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Discussion Starter #1
The power lift gate on my 2015 Outback Limited was too slow. I've had other cars with power lift gates and they were implemented in a manner much better than the latest version by Subaru. Also, the inability to override the power lift gate for manual operation was an inconvenience.

So, 3 easy steps to convert from power to manual... (this is what worked for me)

1. Open hatch fully and remove connecting rod from motor system to the lift gate.
2. Unplug the motor at the control unit. Use a flashlight to investigate and you'll see it's plug about 12 inches from the motor. Remove the floor panels and pull back the side panels enough to unplug just the motor. The plug has a key/tab type of lock, slide this tab toward the front of the car a few millimeters then pull the plug in the same direction.
3. Replace the lift gate struts with 2015 base model struts. These are sold left and right. Here are the part numbers I used: 63269AL00A, 63269AL01A.

The latch works as expected. The dash mounted buttons could be replaced with blanks, but probably unnecessary.

Enjoy.
 

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2015 Premium 2.5i
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24 Posts
Nice mod! Would you please confirm that when the doors are locked with the key fob, the modified liftgate is latched and can't be manually opened?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

I locked the doors with the key fob. Placed the fob in the house (since it's a smart key). Went back to the car and tried opening the hatch.

It was locked and didn't open. Confirmed.

The hatch, when its button is pressed to open it, will actuate the release. Then the hatch can be pulled open. If a few seconds elapse after pressing its button without pulling it open, the hatch will reengage and latch.

This is also true when pressing the dash button to open the hatch. The hatch will release and then a few seconds later reengage the latch.

This process of action is good and as expected. Nothing weird.

Any other questions please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like the repurpose idea. It frees up two openings.. Winch in and winch out???

There is a post on Expeditionportal.com of a 2015 with a winch mounted behind the front bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Local dealer charged me a total of $72 including tax. I found them online for $26 each but the shipping was near a wash to my location.
 

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2015 Carbide Gray Outback 2.5 Limited
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194 Posts
How fast do you want it to open? .
I have learned to press the interior button as I am getting out or use the fob button if I am approaching the car. In both cases, it is faster than me opening it when I get to the trunk. Likewise, I push the trunk button and walk away to close.

I don't think I would have paid for it as an individual add-on option, but I find I like it quite a lot. If they added the foot sensor like some Fords(?) have, it would be even better.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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2,220 Posts
Thanks for posting this mod, NAZOUT! I've saved this info in case it fails after the warranty expires; it looks expensive and/or a pain to fix. I figured that you could disconnect the lift motor mechanically and electrically, but wasn't sure about the struts or if the latch would operate correctly.

I kind of like it now that I've gotten used to it, but it's still not something I would opt for on its own. It is slow, but that's seldom an issue for me.
 

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2015 Outback Limited: 16000 miles. Previous: '98 Outback: 160k miles (sold)
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101 Posts
Would it be possible to completely remove the motor and replace the panel that covers it with the one
from the base model, to get rid of the "bulge"?

BTW, how did they end up needing separate part numbers for the left vs right struts?
 

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2015 Outback Limited: 16000 miles. Previous: '98 Outback: 160k miles (sold)
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101 Posts
I looked up the strut part numbers on parts.subaruu.com, and as far as I can tell the power and regular rear gates take the same struts.
Are you sure you needed to buy new ones?
 

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'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
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Geez, I thought my wife was impatient. ;) Actually she's not impatient but short. If you're 4'11" like she is, you can not reach a manually operated lift gate when it is opened. On my '06, I had to put a strap onto the lift gate so she could close the gate. After that, it was fun when people would point out to us that there was something hanging out of the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The powered struts are designed to hold a position (for the weight of the hatch) rather than extend to full length. They are very different from the non powered version. You have to look for base model struts.

Left vs right is likely because of the orientation of the upper mounts.

It looks like the motor can be removed and base model plastic installed for a more tidy appearance and gain of space.

This mod is well worth the 20 minutes and $70. IMHO
 

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I am wondering if the tailgate opener was in in-house job or if they took an existing mechanism from elsewhere and rigged it up.

I have test driven gen 5 several times and always ask for demo of the tailgate opener-one salesperson could not get it to open, and another was visibly relieved when it worked smoothly for him. Not really a convenience when they take something that should be child's play to operate, and turn it into another one of those nuisances where you have to learn a trick or three to make it work.
 
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