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pontoontodd

long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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On 12/31/2018 at 10:03 AM, pontoontodd said:

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.

IMG_2205s.jpg

Installed on the shaft.

IMG_2199s.jpg

 

 

This was always my thinking with the 5mt. If this became available I’d seriously consider swapping to the 6 speed box as all the strain is removed from the drive gears when in low range. 

Keep up the good work. I hope you pull it off!

Cheers 

Bennie

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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).

DSCF6991s.jpg

Full droop:

DSCF6997s.jpg

Full bump:

DSCF6999s.jpg

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.

 

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5 minutes ago, 1 Lucky Texan said:

you probably already know about Heri axles - they supposedly have longer extension.

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.

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So what you will do in rear is it worse then on older gen obk? 

Is there any simple and cheap way to just gain some more travel with stock parts. Like just to remove sway bar gives some.?

Edited by scalman

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4 hours ago, scalman said:

So what you will do in rear is it worse then on older gen obk? 

Is there any simple and cheap way to just gain some more travel with stock parts. Like just to remove sway bar gives some.?

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.

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remove shocks ? like go without shocks ? on driver side my bump stop rusted off so i dont have it at all there. on driver side its there for some time at least . i allways thought cheap way is just put longer shocks from other cars like i saw some people put rear toyota surf some model rear shock to forester front , wel lstuff like that from other car that have longer shocks but same mountings at least bottom . and yeas im thinking about 2 different things here travel and articulation. so i removed sway bars so my wheel could drop more down, with sway bar it just holds wheel up so you lift your wheel in air faster. without sway bar its still on ground on same places. im talking about gaining that stuff by removing sway bars. yes articulation would be even better there. but its cost lots money and i mean lots. one of things why subaru its because its cheap, so you removing that factor from buying subaru at all with putting lots expencive parts in it. there are better cars better 4wd cars that allready made go fast and hard and need much less modifications to do that. 

if you have time and will can you pls explain me ok so you gaining lots travel with long shocks much longer then stock ones. that i get thats need on high speed via bad roads, so is it just for that. ? so you go slow off roading and your one rear wheel goes into air with that you lossing traction and with that old subaru AWD system fails and car not moves anywhere. ok so what if your rear wheel can drop more down , so it still wouod maintain traction with ground and AWD system could put some power to that and move car. so i need that more wheel droping , and that i gained some with removing sway bars. more in front about 5cm maybe and less in rear , still i gained . so its not travel then its just that my wheel drops more down to maintain traction longer. but thats what i need there. so your wheel drops down more because you put there longer shocks ? but is it much more then mine stock?

feNEZWWl.jpg

i still got traction in rear wheel there its still not in the air. with sway bars connected it would be in air allready. so i get it that i can get even more wheel drop with longer shocks but then maybe other things starts to fail or reach their limits. that why you making all those other mods to your car . is it right ?

but im still getting what i need with my car just with removed sway bars, and when wheel goes in air then VDC kicks in. 

Edited by scalman

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9 minutes ago, scalman said:

remove shocks ? like go without shocks ? on driver side my bump stop rusted off so i dont have it at all there. on driver side its there for some time at least . i allways thought cheap way is just put longer shocks from other cars like i saw some people put rear toyota surf some model rear shock to forester front , wel lstuff like that from other car that have longer shocks but same mountings at least bottom . and yeas im thinking about 2 different things here travel and articulation. so i removed sway bars so my wheel could drop more down, with sway bar it just holds wheel up so you lift your wheel in air faster. without sway bar its still on ground on same places. im talking about gaining that stuff by removing sway bars. yes articulation would be even better there. but its cost lots money and i mean lots. one of things why subaru its because its cheap, so you removing that factor from buying subaru at all with putting lots expencive parts in it. there are better cars better 4wd cars that allready made go fast and hard and need much less modifications to do that. 

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.

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i wrote some more to my post if you could read that too and maybe explain me better that travel vs articulation. as i understand you dont care for slow offroading in mud and such but more fast sand driving where you need those expencive shocks do all work. so you wouldnt put those just for slow offroading then ? 

when i unbolt front shock top mount and let it go it still have some 5cm maybe to go down until it reaches some limit. so in theory if i could have in front longer shock by 5cm then i have now i would have more travel in front , and i mean that wheel would go more down like in bad road . yes on high speed i would wreck CV axles i guess on that limit but on slow driving crawling i could drop front wheel even more or not ? i know all ppl saying 5cm is like max limit to lift those outbacks then your CV hurts a lot. 

hope you dont mind i used  your pics and made some comparison. they private pics so noone sees them

FCLR7MWl.jpg

so yh i can see that yours goes more up and more down, though mine down is not in air yet. but i get it some part of that long travel cool thing. but if not use it for fast off road driving as dakar style then is that needed ? or worth it 

 

about bump stops . is it any danger to drive without them with stock shocks with lift spacers on top ? will that wheel reachs its limit and hit something else if there wont be bump stop or its fine ? i dont have it on drive side and i didint heard any bad noises from there . 

