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pontoontodd

long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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2 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

I was only thinking the ball joint/heim for the trailing arm if you had two lateral links like you tested.  Ideally with two long lateral links to reduce CV plunge.

Yeah that's the only way it would work.

 

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Last Thursday afternoon we went grocery shopping and did some last minute packing up.  Five of us drove my black and white Outbacks and my Impreza to the UP.  Z had to work a little late so he and B got to the cabin late in the Forester.

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Friday morning we messed with my boat so we didn't leave the cabin until about 2PM.

Started out taking the snowmobile trail into Watersmeet. Hit the mini whoop section along the snowmobile trail. J was amazed how fast we ran through it, he's been to Badlands off road park with us a few times but hasn't been to the UP with the Subarus. Continued on the snowmobile trail to the trout hatchery. Stopped on a bridge for a picture over the river.

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Took a little tour of the hatchery before fishing. 

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We caught about 10 fish.  While the employee was cleaning the fish we had a good old timer sit on the bench by the lunker pond.

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We then headed north on back roads to Bond falls. Hiked down the west side and back up the east side.

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Later on we wound up on the old rail bridge over Agate falls, I'd never been up there. We revisited the spot C's blue Outback last jumped teeth on the timing belt last year to see if the trail went farther. I also had it in my head that there were a lot of side trails in that area but that was definitely not the case. The exhaust on the Impreza was dragging so we zip tied it up, figured we'd repair it more properly when we got to camp. We continued past where his car had died and got to a spot where there was about a 3 foot diameter tree fallen across the trail. It was old and rotten and ended at one side of the trail so we pulled it out of the way.

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The next section of the trail didn't look too bad, B made it through in the Forester but then the white Outback got stuck. Then B got stuck temporarily trying to get him out. Various snatch straps, digging, and recovery ramps were put to use to get the first three cars through the swampy section. I was able to make it through in one run in the black Outback since I'd been able to see the good and bad lines and had the most tire tread depth. Then we realized the trail just got swampy and there were trees fallen across it and it was so overgrown we couldn't see five feet in. Would have taken a long time to make it all the way through so we went back through the swampy section. I think the Forester and black Outback were the only two to get back through in one shot. Forester was in low range and full throttle most of the way. By this time it was dark. I think we had to fix the Impreza exhaust again, this time with a hose clamp and some bailing wire. We eventually got to a campground. M and A breaded and fried the fish.

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Edited by pontoontodd

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Saturday morning I checked over the cars.

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The main issue I found was the right rear CV axle on the white Outback had popped out of the diff. I think it was still driving and wasn't difficult to get back in. Oil level was still good and it never popped out again. For a few weeks now after I'd worked on the rear suspension there was a whining noise coming from the rear of the car. It went away after I put the CV back in and never came back. It has been making a slight whirring noise from the auto trans, one of the guys said it was a torque converter noise. We had camped within a few miles of the Baraga pipeline grade so we hit that. We found a couple of good jumps along it and took some time giving everyone a turn in each long travel car and getting lots of video and pictures.

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Then we started trail riding, there are a lot of good trails in that area, wound up on another part of the pipeline grade we hadn't been on before. B got a pinch flat in a Forester sidewall so he plugged it.  Later on managed to weave plugs through both holes but it never fully sealed. While he did that we made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch.

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We followed a powerline grade we'd been on a different portion of on other trips.

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Eventually we got to a deeply rutted downhill with an even taller steeper uphill climb on the other side.  We didn't think any of the cars (except maybe the Forester w/ low range) could make it up the climb on the other side and we didn't think the Impreza could get back up the downhill so we took a side trail but marked it on the GPS to come back to.

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Took an ~8 mile long side trail to eventually come to a section we decided was too swampy for us to proceed and had to go all the way back. We had almost reached a major road on the GPS too. For a while one day we had A lead the way in the white Outback with just the digital compass on the rearview mirror and told him to head east.

