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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. Trimming the stock bumper cover is a good idea, especially if he doesn't add lights between the bumper and headlights. Good point that if the bumper was body color it would really show the gap between the trim/fenders and bumper. Everything is 1/8" thick. Mild steel tubing 4"x4" and 2"x4", 4130 plate.
  3. It would be more sano but we figured when the bumper shifts around it would break the grill and trim. Also the grill probably hangs within an inch of the top of the bumper. He's also thinking about adding some lights or small light bars between the bumper and headlights. He's trying to decide what color to paint it. The rear bumper and all the trim is body color so that's my vote. He's got some gold wheels he's going to put on and thought about painting the bumper gold. We talked about painting it black too and/or using a bedliner (rough) paint. Thoughts on that?
  4. Thanks. It's not as heavy as I thought it would be, I took it off by myself pretty easily after welding. Obviously much heavier than the stock aluminum extrusions and plastic cover though.
  5. Worked on a bumper for Z's Forester XT over the weekend. He made these CAD templates and then copied them in steel for the mounting plates. He wanted it tapered more like travelvw's and a lot of the aftermarket bumpers are shaped now. Much fancier than the bumpers I've built, but we wanted it to be strong too. Started with a 4" square tube for the main beam and then started mocking up the ends in CAD. Don't worry about the rubber band city boy tires, he's going to put smaller front brakes on it and already has 15" alloys and will get better tires. Want it to stick an inch or two out from the lights and fenders to protect them on tight trails. Used 2"x4" for the main portion of the ends. Fit just above the stock airbox. Added a plate between the square and rectangle to cap the ends and give the rectangle more to push/pull on. Tapered the end like he wanted and added three receivers for jacking/winching. Revisited the CAD under that. Did the airbox side first as it was trickier, the other side we made the same for aesthetics but there's nothing in the way so the fit wasn't as tricky. To locate that access hole for the bumper mounting bolt I turned a point on a long bolt and threaded it into the mount, then held the plate up against it and it scratched a mark. Plan is to put round tubes between the bumper plate and that mounting plate so the bolt doesn't fall. I welded as much as I could with it on the car to act as a fixture. He's going to grind/sand all the welds flush and then paint it. We cut out a plate to cover that center section between the bumper and radiator support but ran out of time to mount it. Hoping we won't be using the towbar tabs or winch receiver often so that plate will cover them to make the bumper sano. I don't think there was a final decision on how to easily wrap a strap around it. We were thinking about notching the cover plate so it could be wrapped around the square tube. The grill hangs down pretty close to the square tube though, I suggested cutting out some of the dark parts of the grill so you can reach behind the bumper easily but it will still look basically stock. Another thought was to mount the grill to the hood and again cut some of the dark part of it out to access the hood latch. That wouldn't drop between the headlight trim though. In this picture you can see where we also mounted it to the tiedown tabs. Bumper off the car before I finished welding it. Fully welded it and he took it home. I'm anxious to see what it looks like sanded flush and painted.
  6. I would have to check but my guess is the diff isn't centered in the suspension. The input is offset from the output, maybe they split the difference so the driveshaft doesn't have as much angle as it would. Really seems silly to have different length CV axles and even crazier that the ball spline axles wouldn't just have enough extra plunge to fit either side. You can just measure them with a tape measure (I have one with cm on one side). The lefts are usually about 760mm compressed, rights 770mm.
  7. We've made our own links and I would have to check but they are probably the same length as SF. Slightly longer links might allow us more droop but might cause the axles to pull out of the diff at ride height. I have about ten used rear CV axles I just looked at and they all have oil grooves in the same direction (right hand helix). We've only measured two pairs of axles that had a known left/right and the lefts were 762mm compressed, rights were 772mm compressed. Have also measured at least one other pair from the same car that were 10mm different.
