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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I’m very new to forum and have read through many posts and found them all to be very helpful. It seems that everyone on here real cares about Subaru’s and I love it. I have had a Subaru in my life so long as I’ve been alive. And finally I have been able to purchase one of my own (1997 Subaru Legacy Outback 5 speed manual) and I took it into my local Subaru dealership to get an overview of the cars status. A few big exspenses came back on the report. Which one of them being the Shift Shaft Seal which they said was leaking and recommended to be replaced, as well my struts are leaking which they recommend I replace all 4 struts. Front and rear, which was the biggest exspense running at 1,458.60. With all the knowledge on this forum, I was wondering how essential replacing the shift shaft seal and the struts were and if I would be over paying replacing the struts. I was also looking to take road trip about a 2,000 trip and was wondering do I real need those replace before that. I would love to get any feedback I could on this. Thanks for all the help!
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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860 Posts
The struts affect the quality of the ride & handling of the vehicle, it's not a real necessity to replace them, but a good idea to do so. If the rest of the vehicle is in good condition, as in having a clean chassis, then I would definitely make that consideration. However, I would recommend you buy KYB struts along with strut mounts (same as the original struts) from a retailer such as rockauto.com, as it would cost much less. Perhaps consider paying a small shop to replace them, to save on labor.

The shift shaft seal is a pretty common leak spot on higher mileage 5-speeds (from what I've seen), if it's just minor oil weeping, and not leaking considerably, I would leave it as is.

As far as maintenance goes, the timing belt service is due every 105,000 miles (168,000 kms) so that should definitely be looked into, when and if it was done. (Replace the belt, all timing idlers, a/c belt idler, tensioner & water pump). If one of these components fail, damage to the engine will occur.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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1,578 Posts
Welcome and congrats! Love the 2nd gens.

To answer your questions, the shift-shaft seal is usually a minor annoyance once it starts leaking (which is fairly uncommon). With some simple tools and time, it's easily replaceable. Under $20 in parts and it'll be good as new.

If all 4 struts are REALLY leaking, you will probably want to replace those before leaving on a 2K mile trip. If the ride is tolerable and they're just a little wet, you can do them when you get back. Parts are roughly $100/corner and the labor can add up if not doing it yourself.

However, as much as a I love the second gens, investigate as to whether the head gaskets have been replaced already. If not, start assembling parts and/or budgeting to have them replaced as it's a major job that's critical. It's not a question of if they will blow, but when. And you don't want to be 1000 miles from home with an overheating car.

And did the dealer inspect/confirm age of the timing belt? Done every 105k miles (or 5-6 years), if not done recently will also cause engine-replacing damage if it lets go.
 
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