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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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Replacing rear wheel bearings recently, made a huge improvement for my 2006, w over 200k miles.

The car now holds a line in a curve with no weird fishtail sway.

Imo ghostwalking in this case, would have meant the rear wheels were wobbling and changing position when turning
 

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Wow, thread still going! I must have replied to this thread years ago. I never have had an issue in my 09 3.0R on dry or wet roads, but don't drive much in the snow. If I have to drive in the snow I take my 04 Outback sedan. The main reason is its a 2.5 and doesn't have the power of the 3.0 and it's lower then the 09.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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would lift make it worse ? am i mistaken or 2'' lift is not tht easy to do on 3rd gen anymore. ?? it was simple on 2nd gen though. and now most people just complain of something, but i looked at front suspensions and i saw may good stuff that changed from 2bd gen there, sway bar links now used same as was in rear. so you can allways find longer links for that front with lift now. win win.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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So yh this was first one for me. Just this morning and its not snow on road was just maybe some wet road and it was like -1 celcious outside. Road looked ok but suddenly at about 90km/h speed it looked like car want to loose control like rear started to go to side or something, good that my trip was just 10 min long. So i dropped speed but still it did that couple more times... Wow wtf i thougt.
I lifted car 2" and its rear is on self leveling struts.
But it was fine in rain on wet roads never had that before.
So that was some experience there. Not happy about that
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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So yh this was first one for me. Just this morning and its not snow on road was just maybe some wet road and it was like -1 celcious outside. Road looked ok but suddenly at about 90km/h speed it looked like car want to loose control like rear started to go to side or something, good that my trip was just 10 min long. So i dropped speed but still it did that couple more times... Wow wtf i thougt.
I lifted car 2" and its rear is on self leveling struts.
But it was fine in rain on wet roads never had that before.
So that was some experience there. Not happy about that
Time to get the parts to finish the lift correctly :) hows your alignment look?
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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You mean trailing arm spacer in rear. Yh i need that but its cold outside. Alignment not perfect i think. But it was fine on wet road so hmmm . Was waiting because thought i will put new tires and then do all things with those.
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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Was waiting because thought i will put new tires
so the rear or your car came loose on snow?
what kind of tires, how much remaining tread deptth
what kind of snow, how deep, how frozen

I would not assume your car has a ghost, it sounds like it just needs new rubber...
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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so the rear or your car came loose on snow?
what kind of tires, how much remaining tread deptth
what kind of snow, how deep, how frozen

I would not assume your car has a ghost, it sounds like it just needs new rubber...
Look at this entire thread. It does not matter what tires you have, on/off throttle. In some instances it feels as if the rear end is kicking loose/swaying. I have experienced even with snow tires that had 10/32nds left. Even all seasons at 12/32nds. It only really seems to effect certain vehicles in certain circumstances. It's just due to the suspension design and alignment. Since he is lifted 2in, and it's not done with all the correct components, his alignment is way out of spec.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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so the rear or your car came loose on snow?
what kind of tires, how much remaining tread deptth
what kind of snow, how deep, how frozen

I would not assume your car has a ghost, it sounds like it just needs new rubber...
i bought car with this rubber i think its almost new some winter tires there. looks good too those tires


i did lift and removed rear sway bar. it was not on snow , just was kinda wet road maybe and it was some cold so it might be some sliperry. and it was kinda scary that car was not driving straight, so i lowered speed some then it happened couple more times. but same day today i drove car at home same road , nothing happened anymore.
after lift i didint do aligment and i can see that rear wheels are not like perfectly on same line i think they did turned some maybe , just slightly.
but its unknown if that because lift or just because road was some slippery on that moment.
i know people said change rear shocks to earlier generation shocks but my shocks are self leveling , so maybe they not have same problems as normal shocks.
in front i have still sway bar and in rear i removed it , but i did same on my 2001 removed both sway bars and never had this kin of problem, and had bad alignment on that car too and never had problem like this.
i will do alignment after couple days maybe and then i see, if it will be slippery road again im not sure what weather will be here.
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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thanks for the info. Your tires look excellent. Now lets also eliminate any inflation errors. Set the front tires to 32psi, and the rear to 30psi, just before you start driving in the morning. (If your doorjamb uses different values, use the doorjamb values.)

an overinflated rear will be loose.. we dont want overinflated rear.

Is the the car empty, no heavy load in the trunk, no loaded roof box?

