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Good reading and excellent information.

I will admit that snow tires will handle VASTLY different than all-seasons in snow.

-However-

IF the all-seasons were to blame for the rear end trying to slide around me, why didn't I experience it from the get go, with tires on a vehicle that had crappy suspension, aftermarket drive axles that seem to be suspect for a number of faults, and was last aligned who know when?

IF the all-seasons were to blame, then why did the car literally drive/behave as expected one day and was an entirely different beast the next?

It's almost as if it's giving more power to the rear wheels and less to the front. Honestly, I wondered if the front was getting ANY power, so I popped the fuse in to disable the rear drive and drove to the end of the street and back on the front drive alone. It handled exactly like a front-wheel drive, but with no sliding like I had just experienced.

I did find some NWS data for comparison, and I can't see any significant temperature variations from the winter of 2017/2018 and this year 2018/2019 (or even just this year) that would make me say "A-ha! THAT'S why!"

As for "All Subaru 4x and AWD have had a slight rear bias from the beginning of time", then why didn't I experience the sliding rear in December with a Forrester on all-seasons? (Rental in Virginia, 7 inches of sudden, unexpected snow.)

I grew up driving nothing but front wheel drive vehicles (and none ever had snow tires, btw). As a result, I have developed a healthy respect for winter driving: Anticipate slick conditions, don't drive too fast, don't make any sudden moves, etc. (Ok, I do admit to using the hand brake more than a few times to slide around my corners.) These are the habits I carried over to driving the Subaru. These were the habits I was exercising when the Subaru started acting so suddenly squirrelly.

Maybe... My incredible never-had-any-issues streak *was* the anomaly and This is what normal actually is?

Or it was...… Everything aligned just right to have it slide around on you this one time.

Did it do it just the once, or has it done it more since? Perhaps it's just an anomaly?
 

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The only sure fire way to make it stick in most conditions is studded snow tires on all 4 corners. Even with that I am sure there could be situations where it wouldn't get traction. These are AWD vehicles, not snowcats, there are going to be situations with all season tires especially where they are going to behave erratically. All one can do is be ready for it in less than dry conditions during the winter months. I have driven Subarus since 1981, and have driven some as old as 1972 model year. They are great cars, but they have their handling quirks. You have experienced one of them. Tires are the best thing you can do for them. Dedicated winter tires during the snow season is one of them. I rarely choose to put winter tires on mine, as I figure if I need them to get around I don't want to be out with all those that have no clue how to drive in snow.

I really don't believe what you experienced is the ghostwalking, it was less than optimal traction and all season tires that don't bite in snow very well. This ghostwalking that most speak of is mostly what I would call bump steer and mushy suspension, or weak struts/shocks. Try driving a Mustang that has been lowered and set up for auto crossing. When hitting a bump with one of those bump steer could make you change lanes. I consider our 3rd Gen Outbacks some of the nicest riding cars I have ever owned. My 05 has new struts and the updated alignment done and the SO's 08 has worn out struts and no alignment since I got it. Other than hers bouncing over bumps more I don't have a problem at any speed in how it handles.
 

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Or it was...… Everything aligned just right to have it slide around on you this one time.

Did it do it just the once, or has it done it more since? Perhaps it's just an anomaly?
EVER since. Always ever since.

That's what's concerning/frustrating me. Had it been just the one time, I would have just said "huh" and moved on.
 

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EVER since. Always ever since.

That's what's concerning/frustrating me. Had it been just the one time, I would have just said "huh" and moved on.

I would somehow try another set of tires, if that's possible and see what happens. I still come back to tires. Tires can change and affect so much. If the alignment is all correct.
 

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The only sure fire way to make it stick in most conditions is studded snow tires on all 4 corners.
Yep. Cherry has 112 studs per boot and sipes as well, and the low temperature rating.
 

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The only sure fire way to make it stick in most conditions is studded snow tires on all 4 corners. Even with that I am sure there could be situations where it wouldn't get traction. These are AWD vehicles, not snowcats, there are going to be situations with all season tires especially where they are going to behave erratically. All one can do is be ready for it in less than dry conditions during the winter months. I have driven Subarus since 1981, and have driven some as old as 1972 model year. They are great cars, but they have their handling quirks. You have experienced one of them. Tires are the best thing you can do for them. Dedicated winter tires during the snow season is one of them. I rarely choose to put winter tires on mine, as I figure if I need them to get around I don't want to be out with all those that have no clue how to drive in snow.

