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MY05-09 Legacy GT Common Issues


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I wanted to start this thread due to information being scattered about, it's nice to have some type of centralized source of information. Hopefully this thread can help some people out, as we're all united in a great community.

 

Below, with the help of Covertrussian and months of research here's a semi-complete list of common issues that plague our 4th Gens. That being said, if anyone has more information to add please let me know.

 

05-09 LGT Common Issues

 

Turbo Failure

 

There are two things that can cause this: (More information Turbocharger Failure Wiki)

 

1. Subaru placed mesh filters in the union bolts, one in the AVCS union bolt, and one in the oil line behind the drivers side timing cover. These mesh filters may become clogged and restrict oil flow to the turbo, this may result in oil starvation which will cause turbo failure.

 

Please note: Factory OCI is every 3750 miles due to this problem, and this issue is also present in MY07-09 vehicles. Owners are advised to remove or replace banjo bolt filters. The AVCS bolt is the more critical of the two.

Information can be found here:

Banjo Bolt Filter Removal

-AND-

Remove All Banjo Bolt Filters

 

2. Subaru used a preturbo catalytic converter that breaks up overtime and gets logged into the turbo, generally this often results in engine failure as well. Please note 2007+ LGT no longer have cats in up pipes. Gut or replace OEM uppipe with a catless aftermarket unit. OEM STI 04-07 uppipes are a direct fit. More Information: Uppipe cat failure

 

How to Install Catless Uppipe

 

Note: The stock (MY05-06) IHI VF40 turbo has a supposed lifespan of around 120-160k miles. MY07-09 VF46's seem less prone to failure. This all depends on several factors. Possible OEM upgrades include VF46 & VF52. Non OEM upgrades include BNR 16g & Blouch Td06H-20g (If you're crazy enough).

 

Stock Tune is Lean in Boost

Due to US emission standards all USDM models have a closed loop to open loop delay, this delay subjects the car to lean fuel trim while in boost. Possibly resulting in burnt valve(s) / excess knock. Fixable with tune by disabling CL – OL delay (Cobb OTS / OpenSource). More Information: Closed loop to open loop delay

 

Stock Tune adds too much timing for Cylinder 2 & 4

MY05-06 LGT's add 2.11* to cylinders 2 & 4, this directs knock to cylinders 2 & 4. With enough detonation, this can result in ringland / engine failure. It appears that Subaru advances timing on these cylinders so that knock is directed to the same bank as which the knock sensor resides. Due to the knock prone nature of the stock tune, this creates excessive detonation on cylinder 2 & 4. (Hence cylinders 2 & 4 cracking ringlands.) This does not apply to MY07-09 LGT’s. This is fixed with a tune by zeroing out timing compensation for cylinder B and D (Cobb OTS / Custom). One possible downside of zeroing out timing compensation is that the knock sensor may not hear knock if it occurs on the passenger side bank (cylinders 1 & 3) More Information: Timing Compensation

 

Valve cover gasket leaking

Both passenger and driver valve cover gaskets are prone to leaking, passenger side appears more prone to failure due to close proximity to hot elements (Up pipe, Turbocharger, Downpipe). Covertrussian again provides a glorious walkthrough. Note the difference between valve cover gaskets and head gaskets, they are not the same. Valve cover gasket replacement

 

Crank Pulley Failure

The Stock Crank pulley is prone to separation with increased age, which usually results in damage to timing belt area. (May even result in timing jump) Crank pulley disintegration.

 

Throwout Bearing failure at around 60k-80k miles

The push type clutches have poorly designed throw out bearings that will get stuck on the pressure plate which may destroy or gouge the input shaft's snout. Not everyone experiences this failure at the same time. Possible fix is utilizing a Tranquil TSK3 Sleeve Kit over the existing damaged input shaft snout, there is no way to remedy throwout bearing failure however.

 

05-07 Legacy Wagon / 05-09 Outback hatch wiring harness

Legacy Wagons, along with their Outback counterparts may experience wiring harness failure at the connecting point between the hatch door and the body. Commonly reported symptoms of wire destruction are malfunctioning brake lights, malfunctioning wiper motor, and/or radio reception issues. Owners are advised to check under the rubber boot and within the wire shield. If you experience this issue please document and report this to www.nhtsa.gov as this issue can result in brake light failure. For more information please visit this thread. Wiring Harness Failure

 

Wheel bearings

Both front and rear wheel bearing failure is common. SOA has extended the factory warranty on rear OEM wheel bearings until 100k Miles. Success has been reported using Detroit Axle bearings. Part # [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Detroit-Axle-Bearing-Assembly-513220/dp/B006WQSQ6G]513220[/ame] for Fronts and [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Detroit-Axle-Bearing-Assembly-512293/dp/B006WQS0V2]512293[/ame] for Rears.

 

Fans always stay on

On models equipped with 5MT the secondary radiator fan relay can damage the ECU causing the fans to always stay on. SOA has released a fix for this, as it is under recall. More Information: Cooling fan recall

 

Front O2 sensor failure

MY05 – 09 Legacy GT’s have a high front O2 (AFR) sensor failure rate. This is speculated to be steaming from exposure to hot exhaust gasses. This may be disguised as a P2096 CEL.

 

Water pools ontop of fuel rail due to hood scoop

Due to hoodscoop design water tends to pool around fuel rail/coolant reservoir after raining. More Information: Covertrussian's water pooling

 

Passenger side inner CV boot prone to failure

The inner CV boot (under the downpipe) is prone to cracking due to intense heat exposure from the downpipe; this will allow the grease to be washed out, eventually ruining the CV axle. It is suggested that you inspect this CV boot every oil change. More Information: CV Axle rebuild/replace

 

Brake line corrosion.

