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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 post 218: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/page-9?do=findComment&comment=1307908 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 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 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. We didn't measure, but it definitely looked like it caused a lot of toe change. I think it is set up for roll understeer, probably because they figure it's a midsize family station wagon.
  3. Yes, I understand it will work for you, just pointing out how I can't use that much bump travel without some major changes. Also keep in mind full bump for us is usually landing off a jump or hitting a big rock so the tire sidewall is already mostly compressed.
  4. That's excellent! How well secured are your trailing arm pivots? Just wondering if those will cause a bind or limit you in some way. Also you should tack weld those pivots back on the subframe to make sure your axles are going to allow that much travel. What is limiting your droop travel? I'm not going to do that right now but I'm definitely going to think about doing something like it. One minor issue is the exhaust goes right through where you're putting those pivots. My first thought was to narrow the diff mount and straighten the exhaust. It looks like you're mainly getting more bump travel than I'm planning on. My tires already rub the wheelwells at the full compression I'm planning on so it would take a lot of work to get another 3-4" inches of compression like you show. Also it should be good for crawling but landing off a jump our tires will compress enough that the rear diff would be underground. Not the best bumpstop.
  5. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    Those videos are a good demonstration of the VDC system. Your two alternatives if you don't have traction control or lockers are momentum and articulation.
  6. Yes, I would make all (two or three) of those lateral links the same length and roughly parallel if you're just going for maximum travel. Ideally you'd want some camber change so you'd want the upper link shorter than the lowers and at a different angle but that might limit your travel. Bump / roll steer is another story, the stock suspension has a surprising amount and you could get rid of it with long parallel links. Probably best for long travel soft suspension, but in some cases the roll steer would be good. That front lateral link does twist an impressive amount. I was figuring if you replaced all the bushings with ball joints including (especially) the trailing arm bushing, you could use just two lateral links. That trailing arm bushing is pretty soft.
  7. If you are planning on modifying the subframe at all, I would just make all the lateral links the same length as the longest (rear) links. That will reduce the plunge of the CVs a lot. If you are planning on using ball joints or rod ends instead of bushings, I'd get rid of the forward/lower lateral links completely, they'll just cause the suspension to bind. So in that case you'd just have to make the top links with ball joints or rod ends and about as long as the rear links. We just mocked up some links, I took a few pictures but it's nothing you'd want to drive on. I just got a set of bushings yesterday so I'll be making the real links in the next few weeks. I'd like to get those done and the shocks lengthened in the next month or so. Should be a good upgrade for you, it'll also give you bolt on rear wheel bearings. Will you have a different bolt pattern front and rear?
  8. Yes, same struts on both cars, slightly softer springs on the rear of the Forester. Need to do some suspension tuning, make the shocks softer on the Forester since it's lighter.
  9. Worth it? You're definitely not going to earn money with it somehow, so no. It does make the cars a lot more entertaining to drive though and you can cover more ground in a day and see more things so in that sense we think it's worth it. Would I do it just for crawling? If you really want a lot of articulation for crawling with a Subaru, it seems like the way to go is to use Toyota transfer case(s) and axles (there are a few build threads on this forum like that), so why not just buy a Toyota?
  10. If you removed your shocks and bump stops you'd have more wheel travel and articulation. Your ride quality and ground clearance would be terrible though. I'm not aware of any shocks that would bolt in that would give you more travel but there must be something. You could start here: https://www.kyb.com/knowledge-center/shock-tech-for-pros/dimensions/ There are definitely better four wheel drives than a Subaru for crawling but I'm not aware of anything that can go as fast, ride well, and hold up on rough terrain. Maybe an old full size car, but those are just rear wheel drive. Unless you're talking about something like Ford Raptor, but those are still $30,000 used.
  11. With longer links and shocks, which I'm working on, it will have 11-12" of travel, about the same as my 99. You could remove the shocks and bumpstops, that would give you more travel for zero money. Removing the swaybar doesn't give you any more travel, it would help the articulation but not much considering how soft that swaybar is. There are probably some cheaper shocks than what I'm using that would give you more travel but you have to make longer links or figure something out with the axles to get much more travel than stock.
  12. Yes but I've heard they don't hold up well. Plus as I said the stock links are so short you can't get much more travel even without the axles.
  13. pontoontodd

    '01 outback 2.5AT, VDC offroad/ overlanding build

    I was just thinking the other day about using old radiators or condensers as traction mats.
