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I am iN THE HUNT for a used 98-2001 2.5 RS and i was wondering if there was anything i should look for when test driving them to make sure they are in good shape? I was also wondering if there were any changes between any of the years. If anyone is in the CT/ MA area and want to sell me their RS Id be happy to take it off your hands. thanks
Dave
 

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I would get under the car and look for damage, see if they have driven like Colin McRae. An Impreza that has spent time off-road is gonna rattle. Look for rust...all the usual. I THINK that the 1998 has a MAF sensor (Manifold Air Flow) and the 99+ has a MAP sensor (Manifold Absolute Pressure). You don't want a MAF. If you plan on getting an intake, the MAF will screw things up for ya. Maybe someone else is more certain about what year the switch was made. I think the 1998 even has DOHC, vs the 99+ SOHC. BUT the 1998 also has those awesome gold wheels. Best wishes in finding a car!

-Andy
 

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13 Years of RS
2005 Toyota Corolla :(
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98 and 99 both have the MAF sensors, but the one in the 98 is stonger (hot wire, as opposed to a hot film in the 99), and is much more intake friendly. 98 is DOHC phase one engine, and has been known to have head gasket problems, and sometimes piston slap caused by the very short piston skirts. 00 and 01 came standard with a rear LSD, while the 98 and 99 had an open diff. 98 have the front bumper with the small driving lights, while the 99-01 all have the big lights. All four year where available as coupes, while 00-01 where also availabe in a sedan, which has the shorter rear spoiler. Personally, I would go with a 00-01, they have the bugs worked out of the engine, are much easier to do intake work on, and have the rear LSD, all bonus's over the 98-99. But I've also heard that if you are planning on going turbo/SC, then a 98-99 might be a better choice, as the MAF is better for FI apps than the MAP. Anyways, that's the important stuff I know, but I'm sure someone else will add onto the list.


*edit* As for the difference between the DOHC vs the SOHC, the SOHC engine actually have a touch higher peak power, but a much broader powerband, while the DOHC has a more peaky powerband. Down low in the RPM range, the SOHC actually has almost twice the tourque of the DOHC. But, once again, if you are planning on going turbo/SC, then the DOHC might be better, since it's easier to play with the intake and exhause valve timing.
 

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02 Impreza RS Blue Ridge Pearl
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I'm looking for a 4 door RS.. been searching for a year.. found one, but it was an auto... I live near LA, so traffic sucks, but I didn't want an auto.. I'm still a little confused.. but oh well.
-Ells
 

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1997 Brighton 2.5
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ellsworth, 2000 and newer are available in 2 or 4 door. What are you confused about? LA? It's a very strange place that cannot be explained, don't try.

HondaH8er nailed it, good post. I'd think, with only small differences in price, go for a 2000 or newer, with MAP, LSD, and possible remaining warranty. Very small changes, but I'd say important enough to bypass the 98 and 99's, for similar price. Also, if you're going to be getting a loan, you might get a lower interest rate on a car that is less than 3 years old.

Other things on the years...98's were the only ones to get gold rims. 99 Had 5 spoke silver, not 6. Late 2000 saw carbon fiber dash and leather interior as an option.

Oh yeah, if you see a 99 or newer with the old school bumber, it's a Canadian model, a question that is asked EVERY time someone sees this.
 
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