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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'll be looking to replace and potentially upgrade my suspension within the upcoming year on my 2010 3.6R. I have read musing about how 2013+ and even 5th gen suspension is compatible as a direct bolt in with slightly stiffer rates.

Can anyone speak to this? I'm not looking to upgrade the sway bars, just a bit more stable of a set up. I dont find the current suspension too bad, but it does wallowing slightly a bit on the highway and would like to upgrade it if there is a direct option.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6r Premium
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For a direct option, upgrading the rear sway bar is going to do everything you want. The ride will only be harsher over washboard, but I have yet to find a public road that felt worse. It gets rid of that wallowy feeling that you mentioned, and it makes a world of difference. It can also be done for under $100.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
For a direct option, upgrading the rear sway bar is going to do everything you want. The ride will only be harsher over washboard, but I have yet to find a public road that felt worse. It gets rid of that wallowy feeling that you mentioned, and it makes a world of difference. It can also be done for under $100.
Hmm, good to know, thanks.

Will I be able to keep the current bushings, mounts and is it able to he removed from the car without having to remove anything else?

I have seen some people talk about compatability between struts/shocks but never really any confirmation
 

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2012 Outback 3.6r Premium
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For the most part. You just have to replace the sway bar bushings, but any decent kit will include that.


I went with the 20, and haven't lost any off-road ability. I would advise trying that before you replace the entire suspension. It's cheap, it will likely accomplish most of what you want, and can be completed in less time than it takes to finish a beer, with no realignment required.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
For the most part. You just have to replace the sway bar bushings, but any decent kit will include that.


I went with the 20, and haven't lost any off-road ability. I would advise trying that before you replace the entire suspension. It's cheap, it will likely accomplish most of what you want, and can be completed in less time than it takes to finish a beer, with no realignment required.
Thanks, I just did some reading on the topic. Tbh I don't find my OB to be too soft, in reality it handles the hard corners much better than my Vibe does with less body roll. It is just the slight wallowing in crosswinds I dont like.

I didn't buy this car to drive corners hard so I'm not looking to put harsh suspension on it. There is a reason I bought this car to replace my track car as my DDer. The jarring gotnold after a while as fun as it was to rip around in.

I think I'll try out the 20mm bar and leave everything as is, I find the ride very comfortable and my wife seems to enjoy it. The install looks very simple.

Thanks for your insight
 

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2012 Outback 3.6r Premium
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No problem! I was thrilled the changes. There's a mountain that I cross twice a week that has taken a few semi's in the crosswinds and that bar made a pretty good change there, it feels way more steady and buckled down passing the "danger zone."
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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139 Posts
This was just what I was looking for actually! I think I'm going to go with the 20mm too.

I have a 2.5 and it has way too soft feeling of a suspension around the bends. I'm hoping this will be the addition that I need instead of going down the full suspension path.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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343 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I really got to test the suspension yesterday on a 4 hour trip up north to the cottage with the family. The ride was very comfortable and IMO not too soft. I did notice the slight wallow on the highway to to road undulations which I plan to correct with a 20mm rsb down the road.

I went out again this morning by myself and an empty OB and got to push the limits a bit on single lane quiet rural roads. The driveway heading out of the cottage is a very steep and loose gravel driveway. My awd Vibe which uses a slip and grip system would make it up without issue but you could hear and feel the front tires slightly slipping the whole way up (not spinning but slightly slipping). This would engage the rear wheels and it would constantly ake it up the driveway. This morning I headed up the driveway in the OB and I purposefully started out slow so as not to use momentum up the driveway (which I would do with the Vibe). The OB made it up absolutely problem free, not a single slip sound heard or felt, it acted as if it was a flat paved road. I was very impressed.

