The Truth About Cars » Subaru XT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Subaru XT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1987 Subaru XT GL http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-xt-gl/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/junkyard-find-1987-subaru-xt-gl/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=844169 The Subaru XT is a car you won’t see often in most parts of the country, but Denver junkyards have tremendous quantities of old Subarus and so I see them on a regular basis here. So far, this series has had this ’85 XT Turbo, this ’91 XT, this ’91 XT6, and now today’s ’87 […]

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10 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin
The Subaru XT is a car you won’t see often in most parts of the country, but Denver junkyards have tremendous quantities of old Subarus and so I see them on a regular basis here. So far, this series has had this ’85 XT Turbo, this ’91 XT, this ’91 XT6, and now today’s ’87 XT.

I shot a bit of video of the tilt wheel/instrument cluster in action. Since I have developed an unhealthy obsession with 1980s Japanese digital instrument clusters, I bought the one out of the ’85 XT Turbo. Today’s XT had the regular analog cluster, so I left it in the car.
01 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf you like 1980s design, this car is full of good examples. I was in college in 1987, and I remember thinking very clearly at the time that nobody will ever be capable of feeling nostalgia for this era. Now that Tears For Fears plays in supermarkets and Members Only jackets are making a comeback, I have been proved wrong about that embarrassing decade once again.
20 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinMulti Point FI!
18 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThese cars were full of weird little touches like these door-latch cover panels. Sure, more stuff to go wrong (and with 1980s Subarus, much did go wrong), but it was still cool stuff.
09 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis example is the ordinary front-wheel-drive version.
16 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSomeday I will be unable to resist the lure of the Alcyone, and I will buy a nice XT Turbo or XT6.

01 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1987 Subaru XT Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Don’t Try This At Home: How Could Anyone Resist a Subaru XT Turbo Digital Dash? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/dont-try-this-at-home-how-could-anyone-resist-a-subaru-xt-turbo-digital-dash/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/dont-try-this-at-home-how-could-anyone-resist-a-subaru-xt-turbo-digital-dash/#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 15:30:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466967 After I photographed today’s Junkyard Find in a Colorado self-service wrecking yard, I agonized over that digital instrument cluster. I have this crazy idea that I can hack old digital instrument clusters and operate them with an Arduino microcontroller, so that I can have a display on my office wall to go with my collection […]

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After I photographed today’s Junkyard Find in a Colorado self-service wrecking yard, I agonized over that digital instrument cluster. I have this crazy idea that I can hack old digital instrument clusters and operate them with an Arduino microcontroller, so that I can have a display on my office wall to go with my collection of weird diecast toy cars. It started out innocently enough, with this 1983 Mitsubishi Cordia cluster, and then I got the digital cluster out of a 50th Anniversary Nissan 300ZX. Once you have two 1980s Japanese digital dashes, you have a problem collection, right? That was my logic when I bought the digital dash out of this 1984 Toyota Cressida. Even though I’m getting too ambitious with this Arduino-ized-digital-dash project, I felt I had no choice but to go back the next day and grab the XT Turbo’s cluster. So I did.
Someone had already torn up the driver’s-side door-latch mechanism, so I had to climb in through the passenger side and dismantle the latches enough to open the driver’s door.
That’s when I noticed this odd “Speed Alarm” feature, which used a key switch to lock the speed alarm in and out. Oh, Subaru, when did you lose your weirdness?
The instrument cluster in the XT moves up and down with the tilt wheel, which adds immense complexity but is totally worth it for the coolness. It took me quite a while to figure out how to detach the cluster from this Rube Goldberg rig.
Toyotas and Hondas of this era are ridiculously easy when it comes to this kind of job; you can yank an 80s Civic or Corolla cluster in about 25 seconds with just a screwdriver. Subaru had a different philosophy, and so I started removing every 10mm and 12mm fastener I could find.
There’s a hinged bezel above the cluster that resisted all attempts to release the cluster (I could have just smashed the hell out of everything in the way, but I do my best to leave all the parts I don’t want in usable condition for the next parts shopper), and the connectors on the dash harness were fiendishly inaccessible and frozen solid (Subaru went with a much cheaper electrical-parts supplier than did Honda, Toyota, or even Mitsubishi). In the 35-degree weather of a November morning in Denver, my hands took a real beating during the cluster-removal process.
Leaking a little of the red stuff is no big deal, however, when your struggles end with a beautiful 1980s Japanese digital cluster for your collection.
While I was shopping, I also picked up a nice Weber DGV 32/36 carburetor from a car with a strange-yet-familiar engine swap. More on that in a future Junkyard Find!

