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Hi all! This is my first post on the Gen 3 forum. I am seriously considering the purchase of a 2005 LL Bean. It's frame has minimal rust (plan to do the POR 15 rust preventative treatment right away) but more rust on the dual exhaust. I'm hoping the dealer will do something about this, since he says that the car hasn't gone through his pre-sale process. The engine looks well-maintained, the coolant is dark (not sure if green or blue, but it's not water or the lime green coolant), the trans fluid still has a tinge of pink (dealer will flush and replace as part of his normal prep routine) and power steering and brake fluids looked good. Oil looked good, but slightly low. I took it for a test drive and at first thought it only had PRN and D gears. I love my low gears, living on a mountain and going out in snow, so I started to head back with it. That's when I "discovered" the weird "triptronics" shifting system. I got into 3rd and 2nd, driving slowly on a back road, but had to stop and go into neutral to get out and back into drive. (Yes, my first encounter with this, LOL). The dealer gave me a bit of explaination on this when I got back. He wanted to drive it a bit because he was concerned the transmission may have gotten too hot. I'm a little bit nervous about this car having a delicate transmission. I welcome any feedback from folks on this forum about this type of car, the pros and cons and what to look out for. I'm pretty new to Generation 3, coming from a Generation 2 car. Thanks in advance!
 

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The 5eats are strong transmissions. Make sure they actually change the filter in the driver fender well behind battery. Also it should not lock into a gear once you push it back over to drive, it should go back to normal. This could be a glitch in the tcu, if they disconnected the batteries and it was in a relearn I've found after using manual mode it will hold gears for ever it seems.
Edit: Also as these age, it's not to un common to have a weeping HG. Mine has weeped in the past before I got it, the coolant side. But in my 2.5 years of ownership and 40k miles I havnt lost any coolant.
 

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Use the search tool to look for buying tips on Gen 3 models; there's a lot here to be found.

The 2006 models originally had green coolant; the blue came later in 2008. But it could have been switched over at some point.

And the incidence rate of head gasket failures is much higher on the H4 2.5i NA engine than on the H6 3.0R (which is what this model year's LLB badges came equipped with). It doesn't mean it never happens; there's just a lot fewer reports of it.

You need premium fuel in this engine, BTW.

How many miles are on this car?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Use the search tool to look for buying tips on Gen 3 models; there's a lot here to be found.

The 2006 models originally had green coolant; the blue came later in 2008. But it could have been switched over at some point.

And the incidence rate of head gasket failures is much higher on the H4 2.5i NA engine than on the H6 3.0R (which is what this model year's LLB badges came equipped with). It doesn't mean it never happens; there's just a lot fewer reports of it.

You need premium fuel in this engine, BTW.

How many miles are on this car?
Hi Johnre. Thank you for your reply.
I know about the 91 octane. That's what I use in my 2002 Bean.

The car I was looking at when I first posted had about 170K on it.
I took the car out for a test drive and a look-over by another mechanic, and that's when the nasty oil leak and seized rear caliper were discovered. Since this was after the dealership had given it the supposed royal treatment, I brought it back and that was the end of that. While I live with the oil leak in my 2002 and don't begrudge it, I don't want to purchase another project, I need a reliable daily driver.

  • I'm now looking at a 2009 4-cylinder car with 94K on it, lived in the south, the most rust free thing I've ever seen that wasn't brand new or freshly restored. There's even been a new timing belt and fresh headgaskets included in the offer. I'm strongly considering it.
  • I also saw a 2013 LLBean H6 that is gorgeous! It has traveled about 89K. Has only slightly more rust (mainly on the dual exhaust flanges). I took it for a short test drive today and did smell burning oil. However, I drove it before it was "ready" for test driving and the dealership hasn't had a chance to diagnose or treat it for anything. I got my last car from this same place and was very satisfied.
I'm thinking the 2009 with the 4-cyl engine may be more economical to run, and I'll just have to be dilligent in changing the timing belt after 80K. I'm a bit leary of an engine's life depending on a glorified rubber band, but maybe it's not as bad as all that. It did feel nice to drive, not underpowered after I expected after having driven a 4-cyl 2018 Crosstrek, and both a 2018 and 2005 Forester. Anyway, that's the quandry I find myself in now.
 

