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Jormungarde

98 Legacy Outback Lift/Build

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Started out looking like this, purchased from a family friend. It was not so sound mechanically, but it had no rust anywhere! I got tired of hearing clanks when my '03 Altima got  bottomed out on gravel roads, and I seek remote areas for camping and fishing to avoid crowds and experience *somewhat* pristine nature. Bone Stock!

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First thing I did was replace blown speakers and a cassette deck head unit(whats a cassette?) and toss a sub under the driver's seat. After some repairs like the cv boot that no longer existed, along with a bunch of minor problems like rear window washer fluid pump, ac compressor, and other stuff I can't remember, it was running pretty well for a car on bald tires.

 

Once I decided to lift it, I held off on replacing the bald tires and drove my other vehicle (cheating, I know :( ) until I could figure out what, where, and how that lift would happen. I have no tools, and limited mechanical knowledge, but a mechanic that has worked on all my cars to date was willing to lend a hand on the weekend. Ran into some issues, and out of time, leaving this interesting situation:

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Was hard to drive without an upper radiator hose and the air box, so it had to sit until the project could continue...

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Got creative this past weekend and fixed some of the issues, having an experienced mechanic to help made a huge difference, especially untangling the mess of tubes for the air box.

 

 

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The driveline was dangling at the center knuckle, and I had to figure out some reasonable hack job to keep it in the same place. Luckily there isn't a whole lot of stress on this part of it and some old threaded plumbing tube along with spare washers and long partially threaded bolts did the trick. It was grinding slightly on the rear tunnel, so I added more washers until it stopped. Also removed the rear swaybar to aid installation of the struts, and left it off.

Cable ties are my current solution for anything dangling, and that includes the e-brake lines.

 

 

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Phase one of the build is done, lift blocks and subframe spacers are on, random other bits figured out and it drives! Like a boat, but that can be fixed.

 

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Back in my 'driveway'.

 

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Edited by Jormungarde
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On the driveline bearing mount you can just spin the mount 180 and bolt back up, may give enuf lift

 

I did try that, but I wasn't able to get the mount close enough to bolt with the original hardware, and the driveline was at a really sharp angle that way. I tried to keep it as straight as I could (within reason), and this also prevented the driveline from grinding on the rear driveline tunnel.

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Now go find some wheel spacers and put some better tires under it.At least so it doesn't look so top heavy.

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Finished bolting in the 4 pt harness (hope the coppers don't mind), washed the car which it desperately needed, and put on my decal. There was a guy not long ago in the Portland area who was driving subarus a few blocks and removing batteries and any valuables left in the car, probably with a jiggle key. I also had a car stolen last year, and I'm still in the same area- want to make this thing as visible as possible so its easy to find. Also good luck fitting in the narrow seat, I'm a beanpole  :) .

 

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I can see through the windshield again!

 

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Now go find some wheel spacers and put some better tires under it.At least so it doesn't look so top heavy.

 

Yeah, I dropped by Les Schwab on saturday to see what they could do- the only wheels they had with this bolt pattern were positive offset by at least 40mm, and I'd ideally like a wheel that has a negative offset or neutral so I don't have top space the wheel out half a foot. I'm planning to drop by SSI on monday and see what kind of solutions they can offer. Unless anyone here has some leads, in which case I wouldn't mind looking elsewhere!

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What is your solution to the spring perch? Other than strut bottom extensions, too late for that  :P . 4 inches of backspacing seems like a real pain in the posterior, but at the end of the day, does it matter if the wheel is backspaced or a negative offset wheel with less backspacing?

 

The wheels that I WANT are Allied Daytona wheels, where you can essentially choose the offset you want, but sadly the bolt pattern is wrong for that, and I would prefer to avoid the hassle of redrilling or using an adapter (I haven't got the equipment for that, do you?). What I figured is I would try to find a wheel that fits the 5x100 bolt pattern that has something less than the stock +40mm offset, and work with backspacing from there.

 

However, despite my research I have been unable to find such a wheel, and that is why I am turning to USMB for help, because I am outmatched here :(.

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What size tire you trying to run agin? There is a 5x100 wheel out there that has a high offset but you'll still need spacer even with them... Really the wrorst thing about EJ Subaru struts.

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I would like to run a 31 inch tire, but would also be fine settling with a 29-30 inch tire if that meant not butchering my fenders.

 

Is there a 'standard' way to fit tires on these cars when they would be too tall for the spring perch? Wheel spacers? 

 

I don't plan to do any extreme wheeling, but I am also not certain that the stock aluminum wheels will hold up- that being the main reason I was considering other wheels. 

Edited by Jormungarde

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I would like to run a 31 inch tire, but would also be fine settling with a 29-30 inch tire if that meant not butchering my fenders.

 

Is there a 'standard' way to fit tires on these cars when they would be too tall for the spring perch? Wheel spacers? 

 

I don't plan to do any extreme wheeling, but I am also not certain that the stock aluminum wheels will hold up- that being the main reason I was considering other wheels. 

Actually on a pound on pound basis the aluminum wheels actually *are* stronger than steel wheels.With the strength however comes brittleness.Hit something hard and cheap aluminum wheels will crack,steel wheels will bend, but the steel can be hammered out again.

