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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello from Southwest VA!

Just purchased a one owner 2002 Outback 5 spd with one of the most meticulous service records I've ever seen. I was skeptical of the mileage but after the test drive and a good poking around I decided to pull the trigger. Timing belt / water pumps have been done twice. Head Gaskets were replaced around 60k for the newer type. Oil changed every 3k, etc. etc. Interior is in stellar condition, exterior very good but one spot of bubbling / rust at the top of the windshield.

*Edit to add some generic pics:





Of course there are some things wrong, would love some input from you guys on these issues;

The Bad -

Movement in the drivetrain when lifting off in gear. This is more prevalent at lower speeds / gears, but leaving the car in gear and lifting off the gas gives a pretty good drivetrain "shake". I'm guessing engine / transmission mounts here. I'll get the car up on blocks and check them out.

Oil and brake fluid open in the car with funnel I found the motor oil and funnel when going over the car, but missed the brake fluid. There are no obvious external oil leaks and I've never noticed puffs of smoke or other indicators of burning oil internally. There is a ring of soot around the tail pipe but I put that down to running rich, maybe not? Could be a slow burn kind of thing. I haven't started looking for brake fluid leaks... any likely culprits?​

The typical -

Shocks are pretty floaty I'm guessing they're shot, any popular aftermarket replacements?​

The annoying -

Rear hatch handle sticky Tried some WD-40 and gear oil with limited success. With the handle stuck in the top position the hatch won't unlock properly, just annoying. I guess a new spring is in order?​

I'm making my way through the high mileage threads here for further insight into stuff to check out.

Thanks!
Blake
 

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2008 Ford Escape XLS - 2002 Subaru Outback
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PB fluid helps the hatch, but it's only a part time fix. KYB are a common aftermarket swap for struts, perhaps a mount has rusted out or a snapped bolt. Possible oil pan gasket and leaky line? Common as it gets older issues. Post some pictures!
 

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I has car.
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If you've got a "clunk' when loading/unloading the driveline, check the rear diff mount bushings. . the vertical ones that hold up the "pumpkin" in the subframe. Pray you don't need them. Cheap (about $12 ea at the dealer) but a royal PITA to replace. Subframe has to come out and they're pressed in/out.

225k it's a good chance you've got some blowby. Not a big deal if you keep an eye on the oil. . . check it every time you fill up, or at least every other time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PB fluid helps the hatch, but it's only a part time fix. KYB are a common aftermarket swap for struts, perhaps a mount has rusted out or a snapped bolt. Possible oil pan gasket and leaky line? Common as it gets older issues. Post some pictures!
Thanks, got the car up on blocks last night but no time to really poke around. The underneath is surprisingly clean though... Pics to come!

Blake
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you've got a "clunk' when loading/unloading the driveline, check the rear diff mount bushings. . the vertical ones that hold up the "pumpkin" in the subframe. Pray you don't need them. Cheap (about $12 ea at the dealer) but a royal PITA to replace. Subframe has to come out and they're pressed in/out.

225k it's a good chance you've got some blowby. Not a big deal if you keep an eye on the oil. . . check it every time you fill up, or at least every other time.
Thanks, I'll check those out. I haven't noticed what I would call a 'clunk', just movement in the drivetrain. I'm hoping for transmission mounts at the moment...

Blake
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[/INDENT]
What does that mean?
Sorry not clear! The previous owner had a ready funnel, open can of high mileage oil and an open bottle of brake fluid in the hatch. So that tells me they were actively checking / ready to fill oil and brake fluid at every fill-up.

We did have time to go over all the brake lines and cylinders and found nothing obvious. In fact the master and slave cylinders look very clean. So maybe the brake fluid container was from a previous issue... I'm still going to keep my eye on it though.

Blake
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I finally had a chance to get a good look around. Only real problem I found was a broken boot clamp on the passenger side steering rack and evidence of a once broken axle boot that must've been replaced.

Here's the boot I need to get a hose clamp for:


Here's the only oil leak I could find:


Now, for all of the motor mounts. I found that I could move the transmission itself up and down a bit with my hands alone. The mounts themselves look solid . There is a gap in one of the mounts but it looks more like a bump stop than what should be a solid bushing (see photo further down.). No real play in the motor mounts I could detect. I could move the driveshaft a (to me) surprising amount but again the mount itself looks good. Rear diff mounts are certainly intact (I initially lifted the rear from the pumpkin and noticed it the mounts flex up, won't do that again).

Pictures from the front of car to back:

Motor Mounts:



Top motor mount:


Transmission Mounts:


Other side:


Driveshaft Mount:


Rear Diff:


Did I miss any? Still not sure where the drivetrain movement is coming from. All of these seem intact and in good shape.

Thanks for looking!
Blake
 

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The trans mount is the most likely culprit for the movement. Subaru used the same mount on cars with 120hp to 260hp and they are barely adequate when new. Yours was worn out 100,000 miles ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Get the transmission mount from your dealer parts. Best bet for proper fit. This is one of those parts the aftermarket doesn't always get correct.

I suggest KYB struts. Get the camber bolt kit for each front wheel to install while you have them apart. Oreilly's, CarQuest and Napa carry them. Be sure to have a good tech align all 4 wheels after you complete the strut replacement. Camber @ -.2 works good. No camber adjustment for the rear. Be sure the toe is set @ 0.0 on all the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Get the transmission mount from your dealer parts. Best bet for proper fit. This is one of those parts the aftermarket doesn't always get correct.

I suggest KYB struts. Get the camber bolt kit for each front wheel to install while you have them apart. Oreilly's, CarQuest and Napa carry them. Be sure to have a good tech align all 4 wheels after you complete the strut replacement. Camber @ -.2 works good. No camber adjustment for the rear. Be sure the toe is set @ 0.0 on all the wheels.
Got it. Will do on both accounts.

On a side note I haven't had a car with camber bolts since autocrossing a Celica about half a lifetime ago ;)

Thanks!
Blake
 
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