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What 4WD station wagon for ~$3,500,00?

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I hope this is a useful thread for others...

 

I have a 1987 GL Wagon, 4WD that appears to be giving up the ghost. I may have about $3,500.00 to spend on another Subaru 4WD station wagon (wife's marching orders...).

 

So what car should I get? What car should I avoid? I figured an early '90's Loyale or maybe a Legacy, but I could really use your collective expertise to determine 1) what car to get and 2) how much to hold in reserve to cover typical maint./trouble spots.

 

Much appreciated!

Jw

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don't get a Loyale, they're the bottom of the line basically with hardly any options. Just get a late 80's turbowagon or an RX and build the s*** outta it:D

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I'm with caboobaroo. I'd get an '83 or '84 wagon (turbo or not) and build the crap out of it--lift, nice wheels and tires, 5-speed D/R, rear disks, built motor, exhaust, etc. :headbang:

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I'm with Dennis on this one... sorry folks.. the Wife wants SECURITY. Read (Your not goona be spending Alot of time tweaking "my car" so get a very low maintance model...."I'm your high maintance model ... and stop spending so much time on that messageboard too!)

 

 

:D

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It doesn't sound like you want something for off-road, so I would say get a legacy wagon.... unless you are looking for 4WD rather than AWD. In that case, go for a D/R later 80's wagon. If you want something easier to work on, then a 83 or 84 D/R wagon would be good - alrhough, comming from and 87, you probably won't like the 83/84, and neither will your wife. They are a little bit more "primitive".

 

I personally have a thing for the EA81 cars, but not everyone likes them. Most people with EA82's seem happy, even though there is the timing belt maintenance.

 

GD

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Yes, you are right -- it would be a car taken only on camping trips and up to the mountains to ski. Hard-charging on the dirt is not in the cards for this car.

 

And the "primitive" is a good point - it ought to be somewhat plush for the family.

 

Now what is a D/R?

 

Many thanks,

John

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D/R is "Dual Range" - means the 4WD can be in Hi or Lo ranges. Lo range sets all the gears lower, so you can go through really nasty stuff, and climb things easier at a slow speed. Doesn't sound like you care about that tho - get a legacy, you'll be much happier.

 

GD

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How many miles on the '87? Those are generally good cars once you get things sorted out. I've been looking at Legacy's for 2 years now and I really want one too. I'm pretty sure that if you find one for $2,500 it will be a car that needs stuff done on it. The Legs I've seen in the $2,500 to $3,500 range are usually well used, probably not any better than your '87. (A lot of opinion and speculation!) To get a good, low mileage, well maintained legacy in good shape, you will need to spend more. Average price on Autotrader for a '92 to '95 leg is $5,100.

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Get a '90-'94 Legacy, preferably a LS model for the bells & whistles. If you want an auto tranny hold out for a '92-1/2 or newer since the earlier ones were said to have torque converters that shed friction material that then plugged up the tranny cooler potentially leading to heat issues.

As for snow and mild offroad driving I'm very impressed the traction of my '93 LS with AT. The AWD hooks up very good on slippery surfaces even with worn out tires. Comptetion for these cars is fierce, so prowl the ads and act fast when you find a potential good deal.

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Bought my 92 legacy awd auto tranny with 90k on the clock for $3800 2 years ago. Had to put new rotors on it this year and replace the timing belt. Other than that, it's a runner and great in the Alaskan winters.

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I suggest a 90+ legacy L to suffice

 

But a Legacy 90+ LS to really be plush.

 

the LS has more features, but the L really has all you need. Be carful of the air suspension. Try to find car that has coil overs, NOT the air suspension as it CAN fail.

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go with a full time 4wd gl-10 a/t wagon 88, my wife really likes this one , also came with a sunroof, and it is a turbo .:brow: :brow:

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My vote is for the Legacy. I had a '95 LS wagon that we had to get rid of (family didn't fit anymore!). The AWD was great for dirt roads, snow, and even light off-roading (trails). The LS had all the stuff we wanted, power everything, cruise, air, sunroof, roof rack. The 2.2L seemed to have plenty of power too.

 

We didn't have to do any major maintainence, but we did have the timing belts replaced at 65K as preventive maint. Otherwise it was just regular oil changes, and tune-ups.

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the EJ22 (T or not T) is one of the most reliable engines ever built.

 

they sorted out the tbelt issues they had with loyales and went to a single belt like every other normal car manufacturer, and had very little else go wrong with them. they were actually comfortable and had 130 odd HP, neither were applicable to subarus prior to 1991.

 

early ones supposedly had some minor trans issues/recalls, but if im thinking clearly, the only thing that kept them from running was cam and coolant temp sensors...they also regularly ran upwards of 200K unless the previous owner was an idot or the car met an early demise

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Just to re-iterate my earlier comments; early Legacy wagon with the manual transmission. Automatics seems to have "issues" around 100K and above all, avoid the air suspension--it's a dog and is lots of $$$$$ to repair. Aaron's Wrecking in West Seattle occasionally has cars to sell that are in a good price range; just do a carfax check and make sure it doesn't have a salvage title. Also check out Smart Services' website--they also have a classified section. It'll take a while and some luck to find what you're looking for in the price range you want but it's do-able. Good luck.

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