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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. Highlight video I put together of our long travel struts in action. Have some better jumps planned and still working on the shock tuning.
  3. In hindsight, yes, we should have figured out some way to do that but when we put in the cage we didn't remove the dash. It is very difficult to remove and install the dash even though it's cut in half with the cage installed. Also the car now has 1.5 wiring harnesses in it.
  4. I haven't seen plates but I have seen tubular bolt on braces from the door hinges to that area, but there's not much solid to bolt to above the wheel. I've thought about running something down from the strut tower but haven't thought of a good way to do it. Also would have liked to run that vertical tube all the way down and over to the control arm mount but the tire would probably rub and the fender wouldn't fit. Tried not to run anything forward of the suspension for the crumple zone reason you describe. Aside from not killing the occupants, it would be better from a potential repair standpoint to have the front foot or two of the car smash up rather than transferring that back to the cab and wrecking the whole body.
  5. A recurring problem on my 99 Outback has been the cowl buckling/tearing/cracking. I have posted a few pictures in the past of some welding I've done when the windshield has been replaced (lost count how many times now). Symptoms of this include the wiper arms rubbing on the windshield and the windshield cracking from the bottom corners up. At least partially caused by hard nose first landings off jumps. This car doesn't have a great approach angle. Also had the fronts a little too soft on the Arkansas trip so it was bottoming out too easily. Changed the shock valving, hopefully it will jump more level now too. This portion of the body completely separated from the door hinge area at the end of the last Vegas to Reno and we straightened it back out and welded it then (1.5 years ago?). It has started to crack and buckle again. The other side didn't look quite this bad but there are various small cracks all around both front strut towers. First step I tried was pulling the strut mounts back down. Despite shortening up both ends of the come a long I still eventually ran out of travel but had a good load on it. A lot of the displacement was crushing that front part of the floor the tube is pulling up against but I reduced the distance from that tube to the strut tower by about 1.5". I was also hoping this will give me a little more lift and tire clearance. Also kept having problems with the come a long. My good one is in another state. This one just has some stamped pieces tabbed together so I welded those and it started working better. With the spring and bump stop off the strut this is as high as the tire goes. Not a very good perspective but have a little clearance all the way around. Wanted to reinforce the front end without reducing this clearance. Cut out big slots above the wheel wells on both sides for tubing. Also drilled big holes with a step drill into the strut tower. After cutting into that, found more sheet metal buckled, cracked, and torn. Welded some of it before installing tubing. These are most of the pieces we cut to add to the body. This is how it looked fully welded, the top tube is a piece of 2" x 4" that goes all the way in to the strut tower. Fortunately the door frame seems fairly strong. The only wiring inside where I'm welding is for the door so I pulled that out while welding and wrapped a wet rag around it. Also sprayed some water in that part of the body. I really hope this doesn't just start ripping the door frame apart. Added the clean piece of sheet metal to the bottom of the strut mount and a gusset on either side to brace it. The big holes drilled in the strut tower allowed me to plug weld that to the 2"x4" tube. Some of these welds were nearly impossible to see with the welding helmet on. It's rough but hopefully strong enough. This is how the other side turned out. This is how it looks painted, not that anyone will ever see it, but hopefully delays the rusting process long enough we can finish the Vegas to Reno some year. Fenders fit over that tubing with a little room to spare. Car is mostly back together, will hopefully drive it this week. Once we get a little dry weather I'll test out the new shock tuning.
  6. After looking into it a little further I will just tow the 99 with the 2002. Those pumps are $900-1500 and many of the reviews online I've read are bad. Could probably just idle the 2002 while I tow it for 2+ days but that's not ideal either. Does anyone know how quickly or dramatically an auto trans will fail if flat towed? I'm just thinking if the trans dies out west and I have to flat tow it home, is it going to lock up and/or burst into flames? Or do I take a couple bad outer CVs to put in the wheel bearings after pulling the front axles? Would I need to pull the driveshaft? On the plus side the auto must be locking up the center diff or I wouldn't have had any drive with that rear axle popped out of the diff.
