Join Date: Feb 2011
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'05 OBXT Power/Reliability Mods, Suggestions, Cautions, etc.
Hello! I have a 2005 Outback XT 5EAT (daily driver). I know little about cars right now, but I can learn relatively quickly. I apologize for the length of this post, but if you have the patience, I want to learn from you. Right now I have all stock hardware as far as the power-train goes, but I have a Legacy GT tune. It is a generic tune.
I like to drive my car the, uh, "fun way" sometimes. I don't launch my car ever, but I accelerate quickly, turn hard, and shift at high RPM. I understand that this will, of course, decrease the reliability and longevity of the vehicle/tires/etc, but I am willing to thoroughly maintain my car and repair what I need to when I need to. What I want to do is increase my power a bit, but I also want to increase reliability as much as possible. Please advise me accordingly.
Here's what I'm thinking regarding mods I want to do over the next few/several years, as budget/time allows, and probably in this order:
1. Lightweight Crank Pulley
2. Up-Pipe (both for increased exhaust flow and to avoid cat. failure and subsequently turbo failure)
3. Strut Braces and Rear Anti-Sway Bar
4. Struts and Rear Coils
5. Turbo-Back Exhaust (high-flow cats, not catless)
6. Maybe a better tune
Consider mods that I have not listed. What mods should I NOT do? What mods should I do? What mods should I do first? What mods will be necessary to handle extra power while remaining reliable? I know if I want "real" power that I need a different intercooler and other stuff, so I guess my power/boost objective is just before the limit of the stock intercooler. I'm sure that will change a couple of years from now, but that's where I'm at right now.
Perhaps more importantly than power is suspension, since I will not be drag-racing this vehicle. What are the best suspension mods that will make this vehicle quite fun, but still not useless on trails or when hitting Minnesota's road's potholes. Also, I love my 8.7 inches of ground clearance. What suggestions do you have?
Also, I once read something Seabass posted somewhere about the XT shifting slowly with the automatic, and how that can start burning clutches with power increases.
1. How tricky is a clutch to replace on an auto? Can I do this with only jack-stands and no engine lift?
2. Would I need to replace the stock clutch with something stronger/better, or do I not replace it until I've burned through it?
3. How do I know when I've burned through a clutch? I assume I want to replace that before it's "gone" to prevent transmission damage.
4. Can I make the car shift faster to avoid this issue? Is that an ECU parameter I can change, or is that something strictly mechanical?
5. I like driving in the manual/sport-shift mode. Does this make it shift more quickly?
I am a n00b, so your patience is appreciated and your constructive criticism is welcome here. By-the-way, I'm not completely incompetent, as I have replaced an axle, an oil cooler gasket, and done some other stuff, but I significantly lack tools, experience, and engine knowledge.
Thanks in advance for your help!