One of the muddy trails we were on:

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By this time it was starting to get late so we decided to try to get to the next campsite before dark. We found a couple pipeline and powerline grades we didn't have time for but should explore in the future.  We got to Republic which supposedly allows free camping on the beach along the river but we camped in the fancy campground on the bluff over the river. Running water, electricity, cable TV hookup.  travelvw would not have been happy. Scenic and not too noisy or crowded though.

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We removed the rear muffler from the Impreza and since it had a fair amount of water in it we put it over the campfire after we finished cooking.

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Edited by pontoontodd

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Sunday morning M and Z were navigating in the black Outback trying to find the ELF transmitter. B and I had driven by it on a previous trip without realizing what it was, Z kinda wanted to see it and it was sort of on the way. Early on we heard over the radio the battery light was on in the white Outback so we all stopped and swapped out the alternator. I had brought a spare since it fits both Outbacks and the Forester. Took some other multi mile dead ends with various gates, trees, and questionable bridges that made us decide to turn around. Eventually we just removed the middle part of the Impreza exhaust that kept hanging down and strapped it to the roof with a plastic rocker cover off the 2002 Outback and later one from the Forester. We also found a very overgrown canyon (by UP standards) that seemed to come out to a major logging road. We were skeptical any of the cars could even go down the trail, let alone back up if we had to, so we went back out. Some random pictures from Sunday:

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Got gas and went to a cool little jump we'd done last year but the approach was standing water this year so we looped around town on the whooped out trail and came out in the used car dealer with a few Subarus. For maybe fifteen miles we were on various whooped out snowmobile trails. I was driving the Impreza at the beginning at about 20mph, occasionally 30 on the smoother portions. Meanwhile the long travel cars could run 50mph comfortably. Eventually we switched around and at one point I had the cruise set at 50mph running through whoops for a mile or two. Trail ended at a gate again so we decided to just drive on the roads to the bar so we'd get there at a reasonable time. By this point the Forester had started running rough after driving through water.  The Forester wasn't getting any better so we did a little diagnosis. One CV axle was definitely bad and seemed to be causing the car to shake rather violently at times so we swapped that out in a parking lot. Still wasn't running great but the reduced drivetrain shaking was an improvement. We hit a small side loop of trails on the way to the bar. 

This is one of the beers that had been in the car for a day:

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R started cooking tacos, J, M, B, and I started working on the Forester. We pumped some gas out of the tank after it had sat for a bit and after that bottle sat it definitely had a little water in it but seemed minor to me. We pumped about a half gallon out into a larger bottle. Tried unplugging the TPS and front O2 (separately) without any change. M and B replaced the spark plugs, then it ran fine.

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Monday morning we checked over the cars. Both front control arm nuts on the black Outback had backed off a lot, the one almost to the end of the stud. We headed to the pond where C swamped his Impreza, had about as much water in it as it did then.

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We went back and hit the best dips/jumps on the road just before the pond where B blew out the strut tower on his green Forester. The last big one made the black Outback wheelie a couple times.

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The other runs it just jumped level, not sure what made the difference. While taking runs at these dips/jumps I noticed the clutch was starting to slip. Figured we'd just take major snowmobile trails down to the big spring. Wound up taking a ~15 mile dead end to a couple big water holes. The first one was about a quarter mile long, couldn't even see the end of it. Took a different route and that one went to a water hole that was shorter but probably quite deep so we turned around and drove all the way back to the highway.

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Much of that snowmobile trail has little jumps/whoops that sneak up on you, just cruising along at 50mph and all of a sudden you hit a dip and you're in the air. At this point we didn't have time for the big spring and the super whoops. The big spring was farther out of the way and most of the group preferred seeing the super whoops so we headed there, had to drive on pavement for a couple hours. Clutch in the black Outback was definitely starting to slip over about half throttle. Sometimes with the cruise on going up a grade you could see it slip 50-100RPM and then come back down. We hit some little whooped out sandy trails on the way there. Along the paved road to the super whoop parking lot was a narrow sandy trail with small whoops so we hit a portion of that. The guys pointed out it would make for great video driving along the car filming from the side watching the suspension thrashing up and down. At this point I'd noticed a pinhole leak in one of the fuel hoses in the black Outback so I fixed that. They took everything out of the back seat of the white Outback and took that and the Forester through the super whoops. Apparently the rear end of the white Outback kicked up badly with four people in it. They came back just as I was finishing washing the fuel off my hands and arms and M and A and I took the white and black Outbacks up the first half of the super whoops, switched cars, and came back down. The black Outback was definitely better but the white Outback didn't kick up too bad with just one person in it. On the way out we drove part of the mini whoops with the black Outback and Forester and filmed with the other two cars.  We dropped off J on the way home and all the cars drove home OK.

