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New to me 03 obw with a “few” issues lol

2621 Views 71 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ChattownOBW
Hello everyone. Picked up a 2003 outback wagon today. I test drove it last week in a rural middle Tennessee town and it seemed to do great. However, it was 30° out, spitting sleet and I drove about 10 minutes at 45 mph.

Bringing her home today 120 miles was a different story. It was empty so stoped at the first reputable station I could find only to see that the gas cap was MIA. No big deal. Put some fuel in but not too much cause I didn’t know if it would slosh out. So got 20 bucks. A little over half tank.

I opened the door after pumping gas and set the alarm off. Which was strange causeI didn’t even lock the doors with the door or fob.

Continue on to a state highway where the speed limit is 65 and as soon as the road opens up the check engine light comes on. I figure maybe from the missing cap so keep trucking.

Hit 60 mph and thought the steering wheel was going to make an exit out of the car. It would shake from about 55-70 (the fastest I got) so badly that it made me super uncomfortable And I have had a lot of janky cars in the past.

Drove about an hour and stopped to grab a bite to eat. Noticed a smell of antifreeze. And saw an active drip standing in front of the car. Popped the hood and the overflow tank seemed to be the origin. The PO supposedly had all new cooling system parts installed including radiator and all hoses. Overflow tank was pretty full so I figured maybe they just overfilled when they put all the parts on.

Got her home and up on jack stands to crawl under and every bit of rubber in the rear suspension is gone. Both rear shocks are blown and leaking. Driver side boot is torn on the rack and pinion. It the front suspension doesn’t look too bad. And the axles look fairly new.

My ultimate plan for this is to do all new suspension with around 2” of lift total. Haven’t decided on the Rallitek kit or cobbling something together yet but will be doing something. And a little larger, more aggressive tires. That should be about it. This thing will be our little dog hauling, canoe carrying adventure wagon.

Any tips on what to do or how to fix common issues are welcome lol. This is my 4th Subaru with the others being 04 wrx, 01 forester and 05 forester and I am excited to be back in a Subaru!
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I had an ‘85 300D as a high schooler back in 2006-2011. Unfortunately the parents donated it to the local radio station for the tax deduction. Had 365k on it then. Years later we all decided that was a big mistake!

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