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new subie advice / what years of the 2.5 are most reliable?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 goatman

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 10:25 PM

I've had my 84 Subaru wagon since I was 16, almost eight years now. It was my first car and has been great. I told myself way back when I got it that I wanted it to last through college. Well I'm almost there now and I'm planning on upgrading to a newer subie after I graduate in the spring.
I'm not sure what year to get or how much I'm willing to spend. I'd like to get something as new as possible but the early 2.5 liter engines scare me so I think I'm going to go with a later 2.2 model or maybe if I can afford it I'd like to get something newer.
What year did the 2.5 motor start to become more reliable? A new subie sounds great but I'm pretty sure its out of my price range. Maybe 3-4 years old? What do you guys think?

#2 3Pin

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 11:21 PM

You didn't say what your budget was, but I would look into a 1995 wagon with a 2.2 motor stick or automatic and you can get them for the right price now. It is a great engine and nice year. If you go for a 96-99 2.5, just be wary and be prepared financially to replace the HG($1500-$2000).

By 03, the 2.5 HG's seem to have settled down.

Good luck. I am sure others will chime in.

:banana:

#3 porcupine73

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 09:34 AM

Ditto, phase I 2.5L (dohc) sometimes gets the internal exhaust blowing into coolant leak. Used up to and including 1999 on Legacy and Outback (I think Forester got the phase II sohc in '99).

phase II 2.5L (sohc) up to ~03 sometimes gets the external head gasket peeping/dripping leak usually at the LH/driver head.

Yes those '90s soobs with the 2.2L are very reliable and take a beating and keep on ticking.

#4 mtsmiths

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 10:48 AM

If you're looking for a newer model, I'm pretty sure the 2000 and up are OK except for the outside block weeping. Just make sure it had the Subaru Goo recall done.

Our 2000 showed NO seepage and was running strong when it got Killed by a Grand Cherokee at 187,000 miles.

#5 Gloyale

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:01 PM

You didn't say what your budget was, but I would look into a 1995 wagon with a 2.2 motor stick or automatic and you can get them for the right price now. It is a great engine and nice year. If you go for a 96-99 2.5, just be wary and be prepared financially to replace the HG($1500-$2000).


I I would advie being preparred to do a headgaket job on any older soob.

I've had two EJ22 (2.2) motors in for Head Gaskets recently. Same type of exhaust pushing into the coolant jacket problem that the early 2.5 have. Which makes sense, because other than the excact bore and stroke, IT'S THE SAME MOTOR!!

Granted the 2.5 seems to have this problem a bit more often, but it can happen to any of them.

I say find a 96,97,98 or up that needs headgaskets right away. Have the job done, and have worry free confidence for another 8 years.

#6 9098

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:37 PM

The idea that the 2.2L is bullet proof is a myth. I chose to sell my '98 2.5L with 100k when I bought the Honda Odyssey and keep the 1990 2.2L with 180K. Well....six months later the Head started leaking on the 2.2L. 18 years and 187k is not bad, but it can and does fail.

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 01:46 PM

None is bulletproof. Like any vehicle there are many factors involved including maintenance, operating conditions, manufacturing, mileage etc. There may be 2.5L phase I drivers who never had a head gasket issue in 200,000 miles and there may be 2.2L drivers who blew a head gasket in the first 10,000 miles.

#8 WoodsWagon

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:01 PM

The other thing to consider is the rest of the drivetrain. Putting an EJ25 into the older drivetrain may lead to a lot of breakage. I have a 2.2 in my EA82, and I blow transmissions, rear ends, and axles all the time. I've been tempted by a 2.5, but I think it would just lead to even more carnage.

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 04:09 PM

The other thing to consider is the rest of the drivetrain. Putting an EJ25 into the older drivetrain may lead to a lot of breakage. I have a 2.2 in my EA82, and I blow transmissions, rear ends, and axles all the time. I've been tempted by a 2.5, but I think it would just lead to even more carnage.


Running 27s

And I think the OP is looking for a whole car. Not doing a conversion. Not many people have blown stock engine/trans/axle setups.

Perhaps you thought this was going into his 84?

#10 1997reduxe

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:33 PM

I found out about the Legacys because my girlfriend had a 95.
I maintained that car and updated all maintenance that she never did, and in the process did a lot of research on them.
In the process my next car was a 97 Legacy.
I think this is one of the best used cars you can get--the 94 thru like 99 models (I think she did consumer reports research when she got hers and the 95 was supposed to be the best--but that was probably when the 97s were just coming out or recently had.)
My feeling about buying a Subaru, and I mean this as getting a car that's very reliable transportation, not if you're into fixing them up or high performance etc, is definitely stay away from the 2.5 engine, in any year.
Here's a car that I just saw on cars.com tonight in palm springs:
SUBARU 1996 LEGACY WAGON. A/C, 80K miles, green. $2895.
I'd fly there tomorrow if I had the cash to buy it. (Of course, if it was the 2.2 engine) ;)
'97
that's all.

#11 goatman

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 04:39 AM

Thanks for all the input. I guess I probably need to decide how much I'm willing to spend before anything else.
I'd be willing to pay up to maybe 6-7K cash for something or maybe 10-12K if I got a loan for a newer one. I really like the newer wagons (the last 3 years?) But I'm pretty sure that they want too much for them still.
Do you guys think its better to spend a little more money for something nicer and needing less repairs or go cheap and then do what repairs I can myself (headgasket, timing belt, brakes, ...whatever else)? I have done lots of repairs on my 84 but I've never really worked on newer cars so I don't know how many of the repairs I could do myself.




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