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Tk8398 Reader
12/11/20 10:56 a.m.

I have a 96 Outback with 487k, and it's not exciting or anything but it's reliable and easy to work on.  I have looked at newer (2000s) and new ones and didn't care for them though, and after the mid 90s the build quality seems to have gone way down.

Duke MegaDork
12/11/20 11:18 a.m.
mdshaw said:

The '80s & anything with the 2.2 were ultra reliable from what I remember. 

The '80s cars were biodegradable, though.

Agreed on the 2.2.  DD#1's first car was bought for a song from the wife of a friend.  At 130,000 miles of chronic neglect the only thing it needed was a wheel bearing.  i had like 2 quarts of dirty oil in it when I picked it up.  I changed the oil and it ran like a top.


calteg Dork
12/11/20 4:58 p.m.

Have several friends that work at COBB. Lotta guys there marvel that WRX/STI are as popular as they are with the questionable build quality they have. You'll find very, very few employee owned Subarus in that parking lot. 


On a completely different note, anyone want to sell me an eye-poppingly cheap Evo VIII or IX?

Pattyo Reader
12/11/20 7:59 p.m.

Im a commercial buyer by trade. I can buy it for high wholesale if you dont find any takers soon.

Go to Carmax, get a quote and then the company I work for will beat that.

Full disclosure: I will make about $300 from the deal. The upside is I will give you more than Carmax, sometimes a far bit more and no more tire kickers for you.

I dont know where you are but we buy nationwide. My cell is 817. 893. Sevensix4two


docwyte PowerDork
12/12/20 10:47 a.m.

I didn't keep my '07 STi long enough to have engine issues.  The build quality on it was so horrible I couldn't stand it and I got rid of it.  Multiple cracks/rattles in 4k miles, paint that would chip if you looked at it wrong, interior plastics that you could scratch with your fingernail, paper thin carpet, the most uncomfortable seats ever and shock dampening that didn't match with spring rates at all. 

GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/12/20 8:57 p.m.

I bought my 2005 Legacy 2.5i one year old and that thing has been an immovable rock.of reliability. Last year was clutch tires and struts but those are wear items. That said I hate the throttle and power delivery on this NA motor. The turbos hold no interest for me but I really wish Subaru but manuals behind the H6. I would be all over that. My perfect Subie is a 2014ish STI with a NA H6. I don't care if it would be slower than a STI, I would rock it. I daydream of writing some a check to do a H6 six speed conversion in my car. Not happening. 

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/13/20 6:09 a.m.

I posted earlier about my son's 2002 wrx sedan.  He LOVES this car.  I can see from the way he beats on it that he is going to have failures.  He keeps asking me what mod I think he should do next.  I want him to have an used or rebuilt engine ready to go.  Or get a price on rebuilding this one and have the money in the bank.  For us buying this car used and not knowing its history, we can forgive what faults it has.

I guess it comes down to what fun you want with what car and what you will put up with.  I so, so wanted to buy a jeep, went and test drove one with the family.  HATED it.  We drove in ready to buy it.  Maybe the model was wrong, I don't know.  But I know die hard jeep fans who are sad for me that I didn't buy it.  I'm not sure who said JEEP stands for, Just Empty Every Pocket, but they must have owned a few jeeps.

Point is we drive what we love and if you love it, you will put up with it's faults.  I wouldn't  say I am a die hard  Ford guy, but I'm def a fan.  I can't stand some of the stunts Ford pulls with build quality and not standing by the faults of their cars.  I'm at least willing to admit it.  I guess it's the same with most of the subie people.

I don't know, I do love talking with the die hard subaru people.  They just love these cars, bust them and then love them some more.  Maybe this would make a good case study for a psych grad student.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/13/20 7:29 a.m.

I find myself wanting to buy a GD WRX because the SCCA RallyCross rules seem to be engineered specifically to allow someone to build a kickass Prepared class car with one.


The biggest problem with the Bugeye is the hellacious turbo lag.  You're allowed, in Prepared, to remove a catalyst train and replace it with a single converter no more than 6" back from the OE's rearmost converter.  That helps.

