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P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 10:22 a.m.

I'm having a hard time mustering up the belief that this isn't going to burn me

He's replaced thousands of dollars in it recently.

Facebook link

 

I asked if he'd taken it anywhere to get the rough idle checked out:

"I haven't no, it's been completely rebuilt, ran perfectly for a few weeks then skipped a tooth from a bad/loose belt tensioner. Redid the timing and replaced the tensioner then ran perfectly another week or so before starting to idle rough. Pretty sure it's a vacuum problem with the new turbo inlet not matching up with one of the sensors perfectly throwing the code"

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/8/21 10:30 a.m.

Sounds like my Subaru experience. Got the WRX wagon that I had wanted for years, and kept it for six months. 

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 10:41 a.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Because everything broke like on this one, or what?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/8/21 10:50 a.m.

Sounds to me like a "giving up on this one" kind of price.  He's done a lot and the car has continued to let him down.  

Don't gloss over the fact that he still reports that:  

Interior has roughness, rear seat has rips.
Power window switches out for driver side.  (Makes drive thru windows a pain.)
Engine Code for evap leak (CEL on can make it hard to get a big retail price.  He implies that it for a small issue but lets not forget the very rough idle)  
Idles very Rough (not just rough but Very Rough)
Slow oil leak from right side
Tires are old, hold air fine
AC doesn't seem to leak but isn't very cold

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/8/21 10:51 a.m.

Listing offers a video of it running...get the video.  

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/8/21 10:59 a.m.

I have wanted one of these since they were new but everything indicates that they are Trouble, capital T intentional. Everyone I know that has bought one ended up regretting it and selling at a loss. Shame, because IMO it's one of the best looking sedans Subaru ever produced.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 10:59 a.m.

I can't figure how to share the video in any easy way. Drives fine it seems, but even at idle it's not like it's stuttering. He said he drives it every couple days and would take it back to lansing without a trailer (from Pontiac)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/8/21 10:59 a.m.
P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 11:00 a.m.
pointofdeparture said:

I have wanted one of these since they were new but everything indicates that they are Trouble, capital T intentional. Everyone I know that has bought one ended up regretting it and selling at a loss. Shame, because IMO it's one of the best looking sedans Subaru ever produced.

Yes! It's the design that put them on my radar in the first place. They've gotten progressively more like an Altima since then. 

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 11:03 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Might this be a better place to start from?   But, verify the rust.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1040574020108345/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3Abe398905-fb9a-4cf0-8834-e836fc205636

I question why all that work and then it's apparently sat for 3 years, judging by the grime. I messaged anyway. I hate going that far back in time tho, but I'm bordering on just driving the Z4 this winter and living with the fact that it will die a slow, rusty death 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/21 11:05 a.m.

Slipped a tooth on the timing belt due to shoddy work? Who wants to bet the bad idle is a bent valve?

Every Subaru I've seen that just needed a little work ended up with a new engine.

enginenerd
enginenerd Reader
11/8/21 11:06 a.m.

From my experience, just about every cheap turbo DOHC Subaru project I've bought has come down to replacing the short block (either it had a 'normal' ringland failure or rod knock or the seller already replaced the short block and did something wrong in the rebuild) 

He cites new pistons but not a shortblock which means he split the block and did a rebuild. Lots of room for error there.

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 11:08 a.m.

Alright you late two dudes have successfully talked me out of it. Thank you :)

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/8/21 11:09 a.m.

What about this one.  What I read in the ad is, "at mechanic rates, im not gonna pay to keep this one on the road."  But, find out what it needs and maybe it can be done yourself cheap.  

The hubcaps imply this is the lowly model known as the Brighton.  In this era of Subaru, the lowly models got the 2.2L engine and the upper trims got the 2.5L.  The 2.2L has a far superior reputation for longevity.  

Also in this era, not every Subaru was awd so be sure to verify.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/539974453749191/?ref=search&referral_code=marketplace_search&referral_story_type=post&tracking=browse_serp%3Abe398905-fb9a-4cf0-8834-e836fc205636

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 11:35 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Thanks, messaged him. 
 

If not riding out the Z4 then with my druthers I'd have a notchback Impreza or Legacy. Butttt it's been months since I thought I'd get my druthers :)

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
11/8/21 11:49 a.m.
OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/8/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

LOL. That's not the kind of "gamble" I was expecting with a used Subaru link. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/21 12:20 p.m.
enginenerd said:

From my experience, just about every cheap turbo DOHC Subaru project I've bought has come down to replacing the short block (either it had a 'normal' ringland failure or rod knock or the seller already replaced the short block and did something wrong in the rebuild) 

He cites new pistons but not a shortblock which means he split the block and did a rebuild. Lots of room for error there.