Clutch in black Outback still slips some, seems to be fine when you first drive it and then will slip after maybe five minutes of driving. Thinking that might indicate an oil leak so I ordered a rear main seal and rear cover o-ring for the engine and input shaft seal for the trans. Windshield isn't any more cracked than when we started the trip, still just has the cracks down in the passenger side lower corner. Never had to bend the wiper arms/cowl either. Needs a driver's side front CV axle, it was making a little noise at the start of the trip and a little more by the end, the outer boot is badly torn. B and I both drove it with the parking brake on so that needs to be adjusted.

White Outback also needs the parking brake adjusted.  Has a high pitched intermittent grinding noise I think coming from the rear.

We noticed the Impreza has a sloppy RF wheel bearing early in the trip. Never got worse but it would be good to put one of the bolt on wheel bearing knuckles on, already did that on the LF.  Needs the post cat portion of the exhaust reinstalled.

Overall it was one of our best trips so far. Weather was about perfect, no major breakdowns, good variety of trails.

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7 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

...but we camped in the fancy campground on the bluff over the river. Running water, electricity, cable TV hookup.  travelvw would not have been happy. Scenic and not too noisy or crowded though.

Yes, this ^ is totally unacceptable :)...hopefully there was no golf cart on patrol.

Awesome!!! Excellent trip report, pics, and insane whoops. My WRX is that beer can since the previous trip, but I've nearly polished that turd... more soon! Cheers,

K

Edited by travelvw
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We worked on my Subaru fleet over the weekend.  B adjusted the parking brake on the black Outback and tightened the trailing arm bolt that was spinning. He messed with the HVAC and eventually just put 12V to the pins at the control harness plug that move the actuator and it moved, got it to full vent position, will probably just leave it there all summer.  Might wire in a rocker switch to just run the actuator manually.

We pulled in the Impreza and A swapped out the RF knuckle for one with a bolt on wheel bearing. I pulled off the exhaust, made the end of one section roundish again and made some flanges to bolt it all back together. B fit some pieces of tube so they would slide into the next section for reduced stress and leakage. Bent one bracket back forward so the rubber hanger would fit. Got it all on the car in place and tacked the last few flanges. Took it back out and welded everything completely, then put it back in the car. Tons of mud packed around radiator and condenser, have to clean that out.

I adjusted the parking brake on the white Outback and plugged a couple holes in the sidewall of the RF tire. M superglued the passenger mirror cover back together.  Still makes some kind of rubbing/scraping heat shield noise when slowing down but quieter than when we got home.  Has many brown stripes on the white paint now, not sure if I just didn't get it fully clean or if they're some kind of wood stain.

Waiting on some parts to come in this week, main thing left to address is the clutch in the black Outback and whatever's causing it to leak.

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Impreza radiator was quite muddy front and back even after blasting it some at the coin op car wash.  Had just put in a new one too, this is basically all from the UP trip.  Outback radiators seem to stay pretty clean with the guards on them but I should take a closer look to be sure.

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Came clean pretty quickly with the garden hose.

 

Rear bushings in the fabricated brackets I made for the black Outback's front control arms kept walking out during the UP trip.  Took the arms off, bushings originally pressed in but now just slide out.  Pushed them back in and tack welded them in.  We drilled those studs and the front strut eccentric bolts for cotter pins.  We replaced the clutch disc and LF CV axle. New clutch disc measures .34”, old one measured .23” and was worn down to the rivets. Pressure plate had a bunch of dust and fibers in it, cleaned that out. Pressure plate measures about .21” relaxed (fully clamped) so there wasn't much pressure on the clutch disc. Should probably replace pressure plate but figure the 6MT will go in over the winter.

