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Old 07-17-2002, 10:59 PM   #1
Hybrid Andy
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Member#: 21568
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Southwestern PA
Default Just got a '96 Legacy 2.5GT, looking for some basic info

What's up everybody. My girlfriend just recently picked up a '96 Legacy 2.5GT. I'm getting ready to do some standard maintence and was wondering if anybody could help me out with a little info. Her car didn't include an owners manual. Anybody know who publishes them and where I can get her a new one. If there is a factory service manual I can get, that's even better. I'm a Honda guy myself, I have a '98 Civic EX and a '92 CX hatch with a B18C1 (Integra GS-R motor) swap and a few bolt on's (I used to moderate Honda-Acura.net's hybrid forum), but I have to admit, her 2.5GT is nice. Helm's produces the factory service manuals (books about as thick as your fist with ever bolt, nut and torque spec you'd ever need) for Honda's and a few others, but I can't seem to find one for Subaru's.

For now I'm just going to change the oil, filters, probably new plugs and wires and check the brakes, but I wanted to get a little info. How much oil does the 2.5GT take and what weight? I was planning to run 5w30 Mobil 1 synthetic, but I was curious what Subaru recommend. Also what grade of octane? I searched on here and online, but I keep getting conflicting answers. I know the compression is pretty high in the 2.5L and it has a knock sensor so I'm assuming premium, but I wanted to check. I'm not looking much for performance (it's an automatic, for the life of me, I can't get her to drive a stick) probably just a K&N drop-in for now and maybe a lip spoiler, any recommendations. Thanks everybody (if you can't tell, I tend to go long on my posts). Seeya.
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:33 AM   #2
Subietonic
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Low Country, SC
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Four Count 'em
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Default

Welcome to I-club and especially welcome to the Legacy Forum. There's a ton of information on this board, and I'm sure you've had experience with "searches" before. If you can't find it and you've absolutely got to have it right now, jump on and ask the quick question and let people know that time is of the essence. Legacyites typically go the extra mile to help out by responding. You may still get redirected to "do a search" but take that as a friendly reminder, not a flame

My first suggestion would be to go to Subaru's website and pull down the maintenance schedule for the car. Unless it was originally a California car, use the Federal Schedule.

Depending on how many miles are on the car (60K+), and what kind of record of previous maintenance you got with it, I'd do all the things you are planning plus, change out the timing belt, definitely flush and refill the cooling system, change the diff fluids and transmission fluid and bleed the brake system. I'd pull the calipers off, presuming that the car has been driven in SW PA for ~ 6 years, so you've probably got a ton of crud and salt corrosion built up in and around your calipers (front and rear). You may want to rebuild them if the seals are too far gone or they're leaking.

Check the CV boots front/rear. Check the e-brake for proper engagement and, if that's not working properly, check you e-brake cables for proper functioning along their length by looking for broken sheaths (exposed rust areas) or binding cables. If that fails to rectify the situation, pull the back rotors and check your e-brake shoes and mechanisms.

That'll give you a few hours of enjoyment. Drop in a K&N panel filter, you'll like the effect. After you replace your plugs, plug wires and air filter, you should be able to run 87 octane with no problems. I definitely wouldn't run it on anything more than mid-grade gasoline and that should be the exception rather than the norm. You'd just be wasting your money on premium. The engine doesn't need it.

One last thing that I would do would be to reset the ECU. Not a protracted process. Just undo and take off your negative battery terminal and leave it off the battery for ~30 minutes. Reattach the terminal and start your engine. Let it run at idle for about 2-5 minutes. Shut it off. Restart your car and drive around the block about 10-15 mins, easing the car through its shifts and treating it like you're just breaking it in (nice and easy). When you're done with that, shut off the car. It's now ready to drive the way your girlfriend wants to drive it and it will re-learn using her style of driving as its baseline.

Good luck and welcome to the Subaru family. You've joined a pretty unique community of enthusiasts.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-18-2002, 05:41 AM   #3
Jonathan
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Natick, MA USA
Vehicle:
1999 Legacy GT Ltd
Quick Silver Metallic

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Subietonic's advice was very good and helpfull.
However my understanding is that the FIRST year 2.5 EJ25 155BHP motor did actually use PREMIUM fuel, although subsequent years will run on just about anything 86 octane (if you can find it).
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:17 AM   #4
HIHO
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that just wooped your ass

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Everything that Subietonic said, and remove the silencer. It is located in the passanger front fender. Just follow the air intake and you will find it. You should be able to remove it without taking the wheel off but I guess you will have it off anyway.

Go here.
http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/sho...=&threadid=167

Go to www.subaru.com, put your vin number in to see if you have any outstanding recalls.

The 2.5 engines seem to have a overheating problem. So make sure you flush the fluid on a regular basis. It will really depend on how hard your GF is going to drive the car. See, most off us drive hard and auto-x ours, so that might be one reason the problem pops up.

