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long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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3 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

So.......this is all getting put on an EA81 body car that's already got 8 inch lift blocks.

The wheels wells are opened up  quite a bit already.  The exhaust is routed already to go up and over the whole subframe.

I haven't welded the mounts on, but yeah when I do it will be tacks at first a some testing to determine travel.  I really need to get the mounting points for the front pivots (trailing arm) set.  That will happen when I start actually rolling the subframe under the EA81 body.

Sounds like you need to block down yer subframe another inch or two, ehh...jk .  Those are  31" tire in my pics......even if you got that much travel out of yer setup, you'd be draggin the subframe on the ground with the stockish size tires.

Yes, I understand it will work for you, just pointing out how I can't use that much bump travel without some major changes.  Also keep in mind full bump for us is usually landing off a jump or hitting a big rock so the tire sidewall is already mostly compressed.

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1 hour ago, Numbchux said:

I wonder what the reason for that link being so much shorter is. Seems like it would change toe and/or camber through the range of travel. I'm curious to see how that change would effect the way the car handles.

We didn't measure, but it definitely looked like it caused a lot of toe change.  I think it is set up for roll understeer, probably because they figure it's a midsize family station wagon.

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7 hours ago, Numbchux said:

I wonder what the reason for that link being so much shorter is. Seems like it would change toe and/or camber through the range of travel. I'm curious to see how that change would effect the way the car handles.

Well.....I might have some insight.

This is after some work today.  Fixed the front pivots relative to the subframe acorrding to Datum point specs in the FSM..,,,,pretty close anyhow.

46059341904_5d25a620aa_k.jpgIMG_3466 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

At full "compression"  there is about 1/3th inch toe in.....pretty ewxtreme but I don't really ever expect to see this much uptravel in the suspension.....bump stops will limit.

46784481491_6dc1107f17_k.jpgIMG_3458 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

And here at nearly maximum droop or down travel, there is about 1/4 inch toe out.  Not awful......and I still have so adjusment in the rear arms to try to bring it in.  

39818979743_65346b1884_k.jpgIMG_3459 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

I'm gonna roll with it.......tommorow, is mount onto the car day.

 

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Thats great. So that shorter stock link would limit that travel thats why you made it longer? Can we like use just longer link there from other cars foresters maybe? And will it give something to stock shocks car just lifted?

And so thats all you need to do with rear suspension to make it longer travel?

Looks so cool with those monster wheels. 

Edited by scalman

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48 minutes ago, scalman said:

Thats great. So that shorter stock link would limit that travel thats why you made it longer? Can we like use just longer link there from other cars foresters maybe? And will it give something to stock shocks car just lifted?

And so thats all you need to do with rear suspension to make it longer travel?

Sort of, but it will still require moving the pivot point on the crossmember. So you're not going to get around the fabrication. Also that relocation will likely interfere with the exhaust.

I'm still skeptical how that change would work on the road. I can't picture exactly how those links all work in concert, but lengthening that one will definitely change the way the car handles. Might be acceptable, might be imperceptible, might even be an improvement. I'm actually a bit tempted to try it on my beater in the spring, as once the salt is washed off the roads it won't be my daily driver, and the subframe is rusted and will be replaced anyway (I already have a new one).

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19 minutes ago, Numbchux said:

Sort of, but it will still require moving the pivot point on the crossmember. So you're not going to get around the fabrication. Also that relocation will likely interfere with the exhaust.

I'm still skeptical how that change would work on the road. I can't picture exactly how those links all work in concert, but lengthening that one will definitely change the way the car handles. Might be acceptable, might be imperceptible, might even be an improvement.

 

Yeah, I was gonna say that on a stock ish height car, you aren't gonna get a lot more out of this setup than stock.  It's  a lot of work for not much gain unless you can clear more tire.  I can't imagine trying to do the cut and welds of the mounts with it on the car.  

As for the handling on road....IDK......It's an experiment.  It's not like the 8" lifted EA81 rear suspension was all that great........camber and toe all over the place as the torsion arm rotates through it's range.

