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Guest Message by DevFuse

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1997 legacy outback serious alignment issue on back wheels


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4 replies to this topic

#1 kris carlson

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:37 PM

can the rear wheels be aligned on this car? is this an issue with this model?


Thanks, Kris

#2 Rooster2


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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:16 AM

I have always had a 4 wheel alignment done on my 98 Outback, which is the same car that you have. I don't think it is an "issue," it is just how alignments are done on Outbacks.

#3 Bushwick


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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:59 PM

On the rear most lateral arm, the bolt that holds the bushing into the subframe has a slight cam action to it to with the washers to allow for the bar to be repositioned (in/out) a couple degrees. If you remove the bolt and drop the washers, (might need knock the raised rust off with a mill fill), you'll see several notches in the washer as a guide. 


Also, You might want to check the subframe isn't rotted and busting out. This can cause the entire assembly to move around or flex badly, causing the lateral bars to move around. Apparently rotted rear sub frames are VERY common. I bought mine with it just floating. Neither side was even attached to body (surprisingly it was still drivable and nothing in the drive-line was damaged). I haven't seen as "bad" in yards, but I've seen quite a few with giant holes in them up top and towards the back on the sides of where the 2 bolts hold the center housing to it. If yours is rotted, they are very easy to swap out and can be done in a day with basic hand tools. Also, the right rear brake line runs across the subframe and rusts out easily. If yours hasn't been changed, do it while the subframe is down. Judging by a small section of factory brake line left over near the fuel tank, mine was replaced once already before I bought the car, and needed replaced again when I did the sub frame, so that's 2 rear brake lines in 170k miles. If you don't have salted roads during the winter, it shouldn't be an issue, but if you do and there are no holes yet, consider power washing weekly to prevent salt from sitting on the surface as this is what kills the metal once it exposed. Oil sprays are good preventatives too.

Edited by Bushwick, 30 October 2013 - 03:03 PM.

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 30 October 2013 - 03:42 PM

^^^ I just did all this to replace a brake line, and also dropped the gas tank. My subrame had rust scale and bubbles, but not rusted through. I used a chipping hammer to knock off the rust flakes, and painted the whole thing in ATF oil to seal it up. Not fun, but necessary (for the brake line)

#5 Bushwick


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Posted 30 October 2013 - 03:47 PM

^ LOL I painted mine with roll bar paint then took a can of axle grease and applied to all the welds, trouble spot seams, and coated the top in hopes it'll stave off any future rust while owning.

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