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long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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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:

 

DSCF0278s.jpg

 

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:

 

DSCF0285s.jpg

 

This was the only mod on both cars before the trip:

 

DSCF0274s.jpg

 

DSCF0275s.jpg

 

Video from the trip:

 

 

Edited by pontoontodd
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Both cars held up well, we did break the Outback's front swaybar and at least one of its springs.  Three of the springs were broken when we got home, we probably started with at least one broken.  The rear struts had minimal damping when we started and none when we were finished.  As you can see, one of the strut cartridges is completely separated from the tube. 

 

DSCF0291s.jpg

 

 

 

DSCF0292s.jpg

 

 

Before I had been inspired by this forum I just got a set of new springs from the dealer (not wanting to break used springs later) and KYB struts for the rear from Rock Auto.

 

One front CV was clicking badly and the same wheel bearing was very loose.  Put a FWD Legacy axle (2WD 89-92 auto, 89-94 manual) in as a replacement, direct fit but bigger CVs:

 

DSCF0295s.jpg

 

The oil pan guard was beat so I upgraded it:

 

DSCF0493s.jpg

 

DSCF0497s.jpg

 

DSCF0498s.jpg

Edited by pontoontodd

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Later in the year we went to some off road parks.  We'd taken the Impreza before and were blown away by where it could go, the Outback was also impressive.

 

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After those experiences, I decided I wanted a fabricated front bumper to protect the lights and so we could take down larger trees, especially since the stock bumper is plastic/fiberglass.

 

Stock bumper for reference:

 

DSCF0604s.jpg

 

Very convenient bumper mounting on these cars, bolted plates on to the end of the frame to start:

 

DSCF0610s.jpg

 

Used a piece of 4" square tubing as the main beam, if I did it again I'd go with 3" square.

 

DSCF0611s.jpg

 

Again, this is to get around/over trees, hence the slight V shape.

 

DSCF0614s.jpg

 

I wanted to be able to put the bumper cover back on, otherwise I would have had it hang farther outside of the lights.

 

DSCF0620s.jpg

 

DSCF0621s.jpg

 

DSCF0622s.jpg

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The oil pan guard was again bashed in so I added 1/8" 4130 plate to the bottom of it:

 

DSCF0706s.jpg

 

The oil pan was also dented in badly enough by this point the pickup was starting to rub on the inside of it.  That can't be good for flow.

Not too hard to remove, lift the engine a bit and get out the u-joint for the 10mm socket.

 

DSCF0701s.jpg

 

I propped the pan rail up on the bricks in the background and hammered it back out.

 

DSCF0703s.jpg

 

I finally realized the gas tanks on both cars were getting beat so I added to this guard I'd made for the Outback earlier:

 

DSCF0721s.jpg

 

DSCF0722s.jpg

 

Far from pretty but should keep the gas tank from being completely destroyed.

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I knew the LR wheelwell was bad, didn't know it was this bad until I pulled out the carpeting.  There must have been a 3/4" gap most of the way around the wheelwell/strut tower.  I'd consider adding a rear strut tower brace to these cars before a front brace.

 

DSCF0710s.jpg

 

Tried to get it down to bare steel and pushed it back in place with a bottle jack:

 

DSCF0712s.jpg

 

DSCF0717s.jpg

Edited by pontoontodd
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Then I made a 1.5" lift kit, it seemed like that's about all the stock suspension would do without binding.

 

DSCF0704s.jpg

 

DSCF0719s.jpg

 

DSCF0724s.jpg

 

Took it out in the snow recently:

 

Edited by pontoontodd

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The only thing I see you need advice on is running over things that grow naturally from the ground. Public land or not, probably should not broadcast that for green type people to read. It gives us wheelers a worse name than we already have.

Nice dyna pro's. I miss mine.

cheers

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So, here's the real reason for posting.  Where should I go with this car?  More lift?  Bigger tires?  Welded/LSD rear?  Low range box?  I would like more capability but really don't want to sacrifice reliability.  This forum is a bad influence.

 

Also, if you want to throw out advice it might help me solve some problems I still have:

 

When the engine gets wet, like going through deep water or pressure washing it, it runs very rough for 5-20 minutes.  The check engine light never comes on so I assume it's burned out.  I've tried lightly spraying water on it in the dark and it seemed like the driver's side plug wires were arcing to the head so I replaced those.  Didn't solve the problem, got the codes scanned at the parts store, they sad bad crank and cam sensors.  Replaced those, still runs rough when wet.  Here's the really weird part.  When driving in the rain, it runs fine until it gets up to temp.  Then it will stall.  You can restart it but it runs rough indefinitely.  As soon as you shut it off and restart it, it runs fine for the rest of the drive.  What is the best code reader for these cars?  Should I check something else?  Once it warms up a bit more here I will go back to dumping water on it in my driveway to try to narrow down the source of the problem.