Preliminary measurement actually shows just a little overall toe and camber change at extremes of the travel. The stock setup has that issue to some degree too.  This is the infamous "ghost walk" rear setup.   Those short links did in fact tug the wheel in to the body a lot both on compression and on droop.  The longer arms keep the wheel "out" more overall.  And that's with the wheels going a few extra inches of travel each way.  I don't expect to be going thorugh full travel range on the highway......so as long as it's adjustable to a reasonably nuetral toe setting in the middle 6-8" of travel range it *SHOULD BE* ok.

It's an experiment.  I want stronger rear axles that are still available if they do break.  I will miss the ease of "popin in" an EA81 shaft with no tools.....but If this works I shouldn't need to do that much anymore.

 

I will say that moving the suspension through it's range "feels" easier now......Not as much torque on the bushings at the limits of their range. 

 

Scalman, one thing I would recommend.....is to loosen EVERY pivot bolt in yer whole rear suspension while the car is in the air.......that alone will let the suspension bushing untwist, and allow a little more droop if you have any extra to be had. Then retighten bushings with the car just barely set down on the ground.  (wood blocks under rear hubs) This "centers" the bushings so they aren't constantly fighting the suspensions movement as much.    If you really want to take advantage of yer lift try to find a slightly longer shock to put in there.  Not sure what there is in yer market.

Edited by FerGloyale

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58 minutes ago, FerGloyale said:

Scalman, one thing I would recommend.....is to loosen EVERY pivot bolt in yer whole rear suspension while the car is in the air.......that alone will let the suspension bushing untwist, and allow a little more droop if you have any extra to be had. Then retighten bushings with the car just barely set down on the ground.  (wood blocks under rear hubs) This "centers" the bushings so they aren't constantly fighting the suspensions movement as much.    If you really want to take advantage of yer lift try to find a slightly longer shock to put in there.  Not sure what there is in yer market.

thats great thing to try as i was kinda thinking that they can be kinda twisted more then usual with lift as all went down. it would be great to find just longer struts that would fit there. i found somewhere about some toyota surf model rear strut fits in front or smt. but im not sure what could fit our rear. and my rear is still self leveling shocks from factory. would be great to have most of this suspension for as much cheap as it possible but i cant do any welding on links as then i would not pass MOT

and would i do some damage to drive without rear bump stops. as one is rusted off so could remove another as well. would i damage something if i go without them like shocks would max is travel and would get damaged .. 

 

Edited by scalman

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1 hour ago, scalman said:

 

and would i do some damage to drive without rear bump stops. as one is rusted off so could remove another as well. would i damage something if i go without them like shocks would max is travel and would get damaged .. 

 

Shocks may well bottom out destroying them internally.

You could put some bumpers on the strut rod itself, under the dust boot, like the fronts have.

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3 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

As for the handling on road....IDK......It's an experiment.  It's not like the 8" lifted EA81 rear suspension was all that great........camber and toe all over the place as the torsion arm rotates through it's range.

Preliminary measurement actually shows just a little overall toe and camber change at extremes of the travel. The stock setup has that issue to some degree too.  This is the infamous "ghost walk" rear setup.   Those short links did in fact tug the wheel in to the body a lot both on compression and on droop.  The longer arms keep the wheel "out" more overall.  And that's with the wheels going a few extra inches of travel each way.  I don't expect to be going thorugh full travel range on the highway......so as long as it's adjustable to a reasonably nuetral toe setting in the middle 6-8" of travel range it *SHOULD BE* ok.

 

Yep, I totally get it, and applaud you for doing it. My caution is that this idea is fairly experimental, and pretty far from simply replacing a couple control arms. 

Good point on the EA trailing arms, pretty easy to improve on that design.

I saw your measurements on this setup, I'd be curious to see how that compares to the stock setup...

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1 hour ago, Numbchux said:

 

Yep, I totally get it, and applaud you for doing it. My caution is that this idea is fairly experimental, and pretty far from simply replacing a couple control arms. 

 

yeah, nobody should try this at home.

Unless they want to.

But don't take my confidence and enthusiasm as an endorsement of this as a "good idea" in any way.

EXPERIMENTAL.  WILL NOT BE DRIVEN ON ROAD UNTIL LOTS OF TESTING. 

