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300,000 miles and counting

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I'm really enjoying old George.  One thing I've learned is that George REALLY prefers hi test gas.  He has expensive taste, lol. 

 

I really wish there was some way to make a VW diesel work in one of these.  My husband really likes George too, and he half wants one of his own, but his commute is so long that gassing up every couple days would break the bank.

 

On another note, how often do the coils fail on the EJ22?  I have an occasional misfire/stutter that occurs usually when the engine is cold, and always when it's raining.  I've replaced the plugs and plug wires, so I'm thinking that the culprit may be cylinder 4 coil (or am I completely wrong?)

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They are not a very common fail point, but at 300,000 miles plus could certainly be. Especially if you're sure about your plug wires.

 

the correlation to rain sure sounds like an electrical issue.

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Yep, brand new wires and plugs (used the recommended brands there, too, might as well they're cheap enough, lol). Guess I'll be checking with the dealership for the coil.  Can't hurt to replace it.

 

I'm continually amazed by the dealership support for the older models.  I seriously went through hell and back looking for parts for my Audi.  When I needed to replace the control arms, I was told by all the dealerships (and quite a few vendors) that the parts were NLA, but there was one control arm, located in Germany, that could be shipped in for me...at a cost of $500.00!!  I did eventually find them (Blauparts, if there's anyone on this forum with old VW/Audis).  Subaru is such a contrast! I've found every part I've needed for my 20 year old car with no problem.  This forum has been a wealth of info, also, so thanks! :)

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I have a customer whos 09 Outback has 255k on it. Runs great, consumes some oil, but what newer engine doesn't.

I replaced the HGs on it at 230k.

 

Customer loves his car and hates the newer outbacks. He's hopping to get 400+k out of the car

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George probably burns a little oil, but the amount must be minuscule, because the level on the dipstick never really changes.

 

I'll admit, I don't much care for the newer models either.  Late 90's to early 00's, but any newer than that, they just look like any other SUV on the road.

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Replaced the coil pack...and George approves!  The misfire seems to be gone.  I'll be saving the old one as a spare, because it did work, just not great.  But better than nothing if I need one.

 

Next problem...AC.  I had it checked out, and seems to not have any leaks (good), but doesn't turn on.  My friend told me the first thing to check is the climate control module, then the relay.  If neither one of those is the problem, I'm looking at having to spend some money.

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FYI, some aftermarket headlights SUCK!!  I bought a set, and off the car they look great, but the fit is spoob.  Guess I'll just have to clean the old ones up a bit.

 

Part of the fitment issue might be the fact that ole George has some minor front end damage (crinkled hood)...and that most of the tabs that attach the light to the car are broken off.  They were secured with zip ties.  Pretty special.

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Guest Soob4ME

The problem with the 4EAT transmission is that it doesn't lock the torque converter under coasting conditions to save gas. You're only hope for good fuel economy is to keep your speed up enough in the highest gear to keep the torque converter locked and when accelerating, use momentum and use the gas like an old man. I get 33mpg out of a 96 Camry with 392,000 miles on it doing 90mph on the interstate for nearly an hour and rarely do I have to use the brakes.

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Fuel mileage on the old guy is about 27mpg, George has a 5mt, and easily cruises at highway speeds.  I'm not complaining, lol.  My husband was driving a VW Golf TDI, and was routinely getting around 50 mpg, so while 30 mpg isn't bad, it's not quite as good.  Still, much better than what he gets with the truck (about 16 mpg).  He really like the torque of a diesel...and that IS a lot of fun. 

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George is currently sitting at 348K miles, and so far, everything is going well.

 

Next up on the Fix it list will be new wheel bearing (got some noise going on there), rebooting the CVs (got some grease going on there)and that should be about it.

 

I'm going to start the hunt for a spare set of wheels, so I can have some snow tires mounted up and ready for winter.

