ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory Reader
4/22/13 5:24 a.m.

Can we start one? Is there one here already and I missed it? I'm thinking ideal starting point on a budget, parts swapability, pick-and-pull shopping?

How about what to avoid as well?

Ultimate goals could be fun driver, auto-x, rally-x, track day car...

RealMiniDriver
RealMiniDriver SuperDork
4/22/13 6:22 a.m.

Not so much a buyer's guide, but loaded with information. www.cars101.com

DustoffDave
DustoffDave HalfDork
4/22/13 9:56 a.m.

Well, which model & year group are you looking for? There are lots of folks on here with pretty vast experience in the Subaru realm. I've adopted and cared for 5 and I don't know as much as some on here...

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory Reader
4/22/13 10:58 a.m.

For me personally, I'd have a $3,000 budget including purchase price. So with a $3-4k budget, what years would you look at?

Would you blow the purse on the newest one you could find? Would you spend 1/2 on the car and the other 1/2 on upgrades?

Ojala
Ojala Reader
4/22/13 11:40 a.m.

There are some basic guides for the WRX in the magazine spread throughout various issues. I dont claim to be any kind of expert but I can definitely dork out on sleeving transmissions, phase 1 machining for phase 2 parts, Denso 16 and 32 bit ECMs, push/pull clutch conversions, and all kinds of other geekery. But how far you need to get would be nice to know.

EDIT: I like GC Imprezas with a destroked turbo EJ, 6MT, and clutch diffs. That or the Saabaru, but I dont think either is in your price range.

NGTD
NGTD Dork
4/22/13 12:07 p.m.

An early WRX (02 or 03) can be in your price range. The problem is finding one that hasn't been beat on, or had questionable mods done. The early WRX's are known to have weaker synchros.

I was fortunate to find one from a mature owner with no issues but some rust (which every 10 year old vehicle has up here anyway).

GC coupes are holding their prices if not going up so I doubt that they will be an option. 99-01 RS sedans can be a good find and they don't tend to have the $$$ premiums of the coupes, plus they have the SOHC 2.5.

DustoffDave
DustoffDave HalfDork
4/22/13 3:41 p.m.

Late 90s/early2000s Imprezas and Legacies would be in your range. Generally speaking, look for leaking axle shafts (not hugely expensive to replace, but a bit of a PITA), leaking head gaskets, recent timing belt replacement, grinding 2nd gear synchros, leaky rear diffs. Those are the big mechanical issues to look for. Subarus are remarkably durable, so sometimes they wind up with owners who are less than kind to them, so be on the lookout for general signs of neglect. I would suggest getting the best one you can for your budget, then spend later money and time to build it up.

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs Reader
4/22/13 4:12 p.m.

what about the 10-12 k range?

Ojala
Ojala Reader
4/22/13 4:30 p.m.

In reply to icaneat50eggs:

04-07 wrx, forester Xt, legacy gt spec b( if you can find one, or a saabaru can all be found in great shape with low miles in that price range.

For cheapie I have my eye on a certain Subaru DL turbo coupe...

ValuePack
ValuePack SuperDork
4/22/13 4:50 p.m.
ebonyandivory wrote: For me personally, I'd have a $3,000 budget including purchase price. So with a $3-4k budget, what years would you look at? Would you blow the purse on the newest one you could find? Would you spend 1/2 on the car and the other 1/2 on upgrades?

At $4k, I'd shoot for the least rusty $3k 2.2 Impreza or Legacy I could find, and a pile of used WRX handling/braking bits. Every $1k Subaru is due for $2k of deferred maintenance and body work anyway.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy UberDork
4/22/13 6:21 p.m.
ebonyandivory wrote: Can we start one? Is there one here already and I missed it? I'm thinking ideal starting point on a budget, parts swapability, pick-and-pull shopping? How about what to avoid as well? Ultimate goals could be fun driver, auto-x, rally-x, track day car...

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=subaru+buyers+guide

http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/search/?q=learn+me+subaru

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