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I'm thinking the 2009 with the 4-cyl engine may be more economical to run, and I'll just have to be dilligent in changing the timing belt after 80K. I'm a bit leary of an engine's life depending on a glorified rubber band, but maybe it's not as bad as all that.
It's more economical around town, but on the open road this advantage over the H6 tends to narrow - that's been generally the experience here. Neither drivetrain does as well as the Gen 4 and Gen 5 models with the CVT, but then you're not in that market anyway. At current fuel pricing, the savings you realize from buying used Gen 3 will more than overcome this difference in economy, no matter what the miles you put on.

You should verify that the current timing belt's tensioner and idler bearings were replaced when that work was done - no matter your opinion of it just being a "glorified rubber band", it's usually these components that go first, not the belt itself, if replacement is skipped at 105k / 105 months.
 

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Hi Johnre. That's a really good point about the tensioner and idler bearings. I will defintely bring that up as they've promised to throw in a new head gasket and timing belt with the purchase. Thank you!

Right now my work commute is 2 hrs a day and not open highway driving, so I think the H4 may make fueling a little more cost effective.
 

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Hi Johnre. That's a really good point about the tensioner and idler bearings. I will defintely bring that up as they've promised to throw in a new head gasket and timing belt with the purchase. Thank you!
Don't let them use any Chinese bearings or belts.
 

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Hi Johnre. Thank you for your reply.
I know about the 91 octane. That's what I use in my 2002 Bean.

The car I was looking at when I first posted had about 170K on it.
I took the car out for a test drive and a look-over by another mechanic, and that's when the nasty oil leak and seized rear caliper were discovered. Since this was after the dealership had given it the supposed royal treatment, I brought it back and that was the end of that. While I live with the oil leak in my 2002 and don't begrudge it, I don't want to purchase another project, I need a reliable daily driver.

  • I'm now looking at a 2009 4-cylinder car with 94K on it, lived in the south, the most rust free thing I've ever seen that wasn't brand new or freshly restored. There's even been a new timing belt and fresh headgaskets included in the offer. I'm strongly considering it.
  • I also saw a 2013 LLBean H6 that is gorgeous! It has traveled about 89K. Has only slightly more rust (mainly on the dual exhaust flanges). I took it for a short test drive today and did smell burning oil. However, I drove it before it was "ready" for test driving and the dealership hasn't had a chance to diagnose or treat it for anything. I got my last car from this same place and was very satisfied.
I'm thinking the 2009 with the 4-cyl engine may be more economical to run, and I'll just have to be dilligent in changing the timing belt after 80K. I'm a bit leary of an engine's life depending on a glorified rubber band, but maybe it's not as bad as all that. It did feel nice to drive, not underpowered after I expected after having driven a 4-cyl 2018 Crosstrek, and both a 2018 and 2005 Forester. Anyway, that's the quandry I find myself in now.

I put 93 in my H6 car.
I never go to the 91 octane ethanol free $$$ pumps,

even for 5 gallon can gas that I also use 93 in my small engines, as I just put seafoam in them as a stabilizer, so I don't worry about too much ethanol fouling them.

I like the 2009 H4 outbacks and legacys. = VDC standard, and run on plain 87, and have good old 4 EAT /5EAT transmissions, and not CVTs with their early problems.

The only short coming is back seat leg room if you actually have people sitting in the back seat.

