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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I posted my introduction in the new member forum, but I wanted to post here as well. I have two OB's I'm interested in on CL. I was hoping you guys could tell me if there was anything I should lookout for, and possibly which was a better purchase. I'm looking for 2005 and below, just what I can afford.

Here the two I was looking at:

1998 Subaru Outback AWD wagon w/ 2.2L engine!!

and this:

02 Subaru Legacy Outback

You guys see anything about these that I should consider? Also, there's a 2004 in my town that's for sale (96k auto $8000), but I don't know anything about it. It's a little over my price range, but thought I'd mention it, in case you guys thought it was something I should really consider.

Thanks for the your help.

Valerie
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Looks like the mileage for both of these listings is about the same at 150k+, though one has an engine swap and the other a rebuilt motor.

When someone has motor rebuilt, is it then considered a new engine in terms of the mileage? That is to say, if the engine was rebuilt at 146K and there's now 156K miles, does this mean the engine has 10k miles on it?
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #3
So 91 views and nobody has a comment on either of these?

FWIW I'm still trying to learn and will have to do more research in general about 1st and 2nd gen OB's. I'm definitely gonna ask for the VIN's so I can do carfax reports. Also will check that the service history of each vehicle, looking for regular maintenance performed (preferrably on-time).

So are all 1998 OB Limited considered 30th Anniversary? I see on 1998/99 OB archives on cars101.com that from Jan to Dec there were 30th Anniversary editions produced. I guess I was just wondering if this is nothing more than the Limited with a "decal".
 

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97 Outback 230000
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I think I am surprised there are so few responses to your question. The 98 2.2 sounds like a great car without the head gasket issues, but I am sort of biased to first generation. A Subaru sounds like a good car for Montana, if you have mechanics in your area who know them. I have never owned a second generation but I have read on this site about handling issues in ice/snow. Don't give up on this site, you can do your own homework and then ask more specific questions.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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I vote for the '98. Those 2.2L engines are nearly indestructible. A bit less power than the 2.5L but considerably more durable, especially considering head gaskets problem.

I'm not sure what the '02 could offer in terms of more modern safety features but you've already found cars101.com and they'll have the answer to that better than anyone.

Drive both. Do a search here for 'torque bind' which is the common name for the usual problem these transmissions & AWD systems will present given enough age & abuse.

Make sure all 4 tires match! Run away if they don't!

Drive the car in a flat parking lot. Drive a tight figured 8 pattern a few times over. The car should NOT buck or grind to a halt in the turns. If it does, there could be a problem with the trans/AWD. Despite minor differences the transmission & AWD is essentially the same for both of these cars.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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This may sound like a cliche but, in either case, take it to some mechanic that you know and trust so that HE can look at it and throroughly checks it out. But that may be a problem in a small town...you should also ask the previous owner for a complete list of repairs done as well as car history. Also, run a Carfax report.
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #7
I think I am surprised there are so few responses to your question. The 98 2.2 sounds like a great car without the head gasket issues, but I am sort of biased to first generation. A Subaru sounds like a good car for Montana, if you have mechanics in your area who know them. I have never owned a second generation but I have read on this site about handling issues in ice/snow. Don't give up on this site, you can do your own homework and then ask more specific questions.
Thanks Dianer, I really appreciate your taking the time to respond. You bring up a good point about mechanics in my area. I'm going to call tomorrow to see what specialists I can find here. I'm glad to hear you like the 98, as that's the one I'm really interested in. I can't explain why other than to say it just seems awesome. Probably has something to do with the owners "eulogy" LOL. I am trying to make a logical decision here however (as opposed to my usual emotional ones).

I vote for the '98. Those 2.2L engines are nearly indestructible. A bit less power than the 2.5L but considerably more durable, especially considering head gaskets problem.

I'm not sure what the '02 could offer in terms of more modern safety features but you've already found cars101.com and they'll have the answer to that better than anyone.

Drive both. Do a search here for 'torque bind' which is the common name for the usual problem these transmissions & AWD systems will present given enough age & abuse.

Make sure all 4 tires match! Run away if they don't!

Drive the car in a flat parking lot. Drive a tight figured 8 pattern a few times over. The car should NOT buck or grind to a halt in the turns. If it does, there could be a problem with the trans/AWD. Despite minor differences the transmission & AWD is essentially the same for both of these cars.
Rastorman, thanks for your support! I love your comments about the tires matching; never thought of that. Also, I'll definitely research the torque bind and will try the figure 8. Hopefully it'll be obvious one way or the other, when I test drive the pattern. In any case I'll research up on that.

I'm surprised that you two picked the '98, considering the '02 was newer and had the rebuilt motor. I was just assuming that is, but that works for me; really like that '98. Hopefully the current owner has his service records and everything maintenance wise is up to par. Fingers-crossed :rolleyes:
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #8
This may sound like a cliche but, in either case, take it to some mechanic that you know and trust so that HE can look at it and throroughly checks it out. But that may be a problem in a small town...you should also ask the previous owner for a complete list of repairs done as well as car history. Also, run a Carfax report.
Just saw your post jogosub. I live in Montana, but I graduated South Torrance High! Go Spartans!! I was going to run the VIN's through NADA. Do you guys suggest carfax instead?
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Mismatched tires on a Subaru is a big no-no. Different sized tires moving down the road at the same speed = wheels turning at different rates to keep up. The AWD interprets this as a slipping wheel, and fights to correct it. The street will win and you'll be looking for a new transmission. So check the tires and drive the figure 8s to learn some of the history of these cars.

