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Low budget 96 Outback mud wagon project (56K warning)

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Time for one of my favorite things in the world... a super low budget project!

 

Low quality pictures but it's dark out and I'm moving this weekend so I'll get better ones after that process is done. Bought this Sunday for $500 bucks and already have a buyer for the struts and tires for $250 once I get some Forester struts and other tires for it. It first needed a timing belt idler as it broke but it made an hour drive at 80 MPH with this awesome part from it's parking spot to my friend's apartment.

 

Click this to see the nice failed gear!

 

EJ22 Phase I non interference engines... while not that powerful... are bulletproof. Replaced that idler gear, new timing belt (old one was newer but had two of the ball bearings from the idler blowing apart embedded into the rubber), and it was once again smooth and quiet. 257K on the clock and it's pretty damn quiet when it's running.

 

It needs a front passenger wheel bearing really really bad but it made the 6 hour drive from Minneapolis, MN to here without dying. You can actually move the wheel over a half an inch in and out... hopefully I can just get a used knuckle as I'm cheap and I don't have a way to press in a new bearing.

 

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It has the typical spots of rust on the rear wheel wells where the bumper meets the body, the abs is dead, and it needs the air bags and sensors replaced as at one point in time this car murdered the hell out of a deer. Didn't do too much to the car besides busting up the front bumper a bit. Besides that everything works and works well on it. it has newer tires, struts, clutch, water pump, and other crap on it too... I think it was a damn good buy for the price and I think it'll be a fun car.

 

Besides, I always wanted to see what one of these cars could be capable of in an off road situation but my other Subarus were too expensive (at least to my poor self) to really take a chance on breaking them or causing other damage... so when I found this I thought it would be perfect to have some fun with.

 

Anyway... that's it for now. Feel free to comment with ideas to make this thing kick some rump roast in the dirt.

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I love how the engine bay is muddy and dirty :grin:

 

Well, for starters, a good lift kit will be mandatory. I'd say at least 6 inches for really serious mudding. Then maybe some skidplates. A diff guard (that is, if the rear didn't come with a diff guiard) or two, some nice off-road bumpers, sheetloads of fog lights, huge rally mud flaps..

 

OK, at this point, I'm daydreaming :lol:

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I can tell you are going to have fun with this future "mudder.' I lived in the cities many years ago, so I can appreciate the terrain that you are going to encounter with the mudder.

 

From your pics, it looks like you picked a good candidate car to play with. Yea, you are going to have fun with this ride.

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Well, I'm hoping to make that daydreaming a reality with this thing.

 

I've read that forester struts would be a decent lift for the thing... any idea if that's true or if they actually make a lift kit for this car?

 

As for the skidplates and diff cover, my buddy is going to help me make some to protect the bottom of the car from damage. Hopefully we'll be able to make them for darn near free thanks to the fact he's still in school and can nab some scrap metal pieces.

 

Foglights galore eventually... that's just fundage holding me back there.

 

As for changing the bumpers... ehh... don't really want to do that. I like the way these cars look. I'd like a front end guard for it though with a winch on it as well as a trailer hitch for the back (which my buddy's car has that we're gunna take for this one).

 

First step of the matter is going to be getting another knuckle for it so that way it'll have a good wheel bearing again. The pass front bearing is dead... very dead.

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I've read that forester struts would be a decent lift for the thing... any idea if that's true or if they actually make a lift kit for this car?

 

 

Forrester struts are actually about 1/2" shorter than your Outback struts. You'll be loosing some tire size clearance because the spring perch will be in the way.

 

Forrester tophats are taller though, so that may be where people are getting there lift.....if they just grab a whole strut assembly from a wrecker. Not much difference though. I wouldn't really count on Forrester struts to give you any real lift.

 

HighGuys has full 3" lift kits for this car, built and ready to ship. Check out our thread in the vendor forums.

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Wow! That's a nice kit! Unfortunately it costs quite a bit more than I paid for the car... I'll have to start saving my pennies and get some funds together for that kit. Just curious though, is there a way to raise it even higher than 3 inches?

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We can build a 4" or a 6" kit for you on request.

 

Although it's worth noting that without some type of additional wheel spacers, and/or strut bottom extensions you won't be able to clear any larger than a 235/75/15 tire.

 

And without a low range you won't be able to turn anyhting larger either.

 

That's why we make and recommend the 3 inch kit.

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Yeah, I wish it had a low range but no such luck on these buggers. I figured even if I couldn't run a bigger tire the extra lift would still be good for clearing stuff on the ground...

 

What about the steering shaft? Is that something that is replacable to compensate for lift?

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Yeah, I wish it had a low range but no such luck on these buggers. I figured even if I couldn't run a bigger tire the extra lift would still be good for clearing stuff on the ground...

 

What about the steering shaft? Is that something that is replacable to compensate for lift?

 

Yes, steering coupler will need to be lengthed.

 

A coupler from a 85 or 86 NON-power steering GL should be close to what you need. Otherwise it's simple to cut,sleeve,extend you're original.

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Picked the car up from the good repair shop. New wheel bearing installed... Outback happy! Now time to clean up the inside and take care of some little issues... Then once I save up some coin it's lift time!

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