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New here with 05 LGT Manuel looking for advice


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Hi everyone I recently bought a 05 LGT Manuel for 2,000$ with 143k miles. I’m thinking of starting to work on fixing the problems the car has in the spring time. Either that or selling my current daily( 06 Avalon ) and taking it to turbo shop. I’m leaning more towards taking it to my mechanic who’s specialized in Subarus and have him tell me what’s wrong then fixing it my self. I’m still in college so money is right but this id my dream car and the deal was too good to pass up. The shop prices picture listed is from the previous owner and is why they sold it. I drove the car back an hour and half to my place and it felt decent. The turbo still spools and boosts. Does anyone have to do list when they first purchase one of these and/or have useful threads to follow or any kind of advice is welcome!!  But yeah just wanted to introduce my self here and show off my new car haha. 

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Edited by laboixlacroix
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Do you plan on keeping this car stock? Cuz if not, that's a lot of "while you're in theres."

These cars are old now and incredibly hard to keep running without a lot of care. You will need to regularly check your oil level and use premium fuel without exception. With the price you paid for the car, if it's on its original engine I would start saving up for a new one. Can knock out all that much easier with the engine out of the car, apart from the struts which, if you want to upgrade the handling of the car, definitely inquire here.

 

Gotta say though... whoever owned your car prior did not take care of it if the intake cam gear is rubbing on the timing cover... wondering if they maybe hit something and replaced the bumper?

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Hope you have deep pockets or a lot of tools. 

Tune up for $535, the plugs are about $40. They may have been including the coils. But my coils lasted till 305,000 miles.

Fuel service ??? just dump a can of Chemtool B12 from Walmart in the gas tank, I do that yearly.

Cabin air filter, if you have a early build, mine was May 28 2004, it didn't come with a cabin air filter.

Rear diff. holds .8qt of fluid, easy to drain and fill. Make sure you remove the fill plug first, then the drain plug. You need to make sure you can fill it before you find out you can't remove the fill plug.

Most big name auto parts will read the CEL for free.

 

Right front tranny seal, is that the axle seal ? the seal is a few bucks. the right seal is different then the left seal, the scrappers face a different direction. 

To replace the intake tube, lift the whole intake at the TGV's to Heads, the tube is like $90. it's mostly labor.

New turbo is $1200, Jmp6889928 is the member who rebuilds them. My Tuner "tuningalliance@gmail.com" will rebuild yours too. He is the Tuner you'll want to use if you need, he is one of the two best in the county.

The timing belt kit should be done while fixing the worn covers. Aisin is the kit to use.

Starter, easy to replace, auto parts store will have one for about $120. There's a DIY for greasing the OEM unit. I did mine once on a buddies lift in 15 minutes.

Look at the stickys at the tops of the forums, and look at the DIY walk through's too.

DSCN7885.JPG

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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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Index of /ilh/vacation

 

That's the service manual.

 

Look through my click here link, lots of pictures.

 

Oh, WELCOME, you've come to the right place. Nice looking wagon.

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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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Nice car, looks to be one of the coveted non-Limited GTs with cloth seats and no sunroof.

I would suggest you keep the Avalon and learn everything you can about turbo Subarus. If you have to rely on a shop for everything with one of these, it can get expensive. It's also not a bad idea to have a backup car when you're rolling in an 18 year old LGT that you have recently done a lot of work to.

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Nice looking wagon!

Keep the Toyota if you can afford to. It will probably not break down on you at least. One better. Keep it as your winter beater and never let that sweet looking GT see salt and sand….

All those jobs are totally doable with a decent tool set, a floor jack and some jack stands. It’ll be some money in parts, sure, but for what you paid for the car?….. I think you’ll do alright. Also, if cosmetics aren’t priority #1 right now, there are a few you can skip entirely. (My gearbox has been leaking as long as I’ve had my GT. Probably had to add a total of 200mL of gear oil in 6 years to keep it topped up…)

Staying stock power will give that engine a longer life, considering it’s unknown history…

Nice buy. My favourite way to get old cars at low prices is to but them from people who get jaw-dropper repair bills and just want them gone. Usually half the ‘repairs’ aren’t needed and the other half aren’t hard, if you have the tools.

Edited by KZJonny
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I'll agree with keeping the other car. I bought my Spec B when the wagon broke back in 2011. The wagon is now gone, but I still have the Spec as a back up for my 18 Outback 3.6R. 

