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Subaru Impreza Outback Sport & TS



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I kinda disagree, the 2.2l was a great engine and more reliable than the 2.5l. And earlier Outback Sports were a lot lighter so performance is actually similar.

    I believe it had a 2.2l up until MY2001. MY2002 got the 2.5l standard.

    OBS had some extra equipment and you might feel more at home in one vs. an L or TS.

    If you find a nice 2.2l OBS I'd go for that.

  • I didn't realize the weight increase in newer models, that makes sense. I have noticed better reliability ratings on the 2.2, thanks for the input Juice.
  • lumbarlumbar Posts: 421
    '99 OBS (60K) here.

    Zero problems with the engine, but, if you want "punch," I think I'd look elsewhere. I preferred the slightly elevated OBS over the L and liked what seemed to be a tighter suspension (handling is quite good), but acceleration is not a strong suit--on a downshift into, say, second, or from a standing start. The vehicle feels solid, but the downside is that it also feels too heavy for the engine IMO.

    In case you weren't aware, the hood scoop is for show only :)
  • I'm gonna hafta agree with juice and disagree with lumbar. I just boutht an '01 OBS, 5-spd with 60K miles and in pristine condition. Less than a month ago, I traded in an '02 OBS, 5-spd with just under 60K miles which I had bought new.

    While I loved the way the '02 felt and handled, it just didn't seem to perform the way I thought it should. Now, after having driven the '01 only a 100 or so miles on a nice curvy section of hwy 101 in NW Wash, I think I know why so many people rave about the 2.2L engine. It just seems to be a better driveline to weight match up than the 2.5L engine.

    I also found the '01 easier to launch smoothly than the '02; and the '01 also shifts into reverse easier than the '02. IMHO, the '01 just seems to be an all around better driver's car than my '02 was.

    So, if you're not gonna pay up the bucks for a WRX, and they're so popular that they want and get "all the money" (I tried: $18,800 for an '02 with 40K miles: I went to $18K!),I'd say to take your time and find a nice, well cared for, '98-'01 "L" or OBS. BTW, I ended up paying $12.5K for my '01, plus tax and lic. The Hi KBB is $13,365, and the cars are so popular in fowl weather areas that the dealers want all the $$$.

    I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mike and Juice once again for their excellent input. You were both right on!........Terry
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Glad to see it worked out for you. I love my 2.2L in my Impreza and my 2.2L Turbo in my Legacy :)

  • I didn't know you had a turbo Legacy in addition to your Impreza, Mike.

    I traded my '02 OBS in on an '05 Legacy GT and I have to admit that it has exceded all my expectations. It's awesome, but that's for another board, isn't it...

    BTW, Mike, when you're racing your "auto" Impreza, do you just leave it in the "3rd" gear position all the time?

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Depends on the track, most tracks I use the "3" position, some I push it to "2" for the twisties. Some I have to go to "4" if I bang off the rev limiter in 3rd. Also depends which tires I run. 17 v. 16.

    My stable includes:

    '92 SVX
    '94 Legacy Turbo (bought from jim on here)
    '96 Impreza Race Car
    '00 Isuzu Trooper

  • For Mike or juice:

    A reading of several of the old msgs seems to indicate that the WRX wheels and 205/55/16 tires will fit the '01 Impreza OBS without any problems. However, when I look up the WRX wheels in a Subaru dealer's parts list, it indicates that the wheels are for applications on '02 models and later. What's the real story? I'd sure like to upgrade the steel wheels with some alloys.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not a problem they fit w/o issue.

    I have a set of WRX wheels on my dad's car a '97 legacy. On my Impreza L I run RS wheels and used to run wrx wheels.

    I just bought a set of '02 OBS Alloys for inventory.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    what paisan said.

    I have my '03 WRX rims on the '99 OBS.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The '02 OBS has 16" rims.

    2001 and earlier had 15" rims, so technically speaking it's not an exact application, it's a Plus One.

    But it will fit, it actually leaves more room for brake clearance and the offset is OK.

  • Thanks to all for your clarification.

