RacingComputers New Reader
1/12/20 4:08 p.m.

2006 Baja  Auto  


130 K on the clock


Timing belt replaced at 120K


What do we need to know about this combination?



calteg Dork
1/12/20 4:28 p.m.

They like to blow head gaskets. The water cooler hot tip is to use the multi-layer gaskets from the turbo motors 

Knurled. MegaDork
1/12/20 4:31 p.m.

They don't "blow" head gaskets.  They drool oil after a while.  Eventually they will leak bad enough to catch fire, so you can't ignore it.


The whole bottom side of the deck is the oil return from the head, so it's a big long poorly supported section.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/12/20 4:33 p.m.

Abysmal fuel economy. And interiors wore like crap.

adam525i GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/12/20 5:05 p.m.

Head gaskets aren't as big of an issue on these as the earlier EJ251 or DOHC version before them but they are still not problem free. As Knurled said, they won't blow but will start to weep and eventually need attention. It's a job you can do at home if you are up to it. 

I lost the EJ253 in my 07 Legacy to rod knock followed by a spun bearing, I hadn't owned the car that long but I had noticed the knock and some oil consumption. The car had around 250,000 km on it at that point and the motor I pulled out of a wrecked 08 Impreza had very similar mileage but has been rock solid for me over the the last 50,000 km. Nice solid bottom end and no oil consumption.

I will say that my 07 Legacy is a lot nicer car than my 04 Legacy before it which the Baha's are based on. The older one definitley felt like a car from the late 90's. Fuel economy got a little better with my 07 but is still nothing to brag about, I believe the next generation which came out in 2010 made a big improvement. NA plus auto means it will be very slow but that may not matter.

Get the car on a hoist if you can and inspect the bottom of the motor, if the seam between the heads and the block is dry and clean (but not too clean like someone just cleaned it!) then head gaskets shouldn't be a concern. If there is some oil residue then that becomes something to negotiate, just use a multi layer gasket like the turbo cars have when you eventually fix them. I'd also have it idle while it is up in the air and listen for any knocking down below. If that all looks good then I wouldn't worry about the motor too much.


NickD PowerDork
1/13/20 5:17 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

Abysmal fuel economy.

But at least they have no torque or horsepower. I have an '03 Baja. I get 20mpg tops, and it's a dog. Mine leaks oil from everywhere. The head gaskets, the valve covers, the oil pan gasket, the oil pan itself. I just don't care enough to fix it, because the rest of the car is a piece of E36 M3 too and all rotted out underneath.

RacingComputers New Reader
1/13/20 6:30 a.m.

Thanks for the input


sound like a crap shoot



lotusseven7 Reader
1/13/20 6:49 a.m.

I sort-of remember looking at one years ago and the only thing I seem to remember is the incredibly heavy hood? Weird right? Am I thinking of the correct vehicle? Maybe it was the right car, maybe I'm getting old but that is stuck in my head.

NickD PowerDork
1/13/20 7:03 a.m.

In reply to lotusseven7 :

Yeah, the hood is pretty heavy. At least until it all rots away, because Subarus are more water soluble than orange Tang. 

Knurled. MegaDork
1/13/20 7:14 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

The ones made after they stopped using rear struts seem to holding up rather well in comparison to the older ones.  They must have changed suppliers for something around that timeframe.


I wouldn't be scared of a Subaru with low miles like that.

RacingComputers New Reader
1/13/20 7:26 a.m.



Looking at it this weekend

NickD PowerDork
1/13/20 7:27 a.m.

In reply to RacingComputers :

Not sure where you are located, but if rust is even remotely an issue, open the rear doors. Every single one I looked at, regardless of mileage, had huge holes down through the door sills.

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