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Old 11-25-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
Swimmerboy2112
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Default Toyota guy here, going to try out Subaru!

Hey guys,


In an attempt to keep my beloved Toyota Tacoma from rusting out in the winter and to keep the miles off her, I am looking for a beater car, which brings me to this forum. I want something AWD, 5 speed, that gets good mileage and that can carry a good amount of crap around, so I am looking at a 1998 Subaru Impreza Sport Wagon 5 speed with the 2.2L. It has 204K on it!! I know this is a lot of mileage but what I hear from my Subaru friends is that the 2.2 is "bulletproof". Is this true? Car appears to be mostly rust free which is also a must. Guy is asking $2950, this seems high, i'd like to get him down to around $2200. Is that fair?

What are some things to watch out for on these motors/cars?

Any other advice would be appreciated.

Located in Eastern PA if that matters.



*before you ask "why don't you just drive the Tacoma in the winter?" That's because it's supercharged with the TRD supercharger, pushing 11psi @280 RWHP and 309 TRQ. It has seen a lot of mileage this year and i'd like to keep it as nice as possible.


Thanks,

--Brian
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
rob1n1
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Ask for maintenance records. Timing belt should have been done twice by now (once just before 100k, again just before 200k), that's the important one.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
mod maniac
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I just sold a obs for $2500 that wasn't that nice. Loved that car and yes the 2.2 is a great motor. I drive my wrx pushing 350 whp all winter long and yes we have snow here.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
bugeyetex
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If all cars were as reliable as those old 2.2 subarus, dealerships would have to sell them for 50k just to make ends meet. I sold my 96 with 237k and it was still running like a champ. I had to move halfway across the country and couldn't bring it with.

Timing belts and oil leaks are what to check for on those. A decent shade tree should be able to pull that motor out, reseal the whole thing and slap a new t-belt on it over the weekend. Then you should be set for another 100k minus some fluid changes and a few spark plugs.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
Swimmerboy2112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob1n1 View Post
Ask for maintenance records. Timing belt should have been done twice by now (once just before 100k, again just before 200k), that's the important one.
Almost forgot about the timing belt. I am assuming that this is an interference engine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mod maniac View Post
I just sold a obs for $2500 that wasn't that nice. Loved that car and yes the 2.2 is a great motor. I drive my wrx pushing 350 whp all winter long and yes we have snow here.
Interesting. 350 AWHP must be super fun in the WRX. My truck is a 4x4 but it only gets 19mpg and I live about 45min from work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bugeyetex View Post
If all cars were as reliable as those old 2.2 subarus, dealerships would have to sell them for 50k just to make ends meet. I sold my 96 with 237k and it was still running like a champ. I had to move halfway across the country and couldn't bring it with.

Timing belts and oil leaks are what to check for on those. A decent shade tree should be able to pull that motor out, reseal the whole thing and slap a new t-belt on it over the weekend. Then you should be set for another 100k minus some fluid changes and a few spark plugs.
That's re-assuring! I do about 30K a year so it will need to handle a lot! Sad you couldn't bring it with...

I work for Toyota as a mechanic so getting it up on a lift to do a once-over after I buy it won't be an issue. I'll check the timing belt and see what's been done.

Thanks all!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
Tdaz250
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X2 on the timing belt. If its the same 2.2 as my 91 legacy then it's not interface. Real easy to work on.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
bugeyetex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swimmerboy2112 View Post
Almost forgot about the timing belt. I am assuming that this is an interference engine?
The 2.2 was non interference until 97 (I think), but that 98 should be interference.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
Swimmerboy2112
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I've seen 1 or 2 of these torn apart. Timing belt seems easy enough to access.

I'm going to look at this on Sunday, so we shall see how it goes.

Bump for more opinions.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:01 PM   #9
ByeByeSRT8
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I would check the compression on the motor and make sure you test the clutch well.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #10
Swimmerboy2112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByeByeSRT8 View Post
I would check the compression on the motor and make sure you test the clutch well.
Yes, I will be bringing a compression tester along. I should see 180-190psi on all cylinders correct?
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