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3Gen 2009 Outback premium 2.5i petrol, mild lift.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi - I’m new to the forum and am looking to extract some valuable advice from you guys!

I live in Australia and I have a mid 2009 3Gen Outback which I have owned since new. In 2013 I got some 25mm spacers from Subtle Solutions. At the time the workshop I went to (Boxer Service, who are excellent and unfortunately I no longer go there due to time/ distance constraints) advised me not to lift the car as it would affect the geometry adversely. I pressed on despite their (good) advice because I regularly go off road in the pursuit of my hobbies, and I really like clearance.

The lift kit achieved 23mm lift on the front and about 45mm on the back - the back being higher because it was necessary to replace the standard self levelling strut with a King Spring (which is stiffer than stock) and KYB strut.

Sure enough the CVs began to make noise fairly quickly - often in a straight line, I got a couple of different mechanics to look at it and they said they weren't worn, but noisy due to being over-extended. So I just put up with a bit of CV noise here and there. The car is great, I love the clearance and its overall performance.

But the CVs are getting quite a lot noisier lately and I have a bit of a bearing-like noise starting to be apparent on the highway (not sure what it is). The car was in for an automatic transmission service yesterday and I asked the workshop to look at the CVs too. They reckoned the CVs were worn but they wouldn't touch them because the car is lifted and non-standard. They said I should go to a suspension/ CV specialist and it might need custom CVs to cope with the geometry from the raised height.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do? The car has around 200K on it now and is starting to use oil faster, so I don’t want to over spend on it. If things started to get too expensive/ complicated I could be convinced to get rid of it and get a new one (Outback of course!) But I am quite fond of the old girl, especially the clearance and since it has that "well lived in" look I'm happy to take it anywhere and treat it like a work hack! So I'd be happy to keep it if the prognosis is good.

I guess I'm asking - are there "special" CVs to fit to raised Outbacks; if so where do you get them and are they affordable?

I guess one other option is to have the lift spacers removed and go back to stock - but I'd prefer to keep the height if possible.

thanks, all advice gladly received.
 

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2005 Subaru Outback 2.5i Base, Pearl White
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128 Posts
Are you running OEM axles? Many people have issues with aftermarket axles because of low tolerances which causes exactly what you're describing.

The multilink rear end on your car is less forgiving than the McPherson fronts and you have about maxed your usable range in the rear (the fronts can handle up to 3")

A brand called Superball showed up in my searches a long time ago, they had higher articulation axles but I can no longer find them. You could remove your lift ad go with a camber and caster corrected lifft spacer from Anderson Design and Fabrication and trailing arm spacers, it'll reduce the severity of angle on your rear axles. That should get you 2" rear safely. Any higher and you have to space the sub-frame.


As for the ol girl starting to eat oil, she's got 200k on her. The piston rings aging and tolerances increasing under pressure is part of what causes oil consumption as these engines age I recall reading. What milage did you get it at? Regular oil changes can prevent dry seals on the crank and oil seal and cause leaking as well . I live in a very dry hot environment and my mechanic warned me to be diligent with oil changes. If you want to keep the car putting a couple g into her engine might be beneficial.

Really sick looking OB!
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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1,924 Posts
best are OEM new or used . i changed allready couple of mine in front and back. just bought couple pairs used ones from scrapyard and forget about it. even used ones holds ok with lift and such. but they must be real OEM ones .
 

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3Gen 2009 Outback premium 2.5i petrol, mild lift.
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK thanks heaps for the replies guys. I think all my CVs are OEM because I don't think any have ever been replaced ... only the boots (a couple cracked immediately after the lift!). Re: the mileage, I've owned the car since new (it's the only new car I've ever bought, due to the financial stimulus incentives the govt was offering for new car purchases in 2009!)

Since I don't know much some of the advice is a bit above my head. I'm putting the car into a Pedders workshop on Friday to have the CVs (and the bearing noise) checked so they can work out what's needed. Most likely I'll just replace any worn CVs with new OEM ones.

Cheers and thanks guys.
 

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Don't know where my reply went. This forum doesn't treat me well.

You're not so far out of stock that your lift is causing issues. Your boots were probably almost shot before the lift. If you want to keep it, get OEM new or rebuilt ones and enjoy.

You are on the right track.

One question, How did the King spring and 25mm spacer get you 45mm? That's nearly impossible on a factory shock. That combo maxes out around 34mm. Was it measured at full droop or something?
 

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3Gen 2009 Outback premium 2.5i petrol, mild lift.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks ... I'm pretty vague about the details but I seem to remember that the stock shock (self levelling) had to be removed to fit the spacer, and as a result different springs had to be fitted too. We got a KYB strut (from memory). The only option for the replacement springs were a new type of King Spring and the company had at the time no experience in how much lift they provided. They thought it would give about 15mm lift, but thought it could be anywhere between 10 and 20mm. So the lift achieved was a combination of the 25mm from the spacer, and the extra stiffness of the King Spring.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
25mm is less than an inch and it's probably settled some over time/miles - the lift is not likely a root problem here. the comment about custom CV specialist is absurd. my goodness, it's about the smallest lift you can even bother doing.

1. regrease your axles. if you're paying for labor you might want to skip this step and you don't seem to have a mechanic that's very well versed in Subaru's or this kind of stuff.

2. buy used axles and swap them in. they're a dime a dozen over here - $15-$30 all day long for OEM axles that last the life of the vehicle, it's a no brainer. If you're paying labor have new grease and boots fitted to the axles before installation.

you can also remove your lift kit or drop the crossmember to restore geometry but that's rather pointless with such a small lift.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
25mm is less than an inch and it's probably settled some over time/miles - the lift is not likely a root problem here. the comment about custom CV specialist is absurd. my goodness, it's about the smallest lift you can even bother doing.

1. regrease your axles. if you're paying for labor you might want to skip this step and you don't seem to have a mechanic that's very well versed in Subaru's or this kind of stuff.

2. buy used axles and swap them in. they're a dime a dozen over here - $15-$30 all day long for OEM axles that last the life of the vehicle, it's a no brainer. If you're paying labor have new grease and boots fitted to the axles before installation.

you can also remove your lift kit or drop the crossmember to restore geometry but that's rather pointless with such a small lift.
 

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3Gen 2009 Outback premium 2.5i petrol, mild lift.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks ... does that apply also to the rear end which is raised approximately 45mm?
 

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Can you measure from the center of the wheel to the fender? I have a hard time believing the parts you have put the back end that much higher.

But even if it did, the CVs still shouldn't be that stressed that stock replacements won't last a long time.
 
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