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Exhaust on the white Outback is badly dented where it goes under the rear subframe, probably down to about half the stock cross section. It was rubbing on the driveshaft again so I bent it down as much as I could, has a little clearance now.

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Fixed some tire leaks.

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Pictures of the cotter pins on the front suspension of the black Outback.

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Radiator on the black Outback was also muddy, not as bad as Impreza but we're going to a desert race so I want the best cooling possible.  Removed the radiator and blasted it out with a garden hose.

While that was out it made replacing the alternator easier.  The 2015-2017 Outback alternator (on left) bolts and plugs right in but puts out 130 amps vs the 2002 Outback 100A alternator (according to Rock Auto).

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We can now run all the lights and the AC at idle and maintain 14V.  With the old alternator it would drop below 12V with the AC and all lights on even at 3000 engine RPM.  Nice upgrade for $80 and we now have a good spare alternator again.

I checked the lights we used on our buggy to make sure they were working.  They're 6" KC daylighters with HID conversions.  We have two pencil beams and two floods, I'm just planning on using the two pencil beams.  They didn't seem to be working consistently at first.  One problem I found was the spade terminals from the HID conversion harnesses were not crimped on well so I crimped on some good terminals and that helped.  Eventually I realized that with just one plugged in they each worked but with two plugged in usually one or neither would work.  With the engine running they both worked.  Tested out the blue and yellow LED rear running lights, those are still good.

My friend put in the race radio and race seat on the passenger side and test fit the door bars to make sure they still go in.  We test fit the rear bumper.

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Been wondering for a while now if we can fit the larger front axles we've been using on the rear somehow.  Got a couple later model Subaru wheel bearing/hubs and took a bunch of measurements.  Left to right - bolt on rear wheel bearing 2000-2009 Legacy/Outback, bolt on front wheel bearing 2005-2015 Legacy/Outback, bolt on rear wheel bearing 2015 Outback (2015+ Legacy/Outback/Ascent), bolt on rear wheel bearing 2009 Impreza (2009+ Impreza/Forester/BRZ, according to Timken/Rockauto this also fits 2010-2014 Outback).

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On the left is the press in wheel bearing style hub for the rear of a 99 Outback.  On the right is the front press in style hub for 99 Outback.

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Here are the measurements we came up with:

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Bearing ID is in mm, the ones that were pressed together I just guessed at, can't get an exact measurement.  Other dimensions are in inches.

Don't have a rear hub for a 2002 handy, the only place I could find to buy one new was the dealer at $160, haven't gotten one out of the spare suspension we have lying around.

Should get one for 2007 Leg/OB, didn't realize that one was different until I started typing all this up, specs on that are from Timken, not sure about the 25 tooth spline.

15 Legacy/Outback rear hub has a much larger wheel bolt pattern than the rest.

The later model bolt on rear wheel bearings do have the same 27 tooth CV spline as the front hubs.  All of the rear bolt on wheel bearings seem to have the same knuckle diameter but they all have different bolt patterns at the knuckle.  Also the late model rear hubs are much longer than the earlier hubs.

For the multilink rear suspension I think the easiest solution would be to press a hub out of a 2005 front bolt on wheel bearing and sleeve it to fit the 2002 bolt on rear wheel bearing.  That might even fit the rear press in wheel bearings on the older cars but the outer seal would be a problem.  Then we could make up some splined stubs to go in the rear diff to use the female style axles.  Not going to happen any time soon, just thinking about our options in the future.

Edited by pontoontodd

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Awesome Todd!

Good to know about the spline change from 00-04/05-09.  I knew the bearing and rear suspension is all the same, but I guess the hub and axle are different.  Won't matter for my setup as I will be pulling axles and wheel bearings as a complete unit when I swap them.

I like the idea of cutom stubs for the rear diff is cool.  I'd like a set for when I T-case my wheeler. 

