Looking at a 2005 Turbo

General talk about the Subaru Baja.

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GPS
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Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by GPS »

Hello!

My name is Greg, I am looking into a 2005 Baja Turbo that I found for $6200. It has 126k miles on it and the owner said that no major parts have been replaced.

What kind of problems could I expect or should I look for when I test drive it?

Here are some pics:

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Airborneguy
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by Airborneguy »

Wow... that’s a unicorn at an amazing price.

Does he have service records?
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by GPS »

Airborneguy wrote:Wow... that’s a unicorn at an amazing price.

Does he have service records?
He did all of the services himself. I’ll ask if he kept records.

The paint looks like it has some rough spots, but that can be easily fixed.


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Guacamole
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by Guacamole »

Ask if he's done oil changes every 3,000 miles (this is the recommended), and if the banjo bolt filter in the turbo oil feed line has been removed or replaced- this filter can clog up over time and starve the turbo of oil causing an overheat and eventual failure, and the turbo itself costs the same as a new engine.
If it hasn't been pulled/replaced and you do get this Baja (which is a steal tbqh considering it HAS a bed cover AND the front seat is in pristine condition), I would pull this filter IMMEDIATELY to prevent turbo failure. It's not a critical part and is actually so redundant the new turbo designs even did away with it altogether. Right around 100,000mi is when the turbos usually grenade themselves from lack of care/maintenance.
White/Silver is also the rarest of the Baja colors as this was only produced for the 05 turbos.
Also, if you can, crawl under and see if the exhaust flanges are still solid (expect 14 years of nasty surface rust at minimum), and give the front CV axles a good tug to see if they sway. If there's any play in the axle or there's a tear in the rubber boot the axle has most likely failed. Look to see as well if the catalytic converter has been replaced- these are finicky and replacing one with an aftermarket can mess with the ECU and it'll start throwing P0420 codes. Also keep an eye on the space between the head and the engine block. It's rare on the turbos, but if there's any fluid leaking out of there the head gaskets have failed.

EDIT: And the timing belt should've been done at 103,000mi- ask this as well.
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by GPS »

Guacamole wrote:Ask if he's done oil changes every 3,000 miles (this is the recommended), and if the banjo bolt filter in the turbo oil feed line has been removed or replaced- this filter can clog up over time and starve the turbo of oil causing an overheat and eventual failure, and the turbo itself costs the same as a new engine.
If it hasn't been pulled/replaced and you do get this Baja (which is a steal tbqh considering it HAS a bed cover AND the front seat is in pristine condition), I would pull this filter IMMEDIATELY to prevent turbo failure. It's not a critical part and is actually so redundant the new turbo designs even did away with it altogether. Right around 100,000mi is when the turbos usually grenade themselves from lack of care/maintenance.
White/Silver is also the rarest of the Baja colors as this was only produced for the 05 turbos.
Also, if you can, crawl under and see if the exhaust flanges are still solid (expect 14 years of nasty surface rust at minimum), and give the front CV axles a good tug to see if they sway. If there's any play in the axle or there's a tear in the rubber boot the axle has most likely failed. Look to see as well if the catalytic converter has been replaced- these are finicky and replacing one with an aftermarket can mess with the ECU and it'll start throwing P0420 codes. Also keep an eye on the space between the head and the engine block. It's rare on the turbos, but if there's any fluid leaking out of there the head gaskets have failed.

EDIT: And the timing belt should've been done at 103,000mi- ask this as well.
Thank you so much for this information. This is exactly what I was looking for. I will look at everything when I get the chance to look at it. Thank you!


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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by FlyByNite »

Indiana uses salt on their roads, that might be what messed up the paint. I would get it on a lift and look over the underside for rust and rotted bushings.
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Yep, got a matching ARE cap.
2003 226,802 miles so far.

Enjoy
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kamesama980
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by kamesama980 »

FlyByNite wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:25 am Indiana uses salt on their roads, that might be what messed up the paint. I would get it on a lift and look over the underside for rust and rotted bushings.
salt doesn't bother paint and certainly doesn't do THAT to paint. something poured on the mirror to do that. Salt causes rust which rots the steel and AL under the paint and plastic from the bottom up.

While it has IN plates currently, where matters: northern is a totally different climate than southern. Plus the bob boast VW sticker googles up to be in florida near the coast (sea salt rather than snow salt) and the paint damage could be sun.

