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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I recently acquired this beauty I will be starting to restore it and giving it some personality. She's an '03 Subaru Outback in Timberline Green with a 4EAT tranny and the all-weather package. She's currently got 194,800 km (~121,000 miles) on the original engine and drivetrain.

It does however have two quirks, one being some minor piston slap which only dissappears once I drive for about 5 minutes, and a whistling noise upon acceleration and decceleration (which I now know is the muffler leaking).

Engine:
-Cometic Headgaskets & Machine Heads - Done
-Timing belt w/ Idlers & Tensioner - Done
-Valve Cover Gaskets w/ Grommets -Done
-NGK Iridium IX Spark Plugs - Done
-Blue Streak Ignition Wires - Done
-Intake Routed into Fender Mod - In the Making
-Coolant - Done
-Seafoam Engine - Done
-Fuel Filter-Done

Drivetrain:
-Transmission Fluid - Done
-Transmission Filter - Done
-Reseal Transmission Pan - Done
-Front & Rear Differential Fluid - Done
-Front Inner Axle Boot - Done

Exhaust:
-Header Gaskets - Done
-Replace Rotten Exhaust Flanges or a New Catback??

Suspension:
-KYB Struts
-King Lift Springs
-Front Whitline 22mm Sway Bar
-Rear Whiteline 20mm Sway Bar
-Moog Rear Heavy Duty Endlinks w/ Grease Nipples - Done
-Kartboy Front Endlinks

Exterior:
-Used Hood (Current one is covered in stone chips)
-Used Rear Bumper Cover (Possibly)
-Sand and Wax Headlights - Done
-Chip Guard Film (Hood, Fenders, Headlights, Fog lights)
-Right Fog Light Assembly - Done
-Missing Mud Flap Thing in Front of Right Wheel
-Refinish Alloy Rims

Interior:
-All-Weather Floor Mats - Done
- New or Used Carpet
-JVC KD-R400 Head Unit - Came w/ Car
- Head Unit Bluetooth Adapter
- Head Unit Ipod Adapter
- Alpine SPS-600 Front & Rear - Came w/ Car
- Remote Starter

Brakes:
-Front Blank Rotors w/ Semi Mettalic Pads - Dealer Installed
-Rear Blank Rotors w/ Semi Mettalic Pads - Dealer Installed
-FrontHawk Ceramic Pads w/ StopTech Drilled Rotors
-RearHawk Ceramic Pads w/ StopTech Drilled Rotors & H6 Upgrade
-WRX Master Cylinder & Brake Booster
-Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines

Miscellaneous:
-Apply Rust Bullet to Rear Subframe
-Krown Rustproofing - in August
-Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grids 215/60/16 90% - Came w/ car
-Cabin Air Filter- Done






 

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2002 Outback 2.5
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41 Posts
I have done almost the same with my 02. I used the Rallitek Front sway bar and kart boy solid endlinks. I really like this set up and would suggest it. I think the sway bar is a little cheaper that's why I bring it up.

Good luck with the rest of your project.

Reed
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cleaned up the pine needles, dirt, yellow oily stuff on the sound deadening in the cargo area and pushed some dents out of the trim... also managed to find a broken golf ball tee and a bottle cap..

Before:








After:


I also installed a cabin air filter, there wasn't one in it but there was a large amount of soggy leaves and debris that I vacuumed out. Also found a skinning knife when I removed glove box! :gasp: I wonder what other surprises the Outback has...



The only body panel rust the Outback has is on the right inner side of the tailgate, sanded it down (in pic), then applied rust bullet, touch up-paint, wet sanded, and a final clear coat. I still need to re-apply the seal between the sheet metal joints that I had to remove due to the rust occuring under it...



I need to do some exhaust work too though... new flanges and a muffler...

My horrible rotten flanges that are surprisingly still holding together and not leaking:

 

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2008 Ford Escape XLS - 2002 Subaru Outback
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246 Posts
You sir have been doing work.

I found a whole set of darts when I cleaned my cargo area out. :p
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some work in progress.. I removed the front bumper cover to clean up the support bar behind it, but I was only able to grind down the rust today so i'll start painting it tomorow.

