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Everything posted by pontoontodd

  1. Quick links: to see all of our videos, just check out my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/pontoontodd The start of the long travel build starts on post 81: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-4?do=findComment&comment=1266961 Fairly current pictures of the long travel struts on page 25: https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1355228 Tips for building an EJ Subaru for off road: Build protection for the radiator and oil pan. (see below for something basic) (post 32 for something more elaborate) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-2?do=findComment&comment=1221826 Front skidplate if you want to be thorough. (post 480) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-20?do=findComment&comment=1341248 Build protection for the gas tank. (post 5) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1217857 Lift the suspension with strut spacers. (post 7) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1217859 Better solution is to build or buy better struts and springs. With a lift, and especially with long travel suspension, a higher lift jack is required. (post 265) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-11?do=findComment&comment=1319081 Get off road tires. Mud is the most likely place to get stuck or have traction problems, so mud tires are best. They're also more resistant to puncture. Make sure you have a flywheel dust shield. (post 248) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-10?do=findComment&comment=1316910 Reinforce the front control arms. (post 44) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-2?do=findComment&comment=1231150 Or build heavier duty, wider arms. (post 85) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-4?do=findComment&comment=1270481 Use alloy wheels, definitely not Forester steel wheels. Torque lug nuts to 100 ft-lbs. Dielectric grease in the spark plug pockets on DOHC EJ25. If you spend a lot of time in the woods you should build fabricated bumpers. Almost worth building to have something solid to tie your radiator protection to. (post 4) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1217856 Rear bumper / gas tank protection. (post 161) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-7?do=findComment&comment=1290470 Get folding side mirrors if the car didn't come with them. (post 47) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-2?do=findComment&comment=1245301 Reinforce/skid the rear subframe mounts. (post 50) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-2?do=findComment&comment=1246237 Replace the brake lines if you live in the rust belt with flex stainless braided and add a buggy style steering brake. (post 143) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-6?do=findComment&comment=1284093 Check wheel bearings, ball joints, and tie rods for slop. Check knuckles (spindles) for cracks at the base of the strut mounts. (post 237) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-10?do=findComment&comment=1313874 Upgrade to bolt on wheel bearings if you have press in wheel bearings. (post 266) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-11?do=findComment&comment=1319135 Sleeve front control arm mounts in crossmember. (post 159) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-7?do=findComment&comment=1286994 (post 314) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-13?do=findComment&comment=1325958 Install group N engine mounts to keep the engine from moving around so much. (post 107) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-5?do=findComment&comment=1277770 Additional HID lights wired to fog light switch only with headlights on high. (post 189) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-8?do=findComment&comment=1299016 Larger / centrifugal air filter for dust. (post 271) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-11?do=findComment&comment=1319259 Cooling system testing. (post 339) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-14?do=findComment&comment=1328108 Radiator upgrade. (post 363) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-15?do=findComment&comment=1329904 B pillar electric jacks. (post 541) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-22?do=findComment&comment=1345331 Quick release fasteners for spare tire. (post 542) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-22?do=findComment&comment=1345473 CBs for communication. Tablet for GPS. (post 52) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-3?do=findComment&comment=1249804 Speed strap is the best thing we've found for recovery. Pretty quick and easy to loop them around almost anything, 2" model seems indestructible for Subaru use. Much faster than winching. Trail fixes: If your clutch starts slipping because you don't have a flywheel dust shield, spray water in the top of the bellhousing through the throwout fork hole with a garden hose and pump the clutch. from Uberoo If your engine is running rough, unplug MAF, TPS, and O2 sensors one at a time and see if one of those makes it run more smoothly. from Uberoo Racing safety modifications: Fuel cell. (post 160) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-7?do=findComment&comment=1287392 