Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - mad_scientist
Does anyone here have any experience with having a Subaru Legacy converted to LPG ???

I test drove an Outback recently and was very impressed with the vehicle, but I have read in many reviews, and was told by the dealer that they tend to be quite thirsty...

I would be intending to buy a used 4or 5 year old 2.5 estate or outback, automatic, and have the vehicle converted to LPG. I need the estate carrying capacity, so the LPG tank would need to be sited away from the load area (in a spare wheel well tank I assume) as I have heard some conversions have a cylinder/tank that goes in/on top of the boot/luggage area.

Has anyone on this forum had a legacy converted, and has it been successful........ what did it cost, has it been reliable, does the vehicle run well on it???

What kind of range is attainable from a spare wheel well tank, and are there other areas under the car that could take extra tanks to extend the range on LPG ?

On another note, does anyone have experience of having a Legacy maintained by an indepedndent (i.e. ordinary non main-dealer) garage) ?? Are they able to service the vehicle without specialist Subaru exquipment.

Main dealer servcing seems expensive for these cars, especially for the cam-belt change..... is this do-able by an ordinary garage ?

The main dealer said indepedndent servcing shouldn't be problem, as the only difference the cars have is the 4WD system just has more universal joints of the type other cars have, and checking these shouldn't be beyond any this true ?!

Can anyone make any general comments about living with a legacy.. all of the reviews I have read have said p[ositive things, except for the fuel consumption.

Many thanks,

The Mad Scientist....

Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - jd
I've had three Legacy estates and they have all been cracking cars :-

2.5 4-cam auto
2.0 turbo (x2)

Downsides, for me at least, being a private owner are the high fuel consumption, short range, and stupidly high insurance groups (not Subaru's fault I know).

Servicing at a main agent garage was no problem and never seemed expensive. Cam belt change was the only time I felt like saying 'ouch'.

The only reasons I've changed away from Subarau over the last couple of years are the mpg and insurance costs.

It's a real pity they don't make a Legacy Estate in V6 2.5 Tdi mode - that would be a cracking car I think....

Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - nick
No experience of an Outback but I've had a 2000 W plate Legacy 2 litre saloon for a few weeks now. I get around 35mpg on mainly motorway miles, dropping to 31mpg on B roads. My first impressions are of a superbly built and engineered car, no squeaks or rattles. It handles beautifully, loads of grip thanks to the 4wd and flat cornering yet a supple ride, much better than the saab 9-3 I was using beforehand and light years ahead of the Avensis, Primera and Vectras I've driven lately.
I intend to do most of the maintenance myself and I've been impressed how 'getatable' everthing is. Starter moter, alternator, clutch slave cylinder, oil filter, rad drain tap, gearbox dipstick, all easy. The cam belt is reputedly difficult and the belt itself is certainly expensive (£90), but it looks accessible enough to me. Change interval is 60k and I'll have this done at a dealer so there'll be some come back if the worst happens, though I have heard that the valves aren't damaged on this engine if the belt fails. Is this true? Anyone know?
The interior is a bit bland but the lovely sound of the flat four makes up for that. It revs so freely you really do need to watch the rev counter, there's no harshness to warn you that you're close to the red line.
To me, it seems to be a car built by engineers rather than accountants and if the reliability lives up to the reputation then Subaru will have a customer in me for a long time. I did loads of digging on the internet and tapping up friends and I couldn't find anyone who said a bad word about them except for aesthetic reasons.
I don't think you'll regret getting one.
Regarding LPG, I had a Jeep converted and had no problems. No idea how a Subaru would take it, I can't see why it would be a problem, just stick to a LPGA installer.
Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - wemyss
Saw a TV programme a few years ago which was a challenge to this man in the USA who built aircraft and he had to complete this one for the programme in a specific time of only a few weeks.
It made good viewing although he failed to complete the task.
One thing I recall was that apparently all the small aircraft built by enthusiasts used the Subaru car engine for some reason and it meant a trip down to the scrapyard to find one.
Your mention of it being a flat four Nick perhaps explains it.

Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - nick
Could well be the reason. The engine is relatively light for the power output and very compact, there's loads of room under the bonnet. A flat configuration is also naturally well balanced allowing smooth high revs for long periods, think of Citroen 2CVs and Beetles, both happy to run flat out for ever.
Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - Alfafan {P}
Don't forget the Alfasud!
Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - Stargazer {P}
Or the Porsche flat 6!

btw the subaru 2.0 and 2.5 are flat fours, the 3.0 is a flat six.
They used to do a legacy deisel (mk 1 legacy)

Ian L.
Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - Stargazer {P}
Hi Mad Scientist,

I ran a Outback in Oz for over 3 years, standard unleaded there is 91RON (dishwater) but I got over 35mpg on long open road trips fully loaded down. Dropping to 27mpg on short runs on hilly mountain roads and town driving. No city driving to speak of as I lived 300 miles from Sydney. I didnt think this was bad for a 2.5l car. Out there petrol is about 40p/l so the economy wasnt so much of an issue and insurance groups were very reasonable.

I didnt bring my much loved car back largely because of the insurance groups, anyone know why they are so high here in the UK?

They are very popular in Oz largely due to the reliability and road holding on rough roads. The flat four engine is very low in the engine bay making for good stability but all of the electrical stuff was above the engine and the air intake and air filter was right at the top of the engine bay so good in flood water.

I believe a space saving spare wheel is used here in the UK....the spare wheel well is large enough to fit a full size wheel (which is supplied in Oz) so the well is larger than absolutely necessary.

Ian L.

Subaru Legacy & LPG Conversion - Nev
Not a Lgeacy but a Forrester. It has a Tartarini Etagas system fitted. On the whole I am satisfied with it. I spoke to Subaru before having the conversion done and they were positive although there is a possibility of Valve recession. I use FlashLube upper cylinder lubricant to avoid that.

The performance is very good, I cannot tell the difference between petrol and gas. The car starts on petrol and switches automatically to gas when the evaporator has warmed up to 15 deg C. The evaporator is plumbed into the heater circuit. The tank is a donut in the spare wheeel well and gives a usable capacity of 48 litres. There are larger tanks without a hole in the middle now. Consumption is about 20% higher on LPG as the fuel. The caloric value of LPG is the same as petrol weight for weight but not litre for litre. Petrol is heavier.

There are 2 problems. It stalls when you pull away from a stop if the engine is not fully warmed up. I think that this is a problem with the Tartarini controller map not covering the idle revs. The default mapping is not good enough when the engine is not hot. I get around this by switching back to petrol if there is a traffic jam close to home.

The other problem is that the 2 closest LPG suppliers have stopped selling LPG. I now have to make 20 mile round trip to fill up so check your nearest supplier is staying in business. The next nearest supplier thinks he will have to stop selling as he has had his planning application refused. If your nearest supplier is a BP garage you need backup because their pumps are somewhat unreliable and take ages to get fixed. The one on the eastbound M4 at Reading was U/S for 4 months last year. You can check for you nearest supplier at

I hope this helps,


Value my car