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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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That is a hell of a deal. I’d decide on how much you really love that car and go from there. Get some tools and learn how to do it yourself but something about this thread screams YNASB is in your future

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22 hours ago, Pleides said:

Do you plan on keeping this car stock? Cuz if not, that's a lot of "while you're in theres."

These cars are old now and incredibly hard to keep running without a lot of care. You will need to regularly check your oil level and use premium fuel without exception. With the price you paid for the car, if it's on its original engine I would start saving up for a new one. Can knock out all that much easier with the engine out of the car, apart from the struts which, if you want to upgrade the handling of the car, definitely inquire here.

 

Gotta say though... whoever owned your car prior did not take care of it if the intake cam gear is rubbing on the timing cover... wondering if they maybe hit something and replaced the bumper?

Yeah I know I'm for a treat with how hard these cars are to maintain hahaha I have moments where I feel in over my head with it. For now I'm planning on getting it running with stock parts and upgrading the turbo oil lines( I hear those are prone to going out). I'm going to try and keep the same engine for now then taking your advice on a new engine block and look at getting beefer parts. Yeah I don't know much about the last person that owned but they had it for only 10k miles and was bought from a dealer last year for 6k. Also what does "while you're in theres." mean? never heard that one before hahaha

20 hours ago, Max Capacity said:

Hope you have deep pockets or a lot of tools. 

Tune up for $535, the plugs are about $40. They may have been including the coils. But my coils lasted till 305,000 miles.

Fuel service ??? just dump a can of Chemtool B12 from Walmart in the gas tank, I do that yearly.

Cabin air filter, if you have a early build, mine was May 28 2004, it didn't come with a cabin air filter.

Rear diff. holds .8qt of fluid, easy to drain and fill. Make sure you remove the fill plug first, then the drain plug. You need to make sure you can fill it before you find out you can't remove the fill plug.

Most big name auto parts will read the CEL for free.

 

Right front tranny seal, is that the axle seal ? the seal is a few bucks. the right seal is different then the left seal, the scrappers face a different direction. 

To replace the intake tube, lift the whole intake at the TGV's to Heads, the tube is like $90. it's mostly labor.

New turbo is $1200, Jmp6889928 is the member who rebuilds them. My Tuner "tuningalliance@gmail.com" will rebuild yours too. He is the Tuner you'll want to use if you need, he is one of the two best in the county.

The timing belt kit should be done while fixing the worn covers. Aisin is the kit to use.

Starter, easy to replace, auto parts store will have one for about $120. There's a DIY for greasing the OEM unit. I did mine once on a buddies lift in 15 minutes.

Look at the stickys at the tops of the forums, and look at the DIY walk through's too.

DSCN7885.JPG

You're the real mvp! yeah the price the mechanic listed seems like they charge way too much on labor thanks for the advice on fixing everything, definitely will be using it along with the Aisin kit. I will be looking at reaching out to Jmp6889928 and see what can be done about the turbo. As far as I know, going off the previous person they said something was wrong with the oil lines and it's causing the turbo to fail. Thanks for telling about those tutorials I didn't know that was there, I'll be using them to figure out why the cam gear is rubbing against the timing cover. THANK YOU for the manuel!!

14 hours ago, Haze said:

Nice car, looks to be one of the coveted non-Limited GTs with cloth seats and no sunroof.

I would suggest you keep the Avalon and learn everything you can about turbo Subarus. If you have to rely on a shop for everything with one of these, it can get expensive. It's also not a bad idea to have a backup car when you're rolling in an 18 year old LGT that you have recently done a lot of work to.

Yessssir!! Yeah my plan is to learn everything I can and save up for the parts and tools like and engine hoist then get to work on it. It does have the cloth seats with seat warmers, I'd take these over the leather ones mostly because it can get so hot and sticky in the summer. I used to have 05 outback l.l. bean edition with the tan leather interior and winter was nice but summers made me mad lol. 

3 hours ago, KZJonny said:

Nice looking wagon!

Keep the Toyota if you can afford to. It will probably not break down on you at least. One better. Keep it as your winter beater and never let that sweet looking GT see salt and sand….

