Any problems with your Baja????

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by mikenmel08 »

Sorry to hear that.....
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by ATLcple », not a good story after less than a year of ownership. I am sorry that all happened. It seems as if these trucks can look/drive pretty good and still be masking some larger issues. I took my new-to-me 04 Baja Turbo with 135K miles into the Subie Dealer last month, paid him $130 to do the used-car-assessment thing. What I found was that the Baja I thought was maybe a 7 out of 10, was really a 5 out of 10 with rust issues, suspension issues, a steering rack fix needed soon. Engine/tranny scored well though, and exterior and interior were known good points.
Overall, I went from thinking I would do a lot of fun upgrades to hoping I could own her and add maybe 50k miles without major fixes like you encountered. I'll do good by her from here forward, but I can't change her life outdoors leading to undercarriage rust issues. I hope yours has more life in her and the "parts available" comment doesn't come to pass!
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by moonzie »

These Bajas are as ~young~ as 8 years old now. With 150k+ miles, that's about the time you learn whether or not your Scooby is gonna sink or swim depending on how well it was built and how well it was taken care of. I have hauled and towed way more than what I should have with my lil turbo trucklette. [smilie=beadygrinner.gif]

It was around 140k miles when I started having issues with a wheel bearing or two. Also the radiator developed a leak and I'm lucky the heads didn't warp after I noticed that heat guage started climbing!

Replaced an axle or two around 150k. One was a cheapy ebay axle which I had to replace about 30k later because it was knocking.

At 160k I had to replace the valve cover gaskets - which you would think should be an easy job - as long as you don't slip and round off one of the cover bolts back in the far back. :x

Then around 170k miles it developed tranny problems. A local transmission shop replaced one of the solenoids and that fixed it for a while then same issue came up and they said you should just replace the whole valvebody with all new-solenoids. That wasn't cheap.

At 180k had to replace a steering knuckle assembly due to cracking after trying to remove the ball-joint from the knuckle. More sh!tty parts from ebay, had to replace the wheel bearing twice. Also replaced the front sway-bar links. Torque'd them down to specs but kept on having problems with it popping. Eventually, I added some washers and over-torqued them by about 50% - fixed!

At 185k, I had problems with the cam sensors - holy hell are those a biatch to get to on the turbo model. I think you need an off-set wrench to get a better grip on the bolt. Eventually I had to have a shop fix that because the replacements wasn't fixing it. They had to file down the sensor mount to get it to work!

At 190k I replaced the A/C compressor. The clutch bearing went south. I ordered a replacement bearing and was gonna have it pressed in but after a A/C bearing puller kit from AutoZone couldn't pull it off, I decided to just replace the whole unit. One of the few, perhaps only, good purchases I made off ebay. (seller was ac parts online; nice guys)

At 193k I replaced the O-rings around my power steering pump inlet/outlet lines due to excessive pump noise. Also replaced the O-rings around my A/C compressor lines with ones from Autozone. Yay no more having to recharge the A/C all the time! :)

Then around 199k the turbocharger went out one day while my wife was driving it to school. This was caused by the inline screen filters that delivered oil to the turbo getting completely clogged up. (which really p!ssed me off cuz I asked the dealership to remove the filters back when it was still under warranty!!) Luckily I had a spare TD04 that I swapped in, but not knowing what I was doing, it took me a little over a week in my buddy's driveway. Oh and another few days afterwards to replace that stupid crappy turbo inlet tube and all the other brittle lines and the purge solenoid I broke while installing it. Chunk of the upstream cat was missing, so rather than have my new turbo chew up more cat material, I gutted my uppipe and did the resistor mod on the EGT probe (it's only there to tell you if your uppipe cat is about to go nuclear anyways)

Developed a P0420 cat inefficiency code back around 195k that I tried to fix by replacing the O2 sensor and then by cleaning the cats with a citric acid bath but none of that worked. At 203k, disgusted with it, I manually turned off the code via a re-program with RomRaider and called it good.

And now at 206k, a timing belt that I bought as part of a kit off ebay (Mizumo seller, GMB kit) suddenly snapped on me after having only 20k miles on it. The shop doesn't know why, all the pulleys, cams and tensioners and water pump are fine and spin nicely. There's very likely some pretty severe valve damage now. :cry: Broke down and bought a new-er `05 ll bean Outback with 70k miles and an extended warranty. The new H6 is pretty neat, tiny bit better mpg than the turbo, but not by much! The 5eat is just as dumb as the 4eat. :roll: But I think the shop that put the timing belt kit in for me is feeling a little bad for me so maybe they'll cut me some slack if I have them re-work it. Waiting to see if it'll run when they put in a new belt.