  7. I do have the extra cooler on the 2002. Not VDC. I did figure out why the front tires were spinning. The left rear axle pulled out of the diff. Guess I made the links a little too long. Will see if I have a longer rear axle to put in there. According to my notes that is the short one, maybe a right rear axle will fix it. My other thought on putting a trans pump on the 2002 (that's how people flat tow automatics behind motor homes, right?) is that if that car dies then we can tow it home without pulling axles, driveshafts, etc.
  8. So I can and will look some of this up but I have a bunch of questions I'm hoping you guys can help me with. Planning on towing one of my Outbacks to California with the other one and trail riding both back to Illinois. I could tow the black 99 with the white 2002. One concern is that the 99 is heavier than the 2002, but if I put all the heavy cargo in the 2002 for the trip out it would probably be a little heavier. My other concern is whether the 4EAT is up to the task. I flat towed that bug back from California with no issues and never saw the auto trans temp light but this would be harder on it. If I tow the 2002 with the 99 I would have to make some changes to the 2002. First, I'd have to disconnect various things or get a trans pump for the auto so it doesn't die, right? Second, I would want to wire in a trailer plug to the front of the car so I'm not using magnetic tow lights and scratching up the paint. What is a good way to splice into the brake lights? Also, I've been driving the 2002 and it's been fine but yesterday we had freezing rain. I don't think the roads were actually icy, just wet, but I was getting a ton of wheelspin in the front like it was just front wheel drive. I tried 1 and I couldn't tell if it was still spinning or just hitting the top of first gear and not upshifting. I tried 2 and there was no wheelspin but it seemed like it was starting out in second so it was pretty slow. When we were at the off road park last November it seemed to work best in 1 and seemed to have all wheels driving. Traction was decent this winter when I've driven it. What should I check to make sure it is still all wheel driving? What is the easiest way to lock the center diff if needed?
  9. Blue Forester has a 1.6 dual range and it was a huge benefit. There are some hills I have in mind when I make a low range for my 99 Outback.
  10. Video from our trip to Arkansas a few weeks ago. We are probably going back the weekend of 4/27 if anyone wants to join us.
  11. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    You really need to save up for a rust free car. You can probably fit 70mm spacers but as you go up your CVs will just wear out faster and your boots will be more likely to tear. I think 50mm is considered the most you can lift safely with just strut spacers and have decent CV life. You can compensate for your camber when you build the spacers, just offset them. You should be able to find the right amount to do it online. Or you could tack weld them, assemble, and check alignment a few times and figure it out the hard way.
  12. Sounds like what you need is a Raptor. You're going to be making payments either way. Should be reliable, fast, excellent ride quality, etc.
  13. Those Cherokees are common around here, I have seen them for sale locally with good tires, winch, sometimes even better axles for $2000. You would love it, you can go very slow and it has real 4WD. It's the sort of thing you should be saving your money for when your current Outback gets too rusty to fix. The ride quality is terrible. Supposedly there is one long travel kit you can get for them that works well but I haven't seen it in person. I have also seen people who use them for desert racing or prerunning swap in a twin traction beam front suspension and drive out of a Ford but that's a lot of work.
  14. You're welcome. One more thing I should have pointed out is the late model 6MT in the Crosstrek, etc is similar to the 5MT and nothing like the 6MT in the STI.
