Jump to content
pontoontodd

long travel Outbacks or making Subarus faster and more reliable offroad

Recommended Posts

You guys are nuts - in a very good way! Love seeing your adventures and make-it-work attitude. It's refreshing to see someone get out there and have fun without spending a ton of money or having to have everything be perfect (I struggle with this a bit - "oh I can't do x to my car because I'd really like to do y and z at the same time", so I end up never doing anything :unsure: )

 

Keep up the great work, I enjoy your most excellent write-ups!:bouncy:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so much work for just chance to drive that car again and maybe other side will brake next time or something else... i mean its nice sure lots job done and good cutting metal, never could do that with angle grinder on ground sure . and if you will leave cage there anyway then cage can be some part of body then maybe and you can weld things to it to make all stronger . 

and i sold that my outback 2001 for very cheap , i mean all terrain tires does cost more then i get for that car anyway. 

 

that car that guy you asked was driving in dakar. in 2018

i think they and someone else said this car only cost like over 100k euros for dakar. just car . in next dakar he will drive mini cooper . 

Edited by scalman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2019 at 12:56 PM, scalman said:

so much work for just chance to drive that car again and maybe other side will brake next time or something else... i mean its nice sure lots job done and good cutting metal, never could do that with angle grinder on ground sure . and if you will leave cage there anyway then cage can be some part of body then maybe and you can weld things to it to make all stronger . 

and i sold that my outback 2001 for very cheap , i mean all terrain tires does cost more then i get for that car anyway. 

 

that car that guy you asked was driving in dakar. in 2018

i think they and someone else said this car only cost like over 100k euros for dakar. just car . in next dakar he will drive mini cooper . 

We plan on fixing the other rear strut tower over the winter too.  More on that soon.

The rear end of that Toyota kicks really bad over those little jumps.  I've noticed that with a lot of Dakar cars though, especially the Peugot DKR, and they still beat everyone else.  My guess is that it is a compromise for better cornering and/or traction.  Jumps don't occur very often naturally so if you have to slow down for them a bit it's probably not as much of a time penalty as having worse traction the rest of the time.  It would be a lot of fun to race the Dakar, it will be interesting to see what it looks like in KSA next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B and I did a little reverse engineering of the Subaru ABS system last night.  Under no circumstances should you modify or alter your ABS system or its function.  Do not try this at home or at all.  Here is what we found:

SUBARU%20ABS.JPG

The unit we disassembled was from a 2000+ car with the ABS control system as one unit with the solenoids.  The one we've been experimenting with most successfully is in the lower left of the picture from a 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback.  It has a big center wire to power the solenoids and eight separate ground wires.  The top row of solenoids definitely closes off the wheel circuits.  I assume the bottom row opens them to the pump or dumps them back to the master but we couldn't get the pump to pump anything anywhere.  It would make a little turbulence or bubbling at that "passage to pump" in the middle of the diagram but couldn't ever get it to pump.  Tried powering one or all of the bottom solenoids, tried powering pairs of top and bottom solenoids, no significant pumping anywhere.  We tried bleeding it but maybe it still had air.  Does anyone know the specifics of where the brake fluid is pumped to and from?  Also, I remember reading about a procedure using the Subaru Select Monitor that would pressurize each individual wheel cylinder but can't find it anymore, if anyone could point me to that I'd appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, pontoontodd said:

We plan on fixing the other rear strut tower over the winter too.  More on that soon.

The rear end of that Toyota kicks really bad over those little jumps.  I've noticed that with a lot of Dakar cars though, especially the Peugot DKR, and they still beat everyone else.  My guess is that it is a compromise for better cornering and/or traction.  Jumps don't occur very often naturally so if you have to slow down for them a bit it's probably not as much of a time penalty as having worse traction the rest of the time.  It would be a lot of fun to race the Dakar, it will be interesting to see what it looks like in KSA next year.

yh i allways thought whats there cost so much for those dakar cars , and main things are drivetrain and suspension there, so not sure jumps they do pretty goodm but depends how you started jump i guess, many stuff can go wrong there still, but you need to push forward no matter what. yes its strange dakar will be on KSA only now. means mostly desert and sand i guess, what else KSA have there ?

and partly normal road cars can do dakar too just not so fast i guess. i dont like RWD cars on dakar, they strong in going fast on straight but weak on doing any off road there, so depends what tracks they made .

i remember last year one of our guys , new toyota truck , it was newest model , first day , fuel pump failure... i mean cmon it costs so much and fuel pump goes wrong on first day ? it was not  driver fault or anything just fuel pump went broke. its kinda funny when you think how much those cars cost and they can just brake on first day ... ftw they should be unbreakable for that price 

Edited by scalman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finished filling in the wheel well.  Checked and it had tire clearance at full bump.  Tire actually rubs a bit on the plastic around the gas filler at full bump, but that's with the bumpstop removed.

