3rd Jan 2007, 01:12

I recently picked up an '84 GL wagon off EBay for $300. It wouldn't pass Va. inspection due to rust & exhaust issues. However, I live in an area where inspections aren't required, so I didn't hesitate to buy it. It's got exceptionally high miles, but seems to run great, and still gets 26-28 mpg. A/C blows cold too!

The only downside is that it isn't a turbo model, so the already small engine seems soooooooo sluggish. I definately wouldn't consider pulling out in front of anyone. Is there any way to add a turbo unit to the existing engine?

I'm not complaining whatsoever about the car overall. For the price I paid, it was an incredible deal. With a little "TLC", I strongly feel that I'll get another 75k-100k out of it before it's completely junked.

11th Jan 2007, 11:34

I have a 84 Subaru. It has 154,000 miles. The car is rusted to hell. But never has let me down. I drive this thing every where. The 4x4 works great. I have 4 wheeled this thing many times. and it always comes home in one piece. The engine has pretty much no power. But that's expected with an engine that puts out 69 horse power. But if you keep it wound up it will go up any hill. I think this car will last me another 5 years with out any repairs. I haven't done one repair to this car. It is loud, because there is no muffler, but, I love it.

23rd Mar 2007, 20:41

8 months ago I bought an 84 Subaru GL wagon for $150. It had 334000 miles on it.

Now after replacing a control arm (my fault) it has 358000 miles on it. The damn thing doesn't seem to want to break.

I love this car and I beat the crap out of it. It feels great and always is there for me when I want to go home. It has never left me stranded.

Yeah, there have been small things like when you said your fans quit working, so did mine, but for me I actually investigated instead of taking it to a shop, and luckily it was a fuse and one of the turn signal bulbs went out, but that's about it.

I love this car and I'm sorry you don't like yours, but please don't turn other people away from them just because you don't like yours.

11th Jun 2007, 18:10

So what's he supposed to do? Lie about his experience with the car so the car won't get it's feelings hurt. Screw that. Tell the truth, which the guy did. The other positive comments on this site provide plenty of defense for the GL's reputation and I'm sure that they are generally good cars, but to ask the guy who had a lemon to be nice about it is ridiculous. Sorry, this isn't meant as an attack. Just instruction on how open forums are supposed to work.

14th Jul 2009, 21:47

Hello all, I am the original poster of that ad 4 years ago now. Guess what... I still have the car, though not running LOL. Just as one of the first comments said "what should I expect, the car was old enough to drink and smoke", I totally agree. It may have been quite something in its day, but not when I got a hold of it unfortunately.

As well, many comments stated that the fixes were "ill-informed guesses", I will have to let the Subaru Dealerships know this as it was taken ONLY to ACTUAL Subaru Dealerships... if "ill-informed guesses" is all that can be said about Subaru's mechanical aptitude, then absolutely nobody should be purchasing a Subaru.

Anyway, it was my first car, it taught me a very valuable lesson... don't buy anything that was created in the same decade you were LOL.

17th Jul 2009, 20:33

To those considering 1984 Subies and older: I've had both the 1977 wagon and the 1984 GL wagon. Both are excellent cars. The big difference between the two was where I got them from. The 77 I bought from Craigslist and the 84 I bought from a Subaru mechanic. Guess which ran better.

The old Subaru's are meant to last if treated well. My advice for those looking to get an old Subie is to have it checked-out by someone who specializes in them. Even if you take it to a Subaru dealership, you may find that many technicians from the older Subie days are retired.

Another caution is to be sure you can get repair and replacement parts. I found slim pickins for parts for the 77 wagon. By 1984, Subaru had ingratiated itself into the American market, so much more parts are available.

I've heard the '84 called the Golden Years of the American Subaru. (Which is right before the major changes in the models came in 1985 -- the super-boxy GL that everyone complains about.) Find a Subaru-head (like in gearhead) to check out any older one you're fixing to consider. These are the same kinds of folks that would have been into "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Volkswagen" during the late 70s and early-mid 80s glory days of the VW bus and bug. The dude who wrote that book wrote one for the early Subarus. (Those early Subarus have the same engine design, btw.)

26th Dec 2009, 11:44

Hello. I have looked everywhere for advice on a Subaru my neighbor owns. From what she tells me, this is a 1984 (she said 48, but I have to doubt that) GL sedan. No power anything, including steering. The body is in great shape. My neighbor's biggest memory of the car is that it has two transmissions and two fan belts and that it has to have high-test gas every other fill up. Does that sound correct to anyone? The beautiful thing about the car is it has 47,000± original miles. I have been trying to investigate the car online since if I really try to look it over in her garage, she'll think I'm doing something to it. She has decided to sell and is giving my sister first refusal. Anyone know what it's worth? I appreciate any help you can give me.

19th Jan 2010, 02:11

About the 84 sedan with low miles; BUY IT! Or email me and I will.


6th Jul 2010, 08:51

I have an 81 hatchback Subaru 4wd. I paid 100 bucks for the car, and put in a new battery (10 bucks at the junk yard), two front CV axles, 60 for both, just about all new brakes 120 new and rebuilt.

I drove it for a whole year, put on about 16,000 miles, right now I got motor out cause the real main seal leaked oil on the clutch. I just got a whole new clutch kit from Fort Wayne Clutch and Drive in Indiana for 60$. I am almost ready to put it back together. The car has been really fun, easy to work on and reliable as heck even in 20 below zero in winter. Sorry you got a neglected one...

16th Jul 2010, 12:36

I own an 81 Subaru GL wagon, and it's been a great car. It has 205,000 miles and it's still running fine. It takes a beating also. I've taken it on a motocross track and gotten 5 feet of air on it, and the only thing that broke is the radiator mount.

3rd Sep 2015, 18:08

Just FYI, the 4X4 models are recorded by Fuji Heavy Industries (the owner of Subaru) to have 80hp and the non 4X4 have 74.