as they were a limited production car, and therefore a bit rare. Because of that there are not a lot of parts sitting on the shelves of parts houses waiting to be sold. This makes them more expensive. The engineering of this car is sound, however, and you can learn to fix it very easily yourself.

#9 Exare

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 09:35 PM

Thanks Gnuman! I've got just about all the info I need printing out right now! You guys have helped me out A LOT! Thanks all of you!

#10 cookie

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 01:02 AM

dropping is not a valve. On the other hand learning to do a vlave job might be good for you. My personal feeling is that I survived my teen years becuse I spent so much more time working on old British bikes and cars rather than having them actually run.

#11 Exare

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 06:27 AM

dropping is not a valve. On the other hand learning to do a vlave job might be good for you. My personal feeling is that I survived my teen years becuse I spent so much more time working on old British bikes and cars rather than having them actually run.


What could be causing the cylinder to drop? Do you think it could be an expensive repair? Could it cause any problems if I were driving it around with it?

#12 cookie

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 11:13 AM

could be moderately expensive. Say $1200 or so where you are. It could be something cheaper too, carbon, bad plug, coil, bad wire, etc.

#13 cookie

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 11:23 AM

I think you need to do a search on valves and valve jobs to learn a bit about it.
If you drive it around on three cylinders it will have little power and depending on the cause damage the engine or not.
The car should be assesed by a competant mechanic who is familiar with Subarus.
The other thing you can do is buy it planning to save your money and fix it up.
There is a lot of past info on this board about engines loseing cylinders that would be good for you to go through.
I try not to drive a car at all when it is damaged, although when I was a kid I sometimes had no choice but to limp by.
At least this car should not be driven hard until the problem is corrected.
I think this might be a car you could learn quite a bit about repairing with as long as it is not over your head financially.
Who is going to pay the registration and insurance?

#14 Exare

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 03:18 PM

I think you need to do a search on valves and valve jobs to learn a bit about it.
If you drive it around on three cylinders it will have little power and depending on the cause damage the engine or not.
The car should be assesed by a competant mechanic who is familiar with Subarus.
The other thing you can do is buy it planning to save your money and fix it up.
There is a lot of past info on this board about engines loseing cylinders that would be good for you to go through.
I try not to drive a car at all when it is damaged, although when I was a kid I sometimes had no choice but to limp by.
At least this car should not be driven hard until the problem is corrected.
I think this might be a car you could learn quite a bit about repairing with as long as it is not over your head financially.
Who is going to pay the registration and insurance?


My parents are going to help me purchase the car but I'm going to have to pay full insurance. Thing is, I'm probably not going to have my license until the middle or end of the summer so I've got time to save up and work on it if I need too. My parents are trying to steer my away from it because of the cylinder problem and from what I've heard it shouldn't be that tough to work out. The guy even said that if I'm jsut using it back and forth to work 3/4 times a week about 15mi it shouldn't be that big a problem. Still, I want to get it worked out and look further into it before I get it. I know three respectable mechanics and one of them is better off on the body work sides of things. But I do know two guys, friends of the family;), that know there stuff. I hope I can con them into coming out to see it with me.

I'm still in highschool and I don't have any bills to pay so all of me earnings can go straight into this car (which is now about $2500-3000 a year) so I think I'll be ok. I'll talk to the guy about the tranny and the breaks, he did say the breaks have been recently repaired but that doesn't explain the shuddering he told me about c_c. Oh well, hopefully I can get my parents to take it for a test drive this weekend.

#15 cookie

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 04:45 PM

one of the mechanics to look at it for you. I don't know about back there but here in CA the insurance would be about 2- 3 times the cost of the car for a new driver.

#16 Exare

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 08:17 PM

one of the mechanics to look at it for you. I don't know about back there but here in CA the insurance would be about 2- 3 times the cost of the car for a new driver.


O_O I hope not that much:(. Yeah, I'm trying to get one of the guys to look at it now and I called him but he was busy. He's one of my best friends dad so he might help me out, I really hope he does. I have a list of questions for the owner that I'm gonna ask him based on the information you guys have given me and on a load of consumer reviews and reports I've read around the net. My dad keeps telling me that at 200K a car starts to die and that it dropping a cylinder is just a sign the engine is going. It makes me sad:(. But I will keep trying, I promise I'll have this car one way or another:).

