Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

What model/year to buy??


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 morgantruce

morgantruce

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Wayupahollerin

Posted 26 September 2003 - 10:49 AM

I need to buy yet another used Subaru... :clap:

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:

#2 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:03 AM

EJ20 and EJ22 engines are very good. EJ25 has cylinder walls too thin to keep head gaskets tight, so are best avoided. The gaskets have been through a number of redesigns, likewise the block and head, not sure if it helped.

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.

#3 1 Lucky Texan

1 Lucky Texan

    I read a lot about Subarus

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 4,925 posts
  • Texas

Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:32 AM

Yeah, I've been kinda dreaming about a used Sube for myself (we are new to Subaru and the '03 H6 OBW is really my wife's though I'll probably end up putting 1/2 it's mileage on it - hey, how do folks accustomed to metric refer to 'mileage' on cars?) adn wonder about the '96 and up YMs. W.Virginia probably doesn't get a s hot as Texas but I was told the R-134a wasn't used in Subes before '96 or so. That would be a concern for me.

So what engines are in '96 and up?


Carl
1 Lucky Texan

#4 calebz

calebz

    Andys Coupe killed my cat

  • Administrator
  • 7,547 posts
  • Tacoma

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

#5 morgantruce

morgantruce

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Wayupahollerin

Posted 26 September 2003 - 02:43 PM

Thanks Setright.

Any other ideas on what to look for in 1990-95 Soobs?

#6 cookie

cookie

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,058 posts
  • SFO

Posted 26 September 2003 - 03:59 PM

I really liked the 2.2 engine and my brother in law in New Zealand has had great luck with them as rentals in Queenstown.
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?

#7 Snowman

Snowman

    Midnight Passenger

  • Members
  • 3,538 posts
  • Haines

Posted 26 September 2003 - 05:47 PM

Personally, I have always liked early-nineties legacy wagons, as well as the impreza outback. Both use the smaller EJ motors, which are known to last over 400,000 miles, and they retain that "small and light" feeling of the older subarus.

#8 99obw

99obw

    this space for rent

  • Members
  • 1,595 posts
  • Ithaca area

Posted 26 September 2003 - 06:34 PM

A guy at work has a 2.5 impreza on order. Personally, after dealing first hand with the 2.5 and it's love for being taken apart, I would have bought a slightly older impreza with a 2.2.

#9 morgantruce

morgantruce

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Wayupahollerin

Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:37 PM

From what I've read here, everyone seems to agree that the 2.2 L engine is a very good engine. In pre-1995 cars the 2.2 was available in both the Impreza and the Legacy. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two models?

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?

#10 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 27 September 2003 - 02:58 AM

The Legacy came first. Colin McRae raced one in the WRC early 1990'ies. To make it more agile they decided to cut the wheelbase down, and hey presto created the Impreza! Therefore the mechanicals are pretty much identical.

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??

#11 Lesbaru

Lesbaru

    Gir is my copilot

  • Members
  • 681 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 27 September 2003 - 08:39 PM

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!).

#12 adwolf1

adwolf1

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts
  • central VT

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.

#13 morgantruce

morgantruce

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Wayupahollerin

Posted 28 September 2003 - 04:14 PM

One of the cars "I'm looking at..." is a 1995 Impreza Outback Wagon---with the EJ18 engine, 5 speed manual, AWD, and A/C.

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...

#14 WagonsOnly

WagonsOnly

    Now only WagonsMostly.

  • Members
  • 1,475 posts
  • North Central CT

Posted 28 September 2003 - 09:14 PM

There's a used Subaru specialist up in Western MA that swore by the EA81 and EJ22/EJ18 engines to the point that he warrantied all used Soobs he sold with the engines to 100K miles, no deductible, on all drivetrain components. I think he stopped last year (they're getting scarcer in the used market, at least with low mileage) but he's still in business.

#15 LegacyT

LegacyT

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 110 posts
  • Ottawa, Canada

Posted 29 September 2003 - 07:17 AM

My father being a Subaru Master mechanic, says there is no better modern Subaru then the 1st gen EJ22 Legacy's (90-94) the even better ones being the 93-94 ones. thats why we have 5 of em :lol:. that and he loved the older 80-84 EA81's alot too.

Mark,

#16 morgantruce

morgantruce

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 51 posts
  • Wayupahollerin

Posted 29 September 2003 - 07:42 AM

Today we're going to look at a 1996 Subaru Legacy Brighton wagon, 2.2L, 5 speed manual AWD. The Brighton lacks power windows and door locks---which I never liked in any car.

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.

#17 wrxsubaru

wrxsubaru

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,294 posts
  • Seattle Washington US

Posted 29 September 2003 - 11:54 PM

yeah the 1 gen legaycs are really nice, and cheaper. My dad has 330,000 miles on his 90 legacy 5spd awd, and my mom has 190,000 on a auto wagon awd. These cars can take a beaton and keep runing to. I bought one(90 legacy 5spd awd) at a aution for $100 to beat on it. It never broke, after jumps, mud, and rocks, it had 227,000 on it to. The cars 1 gear is low enogh to go off road to a extent, but i had to slip the clutch alot to get it out of some deeper sand. I eneded up selling it as a winter beater to my cousin.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users