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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, everyone. If this is a bit long, my questions are at the end. I'm also planning on having a dealership give the car a thorough inspection before purchase to catch anything I've missed.

As noted above, I'm looking to buy a Forester. It has 105xxx miles on it at the moment, and is a manual trans unit. It's priced a hair below 9k, silver in color with the factory boost gague (which I hate), a cargo mat, roof rack, a net and a dog grate. The miles are a bit higher than I'd like, but I understand the engine is robust enough to make it a lot longer if it was cared for, but that is one of my primary concerns. It looks pretty clean and was a one owner car.

It was raining pretty hard, so I couldn't get a chance to look for leaks, but it appeared as if the antifreeze was pretty low. There was also some slippery feeling wetness around the radiator. Well, more slippery feeling than regular water, anyhow, and more viscous, too.

I did a bit of reading here before taking it for a test drive today, and I'm most certainly going to replace the timing belt on it as soon as possible after the purchase, since there is no record of it having been done.

I've also read that the rear wheel bearings should've probably have been replaced. There was no shudder or shimmy during the test drive (I had it up to about 75 MPH) so I'm not too worried about this. The ride height looks a bit lower than I expected, but it looks like there have been no mods done to the suspension. There was also a lot of body roll at about 40 MPH on the entrance and exit ramps to the highway. I could also push the front and rear down fairly easily. I'm thinking that the suspension just might be tired overall and in need of attention.

Questions:
How much money am I looking to spend for the timing belt, suspension components (let's say all stock shocks, bushings, springs), wheel bearings if I do all of the work myself? I'm fairly handy and have a fair range of tools, so barring any special tools this is a parts only purchase.

If the worst were to happen and the engine or transmission or such things were to explode, it looks like the WRX parts will fit into the Forester, based on the 2001 Forester XT Premium thread. However, that looks like a ton of work based on the comprehensive nature of the swap. On an XT, are the engine/transmission a bolt in job?
 
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