I'm also gonna get ALL the information on can and all the possible causes and effects that cylinder problem can cause or may have already caused. I think that's a really good start, I'll ask the owner himself too when I get a chance to call him. As of now my parents won't let me "Harass" him but I know more about the current situation of the car than they probably ever will, that and they won't listen to me. They hear 191K and "dropping cylinder" and they ignore me, hey, at least I'm being honest:).

#17 SQ93

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 10:06 PM

Good luck with the SVX. If you are going to pay the insurance, then I would recommend you get quotes from your insurance agent, so you will know how much that will be. And maybe get quotes from several insurance companies.

My parents are going to help me purchase the car but I'm going to have to pay full insurance. Thing is, I'm probably not going to have my license until the middle or end of the summer so I've got time to save up and work on it if I need too. My parents are trying to steer my away from it because of the cylinder problem and from what I've heard it shouldn't be that tough to work out. The guy even said that if I'm jsut using it back and forth to work 3/4 times a week about 15mi it shouldn't be that big a problem. Still, I want to get it worked out and look further into it before I get it. I know three respectable mechanics and one of them is better off on the body work sides of things. But I do know two guys, friends of the family;), that know there stuff. I hope I can con them into coming out to see it with me.

I'm still in highschool and I don't have any bills to pay so all of me earnings can go straight into this car (which is now about $2500-3000 a year) so I think I'll be ok. I'll talk to the guy about the tranny and the breaks, he did say the breaks have been recently repaired but that doesn't explain the shuddering he told me about c_c. Oh well, hopefully I can get my parents to take it for a test drive this weekend.



#18 Exare

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Posted 10 January 2005 - 10:22 PM

Good luck with the SVX. If you are going to pay the insurance, then I would recommend you get quotes from your insurance agent, so you will know how much that will be. And maybe get quotes from several insurance companies.


Thanks! I will, my mom is already scouring the internet for quotes, she has been for the past few days:). I'm lucky to, I with Progressive (I think it's them) I get deductions for good grades, all but one of my classes are 90^ so I'm in good shape there, that's the one we're leaning towards. Plus I don't smoke, do drugs, or drink, and my parents records are great. I hope I get as lucky with the insurance as I did finding this car! Thanks again everyone:)!

#19 SQ93

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 01:17 AM

Good to hear! I am looking forward to hearing how test drive goes this weekend. And if you get the car, take it easy! It's fun to drive our Subarus fast, but fun to get there in one piece and live to tell about it (I know, same advice as others have given, but good to keep in mind as well). Best wishes and good luck!

-SQ93


Thanks! I will, my mom is already scouring the internet for quotes, she has been for the past few days:). I'm lucky to, I with Progressive (I think it's them) I get deductions for good grades, all but one of my classes are 90^ so I'm in good shape there, that's the one we're leaning towards. Plus I don't smoke, do drugs, or drink, and my parents records are great. I hope I get as lucky with the insurance as I did finding this car! Thanks again everyone:)!



#20 SQ93

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Posted 10 March 2005 - 01:05 AM

So, did you end up getting the car? We'd love to hear about it!

Thanks! I will, my mom is already scouring the internet for quotes, she has been for the past few days:). I'm lucky to, I with Progressive (I think it's them) I get deductions for good grades, all but one of my classes are 90^ so I'm in good shape there, that's the one we're leaning towards. Plus I don't smoke, do drugs, or drink, and my parents records are great. I hope I get as lucky with the insurance as I did finding this car! Thanks again everyone:)!



#21 Inday

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 07:10 AM

Haven't you ever thought of importing one from abroad? Here in Switzerland there are many SVX for sale and sometimes with very low mileage on it, and the prices are good, too.

Just the other day I saw one for around $ 5'000 (6'800 Swiss Francs) with 40'000 miles on it (65'000 km), in mint condition, so almost like new.

Cheers,
Inday




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