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Hey all, so I would just really like some opinions and insight from people such as yourselves that have much more knowledge about these cars than I do.

 

So I have been looking and doing research for quite some time now on the next Subaru for me. I have ruled it down to the 07-09 Legacy's, due to personal preference on styling and looks as well as available options.

 

I have recently come across two opportunities to purchase a 2008 model, however I can not decide which would be the best option.

 

The first one is a LTD model with 220k on it with many new parts and services done for $8995. I went and test drove this one, and it ran strong aside from some delay in the auto transmission when you step on the pedal, however some amount of delay is to be expected, I'm not sure how apparent or common it is for this vehicle. You can see it here, with all the parts and services below the pictures:

 

http://roosales.com/2008-legacy-ltd-sedan-coming-soon-2/

 

The second one is a GT model with 90k on it for $10995 that you can see here: 

 

http://www.apxautobrokers.com/2008_Subaru_Legacy_Lynnwood_WA_7447565.veh

 

Now if this was anything besides a Subaru, the obvious choice would be the one with 90k miles because why buy a car with so many miles when there is another option with fewer miles for only a small amount more. However, due to the fact that Subaru's are known to last basically forever as long as you take care of them, I find myself having a difficult time making a choice.

 

Another reason that I am at a bit of a crossroads, is that I have heard of turbochargers failing on Subaru's before, which costs a lot of money to repair. Is this a common issue with the 2008 Legacy's? Or is it more of just a myth?

 

I would just really like some opinions and insight from people such as yourselves that have much more knowledge about these cars than I do. Thank you for your time!

Edited by disk78

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Hi,

Do some more Googling, but you'll find that they both use the EJ255 engine and (I think) the same VF40 or VF46 turbo.

 

Both the turbo and turbo engine are going to be failure points. I wouldn't touch that 220K GT w/a 100 ft. pole for anything over $4K (really), cuz you'll be putting a new engine in for $2500-$4K in the near term. The turbos fail and take the engine w/them, too.

 

Unless you have ABSOLUTE proof that both cars were driven lightly and maintained meticulously (oil changes MUST be <4K miles since new), they're just not worth it. That same engine was used on the '06+WRX, Forester XT, OB XT, and they all have 'history' on their respective forums. 

 

The engine is also only slightly different that what is still used in the STi, and it has issues in that model, too.

 

A better option, same power (but w/out the easier upgrades a turbo allows) is the 3.0R model that came out in '08. They seem to be pretty rare, but I'd pay for the 3.0/H6 over the 2.5 any day.

 

If you buy the Turbo GT anyway, I highly recommend finding a Tuner (someone that can modify <flash> the ECU) and get a better tune than what's loaded on there stock. It will also help w/the 'lag' you noticed driving w/the 5EAT transmission. A good Tuner can tune it w/out any modifications to the existing engine, turbo, exhaust, etc.  - it's all 'in the tune' on the ECU.

 

GL,

TD

Edited by wtdash
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Hi, wtdash! Thanks for the reply, it's good to know that the turbochargers really are an issue and it's not just a myth. I've actually heard of the 3.0 and was originally looking for one last year when I was looking into the legacy's. However, as you said, they seem to be very rare! I have been keeping my eye out for one in Washington state for a long while now but have yet to see one. I would rather not purchase a car out of state and deal with the delivery and all that fun stuff which is probably why I haven't seen anything.

 

One other question though, the 220k one is actually just the Ltd model, not the gt, and seems to have been serviced pretty well at least from what I can tell, but then again I'm no expert! Without the turbocharger, is it any safer of a choice with that many miles?

Thanks!

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The EJ255's are JD04 turbos.

 

Had mine go on my 04 Baja last night because I accidently ran it a 2 quarts low on oil. Engine was fine but there just wasn't enough pressure to send enough flow to the turbo.

Bearing was making noise. Filled oil to correct level and drove it nice and easy. The fan ended up locking up and now I have a restricted exhaust. Woo. No engine damage or anything though.

 

I would definitely be more cautious buying a high mileage turboed car. But no rule it out completely.

 

If you did buy it, you could always have a mechanic rebuild the turbo with a kit and you'll be good as new and not have to worry about it blowing up and possibly taking out your engine.

 

 

Agreed though, the 6 cylinder has just as much power as the EJ255 and better low end power.

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The EJ255's are JD04 turbos.

 

 

Not all.

-OB XT and GT's never had a  Mitsubishi TD04 - only a IHI VF-series.

- '08+WRX and '09+ Forester XT had a TD04L variant  w/the XT/GT's different flange for the TMIC.

