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long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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59 minutes ago, scalman said:

did you allready decided what you will do with 2001 outback ? lifts,shocks,  tires ? what for it will be used ? 

I have most of the parts for long travel suspension.  I am just waiting on a few machined parts.

I plan on putting smaller front brakes on it so I can use 15" alloy wheels.  I will use the same wheels and tires (215/75/15 Hankook MT) as my 99 Outback.

I want to make fabricated bumpers, 2" tall x 4" wide rectangular steel tubing to protect the lights.  Also has to have skid plates before I take it off road.

I'm afraid I might have to do the head gaskets before I take it off road too, the coolant boils over a little occasionally just driving it hard in town.  Never runs hot on the gauge though.

I'll also add a tablet mount for navigation and convert the high beams to HID (already have the kit).

Eventually I might change it to a manual trans but I want to see how the automatic works (with a cooler) and I want to leave it mostly stock for now.

I'll use it for trail riding, going to offroad parks, going on vacation.

Earliest I'll get started on it would be August, I won't have the time or money until then.  Considering the head gaskets, it will probably be a winter project.  Same with the 6MT/R180 swap into the 99.  Should probably do head gaskets on that one too.

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great . is that long travel suspension be similar to what you have now on 99 ob ? all custom made ? you showed pics of that yet maybe ? 

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5 hours ago, scalman said:

great . is that long travel suspension be similar to what you have now on 99 ob ? all custom made ? you showed pics of that yet maybe ? 

The front struts will be about the same, I am going to make a small change.  Front control arms will be the same.

In the rear I'm going to start with the coilover shocks I used for the a-arm front suspension, they'll give me 10-11" of travel.  In the future I'll get longer bodies and shafts which should allow 13-14" of rear wheel travel.

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The 95 Outback headlight assemblies (bottom) are one piece and hold up much better than the two piece Outback and Impreza (top) headlights.  For some reason it seems like the adjusters don't rust in place either.

DSCF5828s.jpg

 

It is not a perfect fit but with some sheet metal removal I got it to fit on my 96 Impreza.  Wiring plugs into headlight bulb but I had to splice the running light wire.  Could splice the turn signal wire in too.

DSCF5830s.jpg

 

Got the radiator water neck TIG welded.

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Put the radiator back in, it's not sitting all the way down in this picture but you can see that there is now some clearance between it and the valve cover.  I can slide my fingers between the hose and valve cover now.  The valve cover was touching the radiator hose before.

DSCF5851s.jpg

Since I had to drain the coolant to do that, I replaced the oil cooler gaskets and hoses and the valve cover gaskets.  The engine had been leaking oil badly when it sat overnight and now doesn't leak.

While I was doing that I discovered the driver's side engine mount had separated.  This might be why the valve cover had rubbed through the radiator hose after over a year with no problems.  This is the passenger side mount.  That split in the rubber goes most of the way through.  I might be able to rip it apart by hand.  The part that bolts to the engine is plastic but seemed undamaged on both sides.  I only found them for sale from Subaru so they were about $80 each, I think that's why I hadn't replaced them when we first did the swap.

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Here you can see there is a tab that holds that steel plate in place.  I think all the rubber was worn off the old one, that plate just falls off.  On the new mount it's difficult to remove that plate.

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The driver's side had separated completely and that tab is gone too.

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Also replaced the left rear caliper on the 99 Outback.

 

We replaced the u-joint steering shaft in the Impreza, both u-joints were tight.

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We got mud in the air filter in the Impreza on the last trip so I wanted to change the intake.  I think the main problem is it was pulling air from right in front of the front tire and the plastic wheel well is long gone.  Figured I'd just get it to pull air from a high spot in the engine compartment, that should keep most of the water and mud out.  Also the intake after the filter is 3"+, the pipe before the filter was about 2.5".  I had this 3" exhaust bend lying around so I made a flange and welded it on.

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Sanded a few of the ribs flush and bolted it on.  Riveted a piece of sheet aluminum to cover the original intake hole.  I also drilled out the drain hole to about 3/4", that always seemed to get plugged with mud.

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I wanted it a couple inches below the hood so it had plenty of airflow. 

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We ran a strap around a tree and pulled the radiator support forward.  It worked but I wound up ripping off part of the radiator support/tow bar mount.  It looked like it may have been cracked about halfway through where it broke.  I replaced it with 2" square.  Have to get better washers for where it bolts to the tie down point but I think it will hold.