    What can I expect to pay for a set of '02, or later, OBS or WRX wheels on the secondary mkt? It looks like they're over $200 each if bought new.

    Thanks again.......Terry
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $400 for a set last I checked, with tires. That's in good shape.

    I've seen them as low as $250 but no tires and probably a couple of scuffs on the rims.

    I bet mike has a spare set, e-mail him.

  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    It would be cheaper for Terry to someone local vs shipping from the East Coast.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Perhaps. Jim shipped 4 rims to me from Texas and it was $80 or so IIRC.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    yeah we always keep a set or 2 in inventory.

    My suggestion: Pickup a set local for around $200-250 and get some good tires from Tirerack. The setup will cost you around $600 total but it will be a solid setup with good tires.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Doesn't Tire Rack sell take-off WRX rims for $75 a pop? That's $300 for the set, a little high but maybe worth the convenience if they can mount and balance the tires for you in advance. You just bolt em on.

  • I'm not familiar with the term "pilot bearing". Would that be similar to a "throw out bearing" in a mt on a rwd car?

    What are the noticeable symptoms if the pilot bearing is starting to go?

    Does anyone out there have a '01 Subaru Impreza sales pamphlet they'd be willing to sell.

    This is probably the wrong board for this Q, but I'll give it a try: I've always stayed away from turbos because of my conception that they shorten the life of the engines. Also, I've had Subaru salesmen tell me that the only engine troubles Subaru has ever had has been with the turbo models. This is generally no problem for people who trade cars every two years, but how about those who are not mechanics and want to keep a car 10 years and put 150K-200K miles on it?? Since there just isn't that kind of experience on the WRX, how about those of you who have some of the earlier turbo models?

    TIA...Terry (Still thinking about that WRX!)
  • Oops, I have one more question about placing WRX wheels on an '01 OBS: Can the existing lug bolts be used or do new lugs have to be purchased?

    I'm sure other Q's will come up as I try to personalize this car, (assuming I don't try to trade it for the '02 WRX....what a bath I'll take if I make that decision), but that's all I can think of now.

    I did get the 60K service done yesterday and was told that the drivetrain had no leaks whatsoever. (Is that unusual for the 2.2 eng??) The only problem found was the small, useable tread on the tires, and I was aware of that.

    Oh, they found some sludge and carbon build up and ran a cleaning compound through the engine, with my approval. They made this sound like a normal phenomenon. However, I've never encountered this with my Hondas; although, I do remember the dealer adding a cleaner to the gas tank at regular intervals as part of a specific mileage service??

    I'd appreciate any enlightening comments on the sludge problem and best remedies. I always thought that sludge build up was a result of too many short, slow trips with a lot of stop and go driving that didn't allow the oil to get up to temp, along with inadequate oil change maintenance. But "poor oil maintenance" doesn't fit in with the way the rest of the car has been maintained.

    Thanks again.....Terry
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    In Europe car manufacturers can require a certain oil be used to maintain the warranty.

    In America, the Magnusson Moss Act prohibits manufacturers from requiring their parts or specific fluids (they can only "recommend" them) unless they provide the part for free.

    There are several oil standards organizations - API, or American Petroleum Institute, the advocacy organization for refineries and packagers, ILSAC, the advocacy org for the car makers, and ACEA, advocacy for Euro makers.

    Despite the technological ability to make great oils - the synthetics come to mind - forces within the oil industry refuse to advance from SJ to SL to SM without tons of kicking and screaming, and threats from smaller members to sue for antitrust on grounds they can't compete using primitive dino oil base stocks, and sell 99 cent per quart oil.

    Meanwhile most drivers still think synthetic oil is a scam and/or waste of money.

    This has led to a bewildering array of manufacturer specs - check your owners manual to see if any apply to you - the car makers sort of bury them in there, then say, but SL oil is ok. Which it usually isn't, unless it is Mobil 1 etc. which goes way beyond SL base specs.

    Thus the sludge in your car.

