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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

First post, but been lurking for a while.

I hoping all the long time forester owners can chime in and help me with this decision. I know "search" is my friend, but just can't seem to find the right answer.

Currently, I drive a 06' Civic EX as a commuter and a 95' FZJ80 as the toy. The 80 is lifted with ARB front bumper and winch. It also has a OME lift with 33's on all four corner. Love the thing to death, but at 11 mpg, it's killing my pocket every time I take to the Sierras for camping. For the most part, the 80 sits around and collects dust. I only take it out maybe 4 or 5 times a year.

I like what Blue Fox's done with his XT and was thinking doing to same and selling both the Civic and FZJ80. Am I crazy or some of you made the same decision and crossed over?

I don't do any crazy off road crawling and think if I had a XT with the same set up as Blue Fox I'd be fine (mostly fire trails and some rockies).

Also (admin I do apologize if you feel this need to be a separate tread, please do so) why are the 04-05' XT still so expensive? KBB list them at $8000 for 130 to 150K mile range and yet everyone's listing them for $9K-$10K.

Any suggestion or comment will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pete
 

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2014 Xt Cvt
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Although not a long time forester owner (ordered but haven't received yet). I have similar intentions. I have a 2009 dodge cummins mega cab 4x4 and a 2006 gmc z71 4x4. I'm trading in the gmc for the forester. I think 13,000 lbs is a lil over forester towing capacity so I'll keep dodge. I hunt and fish a lot and for 90% of the areas I'll go, the forester will be fine. Might be interesting with a bull elk in it but I'll cross that bridge later. Having a commuter than can also do mild offroad adventures and get decent mileage is something I'm looking forward to.
 

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2002 ES300
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I got the Forester because it handles 99.9% of my needs all in 1 package. So selling your 2 vehicles in favor for 1 isn't far fetched. And kbb isn't always representative of supply & demand on vehicles. One reason they're still on the higher end is because they're reliable and hard to find a clean 2004-2005 XT; esp with a manual.
 

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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser Auto
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Although not a long time forester owner (ordered but haven't received yet). I have similar intentions. I have a 2009 dodge cummins mega cab 4x4 and a 2006 gmc z71 4x4. I'm trading in the gmc for the forester. I think 13,000 lbs is a lil over forester towing capacity so I'll keep dodge. I hunt and fish a lot and for 90% of the areas I'll go, the forester will be fine. Might be interesting with a bull elk in it but I'll cross that bridge later. Having a commuter than can also do mild offroad adventures and get decent mileage is something I'm looking forward to.

Thanks for the suggestion. So the thing is I've tried the owning two car deal and one as a commuter. I do like the land cruiser's off road capability, but hate seeing it sitting there wasted away. I do fish and camp quit a bit, but nothing that requires extreme off road. At the same time I invested a good amount of $$ in the land cruiser. I do understand I will never get that back, but I still view it as my baby.

The civic is well, just a civic. No thrill 06' EX with a new engine. Ok on the gas (mid 20's per gallon due to the yakima rack I've installed). I'm ok with a car that can do low 20's as long as it's not too hard to work on and able to handle mild off road. Watching Blue Fox's vids on youtube really got me thinking about the Forester's capability. I can opt for the 14' model, but I think I might trash it as I am unsure if it can handle the mild off road that I do...

Sorry, I guess this is more of a statement then a reply. It's like therapy, type it out and see what I really want to do in the end. :shrug:
 

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1996 Toyota Land Cruiser Auto
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the Forester because it handles 99.9% of my needs all in 1 package. So selling your 2 vehicles in favor for 1 isn't far fetched. And kbb isn't always representative of supply & demand on vehicles. One reason they're still on the higher end is because they're reliable and hard to find a clean 2004-2005 XT; esp with a manual.

True regarding the supply and demand. I'm actually looking for a 04/05' auto xt. But my concern is that the stealers don't have too much info on the cars. I've asked and all they can give me is the history from carfax.

My problem with that is (and correct me if I'm wrong), at 100K, the forester needs a new timing belt. Also, while getting the timing belt change, you do other maint like pulleys and bearings if needed. Most of the XT in those years I'm seeing are with 125-150k miles. It's a little concerning. Also, the turbo unit normally have issues or needs rebuild right around those mileage...

Also, I do understand (again, correct me if I'm wrong) that NA foresters do last forever and very easy to rebuild the 2.5. But I don't think that it's true for the turbo version.

