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1979 Subaru


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21 replies to this topic

#1 glh1975

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 08:29 PM

I'm thinking of buying a 1979 Subaru front wheel drive car,4 door and a 4 speed tranny.I was wandering how good they are.How's the fuel mileage and how's the engines longevity and reliability wise.I was just wondering if one would be a good daily driver or if I should get something else.I already have a '86 gl 4x4 stationwagon that I like alot.I posted this in another forum by mistake and thought I'd try posting int this forum to see what everybody's thoughts were on the little '79 front wheel drives.

#2 WagonsOnly

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 08:51 PM

Excellent collector's cars and miserable daily drivers. If you know of one for sale and are considering using it on a daily basis, please pass on it and let the collectors/preservationists know about it. Personally I wouldn't want anything older than an '85 as a daily.

#3 glh1975

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:20 PM

I don't really know anything about them.What seems to be the weak points about them,other than being old.I was looking for a car thats cheap,gets good fuel mileage and is easy to work on.

#4 WagonsOnly

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:26 PM

Trouble spots are suspension, body (rust and trim), carburetor, air conditioner (if it has one)...parts are fairly scarce...and gas mileage will probably not top 30. I'd expect around 28 on the highway with the four-speed. The interiors on the early cars are pretty uncomfortable too. Ask anyone here if they're great cars and we'll all say yes--but we only drive them on weekends. Hope this helps. :)

#5 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:26 PM

Hey I use my 78 Brat as a daily driver. Sure it's tiny and not the most comfortable car but I did get 31 calculated mpg a week ago on the freeway, plus they're made of harder metals than the Gen-2s and 3s so they're less rust prone in the wheel wells and stuff.

Easy to work on they are, mostly everything is on top of the engine and it's a pretty simple unit.

Go ahead and buy it - if you like it, sweet, if you don't someone here will buy it from you if it's decent.

#6 WagonsOnly

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:27 PM

Also, parts that aren't safety related (like brake parts, etc.) are getting pretty hard to find.

#7 glh1975

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:41 PM

I've got a mid 80's front wheel drive that's a junker[body trashed,engine locked]would the 5 speed swap over into the '79?

#8 WagonsOnly

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 09:54 PM

Nope, you'll need to find a 5-speed out of a '76-'79 1600 GF hardtop, '76-'79 FE coupe, or any 5-speed box from a Subie with a 1600 engine in it. (The '75 5-speed from the GL Coupe and the GF hardtop may also work, I think the bellhousings are the same--but I'm not 100% sure.)

#9 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 11:00 PM

Excellent collector's cars and miserable daily drivers. If you know of one for sale and are considering using it on a daily basis, please pass on it and let the collectors/preservationists know about it. Personally I wouldn't want anything older than an '85 as a daily.


Hey, wait a minute! I drove my/your Brat as daily driver all summer, 6k miles infact. I thought it was just as decent of a driver as any second gen car I've had. Sure they're not as roomy, but they make good drivers.

I tend to side with the preservationists rather than the collectors though, I'd rather see a nice orginal or restored stock Gen 1 going down the road any day than see 10 sitting in someones yard rusting away. The worse thing for these and any older cars is for them to sit around and never be driven.

I used to collect model cars, never cared much for having the 1:1 scales sitting around collecting dust.

#10 SUBARU3

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 11:08 PM

These cars are collector cars at this point. Yes, you can use them for daily drivers, but there will be on-going "tweeking and fixing" needed. They are nearly 30 years old now! Thats 210 in human years!

If it's not rusty, PLEASE keep it out of the salt!!! Wash well and frequently under the front wheel wells toward the top. Consider selling it to a collector home.

Most mechanical, brake, steering and suspension parts can be found fairly easily. Interior, sheetmetal, glass and rubber are a different story.

The cars are rock solid though and can take a beating!

Todd

#11 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 12:39 AM

I've got a mid 80's front wheel drive that's a junker[body trashed,engine locked]would the 5 speed swap over into the '79?


Couldn't he use the 5 speed if this junk car is a standard model with an EA71?

#12 SUBARU3

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 01:40 AM

He can only use a trans with a top /center mount starter.

#13 Ever Victorious

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 01:41 AM

Couldn't he use the 5 speed if this junk car is a standard model with an EA71?


A mid 80's with a 5 speed would be an EA81 or EA82. The EA71 hatches would have been 4 speeds... I had one sitting around my garage for a while.

#14 MAD MAX

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 07:00 PM

I'm with Grimes and DiggerRoo, You shouldn't pass on one to let it go to a "Collector" if it's what you have a desire for. Isn't it the same desire and passion for these cars that drive a collector to gather them up and use as a restorer or for parts to fix one they allready have. After all if you love to use it for a daily driver then that vehicle will be getting fixed when needed and not sitting around to rust.
My 80 Brat gets 26 mpg city. :headbang: NAPA and AutoZone seem to be able to get the parts I need fairly easy, some instock and others just 3 days shipped.:burnout:
My dads 03 BAJA only gets 20mpg

#15 glh1975

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 03:05 PM

Thanks,I'm supposed to look at it tommorrow.I thought it was a 4 door but I found out today it was a 2 door instead.I would rather have a 2 door anyway.I thought it should get pretty good fuel economy but didn't really know.

#16 hatchsub

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 04:00 PM

yea if its running good it should get mid 20's on the highway.a bit better if you drive like grandma.

#17 75subie

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 04:04 PM

if its an fe you can expect 30+mpg in stock form, hence that fe stands for "fuel Efficient" also the fe's have slightly higher compression and a few other different internals.



#18 SakoTGrimes

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 04:06 PM

I got 31 in the Brat with cargo at about 60. Doing 55 (the speed old Soobs were designed to go) in an FE will net you almost 40.

#19 SUBARU3

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 05:49 PM

Remember these mileage estimates are with the vehicle in top shape.

You are going to most likely be dealing with a neglected vehicle with high mileage.

Thing to look at:
  • Carb will most likely need rebuilt
  • sparkplugs and wires. (Bet they are from 1984)
  • Valve adjustment
  • Air and fuel filter
  • Clogged EGR port?
  • Tire condition and pressure
  • Disty cap and rotor...should be electronic ignition.
  • Oil condition. Synthetic will get you higher mileage
  • Change transmission gear oil.
Absent top condition, your gas mileage will be much less than you think. If you "floor" it often, your mileage su_ks.

So tune it up and get in the 30s

Todd

#20 kiwi subbie

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 07:15 AM

i no a few guys that use there 1930s and 1950s cars as every day cars :burnout:

#21 MachineAgeVictim

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 02:04 PM

I'm selling my 4x4 in the for sale section

#22 gfrumkin

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 11:25 PM

Hello I have a 1979 4x4 Subaru wgn (4 spd). It runs well. I get about 21-23 mpg in city driving in San Diego. I use it as a daily driver and it is fun to drive. I just bought the car about 5 months ago and have already put about $2k into it to make it run better. Before I bought it, it had been sitting in someone's garage for several years. So, having said all that, I can't really answer your "longevity" question. Wish you the best!



I'm thinking of buying a 1979 Subaru front wheel drive car,4 door and a 4 speed tranny.I was wandering how good they are.How's the fuel mileage and how's the engines longevity and reliability wise.I was just wondering if one would be a good daily driver or if I should get something else.I already have a '86 gl 4x4 stationwagon that I like alot.I posted this in another forum by mistake and thought I'd try posting int this forum to see what everybody's thoughts were on the little '79 front wheel drives.






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