I really don't believe what you experienced is the ghostwalking, it was less than optimal traction and all season tires that don't bite in snow very well. This ghostwalking that most speak of is mostly what I would call bump steer and mushy suspension, or weak struts/shocks. Try driving a Mustang that has been lowered and set up for auto crossing. When hitting a bump with one of those bump steer could make you change lanes. I consider our 3rd Gen Outbacks some of the nicest riding cars I have ever owned. My 05 has new struts and the updated alignment done and the SO's 08 has worn out struts and no alignment since I got it. Other than hers bouncing over bumps more I don't have a problem at any speed in how it handles.
Yeah, I get that all-seasons don't handle like snows. And snows handle different than studs. I get that, understand that, and agree wi that.

That's not my issue.

My issue is that one day, for no discernible reason, and ever since, they car has started handling VASTLY different than the day before.

To summarize:

Purchase (and new tires) ---> Mid-January, 2019:
Subaru did not slide/whip around in turns. With my normal conservative driving, snow, packed snow, no problems.

Mid-January, 2019 plus one day: ---> Current:
With my normal, conservative driving, Subaru is all of a sudden VERY squirrelly in turns, and has continued to do so since then.

This isn't a case of "I bought a Subaru and it handles weird from day one", but "after a year of ownership, it started acting squirrelly one day and has done so EVER SINCE".
 

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I would somehow try another set of tires, if that's possible and see what happens. I still come back to tires. Tires can change and affect so much. If the alignment is all correct.
Got a set I can try?

I guess I could have the alignment re-checked, but it was done mid-November, and I *maybe* have 4k on the car since then. No severe bumps, potholes, curbs, small animals, etc were hit in that time frame, either.
 

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Yeah, I get that all-seasons don't handle like snows. And snows handle different than studs. I get that, understand that, and agree wi that.

That's not my issue.

My issue is that one day, for no discernible reason, and ever since, they car has started handling VASTLY different than the day before.

To summarize:

Purchase (and new tires) ---> Mid-January, 2019:
Subaru did not slide/whip around in turns. With my normal conservative driving, snow, packed snow, no problems.

Mid-January, 2019 plus one day: ---> Current:
With my normal, conservative driving, Subaru is all of a sudden VERY squirrelly in turns, and has continued to do so since then.

This isn't a case of "I bought a Subaru and it handles weird from day one", but "after a year of ownership, it started acting squirrelly one day and has done so EVER SINCE".

Check for any loose suspension components, loose wheel bearings, tire pressures, even loose lug nuts. Maybe someone or something loosened lug nuts. Give everything a general shake down. Maybe a sticking brake on one corner. Perhaps the transfer clutch is binding somehow. Binding driveshaft u-joints. Just spit balling things.
 

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Check for any loose suspension components, loose wheel bearings, tire pressures, even loose lug nuts. Maybe someone or something loosened lug nuts. Give everything a general shake down. Maybe a sticking brake on one corner. Perhaps the transfer clutch is binding somehow. Binding driveshaft u-joints. Just spit balling things.
Loose wheel bearings, as in HBA not torqued down? Or bearings inside HBA loose? (Sorry, it's been long day)

Even if "just spitballing", I truly appreciate any and all hints.

Thank you.

(Grabs flashlight and string so I can find my way back out of the rabbit holes...)
 

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Loose wheel bearings, as in HBA not torqued down? Or bearings inside HBA loose? (Sorry, it's been long day)


Thank you.

(Grabs flashlight and string so I can find my way back out of the rabbit holes...)

Both..... could have loosened up at axle nut, or loose in knuckle (as in the 4 bolts), or the bearings themselves. Would just get each corner off the ground and give them a good push, pull and shake. Also any loose suspension bolts that hold control arms and the like.
 

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Well, there a "Winter Tires? discussion, or *was* until it devolved into...

I just went and read the last few pages of that thread..... That one dude is kinda full of himself! And I am being nice, I have another word for him that might just get me sanctioned!
 

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I just took Cherry out with winter meats and had hoot -n- any!

Very Much Fun.