Turbo boost regulation devices, mechanical and electronic, may be replaced.  So you can install a large external wastegate for finer boost control.  Also, you may install a recirculation style antilag system like Euro rallycross cars have, so you can have 20+psi boost at 2000rpm.

Electronic engine controls may be reprogrammed or piggybacked but not replaced.  Carberry ROM with all the fun tunes, done.

Automatic transmissions may have an alternate torque converter.  A WRX with a properly stall-matched converter is a wonderful thing to drive, and the auto trans is a lot stronger than the manual, is better geared for rallycross, and has a much better center diff.


Then I remember the last time I drove a WRX and remember that I don't like driving huge heavy cars.

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/13/20 9:03 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS)

That video was awesome!  You have me thinking about auto trannys.  I had never really considered them.  Man, I have to get to rally cross.

rslifkin UberDork
12/13/20 9:09 a.m.

In my book, autos are very well suited to rallycross in most cars.  The torque converter smooths things out a bit and also greatly reduces time wasted downshifting or being in too high a gear.  I'd bet that in most cars, an auto can put down more power on average (throughout a run) than a manual. 

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/13/20 12:15 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

I have never considered this, it certainly opens up a whole new field of cars for me.  I am still looking for the right fox body to rally cross with.  Auto's would certainly give me more to choose from.

RevolverRob New Reader
12/13/20 5:15 p.m.

I tried and tried to think of good things to say about turbo'ed Subarus. Every make and model has it's quirks. But the only cars I've ever had to push or tow off a track or auto-x course were turbo'ed Subarus. 
I can think of three WRXs, one STI, and one Legacy that all had to be removed from the track, because they broke down. And I never had to do that for any other make. Even the guy  I knew who ran an after market turbo Suzuki Kizashi never broke down. 

Two of those events really stand out in my mind because they were catastrophic. One, a WRX, ran lean and bye-bye to a piston. The other, the Legacy, threw a hunk of connecting rod through the block, because you can't compress coolant...The owner knew it had a head gasket that was "going bad" (in my experience they either are good or are bad not "going bad"), but chose to beat on his E36 M3 at Autcross because, "AWD Subbies are made to rule autocross."

He really showed us guys who were running FWD. 

thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
12/13/20 6:02 p.m.

Can you guys comment on the non turbo'd subies?  I have seen some for decent money.  Possibly they  have not been beaten on ?

Dootz Reader
12/14/20 3:35 a.m.

In reply to thedoc :

Like others have mentioned, I would not touch anything naturally-aspirated from Subaru unless it's a 2.2 or an H6

RX8driver Reader
12/14/20 7:57 a.m.

It seems like everyone's problem is with the EJ series motors. Not to say that you won't find failures in the other ones, but the 15 and newer WRX's (not STI) have an FA20 with direct injection and a different, 6 speed transmission (turbo Forresters have the same motor). It's much better on gas. Around 2012 or so they moved the naturally aspirated cars to FB series motors, which again, are direct injection for better mileage and are completely different from the EJ series that's given Subaru a bad name here.

Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 10:00 a.m.

In reply to thedoc :

This is from memory; but I seem to recall the 2.5s prior to 2005 were open deck, after that they went to semi open deck and then they made additional changes in 2010. Pre 2005s seemed to be a when rather than if on head gaskets.

Thus far my 11 Outback has been fine, currently at 102K

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/14/20 10:19 a.m.
buzzboy said:

Subaru has an incredible marketing department. Does the average Subaru buyer need "Symmetric All Wheel Drive" (do they still call it that?)? And they've stuck to their guns on boxer engines only. Again, does the average SUV/Crossover driver benefit from the low COG of a boxer? I understand AWD for the Subaru drivers who see snow/ice.  I understand boxers for performance driving. But the advertisers/marketers have sold the idea that everybody needs this added complexity in a Subaru.

Does Subaru marketing even talk about the cars at all?  Last 8 million Subaru commercials I saw were just chock full of love and wokeness.  When they advertise everything other than the actual product, there's your sign.