    The cheapest solution currently known to oil fans is Rotella T 5-40 full synthetic. As they indicate on their website, it may not be suited for passenger cars with sensitive (i.e., lower grade) converters which require "Starburst" oils which Rotella isn't. The variation in grade between 40 and the currently recommended 30 is well within operating spec range according to the Rotella site, but doesn't deliver as much fuel economy. It is, however, a very clean, robust oil, with a lot of antiwear compounds, and costs just $12.78 a jug at WalMart. Alternately,if you are nervous about putting your catalytic converter slightly at risk (if your car burns oil, it is obviously more at risk) there is Starburst certified Mobil 1 for $4.50 per quart, Castol Syntec for the same price (but overpriced, since it is Group III, not Group IV, and if you are going to use Group III, Rotella is much cheaper).

    Finally, if this all sounds like BS to you, change to Kendall, Conoco, Motorcraft, or Union 76 - in the fall, all of these brands, made by Conoco, will be synthetic blend at dino prices, just look for the SM ILSAC GF4 on the back of the label (don't buy the old stock). It will be synthetic blend in both 5-20 and 5-30 grades initially - Conoco decided to properly meet the new SM/GF4 requirements, they might as well give up on straight dino oil.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm lets see...

    You'll want the "acorn" lug nuts that are chrome rather than the open nuts you probably already have on your car. You can order them from a dealer.

    Pilot bearing is the bearing that's on the flywheel side of the clutch setup. When you do a clutch job they usually replace that, it's a $5 part at most.

    I wouldn't worry about the turbo cars, so far all the newer-age subaru turbos have been fine, don't know of anyone who ever blew a turbo on any subies, not without having heavily modified it.

  • Thanks much for your detailed explanation. I have used Mobil 1 in the past in my Type "S" Acura, and I plan to use it in my '05 Turbo Legacy and my '05 Wrx starting with the first oil change.

    We've reduced our driving mileage from 25K/yr to 10K/yr, and I've always thought that the synthetic oils provide better protection for the cold starts after longer at-rest periods between use.

    I didn't know that sludge could develop with the non-synthetic oils as long as the vehicle had a lot of use at highway speeds where the oil could get up to running temp, and was changed every 3K miles??

    Thanks again .....Terry
  • Thanks Mike:

    After posting my question, I discovered that Subaru was offering a $1250 "cash back" incentive on the WRX during the month of Sept. (Of course, if you don't ask, you won't get it. My salesman claimed to not know about it and had to check it out!)
    I've wanted a WRX since they hit the mkt, but would not let loose of the $$$.(Being too practical!) However, since I'm among the "senior" group, I finally figured if I didn't do it now, I wouldn't ever do it; and I traded the '01 OBS on a new silver '05 WRX wagon with the auto trans. First auto I've ever owned as "my" primary car, but decided my "rat racing" days are over. I just wanted the technology, performance and handling:-)

    So, I'll probably see you on the WRX board, with more of my questions.

    Thanks again...........Terry
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Yeah, I used to think that sludge came from short trips too. But it actually comes from heat overload.

    Basically, an auto engine is a little gasoline stove, with the gas burning inside instead of outside (hence, fittingly enough, the name "internal combustion engine").

    Now most engines are also like vacuum cleaners - they are sucking in a lot of air. But, they can't suck air in, any faster that the 14psi of atmospheric pressure can push it in. So no matter how much you replace oem air intake systems with cold air intakes, or polish your heads, or get 16 valves instead of 8, or change your cam timing, the engine can only suck in so much air.

    But wait, there's more history. In the "old" days engines were OHV, overhead valve, instead of OHC, overhead cam, so they couldn't rev very high due to valve float. Also, they used to sit in these big engine compartments with lots of open air space. They also used to run "rich" with lots of unburned gas to suck off heat from the combustion chambers.


    front wheel drive cars with lateral engine placement - hardly any room for air to circulate;

    OHC to let the engines rev higher

    much better "air flow" so what (little) atmospheric air can get in

    Result? More engine smaller engines with tinier oil and coolant passages.

    Now...the kiss of death...turbo charging and supercharging. You get the power of a V-6 or V-8 out of a four-banger. Why? Because extra air is stuffed into each cylinder...each cylinder is burning a lot, lot hotter...and the revs are still high...

