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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have just bought a new to me Subaru Outback - Touring model in Wilderness Green Metallic from Florida and it is being shipped to Cayman, hopefully to arrive before Christmas. I wanted to get a 3.6 liter engine and went all out. My 2016 has the warm ivory interior in leather and I do not like it - shows dirt quickly The Black would be too hot in the tropics so that left the java Brown as the only option. See image below for a pic of the Outback.
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The dealer was kind enough to let me swap out the 18" rims for the lower model 17" ones so it saves me having to buy new rims and essentially dump the old ones. This is because there is very little or no market for used rims in Cayman.
497927

Out with the old 18"

497928

In with the new 17"

Once the sale was confirmed, I went and did a little shopping.

The items ordered so far are:
  • One extra 17" rim from eBay to match the rims on the vehicle. I always like to have a full sized spare as our roads are notorious for having nails and screws falling of trucks delivering construction materials or heading to the dump. Tires are a magnet for them.
  • 5 of 245/65R17 BFG KO2 all terrain tires. There are enough reports of why they were chosen in this forum.
  • LP Aventure engine skid plate
  • 2" front and rear lift
  • Curt 13410 2" trailer hitch so that I can use some of the hitch accessories I have.
  • 2 of KC 1350 Cyclone accessory lights to allow me to see the engine bay at nights
  • mud flaps and wheel arch molding kits

That will do for a start.
In the new year, I will add an trailer hitch spare wheel carrier, probably add dual batteries once the spare tire well is open and available and build or buy a Prinsu type roof rack. Considering the LP Aventure bumper kit too.
Of course, driving lights and various electronics will be added - a 2 meter transceiver, 12V plug for my fridge and other accessories, rear drawers and whatever else I can dream of adding that will be useful.
In the meantime, I will post and differences I note between an international mode and the US as I have both car manuals in hand.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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I have just bought a new to me Subaru Outback - Touring model in Wilderness Green Metallic from Florida and it is being shipped to Cayman, hopefully to arrive before Christmas. I wanted to get a 3.6 liter engine and went all out. My 2016 has the warm ivory interior in leather and i do not like it. The Black is too hot in the tropics so that left the java Brown as the only option. See image 1 for a pic of the Outback. View attachment 497924

The dealer was kind enough to swap out the 18" rims for the lower model 17" ones so it saves me having to buy new rims and essentially dump the old ones. This is because there is very little or no market for used rims in Cayman.
View attachment 497927
Out with the old 18"

View attachment 497928
In with the new 17"

Once the sale was confirmed, I went and did a little shopping.

The items ordered so far are:
  • One extra 17" rim from eBay to match the rims on the vehicle. I always like to have a full sized spare as our roads are notorious for having nails and screws falling of trucks delivering construction materials. Tires are a magnet for them.
  • 5 of 245/65R17 BFG KO2 all terrain tires. There are enough reports of why they were chosen in this forum.
  • LP Aventure engine skid plate
  • 2" front and rear lift
  • Curt 13410 2" trailer hitch so that I can use some of the hitch accessories I have.
  • 2 of KC 1350 Cyclone accessory lights to allow me to see the engine bay at nights
  • mud flaps and wheel arch molding kits

That will do for a start.
In the new year, I will add an trailer hitch spare wheel carrier, probably add dual batteries once the spare tire well is open and available and build or buy a Prinsu type roof rack. Considering the LP Aventure bumper kit too.
Of course, driving lights and various electronics will be added - a 2 meter transceiver, 12V plug for my fridge and other accessories, rear drawers and whatever else I can dream of adding that will be useful.
In the meantime, I will post and differences I note between an international mode and the US as I have both car manuals in hand.
Why did you switch out the 18" wheels/tires?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
When going off road and using lower tire pressures, especially in rocks, you get a little more rubber between the rim and the ground.
The factory size and the replacement size are compared below.
497933

The stock is #1 and the proposed replacement is #2. I gain an extra inch between rim and ground.
The BFG KO2 is not available in 245/60R18 but is in 245/65/R17 so it was beneficial for me to get the rims changed.
Plus, I like the simpler look of the 17" rims as compared to the 18".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Differences between international and US model of the Outback.
The biggest thing I have found is in the fuel capacity.
International models hold 15.9 US gallons, while the US models hold 18.9 gallons.
International models have a 2.0l turbo diesel with a manual transmission. Should be a very interesting combo.There is also a difference in some of the specifications - a millimeter or two here and there. No idea why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Well, after a 2 month wait to get export papers and documentation, my Outback is on its way to the Port of Miami to be shipped on Jan 22.
501854