I just want to get your inflation set to stock so you can work from a predictable baseline. Do NOT put more air in the rear than the front (unless you are carrying heavy Cargo in the trunk.

regarding having removed the swaybar, well.. that is NOT normal.. put it back on.

just my opinions...


In my experience the things that made a BIG difference in handling, on MY car w over 200k miles:

1. new rear upper forward control arms (the rubber bushings go bad)

2. Front lower control arms (more bad rubber bits)

3. New wheel bearings

4. swaybar endlinks are NOT a significant variable, but are cheap to replace if you find any of them are damaged.

5. New stock shocks of the same type front and rear (do NOT put gen2 shocks on rear, they are too stiff and will help kick your tail out on loose surfaces)

How many miles on your car? How many miles on your shocks?

Get the car aligned. Replace anything that prevents a proper alignment.

Yes if all this fails, Im going to tell you to remove the lift, especially if you only lifted the rear and not the front.

I want all front and rear configurations to be matched.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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did nothing . now drove couple days longer distances on highways and its started to wet snow on road , its not slippery so much but not normal too and nothing happening anymore no ghostwalking no anything weird.
after previous thing i rechecked tire preasures and its was diffferent on both rear wheels not by mutch but some still. and now its drives straight no problem.
 

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'06 2.5i OBW,' 01 2.5 OBS, '02 3.0 OBW
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Alright, I finally think I've tried enough stuff to warrant a post on this thread. So, the car is a tail wandering '06 Outback 2.5i wagon. For those who insist on bringing tires into it, brand new grand trek sj6's on 16" steelies all around. Though, the problem is nearly the same on the oem aluminum 17's (all-season tires, matched, less than 2 years old).

Seriously, if you've experienced ghost walking, you'll know it. Reminds me of the feeling you get driving anything with rear wheel steering, like a forklift, for example. Of course, the glaring problem (faced by few forkilfts) is the complete lack of control over what your car's rear wheels are doing.

On to the repairs!

Before doing any digging into the problems with my specific chassis, I assumed that I must have blown one of my back dampers, and the subsequent body roll was causing toe changes in my rear suspension. So! In went a brand new pair of struts for an '04 (sorry jon_slider) I really couldn't handle how often the stock dampers allowed the car to bottom out the suspension on the lovely roads out my way. And before you ask, no, I won't just slow down, the bar was set for me by a car 5 years older, I will not accept less.

While the new struts made the situation better, they did not completely solve the problem.

Still before I stumbled across the term, "ghostwalking", and this forum, I was still convinced that body roll was my issue, and I had noticed the tiniest bit of wiggle in the sway bar bushings (yes, bushings, links were tight) so now must be the perfect time to upgrade to a 22mm sway bar!

Once again, the problem wasn't solved but I did learn that the suspension play wasn't an issue while the car was leaned moderately hard into a curve, also, the car now corners better than the '01 ever did.

At this point, I had found this thread and read just about all of it and finally got some real direction! Thanks to everyone for posting their work!

Final nail in the coffin for this problem, I took a decent road trip with the car to pick up a quad, well below what the car's towing capacity, but after the trip it was even unstable on dry pavement at low speeds. In fact, it seemed more manageable above 80km/h than below.

Now I had ordered myself lower forward lateral links and trailing arm bushings, unfortunately they shipped me the wrong trailing arm bushings, so all I got to change were the forward lateral links. This has been the biggest improvement yet, but the car still wanders. I think I'll just order every single bushing for the back suspension and be done with it. If time permits, I'll swap bushings in one link at a time to see how much of a difference each makes.

Man, what a long post, I hope I don't make too many of these.

Best of luck to anyone tackling this problem!
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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forward lateral links. This has been the biggest improvement yet
congratulations!
lateral links was my biggest tailwagging elimination fix too

glad youre happy w your stiffer rear dampers and swaybar

I recommend using the same generation dampers on the front as the rear... to get the most balanced handling experience. I believe matched dampers is Especially important when driving in snow.

In my case it also helped a LOT to replace the front lower control arms. Took a lot of slop out of the steering wheel.

I did all those upgrades about 40k miles ago and Im still happy with the ride and handling. Im at 225,000 miles on the odo.. makes sense the car needed new rubber bits.

tire report
Im living in snow country for the past 4 months, driving on Nokian WR-G3.. Im not impressed. They slide and glide in slushy conditions, just like any other street tire. The ride is nice, non jarring, and Im using stock 32/30 inflation. So the breakway sliding is not due to high air pressure.

slush is just almost impossible to avoid sliding in, once the hydroplaning threshold is crossed.