  14. We did some mockup for more travel with the rear multilink suspension. The limitation in droop is the inner CV bottoming out since most of the lateral links are much shorter than the axle. Made some slightly longer than stock links to get a little more droop. Here you can see it's a couple inches more droop than we had before (old on left, new on right). Full droop: Full bump: This is 11-12" of wheel travel. I need to get longer shafts and bodies for the shocks and make the longer links. I'll also need to stick the top of the shock inside the car. Thought about making a drop mount at the spindle but it's already the lowest point of the suspension. Got a complete multilink rear crossmember/suspension/axles which helps to look at. What's really limiting the rear travel (even with the struts) are the inner CV joints bottoming out since the links are shorter than the axles, the wheel pulls inward at droop. Even if the CV had more travel, the links are getting pretty vertical at full droop and really pulling the tire in. Thought about making longer links, which would probably require making a new rear subframe. Some of the axles we've gotten have 30 degrees of angle capacity at the inboard CV. If you had links about as long as the axles and plenty of body clearance, 22" of wheel travel should be possible. I think the easiest way to do that would be a body lift. For every inch of up travel you wanted to add, you'd have to add 2" of body lift with the same strut top mounts though, the compressed length of the spring/strut is going to be about 1" longer for every extra inch of travel. Also at full bump the bottom of the wheel is about even with the bottom of the body now. The tires get fairly compressed when landing so at some point you'd just start bottoming out on the crossmembers. I already hit the front skidplate on the 1999 Outback occasionally on the face of a jump.
  15. Video from our July trip to the UP. https://youtu.be/i7CXTijNXYI
  16. Yes, if we hadn't put the cage, fuel cell, etc. in it, I would have swapped the parts from the 99 Outback on to a rust free car by now.
  17. Yes, the planetary will be just before the center diff so that and the AWD system will operate normally in high or low. Some of my other ideas eliminated the center diff to provide a high front wheel drive / low four wheel drive but I think it would be best to have a center diff, if for no other reason so the steering brake still works. I haven't decided for sure but I will probably get an aftermarket DCCD controller, some aren't too expensive. Might wire up a toggle to give it 6V to lock initially but it will probably start with no electricity.
  18. Going to put a 2.9:1 planetary before the center diff. Sketched up a half dozen different ways to do it and that seems like it will be the simplest/cheapest/best. Will add a ~3.5" long spacer to the case. I'd like to do something like that to a 5MT but there's not much space and the center diff in those is already so weak I think you'd have to replace or eliminate that too. R160 would probably be the next thing to go in a normal Subaru, I'm putting an R180 in when I install the 6MT. Of course I took pictures. We made a few while the machine was set up. Stock one on the right. Installed on the shaft.
  19. I assembled the dual range with some bronze blocker rings I had made. I could no longer get stock replacements. These have male keys so we don't need the separate keys and spring clips that may have caused the last failure. We put it in my friend's Forester yesterday. Seems to work and shift alright. It does seem noisier than I remember, but maybe I'm used to the 52 mile trans in my Outback, and we did have some interior out of the Forester. There's a rattling noise at times and a gear whine when it's in low range. I do remember it making some noise before even when it was working fine. The 1.6 is definitely better than nothing but not exceptional. It wouldn't start when he first got to my house so while we had things apart we sanded the various battery cable ends and now it seems to start consistently. I'm pretty far along on drawings for the low range for the 6MT, definitely need to get that going.
  20. After the head gasket replacement I drove the car around the block and it seemed to run fine with no noticeable leaks. It would usually not start unless I used a jump starter on the battery. The battery was an Odyssey PC1230 with top and side posts that's four years old (just out of warranty). So I got a Duracell AGM with dual posts and that also wouldn't start the car even after getting recharged. I'd get a loud click out of the solenoid and the dash lights seemed pretty bright but no cranking. I sanded the various connections, still wouldn't start. Turned the crank and seemed like a normal amount of resistance. I have had solenoid contacts corrode and stop working after being submerged in water and sitting for a couple weeks on a different starter (non Subaru), so I decided to check that. Took the cover off and noticed the contact connected to the top stud wasn't sitting flat, hard to see in the picture below. When I removed the starter for the head gasket job that stud had turned and I'd just tightened the jam nut back down. Now I see that you have to make sure that contact is flat when you tighten that nut. It was probably holding the plunger out far enough that it wasn't touching the bottom contact. While it was apart I sanded the contacts, pushed the plunger down to hold the top contact square, and tightened the top nut. Put it back on the car and started it a few times, seems to work fine now.
