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old school wagon help


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16 replies to this topic

#1 little a

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 12:20 AM

hello folx

i may be moving to the east coast for grad school and i'd like an all weather car to bring with me. what are the good subaru 4wd models out there? fortunately out here in cali subarus are rather affordable used so i'm hoping to find something that fulfills the following criteria:

* has to be cheap (like $1-1.5K)
* has to be a wagon
* has to be all wheel drive
* as reliable as possible (does this altogether exclude turbos?)

TIA!

little a

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:42 AM

the only reliability issues would stem from lack of maintenance. the ea81 (80-84 wagon, sedan and all hatch and brats) has a pushrod motor.

the ea82(85 thru 89 and loyale(thru 94, same car) use the ea82 timing belt motor.
if you were to install new belts, you have nothing to worry about for at least 60,000 miles.

ea82's are somewhat prone to blow head gaskets, but that is only an issue if the cooling system fails. have all new hosed installed(at least the block-to-intake, and the coolant return line on turbos) the water pump can be serviced while doing the timing belts, as well as oil pump seals

a properly maintained soob will last well over 300,000 miles

if yer in the market for a soob, find out what kind of service history it has, and when the last time the timing belts were serviced.

subarus are relatively easy to service and maintain compared to domestic models(in my opinion)

the ea81 soobs will come with 2wd 5spd, 2wd auto, 4wd 4spd dual range, and 4wd auto single range

the ea82's will come with 2wd 5spd and auto, 4wd 5spd and auto, and 4wd dual range 5spd. the rx's have a full time 5spd dual range

turbos are no less reliable than regular motors, same preventative maintenance still applies. although turbos tend to run hotter, no problem with good cooling system

parts between soobs are rather interchangeable between body styles and motors, and some ea81 and ea82 parts will m=interchange

your newer (90+ legacies have all wheel drive)

stay away from automatics, they tend to leak between the front diff and ATF, or they dont shift right after a while(governor shaft)

4wd 5spd dual range is the best choice for a trans, makes the car most capable in off road

if you like to get your hands dirty, then the subaru will be the choice for one who is passionate about driving and maintaining their car.

#3 torxxx

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:00 AM

get a EA-82 soob (85-92)

#4 electryc_monk

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:31 AM

I'll suggest a Legacy wagon. second generation.
its all about the wrenching factor. Why do I say this? Simple, unless your wanting to learn the ins and outs of your car much like a hobby or (cough cough obsession) like others here (grins at others and admits towards self too a bit).... so if your gonna let me assume your mechanical skills are afraid of grease and getting dirty then ell... lets just suggest the Legacy wagon design and then go do your research and report back with what you think. BTW use the search engine on this site for spec's and problems with this or that model and the like.... you'd be surprised at the data mining your able to accomplish from this and other sites.

best of luck and I'll just say this.... I'm not shying you away from the EA82 or 81 series models (circa 1980 to 1992 ish) i own 2 Plus of them soooo yeah.

nuff said? coolness so what you hoping to go into studying?

#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 03:25 AM

General rule is if your not mechanically inclined, go with the newest car with the fewest miles you can find for the price you want to pay.

EA81's are great - they live a long time, but unfortunately, these cars are getting old, and old cars are not generally reliable. Mine give me little hints to this effect all the time. In the last month alone, I've done this to my wagon:

Clutch
Power Steering ilder
Power Steering belt

And this to my Brat:

Exhaust leak - not fixed yet
Bad Air Suction Valve - replaced
Plugged off both Air Suction Valves
Thermostat and gasket
Alternator Belt
Battery

This is JUST the last month, and it's like this EVERY month. And I've got 2 cars that I split the mileage between fairly well. It's not that they aren't reliable, it's that they've been on the road for 20+ years.

And the Alt on the Brat is going out. Now these are not cars with lots of miles - the wagon has 158k, and the Brat only has 128k. They are old, and just like old people, they require constant attention.

EA82's are not going to be much better really - and they have the timing belt breakage every 60k or so.

My vote is for a Legacy or an Impreza as well - they are newer, and you won't have to mess with them nearly as much. Also - your chances of finding a mechanic that can work on your car are greatly improved. Our old EA81's and EA82's are virtually unkown to the dealership, and getting to be a rarity on the road even.

GD

#6 MilesFox

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 04:19 AM

Originally posted by GeneralDisorder

EA81's are great - they live a long time, but unfortunately, these cars are getting old, and old cars are not generally reliable. Mine give me little hints to this effect all the time. In the last month alone, I've done this to my wagon:

Clutch
Power Steering ilder
Power Steering belt

And this to my Brat:

Exhaust leak - not fixed yet
Bad Air Suction Valve - replaced
Plugged off both Air Suction Valves
Thermostat and gasket
Alternator Belt
Battery


GD



but if you take the time to do these things you will not have to worry about them for a long time. and if you do the work yourself, the total cost of preventative maintenance parts can be less than having the car in the shop for timing belts!

if you get even a good soob in good shape, expect to at least change the timing belt, as preventative measure. you can drive them until a belt breaks and it wont hurt anything, but that all depends on if you would like to fix it off the side of the road!

but you can also get a solit but somewhat worn down soob that runs strong for cheap and then do a little bit of work to it, and it will be good for another 100,000 miles before you have to worry about anything major

#7 Turbone

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 04:25 AM

GD, are you saying I need constant attention? All I seem to get is constant BS:lol:
Rob

#8 mdjdc

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 12:55 PM

Little a

Where on the east coast are you planning to move. I live in Virginia and just happen to have an 86 wagon 5spd dual range that I need to sell. I currently have three on the road and this one is just an extra. It runs great, is in good cosmetic condition and I'm only asking 1000.

