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Old 08-08-2004, 04:19 AM   #1
giuseppi
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Default SHOULD I buy this car?

greetings all,

i've had all kinds of cars (currently in love with my VW tdi), but never a subaru. well, the opportunity, albeit not necessarily a great opportunity, to enter the exclusive realm of subaru ownership has finally shone upon me. here's the deal: a friend of a friend drives his '98 legacy wagon out on vacation. 82k on it, just had its 75k service at the appropriate time, just had the oil changed before he left. car sputters and dies on the highway. the car is towed to a local dealer who discovers about a half a quart of oil in the engine, which now knocks above 2500 rpms. one more reason not to go to jiffy lube! he decides the engine will certainly not get him home, which is 1000 miles away and decides to sell the car for $1000. the question is should i buy this car? from what little info i have gleaned so far, it seems like i might be able to get a low mileage engine for $1000 to $1500. i am assuming it would cost at least that again to have it installed. what i am wondering, is how difficult is an engine swap on these cars? i've never paid a mechanic to do anything on any of my cars, but i've never swapped an engine. i'd certainly attempt it on a VW, not on a saab. how bad is a legacy swap? would this car be worth it? most cars of this vintage locally sell for around $8000. should i try it? can anyone point me in the direction of some good instructions or info? thanks much in advance!
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:16 AM   #2
Opie
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Location: Riverview, Florida - U.S.A.
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'14 XV Crosstrek, '99 SF

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Buy it...long block engine swaps (if your putting the same size motor back in) are only about a half day undertaking. Very simple and straight-forward.
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Old 08-08-2004, 10:19 AM   #3
Charlie-III
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: 07456, North NJ
Vehicle:
1998 Legacy 2.5GT
Silver Sleeper Wagon

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What else about the car.
Is it an Outback?, GT?, L?, limited?
5MT or AT?
2.2L or 2.5L?
Doing a straight swap is not bad at all. You could do an "upgrade" by getting a newer SOHC engine and swapping it in avoiding some of the DOHC issues.
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Old 08-08-2004, 11:43 AM   #4
StuBeck
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Might want to tell him that he can get Jiffy Lube to buy him a new engine if they really didn't put enough oil into it.
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:33 PM   #5
PHATsuby
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2001 Legacy GT back
to stock is a project too

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if you are just swapping in the same engine, shouldnt take more than i day i would bet, two if you are new.

if you are thinking of doing a wrx swap or something similar, the mechanical stuff is still very easy, its the wiring that takes a long time.

Ben
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Old 08-08-2004, 01:07 PM   #6
legacy2003
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BUY IT IMMEDIATELY. then put a wrx motor into it :C)
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Old 08-08-2004, 03:36 PM   #7
giuseppi
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thanks for the encouragement, guys. now i just need to get past MY wife. i'm not sure which engine this car has. sounds like the 2.2 is all around more desirable, from a reliability point of view, but maybe a little doggish. how does ~135 hp do with one of those cars? i am assuming that no one has solved the 2.5 head gasket issues with improved aftermarket materials or innovative repairs/techniques? don't these engines suffer with crank pulley issues as well? then supposing i bought an engine with 30-40k on it, would it make sense to slap new gaskets on it and/or replace the pulley/bolt/key before i put the engine back in the car? is there anything else that should be done before the engine goes back in? what about replacing a 2.5 with a 2.2 or vice-versa: does one still run into major wiring issues, or are the harnesses pretty similar? sounds like the wrx swap is a great way to go, but i've got so much else going on that i fear the wiring will drag on for months. thanks again for the advice. i really appreciate it! if i buy this thing, you'll be hearing a lot more from me!

jon
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Old 08-08-2004, 03:43 PM   #8
giuseppi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuBeck
Might want to tell him that he can get Jiffy Lube to buy him a new engine if they really didn't put enough oil into it.
i would and will suggest that, but having had a similar thing happen with my wife's car while on vacation, i found that jiffy lube will do nothing for you. and this poor guy, like me at the time, is done worrying about the car and just wants to enjoy his vacation.
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:02 AM   #9
giuseppi
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actually, i just talked to the owner, and this car has a 2.2 and an automatic tranny. kind of a bummer of a combo, huh? i could probably live with either one on its own, but an underpowered engine with an auto transmission sure can be a drag... literally. i assume a manual 2.5 conversion would be a major headache, since i'm getting into altering the ecu and electrical system. am i right on this? i might just be easier to buy this one, drop a "new" 2.2 into it, sell it at a profit, and buy a manual 2.5. whaddya think?
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:50 AM   #10
Oquipah
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1998 Legacy GT
Silver

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Yeah, you could make a profit I suppose.

Are you looking for something with power? Not sure what your budget is but there are a few Legacy owners that have done engine swaps with a WRX and someone here recently put in a 6-spd tranny. Doa search for LSTi and read on.

If a WRX engine swap sounds like something you'd be interested in, then check out i-Speed USA.

Peace,
Oquipah
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