Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5i - AT / 1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2 Wagon -MT
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

After reading and re-reading the suspension FAQ sticky and ghostwalking threads I am completely confused about what is actually required and/or available to allow independent toe and camber adjustment on the rear end. There was talk about aftermarket adjustable linkages (in the rear I assume?) and offset bolts but I can't find any parts that specifically say they are compatible with my (new to me) 2005 outback 2.5i 4EAT. Same thing with bushings. I thought I read somewhere that some model year of the STi bushings work better than what is stock and to stay away from poly bushings but what exact parts should I get?

To put this in perspective: I just bought a 2005 2.5i 4EAT outback with 78K miles on it. It has been well taken care of but the factory struts are completely shot and it corkscrews all over the place when the back end goes over a bump (not to mention bouncing several times before settling down). I have not decided yet whether to replace the struts with gen 2 in back/gen 3 in front or just gen 3 all around; I can see the logic in both approaches. What I HAVE gotten out of various discussions here is that the gen 3 outbacks in particular are highly sensitive to being properly aligned. To that end I want to give the shop that aligns it the tools they need to do it correctly meaning independent camber and toe adjustment capability. I also understand the importance of having non-shredded bushings but which ones are the best to use and which ones should be replaced at 78K miles? All of them? Just the high stress ones? Obviously anything showing signs of wear.

FWIW I replaced all 4 struts on my 1997 legacy wagon myself complete with swapping springs and installing strut tower braces so I am not entirely clueless, however the multi link rear end in the outback is somewhat of a different beast.

Any specific guidance on parts would be most welcome.

Thank you all in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
If your car is stock, the stock alignment specs are attainable with stock adjustment hardware and fresh stock bushings/arms/links.

If you're lifted or lowered the recommendation would need to be specific to the altitude you're going for.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5i - AT / 1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2 Wagon -MT
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the quick feedback Isis.

I should have mentioned that I am not looking to make this into a race car or a monster Subaru. I am intending to keep it stock as far as ride height but if I can improve the handling without too much fuss by replacing/upgrading a few parts then I would happily do so. I figure that since I have to get in there and replace the struts anyways I may as well replace appropriate bushings or upgrade some parts like stock to adjustable links before I pay to get it aligned.

Most of the time it is a daily driver but it is also occasionally used for hauling bikes/canoes/kayaks and camping crap around on dirt roads and the like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
If you want to go all in, get the whiteline or megan racing 4-piece lower lateral link set for the rear, and mevotech front arms.

Make sure your factory toe adjusters out back aren't rusted solid. I paid someone to fix those. F that noise in a driveway.

Whiteline trailing arm bushings are cheap. I bought them but never put them in. They're not totally blown out so im not motivated yet.

Before you do anything, look underneath and see if you see any rust. If you do, buy a can of AeroKroil spray. Don't waste time with liquid wrench or PB Blaster. That stuff is magic in a can.
 

·
Master Caster
🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
Joined
·
16,351 Posts
There is much you can do with the car.

There are camber bushings, camber bolts, adjustable arms. Coilovers. It just depends what you are looking to do.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5i - AT / 1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2 Wagon -MT
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi guys,

After spending an hour under the car installing a new trailer hitch I got a chance to really stare at the suspension for a while. I think I finally figured out how this works so please let me know if I get it wrong.

Traildog: first thank you for the pix! Those really help. Second, what I am trying to do is get independent control over adjusting the toe and camber so that there is no excuse for a half assed alignment (full assed alignments are so much better). Plus it is a new to me car and I just gotta do SOMETHING interesting to it! To that end I think I am looking at just replacing the rear front lateral arm which is the megan racing 0520 part, correct? If I am guessing correctly that should provide a second adjustment point that provides toe/camber corrections but at a relative ratio that is different than the toe/camber adjustment bolt on the rear lower lateral arm such that some combination of the two provides independent control over toe and camber.

Isis: the camber adjustment bolt looks like it just came out of the factory yesterday. Not a speck of rust anywhere underneath. I guess the PO never drove anywhere but on warm, non-salty California streets and left it in the garage the rest of the time! Seriously it is the cleanest underbody that I have ever seen on a 12 year old car! I wish the Primus looked that good...

Bushings-wise I didn't see anything that looked particularly worn out under there. Should certain ones be replaced anyways?

Thanks again, all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Can I ask why you want aftermarket adjustments for a stock height car with good bushings if you haven't tried getting an alignment to begin with? It should hit stock specs the way it is. Why throw good money ahead of bad if nothing's bad? Just curious.

If it ain't broke n'at.
 

·
Master Caster
🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
Joined
·
16,351 Posts
Having the independent adjustment is always helpful. The hard rubber pillow ball bushing in the MR links are superior to the OEM style. They will ride a little harder, but they are more durable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
It's helpful. But only If you need it right?

I'm asking the motivation. The internet can inspire some spending. If the car can be aligned as designed and hasn't been changed... that's money for other shortcomings. Or enhancements.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5i - AT / 1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2 Wagon -MT
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fair question...

