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pontoontodd

long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

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3 hours ago, travelvw said:

Sounds logical. Especially considering they are cheap and readily available.

Nice work! Those subframe/trailing arm bracket fixes should do the trick. Stitching the fatigue torn sheet metal together I imagine won't hold forever, but what can you do?

If you decide to swap to a rust-free body, probably worth applying what you have learned and do a full brace and seam weld to all the weak points before transferring anything? I know that's a lot of work but it sure would be nice to have a solid, well built car from the start instead of constant patching to hold it all together after rust and fatigue have taken their toll.

 

Slammo, thanks for sharing on the TDRA race.

K

I would do at least a few of these mods to a rust free car.  I'm curious to see how my 2002 Outback and R's 2001 Forester hold up since they are rust free.  Not that we will be giving them quite the same abuse my 99 has gotten.

 

Drove the 99 some today, seems to be running fine, unplugged cats seem to have fixed it.

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Long travel inspiration, easily the coolest Brat I've ever seen:

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bajabrat/

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dang son! you annihilated that trail! even had some off-camber curves/turn-ins.

where is that?

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3 hours ago, 1 Lucky Texan said:

dang son! you annihilated that trail! even had some off-camber curves/turn-ins.

where is that?

Central Texas, closest town is Blackwell.

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Did a lot of Subaru disassembly and a little assembly over the weekend.  Took the drivetrain and suspension out of this car Saturday:

IMG_4165s.jpg

Most of the parts we kept:

IMG_4161s.jpg

Took apart a fuse block after I removed all the fuses out of curiosity.  Interesting high amp 3D PCB of sorts:

IMG_4166s.jpg

 

Had some more time Saturday so we replaced a couple CV axles on B's Forester.  Had one front and rear that were making noise.  We're trying the Rock auto suretrac/tracmotive ball spline axles.  Have heard a lot of bad things but also a few people who've put tens of thousands of miles on them in lifted Subarus.  Unfortunately they don't have any more plunge travel than conventional axles.  There are some aftermarket CV axles with less plunge travel but most of the OEM and aftermarket axles have 40-50mm plunge, so do these.  If they can live at higher angles it might allow us to do more with the suspension.

The biggest problem we found is that with the fabricated arms we made the front tires are about an inch forward of stock.  This caused the female part of the ball spline to rub on the crossmember.  It also hits the front control arm bolt at full droop.  We decided to just run it and see what happens. 

IMG_4176s.jpg

 

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After driving it less than half a mile it had already worn a notch in the crossmember but maybe that's all it will do.

 

Worked on a bunch of little things on the black Outback too.

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I'm shocked that they don't have more plunge than the OEM and good aftermarket axles.  Isn't that 90% of the point of ball spline axles?  I understand that removing the plunge requirements from the inner CV can allow more angle out of that CV; I guess your test will tell if it makes a difference.  Curious how much material will be gone from the crossmember and control arm.

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18 minutes ago, slammo said:

I'm shocked that they don't have more plunge than the OEM and good aftermarket axles.  Isn't that 90% of the point of ball spline axles?  I understand that removing the plunge requirements from the inner CV can allow more angle out of that CV; I guess your test will tell if it makes a difference.  Curious how much material will be gone from the crossmember and control arm.

I would think so.  I'd also think they'd have enough plunge travel to have one part number for left and right in the rear since they're almost interchangeable on a Subaru but they don't.  Guess they were just going for more angle on the inboard for lifted cars.  That is usually what goes back on B's Forester.

I emailed the company I've bought a bunch of axles from to see how much plunge their ball spline axles have but so far no response.

He's only driven on them for a few days but so far so good.  After it ground that notch in the crossmember the noise has mostly gone away.  Should be plenty of clearance with stock suspension, our fabricated arms shift the wheel forward an inch or so.

 

Also replaced the steering rack in the 99 Outback.  It was sloppy down in Texas.  After we got it home and got it running with the body repairs and fresh exhaust, I noticed it would pull to the side a little when I got on and off the gas.  My 2001 did that when I first bought it because the inner tie rods were sloppy.  Replaced the rack in the 99 with the one out of the parts car and it may not be perfect but it seems much better.  Took it to the coin op car wash and blasted the mud off the underside so I can take a closer look at the body sometime.

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I had some Heri ball spline axles for three years in the front of my '97 Forester, they did the job but I wouldn't recommend them, they had a lot of play and I was always scared to break them....

Now I have oem SVX front axles, 30°+ vs 25° for the oem Forester axles.

If you install ball spline axles at the rear of the Forester you don't need them to have much plunge as the lateral links and the axle are about the same length.

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31 minutes ago, jf1sf5 said:

I had some Heri ball spline axles for three years in the front of my '97 Forester, they did the job but I wouldn't recommend them, they had a lot of play and I was always scared to break them....

Now I have oem SVX front axles, 30°+ vs 25° for the oem Forester axles.