The tough thing is, my trucklette is all dyna-matted and it is an all-around custom sound system I've slowly improved upon over the years - and it is a unique listening experience to ride in - with 2 12s in a custom box mounted through the switch-back. And these are such hard-to-find cars that I'm having trouble just parting with it...

My moral of the story here... don't buy *ANY* critical components off of ebay. Just don't. No, that's not OEM - it's a cheap chinese fake that's made to look like OEM. Don't buy off ebay. Every critical component I've bought off ebay has FAILED. Except for my A/C compressor.. lol.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by Zombaja »

okay, so here we are, almost 4 months later.

the Baja is just about back on the road!

we've been driving it for break in and to generate trouble codes for about two weeks.

Finally got rid of a burnt oil smell every morning when the car would sit overnight. Finally got rid of a "absolutely no power until engine passed 3K RPM issue when sitting overnight" and the annoying "hesitation between 2.25K and 2.75k" problem, and learned that the diesel like rattle on startup is a known issue going to a block with forged pistons. (gonna try the Rotella T suggestion in a couple weeks)

Now as afternoons have gotten into the 80's, starting the car causes a fuel smell. The hotter it gets, the stinkier it gets inside.

Pretty sure we know which hose it is, but not sure if that's all that's leaking. we get the code saying there's no fuel cap so if it's not one of the evap lines, there are two solenoids that could be the issue. Which means, if it's not the hose, it goes back again, and we're waiting for parts for a couple days at each testing step. Just like the entire engine build. Do one step, wait for parts, do another, wait, etc.

damn working the bugs outta this is frustrating. But yesterday, the car ran stink-free and hesitation free for a whole glorious day. But I think that suspect hose (which of course local Subaru did not have in stock, and had to order-they've got nothing in stock for this car but the mirrors and tow hitch, I suspect!) split a little more, and I'll have to deal with it until Wednesday.

Almost done! w00t!
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by jseabolt »

I can't remember if I posted this a long time ago and this is just an old thread or what.

My 2003, 5 speed 75,000 miles.

I blew an inner CV joint on the passenger side. I've never heard of blowing an inner CV joint, it's usually the outers that bust.


Oxygen sensor went bad (code) but someone told me I could have cleaned it or burnt off any funk buildup with a propane torch. I will try this next time before paying $200 for an O2 sensor.

Other than that, that's about it.

It's no big deal but something that has always made me scratch my head. Do boxer engines use oil by nature? Mine has used oil from day one. I mean no more than half a quart between oil changes but even when new?

The owner's manual for my father's 76 Chevy 454 pickup says to expect to add a quart every 1000 miles. But on a modern Subaru?

2003 Subaru Baja
1968 Ford Fairlane 500
1980 Fiat 124 Spider (turbocharged)
1987 Yugo GV (1500 turbocharged)
1981 Trabant 601 S
1987 Citroen 2CV
1977 MGB
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by Debo »

My 05 Turbo uses about the same and has since I've owned it. I keep a watchful eye on on. She's got about 146,000 on her. Got to clean my fuel injectors, I have an occasional sputter.

I've had my Baja for a little over a year. I'm new to the Turbo'd thing. I have a 11 outback that's faster. Is that normal? Or should the turbo'd Baja accelerate better than it does? I've been thinking of putting new coupling on my inter cooler in case there's a leak that is robbing my boost. Should I be able to hear the whine of the turbo on a stock model? One last question, would a cold air intact system help my performance/gas mileage? I'm getting 22mph on a good day.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by Baja Buzz »

I've had my 2003 MT Baja (179k miles) a little over a month now. Replaced plugs and wires, air filter, oil and filter, transaxle and rear dif oil then took a 2,500 mi. road trip from Michigan to Coastal North Carolina and back. Average mpg 27.4. I have a loud rumble sound at 52-57 mph in 5th gear, 2300-2700 rpm. When in this rpm range, if i let off the gas at all, the noise goes away and of course it goes away when I exceed the stated rpm/speed. Any Ideas? Over all, an enjoyable ride.