Accessories like the trailer hitch, mud flaps, skid plate, lift kit and other bits are sitting in my garage ready for installation. February is going to be good to me.
Once I have the vehicle in hand, I will ensure that my measurements are confirmed and order for 5 of the BFG KO2s in 245/65R17.
Some other bits like a Viair 45053 12V tire pump, Fumoto FM108N oil pan drain and Dynamic Diode tail as turn light will be included with the tire order.
Then the fabrication can begin for accessories.
 

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2019, Subaru Outback Limited 3.6R
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Get skid plates.
BFG KO2’s and skid plates will get you farther than the lift.

oops, just saw you got those. (y)
 

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That would be too messed up for me. Driving on the left side with an LHD car. Should have gone to Japan and picked up an RHD ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
That would be too messed up for me. Driving on the left side with an LHD car. Should have gone to Japan and picked up an RHD ride.
I have a 2016 RHD Outback. But I could not get a 3.6L engine in any RHD models that Subaru would ship to Cayman. Therefore this alternative.
I have been driving both RHD and LHD vehicles here arnd think nothing of it. Most people here, including me, go back and forth between the different driving sides without a second thought.
One benefit to note is that parts from the US are substantially cheaper than ordering from Japan or the UK. Most of the consumables like oil filter, brake pads, lights and some accessories will be obtained from the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Getting this car is becoming a real test of patience.
I had a 5 week delay when getting the export papers.
Because the Florida ownership was registered to my address in the Cayman Islands, the US customs folk issued an import license, thinking that I was bringing in the vehicle.
It took a while for the dealer to get that sorted out and they did manage to get things right.
Then the transport company picked the car as posted above to take it to the Port of Miami.
But not every car transport driver can enter the port premises. One must have a special license issued by the Port Authority to drop a car off.
So now, the car sits in Orlando at the transport company yards waiting for someone who has such a license to drop it off at the shipping company.
I thought I would get it by Christmas 2020, but now, I believe that it might make it to Cayman for Christmas 2021! 🤬
 

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Is the speed limit still 15mph on Cayman? Is the vehicle coming over via Thompson Shipping?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is the speed limit still 15mph on Cayman? Is the vehicle coming over via Thompson Shipping?
No and I'm not sure where that idea started. You can get up to 50mph in the eastern districts. But mainly 25 in the residential areas and 40 on the larger roads between the towns.
I am using Miracle Brokers who uses Seaboard Marine. The nice thing is they put the vehicle in a container before shipping.
 

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I worked in Cayman 80-82, seem to remember it was 15 max 25. Worked with Bing Thompson, great guy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finally, some great news. The broker in Miami confirmed this afternoon that US Export Customs has cleared the Outback at the Port of Miami and it is in a container for shipping to Cayman on Feb 5.
12 weeks after paying for it and 14 weeks to the day after the first inquiry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Although the vehicle is on a boat somewhere on the open seas, it is time to document some modifications.
The first will be a custom grille. While the JDM units are nice, it costs way to much to ship one to Cayman. The final cost for me would be around US$750. So time to explore alternatives.
The first thing was to locate a used or broken but usable grill on eBay. I lucked out with this one from a 2019 outback for an in-my-hands cost of US$150. All the take apart work was done for me.

503403


The next thing was to source a suitable mesh to fill the center. Off to customcargrills.com and made my choice. What I bought is shown below. It was based on the customer pics that are available for each mesh advertised. Chose a powder coated black color. I actually bought 2 of the same in case I screwed up the first attempt. Cost to me was about US$200 with shipping and duty.

503404


This afternoon, I decided to attempt to mate the two items together. I had reviewed some of the YouTube videos where others had replace theirs and it seemed a fairly straightforward job.
The first thing was to align the grill at the top This took a bit of fiddling. I could not get all the screw holes protrusions and slots aligned with an opening. So, I did the bust I could and held the mesh in place with zip ties at the two ends.
Then going along the edges, I carefully cut the mesh around each protrusion, leaving as much material as possible to ensure that from the front, the mesh completely covered the opening.
This took a little bit of time but I got them all cut out. I also trimmed the length of the mesh so that it went 1/2 way the width of the old grill frame. About every 6", I added another zip lock to hold everything in position once the trimming and fitting was to my liking.
The frame has a slight bend to it, but the grill is flexible enough to fit the curves without any issues.

