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pontoontodd

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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. 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???
  3. 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.
  4. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    The head gaskets can cause overheating because combustion gases leak into your coolant system which pushes the coolant out. You need to check the coolant level in the radiator occasionally not just the overflow bottle. Check that both fans are running fast when the car gets hot. Look in between the condenser and radiator. You should be able to shine a flashlight from the back and clearly see through all the fins. I doubt your overheating is related to the transmission.
  5. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    I wouldn't worry about the head gaskets. If it's just leaking oil out of the engine, as long as you keep it full that's not really a problem. I was thinking you had an internal head gasket leak where the cylinder pressure will push your coolant out, but if that was the case it would probably overheat during normal driving and you'd have to add coolant, so it sounds like you're good there. Make sure both fans are running on high when you stop and it's hot (I think they turn on above 200F and turn off below 190F). Also check for blockage between the radiator and condenser. First thing I'd do would be remove the top radiator mounting screws (at least one of yours will probably break) and push the radiator back and take a look. If it looks bad, drain the coolant, pull the radiator and clean it well. If it's not going to be below freezing for the rest of the summer, just use filtered water for now when you refill the coolant.
  6. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Ya, definitely check between condenser and radiator, that can get full of mud and debris and it's hard to see.
  7. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Sounds like head gaskets. Does it overheat when driving on normal roads? What is the ambient temp when it's overheating? Can you bring the temps back down by running the heater? After it cools down, can you add coolant to the radiator or is it full? If it's convenient, watch the coolant temp from the ECU. The gauge uses a different sensor wire and it basically sits in the middle from about 140F-190F. When it starts to run hot, pull over and leave the engine running. The radiator fans should both be on. They should be blowing fast too, there are two sets of windings and both need power for them to run at full speed. It's possible you have a blown fuse or bad relay. The next thing to check while it's hot and idling is to pop the cap on the overflow bottle and look for little bubbles coming up from the overflow tube. If there are bubbles it's almost definitely head gaskets. You can also get a head gasket leak checking kit. There are probably a thousand forum threads about Subaru head gaskets.
  8. The radiator on my 96 Impreza was leaking, the condenser had rubbed a hole through one of the tubes. One of the mounting posts had broken off too so I got a new one. It's 1.5 pounds lighter than the old one, I think just from some dirt and coolant still in/on the old one. Replacement was pretty easy, padded and clearanced a few things a little better than before. Drove it around town a bit yesterday and seems good. Finally fixed the oil cooler on the 99 Outback this morning. I got the longer oil cooler bolts made: Last week I drilled and tapped the block deeper and noticed this hole: That goes to the outside of the engine. Also that spot below the threads seemed to have a slight crack/leak/porosity. So I JB welded both inside and out: Not pretty but functional. Did it in a few layers. On the plus side it sat for a week until I had time today to put it back together and test it. This is what it looks like with the new bolt. Took about four quarts to fill it back up with oil (including adding a little after running) so I think there were still a couple quarts in the pan when I shut it off. Fired it up for a minute and didn't see any leaks. After a couple seconds the oil pressure light went off, never made any noise. I need to remake the skidplate on that side with more clearance and a little stronger. Also plan on making a fairly solid pitch stopper.
  9. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    You seem obsessed with wheel articulation, get rid of your sway bars, I didn't realize you still had them. If you put the car on stands or a lift it should drive all four wheels. If you can put it on a lift that might be a good way to figure out where the noise is coming from - rear diff, wheel bearing, CV, etc.
