Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Our 4th of July contest is live! Enter HERE for your chance to win a $400 Walmart gift card.
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm about to look at a used outback. It's a 2005 2.5i with 195k miles on it. That sounds bad, but it was refurbished (and being sold by) a local subaru tuning place, and it appears to have been gone over very well. I didn't get much of a chance to talk to the person on the phone as I was at work at the time, but I was told that the head gaskets have been replaced with something good, I believe he said multi-layer steel six-star brand? And the belt and pumps and other gaskets were also replaced with the OEM parts, the head was decked, and the head was actually rebuilt, not just decked.

As well as that, I was told that the transmission was rebuilt due to it being tired after 195k, it had new wheel bearings, I believe new struts and axles, and a bunch of other stuff. The car is completely rust free, rare for a car of that mileage in NJ. I believe it was garage kept. I drove past it when I was on my way home and it looked completely clean, not a single mark on the interior or exterior.

My question is, I'm going to ask them if I can bring it to a friend's repair shop and put it on their lift and get their opinion. What should I look for? My friend is fairly confident about being able to verify if all of this work was actually done, but I want to ask everyone on here, what would you look for on a 195k mile 2005 outback that could be problematic?

Is this whole thing a good idea?

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,385 Posts
I'd like to know two things:

1. warranty - what kind of warranty do he heads and transmission come with?
2. why were the heads rebuilt - was it previously overheated or broken timing belt?
3. i'd look at a carfax report and look for something obvious - tons of work or notes recently and maybe where it's been worked on. these services aren't one-stop shops but just one helpful tool in a box.

"transmission rebuilt" what does that mean? that's not a small detail.
is there an exceptional up charge for all this work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually bought the car today, and I'm very happy with it.

Also, I can clarify everything;

I checked the vin on a site called vehiclehistory. I can't post the link because I only have 4 posts, but.. If you want to try, here's the VIN:

4S4BP62C857307215

This seems to reflect the things I was told? I'll get someone to run a carfax tomorrow and see if it matches. But it looks good. Do those recall notices mean it was taken in for those recalls?

---

First off, the transmission was not rebuilt, it was serviced and never had a problem. I incorrectly stated that it was rebuilt in my first post because I did not get a chance to talk to the person selling the car in person, it was through a friend, until today. Car shifted and drove fine with it, I'm pleased.

As for the engine, its had a lot of work done, as has the rest of the car. I had it on a lift at a different mechanic's place, a personal friend of mine whom I trust, and we went over the car with a fine tooth comb and found.. pretty much zero issues, its in beautiful shape as far as I can tell. Everything lined up with the story I was told about the car.

As for that story, what appears to have happened is that the crank damper pulley failed, causing the pulley to partially separate from the hub. It then allowed the alternator belt to bandsaw its way into the timing belt cover, somehow without screeching or failing, and then get caught in the timing belt and causing it to jump off its pulley. This obviously caused the engine significant valve damage.

The shell was in perfect shape with no interior or exterior damage, so the decision was made to go ahead and fix it up.

The engine was pulled and the bottom end appeared to be completely unharmed. No marks in the bores or pistons at all. 8 valves were bent but no damage to the heads. The heads were sent off to the machine shop to be decked, and the top end was rebuilt with new valves and valve guides, the valve seats resurfaced, all that kind of stuff. The timing belt, water pump, all tensioners, and that whole thing were replaced with genuine subaru oem parts. As well as that, the head gasket was replaced with a six star MLS gasket, and the cam seals, intake gaskets, valve cover gaskets, and all external belts, as well as the problem crank damper pulley were replaced as well.

The engine is completely soundless (other then good sounds) so I'd say that its pretty well repaired. I inspected it on the lift and I could very clearly see all the fresh gaskets, and that the heads were extremely clean, having been obviously dipped in a parts washer prior to being overhauled.

Further inspection of the car revealed that all the struts appeared to be clean and new, and were KYB branded. The rear wheel bearings were replaced, as were the front axles. The sway bar links were also new, and had grease fittings, which gave them away. The suspension bushings looked in very good shape as well, so I imagine they were replaced, since 195k miles on the original bushings.. probably wouldn't look so great.

There was no oil dripping from under the car, and a check of all fluids showed that they were very clean and fresh. The drive shaft itself was fine, no wiggle at all. All the major hoses in the engine bay (coolant, trans fluid cooling, other misc hoses) looked very fresh and new, probably replaced.

The VLSD on the rear still worked, as far as I could tell. (rotated one wheel, the other moved in the same direction. Held one wheel, moved the other, felt torque.

The exhaust seemed fine as well. No major corrosion, just some surface discoloration that looks.. pretty normal. All the heat shields seem securely attached.

Nothing wobbled that shouldn't have, nothing was covered in oil that shouldn't be, and overall it appeared to my friend of 30+ years of being a mechanic to be wrong at all, and told me to go for it. So I did.

The car even when going over heavy bumps in the road was completely rattle free, and felt extremely solid. I did not feel the rear try to do anything funny, so I think the dampers and bushings are okay?

The AC blows so cold that I had to turn it down as all the windows fogged up and I couldn't see. When I got out of the car it had been so cold inside that my glasses became opaque as they hit the hot air outside.

As for the shell of the car, it was completely spotless. Almost all of the undercoating is still perfect, and its thin in some areas, but I plan on fixing that. There is no rust anywhere on the vehicle. The body has no dents or scratches as far as I can tell, except a few spots of dirt on the bumper which I removed easily with a cloth.

At this point, I think I've exhausted pretty much everything else I can check. It seemed very solid. Do you agree?

