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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I may have a chance to inherit grandma's old 2005 OB, 2.5i limited. 45K, cosmetically in great shape, runs smoothly. Was driven to the grocery store/dog park regularly, and maintained regularly at the dealer. Spent its life in the San Francisco area, so rust and harsh winters are a non-issue.

Only thing is, it's 14 years old (May '04, as soon as this gen became available), and has been driven sporadically over the last year (though never sat more than a month). And it's probably time to replace the tires/timing belt/fluids. The tires were replaced in 2011, but they're getting a bit old/dry-rotted. I don't anticipate much once I get that done though.

How long do you guys think it's practical to run this for, and what sort of issues should I watch for? This seems like a fun car to work on/install the Japanese DIN kit in (auto climate control, dang it)/dynamat/etc. Given that the gen goes all the way to '09, I would think that parts shouldn't be an issue for a long time.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Keep up the maintenance and that will be a viable car through 2025 no sweat. Cars like that come off the road when the owner looks around and notices it's the only one on the road without safety feature X, and everyone else is taking that for granted.
 

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not just the belt, but a Aisin timing belt kit is in order. (not on miles but on age).


(cheaper then OEM, but still japanese quality, vs. the chinese junk-in- box other kits).

NGK plugs,

here is a maint. schedule.

Subaru maintenance schedules and new car break-in period- 2000 through 2009, links for 2010, 2011...

notice that a PCV and a OEM thermostat, or a OEM rad cap are not on it. (despite them being wear parts that cause many a problem over time)

______

what to watch for: oil from the valve covers / plug seals, and hopefully not head gaskets any time soon.

when you buy parts: 2005 cal spec are unique so make sure that's what you are getting. (like o2 sensors).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I won't be home for a few more weeks, so can't take pics right now - but it's the blue/gray wagon, black leather interior. Very clean, understated styling on these (especially the 05-07). You can tell that this was the higher-end model. :)

Maintenance wise... my main concern is rubber parts aging. The roomie's got a low mileage '94 Ranger, runs well, but all sorts of seals have leaked and needed replacement. Not sure if it consumes oil because of old rubber, or because of the older tech. This will also be the first car I've owned with an auto transmission, so rubber seals in that too (planning to drain and fill the atf).

It sounds like the PCV and thermostat are easy to change if I'm getting the timing belt/water pump changed anyway. Also, I know the spark plug interval is 30K on the 2.5i, but 60K on the turbos (with iridium plugs) - can I use iridium on the 2.5i and extend the interval?

Btw not sure if I'm going to do the timing belt myself or let a shop do it. Looks a LOT easier than my Civic, and I'm not (currently) driving every day anyway.
 

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I won't be home for a few more weeks, so can't take pics right now - but it's the blue/gray wagon, black leather interior. Very clean, understated styling on these (especially the 05-07). You can tell that this was the higher-end model. :)

Maintenance wise... my main concern is rubber parts aging. The roomie's got a low mileage '94 Ranger, runs well, but all sorts of seals have leaked and needed replacement. Not sure if it consumes oil because of old rubber, or because of the older tech. This will also be the first car I've owned with an auto transmission, so rubber seals in that too (planning to drain and fill the atf).

It sounds like the PCV and thermostat are easy to change if I'm getting the timing belt/water pump changed anyway. Also, I know the spark plug interval is 30K on the 2.5i, but 60K on the turbos (with iridium plugs) - can I use iridium on the 2.5i and extend the interval?

Btw not sure if I'm going to do the timing belt myself or let a shop do it. Looks a LOT easier than my Civic, and I'm not (currently) driving every day anyway.
...remember this outback is 11 years newer then a 94 ranger.

NGK makes iridiums and double plats for yours too. (just match them up on rockauto and NGKs own site).



draining and filling the ATF is a good idea. subaru has a special and unique high performance = HP ATF though.
(started in the 2005,... I lucked out, mine takes plain old cheap dexron 3 type).
 

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and updated thread title 05 is not old.

old is like a great 1990-94 legacy with the first EJ22s. and a timing belt that if it blows does no damage. (non-interference joy).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...remember this outback is 11 years newer then a 94 ranger.

NGK makes iridiums and double plats for yours too. (just match them up on rockauto and NGKs own site).



draining and filling the ATF is a good idea. subaru has a special and unique high performance = HP ATF though.
(started in the 2005,... I lucked out, mine takes plain old cheap dexron 3 type).
My point is that the Ranger started having considerable oil leaks/all sorts of rubber parts failing around 20 years old, and the OB's only 6 years away from that. And I'm probably going to push it a ways beyond that.

