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long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad


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#876 pontoontodd

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 12:51 PM

Friend of mine has a 2001 or 2002 Outback a neighbor gave him with front end damage.  Broke one of the cam gears and plenty of things in front of that.  He is probably just going to part it out.  Different color than either of mine and it's an EJ25/4EAT.  I'm thinking I'll take the good corner lights off and probably the power seat switch.  Anything else on these cars that tends to fail that I should grab?  He is probably going to take the front struts.  We'll take the CV axles and suspension if it's not all rusted together.  Probably just complete rear subframe with diff if possible.  Auto trans for the EJ is different than the one for the EZ30 according to the FSM.



#877 Gloyale

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 12:09 PM

Friend of mine has a 2001 or 2002 Outback a neighbor gave him with front end damage.  Broke one of the cam gears and plenty of things in front of that.  He is probably just going to part it out.  Different color than either of mine and it's an EJ25/4EAT.  I'm thinking I'll take the good corner lights off and probably the power seat switch.  Anything else on these cars that tends to fail that I should grab?  He is probably going to take the front struts.  We'll take the CV axles and suspension if it's not all rusted together.  Probably just complete rear subframe with diff if possible.  Auto trans for the EJ is different than the one for the EZ30 according to the FSM.

 

It's just different thickness and # of plates in some of the clutches, springs int eh accumulators different etc.....

 

But when it comes down to it they are really the same trans.  I've used a Forester trans in an LLbean H6 by swapping int he front diff to 4.11.......it runs fine, no codes.



#878 Numbchux

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 12:41 PM

Yea, only major difference is the VDC cars.



#879 pontoontodd

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Posted 03 May 2018 - 05:46 PM

00-02 should have the 276mm front rotors, which will fit under 15s without modification.

 

03-04 went to 294mm, which will not (without modification). With grinding on the Caliper, it can be done. This is the only picture I currently have uploaded, but I've had these '98 Outback 5-spoke 15s on my '03 and '04 (pictured on the blue '03 here):

35567803421_1fe5d918c3_c.jpg

20160508_182216 by Numbchux, on Flickr

 

Did some measuring on the white 2002 OB H6 LL Bean wagon.  Discs are 294mm and 15" alloy wheels from the 99 OB definitely don't fit.  So I'll probably get 99 front brakes for that one.

 

The coilover reservoir shocks I have from the a-arm setup have 6.5" travel so I can get about 10.5" of wheel travel in the rear with those, shouldn't be too hard to adapt.  Droop travel seems limited by the inboard CV joint bottoming out, which it does on the rear strut suspension at full droop as well.  Stage two will probably be getting 8.5" travel shocks (maybe just shafts and bodies to put on these) and making longer lateral links.  At some point I'll see how much longer they can be with the stock CV axles, I'm guessing an inch or so like we did in the front.  One of those links is really short so an extra inch would make a big difference.  Thinking then I could get 13-14" of wheel travel.


Edited by pontoontodd, 03 May 2018 - 05:48 PM.


#880 jf1sf5

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 10:04 AM

That would be some huge wheel travel !



#881 scalman

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 12:04 PM

Im trying not to think too much how awesome would that be haha.

#882 Gloyale

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:11 PM

  Droop travel seems limited by the inboard CV joint bottoming out, which it does on the rear strut suspension at full droop as well. 

 

I am confused.  Seems like at full "droop", the CV should be either close to hyper-extending or binding at the edge of the cup if not overextending.  

 

I think of "bottoming out" as when the suspension is compressed and the axle is straight into the cup, into the deep part of the cup.

 

Is there something about the 00+ geometry that compresses the axle at droop rather than extend it?



#883 pontoontodd

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 01:20 PM

I am confused.  Seems like at full "droop", the CV should be either close to hyper-extending or binding at the edge of the cup if not overextending.  

 

I think of "bottoming out" as when the suspension is compressed and the axle is straight into the cup, into the deep part of the cup.

 

Is there something about the 00+ geometry that compresses the axle at droop rather than extend it?

 

Yes, the inner CV bottoms out.  I think this is mainly because the lateral links are shorter than the CV axles.  On the 2000+ multilink, one of the links is very short.  So as it swings down it pulls the wheel inward.  The rear strut suspension does the same thing.



