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95 Legacy - what to look for when shopping?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 ModemJunki

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 11:22 PM

Hello all,

My wife and I have an '03 Forester X 5-speed we bought a year ago, and we're as pleased as could be with it. I pulled a couple of small stumps out with it today. Not that I recommend doing that on a regular basis, mind you.

Now it's time to replace our old Ford, and I'm looking at a 95 Legacy LSI. Well, I'll be looking at it soon.

What pitfalls should I check for? It's listed as an auto trans with 90k on it (not quite broken in yet!). I'm fairly competent mechanically speaking, so I know to check all the normal stuff like tire wear, brakes, look for bearing noises etc. I'm looking for more Subaru specific checks.

Thanks in advance for any advice given!

#2 Hocrest

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Posted 06 September 2003 - 11:37 PM

90K is around the time for timing belt replacement. Ask if it was just done, If not, use it to lower the price.

#3 ModemJunki

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 12:31 PM

Originally posted by Hocrest
90K is around the time for timing belt replacement. Ask if it was just done, If not, use it to lower the price.



And - that's it?

:D

#4 Suzam

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 04:06 PM

If it's the 2.2 (not sure since it's an LSI) check for evidence of oil around the timing belt cover. The 2.2 in particular needs new cam seals and the oil pump screws tightened by around this much mileage. If the timing belt was done, the seals and oil pump should have been at least checked. If not, this could be something to consider and have done with the timing belt. Also I believe the recommended timing belt change is 60k. I’m really not sure if all this applies to the 2.5 motors, so maybe someone else can confirm this info.
Our 95 Legacy L just rolled over 110k and is running great. Only 1 front drive axel and 1 alternator repair have been needed and of course, all other regular maintenance

#5 ModemJunki

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 04:31 PM

Thanks, Suzam!

#6 Sydfloyd44

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Posted 07 September 2003 - 07:20 PM

Have a 95 Legacy L w/ about 133,000 on it. Runs like a champ!
Replaced one axle (only due to torn boot), cam seals and o2 sensor (rear). Other than that, just regular maintenance including new timing belts every 60,000.

#7 ModemJunki

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Posted 08 September 2003 - 05:36 PM

Thanks for the input, Sydfloyd44!

#8 intrigueing

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 06:57 AM

Make sure the tires all match and have similar wear. Mismached tires will eat the drivetrain on these cars. Take some slow tight figure 8's to make sure you do not get any binding from the AWD.

#9 ringe

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 12:36 PM

The 2.5 liter engine developed that year was available only with the automatic tranny and was not the same as the one you are running in your Forester. It requires premium fuel and produces only 155 hp despite that. The 2.5 pretty much sucked until around 97. The 2.2 though is a great motor. Only 130 hp, but with a stick that is plenty.

#10 ModemJunki

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Posted 09 September 2003 - 05:28 PM

Originally posted by ringe
The 2.5 liter engine developed that year was available only with the automatic tranny and was not the same as the one you are running in your Forester. It requires premium fuel and produces only 155 hp despite that. The 2.5 pretty much sucked until around 97. The 2.2 though is a great motor. Only 130 hp, but with a stick that is plenty.



The car I want to look at has a 2.2 automatic.

I have also found a couple of wagons, both 2.2, one stick, one auto.

I've read enough in the forums to know the 2.5 for those years wasn't so great, and I don't want a car that runs on premium.

#11 ringe

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 11:15 AM

Yeah, good call. Looks like you've researched it pretty well.

#12 ModemJunki

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 06:23 PM

:boohoo:

The LSI had a fair amount of overspray on the left front undercarriage. The left front knuckle, arm, and rotor looked fresher than the rest of the car, too. The dealer, of course, didn't know anything about that. Though the body panels look straight, so did the ones on my old Miata. It's wondrous what a good body shop can do.

Too bad, the LSI package is very nice. Off to look at the wagons, then. A moonroof would have been sweet. :-\

Thanks again for all the replies, everyone!

#13 ShawnW

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 06:32 PM

Air Suspension and Automatic Transmissions can cost far more than they benefit on an older Legacy. Id get a nicely equipped L wagon with AWD and a 5 speed. These tend to be cheap.

Maybe you need a Brat, I have an 87 that has been fixed up really nice for sale in the marketplace.

Shawn

#14 ModemJunki

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 10:15 PM

A Brat would be great for me, but I have to haul two mid-size rugrats quite frequently (in northern Illinois).:-)

One of them plays the bass - the upright kind. The Brat would do quite nicely for that!

I like the idea of a wagon body. Even though we already have a Forester, you can't beat the utility of a carryall. I only looked at the LSI because of the overall package, and of course the price was in my ballpark.

So where is the ad for your Brat? I looked but didn't see any by ShawnW...

#15 Hocrest

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 10:32 PM

Shawn's Brat
http://usmb.ultimate...=&threadid=3708

#16 ModemJunki

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Posted 10 September 2003 - 10:46 PM

Sweet Brat! And fair price, too. :slobber:

But alas, I must have 4 seats in the cabin.:(

#17 duane b

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Posted 12 September 2003 - 03:21 PM

CARFAX and other similar websites are a great way to go. For $20 for a month it is well worth the piece of mind. I'll bet that LSI will show up as a wreck. We just bought a 96 Legacy AWD WGN. Our CARFAX printout showed that we were the second (real) owner inspite of buying from a lot. It showed that it was originally from our area (Seattle) so I know it probably doesn't have hidden rust from salted roads in the east. It showed that it always passed emissions so it was in pretty good working order and it showed the mileage on the OD to be fairly reliable. Everything works on it. Other than that the car is dependable although basic transportation. My wife uses it for her work. I can't wait to take it snowbaording this winter to see how well AWD really works. Plus my Trooper gets about half the gas mileage the Legacy does. My wife named it "Lucy"

#18 ModemJunki

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Posted 13 September 2003 - 09:13 AM

Hmmm..

The 95 automatic was in OK condition, but the paint/interior showed signs of neglect.

The 96 5-speed was in better overall shape, but someone had disconnected the keyless entry by ripping the wires out of the connectors (the power door locks didnt work). The hill holder was disconnected at the clutch fork, and it needed new tires. One of the heat shields had a little bit of a rattle. A few dings, normal for the age of the car.

The car ran well, no binding in turns, clutch engaged fairly low.

The only real question I have about it: is it normal for the the transmissions in these to have a lot of gear whine in 1st/2nd?

Sadly, the dealer has set a "no haggle" price of $6000, and the car (with 120K) isn't worth that to me.




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