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2016 3.6R Outback
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if it would be possible to do a big brake upgrade for the 5th Gen Outback? Thinking if the WRX Brembo or STI Brembos would fit the Outback with 17" stock WRX wheels? I currently have these and experience something while offroading where my whole dashboard lit up, I lost the ability to engage x-mode, the paddle shifters to could not be used, and the car was in limp home mode. Coming down a muddy mountain road in the Cohuta Wilderness area in North Georgia with overheating brakes is a bit scary. Wife, dog, and I finally were able to make it down safely but this made me think about it. Thanks in advance.
 

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Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,780 Posts
not saying an upgrade may not have been helpful in that situation, but severe descents are best handled by downshifting, brakes are best for 'acute'/quick use to shed some speed - so, the real issue is , why the limp mode? Newer cars will always disable cruise control and traction control and other systems when a CEL is set.

is the car still in limp mode?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,171 Posts
could you link that on a map, @Brucey would like to go there with his own 3.6 outback.

I remember long ago people typing of overheating brakes, and the rubber lines would swell and blow from offroading. (like on big grades and rock strew dry brooks).

what was the first light to come up on the dash? (ATF temp, or ABS off)
 

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2016 3.6R Outback
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
@1 Lucky Texan- once we reached the top of the mountain, the road was closed. We turned the car off to go on small recon hike to see if we could get by but the gate was locked with a padlock so we couldn't get through. Turned on the car and the check engine light, abs, lane departure, eyesight, xmode light (blinking) stayed on and eyesight was disabled, paddle shifters would not work.

@eagleeye - The Georgia Traverse Map - Georgia Overland

@Brucey - CVT light never came on.


It took us a long time to get home given we were in Limp Home mode. But the next day when I restarted the car everything seemed to be working fine and the dealer couldn't pull a code. But I did take a video of it and showed to the dealer and they are baffled.


Since I couldn't use the paddle shifted to downshift, I had to rely on the brakes more than I would normally do.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,171 Posts
I wonder if it did not like being shut down hot, like at the top of the mountain it should have been idled a few minutes. and then shut down.

and then idled and shut down, and restarted to see if things refreshed.
 

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Premium Member
(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,780 Posts
odd that they couldn't retrieve a code

you might consider reporting that incident to NHTSA, maybe Subaru should reconsider the programming that disables a persons ability to downshift on grades.
 

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It doesn’t sound like brakes. Limp mode and lights after a long climb could be temp related either engine or cvt. If it was steep and your parking spot was a steep spot ie not flat I wonder if cvt fluid level was screwy? How many miles on the car?

The 3.6 and the 2.5 16’s have the big brakes already besides this was after a climb not a decent right?
 

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2016 3.6R Outback
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@subiesailor - car has 22k miles (I have a 3.6r). CVT light didnt come on, oil temp was around 200 (per info on radiol, and coolant gauge didnt move. The lights were after a climb. Coming down was the part thatwas what made my palms sweat. @1 Lucky Texan - I will report to NHTSA. @eagleeye - never thought a car could be so tempermental
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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@subiesailor - car has 22k miles (I have a 3.6r). CVT light didnt come on, oil temp was around 200 (per info on radiol, and coolant gauge didnt move. The lights were after a climb. Coming down was the part thatwas what made my palms sweat. @1 Lucky Texan - I will report to NHTSA. @eagleeye - never thought a car could be so tempermental


you,...your wife, and your dog need this,

just add some more sheet metal, maybe a windshield and wipers. (if its raining when you come out of the piggly wiggly).

https://knoxville.craigslist.org/cto/d/4-wheel-steering-rock-crawler/6499070456.html
 

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2016 2.5i Outback, 2002 Audi S4 Avant, 1980 CB750F Supersport, 1985 Carrera 3.2
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568 Posts
Overheating brakes would be cheaper and easier to solve with a brake pad and fluid that is more resistant to fade. Our 2016's already have WRX brakes but 2008-2017 (2018?) front STI monoblock calipers will directly swap with our stock units (rotors are the same). I upgraded my front pads to StopTech Street Sport pads from a WRX and it feels much better with initial bite, consistency, and fade.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Touring WG/JB
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148 Posts
Braided brake lines, higher temp fluid and pads with different characteristics are more likely to help (if brakes are indeed the issue). A BBK is less likely to help (and very expensive to boot).

It's the same situation if you track your car. You want pads that perform optimally when heated up (vs. road going pads that are optimal when cold), since you are on your brakes hard and frequently. You can also change to brake fluid that has a higher boiling point, but you will need to flush and bleed more frequently (e.g. every 6 months vs 2 years). It is more hygroscopic, and mores the more frequently it gets heated towards the boiling point.

One other thing, A BBK will drastically limit wheel compatibility. The wheels you have now may or may not clear a BBK.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,810 Posts
I was wondering if it would be possible to do a big brake upgrade for the 5th Gen Outback? Thinking if the WRX Brembo or STI Brembos would fit the Outback with 17" stock WRX wheels? I currently have these and experience something while offroading where my whole dashboard lit up, I lost the ability to engage x-mode, the paddle shifters to could not be used, and the car was in limp home mode. Coming down a muddy mountain road in the Cohuta Wilderness area in North Georgia with overheating brakes is a bit scary. Wife, dog, and I finally were able to make it down safely but this made me think about it. Thanks in advance.
Not sure what happened, sounds like NOT brake related, but, yes DO get better pads.

I switched to Hawk HPS 5.0 pads and ATE Typ 200 fluid after my first trip to Ouray.

If I never overheated those pads on my subsequent trips there, I very much doubt anyone else would.

As for the codes, maybe something got wet. A poorly installed transmission harness, for example, can cause a Christmas tree on the dashboard.
 

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Outbrat XT, 3.0R Limited, 2.5i Touring
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performance fluid, pads and rotors > “big brakes”

Unless you are doing autocross or some other type of track days it’s not necessary. Brake upgrades, along with tires, and an experienced and knowledgeable driver will always outperform throwing money at a problem with a big brake kit.
 

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Overheating brakes would be cheaper and easier to solve with a brake pad and fluid that is more resistant to fade. Our 2016's already have WRX brakes but 2008-2017 (2018?) front STI monoblock calipers will directly swap with our stock units (rotors are the same). I upgraded my front pads to StopTech Street Sport pads from a WRX and it feels much better with initial bite, consistency, and fade.
How positive are you that we only have to switch calipers?
Because I really would like to put the stop tech drilled/slotted rotors on my car right now, If I know that I can swap the caliper over later.
Not so much because I need massive breaking performance, the braking is great for me... but because my aftermarket wheels are really open and the brakes are extremely visible... So the giant monoblock caliper will look much nicer. LOL
 
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