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2005 Dodge RAM 3500 6-speed G56
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey... I've been gone from here for a few years. Had a 2009 that was my wife's car.. now divorced and it's long-gone. And I need a new daily driver and I'm considering a couple of older Foresters.

One is a green/silver bottom 1999 (S model), the other is a silver 2003 (XS), both 5-speed. Both have about the same miles on 'em, 200k-ish. From the photos, both are in quite good condition. Price on the two is nearly the same as well... I have the owner of the '99 down to $3k and the asking price on the '03 is $3400, can probably get them down to the same price.

The '99 seems like it might be the better deal given that it has new brakes and rotors, recent tune-up and all that. But... the '03 is all monotone silver and very sharp looking... well, except for the ugly-*** black wheels that'll have to be replaced with something different later.

I guess the real question is... is there any reason to consider one over the other? i.e. features, issues, etc? I know the 2.5's have head gasket issues, but given the 90% failure rate by 100k, I'm going to ASSUME (there's that word) that both have had them done given the miles on each car.

Thanks!

Rob
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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All things being equal, no rust issues to worry about here in Oregon, I'd go with newer SG. :wink:

A prepurchase inspection is always wise, as it could prevent you from getting stuck with a money pit! :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2005 Forester XS A/T
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I also agree on the 03 over the 99. I liked the look and interior better on the 03-05, and (at least here) resale is better on the SG. Also, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 03 is when the Foz was updated to the "ring of safety" in the body (per Subaru: "The innovative Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure"). Also, while it might be a small thing-the 02 and earlier models had the cup holders in a pop out thing in the dash rather than molded into the center console.

The only thing I'd note is if both are @200K you're coming up on the next 105K service (timing belt) interval, of course assuming they were done originally @ 105K (many were not, both of ours included-my Foz was done at 112K when we bought it and we pushed the Baja to 130K when we did it the first time). just something to consider price wise, if one was done and one wasn't, if they are otherwise equal to you.

You can also check out cars101.com for a full run down on options by year. It was a helpful tool for us while we were comparing different models in the search for my 05.
 

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2005 Dodge RAM 3500 6-speed G56
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Discussion Starter #6
How hard is it to change the timing belt? When I looked at a 2002 the other day, it looks like it's pretty accessible. I'm decently mechanical and have lots of tools. :)
 

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2005 Dodge RAM 3500 6-speed G56
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! Great thread. Looks pretty straightforward. BTW is the 2.5 an interference motor? Whatever I buy is going to be making a 2400 mile trip within a week of purchase, so if I can get by without doing a timing belt for about a month, that'd be ideal. But if I have to, I'll do it first.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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BTW is the 2.5 an interference motor?
Yes & a failed timing belt = major engine repairs! :icon_eek:

Most members recommend changing "all" the parts when doing the timing belt maintenance, as it's usually not the timing belt that fails, but the other parts... hydraulic tensioner & idlers that that fail. You can view what all the parts consist of here: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f125/forester-timing-belt-kits-76277/#post846267 :wink:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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2005 Forester XS A/T
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Thanks! Great thread. Looks pretty straightforward. BTW is the 2.5 an interference motor? Whatever I buy is going to be making a 2400 mile trip within a week of purchase, so if I can get by without doing a timing belt for about a month, that'd be ideal. But if I have to, I'll do it first.
I'd do it, but that's me, I'm not much of a gambler (which is why we did the one on my Foz as soon as we bought it). We did roll the dice with the one on the Baja but circumstances at the time made it difficult to have it down and out while it was done, so we just did-most of the miles are "highway" on it and they racked up pretty quick. We recently looked at an 04 with 170K on it that had the first belt service done around 150K. They won't automatically shred at 105K, but it's not a cheap fix if they do go on you.

We picked up the belt kit from Rock Auto pretty cheap for mine (Gates brand), along with the water pump and a t-stat & gasket (might as well do it all at once-turns out my t-stat gasket had a leak so it was a couple bucks well spent anyway). If you search, you'll usually find a code for 5% off floating around the web too. If you prefer to go stock/OEM check down in the vendors section for the subie dealer (annapolis subaru I think) to get one at a "members" rate :)
 

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2005 Forester XS A/T
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Yeah, if it's a decent deal and a relatively clean car, it's GONE. I found mine about 20 minutes after it was posted on CL ad someone else had already called on it-we got it because they passed since the 105K service wasn't done. Luckily the guy that owned it was old school and agreed to hold it until we could get there the next day after I got out of work to look at it (it was about 1 1/2 from us). While we were on the test drive someone else called to see if we had bought it lol. I've seen them listed and gone within an hour! Pretty much, if it's on there more than a couple days it's either a pos or over priced, or REALLY out in the boonies (or the seller is a massive jerk like one guy we contacted that "wasn't going to do a virtual inspection when it's priced below KBB" when asked for more pics-since the listing had ONE from a distance)-or the seller forgot to delete the ad.
 

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2003 forester
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road noise

The only thing I can mention is that on the freeway I know my 2003 has a ton of road noise, not sure about the 99. Almost have to yell to have a conversation.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Road noise or wind noise?

If wind noise, take a look at this thread:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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2005 Forester XS A/T
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We finally took a short trip with mine over the past weekend, and I have to say, both road and wind noise are greater in the Foz than the Baja. It sounded like I have snows on the car, rather than all seasons. I don't know about yelling, I don't think it was THAT loud, but louder than I am used to. On the one occasion I've had the moon roof open, THAT was almost yelling level with the additional wind noise (I'd say comparable to convertible top down level).

I doubt the earlier years would have more sound deadening though.
 

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Recently I bought (2002-2005) Subaru Forester II 2.0 X (125 Hp) manual 2003 and also I have (in a repair) (1998-2002) Subaru Forester I 2.0 (125 Hp) Automatic 1999.

After comparison of many criteria I chose next car Forester 2003 instead of first generation and now I'm satisfied.
 
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