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My mechanic tells me I need a new head gasket and transmission, for a cost of about 3800. I replaced the head gasket 5 years ago but this time around I'd be replacing the radiator as well. It's a standard transmission, not automatic. The car is in pretty good shape with only 135k miles on it. I'm not exactly flush with cash at the moment, and retirement (fixed income) is months away. I'm wondering if i should use that 3800 toward another vehicle or fix what i have. Any thoughts on this are welcome. Thanks.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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I see you are in the PNW.

where used subarus and used subaru parts are very high.

_____

you could sell it as is for big bucks,


or get a matched engine / trans out of a wreck, ...at this point many of those 2000-2004 will have had head gaskets done to them already.

(avoiding any weirdo 2004 EJ259)
 
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Look at the market- what do you see out there for $4k?

I don't live in your area, but if I applied those numbers to my neighborhood it would wouldn't get me much better of a car- equally likely to need the same class of repairs on a similar schedule.

Bigger question: if retirement is that close, have you looked into how your transportation needs might change? There might be a second bird worth killing with the one stone.
 

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That sounds very high for a head job and a trans swap.
Headgasket jobs at most smaller shops run $800-1200, with planing the heads and everything.
The trans, what issue is it having? Being a manual with that low of miles, i wouldn't really expect issues.
If it does need a trans; the 5mt can usually be found cheap on facebook groups and craigslist. $100-150 usually in my area.
I recently had to replace a 4eat. I paid $100 for the trans, $110 for new cv shafts, and $150 for a local shop to install it all.
 
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