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Discussion Starter #1
I've never had a Subaru before & I'm thinking about buying about a 2000 or some with in a couple of years, I like the 2000+ lines better, so if I can find a deal thats my preference, all the ones I'm looking at in my price range of under 4K have many miles on them ( 100K +) & so I'm wondering what issues I might want to look out for?

I've heard the rear bearing tend to be an issue with these cars? :confused:

What else might I want to consider?
I want a small wagon about this size that seems to have some off roading abilities as it seems these do, yet want it to have nice street comfort & looks.

Anyways any help you guys can give me is appreciated.

I'm the Los Angeles area.
 

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no bearing issues with the cars till about 2005 regarding wheel bearings.

HG external leaks with the 2.5 from about 99 through 2003 updated multi layer metal HG replacement fixed this as long as the job was done well and the engine was not damaged prior to the HG job due to over heating etc.

Los Angeles Area - I'm in Norcal and family in LA the Legacy GT Limited non turbo we had for 180,000 miles was a great LA car and did plenty of dirt road fun up at Big Bear. Now we have the new generation OB and I really don't like it handles like a pig and for California use even the dirt road stuff its really not all that better than the legacy was regarding off pavement roads. However on road its a pig. Which is reason back in 2001 I passed on the 2001 OB and got the legacy. The legacy is also in many cases cheaper than the SUV'ed up OB legacy wagon.

Drive Both!!! Make the call your self but!!!!!! 100% have the HG checked for external leaks and check the maint history most HG jobs done by local shops not the dealer seem to have far more issues than the dealer reported fixed HG's which subaru will also back and help replace again if you have issues related to the bad gasket or poor workmanship for the replacement HG. Mine was done at 65K and was perfectly fine at 180,000.

The cooling capacity of the old legacy and ob is fairly limited bombing up 10 to Palm springs at 70+mph with a head wind in hot temps would start to get a rise out of the temp and need me to back down a hair on speed. Outside of that the car was great.

MT 5spd's the release bearings commonly fail before the clutch pad material is done this is seen between 130-150K just FYI. The proper no worry clutch job is full plate, clutch and bearing replacement. Cheaping out and not replacing the plate or the bearing almost always results in problems not to far down the road.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, But I'm looking at the Outbacks because I need a wagon, I have a dog & want him to have the back to himself while we drive.
Nothing worse than him trying to climb on you while driving.
I'm planning on getting one of them gates that keeps him away from the passengers.

To be 100% honest he is the only reason I'm looking to buy another car at all.
 

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2001 through 2003 Legacy GT Limited WAGON is identical to the OB without the lousy OB stuff on it or the suspension.

Not to mention the the Legacy came with superior ie larger brakes disc front and back
 

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Shocks will be toast if original and timing belt service should have been done at 105K only proof that is proven proof of the Timing belt is a actual receipt with matching Vin and parts listed. Timing belts cant be looked at to determine if they were replaced or are original
 

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Discussion Starter #8
2001 through 2003 Legacy GT Limited WAGON is identical to the OB without the lousy OB stuff on it or the suspension.

Not to mention the the Legacy came with superior ie larger brakes disc front and back
Looking on Craigslist seems they were one in the same?
They say Legacy outback?

What would be the lousy OB stuff your talking about?
I know nothing about Subaru's?

& What's the suspension difference your talking about?

I like bigger brakes. :29:
 

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Just a tip cars this old NEVER EVER! Purchase from a dealer! Be very picky and only purchase from a owner with lots of records that match the story you get from the seller and what you see with the car.

#1 problem with the older subaru's are buyers buying a zero history car at top dollar and having a engine that has been wrecked due to failed Head Gaskets not being addressed by Subaru. Properly addressed HG makes the 2.5 engine a very dependable great little engine in a good car. I personally would be very tempted to pick up a really nice 100% records well kept 2001-2003 Legacy GT Limited wagon with 5spd MT for the right price given they really are great cars when properly cared for.
 

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Looking on Craigslist seems they were one in the same?
They say Legacy outback?

What would be the lousy OB stuff your talking about?
I know nothing about Subaru's?

& What's the suspension difference your talking about?

I like bigger brakes. :29:
Subaru makes the Legacy sedan and Legacy wagon.
The Outback is a trim version of the Legacy wagon which had the suspension modified ie raised up, tough looking tires put on it and plastic kick panels pinned to the body work. This played into the SUV craze and turned the Legacy Wagon into a hot seller to SUV people.