Roll cage. (post 211) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-9?do=findComment&comment=1306131 Race seats and five point harnesses. (post 213) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-9?do=findComment&comment=1306611 Window nets, extinguisher, and padding. (post 214) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-9?do=findComment&comment=1306778 Rear lights, first aid, driveshaft strap. (post 215) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-9?do=findComment&comment=1307189 Transmission scattershield. (post 248) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-10?do=findComment&comment=1316910 Trip reports: September 2014 Upper Peninsula of Michigan (post 54) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-3?do=findComment&comment=1251178 April 2015 Black Mountain Kentucky (post 140) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-6?do=findComment&comment=1283318 July 2015 Badlands Indiana (post 176) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-8?do=findComment&comment=1295716 November 2015 Interlake Indiana (post 226) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-10?do=findComment&comment=1308438 January 2016 Notrees Texas (post 238) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-10?do=findComment&comment=1315301 April 2016 Notrees Texas (post 275) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-11?do=findComment&comment=1323898 May 2016 Smoky Mountains (post 343) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-14?do=findComment&comment=1328449 July 2016 Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan (post 372) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-15?do=findComment&comment=1332038 August 2016 Vegas to Reno Nevada (post 403) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-17?do=findComment&comment=1335235 November 2016 California to Illinois (post 503) http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-21?do=findComment&comment=1342977 April 2017 Notrees Texas https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1356707 May 2017 Badlands https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1358036 July 2017 UP https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1362143 August 2017 Vegas to Reno Nevada https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1364935 November 2017 Illinois to California and back https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1371258 November 2017 Badlands https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1372399 February 2018 southern Illinois https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1378234 February 2018 Arkansas https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1379018 March 2018 Mine Made off road park in Kentucky https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1380686 April 2018 Arkansas https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1382616 May 2018 Arkansas https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1384499 May 2018 Illinois to Tennessee https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1385484 June 2018 UP https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1385849 July 2018 UP https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1387742 October 2018 New Mexico and Arizona https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1392330 November 2018 Badlands https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?do=findComment&comment=1393425 Original first post: I got this 99 Outback about six months ago for a three day off road trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We did about 480 miles off pavement over three days. Pix of it next to my 96 Impreza with city boy tires: 215 75 15 Hankook Dynapro MTs and Forester steel wheels ($20 each on ebay) on the Outback and slightly oversized BFG winter slaloms on the Impreza: This was the only mod on both cars before the trip: Video from the trip:
  2. Impreza radiator was quite muddy front and back even after blasting it some at the coin op car wash. Had just put in a new one too, this is basically all from the UP trip. Outback radiators seem to stay pretty clean with the guards on them but I should take a closer look to be sure. Came clean pretty quickly with the garden hose. Rear bushings in the fabricated brackets I made for the black Outback's front control arms kept walking out during the UP trip. Took the arms off, bushings originally pressed in but now just slide out. Pushed them back in and tack welded them in. We drilled those studs and the front strut eccentric bolts for cotter pins. We replaced the clutch disc and LF CV axle. New clutch disc measures .34”, old one measured .23” and was worn down to the rivets. Pressure plate had a bunch of dust and fibers in it, cleaned that out. Pressure plate measures about .21” relaxed (fully clamped) so there wasn't much pressure on the clutch disc. Should probably replace pressure plate but figure the 6MT will go in over the winter. Exhaust on the white Outback is badly dented where it goes under the rear subframe, probably down to about half the stock cross section. It was rubbing on the driveshaft again so I bent it down as much as I could, has a little clearance now. Fixed some tire leaks.