I could get her *ss-end goosed around with every...throttle input. It just mattered how much. If I wanted to break traction and toss her about, I just needed right foot.

BTW, my test run since I swapped my rebuilt vf40 back on Cherry Bomb. She keeps threatening to explode . But I keep bringing her back from the edge.

I had much right foot snd *ss-happy fun. In fact, I am going back out.
 

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I just took Cherry out with winter meats and had hoot -n- any!

Very Much Fun.

I could get her *ss-end goosed around with every...throttle input. It just mattered how much. If I wanted to break traction and toss her about, I just needed right foot.

BTW, my test run since I swapped my rebuilt vf40 back on Cherry Bomb. She keeps threatening to explode . But I keep bringing her back from the edge.

I had much right foot snd *ss-happy fun. In fact, I am going back out.
Glad Cherry lives again! I love throwing Kurt around on the snow!
 

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New here and I came here by way of a link on one of the Outback subreddits. Ive got an 07 LL Bean 3.0 with 170k that is in bad need of new struts. Read the first 10 pages or so and it seems there's a few options that people go to trying to fix the ghostwalking issue and basic suspension refreshes in general. I live in WNC, so the car doesnt see too much snow or ice(I usually use my 03 WRX wagon with snow tire setup for winter duty), and is not used for any kind of hauling or pulling. What I am leaning toward going with is doing KYB GR-2's(or Excel G's or whatever they are called now) front and rear, along with new top hats and strut bellows on all four corners as well. Planning on reusing the stock springs. Any other option to consider or something Im missing? Thanks!
 

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New here and I came here by way of a link on one of the Outback subreddits. Ive got an 07 LL Bean 3.0 with 170k that is in bad need of new struts. Read the first 10 pages or so and it seems there's a few options that people go to trying to fix the ghostwalking issue and basic suspension refreshes in general. I live in WNC, so the car doesnt see too much snow or ice(I usually use my 03 WRX wagon with snow tire setup for winter duty), and is not used for any kind of hauling or pulling. What I am leaning toward going with is doing KYB GR-2's(or Excel G's or whatever they are called now) front and rear, along with new top hats and strut bellows on all four corners as well. Planning on reusing the stock springs. Any other option to consider or something Im missing? Thanks!
You need to look at the rear, forward lateral links. These are usually worn out with torn bushings as early as 50K miles. The links are available with bushings already installed. These will be a stock rubber. Or there is a WhiteLine aftermarket bushing available, however, pressing bushings in or out of the links can be difficult.

If you don't verify the condition of the links, any work you do will not solve the ghostwalking issue. If those links are bad, the car won't even hold an alignment.

Proper alignment is crucial, I would also suggest the WhiteLine rear upper control arm out bushing, the camber adjustment bushing. This allows the rear toe-in and camber to be adjusted independently.
 

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You need to look at the rear, forward lateral links. These are usually worn out with torn bushings as early as 50K miles. The links are available with bushings already installed. These will be a stock rubber. Or there is a WhiteLine aftermarket bushing available, however, pressing bushings in or out of the links can be difficult.

If you don't verify the condition of the links, any work you do will not solve the ghostwalking issue. If those links are bad, the car won't even hold an alignment.

Proper alignment is crucial, I would also suggest the WhiteLine rear upper control arm out bushing, the camber adjustment bushing. This allows the rear toe-in and camber to be adjusted independently.
FWIW, Ive never really had the ghostwalking issue that some seem to have, or at least not that Ive noticed. I got the car about 3 years ago with 149k on it, so I've put around 20k on it. Also keep in mind, theres a high likely hood that I'll be selling once I get this bit of maintenance done. I'll look into those bits though, thanks! Outside of that, is there anything I'm missing that I listed just for a basic strut replacement?
 

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2006 Outback Handling issues

From what I read above, I decided to do a little test. I did nothing but add about 150 lbs. to the rear and did a test drive to see if the ghost walking symptoms changed. Surprisingly, it did. When I drove over bumps in a curve, there was to skip to the right. HOWEVER, the steering felt exactly like it did when I had the ghost walking issue on ice. It felt like the front end had less contact with the road. One of these days I will be able to read where, if you do X this will definitely fix the ghost walking issue. The 2006 is my son's car and he plans on selling the car and get a Forester because he feels that the car is definitely unsafe.
 
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