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Old 09-10-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
mikeatx
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 223272
Join Date: Sep 2009
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
1995 Impreza L 2.2L
Red Sedan Auto AWD

Default Newbie Owner '95 Impreza L 2.2L AWD Sedan

Picked up a '95 Impreza today for $1700 mostly to get to work and back, but already have the itch to order some parts. This is my first Subaru and first AWD car.

But first things first. For the most part, its in decent shape, paints got some issues, interior shows its age, odometer reads 70k but previous owners tell me it was replaced at 35k, so actually is approx 115k miles.

Biggest annoyance, alignment feels pretty bad... seems to like to track slightly left. Steering feels hard at times and loose at others and have to fight the wheel to get it going the right way down the road exiting a turn.

2nd, seems theres quite a lot of body roll. It does have bouncy shocks, so thats likely a bit of it.

Not sure if I'm gonna do much with this car, but want to at least make it a bit more enjoyable and see how things are going a few thousand miles down the road.

Any fairly inexpensive options that are still of reasonable quality? Not looking for full out race suspension, just some decent shocks, maybe lower springs (nothing too drastic), sway bars and strut bars to get things started? Maybe oem parts off other models? Any decent direct swap options I should hunt down?

Also, brakes seem a bit soft... haven't looked at pads.. haven't even changed any fluids yet. It's getting a full once over/tune up this weekend. Maybe some new parts while I'm at it.

Basically, if it was yours, what would you do? Other recommendations welcomed!

Thanks,

Mike -Subaru newbie

1995 Subaru L 2.2L AWD Sedan in Red
JV1 GC6357 SH
-Stock, except the cheap JVC MP3 deck
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:20 AM   #2
Uncle Buck
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Member#: 140062
Join Date: Feb 2007
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Phoenix
Vehicle:
2005 STI ATP3076r
95' Eclipse gs

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welcome! If it was my car i would first would take care of all of the maintenance (replace all fluids, spark plugs, check belts, hoses, brake pads, etc) and any other problems that exist. Then I would focus on upgrading the suspension if you want it to handle well.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
casper1jr
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Member#: 208012
Join Date: Apr 2009
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Riverside CA
Vehicle:
07 WRB STi
Tuned @ 21psi

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^
Agreed, I would want a car that can handle well over power to start!!

Good luck & happy modding
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:43 AM   #4
speedyHAM
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Member#: 48377
Join Date: Nov 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: "They eat fish soaked in lye"
Vehicle:
1996 Gutted, built
XP class Impreza L

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I'd recommend Carbotech bobcat pads, they improve braking feel substantially.

For OEM parts that can be used off other subaru's for suspension upgrades, try to find a 20mm rear sway bar from a 2002 WRX. It's a direct bolt in and makes the car handle much better. I'd also pick up an aftermarket front sway bar either 22 or 24mm. In combination the two are a vast improvement in handling. For replacement shocks there are options from KYB, Koni, Tokico, and a few others that are not too expensive. With your car at over 100K miles, I'd look at new shocks first. Lowering springs tend to worsen the handling if taken too far. Research what you are going to buy before buying so you know what you are getting. Slightly increasing the spring rates makes a huge difference in the handling as well. I wouldn't bother with strut bars unless you are going with very stiff springs, as in over 400 lb/in.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:48 AM   #5
mikeatx
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Member#: 223272
Join Date: Sep 2009
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
1995 Impreza L 2.2L
Red Sedan Auto AWD

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Quote:
Originally Posted by midniteblack View Post
welcome! If it was my car i would first would take care of all of the maintenance (replace all fluids, spark plugs, check belts, hoses, brake pads, etc) and any other problems that exist. Then I would focus on upgrading the suspension if you want it to handle well.
Will be doing any maintenance the previous owner missed this weekend. I know it's had an oil change and radiator fluid. Gonna check plugs, brake pads, probably change trans fluid (It's an auto).May head to a salvage yard and see if I can find the rear sway bar mentioned.

Still not certain I want to put too much money into this car, it's in decent shape and for the most part feels like it has quite a bit of potential. On the other hand, it's 14 years old automatic sedan and I could likely spend 6000 to 8000 on a much newer in 6 months. Tho that could be 3 grand in parts for this car, a new Macbook and still have some left over?

I've had a $400-$500 car payment on 3 different cars for the last 7 years (Integra, RSX TypeS and G35). Decided its time to own something outright so I can afford/rationalize doing whatever I want with it. Just not sure where to start. Basically want it to be slightly practical, but still extremely fun to drive.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
mikeatx
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Member#: 223272
Join Date: Sep 2009
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
1995 Impreza L 2.2L
Red Sedan Auto AWD

Default

Well things have gone down hill since my previous post. CEL came on last night, was planning to stop at the auto parts store to see what it is. On my way home from work the temp gauge started to climb, I pulled off, filled the resevoir with 50/50 fluid and got down the road where I could park the car and let it cool. Its still sitting cooling right now.

Not sure whats going on... Looks like the pervious owner used some radiator sealant, I see lots of shinny specs in the fluid. I poured about 3/4 of a gallon of radiator fluid into the car (nearly filling the resevoir and topping the radiator after opening the hot cap and letting it release some fuild). Doesn't seem like I've lost enough fluid for it to be a head gasket, but not sure. It doesn't appear to have oil in the water or water in the oil, but not entirely sure what I'm looking for.

Not sure what to do atm, other than trying to get it to the parts store for cel code read.
Should I replace the thermostat? Is it at the lower radiator hose connection at the motor? Could it be water pump? Radiator? or simply a head gasket?

Any shop recommendations in Austin, TX? or should I take it to the dealership?

Sorry for all the questions...
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #7
mikeatx
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 223272
Join Date: Sep 2009
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
1995 Impreza L 2.2L
Red Sedan Auto AWD

Default update

I let it cool for about an hour, needle was at about 1/4 up from cold. It drove home just fine, windows open, no heater, no a/c.

Stopped at O'Reily's and they don't read codes, Autozone doesn't read codes on anything older than 1996, so I have no idea why the CEL is on or how to find out other than taking it to a shop. :/

Suggestions?
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