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Old 06-27-2000, 11:35 AM   #1
dinosaur
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Post Is Subaru reliable? What % of power is loss? Can you spin the wheels?

I currently own a Honda accord, and what can I say it has been a fantastic car. Has never let me down and never have any problems with it other then normal wear & tear items (such as clutch, brakes, timing belt bla bla).
I am very interested in getting an Impreza when they go ahead and ship the turbo model out to the US. I have been fascinated with them ever since I lived in Australia. My question is how reliable is the impreza.
From what I have read there seems to be a lot of problems with clutches, MAF sensors (and yes I would plan on modify my impreza so donít say it wouldnít have a problem if you didnít modify it), drinking oil, paint chipping and so on. This seems like a lot of problems for a modern day car. I have also read that in Europe Subaru came #1 in reliability, yet this board does not seem to uphold this ranking.

Also what percent power loss threw the drive train does the impreza get with the all wheel drive set up?

One more thing. Does the all wheel drive set up allow you to spin the tires at all? I would rather have it launch with only the rear/front wheels driving and then after a second the other 2 wheels kick into drive. This would allow you to launch the car hard and spin the tires for a sec, doing this takes a lot of stress off the driveline. Rather then not being able to spin the tires at all would shock the system all to hell and then is when teeth go missing in the tranny
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Old 06-27-2000, 11:45 AM   #2
Travis R
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The engine is quite a bit different between the 2.0L turbo and the North American 2.5L, so I think it would be very difficult for many people to comment about the MAF failures. That said, the turbo seems to be very reliable. Check out one of the european boards for more info. Like http://bbs.scoobynet.co.uk/
As far as launching the car goes, unless you power shift the car you are probably going to put more wear on the clutch than on the tranny. At autocrosses (with race tires) I drop the clutch from about 4500 rpms. By the time the clutch has a firm grip the car is already moving pretty well. It's the same story though, this is on a 2.5L with a North American tranny. The turbo cars have stronger pieces to deal with the increased power. The AWD system Subaru uses is great. Simple, cheap and very effective.
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Old 06-27-2000, 01:03 PM   #3
Tim Prudence
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Just slip the clutch . It feels faster than dropping the clutch, and it's much easier on the transmission. New clutches are a lot cheaper than diff or transmission parts.
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Old 06-27-2000, 02:25 PM   #4
boxerman
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Amen Tim,
Finally some sanity. A lil' slip and a 4000 RPM launch and you will beat almost anything to 30mph. But of course a logical answer comes from a guy named Tim

8Complex, the 100HP from the the SCC article was on a clayton dyno at a certain steady RPM under load,(may not be peak HP) it is just not comparable to the flywheel #s that Subaru Publishes or even to a dynojet's "at the wheels" results. I have read differrent things about AWD driveline losses. There is an Audi study that claims AWD is more efficient because of tire drag on non-driven wheels.

Typical driveline losses range from 12-18%, I figure we are somewhere in that ballpark.

Consumers Reports puts the Impreza at much better than average in reliability. The Impreza also does well in JD Power surveys. Some on this board will regularly dump the clutch, autocross, rally, streetrace, get air, etc. So we are not the best indicators of reliability on a "normally driven" vehicle.

Tim
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Old 06-27-2000, 02:34 PM   #5
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Whenever I want to launch fast I slip the clutch for about one second right around 4500-5000 rpm. Stinks like hell, but the car launches like crazy.

bryanw said he can spin his tires on dry tarmac launching at anything over 3500 rpm (and presumably dumping the clutch). Not sure what kind of tires he has, but that trick don't work in my car. I get a wicked bog and stinky clutch with no wheelspin, or at least an imperceptible amount. (never looked at the front tires from the outside while doing this.)

Until the power problem is "resolved" with a nice turbo or some NA mods, slipping the clutch is the fastest for me.
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Old 06-27-2000, 04:16 PM   #6
paul squire
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youll all probably argue the hell out of this but ive done it so i dont care what you say look ive dropped the clutch in a stock r.s. before minnam and spun up the fronts only . how ever spinning wheels puts jus tas much stress on drive train probably more than doing a quick restrained launch

also dad will kill me for telling you this but leave the hand brake on and dump the clutch "ohhh nasty" on gravel and youll just sit there and spin the tyres because the centre diff sends everything to the front

also try this find a nice gravel big area fit a rear sway bar dump at about 3000 as soon give it full lock on the steering wheel and snatch second once you get a nice circle going start winding on opposite lock slowly and see if you can hold it on the acccelerator tricky at first but im sure your all great drivers budding richard burns's etc so give it a go...
oh and any one that says this isnt possible because of the front torque split.... ive done it for about 15 20 minutes in the heart of redmond wa at about 4 in the morning
minnam kit helps but


[This message has been edited by paul squire (edited June 27, 2000).]
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Old 06-27-2000, 04:29 PM   #7
8Complex

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"how ever spinning wheels puts jus tas much stress on drive train probably more than doing a quick restrained launch" - paul squire