 

The fitment issues I had with the aftermarket lights was definitely due to the body damage.  We used pliers, a crow bar and a small hammer to beat the crinkled area back to an approximation of it's original place, and replaced the old lights with the ones from Killer the Legacy (after using a headlight restoration kit).  They fit much better, and work a million times better, so at least now night time driving won't be quite as much of an adventure as it has been, lol.

 

The hunt continues for a second Outback for the hubby (he really likes George).

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George goes to get the timing belt done this week (about time right?)

 

My husband found himself a 96 OB for $500.00.  Only problem is that it's an automatic (yuck), and has a 2.5 with a blown head gasket (big surprise).  He's thinking about picking it up, and spending some $ having the HG replaced in the 97 Legacy, then switching engine/trans/diff into this 96.  Should just be a direct swap, yes?

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Hubby's Outback fell through, so at this time, he is considering a Crosstrek.  Eww, car payments.

 

New Year's eve fun was replacing the fuel pump...George's decided that coldest day of the year so far was a perfect time to die.  To make matters better, we are both trying to recover from the flu, but it had to get done.  We snagged the fuel pump out of Killer the Legacy, and swapped them out.  It's nice to have a parts car in the yard...even though it takes up space, it's really nice to have it sitting there so we can actually see the part in the place it's supposed to be...no hunting for it, lol.  It's also nice to be able to experiment with removal techniques....I'd rather break crap on the donor   :D 

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The saga continues....we also need to swap out the fuel pump relay.  This is a very fun job in below zero wind chills.  So far, the only job that compares to removal and replacement of this oh-so-accesible part is replacing the shift linkage bushings. 

 

We have the relay, just haven't accessed George's relay yet to remove and replace it.  This will probably happen tomorrow, since the wind is supposed to die down some by then.  The best part is that George died at work, so I have to travel to get to it, but at least my boss doesn't mind me leaving it.