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9 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

Yeah, I was gonna say that on a stock ish height car, you aren't gonna get a lot more out of this setup than stock.  It's  a lot of work for not much gain unless you can clear more tire.  I can't imagine trying to do the cut and welds of the mounts with it on the car.  

As for the handling on road....IDK......It's an experiment.  It's not like the 8" lifted EA81 rear suspension was all that great........camber and toe all over the place as the torsion arm rotates through it's range.

Preliminary measurement actually shows just a little overall toe and camber change at extremes of the travel. The stock setup has that issue to some degree too.  This is the infamous "ghost walk" rear setup.   Those short links did in fact tug the wheel in to the body a lot both on compression and on droop.  The longer arms keep the wheel "out" more overall.  And that's with the wheels going a few extra inches of travel each way.  I don't expect to be going thorugh full travel range on the highway......so as long as it's adjustable to a reasonably nuetral toe setting in the middle 6-8" of travel range it *SHOULD BE* ok.

It's an experiment.  I want stronger rear axles that are still available if they do break.  I will miss the ease of "popin in" an EA81 shaft with no tools.....but If this works I shouldn't need to do that much anymore.

 

I will say that moving the suspension through it's range "feels" easier now......Not as much torque on the bushings at the limits of their range. 

 

Scalman, one thing I would recommend.....is to loosen EVERY pivot bolt in yer whole rear suspension while the car is in the air.......that alone will let the suspension bushing untwist, and allow a little more droop if you have any extra to be had. Then retighten bushings with the car just barely set down on the ground.  (wood blocks under rear hubs) This "centers" the bushings so they aren't constantly fighting the suspensions movement as much.    If you really want to take advantage of yer lift try to find a slightly longer shock to put in there.  Not sure what there is in yer market.

Realistically the ea81 rear suspension is fine. Before I went to coilovers I had 14 inches of travel with only modified axles and an 8 inch lift. Use ea82 axle cups for more travel. I have 33’s and rarely break anything unless I’m being stupid

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1 hour ago, Rallyru said:

Realistically the ea81 rear suspension is fine. Before I went to coilovers I had 14 inches of travel with only modified axles and an 8 inch lift. Use ea82 axle cups for more travel. I have 33’s and rarely break anything unless I’m being stupid

yes I've been running that setup for 10+ years.  I want to get rid of torsion for spring.  it keeps failing...just not up to the added weight of lift, skids, tools, winch, etc.....  So with the torsion gone, there is no reason to keep the diff snout so low below the arm pivots.  Clearance at the diff suffers, in addition to all the inadequacies of hollow stubs and short, rare EA81 axle shafts. I could go to EA82 rear, but even that is getting more rare to find parts, uses the hollow diff stubs, and really guys break those rear axles all the time too.  First gen EJ stuff would be great.  the Legacies and imprezas I've seen wheelin seldom have rear diff or axle issues.  But the ea81 body doesn't have good structure to mount a Macpherson setup back there without alot of unibody modification.  Using this newer multilink setup allows me to adapt the mounts, rather than reworking the unibody.

Goal is to gain clearance at the diff with med/full loads, and have stronger diff and axles without losing travel over the EA81 setup.  And hopefully more replaceable axles/wheel bearings later.  Rear ebrake too.

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13 minutes ago, FerGloyale said:

yes I've been running that setup for 10+ years.  I want to get rid of torsion for spring.  it keeps failing...just not up to the added weight of lift, skids, tools, winch, etc.....  So with the torsion gone, there is no reason to keep the diff snout so low below the arm pivots.  Clearance at the diff suffers, in addition to all the inadequacies of hollow stubs and short, rare EA81 axle shafts. I could go to EA82 rear, but even that is getting more rare to find parts, uses the hollow diff stubs, and really guys break those rear axles all the time too.  First gen EJ stuff would be great.  the Legacies and imprezas I've seen wheelin seldom have rear diff or axle issues.  But the ea81 body doesn't have good structure to mount a Macpherson setup back there without alot of unibody modification.  Using this newer multilink setup allows me to adapt the mounts, rather than reworking the unibody.