Im still a loyal Nokian for snow advocate. The tires have moved me forward in all conditions, with almost zero wheelspin.

The car is going up mountain several times a week to snowboard, in all kinds of weather. The traction to get going is good. The stopping, not so much.. But this is a good road tire, and will do well through the summer rains too.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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Alright, I finally think I've tried enough stuff to warrant a post on this thread. So, the car is a tail wandering '06 Outback 2.5i wagon. For those who insist on bringing tires into it, brand new grand trek sj6's on 16" steelies all around. Though, the problem is nearly the same on the oem aluminum 17's (all-season tires, matched, less than 2 years old).

Seriously, if you've experienced ghost walking, you'll know it. Reminds me of the feeling you get driving anything with rear wheel steering, like a forklift, for example. Of course, the glaring problem (faced by few forkilfts) is the complete lack of control over what your car's rear wheels are doing.

On to the repairs!

Before doing any digging into the problems with my specific chassis, I assumed that I must have blown one of my back dampers, and the subsequent body roll was causing toe changes in my rear suspension. So! In went a brand new pair of struts for an '04 (sorry jon_slider) I really couldn't handle how often the stock dampers allowed the car to bottom out the suspension on the lovely roads out my way. And before you ask, no, I won't just slow down, the bar was set for me by a car 5 years older, I will not accept less.

While the new struts made the situation better, they did not completely solve the problem.

Still before I stumbled across the term, "ghostwalking", and this forum, I was still convinced that body roll was my issue, and I had noticed the tiniest bit of wiggle in the sway bar bushings (yes, bushings, links were tight) so now must be the perfect time to upgrade to a 22mm sway bar!

Once again, the problem wasn't solved but I did learn that the suspension play wasn't an issue while the car was leaned moderately hard into a curve, also, the car now corners better than the '01 ever did.

At this point, I had found this thread and read just about all of it and finally got some real direction! Thanks to everyone for posting their work!

Final nail in the coffin for this problem, I took a decent road trip with the car to pick up a quad, well below what the car's towing capacity, but after the trip it was even unstable on dry pavement at low speeds. In fact, it seemed more manageable above 80km/h than below.

Now I had ordered myself lower forward lateral links and trailing arm bushings, unfortunately they shipped me the wrong trailing arm bushings, so all I got to change were the forward lateral links. This has been the biggest improvement yet, but the car still wanders. I think I'll just order every single bushing for the back suspension and be done with it. If time permits, I'll swap bushings in one link at a time to see how much of a difference each makes.

Man, what a long post, I hope I don't make too many of these.

Best of luck to anyone tackling this problem!
hows your progress on this?

I need to do the exact job and I'm entirely sure where to start
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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start with an alignment
if the car wont align to spec, replace whatever part has bad bushings
most likely rear, forward, upper, lateral links

If rear camber wont come into spec, install whiteline rear camber adjusters.

for a cheap and easy additional improvement, replace front and rear sway bar bushings (not the expensive end links, unless there is an obvious cracked boot)

verify your shocks are still good (bounce test)
if they have lost their damping ability, get new shocks
whatever shocks you choose, do all four of the same type.

if the car does not hold a line in a curve, and "pitches out", iow the set of the front wheels is not stable, get ready to replace front lower control arms (the bushing goes bad, it can show visible cracks, this pic is at 180,000 miles)
 

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'06 2.5i OBW,' 01 2.5 OBS, '02 3.0 OBW
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I very much agree with Jon, nothing beats a proper diagnosis.

That said, for me, lower forward lateral links made enough of an improvement for me to drop the priority on doing the rest of the suspension bushings. I'd start there if I had to do it all again. Of course it still isn't fully repaired, and it still needs to be.

Might be worth noting that the lower forward lateral links that got shipped to me have a plate welded into them that my original links did not have. Much more rigid than the old ones.

Side note for jon_slider and whoever else, I guess; when I picked my winter tires, I selected ones narrower than stock, but as close to the same overall diameter as possible. The idea being increased contact pressure to reduce hydroplaning. So far so good, but we haven't had that really horrible slush yet.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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Looks like Moog recently released a adjustable rear lower/forward control arm for camber at about $60 on rock auto! Haven't been able to find pictures, part number rk100419. If this is actually what it says it is, will make cheaper/easier option then whiteline arms. Found this when pricing new front lca's.
 
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