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Guest Soob4ME

So, I'm gonna tell you guys a story about how I obtained my current Subaru, a 2000 base Outback 5 speed with upgraded 6 disc cd changer and winter weather package. It has 260,000 miles on it and had around 245,000 on it when I bought it. I'll fill you in real quick on my families Subaru history. When I was born in 1985, my parents owned an '81 standard hatchback. Front wheel drive, round headlights, 4 speed with manual steering. They also had a nicer 1984 Mercury Lynx 5 speed with bucket seats but still manual windows. That one had a/c, the Subaru was a barren work vehicle. Dad was a block mason and worked on the road a lot with his twin brother and their younger brother. With all three of them, my dad and his brother being right at 6ft and a little over 200 each and a slightly smaller younger brother in the back seat, all three of their tool boxes which had larger hammers and pry bars with their suitcases stacked on top, and other things like a toaster oven with some iron cookware in the back seat next to the younger brother. They traveled many of the neighboring states like Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Arkansas and as far North as Ohio in that car. Down here in the South we don't get much snow and in 1993 we had a blizzard in March that dumped a foot of snow overnight and another foot through the next day. And it happened while dad was out of town and mom told me and my younger sister that he was gonna try to come home. We were ELATED that he was coming home. He always cooked big dinners and took us out to go see family or to pick up firewood and all these early memories that were so dear to me always had that old brown Subaru attached to them. And this was the event that sticks out in my mind the most as the moment that an inanimate object seemed like a friend. As the snow started falling at dusk, it didn't take long for the ground to start seeming lighter and lighter. We watched and watched and even as it got darker the snow reflecting more and more light seemed to make time stand still for a short while. We went outside with moms supervision all layered up and trying to eat it. We went inside and just sat at the window in the den (larger room with old school cast iron franklin stove that we used to heat the house. The den was an enclosed carport so the wall connected to the rest of the house was bare brick and the rest of the room was dark wood paneling. The ocean blue floor was wavy from not fitting quite right and I would build ships out of legos and pretend it was the ocean EL OH EL) and watched the snow COVER everything. Well past dark, there were already cars having trouble pushing through the snow and the banked uphill left hander would ALWAYS have cars in it. It's a particularly steep bank but feels good at 25mph. Crawling through snow, most people would end up in the deep ditch on the downhill side. We started to worry. They were in Ohio and would be driving through the full brunt most of the trip. So we sat, and sat, and watched. Fewer and fewer cars, some trucks but even most trucks were having a hard time. And I remember no lights being on, just the door of the fireplace open so there was an orange glow and plenty of warmth. So we just sat right there and sometime past midnight we heard it. There was no mistaking the sound, classic Subaru. Lawnmower mixed with sewing machine. And there were headlights. Snow piled up on the bumper, having to reverse and charge forward to shove through the mountain of snow in front of the car. My sister went to go wake mom up and I just watched as it kept trudging through and just kept doing so right through the corner and into the driveway where they got out and came inside. They got inside and dried off, and nobody bothered going anywhere besides a bed. The next morning they cooked up a huge breakfast with pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, and spent the rest of the day sledding and building a HUGE snowman. Never completed it, we just rolled the base until even with me, my sister, my dad and both his brothers couldn't move it. Anyway, that whole snowy blizzard made me love two things. Snow and Subarus. That car had so much character on top of being a hero anyway! So my dad sold that car when I was 10 and bought a 1994 Ford Thunderbird V8. SWEET car. Transmission problems in a couple years. I think the Lynx died from being overheated at 200,000 miles and I think that's the mileage the Subaru had on it when we got rid of it. It got driven a whole lot in rough conditions overfilled with cargo and it wasn't until the man who bought it from my dad retired it FIVE YEARS AGO. He said it had very close to 500,000 but rust had completely eaten the body up. That was that mans first Subaru and he had owned several dozen others on the side and worked on them out of his garage. There's just something about these cars, they really are something special. Then, in 2001, my dad bought a 1996 Toyota Camry and never looked back. His last Subaru was a 1993 Loyale wagon, front wheel drive JATCO THREE SPEED. Horribly underpowered turd of a car but it really was a pleasure to drive down twisty rough roads. That car solidified my love for manual transmissions and of Subarus as well. Plenty of adventures in that car. It never broke 200,000 but I saw it on several different occasions for several years after I sold it. So my next car was a 1990 two door Honda Accord. I liked the visibility, the power, the interior, and the CD player with decent sound. Swore off Subarus for about six months but there was a lot of feel that car lacked. Didn't feel as balanced or planted despite being stiffer with lots more power. Save up a few thousand dollars from my bagboy at Ingles grocery store half a mile from my house and buy a $1500 1987 Subaru GL 5spd d/r. Rolldown windows, FAR superior to the Loyales electric windows. A smooth shifting transmission was a true treat. Had aluminum rally wheels and was twilight blue. Tinted windows all the way around too. I liked it a lot. Did some work to it and roadtripped it to Missouri Valley Iowa to see my dad where we went to Omaha Zoo which was AMAZING. Third biggest zoo in the nation at the time. Did some 4 wheeling on some unmaintained farm roads and got stuck and had to rely on the kindness of strangers who worked at a tractor lot and helped me pull my car out by using the biggest, widdest tractor they had. double wheeled front and rear. Pretty sweet getting to ride in that thing even though it was for one person. That was one cool machine. Only thing I had to do was wash the tractor after with a pressure washer supplied by them of course. Wasn't a super dirty tractor but it had certainly been a while since it was that clean. They seemed delighted when I was done. Continued on to Denver where the altitude killed my old carbureted EA82s power output. I did use low range much of my time driving in straight lines up or downhill, worked fantastic. Stayed a night, enjoyed the scenary, met up with some local Subaru enthusiasts and did a little off roading on an old rutted out lot with a twenty foot pile of dirt in the middle of it, took pictures, and talked about eachothers rides. Saw some sweet gems out there and I was very fortunate to see some of them. A few of them had quite a reputation here on this site for either being original and clean or very tastefully restored with nice upgrades like EJ22s under the hood and pug wheels. Enjoyed my time there, hit the road and took a different route back. Came down into KY through Louisville and experienced some absolutely terrible roads. So bad that the car developed rattles it didn't have before the trip. Car took it like a champ otherwise, enjoyed driving through the beautiful city, and got home as the sun was coming up with no feeling in my right butt cheek. Those terrible 1980s seats... My longest stretch was 14 hours and that was coming through KY into East TN and not stopping unless it was for gas. The whole trip, the car didn't burn ANY oil. The motor was in truly great shape. Few months later somebody pulls out in front of me with my friend on the passenger side who I was driving home from his first job interview which he just nailed and got hired because of and wasn't wearing his SEAT BELT. Hit other car head on because they tried to turn in front of me even though I had the green light and my very large football player friend hit the windshield and dash, scraping lots of tissue from his head and knocking the breath out of him. He spent a little time in the hospital but mostly he was just extremely soar and needed to heal up. This put me on a path of buying and owning lots of 1980s Subarus but not quite finding what I was looking for. In 2008 I had decided I wanted a 1996 five speed Subaru Outback. The very first year of the real Outback and only the five speed came with the slightly less powerful but absolutely bulletproof EJ22 engine. 186,000 miles, much higher than I was willing to spring for. Then I saw it in person. Idaho native, had been in TN for five years. Garage kept, dog owner, NON SMOKER. the car was BEAUTIFUL. DROVE LIKE A BRAND NEW CAR. Obviously had been babied its' whole life. Enjoy it stock for a year, lift it on king springs with Forester rims and slightly oversized Yokohama Geolanders. A couple PIAA fogs on the bumper and a hitch around back to protect the rear bumper and I was ready. Went 4 wheeling with lifted Jeeps, Broncos, Tahoes, Ford trucks, Chevy trucks, Nissan trucks, but ironically never found myself in a situation with any sort of Toyota truck or SUV. I was always looking for one to show up but it never happened. Roll that car in 2011 driving irresponsibly, salvage all the good parts including engine. Had 250,000 miles on it at the time. My sisters 1996 Legacy that she had had for a year by that time burned a valve so we just threw my motor in there. Here it is six years later and she's still tickin along! Her car now has slightly higher mileage than my current Outback, and that puts the engine at close to 300,000. Now let me tell you about my current Outback...