IMG_8089s.jpg

Inside the wheelwell fully welded.  That took longer than I expected.

IMG_8149s.jpg

Painted.  Didn't turn out great but as long as it keeps it from rusting for a few years I'll be happy.

IMG_8196s.jpg

View from inside the car fully welded.

IMG_8146s.jpg

 

IMG_8191s.jpg

 

IMG_8144s.jpg

 

IMG_8190s.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

looks good and strong. its good knowledge too for like other car who would want to use long travels so you can make those parts that cracks most on your cars as put extra layers of metal there from begining and make those parts stronger , would be good idea is it ? prevent that from cracking . i remember for some old cars they had like rally kits with some extra metal parts that needed be welded on car so it can take part of rally racing . something like that should be done from beginning on non rusty car so it would hold for longer dont you think ?

maybe i missed some parts on your build , when you put long travel suspension , so for it to have that long travel up and down you needed to change those bushings didnt you ? because oem bushings wont let those links move much up and down ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/15/2019 at 4:32 PM, scalman said:

looks good and strong. its good knowledge too for like other car who would want to use long travels so you can make those parts that cracks most on your cars as put extra layers of metal there from begining and make those parts stronger , would be good idea is it ? prevent that from cracking . i remember for some old cars they had like rally kits with some extra metal parts that needed be welded on car so it can take part of rally racing . something like that should be done from beginning on non rusty car so it would hold for longer dont you think ?

maybe i missed some parts on your build , when you put long travel suspension , so for it to have that long travel up and down you needed to change those bushings didnt you ? because oem bushings wont let those links move much up and down ?

We will find out on the rust free cars with long travel how well the bodies hold up.  So far, fairly well.

I tried different bushings but the stock bushings seem to last for a decent amount of time and have enough flex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/8/2019 at 7:00 PM, pontoontodd said:

B and I did a little reverse engineering of the Subaru ABS system last night.  Under no circumstances should you modify or alter your ABS system or its function.  Do not try this at home or at all.  Here is what we found:

SUBARU%20ABS.JPG

The unit we disassembled was from a 2000+ car with the ABS control system as one unit with the solenoids.  The one we've been experimenting with most successfully is in the lower left of the picture from a 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback.  It has a big center wire to power the solenoids and eight separate ground wires.  The top row of solenoids definitely closes off the wheel circuits.  I assume the bottom row opens them to the pump or dumps them back to the master but we couldn't get the pump to pump anything anywhere.  It would make a little turbulence or bubbling at that "passage to pump" in the middle of the diagram but couldn't ever get it to pump.  Tried powering one or all of the bottom solenoids, tried powering pairs of top and bottom solenoids, no significant pumping anywhere.  We tried bleeding it but maybe it still had air.  Does anyone know the specifics of where the brake fluid is pumped to and from?  Also, I remember reading about a procedure using the Subaru Select Monitor that would pressurize each individual wheel cylinder but can't find it anymore, if anyone could point me to that I'd appreciate it.

Are you trying to make your ABS unit a Traction Contol unit ? With the help of two friends, we are trying to find out if it is possible using a Arduino. It would be for offroad use only.

Starts here, but for now its just some brainstorming : https://www.forum4x4.org/threads/117587-Subaru-forester?p=3747436&viewfull=1#post3747436

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, jf1sf5 said:

Are you trying to make your ABS unit a Traction Contol unit ? With the help of two friends, we are trying to find out if it is possible using a Arduino. It would be for offroad use only.

Starts here, but for now its just some brainstorming : https://www.forum4x4.org/threads/117587-Subaru-forester?p=3747436&viewfull=1#post3747436

Eventually we might try that but for now we're just using it for manual brake control.

One problem with the units we've experimented with is that the pump pumps fluid from the calipers to the master.  So in order to use it to pressurize some of the calipers, the brake pedal must be depressed slightly so the fluid can build up pressure and not just pump back into the reservoir.  Slammo suggested that a twelve solenoid ABS unit as used in cars with brake based traction control (such as Subaru VDC) should be able to do this without pressing on the brake pedal.  As scalman has pointed out, the Subaru VDC system already does this, so if you really want it you can just buy a Subaru with VDC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

 

One problem with the units we've experimented with is that the pump pumps fluid from the calipers to the master.  So in order to use it to pressurize some of the calipers, the brake pedal must be depressed slightly so the fluid can build up pressure and not just pump back into the reservoir.  Slammo suggested that a twelve solenoid ABS unit as used in cars with brake based traction control (such as Subaru VDC) should be able to do this without pressing on the brake pedal.  As scalman has pointed out, the Subaru VDC system already does this, so if you really want it you can just buy a Subaru with VDC.

