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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I’ve had my 07 outback limited for a few years now and like the title says it has a brand new engine. Now that’s kind of a long story but we put a brand new crate motor in it back in June at 188,180 miles. The car now has 196,134, so almost 8000 miles in 7 months (I drive a lot). 3 oil changes since installation (initial break in, 500 mile break in, then normal synthetic oil for extended intervals). Currently running Mobil 1 extended performance with a Wix XP filter. However I want to protect this new motor the best I can without going crazy overboard on boutique oils. I was looking at Amsoil (ran that way back when in a jeep) and Redline, but $60-$70 oil changes seem unnecessary for an old OBW. My main concern is filtration. I think I saw Wix XP’s around 35 microns, but we can do better. Without spending big dollars on an Amsoil Ea filter, I’ve landed on a Fram Ultra and Castrol’s high mileage edge oil (for the advertised phosphorus catalytic converter protection, whatever it was). I wrote Fram of years ago when working in auto parts due to their old cardboard cap filter design and reports on failed filtration, but it seems like they have gotten a lot better. So I’m willing to give their top line filter a try. Castrol I wrote off years ago not because anything with their oil, but because they were a BP company and there was that oil spill in the gulf. But alas, I’ve grown up some and little old me isn’t going to change that. They make great oil. So my question is:

Is replacing that Fram halfway through the 7500 mile interval overkill? I’ve seen a lot of opinions and just want more opinions to feed my indecision. 😂

Secondly: cv axles/hub assemblies. Unfortunately it appears my CV’s are not original, otherwise I’d repack them. They are not green, but black at the transmission (no it’s not dirty). The passenger side seal is weeping and that CV is damp coming out of the housing, but my gear oil is still full. No boots are ripped but I get a good vibration when accelerating under load (particularly hills). I tried wiggling them to see if I could feel play, but idk if I did it right or at two weak (I’m a girl) to get them to move around. New winter tires were put on so I’m sure it’s not a wheel balance issue. The bearing test seems to pass, so I’m really leaning towards cv’s. My question is:

Should I go pull junk yard axles and repack them if I can find OEM ones? If I try to buy OEM or OEM remans, it’s gonna break the bank and have to wait for quite some time. OR is there an OK aftermarket one out there? Import Direct from O’Reilly’s (might be able to snag a shop discount from an old coworker), or the rebranded Napa new cardones? I’m not really sure how long I’ll keep this Outback, which plays into the CV debate.

Lastly, it’s been a couple months since I checked on my bearings. If they have play, what brand do you all go for on those?
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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1) Do not use "high mileage" oil filters, they filter at 50 percent, which is why you can get extended intervals. The best thing to protect the engine is change oil every 5k/6 months with oem filter. It's cheap insurance. Boutique oils and basically a scam for daily drivers. Unless you are making a lot of power(even then it can be marginal) it's not worth it. If you really do want to go for long oil change intervals, you're best off sending in a used oil analysis to make sure whatever oil you are using can handle it. Some oils breakdown slower than others.
2) best bang for buck is to repack used ones from a junkyard as long as the boots arnt torn. It seems yours havnt failed, they just vibrate. So that's up to you to decide If you can live with it.
3)As far as hubs, generally if they arnt making noise they are fine. I believe moog or Timken are the go to brands, but if you do a search on the forum you can find definite answers. Personally I wouldn't worry about it being a "Chinese" bearing, as I've seen people praise NTN on here, which most of their bearings are produced in China.
 

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2008 OBXT; 2007 Spec.B; 2003 WRX
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I would recommend using OEM Subaru oil filters. I can't remember exactly but it's something about the bypass valve that makes them somewhat unique. As for oil I think you can go with most any modern synthetic oil as long as you top off as needed and change regularly. You may consider switching to a 40 weight oil. I'm running Castrol GTX high mileage 10W-40, and change oil every ~3500 miles. I check the oil level every few fill ups.

Axles...I need them too :( Can't beat OEM as far as my research has gotten me. You might also check FW Enterprises, Inc. out of Aurora, CO. He specializes in rebuilding Subaru axles. If you're going to go the route of aftermarket, you might want to check out Raxles or The Driveshaft Shop. A good friend and fellow Subaru enthusiast just bought a DSS stage 0 axle for his STI-swapped '99 RS and was very impressed by the build quality. He is a mechanical engineer (as am I) and is very discerning when it comes to things like this. I don't have direct experience with DSS but I know him well enough that I'd take a gamble on his word. Not sure if they make axles for our OB's though...Raxles is the only other aftermarket brand that doesn't just immediately throw up red flags for me. I know I've read a few good reviews of them on Subarus, and I know they make high performance axles for race applications. They seem to have a focus on swapped Hondas.

