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Old 03-23-2004, 08:49 PM   #1
nsnguyen
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2006 Evo IX MR
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Default Considering a 1995 or 1996 Legacy wagon

As a former (and very happy) owner of three subarus I'm looking at one as a daily driver since I have a 60 mile commute and the Evo is racking up the miles. I'm not looking to spend a lot of cash ($5K max, preferably less) so I'm targeting the Legacy awd wagons from 1995 and 96.. lots of reasons for it, the dual airbags, standard abs (on awd models) and attractive styling being at the top. Since these cars have around 100K miles on them, I was wondering if anyone could point me to any faqs or data on their reliability and problem areas. I want to know what to look for when test driving these cars. Also, I know the 97 GT's had 155 hp, what about the 96's? Any other differences between the GT and LS models?

Thanks in advance,

-n.
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Old 03-24-2004, 01:37 PM   #2
PowerMatt
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I own a 1996 Legacy GT. It has the 2.5 liter 155 horse engine (which was standard for the GT that year). The 1996 Legacy's only had one reacall that I know of, and that was for the alternator. In 1996 the LS models had the 2.2 liter engine standard, while the GT and LSi had the 2.5 liter engine standard. The 1996 GT was also the only year an automatic was standard on the GT. A lot of Subaru's are used up north in the snow, so you always want to look for rust. If it sat around for quite a while like mine, make sure all the seals are good (I had a fairly major oil leak because of a bad seal on the oil pan). Also, 1996 was the firt year for the 2.5 liter engine, so all you will see on 1995 models are the 1.8 and 2.2 liter engines.
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:26 PM   #3
DLC
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I'd avoid the 2.5 Phase I. Some people don't have any problems with them, but others have a lot. Premium gas was also recommended for them, which won't help on those 60 mile commutes. The 2.2 should get decent mileage.

I'd also get a 5MT and skip the automatics. Pre-97 autos got a bit flaky at 100k miles or so. 5MTs should also help the mileage.

If you do drive any 4EAT models, try some low-speed turns and feel for a rumbling. That's a sure sign of torque bind, and can be costly to repair.

Otherwise, the models are as reliable as any Subaru.
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Old 03-24-2004, 05:55 PM   #4
nsnguyen
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Also, I hear that the 2.2L is a non interference engine (as opposed to the P1 2.5's) which is an issue with cars that may have been poorly maintained. I'm looking at private sellers, since I think they're more likely to have nicer cars.
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:05 PM   #5
DLC
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You're correct, the P1 2.5s were valve-mashers.
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:35 PM   #6
sha_zapple
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I have a 98 L. Its pretty good on gas. I get about 500km each tank (with a mix between city and highway)
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Old 03-24-2004, 11:44 PM   #7
Mike Wevrick
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I have 95 L 5-spd with 170,000 miles on it. No major problems so far--worst thing was probably a rear wheel bearing. Still has the original clutch, radiator, and shocks. The original battery only died this year and the exhaust only spung its first leak this year.
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Old 03-25-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
biggreen96
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yeah 155k and i have had a alternator( im sure the stereo didnt help) and a water pump(died at autoX and the same as on a 2.2) and those were both only 2000 miles ago. BTW its a 96 GT
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:57 AM   #9
whtlegacy
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so did the 2.5l become 165/166 in '98?
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:31 AM   #10
sow barrow
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I have a 1995 (i think)! 2.0 litre N/A Wagon. I was very lucky, as this car has only done about 30,000 miles. My girlfriends son imports Subarus from Japan, and he found me this one when over there on business. I agree with you about the looks etc., but I dont think they would be all that brill in the snow. They are slung pretty low, at least by comparison to my old DL 1.8 dual range, which would take you anywhere. I am also lucky to have the 2.0l engine, as I hear that it is the most reliable of them all, but it lacks a bit in oomph. Its a real comfy car, with loads of space. I have only had one problem, and that is not yet fixed, ----its driver side electric window has taken a bad turn, makin a huge bang now when it shuts. You might be lucky and get one with less than 100K, then you will be laughin.
Good luck
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:28 AM   #11
jey
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Check out cars101.com: http://www.cars101.com/subaru_legacy_archive95_97.html for comparisons between trim levels.
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:51 AM   #12
Radio Flyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by whtlegacy
so did the 2.5l become 165/166 in '98?
The '98 had a DOHC engine making 165hp / 162 lb-ft. I think the '97 had the same engine.

When the Legacy got the SOHC engine in MY00, the output increased to the current 165/166.

The '96 2.5l engine made 155hp on premium fuel.

I don't believe there was a 2.5l for '95.

  - Eric
    Lil' Red '98 2.5 GT Wagon - Pics
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Old 03-25-2004, 03:44 PM   #13
nsnguyen
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Nice car. I've always liked the look of the GT wagons, especially 98 and later.. driving a Lancer Evolution, fuel economy is not of paramount concern to me right now..
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:49 AM   #14
Christo454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerMatt View Post
I own a 1996 Legacy GT. It has the 2.5 liter 155 horse engine (which was standard for the GT that year). The 1996 Legacy's only had one reacall that I know of, and that was for the alternator. A lot of Subaru's are used up north in the snow, so you always want to look for rust. If it sat around for quite a while like mine, make sure all the seals are good (I had a fairly major oil leak because of a bad seal on the oil pan). Also, 1996 was the firt year for the 2.5 liter engine, so all you will see on 1995 models are the 1.8 and 2.2 liter engines.
sorry to bump an old threa but is this a common problem with leggys? I just picked up a 1996 Legacy LS with the 2.2 and it seemed the same as the oil pan seal was leaking horrendousely lol. I know the rear cam seals go and im gonna replace that cause clearly that is leaking too but just curious if this is what else to look for. previous owners ahead of me put in new alternator too so the cars been well taken care of.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:14 PM   #15
cal71919
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Default 2.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christo454 View Post
sorry to bump an old threa but is this a common problem with leggys? I just picked up a 1996 Legacy LS with the 2.2 and it seemed the same as the oil pan seal was leaking horrendousely lol. I know the rear cam seals go and imnna replace that cause clearly that is leaking too but just curious if this is what else to look for. previous owners ahead of me put in new alternator too so the cars been well taken care of.
My 95' LSi was leaking oil from every o-ring on that 2.2 when I bought it. The oil pan gasket was fine. I replaced all the of rings when iidid the timing belt job @ 100k miles and Iit's been fine ever since. The 2.2 will run forever when well maintained.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:05 PM   #16
Kevin Kone
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1996 Legacy Wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christo454 View Post

sorry to bump an old threa but is this a common problem with leggys? I just picked up a 1996 Legacy LS with the 2.2 and it seemed the same as the oil pan seal was leaking horrendousely lol. I know the rear cam seals go and im gonna replace that cause clearly that is leaking too but just curious if this is what else to look for. previous owners ahead of me put in new alternator too so the cars been well taken care of.
also the rear main seal likes to go on these
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