Learn to use the search function, it is a valuable tool.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:27 AM   #5
HIHO
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BD5; family sedan
that just wooped your ass

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Oh yeah, if you want a OEM(came with the car) owners manual try Ebay. If you want a Hayne's service manual Ebay too or Pepboy's for $14.99. I have noticed that on Ebay the manuals are selling for more than $14.99. Do a search here for "service manuals" there is a back-up CD avalible for $25. It is a Subaru Mechanical Manual on CD.
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:55 AM   #6
Radio Flyer
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Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Vehicle:
'98 2.5 GT Wagon
Rio Red

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Just to verify: Jonathan is correct. The '96 2.5GT requires premium fuel.

  - Eric
    Lil' Red '98 2.5 GT Wagon - Pics
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Old 07-18-2002, 10:29 AM   #7
Subietonic
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Four Count 'em
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Correct on the premium fuel. I jumped a year there in my thinking. About the snorkusectomy - IIRC - the 96 didn't snake in and out of the front fender. I was just looking at my friend's 96 2.5 OB the other day (not sure if it's the same for that MY GT), and the intake piping was much more abbreviated and basically sat inside the fender and alongside the engine. I even remarked to him how easy it would be to put a CAI on his engine. It had no torque box but instead had a curved pipe that came out of the throttle body/intake and that piped directly to the air filter box. It was strange to see that and I double-checked to make sure it was a 2.5L - DOHC? - yep, Smog Label 2.5L? - double yeppers. I'll ask him today if he's running premium fuel. He's pretty frugal so I'd almost bet against it.

Br, Dale
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:43 PM   #8
Hybrid Andy
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Location: Southwestern PA
Default What's up?

Thanks everybody for the replies. I'm actually pretty good about searching, but a lot of what you find is hard to trust and besides, I figured this would be a good way to introduce myself.

I just checked out Subaru's website. I have to wait till they e-mail us the PIN number before I can really do much with it. The car has 123k miles on it now and while it's running well now, it's got some work ahead of it. I'm planning to do the oil, filters, coolant and check the brakes this weekend. The accessory belt looks to be the orignal, and my guess is so is the timing belt and water pump so those are soon on the list. The brakes are solid but with a little mush in the pedals. I'm planning to have the rotors cut and replace the pads and lines soon depending on how much of the pads are left. The E-brake is in good working order. Where is the fuel filter located on her engine? I might as well change that too. Also for fluids, what weight for the engine oil and what do the diffs take? Does the '96 2.5GT have a rear LSD and if so does it take any additaves (I need a service manual)?

She's not much into autox, so the car will mostly do street duty. I was looking to start myself this summer but never got the suspension on my hatch finished, then the clutch went and I'm just tired of working on the damn thing and I'm trying to sell it. I've spend more time under the damn thing than I have in it. I figured a K&N drop in, maybe yank the silencer out and maybe look into a quiet exhaust for her and that's probably it. I'll reset the ECU after I put the new air filter in, but it's been my experience that doesn't really do much. The computer learns pretty quickly and adjust to any new modification or change in driving style pretty fast.

As for fuel, I'll probably just stick with 89 and see how the engine likes it. So far I haven't notice any hesitation or pinging, but it hasn't been run that hard or hot yet either.

There's a number on Subaru's website to purchase the factory service manual, I'm going to give that a call in a little bit. I don't put much faith in Hayes manuals (seen to many errors in the Honda one's, wrong torque values, backwards ways of doing things, stuff like that). Anyway, thanks for all the help, this seems like a really good forum. Seeya.
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Old 07-18-2002, 03:01 PM   #9
ciper
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90BJ Legacy LS ABS
AWD 946 Rio Red Jpn built

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Before flushing the coolant do a search for the recomended methods.

First Id suggest against removing the engine drain plugs, just run water through a few times with the thermo removed.

Bleeding is a pain sometimes, most suggest filling the rad using the upper radiator hose until the engine spills over, while the front of the car is slightly higher fill the rad.

Think about synth lubes in the tranny and differentials.

Is this a 5 speed or auto? Dont confuse the tranny, differential and oil plugs. No offense intended, it has happened.

For plugs I think you'd find everyone suggesting NGK. For wires its either oem or magnecor, the latter being a similar price with a significant life span increase.

Asking about oil you will never get many to agree. I suggest mobil one synth in 10-30 15-40 5-30 etc.. With so many miles Id say to expect leaks. Mine leaks from the valve cover gaskets after switching but its such a small amount Im not worried about it, just wipe it off every once in a while.

The car has to be able to run on 87 octane, although its definatly tuned for premium. You should see an improvement in power or economy with premium.
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Old 07-18-2002, 07:55 PM   #10
Subietonic
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Member#: 12588
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Low Country, SC
Vehicle:
Four Count 'em
GF5,BDA,BD5, BP5

Default You don't have to wait for your Subaru PIN

to get the maintenance schedule...

Go to the Subaru website . Click on owners, click on Subaru Care and click on Maintenance Schedule. Choose MY 1996 and then choose
Click here for Schedule of 96MY All States Except California And Canada at the bottom and it'll take you right to the Subaru maintenance schedule.

Br, Dale
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