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Old 10-31-2013, 01:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My First OB Journey!

Hello this is a thread that I've been waiting to do for a while now, and to tell the truth I am probably more excited about it than I should be!

After reading many of the other Outback Journals I wanted to share my experiences with everyone, and get some helpful tips along the way. So here it goes!

{{ Be warned, this is the Journey of how I got from where I was to where I am today. I am a bit long winded!}}

My experience with Subaru's have been limited to say the least. I have never really considered buying one when in the market for a new vehicle.

So when a buddy of mine said "Hey, have you ever looked into getting a Subaru forester? I've really like them and they seem to have everything you are looking for." I was like Because I had put so much time and effort into researching Toyota Rav4's that I had made my mind up that THEY were what I was looking for.

However, I decided to be fair to myself and give the Forester a decent look. I wanted to leave Bias out of if and make sure I was getting into the right vehicle for me. What I found was astounding to say the least. I couldn't believe that I was totally discounting this brand over a misconception and a few stereotypes. Admittedly I before I did my thorough research, I couldn't tell you the difference between a Subaru and a Suzuki (please don't hate me for this.... lol)

My research took me to many different online sites that gave both professional and customer reviews and wow, I was amazed at all of the high praise. So I decided to to go take a look for myself at these amazing new vehicles (J/k)... and guess what I found? Nothing!

There is a reason why I never considered buying a Subaru... Apparently Kentucky has outlawed them because I couldn't find a single Forester w/in a 100 miles of me for sale!

So w/out losing heart over this apparent tragedy I decided to call a Subaru dealership and talked with one of the Sales people. And what was so interesting about this phone call was that I never once felt like the guy was trying to sell me anything. He REALLY loved these vehicles! He talked about them like they were his babies and that they were so special. This conversation really took me by surprise.

During my conversation with him he mentioned that he was going to trade in his forester at the end of the year and get an Outback, he like sportiness of them a lot more than the forester. So I thought I would take a look at them... And what do you know? There was one for sale practically in my backyard!

So the next day I rushed down to see this marvelous work of art! And While she was beat up, and a bit damaged (she was stolen and had a repair title) she drove very well. From the first moment that I sat behind the wheel I knew I was in a special type of vehicle. Nothing like the common cookie cutter drivel that you see cluttering up the highways. There was a solid "quality" feel, that I hadn't felt in other vehicles that I have test driven lately, even the Rav4!

Well I asked the Sales person and I was taken back by the price. So I gave him a low offer (I thought it was about right for the shape it was in, but apparently now I realize I was woefully short) I still chuckle at myself now when I think of how I stormed off of that lot, thinking that I would get a call in 30 minutes begging me to come back... LOL

Anyway, I hit the cyber airways again in search for more information for these "Outbacks". What I found really gave me a solid foundation into this crossover class. Everything I wanted in the Rav4 (High Ground Clearance, 4x4 or All wheel drive, high safety ratings, stylish interior/exterior etc...) was all met or exceeded by the Outback.

I started to really like these vehicles and wondered why all of my buddies (other than the first one that introduced me to the Subaru name) tried their best to persuade me from getting one. "Won't find a mechanic that can work on one" was the one and only knock on Subaru. So I decided to take their warning seriously, and that is where this wonderful Forum comes in to my journey. Every question I have asked, no matter how trivial has been answered by this awesome community!

So, with weeks of research and and questions and going back and forth I finally made the decision to get a Outback! I felt/feel totally comfortable with this choice.

So armed with my new found head knowledge of the values, strengths and weaknesses I decided to hit the road to go see some of the beauties. The wife and I took a test drive in a 2008 2.5i and she loved it like I knew she would. She really liked how high up off the ground it is, while still maintaining its car like features.

We wanted to play hardball with the guy and get him to knock 2-3k off of the price. I didn't think it would happen because of my last encounter, but there's no harm in trying, right? However, as we got the Outback back to the dealership, the ABS light came on and we had a weird Clunking sound in the brakes when in reverse and stopping. The Sales person had to have the service department check it out and he would get back with me in the morning... Kinda Bummed because I was ready to make an offer that night.

5 LOOOOOOOOOOOONG days later I gave him a call back and guess what... He no longer works there and nobody has a clue as to what I am talking about...errrrr. So, I explain what happened to the next guy and he gets the service department on the line and they have to look at it in the morning, He'll call me back..... another week goes by. So I finally call them back AGAIN and oh, they sold the car at the auction because they couldn't figure out the issues!

Well, if your still reading this you can probably guess that I was a little steamed. So back to the drawing board. Which is an issue, because there are very few of these babies that are actually close enough to justify going and test driving them.

Which brings me to the next big development in my journey, I have another buddy who owns a collision repair shop and he suggested that I take a look at a Wrecked Outback that can be purchased cheap and repaired for much less than market value. I decided it was worth a look at least.

Right off the bat we found one that fit both the price range, year, mileage and almost everything else. So we decided to put a bid. Two days later they accepted it and Wha-La... We have our new edition to our family!... Almost

Here is our fist picture: (almost hurts looking at her in this condition!)



2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i Special Edition
61,000 Miles

Boy was it a long wait, waiting on her to be shipped!