  3. Video from our trip to the UP a couple weeks ago: https://youtu.be/XQRYbQBwogY
  4. We worked on my Subaru fleet over the weekend. B adjusted the parking brake on the black Outback and tightened the trailing arm bolt that was spinning. He messed with the HVAC and eventually just put 12V to the pins at the control harness plug that move the actuator and it moved, got it to full vent position, will probably just leave it there all summer. Might wire in a rocker switch to just run the actuator manually. We pulled in the Impreza and A swapped out the RF knuckle for one with a bolt on wheel bearing. I pulled off the exhaust, made the end of one section roundish again and made some flanges to bolt it all back together. B fit some pieces of tube so they would slide into the next section for reduced stress and leakage. Bent one bracket back forward so the rubber hanger would fit. Got it all on the car in place and tacked the last few flanges. Took it back out and welded everything completely, then put it back in the car. Tons of mud packed around radiator and condenser, have to clean that out. I adjusted the parking brake on the white Outback and plugged a couple holes in the sidewall of the RF tire. M superglued the passenger mirror cover back together. Still makes some kind of rubbing/scraping heat shield noise when slowing down but quieter than when we got home. Has many brown stripes on the white paint now, not sure if I just didn't get it fully clean or if they're some kind of wood stain. Waiting on some parts to come in this week, main thing left to address is the clutch in the black Outback and whatever's causing it to leak.
  5. Monday morning we checked over the cars. Both front control arm nuts on the black Outback had backed off a lot, the one almost to the end of the stud. We headed to the pond where C swamped his Impreza, had about as much water in it as it did then. We went back and hit the best dips/jumps on the road just before the pond where B blew out the strut tower on his green Forester. The last big one made the black Outback wheelie a couple times. The other runs it just jumped level, not sure what made the difference. While taking runs at these dips/jumps I noticed the clutch was starting to slip. Figured we'd just take major snowmobile trails down to the big spring. Wound up taking a ~15 mile dead end to a couple big water holes. The first one was about a quarter mile long, couldn't even see the end of it. Took a different route and that one went to a water hole that was shorter but probably quite deep so we turned around and drove all the way back to the highway. Much of that snowmobile trail has little jumps/whoops that sneak up on you, just cruising along at 50mph and all of a sudden you hit a dip and you're in the air. At this point we didn't have time for the big spring and the super whoops. The big spring was farther out of the way and most of the group preferred seeing the super whoops so we headed there, had to drive on pavement for a couple hours. Clutch in the black Outback was definitely starting to slip over about half throttle. Sometimes with the cruise on going up a grade you could see it slip 50-100RPM and then come back down. We hit some little whooped out sandy trails on the way there. Along the paved road to the super whoop parking lot was a narrow sandy trail with small whoops so we hit a portion of that. The guys pointed out it would make for great video driving along the car filming from the side watching the suspension thrashing up and down. At this point I'd noticed a pinhole leak in one of the fuel hoses in the black Outback so I fixed that. They took everything out of the back seat of the white Outback and took that and the Forester through the super whoops. Apparently the rear end of the white Outback kicked up badly with four people in it. They came back just as I was finishing washing the fuel off my hands and arms and M and A and I took the white and black Outbacks up the first half of the super whoops, switched cars, and came back down. The black Outback was definitely better but the white Outback didn't kick up too bad with just one person in it. On the way out we drove part of the mini whoops with the black Outback and Forester and filmed with the other two cars. We dropped off J on the way home and all the cars drove home OK. Clutch in black Outback still slips some, seems to be fine when you first drive it and then will slip after maybe five minutes of driving. Thinking that might indicate an oil leak so I ordered a rear main seal and rear cover o-ring for the engine and input shaft seal for the trans. Windshield isn't any more cracked than when we started the trip, still just has the cracks down in the passenger side lower corner. Never had to bend the wiper arms/cowl either. Needs a driver's side front CV axle, it was making a little noise at the start of the trip and a little more by the end, the outer boot is badly torn. B and I both drove it with the parking brake on so that needs to be adjusted. White Outback also needs the parking brake adjusted. Has a high pitched intermittent grinding noise I think coming from the rear. We noticed the Impreza has a sloppy RF wheel bearing early in the trip. Never got worse but it would be good to put one of the bolt on wheel bearing knuckles on, already did that on the LF. Needs the post cat portion of the exhaust reinstalled. Overall it was one of our best trips so far. Weather was about perfect, no major breakdowns, good variety of trails.