Bearings, Moog or Timken are reputable as mentioned, just make sure you get the right ones with tone rings for the vehicle speed sensors.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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There are many posts on this forum and nearly every car and motorcycle forum about oils and oil filters. My suggestion is do not overthink it. Change your oil often and use any “quality“ oil at the cheapest price you can buy it. This will keep your engine running well for around 300,000 miles.

The bypass valve pressure is a concern that many speak of but many do not understand. As far as filters go, again any “quality“ filter will be OK.

Oil is cheap, change it often.

Seagrass
 
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The bypass valve pressure is a concern that many speak of but many do not understand. As far as filters go, again any “quality“ filter will be OK.
Oh there's quite a bit of misunderstanding on the topic of bypass valves and all that, and yes any quality filter will work. OEM filters are perfectly satisfactory, but nothing particularly amazing. I recommend them as a general rule because, well, so does Subaru, and they seem to strike a good balance of quality and cost. I also agree not to overthink it - I think the most important takeaway is to change it regularly, and monitor oil level.

I believe WIX filters (and Napa rebranded WIX filters) have the similarly high bypass valve pressures, FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the responses. I think you’re all correct, I am overthinking the oil. Do any of you have thoughts/opinions on the blue Subaru filters vs the black Tokyo roki ones? I haven’t done much research but seems like many don’t like the quality of the blues. I think I’m going to go with either the castrol magnatec or syntac oil. I’ll grad it either Wally World special or Amazon. If I don’t go Subaru filter (of either color), I’ll stick with a Wix. :)

Thanks for the recommendations on the hubs and axles. I’ll get to checking for play this weekend, but if non, I’ll just re-evaluate everythingon that front come spring time. :)
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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FWIW, I do 7000+ mile oil changes on my turbo Subaru's, after getting a report back from Blackstone Labs, saying to leave the oil in there for 2000 more miles and send in another sample.

I use Amsoil 5w-40 European Classic and there EA15K13 filters. In our 2018 Outback 3.6R I use there products too, that car has only 18,400 miles. I use their XL oil in it, 5w-30.

My new Subaru ej257 short block in my 2005 GT wagon has over 140,000 miles on has none of the normal Subaru bearing or piston noises. Chassis has 296,400 miles.

Yeah the Amsoil may cost more but I do fewer oil changes. The better engine life is a byproduct....;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
With this last oil change (which I’m almost due to change) I ran Mobil 1 EXP and a Wix XP and decided I’m going to do 7500 OCI’s with this new engine. Originally I was going to upgrade to Amsoil everything, but now I’m thinking it’s just overkill for my driving conditions and OCI’s. I just want to make a decision and not have to think about it in the future anymore haha. FWIW, we’ve ran Mobil 1 and Wix in my husbands 2002 Accord (which he won’t give up until he can get a Tesla Model 3), and though we haven’t ever had to crack open the engine, I have peaked inside the valve cover and is clean as a whistle. Either way I do, wix and a good synthetic oil I’m sure will be just fine. I am still a big fan of Amsoil though. Any recommendations/advice on Amsoil vs Redline for the diffs?
 

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With this last oil change (which I’m almost due to change) I ran Mobil 1 EXP and a Wix XP and decided I’m going to do 7500 OCI’s with this new engine. Originally I was going to upgrade to Amsoil everything, but now I’m thinking it’s just overkill for my driving conditions and OCI’s. I just want to make a decision and not have to think about it in the future anymore haha. FWIW, we’ve ran Mobil 1 and Wix in my husbands 2002 Accord (which he won’t give up until he can get a Tesla Model 3), and though we haven’t ever had to crack open the engine, I have peaked inside the valve cover and is clean as a whistle. Either way I do, wix and a good synthetic oil I’m sure will be just fine. I am still a big fan of Amsoil though. Any recommendations/advice on Amsoil vs Redline for the diffs?
Once again, it's oil. If it's a daily, you don't need amsoil or redline. Any gear oil with the correct weight, api and gl rating is fine. Every oil company is always going to say they are the best and you absolutely need to run it. Look at how many vehicles have gone 200k on factory diff fluid with no problem. Change it, and you'll be fine.
 

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Agree with the thought that using a good GL5 is fine in the diff's for 2.5i's
These are not Honda's, I highly recommend you send an oil sample off to Blackstone Labs if your going to run 7500 OCI.

These engines have been known to run out of oil before that time.

FWIW, my 3 cars have Fumoto oil drain valves, makes things easier.
 
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