Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are looking to replace her 03 Legacy 5spd wagon with an 05-09 Outback. The only 2 requirements we have are it must be 5spd and we really want a sunroof. Our budget is in the 10k range ,give or take. The ones that seem to fit our want list are 05 XTs w about 120k on them or na cars w 80k on them. Is the turbo worth it? How much more will it cost me in maintenance etc? I've heard the 06-07 NA cars have valve guide issues. What else should we look for? I have an 03 Legacy GT wagon and have done the center diff, head gaskets (and all other gaskets) and an alternator so we'd rather not get into another money pit (I love my car though!).

Any suggestions or recommendations from you guys? Thanks
 

·
Registered
2008 Ford Escape XLS - 2002 Subaru Outback
Joined
·
246 Posts
If you don't use the turbo for the power, don't get it. The N/A Outbacks have plenty of get up and go just by dropping it into 3rd and passing someone. I don't need to get into specifics like the turbo problem everyone seems to be having: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...ce/16661-turbo-problems-05-outback-2-5xt.html. You get all the common headgasket issue, and timing belt change that you do with a N/a long with the turbo issues, and extra cooling lines and "stuff" to go wrong.
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's kind of what I was thinking.
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
No headgasket issues with the turbo.

It will cost more from the 3750 oil changes with synthetic. Otherwise, maintenance cost isn't much more. The turbo's are known to be finicky, so you have to be diligent with oil changes and it's a good idea to occasionally check the turbo for shaft play.

The way I see it, I'm replacing the potential head gasket failure with a potential turbo failure. If I can catch the turbo issue before it completely fails, then I can replace it with no other issues. The problem is that if the turbo fails catastrophically, you could end up needing a new shortblock.

If you have no intention of modding it, then why not consider the h6? similar power to a stock xt but with much better reliability.
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do the H6 come in 5spd? Honestly, if we did end up with an XT, I'm sure I would upgrade things. The mods would most likely be simple and reversable, ecu flash, maybe a little better plumbing etc.

I've located a few 5 spd XTs that are in our price range but they are a few hours away and I can't drag my Subaru buddy all over the place to look at them. I'm a semi experienced wrencher, are there any issues that are readily visible/audible? I'm not so sure a dealer would be too excited about me pulling plugs to do a compression test.... I've also heard that there is a screen on the oil feed line that clogs up and starves the turbo. Is there a way to check that w/out pulling the feed line before I'd drive the car from Pittsburgh to Allentown (285ish miles)?

I need to do some more research regarding issues w/ both variations of the Outback
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
There is no easy way to check the banjo filter. It is a pain in the ass! IMO, it would be easier to pull back the downpipe and check the turbo for shaft play. It's just a few easily accessible bolts that connect the DP to the turbo, then the mounting bolt that attaches the DP to the transmission. Not something a dealership is going to want you doing though...

Some red flags would include rough idle, smoke from exhaust, and a turbo that was replaced within the last few thousand miles.
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmm, that sounds like this could be room for leverage pricewise. Honestly I would rather have a turbo car, more fun, quicker and a turbo wagon is just cool.

So, it sounds like if I bought a turbo car an engine flush might be a good idea? Also, change out the oil feed line to the bigger one (aftermarket) and potentially install a new turbo. I have a friend who keeps my Subarus going when I don't feel like fixing them and he has plenty of stuff floating around.

It sounds like a turbo car might not be as bad as I thought.... Or it could be way worse
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
It's not that bad if you know how to maintain it. I'd agree with the engine flush. That's what I did as soon as I got it. I had no idea of how it was maintained other than major services, so I ran seafoam in the oil for about 200 miles on fresh oil, then changed the oil.

Check the turbo for shaft play before you think about replacing it. The oil line isn't a bad idea. If you're going to do that, might as well get the infamous one with the filter.
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually I was thinking about the Infamous one that you mentioned in the XT problem thread. Any other issues besides exploding turbos, plugged oil lines and speeding tickets?
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
The more you search, the more you'll find. There are scattered problems like burnt exhaust valves and broken piston rings. Most have to do with bad tunes or unsafe mods like air intakes or drop in filters with out proper tuning for them (i'm speculating btw).
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5spd, "lifted"
Joined
·
112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, it sounds like failures from poorly executed mods. Cool
 

·
Registered
2009 OBXT, 5MT, SWP
Joined
·
38 Posts
I don't need to get into specifics like the turbo problem everyone seems to be having: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...ce/16661-turbo-problems-05-outback-2-5xt.html.
I read ALL those posts(can't remember if it was on outback forums or a similar thread on legacygt.com), but the turbos failing seemed to be confined more to the '05-06 model years, especially the 2005's. Did Subaru change the turbo from the VF40 to the VF46 in 2007? I am going from memory if I get those part numbers wrong. Despite what I read I went ahead and purchased my XT 5MT. I love it despite the more frequent oil changes, premium fuel requirements, and slightly lower fuel mileage. If you can swing an '07 you will also get stability control which is a nice safety feature (I think that came with the'07's, check cars101.com to verify).
 

·
Registered
05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
Joined
·
2,104 Posts
You're right on the turbo change. The vf46 appears to be more reliable than the vf40. We're at the point where the 07+ have enough miles and the failures don't seem to happen near as much as the 05's did.
 

·
Registered
05 Xt beatin' to an inch of its life
Joined
·
665 Posts
Don't forget, nobody really posts things like 'no issues, perfect performer.' By design, you'll see mainly issues with the vehicles and equipment on these sites. Basically, if you get an Xt of any year, you'll have some work to do to restore reliability. It is a great car, all things considered.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top