  6. Sunday morning M and Z were navigating in the black Outback trying to find the ELF transmitter. B and I had driven by it on a previous trip without realizing what it was, Z kinda wanted to see it and it was sort of on the way. Early on we heard over the radio the battery light was on in the white Outback so we all stopped and swapped out the alternator. I had brought a spare since it fits both Outbacks and the Forester. Took some other multi mile dead ends with various gates, trees, and questionable bridges that made us decide to turn around. Eventually we just removed the middle part of the Impreza exhaust that kept hanging down and strapped it to the roof with a plastic rocker cover off the 2002 Outback and later one from the Forester. We also found a very overgrown canyon (by UP standards) that seemed to come out to a major logging road. We were skeptical any of the cars could even go down the trail, let alone back up if we had to, so we went back out. Some random pictures from Sunday: Got gas and went to a cool little jump we'd done last year but the approach was standing water this year so we looped around town on the whooped out trail and came out in the used car dealer with a few Subarus. For maybe fifteen miles we were on various whooped out snowmobile trails. I was driving the Impreza at the beginning at about 20mph, occasionally 30 on the smoother portions. Meanwhile the long travel cars could run 50mph comfortably. Eventually we switched around and at one point I had the cruise set at 50mph running through whoops for a mile or two. Trail ended at a gate again so we decided to just drive on the roads to the bar so we'd get there at a reasonable time. By this point the Forester had started running rough after driving through water. The Forester wasn't getting any better so we did a little diagnosis. One CV axle was definitely bad and seemed to be causing the car to shake rather violently at times so we swapped that out in a parking lot. Still wasn't running great but the reduced drivetrain shaking was an improvement. We hit a small side loop of trails on the way to the bar. This is one of the beers that had been in the car for a day: R started cooking tacos, J, M, B, and I started working on the Forester. We pumped some gas out of the tank after it had sat for a bit and after that bottle sat it definitely had a little water in it but seemed minor to me. We pumped about a half gallon out into a larger bottle. Tried unplugging the TPS and front O2 (separately) without any change. M and B replaced the spark plugs, then it ran fine.
  7. Saturday morning I checked over the cars. The main issue I found was the right rear CV axle on the white Outback had popped out of the diff. I think it was still driving and wasn't difficult to get back in. Oil level was still good and it never popped out again. For a few weeks now after I'd worked on the rear suspension there was a whining noise coming from the rear of the car. It went away after I put the CV back in and never came back. It has been making a slight whirring noise from the auto trans, one of the guys said it was a torque converter noise. We had camped within a few miles of the Baraga pipeline grade so we hit that. We found a couple of good jumps along it and took some time giving everyone a turn in each long travel car and getting lots of video and pictures. Then we started trail riding, there are a lot of good trails in that area, wound up on another part of the pipeline grade we hadn't been on before. B got a pinch flat in a Forester sidewall so he plugged it. Later on managed to weave plugs through both holes but it never fully sealed. While he did that we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. We followed a powerline grade we'd been on a different portion of on other trips. Eventually we got to a deeply rutted downhill with an even taller steeper uphill climb on the other side. We didn't think any of the cars (except maybe the Forester w/ low range) could make it up the climb on the other side and we didn't think the Impreza could get back up the downhill so we took a side trail but marked it on the GPS to come back to. Took an ~8 mile long side trail to eventually come to a section we decided was too swampy for us to proceed and had to go all the way back. We had almost reached a major road on the GPS too. For a while one day we had A lead the way in the white Outback with just the digital compass on the rearview mirror and told him to head east. One of the muddy trails we were on: By this time it was starting to get late so we decided to try to get to the next campsite before dark. We found a couple pipeline and powerline grades we didn't have time for but should explore in the future. We got to Republic which supposedly allows free camping on the beach along the river but we camped in the fancy campground on the bluff over the river. Running water, electricity, cable TV hookup. travelvw would not have been happy. Scenic and not too noisy or crowded though. We removed the rear muffler from the Impreza and since it had a fair amount of water in it we put it over the campfire after we finished cooking.