  8. The rear lateral links with the strut suspension are shorter than the axles. Only about 2" but it's enough. Even at ride height with a slightly lifted car the links are at more of an angle than the axles and it just gets worse with droop, pulling the CV into the bottom of the cup. There are other things limiting droop but if I go much beyond where I have it set now you can see the CV axle push the diff to the side in the bushings. If the ball spline axles continue to hold up in B's excessively lifted Forester they might allow us more travel.
  9. Three years out of a set of CV axles would be fantastic. I don't know exactly what CV angle our axles are at full droop, I want to say 25deg, but it's the plunge that limits our travel front and rear. Even with the rear strut suspension the inner CV bottoms out in the diff at full droop (among other limitations). It is not as bad as the multilink rear suspension but still a problem.
  10. pontoontodd

    03 outback rear suspension on EA81 - T-bone 2.0

    1) hopefully that won't cause you any major problems. 2) It would be worth trying a different brand of axles, some of the aftermarket EJ axles definitely have less travel than the OEM EJ axles. Did anyone make six ball inboard joints for EA axles? Those seem to hold up better on the EJ cars than the tripods. If you're that close on clearance, the engine and trans not being exactly level side to side or some other minor issue could do it. Worst case you can just put a little less lift on that side, right?
  11. I would think so. I'd also think they'd have enough plunge travel to have one part number for left and right in the rear since they're almost interchangeable on a Subaru but they don't. Guess they were just going for more angle on the inboard for lifted cars. That is usually what goes back on B's Forester. I emailed the company I've bought a bunch of axles from to see how much plunge their ball spline axles have but so far no response. He's only driven on them for a few days but so far so good. After it ground that notch in the crossmember the noise has mostly gone away. Should be plenty of clearance with stock suspension, our fabricated arms shift the wheel forward an inch or so. Also replaced the steering rack in the 99 Outback. It was sloppy down in Texas. After we got it home and got it running with the body repairs and fresh exhaust, I noticed it would pull to the side a little when I got on and off the gas. My 2001 did that when I first bought it because the inner tie rods were sloppy. Replaced the rack in the 99 with the one out of the parts car and it may not be perfect but it seems much better. Took it to the coin op car wash and blasted the mud off the underside so I can take a closer look at the body sometime.
  12. Did a lot of Subaru disassembly and a little assembly over the weekend. Took the drivetrain and suspension out of this car Saturday: Most of the parts we kept: Took apart a fuse block after I removed all the fuses out of curiosity. Interesting high amp 3D PCB of sorts: Had some more time Saturday so we replaced a couple CV axles on B's Forester. Had one front and rear that were making noise. We're trying the Rock auto suretrac/tracmotive ball spline axles. Have heard a lot of bad things but also a few people who've put tens of thousands of miles on them in lifted Subarus. Unfortunately they don't have any more plunge travel than conventional axles. There are some aftermarket CV axles with less plunge travel but most of the OEM and aftermarket axles have 40-50mm plunge, so do these. If they can live at higher angles it might allow us to do more with the suspension. The biggest problem we found is that with the fabricated arms we made the front tires are about an inch forward of stock. This caused the female part of the ball spline to rub on the crossmember. It also hits the front control arm bolt at full droop. We decided to just run it and see what happens. After driving it less than half a mile it had already worn a notch in the crossmember but maybe that's all it will do. Worked on a bunch of little things on the black Outback too.
  13. Central Texas, closest town is Blackwell.
  14. Video from our race in Texas a few weeks ago. https://youtu.be/2495l8eTpG0
  15. Long travel inspiration, easily the coolest Brat I've ever seen: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bajabrat/
  16. I would do at least a few of these mods to a rust free car. I'm curious to see how my 2002 Outback and R's 2001 Forester hold up since they are rust free. Not that we will be giving them quite the same abuse my 99 has gotten. Drove the 99 some today, seems to be running fine, unplugged cats seem to have fixed it.
