Jump to content
LegacyGT.com

Looking at a used 98 Legacy wagon


Recommended Posts

Hi - I am helping my 16 year old son shop for his 1st car. We are leaning towards Subaru due to the fact that my DD is an '05 LGT wagon and we live in Wisconsin.

 

The local car we found on craigslist looks like it is in good shape but has a 'blown' auto transmission. Owner says is still shifts but disengages 'somehow' and he can get it 'back in' by pushing it a bit.

 

The motor was rebuilt 25K miles ago

I haven't seen this in person yet, but owner says:

no accidents

2nd owner

Few small rust spots (of course)

Chassis is solid

228K on chassis

 

I know nothing about this era legacy and if it is worth checking out.

How tough to replace/rebuild transmission?

 

They are asking $850....

 

Thanks in advance !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well to start off, if could be a bad CV axle that can cause random disengagement and that's an easy fix if it is, if it isn't you can pick up a junkyard trans for <$500 and install it in 6 hours (conservatively) Or you are looking at $1500+ for a full trans rebuild and then $2500+ for a new trans.

 

 

 

Get as much info and records as you can for the car, if he can't produce records for the engine rebuild, I'd assume it means he just did it himself or it was an off the books cash service and that means possibly unskilled and inadequate parts getting used. If he allows it, bring a 10mm socket and pop off one of the cam covers to inspect the timing belt, check under the oil fill cap for milky oil residue and also to see the build date of the engine. These older 2nd gens are very prong to junkyard parts being thrown on them so the build date should be 6 months or so BEFORE the car build date. The oil cap will say something like 7 98 and then the data plate on the drivers door will say 09/98

 

 

 

And then obvious Subaru things to look for: drive it, listen to it when it's cold, climb under the front of it to look for leaks, reach up in the rear fender wheels to feel for rust, and when you drive it, try to do a lot of slow speed articulation (speed bumps, small slow tight turns etc)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to type up that helpful response Brighton96!

 

I guess it could be a CV but I'm gonna assume transmission in my evaluation. If we buy and it is just a CV thing, then that is just a bonus.

 

I looked at it briefly at lunch and it definitely has some rust which is expected. No accident damage at all tho.

The front edge of the sunroof was taped up but the roof metal around the gasket area there seems solid. The rear quarter panel corners are rusted out and taped over. Any better 'ghetto' fixes for the rust than the tape method?

 

The good points are the interior - it is a Limited with very decent leather etc.

It started fine and sounds ok except for a buzzing (trans?)

I couldn't drive it due to time etc. but it did move when in gear but would then disengage and clunk if I shifted to rev.

 

It looks like it would make a great winter beater if it just needs a salvaged trans and some general TLC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't pay nearly $1000 for a 25 year old car that needs $1500 of work. Nevermind if you are going to get a salvage trans and put it in yourself. The value of that work is $1500.

 

I just picked up one of these that didn't need such a major repair, but wasn't ok to drive because of front wheel bearings. I paid $300.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't pay nearly $1000 for a 25 year old car that needs $1500 of work. Nevermind if you are going to get a salvage trans and put it in yourself. The value of that work is $1500.

 

I just picked up one of these that didn't need such a major repair, but wasn't ok to drive because of front wheel bearings. I paid $300.

 

 

I think the price of 20+ year old cars is heavily based on geography. In my area I think I have one of the last 2nd gens and I've been offered $5k for mine, but if I go back to the mountains of WV, you can pick up a 2nd gen from literally anyone for <$400/scrap price

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, but yours runs and drives.

 

If this one had been examined by a qualified mechanic and there was a statement of work needed it might be worth the couple thousand. But what we have is a car that won't drive and no one knows why and it is rusted through. Even with the repairs it can't have more than a handful of years left.

 

I grew up in Michigan. When I was done with school and it was time to buy my first car on my own I flew out to Arizona to see friends and buy a car to drive back because 10 year old cars in the salt belt aren't worth paying for. That was almost 20 years ago and I'm still driving that car daily. Mainly because I didn't have it in Michigan over a winter, I moved first.

 

I think the OP should take his time and see if there is something that at least drives for that price. But I've been wrong plenty of times before so we should take all of what's been said and reach our own conclusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for responses!

I kinda get carried away in the fun of shopping for used car sometimes!

I see the potential in a car like this, but the rust is just too much for us to tackle.

Even if it was only $200 as-is, It would still need (at minimum) transmission, tires, brakes, and struts. That does not even address the rust and I really don't know how bad the undercarriage rust is.

 

My DD '05 LGT wagon was an Atlanta car for its first 10 years and now it has to endure Wisconsin winters. No rust yet but I oil coat (fluid film) the undercarriage etc. and just try to keep it rinsed thru winter. It is a fun car in winter tho!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use