If you install ball spline axles at the rear of the Forester you don't need them to have much plunge as the lateral links and the axle are about the same length.

Three years out of a set of CV axles would be fantastic.

I don't know exactly what CV angle our axles are at full droop, I want to say 25deg, but it's the plunge that limits our travel front and rear.  Even with the rear strut suspension the inner CV bottoms out in the diff at full droop (among other limitations).  It is not as bad as the multilink rear suspension but still a problem.

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23 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

Three years out of a set of CV axles would be fantastic.

I don't know exactly what CV angle our axles are at full droop, I want to say 25deg, but it's the plunge that limits our travel front and rear.  Even with the rear strut suspension the inner CV bottoms out in the diff at full droop (among other limitations).  It is not as bad as the multilink rear suspension but still a problem.

You will be limited by the plunge at the front even with the ball spline axles, they only have 45mm plunge. And because the control arms are shorter than the axles, the more droop you have, the more the axles go towards the inside of the cups.

At the rear, with ball spline axles, you shouldn't be worried as much as the lateral links and the axles are about the same length. And the inner CV's can go about 40°

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1 hour ago, jf1sf5 said:

You will be limited by the plunge at the front even with the ball spline axles, they only have 45mm plunge. And because the control arms are shorter than the axles, the more droop you have, the more the axles go towards the inside of the cups.

At the rear, with ball spline axles, you shouldn't be worried as much as the lateral links and the axles are about the same length. And the inner CV's can go about 40°

The rear lateral links with the strut suspension are shorter than the axles.  Only about 2" but it's enough.  Even at ride height with a slightly lifted car the links are at more of an angle than the axles and it just gets worse with droop, pulling the CV into the bottom of the cup.  There are other things limiting droop but if I go much beyond where I have it set now you can see the CV axle push the diff to the side in the bushings.

If the ball spline axles continue to hold up in B's excessively lifted Forester they might allow us more travel.

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Have you already changed the SF (40cm) lateral links with SG (41,5cm) or WRX (41cm) lateral links ? I opted for the SG's. The axles on SF's and SG's are the same length but I found a little difference between left and right, about 5mm if I remember correctly.

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8 hours ago, jf1sf5 said:

Have you already changed the SF (40cm) lateral links with SG (41,5cm) or WRX (41cm) lateral links ? I opted for the SG's. The axles on SF's and SG's are the same length but I found a little difference between left and right, about 5mm if I remember correctly.

 

Hmm....Can't say for sure about the lateral links, but I do know for sure that subaru axles are the same length left/right.

They are technically side specific because of the direction oil retention grooves in the stubs that go into diff, but they are same length, and essentially interchangable left to right.

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12 hours ago, FerGloyale said:

 

....but I do know for sure that subaru axles are the same length left/right.

 

Thats what I thought too but I did find a small difference between different rear/right axles. I had a r/r axle popping out the differential when going through rough terrain so I compared it to other r/r axles I have and found they all have a different length of a few millimeters, just enough to keep the axle in the differential.

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On 8/10/2019 at 7:42 AM, jf1sf5 said:

Have you already changed the SF (40cm) lateral links with SG (41,5cm) or WRX (41cm) lateral links ? I opted for the SG's. The axles on SF's and SG's are the same length but I found a little difference between left and right, about 5mm if I remember correctly.

We've made our own links and I would have to check but they are probably the same length as SF.  Slightly longer links might allow us more droop but might cause the axles to pull out of the diff at ride height.

On 8/10/2019 at 3:59 PM, FerGloyale said:

 

Hmm....Can't say for sure about the lateral links, but I do know for sure that subaru axles are the same length left/right.

They are technically side specific because of the direction oil retention grooves in the stubs that go into diff, but they are same length, and essentially interchangable left to right.

I have about ten used rear CV axles I just looked at and they all have oil grooves in the same direction (right hand helix).

On 8/11/2019 at 4:54 AM, jf1sf5 said:

Thats what I thought too but I did find a small difference between different rear/right axles. I had a r/r axle popping out the differential when going through rough terrain so I compared it to other r/r axles I have and found they all have a different length of a few millimeters, just enough to keep the axle in the differential.

We've only measured two pairs of axles that had a known left/right and the lefts were 762mm compressed, rights were 772mm compressed.  Have also measured at least one other pair from the same car that were 10mm different.

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5 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

 

We've only measured two pairs of axles that had a known left/right and the lefts were 762mm compressed, rights were 772mm compressed.  Have also measured at least one other pair from the same car that were 10mm different.

well, learn something new everyday.

This thread made me go back and look through FSMs, and what do you know.  

From all the way back to 90 Legacy FSM, (base EJ platform)  Right axle distance between boots, 304mm.  Left axle, 295mm.

So that would be consistent with your measurements.

Damn, I'm gonna have to start labeling axles left and right.

