Subaru Outback Forums banner

Wanting advice on buying a used

5426 Views 39 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Blanco
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.
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
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.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
Good friend does highend custom electrical and interior work. He told me he would personally rip me a new one if I purchased a volvo product. The skinny on volvo is the worst electrical components he sees in any brand. BMW a close second. Check into spun bearings on the v70 oil pressure issues causing bearing failure. A friend just dumped his v70 after the second spun bearing. He has a used Infinity now. Lol
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
Thanks for all the links guy's I will follow & watch all that & probably now not be buying my Subie till next year being I did not sell my Bronco as planned, the guy tried to talk me down in price & I refused to budge on my asking price.

So for now I'm keeping it but next year will hopefully have the money for a OutBack VDC Limited, with all the cool options, Being I live in LA, I have no need for the heated seats & such.
The older purpose built 4x4's don't sell well on Craigs list but on the right forum ie audience you can get the right buyers. My mint condition 93 Land cruiser spent a month on Craigs list lots of looky loos looking for a 4runner and had zero idea what they were looking at had a few low ball offers which I showed and explained would not even cover the must do's maint on such a truck per my actual receipts etc.

In the end LC forum had a guy from Seattle ask some questions I sent him a pile of info picts and records. He flew into Oakland Airport picked him up drove it 30 minutes back to my house paid cash and he drove it home. $7000 for 145,000 mile mint condition all records LC. He sent me a note a day later 16hr drive home zero issues loves the truck.

Good luck with the old Bronco! Try some 4x4 forums where people really know these rigs you might get a better buyer.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
LOL stick to your guns on the Bronco pricing! I had some joker keep emailing me that I was way over priced. I finally responded and told him sorry dude it sold for ask and the difference between a buyer and seller - the seller owns the vehicle and can sell it for whatever they want. LOL
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
Forester has slightly better entry and departure angles due to the shorter overhang but the OB and the Forester are very different regarding comfort and level of trim etc. Think of the Forester as the lower end product and the Ob as the high end product you get the general idea. The difference off road is very little a good rut running up the length of the road is going to end your adventure with either one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
Do you know what a Class 11 is? :confused:
Isn't that the old Bug? Are you asking if the Ob or Forrester can hang with the bug? Power wise yes - suspension travel and entry and departure clearance NO. If you can sort out how to mount the subaru engine over the rear axle and drive line and lop off some overhang your in business. LOL

For rally road type work the old Legacy was hot as is the WRX - which case all you need is grip and some gravel guards in the right spots and drive fast!

If your looking to getting into the super cheap rally stuff a good friend did the 1000 in a built up Nissan with 3ft travel got his ass kicked but loved every minute of it cost him over 1mill for the whole effort. Now he has an old Nissan sentra clapped out that he does some sort of HP rated rally racing in and has a blast with it. He said the number one thing you want in a rally ride is parts availability at local junk yards. Apparently he can find lots of parts for the Sentra ha ha... The subaru would probably be a little tough given I think nissan made more Sentras in 1999 than subaru has made Forresters or Outbacks period LOL
 

· Registered
Joined
·
22,690 Posts
You would be surprised what that old bug will do! Hang up an overhang on a little rut and your stuck - no body work dragging on the ground your on your way. Actually I would say no the overhangs are your enemy on the subaru.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top