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98 GT Recommend, or Steer me Away?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Equalizer

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 09:56 PM

Hey guys,

There's a Canadian (km) 98 Legacy GT w/approx. 200km=approx. 125,000mi. if my conversion is correct. I have no idea what the history is, but have to assume poor since it was an auction car. I'm going to check it out tommorrow and get back to you. At $3600 it sounds like a good price IF it doesn't have the common blown head gasket, etc.... I already have one of those holding together w/radiator/block seal on my 97 OB. I like my OB lots. Wish it were an OB, but my puppy has 200,000MI. How does it compare to the Leg Outback?
Any pros/cons/ opinions?

Thanks!

Frank

#2 ScoobySchmitty

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 08:09 AM

Since you already know about the biggest problem (head gaskets), I am not sure if you need to look for anything else. Personally I would just go over it with a fine-toothed comb (as it were). If it was treated roughly during its tenure with the previous owner, the best tell-tale signs would probably be in the cockpit. cigarette burn holes, nasty stains (check the ceiling too, u'ed be surprised), bad upholstery wear, etc. As far as checking the engine, If the compartment is filthy and unkempt, then I would suspect heavily lacking maintenance as well. Then again, you may have gotten someone's recent repo, and they didn't get a chance to tear it up. Hope all goes well with the GT, and good luck!

#3 Equalizer

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 09:11 PM

Got a chance to look at it this evening. Thanks for your imput Scooby.

First the Engine Compartment:
All fluids just changed by dealer.
Each component on the engine had a yellow mark on it. What does THAT mean? Did they come from a junk yard?
The metal cover around the belts had heavy surface rust.
The one thing that bothered me was that the overflow tank had the same black coating on some of the interior surface that mine had when the head gaskets blew. The radiator specialist told me that its overheated antifreeze. Any suggestions here especially are appreciated.

Second the interior:
Quick lookover. Clean and normal looking wear for 127,000mi.
Sunroof works.
Piece of plastic molding on left side rear ceiling next to door was pulled away.

Exterior:
It had a tow hitch.
Paint looked too good. Hardly any scratches, which leads me to believe that it was wrecked and repainted. I will take it to a couple of big body shops tomorrow and let their trained eyes let me know. The light was cloudy, but from what I saw from the rear along the sides was flawless......no ripples.
?BTW, Excuse my ignorance, but on the GT, are the door handles and side molding black plastic like the OB, or are they the same smooth solid color as the rest of the car?

Tomorrow I will test drive it, have a mechanic and body shop or two check it out. It might not be an OB, but at least its my color guys!!!

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#4 remarcable

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 06:17 PM

If you suspect abuse, check the plastic swaybar mounts and the bushings on the front and rear bars.

On my outback the plastic is stressed and the bushings have been ground into paste due to abrupt cornering and drifting. Take a look for corrosion too, a sign that it has seen offroad use or floods.

#5 99obw

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 07:22 PM

Overheated antifreeze!!?? I have never heard that one before. At the very least I would warm it up really good and look for bubbles in the coolant overflow. If you are serious about buying it you may want to have the coolant tested for exhaust gasses.

Freshly changed fluids may sound like a good thing, but it can be used by the seller to mask a problem.

I have seen the yellow markings when they were getting ready to part a car out. Maybe the car was totalled and then rebuilt. You may want to run a carfax.

Some good friends of mine are auctioneers, and they pick up some pretty decent cars at auction. They have been at it for decades though. The people selling these cars are very clever, be very careful.

#6 meep

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 02:32 PM

none of my sube engines ever showed rust. Methinks you have engine number 2, first overheated and blew the heads, leaving residue behind in the overflow tank.

A 98 should have dings. It's been painted. Look beneath for signs of clamp marks from body straightening. New paint is fine. Clamp marks are not.

Pay $50 for professional inspection.

Mike

#7 Equalizer

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 04:03 PM

You all have given excellent advice. I appreciate it and will take everyones advice on each point.

"Freshly changed fluids may sound like a good thing, but it can be used by the seller to mask a problem."



99OBW, I agree. I guess most car buying guides always say, check the fluids, etc. I just thought I'd report. Just about every dealer car I've ever looked at had at least oil and radiator changed. Problem is that you can't tell anything from fresh fluids. I never heard of overheated antifreeze until this radiator guy told me. Its hard to believe, unless maybe scortched little bit in a dry system that isn't circulating?.....I dunno. Anyhow, the only way that ever happened in mine is from blown head gasket(s). Maybe Mike is right about the second engine though. Gas check should show.

On another note, my head gasket on my 97 OB didn't bubble into the overflow tank, but it did bubble much w/the cap off radiator. Sometimes its hard for me to distinguish between engine gasses and air burping out of the system. I took it to a garage that had the engine gas guage and that's how I finally confirmed my suspicions. I hope to find time monday to take it to two body shops, that garage, my own, and pay the $50 for a professional inspection from the only Subaru dealer that never lied to me, (albeit a 40min. drive away). The dealer said he'd run a carfax by phone.

meep, You and I were thinking the same on the second engine and on the no dings on a 98 theory. I'll check on the clamp marks, etc.


remarkable, Never thought of checking those mounts, etc. Thanks. I'll do that.

When it comes down to it. I need to buy another engine for my 97 eventually. So far, so good, but don't know for how long. Same goes for the 98 GT too w/this mileage. I know the problem w/mine, but not the other. However, if its got a clean bill of health, it sounds like a good deal.

Other than the few extras, does anyone know if there is much structurally different between the GT and plain standard Legacies, (ie. Suspension, wheel bearings, etc.)?

Frank

#8 meep

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 10:09 PM

same structure. GT has stiffer damping (shocks). both have the extended bearing spacing that results in the odd offset but more stable wheel control.

mike

#9 ScoobySchmitty

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 10:54 PM

So what did the professionals think? Is it a good deal, or do you need to keep looking? Hope you were able to get the "nod" for it. Good Luck! :D




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