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Old 02-21-2011, 10:26 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Ok, after the last few days and putting several hundred more miles on my Outback, I thought I'd come back and clarify something..

As I said before it seems "less prone" to wandering. That doesn't mean it doesn't still wander. It is just less prone to doing it than when it was new and had the stock RSB on it.

It does still notice road crowns and/or slopes and it does still pull "downhill" (left or right, depending on the slope of the road) in those situations. But, I don't think it's as bad as it was in stock form. I will say this.. Some roads in SE Texas need some major re-working, as they seem to lean one way and then the other and then back, because of bad patch jobs.

I also noticed a slight "vibration" a few times after it rolled over 9k miles. That could've possibly been the road.. or maybe something else. Time will tell.. If I keep noticing it, it'll go to the dealer to be checked out.

Could straight-line and corner handling be better? Yes. I'm going to see if this vibration rears its head again (i.e. it wasn't just the crummy road I was on) before I look at any additional modifications for stiffening things up..
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I think that some of the issue is a T rated tire. When my contis wear out, I will move up to at least an H rated tire.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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had more white knuckle driving than i cared for yesterday heading up and down I95 on the CT/NY corridor. had to really slow down to 45-50mph with death grip on the steering wheel to the point that i didn't dare change the radio station even though flock of seagulls song was driving me nuts

i've got the thicker RSB, tires at 32/30 - everytime i take it to the subie dealer for service they pump it up to 36 all around - are they trying to tell me something?

i want to believe it's the Conti's and not the subie that is inherently unstable - yes, super high speed winds, but when numerous Yugo-sized cars zip by me with no visible issues, i'm left wondering (and yearning for my 2001 subie tank).
I don't have a "wanderer," but before I switched to the "Legacy-Outback Upgraded Swaybar" (19 mm) from subaruonline parts I sure did have a problem with crosswinds. There's a section of highway in the D.C. area that I used for comparison purposes, straight and in generally open terrain. Before the switch, cross winds of 25 mph with gusts to 35 and more REALLY got my attention. The OEM 15 mm bar is too thin. Recently, after the switch, the same reported wind conditions, the car doesn't get pushed around nearly as much. It's not scary anymore, and I can keep pace with traffic. I would recommend switching to the thicker bar.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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can you explain the tire rating and why it would help going to a an H rating - i need to justify it on the home front why i'm ditching 4 'perfectly good tires.' i'd love for it to be the tires so i can keep the Subie, but after owning a 96, 2001, 2005, and feeling rock solid on the road, if i can't get this whale to stay in it's lane in windy conditions, i'm going to seriously consider trading it in for something more 'sticky' like an Audi wagon

so anyone change tires and experience better windy condition performance???

i did swap out the RSB to the 19mm model and it definitely has helped but the sudden gust and loosey goosey steering really make my hair stand on end.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutbackCT View Post
can you explain the tire rating and why it would help going to a an H rating - i need to justify it on the home front why i'm ditching 4 'perfectly good tires.' i'd love for it to be the tires so i can keep the Subie, but after owning a 96, 2001, 2005, and feeling rock solid on the road, if i can't get this whale to stay in it's lane in windy conditions, i'm going to seriously consider trading it in for something more 'sticky' like an Audi wagon

so anyone change tires and experience better windy condition performance???

i did swap out the RSB to the 19mm model and it definitely has helped but the sudden gust and loosey goosey steering really make my hair stand on end.
I can't speak from experience because I still have the Conti's, which are mediocre tires. Better tires should have stronger sidewalls, which could potentially reduce crosswind effects, but I doubt the difference would be substantial. If with the 19mm sway bar you're still having lane problems, make sure your tires are not over-inflated. I use a high-quality dial pressure gauge, not the stick type, and run them at the factory 32-front, 30 rear pressure settings. If all else fails then you gotta slow it down in the crosswinds, although with the 19 mm sway bar, I can hold 70 mph in pretty heavy winds with only minor steering input for gusts. It is a fairly high-up suspension, so nothing's going to make it stick like a sports wagon. On the other hand, I wouldn't dream of buying an Audi, or a VW, because other nightmares await the new owner. The European cars just aren't built as well, according to Consumer Reports.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:32 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Well I just came back from putting 1000 extra miles on the odo. I did notice the car following grooved roadways. I mostly drive with the hands at 2 & 10 oclock with firm hold, but I didn't feel any lack of confidence in control that prevented me from reaching for the coffee, or fiddling with the phone. Got the car up to the low 80's for a small stretch. No shake .

I'm not a trusting driver to drive with one hand, and my hands do get tiered after driving for 5-6 hours.

Maybe the lane wondering symptom goes along with the shake issue. I would be interested to hear if anyone who had noticeable non-wind gust wander also has the shakes.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Mine is real loose. It's like driving a boat. Always having to correct. The Toyota truck I had held a straight line. I really like the car except for this
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:07 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I just had a 4-wheel alignment done and it seemed to help some with wander. Every wheel was out and I suspect it came from the factory that way since the roads in NC are so nice.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:09 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Mine is real loose. It's like driving a boat. Always having to correct. The Toyota truck I had held a straight line. I really like the car except for this
Check your left/right tire pressures. That's exactly what mine feels like when the L/R pressures are different.
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:41 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Our ob tracks straight with both the oem Conti's and the Winterforce tires. Of course, it handles more like a SUV than a car. But no shakes, thank God. I plan to replace the rsb come spring, which means June around here.

Going to H-rated tires rather than T-rated shouldn't make much difference, generally speaking. The characteristics of the tire play a greater role.
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