Also, I realized I had the answer to one of your other questions: Not all '98s were 30th anniversary. I previously had a '98 that was not identified as such.

If you're pinching pennies, the 2.2L engine beats the 2.5L any day of the week. It's not as peppy or as clean-burning. But, it doesn't break often and when it does it's usually cheap and easy in comparison. Whoever converted that '98 knew about this and cared, apparently.
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #10
Mismatched tires on a Subaru is a big no-no. Different sized tires moving down the road at the same speed = wheels turning at different rates to keep up. The AWD interprets this as a slipping wheel, and fights to correct it. The street will win and you'll be looking for a new transmission. So check the tires and drive the figure 8s to learn some of the history of these cars.
Dang, that is some serious $hit. Thanks for explaining. I really thought it possibly had something to do with someone flipping the car; that being one way to tell.

Also, I realized I had the answer to one of your other questions: Not all '98s were 30th anniversary. I previously had a '98 that was not identified as such.
Good to know.

If you're pinching pennies, the 2.2L engine beats the 2.5L any day of the week. It's not as peppy or as clean-burning. But, it doesn't break often and when it does it's usually cheap and easy in comparison. Whoever converted that '98 knew about this and cared, apparently.
I don't mind less-pep and I like cheap to fix! Clean-burning not so much ;)
 

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Premium Member
2005 3.0 R n totaled
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Carfax is a good indication of rough car's history as well as double checking previous owner's records. Every time I run Carfax (when I buy an used car for one of my teens) it gives me a peace of mind as well as price negotiation power.
From Torrance to Montana? Wow... I wish I could have done that myself...! It's such a beautiful place to live!
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Carfax is a good indication of rough car's history as well as double checking previous owner's records. Every time I run Carfax (when I buy an used car for one of my teens) it gives me a peace of mind as well as price negotiation power.
From Torrance to Montana? Wow... I wish I could have done that myself...! It's such a beautiful place to live!
Carfax isn't what it used to be. Once people started trusting it, other people started gaming it. It still offers valuable information, but it is not infallible by a long shot.
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #14
I'm totally bummed...

After contacting the ownwer of the 98 several times from the beginning of his CL ad, I found out today the car has sold. Never once did I ever hear him so that I could even go check it out, and now it's gone.
 

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Hey Val...down the road from ya in Bozeman...

I just recently bought a 97 OB w/2.2 swapped for my teen to use as her daily...needs some TLC but otherwise a decent platform to fix up...she loves it...Its been hard to find an inexpensive OB esp in MT in the winter...

Noticed these for sale locally for <5k ...not my listings and no affiliation...

1st generation OB
1996 Subaru Outback 2.2L
1998 Subaru Outback Limited AWD $4100 OBO

2nd gen OB
2000 Super Subaru Outback Wagon Diamond in the Rough!
Subaru Outback Wagon (2001)

Definitely have a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection on any used vehicle ya would buy...typically 40-80$

Good luck
Bill
 

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1999 Legacy Outback 2.5L Rio Red
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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Val...down the road from ya in Bozeman...

I just recently bought a 97 OB w/2.2 swapped for my teen to use as her daily...needs some TLC but otherwise a decent platform to fix up...she loves it...Its been hard to find an inexpensive OB esp in MT in the winter...

Noticed these for sale locally for <5k ...not my listings and no affiliation...

1st generation OB
1996 Subaru Outback 2.2L
1998 Subaru Outback Limited AWD $4100 OBO

2nd gen OB
2000 Super Subaru Outback Wagon Diamond in the Rough!
Subaru Outback Wagon (2001)

Definitely have a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection on any used vehicle ya would buy...typically 40-80$

Good luck
Bill

Hi Bill, thanks for your help. I've been pouring through CL and did recently see the ones you mention. I like the 1996 2.2L, but I only want auto transmission, so that ones out. Other than that, I'm trying to figure out the logistics for purchasing one in NY (listed in the classified section on this forum). I just found out that my brother-in-law will be in north jersey next week, delivery two trucks with his tractor-trailer. He's coming back empty and will be able to pick it up. He's also a car-buff so he'll be able to inspect it for me. Fingers-crossed, though it is a lot more than I wanted to spend. I'm still bummed about missing that 2.2L in Laurel, MT.
 

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97 Outback 230000
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I am sorry to hear that you didn't get the car. Maybe PATCO still has the 97 with the 2.2 in it for sale? It was in the classifieds on this site. It is in Palmdale, CA if you fancy a Spring trip to a warm destination. Best of luck, your car is out there someplace.
 

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'99 Outback 2.5 GT auto & '97 LegOB w/ grossly insulted 2.5
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+1 on jogosub's stressing of the importance of acquiring Subarus with extensive records with receipts. You'll save 10% or more in NOT having to do necessary maintenance because of a lack of a history showing it was previously done on time. First & second gen. Subes both have head gasket ills; but the earlies are more prone to catastrophic failures. A local car which was maintained by one local technician makes for a good leg-up. Wife has a '99 GT (bigger brakes!) which she absolutely loves! It's comfortable & has hauled a love-seat to & from an upholsterers shop like a small van!
 
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