So the other question I have is, does the NA feel like it has adequate torque/hp for mild off road needs? :icon_question:

Again, thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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You can see what is required for a complete timing belt + associated parts maintenance here on Jackie's, SubaruPartsGirl's sales thread. :wink:

The nonturbo has enough power for most members. :confused:

No vehicle will last forever. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

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

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You can see what is required for a complete timing belt + associated parts maintenance here on Jackie's, SubaruPartsGirl's sales thread. :wink:

The nonturbo has enough power for most members. :confused:

No vehicle will last forever. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
Wow! Thanks for the link. The price do seem fair and not too crazy. Are the FXT known for head gasket issues or it's nothing I need to worry about?

Of course cars last forever. :icon_wink: JK. I know they don't. I'm trying to see what's all required on a high mileage FXT to run it for another 100k. And if the cost justify me selling both my cars.

To give you an idea of what I'm talking about... I've spent about $14k include the price of the car on the land cruiser. Owned it for 3 years now and maybe put on a total of 8k miles. Now I'm getting the itch to do something else (swapping out the engine or adding SC). My civic was owned since day one. At 120k the damn block cracked (yes, it's actually a known issue on the 06' models). Lucky Honda extended their warranty for this issue and had it replaced.

In reality (as I'm typing this out), it sounds like I'm a big baby who has an issue and should just keep the cars I currently own. But I been a fan of Subarus and especially the 04/05' FXT. I was hesitant to pull the trigger when I was out shopping for the LC 3 years ago as I didn't know if the FXT was able to hit the type of trails I normally do. But then Blue Fox's video surfaces (or at least it was made aware to me in the recent months), and I'm all crazy for the car that can get low 20 mpg and off road in my kind of condition. Sorry, long rant.

So I guess I am asking if HG is a big issue with the FXTs and how many miles normally with all good maint will the engine last?
 

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NA Foresters are prone to have head gasket issues. And they will also need the timing belt done at 100k +/-.

Turbos very rarely need head gaskets. On the 2004/2005 models, turbos need the timing belt done as you mentioned. Also, the banjo bolt filters need to be removed and stock up-pipe will need to be swapped out with a 'catless' up-pipe to promote turbo longevity.

That said, the NA Forester is plenty capable off road, but isn't as exciting to drive. I have owned a NA and turbo model and have loved em both, despite their model related issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
NA Foresters are prone to have head gasket issues. And they will also need the timing belt done at 100k +/-.

Turbos very rarely need head gaskets. On the 2004/2005 models, turbos need the timing belt done as you mentioned. Also, the banjo bolt filters need to be removed and stock up-pipe will need to be swapped out with a 'catless' up-pipe to promote turbo longevity.

That said, the NA Forester is plenty capable off road, but isn't as exciting to drive. I have owned a NA and turbo model and have loved em both, despite their model related issues.

Sweet! Love hearing about the HG thing. The rest don't sound too expensive or too hard to replace. Since you owned both, would you recommend one over the other?
 

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Nope. They are both great in their own regard. People have said that the newer NA models are less likely to have head gasket issues. (Search for a thread that talks about 'Have you had head gasket issues/problems?' ... I forgot exact title, but it has a poll too.)

EDIT: Here is the link I was referring to. You can really see how head gasket issues taper starting in 2005. http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f66/i-ve-had-problems-head-gaskets-my-na-forester-27945/

The 2001 NA I had was my first Subaru and it served me well for 4+ years and 125k after buying it used in 2008 with approx 135k on it. It was great for a lot of affordable DIY mods. And I did a lot of off-roading in it and the only off-roading fails was when I ran out of skill.

I got my 2005 turbo about 4 months ago and has been quite enjoyable too. But I don't feel like I have owned it long enough to give an experienced review on it yet. It is such a different animal than my 2001 was. If you like modding, the only limit is basically your pocket book, so it seems. It's definitely quicker than the NA.

A lot depends on your wants, needs, budget, and goals.

EDIT: Being you'll be off-roading, here's a link to my off-roading adventures with my Foresters.
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f114/trails-mud-93563/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nope. They are both great in their own regard. People have said that the newer NA models are less likely to have head gasket issues. (Search for a thread that talks about 'Have you had head gasket issues/problems?' ... I forgot exact title, but it has a poll too.)

