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Rusted rotten sills can I save Legacy outback 2000?


Barnes
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Beautiful condition above, sound engine, 110,200 miles can it be saved/is it worth trying? Any advice welcome.

Just failed MOT as strength of rear seatbelts weakened due to rotten sills. Corrosion only appeared as advisory last year. Had car 4 years and passed each year till now. History shows previous failures due to minor faults several years ago.  Trusted mechanic concerned that it could be very expensive and time consuming job with no guarantee won’t have further problems next year. Any ideas? Thanks.

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It's a catch 22, highly likley it will come back, also if its at the stage of reducing the rear seatbelt strength then it's going to be very far gone. Although i;d be interested to know how they came up with that,

Yes it is a considerable amount of work depending on how far gone they are your talking £500+ as a minimum, then when they remove stuff to find the extent of the damage they may find it's worse than they thought. Also if the sills are that bad i expect the arches will be not far behind them which will be £500+ a side to get them done properly and again will depend on how far they have gone.

on a car of that year (unless its a special edition like an impreza type R/RA) then its pretty much terminal as a foregone conclusion when you come to cost vs a replacement im afraid, prob not what you wanted to hear 😞.

 

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the place you got mot done,,,,is it independent mot or garage getting work in?  it all depends on what its worth to you...you can scrap it and get another and fined the same problems if not worse as the last one.you have to watch out for bodge-garages...(tack-tack welder with bathroom sealent) and there is loads out there so be careful,these cars are over 20years old so rust is a factor

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Many thanks Tidgy.  Yes I feared the worst but hoped for the best! I like the car so much and because it feels so solid and drives well it’s hard to give up on it. If the metal parts could be replaced I’d be willing to invest in it for another few years. But if it’s good money after bad I need to be realistic. Also not fair on mechanic if he’s willing to put hours of hard work into something that’s destined to fail. Thanks again for your valuable advice.

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Many thanks Tidgy and Nictriumph for replying. Yes I feared the worst but hoped for the best! I like the car so much and because it feels so solid and drives well it’s hard to give up on it. If the metal parts could be replaced I’d be willing to invest in it for another few years. But if it’s good money after bad I need to be realistic. Also its not fair to ask the mechanic, who is in high demand, to put in hours of laborious time consuming work if its destined to fail! He asked me to inspect the underneath when the car was on a ramp and pointed out the weakest points and what the work entailed. There was little left of some bolts and others could be difficult to remove. The back sills were crumbling under the plastic from the back with visible signs of  rust at the front. The exhaust also needs repair. If the severity of rust is a good indicator of the likely spread then I’ll have to scrap it. Just replaced all the tyres a few months ago aah. Thanks again for your valuable comments.

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1 hour ago, Barnes said:

Many thanks Tidgy and Nictriumph for replying. Yes I feared the worst but hoped for the best! I like the car so much and because it feels so solid and drives well it’s hard to give up on it. If the metal parts could be replaced I’d be willing to invest in it for another few years. But if it’s good money after bad I need to be realistic. Also its not fair to ask the mechanic, who is in high demand, to put in hours of laborious time consuming work if its destined to fail! He asked me to inspect the underneath when the car was on a ramp and pointed out the weakest points and what the work entailed. There was little left of some bolts and others could be difficult to remove. The back sills were crumbling under the plastic from the back with visible signs of  rust at the front. The exhaust also needs repair. If the severity of rust is a good indicator of the likely spread then I’ll have to scrap it. Just replaced all the tyres a few months ago aah. Thanks again for your valuable comments.

we tried to keep my wifes bug on the road and dropped more money than i care to total up into repairs, but it was just one thing after another 😞 finaly bought the bullet and got her a hawk wrx lol

if you are thinking of getting another one then can always looking at buying before you sell your current one and swapping off the parts like wheels you wanna keep.

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It depends if rust concentrated in same area on ease and cost .
I assume due to MOT comments it the seatbelt anchor plate that in the lower arch sill end closure area, if most the rust in this area it would take less time than say if also need strut turret repairs or front sill work .
Main labour consuming issue with sill end closures and inner sill area is trailing link body mount as that area fiddly repair well and bit more time strip and assemble brake cables,abs sensors and trailing links and body mount can be pain remove  .
I wouldn't worry about rusted bolts too much, bolts are high quality and it surprising how many bolts come out looking almost new besides exposed parts and they all be replaced with new for little cost.
Main thing is fully inspect other areas to see no other likely big bill corrosion issues on horizon .
You likely see 4 to 8 years out of a good repair effort pending exact state dealing with and budget to play with .
Rear end corrosion MOT failures taking lot of the late 90's and early millennium subarus as most don't want spend on repair, we had a amazingly clean green forester sf late registered on a 52 plate that failed on subframe and sill end closures/inner lower arch. Was a £800 bill put that right but rust was mainly in those areas so easy remove 98% of it and subframe easy nut and bolt job plus you get most or all rear bushes replaced in the process .
Car does need be bit exceptional make it worth effort for welding work but see a few get scrapped for simple subframes and suspension arms which a shame .
Hope you work something out ... be careful as while good work is expensive the cost of bad work or bad decisions is even more so .

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