I still don't get how the length issue of outer splines will work out.  Seems like fronts would be too short to go through the entire hub.  I'm sure if there is a way, you'll work it out.  Keep up the awesome research.  I couldn't have done my project without some of the info you've provided in this mega thread. Thanks.

 

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3 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

Awesome Todd!

Good to know about the spline change from 00-04/05-09.  I knew the bearing and rear suspension is all the same, but I guess the hub and axle are different.  Won't matter for my setup as I will be pulling axles and wheel bearings as a complete unit when I swap them.

I like the idea of cutom stubs for the rear diff is cool.  I'd like a set for when I T-case my wheeler. 

I still don't get how the length issue of outer splines will work out.  Seems like fronts would be too short to go through the entire hub.  I'm sure if there is a way, you'll work it out.  Keep up the awesome research.  I couldn't have done my project without some of the info you've provided in this mega thread. Thanks.

 

I'm not sure about the 05-09 Leg/OB rear hub spline, hard to believe it's a different spline than all the others.

The 02 Leg/OB bolt on rear wheel bearings are only about 1/2" wider than the 05-14 Leg/OB bolt on front wheel bearings.  That's the width of the spacer we've been using on our front CV axles/bearings with the longer front control arms, so it should work out fine.  At this time it would be a lot of money and time for the benefit so I don't plan on doing it yet.

You're welcome.  The rock crawling/bouncing you did recently was some of the most extreme I've seen a Subaru do.

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Would it be any easier to make an adaptor for where the bearing assembly bolts to the hub?

07 outback front:

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07 outback rear:

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Thought about making an adapter, I think it would be easier to just use a different hub, maybe turn up a sleeve if needed.

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rear outer splines are the same between '00-'04 and '05-'09. I used an '05-'09 rear hub assembly when I needed a rear bearing on my '00.

 

 

21 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

While that was out it made replacing the alternator easier.  The 2015-2017 Outback alternator (on left) bolts and plugs right in but puts out 130 amps vs the 2002 Outback 100A alternator (according to Rock Auto).

This is relevant to my interests......Both 6-cylinders? 

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7 minutes ago, Numbchux said:

rear outer splines are the same between '00-'04 and '05-'09. I used an '05-'09 rear hub assembly when I needed a rear bearing on my '00.

 

 

This is relevant to my interests......Both 6-cylinders? 

Thanks on the spline info.  Did you get a new 05-09 rear hub assembly?  If so did it come with the hub pressed into the bearing?  The one I got for a 2002 is just the bearing, can't buy that hub except from the dealer for $160.

Yes, the alternators were both from six cylinders (EZ30/EZ36).  Looks like it would fit on 2000+ Forester EJ25, pulley might be wider on the six but might still work.

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19 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

I'm not sure about the 05-09 Leg/OB rear hub spline, hard to believe it's a different spline than all the others.

 

I had thought this to be the case too.  

 

2 hours ago, Numbchux said:

rear outer splines are the same between '00-'04 and '05-'09. I used an '05-'09 rear hub assembly when I needed a rear bearing on my '00.

 

 

Hmm.... i wonder if the timken Specs are referencing splines of hub vs. splines of the axle stubs, Peaks vs. Valleys and such?  24 peaks, 25 valleys?

 

Edited by FerGloyale

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4 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

Thanks on the spline info.  Did you get a new 05-09 rear hub assembly?  If so did it come with the hub pressed into the bearing?  The one I got for a 2002 is just the bearing, can't buy that hub except from the dealer for $160.

Yes, the alternators were both from six cylinders (EZ30/EZ36).  Looks like it would fit on 2000+ Forester EJ25, pulley might be wider on the six but might still work.

Yep. '05-'09 has the hub built into it. I thought this was interesting, the '05-'09 bearing (SKF anyway) and flange were bigger than the '00-'04.

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20181222_062947~01 by Numbchux, on Flickr

 

I bet you'll find that hub from the dealer is superseded to a hub-bearing assembly, too.

 

2 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

Hmm.... i wonder if the timken Specs are referencing splines of hub vs. splines of the axle stubs, Peaks vs. Valleys and such?  24 peaks, 25 valleys?