There are 3 main reasons why I am considering a preemptive strike on the suspension:

1. I like the idea of having independent control over the toe and camber.
2. The adjustable linkages supply a little extra range which never hurts. I have had to put up with less than ideal aligns in the past that were barely in spec because of lack of adjustment range. I don't want any room for excuses.
3. The alignment costs $150 which is almost the same price as the adjustable links. If the alignment fails or is barely in spec then I am looking at $150 for the first alignment, ~$200 to fix it and then ANOTHER $150 for a second alignment. If I just install the adjustable links in the first place it effectively guarantees that my alignments will be good from here on out. Waste of $200? Yeah, maybe. But I may sleep better at night. Plus I get some new bushings as an added incentive.
3+. It's shiny. And blue. And cool looking...

Sadly, I am a realistic and practical guy... After talking to the alignment shop yesterday I have decided to wait on the adjustable rear front lower lateral links until I see what they get for the alignment numbers after swapping out the struts on all 4 corners. Up until this point I wanted to figure out exactly what was under there and how it all worked so that if there is an issue I will be well prepared to address it in a timely fashion. Thanks to you guys now I know my exact options. In effect, the shop said that they don't normally do a second alignment for free if they don't get it right the first time- they just get it as close as they can and call it a day. In this case I negotiated a deal with them that if it was close/out of align they would let me supply the adjustable links and they would redo the alignment for free. So it looks like I will wait. Advantages of being a good customer i guess...

i appreciate all of your guys' help on the matter! Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
Don't know where you are but there are several places around here that will sell you an alignment package. I got a 5-year unlimited number of alignments for around $200 at an NTB. It's only good for the one car and can be transferred once to a different car, but is good at any of their locations. Firestone used to sell a 'lifetime' unlimited package I think but they acted like a bunch of knobs the last time i tried to go there so I just left.
 

·
Master Caster
🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
Joined
·
16,351 Posts
Don't know where you are but there are several places around here that will sell you an alignment package. I got a 5-year unlimited number of alignments for around $200 at an NTB. It's only good for the one car and can be transferred once to a different car, but is good at any of their locations. Firestone used to sell a 'lifetime' unlimited package I think but they acted like a bunch of knobs the last time i tried to go there so I just left.
Firestone...buy it online for $175. I have it both cars. Then the shop monkey have no choice, even if they wanna be goobs.
 

·
Master Caster
🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
Joined
·
16,351 Posts
It's helpful. But only If you need it right?

I'm asking the motivation. The internet can inspire some spending. If the car can be aligned as designed and hasn't been changed... that's money for other shortcomings. Or enhancements.
A valid point, however...

Many of these cars can be brought into "spec" but the alignments aren't good or even...EVEN. which is why I like the second adjustment point. These are Subaru chassis, they are far from perfect...They are not your Caddy.
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback 2.5i - AT / 1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2 Wagon -MT
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have searched around here before but in San Jose it seems like alignments are a major money making racket and finding a good alignment place is extraordinarily difficult. I have heard rumors of "lifetime alignment packages" and such but as far as I can determine they are simply rumors.

As for Firestone I have not looked into them because I have had very bad experiences with them not once but twice- so much so that I would not even allow them to change my oil at this point if they paid me and let me watch while they were doing it.

Hmmm... i wonder how hard it would be to make my own alignment rack in the driveway...

Yeah- it's that bad...

My friend who used to race had an alignment shop he would go to that did custom "super alignments" to whatever exact spec you wanted. And it only cost something like $350 a pop... Ouch.

Thanks for the info though!
 

·
Registered
2005 Outback XT limited
Joined
·
384 Posts
Honestly, if your car is stock, call up a dealership and ask them how much. If it's less than $90 take it. If it's more, go elsewhere. When my XT was stock their alignment was always on par or above - everything is done by the computer now so if there is something out of whack more than likely its the fact that your car is 12 years old and lord knows what conditions it has seen. You are bone stock, so they should be aligning to OEM stats.

$150 for 1 alignment is ludicrous. Get a firestone unlimited or something like that. And stay away from those "specialty alignment shops" most of them are ripoff scammers who can't dial the alignment in but "swear your tires suck this and that". I've been to those shops plenty, and every time it came back worse, tracked wrong and didn't hug.

You can get your own alignment equipment. Look it up on amazon. You'll need the two plates and the electronic toe/caster/camber arm. My brain is tired, but you can find it on amazon. The two plates - think they are camber plates or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
A valid point, however...

Many of these cars can be brought into "spec" but the alignments aren't good or even...EVEN. which is why I like the second adjustment point. These are Subaru chassis, they are far from perfect...They are not your Caddy.
Caddy is a properly engineered American car. Aligns with a 3/4" wrench and a crowbar. Need more adjustment? Break out the die grinder and make the holes bigger. Easy stuff.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top