  15. So it looks like you have a 3.9 final drive. This is mostly from memory so check elsewhere before acting on any of this advice. A 6MT swap out of an STI wouldn't be too bad. Make sure to get one with 1:1 rear transfer gears to work with your 3.9 final drive. The crossmember/mount is different but not a lot. You would probably need a shorter driveshaft. Front axles fit I think. I have read about some people using their five speed push type clutch but I'm not sure how that would work, you might need a 6MT STI flywheel/clutch/pressure plate/release bearing/starter. You'd want the 6MT shifter. The earlier (pre 2004) 6MTs from Japan are cheaper but weaker since they have a viscous center diff. I haven't looked into them too closely, but the late model 6MT (Crosstrek, etc) looks like it uses a different shifter than the 5MT, doesn't have a VSS, and I think they're all 4.44 final drive. If the original trans lasted a quarter million miles and you just want something similar but fresh and you're not doing anything abusive to the car, I'd stick with the 5MT. I don't know if that trans has a cable speedo or a speed sensor (VSS) but I think they are interchangeable without splitting the trans. Regardless you'd need a trans with a VSS or you'll probably piss off the ECU. So that means before 2009, depends on the model. After that they not only didn't machine the case for the VSS, they didn't machine third/fourth gear to drive it. I think in about 2000 or 2005, again depending on model, they went to the front CV axles with male splines at the trans. If you get one of those transmissions, which would likely have less wear and tear than an older trans, you'd either have to get the later model CV axles to go with it which probably use different ABS sensors or get transmission stubs from a 4EAT or STI 6MT (fairly cheap from the dealer). If you go with the stubs you'll either need to swap in smaller seals or get bearing sleeves (that's what mine did but I think they leak a little). I got lucky with the last trans I bought, it had been sitting at a junkyard for a decade. It was out of a crash test car so it only had 52 miles on it. You can sort by mileage on car-part.com. JDM should work too as far as I know, haven't looked into that for 5MT. Your easiest and safest bet would be to figure out what 5MTs have 3.9 final drive. Secondary concern would be the other ratios but check on those. You can find some info on cars101.com. jdmfsm.info has factory service manuals, those should have ratios. You can also look up individual models/years on subarupartwholesale.com. One convenient thing about that is you can pick a complete trans or just the ring and pinion gear and find other models/years with the same trans or R&P. For instance looking up the 3.90 front R&P: https://www.subarupartwholesale.com/p/Subaru_1995_Legacy-22L-MT-4WD-Brighton-Wagon/GEAR-SET-HYPOID/49247774/38100AB310.html (click on what this fits) Once you narrow it down a bit start looking on car-part.com for a local low mileage trans. Again if the original trans lasted 25 years you can probably get one from a junkyard with 100-150k miles on it for $500 or less that will last you a decade or so.
  16. Took the rear diff out of the car and confirmed those gear teeth came from the spider gears. Side note, it's really best to just remove both rear CV axles completely rather than just one and trying to get the diff out with the other axle still attached to the knuckle, even with the strut out. Looked for most of a week and couldn't get a 4.11 with VLSD. The only yard that I think had one never got back to me about shipping. So I looked it up and the 2002(?) Outback EJ25 4EAT rear subframe I have in my backyard is a 4.44 with VLSD. Thought about putting a 4.44 trans in the car and using it but decided against it for various reasons. One is that I still want to do the 6MT/R180 swap over the winter which should solve these problems. So I took the VLSD out of that rear end. The side gears are flanged or webbed so they should be much stronger. Unfortunately the idler gears don't look any stronger than the open diff, hopefully this thing will last eight months or so. My friend brought over the 4.11 open rear end from his 2000 Forester. Despite the fact that he's been soaking the bolts with penetrant for the last few days about half of them broke off. Fortunately I was able to thread most of them out with vise grips but I did have to drill and tap a few holes. So I made one good diff out of two good diffs and put it in the car. Haven't driven it much as I want to address the front structure but seems to work fine and makes no obvious bad sounds. Ran it with some cheap gear oil, drained it after driving a bit, oil came out clean.