To be a pedant, replacing just the pistons means he didn't split the block smiley

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
11/8/21 12:40 p.m.

Figure the worst case and use that as your overall budget. I've got an '05 GT wagon that I bought new. It didn't have many problems, just one medium and one serious one. At 100k the throw out bearing went bad, which was a common problem. The engine went bad around 140k or so- cracked a ringland around then, then another shortly after- drove fine, no indication other than oil consumption went from nothing to concerning to significant in two clear steps. Then came the burned valve around 145k. I'm guessing due to all of the oil in that cylinder. This was a stock car. Now I'm in the middle of a rebuild, fixing all of the weak points. The car itself has been rock solid. 
 
Parts add up, machine work is expensive and not easy to find shops that do Subaru engines. If I had It to do over again, I would have just bought a new factory short block ($1600 the last time I checked,) popped out the pistons and opened up the ring gaps to something more suitable for a turbo engine. It would only take a couple hours and would be free, vs. new pistons and machine work. 
 

I'm guessing a damaged valve causing the miss after the timing issue. 
 

The plus- the engines are really easy to remove and work on. 
 

Theses are really great cars. Just the right size, like midsized cars used to be. They fit right into the transition between modern and new cars- They still have low hoods and large greenhouses, they are simple electrically, no nannies, but are still safe and modern feeling structure wise. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
11/8/21 12:51 p.m.

I have looked seriously into these a few times. Every single time, I'm thrown off by the amount of engine issues the internet has with them. Even taking account the internet amplifying things beyond the true scope of the issue, this is one I legitimately feel is a bad gamble.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/21 12:55 p.m.

Agreed that the Subaru wagons were a great size. My parents owned several starting in 1999, and went to a VW Sportwagen in 2019 after Subaru gave up on the wagon game. They never directly experienced any engine issues but their first was already on engine #2 when they bought it and the head gasket popped after they sold it to a friend. Sigh.

$1600 for a factory short block would have saved me money on my most recent Subaru rebuild. Ah, the clarity of hindsight...

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 1:05 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

That's how I'm starting to feel about Subarus in general. I mean, what kind of b-team operation is it to where for DECADES the head gaskets pop like Orville Redenbaucher was the supplier?? I'm still looking at a couple '06 Outback wagons but only because no one else has cars with AWD + off-road cred. I'm kind of annoyed with Subaru right now-- and every other reputable mfg for not stepping up >=(

To be clear: I've heard what everyone says about them not being hard to do HG but man, who wants those problems??

 

That said, here are the current contenders

2006 Wagon needs sway bars, tires. Thinking about putting the 9-2’s little tires on it

Stinky HVAC

BTW that one with all the work done to it-- they did the work then never drove it for two years. I'm out. 

The 97 is AWD, here's the story:

"the owners took it to a mechanic because the check engine light came on - the mechanic looked it over and said that without tearing it apart there was nothing overtly wrong but generally speaking with the age of the vehicle etc
normally this is an indicator of it being on its "last legs" which could last 6 weeks 6 months or a couple years -
they didn't want to go through it nor the process of the sale - so donated it to the farm and any proceeds will benefit AACORN non-profit" -apparently a life skills ed center for people with autism. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/21 1:39 p.m.

I will never, ever buy another one of these cars. 

P3PPY
P3PPY GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/8/21 1:44 p.m.

In reply to Woody (Forum Supportum) :

Tell me more. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
11/8/21 2:23 p.m.
P3PPY said:

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

Because everything broke like on this one, or what?

Actually, I think I finally had it sorted, and it was a lot nicer than this one. It just took a lot of work and money, and I think it still felt fragile. I bought it to replace my Ralliart wagon, but although the Subaru was faster, and had AWD and a manual, it didn't compare favorably to the Mitsubishi when it came to handling and chassis rigidity.

The final staw was when I learned that if you track it, the WRX engine will oil starve and spin a bearing on a long sweeper. Preventing that requires changing the oil pan and pickup, and I didn't want to go any further down the rabbit hole of modifications. My intention when I bought it was to keep it stock, yet the first thing I had to do was eliminate one of the catalytic converters.

The Mitsubishi has been a reliable daily since 2009, and I've autocrossed it a bit lately too. Three wins, one second (at the FL state championship), in five events.

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