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Lots of questions from a noob


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14 replies to this topic

#1 BBYE V8

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:10 PM

I'm new here, and new to Subarus so take it easy on me if I'm asking some stupid questions. :o

I'm looking at a '98 Legacy GT wagon with 64K miles on it. Everything looks fine except for a ton of oil on the bottom of the engine. It's dripping off the oil filter, the exhaust manifold, a lower radiator hose and pretty much everthing you can see from under the car. I've searched a little and found these things have a tendency to leak from the cam seals, crank seals, valve cover and oil pump. Is that pretty much accurate? Any other common oil leaks? More importantly: once these seals are all replaced and RTVed, do they start to leak again in another 60K miles? Is there a "one stop" place to find tech articles on how to replace these seals (or repair Subarus in general)?

Engines: I've read where there are two "phases" of engines, what's the difference? I've also started to get the idea that the 2.0 liter engine is a bit more reliable than the 2.5 liter due to head gasket failure. Is that accurate? Are there other problems with the 2.5 liter?

Bottom line is after doing a little search I'm thinking I should pass on this Legacy and stick to one of the 2.0 liter powered wagons, but I'm not sure I'm getting an accurate image of the 2.5. I'd love to hear any and all opinions and experiences.

Thanks!

#2 mattocs

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 03:16 PM

The 2.2l engines are very reliable...I'm not sure about the 2.0l ones.

Those place the oil leaks from are the common places. The seals can go over 200,000 miles without a leak...but not always. You might not have to redo the seals again as long as you own the car. The engine in that car tends to have head gasket leaks. That is a bit costly to fix...but once its done the car will be fine for a long while.

Gotta weigh the pros and cons. The Legacy GT is a beautiful car...but headgaskets cost a little over $1000 from the dealer. Then again, you might get lucky and never have a problem with them.

#3 Commuter

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 04:07 PM

You are right on the seals.

Budget for a timing belt job (there are articles if you want to do it yourself) and replacement of all the seals. I think your car does not call for it until 105k, but given the age and the oil, I'd do it now. The seals cost very little and the extra labour once you are in there for the timing belt is minimal. I've been having these seals changed with every timing belt. No drips yet in 440,000 km.

If there is a seal leak at the rear of the engine, it can be a bit more of a problem. There is a seal plate (what's it called again exactly... ?) in the bell housing area that sometimes leaks. IIRC, you should have a metal plate in the 98 and will probably be fine. My 97 OB had a plastic one. It was one of those mid model changes. To fix this one, you have to separate the engine and transmission.

A 98 Legacy GT would be a pretty sweet vehicle, but I would not pay a lot for it. There is work to be done (oil leaks) and there is the risk of head gasket failure. Get it for a song and go for it. The rest of these cars stand up pretty well from what I've gathered hanging around this message board for about 4 years now.

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#4 Commuter

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 04:11 PM

Engines: I've read where there are two "phases" of engines, what's the difference? Thanks!

I just very recently posted on this. Do a search (sorry, I'm out of time right at the moment) and it will give you the run down. You have the Phase I in a 98. The Phase II came along (in North America) in 99 in the Impreza platform and 2000 in the Legacy platform.

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#5 jamal

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 06:02 PM

The only 2.0 in the US is in the 02-05 WRX. I think they'll all be 2.5s (and 3.0) for 06. The other engines in Legacies are the 2.2 and 2.2t (91-94 only).

#6 TheBrian

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 09:18 PM

The only 2.0 in the US is in the 02-05 WRX. I think they'll all be 2.5s (and 3.0) for 06. The other engines in Legacies are the 2.2 and 2.2t (91-94 only).

Don't forget the '95-'99 Legacies with the 2.2. Good cars, those. :)

#7 jamal

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 10:42 PM

Don't forget the '95-'99 Legacies with the 2.2. Good cars, those. :)


Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear enough. I meant the 2.2t is only in the 91-94.

#8 JT95

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 08:18 AM

You might want to try to verify the mileage. That sounds like a pretty messy engine for only 64k miles. My only Subaru experience is with my 2.2, and it has minimal oil leakage at 164k miles.

#9 cookie

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:45 AM

oil slinger thing on the rear of the engine.

#10 BBYE V8

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 12:09 PM

Thanks for all the advice and info. I really liked the car; rode great, nicely appointed interior, 5 speed still shifted smoothly, sunroof, CD changer... all around great car except for the oil. After a little more searching I think I'll stay away from the 2.5 liter. While I would prefer the performance of the 2.5, but we really need this car to be as maintenance free as we can afford. I can deal with the seals myself since the car would only be down for a few hours, but if I were unlucky enough to have the head gasket go while I own it... well, that's another story. All the Subarus rank high in Consumer's Reports for reliability, so this has not scared me away from the breed.

So, anybody know of a low mileage Subaru wagon for under $10K with 5 speed and ABS?

Thanks again folks, I do appreciate the advice.

#11 Cougar

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 03:41 PM

Here is a link to a site that has a good product it appears. One of the testimonies about the engine cleaner is from a fellow '93 Soob owner and claims that the oil leaks cleared up with the use of the cleaner. This product looks real interesting to me.

http://www.auto-rx.com/
http://www.auto-rx.com/pages/pov39.htm

#12 BBYE V8

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 01:26 AM

Hmmm, I don't know. I'm all for engine cleaners that get rid of the sludge, but I'm skeptical about it sealing oil seals that are already leaking.

#13 Cougar

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 06:03 PM

I think it may be cleaning the seals so they can do their job again. From the sounds of things with your engine you don't have anything to lose. The engine already is losing oil in a lot of places. If the additive works like it is advertised, it may save you a reseal job that you need already.

#14 Scottbaru

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 07:03 PM

Sounds like he has a lot to lose if he buys it with the hope this cleaner will fix the seals.

So, anybody know of a low mileage Subaru wagon for under $10K with 5 speed and ABS?

eBay, I saw a slew of them before paying $4700 for mine with 77k on it. Of course, I don't have ABS, you may pay a little more for that.

#15 BBYE V8

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 11:19 PM

From the sounds of things with your engine you don't have anything to lose, it may save you a reseal job that you need already.


I guess I should consider it if I ever do need it. But this is not my engine, I was talking about an engine (whole car actually) that I was considering buying; I've already told the sellers I was no longer interested in the car. I'm going to narrow my search to the 2.0 and 2.2 liter engines.

eBay, I saw a slew of them before paying $4700 for mine with 77k on it.


I've been looking on ebay, but most are way too far away to go look at. $4700 w/77K sounds like a good deal.




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