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Discussion Starter #1
If I were interested in doing one or 2 upgrades to make my 97 outback wagon handle and ride a little better, in your own opinion, what would be the first thing you would do?

I know about the basics- struts, etc, and I also know how much the basic stuff would make a huge difference. I am looking for something a little better than stock- strut brace, etc that would make my 1 hr + ride to work a little easier/better.

Anyone have any thoughts to help me out?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
when you say a rear sway bar, are you saying getting an upgraded one, as my car already has one.

and the pink rear strut tower brace that you linked, does it fit a 97 outback wagon?

I like the quickrelease one that whiteline sells, buti also like cheap. :D
 

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Agree with above. Heavier sway bar first. The brace would be a distant second. Also consider getting your hands on a label maker and making a large sticker for your dashboard: NOTICE: YOU ARE IN A STATION WAGON.


Kidding about that last one, but really- start with a fatter sway.
 

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what is your complaint now? to harsh, too soft, too much body roll? at the age of your car, consider new brake hoses. all the rubber parts are getting old.

if it hasn't been done in some time, a seafoam treatment might chase some carbon out of the cylinders and some in the tank may help the injectors spray better - might be good for a coupla ponies more power.

don't neglect taking a look at your tires. Get stickier ones. Do you under or over inflate them? many people seem to like their tires at 10-15% over the doorcard/owner's manual recommended pressure but, different tires and different personal preferences could alter that. Some people mistakenly run their tires at the max sidewall pressure - either because they don't understand what that is or because they want higher fuel mileage (though they will be buying tires much sooner than necessary - unsafe and false economy)

be careful with your first few 'extreme' maneuvers after sway bar or other upgrades. The car will behave differently. kartboy or other alloy droplinks, and maybe poly bushings for the front sway bar is probably enough upgrade there. Inspect all the other steering/suspension bushings. Sometimes the steering rack bushings need replacing. heavier springs will help with both body roll and dive and squat.

5sp MT? maybe investigate a short throw shifter.

don't run the cheapest pads the parts store sells. They are crap. Checkout Centric PosiQuiet Ceramic pads. If you plan to visit the track occasionally or drive in a spirited manner or on mountainous roads a lot, check out StopTech Street performance pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Agree with above. Heavier sway bar first. The brace would be a distant second. Also consider getting your hands on a label maker and making a large sticker for your dashboard: NOTICE: YOU ARE IN A STATION WAGON.


Kidding about that last one, but really- start with a fatter sway.

I am so getting that sticker made!

There are alot of things that I'd like to make better. Squishy brakes are on the list, but just better handling overall- not like pulling 3g in the skidpad, but just making a 97 piece of junk feel a little better on the highway and back roads.

All that being said, I need to find something to avoid deer at dusk. Hit one tonight. That puts a damper on making it ride better. Although it is all cosmetic at this point.

Is there stock sway bar that'll bolt into my wagon?
 

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Whiteline used to make one but I think they're all sold & no more to be produced. You might score a used one but I couldn't tell you the part number.

Rallitek also made one, #109325. Pretty sure they are also sold out and discontinued but at least there is a part number to use for finding used ones.

Same part for Legacy L, GT & Outback.
 
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