View Full Version : Scimitar's '92 SVX- The $500 project

08-13-2013, 10:17 PM
After 2 years of not having a Subaru in my "fleet" of cars, I was having withdraw symptoms. I started a new, very good paying job in December, so with knowing that I've have some extra cash in my pocket once the bills were taken care of, I started searching. My original target was a 1st gen Outback/2nd gen Legacy wagon, but there weren't any in my price range at the time. Actually, now that I think about it, there weren't any at all - just about all of them were Foresters or 2nd gen Outback/3rd gen Legacy - most of which were sedans. Don't get me wrong, sedans are fine (owned a '98 LGT from July '07 - Feb '11), but I wanted the space a wagon had to offer.

So rather than be patient and wait for the "right" car, I stumbled on this SVX for $750...

It had been on Craigslist for a couple months with the ad stating it needed either a TCU or solenoid but he wasn't sure which. I did a little research on the infamous SVX transmission issues, then took a look at the car in person and offered him $500 cash, which he gladly took. I came back the next day with a trailer and towed 'er home.

It didn't take long to realize that this particular SVX had been abused by a past owner (the guy I bought it from only had it 4 months when his wife told him he had too many projects going on), and that I had my work cut out for me.

As you can see, the exhaust was done by a blind chimp with a welder

The good news is that it didn't take long to diagnose the transmission being stuck in limp mode. The guy I bought it from had pulled the TCU down to get the numbers off of it, so I simply unplugged it, took the case off, and found this:

I ordered a replacement TCU from one of the 2 SVX forums out there and wouldn't you know it? All 4 gears worked! Well... kinda... the transmission wasn't stuck in 3rd anymore, but it wouldn't move in first unless I manually selected the gear - second wasn't there at all, and 3rd barely got the car moving. Thanks to a helpful gent who goes by OAB_AU on both SVX forums, we figured there was a one-way clutch that was fried and an accumulator internal to the transmission that was dead - So with that, I went off to the junkyard! Pick-N-Pull, to be exact - I happened to stop by on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend; it just so happened they were having a 50% off sale... I pulled a 4.11 auto transmission & rear diff as well as a 2.2 out of a '97 Legacy L; took it all home for $300.


After a long 3-day weekend, I had the SVX road ready! A new set of tires, painting the hideous chrome wheels a more suitable color, and wiring in a spare head unit, and there you have my current daily driver!

As far as a driving car goes, I love it! I still don't understand why Subaru didn't beef up a manual to handle the torque curve, but other than that, it drives so nicely. The problem is, for a driver that's 6' 4", it's a bit too cramped for long distance trips - someone that's shorter/skinnier than myself would probably be more comfortable. What doesn't help is the fact that the cruise control doesn't work. The voltage regulator went out sometime in the car's past which caused a massive power spike that fried a bunch of the electronics (which is why the TCU looked the way it did inside). Good chance that the cruise control module suffered the same fate. Other computers that were effected were the Wiper module and the ABS module (both replaced) as well as finding several blown fuses scattered around the interior. The intention was to fix all of these problems, but since purchasing my '99 Outback, I decided to put the SVX back on Craigslist to see if I can get what I've put into it so far.

Oh yes! In keeping with the MR rules...

Suspension/ wheels:
Stock struts/springs
No-name aftermarket wheels (I think they were made by Sears!) originally chrome, now gold
Michelin Pilot Sport something-or-others, 245/45R17 (rub just a tiny bit on a hard bump when cornering)
Brakes are stock size with Stop-Tech slotted rotors and Autozone brand ceramic pads, rears are stock

Stock EG33 H6!

Pretty much all stock, except for a Pioneer HU a friend had given me

Again, stock, nothing special. Didn't come with the factory spoiler though - mine is the first one I've seen in person without one.

09-06-2013, 04:39 PM
So, what are you hoping to get out of the sale?

Nice find, man.

09-06-2013, 06:10 PM
Thats exhaust is quite a piece of work.

09-08-2013, 04:50 PM
Do you need parts? I'm parting out my 92