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1998 Forester L
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Mods: please move this to the correct spot if necessary!

So I am the proud owner of a 1998 Forester L that I bought as a daily driver/fun car. Owned a 2.5 TS Impreza Wagon back in the day, so I'm excited to be back in a Subaru!!:woohoo:

Anyway, got the car for a good deal, but I KNOW it needs some work done before I do anything. Here is what is going on:

98 Forester L - 125,000 miles. Carfax looked normal, nothing stood out. No maintenance records came with it.

I'm sure it needs a timing belt/cam seals/water pump etc etc. Four fresh tires, brakes all the way round and it has a super nice dent on the driver fender. Now I got a good deal, so I have about 2 grand to throw at it right off the bat. (More if really needed, plus I wanna put on a spoiler and I have a rally light addiction.)

What would you recommend to do? When doing timing belt, what else should I just get done while they have it all apart? Only thing I've done so far is an oil change, and have 4 fresh tires/alignment on the schedule.

Here are some pics.

I posted in the newbie forum, thanks for the warm welcome!!!

forester front.jpg

foresterrear.jpg

dent.jpg
 

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2006 wrx
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49 Posts
I'd inspect the headgaskets for external seepage/leaks first or for signs of oily deposits in your coolant overflow bottle. Labor will be reduced if new T-belt/drive belts/ seals etc.. are replaced during a headgasket replacement vs. before or after one. Might as well get everything done at once while it is torn down. CV boots, ball joints, and steering rack boots (especially if you have an upcomming alignment as it will require one afterwards) can age/dryrot/split/crack/tear and need attention as well.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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40,087 Posts
Congratulations on the new Forester! Love the green color. :cool:

If you don't know if the timing belt has been replaced, put that on the top of the "to do" list. If the timing belt breaks, you'll be out way more moola than the replacement, including associated will cost you now. :wink:

Next do the brakes, (tires are on your list), coolant service, transmission + front & rear differential service, perhaps brake fluid change. :smile:

When all the above is done, you should be good to go for nice to have MODs. :cool:
Bobby...

My MODding Journal
 

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1998 Forester L
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
All sounds good. Now I just have to find a shop that knows what they are doing. Probably do the brakes / fluid changes myself.
 

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3 Posts
Hi,
Congrats on the new Forester!
Do you mind if I ask how much you payed? I am looking at one very similar right now (same year and all) and I want to know the approximate value these are going for today.

Thanks in advance!
Dan
 

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1998 Forester L
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Sure, I paid $2800 cash for the car, but it was cheaper because of the huge dent in the fender, and it was "as-is" from the dealer. They bought it at auction. I guess I took a chance of head gasket problems, but I couldn't resist. If I gotta drop a couple grand on it then so be it, at least I will have a nice old school Forester!

I was dead set on a Subaru, and this was the only one that didn't have 200k miles on it within 200 miles, so I jumped.
 

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3 Posts
Thanks for the input,
I've got one in my scope right now for $1000.00 canadian, the guy says he is moving away, and can't take the Subaru, hence the reason for the cheap price (he wants a quick sale). Apparently it's been sitting in his yard for a year. The body has some rust on it, and there is a lot of interior noise when it drives, but what has me worried the most is that it has 250,000km on the engine... I know it's a good price, but I hate to buy it, then be replacing the engine shortly after. Sounds good when it runs... but I just can't say for sure.
Good luck with the Subaru though, I hope it lasts you a LONG TIME!!!

Cheers!
 

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1998 Forester L
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Good luck on that Subaru. Such a tough decision! Kinda nervous about mine but we'll see how it goes!

Cheers!
 
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