6/14/2015 Update - Noise problem at 52-57 mph was muffler tip vibrating against tow bar, Cut and "reformed" muffler tip.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by BajaMal05 »

I have had my 2005 Turbo for about a year and have had what I consider to be minimal problems considering.
So apparently she sat at the dealership undriven and full of fluids in NY for a year before I bought her with 116k. They did the timing belt and tightened the sway bar before I would pay them for her. I figure the issues I have had have been majority from having sat. Her first drive after sitting for so long was 300+ miles back to my home in MA.
Most of my hoses, including radiator hoses, oil return line from my turbo and several others have had to be replaced from dry rot, almost any gasket is also useless from dry rot, also obviously I did an oil change immediately. I put in new brakes and rotors simply because I prefer to know what's on my car.
I blew the turbo about 3 months later and had to have it rebuilt.
Typical valve cover leak has been fixing though as others have said she still goes through oil, not enough to worry though and not sure from where.
Bearing in my AC went but I never replaced it and instead took the AC belt off and just don't use it.
And I blew a strut, the rest of my issues have been from not fixing that right away, eventually blew a bunch of joints, and had them and my driveshaft replaced and put in coilovers.
Did my spark plugs recently, trani mount and fuel system clean-up at the dealership in prep for a 1000+ mile drive she powered through.
I have an O2 code I'm not worried about, it comes and goes and I'll get around to it.
Eventually I need a brake booster, master cylinder, trani rebuild since I'm sure the gaskets are all bad, calipers (bolt on one bracket is busted, just gonna prepare all of it all the way around, because parts for the Baja suck), and engine mounts.

Considering I've put 20k on her since I acquired her and that she sat for so long I'm not surprised. Also, a lot of it isn't bad yet but I'm doing it as preventative care so she'll last forever, she's my dream car. She drives awesome and she treats me well so I'm trying to take care of her.
She has no rust and every mechanic she's been to says she's in great condition. I intend to keep it that way.

Edit: I also plan on restoring the leather inside but the heated seats still work and the leather is not as bad as it could be. :)
Dark Blue 2005 Subaru Baja Turbo, automatic for now.

Proud owner of my dream car and I spoil her.
Her name is Maleficient.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by alcyone »

I bought my 06 turbo 5mt with 150k and with 10k miles it blew a turbo, and trans, and an ecu, and the TGV's went nuts. Good thing is, i didn't pay that much for it, so i had a little room to move with the cost of repairs.
With all that happening in the first 4 months, i actually had it in the shop more, than on the road; however, it did give me a reason to modify it. I bought a Forester XT ECU and a Cobb AP, the intake hose was ripped to hell and back, so i got a Perrin hose, and the oil lines to the turbo were crimped from the freakin eBay turbo they put on it, that grenaded, so I got IAG braided lines. Also, when the turbo shaft sheared in half and dumped half the oil in the cat, i bought a HKS 3" downpipe, bc the cat was probably junk. With all that done now, the truck actually runs pretty awesome! I have a mild stage 1 93 octane map loaded in and the TGV's turned off.
2006 Baja Turbo 5MT - HD Axles, Perrin Int Hose & PS Mount + Group N Mounts, HKS DP/BOV, IAG lines
2009 BMW 535I 6MT - JB4+BEF, BMS DCI, Custom Exhaust, VRSF Charge Pipe + Tial BOV, RB PCV, BMS Oil Cooler, Hawk Brakes,
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by Zombaja »

okay so after the car was "almost back" we finally thought everything was sorted out.

less than two months later, the rattling I was told to expect as normal, was not. Engine shut down on along the highway after rattling got so bad it filled the cabin. Car would not restart.

Seems "forged block" was crap. Was told the new heads were okay and waited to get a OEM shortblock installed.

Cue another 8 months. Engine's back in but we keep getting P0011 codes. 2more months of futzing around adjusting every week and still cannot clear the code. Finally I give up March of last year, tell em to box up the parts, and I have it towed to the actual Subaru dealership here in San Jose. Where they tell me the new heads are totally roached. They show me scored cams and journals and this is why the cams won't advance. They tell me brackets are missing and bolts are incorrect and the things installed wrong. They pull the motor and charge me over $6K more to build new heads and put "everything in correct this time". A month later and everything sounds good. No codes, no problems.

Cue to December 2016. I'm on the way to my mother's funeral. Just passing Redding Ca I hear a mild ticking that I think is coming from the fans. 15 minutes later, complete engine shutdown.

Spend hundreds getting it towed to the nearest dealership, since it should be under warranty and hundreds more trying to get a rental car on a Sunday afternoon to finish the remaining 700 miles to get to Mom's funeral the next morning. And to get the dealership to pull the motor? I gotta authorize $2k just to potentially have them tell me I'm screwed

Get the call saying the wrist pin failed. And am told the block is out of warranty because "if someone else installs it the warranty is only 1 year". They quote me ANOTHER $5K for block and installation. This is with about 11K miles on what should be new heads and block. Even tho Subaru pulled the block at 5K and were the ones to reinstall it to factory spec

So after lots of work I get SOA to give me a new block under warranty but I gotta scrape up $2.5K for labor. Fortunately tax return season arrives and I authorize the work.