It was sold to me for 5200, and that includes a second remote and 2 extra keys being made and programmed for it.

It is the limited model, 2.5i, so it has the leather interior (also perfect condition) the fancy 2 zone automatic hvac controls (which I've annoyingly discovered, greatly complicate installing an aftermarket head unit...) heated wipers (and mirrors, right?), power sunroof, power seat, vlsd, heated seats on both sides (4 stage) electric mirrors... I'm probably missing a few things. I'm not used to having so many toys in a car!

Either way, I think its a pretty good deal. I aim to keep it running for a long time, so please, if there is anything else I can check, tell me. I will have it on the lift again in about a week to change the rear diff fluid since it has been a while according to the paperwork.

Thank you again! And sorry for the long winded post.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
Joined
·
825 Posts
Looks good. I have the same car (color, year and trim) in a manual transmission! As a NJ car yours may be a "california model" with 5 o2 sensors and 3 cats. Not necessarily a problem but something to keep in mind if any emissions codes pop up. 194k miles-ish now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I was under it I didn't notice 3 cats, but I'll be able to get under it again later this week. I was so excited I forgot to take any pictures.

Have you put a head unit in yours? What did you wind up doing, using the JDM hvac double DIN part?
 

·
Registered
2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
Joined
·
825 Posts
I went through the same research and ended up just upgraded to a P203UH so it could play burned CDs. Mine originally had a P201UH I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An update on the vehicle. Still all good! :D

It has provided me so far with about 4700 miles of extremely reliable service. The reason I've not put that many miles on it is because not too long after I got it, I got a company vehicle to drive every day, so the subaru tends to sit around for weekend drives.

However, those 4700 miles have been very fun filled miles, with a lot of off road shenanigans in the farm fields my friend owns, in the snow, doing donuts in icy parking lots.. you know, adult things. I had a front wheel drive car with a seized handbrake until this outback, so I'm finally able to get all of that stuff out of my system. And I have no plans on stopping!

So far a few quirks have manifested, which I'll list now:

Fuel does not fill smoothly at the pump. The fuel vent cutoff valve (integrated into the tank, need to drop it and replace the whole tank, which is why I haven't done it yet) is stuck, so the car's evap system works perfectly under normal operation, but if you try and fill it, it clicks the pump off. I've found that if I put the pump nozzle in upside down so the NJ style fuel vapor.. thing isn't covering the filler neck, and go slow, it works fine. That coupled with the fact that I only do a few dozen miles a week, usually leisure drives to make sure the car doesn't rot from sitting too long, means that I have no strong drive to buy a new fuel tank, being I have to deal with gas once a month.

Passenger side HVAC vents lukewarm only. So this one is annoying in winter but its not that big of a deal, I'll probably fix it before next winter though. My car has the dual zone climate control, and thus the electric servo actuated HVAC flaps and selectors. The passenger side mixing valve for hot and cold is able to fully move to the cold position, but for some reason it can't quite get all the way to the hot side, so when the driver side is blasting hot air, the passenger side only seems to get about lukewarm. This is annoying because the passenger half of the windshield defroster only gets lukewarm. I'm still not 100% certain if its the mixing valve, or if the heater core has some kind of blockage or air bubble from when I replaced the radiator. Has anyone experienced this before? Also, the cold air settings do work perfectly, so that's good.

Radiator top hose barb broke off. Pretty self explanatory. OEM radiator, whatever, its 12 years and 200000+ miles old. It gets a pass, plastic breaks. Took an hour to replace.

That's honestly all I can think of. The thing just.. works. I love my outback dearly and I plan on keeping it for a long time. It faired a lot better in a sudden move to a new house then I did, over new years, working perfectly and reliably in the cold, carrying tons of stuff, while I was.. not fairing as well. Plans on the horizon for it are a cool gorilla brand bumper/skid bar/winch mount that I saw online somewhere, powder coating the wheels matte black because I have a friend that does that kind of thing, a tow hitch kit for a small trailer for an ultralight aircraft I want to make, and.. on the distant many years away horizon, an engine swap possibly to liven up the performance. I know people say its easier to just buy an XT but.. well, that's no fun, is it?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another update on the outback. Still good! Not a single thing other then fluids has been changed, much fun has been had, many adventures and miles added. A tow hitch was also added, to tow an airplane trailer and other random payloads.. Many donuts have been done in many fields and snow covered parking lots.

It turns out the poor thing was NOT rust free, though. The rust was hiding behind all the plastic outback trim panels! Really, really bad rust! Also, the rocker panels were completely rusty too! Luckily I had a friend who was able to go through and rebuild all those areas with new steel, it took him weeks! So.. let that be a lesson, anyone looking for a nice outback. Check under the plastic! Everything is rebuilt and coated with a nice thick layer of rust proofing, so hopefully she has many years in her yet.

I have not fixed the lukewarm vents or the fuel filler yet... Perhaps some day?
 

·
Registered
2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
Joined
·
825 Posts
Interesting , mine shows no rust on the body, but you can easily find the rust underneath. I wonder if it is actually rusty under the plastic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
466 Posts
476768
$_20 (3).JPG

i have your twin over here in Western Australia ... the HVAC blowing cold on pass side is a normal . trait .... some people think its the blend doors and others think its the heater core being partially blocked ... me my self has seen good results from flushing the core out with white vinegar .... disconnect the heater core pipes clamp them on the engine side ... then flush all the coolant out the core and and then fill with white vinegar and leave over night ... say 24 hours if poss .... then flush through and see how you do . you may need to do a few times to get it unblocked but i get maybe 80% heat to the windscreen now so im happy with that
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top