All those jobs are totally doable with a decent tool set, a floor jack and some jack stands. It’ll be some money in parts, sure, but for what you paid for the car?….. I think you’ll do alright. Also, if cosmetics aren’t priority #1 right now, there are a few you can skip entirely. (My gearbox has been leaking as long as I’ve had my GT. Probably had to add a total of 200mL of gear oil in 6 years to keep it topped up…)

Staying stock power will give that engine a longer life, considering it’s unknown history…

Nice buy. My favourite way to get old cars at low prices is to but them from people who get jaw-dropper repair bills and just want them gone. Usually half the ‘repairs’ aren’t needed and the other half aren’t hard, if you have the tools.

Thank you! You made me feel better my purchase and brought hope to my subie heart lol. Yeah I think keeping it stock for now is the way to go until I finish school next year and bring in the big bucks to upgrade the parts. These mechanics prices can be ridiculous wish I knew that when I was younger. Anyway thank you for for the solid advice. 

 

1 hour ago, blackobxt said:

That is a hell of a deal. I’d decide on how much you really love that car and go from there. Get some tools and learn how to do it yourself but something about this thread screams YNASB is in your future

YEEEAAAA not sure what YNASB  means but looking forward to it!!!

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I'm so surprised i even got any replies on this post, thank you everyone for taking time to read about my car. Seems like we got a nice healthy community here I'm glad to be apart of it and hope to contribute any knowledge i learn in the future!! ❤️

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You Need A New Short Block is what that means. A OEM ej257 short block is $2000, get the engine gasket kit for your year car, have the heads rebuilt. If you have metal in the oil system from a blown turbo, then replace the oil cooler. A new oil pump is a good idea either way.

It's common thing with these cars. A new member comes on here and say's I just bought the car, and driving it home, the CEL came on, or the engine blew.

My wagon had the stock oil feed lines at 305,000 miles. No need to replace what works. The thing that needs to be removed is the banjo filter on the back of the head. That filter can/will starve the turbo of oil.  You'll read about as you read the sticky's. 

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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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54 minutes ago, Max Capacity said:

You Need A New Short Block is what that means. A OEM ej257 short block is $2000, get the engine gasket kit for your year car, have the heads rebuilt. If you have metal in the oil system from a blown turbo, then replace the oil cooler. A new oil pump is a good idea either way.

It's common thing with these cars. A new member comes on here and say's I just bought the car, and driving it home, the CEL came on, or the engine blew.

My wagon had the stock oil feed lines at 305,000 miles. No need to replace what works. The thing that needs to be removed is the banjo filter on the back of the head. That filter can/will starve the turbo of oil.  You'll read about as you read the sticky's. 

Oh YNASB  doesn't sound as fun anymore but I had a feeling I'd be doing this anyway. Okay so let me know if i got this right; I'm going to need a new short block and will need a shop to work on the pistons and block to make sure they're the same circumference, I might as well get stronger rods that handle more hp, then upgrade the head gasket with the multilayer metal sheet ones, lastly upgrade the engine bearings with better than stock ones. Then taking care of the oil cooler and pump and figure out weather the turbo is reparable. This is what i've learned so far from this wiki lmk how that sounds ?

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Don't be in a rush. 

If you need, the ej257 comes assembled, hey, click on my link in my sig. You'll see my ej257, my machine shop took the old heads off, rebuilt them with parts from the engine gasket set, installed the heads on the ej257 using the OEM, MLS HG's with the ARP head studs I supplied.

 

The ej257 or newer RA block, will handle the power most go to. "it's all in the TUNE".

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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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Regarding the starter, if it works on and off, most likely the brushes are worn out. You could swap these yourself and it will cost you 20-30$ and your time. I have yet to update the thread with text, but here I posted a bunch of pics of the procedure. Take that opportunity to grease the gearing too.

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35 minutes ago, laboixlacroix said:

Oh YNASB  doesn't sound as fun anymore but I had a feeling I'd be doing this anyway. Okay so let me know if i got this right; I'm going to need a new short block and will need a shop to work on the pistons and block to make sure they're the same circumference, I might as well get stronger rods that handle more hp, then upgrade the head gasket with the multilayer metal sheet ones, lastly upgrade the engine bearings with better than stock ones. Then taking care of the oil cooler and pump and figure out weather the turbo is reparable. This is what i've learned so far from this wiki lmk how that sounds ?

Slow your roll dude. 😉

Unless you're building a firebreather, you'll be juuuust fine on a stock engine block, as long as you take good care of it. Like Max said, a short block is the block halves, crank, pistons and rods assembled. (bearings of course as well) For the money you'll have a hard time beating the price if YNANSB. (A long block for reference is all the same, plus new heads.)