  17. C obtained two free Jeeps that had sat for two years from the house next to his dad's when it got foreclosed. They towed them both behind a truck to their shop to work on them. The rear Jeep was in decent shape and had brakes but they were dragging. While towing suddenly the brakes on the rear Jeep freed up and it surged forward so he hit the brakes. This nearly pulled the middle Jeep in half. C put a $35 junkyard battery in it, hotwired the security system, and started it with a screwdriver. Convoyed with C's crew to Badlands off road park on Saturday. Went to the big parking lot to unload and set up flags, R got there shortly after we did. Cherokee cranked fine but wouldn't start. C had read the capacitors on the ECU go bad. He pulled the ECU out of it and one of the capacitors did look bad. He dug the potting out from around the capacitor and we robbed one out of the radio. Z soldered the radio capacitor in place and the Jeep fired up. C bagged the ECU and beat on it all afternoon. The red Chevy pickup quickly died, it had a flat tire and a bad CV joint among other issues. On the way to the stream we stopped by the small figure 8 to air up the Cherokee's leaking tire. It had gravel under the bead, a can of fix a flat didn't help, eventually it came completely off the bead and then we were able to air it back up and it held all day. While we were doing that a couple guys pulled up in a brand new Wrangler and we convinced them to take a lap of the figure 8. He swore it was a rental from Hertz. We ran the stream and then went back to the parking lot to get the ATV. Hit both the figure eights, dragon tail, etc. Most of the time the Cherokee was running hot so we had to keep letting it cool off and add water. Dumped in a bottle of head gasket fix which may have helped. Battery wasn't clamped down and broke the top of the coil off, so that got zip tied on and came loose occasionally. Rental Jeep was stuck on a narrow uphill climb and started to slide towards a tree. R tried to pull him down and to the side but the Jeep slid right next to the tree. I pulled up and set up the winch, put a snatch block on the opposite side of the trail and winched him back up on the trail. C tried a similar climb and slid down into some small trees and brush and got stuck. I ripped his rear bumper off with the strap, looked like it was just held on by two screws. After that he was able to back out under his own power. Then C decided we should hit some jumps. He hit the pointy one at the top of the hill I'd hit at 40 in the Outback a year or two ago. Hit it at about 35 in the Cherokee and nosedived badly but survived. Then I was going to hit the uphill flat jump in the Outback, set up the cameras, C got in, and we quickly realized the rear spider gears were broken. Towed that back to the parking lot. About this point the ATV wasn't running so we just went trail riding in the three remaining vehicles. Got back to the concrete hill climb which is rougher than it was a few years ago and a little wet/muddy. R tried a few times with the low range without success, had to hit it with momentum and got to the top. C got up with a lot of throttle and momentum in the Cherokee. Z didn't like the looks of it since the Forester XT is still mostly stock and riding on city boy tires. Had him drive up about halfway to the big hole and stop. Then C pulled him up with the Cherokee. Ran down the rock pile and the rest of that trail. Hooked the Outback up to the Forester and flat towed it home. Think I found a rear diff with 4.11 and LSD. From pictures I've seen the spider gears in those look stronger. If nothing else a relatively fresh one should last me the rest of the year and I can do the 6MT/low range/R180 conversion next winter.
  18. This is what the trailing arm mount looked like. This part had completely rusted off. Cleaned off rust, paint, and undercoating. There was also a small crack just behind the trailing arm mount. 1/8" mild steel plates to cover the hole and spread the load. I welded these sleeves to the top plate so the bolts had something solid to tighten against. Welded the plates in place. Welded the bottom one to the inside of the rocker panel which probably helps tie the body together. At the top of the picture you can see where part of the weld for the top plate burned through the undercoating. The other side looks fine for now but I'll probably do this to the other side over the winter.
  19. Yes, the 35mph landing was fine, the 40mph landing was harsh so I stopped there.
  20. Drove all day down to Florida on Monday. The next morning I visited a customer. On the way home I pulled off in the woods at some jumps I found in north Florida and checked the trailing arm bracket. Still seemed rock solid so I hit a few jumps. Filmed one uphill jump at 25, 30, 35, and 40mph. All of the trails in that area are covered in jumps, every few hundred feet there is a jump of some kind. Could be over 100 within a couple miles of there.