The thing I don't understand, is that the diff is centered in the suspension.  Why the axle length difference?  perhaps to counteract the torque on the bushings under load?  Does the diff shift that far to one side under load?  Is Symetrical AWD a lie? lol.

 

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5 minutes ago, FerGloyale said:

well, learn something new everyday.

This thread made me go back and look through FSMs, and what do you know.  

From all the way back to 90 Legacy FSM, (base EJ platform)  Right axle distance between boots, 304mm.  Left axle, 295mm.

So that would be consistent with your measurements.

Damn, I'm gonna have to start labeling axles left and right.

The thing I don't understand, is that the diff is centered in the suspension.  Why the axle length difference?  perhaps to counteract the torque on the bushings under load?  Does the diff shift that far to one side under load?  Is Symetrical AWD a lie? lol.

 

I would have to check but my guess is the diff isn't centered in the suspension.  The input is offset from the output, maybe they split the difference so the driveshaft doesn't have as much angle as it would.  Really seems silly to have different length CV axles and even crazier that the ball spline axles wouldn't just have enough extra plunge to fit either side.

You can just measure them with a tape measure (I have one with cm on one side).  The lefts are usually about 760mm compressed, rights 770mm.

Edited by pontoontodd

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Just now, pontoontodd said:

I would have to check but my guess is the diff isn't centered in the suspension.  The input is offset from the output, maybe they split the difference so the driveshaft doesn't have as much angle as it would.  Really seems silly to have different length CV axles and even crazier that the ball spline axles wouldn't just have enough extra plunge to fit either side.

Nah, I've definitely measured the diff.  It's centered.  I triple checked that as I was using the diff mount holes as datum points to reference when putting the 03 rear suspension on my 84.  The diff input is offset for sure, but the rear of the diff and the outputs are centered from everything I can measure.

I think it's gotta be a flex thing.  

Like when the diff is under load, it twists CC if you are looking the same direction as the car travels.  This lifts the right side cup, pulling it slightly further away from the hub.

I had thought it was all taken up by the ball spline CV plunge, but apparently not.  I mean, it probably would work even if it was centered......only a 9mm difference.  

 

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Worked on a bumper for Z's Forester XT over the weekend.  He made these CAD templates and then copied them in steel for the mounting plates.

IMG_4304s.jpg

He wanted it tapered more like travelvw's and a lot of the aftermarket bumpers are shaped now.  Much fancier than the bumpers I've built, but we wanted it to be strong too.  Started with a 4" square tube for the main beam and then started mocking up the ends in CAD.

IMG_4297s.jpg

Don't worry about the rubber band city boy tires, he's going to put smaller front brakes on it and already has 15" alloys and will get better tires.

Want it to stick an inch or two out from the lights and fenders to protect them on tight trails.

IMG_4298s.jpg

Used 2"x4" for the main portion of the ends.  Fit just above the stock airbox.

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Added a plate between the square and rectangle to cap the ends and give the rectangle more to push/pull on.

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Tapered the end like he wanted and added three receivers for jacking/winching.  Revisited the CAD under that.  Did the airbox side first as it was trickier, the other side we made the same for aesthetics but there's nothing in the way so the fit wasn't as tricky.

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To locate that access hole for the bumper mounting bolt I turned a point on a long bolt and threaded it into the mount, then held the plate up against it and it scratched a mark.  Plan is to put round tubes between the bumper plate and that mounting plate so the bolt doesn't fall.

IMG_4311s.jpg

I welded as much as I could with it on the car to act as a fixture.  He's going to grind/sand all the welds flush and then paint it.

IMG_4313s.jpg

We cut out a plate to cover that center section between the bumper and radiator support but ran out of time to mount it.  Hoping we won't be using the towbar tabs or winch receiver often so that plate will cover them to make the bumper sano.  I don't think there was a final decision on how to easily wrap a strap around it.  We were thinking about notching the cover plate so it could be wrapped around the square tube.  The grill hangs down pretty close to the square tube though, I suggested cutting out some of the dark parts of the grill so you can reach behind the bumper easily but it will still look basically stock.  Another thought was to mount the grill to the hood and again cut some of the dark part of it out to access the hood latch.  That wouldn't drop between the headlight trim though.

In this picture you can see where we also mounted it to the tiedown tabs.

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Bumper off the car before I finished welding it.

IMG_4318s.jpg

 

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Fully welded it and he took it home.  I'm anxious to see what it looks like sanded flush and painted.

Edited by pontoontodd

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2 hours ago, jf1sf5 said:

Beautiful work on the bumper but it must not be light !

Thanks.  It's not as heavy as I thought it would be, I took it off by myself pretty easily after welding.  Obviously much heavier than the stock aluminum extrusions and plastic cover though.

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Looks sweet! Any plans to fill the vertical gap between the bumper and the fenders/headlight trim/grille? Pic example with cut bumper. 

943c3729c14067f6c486d59abdcbb0d1.jpg

Edited by slammo

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