 

I'm not sure what specs you're referencing. Timken doesn't make anything with splines for a '00-'04 rear, it's just a bearing in a flange, and the hub is reused.

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4 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

Hmm.... i wonder if the timken Specs are referencing splines of hub vs. splines of the axle stubs, Peaks vs. Valleys and such?  24 peaks, 25 valleys?

 

Splined hubs & stubs are always counted on the major diameters.

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Drove up to the UP in the white Outback with the in laws over the weekend.  I did hit a couple of snowmobile trails/dirt roads, including one that was rough enough to be fun, but it was mainly boat rides and some hiking. At some point after we got up there I added a quart of water to the radiator but we did drive around some while we were up there and I didn't check the coolant again before we left for home. Brought the kayaks home on the roof, had 700-800# of passengers and a couple hundred pounds of cargo in the back, ambient temps about 88F. About halfway home I saw some smoke coming out of the back of our car, temp gauge read normal. Stopped at the next gas station and checked over the car. There appeared to be some oil on the trans skid but it wasn't actively dripping on the ground. Seemed like engine oil. Engine, auto trans, front diff, and PS were all still full. Let it cool off a bit and added about a gallon of water. Stopped shortly afterwards and bubbles were coming up in the full overflow bottle with the engine off. After a while the AC stopped working and the temp gauge started creeping up. I drove it by the temp gauge for a half hour or so, up a grade or at 70+ it would get up to the mark above the middle, if we were going downhill or about 60 it would start to drop towards the middle. Eventually it was staying at the mark above the middle so I pulled off the interstate and took back roads to the next town. Stopped at another gas station, overflow bottle was boiling over again, and bought a gallon of pre mixed coolant. Was able to add the whole thing and a little water. Ran about 60mph with good AC and normal temps for 30-40 minutes, then the AC stopped working and temps started creeping up but got home without them getting much above the middle.  So I think the head gaskets are finally starting to really go.  I've had to add about a quart of coolant every 300 miles or so in hot temps since I bought it a few years ago but now it's closer to a gallon per 100 miles.  Out of the last 10-20 times I've started the car (before this overheating issue) it will take a while to crank or start and then die and have to restart maybe 1/4 of the times, usually when it's still warm.  Had some kind of evaporative trouble code too.  Also the trans has downshifted hard (4th to 3rd?) since I bought it.  So hard it will occasionally chirp a tire.

Need to decide whether to replace the whole engine and trans, replace head gaskets, try to fix the trans, buy a different car, or what. I can get a JDM engine for $1200 and relatively low mileage (<150k) trans for about $800. Would like to keep it as an automatic for now so my wife has a backup car and can take the family to the offroad park sometime this year.  Also convenient having three EZ30 Subarus.  Somewhat tempted to swap in an EZ36 and standalone and/or a different trans. Could buy another car and swap the suspension, axles, brakes, and bumper from this one onto that. Don't have room to keep this one as a parts car. In the short run I will probably see if I can fix the hard downshifting issue in the trans without removing it and see how bad the coolant loss is in normal city driving and check the trouble codes again.

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it would be a shame to do the gaskets and have a rod bearing fail in a few weeks from having been over-heated. Though, it seems you didn't experience SEVERE heat.......

 

 

 

Quote

Also the trans has downshifted hard (4th to 3rd?) since I bought it.  So hard it will occasionally chirp a tire.

 

does this only happen at highway speeds? If so, they all do that unless you do a battery disconnect reset before a road trip.

 

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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43 minutes ago, 1 Lucky Texan said:

it would be a shame to do the gaskets and have a rod bearing fail in a few weeks from having been over-heated. Though, it seems you didn't experience SEVERE heat.......

 

 

 

 

does this only happen at highway speeds? If so, they all do that unless you do a battery disconnect reset before a road trip.

 

My 2001 with the same engine and trans downshifts normally.  The white 2002 feels like it's going to rip the trans or rear diff out of the car, revs to almost 6000 and then grabs and pulls it down to 4000 at full load.  The battery has been disconnected numerous times, it always does it.