 

There is a horrible whining noise which has steadily gotten worse since I bought the car.  When I bought it the noise sounded like the rear end whining and the previous owner made some mention of replacing it.  The noise is now so loud you can't tell where it's coming from.  It is worst when cruising at a steady speed.  Under load (acceleration or engine braking) it goes away.  Plan on getting it off the ground and running it soon to try to figure out where it's coming from.

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We're just driving on old logging roads that don't get used often enough to stay clear of brush, not blazing new trails.

 

The only thing I see you need advice on is running over things that grow naturally from the ground. Public land or not, probably should not broadcast that for green type people to read. It gives us wheelers a worse name than we already have.
Nice dyna pro's. I miss mine.
cheers

Edited by pontoontodd

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We're just driving on old logging roads that don't get used often enough to stay clear of brush, not blazing new trails.

 

 

 

 

You know that because you were there. They DON'T believe that's what you were doing even if it is the truth.

I am just trying to help our community. And stating things like that in public domain is just dumb. I have driven on old logging roads too. But I don't talk about it on the interwebs :) Just saying, don't take it like chastising. Take it like a bro giving ya the cut throat when your about to tell your ol'lady something you really shouldna :lol: 

 

Now that the business is out of the way.

Clearance that spoob, take your swaybars off , trim your inner fender down. Add the support between the rear struts by mounting your HI-Lift there. It will fit perfect.

I think that a wagon could do with some weight dispersal via sawzall but a guy can only really do that by enclosing with fiberglass, super thin steel, or plastic : unless he lives in the desert that is. :)

 It is really nice to have excellent seats , and belts.

cheers

Edited by monstaru
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So, here's the real reason for posting.  Where should I go with this car?  More lift?  Bigger tires?  Welded/LSD rear?  Low range box?  I would like more capability but really don't want to sacrifice reliability.  This forum is a bad influence.

 

More lift allows bigger tires which gives you more ground clearance.More ground clearance means you don't bash your oil pan and gas tank as much.A welded rear gives twice as much traction offroad because an open diff is 1 wheel drive and it always sends power to the tire with the LEAST traction.An LSD still allows some speed difference but it will try to provide the rear tires with the same power,Works well on the street but not as well offroad.

Edited by Uberoo

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More lift allows bigger tires which gives you more ground clearance.More ground clearance means you don't bash your oil pan and gas tank as much.A welded rear gives twice as much traction offroad because an open diff is 1 wheel drive and it always sends power to the tire with the LEAST traction.An LSD still allows some speed difference but it will try to provide the rear tires with the same power,Works well on the street but not as well offroad.

 

First, let me say that I'm a big fan of spools/welded diffs and lifted subes with big tires look cool and perform well off road.  Where is the point that you start breaking rear axles, gears, etc?  There really aren't a lot of extreme trails in the midwest, even at offroad parks.  As you can see in the videos, we've only gotten stuck in soft mud a few times.  When we've been high centered it's an easy matter of pushing the car off.  How much of a lift/bigger tires would I need to get through deep/soft mud?  I can see the rear LSD/spool helping in those situations.  Also, we usually drive these cars hundreds of miles to get to where we're off roading, so I don't want to make the on road handling terrible or wear out tires and CVs every year.  The welded rear might not be too bad since the outback is mainly either driven on highways or offroad, not a lot of city driving.  I know it's always a compromise, just trying to find out what you think the best compromise is.

Edited by pontoontodd

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axles break when: axle angle is far too steep and CV binds up, OR when the boots get torn and the mud/sand/silt etc destroys the CV, OR when the tires rub/bind against the sheet metal.

 

#2 is cured by maintenance #3 is cured by more lift #1 is cured by less suspension lift and more body lift.

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Any idea how much suspension lift is safe for a 99 OB?  I've got 1.5" strut lift now with the intention of removing it if I start going through CVs this summer.

 

How streetable is the welded diff?

Edited by pontoontodd

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Now im not an expert, especially on newer rigs but I don't believe 1.5" of lift which have a huge impact on CV life.  I am 2" over stock on my axles and they seem to last for a decent amount of time for the conditions.

 

As for a welded diff i ran one for about 8000 miles with my 27" tires and only replaced two, one with a bad boot and one that separated from dropping a tire.  I have run the same welded diff with my now 235/75/15 (29") tires for maybe 1500 miles and have broken one diff stub, and im not even sure when it happened.  Just make your turns a little wider and be aware of the extra stress on dry pavement.  I will say the traction advantage is huge and was easily noticed when the stub was broken and make things a lot easier offroad once fixed.

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IIRC EA81 can run 1" suspension lift,EA82 can run 2" and EJ can run 3" of suspension lift.The most common lift for EJ stuff is 5-6" with 3" from forester struts and the rest body lift.

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I personally wouldn't run a welded diff on a street car at all.

 

I run one in my wheeler, but I pull one or both rear axles for road travel.  And that is not really an easy option on EJ cars espescially newer with" female" diff type.

 

 

You could though mount a second E-brake handle, and seperate the cables run one to each handle it's mechanical manual traction control!!!

