Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board

Recommended Posts

Hi ALL!

A buddy of mine just bought a used '05 Outback, with 4 Cylinder, Auto, 17 Inch Goodyear Tripletreads that are new. Anyhow... he had a '01 Outback the shorter car. He says he doesn't like the '05's SUV handling VS his old more station wagon handling. He spends a lot of time in this car for his for his work and wants it to handle well, especially in winter.

I suggested that he get fatter sway bars, front and back.

Any other suggestions ?

THX, SubeeTed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An 05 should not handle much differently that the 01 did. If it feels like a bulky SUV, I'd recommend new struts and an alignment.

Also what kind of tires are on the 05? Those can make a difference as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm guessing by 'Outback the shorter car', you mean an Outback Sport (aka Impreza Outback)? Which would be a substantial difference.

 

The TripleTreads are decent tires, I ran them a few years ago. IMO you really don't need anything 'higher performance'.

 

How many miles? If over 100k look into new struts like Fairtax said. Depending on how aggressive your friend wants to get, you can swap on Legacy struts/springs (lowers the car a bit). Front/Rear sway bars will also flatten things out a bit, check out Whiteline (not sure if Rallitek still makes bars for that gen).

 

I think there is a pretty good suspension FAQ/Sticky over at subaruoutback.org - but I feel like most of it is geared to lifting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same problem, going from a 87 to a 2005. Mine has 185K on it, 5000 miles ago all struts replaced with KYB, and the rear links for the sway bar have been replaced. There is a long long long long long thread about the rear wallowing, but I would rather see a thread here as most of that thread is me too lets sue or something. I am fearless and there are times when the bounce of the back has worried me. NJDRSUbaru has noticed the same thing on his 01. It seems that wavy road surfaces make it far worse then choppy roads, so I am leaning towards weak springs.

 

An 06 owner on a outback mail list replaced all his springs with King Springs and he said it is much much better. 

 

Can your freind (if possible) make a mental note on what kind of road surfaces seem to make it worse? I have seen many complaints on this almost enough to make me think there are a batch of bad springs out there that are not aging well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going from 2000 Legacy GT to 2005 Outback was a disappointment as the ride was higher and softer.

Then last year I could have swore my 05 was possessed by the "Ghost Wanderer". On ice, I felt like the rear wanted to get out in front of me. Long story short, ALIGNMENT was way off.

Check out the obvious first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have an 05 Outback that has the typical wallowy rear end. I did a bunch of reading over at the outback forum and decided to buy a set of 04 spec KYB GR-2 rear struts to put in my 05 because they're supposedly valved a bit stiffer. I have the struts in my possession but not in the car yet. I hope to get them in there in the next couple weeks and I'll report back about the ride and handling.

 

I'm sure once I get those installed I'll want/need front struts too. The struts in the car now have ~200,000kms on them and I'm pretty certain they are original to the car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

were both Outbacks - the 01 and 05?

 

i think the 05's are known to have weaker struts - i think some people put 00-04 struts on 05+ Outbacks because of it.  i installed the stiffer Baja Turbo springs on mine as well as new KYB struts.

 

i'd go with new struts and use the 00-04 OBW struts if that is an upgrade as i think it is.

and maybe Baja turbo springs which are heavier/stiffer.  they also give a 1/2" or so lift.

 

or thicker sway bars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two additional things also come to mind; 05-09 Outbacks gained, what, 1, 1.5" of lift compared to the 00-04's. In addition they lost at least 100lbs (more depending on trim+options), which could be a reason for the shock change.

 

Depending on mileage, strut change could be a great 'upgrade'. You'll want to look at 2002.5-04 parts, there was a change mid 2002. The 2002.5-04 are cheaper and very similar. (sorry to cross-forum post, but check this FAQ- http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/81-wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/28368-2005-2009-outback-suspension-faq.html )

 

Sway bars (at least upgrading the rear bar) will help a noticeable amount.

 

Baja springs are cool, don't get me wrong; but I think that's the wrong direction... :)

 

Edit: link

Edited by nickb21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i forgot to mention that - how many miles on the vehicle?   they may simply be tired and new struts might regain a comfortable ride.  those 05+ models aren't known to be stellar struts or last long.

 

oh right, i have H6 vehicles, i think the baja springs are more common on those and i wanted the stiffer/higher springs since i'm often towing excessive loads/weights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMFG, twice now the car has scared the biomass out of me. Once on the Verrazano Bridge when a sudden thunder storm blew in, I thought I was going to get blown off the bridge, literally. The other night on the PA Turnpike, a very terrified racoon between lanes, and me swerving to avoid him. Front end tracked fine. The rear wagged in a rather terrifying way, I just powered through it and let the AWD sort it out, but this is not acceptable by any part of the imagination. 

 

Tomorrow 4 wheel alignment to start, then i really need to start researching this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to get my wheels aligned. Firestone (ugh but they are the only ones with lifetime alignment here) informed me that my rear toe was off (their words), but it was equally off. The bushings and bolts are frozen and need to be replaced to rectify this. I suspect this is where my problem is. They adjusted what they could, and it did help somewhat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×