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Old 07-11-2005, 02:23 PM   #1
boomsticks
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Buying a used LGT, what to look out for?

I am new to the forum, and have a few questions?
I currently am driving and a 97 VW GTI VR6 and have had a recent slew of expensive repairs. I would like more room such as a wagon and would like something that is moer reliable and less expensive to fix.

I am looking at buying a 98 legacy gt wagon.
the car has 80,000 miles and has just recieved a tune up.
it has its original struts, timing chains and needs new tires.

What are some things I should be looking for in the prepurchase inspection?

What are some common repairs that I would expect to see and what is the cost.

What is cost of ownership with a GT model vs a plain legacy or outback?
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:42 PM   #2
98_soobie
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brakes, head gaskets, cam seals, sun roof, water pump, the list goes on.. but do a search... they're good cars... they just need some love! $$
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:53 PM   #3
Huffer
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Location: Wellington,NZ / Willoughby,OH
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2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT

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The main bits on a car should be covered at least.

Legacy specific bits to watch for - engine gasket leak - noisy pistons, exhaust system leaks. The catalytic converters are probably about to die, so that should be replaced with a one-cat system. You can buy a cat delete + rear cat pipe from ecatalyticconvertors.com I believe. $230 shipped?

Check the rear hatch struts, check for rust in the engine bay near the ABS unit.

80,000 miles is pretty nice for a 98 GT. A few people have had their headgaskets replaced by then, but there are plenty that have gone on pretty well. My car has 172,000miles.
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:39 PM   #4
boomsticks
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Default so

the thing to look for is the head gasket.

Any other major concerns?
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:26 PM   #5
mranlet
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If they have had the head gasket replaced, see if they also had the plugs, valve cover gaskets or oil pan gasket replaced. Shop manual says that you have to pull the motor to do any of these (although there are ways to avoid doing so if you DIY) and it can get expensive to have it done.

If they haven't replaced any of that stuff, you should seriously think about having it done, or maybe try get the price down a little.

My Wagon was a northern car and has a sticky latch that I have to push in by hand to get it to lock/unlock. It's nothing terminal, but gets really annoying (I'm looking to replace it with a junkyard piece from a car down here in FL).

Subarus are amazing at rust prevention, and unless there are obvious rough spots, I wouldn't waste the time searching under the car.
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:45 PM   #6
Speedwagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mranlet
If they have had the head gasket replaced, see if they also had the plugs, valve cover gaskets or oil pan gasket replaced. Shop manual says that you have to pull the motor to do any of these (although there are ways to avoid doing so if you DIY) and it can get expensive to have it done.

If they haven't replaced any of that stuff, you should seriously think about having it done, or maybe try get the price down a little.

My Wagon was a northern car and has a sticky latch that I have to push in by hand to get it to lock/unlock. It's nothing terminal, but gets really annoying (I'm looking to replace it with a junkyard piece from a car down here in FL).

Subarus are amazing at rust prevention, and unless there are obvious rough spots, I wouldn't waste the time searching under the car.
Are you talking about the rear hatch? I just replaced my handle/license plate lights assembly with a new one from allsubaru.com. I couldn't STAND that it didn't spring back all the time!
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:54 PM   #7
Huffer
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2= 1998 BD + BK Legacy GT

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My 98 GT has spent it's entire life north of Indiana - and on the freeway. It has a lot of paint chips and some rust bubbling up on the rear section.
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:04 PM   #8
boomsticks
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Default Just test drove the car and.....

It seems to ride very well.

The owner has had the car since March and he has no vehicle history.
It is a silver 98 gt wagon, 80,000 miles.

Under the hood is clean. I didnít spot any leaks around the motor.
The door jams look good.
Paint is chipped in a few places but it is what I would expect. No rust.

When on my test-drive I revved the motor up and my friend at work who is the resident Subaru guy said that is what they sound like. But sitting at the light I was revving the car to 2,3,4,5,6000 rpm and listening to the motor from 2-5000 it sounds fine to me. Above 5000 you can start to feel some vibration from the motor and some thing changes in the harmonic hum of the motor. I don't know what I would call it but I could feel the pedals vibrate allot more at 5200 rpm.

Since the only thing I have to compare the motor to is my bmw boxer motorcycle and my V6 vw gti I don't know if it is normal to feel a change in the engines harmonics at that RPM.

Overall seems to be in very good shape, the tires will have to be replaced by winter. I asked the guy for his best price and he said " I don't know, what do you got?" I shared the print out from NADA, Edmunds and consumers reports and offered him $7000.00. He was asking 8500 so I don't know if he will go for it. He will get back to me tomorrow once he checks his payoff. I am excited about the car but am also afraid I of getting another money pit.

Any insight as to how the sound of the motor changes at 5000 rpm is appreciated.

Jeff in Detroit, mi
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:30 PM   #9
boomsticks
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Default he said he would take $8000

I think I may go for it. But want to have a mechanic look at it. also should I worry about the noise and vibration at high Rpm?
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:02 PM   #10
Jonathan
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Quick Silver Metallic

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My personal experiance with my stock '99 Legacy is that it sounds sort of like a tug boat in the 2,900 to 3,200 RPM range but that it really does run sweet at the higher RPM range. Somewhere starting around 4,800 RPM is where the power seems strongest and it pulls from there to the 6,500 RPM redline with no troubles.

Assuming there are no headgasket problems, you are comfortable with the car, and that its not some hastily rebuilt former wreck I would go for it. Having an experianced Subaru mechanic look it over is a smart thing to do.

Subaru headgaskets can fail in different ways. You may never actually spot coolant in the engine oil or see white smoke out the tail pipe. Sometimes after you have driven it around some, got it up to temperature and then put it under a load (accelerating up a hill, for for instance) and then check the coolant overflow you can spot air bubbles in the overflow. This can be an indication of a failing head gasket.

Does any one else have suggestions on how to check for a blown headgasket ?
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Old 07-18-2005, 01:33 AM   #11
Russell Rogers
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I'm Ron Burgundy?

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compression check. And there may be oil residue in your cololant. also get an infrared temp gun and take a temp reading at the head. right in front of all 4 cylinders. this will give you an indication of headgasket failure.
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