    So where to you dump the heat? Into the coolant, into the oil (with an oil cooler, hopefully). But this doesn't prevent "hot spots" in some parts of the engine. Manufacturers try to design around hot spots, but consider Toyota sludge issues, VW sludge issues, Chyrsler 2.78 V-6 sludge issues...

    Especially consider that the difference between sludging in a 1.8T Passat vs. non-sludging in the 1.8T Jetta seems to be the slightly greater weight of the Passat and a half quart lower oil capacity. Part of VW's solution, besides recommending synthetic oil with greater burn resistance (sludge is due to "burning" the oil), is to require a larger oil filter, which both adds oil capacity and can handle more sludge particles....

    So sludge isn't just what collects on the oil pan and begins to clog the small passageways of the motors, like cholesterol in a heart, it's a part of engine life. As the oil breaks down, hopefully the filter catches the sludge. You need to change oil with a frequency based on how quickly your filter is sludging up, which is based on the quality of oil more than anything else. And yeah, I have switched to synthetic in all my cars, which are non-turbo. The best rule of thumb on whether you are putting a lot of heat through your car, is to follow your gas mileage. Lower gas mileage means a harder working engine.

    Sludge is slow to turn up; a lot of drivers are light mile drivers. It isn't an engine defect, imho, it's an oil defect - considering there are top grade synthetics that won't sludge your car.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    threesin Sep 20, 2004 2:41pm


    Didn't you just buy the '01 OBS like... last week?

    Congratulations :)

  • Thanks, Dave, and yep, and that's not the half of it: I'd been negotiating for an '02 WRX; but after much haggling we were still $800 apart and I felt that my offer of $18k was a fair price, although I'd have gone to 18.4 had the dealer offered to meet me half way: he didn't, and I walked, thinking he'd probably call the next day with that offer.

    However, that night I found the '01 OBS on the net, and it looked and sounded pristine. When the WRX dealer had not called by 11:00 AM the following day, we drove the 2 hrs to look at the OBS. It was pristine, and I jumped on it before someone else did! When I arrived home, the WRX dealer had called 20 minutes after I'd left with the offer to meet me half way ($18.4K).

    So, for two nights I stayed awake all night arguing the pros and cons of giving in and trying to negotiate a trade, figuring I'd take a bath, but knowing that if I didn't get a WRX now, It would probably never happen! So, I did it! After another two hr drive, including a ferry ride, Some more haggling, which lead to me walking out and the company sales manager getting into the picture, I drove the '02 WRX home.

    But, that night, while getting more info on my "new" '02 WRX over the net, I find that Subaru is offering a $1250, cash back incentive, and I stayed awake again arguing why I shouldn't get a new WRX. For the second time in as many days, "practicality" lost!

    Fortunately, the dealer had a "72 hr right of return and trade", and after another 2 hr drive with ferry ride, and much haggling, we drove my new '05 WRX home!

    Sorry for the lengthy post, but several of my friends found my purchase saga very entertaining......Hope you do......Terry
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Entertaining indeed :)

  • Wow, and I thought that *I* went through cars fast! Congrats on the new wagon!

  • Thanks Brian:

    I'll have to say that I'd probably not have succumbed to the temptation to make the trades if I still lived in Calif because you pay "all" the tax with every purchase; and I'd have taken a real beating. However, in WA, you get credit for the tax already paid for your trade-in:-)

    I'll also have to say that the WRX is an awesome mixture of comfort and performance for the price. I don't know how one could do much better, short of coughing up 3X the price for a Porche or 2X the price for a BMW.

    Thanks again......Terry
  • aaykayaaykay Posts: 539
    The mileage on my OBS has gotten progressively worse as the miles accumulate. Now it has around 8400 miles and I am lucky if I get around 14mpg. I don't drive like Mike Schumacher nor do I drive like a grandma. I don't use the AC too much either. 14 mpg for a sub-compact wagon, driven under such conditions is pretty pathetic. Earlier the mileage was closer to 20-21mpg and it is only recently that it has started tanking.

    Any thoughts from anyone ?
This discussion has been closed.