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hey peeps, so I am going to check out a 1996 subaru outback today and I am asking for your help in terms of what to look out for. Here is some background information: I live on the island of kauai. The subaru was shipped from cali and has had one previous owner before the person I am looking to buy it from. The paint job isnt top notch but its also no totally destroyed so I would say its in fair condition for being on an island. The guy I am looking to buy it from told me he had purchased it for $2,000. The car is AWD/manual, has 137,000 miles on it. He also stated that it runs great and he just replaced the distributor, a fresh A/C charge and also replaced the fuel injector. He is asking $1500. So what do you guys think? Any thoughts/suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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If its a manual 1996 its a EJ22 Phase 1. Last year of the non-interfearnace engine. I think 1500 is high, but it is a good motor. Would offer less, as lots of other things will be starting to go need shocks and struts I am sure.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Look underneath for rust, especially the exhaust pipe flanges.

Kelly blue book lists ( in "good" condition) private sale for $300-$600, including whatever premium it being in Hawaii would add. In "Very Good" condition, $400-$700.
 

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Very desirable engine and trans Combo there.

I never saw a bad exhaust flange that could not be fixed with a custom union welded into it. (if anything rusts in paradise).
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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I own a couple of the 90's subarus. I would say that the "blue book" is wrong. In Wisconsin, a 96 with 140K miles, and NO rust would be at least $1500. There wouldn't be a premium for the 2.2 engine in Wisconsin but that's only because the normal purchaser doesn't know that it is bullet proof.

The only really major problem that I had on a MANUAL 90's subaru was that the clutch failed. But that was over 200K miles. So it should be a good purchase. Check the normal things. The CV boots split regularly. There are 4 on the front two axles. The 2 boots on steering arms split a lot too. Even the brakes can be costly if they are completely rusted up. And the shocks of course.
 

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Distributor (none on these)? or did they mean coil pack?

KBB.com is pretty useless on these older Subarus, IMHO, as it continues to depreciate a car even when it's obviously worth more. Cars get to a point where their basic 'utility' justifies a price higher than KBB.

That car would be $2000+ all day (depending on rust and interior) in the PNW.
$1500 is OK....I'm guessing cars cost more in Hawaii regardless.

The AC probably has/had a leaky o-ring - easy fix and cheap IF YOU can buy refrigerant @ the local auto parts store?? If that wasn't fixed the AC won't last too long.

As long as you have a Subaru dealer or can still get parts from the mainland, I'd say it's OK.

And if you know/trust a auto mech/tech I'd have them take a look. If you're serious, $100 is well spent.

P.s. I ALWAYS do and Autocheck (cheap option here) or Carfax on used cars.
 
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