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Hi, New guy with an outback


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15 replies to this topic

#1 phantommaggot

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:27 AM

Well. I came here because this seems to be the place to figure out how to make my outback more off road capable.
I have a 96 outback. Manual trans 2.2. only 'mod' so far is a snorkelectomy. I'm trying to decide if I want to keep it and get it 'off road' worthy or sell it for a different wagon that is better suited for off road.

I was a little dissappointed to find out that the car lacked any kind of limited slip. Specially since it was supposed to be the 'off road' version of the legacy. My 00 gt had a vlsd at least.

 

Anyways, here is my car. Its a little beat up but only has 123??? miles on it and is in great running shape.

It had the 'dust deflector' spoiler. That had to go, so a buddy of mine welded some nails in and sorted that right out. I haven't done much but clean it up and buff the headlights. Painted the rear grab bar thing blitz black.

Have some ngk wires and plugs to go in along with an oil change next week when I have time.

I need some tires, These blizzaks are gonna melt off here soon. I can't decide if its worth it to get off road or all terrian tires or just some street tires that are better for gas mileage. I have come across a guy parting an impreza and have considered taking his struts/springs and lowering it sice it is moderatly worthless with open diffs IMO.

Lastly.. this thing is WEAK.


 



#2 soobie_newbie67

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:48 AM

Yep. These body styles rarely had the LSD. And my 2000 GT has an LSD too. Is your GT a sedan or wagon?

#3 phantommaggot

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 12:01 PM

GT was a sedan. I liked it but it had to go.



#4 kaki

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 02:07 PM

Phantom ...congrats on your purchase. It doesnt look bad at all and at least it is a 2.2 liter 5 speed**:)! Am gonna shoot you pics of the T-leg we talked about, once I get back and we can go from there. Will also shoot you an email**



#5 phantommaggot

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Posted 17 April 2014 - 09:49 PM

O, Nice.
Thanks man.

On another note, I got to do some... off roading.. tonight. I was acually surprised I didnt get stuck. It was rough.



#6 pontoontodd

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 07:13 AM

Do a little searching on here, check out some build threads (including mine) for ideas.

I'd heard the 96 OB is just a rebadged Legacy with no lift, but I could be wrong.  There should be spacers between the subframes and the body from the factory.

Yes, the open front/rear and viscous center diffs leave a lot to be desired.  A lot of people prefer the autos because you can lock the center diff and the converter lets you crawl more easily.

From my experience, in order of benefit/time, I'd recommend:

Go over the car, make sure everything is working properly, brakes, struts, check for broken springs (usually at the top), loose wheel bearings, tie rods, ball joints, clicking CVs, structural rust, etc.

Guard under the oil pan - go from the crossmember to the radiator support, which you should also beef up.

Guard under the gas tank - that will be the next thing to get beat up and it is a PITA to replace.

Remove front and rear bumper covers.  If you don't, the mud/sand will eventually if you're really offroading it.  I have mine set up to easily go on and off.

1.5" or 2" strut lift.  Pretty easy if you can do basic fabricating, helped a lot more than I thought it would.

215/75/15 off road tires.  With the diffs and gearing mentioned above, you will actually want some wheelspin in a lot of situations, off road tires are as much for durability as traction.



#7 TheLoyale

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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

You would be surprised what these cars can do without an LSD, the AWD system in these is pretty unbeatable. I had a '95 Outback, which was the first model year of the Outback trim level. The '95 Outback is a Legacy L with the two tone paint. Also sports an EJ22, which I am kinda surprised to see in your '96, which should have the EJ25D (Quad-Cam motor)

 

Word of advice, Stay away from the Viscus LSDs and get a nice Clutch style. From everything I've read on the USMB over the years from the guys who do heavy off-roading, the LSD isn't the most practical on the trails, if you don't want it as a DD anymore, you're better off Welding the rear diff.

 

As for tires, going with the BFGoodrich All-Terrains would be a decent idea, both street and trail ready and will last a while, unline my Maxxis Bighorns.