This is untrue. Spinning the wheels is just fine, but rips up the tires. Trying to dump the clutch and spin the tires on an AWD car will get you a short second of spin and nothing but grab. It is all about the immediate pressure (a snap) put on the driveline components, this breaks them easily. Releasing the clutch fast puts less of the immediate stress on the driveline.
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Old 06-27-2000, 05:06 PM   #8
Matt Monson
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So, I was the Happy owner of 3 Hondas before my RS. The 1st was an Accord and the last 2 were AWD civics. All 3 of them made it to 180-200k mi before I sold or totalled the,
When it comes down to it, I don't think stock production AWD trannies are really up to the snuff of hard launches. But if you are not drag racing what does that really matter?
On the last civic, I blew out 2 trannies in less than 2 months once I dropped in a JDM engine. The first one was due to launching. On the second one, I hit a patch of ice on an overpass@100mph.When the tires hit dry pavement again and stopped spinning, the output shaft to the viscous coupler was stripped of its gears!!
Subaru makes over a half a dozen trannies for their cars. Unfortunately, none of them is up to the snuff of a WRX or STI in a production car in the states. The guys I have read about, mostly here, that have fried trannies are mostly dragging and launching. If you are going to launch, buy an aftermarket tranny, or maybe you will get lucky and they will put something beefier in the 2001 US Turbo(can you wait that long?,I couldn't).
I am very happy with my Subaru( less than 3 months and almost 8k mi. on it). The paint quality isn't great, but I love the car. Subbies are reliable cars and what you see here is indicitive of heavy users. It all depends on how you drive. Sorry so long, I guess this is my 10 cent version!
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Old 06-27-2000, 08:20 PM   #9
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Dinosaur,

The reliability is there... The issue you must remember is the Impreza is a different car. If you take all the RS sold in North America since 1998, you'd probably have at least 30%-40% of all imprezas modified to a certain point. If people start changing and upgrading their car, things will break.

Another issue is when someone who modify their car, who is doing the work? Someone reliable and used to work on Subaru and know the car inside out? You must consider it very stongly.

It all depends on what are your own plans for the car... Keep it stock, modify (to what extend), will you use in a rally, street use only, etc...

I recommend the same as Colin, go test drive an Impreza (if turbo, then wait till they come out).

I'm the same as you... My other car is 92 Mazda. It very reliable, cheap in maintenace, etc... It was a good buy...

Robin
National Capital Subaru Club www.ottawasubaru.com
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Old 06-27-2000, 08:44 PM   #10
Eric
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About the spinning tires thing...that is basically what happens for me. I get some spin from the fronts and then it hooks and you are off. At the recent ProSolo events I have even smoked the fronts (ok, its not a big cloud, but it is smoke) from spinning them so much. And in Harrisburg on sunday morning we had a pretty wet start line and my first three launches netted me a 4 wheel spin through redline in first and most of second. It was too much fun for me to stop doing it until my last run, and it had dried out some by then.

pic here http://208.9.184.110/MembersList/Vie...48&PicNumber=2

And the reliability issue, if you just drive it like any normal person would it should last you as long if not longer than any Honda. Especially considering how popular Honda's are with the car theft circles. But drive it like most of us Iclubbers do and you can expect to be putting in a new clutch. I seriouly doubt you will break the drivetrain without *constant* abuse. Sounds like you want the best of both worlds, well you got it, just wait for the boat to come in.

Eric
Silver 99 RS
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:07 AM   #11
8Complex

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Why would you want to launch with only 2 wheels? I'd rather do it the other way around, personally. The drivetrain loss is pretty high, with 165@flywheel and about 100@wheels, you can imagine. If we were to launch with AWD then revert to 2WD, then the loss of some of the drivetrain wouldn't be there and we might get more power.

Spinning my wheels isn't exactly the idea I have of fun unless you consider it rallying around in the dirt/gravel.

Paint chips? Well on my MY00, I've gotten very few paint chips, all things considered.

BTW, when I launch at autocrosses, I drop the clutch from anywhere between 4500-6000rpm and yes, I get my tires to spin a little, but within half of a second I am just plain gone. And yes, on a wet somewhat-slick surface, you can get all 4 tires to spin.
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:07 AM   #12
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question for dinosaur:

have you ever driven an RS?
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:14 AM   #13
bryanw
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Well, if you get an automatic, it's impossible to spin the tires on a regular launch. I've never seen a manual transmission before that couldn't spin the tires. Even my old 62 hp CRX would spin its tires a little when you dumped the clutch at 4000.