  8. Last Thursday afternoon we went grocery shopping and did some last minute packing up. Five of us drove my black and white Outbacks and my Impreza to the UP. Z had to work a little late so he and B got to the cabin late in the Forester. Friday morning we messed with my boat so we didn't leave the cabin until about 2PM. Started out taking the snowmobile trail into Watersmeet. Hit the mini whoop section along the snowmobile trail. J was amazed how fast we ran through it, he's been to Badlands off road park with us a few times but hasn't been to the UP with the Subarus. Continued on the snowmobile trail to the trout hatchery. Stopped on a bridge for a picture over the river. Took a little tour of the hatchery before fishing. We caught about 10 fish. While the employee was cleaning the fish we had a good old timer sit on the bench by the lunker pond. We then headed north on back roads to Bond falls. Hiked down the west side and back up the east side. Later on we wound up on the old rail bridge over Agate falls, I'd never been up there. We revisited the spot C's blue Outback last jumped teeth on the timing belt last year to see if the trail went farther. I also had it in my head that there were a lot of side trails in that area but that was definitely not the case. The exhaust on the Impreza was dragging so we zip tied it up, figured we'd repair it more properly when we got to camp. We continued past where his car had died and got to a spot where there was about a 3 foot diameter tree fallen across the trail. It was old and rotten and ended at one side of the trail so we pulled it out of the way. The next section of the trail didn't look too bad, B made it through in the Forester but then the white Outback got stuck. Then B got stuck temporarily trying to get him out. Various snatch straps, digging, and recovery ramps were put to use to get the first three cars through the swampy section. I was able to make it through in one run in the black Outback since I'd been able to see the good and bad lines and had the most tire tread depth. Then we realized the trail just got swampy and there were trees fallen across it and it was so overgrown we couldn't see five feet in. Would have taken a long time to make it all the way through so we went back through the swampy section. I think the Forester and black Outback were the only two to get back through in one shot. Forester was in low range and full throttle most of the way. By this time it was dark. I think we had to fix the Impreza exhaust again, this time with a hose clamp and some bailing wire. We eventually got to a campground. M and A breaded and fried the fish.
  9. I was only thinking the ball joint/heim for the trailing arm if you had two lateral links like you tested. Ideally with two long lateral links to reduce CV plunge.
  10. Just front and rear centered receivers on the black Outback. Three receivers built into the front bumper of the white Outback. Eventually I'll make a rear bumper for the white Outback with three receivers also. I have gotten one of these from a junkyard: https://www.curtmfg.com/part/23581 I should have just ordered more like them, those big toggle pins I got are larger and slightly more expensive but I was able to get them from a local place and I was in a hurry.
  11. Last week I noticed the driver's side fan on my 99 Outback wasn't spinning. Untaped the connector to check for voltage and found this. Hard to tell from the pictures but the plating is baked off the terminals and some of the wiring insulation is melted off also. I cut the wires back a bit and just straight spliced them together, there's not too much need to unplug the fan. The fuse had blown so I replaced that. My guess is a stick or something got in the fan and kept it from spinning since they sit in front. Another project I finished was building a base for the high lift jack. I can fit it in the back of my 2002 Outback without taking the base off but thought it would be handy to be able to remove it easily. I've tested it out a few times and it's working better now that a lot of the paint is shaved off the working surfaces. Also figured out that you should put the car in gear/park AND set the parking brake or the car will want to roll when you jack up a couple wheels.
  12. Interesting. I still think if you had a ball joint (racing style with a big hole in the middle, not with a stud) in the front of the trailing arm it would be stable, easier to get more travel without bind, but ride harsher. Toe seems good in the middle of the adjustment, didn't move trailing arm mounts. I don't remember the exact amount but we lengthened the lateral links less than 1". Also we lengthened them all the same amount so it shouldn't affect toe at ride height. I see what you mean though, probably pushes out on that trailing arm bushing.