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I have pretty much the same amount of lift as you with tires that are a little smaller.  1.5in in my experience is as tall as you can go with out dropping the sub-frame and rear diff on an Outback, if you want to keep good alignment angles for the highway, and you will find when the suspension is hanging all the way down your cv axles are close to binding. Looks like you are on the right track though, I like you fuel tank guard and I see you discovered why the front bumper must go. As for the other stuff it depends on the level of comfort you want out of the car, mine is still my daily driver until I get another one so a welded diff wont work for me. I would like to have 4 to 6 in of lift eventually because I do some wheeling with my buddy's that have Toyota trucks and Jeeps and I can usually keep up pretty good but I have to use momentum a lot more than they do, so the Outback can take some hard hits. If I had more lift and lo range gearing it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

Edited by legacygt4

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Wow, thanks for all the feedback.  It's good to hear what your experiences actually are with lifts, welded diffs, etc rather than the usual "it should do this."

 

You could though mount a second E-brake handle, and seperate the cables run one to each handle it's mechanical manual traction control!!!

 

We were actually just discussing that last night.  I would probably use it more as a turning brake on a buggy, but it would be helpful if one rear was up in the air.  The Outback definitely does not oversteer like my Impreza so it'd help get around turns.  Like anything else, it's been done:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/61-general-discussions/7408-redneck-traction-control-tm.html

There are various suggestions of making it push/pull or left/right rather than twin stick but I think it'd do it the way he did but handles farther apart.

 

1.5in in my experience is as tall as you can go with out dropping the sub-frame and rear diff on an Outback, if you want to keep good alignment angles for the highway, and you will find when the suspension is hanging all the way down your cv axles are close to binding. Looks like you are on the right track though, I like you fuel tank guard and I see you discovered why the front bumper must go. As for the other stuff it depends on the level of comfort you want out of the car, mine is still my daily driver until I get another one so a welded diff wont work for me. I would like to have 4 to 6 in of lift eventually because I do some wheeling with my buddy's that have Toyota trucks and Jeeps and I can usually keep up pretty good but I have to use momentum a lot more than they do, so the Outback can take some hard hits. If I had more lift and lo range gearing it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

 

It also looked to me like 1.5" was all the Outback would take in the rear without binding at full droop.

You are right about most Jeep and truck guys.  First, they usually don't ride as well as a Subaru so they tend to go slower.  Second, like you say, you have to use momentum in a mostly stock Subaru where they can creep.  We have been on a trail ride with some Jeeps that was painful.  It took about 2 hours to cover what would normally take us 20-30 minutes.  We basically had to start and stop a lot in order to hit things with speed and not burn up the clutch.

 

I think there are two different approaches.  One is to turn the Subaru into a Jeep with a big lift, tires, low range, welded diff, maybe even solid rear axle.  That is cool, don't get me wrong.  Maybe out west it is the only way to go.  Here in the midwest there just aren't that many trails covered in giant rocks like Dusy Ershim.

 

My philosophy is to just go faster.  It's more fun and you get to see a lot more in a given amount of time.  Most of the trails around here you're more limited by the ride quality at speed holding you back, or maybe concern for denting a wheel.  I've been thinking more along the lines of a long travel suspension.  I have an off road racing background and could design and build the parts, I just have to see how much travel we could really get out of a Subaru, if we could get decent geometry, and whether it's worth the time and money.  One of my friends who has a lot of rally/off road experience and I were discussing it last night and our thought is:

Throw away the struts.

Mount an upper control arm to the subframe mount.  The balljoint axis at the outer end of this arm would be oriented front-back to allow max vertical travel.  The cutting brakes would help make up for the limited steering angle.

Bolt a mount for that balljoint where the strut would go on the top of the spindle.

Upper shock mount would be where the strut normally mounts to the body, it could even go up through the strut hole some if needed.  Easier to get at the shock bolt that way too.  Lower shock mount probably on the upper arm.

I think if you even increased from the stock travel of 7" (??) to 10" with well tuned shocks and springs, you could really eat up some terrain.

 

 

Again, of course it's been done before, this is ROUGHLY the concept:

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/142535-macpherson-strut-to-top-wishbone-conversion/

 

As this thread points out, you could possibly have some kind of pivoting rear subframe for more articulation or just go to a solid rear axle:

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/101895-long-travel-subaru/

 

I've also got an idea for easily adjustable ride height.

Edited by pontoontodd

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Try a flat oil pan from 89-92 ej2.2 will give you more room Also if you use 07 and up water pump hose comes off the front instead of bottom gives you more room to

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Try a flat oil pan from 89-92 ej2.2 will give you more room Also if you use 07 and up water pump hose comes off the front instead of bottom gives you more room to

 

Is the 92- oil pan lower capacity?  Do you have to use the older pickup tube also?

 

Thanks for the tip on the water pump, wish I'd known that when I did the timing belt on the Impreza.

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