This is what we found out too but I don't want to change my SF for a Forester with VDC (SG phase II) so we will try to retrofit an ABS/VDC unit in my old SF and power the VDC through an Arduino. Well, its a project....

In the real world, my air piston lift system works pretty well, here is a video shot in Corsica where the 30cm (at lowest part) of ground clearance weren't too much

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Latest structural reinforcement to the 99 Outback was to tie all the trailing arm and subframe bolts together and run a longer subframe bolt through the floor.  Welded this plate on the top, overlaps the plate for the trailing arm bolts.  Tack welds are holding a crush sleeve on.

IMG_8368s.jpg

Painted and reassembled.  Paint turned out like crap because it was either too cold and/or the primer wasn't dry enough.  Unimportant for this repair.

IMG_8382s.jpg

 

Welded a plate underneath to the front edge of the trailing arm plate I'd welded on earlier and to as much of the body "frame rail" as I could.

IMG_8370s.jpg

 

IMG_8374s.jpg

IMG_8380s.jpg

We cut out and ground flush the tubes we'd welded in in Vegas.  I was originally going to weld in other tubing but I think the fabricated strut towers will be good enough.  Might make some bolt in triangulation for desert racing.  Will be a paint to get in and out of the back seat so I'd leave them out most of the time, just bolt them in for racing.

 

Meanwhile M and B replaced the engine mounts on my 2002 Outback.  Both pairs I had when I swapped the engine in were split, these were actually the best.  You can see that you could pull them apart by hand if you really tried.  B also replaced the front control arm bushings that have been worn out an noisy all year.  Still need to replace the trans mount but that should be much easier.

IMG_8375s.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Replaced the trans mount, both the used ones I'd had when I put it in were split like this:

IMG_8421s.jpg

That long stud keeps it from moving too far but the less engine and trans movement the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice. so stock forester still had fun with you, and its stock. means you dont need to go full baja to have fun on tracks do you ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, scalman said:

nice. so stock forester still had fun with you, and its stock. means you dont need to go full baja to have fun on tracks do you ? 

Yes, but he wasn't hitting any sweet jumps or whoops, had to go slower on the rough trails than we did, and he still bent a strut.  Of course stock Subarus are fun, they're just more fun when you can hit jumps, go faster, and not have to worry about bending struts.  He's put AGX struts on it since then so we're curious to see how those ride and hold up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, pontoontodd said:

Yes, but he wasn't hitting any sweet jumps or whoops, had to go slower on the rough trails than we did, and he still bent a strut.  Of course stock Subarus are fun, they're just more fun when you can hit jumps, go faster, and not have to worry about bending struts.  He's put AGX struts on it since then so we're curious to see how those ride and hold up.

Hey scalman, have fun doing what you do and others may do so differently. Yes, anyone can have fun with whatever they have. To each his/her own; PT is not trying to prove anything here but no doubt there is a difference... if you can't see that from Lithuania, that is your problem, not 'ol todd's.

The difference between stock or AGX and long travel is night and day. The AGX will hold up, I have them, they work great; much better than stock for aggressive driving, in my opinion. Long travel is a blast and a totally different beast. I like the clips at speed with all the whoops, vid car driving on the road next to the long travel and you can clearly see the wheel travel... what a blast that must be! My car would buck me to death and rattle itself apart at that speed.

Also, nice that you finally tackled those rear strut towers. About time.

K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pontoontodd, what fox shock style was used for your rear strut?  Was it a smooth bore with spring perches welded on?  Also how well do those things take to being introduced to welding heat?

I'm trying to plan out a nutty sort of offroad vehicle with Subie drivetrain underneath.  I need to create new A-arm for the application anyway and your long travel results are impressive for a fellow DIYer.

Cheers,
-Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, unenthuzed said:

pontoontodd, what fox shock style was used for your rear strut?  Was it a smooth bore with spring perches welded on?  Also how well do those things take to being introduced to welding heat?

I'm trying to plan out a nutty sort of offroad vehicle with Subie drivetrain underneath.  I need to create new A-arm for the application anyway and your long travel results are impressive for a fellow DIYer.