 

Also, the grab bar on the rear gate is worth a few $$ on here..

 

-Tom


Edited by TheLoyale, 18 April 2014 - 08:46 PM.


#8 phantommaggot

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 09:52 AM

Hey guys
Thanks for the great advice.
I accidentally went off roading thrusday night.
I went up a mountian 'road' that takes me to one of my favorite hikes. Last year I could do it in my 3rd gen GT sedan.. the other night I bottomed out a couple times with 195/70 - 15s. I was very suprised that I didn't get stuck. 1point for subaru with open diffs. Blizzaks may have helped lol.

That said I have blizzaks on there that are brand new. They came with the car. I needed some wheels/tires to get them off there so I picked up some RS 5 spokes. Probably not the best choice for 'off raoding' but they were available locally, weren't too expensive, and will get me of the blizzaks for now. I'm gonna look into tires and order some soon. Suggestions welcome.

As far as how much 'Off Roading' I'm gonna do.. Not a huge amount but I'd like to know I can most places whenever I need to and not get stuck.
I grew up in subarus. My dad had a quite a few 80s scoobs. Hatchback, dual range Wagon, ETC. They would climb trees and still get you home in the worst weather. They didn't die till the rust just ate them beyone repair. His father sold subarus, my other grandpa gave me my first legacy as my first car. Subaru is in the blood even if I prefer tiny cars...

After spending some time in the car. Right now my biggest gripe is how absurdly weak it is. I went out of my way to get the 96 because its the first year for the legit outback body and suspension and the 5 speed came with the bomb proof 2.2. It was also the first year for the 2.5 but it was only mated to an auto and required 92 octane that year. The one I picked up only has 123k on it now and a new clutch and the things that go along with that. Supposedly a new timing belt but I'm suspecting the water pump wasn't done.

I hike around as much as I can which leads me up steep, twisty, and sometimes unfriendly mountian roads. I also tend to take people and some gear. So far I've ended up crawling up those mountians in 1st and 2nd gear. Thats a bit depressing. I've had some underpowered daily fun cars but this is by far the slowest and weakest.
I have been looking into what 5-8 lbs of boost would accomplish and what kind of wear it would put on the motor. Everything seems positive. Just getto fab an up pipe off he header and do the same for a downpipe. I have single port heads and standard style up pipes are seemingly elusive.

I was thinking I could do forester struts and saggy butt spacers, Get my suspension aligned from there.
I really would like to get something under the car to protect my exhaust, oil pan, ETC.
My motor is in great shape as far as I can tell. I just fed it some mobile 1 with an OEM filter. Put in some NGK G power plugs and NGK wires.

And I'm gonna need tires. I'll throw up some pics when I mount those RS wheels in just a little bit. They have 205/55-16 sports car tires now.

Anyways, I'm rambling.
I'm gonna go mount those wheels/tires and ride the highway a bit. If they seem legit I'm gonna go hike.



#9 TheLoyale

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 11:45 AM

Well, you could always swap EJ18 heads onto the EJ22 block for a higher compression ratio and more torque, which may help it chug along. I know there is a write up on here some where long with a write up on swapping EJ22 heads onto an EJ25 block. Jboymechanic did that swap which I was present for, did give the motor a lot more pull throughout the gears.

 

Turbos are their own headache ;)



#10 phantommaggot

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 12:37 PM

Turbos are indeed their own headache. I was reading some threads where guys had 100k miles on Getto turbo setups on 2.2s.
22t ecu, up pipe, down pipe, wrx or some other intercooler, BOV, oil lines and 5-8 lbs.

I won't sell my grab bar lol. I hated it when I got the car. After I blasted it with some blitz black I like it haha. Honestly I probably just hate chrome. Not something I'll ever be into unless its tasteful. Window trim and a random grab bar are not that.

 

Can anyone suggest a tire size for what I've got. Stock height and RS wheels. I don't think this setup will cut it..
That said, I was considering geolanders since they arent expensive. Possibly 215/70-16






lol
I do like the look of these on the outback though. I'm glad I got them.

