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2008 OBXT; 2007 Spec.B; 2003 WRX
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66 Posts
I recently bought a 2005 OBXT auto with 79k miles, timing belt and water pump done 4 years ago. It's gold... meh, but I bought it because of the low mileage. It's the "extra car" that the kids will drive and what my wife will drive in lieu of the big old kid carrier van.

It's in pretty good shape, although it idles a little low/rough. It's staying mechanically stock (for now), but I plan on doing the the JDM 2DIN audio upgrade. Anything I should be looking at, mechanically speaking, other than head gaskets and timing belt maintenance?
Congrats on finding an OBXT with such low mileage!

The EJ25 turbo motors don't tend to have head gasket issues with the same frequency as the 6-cylinders and N/A motors.

I'd get a compression test done to benchmark where you're at.

Random maintenance:
  • Look into removing banjo bolt filters as mentioned above (one is behind the timing belt cover and a PITA to access). They can starve your turbo of oil, which is no bueno of course.
  • Coolant flush, and fresh oil in the trans and diffs never hurts.
  • Vacuum check and consider replacing any hard/cracked lines. Little vacuum leaks can make these cars run pretty terribly.
  • With oil changes, BE SURE to use the OEM filter. Check oil levels regularly, older EJ's do tend to burn a little as they wear in. More than a quart every 5k is cause for concern IMO.

That's it off the top. Enjoy your wagon!
 

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2008 OBXT 5MT Limited
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3 Posts
Hello! Just picked up a 2008 manual XT with only 75k mi on it! So far have tuned up the engine, replaced the suspension, powder coated the wheels, and put on some Falken AT Trails. 4th Subaru and this one might be my favorite, especially after snow drifting this weekend.



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Hi Everybody, oh boy what a journey. I bought a 2005 Outback XT for a good deal in February. I was driving up the hills out of San Diego back to Tucson and I assume the banjo bolt clogged, overheating the turbo and exploding it into the engine. It's been in Tiajuana ever since.
After months and months of "It'll be ready on Friday," I finally just picked it up. And as I climbed out of San Diego again, there was some internal failure in the engine. It's fried.
My shop guy says it'll be $8-9 k to get a replacement engine, timing component + labor. I'm considering doing a engine swap myself but my other buddy says just to sell it because they're a pain to work on.
What do I do y'all? Where do I get a solid engine at a good price, timing components, turbo, etc?
I'd love to get a solid engine with a great turbo and join you more here.
Thanks everyone.
 

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5,730 Posts
If your goal is to restore a great Subaru and there's no body/chassis rust, then go for it, but if you're looking for a reliable daily driver that won't need much attention, this might not be the car for you. How's the transmission? Need shocks/struts? A/C blowing cold? Any car that old will continue to need repairs and if you are going to take care of the car come **** or high water, I think the Gen 3 outback is a fantastic car but considering that you didn't take care of the banjo bolt immediately after purchase (it's a well known issue) it makes me wonder if you're the right person for this car.
 

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Thanks! I appreciate the note. I asked my brother to review a list of things I wanted him to check, unfortunately he didn't and told me to fly out and buy it anyway. I maybe drove it for an hour before it blew up. I found out about the issue afterwards but I appreciate the critical consideration. I'm pretty comfortable with elevated repairs, an engine would just be new.
 

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I had the legacy GT Wagon (turbo 5 speed) version and I loved the car to death and I would have it today if it weren't t-boned in 2011. It was perfection and I miss it. There is one guy who probably has the most amazing gen 3 outback:


There was a quirk about the 2005 motor that's different than other years, not sure what all the differences are so do your research if you're going to keep it.
 

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2012 OB 3.6R Limited Satin White Pearl with Ivory interior
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58 Posts
Another new member here - life long car guy that first jumped to the Subaru world with a 2012 Outback 3.6R Limited for my wife's driver. Working on getting a 2005 Limited 5EAT back on the road. Car was purchased with a bad motor and turbo. Back story is that original turbo died, owner replaced the turbo, and some time later the engine took a permanent vacation. Car is well care for and is from outside the rust belt so it is amazingly clean. Repairs are being handled by reputable Subaru shop and is being reassembled with good parts. I will be making a build thread with all the details of the project.
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2007 Outback
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4 Posts
Greetings, New member. Just bought about our tenth Subaru. We were going to abandon Subaru, having just had our 2012 Forester's engine replaced because of the **** oil consumption BS on that model year. We were going to jump ship for Honda or Toyota, but after reading consumer reports about small SUV snow traction, decided to deal with the known problems of Subaru once again. We're over 9000' elevation in Colorado, and live on a non maintained road (meaning we plow it), so 4wd/AWD is a must.

I didn't want to get another 2011-2013 due to the bad engine issue, nor anything newer with CVT. The only thing in consideration was an older 3.6 withoput the CVT transmission, or 2006-2010 Ourback or Forester that had already had head gasket done. And we always prefer manual tranny, so kept that in mind...

SCORE! We got bought a 2007 OB last week, 95K miles, manual trans, with new timing belt, head gaskets and clutch. It runs well, has more get up than my wife's 2012 forester which just had new engine put in. The only minor things are old dry rear axle boots and control arm bushings, the battery isn't 100% and it has hail dimples. I'd rather have the blemishes than anything mechanical though, and maybe it'll help deter thieves. Hit up the local upullit for a set of alloys and put on new winter tires for out high rockies location.

I am in no rush, and no big deal, but the suspension feels a little mushy. Reading here, looks like that is the default US/NA springs and struts. I prefer a little stiffer spring rate and tighter damping, so maybe an upgrade is in its future. I've lifted and converted a couple other vehicles to 4x4, so a wee lift may also be in order.

Also would like to upgrade the stereo. The integrated radio and heater control trim panel looks like a PITA. Has this been covered here?
 
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