Edited by scalman

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4 minutes ago, scalman said:

i wrote some more to my post if you could read that too and maybe explain me better that travel vs articulation. as i understand you dont care for slow offroading in mud and such but more fast sand driving where you need those expencive shocks do all work. so you wouldnt put those just for slow offroading then ? 

when i unbolt front shock top mount and let it go it still have some 5cm maybe to go down until it reaches some limit. so in theory if i could have in front longer shock by 5cm then i have now i would have more travel in front , and i mean that wheel would go more down like in bad road . yes on high speed i would wreck CV axles i guess on that limit but on slow driving crawling i could drop front wheel even more or not ? i know all ppl saying 5cm is like max limit to lift those outbacks then your CV hurts a lot. 

hope you dont mind i used  your pics and made some comparison. they private pics so noone sees them

FCLR7MWl.jpg

so yh i can see that yours goes more up and more down, though mine down is not in air yet. but i get it some part of that long travel cool thing. but if not use it for fast off road driving as dakar style then is that needed ? or worth it 

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?

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so as i though main thing is drive fast and hard so those special shocks can absorb all that without problems. i get it its very cool i saw your frist tests when you did crazy things with your older OBK and i get it really but for poor man off roading we finding other ways too. yes subarus will never be crawlers still they can do stuff  thats enough to enjoy slow driving as well. if choose other car i would go for ZJ or WJ grands. lots potential to mod them too. 

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3 minutes ago, scalman said:

cool videos. so forester have same shocks as you or different kind made for him ? 

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.

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Todd,  I would like  to know more about the longer links you plan to make.

I will be using this same 00-04 rear suspension setup to replace the original torsion bar rear suspension and short axles in my EA81 body wagon.

The old EA81 torsions are not holding up well, keep getting sagged out.  And Axles keep breaking, and I can't buy more.  Stubs break, so I'd like to switch to the newer internal mating type axles.

My shocks will be custom after the subframe is mounted and travel figured.  What I have been wondering is how long to make the longer lower links?  Or do I even need to make both sets longer or just the forward super shorties.  Whatever I make will be adjustable to help set toe correctly.  (got some old 90's Camry rear links with with adjustable sections I can use with Suby ends welded on)  

I was starting in on the welding for this project before christmas, but a death in the family has put fun projects on hold while I tend to the wife and kids.   I will try to get some pictures up.  If you have any shots of your lower link setup or any other input that would be great.

 

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10 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

Todd,  I would like  to know more about the longer links you plan to make.

I will be using this same 00-04 rear suspension setup to replace the original torsion bar rear suspension and short axles in my EA81 body wagon.

The old EA81 torsions are not holding up well, keep getting sagged out.  And Axles keep breaking, and I can't buy more.  Stubs break, so I'd like to switch to the newer internal mating type axles.

My shocks will be custom after the subframe is mounted and travel figured.  What I have been wondering is how long to make the longer lower links?  Or do I even need to make both sets longer or just the forward super shorties.  Whatever I make will be adjustable to help set toe correctly.  (got some old 90's Camry rear links with with adjustable sections I can use with Suby ends welded on)  

I was starting in on the welding for this project before christmas, but a death in the family has put fun projects on hold while I tend to the wife and kids.   I will try to get some pictures up.  If you have any shots of your lower link setup or any other input that would be great.

 

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?

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7 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

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?

 

Yeah...I had figured on making the front lower links same length as the rear arms.  with an adjuster in each to fine tune the toe.  What I was unsure of is what angle to make it?  Parallel to the plane of the rear arm?  steeper, shallower.....seems anything but parallel would bind, but the OE setup runs different angles soooo? 

 

I am just using bushings still for now.  AlthoughI don't like how much the front link "twists" as the trailing arm pivots up and down, so I may switch to a balljoint on the inner end where I am making the subframe mod to hold the longer links.  

 

I looked at the forward link, I don't think removing it entirely would be a good idea.  It's the only thing that really holds the toe.  The large bushing at the front of the trailing arm has lots of flex and already is known for sliding to the outside edge of the mount.  so you really need the front lower link and rear lower link to keep the toe static.  I think.  This car needs to be safe and roadworthy, as well as wheelable.

 

Oh and I will have mismatched wheels/hubs for a bit......eventually swapping over to EJ front hubs and axles too.  Not until I have the EJ rear e-brake cables all hooked up and operational.  Until then I want to keep the front E-brakes.

Edited by FerGloyale

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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.

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2 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

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.

 

I want maximum travel but not for speed just dealing with big terrain.  

As for the trailing arm bushing, the trailing arm is cast. so no modding it really unless I'm missing something.   It's got the whole hub mount built into it.  I suppose building a whole plate steel long arm with a heavy duty link could be done.  But I am sticking to the stock so stock or upgrade aftermarket type bushings if there are any would be the only way to go.

I think a balljoint type for the inner end link for the forward lower arm would be enough. 

I was thinking cut the outer ends off some legacy front control arms and weld them to the subframe so they sit right in front of the inner CV cups  to make new inner front pivot points.  And then using the solid, long camry links with a mount for a bolt on type newer legacy lower balljoint at the other end.

 

My builds are always about recycling old subie parts and keeping the consumable replacement parts stream all Subaru if possible.  Lots of scavenged used take off parts used to prototype, and once the design is dialed I MIGHT splurge and put a few brand new items in.  But it's a wheeler, and gets hammered, so using "life left still" used parts is great for the budget.

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