The lousy suspension on the OB makes the car handle pretty poorly sort of a cross between a Ford Explorer and a lousy sedan. Where as the standard Legacy sedan and wagon are actually viewed as some of the best handling cars in their price range making them very fun to drive even though many people consider the 165hp not big enough for their dream to have a fast hot rod etc. However the 2.5 handles LA just fine your just not going to be doing 70-80mph over the Grapevine in 100 degree weather or doing 75+ east on 10 to Palm Springs in summer heat with a nice head wind blowing at you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Subaru makes the Legacy sedan and Legacy wagon.
The Outback is a trim version of the Legacy wagon which had the suspension modified ie raised up, tough looking tires put on it and plastic kick panels pinned to the body work. This played into the SUV craze and turned the Legacy Wagon into a hot seller to SUV people.

The lousy suspension on the OB makes the car handle pretty poorly sort of a cross between a Ford Explorer and a lousy sedan. Where as the standard Legacy sedan and wagon are actually viewed as some of the best handling cars in their price range making them very fun to drive even though many people consider the 165hp not big enough for their dream to have a fast hot rod etc. However the 2.5 handles LA just fine your just not going to be doing 70-80mph over the Grapevine in 100 degree weather or doing 75+ east on 10 to Palm Springs in summer heat with a nice head wind blowing at you.
Are these air cooled?
Turbo charged?
& what about if I do want to take it down a random dirt road might having the outback package actually be a plus?
 

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LOL no they are water cooled like any other car - no turbo offered in the legacy platform or OB till 2005 and those had lots of costly issues related to turbo failures and oil feed issues.

I ran my legacy GT up and down Big Bear back roads hauling Mountain Bikes - did epic snow ski weekends in Tahoe with 2+ft of snow - even drove into the lost Coast up in Northern CA during the wet season zero issues and any ground clearance stuff was easily driven around and would be the same exact issue with the OB given the issue with both the legacy and the OB regarding any off road use are the long overhangs distance between the front bumper and the front wheel and the rear wheel and the rear bumper. Traction is never an issue. Only time clearance was something I wanted more of was while driving up to a hunting cabin on a friends huge ranch crossing a big mud bog which case the Legacy never came close to being stuck but the mud was up to the floor boards.
 

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I have a 2000 outback wagon, and couldn't be happier with it. 231,000 miles and I have had to do very little to it. Alternator, front CV axles, knock sensor, 1 set of O2 sensors, did the head gaskets at around 110k, only because of a little seeping. That's it other than plugs, wires and oil. I bought it at 96k, and it was obvious it had been well cared for. I get it off road every now and then, and it does well in mud. Well for a car anyway, never been stuck though. The limited slip in the rear helps. The only time I've been stuck was when I slid down an icy hill into a small ravine, but I didn't hold that against her. :D Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
LOL no they are water cooled like any other car
From what I understand they are an opposed 4 cyl, like the VW air cooled engines & thats why I asked.

ran my legacy GT up and down Big Bear back roads hauling Mountain Bikes - did epic snow ski weekends in Tahoe with 2+ft of snow - even drove into the lost Coast up in Northern CA during the wet season zero issues and any ground clearance stuff was easily driven around and would be the same exact issue with the OB given the issue with both the legacy and the OB regarding any off road use are the long overhangs distance between the front bumper and the front wheel and the rear wheel and the rear bumper. Traction is never an issue. Only time clearance was something I wanted more of was while driving up to a hunting cabin on a friends huge ranch crossing a big mud bog which case the Legacy never came close to being stuck but the mud was up to the floor boards.
Yes while looking at picture's of them, I keep looking at the over hang both front & rear & wonder how hard it might be to hide a metal support to protect the body from possible damage?
Does any aftermarket make these already?
I've heard that the OB has better ground clearence than the Ford Exploder?
Is this true?

I dont really plan to go Off Roading much with it yet wanna know what Its good & not so good for...?

The ability to go more places does make it more attractive to me. :29:
Because I was also considering a Exploder or maybe & Jeep Cherokee or Toyota 4Runner..

Can someone give me some reasons why a Subaru would be a better bet?

