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porschenut
porschenut Reader
9/17/21 7:13 a.m.

Suby all the way.  I am more concerned about rust in the rear quarters and timing belt maintenance than HG.  Find a nice outback or legacy GT with under 200K.  If it doesn't leak fluids and the (auto) trans shifts without slips when shifting you have a winner.  

RaabTheSaab
RaabTheSaab New Reader
9/17/21 7:20 a.m.

Another vote for Subaru. Just consider the head gasket a wear item that will need to be replaced. I’m not sure about the TN market, but in the Midatlantic I see outbacks and legacies from 00-04 for like 3.5k all the time. Even cheaper with a manual. 

mundquist
mundquist New Reader
9/17/21 8:55 a.m.

I would not hesitate to buy an XC70 from the rust belt.  I currently own a 2004 with 225k and a 2007 with 181k.  Both have spent their entire lives in Minneapolis / Saint Paul Minnesota and both are rust free.  Volvo galvanized the bodies. Every time I am underneath the 2004 I am amazed at how clean it is.

16vCorey
16vCorey PowerDork
9/17/21 10:39 a.m.

There are two types of Jag X-types.  Those that have had the transfer case changed and those that will need a new transfer case soon.  If you're seriously shopping them, ask if it's been done, and if it hasn't you should probably pass on it.  They're very expensive.

 

I'm a fan of the Audi B6, personally.  My first one was an '02 Avant 5 speed and got t-boned at 237K miles, but drove flawlessly and wasn't needy at all.  My current one is also an '02 Avant 5 speed, and it's only got 163k on it and was well maintained, so the only things I've done to it are to make it more fun.  The only "repair" I've made in two years of ownership was a coolant hose.  I paid $2,800 for it, though I've made plenty of modifications.

 

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 11:08 a.m.
porschenut said:

Suby all the way.  I am more concerned about rust in the rear quarters and timing belt maintenance than HG.  Find a nice outback or legacy GT with under 200K.  If it doesn't leak fluids and the (auto) trans shifts without slips when shifting you have a winner.  

Auto not manual for some reason?

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/17/21 11:13 a.m.

You could almost certainly find an old Audi TT for that. It would be rough, but they're out there.

 

Locally I've seen older, high mileage WRXs going for close to that... more than $3k, but under $5k

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 11:15 a.m.

In reply to MrFancypants :

They don't happen to be listed on the list of "Audis that don't suck" on Why not buy this Audi

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/17/21 11:19 a.m.
P3PPY said:

In reply to MrFancypants :

They don't happen to be listed on the list of "Audis that don't suck" on Why not buy this Audi

I suppose my counter-argument would be that if you're comfortable with an older GTI (turbo or VR6) the TT is not likely to be much more trouble, at least mechanically speaking. The two cars share quite a lot in common under the skin.

*edit* personally if I were choosing between an old, rough turbo Subaru versus an old, rough I-4 turbo VW... I think I'd go with the VW. Both are potentially filled with severe issues, but I feel I'd be less likely to need to pull the VW's engine to address those issues. On top of that an older turbo Subaru seems more likely to have been abused by prior owners. Might be best to steer clear of either.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 11:19 a.m.

So far I have responses from:

that $3k Suzuki guy, he's lowered it to $2k

An auto XC70 (with 3rd row!) from Knoxville which is like 2 hours out of my way

2009 Outback with the head gasket/timing done and rebuilds manual trans in northern IN (rebuilds always scare me -- especially the "recent" kind)

:/ slim pickins

porschenut
porschenut Reader
9/17/21 12:32 p.m.
P3PPY said:
porschenut said:

Suby all the way.  I am more concerned about rust in the rear quarters and timing belt maintenance than HG.  Find a nice outback or legacy GT with under 200K.  If it doesn't leak fluids and the (auto) trans shifts without slips when shifting you have a winner.  

Auto not manual for some reason?

No, manual is better but auto with the slip is a common and huge problem. 

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 7:07 p.m.

No wonder people go to car dealerships, even the crappy ones, this is such a hassle trying to meet up with anyone or hear from anyone. I'm tempted to find one of you dudes and give you three grand and say give me a call when you have one of my cars on my list.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 9:53 p.m.

Here's a new one: 2007 and up ford fusion had all wheel drive as an option. 221 hp, 3400 pounds isn't a bad power to weight ratio. I guess it this point I'm thinking I will just get something and see how it goes, not necessarily looking for anything ideal… Assuming I can get anything at all :/

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
9/17/21 10:43 p.m.

What do you want to use it for?

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/17/21 10:48 p.m.

In reply to Tk8398 :

Getting sideways in the snow while still being very competent without needing snow tires. Perhaps another road rally.

 

Not to get all into it, but winters really affect me, and last year I had so much fun playing around with the Saab that I was surprised to discover some disappointment when spring came. I have the feeling I'm going to need that extra boost even more this next winter. There are reasons why I wake up in the night with my jaw clenched and I'm not able to resolve them just yet. My family is one source of joy and kicking the tail out is the other.

