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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Well...

We've put on new struts. We've done new axles. We've done new bushings, new ball joints and tie rod ends.

We've had an alignment done. The car still rides like [email protected]@.

Looking at the tires (which are supposedly new, according to the dealer), they are a Champiro brand--never heard of it.

What do you run on your Subie? Are the BF Goodrich Grand Touring good on these? That's what we have on our Mercury Mountaineer and they are AWESOME, but we know different tires for different cars......

Suggestions??? Or are we missing something???

THANK YOU!!!

Elle
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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514 Posts
Hey Elle !! Sorry to hear about car not running" up to par" yet. We run Sumitoma in BOTH our Subies.
Subaru stocks these tires. We have been very happy with these.

Are current tires balanced ? Run a tape measure around them to see if same exact size. The tire must be off the ground.

You are moving toward getting your Subie in great working order.Soon you will be going down the highway with BOTH sunroofs open !!!!!

And enjoying every minute !!
 

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2003 OBW 2.5L 4EAT
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860 Posts
Some times cheap tires are of cheap quality. I had a friend who bought a Mitsubishi Outlander with brand new Nankang tires and they were garbage loud, and barely any traction. Chinese tires..:rolleyes:

Anyway what do mean by the "car riding like [email protected]@" ? I've never heard of Champiro's either though...

I'm running a set of Goodyear Tripletreads A/S currently and they are pretty good in my opinion, good traction in dry, wet weather and they were fairly decent in the winter too.

I was also running a set of Bridgestone G019 A/S in the summer and those were also very nice in the dry and wet weather. I didn't experience them in winter conditions though, so I can't comment about that.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi Michael!! I PROMISE when I get a minute, I'll send you an update!! Things have been just crazy!! :(

We did so much to this car....it still just does not feel right. There's still a slight shimmy when you hit 70+ mph....it almost feels like the tires are out of balance, like they are "bouncing" off the road. I almost need to keep both hands on the steering wheel to keep it straight....however, the steering wheel is straight now.

We don't think it's a bent rim, we more think it's crappy tires. We just want this car to run right.....still need to do the valve cover gasket on it.

sigh. Yes, we didn't pay as much for it as book value says, but let me tell you, we've put it into it now....the tires are all the same size too, that was one of the first things we checked.

She still drives better than before my husband did all that work, but she's nowhere near as good as she SHOULD be....does that help?
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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Are they " static" balanced ?

It sounds like a balance issue. If you have a tire shop you TRUST..have them TEST each tire the way they are and see if they are " off"

Most places will have you come look when balancing...like NTB.

Also...what is the tire pressure ?

Is it the EXACT same in ALL four tires ?

You are getting close !! :)
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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110 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Are they " static" balanced ?

It sounds like a balance issue. If you have a tire shop you TRUST..have them TEST each tire the way they are and see if they are " off"

Most places will have you come look when balancing...like NTB.

Also...what is the tire pressure ?

Is it the EXACT same in ALL four tires ?

You are getting close !! :)
I guess balancing them is the next step......we don't really have the money for the tires, I'd like to wait until fall.

Not sure where to go for balancing. I'm hoping it's not that expensive.... :(
 

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00 Outback Wagon...269K 09 Legacy 2.5 Sedan...93k
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Some High School autotech shops will do it for free...kids do the work, but the teacher will check up on it.
 

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'04 Outback Base, 146k miles
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As for balancing, shouldn't be too much. I don't think it's even that expensive at the big box retailers. I have an old guy that does my alignment and balancing, etc. I think it's about $40 to balance them.

The BFG's are a great tire. Been running them on an explorer, several MB's and BMW's, and a saturn going back about 10 years. Haven't tried them on an Outback. No local shop had that size in stock, so I went with the Michelin Primacy MXV4. Bit pricey, but just great. Noticed a reduction in road noise immediately. They were the top rated passenger tire, at least for awhile in 2012. I think snow traction is a little better than the BFGs, but that's probably negligible on a subbie.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I've found Kumho to be decent value, dunno what model would be best for your location or driving style.