Old is VERY relative - I've heard of people calling their 7 year old car old, our family considers this OB to be getting old, and I also know a guy who's planning to replace his '94 Legend (bought new) when the wheels fall off. All depends on your tolerance for issues/repairs I guess.

I'm a little concerned with the shifting into reverse/drive lag on that car, more than I've noticed on most autos, but maybe it's normal for these. Takes a full second, which is apparently within spec.

I'm sure I can install iridiums in the car, but my question is can I extend the interval to 60k that way? Was there a reason they spec'd iridiums on the XT but not the 2.5i?
 

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My point is that the Ranger started having considerable oil leaks/all sorts of rubber parts failing around 20 years old, and the OB's only 6 years away from that. And I'm probably going to push it a ways beyond that.

Old is VERY relative - I've heard of people calling their 7 year old car old, our family considers this OB to be getting old, and I also know a guy who's planning to replace his '94 Legend (bought new) when the wheels fall off. All depends on your tolerance for issues/repairs I guess.

I'm a little concerned with the shifting into reverse/drive lag on that car, more than I've noticed on most autos, but maybe it's normal for these. Takes a full second, which is apparently within spec.

I'm sure I can install iridiums in the car, but my question is can I extend the interval to 60k that way? Was there a reason they spec'd iridiums on the XT but not the 2.5i?
yes installing better then copper 30,000 mile plugs should let you go to 60,000 miles.
If I had my choice though I would put double plat in as they are a little more durable in the hand then fragile iridium.
(and just banging around in the box from the factory can get any plug out of spec, making all worth checking for gap).

__

a 4EAT may perform slow normally, especially when cold, but its a good old school durable trans that does not explode

but getting some new HP ATF in there might help especially if it is a little low.
(what color is it now?)

___

I wish I had a 94 legend, and a big heated garage to keep it in, (with a few other 25 year old classics).
 

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I'm sure I can install iridiums in the car, but my question is can I extend the interval to 60k that way? Was there a reason they spec'd iridiums on the XT but not the 2.5i?
2.5i is a single-cam engine, XT is dual-cam. The extra hardware is in the way. It's much harder to change the plugs in an XT, and they run closer to the edge of performance- more sensitive to plug condition.

Rare metal tips are a valid way to extend the cycle, but do the cost/benefit math. It may work out better to do cheap plugs more often.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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I have an 05 OB H6 and I've been all over it trying to make certain I'm in the best condition as possible. You may want to look at the hoses closely. My transmission hoses that come off the bottom of the radiator needed replacement.

As eagleeye says, use only the Subaru HP-ATF! It does make a difference!

When you change tires (I believe you have the tire pressure sensors?) go ahead and change those. The batteries go bad regardless of use and that's going to be the opportune time.

You may want to check all the fuel line hoses too. Some tend to leak/weep after some years.

Otherwise, go drive and enjoy!

Congrats!
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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All new fluids, complete timing belt kit, inspect/replace radiator hoses, don't be surprised if valve cover gaskets are leaking from age, can easily be replaced with the timing belt service.

Be not surprised if 13 year old rubber starts to leak, age is age.

I'd run a high mile oil (my favorites are Valvoline Maxlife and Pennzoil High Mileage) for a change or two for the extra seal conditioners, that's what I'm doing with our newest (12 years old with 85K miles).
 

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I won't be home for a few more weeks, so can't take pics right now - but it's the blue/gray wagon, black leather interior. Very clean, understated styling on these (especially the 05-07). You can tell that this was the higher-end model. :)

Maintenance wise... my main concern is rubber parts aging. The roomie's got a low mileage '94 Ranger, runs well, but all sorts of seals have leaked and needed replacement. Not sure if it consumes oil because of old rubber, or because of the older tech. This will also be the first car I've owned with an auto transmission, so rubber seals in that too (planning to drain and fill the atf).

It sounds like the PCV and thermostat are easy to change if I'm getting the timing belt/water pump changed anyway. Also, I know the spark plug interval is 30K on the 2.5i, but 60K on the turbos (with iridium plugs) - can I use iridium on the 2.5i and extend the interval?

Btw not sure if I'm going to do the timing belt myself or let a shop do it. Looks a LOT easier than my Civic, and I'm not (currently) driving every day anyway.
SF area is super mild regarding high temps and its not dry either so dried up gaskets etc won’t be an issue.

Just do all the fluids front diff rear diff, coolant, add subaru coolant conditioning, do the full timing belt kit correctly and it will easily go 200k.

One tip those yrs had marginal cooling capacity. Its not hard to them heat up under hot outside temps. Such as 70+mph with a head wind in 90degree weather I saw temp spikes a few times on road trips with hot temps and highway speeds I never let it get hot as soon as the needle started to move past center its getting hot and immediate cooling steps don’t have fast results. So if its hot “its really really hot” and full on save the engine steps is a must or your doing head gaskets.