#884 Gloyale

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 03:18 PM

Yes, the inner CV bottoms out.  I think this is mainly because the lateral links are shorter than the CV axles.  On the 2000+ multilink, one of the links is very short.  So as it swings down it pulls the wheel inward.  The rear strut suspension does the same thing.

 

Interesting.  I have the exact opposite problem with the rear end of my EA81 w/ torsion bar/ trailing arm.



#885 scalman

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Posted 04 May 2018 - 05:13 PM

in  rear in pulls wheel inward and turns it too. but can it be changed ?



#886 jf1sf5

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 06:13 AM

True, when the links are shorter than the axles, the tripod bottoms to the inside of the cups at full droop. Older BG Outbacks have a better design as the links are nearly the same length as the axles.



#887 pontoontodd

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 10:09 AM

in  rear in pulls wheel inward and turns it too. but can it be changed ?

 

Yes, anything can be changed, but would it be worth the effort?  You would have to modify or rebuild the subframe to change that, which some people do.  I think longer links to get 13-14" of travel would be good enough.  There will probably be all sorts of other things limiting suspension travel at that point.  I should probably measure the bump steer with the stock links but I can't imagine it would be too bad.

 

True, when the links are shorter than the axles, the tripod bottoms to the inside of the cups at full droop. Older BG Outbacks have a better design as the links are nearly the same length as the axles.

 

The BG links are still shorter than the axles, and they start out at more of a downward angle, so we have the same problem, it's not quite as bad.  One of the main reasons we can get decent suspension travel out of the Subarus is that the CV axles are so long.  I haven't seen many other cars, and virtually no trucks, with CV axles as long.



#888 scalman

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 04:42 PM

but those links are shorter for reasons. do they not ? question is can we still get more from our oem struts . or those struts on limit allready?



#889 jf1sf5

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 05:12 PM

Its not really possible to get more stroke from the oem struts, maybe only with cartridges but its quite difficult to find some with more stroke than stock oem Subarus.

 

Lately, I went to my friends garage, he's a mechanic, an I looked under a Nissan X-trail from early '00 and the rear struts seemed to be a little longer with more stroke than the Subaru struts but the same design. I'll try to find the specs on the net to compare.



#890 pontoontodd

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:36 PM

Its not really possible to get more stroke from the oem struts, maybe only with cartridges but its quite difficult to find some with more stroke than stock oem Subarus.

 

Lately, I went to my friends garage, he's a mechanic, an I looked under a Nissan X-trail from early '00 and the rear struts seemed to be a little longer with more stroke than the Subaru struts but the same design. I'll try to find the specs on the net to compare.

 

If you look at:

http://www.monroe.com/en-US/e-catalog

http://showmetheparts.com/kyb/

https://www.partsgee...an/x_trail.html

It does look like they have a little more travel than 1999 Outback struts, maybe an inch.  Top threads are the same, so you could probably use Subaru top hats.  Not sure about the bottom mount or offset for tire clearance and camber, pictures might not be those particular struts.  For that matter have you tried putting Subaru rear struts on the front?  I think the bolt pattern is the same, maybe not enough offset to give you good tire clearance, but they're definitely longer and have more travel.

 

Looks like you could get an early 00 Xtrail with a 280hp SR20VET and six speed manual!  Why not just buy one of those?



#891 scalman

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 02:30 AM

I would think if those would fit subarus people all over then world would use them no? At least in russia areas, they like to diy many things there or redo remake stuffto fit. I never heard from russians they would use x trail shocks on subarus.

#892 jf1sf5

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 12:31 PM

I would think if those would fit subarus people all over then world would use them no? At least in russia areas, they like to diy many things there or redo remake stuffto fit. I never heard from russians they would use x trail shocks on subarus.

 

Yeah, but sometimes you think that everything has been "discovered" and you find something new...just like EUDM BG Outback exhaust, SVX front axles...



#893 pontoontodd

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:44 AM

We went back to Ozark NF in Arkansas over the weekend.  Decided to check out the small section of it between Mountain Home and Mountain View.  C made it to my house a little before 6AM Friday in his 99 Impreza Outback Sport and we hooked up the tow bar and lights and headed south.  Picked up K on the way and met J in Mountain Home and unhooked the Impreza.  We started trail riding towards the Leatherwood wilderness.  We crossed a stream next to a waterfall and C noticed one of his tires was leaking.  We swapped it out with his spare and continued.

 

IMG_1111s.jpg

We spent the night at Gunner pool campground next to a small pool created by a rock dam holding back the stream.

