thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Nov. 29, 2016 7:28 p.m.

Introducing my new DD/winter beater. It is a 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i in what Subaru calls Champagne Gold Opal, more commonly known as Lesbian Gold. It is a Premium with the cold weather package (heated seats!) with 198k miles and a manual trans.

A couple weeks ago now I was vacuuming my 2002 WRX and noticed that dirt seemed to be collecting on the back seat at an advanced rate. Additionally the left rear seat belt seemed to be jammed and there was silt coming out of the c-pillar. Long story short, this is how I discovered serious rust in the rear strut towers. That, with the tender rear subframe and some other factors, brought the car past the point of diminishing returns and I decided to move on

WRX: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/2002-wrx-winter-beater/91754/page1/

I started the search for the replacement, not really sure what I wanted. I saw this car posted on CL for cheap claiming fresh head gaskets and timing belt so I decided to investigate. Went up that day, drove the car, decided it was probably a solid choice. I talked to the seller for a while about the car and why I was looking and he started asking about the WRX and if I was interested in selling it as he has a GC Impreza he wanted to swap the engine into. We end up working out a partial trade deal that made us both happy and the next day we swapped cars and I gave him some cash. I kept my good wheels/tires, roof rack, and driving + fog lights.

Passing of the torch:

First fillup on the way home:

Not even a mile after picking the car up the CEL came on I cleared the cyl 4 misfire code and it has since come back with cyl 2 and 4 misfires, I suspect a bad coil. A replacement should be here in a couple days.

I picked the car up on Wednesday night. Thursday afternoon I swapped on my WRX's winter wheels and tires and my Thule roof rack. This really helped offset the cars' color...

Since then I also threw on my girlfriends' roof box for ski season and ordered a Jazzy Engineering aux in install kit.

As expected the car has some minor issues that I'll be sorting through. No radio reception, rear wiper inop, sticking door handles, etc. Mod plans are minimal to say the least. At some point the Hella 500 driving lights will make the transition, and I may do a strut spacer lift.

NGTD UberDork
Nov. 29, 2016 7:34 p.m.

Re: Rear wiper inop - carefully pull the rear wiper out of the hatch, use your favourite penetrating spray on it and then once it's working put some anti-seize on it. I have fixed 4 Subaru rear wipers this way.

Be careful not to break the hatch glass pulling it.

Nice car and nice that you worked out a partial trade!

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Nov. 29, 2016 7:39 p.m.

Yup, I suspect either that or a broken wire going into the hatch will cure the rear wiper. Hoping to get to that in the next couple days as it is rather annoying to not have it!

Thanks! Yeah, the trade really made this for me. Not having to deal with selling the WRX (whole or in pieces) is great, and for that car + $1100 I think I made out pretty well on the whole situation.

Nov. 30, 2016 12:59 p.m.

Based on my experience and beliefs regarding my '98 Legacy GT wagon:

What NGTD says makes sense. While my rear wiper is not inoperative, if I turn off the switch for it before it completes the cycle, it will stop in place in the middle of the window. I'd been planning on coming here and asking opinions on why that is.

As to the radio reception, I pretty well get none, either. I believe that it has to do with the antenna cable being pinched or folded in the console. I've yet to take things apart solely to look at and/or replacing that. But, as evidence for the theory, there are times when I have the radio on where I can change the reception by pushing my knee against the console; the antenna cable runs through that area.

I've had misfires through the 19 years I've had my car. It's always been cured by running fuel injector cleaner through the system. I get a misfire CEL about once a year. (Yes, this is likely the dumb blonde fix for things, but it's worked)

Mister Fister Reader
Nov. 30, 2016 1:28 p.m.

well scissor-me-timbers

sachilles UltraDork
Nov. 30, 2016 1:40 p.m.

The door handles strike me as not being the originals. I know my legacy of that vintage broke the handle as one point. It's a fairly easy swap. The master power window switches can be flaky. You can take them apart and fix them. I fixed mine...after I got bored waiting for the replacement to arrive...never installed the replacement. Might still have it. That generation seems to always have issues with the front bulbs. The insulation on the wire into the headlight connector wears out. The metal clip, that holds the bulb in, crosses the wire and shorts the bulb. I might have some legacy all weather mats kicking around that I'd trade some beer for.

ssswitch Dork
Dec. 2, 2016 2:20 p.m.