  21. Video from our trip to the UP in June: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5hFvz4Rwx8
  22. Here is what I would recommend modifying or replacing if you're removing an EZ30 for any reason: Cut down the bosses on the timing chain cover and use shorter bolts, gives you a lot more clearance at the lower radiator hose. (see above) Clearance the timing cover around the upper water necks so you can fit any hose and hose clamp on there. Check the coolant fittings under the thermostat. (see above) Check the oil pressure idiot light wire, I think it's above the oil cooler. Mine was hard and insulation was starting to come off so I replaced it. Might be something you can get from the dealer at a reasonable price. Replace the valve cover gaskets and oil cooler o-ring (orange), these seem to always leak. Inspect all hoses, many of them will be rock hard and break when you remove them. (see list below) If you have a manual trans inspect the fork for cracks, check the release bearing, pilot bearing, and clutch disc. The FSM has a spec for wear on the clutch disc. If you don't expect to have your engine or trans back out for a long time at least replace the release bearing, pilot bearing, and clutch disc. All the parts I ordered from the dealer for the H6 head gasket job are listed below. They do have a gasket kit but it includes a lot of things you don't need or won't be disassembling and it's $271. 1 10944AA003 head gasket 2002 OB driver H6 1 11044AA603 head gasket 2002 OB passenger H6 1 806931070 o ring rear cover plate 2002 OB H6 - did not use this, didn't seem to be leaking. 1 806786040 rear main seal 2002 OB H6 - did not use this, thought it would be more hassle than it's worth trying to get it out without splitting the block. 2 14035AA410 intake gasket 2002 OB H6 (head to intake) 1 14075AA132 intake gasket 2002 OB H6 (gasket for flapper under intake, probably didn't need to replace) 1 807611060 pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler 1 99078AA110 pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler 1 807611071 driver side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 oil cooler 1 21328AA053 steel coolant pipe lower 2002 OB H6 - this was kinda beat up from my skidplate 1 21370KA001 oil cooler o ring 2002 OB H6 1 807607251 Top rear pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 - this was the only hose I replaced that was still in good shape 1 99078AA090 Top front pass side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 1 99078AA120 Top front driver side coolant hose 2002 OB H6 1 807615030 oil pan front driver side hose 2002 OB H6 1 806970030 o ring water pump 2002 OB H6 (inner, included with new water pump) 1 806982030 o ring water pump 2002 OB H6 (outer) 1 21110AA360 water pump 2002 OB H6 1 21200AA072 thermostat 2002 OB H6 1 21236AA010 thermostat gasket 2002 OB H6 - still the part shown on the dealer parts site but the part I got ends in 050, seemed to fit fine 1 21114AA063 water pump gasket 2002 OB H6 8 806914120 o ring 14.2mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover 2 806919120 o ring 19.2mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover 4 806925100 o ring 25mm dia 2002 OB H6 timing cover - only shows four of these on the dealer parts site but there are five on the engine, reused one of them 1 806738200 front main seal 2002 OB H6 2 10982AA000 Washer 2002 OB H6 (timing cover) - these were really stuck to the cover, I just put silicone around them 1 15208AA031 H6 oil filter 5 800406020 oil pump bolts 2 800406030 16mm outer cover bolt 1 16102AA260 solenoid valve - the one I broke the fitting on 2 44011AE040 ex gaskets 2002 OB H6 1 807506131 hose pass front intake/head 1 22310AC000 hose driver front intake/head 1 99071AB280 hose vacuum Also probably should have ordered that oil pressure relief gasket shown above. There was at least one more hose near the front of the intake that was rock hard and broke when we removed it that I couldn't find on the dealer parts site so I just cut a piece of hose to fit. I also got idler pulleys, a serpentine belt, spark plugs, and a pilot bearing from Rock Auto and replaced those while it was apart. Even if you didn't replace the water pump and a few other things and don't break that solenoid, it's still $400-500 in parts with shipping, and you have to machine the heads. So almost definitely better to just buy a JDM EZ30. It takes a long time to disassemble and reassemble one of these engines, and we didn't even split the block. Really should have just swapped in an EZ36 and standalone from the start. Next time.