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/14/20 10:32 a.m.

I love a good subaru bashing, when the rotary guys is complaining about reliability issues about subarus you know its bad...


mostly im jealous too that most rally parts are off the shelf parts for them, all the figuring out is done you just need to drive it. 

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
12/14/20 10:53 a.m.
Dootz said:

In reply to thedoc :

Like others have mentioned, I would not touch anything naturally-aspirated from Subaru unless it's a 2.2 or an H6



the 2.2 is a gem because it was built at a time of manufactureability not engineered to peak precision. They were limited to their casting technology at the time and because of this these blocks are twice as thick as the 2.0s and 2.5s which all seem to be fragile. 


the H6 is a monster and its sweet


the 4 cyls seem to have oiling issues that go far back as subaru themselves, lug the motor? spin a bearing! too much power? Spin a bearing! idle it? SPIN A BEARING! rods or mains doesn't seem to matter. 


you want 200-220hp NA? it will cost you and it still spin bearings and eat headgaskets like its a 400hp turbo car. I just don't understand it. 

I got ~200hp out of my wankel non turbo and its hell up through many 7000rpm launches and several years of abuse and its showing no signs of stopping. Not to mention the power goals NA are about the same cost wise (expensive). 



lets put all this aside, lets talk dynamics - symmetrical AWD just means open front and open rear so I know when you put diffs in these it tends to wake it up but with the electrical nannies turned off and some rally hooning on snowy gravel roads I did not like the STIs mannerisms, I wanted the back end to snap back around so I could power through straight out of the corner but when you pitch them sideways they kinda pivot on the front corners of the engine then kind of give up and continue the direction you initiated mid corner, its hard to explain via text but it was sluggish cornering in those situations because the rear of the car never quite point it where you assume it will go. This was the hatchback style STI but ive also felt this on OBS from the early/mid 90s with no power. 


Just not a fan, i hate timing gears/belts/chains anyways, I never do them right which led me towards rotaries anyways...


transmissions seem to be a poliarizing topic but a proper center diff with the center diff controller and holy cow it wakes those things up, toughness? I think its 50/50 on that I hear mixed review and use cases so they seem okay but could be more robust. not thrilled about the gear spacing though unless you go full motorsport trim then you hear the subaru guys go 




yeah well your 5th gear is what my 3rd gear does, id rather focus on driving than fnf shifting. 

Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 11:56 a.m.

We've owned 3, all non turbo and the reliability has been equal to our other cars (Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Honda etc.)

I've only drive an STI on track, so I can't speak for their off road manners but when we rally crossed on dry lake beds I found the WRXs I drove to be easy to rotate quickly and they went wherever I pointed them. My normal steed was a rear drive Volvo.

As for the commercials; while I dislike them, clearly they are selling a fraternity, which has proven successful for many a  manufacturer and so I choose to ignore the commercials.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/20 12:27 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

The main issue I see causing bearings to get destroyed is a failure to keep oil in the engine.


When I saw it happen at a rallycross, the engine was three quarts low on oil.  Yeah, Subarus tend to inhale oil in hard corners, but the dipstick is RIGHT THERE.  Use it between runs.


On the street...  people be like "Well it made a funny noise and I don't think I'm adding oil right because i put in four quarts to get it in the safe range, i think i overfilled it"

Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 12:52 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Mine does indeed use oil between changes. As I've had some real beaters over the years and race a two stroke car this seems normal to me.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/20 1:26 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

The fun one is at rallycrosses, it'll be fine and then after one run, suddenly half quart low.  Have added two quarts at a rallycross before.


My old EA82 would fog for mosquitoes in hard right-handers.  Oil sloshes into the outside valve cover and collects until the PCV sucked it up.

12/14/20 1:56 p.m.

Subaru engines are just silly. I dare you to remove the pistons from one and not think WTF? And the first time you try to reassemble the short block you will be doomed to purgatory for the cuss words you will utter.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/14/20 1:59 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

If you mean the wristpin access holes... those went away after the EJ.

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