 

After the first Outback I owned a 1995 Brighton Legacy whose transmission eventually went out after having it a year, traded it for an '84 hardtop Subaru DL. Five speed front wheel drive, manual steering, manual windows, and just enough rust to look sweet. I fell in love for that car. Drove it for five years, putting a 4 speed trans in place of the very worn out five speed, a Weber on top of a lower mileage EA81. The original motor was the smaller EA71 and when I bought the car the owner said the speedo stopped working sometime in 2008 (same year I bought my first Outback) and had stopped at 256,000 miles. My occupation for the last two years I owned the car was Life Wireless rep, handing out government cell phones to people on government assistance. I traveled ALL OVER Kentucky for two solid years in that car and totally and utterly LOVED driving that car. Those were some beautiful trips in a very fun, beautiful car. This car is in essence the same car as my dad's first Subaru. That car opened me up to what Subaru REALLY was. The simplicity, the overall structure being so solid after so many years despite cheap plastic falling apart on the interior, the RELIABILITY. The only other car I've ever owned that was as reliable as that car was the 1996 Toyota Camry my dad replaced with his last Subaru. When I sold the aging 2 door just a few years ago, I replaced it with a 1994 Subaru Legacy wagon, 4eat AWD. Otherwise, it's a base model with rolldown windows. Well hell I'll be damned if I didn't absolutely love that car too!!! Also was giving away phones and got to drive that car quite a bit in KY. Had 245,000 on it when I bough it and now sits in the yard with 269,000, needing axles and having a burnt valve. Been sitting for a year, but it's worth fixing and I will get around to it. After I parked it, I went Subaruless for about two years. My dad had recently died and I wasn't making enough money to fix the Legacy being that it's a commission job and things were slowing down, the Camry became my next car in 2014. I got a job detailing cars at Ford. After working there for a few months I see a moss green second gen Outback sitting in the customer parking area. I walk by it as I'm casually strolling the lot to see if a salesman maybe had a customer about to trade in their old ride and I could go clean it up and make the money. Not much was going on, took a look and saw the manual trans and took a closer look. 245,000... naw. Never owned an EJ25, heard the stories. Not making enough money and the Camry, while being soul-crushingly boring, was reliable. Despite having over 300,000 miles on it. Had been across the country, twice. And to Canada, a few times. Dad had gotten into the union when he bought that car and worked big jobs out of state. Several nuclear power plants, some stuff he even had to have security clearances for. He was just a pipefitter, not like he knew any big secrets but saw some cool sites including the giant Sequoias and Niagra Falls during his travels. That car was very comfortable on the highway, more so than the Subarus. They were scramblers, fast acceleration and a stiffer ride made for more fun in the corners. But the Camry specialized in straight line plushness and comfort while having a very roomy trunk, in a car that's not too big! I could see why dad liked it being on the highway so much. None of the Subarus he owned were ever geared high enough for the 90mph he liked to run on the interstate. I kept it clean working at Ford, no hubcaps left and lots of paint chipping off the front edge of the hood with sun damage to the roof and tops of the bumpers. Slight scrape on the passenger side door from an H2 not being able to see us behind it. Barely any damage, otherwise it actually looked good when it was clean.