 

there was a video that I can't seem to find.Anyway the video mounted just the wheel to the front suspension and crashed into/ran over a cinder block at 35 mph.Factory steel wheels bent enough to stop rotating,aftermarket steel wheels bent alot but still rotated,factory alloy wheels bounced over the cinder block with no damage,cheap alloy wheels cracked and bent.

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Thats interesting. I know the biggest reason that steel is taken offroad is that if you bend a rim, you can bend it back and get back to camp/home etc. However, I plan to carry a fullsize spare and use in in my tire rotation- would just need to find another one of these stock wheels. And if I do start doing extreme wheeling, I need to rethink my vehicle, not just the wheel. Legacy Outback Limited is one of the heaviest vehicles subaru has made so far.

 

Thank you for your input, got me past my overthinking and I know what I want to do now :). Just need to find a 2 inch wheel adapter/spacer and get some new rubber on this thing. 

 

Next steps will be tying all the subframe together with a tube underframe, and bracing the strut top extensions and subframe spacers, along with rerouting the exhaust so it doesn't dangle so low.

 

Here it is dangling.

 

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just go wheeling a couple times.The exhaust will self clearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and make funny whistling noises.

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Its been a while since I was able to work on the car, since medical issues ate up my entire yearly deductible in a month, but I am back at it again, and working with Les Schwab to get wheels and tires!

 

There should be more pics coming soon of it once I get those mounted after some fender bashing (I mean 'massage'), and I will be rerouting the exhaust and probably sticking on a glasspack in a couple weeks with help from a friend. The current muffler is gigantic and won't fit where I want it to at the moment. Once I have that stuff done, I just need to wheel it a bit and see what its capable of and where it needs help. Will probably head to Brownscamp or Sand Lake for that!

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Finally got my new wheels and tires on this thing!

 

Allied Daytona 15x7 wheels

Maxxis Bighorn 235/75/r15 tires

2 inch billet aluminum 5x100-5x4.5 bolt conversion spacer

Little bit of trimming was necessary to make them fit, but nothing serious.

Bumper shell and grille are off, most likely permanently- tube bumper will come later.

 

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Looks like you still need a bit more massaging at the rear of the front fenders and front of the rear fenders,but other than that MUCH BETTER!

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Hi everyone, the trip to Browns Camp went well, but some officers of the police variety determined my fenders and mudguards were lacking, and I happened to get a few feet of air at Sand Lake, totally destroying my front struts! I swear the tires only stuck out 4.5 inches, don't see what the big deal is here :P

 

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I wore about 3/16 of tread off the shoulder of the front passenger side tire on the 100 mile trip back, couldn't afford a tow, whoops.

 

 

 

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 New vs old strut, spring is totally shot and strut bottom is warped.

 

 

It was an excellent excuse to put on my brand new 04 Forester struts that were gathering dust in the garage, along with some Flexy Flares I found on amazon, and some mudflaps so it attracts less police attention.

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While removing the front swaybar with an angle grinder, I slipped and put a hole in a steel power steering line. I'm a real idiot sometimes, and this was probably one of the dumbest things I've done in a while. Thankfully, I remedied the problem by using transmission oil cooler hose hose rated to 400 psi and securing it over the leak with 3 5/16" fuel injector hose clamps.

 

Previous attempts with normal hose clamps, radiator hose, jb weld, and 'just driving it' failed horribly and I do NOT recommend those options.

 

 

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Successful cheap leak fix!

 

 

Its running, driving and ready to kick more rump roast. There is a check engine light, PO463, fuel level sensor has a short somewhere that I need to find, but its not really urgent thankfully.

 

For those wondering that don't want to scroll up, its a 6" SJR lift for the EJ engine, this car is a 98 Legacy Outback Limited (Unlimited now that I've gutted it :D) with 235/75/r15 Maxxis Bighorn MT tires and Allied Daytona 5x4.5 bolt pattern wheels. The wheels are on there using a 2" thick billet aluminum wheel spacer/ adapter- forgot where I found them.

The 04 Forester struts bolted right in (swaybars have to be off, or you will need a really big crowbar and strut spring compressors) and seem to be a bit stiffer with far better damping in addition to a modest increase in ride height.

 

 

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I also scuffed up the silver part of the paint and sprayed on some bedliner to hold it over until I remove all the paint and start to Mad Max this thing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jormungarde
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The future of this build will involve some creative exhaust work, a rust paint coat, tube underframe and probably exo-cage, along with a 250 whp ej25 engine rebuild with turboback exhaust (this won't be in DEQ for long), and potentially a

 

custom double wishbone front suspension setup so I can jump it. In addition I need to build front and rear bumpers with hitch recievers to mount my 12,000lb winch on when I need it, along with another front seat, and bucket seat bench

 

replacements in the back, nerf bars for mounting the harnesses, and probably a lot more stuff I forgot about. It never ends though, does it? I appreciate any and all feedback and comments, hope its somewhat interesting to watch the journey!

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im surprized i havent seen this thing around town . i drive the 6 inch lifted gl thats i teuck bed coated green . i work part time at ssi also

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