 

IMG_1119s.jpg


C's RR strut mount rusted out in the Impreza and he kept getting flat tires so we stopped at the Walmart in Mountain View and bought two Goodyears.  There was a two hour wait so C did the mounting in the parking lot with a couple of prybars.  K and I went to the tractor supply store and got a dozen ~8” hose clamps we used to hold his strut top mount together.

 

IMG_1123s.jpg


B broke the RF lower balljoint (Amazon lifetime warranty) in the Forester, which also pulled apart the CV axle.  Fortunately the balljoint came out easily and we were able to get it back together.  His car was also running hot, the condenser is beat and the radiator was plugged with dirt/dust.  We stopped a couple of times to blast out his radiator but that fix didn't seem to last very long.  His engine is also still using a lot of oil, at least a quart per tank, doesn't seem to be going in the intake from the breathers or leaking.  Any idea what the cause or solution to that problem is?


C went to climb a long, rutted, rocky climb and his drivetrain was slipping about halfway up.  We headed back out that trail the way we came but there was a long grade with some steep sections we had to drive back up.  He thought the clutch was slipping so we spent some time pouring water in the clutch fork hole which didn't seem to help much.  When we got back to the long climb out he couldn't drive it up.  He said it was showing 30mph on the speedo but the car wasn't moving.  I looked under the front and the RF CV axle bar and inboard joint were spinning but the outer joint was not.  I tried towing him up the grade but didn't make it very far.  I drove up to the top of the grade where B was waiting and got a spare front CV axle and some tools and drove back down to C.  We swapped out the CV axle.  C suggested towing him up just to make sure he'd get to the top rather than getting halfway up and having to back down.  We hooked up the strap and went as fast as I thought was reasonably safe.  Most of the time there was slack in the strap but I was pulling him a little on the steepest parts.  He probably could have made it up under his own power but it was an entertaining ride and put us in a better mood.


We were following what looked like a long trail on the map and came to a gate that was open but said private property.  It was at a wide shallow rock stream crossing.  C parked hard in the stream so we decided to follow suit for a photo op.

 

DSCN0070s.jpg


C blew out a brake line in the Impreza when I started turning around in a giant dust cloud and he didn't see us until the last minute.  We tried replacing the line but then the other rear line broke so we decided to just splice the rear lines together inside the car and bleed the brakes.  While we were waiting for it to cool down we checked out the boat ramp I was turning around for.  K noticed a big snakeskin and then noticed a snake.  We saw at least two swimming around the rocks along the shore.

Drove by the road to Sugarloaf Mountain, I thought at first we could drive to the top but the Forest Service had locked the gate.  It was a mile to the top and there is a big fire tower so we figured that would be cool to check out. Walked to the top to find out we probably weren't supposed to climb the fire tower which was a big disappointment.

 

DSCN0082s.jpg


The last night we camped at a campground that was partially closed with a spring and cave nearby.  It had hot showers and we camped along the stream which was wide and shallow.  B went back to the RV dump site and blasted out his radiator.  We cooked dogs over a campfire and went to sleep.

 

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We packed up the cars in the morning and went to a picnic area with a cave and cliff amphitheater and ate bagels and cinnamon rolls.  C stopped at the RV station to wash out his radiator and I hard parked the Outback on a sharp rocky curb which punctured the sidewall.  I plugged it and aired back up.  Plugs came out every hour or two so we eventually put the spare on, C was excited to see the electric jacks in action.  One time we had to stop for that I pulled off the road in Mark Twain NF and after we plugged it we followed the overgrown trail there to a small pond. 

 

DSCN0097s.jpg

 

On the way back out that trail we did some hard parking on a small rock garden. 

 

DSCN0098s.jpg

 

DSCN0099s.jpg

 

DSCN0101s.jpg

 

We took a few other side roads/trails in Mark Twain that were fairly short dead ends.  We were able to drive all three cars home.  Outback just needs a tire patch.  Impreza needs rear brake lines.  Forester needs a new condenser and possibly radiator and probably tires.  By far the most trail repairs we've ever done on a trip, a lot of them were tires.  It was a hot weekend, highs of 90F and lows in the 60s, plenty of humidity and not much wind.  But we had a good time and found some good trails.

B is looking for a rust free Forester so any leads on that would be appreciated, let's say $3000 budget, under 200k miles, stick shift.






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