  13. I do have some grommets around the shock bodies but they definitely don't seal 100%. I think they're out of most of the tire spray and I'd have to be in pretty deep water/mud for it to start coming in there. If it becomes a problem I'll come up with something. I do need to change the way the shocks are mounted/installed though, it's a giant pain to install them right now.
  14. The final twist to the 99 HVAC was the linkage had a catch/slop about halfway through. You could move it all the way through the travel by hand but there are all sorts of slots and arms and there is a catch where one of them reverses direction in a slot. My Impreza does the same thing but you can play with the knob to get it past that spot. I sprayed the linkage down with some lube and that seemed to help a little. I cycled the actuator a bunch of times and that seemed to help some. Occasionally if you have it in defrost and then hit the vent button (at the far end of the travel), it will get stuck halfway through. If you push each button in order it seems to work every time, I think that little stopping and starting jogs it through. The extra voltage and slight vibration of the engine running didn't seem to help. I recently changed the valving in the rear shocks on the 2002 Outback. After I did that and before I put the interior back in, I made up some little tie down loops. Probably should have made them longer but you can hook a normal ratchet strap onto them, I'm thinking they'll hold up better than the stock plastic hooks, ultimately probably limited by the tabs spot welded to the body. You can barely see one of them bolted to the top of the right shock mount. Reservoirs are hose clamped in place. Cut out the foam under the floor panel that sits on them, it still sits a little high but not too bad. With all the interior back in. Here you can barely see the other tie down loops. We'll find out soon how well they hold.
  15. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    You're welcome.
  16. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Have I mentioned you should get a rust free car? Not necessarily newer or more expensive, just make sure it's not rotted out like this one. Buy one in a different country if you have to.
  17. The red/blue wire had no continuity from the controller to the actuator so I spliced in a new one and it seems to work. All the other wires seem good. All three controllers I have seem to work (vent button sticks on one) and all three actuators seem to work. Just need to put it all back together, will definitely be good to have air coming out the vents now that it's in the 70s.
  18. I got another HVAC control from slammo but it still didn't work. So I'm assuming it's the wiring, linkage, or door mode actuator. Linkage seems to move pretty easily. Pulled the actuator out and tested it as recommended in the Haynes manual. Put voltage to pin 1 and 2, depending on polarity you can make the arm turn either way. Checked that harness plug with the car turned on and it shows 12V across those two pins. Ran jumper wires from those two sockets to the actuator, didn't move. Thought I had another actuator but can't find it. Do have the HVAC box from the H6 donor (2002 OB sedan). That actuator has a different arm coming out the other side of the box. 1999 on left, 2002 on right. Pretty easy to take apart but couldn't remove either arm. You can see the contacts on the one out of the 2002, I figured those might be bad on the old one but can't get the arm off. Plugged the 2002 actuator into the 99, pushed buttons on the control, arm moved around. Got one at a local junkyard for a 99. Plug it in, push vent/floor, arm moves a bit, push floor, arm moves more, push floor/defrost, arm does nothing and no longer moves. Plug in the actuator from the 2002, push vent/floor, arm moves a bit, push floor, arm moves more, push floor/defrost, arm does nothing and no longer moves. Ugh. Next step is to go through all the wiring, at least the Haynes manual has a diagram, hopefully it's accurate. Looks like almost all the wires from the actuator should be the same color at the controller. Also found the wiring diagram in the FSM so I'll probably go by that. Why couldn't they just have a cable like they do for the hot/cold?