On the rural roads I pushed it a bit until I heard some tire squeal but never noticed any dash light indicating the stability control was kicking in (I didn't want to push it too hard on dry roads). Some points I noticed: The OB has an initial slight body roll but then plants itself and stays stable throughout the corner, cornering as if it was a much lower sedan chassis and hugging the corner well for what it is. My Vibe although lower, rolls into the corner and continues to roll to the limit making it feel unstable and not confident, definitely not what I would call "hugging" a corner.

Fuel economy is very respectful for a full vehicle at 8.8L/100km hitting 20 mins of traffic and driving 120km/h-125km/h. The rear end did not sag at all considering the hatch was full of luggage.

All in all I am very pleased with this chassis, seems to be a great balance of handling and functionality that fits what I wanted very well. I am not sure how much the boxer engine (lower COG, marketing hype?) plays into the handling or if it is just the way the suspension is set up, but it is much better than other cars I have experienced.
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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334 Posts
Rear sway bar is a worthwhile upgrade. The bolts that hold sway bar brackets to the body are fairly small (M6?) - be careful not to strip them when retorquing.

Being a tall wagon, Outback has less than stellar aerodynamics. Our 2.5 CVT has really good fuel economy at 90-100 km/h (~7 l/100 km). At 120 km/h it uses 8-9 l/100 km, with some headwind and bikes on a hitch-mounted rack it can burn 11 l.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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761 Posts
Is there a tutorial here on the forum for installing the 20mm sway bar kit? And does this same sway bar kit fit the 3.6R as well?
 

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2011 Outback Limited. White, Sunroof, 2.5, CVT. Bought 2/15/11. Love it! Broke 109K, 2/20.
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433 Posts
I replaced my rear sway bar shortly after getting the car in '11 based on recommendations here. The swap probably took about 30 minutes. The car is high enough to get under without any ramps or jacks and the removal and replacement is about as difficult as changing a tire! It's been a long time but I seem to remember four bolts that held the bar to the chassis (2 clamps, 2 bolts each) and one at each end. And the bar ran around $100 back in '11 IIRC. A great improvement. I'm not looking for the cornering of my Miata but the OB can handle quite a bit of pushing with no complaints, and does far less wallowing than it did originally.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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761 Posts
Thanks for your details.

Again, can anyone verify that this same 20mm kit fits both the 2.5 and the 3.6R models?
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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404 Posts
The same bar should work on either the 2.5 or 3.6 models, the suspension is the same, for any given model year. I can absolutely say the WRX 19mm bar fits a 3.6, as I tossed one on mine after the first highway drive with a cross-wind.

Have a set of new end-links ready, as odds are the nuts will be rusted on the stupid hex shaft. In either event just unbolt the bushing that fits in the lower control arms, and remove the bar and end-links as a unit. Then drop in the replacement. It's so much easier to install or remove the end-links off the car, as opposed to working on them up between the suspension components.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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761 Posts
Thanks for the tips. I may decide to do this upgrade when I have the vehicle up on jack stands for my next oil & filter change / tire rotation at 52,500 miles (currently approaching 50,000 miles).
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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139 Posts
I just got my 20mm bar in today, shipped in only one day! I will try to install it this weekend along with my oil change and if I do I will take a bunch of pictures to show how it goes.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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761 Posts
Thanks for your willingness to document your new sway bar install. Much appreciated.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5
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139 Posts
Thanks for your willingness to document your new sway bar install. Much appreciated.
Bit of a hang up, I went to try but l need to order the Rear Sway Bar Link Kit since the 5mm hex socket was too weak to loosen all the way. Ordered the kit this morning so I am hoping to install it all this weekend!
 

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2012 Outback Premium 2.5i
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The note about the rusted hex bolts above rang true for me when I swapped mine. Took me longer than one beer. One the other hand, it allowed for several beers, and some online camaraderie as I figured out the quickest way to some new sway bar links! ; ). I've enjoyed the change. I live in a very windy, mountainous area. A much needed modification IMO.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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761 Posts
Thanks for your input. So you replaced your sway bar and your sway bar links as well? What was your total cost, and where did you source your new links?
 
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