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Skyline's Cars (2009 Mazdaspeed 3, 2002 Subaru Outback H6, 1999 Land Rover Discovery II)


An update on the Subaru: The shipping got delayed by about a week, so it just got here last Wednesday. Today was the first day I had to tinker with it. I went ahead and replaced the dead battery. The electronics all work, including the fuel pump and starter. And contrary to the auction report, it does run (and go into gear). But they were correct about it being a timing issue. My scanner read a misfire on cylinders 1, 3, and 5. The right cylinder bank. I was planning on having to go into the timing cover anyway, so it’s about what I expected. I’ll be ordering a new water pump and idler, as well as guides and tensioners. Because the water pump is in there, I’m gonna do a complete cooling system flush, and change the hoses and thermostat. The timing cover seal is leaky, so that will be redone. It also needs a new power steering hose and fresh fluid before I move it since I don’t feel like changing a pump.

The list of problems thus far:

Timing on bank 1 is out of sync

Timing cover leaks

The power steering system leaks

One of the keys is stuck in the ignition

The tires are mismatched (Big no on AWD cars) and one of them is flat


Finally had the time to get some clips of the Subaru.


Update on the Subaru. I’m finished disassembling the timing assembly. I’ve also set the parts cannon to full auto and am
replacing a bunch of stuff for the hell of it.

I ordered the following parts (In addition to all the timing components, water pump, and other cooling system parts):

Transmission filter/pan gasket

Trans cooler lines

Power steering pump (It was bad after all)

Power steering pressure hose (I’m gonna replace all the regular rubber hoses too)

Fuel filter

Air filter

Fresh timing cover bolts

A/C gaskets (I don’t really use air conditioning, but I decided to get some practice for fixing up more cars to sell by refurbishing the system in this car. The system was evacuated properly. I’m EPA Section 609 certified, meaning I’m legally allowed to service automotive A/C systems, which I have done, but not in a while beyond simple evacuation and recharging)

It’s also gonna get new inner and outer tie rods and 4 brand new tires within the next couple weeks. I’m leaning towards getting BF Goodrich Advantage T/A Sports, but I’m not firm in my choice yet. I also plan on getting a set of Michelin Pilot Sport AS/3s for the Mazda within a few months. I also may or may not need rear CVs for the Subaru, but I’ll cross that bridge later. I’ll also be replacing the oil cooler lines and the washer fluid pump soon.


The new chain, guides, and tensioners are all in. I’m gonna finish cleaning the sludge off of the timing cover, then bolt it back together.

I could’ve done this in a couple days, but I did it while working 2 full time jobs and having to delay myself to grab parts. Plus I went overkill and decided to replace a bunch of stuff.


The Subaru is finally in driving condition. And I drove it for half of today and put about 50 miles on it. Handled its first day pretty well.

Brakes feel good (although I will be flushing out all the old fluid), trans feels good, engine doesn’t miss or hesitate at all anymore, although it did develop a lean code on bank 1. Also has an airbag light on. But I work as an auto mechanic, so I have access to one of the high end scan tools. I can use it to clear the airbag code and diagnose my lean code (probably a bad O2 sensor. It is on the same bank that was misfiring). I also have 2 or 3 more drain and fills to get all the old trans fluid out (I’ll be dropping the pan and changing the filter on the last one).

My main focus now is just fixing a bunch of little general maintenance items and knocking out the stuff I’ll need to pass state inspection. I think the only thing I’ll need for that is new tie rods (which I already ordered). Also got new rear sway bar links since the current ones are shot. I’ll also be stopping off at a junkyard tomorrow to grab a few things. I know I need a new trans dipstick (the old one was stuck in and had to be mangled to remove it), a new passenger mirror, new washer fluid pumps (both are busted),and I’ll grab a new roof rack bar since one of mine is bent pretty badly. Maybe a new grille for the passenger fog light too.

I also have a few little things to change, like the wiper blades, gauge cluster bulbs, and rear running and stop lights. I also like to replace my reverse light bulbs with LEDs to make for easier nighttime vision. Same thing with the dome light bulb.


I really need to update more often. Big news. I decided to sell my Accord. I didn’t really feel like carrying a car note since I detest paying for full coverage. I also can’t stand having to monitor a car that’s in nearly perfect shape cosmetically. It drives me mad worrying about it.

As for the Subaru, I’ve been driving it around fairly frequently, and it’s doing well. I had to stop driving it though since the right mirror glass fell apart and I didn’t want to risk taking it into DC traffic like that. A new one is en route.

The Mazda got a brand new set of tires. Michelin Pilot Sport AS/3s to be specific. Winter is coming and I wanted to prepare early. I’ll also be undercoating my whole fleet soon.

Speaking of my fleet, I made a surprising new addition. I bought another truck to replace my old GMC. And I decided to test my luck. She’s a 1999 Land Rover Discovery. First European car and first British car I’ve personally owned. I’ll post some pictures soon.