Hey, that's a pretty good looking Legacy.

Acme Lab Rat Reader
Dec. 3, 2016 10:51 a.m.

My god, the title of this thread.

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Dec. 5, 2016 6:07 p.m.

The car has overall been good (damn I missed having heated seats), but I have been sort of striking out on improving it.

I un-seized the rear wiper, but it still doesn't work. Someone must have left it switched on when it was stuck and burned out the motor. Will have to replace it.

The coil that I threw at the CEL had it off for a few days, but it came back today with the same misfire codes for cyl 2 and 4. Will have to dig deeper.

I got that aux in kit installed and it didn't work. Took it back apart and put it back together in factory form and discovered the CD player doesn't work. Of course I didn't think to try the CD player first... Replacement used headunit is on the way for round 2.

I was at least able to successfully make the interior less unpleasant. I managed to not take any before pictures of the whole thing but lets say that, generally speaking, Subaru Outback owners should not have light beige cloth interiors. This car (along with pretty much all old tan interior Subarus) certainly reflected that. For reference, this is what the back seat looked like (and this picture is being kind to the stains):

Still not a finished product, but a substantial improvement.

Woody MegaDork
Dec. 5, 2016 6:11 p.m.

So, is Lesbian Gold what you're calling the color, or is it what you're calling your project car?

Either way, I support Lesbian Gold, simply on principle.

Spoolpigeon PowerDork
Dec. 5, 2016 6:19 p.m.

+1 for the thread title alone.

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Dec. 5, 2016 6:38 p.m.

Well, some coworkers and I have long called this color Lesbian Gold. I'm not one for naming cars, but it one does seem to be sticking to this car...

sachilles UltraDork
Dec. 6, 2016 9:25 a.m.

That little dash pocket in the upper middle of the dash gets super hot. Don't store any candy in there, trust me.

2K4Kcsq HalfDork
Dec. 6, 2016 9:54 a.m.
Mister Fister wrote: well scissor-me-timbers

this thread title was so good I had to check in. then this post made my day. hahahaha

Dec. 6, 2016 11:48 a.m.
Mister Fister wrote: well scissor-me-timbers

I just got in trouble during history class for laughing this one.

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Dec. 9, 2016 5:23 p.m.

Got the replacement headunit, aux input is a success!

Noticed the heat only blows hot air on the drivers side. Not dual zone ACC. Had the heater core flushed to no avail. Adding that to the list of things to replace, full dash out. Yay.

Also made an appointment to have the Takata air bag recall done.

sachilles wrote: That little dash pocket in the upper middle of the dash gets super hot. Don't store any candy in there, trust me.

Noted!

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Feb. 18, 2017 8:43 a.m.

Minor update. 4k miles in, some good some bad and some Starts every time and has been working very well, so I definitely can't complain.

Got another rear wiper motor for free. Took that one apart, cleaned it up and greased it so I now have a functioning rear wiper motor.

Fixed the broken wires going into the hatch for the rear defrost and antenna amplifier. They still don't work.

Had a coworker weld up a few small exhaust leaks.

Still chasing the CEL for cylinder 2 and 4 misfires. Found a bad EVAP purge valve causing a vac leak and replaced that. Then it set codes for an air fuel ratio sensor, replaced that. Then back to totally random, intermittent misfires. Only sets codes for those cylinders, and only at idle, with no consisency at all for timing. New plugs, new coil, cleaned throttle body, cleaned MAF, verified correct cam timing, verified correct exhaust manifold gaskets, verified (temperatures) cats are not clogged, verfied EGR valve is working, ran fuel system cleaner through it. The issue still persists. It also has a pretty severe lack of power... using the Torque app I measured 0-60 in just over 13 seconds. I then stopwatched an automatic 07 Outback in the nine second range. I work for an indy shop/dealer with a ton of Subaru experience, and the general consensus is head scratching on this one.

Mounted the driving lights, still need to wire them.

