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Discussion Starter #1
Over this summer, I picked up 3 derelict 1st gens.

20200912_192112
by Numbchux, on Flickr

The white is a '00 L, something like 220k miles. Engine runs, but not well (stumbles and hesitates, PO decided it needed a coil, even though it does not throw a code for a misfire). Rear brakes are LOCKED up.

The red is a '98 S, with ~185k miles on it, 5MT swapped. Blown shocks, cut springs, undersized tires (one blown, OE spare was on it).

I bought those 2 as a package deal, knowing the '00 wouldn't drive home, I brought a friend and a trailer, and hoped to drive the '98 the ~120 miles home. Made it about 40 miles, and I could feel the rear diff binding and releasing as I drove. Stopped and the rear diff was HOT. Swapped the spare to the front, but made it about 10 more miles, and the rear diff started on fire.

133280458_10117324457295640_3298184962863533318_o
by Numbchux, on Flickr

Here's what the gear oil looked like:

2020-12-28_10-48-06
by Numbchux, on Flickr

The silver is an '01 L with ~95k on it, spotless body. A fair bit of rust underneath from sitting, but worth saving. I have no idea why, but the good engine was harvested out of this one. The hood has a couple big gouges, but other than that the body is perfect.

20200912_153824
by Numbchux, on Flickr

All 3 cars were packed with parts. 5 gravel rally tires on wheels (already mounted on my XT6), a door, a fender, misc engine parts for all the engines. The silver car has 3 short blocks and 7 heads (2 EJ251 and 1 JDM EJ201), presumeably all bad, but not locked up.

I swapped the decent KYB GR2s and stock springs from the 00 and Pirelli No-season tires from the 01 onto the 98 and took it for a test drive. It drives very nice, but yea, it needs a rear diff. 5MT swap was from a 2003 Impreza, so it's 3.9, which figures, I have a 3.54, a 3.70 and multiple 4.111 and 4.444s. But once I get that diff replaced, this one will likely be for sale.


I picked up a nice silver '00 hood, so I'll probably swap the grill and headlights from my '00 to the '01 so I can use that good hood. Haven't decided what engine to use in the '01, could tuneup the '00 engine and use it, might see if any of these others are rebuildable, or tempted to buy an OEM reman shortblock and make this thing really nice. We'll see.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x Rusty Bucket
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The trailer will be awesome when you pull it off. Your going to need to put it on a huge diet. Subarus are heavy. 3125 Curb weight. Year 2000 max towing capacity is 2000#. You would want the trailer to weight around 1500# so you can actually carry stuff in the camp trailer.
Best I can find is 600# for engine and tranny, remove seats 650#, remove drive shaft 675#, remove front CV shafts 725#, remove entire front clip and all related suspension #1350. (1775# my guess but hopefully lower) These are all guessing numbers but I'm thinking its probably very doable. I would consider a trailer wiring system so you could keep a battery on the trailer charged to run the door locks, windows, and interior lights.
Dam I have a wrecked Impreza maybe I try this.
Keep us posted


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Discussion Starter #4
Oh yea, it'll get gutted. I'd like to section the fenders and hood to make a small tongue box, but I might just use an off-the-shelf tongue box, and entire drivetrain, interior, dash, gas tank, exhaust, wiring and 4 windows in the bin. Cutting at least the transmission tunnel, spare tire well and strut towers out, if not the whole floor for flat sheet. Replacing the rear suspension with a simple trailer axle and leafs.

Also, it would primarily be towed behind my V8-swapped 4Runner or Econoline Van, or occasionally my H6 Outback. So even if it ends up close to 2k lbs, that's OK.
 

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2009 Forester 2.5x Rusty Bucket
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You have inspired me. I'm looked hard at my 2011 Impreza.

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I would leave the floor personally. Wouldn't take much to make some short/stubby 2x4 legs and lay some 5/8 plywood with supports to make a flat floor. Then cut openings with lids for the driver/rear foot section for storage. You could easily fit a couple of batteries and 2 propane tanks in the engine bay with the engine/parts removed too plus fab up a cheapy box or put some crossbars for a plastic storage bin, throw 2 100w solar panels on the roof if you get enough sun in the area and it will easily keep 2 deep cycle batteries at least topped off before night time.