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Since the lower radiator mounts are gone or broken I made up this little sleeve to support the radiator with foam in between.

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I drove to the carwash to blast out the condenser and radiator while the bumper is off.  Steering is much better now, car is running well.

Have to put some weld on the bumper brackets and bolt that back on, try to find a tire leak, secure a fender a little better, and a few other little things.  Cars are pretty much ready to go for the next UP trip later this month.

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if i could ask something as you made lots stuff for cars suspension i was wondering why go for very expensive long travel version ? so no cheap or any other version like to take longer struts from other car , they could not fit right away but everything can be redone. is there any reason subarus cant use any other car struts in front and rear ?  like no longer struts then ours ? i mean where is problem to just cut out other car strut mounting points and weld new ones, make new top mountings 

shame subaru got so small support. did you saw renault/dacia duster model that is similar size as forester and its AWD as well with traction control and thy got both lockers and longer shocks for them. like 5cm longer so no need any strut spacers and stuff. poor subaru just have nothing. 

Edited by scalman

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:08 AM, scalman said:

if i could ask something as you made lots stuff for cars suspension i was wondering why go for very expensive long travel version ? so no cheap or any other version like to take longer struts from other car , they could not fit right away but everything can be redone. is there any reason subarus cant use any other car struts in front and rear ?  like no longer struts then ours ? i mean where is problem to just cut out other car strut mounting points and weld new ones, make new top mountings 

shame subaru got so small support. did you saw renault/dacia duster model that is similar size as forester and its AWD as well with traction control and thy got both lockers and longer shocks for them. like 5cm longer so no need any strut spacers and stuff. poor subaru just have nothing. 

Did you ever look at the X-trail or other struts?  I'm sure you could find something to give you more travel if you're willing to cut and weld.

The other reasons we built our own struts are that the standard replacement struts don't have much damping, the seals blow out, and the bodies bend.  If you're not driving hard that's not a problem.

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yes you right i just cant go through harsh road on higher speed or i will be hearing loud metal bang noise everytime i hit something. thats so bad feeling . well i maaxed out mine stock struts now with no sway bars they articulate pretty well on going slow, im faster loosing power to go somewhere then i loose traction. i have too much traction and too weak power on wheels there. engine cant even turn wheels with auto. its just sits there and do nothing. your H6 should give you some more i guess and you love momentum too.  i would choose more power vs long travel. at least some +100hp that would be great. and manual with lower gear then normal dual range can give. 

Edited by scalman

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24 minutes ago, scalman said:

yes you right i just cant go through harsh road on higher speed or i will be hearing loud metal bang noise everytime i hit something. thats so bad feeling . well i maaxed out mine stock struts now with no sway bars they articulate pretty well on going slow, im faster loosing power to go somewhere then i loose traction. i have too much traction and too weak power on wheels there. engine cant even turn wheels with auto. its just sits there and do nothing. your H6 should give you some more i guess and you love momentum too.  i would choose more power vs long travel. at least some +100hp that would be great. and manual with lower gear then normal dual range can give. 

You would be amazed by the difference the 1.6 low range makes.  It's more than 60% better.  You get 60% more torque multiplication, which helps, but you're also running 60% higher RPM.  Imagine doing a hill at 2500RPM vs 1500RPM, the engine is making much more torque.  Perfect for what you're trying to do.  Unfortunately it seems like every time I pushed it at all it would break or get stuck in low range.  We've talked about rebuilding it and putting it in my friend's Forester with the stock engine and tires but even then we would be afraid it would get stuck in low range.  I have seen people put oil pumps on them to cool the low range but I would worry about that failing and dumping all the oil out of the trans.

Really for slow off roading you're better off with a Toyota or something else with a real low range, lockers, solid axles, bigger tires, etc.

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yh problem that gearbox braking or stucking on low gear its not good thing. guess gearbox is not made to do that . so thats that

another thing is that thing you welded there is recovery point ? its strong enough so you could recover all car from mud and such by this ?

DSCF5867s.jpg

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15 minutes ago, scalman said:

yh problem that gearbox braking or stucking on low gear its not good thing. guess gearbox is not made to do that . so thats that

another thing is that thing you welded there is recovery point ? its strong enough so you could recover all car from mud and such by this ?

DSCF5867s.jpg

 

The tabs are for flat towing it with a tow bar.  We may find out how strong it is soon.  I plan on welding the front bumper and using that for recovery though.

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