  17. The last body/rust "repair" I did was this. Mini skid plate for the rear subframe has been a good improvement. Now that the rocker is all rotted out/cracked up, the side mounting plate wasn't attached to anything. Made one a little wider and welded it on to the rocker. Not providing much structure but makes me feel better. If we decide to do more desert racing next year, a lot of seam welding and cotter pins will be going into the car this winter. Think I may have finally solved the rear hatch latch problem. For years now it's been semi posterior, you have to wiggle the hatch and play with it most of the time to get it to open. Made some adjustments that have seemed to help temporarily but it's been marginal. This last time I had to get it open by pulling off the rear panel and messing with the rods and latch, I noticed the latch mechanism was super sloppy. The old one is on the left, you can see the one rivet was starting to pull out, the other one is loose. Just put in one from the parts car on the right, seems to work much more easily and consistently.
  18. Yes but it would probably be less work to just replace the whole engine...
  19. The cage probably helps the car generally staying intact, although it doesn't add as much structure as I originally thought. Since I really want to keep the car running for at least another year or two I don't have much choice but to fix it. On the plus side it costs almost no money, just a lot of time. I am curious to see how my 2002 H6 OB and my friend's 2001 Forester both with long travel and both rust free hold up to abuse. Our rusty to begin with 200k mile midwestern cars haven't held up well, that's for sure. Will keep the 97 Legacy Sedan crossmember tip in mind. The subframes on the parts car I just got look pretty solid so I'd probably just use those. The frame damage that ended our race was where front control arm bolts in. I think one of the bolts fell out completely and then the other one ripped out of the body. I made up these plugs to weld in the body. The big square one is for the outer bolt. I'd already put in one like it but it must have fallen down into the frame when the bolt fell out and the car kept bouncing along the roughest desert course ever. Cut the plate out of the side of the body to put the plug in. Got it in there, this one was a tight fit so I had to tighten down the bolt to get it seated all the way down. Welded it in place so hopefully I don't lose this one. Welded the plate back over the hole. Welded the smaller plug in for the inner bolt hole. Welded a plate over the control arm bolt hole and adjacent subframe bolt hole. Should do this on the other side over the winter. Welded a seam that appeared to be splitting a little. Painted it all. Most of it's going to rust from the inside out but it makes me feel better. (No pictures yet). I took the H6 exhaust off the parts car and ran our crude flow test on it (compressed air hose wide open in the outlet to backflush/flow test). Seems to flow as freely as you could hope considering it's going through a couple cats. Far better than the exhaust that was on the black Outback. Put that on the black Outback, still need to adjust the tube that hits the crossmember so it will sit right, but it's mostly on. Ran it with the AC on to give it some load for about 20 minutes. Still seemed to be running fine and not stalling. Puffing air out the crankcase even when cold. Will have to do some fab on the exhaust and assemble the suspension (going to safety wire those control arm bolts for sure this time) and then test drive it to see if that fixes the problem. For reference the 2002 H6 OB (same engine) has no noticeable flow out the oil fill cap when running hot or cold.
  20. Front crossmember was cracked on both sides, welded that too. If I keep this car I will probably swap the subframes off the car I just bought for parts, maybe seam weld them before installing. Steering rack on this one is getting loose too, probably do that over the winter as well.
  21. Rear crossmember was cracked on both sides so I welded that up.
  22. Rule #1 buying a project car - buy something rust free. This part of the body was basically held in place by ratchet straps and the parking brake cable for the drive from Texas to Illinois. The failure was ultimately caused by the roughness of the course but the fact that this was probably at least halfway rusted off is the main reason it failed in my opinion. Notice the subframe bolt has also ripped out of the body (right side of picture). My friend got it basically back up in place, this is it partially welded back in. Wrinkle in the door frame. Door opens and closes tighter than before. It's hard to tell from these pictures but the rocker is just completely destroyed. Between getting smashed on thousands of rocks over the years and corrosion, there's not much left of it. Welded back in. Added a couple patches. Also welded part of the wheel well seam that is split top to bottom. Need to do some more welding on that but should at least clean the car first. At the front of the piece that fell out there was about an inch gap in the body so I patched that too. I had already done something like this on the other side. Trailing arm bracket bolted all the way through the floor with tubes to keep the floor from crushing. On this side I did the same with the subframe mount as that had also ripped out of the body. Welded it on the top side. When I did that I also welded a big washer to the bottom of the body where the subframe bolt had ripped out a big hole.