Here are a few more fun pics.
Before:

 

After: Cleaned up and dipped the battery tie down bar, cleaned up and flat blacked the tie down bolts and blitzed the nuts. Blitzed the alternator cover and dipped the compressor cover. Cleaned all the caps and stuff. Its not perfect but it looks better. NGK wires :D
Pic came out bad... There is antisieze ALL OVER the battery bar XD. I'll try to get a better one later.



http://smg.photobuck...html?state=copy

And my GT driving on the same road I bottomed out on. This was last year .. September ish.



#11 pontoontodd

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 12:58 PM

Hey guys
Thanks for the great advice.
I accidentally went off roading thrusday night.
I went up a mountian 'road' that takes me to one of my favorite hikes. Last year I could do it in my 3rd gen GT sedan.. the other night I bottomed out a couple times with 195/70 - 15s. I was very suprised that I didn't get stuck. 1point for subaru with open diffs. Blizzaks may have helped lol.

That said I have blizzaks on there that are brand new. They came with the car. I needed some wheels/tires to get them off there so I picked up some RS 5 spokes. Probably not the best choice for 'off raoding' but they were available locally, weren't too expensive, and will get me of the blizzaks for now. I'm gonna look into tires and order some soon. Suggestions welcome.

As far as how much 'Off Roading' I'm gonna do.. Not a huge amount but I'd like to know I can most places whenever I need to and not get stuck.
I grew up in subarus. My dad had a quite a few 80s scoobs. Hatchback, dual range Wagon, ETC. They would climb trees and still get you home in the worst weather. They didn't die till the rust just ate them beyone repair. His father sold subarus, my other grandpa gave me my first legacy as my first car. Subaru is in the blood even if I prefer tiny cars...

After spending some time in the car. Right now my biggest gripe is how absurdly weak it is. I went out of my way to get the 96 because its the first year for the legit outback body and suspension and the 5 speed came with the bomb proof 2.2. It was also the first year for the 2.5 but it was only mated to an auto and required 92 octane that year. The one I picked up only has 123k on it now and a new clutch and the things that go along with that. Supposedly a new timing belt but I'm suspecting the water pump wasn't done.

I hike around as much as I can which leads me up steep, twisty, and sometimes unfriendly mountian roads. I also tend to take people and some gear. So far I've ended up crawling up those mountians in 1st and 2nd gear. Thats a bit depressing. I've had some underpowered daily fun cars but this is by far the slowest and weakest.
I have been looking into what 5-8 lbs of boost would accomplish and what kind of wear it would put on the motor. Everything seems positive. Just getto fab an up pipe off he header and do the same for a downpipe. I have single port heads and standard style up pipes are seemingly elusive.

I was thinking I could do forester struts and saggy butt spacers, Get my suspension aligned from there.
I really would like to get something under the car to protect my exhaust, oil pan, ETC.
My motor is in great shape as far as I can tell. I just fed it some mobile 1 with an OEM filter. Put in some NGK G power plugs and NGK wires.

And I'm gonna need tires. I'll throw up some pics when I mount those RS wheels in just a little bit. They have 205/55-16 sports car tires now.

Anyways, I'm rambling.
I'm gonna go mount those wheels/tires and ride the highway a bit. If they seem legit I'm gonna go hike.

 

If this car is that much slower than your LGT, are you sure there's not something wrong with the engine?  Plugged air filter, etc?  Brakes dragging?  Is this with three other people and gear or just yourself?  Have you driven another 2.2 OB before?  Mine has the 2.5 DOHC and seems reasonably fast.  More power is always better, and I've thought of turboing mine too, but you should probably make sure it's running right first.

 

I'm not sure the forester struts are much taller than OB, and I think the springs are softer, so that might not get you much lift.  I did a 1.5" strut lift front and rear, you could probably go 2".  The rear shouldn't sit any lower than the front, although it looks like yours does, you might want to check if any of your springs are broken (look near the top perch).  If you do anything with the struts or lift blocks, do it all and go as high as you can while you have it apart.