 

So, it was good enough. I shouldn't try to take any risks, I would have to take a loan out to get it and it would be my first loan EVER. And plus the last three of the vin are 666, another sign it's not meant to be. Well, I'll at least keep an eye out and see if the dude trades. He did, traded for a 2000 Chevy S-10 crew cab, tan with less than 100,000 miles on it. I actually cleaned it, and noticed it was in good shape and drove well. Had maybe been on the lot a couple weeks. So, I grab the Outback and take it for a trip across the street to a gravel parking lot before taking it around back to clean. Hmm, the seat is more comfortable than the other Subarus I had owned. Needs a muffler gasket but could hear how smooth the engine idled despite a check engine light. Brake light on, and I can hear a high pitched whirring sound coming from the front of the engine. Do some smooth but aggressive launches in the gravel and hear a popping, sounded like a ball joint. But... NO noise coming from the transmission. Not even on the road could I hear the transmission making any noise. That's unusual... no leaks? Anywhere? Headgaskets have been replaced. Hmmm... I'm thinking now... and I didn't think long. I bought it, put an alternator and new battery in it, new ball joint, and quit my job and in the same day landed a job at the Subaru dealership washing cars, not fully detailing them. Hourly instead of commission. I love the company so it's worth the SIXTY MILE ONE WAY COMMUTE. About 3 months in the slave cylinder for the clutch got pretty bad. The clutch was sticking quite a bit and started to feel unsafe sometimes. So since I was working 60 hours a week at the busiest Subaru dealership in the entire southeast (let alone it's also a Hyundai dealership) I just never felt like dealing with it. And it really needed brakes and a timing belt and water pump and thermostat since those were unknowns and I had put 15,000 miles on it in just a few months. So I bought everything to do the work including all the seals for the engine minus the oil pan gasket and rear main and let it sit at a friends house until I had time to come over and pull it in his basement to do the work. While I was enjoying the Camrys 3,000rpms at 80mph as opposed to the ridiculously low geared 4.11 5spd turning nearly a thousand more rpms at those speeds. Everything else about the car deactivated my drive and I worked as a slave for exactly a year and three months. I quit on December 19th of last year. Look the date up in history, it's an important date in this country's history. Anyway, I start drinking everyday and on Christmas Eve, my recently developed drinking problem caused some problems. I was at a friends house, playing some board game turned drinking game with a fifth of jack and a beer to chase it with. I down that in two hours and didn't consider the fact I had only had a Southwestern Steak salad from Applebees that day. I don't know why, but that entire day I felt GREAT. I woke up feeling like a boss and only had a cup of coffee for breakfast with a big ole dollop of local butter in it. Worked out, had an Almond Joy to keep my sugar up (working out on empty stomach not always good). Met with friends for lunch then hiked a trail so I was really ready for food but instead hit the bottle playing board games. I got so drunk my friend had to tell me to stop slapping him in the face. I don't even remember ever doing that, but apparently I was being very jolly about it too. His wife said I was having a good ole' time... then he came at me swinging. I'm much stronger so I hold him off and tell him I'll leave, come back in to apologize for my behavior and we hug and shake hands... then I leave. Which I don't remember doing whatsoever. Next thing I remember is a huge slam, being airborn, coming down and sliding sideways across the road, then the car rolled. I was wearing my seatbelt and just bounced around in my seat like a rag doll. Climb out of the car and I don't even have so much as a scratch from the wreck. Spent the night in the drunk tank which totally sucked (first time ever) and think about what direction I wanted my life to go. Mom didn't even care about the car, but she was VERY concerned about my well being. Long story short, I fix my Outback in like three days and throw some brand new Crosstrek wheels I had scored for a couple hundred dollars from one of my co-workers at Subaru and haven't looked back... yet. The Saga's not over with until my loan for the car is completely paid for and the financial carnage of a DUI is wiped from my record... and when the car is where I want it performance and mod wise. This car's a keeper... it's not pretty but it's a keeper. The Camry died with 412,000 miles on the clock. I remember what that car felt like at 260,000 and it wasn't HALF the car this Outback is. I look forward to driving this car until it too has well over 400,000 on it!!!! SHWWOOOOOO..... what a story!! Not proof-reading all that either.