Work in reverse order of what you listed. Get the filters out of the banjo bolts (sticky/many threads on this), get the turbo checked out, and then worry about the rest.You can check for turbo shaft play by removing the downpipe and having a look, or using a micrometer. If you can move the shaft any noticeable amount by hand, do not drive it, that is no bueno. Nothing on your list aside from the turbo is critical item that will wreck your car if you don't adddress it immediately.

There are plenty of used VF40s lying around, or ones that are good cores, ready to be rebuilt. I have a JMP Custom VF40 and it is plenty enough juice with some suppporting mods and a tune. His price for a standard rebuild was ~$600 USD at the time with return shipping. (Probably more now with the economy, maybe??)  Look into it. It's a better price, and you get a better turbo back than an new OEM one.

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Imo these cars are great to learn on, they really aren’t complicated and the reward of a nice decently powered car is well worth it. As far as maintenance, they really aren’t high maintenance but the car is 18yrs old and I’m sure most of the hoses and whatnot are as well.

if it was me, I’d start by doing exactly what KZJonny said and get those filters out and inspect them and then check the turbo. If the turbo is hashed, send an oil sample to blackstone labs and get the plugs out and do a leakdown. If blackstone says all it well and the leakdown is good then make a list of repairs and decide what turbo you want and give her hell!

If it does come down to YNASB and your goals aren’t ridiculous, oem shortblocks are the way to go. But the one thing I can’t stress enough is the cleaning of the heads and the avcs gears!
 

But either way don’t get ahead of yourself, start crawling before you start running. And as far as getting responses, this is a very friendly community on this forum. Please do your research but feel free to ask questions and you will likely get plenty of answers

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5 hours ago, Max Capacity said:

You Need A New Short Block is what that means. A OEM ej257 short block is $2000, get the engine gasket kit for your year car, have the heads rebuilt. If you have metal in the oil system from a blown turbo, then replace the oil cooler. A new oil pump is a good idea either way.

It's common thing with these cars. A new member comes on here and say's I just bought the car, and driving it home, the CEL came on, or the engine blew.

My wagon had the stock oil feed lines at 305,000 miles. No need to replace what works. The thing that needs to be removed is the banjo filter on the back of the head. That filter can/will starve the turbo of oil.  You'll read about as you read the sticky's. 

Dang max, you beat me to Short block city lol. Keep the Toyota for a daily. Work on what you can yourself. The car will need some work.

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i would also look into to Insurance

 

the price for an Avalon vs. Legacy is going to be far more

 

even with multi-car discount, 20+ years same company, etc. bare minimum or Liability Only with State Farm is:

 

$85ish a month

for middle coverage about $150

 

and i Full around $225-275 to my knowledge

 

obviously if you don't live in an Urban City, if you can keep it somewhere without the need for having Insurance on it right away will help out

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6 hours ago, laboixlacroix said:

Yeah I know I'm for a treat with how hard these cars are to maintain hahaha I have moments where I feel in over my head with it. For now I'm planning on getting it running with stock parts and upgrading the turbo oil lines( I hear those are prone to going out). I'm going to try and keep the same engine for now then taking your advice on a new engine block and look at getting beefer parts. Yeah I don't know much about the last person that owned but they had it for only 10k miles and was bought from a dealer last year for 6k. Also what does "while you're in theres." mean? never heard that one before hahaha

"While you're in theres" are just the parts that should be replaced or upgraded if you plan on doing them soon-ish as you've already got the major parts that are in the way out. IE if you're replacing the shortblock you might as well replace the valvetrain components with nicer ones (nicer valve springs, valves, etc), or while you're replacing the turbo you should upgrade the inlet pipe as they're known to tear. Stuff like that. Good luck, and definitely keep the Avalon around.

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While you're in there, welcome to the forums! Congrats on your recent purchase. As mentioned previously, you may get frustrated, but it will be worth it in the end. Bc of the age of this car, you'll have a steep learning curve for the mechanics behind keeping a car as functional as possible on the road. Things that last the life of the car begin to fail or need replacing at this point. Gas tanks, HVAC controls/motors, various solenoids. 
 

We're excited to have you and watch you grow up with the car that we all care immensely about. Welcome!

Edited by Febreze Mee
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