Before:


After grinding:


When I removed the bumper cover there were some brackets on each side. Oddly the right side managed to completely rust through (body of the car is in great shape btw) while there is no rust on the left one :confused:
I've searched the web and cannot find a part # for it. If someone could help me that would be much appreciated.



 

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Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,665 Posts
take a look at the bushings on the rear of the front lower control arm. (transverse link bushing).

evidently they are fluid filled and frequently leak-out.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So today I got around to checking out why my left hatch strut was lose and this is what I found:



Turns out the ball joint stud was seized into the strut and over time the thread for stud came lose since the joint wasn't moving. When I tried to tighten it snapped. Although I was able to drill it out and buy a new stud for only $6! :D
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
The dealer that I bought it from replaced the drivers side fog light assembly because a rock had shattered it. They replaced it with a TYC replacement. The passengers side fog light had heavy pitting in the glass, so I replaced it with TYC as well.

This past week I decided to tint them yellow with Krylon stained glass paint and install Lamin-X 40 mill film. I'll probably put an HID kit on them later on, but for now I'll just leave them with stock bulbs.




I was going to mount them today, but one the coolant hoses under intake burst and I had to take it to the shop for the repair since I didn't have any material, plus I needed them to change the pcv valve because when I tried to do it myself it wouldn't budge...
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
My bumper support was rusted too. But it was my driver side. My bumper beam had some rust as well I just fixed. And.... That's the same exact spot I have a rust bubble on my back hatch. Weird. I am replacing that support it was 18 at the dealer I have a part number if you still need it.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Today I managed to find out that my tailgate lock is seized :28:, so that will be my next task to tackle. The key can be inserted but it will not turn, the locks on the other doors work fine though...

Some pics of the finished bumper support:


 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
Oh my god my tailgate lock does the same exact thing. This is so strange these cars are like twins. Let me know what you come up with.
 

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Re the tailgate lock: Try squirting some WD40 inside the lock cylinder, then use the key to try and turn it back and forth a few time. This is part of my fall ritual on all my vehicles, especially nowadays that we all have remote everything and hardly ever actually put a key in a lock.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,966 Posts
So today I got around to checking out why my left hatch strut was lose and this is what I found:



Turns out the ball joint stud was seized into the strut and over time the thread for stud came lose since the joint wasn't moving. When I tried to tighten it snapped. Although I was able to drill it out and buy a new stud for only $6! :D
Where did you get the stud?

And, you drilled the ball out of the socket, and then the new one 'snapped in'?

Dave
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I bought the new stud (stud-bolt stay 60316FC000)from the Subaru dealer, I used a slightly smaller drill bit on the stud to drill out most of it, then I finished it up my air dremel.

It was a pain to do, if you do this be careful not to damage the snap ring the keeps the stud in place because you will need it to put in the new stud. The new stud just pops back in with the snap ring.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I fixed my tailgate lock as bobbflood suggested, but I used PB Blaster instead of WD40 and it did have to sit for a while before it worked.

I also noticed my drivers side ball joint has developed a leak :28: so that will have to be replaced and I may as well do the passengers side one too.

Are the Moog Problem-Solver ball joints any good or should I just go OEM?
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I ended up buying 2 new genuine Subaru ball joints, castle nuts, cotter pins and pinch bolts with washers on SubaruParts.com. They will arrive in about 1-2 weeks.

I also found my drivers side front inner CV boot leaking slightly at the outer boot ring and it also has several cracks in it, so I bought CV boot kit at the Suby dealer today as well, but i'll only change it once the ball joints arrive.
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Cleaned up the filthy IACV valve today with some throttle body cleaner. I was having vibration at idle, the rpm would move around between 750 and 500. The tachometer needle is now staying stable at around 750. Replacing the pcv valve and cleaning the iacv have greatly improved the idle. I'll probably replace the front o2 sensor (air/fuel ratio) next as it is the original with just about 125,000 miles on it.

I'm still waiting on the ball joints to arrive and then i'll be able to have the drivers front inner cv boot replaced and get a front wheel allignment. After that I need to wait till my next oil change and get the oil pan resealed as well.

Some pics of the filthy iacv:


 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some pics of the left ball joint has a broken boot and is leaking grease, the front left inner axle boot is leaking at the outside ring and is also full of cracks. There is also a sensor on the side of the transmission that seems to be leaking, what is it and is there a gasket there that I change?





 
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