They tear it down and the heads that were just put on? Heads and cams ruined AGAIN. And they tell me there are wrong bolts in place and missing brackets AGAIN. Basically telling me that Subaru here screwed up the job.

Fortunately warranty covered all those parts. Now I have a completely new shortblock, new heads, new valvetrain, a completely new motor other than exhauust and intake manifolds. I'll be driving it home from Redding next week, along with a list of problems that Subaru here failed to resolve.

I think I have a Bureau of Automotive Repair case here, no? Anyone else think Subaru down here owes me a lot of money to reimburse what they broke? If it weren't for tax return and Mom leaving my sis and I a small amount of money I would have lost EVERYTHING. I couldn't even get to work for a week until I got enough to buy my bro-in-law's nearly worn out RX300.

Nevermind Ive lost all faith and love for this car. I'll be listing it for sale soon here. With a brand new motor that'll have 3 years of factory warranty on it. And a snugtop lid. I hope someone here will enjoy it without the baggage this saga has left me with.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by anarchy1024 »

Wow... that's bad. Maybe if you have any other problems, instead of paying a "professional" to do the work, wonder if other members from the Bay Area would volunteer to get together for a day or two of BBQ, drinks, sharing stories, and fixing your Baja. Not sure about others, but I definitely work for food. If others are down, some burgers and drinks will likely be cheaper than another round of "professional" work...
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by Zombaja »

big problem is that it's was the only vehicle my family owns, so there's no backup to drive in the meantime, and Im an apartment dweller with no garage or place to work on such a thing or break out the heavy tools for multi day repairs. the dealership was necessary to get a free loaner car as there was no way I could also afford months of rental.

but bottom line is it gets a For Sale sign on it as soon as I get it home. It has cost me twice the initial purchase price in repairs and Ive actually only been able to drive it less than a year, it's spent much more time in the shop, literally, than in my possession. had to beg too many favors for all the other repairs and too much criticism for "why did you spend so much on an old car"? no way I can defend that now.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by rglass1040 »

New to Subie ownership so have a lot to learn about what is a problem and what isn't. I within the last two weeks bought an 06 5sp, sport. Wish it were a turbo but none available that were not sky high in price.
LOVE this truck and confident in its condition. Was a 1 owner with 100K miles when traded for a new Honda Ridgeline.
I have driven it 1000 miles and found the left front speaker doesn't work.
The dome lamp switch is broken.
Left fog lamp lens is busted.
I get a strange knocking sound when accelerating especially when cornering. Sounds like CV to me but still new to me. Goes away once up t speed or unloaded.
Suspect brakes need looked at.
Considering new tires with more aggressive truck like tread.
Bought to tow behind MH so if anyone has any insight to issues I might run into there please advise!
'06 Baja, Black, 1" Lift, 215/65 Generals
'18 Crosstrek, Sunshine Orange
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by harleyjohn45 »

In October, 2019 I bought a 2006 Baja turbo. It is a beautiful 110,000 mile vehicle and it ran good. Less than 30 miles after leaving the dealership, I got 3 error codes. The car went into limp mode, but I was 700 miles from home, so I decided to drive it as far as it would go. It made it the 700 miles, but used too much oil. I have since replaced the Turbo, removed the oil pan and cleaned it. I replaced the water pump, and the timing belt. I have repaired several small problems. Here is 1 problem, the manual says it holds 4 quarts and 6 oz of oil. When I put that in, the oil barely touched the dipstick. I watched a video on U tube and the lady said if you pull the oil tube on a on an outback, be sure and put a pan under tube outlet, because a half quart of oil will run out. I pulled the dipstick tube and no oil ran out. I put it back together and added another quart and I'm still showing low. Strange.
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Re: Any problems with your Baja????

Post by kensei »

@harleyjohn45, there is a thread in the Technical Discussions board that is entitled "Oil Level Reading" or something similar where there is some discussion on the the oil level and dipstick. As I note in that discussion, my level varies widely, even in the few days after a change. I pretty much just put in 4 liters when I change it and if there is oil on the dipstick when checked about 10 minutes after it has been running, I am good. Overnight, the oil level in my pan will rise to a considerable level over the full mark on the stick. My '10 Forester exhibited this same behavior, but my kids mom's '16 Outback never did...
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