I wonder if you have some other driveline issue? out-of-balance drive shaft or worn carrier bearing or??? BUt, I agree, tires sound like a good place to start. Sometimes, it's diagnostic if you rotate the front to back/back to front , monitor if the symptom/severity changes.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #13
Texan, we're going to take your advice again...:D

Didn't think of rotating to see if that makes a difference, so we'll start with balance and rotate....see if that helps. We're hoping that's all it is.

We like the BFGs.....being in New England, we dealt with that blizzard this year-- where we are we ended up with 39" of snow. Our Mountaineer went thru that like it was NOTHING with the BFGs, since we didn't get plowed out for 2 days, so those are a winner in our book after that. We ran Kumhos on our Miata, but that's a completely different car...;) If we can get this straightened out, we'll put new tires on before winter.

I just don't like things we don't know on our vehicles, and we have NO clue what these tires are.

And trust me....we're hoping it's nothing more than this. We may have only paid $7k for this car, but let me tell you. It's cost us a lot more in addition... :(
 

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2003 2.5 White Frost Pearl Outback
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That's weird that people pay for a balance. I've never been charged that in Utah at big o tire stores. They're my favorite. We had a problem with out outback a few years back with some Firestone tires. The struts had gone bad and caused the tire to somehow wear with ridges and it with the new struts it rode horribly noisy and bumpy. I really like Yokohamas they are all nice tires. Never run bfg might try them for the next though.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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Foldsct:

Sorry I haven't been following your progress very closely. I've been pretty swamped here, too.

Have you check the brake calipers? Make sure the slide pins are greased well. Check that the pistons compress properly. I had severe vibrations that turned out to be caliper problems. I rebuilt both of them - one had a seized piston - other had a seized slide pin. It's almost perfect now. I think I have a cooked rotor that's still causing a tiny bit of vibration. I plan to do new pads and rotors within the next month or so.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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Some High School autotech shops will do it for free...kids do the work, but the teacher will check up on it.
That's a very good point. The school district I work for has a few autotech classes and the teacher is very competent--ASE certified in several categories...nice guy in his early 60s, always right alongside the kids making sure they get every step right. I'd definitely trust him. I imagine many high schools are the same. Lots of the teachers have those classes do work on their own cars--they just charge them for the parts. Gives the kids hands-on experience, too.

It does sound like a balancing issue to me.

There's no mud or ice built up on the inside of your wheels by chance? I've had this happen and it throws the wheels out of balance enough to make them shake pretty bad over a certain speed.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #17
Foldsct:

Sorry I haven't been following your progress very closely. I've been pretty swamped here, too.

Have you check the brake calipers? Make sure the slide pins are greased well. Check that the pistons compress properly. I had severe vibrations that turned out to be caliper problems. I rebuilt both of them - one had a seized piston - other had a seized slide pin. It's almost perfect now. I think I have a cooked rotor that's still causing a tiny bit of vibration. I plan to do new pads and rotors within the next month or so.
Hi Gemini! I understand completely.....there's just not enough time!;)

Funny you should say that. The caliper on the driver's side looks like it's going to need to be replaced soon......Steve noticed that when he was doing all the work on the front end. The pins are fine, rotors and pads look good. This little car has been quite the $$$ pit, moreso than anticipated, even with him doing 95% of the labor! :(

We're in Connecticut, and balancing we definitely pay for....especially when you have no idea where the tires are from. We have the usual Firestones, Sears types of places here..I'm not sure where we're going to end up.

After all this is done, we STILL have to have the valve cover gasket done. That's gonna be a BIG bill..... :(

Elle
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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At least you KNOW what you have " into" the car..soon you AND your Subie will be happy.........

I have gone thru similar experience.

Keep us posted...And NTB does a great job at balancing tires
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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If you are getting a shake/shimmy, corrosion on the wheels and the brake disk can make the wheel out-of-round. On my alloys I had to chip the stuff away on the wheel, was like black glass.
 
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