SOA released an official recall for this 6/12/14, take note if your vehicle resides in the salt belt states.

 

Weak swaybar endlinks

Stock swaybar endlinks are weak, premature failure is common, resulting in front end clunk. Replace with aftermarket (Kartboy or Moog).

 

Swaybar mount failure

Stock rear swaybar bracket mount is weak and susceptible to breaking or bending. Avo makes a replacement rear swaybar bracket. This generally happens with aftermarket bars, but is possible with the OEM bar. Symptoms include rubbing or clanking sound from the rear end. Avo swaybar mount install

 

Drivers side dash rattle

Many Legacy/Outbacks from 05-09 suffer from an annoying dash rattle originating from the drivers side behind the windshield. One way to permanently remedy this is to remove the dash and apply foam to furthest left connector post. More Information: Fixing dash rattle

 

Water by-pass pipe

Water By-Pass pipe is subject to rusting out after years of exposure to salt/snow/rain, periodically check pipe for integrity and replace if needed. Water By-Pass Pipe

 

Front Lower Control Arm Bushings - Rearward specifically, they tend to rip very easily, OEM ones cost around $15 but don't expect them to last. Whiteline or Avo makes great replacements. Group - N STi bushings are a common replacement too. Replacement How To

 

Rear quarter panel rot

MY05 – 09 Legacy/Outback (Pretty much all Subarus) are subject to quarter panel rot in the wheel arches behind both rear passenger doors (the dogleg). Subaru has a history of every vehicle rotting around the same area. Rot is only aesthetic and not structural. Suggested prevention is to remove rubber fender guards. Example: Quarter Rot

 

Anything that I may have overlooked, please let me know.

Edited by Akasa
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I have solved the dash board rattles by stuffing a small piece of black foam in the bottom corners. I also find that I have more rattles in cold weather.

 

Another way to stop the rattles is hit a good bump. Seems to jar things back in place...

 

My rear doors are fine, its my passenger side front door that is rusting on the bottom middle to rear of the door.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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5EqzCqb.jpg Here is where mine is starting to rot. I've noticed it starting to become problematic on a lot of our legacys. That's what I mean by behind the rear door. The dogleg.

 

My drivers side door is starting to bubble under the paint on the bottom too, which should be a pretty easy fix actually.

 

Max, Did you remove the dash to stuff the foam?

Edited by Akasa
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5EqzCqb.jpg Here is where mine is starting to rot. I've noticed it starting to become problematic on a lot of our legacys. That's what I mean by behind the rear door. The dogleg.

 

My drivers side door is starting to bubble under the paint on the bottom too, which should be a pretty easy fix actually.

 

Max, Did you remove the dash to stuff the foam?

 

 

No just take a 1/8" thick piece and fold it a time or two and stuff it in the bottom corners by the A pillar.

305,600miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. (SOLD).  CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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No control arm bushing issues for you turbo guys? :lol:

 

Valid point, forgot to add this to my build thread too...

 

Front Lower Control Arm Bushings - Rearward specifically, they tend to rip very easily, OEM ones cost around $15 but don't expect them to last. Whiteline or Avo makes great replacements, plus you can get caster ones. Replacement How To.

05 LGT 16G 14psi 290whp/30mpg

12 OBP Stock 130whp/27mpg@87 Oct

00 G20t GT28r 10psi 250whp/36mpg

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Valid point, forgot to add this to my build thread too...

 

Front Lower Control Arm Bushings - Rearward specifically, they tend to rip very easily, OEM ones cost around $15 but don't expect them to last. Whiteline or Avo makes great replacements, plus you can get caster ones. Replacement How To.

 

 

 

That reminds me, i've got to replace mine :p

Added, thanks guys.

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Front panel of the wagon's moon roof will fail to tilt.

 

Have that problem with mine. The plastic piece that holds the cable breaks and you have to get up there and manually slide it to get it to pop up, then it will close again. I quit opeing mine becuase of that, worked 1 time after I bought it. I'm going to try and find a used one to throw in there.

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I was actually referring to the typical ratio of attempts/successes when it comes to closing it, but now you mention it, that's better.

 

Oh yeah, it's like 1 successful close to every 8 attempts. I find if I close the glovebox with my fingers on either side of where the clasp clicks into the glove box panel it closes just fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks!= very much! Our radio reception went from fine to crap in a matter of no time. I was thinking it was around the time I fixed our severed tow light harness. Maybe I disrupted the rear part of the wiring harness like you specified above.

 

No problem! Glad I could be helpful. If you do find that the wiring harness is the issue, please document and report it. I wish you the best of luck!

Also, check the ground straps to either side of the front of the engine, one to the passenger exhaust manifold, and one from the frame to the block on the drivers side, I believe. Make sure those are still intact, i've heard about them causing issues along that line as well.

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No problem! Glad I could be helpful. If you do find that the wiring harness is the issue, please document and report it. I wish you the best of luck!

Also, check the ground straps to either side of the front of the engine, one to the passenger exhaust manifold, and one from the frame to the block on the drivers side, I believe. Make sure those are still intact, i've heard about them causing issues along that line as well.

 

Will check the grounding straps, thanks.

 

My wiring harnesses were actually fine, MY06 2.5i Wagon.

 

I can hear a high pitched squeal that coincides with the engine RPMs, so it definitely sounds like a grounding issue.

Edited by HugoStiglitz
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Let me know what you find.

 

Hey, can anyone (a mod please :p) change the title to MY05-09 Legacy GT Common Issues? I've updated this list to apply to all 4th gen GT's, so it's now more of a rundown on all 4th gen models.

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