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Guest Soob4ME

Sorry about the absolute fortress of text. It's not well laid out either but worth a read.

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That's a heck of a story!

 

As it turned out, I replaced a dead fuel pump with a dying fuel pump.  And it died right after I filled up.  Of course.

 

So, off to the parts place to get a new one.  My husband rebuilt and replaced it while I was working today, and the old guy is back up and running.  Again!

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Just gotta say, this is a great community, 

 

 

So far, the new fuel pump is working a treat.  I added some fuel injector cleaner and dry gas, as the temps are going to go down again next week.  This car lived a pretty good chunk of it's life at the beach with the person I bought it from, so hopefully running some dry gas in it will get rid of any residual moisture in the gas tank and lines, so I won't be replacing anything related for a while.

 

Hopefully, George doesn't decide to make the fuel pump replacement a habit.

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Last weekend I finally replaced the mangled driver side seatbelt with the good one out of the Legacy.  Turns out that some goober replaced the seatbelts in the Legacy on the wrong sides.  So after we got it installed, we realized that the buckle part was backwards, so we had to turn it.  Which is doable, but not high on my list of favorite things to do.

 

 

Brand spankin' new exhaust is sitting on my porch, just waiting to be installed.  Along with some new speakers, and hopefully a replacement hvac control unit before summer.  It'd be nice to have AC this year.

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I'd been noticing some shaky braking for the past couple of weeks, and decided it was time to address that problem with some new brakes.  Got my rotors and pads delivered, and started in on that job.

The front brakes were a bit of a pain in the butt to do, but managed (in between thunderstorms) to get them swapped out.  Then on to the rears.  Where we found a pair of seized calipers.  And what looked like original rotors (probably not, but they were UGLY!)   As luck would have it, we had just replaced the brakes on the Legacy before it died, and so we snagged the calipers (along with the pads and rotors) from the remains of the Legacy and used them.  They were easier to do than the fronts, and as an added bonus, I now have spare, new brakes on the shelf for the next time.  We're going to flush and bleed the brake lines today, to get all the nasty fluid out of there, and start with fresh.  Just in time to drive my boss to the airport next week. 

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Sounds good mate. You guys rack up the miles quicker than we do!

Look after the outback and the outback will look after you ;)

Cheers

Bennie

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