#9 northguy

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 01:20 PM

With the amount of body rot on the East coast, you'd do much better to buy a soob in CA and drive it there. Otherwise, buy some POS and drive it until the wheels fall off and buy another....

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:49 PM

I'm just saying that without a frame-up restoration of the car, the problems it will have cannot be fixed all at once. Sure - I won't have to do the Clutch for a while now in my wagon, but if I bought a newer car I probably wouldn't have had to do it at all. These things crop up over a period of time, and that can be frustrating to someone that doesn't work on the car themselves.

GD

#11 soobme

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 02:56 PM

STAY AWAY FROM TURBOS! not as user frendly, lots more mant., not as good milage, and chances are it would have a cracked head any way.
That's not to say they are a bad product, and they are a KICK to drive, but for your needs I wouldn't touch one.

#12 Dennis ex24

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 03:34 PM

buy a legacy

you can get an early half decent legacy on the east for about what you are willing to pay. they are more reliable work horses, well thought out and wont leave you with out floor boards as quick as the early rust prone bombs of the loyale and EA81 family.

i too vote against buying a turbo (especially EA81 and 82 series cars) unless you want to become a slave to it and dump hard earned $$$ and thought into something that will constantly require attention...the only good turbo'ed engines were the legacy EJ22Ts and you wont find much in the way of those for the prices youre willing to pay.

you shouldnt have much of a problem finding a relatively clean, solid running 2.2L - they seem to be all over on the east.

#13 little a

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 09:57 PM

Originally posted by electryc_monk
coolness so what you hoping to go into studying?



i'm hoping to get into a history phd program. my field is modern latin america, more specifically modern argentina. i've applied to indiana, north carolina (chapel hill), princeton, and pittsburgh. all of those places are much colder than socal and inevitably mean salt during some part of the year.

little a

#14 little a

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:04 PM

Originally posted by Dennis ex24
buy a legacy
the only good turbo'ed engines were the legacy EJ22Ts and you wont find much in the way of those for the prices youre willing to pay.

you shouldnt have much of a problem finding a relatively clean, solid running 2.2L - they seem to be all over on the east.



thank you Dennis (as well as everyone else for pitching in).

i'd like to buy the car out here, fix up some (whatever it needs), load all my crap and do the whole cross country thing. admission (if in fact they admit me which is a rather big if) is in september so i have lots of time.

the EJ22T comes in what type of legacy? the other powerplant you mentioned (2.2L) is the base engine for the legacy?

i'm sorry if this is really nooby but from the outside subarus are somewhat difficult to sort out. the new ones i got down no problem but the old ones just blur into one another.

thanks again

little a

#15 tailgatewagon

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Posted 09 December 2003 - 10:35 PM

not shure where your at but i know ive seen alot of relly nice gen1 cars like

80-84 brats and wagons hatches and the like for 1-2k i mean relly nice street cars with no trashing,

let me put it this way a dealer here in town bought an 82 Dl 4x4 brat that had a new pait job and good running in LA and brought it all the way to Montana and then sold it for ???? 2500 bucks. oh yea 104K on the odometer.

as for the loyals 85-94 unless its had headgaskets and tbelts done in the last year or so or a new rad in it i would be very carful they can be a big expense if you buy the wrong one

#16 electryc_monk

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 01:18 AM

Originally posted by little a
i'm hoping to get into a history phd program. my field is modern latin america, more specifically modern argentina. i've applied to indiana, north carolina (chapel hill), princeton, and pittsburgh. all of those places are much colder than socal and inevitably mean salt during some part of the year.

little a



Hmmmm NC. I was looking at UNC too, but half to admit, that the contact person was rather curt(sp) and very cold as if I was wasting his time. Rather ironic for a contact person to be that way if they are the point of first contact for grad school info and pointers and stuff.....this was not just the first contact it was over the several contacts... ehhhh I'm looking at UK, and USC and a few others for Physics. I am a transitioner type of person. Got the BA's in Technical Theatre and a General studies second BA at the same time. (the 3 topics for the Gen studies were: History, physics and RTVF)


Chapel Hill is nice area too. Have a high school gal-friend that went to PITT. and family that went to two different Indiana schools. :>)

I'd suggest legacy sedan or wagon and make sure you get one with Cruise control that works too. your radio situation shouldn't even be an issue to be honest because you can get a 6 disc-changer head unit to slide right in and also it comes with the tape player as well.... i got one for $130 on ebay. but as it went into my EA82 wagon i also had to buy the wire connector to convert the older wagons wiring to the newer connector the legacys all have.

theres some usless trivia... how's that work for ya?

#17 WagonsOnly

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 03:12 PM

I think a Loyale or Gen 1 Legacy would work best. 2.2L engines were base engines on all Legacies until '94, the 2.2 turbo came in Legacy Turbo models (obviously). I don't think you'll be able to find a Gen II Legacy in good condition for less than $3000.

Good luck with admissions, hope you get in. I'm doing a minor in History, I'm focusing on early European though.




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