1988 Suburu Outback station wagon?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TedH71, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been considering buying this instead of a truck because of the gas mileage and it can still carry dogs and a bike rack on top. Any thoughts or concerns? Should I still go look at med sized trucks? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    Hello~
    I have a 1991 Subaru Legacy wagon and I love the little tank! It's 4 wheel drive all the time which has been a blessing here in Montana. I can haul bales of straw, my four dogs or anything else I need in it. The gas mileage is great too. I'd say go check it out. :)
    Take care~
    Steph
     

  3. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never owned a Subaru, but I've never met an owner who wasn't happy with theirs.
     
  4. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    hello. my name is marvella, and i am a suba-holic.

    yes, i use mine just like a small truck. have driven them almost exclusively for 15+ years.

    they do have some quirks however. automatic trannies can't take long distances at very slow speeds, like a rural mail carrier might do. the axles need to be replaced about every 100K, check the boots for wear. also change the timing belt every 100K. if you are religious about changing the oil it could easily last over 400K miles. it also helps to have a good mechanic who is familiar with them.

    i don't even by them until they are 10 years old with 100K miles on them. from my point of view, they are just getting broken in good by then. around here, it's really hard to find a used one any newer than that, as people that buy them new tend to hang on to them.

    so, my advice is look for one with 4 wd (they didn't go all AWD until 1990), a 5 speed and 2.2 liter engine. (the 2.5 engines are a piece of junk.)

    welcome to the club!
     
  5. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i loved my 85 hatchback until a crackhead mechanic fixed my timing belt. he fixed it alright.... anyhow, i used to drive through 14 inches of virgin snow with just the click of a button. man i miss that car. i need a motor for it. :eek:
     
  6. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    My DH had an 84 GL mini-wagon. He got it in 2001, so it was old, but he LOVED that lil car - only drawback was it didn't have A/C so it was a hot drive in the summer. He ran it til the floor rusted out. Got 36 mpg. He still says he misses it!
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I do wish they still made a part time 4wd Brat. I looked but only thing that tends to show up is either totally worn/rusted out junk or later model AWD Subaru cars with auto tranny. My guess is those auto trannies are high dollar to repair.

    I havent really paid much attention, does the Forester/Outback have higher ground clearance than regular cars? AWD or 4wd for that matter isnt much help if you are high and dry setting on a rock or pile of packed snow with wheels spinning in air. Also these are unit body vehicles so not the strength of full frame vehicle if you are planning on any heavy duty hauling/towing.
     
  8. Linda H

    Linda H Missouri Ozarks

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    I have a friend that had a 91 subaro station wagon. She used it to haul ROCKS to build retaining walls with, chickens and bird feed. She finally had to get it a valve job at 252,000 miles. She delivered those weekly want ad type papers with it for years. Its mighty uggly and finally went into semi retirement last year. She kept it to loan to kids and grandkids when they tried to bum her new one.
     
  9. Salmonberry

    Salmonberry Registered Nut

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    My brother convinced us to consider a used Subaru a few years back. We've had her ever since. We never use the passenger seat, its just folded down. Haul our dog around with plenty of room for other things. 191,000 miles and she still hums. We figure at 250,000 miles she may need another engine, but we'll see. One of the best buys we have ever made. I like the 4wd here in AK.

    I didn't think there was an "Outback" in 1988. I think they started in the 1990's. Is it just a station wagon?

    Salmonberry
     
  10. MTNwomanAR

    MTNwomanAR Well-Known Member

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    Add me to the subaru-holic club........... :sing: I bought a 92 loyale wagon, for 1500 bucks, it had about 126000 on it, I still have it, even though I've neglected it since I got my 02 forrester...and I love em both! I'll never NOT have one. I live down two miles of old forest service logging road, and both rigs are tougher than ANY big car I've owned...and the gas mileage is great. Just ask Marlene how much stuff my little car can haul.....I haul me, her, my big dog Phoenix, all of both of our camping gear[and Marlene camps in STYLE folks!! eh Marvella? ] The part time 4wd, vs awd drive is a valid point. I kind of like the older version, being front wheel drive, when the 4wd drive isn't engaged. It took me a few times of driving the new one in the mud, before I realized that I don't have to shift, just gas it a bit...but too, I agree with the 5 speed....when I looked at mine, it was the only used 5 speed on the lot. I just looked at the salesman and asked if it wasn't a crime to put an automatic tranny in a subaru?????????? I think part of it is that our country has gotten lazy.
     
  11. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah on the newer Outbacks have so much ground clearence they're labled not as station wagons, but classified as SUV's by the goverment.

    My Job's contract is for Subaru outback, it's quality product, and glad I can ensure quality in my job. :)
     
  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    What kind of mileage do the outbacks get?
     
  13. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

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  14. NCGirl

    NCGirl Well-Known Member

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    We have some friends that have an older subaru, not sure of the year, but it had well over 800,000 last time I spoke to them. They were determined to keep it till it had over a million miles.
     
  15. buck_1one

    buck_1one Well-Known Member

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    Ok I guess I'm going to be the lone dissenting vote here.

    I have a 97 Legacy with 180,000 some odd miles. I've had to replace both converters, both O2 sensors, the knock sensor, the heater control unit is going up so I can't control where the heat goes, and the last inspection I was told the steering rack has play in it. I just put front break pads on it, $50 for those little tiny things!!! The pads for my F250 are only $45, and they are two to three times the size. The car has been taken care of, but I don't see me getting another one. The only reason I got it was I could not find an American car that was good on gas, a wagon, AWD or 4x4. It had to meet all those requirements.

    Anyway, it's a good car untill you have to start fixing it when it falls apart. And yes I know any car is a good car untill you have to start fixing it but, I really don't think I should have had the problems I'm having with it at this miliage or age. The parts are expensive, and for me, hard to find around here.

    Just my experience with Subaru
    Buck
     
  16. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    I have a 1985 Subaru Brat, its my winter vehicle, van can't get up the hill when its slick. Love it, had a 1980 Brat too, and a 1987 GL 10 turbo loaded wagon, all front wheel drive, 4WD rear wheels kicked in. Love Subarus, always looking for another, and I'm a member at the Ultimate Subaru board too. I'm always looking for another wagon, the turbo was awesome, and the car even had a sunroof. As long as the body is solid I'd buy it, rust out on the unibody under frame is a big problem. Rust in general is problem, undercoating is a must. They do cost more to fix ever since Clinton put that tariff on imported japanese car parts. yea, I've had Subarus a long time.
     
  17. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    know where i can get a good motor for my 85 GL? it is 2.8 liter. that little car was great. it has "frame" rust issues but i had plates welded on. hopefully they would hold if i get a motor. i could still use it as a utility vehicle and pull a wood trailer around the property.