  10. Forester has been popping out of fifth gear when he gets on and off the gas. Fifth gear was worn when I put the trans together but less worn than the other fifth gear I had lying around. It has also been making a buzzing noise often when shifting high to low with the synchros we made so I wanted to look at that. His water pump had started leaking too so he ordered parts to fix both. If we were just doing the water pump we would have just done it in the car. He drove it here Saturday. We took the engine and trans out and took the trans off the engine and I started taking it apart. Figured having two people working on the trans doesn't help much and it's not much more work to take out engine and trans together, makes it easier to do the water pump. He was working on the timing set and water pump. There was a clearly used tensioner in the timing kit with a blown out damper so he used a good old one. Fifth gear was definitely worn and the nut on the input shaft was loose, I may not have staked it enough. It was a slightly taller ratio than what was in the transmission so I replaced both fifth gears. The synchro for high range was smashed again, not as badly as the stock one had been. I spent a lot of time chiseling globs of melted brass off the input shaft. Then I put it in the lathe to sand it smooth and the rest came off instantly. I noticed this time there was a gap between the input shaft and the big bearing it presses into so I pressed that back in. We figured whatever caused that must be smashing the high range synchro. Then I removed the big snapring and pulled the bearing out of the input shaft housing. There is a washer and a snapring that is supposed to hold the shaft from pushing back in the bearing. The snapring was there but had slid out of the groove. The groove is shallow and the snapring didn't have much tension on it so I bent it closed and put it in the groove. After doing that I put the transmission together with no washers under the input shaft housing and it still spun freely with a little endplay on the synchro. I'm wondering if that was the problem all along. I did test fit the input shaft with one half of the case on the engine with flywheel and clutch and there is room to slide the input shaft so it's not the pilot bearing or something pushing on the input shaft. My friend pointed out with the helical cut on the input shaft gear it tries to pull into the trans under load so maybe that's what pulls it in. We put the engine and trans back in the car and hooked everything back up. Took about ten hours total. Then the engine wouldn't start, solenoid just clicked. He had sanded the ends of the battery cables while I was working on the trans but we double checked those and tried a different battery with no success. We pull started the car and he drove it around the block, high, low, and first-fifth all worked fine, no popping out of fifth gear, no leaks. So he just drove it home without shutting it off. He put an Outback starter in and it worked fine.
  11. Unless you used really large bolts I'd probably bend them on rocks. The upper link would probably be OK. Maybe with big rod ends / heim joints and misalignment spacers that would be a good way to be able to adjust your alignment and have better articulation than the stock bushings. It would be a lot more expensive though, the stock bushings are about $10 each, I'd want to use at least 3/4" rod ends and those are $20+ each and you'd need a dozen of them. I also think the ride would be a little harsher and they'd get sloppy. My other thought was if you make them the right length and nothing gets significantly bent there's no need to adjust them.
  12. I don't know how long the bushings will last. If they don't last long or I want to get more travel I'll probably have to switch to ball joints. Yes, you can run it through the full travel but it takes some force at the extremes. Yes, we made the links, that was the cheap and easy part. I really think longer links would be the best solution but you might wind up making a new subframe to mount them. You could also "tub" the body (build bigger wheel wells) but the bottom of the wheel is already even with the bottom of the body at full compression. I keep thinking about making some longer CV axle shafts and longer arms/links for more travel in general. I think 15-18" of travel would be another big step forward. Longer axles and arms would start to get more expensive and less bolt on. One good thing with our setup now is that spare stock axles and struts work for the long travel cars or cars with stock suspension. One big problem widening the suspension would be that the tires go up inside the rear wheel wells now, that would take a significant amount of bodywork to still allow full travel and cover the tires if they were out a few inches farther.
  13. Some of the shock parts including the longer bodies and shafts. Pictures of the longer shocks installed on the 2002 as requested. I should have gotten some pictures of one of these shocks compared to a stock one but I was in a hurry. Reservoirs are just zip tied in place temporarily so they don't bounce around. I'll mount them more securely. Right now it's a complicated procedure to install these. Hard to explain why without seeing it but the spring collars have to be threaded down, shocks have to go in reservoir first from the bottom, collars threaded up, shocks charged, springs installed, and then bolt the shocks in. I'm already planning on making new brackets to mount the tops of the shocks so I can just slide them down through the floor with the springs on.
  14. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    What Bennie said is right, you want those bushings to be as relaxed as possible at ride height, that will help your articulation and bushing life. The real limitation though is that two of the lateral links are much shorter than the CV axle so it pulls the axle into the diff at droop. The best fix would be to make different frame mounts and make those two links longer to reduce CV plunge and bushing flex/twist. I did make a set of lateral links slightly longer than stock using the stock mounts to get a little more droop before the CV bottoms out. If you make them too long the CV pulls out of the diff. You can get over almost all obstacles with more speed and momentum. I'm not saying that's a good idea with your car but it virtually always works.
  15. I'll try to remember to take a picture with the wheel off once it's all painted and assembled. Yes, we made all three lateral links a little longer than stock. They are apparently a little too long on the left side, I had to make a washer for the outer CV so it wouldn't pull the inner CV out of the diff.
  16. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    If you get two wheels in the air and stop moving forward you need more momentum. Perhaps we're losing something in translation, but aside from really tall hills momentum will get you over anything. For what you seem to want to do a Jeep sounds like your answer.
  17. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    You have put up some great gifs and videos showing VDC on and off, thanks. Have you ever tried lowering your tire pressures in a situation like that? "what is missing there is low gear and more torque to axles" "so i needed there to pull back and give more mementum." that sums up off roading in a Subaru!