 

Surprisingly, you don't have to protect the exhaust, it seems to stay intact regardless of the fact that it hangs below everything else.  Oil pan and gas tank you should do something about.

 

I put 215/75/15 Hankook Dynapro MTs on mine.  They rubbed before the lift, almost never with the lift.  I did go to Forester steel wheels since they're offset farther away from the struts.  Those wheels are cheap but apparently weaker than other Sube steelies.  If you have other Sube wheels with 215/75/15s they would probably have to be spaced out about 1/4" to clear the rear struts.  If those are the type of roads you're driving on, you'd probably be better off with stock sized tires, the taller tires will just hurt your gearing more.


Edited by pontoontodd, 19 April 2014 - 01:01 PM.


#12 TheLoyale

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Posted 19 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

Forster struts are the same between the Outback. The springs are indeed stiffer and will jack the car up more, I had 225/60/16s on mine with Forester struts and springs. I had about 1/2" clearance between the top of the tire and the Spring perch. I had about 1/4" between the sidewall and the shock body.

 

I want to say the Forester top hats are taller than the Outback ones.

 

Here are a few photos of mine with this setup.

 

Front Outback Vs. Forester Springs:

 

I don't have a photo of the front Struts by them selves.

 

Rear Outback Vs. Forester Springs:

 

Outback Struts Vs. Legacy Struts

 

225/60/16 on Outback wheels.

 

And this is how it sat.

 

 

Front view.

 

Hope this helps you somewhat.

 

-Tom



#13 phantommaggot

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:52 AM

My springs didn't look broken. They still seem to be flat on top. I'll jack the car up here in a bit and take a better look and get back to you on that one.
EDIT: springs are fine all around

As far as the car not having power. It is decent enough when It's just me. Or me and a little gear. If I put over... 250 lbs or so it gets really sluggish. I pick a friend up on the regular, he is 340ish. With himin the car I'm doing quite a bit of downshifting at highway speed.
I bought the car about 2k miles ago now. Fresh clutch, gaskets, and some other stuff. I Just got done putting NGK Gpower plugs and NGK wires in it along with some Mobil 1 high mileage and a fresh OEM filter. Only thing I have left to replace is the air filter, but the one in it is in pretty good shape.
It does run rich as hell when I start it, but I'm not seeing a CEL...

Funny side note, Those RS wheels and tires speed up my speedo by about 6 mph.

^So, foresters have softer spring or stiffer springs...
"I'm not sure the forester struts are much taller than OB, and I think the springs are softer, so that might not get you much lift"
"Forster struts are the same between the Outback. The springs are indeed stiffer and will jack the car up more"

Most of my driving will be town, highway, and back road driving. Honestly I hate the thought of sacrificing MPG. But there are times when I need to get places that only a lift and tires will allow me to go, so why not do it right.

Edited by phantommaggot, 20 April 2014 - 11:18 AM.


#14 pontoontodd

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 09:05 PM

check out this thread

http://www.ultimates...ts#entry1042022

 

also, these cars are pretty light, adding 500# will affect your performance more than it would most cars


Edited by pontoontodd, 20 April 2014 - 09:09 PM.


#15 newhampshiresouthpaw

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 08:45 PM

This is my 97 Outback...except it's got a 2.5, it's auto and has over 230,000 miles on it! It's the mule. I take it exploring logging road in search of ponds and streams in the Great North Woods  :) My white 96 wagon (the Goose) has the 2.2 with manual t., but I'm pretty excited about the little 93 Impreza I just got with the 1.8L.

Attached File  2K7-2K8 099.jpg   52.91K   9 downloads



#16 phantommaggot

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 06:41 AM

Love that lol
What are the lines in the front tied to.

I haven't had time or money to do much with mine. I'm gonna research some tires and such. I assume I'll end up with 215/65-16 I don't know if a 70 would fit right now. Kind of worried about the 215/65 fitting and rubbing, but that what size a geolander comes in.

I'm gonna read through that suspension thread as soon as I have time. Thanks for linking it!

 






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