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
9/18/21 1:38 a.m.

Buy this if its still for sale, I have one and it would do exactly what you want https://asheville.craigslist.org/cto/d/skyland-96-subaru-legacy-outback/7370813087.html

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
9/18/21 8:49 a.m.

In reply to Tk8398 :

302,270 miles.  Impressive.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/18/21 9:23 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

How long have you lived in a winters area, and what kind of winter conditions do you get? Because FWD with Blizzaks is gonna be better than AWD on no-seasons for 95% of MI winters. The AWD will help you get to the crash site, but it won't help you stop or turn.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/18/21 9:28 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

I'm totally tracking with you, it's about fun though. And FWD is not that :)

flat4_5spd
flat4_5spd New Reader
9/18/21 9:36 a.m.

That  Outback in the ad is the only one that came with the super durable EJ22 engine. ('96 with the 5-speed) All of the other Outbacks in that body style ('97-'99) and '96 automatics have the DOHC version of the EJ25 engine and it is...not good.  The DOHC EJ25 version was known for combustion chamber to cooling system headgasket leaks. (Whereas the later SOHC EJ25 found in the next gen cars was known for small external coolant and oil leaks, so not so bad.) You can visually ID the DOHC version as it has a large black rectangular resonator/plenum box behind the throttle body. (Or you can look the timing covers which obviously have to be larger to accommodate two cam sprockets on each cylinder bank)  The Legacy (non outback) could be had with the EJ22 or the EJ25 depending on trim level. I had a much loved '98 Outback that I swapped a EJ22 into to solve the curse of DOHC EJ25 head gaskets. Made it to 264K and 21 y/o before succumbing to rust. Having said that, these cars are getting really old, and even an ej22 with 300K miles on it is nearing the end of its life unless it's already been replaced. 

porschenut
porschenut Reader
9/18/21 11:30 a.m.

The 4 cam subys have a bad rep but after owning a bunch I can say they are not as bad as some will tell you.  By now the HG has been changed and they are a stout, good performing motor that loves to rev.  Had two water pump failures, buy factory on this bit, and rather severely overheated but after a new belt and pump the car was fine.  I have seen some catastrophic failures but this was due to ignoring all the lights, gauges and bad noises.

One comment on tires though, winter tires on AWD rock.  You can pull off some crazy stuff and have fun doing it.  Have a set of new blizzaks in the garage for my baja ready to go.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/18/21 11:43 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

The whole point of all wheel drive is that you don't get sideways in snow cheeky

 

You definitely don't want anything with a transverse engine.  Your options are Subaru, which are rust nightmares, and Audi, which are everything but rust nightmares.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/18/21 12:23 p.m.

Hmm, okay, fun in the snow...

For cheap a Subaru (rust and all) would be my first choice as it's symmetrical, longitudinal system is great for that. I think the gold standard here is the STI, but good luck finding one for $3000 in any condition. I find older Halidex cars to be less desirable to the point that I think I think I might even prefer a FWD with a real limited slip differential and a good hand brake, rolling on good tires I feel like an 8th gen Civic Si would be a blast if you can live without power oversteer.

The difficulty here is that fun AWD cars usually come with turbos, and cheap turbocharged cars tend to come with issues.

Here's an oddball idea... find an old, mostly rust free Miata. Add some Koni struts to the stock springs (for ground clearance), wear the warmest clothes you've got, and be the crazy guy out with the top down in the snow. I can't imagine that not being fun.

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/18/21 3:20 p.m.
John Welsh said:

Infiniti in the late 2000's offered many of their cars in awd.  Might not be down to your price point but Infiniti depreciation is pretty strong.  Also be sure to search the keyword Infinity since many sellers do the typo.

Sedan samples are G35x, M45x, M35x.  The Infiniti suvs are all awd.  

 

Search "Isuzu"  The Rodeo can be good and is highly overlooked.  Caution, not all Rodeo suv are 4wd.  Many are rwd, especially down south.  

 

The Ford Five Hundred and later named Taurus offered awd but caution to bad cvt in those awds.  The '05-'07s were cvt mated to awd.  In '08 and newer it became a good 6 speed auto to the awd.  

+1 for Infinitis with ATTESA E-TS. Primarily rear-biased, it's a super fun system in the snow. Infinitis also depreciate like used Trojans, so there may be bargains to be had. Worth mentioning, base FX35s were RWD so check for a front diff before buying.

P3PPY
P3PPY Dork
9/18/21 3:52 p.m.

My people! I didn't expect to see THIS today:

There's a corvette emphasis at the kids' museum here in Nashville

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/18/21 4:03 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to P3PPY :

How long have you lived in a winters area, and what kind of winter conditions do you get? Because FWD with Blizzaks is gonna be better than AWD on no-seasons for 95% of MI winters. The AWD will help you get to the crash site, but it won't help you stop or turn.

I agree with not helping stop and tires being important but AWD helps you turn for the same reason FWD is good in snow:weight over the drive wheels.

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