My RS will spin its tires at everything over 3500rpm. On very dry pavement with superb traction, they'll spin no more than a half-second on a 6000 dump. On wet pavement, you can usually spin them for a second or two. Gravel's a different story. When I launch (2500) in gravel, I can spin them all the way through first, second, and into 3rd gear before they fully catch. It's stupid though. All it does is cause you to fishtail and prevent you from going straight (LSD). You're better off keeping the throttle to 3/4 and spinning to a minimum.
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:16 AM   #14
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If you like spinning tires, then AWD isn't for you.
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:34 AM   #15
dinosaur
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no no no
you guys are taking it the wrong way. yes i think AWD is a much better set up then a 2wd system. the only problem with the AWD setup is launching it hard. when doing this you would prob rev up to 3-5,000rpm and then drop the clutch. being an AWD you would have lot of rubber turning at the ground. this inturn would shock the driveline all to hell.
if you were able to drop the clutch at around 3-5,000 and spin the tires this would ease the shock, and not make it such a hard launch on the car.

if it was able to spine all 4 tires for a small amount of time (your speed would be about 5-10mph) then there would be no need for 2wd at all. its just that there is a lot of rubber there and i would figure it would be much easer for it to spin the tires in 2wd for bit and then kick the other ones in. this would help save the clutch and tranny.

dont get me wrong, i do think the AWD setup is the way to do. im just trying to see how easy it is to launch such as the RS without giving the driveline such a shock


by the way, yes i have driven an RS once (with the dealer and it was a AT, all they had on the lot)
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:44 AM   #16
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8complex,

You said, "The drivetrain loss is pretty high, with 165@flywheel and about 100@wheels, you can imagine."

However, Boxerman is right about the clayton dyno thing, they always read lower. I imagine since the Civic Si puts 140hp to the wheels with a dynojet dynomometer, and we have the same 0-60 times, that we have the same power going to the wheels.

Dinosaur,

The overseas turbo models don't seem to have MAF problems like the MY99's in the US did. So, I imagine the MY02 Turbo for the US will be as reliable. As for the current RS models, I have seen very few compaints about reliability, vs people who have no problems. My main problem, which a few others have had is with the tranny synchro's occasionally going bad, slowwwwwly but surely.

I can chirp the tires for about half a second only in first gear with dropping the clutch, but I think that is too stressfull. I find in the rain I can spin tires with a hard launch, but can still turn and maneuver the car while the tires are spinning. At the autocrosses, I can rev to 5,500rpm and let out the clutch more slowly over a 1.5-2.0 second period with full throttle, and be at 30mph faster than the miata's can hit 20mph! One of the miata drivers couldn't believe I could get into 2nd gear at 30mph half way between the first and second turn of the last autocross, when his car was just getting to redline in 1st at 30mph by the braking point!

Larry www.ImprezaRS.com

[This message has been edited by ImprezaRS dot com (edited June 28, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by ImprezaRS dot com (edited June 28, 2000).]
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Old 06-28-2000, 12:56 AM   #17
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I don't drop the clutch. And I'd still beat almost any car off the line....except another RS.

Just release the clutch quick - but don't drop it or you will kill the tranny sooner than later.

[This message has been edited by Snoopy (edited June 27, 2000).]
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Old 06-28-2000, 01:30 AM   #18
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Spinning the tires can do MORE damage than not spinning. Many of the older MTX SHO's are nuking the diff which eats the tranny case. Infact most of the time the tranny case holds the diff together until the diff manages to puch out the side of the case.

AS far as AWD launches droppign the clutch is about the slowest way off the line, not to mention what it does to the driveline. Try slipping the clutch as it works much better.

The main weakness of the manual trannies sold here in america is the weak center diff. It sure likes to burn out when trashed on. Also relaise that it is derived from the FT 4wd box that was introed in 87? and as such is cheaper, but not the freshest thing around.

Subaru now no longer makes a FWD car in anymarket that I know of because a Modern AWD system has the same driveline losses as a non awd car. You do gain a few Lbs, and rotating mass, but hey if you want to play you got to pay.

For a nice Subaru burnout get a 87-90 Subaru turbo with Full time 4wd. They have a open diff and mine loved to torch the rear tires even with a rear LSD.
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Old 06-28-2000, 06:20 AM   #19
ColinL
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Actually Subaru's "AWD only" strategy is just for North America. European, Australian and JDM Subarus are FWD at the base models.
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Old 06-28-2000, 07:02 AM   #20
ESPO99RS
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Dinosaur,
To get back to the reliablity issue, I would say Subaru's are one of the best. I have owned several older Subies along with my RS and they will last you a long time if you treat them right. Yes, I have some quality issues with my RS(paint chips, window problems....etc), but I feel that the engines are some of the best. The will definetly last longer than most American cars and about the same if not better than other Japanese or European cars. And you can't beat the AWD, simple and reliable. And if you buy an RS you can become part of the Subaru "Family," may sound weird but that is what it is like.
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Old 06-28-2000, 07:39 AM   #21
Paisan
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I believe the Subarus are quite reliable. My family has about 9 of them collectively and they range from '88 up to '00, all are quite reliable. I think this board is particularly picky about our automobiles so we may not be a perfect group to look at for reliablility stats. (we are also VERY hard on our cars, which could lead to more problems no matter what make/model/manufaturer)

-mike
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Old 06-28-2000, 07:40 AM   #22
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Hey Dinosaur, I noticed that you live in Atlanta. I meet with a group of RS people about once a month from around the area. You should drop by if you have any more questions, you can check out the cars too.
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Old 06-28-2000, 07:54 AM   #23
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Hey paisan My family has had 5 we still have 4 of them. My father is getting a new outback soon (whenever they release the Flat 6)
99 Impreza L AWD
95 Impreza LX AWD
95 Legacy L wagon AWD
87 Loyale Sedan 2WD 179,000 miles
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