Goal is to gain clearance at the diff with med/full loads, and have stronger diff and axles without losing travel over the EA81 setup.  And hopefully more replaceable axles/wheel bearings later.  Rear ebrake too.

The 1st gen EJ’s that you praise use the same hollow stub shafts, axle cups and diffs as ea82’s. No matter what setup you use it’s going to require you to cut up the unibody to mount coilovers in an ea81. What you gain in diff snout clearance you loose again by adding lower control arms that now hang down much lower at full suspension drop. Better brakes and wheel bearings are nice though.

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19 minutes ago, Rallyru said:

The 1st gen EJ’s that you praise use the same hollow stub shafts, axle cups and diffs as ea82’s. No matter what setup you use it’s going to require you to cut up the unibody to mount coilovers in an ea81. What you gain in diff snout clearance you loose again by adding lower control arms that now hang down much lower at full suspension drop. Better brakes and wheel bearings are nice though.

After 95 they all have internal stub diffs.

An adapter mount will accommodate the coil overs.  There is room a plenty with very minimal mod.  Nothing like mounting  a full strut.

The trailing arm bracket on this rear end setup will sit nearly excactly were the front mount of the torsion tube is now.  In fact It will be closer to the body.  Trailing arms are nearly the same length.  

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30 minutes ago, FerGloyale said:

After 95 they all have internal stub diffs.

An adapter mount will accommodate the coil overs.  There is room a plenty with very minimal mod.  Nothing like mounting  a full strut.

The trailing arm bracket on this rear end setup will sit nearly excactly were the front mount of the torsion tube is now.  In fact It will be closer to the body.  Trailing arms are nearly the same length.  

If you’re talking about the factory shock mount that’s a bad idea. It’s not designed to be load bearing, Subaru themselves say not to use air shocks for that very reason. 

The mounting brackets may sit the same but the lower links hang down really far compared to ea81 suspension.

61C0EDCE-A939-4F65-AFCA-5EEBDB5CDDE6.jpeg

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12 hours ago, Rallyru said:

If you’re talking about the factory shock mount that’s a bad idea. It’s not designed to be load bearing, Subaru themselves say not to use air shocks for that very reason. 

The mounting brackets may sit the same but the lower links hang down really far compared to ea81 suspension.

61C0EDCE-A939-4F65-AFCA-5EEBDB5CDDE6.jpeg

 

Oh yeah, that camber and axle angles look just fine.  Nothing to be improved on there.  Oh except for terrible positive camber, and 30+ degree angles on those axles.  They are bottomed against the edge of the cup!   FWIW, the problem breaking axles is on uptravel, when the wheel has lots of weight and traction.  At droop like shown, there is not really any traction to transfer power so that's not where the breaky breaky happens.  And the axle shafts hang "ungaurded"  just asking to be backed into rocks on rough terrain.  Been there, done that.  Thanks for posting pics that so beautifully  illustrate all the problematic stuff that happens with long travel EA81 set-ups.

 I see too that your lift blocks use all right angles, with no diagonal bracing, and especially doesn't look like your torsion tube is cross braced.  You will have issues with that soon enough,.  If you don't your not wheeling like I wheel my car.  MY EA81 is not my DD.  And I didn't build it to look cool.  I built it to wheel.  Been doin so for years now.  I know that of which I speak.

As for the shock mounts.......I've got that covered......continue watching the progress of this thread and you will see.  I have previously reinforced those mount points, tie them into the body rail below and above.  I've got Long travel Bilsteins punched 3" up into the trunk. mounts are brace in a triangulated pattern, and tied together with a crossbar in the trunk that serves as a hi-lift jack mount   Believe me, the mounting area is strong enough and built for a long travel already. 

I would ask that if you want to further talk about EA81 rear suspension and how YOU think it should be setup......Please start a thread.  Your car is an awesome build.  And for fun, most of the time, the EA81 set-up you've got is great.....your's is about as good as it can get......but that's the point.....it's as good as it can be, and I am ready for better.....

I'm sure the OP would appreciate keeping this one focused on his Outback projects. One or 2 post with a comparative point is fine, but we are getting now into thread jack territory.   I only posted in here becasue I am modifying the same type of set up as him.