Sounds like slammo might have a line on a cheap EZ30 and 4EAT for me though.

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18 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

My 2001 with the same engine and trans downshifts normally.  The white 2002 feels like it's going to rip the trans or rear diff out of the car, revs to almost 6000 and then grabs and pulls it down to 4000 at full load.  The battery has been disconnected numerous times, it always does it.

Sounds like slammo might have a line on a cheap EZ30 and 4EAT for me though.

Our '04 has done this since we bought it (13xk on it then, almost 210k now), and not gotten even slightly worse. Anytime it downshifts from 4th, the trans takes so long to grab the lower gear that the engine revs way up. I cut the wire that tells the TCU when the cruise is on, and bumped the line pressure using FreeSSM to prevent downshifting as much, and anytime I know it needs to downshift, I do it manually.

 

There's been a thread about it on SubaruOutback, sounds like several people have it, but no resolution. 

Here's my latest post there

Quote

A little train-of-thought information I've found today while searching the internet. I thought I'd post it here as a follow-up on this discussion both for myself and anyone else that might be interested.

I'm doing some "light" transmission work on a Lexus/Toyota A340E transmission, modifying it into 4WD as I swap a Lexus 1UZ V8 into my 4Runner. While I've got things apart, I'm installing a shift kit. I pulled the accumulator pistons (as the shift kit has stiffer springs), and the O-rings are hard as can be. So I've ordered new ones.


This got me thinking on our VDC....and searching for "shift kits" (that term is a TransGo trademark...but there are others that make a similar product). And here's what I found.

Valve body kit for an early Phase 2: https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2719655

The instructions for that kit mention low clutch solenoid failure, but I don't think I have that.

Here's the really interesting one. Obviously oring failure isn't unheard-of. But also accumulator pistons are plastic, and somewhat prone to cracking and breaking. Guy on NASIOC making Billet aluminum replacements: https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2794980

These are to replace pistons 31671AA240 ( www.partsouq.com has VIN specific parts lookup, these are in the valve body, one of the diagrams labeled "AT, valve control").

I have a '00 Outback AT parts car that should have the same accumulator pistons. I'm going to pull the valve body in the next couple weeks and see the condition of those and difficulty of replacement (we rely on our '04, so I don't want to take it out of commission any longer than I have to).

Then I stumbled across this cool article:
https://www.searchautoparts.com/moto...es-subaru-4eat

The pictures don't match the article, unfortunately, but still good information.

"...the Low Clutch in Phase 2. The outer piston seal (Figure 6) of this clutch drum (Figure 7) is known to flatten, causing delayed Drive engagements as well as a flare during 4-3, 4-2 kick-down maneuvers."

As far as I can tell....this seal is very internal, and will require a more complete teardown....

 

I have not had the time or motivation to climb under my parts car. Also, since then I bought an '01 VDC with 235k on it, that shifts beautifully. Questionable whether I can get a title for it (cheap enough not to matter....), but I think either way (no title: swap the trans from the '01 into the '04, title, fix the '01 and drive it, then repair the '04), I'm leaning towards taking the transmission in the '04 apart and see if I can rebuild/repair that issue.

Edited by Numbchux

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2 hours ago, Numbchux said:

Our '04 has done this since we bought it (13xk on it then, almost 210k now), and not gotten even slightly worse. Anytime it downshifts from 4th, the trans takes so long to grab the lower gear that the engine revs way up. I cut the wire that tells the TCU when the cruise is on, and bumped the line pressure using FreeSSM to prevent downshifting as much, and anytime I know it needs to downshift, I do it manually.

 

There's been a thread about it on SubaruOutback, sounds like several people have it, but no resolution. 

Here's my latest post there

 

Interesting.  Is your 2004 an H4?  With the H6 the downshift is violent, I like your manual shifting idea.

A leaking/flattened o-ring or cracked piston would make sense.

Unrelated snapping turtle pictures from the weekend.

Smallest one I've ever seen:

DSCN2900s.jpg

On a playing card for scale:

DSCN2898s.jpg

Adult, probably average size:

DSCN2851s.jpg

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