EDIT: Here is the link I was referring to. You can really see how head gasket issues taper starting in 2005. http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f66/i-ve-had-problems-head-gaskets-my-na-forester-27945/

The 2001 NA I had was my first Subaru and it served me well for 4+ years and 125k after buying it used in 2008 with approx 135k on it. It was great for a lot of affordable DIY mods. And I did a lot of off-roading in it and the only off-roading fails was when I ran out of skill.

I got my 2005 turbo about 4 months ago and has been quite enjoyable too. But I don't feel like I have owned it long enough to give an experienced review on it yet. It is such a different animal than my 2001 was. If you like modding, the only limit is basically your pocket book, so it seems. It's definitely quicker than the NA.

A lot depends on your wants, needs, budget, and goals.

EDIT: Being you'll be off-roading, here's a link to my off-roading adventures with my Foresters.
http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f114/trails-mud-93563/
Thank you so much for the links!!! This really helps with which direction I'm heading towards! Most likely 05' FXT! I might keep the Land cruiser around until I get the feel of things (ie, off road limits). Don't know if the wife's going to be too happy about it:biggrin:

Or if she complains about my idea, I'll trade her 09' Scion XB for the FXT!
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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I'm humbled that you even mention my car. Thanks.

Yeah, I push mine pretty hard, and MUCH harder than it needs to be now that I'm at very high altitude with the manual. If you do get something that you plan on taking off road, do yourself a favor and get the 4EAT automatic. My old 04 XT 4EAT was so much more capable than my current 05 XT 5-speed. Replacing clutches isn't fun. The fact that I can drop the tranny, replace the clutch and be back on the road in less than 5 hours just shows that I go through more than I should.

Some good all terrains, even at stock height and the car is extremely capable. If you lift it, you get a bit more out of it for the narly, rocky stuff. My older videos of my 04 XT remind me of how simple getting up rocky hills was. Now it's a freaking pain in my arse. Haha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm humbled that you even mention my car. Thanks.

Yeah, I push mine pretty hard, and MUCH harder than it needs to be now that I'm at very high altitude with the manual. If you do get something that you plan on taking off road, do yourself a favor and get the 4EAT automatic. My old 04 XT 4EAT was so much more capable than my current 05 XT 5-speed. Replacing clutches isn't fun. The fact that I can drop the tranny, replace the clutch and be back on the road in less than 5 hours just shows that I go through more than I should.

Some good all terrains, even at stock height and the car is extremely capable. If you lift it, you get a bit more out of it for the narly, rocky stuff. My older videos of my 04 XT remind me of how simple getting up rocky hills was. Now it's a freaking pain in my arse. Haha!
Are you kidding?! You're youtube site and write ups is what got this adventure going for me (wife's probably hating it as I promised her the LC was last of my car addiction). I'm actually surprised you chimed in! But am glad you did!

Yeah, if this pans out I'll aim toward the 4EAT as I do a lot of CA commute. My only concern is (please correct me if I'm reading this incorrectly) that 4EAT on the FXT gear ratio is not as low as the manual or the X/XS. It's a concern cause climbing down steeps, you want the gears low as well as when you crawl up some nasty stuff.

I didn't read you post all the way through, but why did you rebuild your engine? Also, how many miles was on the clock before you did the rebuild?

Thanks,

Pete
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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Are you kidding?! You're youtube site and write ups is what got this adventure going for me (wife's probably hating it as I promised her the LC was last of my car addiction). I'm actually surprised you chimed in! But am glad you did!

Yeah, if this pans out I'll aim toward the 4EAT as I do a lot of CA commute. My only concern is (please correct me if I'm reading this incorrectly) that 4EAT on the FXT gear ratio is not as low as the manual or the X/XS. It's a concern cause climbing down steeps, you want the gears low as well as when you crawl up some nasty stuff.

I didn't read you post all the way through, but why did you rebuild your engine? Also, how many miles was on the clock before you did the rebuild?

Thanks,

Pete
Thanks again, humbled you like my car and that it sparked your interest.

The ratio's between the manual and 4EAT's on both the N/A and turbo are very similar. They all shift at redline around 38 or so MPH. Even with the manual, doing the downhill descents I still use the brakes mainly. The first gear on any of them isn't low enough to maintain a good downhill speed. (unless you got a hold of a dual-range manual, that would be nice).

My 4EAT handled the nasty uphill stuff just fine. If I had Stage II with the 4EAT, the car would be double as capable as it sits now.