Cheers,
-Alex

No, we're not welding on Fox shocks.  We use a lot of Fox parts but many of the parts are custom machined and fabricated.  If you start here you can see how they're put together:

https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?page=25&tab=comments#comment-1355228

If you're using a-arm suspension just use threaded body coilover shocks - Fox, King, etc.  Depending on what you're doing with it I would look into some of the position sensitive single shock options - internal bypass (IBP) or coilpass (bypass tubes above coil springs).  Otherwise most offroad racers run two shocks per corner, one is basically just a coil carrier with a little damping and the other has external bypass tubes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link & info.  I was trying to make a guess on their construction based on the Mark I dampers early in the thread!

Also congrats on becoming a Super User [1000 posts ;D]

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work on the wheel well repairs.

For your ABS experiments I can't add any useful technical info, but I will give you a Public Service Announcement warning: Brake systems are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000-4000 PSI (if I recall correctly). Pinhole leaks at pressures above 2000 PSI create a fluid jet powerful enough to cut body parts off. Make sure when you're doing your experimentation with the ABS pump that your lines are rust free, fittings are tight, etc. If you have an open line and you cycle the pump, be very cautious with where that line is pointed. An open line won't have enough pressure to cut body parts, but it could certainly send a high pressure jet of fluid bouncing all over the place and into someone's eye.

With that said I'm eager to see what you're up to with the ABS testing, I'm not quite sure from what you've said so far what functionality you're going for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all we're up to now.  Bracket we made that screws to the sides of the radio to mount a tablet and pushbuttons for the brakes.

IMG_8440s.jpg

It's a compromise as always, I don't use the radio controls much.  You can still get to the HVAC and radio controls as this sticks out a few inches.  Didn't mount the tablet high like my 99 since the vents are higher.  I also drive it on the street with the airbag fuse in so shouldn't put a tablet in front of that.

IMG_8442s.jpg

The rigid tablet mount is much better than the RAM mounts.  Those basically work but it moves around too much to use while driving sometimes and is more difficult to install and remove the tablet.

The buttons are set up so if you push any combination of them and hit the brake pedal, only those brakes will be applied.  We tested on snow recently and the left front and right front definitely just lock up those corners, the rears don't really.  Not sure if that is related to the auto trans center diff deal or the rear brakes being smaller or something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Latest project was reinforcing the rear part of the 99 Outback.  Made braces for each side that tied together the (rarely used) spare strut mounts, strut towers, trailing arm bracket, and bottom of cage/jack.  We gusseted the strut top mounts to the tube (see below).  They don't restrict access to the back seat area much and are removable.  Something like this but going back and down to the rear bumper bolts would be a good reinforcement for a car that's getting rusty and/or doesn't have a cage.  Could add a spare tire mount to one or both sides too.

IMG_8521s.jpg

Welded and painted.

IMG_8534s.jpg

At the same time B pulled out the interior in the left rear corner so we could take a closer look at that strut tower/wheel well.  The rear portion is worse than the right side but the front portion is fairly intact.  Definitely plan on refabbing the rear portion of the wheel well but still thinking about how far I want to go.  It appears the floor near the LR wheel well is pushed up some, maybe 1/2", not sure if or how we can reverse that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool stuff. Bit by bit soon youll have it in full excosceleton.

With your h6 engine how you protected it from water splashes and such from bottom as those ignition coils are so low. How you sealed air box, or made new one? What most parts there that could be affected damaged by water in your opinion?

I got cilinder misfirer after crossing deeper mud waters ,, so i changed that one coil , but how to protect those parts from water as they so low there. 

Edited by scalman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, scalman said:

Cool stuff. Bit by bit soon youll have it in full excosceleton.

With your h6 engine how you protected it from water splashes and such from bottom as those ignition coils are so low. How you sealed air box, or made new one? What most parts there that could be affected damaged by water in your opinion?

I got cilinder misfirer after crossing deeper mud waters ,, so i changed that one coil , but how to protect those parts from water as they so low there. 

My 99 has a full skidplate under the engine that keeps it fairly dry.  It occasionally runs rough after driving in a lot of standing water.  My 2002 just has a skid under the oil pan though and I haven't had a problem with it running rough in wet conditions.  Yours is newer though.

Back when my 99 had the EJ25 I sealed the ignition wires going to the sparkplugs with grease and that seemed to help when driving through a lot of water.  I posted about it way back on this thread.  Not sure if that would help the EZ30.  One thing I did on my 99 that seemed to help was to zip tie the coil pack wires on.  If you pre bend them into squares it's pretty easy to do with the engine in the car.  I think I posted about that on this thread too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×