Well, I’m still keeping my Accord, but then again it is paid off so. :smile: I do get what you’re saying about keeping a cosmetically good car clean. I’m not even 2 weeks into the Camaro and I can see what appears to be very minor road rash starting to develop.:roll_eyes:

I thought about getting Pilot Sport AS/3s to replace the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500s on my Accord, but they don’t make them in the OEM size (I would’ve had to go with the 235/45-17s as I did with the Indy 500s). Instead I replaced them with Vredestein Quatrac 5s because they’re severe snow rated. Keep me posted on your experience with the AS/3s I’m curious as to how they will handle in the snow.

Yes please - pics of the Discovery. Congrats!


My experience with the AS/3s is positive thus far. My Speed3 uses 225/45R18s. I don’t need them to be super capable in the snow as we usually only get a few inches per year. Our biggest problem is usually black ice.

As for the Disco, I bought it at auction and won’t be able to pick it up until tuesday at earliest.


Just got the Disco towed to my shop. I could’ve driven it, but I had no way of driving there or driving my Mazda back otherwise since nobody was available to help.

Anyway, first impressions:

It’s actually pretty clean inside and underneath. There are a couple small spots I’ll need to hit with a needle scaler, but most of the frame is really solid. Engine starts quickly and runs smoothly. Trans shifts just fine. No codes either.

There was one mishap, but that was my fault. I accidentally broke the hose going from the radiator to the expansion tank. Not a cheap mistake since an OE replacement was $45 on FCP Euro, but I also grabbed the 180 degree thermostat and I’ll do both at the same time. I wanted to do the latter as preventative maintenance anyway, so not the end of the world.

I’m also gonna change the oil and all the driveline fluids. For the oil, I’m gonna use Shell Rotella T6 5W-40 diesel oil due to the included ZDDP additive the older flat tappet design requires for proper protection. It’s a common practice according to the Land Rover forums.

Also finally got a new passenger mirror for the Subaru. It’s almost ready to pass state inspection.


I’ve made a bit of a hard decision. I’ve decided to sell the Mazda after all. I drive 60 miles a day 6 days a week, and 93 octane is expensive when you drive a minimum of 25000 miles annually.

I listed it for sale last week, and I’ve gotten a few hits on it. In the meantime, I decided to go back to my roots and buy a sub-$1000 compact as my new daily. And with that, I ended up with this gal, a 2000 Nissan Sentra GXE.

She has the QG18DE 4 banger, and even better, the 5 speed manual. I initially hoped to find a 1st gen Dodge Neon or a B14 Sentra, but the B15s are still surprisingly light at about 2550 pounds. That and the price of just $625 made it a worthy prospect to me.

It’s laid up in the shop I work at for now, as I don’t want to pay insurance on 5 cars at once (I also bought a pickup, a 2008 Nissan Frontier with the VQ40, 6 speed, and 4 wheel drive. No pictures yet), and I’m going to be flipping the Land Rover and Subaru as well. Once one of those sells, I’ll register the Sentra. Plus I ordered a bunch of parts for it.

It had 2 definitive issues when I bought it. The alternator is shot (so is the battery, but that’s routine maintenance) and it needs 4 tires. I went a bit overkill and bought a brand new set of Michelin Defenders for it. It uses 185/65R14s, so they’re not that expensive. For all 4 with shipping, it was just under $450, and since I work at a shop that does tires and alignments, both of which I’m very familiar with doing already, those cost me $0. I also changed the oil earlier today (with my usual Penzoil Platinum full synthetic and a Mobil 1 Extended Performance filter). It had 1 more issue that I found after picking it up, a misfire on cylinder 1. The coils look old, so I assumed they and the plugs were original, so I also ordered all 4 coils, and 4 iridium plugs, both NGKs. They’re expensive, but they work the best in my experience. Also ordered 3 quarts of Red Line MT-90 gear oil for the transaxle. I’ll be changing out all other fluids and filters as well.


I made a brief video showing the car and it’s condition. Let me know what you guys think.


The Sentra has an issue where it shudders and stalls at idle once it hits operating temperature. It’s also in some sort of low power mode. It won’t exceed 5500 RPM in gear and feels rather sluggish on the road. I ordered a new idle air control valve and I’ll reset the idle once I put that on. If that fails, a new MAF sensor is next. On the forums, a bunch of people said that even a MAF that appears to work properly on these can commonly have some intermittent fault. I have access to a Snap-On Solus Edge scan tool at my job and used it to verify that the sensor is functioning properly. It could be an intermittent fault and it would be hard to tell that from the readings I got.

I also bought a new sound system for the Frontier. I’ve been dailying that for the past few weeks. I’ll post a video of it soon, but I have some work to do. I need to change the driveline fluids, do some rust prevention, install a trailer hitch, and replace the head unit and speakers.