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ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/27/18 10:06 a.m.

 

2002 subaru impreza 

condition: fair 
cylinders: 4 cylinders 
drive: 4wd 
fuel: gas 
odometer: 204 
paint color: white 
size: mid-size 
title status: clean 
transmission: manual 
type: sedan 

a very good winter car very dependable,Body has 204k motor has 162k just put motor in last week. Good motor, Good interior just need some cleaning, tires 7/32, replaced trunk, got both new headlamps, both extra fog lamps,timing belt done,radio,cd player,usb,extra hood with scoop,smoked tail lights,florida car got paper work and now the bad body needs tlc,paint,rear rotors need to be resurfaced, a nice new paint job would make it a 3k car, headlamp bulbs, 1 fog light bulb is out.

 




ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/27/18 10:07 a.m.

What would scare you away, what are the pros?

I suppose this is more of an academic exercise because the actual purchase wouldn’t be until the late spring.

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
12/27/18 10:09 a.m.

Generally when looking at a cheap car, I prioritize body condition, lack of rust, etc. over mechanical condition.  Getting mechanical stuff up to par is more DIY-able and more cost predictable. 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
12/27/18 10:12 a.m.

In this area, that's a good price for a Subaru that works, and it probably won't last long at all. The most important thing on these is rust, and it doesn't look bad.

If you want another set of eyes on it before you buy, let me know. If you want to get it inspected, I know a shop that will probably do it pretty cheaply.

Hell, if you won't want it, I may. It would be a better car for Boy-Spawn than the one I wound up getting.

That air intake has to go, though. 

Cooter
Cooter Dork
12/27/18 10:13 a.m.

My main worry is that the engine was *just* put in.   I would have to go over nearly every nut, bolt, and electrical connection to make sure I found everything loose and/or hacked.

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Reader
12/27/18 10:13 a.m.

So somebody put a NEW MOTOR LAST WEEK, and is selling it now? hmmmm. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
12/27/18 10:21 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

So somebody put a NEW MOTOR LAST WEEK, and is selling it now? hmmmm. 

Yeah, that's a little questionable.  All I can hope is that they already wanted to sell the car and decided they were better off swapping the motor than selling it as non-running. 

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
12/27/18 10:34 a.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

To be fair the old motor just needed new plugs but they figured swapping in a new one was easier than getting to #4. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/27/18 11:31 a.m.

I have no problems making quick, reasoned decisions in my life.

But for some reason I need someone to tell me an old Subaru is a great idea.

By the way, I’m almost 50 but I’m still looking for that brand that I can have as a daily driver and have a project car and three parts cars in the back yard. Subaru seems like a good option for that. 

I’m all about driving something different but I’d like to be involved in an “enthusiast” brand of vehicle. Subaru checks that box for sure

NickD
NickD UberDork
12/27/18 11:39 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

By the way, I’m almost 50 but I’m still looking for that brand that I can have as a daily driver and have a project car and three parts cars in the back yard. Subaru seems like a good option for that. 

As a repeat Subaru owner, I can tell you that this is not the brand to have as a daily driver. They're kind of an ongoing project car/restoration. Bit of a maintenance hog, in my experience. They leak everywhere, chew through brake components on an annual basis and are just generally kind of needy. And I'm not talking about a turbo car either.

Nate90LX
Nate90LX New Reader
12/27/18 12:22 p.m.

In my mind Subaru’s are the Swiss Army knife of cars. They can do everything, but not always well.  This is coming from a guy that has yet to pull the trigger on a Subaru. 

For $1300, if the body is straight and no major rust, I don’t see how you can go wrong. Worst case you can part it out and get you money back to not lose your shirt. These kind of deals are the best way to get your feet wet on a new brand/model of car. And these low dollar, poorly maintained examples really show if they are a robust design.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/27/18 12:56 p.m.

I’m afraid I’m not looking for a project. That is, I’d love to have one as a reliable daily, one for a project and a couple parts cars in the back yard.

I’m not convinced that the first part is realistic.

And for the record, I have similar feelings toward MK4 Golfs. A reliable driver, a project and a couple parts cars.

Im sure I would be better served with Accord’s  or Camry’s but I have no passion for those.

I DO have passion for Golf’s, Impreza’s and B5 A4’s but these three passions don’t necessarily bode well for the reliable part of my equation.

noddaz
noddaz SuperDork
12/27/18 2:56 p.m.

Two different hoods, cone filter and paint looks bad.  Look closely and don't be afraid to run.

rslifkin
rslifkin UltraDork
12/27/18 3:01 p.m.