  23. Tried to get the black Outback running better. I spliced a fuel pressure gauge between the filter and the engine. It reads in the 40s normally, in the fifties with the vacuum hose off, which is about 10psi higher than the FSM says. When revved up it holds pressure. Even when I ran it long enough and got it to die it would hold pressure until the engine died, then it slowly drops. The accuracy of the small old pressure gauge I'm using could be poor. I did disconnect the return line and ran it into a bottle and ran the car that way. Pressure was still the same, seems like a good flow of fuel. So I don't think there's a restriction or kink in the return. I noticed a little smoke coming out around the dipstick, if you remove that or the oil fill cap there is a pulsating flow of air with a little smoke/steam. It seems to pulse about every other revolution of the engine indicating a bad cylinder. Took the PCV valve off a bad H6 which seemed a little looser than this one, cleaned it out, and put it on, same puffing out the oil fill. Took the intake off and there is a little oil from the breather hose. Air filter and housing seemed fairly clean considering where we just went. I have noticed it has idled a little rough lately, say the last month or so. When I first put the engine in you couldn't even tell it was running at idle it was so smooth. If you rev it up at all it smooths right out. So I think it's probably been like this for a while and I'm just noticing the puffs of air out the oil fill. We have noticed a rattle at idle a few times that seemed to be coming from the driver's side cat. I pulled the exhaust and started unbolting it/cutting it apart and some pieces of plutonium came out: The driver's side cat is all broken up, there are still a few big pieces in there that can't get out. These might occasionally turn sideways and block flow. The cat in the middle of the car where the pipes come together seems to be plugged, probably with debris from the driver's side cat. Blowing compressed air in there has a lot more resistance than any of the other pipes. Did a quick test with the exhaust completely removed and it still puffs air out the oil fill. Bolted up just the two pipes with the front cats and it seemed to run without stalling where it would have before. One time it did give a misfire cylinder 4 code. Disconnected one coil pack at a time, every time the idle would drop and get rougher. When reconnected the idle would pick back up and get smoother. Never got a misfire code while doing that. I am still working on some structural repairs we started yesterday (pix of that later). My next step is to put the exhaust from a car I just got on the black Outback and see how it runs, maybe drive it around the block a few times to make sure it will stay running. Anything else I should check/test? How bad is a little airflow out the oil fill?
  24. I have seen those. One problem I see is that without a low range, wheelspin is the only thing that allows us to climb steep grades sometimes. Cut down on the wheelspin and we'd have even more problems in a lot of cases. Also the improved traction would be even harder on the transmission, and I've already broken a few of those. If you had a low range and went easy on it, the rear locker would definitely help in some cases.
  25. We got about 4 hours of gopro footage of the prerun and race but it will be a while until I get that edited. Nothing from outside the car, we only went by the pits every half hour or so and we were driving/navigating in something most of the time. I thought about safety wiring those control arm bolts and obviously should have. If I did everything to the car I thought it needed to make it perfect I'd be broke and I'd never get to drive it. I have a few ideas for tuning the shocks to make it better on that small square edged rocky terrain. The upside is that our class was all the trucks that weren't full tube frame (trophy trucks) and only that F100 beat us. The Forester has at least 50% more CV angle than my Outbacks at ride height, we plan on putting softer springs on it soon to lower it and improve the ride. The CV boot that failed twice is right above the cat, he's going to try to add a heat shield there.