Plus if you keep the axel/tires on the trailer subaru you could possibly have a spare that works for both tow vehicle/trailer and MAYBE even a spare diff in emergencies?

Def! love the trailer idea. did it to quite a few pickup beds on wrecked units bought for parts.

Heck maybe even remove the gas tank or use it for a greywater tank too for a more weight balance type of system to keep tongue weight right for the tow vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's more or less the idea. With the amount of rust on this thing, a lot of steel will have to come out anyway (rockers and rear strut towers, for sure). Since I don't have anything with Macpherson rear suspension, there isn't much point keeping all that, I'd much rather simplify and reduce weight with a trailer axle. Matching bolt patterns to a tow vehicle would be nice, but since a Subaru will likely be the third choice, it won't likely be 5x100. The 4Runner has 33s on it now, so those probably won't fit. Might try to do 5x5.5 to match my van, but that's a decision for much further down the road.

I intend to have a permanent mattress on the floor, so under floor storage isn't ideal, I'd rather have head room. But again, when the time comes (these are 3 of my 18 cars, and we have 2 young kids, it won't be a fast project), maybe a false floor will make more sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pulled a rear diff from a '97 Impreza last weekend. Side seals had been leaking so I replaced those. Picked up a pair of powerflex poly rear diff bushings as the ones in the forester were clearly torn.

Pulled the diff out of the '98 Forester...yea, it got a little hot. Plastic vent cap melted away

20210116_155744
by Numbchux, on Flickr

The front side of the original bushings clearly caught fire (a lot of the deformation is from hammering them out, but you can see the rubber is burned).

20210116_155758
by Numbchux, on Flickr

Test drove it for a few miles late last night, might drive it to work tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Went to swap child seats into it tonight, only to find it doesn't have the top anchor. Didn't take long to find the add-on for the '98-99 Foresters is discontinued. And the anchor from the '00 is different.

So I'm desperately looking for someone parting a '98 or '99 that might have one or 2 of these available.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Used a Legacy/Outback wagon anchor. Plastic trim doesn't fit right, but I'm happy with the structural part. Drove it to work today:

20210129_101826
by Numbchux, on Flickr

Drive's really well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Spent some time on the '98 this weekend. I noticed a small coolant leak a couple weeks ago, and after pressurizing the system, it was the tank on the radiator leaking where it met the core.

So I swapped it for the radiator in the '01. After some shopping around, I decided the extra $10 was worth it for OEM hoses and clamps. Of course, the day the hoses came in I thought to verify that the radiators/hoses were the same. Nope. '98 uses a cross flow radiator, and '99-01 vertical flow, so the upper hose is slightly different. My '98 already had a vertical in it, so it wasn't original (the gatorade bottle overflow was also a clue). But, since I'd already special ordered it, I gave it a try. And it fit quite well. Filled it up, and pressurized it up to 20 psi, and it held nicely. Sweet.

Threw in an OEM thermostat while I was at it, although even while driving the coolant temperature came up to about 180*. But idling with the heat on (it's only been above zero for a few hours in the last 10 days here) drags it down below 150*.

I've had intermittent click-no-starts over the last couple weeks, keep tapping the switch into "start" and eventually it'll start. Textbook worn solenoid contacts and/or voltage drop in the switch. Pulled the starter apart to find some worn brushes, but nothing alarming. Did have an identical starter in my pile with better brushes, so I swapped that in. Pulled the fender mounted starter solenoid from a parts '94 Ford E-150 I had and made a hot-shot circuit. Mounted the relay on the firewall, ran a wire with a circuit breaker to the battery, and then down to the starter solenoid, and the old solenoid wire to my new relay. Put it all back together and it wouldn't start at all. I could not get the negative battery terminal to tighten down nicely on the post....so again, out to the parts car, and I swapped in another battery cable set, and it cranks over strong every time, now.


Going to keep driving it to make sure the bugs are worked out, but it's pretty much ready to sell once the title shows up.
 
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