  18. On the plus side there aren't any extra cracks in the windshield after those bad landings. We worked on getting more travel out of the 2002 Outback rear suspension this weekend. First step for the longer shocks was to cut a hole in the floor. This will be the base plate the shock tabs are welded to. There will also be one under the floor for added strength. I took this picture after we cut the hole but this was a stock bracket to reinforce the shock mount. We thought that was a good idea. This is how the shock mount looks tacked in. The outer tab will be welded to that plate that bolts into the side of the body. Hole in the base plate had to be slotted/enlarged to get the shock out with the reservoir hose. With the shock installed. We will have to remove the spring and discharge and compress the shock so we can swing it enough to snake down out of that hole. Not ideal but if we're taking the shocks out we'll probably discharge them and remove the springs either way. The Fox shocks I had on there had about 5" of shaft travel and 8" of wheel travel. With these longer shafts and bodies and moving the upper mount up into the car we now have 7" of shaft travel and about 11" of wheel travel. The upper link hits the body at full bump but the worn down tire is starting to rub on the wheel well too. Limiting full droop a little shy of where the inner CV bottoms out. Have extra shaft travel too in case we come up with a way to use it. Also changed the shock valving while they're apart. Will probably take a few days to get everything painted and assembled and then I'll test it out.
  19. I was trying out some different shock valving on the 99 Outback at our friend's jumps nearby. They are pointy and built more for dirt bikes than cars but it is convenient to hit the same thing every time and try different shock valving and get video to try to get the cars to jump more level and not bottom out too hard. I think I have made some improvement but the cars still nose down over these jumps even just in first gear. For reference: In the winter the Outback was jumping pretty level over a few of them in second gear but the snow and ice was rounding them off significantly. Yesterday I hit them again with some different valving and got some video and forgot a stool there I had taken to use as a tripod. This morning I drove back out to get the stool and while I was there I decided to hit the jumps in second to see how it went. The first one is small, I figured if that went poorly I'd back off for the next two. That's what happened but the car still nosed in pretty badly off one and then I smelled oil, looked down to see the oil pressure light on and shut off the engine. Fortunately I only drove a hundred feet or so after the jump at low load and RPM. Turns out I hit one of the side skidplates hard enough to break the part of the block the oil filter/cooler bolt threads into. You can sort of see where it smashed the tube coming out of the oil cooler. This is the piece of the block that broke off and the oil filter/cooler bolt. There are probably as many or more threads left in the block as there are in that part that broke off. My plan for the time being is to obtain or make a longer bolt and drill/tap the block deeper. Anyone know where to get a longer bolt, perhaps from a different engine? Definitely need to remake that skidplate farther from the filter/cooler and more heavy duty. Right now it is just 1/16" 4130. Good thing that happened locally. Thought about replacing the upper oil pan (the filter goes on the side) and the timing cover. Subaru doesn't sell the upper oil pan. I do have a good upper oil pan and timing cover I could take off the leaky H6 sitting in my shop but that would be like two engine teardowns. Maybe over the winter. In related news the white Outback can flat tow the black Outback fairly well from a power and stability standpoint but the brakes are very marginal. I let some smoke out of them on the way home and then started downshifting the auto trans which helped.
  20. One of the issues we had in Arkansas with my 99 OB is that the skidplate hangs fairly low and hits when landing off jumps, it has been pushed up a bit, and the engine moves on the rubber mounts when landing. So after clearancing it some in Arkansas it looked like this: We clearanced it some more, pulled it down, welded a new tab on and reinstalled it and now have more clearance. Hopefully it won't bend, there are four ribs behind it. Also my friend suggested getting rid of the metal coolant pipe that has been dented a few times now so I routed the coolant hose to the oil cooler differently. Had a few Subarus parked outside. We ran our cars over some jumps and parking barriers to test out some different shock valving on the 99 OB and 2001 Forester. The big disappointment is that what I thought was improved shock tuning over the winter was probably mostly the jumps being rounded off by the snow and ice. Still have some ideas to try next. The rack on the 2001 Forester was a little loose so we replaced that, a rack boot, a front wheel bearing, and some CV boots while things were apart.
  21. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    We've measured about ten different Subaru rear CV axles now and they're all a little different in length. The right rear is 10mm longer than the left rear, at least on some models. The aftermarket axles we've measured have less plunge travel than the Subaru axles. The other problem you might run into with your car is if you get one that's too short (or can't extend far enough) it will pull out of the rear diff when the wheel goes up.
  22. Highlight video I put together of our long travel struts in action. Have some better jumps planned and still working on the shock tuning.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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