As for the 2013: there are no LLBeans after 2008, (subaru and the maine cataloger parted ways around 08, with maybe a few 09 US spec foresters slipping out with the logs on them). So this must be a Plain, a Premium, or a Limited. and the 3.6 runs on 87 octane.
(unless you are typing of a 2003 instead of a 2013)
 

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and this is the subaru dealer in Catskill ? oil smells can be just from a hose leak or blown axle boot. quick fix.

but lots of driving = the H4 can squeak out 27-30mpg.
H6 is lucky to get 27 on straight easy highway. but gets thirsty in the stop and go.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I put 93 in my H6 car.
I never go to the 91 octane ethanol free $$$ pumps,

even for 5 gallon can gas that I also use 93 in my small engines, as I just put seafoam in them as a stabilizer, so I don't worry about too much ethanol fouling them.

I like the 2009 H4 outbacks and legacys. = VDC standard, and run on plain 87, and have good old 4 EAT /5EAT transmissions, and not CVTs with their early problems.

The only short coming is back seat leg room if you actually have people sitting in the back seat.

As for the 2013: there are no LLBeans after 2008, (subaru and the maine cataloger parted ways around 08, with maybe a few 09 US spec foresters slipping out with the logs on them). So this must be a Plain, a Premium, or a Limited. and the 3.6 runs on 87 octane.
(unless you are typing of a 2003 instead of a 2013)
Hi Eagleeye,
I don't use my back seat very often, mostly they're folded down to make flat cargo space. I think you're right, the 2013 isn't a Bean per se, but the feature loaded package they came up with that year. It is a beautiful car. It has the 3.6 engine instead of the 3.0 that my 2002 Bean has. It also has all of the bells and whistles, including an engine temperature gauge!

I'm planning to keep my old Bean and do some projects that have been on my mind for awhile. It will be retired from daily driving and will likely be designated my husband's car eventually, if we can solve the P0420 code. He drives rarely, so there won't be much demand put on it.

Right now the 2009 H4 is ready to go, and the 2013 H6 still isn't ready for prime time viewing. The 2009 is so mint though this seems like a rare opportunity to snag a car so well-preserved. It's more rust-free than the 2013! I'm planning to visit again tomorrow, more test driving and examination and maybe committing to getting it before it gets away.

I wish I had more time to consider and compare the H6, but don't want the other one to get away, only to find the H6 is not right, like the first one I looked at.
The 2009 seemed to have plenty of pep and super comfortable handling.

Car shopping is tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
and this is the subaru dealer in Catskill ? oil smells can be just from a hose leak or blown axle boot. quick fix.

but lots of driving = the H4 can squeak out 27-30mpg.
H6 is lucky to get 27 on straight easy highway. but gets thirsty in the stop and go.
Both the one I got my 02 Bean from (2013 H6) and the one that repaired my head gasket (2009 H4). I'd have 2 cars with HGs from the same place if I end up going with the 09.
 

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Here's some pics of the 2009 H4 showing its rear subframe and exhaust flanges. Most cars I look at around here, including new ones, have flanges that are rusted to resemble a filo pastry more than metal. I'd like to rust-proof the living daylights out of it if I end up getting it (or whatever I do end up getting).
 

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Here's some pics of the 2009 H4 showing its rear subframe and exhaust flanges. Most cars I look at around here, including new ones, have flanges that are rusted to resemble a filo pastry more than metal. I'd like to rust-proof the living daylights out of it if I end up getting it (or whatever I do end up getting).
petina rust on the subframe, nothing to worry about, paint it if you like.

the flange looks good, both my cars rusted through where the midpipe meets the muffler. and cutting out the original flange is typical on all cars. you just get a nice shop to weld in a union for a couple bucks.

I mean like $10-15 for the union pipe, plus the clock time of 15-30 minutes,...including yapping.
(I think like every car I have ever owned has had at least one union welded in,...and the 2 subarus I have now, have had them for 10 years)
 

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Yeah, I put up the pictures to show how clean it is. Everything else I look at here has a lot more rust, even newer cars. That's why I'm pretty excited over this 09, even though it's a 4cyl.
 
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