  21. Went to Arkansas for another weekend of trail riding. Met travelvw on the way down. Met slammo and J just north of the Buffalo River and travelvw led the way from there. From left to right, my 99 Outback, R's long travel Forester w/ dual range, slammo, and travelvw's WRX with KYB AGX struts and King lift springs. One of the first trails he took us down had this sign at the start and it wasn't lying. We were driving fast on some rocky roads by the Buffalo River. I only rode in it for a little while but the WRX rode much better than stock over rocks and dips at speed. A little harsh on the little stuff and not as smooth as our long travel struts at speed but a huge improvement for the money. The road/trail to Eden falls/cave was closed so we continued along the river towards a campsite he had in mind. We hiked out to Whitaker point / Hawksbill and I found a skink and some salamanders and we saw a pileated woodpecker. Next we decided to hike to Glory Hole Falls. This dude was all flexed out in the parking area. We drove the trail down to the campsite in the dark. I was driving the Outback following everyone else and we went over about thirty jumps on the way down. Travelvw and slammo were driving slow, partially due to birds in the road, so I was only able to hit a few with enough speed to get air but when we got to camp we decided that first thing Saturday morning we'd have to get some video of some of them. The road we took down crossed the river but was too deep for us to cross at that time. That night it got down to 20F and some of the water left outside was frozen in the morning. We hit a bunch of the jumps on the way out, not too many of them had smooth and straight landing areas but we got some video (see pictures above from travelvw) and took turns giving everyone rides on the best downhill jump. Hit one small jump in my 99 Outback and the front dug into the dirt and hit a big rock. It was a hard hit and we immediately noticed the wipers scraping on the windshield. We stopped to bend them back up. I broke the passenger side wiper arm and someone noticed oil running out the front of the car. We pulled over for a couple hours. Fixed the wiper arm with some hose clamps and a wrench we'd found on the trail. Pulled off all the skidplates and patched up the hole in the timing cover with some minute epoxy. It was very runny and then would suddenly cure so it was tricky to work with but we basically stopped the leak, didn't have to add oil the rest of the week. Skidplate crimped the coolant hose going to the oil cooler too. Slammo clearanced the skidplate with a sawzall. We put the skidplates back on and got back on the trail and back to hitting jumps. The last trail Slammo had us on followed a deep, wide stream with maybe a dozen crossings. We had come to both ends of it last year and decided to turn around after coming to some of the crossings and never saw the worst part. This time we drove the whole thing. At one point slammo was following the only obvious path which turned sharply out of the stream up a bank and he shortly figured out it wasn't the correct path, seemed on foot like it dead ended. We then spent a couple hours getting all four cars back down off that bank and through a rocky streambed. We used slammo's ramps to good effect getting the Forester out of a tight spot and travelvw wound up using his hand winch to slide the back of his car over to line up. It's a Wyeth Scott and worked great and is clearly much more flexible than using an electric winch. I took slammo's advice and drove back across the stream to an easier place to turn around which seemed easy but I bent a tie rod in the process, first time I've done that. A mile or two later we got to the end of the trail. Near the end of the trail was a campsite along the stream we stayed the night at. M and Z went to work on the tie rod. Across the road from the end of the trail was a campground with outhouses we used in the morning. Had to hit the stream crossing at high speed. First trail of the day immediately took us to a large downed tree. The woods around it was fairly open and we could have just driven around it but slammo wanted to clear the trail. Spent an hour or two with the sawzall and snatch strap pulling that out of the road. Later that day slammo had us on some crazy rocky hill climbs. Travelvw and I each got a flat tire from big sidewall cuts. He bent both front control arms back a bit. There was one long steep rough section of climb that I had to take a few runs at. R had no problems with the low range. This picture was far from the worst of it but we did a lot of miles of this type of rocky climb. We drove through