503405


The next step is to bend the edges to meet the grill frame. As the grill is 16 gauge aluminum, it is very easy to bend to the correct angle.
Tomorrow, I will spray some brake cleaner to clean off any dirt and grease. Then an application of polyurethane sealant to hold the two together. Polyurethane will make a very strong bond between the two. Online, some used Goop Automotive but I like poly adhesive. Mechanical joining is not a choice.

503406


And what does the end result look like?

503408


I am happy with the outcome. The final step is to put the Subaru logo on. Total time spent so far was about 1 hr.
Taking it apart, the back has two locating pins on either end. I intend to buy/make a coupling nut to turn that pin into a threaded screw or buy a nylon nut and epoxy it on. From this, I can then fix the emblem to the grill with suitable screws.

503409


More pictures to follow.

If you use your own grill as the surround, someone in the US should be able to duplicate this for probably around US$75, depending on what grill pattern one chooses.
 

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I’m curious of the duty rates & restrictions of importing vehicles there...is it a % of the declared value?
I don’t remember you mentioning that you wanted to ship additional parts for the car...I would have recommended that you ship them in the car. I know some countries don’t want you packing the car with a bunch of other gear but they seem to be okay with it if it’s just a few items. You can also stuff little things (filters, etc.) throughout the cabin.
I remember packing my Subaru Justy til it was full inside, just enough room for me to drive across the state, & with a trailer lashed down on top of it back around Y2K. Bahamas Customs did make me declare the value of the larger items inside & the trailer, but that was it. I had a ton of other stuff that went unnoticed. The Bahamas stopped that several years ago (policy-wise) but they still allowed me to import the few things that I packed in the next car, & on top of that, didn’t charge me duties on those few items.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The duty for any car or car parts in Cayman is 27% of the whole cost - item, shipping (both to the shipper and to Cayman), insurance and handling fees for both the Miami broker and another feee for the Cayman broker. For a whole vehicle, they then add a $1,000 disposal fee and $5/tire for when you get rid of them. I estimate the final cost for the vehicle in my hand will be around US$45-47K.
The rules for shipping cars is just the car - nothing else. The vehicle can only have 1/4 tank or less of fuel - no idea why.
I was not able to get to the dealer in the US due to Covid restrictions, hence it is coming down as it is sold.
 

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The vehicle can only have 1/4 tank or less of fuel - no idea why.
The rules for shipping a car from Europe to the U.S. used to require that the fuel tank be completely drained before it was loaded on a transport ship. You would have to pay a shipping agent to put a few gallons back in the tank on arrival at the U.S. port to get the car through customs. I don't know about the current regs, but I can understand the potential hazard of a shipload of cars with nearly full gas tanks, especially on the lower decks.
 

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The duty for any car or car parts in Cayman is 27% of the whole cost - item, shipping (both to the shipper and to Cayman), insurance and handling fees for both the Miami broker and another feee for the Cayman broker. For a whole vehicle, they then add a $1,000 disposal fee and $5/tire for when you get rid of them. I estimate the final cost for the vehicle in my hand will be around US$45-47K.
The rules for shipping cars is just the car - nothing else. The vehicle can only have 1/4 tank or less of fuel - no idea why.
I was not able to get to the dealer in the US due to Covid restrictions, hence it is coming down as it is sold.
27% is not bad! The Bahamas charge 65% duty on the declared value, then tack on to that a 12% VAT on the duties & all charges/fees to get the car there.
I remember them requiring the fuel tank to be 1/4 tank or less, & figured it was because of all the rocking back & forth at sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
... but I can understand the potential hazard of a shipload of cars with nearly full gas tanks, especially on the lower decks...
I would have thought that a full tank would generate less fumes as the exposed surface area of the fuel would be smaller when compared to a 3/4 empty tank. But your point is noted. A full tank in an fire situation on an enclosed area on a ship is a recipe for disaster.
But the rules are the rules and one has to obey them if one wants to use the shipping services.
 
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