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Hey,

So first time poster here but not a total newb on Subaru's. Anyway, a friend of mine who wants to buy my current car when I sell it ('09 Jeep Patriot with 90k) next year has an '02 Outback Limited 2.5l that he's willing to swap as part of the deal. I'm tempted because it only has 49,000 miles on it and he got it from his mother (yes, in this case it's really true) when she died earlier this year. The KBB difference in the values is $2500 or so in my favor but effectively I'd make him a better deal than that since he's put new tires and brakes on the Outback and is about to put new struts on it. I'm thinking about offering the Jeep to him for the Outback and $1500 coming back to me. Sound like a good deal? That would mean I'd effectively be paying about $4500 to $5000 for the Outback, which is in really good condition in terms of the interior and exterior.

I already know about the timing chain requirement on that era Subies and the head gasket issues to look for. The lack of mileage does scare me a bit since it means the car has sat around a lot, but I have no idea if that would impact head gasket reliability or not.

Thanks.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,308 Posts
2002 H4 have timing belts.

and that belt kit has to go. way past its time in months if it has its original kit. ...not a deal breaker, but someone you have to get on right away. like the first day of ownership. (with OEM parts or a Aisin branded kit,...the rest are all chinese junk now).

H6 have timing chains.

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typically a H4 like this will leak oil externally. occasionally they leak coolant. and one that has been sitting around could have cooling problems or bad gaskets from just sitting with the same old oil and coolant in for a long long time.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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The lack of mileage does scare me a bit since it means the car has sat around a lot, but I have no idea if that would impact head gasket reliability or not.
Head gaskets have tended to have both a mileage and a time factor behind the failure mechanism. Regular coolant maintenance probably helps, but failure is inevitable, I think. It's just hard to predict exactly when.

The log here indicates a concentration around 80k-120k miles:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...83-hg-failure-log-no-discussion-log-only.html

I myself wouldn't be scared off of the swap - after all, you're getting rid of a jeep - but I would have the car inspected, and if necessary adjust the cash in the transaction to reflect the condition of the head gaskets.
 
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