As for my engine, that's a story in and of itself. I bought the car with 120,000 miles on the clock, knowing that I would be eventually rebuilding it. Right before I moved up here to Durango, one of my valves burnt up due to the IDIOT previous owner using N/A spark plugs in the XT (about half an inch shorter, wrong gap, etc). New valve, rebuilt the heads, put it all back together and it worked great.

I had the bottom end done due to a misdiagnosis on my end (and I had the money at the time, so figured a fresh engine wouldn't hurt). When it got in the teens or lower here at night, the car wouldn't start in the morning, or it would sputter and send out blue smoke out the tail. I figured it was the rings going. In reality, my block was fine, but the gas I was using was not combusting properly at low temps. Stopped using that gas and everything was now fine, but I already got everything prepped to rebuild the bottom end, so I ended up doing it anyway.

Currently, my car has nearly 170,000 miles on the clock. If I can squeeze 200k without any more major fixes, I'll be happy.
 

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sounds like a reasonable plan. the only thing I learned about my 2011 Forester is that when fully loaded for camping (w 4 bikes) the rear sags way way waaaaay more than any of my 4Runners or Ford Escape. Undoubtedly your Toyota has a firm and supportive rear suspension. So depending on what you haul when camping - you might be unpleasantly surprised/disappointed as I was. It's not saying you can't work around it - but it's a matter of expectations ...

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again, humbled you like my car and that it sparked your interest.

The ratio's between the manual and 4EAT's on both the N/A and turbo are very similar. They all shift at redline around 38 or so MPH. Even with the manual, doing the downhill descents I still use the brakes mainly. The first gear on any of them isn't low enough to maintain a good downhill speed. (unless you got a hold of a dual-range manual, that would be nice).

My 4EAT handled the nasty uphill stuff just fine. If I had Stage II with the 4EAT, the car would be double as capable as it sits now.

As for my engine, that's a story in and of itself. I bought the car with 120,000 miles on the clock, knowing that I would be eventually rebuilding it. Right before I moved up here to Durango, one of my valves burnt up due to the IDIOT previous owner using N/A spark plugs in the XT (about half an inch shorter, wrong gap, etc). New valve, rebuilt the heads, put it all back together and it worked great.

I had the bottom end done due to a misdiagnosis on my end (and I had the money at the time, so figured a fresh engine wouldn't hurt). When it got in the teens or lower here at night, the car wouldn't start in the morning, or it would sputter and send out blue smoke out the tail. I figured it was the rings going. In reality, my block was fine, but the gas I was using was not combusting properly at low temps. Stopped using that gas and everything was now fine, but I already got everything prepped to rebuild the bottom end, so I ended up doing it anyway.

Currently, my car has nearly 170,000 miles on the clock. If I can squeeze 200k without any more major fixes, I'll be happy.

Boy, the more I read the more excited I am about getting the FXT! That's good know you would still opt for the 4EAT and it should be fine for most part.

That's too bad regarding the plugs and the misfortune. I guess the bright side is that if you're ever out in middle of nowhere, and the FXT had an issue, you'll be able to do a quick fix.

Any tall tell signs I should look out for while shopping for an FXT in these years range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sounds like a reasonable plan. the only thing I learned about my 2011 Forester is that when fully loaded for camping (w 4 bikes) the rear sags way way waaaaay more than any of my 4Runners or Ford Escape. Undoubtedly your Toyota has a firm and supportive rear suspension. So depending on what you haul when camping - you might be unpleasantly surprised/disappointed as I was. It's not saying you can't work around it - but it's a matter of expectations ...


Wow, that don't look too safe to drive with all the weight:icon_eek:

Yeah, I think I'll keep the land cruiser around for a while for those types of trips. Most trips I do are with the boys out messing around in the fire trails and camping with minimal gears. It would be nice to not fire up the cruiser and $$ in gas and take my DD to the mountains.

Trying to convince the wife right now to trade in the 09' XB since the 06' civic has a brand new engine.:biggrin: We'll see how it goes. Wish me luck!
 

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Things to look for:
Timing belt at 100k. 90k service. Turbo spools nicely. Leaking oil. Oil level. If stock up-pipe was replaced.

The way these check out depends on how much you might have to dole out for maintenance.
 

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The 4EAT's in general are pretty bombproof, especially so if it has been stock all it's life. The cv axles may be going bad if the mileage is around 150k (in my experience with my 2001). People report wheel bearings, but I have never had an issue with em.
 
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