Apparently she took a header into a telephone pole. Funny thing is that the airbags never went off... Hope there isn't anything wrong with the sensors. I talked with the Mechanic working on her and he said there wasn't, but he was equally surprised that they didn't go off. So I'm not sure how much he knows about those systems...

So a Loooooong weekend later she finally came in, this is my first in person pictures, and boy was she taken care of (outside of the accident of course). Whoever had her was clean and neat.















The last one is of the Timing belt being changed. It was damaged in the accident and needed replaced. So I guess this is a good thing since I now have another 100k or so before I need to change it again.

So after going and seeing her today I came away more excited and can't wait for them to be finished. My buddy says probably 2-3 weeks though... err. Oh well, I can plan all of my new upgrades and mods. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

First ones on my list:

1. Having leather interior installed (this is being looked into while she is in the shop) Depending on the cost I'll probably have this done at the same time the repairs are being made of the next 2 weeks or so. We're looking at getting the black leather to match the interior. Looks very nice on online too.

2. Getting those windows tinted for sure. Was quoted $200-225, seemed very reasonable. Want to make sure I higher quality film though, not sure if that price is for higher quality so I've got to keep looking for now.

3. Want to install a remote starter kit. I downloaded the instructions for how to do this from Subaru, but I haven't gotten any further than this. I need to find out where I can buy the kit from. (Obviously Subaru, but they are probably the most expensive too)

4. Sound deadening the doors. This is more of a wait and see issue here. I've seen where others have done this and I want to see if I will need it. Knowing me I will probably do so though.

5. Floor mats. Ok, not sure if this counts as a mod or not but since I carry lots of passengers I want to keep the floors nice for as long as I possibly can. Hoping to get some high end ones that cover almost everything. Also want to get the back seat protector shells that go on the back of the seat facing the hatch area.

6. Also thinking of plasti dipping the bottom of the frame, near the edge to prevent the sides from being chipped by small rocks being kicked up.

Well thats all I can think of at this moment. If you're still are reading this, thanks, (you are a saint if you are ) feel free to give me your thoughts and/or suggestions. When I get her back I'll certainly update w/ the sparkling new pics!

BTW - The Wife wants to call her "Blue Bird", not sure what I think of this yet.

Till next time!
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice write up.

Bringing a Subaru back to road worthy condition and doing it proper is always good to see. You'll enjoy the many years the car will give you.

And you'll be calling it Blue Bird and you'll like it.
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Old 10-31-2013, 08:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice these car, like all cars have issues, but can last a long time.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks so much guys, wasn't sure anyone would take the time to read all the way through that nut I wanted to share my excitement.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sithlyone View Post
Thanks so much guys, wasn't sure anyone would take the time to read all the way through that nut I wanted to share my excitement.
Bunch of different kind of nuts here. Welcome to the bowl. Anytime you spend that kind of time on project, it is only proper to share. Nice bring it back to the road.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traildogck View Post
Bunch of different kind of nuts here. Welcome to the bowl. Anytime you spend that kind of time on project, it is only proper to share. Nice bring it back to the road.
Ha ha, yeah posting from my tablet doesn't always work out right, lol.

Thanks, I really do see why this is almost like a life style now. I swear I never noticed how many Subaru's that are on the road. I have noticed at least a 1/2 dozen or so in the last week alone! Pretty cool
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Old 11-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Success!

So... Almost a month after my purchase I finally got her home! Wooo Hooo!!!

Here she is as I picked her up from the shop, brand new (to me)...



First trip! Following the wife home.



Wanted to get the windows tinted, so prior to thowing on the new shades I wanted to get some "Before" pics.













It's been crummy weather here for the last few days and I haven't been able to clean her up like I would want but I will soon.

So here is what she looks like with her new designer shades...





Also gave her some nice protective footwear



So that is Day 1

Added Tint: $159.00
Weathertech Floor Mats: $189.00

On my way to the Tint shop, I heard one of the speakers (or sub) sound a little off. I think the previous owner blew one of them, so I need to investigate soon.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The shop did excellent work. Looks new.

I would venture that the right rear door speaker is bad. Call it a hunch since out of 3 Outbacks of differing years, all had a blown RR speaker. The 99, 00 and 01. All the others were fine. All were replaced with matched sets.
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, I am really pleased with the repairs. One thing I noticed though is that in the pictures it looks as if the bumper is a different shade of gray. In person I can't see the difference though. Kinda odd.

I have been searching the forum and I've noticed that a lot of other 09 SE models have the same type of rattle or blown speaker sound coming from the passenger side. They are saying that the speakers need to be replaced.

I'll look into that in the coming days.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That car looks beautiful!

The Gen3s are notorious for rattling door panels. The speakers make the panels vibrate and it makes it sound like the speaker is blown. This could be all it is. Take the door panel off and play the stereo. If you still hear the noise (or if you can visibly tell), it's a blown speaker. If not, it's the panel vibrating.

I took the front doors apart and lined them with roof repair tape to add some substance and stop the resonating. Huge improvement. My back doors have never been a problem, but my fronts were. The passenger's side was much worse than the driver's.
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