 

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i wonder whats keeps my rear suspension from droping more down when i put 2'' spacer on strut i couldnt lower that arm to reach shock mount height that arm was too high and it was not going down more so i was jacking up shock up witj jack to meet that mounting point. could it be as you said to release bolts on those links so they reposition  themselfs ?

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9 hours ago, scalman said:

i wonder whats keeps my rear suspension from droping more down when i put 2'' spacer on strut i couldnt lower that arm to reach shock mount height that arm was too high and it was not going down more so i was jacking up shock up witj jack to meet that mounting point. could it be as you said to release bolts on those links so they reposition  themselfs ?

yeah loosen all the bolts , then lower the suspension until it's supported about 85~95% by jacks.  Just a bit of weight down.  Then tighten all the link ends.   I had to do this on my wife 03 LL Bean Outback to fit a 1-1/2" HDPE lift.  

 

Beyond that, I think it is the short link.  It hits near a 45 degree angle and begins moving more in than down.......which then causes bind at the forward trailing arm bushing.  Can't move in more , therefore, can't move down.  And if it is forced down, like with spacer lifted shock, forcing it down it is pulling hard laterally on that front, main trailing arm bushing.  That's why I'm doing this link extension.

And also for protecting axle.  Finalized link brackets and simultaneously added CV/Link protector sliders today.

32958413328_dd2fbe88a7_k.jpgIMG_3473 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

39868756163_cb795de6c1_k.jpgIMG_3471 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

39868753993_6fad3267e2_k.jpgIMG_3472 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

32958411078_c36dac2730_k.jpgIMG_3474 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

 

Edited by FerGloyale
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Thank you for all info . thats first time im learning what i could do with my suspension without modifing it too much to make it better. but as you said its just experimental and you dont know still how it would perform on street on corners , how stable  car would be on high speeds changing lanes and such yes ? so ill be waiting for those tests :) as its my daily driver . 

about those bushings then what if change them to polyurethane ones ? would that help with that flex and they would make more stable feel to car isn it ? 

Edited by scalman

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Hacking out the old EA Suspension

31912541227_629f3eb2d6_k.jpgIMG_3475 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

Chaos of the project unfolding ont eh shop floor.  Note the ol' EA parts on the right.

46128794824_6eb5b518a6_k.jpgIMG_3476 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

Sexy pic of projected "fully stuffed"  wheel travel.

46128790564_86f454546a_k.jpgIMG_3477 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

This ones dark, but it's the underside with the fully stuffed wheel.  This will be about the limit of the up travel. bump stops to be added.

46128786364_4dc5e76804_k.jpgIMG_3478 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

Starting to look good under there.  This is barely tacked, and only at the rear.......more work coming later today hopefully.  Once I'm happy with positioning,  I will drop it back out and weld it all solid.

46128784584_a36c52594a_k.jpgIMG_3483 by Dans Subaru, on Flickr

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I love teh figure 8 action.  That looked super fun.  Really a stocker could do it.  Any Subaru can make it look easy, but you made it look hard!!! jk.

 

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On 1/25/2019 at 11:15 AM, scalman said:

cool . was you in zero G there ? :lol:

yes for a second, we'll have to get some better jump videos this year

11 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

I love teh figure 8 action.  That looked super fun.  Really a stocker could do it.  Any Subaru can make it look easy, but you made it look hard!!! jk.

 

Yes, the figure 8s are super fun, that's half the reason I go to the Badlands.  A couple years ago we went there and we know how to get to one figure eight from one of the main trails but if you're just wandering it's hard to find and no one we asked even knew it existed.  One of the guys who came with us kept asking why were were looking for it, we were having a good time riding the other trails.  Then we found it and he went around it a few times and said he understood why we had to find it.  In that last video it shows a larger one we just found last year, it's less intense than the small one but you can easily drive three cars in it at a time which is entertaining.  Of course a stock Subaru can do it too, this video shows my Outback with long travel going a little faster and smoother than my friend's stock Forester:

The other highlight of that park is driving the stream.  You can't tell what you're running over so it's funny following a stock Subaru in one with long travel, watching them get bounced around while you're just lightly jostled.  Also it seems really short these days since we can go so much faster with the long travel suspension.

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