 

- '04-'06 Baja Turbo and '04-'08 Forester XT did use the TD04L-13T

 

Regardless, none of the Subaru turbos are known for their longevity, IMHO.

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Thanks for the reply, golucky! I didn't realize that the Ltd was also a turbo just a different engine. Just out of curiosity, if I was to take the car into a place like Greg's japanese auto for a pre-buyers inspection(which I was planning on doing anyways) is there anything that would give away the fact that the turbo is in poor condition or not well maintained? Or is that something that you just won't know until it's too late and it blows?

Thanks!

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Hi, wtdash! Thanks for the reply, it's good to know that the turbochargers really are an issue and it's not just a myth. I've actually heard of the 3.0 and was originally looking for one last year when I was looking into the legacy's. However, as you said, they seem to be very rare! I have been keeping my eye out for one in Washington state for a long while now but have yet to see one. I would rather not purchase a car out of state and deal with the delivery and all that fun stuff which is probably why I haven't seen anything.

 

One other question though, the 220k one is actually just the Ltd model, not the gt, and seems to have been serviced pretty well at least from what I can tell, but then again I'm no expert! Without the turbocharger, is it any safer of a choice with that many miles?

Thanks!

 

Yeah...I misread that...the non-turbo/NA LTD has the EJ25x engine that is known to blow Head Gaskets. If they've NOT been done, they will need done. They're likley leaking externally now - which doesn't mean they'll fail immediately but should be on the 'to do soon' list. Still overpriced.

If the Maintenance/Service history includes the HG, and they're recently done it might be OK.

 

But remember, when the HG start to go the car may overheat and if the PO (prev. owner) let it overheat badly or multiple times, the rod-end bearings on the crankshaft are doomed, which means a whole new engine, too. MANY Of the '90's EJ25 engines had their HG repaired only to have the engine blow-up. Granted this was due to an INTERNAL leak, but still a big deal if they overheated.

Edited by wtdash

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I just got a TD04 from a buddy out of a 08 Legacy GT. it has a different flange then the one on my 04 Baja. But at least this one I got from the legacy id a TD04

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Interesting... I just read that post wtdash. I promise you the turbo I just bought was from a EJ255 in a 08 Legacy GT.

Weird. Of well. The exact turbo doesn't matter unless you plan to rebuild one from the car you buy

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Thanks for the reply, golucky! I didn't realize that the Ltd was also a turbo just a different engine. Just out of curiosity, if I was to take the car into a place like Greg's japanese auto for a pre-buyers inspection(which I was planning on doing anyways) is there anything that would give away the fact that the turbo is in poor condition or not well maintained? Or is that something that you just won't know until it's too late and it blows?

Thanks!

Not what he posted....Please read the LINK I posted above to cars101.com. it'll detail each trim of the Legacy model.

 

RE: turbo - I'd try to find a dedicated Subaru shop (not a dealer, either) for an inspection, as Subarus + turbos are not exactly rocket science, but need 'specialized' knowledge.

 

If you're set on a turbo engine, I HIGHLY recommed getting a compression check and Leak down test done....Yes, Expensive - $250? - but ask how much an engine repair will run.

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I just got a TD04 from a buddy out of a 08 Legacy GT. it has a different flange then the one on my 04 Baja. But at least this one I got from the legacy id a TD04

Likely wasn't the original turbo, but the newer styled flanged used in the '08+/'09+ WRX/FXT, which is compatible w/the LGT.

 

I just cross-referenced the Legacy GT's turbos and they are all VF-series from '05 - VF40/VF46.

 

 

Tangent: They also used a VF54 in the '10 model which is completely different - I believe that's when the put the turbo up front UNDER the engine.

 

Sorry to get off topic.....just interesting to me:

2010gt5.jpg

Edited by wtdash

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Thanks for all the help guys! I've held off on getting a new car for the last year, waiting to find the perfect one, but my current car is on its last legs so I need to pick up something soon. A few months ago there was an '08 gt with 55k on it that I probably should have taken when I had the chance, but I waited too long. Since then, these two have been my best options.

 

So in your honest opinions, if you guys had to grab one of these cars, which would it be and why? I'll still probably hold off on purchasing one of them so that I can look to see if anything else pops up before I make anything official, but if nothing shows up within the next few weeks, I may need to jump on one of these offers, so it would be nice to know which would be the safest and smartest choice. If it changes anything, the 220k Ltd one has recently had the head gaskets replaced along with the timing belt and water pump.

 

Thanks again for all the help!

Edited by disk78

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