Under 80degrees and running synthetic I found you can push them pretty hard with zero heat issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Trying to track down exactly what plugs I need... but last I checked, iridiums were around $10 per plug. Even if it costs me more per mile in parts, it's worth it in time/labor saved. (I wasn't planning to do that just yet, because the existing ones still have 15k - but if it's easy while I'm at it then why not.)

The car wasn't in SF itself (which is 50F and cloudy no matter what :) ), it was in the Peninsula/Redwood City area parked under a carport. They get a fair number of 90F days during the summer, lots of sun, but still pretty mild compared to most of the country. So there's noticeable wear to the rubber door seals, but not bad. Will need to check on the hoses and gaskets inside. I drove the car for a while last summer, going all the way to Oregon and back (80MPH and 90F+, going through the hills on I-5) with zero issues. I thought highway driving was easier on the cooling system because of all the air pushing through? And yes, I run synthetic no matter what.
 

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In my '09 2.5i (same engine as the '05), I used the NGK "Laser Platinum" plugs - changed every 30k as per the manual. Also I am pretty sure the manual shows which model number NGK plugs to use? Don't remember exactly.

Plugs are very easy to change on the 2.5i. 20 minutes maybe and doesn't require removing much of anything.

As others have said - definitely change all the fluids/filters/and the timing belt / timing belt tensioner (and might as well replace the water pump because it's right there when you do the timing belt - and is part of a standard timing belt replacement procedure).
 

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My OR trips up 5 through 100+ temps and head winds is one place to really watch running temp. Yep thats one place I saw temp spikes. Like I said just be aware of it and know to check the temp in those conditions. Heading out of LA on 10 East is another place I’ve seen temp spikes, as is 99 Fresno. Simply slowing up and getting temps down got me 180,000 with no HG failures.

Again this is just an fyi be aware of it and its a non issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I called up the old dealer and got ahold of more records. As far as I can tell, the serpentine belts were replaced in 2012 (i.e. 8 years when the interval is 6), because they waited until the belts started cracking. But the timing belt may be original (i.e. 9 year interval, but they must've waited until it looked bad). Eek. But hey, at least the routine fuel injection services (that aren't in the manual or any Subaru forum anywhere) got done. Must be how they justified charging $400 for routine service.

Still debating if doing the work myself is nuts - the timing belt doesn't look that bad (involves removing the serpentine belts, may as well replace them anyway), but the water pump involves pulling the radiator and draining that fluid. (And yes, will do the idlers/tensioners/thermostat too.) Might be worth the few hundred bucks at an indie shop. Not sure the cost'll be that bad since half this work overlaps anyway.

All I know is I'm not taking the car back to the dealer.
 

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subaru water pumps last a long long long time,

if you want to save some time and money,
on ebay there are people that put together all aisin / japanese timing belt kits without the water pump. (maybe with american rubber timing belt for a american made car)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My dad just made an appointment for this Friday at the local indie shop: belts/water pump/idlers/tensioner/cam seals/crank seals/thermostat. Should take care of most of it. I still need to do the atf and tires eventually, but that's lower priority.

Now I'm debating tossing in the 07-08 HU (to the tune of $145 incl harnesses), or getting a Sony XAV-AX100 and the JDM dash kit (to the tune of $700).
 

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As someone who never did much more than replace brake pads and shocks, changing the Timing belt on the Outback was really not a bad job. Yes I removed the fans and radiator as one piece to get way more room to work with, but it adds about 30 minutes to the job and I needed to change the coolant anyway plus you'll drain the coolant to get to the thermostat/water pump. The entire job took me about 6 hours last Memorial Day Saturday. Skilled mechanics or folks who've done it before could do in in less than 2 hours.

The next Monday, I replaced the spark plugs, valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube seals and they needed it. The seals were as hard as a rock and were allowing oil to get all over the outside of the spark plugs. That job was a bit more challenging because of the very tight spaces between the valve covers and the frame. A ratcheting straight box wrench helps to get that lower driver's side bolt out/in otherwise you'll spend forever turning a box wrench 1/16th turn at a time due to the lack of clearance.

Since you're in there (or the mechanic will be), change the camshaft oil seals. Other leakable rubber parts will be the power steering top O-ring, but that's a 10 minute job and a couple of bucks for the part. Take a look or have someone else take a look at the rear bushing of the front lower control arms. They tend to wear out from use rather than age, but it is an early failure item.

Even out here in hot dry Sacramento, the atmospheric heat is nowhere near the heat of the engine so if something wears out due to heat, it will be from driving the car and not just sitting in 105-110F summers.
 
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