08 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1985 Subaru XT 4WD Turbo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1985-subaru-xt-4wd-turbo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/11/junkyard-find-1985-subaru-xt-4wd-turbo/#comments Thu, 15 Nov 2012 14:00:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=466944 The junkyards of Colorado don’t have quite the selection of the ones I grew up crawling around in California, but they do have more Subarus than I ever imagined possible. I’ve been a fan of the Subaru XT since it was new— in fact, I’m half-assedly shopping for one now— and so it’s reassuring to […]

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The junkyards of Colorado don’t have quite the selection of the ones I grew up crawling around in California, but they do have more Subarus than I ever imagined possible. I’ve been a fan of the Subaru XT since it was new— in fact, I’m half-assedly shopping for one now— and so it’s reassuring to find them during my junkyard visits and know that I’ll be able to get parts. Today’s find is a rare turbocharged four-wheel-drive version from the XT’s first model year.
The XT Turbo had a cockpit that was wild even by the crazed standards of mid-80s Japanese cars. The instrument cluster moved along with the tilt wheel, so that no steering-wheel setting could obscure your view of the gauges. Wait a minute— the XT didn’t have lowly gauges! When you bought an XT, you got the most video-game-ish digital display of them all, and that includes the Mitsubishi Cordia digital dash.
I didn’t have any tools on me when I found this car, so I didn’t pull the cluster for my collection. Should I go back for it?
“TURBO” was the magic word of the 1980s, but you had to be a special flavor of weird to think that the XT Turbo was as mainstream cool as something like the 300ZX Turbo or even the Starion.
These things weren’t cheap. The list price for the ’85 XT 4WD Turbo was $13,589, which was close to 30 grand in 2012 bucks. That was about $1,200 more than the Nissan 200SX Turbo, nearly $1,500 more than a factory-hot-rod Mazda RX-7 GSL, and close to $2,000 more than a Chevy Camaro IROC-Z.
This one is a bit rusty and generally used-up-looking, but it still has a lot of good parts.
The engine in this car made 111 horsepower, which is 27 fewer than the base engine in the 2013 Kia Rio. Yes, we are living in the Golden Age of Horsepower.
We’re also living in the Not-So-Golden Age of computer nannies; rather than a quaint sticker advising the driver to slow down when the slushbox overheats, today’s cars just go into limp mode.

Alcyone!

26 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1985 Subaru XT Turbo Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT6 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt6/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt6/#comments Wed, 06 Jun 2012 13:00:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=447541 As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found […]

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As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found this Juggalo-abused ’91), so I came to a screeching halt when I found this XT6.
Someday I will own an XT, though I’m torn between the pseudo-powerful XT6 and the digital instrument cluster of the XT Turbo. Such science-fiction optimism and goofy lines!
The era of loony-looking steering wheels like this ended when airbags became mandatory equipment. In ’91, manufacturers could substitute those maddening automatic seat belts for airbags.
These cars were supposed to have aircraft-influenced styling, which was the reason for the Ki-61-esque shift lever.
Remember analog EQs on car stereos?
Using “H” to designate a boxer engine just never seems right. Maybe call this one an ɛɜ6?

19 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 01 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 02 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 03 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 04 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 05 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 06 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 07 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 08 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 09 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 10 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 11 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 12 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 13 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 14 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 15 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 16 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 17 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden 18 - 1991 Subaru XT6 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil Greden Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1991 Subaru XT, Juggalo Inside http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt-juggalo-inside/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1991-subaru-xt-juggalo-inside/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2011 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409017 When I lived in California, I never saw a car covered with Insane Clown Posse paraphernalia in a junkyard. Colorado is a different story. When a Juggalo slaps some ICP stickers on his or her car here, it’s next stop, junkyard! Usually such cars are pay-it-no-mind Contours or Accords, and so I don’t really notice, […]

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When I lived in California, I never saw a car covered with Insane Clown Posse paraphernalia in a junkyard. Colorado is a different story. When a Juggalo slaps some ICP stickers on his or her car here, it’s next stop, junkyard! Usually such cars are pay-it-no-mind Contours or Accords, and so I don’t really notice, but I’ve been not-so-secretly lusting after a Subaru XT as a winter driver and it pains me to see one end up like this.
Yes, this car is done. I just hope the driver was wearing a seat belt when the XT-versus-concrete-abutment incident occurred.
That’s right, no need to move a complicated lever (like older Subarus) or flip a confusing switch (like the AMC Eagle) to get four-wheel-drive in this car. Subaru had figured out by the time they built this car that throwing a center differential in the drivetrain meant that clueless drivers wouldn’t tear up their tires (or worse) by leaving their cars in 4WD for 3,000-mile drives on dry asphalt. Full-time!
Class of ’08! Well, young drivers sometimes have to use up a few cars before they get the hang of the driving thing.
Used to be, you put a Grateful Dead “dancing bear” sticker on your car to ensure that members of the law enforcement community felt an overwhelming urge to search you for contraband. These days, you want this sticker to get that reaction from John Law.
No amount of frame-straightening is ever going to make this car right. Next stop, Crusher!

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