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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Subarute (small truck made from a Subaru wagon)

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7 replies to this topic

#1 sawdust_tom



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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:32 PM

Greetings All,


I'm interested in building (or having built for me) a small pickup truck from an older Subaru AWD wagon (Subarute). I have a good budget but I don't know how to get started in the design process.


I'm definitely going to outsource most of the body work, mechanical, etc. to qualified technicians.


Can anyone point me to some postings where someone has done something similar.


When it's done, I want it to be road legal (in Ohio) and to look / run really well. I'm hoping to build the bed on the Subarute myself (I'm actually a woodworker/furniture maker).


Where should I start?


What older model Subaru wagons would be a good starting point?


I certainly don't need massive horsepower but I'd like to be able to tow up to 5000 lbs. if it is possible. I only want two front seats - all the rest can be dedicated to the Subarute bed.


Thanks in advance for any ideas or guidance.

#2 john in KY

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:53 PM

I can't imagine any Subaru towing 5K pounds. Could be wrong but that is a bunch of weight. 

Edited by john in KY, 16 May 2017 - 09:53 PM.

#3 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:43 PM

a 2000+ Legacy Outback would be a good start Heavy car

#4 brucespoint



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Posted 17 May 2017 - 01:46 AM

Try getting a good look at the Baja Outback Legacy, think about moving the back cap forward, losing the rear doors, as much as can allowing for front seat travel and tilt. See if replacement sheet metal is available to assemble the hardest parts of it. Then fill the gaps. Find an H6 wagon, maybe upgrade to 5x114 hubs if able to for bigger bearings, H6 brakes are the largest rears that will fit 16", maybe 15" for LT tires for added weight carrying... but 5,000 lbs is a Big ask. Try a Tribeca? Or lighten the load.

#5 dfoyl


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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:22 AM

Find an older car or pickup with a separate chassis and stick the Subaru body on top. No Subaru is going to come close to towing that amount of weight safely. It's not the amount of horsepower that is the limitation, it's the chassis design just isn't capable of handling 5000 lbs. Around 3500 lbs would be more likely.

#6 Torry33


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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:45 PM


#7 Gloyale


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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:29 AM

I certainly don't need massive horsepower but I'd like to be able to tow up to 5000 lbs. if it is possible. I only want two front seats - all the rest can be dedicated to the Subarute bed.


There is no way to safely tow 5000 lbs with a subaru.  Only the 6cyl would realistically have the power......and those only came automatic so that's not good for 5000lbs.  Even with a trans cooler.


And the bigger issue, is that the subaru unibody isn't made for pulling 5000lbs......you would need to add signifigant reinforcement between subframe pieces, and then tie the tow hitch to that.


Don't get me wrong, it can work, I've pulled 6000 lbs with a EJ swapped GL wagon......but it wasn't safe, i didn't go far, and It was hard on the car, had to replace springs and shocks in rear after.


I consider now 3500lbs my safe weight limit for towing with the H6 LLbean.  It's the rating on the hitch too.

#8 idosubaru


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Posted 21 September 2017 - 07:50 PM

Buy a Baja, it's a Subaru wagon modified to small "truck", exactly what you're talking about.

2000+ for sure

5,000 far exceeds what most people would consider reasonable. maybe if you're adding another 2,000 pounds of steel reinforcement?

he could potentially get away with towing above limits in Ohio. It's so freaking flat in most of that state it's a breeze to tow and drive in the snow, it's like a joke. I'm not recommending it but if you had to do it once it wouldn't be hard there.

I tow 3,500 pound Subarus through mountains and it's far more taxing than flatland. I would guess 5,000 pounds in Ohio is better than 3,500 on 6%+ grades.

But if it's not beefed up that is going to feel insane if it ever pushes you. I've had to slam on my brakes once in an emergency situation while towing and that was a a scary feeling all that weight just sending you forward, and that was in my full size Ford F-150. If I was in a Subaru that would have ended much different.

Edited by idosubaru, 21 September 2017 - 07:51 PM.

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