Then last week the 25 year old I got this thing from made the news getting arrested at the border trying to go to Canada for a Valentines Day weekend with his 13 year old girlfriend. Needless to say this prompted another interior detail (and a shower).

A few misc pics of it doing its thing...

IMG_3948

IMG_3968

IMG_3986

Fitzauto Dork
Feb. 18, 2017 9:26 a.m.

That thread title though...

Agent98
Agent98 New Reader
Feb. 18, 2017 9:44 a.m.

What do you plan to do to prevent the salt damge that claimed your earlier one? Used to be a way to spray used oil inside the car fenders/frame channels ---I supposed now that will get banished for life from The Kingdom of Ben&Jerry. Any plans to peek around inside the critical areas?

(I bought a car from a guy who later got in similar troubles--made me feel OK about parting it out/junking it)

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Feb. 18, 2017 9:56 a.m.

Don't drive it in the salt, ever. Undercoating, keeping it clean (from when the car is new!) Slows it down.

Not buying Subarus helps too.

Edit: I just now noticed you meant my plan for this specific car. No plan to try to stop the inevitable with this one. The PO undercoated it with Fluid Film before I picked it up, I try to rinse off the underside every once in a while. I sacrifice these cars to the rust gods to spare my Miata from that fate.

ssswitch Dork
Feb. 18, 2017 10:55 a.m.
thestig99 wrote: Then last week the 25 year old I got this thing from made the news getting arrested at the border trying to go to Canada for a Valentines Day weekend with his 13 year old girlfriend. Needless to say this prompted another interior detail (and a shower).

Time to call his roommates/parents and see if he left any spare Subaru parts behind that he's not going to need.

Skittle34 New Reader
Feb. 18, 2017 11:37 a.m.

I too have an 05 outback and see that your center console only has the CD/FM/AM selection. How did you get your aux cord to work? I'm also assuming you had the oem cord already built in.

NorseDave
NorseDave New Reader
Feb. 18, 2017 12:14 p.m.

On the misfire, have you looked shoddy wire splices at the offending cylinders. I had a Sentra that gave similar, random misfire codes. Poked around and found a couple of suspicious looking wraps of electrical tape. Opened them up and the splice consisted of LAYING the new wire next to the old wire. And then coddling it in electrical tape. Not a recipe for reliability!

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Feb. 18, 2017 12:40 p.m.
ssswitch wrote:
thestig99 wrote: Then last week the 25 year old I got this thing from made the news getting arrested at the border trying to go to Canada for a Valentines Day weekend with his 13 year old girlfriend. Needless to say this prompted another interior detail (and a shower).
Time to call his roommates/parents and see if he left any spare Subaru parts behind that he's not going to need.

Ha, too bad I lost his number.

Skittle34 wrote: I too have an 05 outback and see that your center console only has the CD/FM/AM selection. How did you get your aux cord to work? I'm also assuming you had the oem cord already built in.

05's do not have factory aux-in plugs. I installed a kit made by Jazzy Engineering. Taking the OEM radio all apart to access the ribbon connectors for the CD player looks worse than it is, and it works great.

http://www.jazzyengineering.com/product_info.php?products_id=44

NorseDave wrote: On the misfire, have you looked shoddy wire splices at the offending cylinders. I had a Sentra that gave similar, random misfire codes. Poked around and found a couple of suspicious looking wraps of electrical tape. Opened them up and the splice consisted of LAYING the new wire next to the old wire. And then coddling it in electrical tape. Not a recipe for reliability!

I have looked around, haven't seen anything suspect looking.

Skittle34 New Reader
Feb. 18, 2017 3:55 p.m.
thestig99 wrote:
Skittle34 wrote: I too have an 05 outback and see that your center console only has the CD/FM/AM selection. How did you get your aux cord to work? I'm also assuming you had the oem cord already built in.

05's do not have factory aux-in plugs. I installed a kit made by Jazzy Engineering. Taking the OEM radio all apart to access the ribbon connectors for the CD player looks worse than it is, and it works great.

http://www.jazzyengineering.com/product_info.php?products_id=44

Odd... the PO must have installed an aux cord. I have one in the center console box that does nothing. I'll check out your link! Thanks!

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