If you're looking for interesting and reliable, cars with a large enthusiast following and good documentation of every common issue are a good starting point.  Ideally, you want to find something that's reliable if well maintained (even if it's not needy).  And preferably something where you can easily find an enthusiast owned example that's been well cared for and not beaten to death. 

Honestly, I'm not sure Subarus meet that criteria.  They seem to suffer more from being cheaply / poorly built where things just kinda fail (like head gaskets) without good reason.  It also doesn't help that their typical owners tend to beat them into the ground. 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
12/27/18 3:24 p.m.

My turbo Subaru works fine. I didn't modify it, and I keep up to date on maintenance.

A Mazda3 wouldn't be a bad choice. I owned two- they were engaging to drive in stock form, and there are aftermarket bits to make it handle even better. My sister-in-law put about 225k trouble free miles on her Mazda3 before she sold it.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/27/18 3:40 p.m.

Owned a modified Protege5. Nice car. Not the huge enthusiast brand I’m looking for though.

Plus, no fwd for me. It’s rwd or awd if I can help it.

Slammo
Slammo New Reader
12/29/18 9:31 p.m.

Cheap Subarus can be great.  That one does not look great.  The engine mods/condition/history are what scares me - that air filter setup is no bueno.  General good strategy on these is find the cheapest one that runs and drives and can suit your needs.  Drive it and make sure the engine doesn't knock and the transmission shifts well.  Then go through and replace all the usual suspects - any axles with broken boots, clutch if it's worn, and timing belt if you don't know the history.  If you are doing timing belt and clutch, it's easiest to pull the engine (seriously) and when it's out you can replace all the oil seals as well.   Change all the fluids and you're good to go.  They're not bad cars, but can be need a lot of attention, especially if you only do the bare minimum  If you take care of all the usual suspects right off the bat, you can have yourself a cheap and reliable daily.  The rough idea is buy a car for $1000 and spend a weekend installing $1000 of parts from RockAuto, and you have a vehicle better than 95% of what's out there for $2000.

Other general items that commonly need replaced are the shift linkage ($40 from a dealer, makes night and day difference) and wheel bearings.

boxedfox
boxedfox Reader
12/29/18 11:42 p.m.
NickD said:

As a repeat Subaru owner, I can tell you that this is not the brand to have as a daily driver. They're kind of an ongoing project car/restoration. Bit of a maintenance hog, in my experience. They leak everywhere, chew through brake components on an annual basis and are just generally kind of needy. And I'm not talking about a turbo car either.

It's true. I have an Outback and a WRX and in the few short years I've owned them I've had to do more maintenance work on them than on my 10 year old FJ Cruiser. The Outback is a fantastically capacious car. But wow does it take a lot to keep it running.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
12/30/18 9:37 a.m.

https://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/d/louisville-2005-subaru-forester-xt/6782083346.html

I think i’d Rather spend a few bucks more and get something like this that looks to be well cared for and non-modded.  If you want someone local to lay eyes on it I’m sure that could be arranged.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin UltimaDork
12/30/18 10:26 a.m.

+1 to up your budget.

A Subaru could be the droid you are looking for, but not in the $1300ish price range.  Almost any Subaru you find that low is not going to be a good option.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/30/18 6:58 p.m.

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

I would normally agree but if you’re buying something that could very easily need an additional $1,500 in headgasket replacement, I’d rather spend $1,300 if that makes sense.

Slammo
Slammo New Reader
12/30/18 11:28 p.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

I would normally agree but if you’re buying something that could very easily need an additional $1,500 in headgasket replacement, I’d rather spend $1,300 if that makes sense.

Important question:  Are you willing and able to work on this DD yourself from time to time?  If you have to pay someone to work on it, a $1300 Subaru is usually not a good prospect.

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/31/18 5:31 a.m.

In reply to Slammo :

Yes I am. I can do timing belts and things like this. Maintenance and lesser-involved repairs and replacements I’ve done for decades. Adding headers, drum and disc brakes, wheel bearings, lift kits, stereos, alternators etc. A double head-gasket repair on a car I need to get around in is out of the question. I’m guessing a weekend toy or project is a better niche for a cheap Subaru.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
12/31/18 8:25 a.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:

https://louisville.craigslist.org/cto/d/louisville-2005-subaru-forester-xt/6782083346.html

I think i’d Rather spend a few bucks more and get something like this that looks to be well cared for and non-modded.  If you want someone local to lay eyes on it I’m sure that could be arranged.

I would buy that now if i had any money.  

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
12/31/18 3:46 p.m.

I need to stop watching snow rally videos. The awd drifting is making me crazy. And as one of my earlier threads suggested, there’s no cheapish awd manual 4cyl cars out there besides the Subaru’s.

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