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What model/year to buy??
Posted 26 September 2003 - 10:49 AM
I own a PAIR of 1988 Subaru GL wagons, 4x4, with dual range 5-speed, and SPFI on the 1.8 engines. I LOVE these cars!!!! I travel a REALLY steep hill to get home (in West Virginia)---that low range tranny is great in the winter!
I'd like to move into a slightly newer (lower mileage) Subaru.... but I'm totally unfamiliar with what's available from 1990 on thru the mid 90's. I think I've heard there are some models that are best avoided.
I'd be interested hearing if there are 5 speeds with lower-than-usual first gears (I just KNOW I'm going to miss that dual range box!)
Would appreciate hearing about general reliablilty, rust issues (shudder), and other opinions. :wave:
Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:03 AM
Early 1989-mid 1990 5MT boxes are bad - main bearings die at 120K miles. Clutch swaps between 2000 and 2003 could mean cold judder - GM to thank for that one.
Legacies are 70% galvanised so rust doesn't run rampant. Not sure what percentage on the Impreza, but likely to be similar. Check the bottom rear of the passenger door frames. Rust loves to start at the point where its welded to the sill.
Wheel bearings have a reputation for going easily, but I am only now beginning to hear one of my fail, at 185k miles.
Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:32 AM
So what engines are in '96 and up?
1 Lucky Texan
Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:48 AM
Originally posted by 1 Lucky Texan
I was told the R-134a wasn't used in Subes before '96 or so. That would be a concern for me.
Wouldn't worry about that too much.. Conversion is cheap and easy.. hell, even my 87 has 134a:D
Posted 26 September 2003 - 02:43 PM
Any other ideas on what to look for in 1990-95 Soobs?
Posted 26 September 2003 - 03:59 PM
The 2.5 has been a bit of a disaster for Subaru's reputation. I only ended up with one myself because I wanted a Forester and they only came with 2.5s.
If you can rent a car to a skier and get it back in one piece it is tough.
By the way did you know that a ski rack is the most potent performance accessory?
Ever have to pass a car with a ski rack?
Posted 26 September 2003 - 05:47 PM
Posted 26 September 2003 - 06:34 PM
Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:37 PM
ONE feature I would be most interested in is the ability to proceed down a very steep hill as slowly as possible. I travel a good bit of gravel road---which sometimes gets a bit rutted. My '88 GL 4WD wagons handled both of these situations nicely. In 91-95 do I have a choice between AWD and 4WD? Opinions?
Posted 27 September 2003 - 02:58 AM
I would recommend a Legacy since it has slighty softer springs which would do well on the rough. The longer wheelbase might also aid stability on the steep slopes.
There is a hi/lo transfer case version of the manual, but I have no idea where and when it was produced. Even so, first gear in the 5MT is quite low/short.
ABS is also more likely on the Legacies, and I expect that would be helpful on a steep muddy slope??
Posted 27 September 2003 - 08:39 PM
Posted 28 September 2003 - 02:31 PM
Originally posted by Lesbaru
My 96 Legacy has ABS and a 2.2 l engine. (AWD was optional, and I have it.) I love this car! Sometimes I miss my 86 GL d/r, but overall I really like my Legacy. Haven't had any problems dealing with snow. Not tried driving down any steep hills. 105K, with just the average repairs (except for a disaster with an independent mechanic!).
same here, 96 legacy with ABS & the 2.2l. 100k miles since new.
Very reliable, never left me stranded (except for the OEM battery, whch died after 7 years !)
not very fast or sexy, but it just works, day in and day out.
repairs have been minor, a camshaft angle sensor, new shocks/tires, and now the driver's side window switch is starting to stick. But that's been it.
Posted 28 September 2003 - 04:14 PM
I like the way it looks... but I figure it's a tad underpowered. I'm kinda used to driving my '88 GL with the 1.8 engine---and turning off the A/C on really long uphill grades on interstates. I figure it might be the same deal with that Impreza.
According to the figures I have available, the EA82 SPFI in my '88 puts out 90 HP@5600.
The EJ18 in the '95 Impreza puts out 110 HP @5600----so maybe it wouldn't be too underpowered with that EXTRA 20 HP. Hey, EVERY car I've ever owned has been underpowered.... I LIKE using a gearbox!
Is the EJ18 as long-lived as the EJ22 ?
If I decided to go with a Legacy, I would certainly avoid the EJ25...
Posted 28 September 2003 - 09:14 PM
Posted 29 September 2003 - 07:17 AM
Posted 29 September 2003 - 07:42 AM
Did Subaru do something to the '95 and newer Legacys (other than the 2.5L engine) that I should be aware of?
I see they are a few inches longer, wider, and taller---and a few more horsepower, plus airbags.
Posted 29 September 2003 - 11:54 PM
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