-It'll probably need struts. Subaru uses some magic in their struts that they last a long time but they're due even on a subie at that point.
-the wiring coming out of the dash is a flashing yellow warning light... where does it go? what does it do? what other wiring was hacked up to do it?
-hoses, coolant, transmission oil, diff oil (both), power steering fluid... plan on all of it being original. Same problem with old toyotas "no major repairs" "hasn't needed anything" also means not a darn thing has been done but change the tires and brake pads when they fail. The manual has a whole slew of periodic maintenance to be done. That the seller did work themself also means it probably hasn't been on a lift to thoroughly shake down the suspension or check things over underneath in a while.
-No engine bay pics, no way to know what's going on in there.

regarding the banjo bolt filters... extended oil changes cause the filter to fill up and oil can bypass it. When that happens the gunk gets stuck in the banjo bolt filters rather than going through the AVCS and turbo. The banjo bolt filters plugging are a symptom not a cause. If everything else were right, there would be nothing in the oil to be caught by them.
-Russell
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
03 sport 5mt
05 turbo 5mt vf39 and other STI bits, 3" turbo-back
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by GPS »

kamesama980 wrote:
FlyByNite wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:25 am Indiana uses salt on their roads, that might be what messed up the paint. I would get it on a lift and look over the underside for rust and rotted bushings.
salt doesn't bother paint and certainly doesn't do THAT to paint. something poured on the mirror to do that. Salt causes rust which rots the steel and AL under the paint and plastic from the bottom up.

While it has IN plates currently, where matters: northern is a totally different climate than southern. Plus the bob boast VW sticker googles up to be in florida near the coast (sea salt rather than snow salt) and the paint damage could be sun.

-It'll probably need struts. Subaru uses some magic in their struts that they last a long time but they're due even on a subie at that point.
-the wiring coming out of the dash is a flashing yellow warning light... where does it go? what does it do? what other wiring was hacked up to do it?
-hoses, coolant, transmission oil, diff oil (both), power steering fluid... plan on all of it being original. Same problem with old toyotas "no major repairs" "hasn't needed anything" also means not a darn thing has been done but change the tires and brake pads when they fail. The manual has a whole slew of periodic maintenance to be done. That the seller did work themself also means it probably hasn't been on a lift to thoroughly shake down the suspension or check things over underneath in a while.
-No engine bay pics, no way to know what's going on in there.

regarding the banjo bolt filters... extended oil changes cause the filter to fill up and oil can bypass it. When that happens the gunk gets stuck in the banjo bolt filters rather than going through the AVCS and turbo. The banjo bolt filters plugging are a symptom not a cause. If everything else were right, there would be nothing in the oil to be caught by them.
I noticed the wires too. It looks like they wired up an aux input which is concerning. I did not even notice the sticker, I really appreciate that. It was in FL at some point then.

I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. My car hasn’t sold yet and the Baja is about 2hrs away.


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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by cspaugh »

As mentioned above rust on the underside can be a huge issue with these guys.
w.rohr
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by w.rohr »

I don't think the wires were for an input, I would say it had a gps navigation and maybe a remote radar detector.
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by ZUBAJA »

What concerns me about "the wires" is there appears to be a couple of screws shot through the das directly above the wires. This would indicate "bush league" quality of modifications done to the vehicle - not to mention what the screws are holding. Dennis
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by Guacamole »

My 2c, the wires and screws are probably for a jury-rigged hand-free phone setup mounted to the dash. My old work truck had something similar to this.
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by joedavex »

One thing I've noticed on my turbo Bajas which I don't see on my OBW is rusting/rotting of the engine cradle. I have 2 '04 turbos which both need the cradle replaced and my '05 which appears pristine everywhere else is showing surface rust on the cradle.
In all instances the rust/rot is by where the rightside control arm connects to the cradle. I'm not sure if others are experiencing similar.
The wires on the dash are for Satellite radio. Not sure why it was a big upsell for Bajas but all of mine had them in there. Not an issue to remove them once you pull the trim off. They worked via FM broadcast so there shouldn't be any issues removing them once you pull the trim away.
Gray 05 Turbo AT
Silver 04 Turbo AT
Black 04 Turbo AT
and assorted other vehicles....
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kamesama980
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by kamesama980 »

joedavex wrote: Sat May 04, 2019 12:38 pm One thing I've noticed on my turbo Bajas which I don't see on my OBW is rusting/rotting of the engine cradle. I have 2 '04 turbos which both need the cradle replaced and my '05 which appears pristine everywhere else is showing surface rust on the cradle.
In all instances the rust/rot is by where the rightside control arm connects to the cradle. I'm not sure if others are experiencing similar.
The wires on the dash are for Satellite radio. Not sure why it was a big upsell for Bajas but all of mine had them in there. Not an issue to remove them once you pull the trim off. They worked via FM broadcast so there shouldn't be any issues removing them once you pull the trim away.
Interesting on the rust... might be the extra heat or where it's concentrated.

The worry with any aftermarket wiring is how skilled the installer was... maybe they were done well/right, maybe they were put in by bubba out back after six tequilas.
-Russell
"You don't get to judge me for how I fix what you break"
03 sport 5mt
05 turbo 5mt vf39 and other STI bits, 3" turbo-back
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Re: Looking at a 2005 Turbo

Post by The_Candyman »

Check the turbo and the tubes surrounding it. I had to rebuild my ej-25 engine because the turbo blew. Turns out gunk built up and caused it to blow. Save yourself a ton of money and let the car sit for 15-30 seconds so the oil can cool the turbo down instead of just shutting it off.
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