Lowering ride height - Page 12 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #111 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 08:39 PM
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I am looking to lower a Gen 5 Outback to the Legacy ride height or close to it. Has anybody had any luck trying out any of the approaches?

I've ordered Legacy parts including springs/struts and rear control arms. Will see where I end up and what spacers are needed or if I need to move to different springs for the back. Also keeping open the option of moving to smaller (Legacy size) tires in case they touch the wheel well.

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post #112 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 11:13 PM
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I discovered that the steering coupler & steering rack have different part numbers on the Legacy & Outback. The coupler is probably ~1" shorter on the Legacy, but I have no idea what the difference would be between the racks. The coupler is inexpensive, but the rack is ~$750 new; that would be a stopper for me.


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post #113 of 133 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the info. I noticed in the dimensions diagrams that the track width between the 2 cars is off by 0.4 inches in the front and 0.6 inches in the rear... wider in the Legacy vs. Outback. I wonder if that is the reason for the key difference in the steering rack in the front. It would be helpful to see the two cars from underneath side by side. Anybody have a Gen 6 Legacy in the Phoenix area they are willing to let me look at from underneath?

There is no turning back for me now, so I'll post questions and updates soon- should have everything in and will be starting in about 2 weeks.
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post #114 of 133 (permalink) Old 01-21-2018, 10:28 AM
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Any updates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kptesl View Post
Thanks for the info. I noticed in the dimensions diagrams that the track width between the 2 cars is off by 0.4 inches in the front and 0.6 inches in the rear... wider in the Legacy vs. Outback. I wonder if that is the reason for the key difference in the steering rack in the front. It would be helpful to see the two cars from underneath side by side. Anybody have a Gen 6 Legacy in the Phoenix area they are willing to let me look at from underneath?

There is no turning back for me now, so I'll post questions and updates soon- should have everything in and will be starting in about 2 weeks.
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post #115 of 133 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 11:21 PM
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Hey everyone,

Wanted to post some updates. Got the OB and all the parts. Have off one front and one back shock. Looks like the Legacy back shock is ~2 inches shorter below the spring and about 2 inches in the spring itself than the OB. The Legacy front ones appears to be less 2 inches shorter in total compared to OB...looks like that may mean the height difference is in fact in the steering rack.

Once I have some more things figured out I'll post pics with exact measurements.
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post #116 of 133 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 11:27 PM
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Do you have any more details on where the spacers are? Looks like I'll need to find at least another inch in the front...

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I've done a little more checking and found that the struts, shocks and springs are the same for the legacy and outback.

On the Outback here are ~1" spacers front and rear; the fronts can be simply removed, and the rears can be swapped for the Legacy parts. Changes to the steering are needed when the front spacers are removed - the universal joint and the steering rack are different on the Outback and Legacy; unfortunately, the rack is ~$750 for the OEM part. I would like to know whether the racks are mechanically similar so the swap could be avoided. It's also unfortunate that the 2017 racks are unique to that MY, which will make finding junkyard parts that much more difficult.

The front upper spring perch is different on the Legacy and Outback; using the Legacy part on the Outback should drop ~1". I haven't found a corresponding way to drop the rear in the same way - other than the spacers, all of the rear suspension parts are the same. The rear of the Legacy isn't higher, so that inch is accounted for somewhere that I haven't found yet - maybe the rear spacer is ~2" ( I havent looked at it on the car yet).

The only sticky point so far is the steering rack; otherwise getting a drop of ~2" is straightforward and inexpensive. I would like to avoid lowering springs because the mess with the suspension geometry and limit bump travel. I could go to Legacy tire diameters, but MPG and noise would suffer unless the diffs were changed to the Legacy ratio - more cost than I would be prepared to pay for the 3rd inch; however, when talking about lowering springs with suspension mods to compensate or coilovers, the costs are similar. I would favor the smaller tire/gear ratio route because it maintains the suspension geometry.

I think a drop of ~2" will put me right where I want to be. Now I just need to clear up the issue of the steering rack; if anybody has any insight on that I'd certainly like to hear it.
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post #117 of 133 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kptesl View Post
Do you have any more details on where the spacers are? Looks like I'll need to find at least another inch in the front...
The subframes are held in place by 4 studs and the spacers go over the studs between the subframe and body. The front spacers are ~1" tall cylinders and are only used on the Outback. The rear spacers have complex shapes with a shorter version on the Legacy. To make the switch you'll need to remove the 4 front spacers and replace the 4 in the rear.

When you remove the front spacers you'll also need to at a minimum replace the steering coupler with the Legacy version. The steering racks have different part numbers on the Legacy and Outback, but I'm hoping they won't have to be swapped (~$750 - expensive!).
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post #118 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-01-2018, 12:17 AM
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Found the spacers, although I haven't fully comprehended how removing them will cause the main frame to sit 1" lower as there are a few other points of contact that don't have removable spacers.

Do you have any thoughts on doing the following? It would give me 2 inches across the board and I could avoid touching the subframes.

Front: swap in entire Legacy shock/spring combo, -2 inches

Rear: keep OB shock, swap 2 inch shorter Legacy spring

Of course with this arrangement I lose the tuned damping of the shock/spring combos.
Looking at movement of all the other parts, think everybody could handle 2 inches. The steering coupler also looks like it can move up 2 inches with plenty of room left for additional travel.

If needed I could always get another ~0.7 inches by swapping to smaller tires...
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post #119 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 12:42 AM
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Just an update for the day. Swapped in the front strut/spring combo, bolts in identically. Had no issues connecting steering linkage or anything else. The tires/wheels do sit very close to the plate on the strut that the spring rests against. Not sure if it will be an issue, will have to see once the weight is on the wheels again and I take it for a test drive. Worst case I decrease tire sidewall by 1 or 2 sizes (2 sizes would be Legacy which the strut is designed for). Looks like I lowered ride height by about 2 inches. Will take detailed measurements when all is done.

Back looks like it will be straightforward, will give it a try tomorrow night. For that I will stick with OB struts and only swap in legacy springs, which should give me about the same 2 inches.

Saturday I should be able to complete the other side and all final details and will report.
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post #120 of 133 (permalink) Old 02-02-2018, 11:04 AM
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