  19. I wanted to prevent the oil cooler from getting hit again so I remade the skidplate on the passenger side. Made that front part out of 1/8" 4130, the rest is 1/16" 4130. Not real clear in this picture but the mounting tab is moved forward about an inch. Sticks out a little farther than the center one at the moment but that will probably change with use. Slammo suggested a stiffer pitch stopper so I made one out of a few pieces of tubing. Just used a couple pieces of 1/2" heater hose for the "bushings" and made a couple little sleeves out of steel tubing. It doesn't seem to have increased the fore/aft stiffness of the engine mounting judging with a prybar before and after. At least it's lighter than the stock one and is probably stiffer on big impacts.
  20. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Even 5 quarts in 3400 miles is pretty bad. You're changing your oil before it's time to change your oil. You don't need to replace the head bolts. I have heard of people using turbo gaskets, there should be all kinds of information on the internet about what are the best gaskets to use. I've just used the name brand gaskets (e.g. Fel-pro) from Rock Auto and they've worked well. Normally I would say while the engine is out you should replace the timing belt, idlers, tensioner, water pump, valve cover gaskets, intake and exhaust manifold gaskets. If it's never been done (and it probably hasn't on yours) replace all the coolant pipes and hoses (the little ones on the engine, heater hoses, radiator hoses). The steel lines rust out and the rubber hoses crack. Some of those little lines and hoses are very difficult to replace with the engine in the car and the intake manifold on. However, I still think your car is badly rusted and you should spend as little money and time on it as possible and buy something rust free. If it's only overheating with extreme use, check the radiator, fans, etc, run the heat occasionally if you need to, and save your money for something that's not rusty.
  21. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    I think you're confusing an external head gasket leak (fluids getting outside the engine) with an internal head gasket leak (generally exhaust gases pushing out the coolant). I would definitely check between the radiator and condenser first, it might be half full of mud and brush. You'd have to remove the radiator to do the head gaskets so might as well do that first and see. Check your fan operation too. Sealant is not used on these head gaskets.
  22. pontoontodd

    R160 locker coming soon!

    We're talking the Tribeca diff has one bolt side covers vs the more common five bolt side covers? Looks like Tribeca has 3.58 gear ratio.
  23. I checked the pins at the harness. Using the same numbering above, pins 1,2,8, and 10 are +12V with the ignition on (0 with ignition off). Pins 3 and 12 are grounded with the ignition off, about 20 ohms to ground with ignition on.
  24. So the directional HVAC control on my black Outback has given me all kinds of problems. This is just the pushbuttons to control where the air comes out, everything else always works fine. Unfortunately there isn't any easy mechanical substitution. I replaced it once a few years ago and it's been working pretty well until late last year when it started working intermittently. I got another one from slamma, it also doesn't seem to work, the button for vent sticks down sometimes too. He is sending me another one to try. Probably not related but the lighting to it rarely works. I have read that you can take it apart and clean the contacts but I tried that on another one and just wound up with a thousand little pieces of plastic. It's possible the door actuator or wiring to it has failed but that is very hard to get to, there is all kinds of extra wiring and the TCU in the way. I tried pushing on the lever while pushing the control buttons and it doesn't flinch at all. I can't find anything in the factory service manual: http://jdmfsm.info/Auto/Japan/Subaru/Legacy_Outback/1999/Service Manual/ But there is a chart in the Haynes manual showing continuity between pins. The continuity of both control units I have seems the same but doesn't match their diagram at all. I'm attaching a picture of their diagram with what I found written on it in pen. It doesn't look like the numbers are just backwards or otherwise switched around but this is where maybe one of you guys will see something I can't. What's also strange is that with just that connector plugged in, the recirc button on both controls makes the recirc door open and close but I don't see any change in continuity between any pins on either when I push the button up or down???
  25. Does anyone have a pinout or troubleshooting instructions for the heat/AC control of a 99 Outback? Mine has the same number and pattern of pins shown in the Haynes manual but the continuity doesn't match their chart at all. Continuity across some changes if I hit different buttons. Can't find anything in the FSM. I do have another one or two that might also be bad, I'll check those next.