quite a bit of standing water and washed up a bunch of these what I assume were frog eggs. At some point we noticed the Outback's LR trailing arm bracket was loose on the frame. The section of sheet metal that's bolted to had rusted/ripped out and really only the front bolt was holding it on. We stopped along a gravel road and wound up cutting those bolts off and running longer bolts all the way up to the upper section of the body. I told Z to look for some big washers in my bag of fasteners and he jokingly suggested using a wheel spacer. It actually was close enough to the bracket bolt pattern that we were eventually able to get all three bolts all the way through. While we were doing that Travelvw used a strap to a tree to bend his control arms forward a bit so his tires wouldn't rub. The last trail we were on took us to Spainhour falls, a pretty large waterfall you can camp next to. The trail isn't extremely long or difficult but is rocky with a bunch of stream crossings, seemed a lot worse at night than the next morning in the daylight. There were of course people at the campsite so we drove a bit farther down the trail and found an old side road that was blocked off/overgrown to camp at for our privacy and their peace and quiet. The next morning I got the last trailing arm bolt out and put a long one up through the wheel spacer, checked over everything, packed up, and the IL/IN contingent headed out. This was along the trail to Spainhour on the way out.
  22. I think I finally figured out my main hatch opening problem. This is a picture I took of a parts hatch I have showing how the latch and lock works. I'd already taken the power lock actuator out of this one, that is normally in the bracket on the right. The lock works by lifting the slotted mechanism at the bottom. When it is up it is locked and when you pull on the handle for the hatch it just slides past the little L shaped arm at the bottom and the hatch won't open. When it is unlocked the little tab at the lower right pushes on that L arm and opens the hatch. The top of that opening rod where it attaches to the hatch handle is threaded. A while back on my friend's Forester we had to lengthen that a bit since it was not opening fully. So I tried that on mine. Seemed to work for a while but this morning I could not get it open despite a lot of wiggling, pushing, pulling, and cussing. It's hard to see on a good hatch, especially closed, but once I pulled open the interior panel inside the car it looked like the slotted arm at the bottom was too far to the right. That makes it sit on top of that L shaped arm. Then when you try to unlock it, it can't swing down into place. So I shortened the threaded rod and it seems to work fine now, I locked and unlocked it and opened and closed it a bunch of times with no issues. It seems like the root of the problem is that the handle doesn't have a lot of extra throw so that adjustment is very important. Maybe someday I'll make a handle with a longer arm on it. If you're having this problem and your hatch won't open the best thing to do would be to pull the interior panel out and then remove that threaded rod from the handle. Then pull up on the rod, unlock the hatch with key or power lock, and then push down on the rod and open the hatch.
  23. pontoontodd

    Lift block height

    did that chart help at all?
  24. pontoontodd

    Lift block height

    I would skip the 5 speed DR if you're going to run a real tcase, just makes life even harder on the poor 5MT in my experience, but if you already have one and think it will work go for it. I'd go EZ30/36 since you're already swapping in something with different wiring than the chassis. A non dual range 5MT should hold up pretty well with a tcase behind it. Are the toyota axles really that hard to find? Just did a quick search on car-part, looks like $400-600 for an early 80s Toyota front axle and you'd have to travel a few hundred miles. Maybe that's too expensive and too far to go. This might help your D44 front axle length quandary (scroll down to chart): https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/general-4x4-discussion/449462-info-dana-44-front-axle-shaft-lengths-all-spicer-1967-02-a.html
  25. pontoontodd

    FJ1600 Question

    After all that engine work you should really get it on a dyno sometime to fine tune the jetting and timing. Might as well get it running as best you can by feel first. If it's just a matter of not being able to post it on the forum, I'd put it on youtube. Then you only have to upload it once and can share it anywhere. If it's too big to upload in general you can edit it shorter and/or reduce the resolution.