1987 Subaru GL 1.8L OHV from North America


I call it The Mighty Ru for a reason!


It overheated on me at about 140,000, so I had to get the radiator and parts linked to said radiator replaced. That cost a pretty penny, but at the time it was my daily driver and I needed it to get around.

The A/C condenser was leaking like crazy into the passenger seat floorboard. I had the Subaru dealership guys look at it multiple times, cleaned out the drainage tube more times than I could count, and nothing worked. I finally just drilled an extra drainage hole into the condenser and ran another (and thicker) tube through the floorboard. The A/C still blows frosty cold air, and no more leaks!

I had to get the clutch replaced shortly after I bought it, but I think it had more to do with the person who owned it before me and how he drove it, as opposed to a faulty clutch/installation. The clutch has to be manually adjusted every few thousand miles or so, but other than that, no issues with it. The fact that it's not a pneumatic clutch and can be manually adjusted, is a huge plus.

Rear CVs had to be replaced after they seized up, approximately 135,000. Again, kind of costly, but worth it.

The front axles are going to need to be replaced soon, but I think that's about average for this vehicle.

The starter had to be replaced, again, shortly after I bought the car from the previous owner.

I know most of these are fairly average faults with an older car -- especially one that's been driven hard through sand and snow.

General Comments:

Though it has had some faults and failures, it is still quite reliable. The four wheel drive aspect of it was nice to have in the deserts of El Paso, and the ground clearance on it, approx. 10 inches, has made it perfect for getting around in the floods of Florida.

The A/C still works -- which is a necessity where I live, and after some re-wiring, the speakers still kill it! I had a CD player put in it because the tape deck and radio quit working long before I bought it. I had actually owned the car for months before I realized that there were two front speakers -- one behind a faux A/C vent, and the other near where the driver's left knee sits. Very strange, but that's why I love this car -- it is so unique.

It has been a great car to tinker around with and get around town when the weather is awful. My wife absolutely hates it, but I refuse to get rid of it; not just because of how reliable it is, but also it gets excellent gas mileage.

And the interior space! How could I forget about the space?! If I folded down the back seats, I could comfortably sleep in the back of this car. It has moved furniture, lawnmowers, people, pets, and more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2015

1987 Subaru GL SW 1.8 from North America




Replaced CV axles and front struts. When replacing CV axles, inspect and replace the motor and transmission mounts also.

My 1.8 liter is carbureted, and I have problems with the carburetor.

General Comments:

Good solid car, yet you need to occasionally check the condition of the rear wheel axle carrier bearing in the center of the driveshaft.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2010

1987 Subaru GL GL 1.8 from North America


A great beater


A woman just upgraded and spent 2000 dollars on a newer Subaru wagon. I got this one for a work trade. The rear CV joint was stripped. I removed both rear CV joints and there was no grease where they went into the differential. I run it as a 2 wheel drive for now.

The heater core seems blocked. I will try to flush it with water and baking soda. The heater fan switch does not functional.

The clutch pedal is really stiff, and takes a strong push to depress it.

General Comments:

The car starts well.

The car tracks well.

It has a good feel. The power assist steering is nice. The brakes also have a good feel.

A great beater.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th March, 2009