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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5 5MT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I get settled in my new home a year or two from now, I'm probably going to purchase a newer commuter car, which means the Outback will be relegated to camping and snow trips. When that time comes the Outback is getting a lift and some proper A/T tires. Since I work for Firestone I get a super steep discount on our brands (Bridgestone and Firestone) and having experience with the Destination A/T (265/70R17 on my dad's 06 Durango) I definitely am running them. However the smallest size they come in (currently, though I doubt it will change) is a 235/70R16. I want to know what kind of rubbing issues I will encounter (frame? bumper? fender liner?). I will make them fit -- I've worked with crazy "hellaflush" fitments on my RX8 and B6 Passat so I know about cutting/pulling/pushing/etc. -- but I want to know what I'd be getting into before I get the parts list together. My thinking is also to run a lower offset wheel (16x7 +40 most likely) to get a little more clearance. But I'm not afraid to slap a 15mm bolt-on spacer to clear the strut if needed.

tl;dr

What challenges will I have running a 235/70R16 tire on my 01 Outback Wagon?
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5 5MT
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should add I plan on lifting a little (probably around 1.5" total).
 

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2002 Subaru Outback VDC Wagon
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188 Posts
The challenge you will have is the spring perches. You'll need adapters to run those tires. No questions asked. No one in the US seems to be doing it, maybe because AT2s are more down in ozzyland, but in australia i've heard of people running 235 without rub issues, or if there are some it is at full steer. Other than the spring perches you could run a pretty decent sized tire (29 maybe 30) with only having to bash some stuff with your 5lber. Don't quote me on that though, just what i've noticed looking around because i lifted my outback and have been wondering the same thing. My mxv4s sidewalls finally rotted out (one is toast and i'm on a donut for a few days, not driving more than a few miles ideally) so i just ordered BFG Rugged Trail T/A's (i know they're not AT, but about as much as the geolander is, if not more) in 235x60 R16 and am hoping they fit without a 5mm spacer or something. If they work out, i'll buy a 5th when it's time to rotate them, since i have an extra wheel laying around for the purpose of having a full size spare.

If you are lucky you 01 was built before they switched to the larger brakes, you could run 15" wheels and have much more selection of AT tires. You could also just find a low profile caliper if you do have the larger brakes.. think someone ground them down to fit 15s.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5 5MT
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Since I psted this I've done a lot of research and found many people running 215/75R15 or 225/70R15 with relatively small lifts. I'm planning to run a set of Team Dynamics Pro Rally 1 wheels (which clear the larger calipers) in a 15x7 +35 with a 225/70R15 Firestone Destination A/T (have experience with them a love em). This paired with a small lift (.5" front and .75" rear) should give me what I want. I'm not looking for crazy off-roading ability but just something that looks a little modified and means a little business ;]
 

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215/70 r16 rub with a 2 inch lift. I have them on my 2000 outback. A bigger lift wouldn't help either, They rub when the wheel is fully turned on the frame. Also as far as the spring perch, mine clear by about 3/4 inch. I had to remove the front mud flaps and trim the plastic guard as well. Even though they rub i wouldn't get rid of them. I have over 11 inches of clearence to the rear diff, couldn't be happier.
 

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2001 H6 OBW LL Bean
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29 Posts
Im running 225/60-17, they are 27.6" in diameter. I feel this is the max size at stock height. On my 2001 obw stock height they drive okay, but there is minor rubbing with sharp turning or body roll. Clearance is pretty tight, about 3/4" at spring perch and a little less at fender well mudflaps. 235/70-16 measure 29". I think the biggest limiting factor might be your fender well width. These tires might be too big.
 

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I just put on a set of 215/70r16 Cooper Discoverer AT/3 on my 01 OBW. The 215/70's barely clear the inner fender in the front of the front wheelwell. I also had to remove the front mudguards. I don't think that a 235/70 is going to fit without some modifications (heat gun and dremmel) to the inner fenders. Just my 2 cents.
 

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'07 OBXT Ltd. 5EAT, Charcoal Gray; '70 Chevy K10 4X4, 396c.i., lifted; '63 Pontiac Tempest, 326c.i.
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115 Posts
I miss working at Firestone. For my old OBW, I picked up Blizzaks (205/55/16) for $298 a few years ago. I just sold those tires at 75% tread for $400 because I got a new car :)

The spring perches are going to be your clearance issue. If you do spacers, you'll have shot bearings. I suspect you're going to need a 3" lift or better. for these issues. This is purely speculation, though. Check out offroadsubarus.com
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,454 Posts
I run 235/55-17's with Baja Springs. Lift doesn't buy you wheel space on Outbacks as the spring perch and width of the wheel wells remains unchanged. That being said, you should be able to fit 225/70-15's without much issue. 235/70-16's are not going to fit.

Are they ProRally 1 wheels really going to hold up off road? They are a light racing wheel.

Also, is it worth it to buy new wheels to get tires at a discount? General Grabber AT-2's are highly regarded in many AT groups.
 
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