I personally am thinking I'd like the Wagon due to vision.
I've had a few trucks & small cars like Miata's for example vanish while trying to parallel park, I've never backed into one but when I had a Fiat Spider was backed into 3 times while I was driving on the street & in parking lots, so that a big part of why I think smaller & lower is better, what do you think make a Subaru better than the SUV's? :confused:
 

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I have seen some aftermarket bumpers that improve approach and departure angles, but, IMO, they didn't look very good. I'd say go with a Jeep if you want to take it that far. My opinion would be the Subie would be better for you since you don't plan on off-roading all the time. It still drives like a car, with out feeling like you're sitting on the pavement, and get's better mileage than an SUV. I average anywhere from 24.5 to 26 in everyday driving. Not fantastic, but a heck of a lot better than 16!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have seen some aftermarket bumpers that improve approach and departure angles, but, IMO, they didn't look very good. I'd say go with a Jeep if you want to take it that far. My opinion would be the Subie would be better for you since you don't plan on off-roading all the time. It still drives like a car, with out feeling like you're sitting on the pavement, and get's better mileage than an SUV. I average anywhere from 24.5 to 26 in everyday driving. Not fantastic, but a heck of a lot better than 16!
I do have my other toys for dirt.




I currently own both of them & my 4x4 diesel Dually, So as you can see I do enjoy the dirt. :D
The Bronco is most likely sold this weekend though & thats why I'm looking for something else like an Outback to replace them Bronco, If the Bronco dont sell all bets are off & I'm just gonna keep it & get no Subie.
 

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Which case why get a half assed off road and half assed on road OB when you have the full off road rig anyway?

Funny you should mention the 4runner vs OB - I dumped my 4runner for a Legacy GT Limited and have had zero interest in owning another baby SUV like the 4runner, exploder etc since. Even the current 2010 OB is far far too stupid wana bee SUV for me. I owned a cherry 93 Landcruiser from 04 till this summer sadly sold to a new good home it will be working a dinosaur dig in Wyoming this spring. The replacement was a 07 mint condition Sequoia the reason for the switch were butts in seats + space. We haul kids and grand parents on a regular basis hence the need.

However even with the old LC 99.99% of all dirt road adventures and road trips were in the Legacy GT given it was just far more fun to take on road trips and even way more fun on dirt roads. You want washed out rutted out back country adventures you already know which rig you should be taking and you own it already ;-) - same deal with the old LC we knew when the LC needed to be tagged for duty.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Which case why get a half assed off road and half assed on road OB when you have the full off road rig anyway?

Funny you should mention the 4runner vs OB - I dumped my 4runner for a Legacy GT Limited and have had zero interest in owning another baby SUV like the 4runner, exploder etc since. Even the current 2010 OB is far far too stupid wana bee SUV for me. I owned a cherry 93 Landcruiser from 04 till this summer sadly sold to a new good home it will be working a dinosaur dig in Wyoming this spring. The replacement was a 07 mint condition Sequoia the reason for the switch were butts in seats + space. We haul kids and grand parents on a regular basis hence the need.

However even with the old LC 99.99% of all dirt road adventures and road trips were in the Legacy GT given it was just far more fun to take on road trips and even way more fun on dirt roads. You want washed out rutted out back country adventures you already know which rig you should be taking and you own it already ;-) - same deal with the old LC we knew when the LC needed to be tagged for duty.
Well I've been thinking about getting to & from some minor wheeling, for example taking the dog out to hike to new un-known trails in the mountains & going a bit deeper in the car than on foot might be fun.

The OB or Volvo V70 ( other one I've been looking at ) or SUV will allow me comfort on the roads getting there then allow me to go further on the dirt.

My Sammy it too hardcore to drive very far on the fwy & the Bronco is probably gone this Sunday.

& the Dually will have a camper on its back most of its life.


So the OB or Volvo or SUV will be for fun trips to some simple trails that I can actually drive to in comfort on the fwy & then.....?

Part of me dont wanna sell my the Bronco & if it dont sell Sunday, I'm just gonna keep it.

I need the extra money the Bronco will bring me to pay things like Property tax & etc & with the left over I want to buy my next one.

& thats why I'm here, I'm REALLY leaning towards the OB or maybe legacy.
I'm figuring Monday I might be looking at many dealerships for test drives to at least see what they're like to drive & then maybe buy from private party as suggested.

I know many dealers just buy from auctions & from my past experience from a used car dealer I was left very un-happy..
 
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