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An excellent point, Silver. I was headed for Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 235/65-17s on Method 502s, a combo which I think looks really cool. After thinking about your comments and re-reading Wes Siler's article and the team-bhp post, I've decided to go with Method 501s and 225/65-17s. That will save me over 5 1/2 pounds of unsprung weight per wheel. I still think there is an advantage to going down to 225/65-17 from the OEM 225/60-18s- which basically weigh the same but have more sidewall and higher load; 102H 1874 vs 100H 1764. What say you?
The 17's with a taller tire is better for rough terrain but the 18's are better for highway handling? The 17's would air down better if you needed to do that. More sidewall height also provides better distance between rocks and the metal wheel - so yeah the 17's would be better for this discussion.
 

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2020 Onyx XT
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OEM has skid plates. Lp adventure or primitive should have something soon.
I would love to hear some specifics on which skid plates to get, in terms of covering different parts of the underbody.....there are many options. I don't want to pay a bunch to get stuff that isn't really needed, but on the other hand I won't skimp on the protection I do need.
 

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2020 Limited XT
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I would love to hear some specifics on which skid plates to get, in terms of covering different parts of the underbody.....there are many options. I don't want to pay a bunch to get stuff that isn't really needed, but on the other hand I won't skimp on the protection I do need.
Really it depends on what sort of off roading you want to do. Gravel roads and light dirt trails? Maybe the engine under guard/diff plate from Subaru. More rocky terrain? Then add in the transmission plate and/or rock sliders from Primitive.

Personally, since I'll see the very occasional service road, I'm sticking with the engine guard and diff protector from Subaru. Keep in mind that everything you add adds weight, which will increase fuel consumption and will negatively impact handling/payload capacity of the car.
 

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Are you saying that the vehicle already has the engine guard and differential protector, or that those items are available from Subaru? I do want to have the option of utilizing roads which may be a little bit rougher, I know there's a compromise but it's worth it to me.
 

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2020 Limited XT
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The outback comes with a plastic engine protector and no rear differential cover. There are accessories for steel skid plate/under engine guard, as well as differential cover.

P/n:
Rear Diff Guard: E515EFL201
Engine skid plate: E515SAN000 (aluminium for turbo); E515SAN010 (steel for non-turbo)

Edit: and I definitely understand wanting a bit of protection so you have the flexibility :) just have to remember that everything is a compromise when talking about cars.
 

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Thank you for the info; good to know. Yep.....everything is a compromise, starting with deciding on the Onyx in the first place. I could have bought a new 4runner with the same money and enjoyed all that superior off-road performance, but the compromise in virtually every other area wasn't worth it to me. In this case, I want the best compromise between the stock Onyx at one end, and on the other extreme, going full tilt with lots of add-ons, a lift, KO2's, and on and on.....if I do that, I lose a lot of the reason I decided on the Onyx. I figure I can always decide to go that route later on if I care to.
 

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I want to get the tires right away, then skid plates and the trailer hitch; I figure on getting it all installed at the same place here in town, where the guy has a great rep and specializes in off-road stuff. Question: the differential rear under guard: it doesn't need to be aluminum as well?
 

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An excellent point, Silver. I was headed for Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail 235/65-17s on Method 502s, a combo which I think looks really cool. After thinking about your comments and re-reading Wes Siler's article and the team-bhp post, I've decided to go with Method 501s and 225/65-17s. That will save me over 5 1/2 pounds of unsprung weight per wheel. I still think there is an advantage to going down to 225/65-17 from the OEM 225/60-18s- which basically weigh the same but have more sidewall and higher load; 102H 1874 vs 100H 1764. What say you?
Just curious why you went with the 501 vs 502? I’m debating the 235/65/17 or the 225/65/17 myself but sticking with the 502’s
 

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Both are excellent wheels. I chose the 501s primarily on appearance- a little less cluttered with grooves and lettering. Also, the members have impressed me with the importance of "unsprung weight" and the 501 is 1/2 pound lighter per corner. For the same reason, I went with 225 over 235, even though I like the look of the bigger tires- another saving of 5 pounds each. Apparently heavy wheels and tires eat away at mileage, acceleration, and suspension. But truth be told, the 502/235 combo is awesome!. Let me know if this is helpful and what you decide!
 

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Thanks for the info. I’ve been leaning toward the 225’s now for the weight issue as well. Funny thing is the stock duellers which are on there now 225/60/18 are listed at 36 lbs each. Same as the 235/65/17s. The 225/65/17s are showing 30lbs each so I guess if I went with the 235s I should still be around the same weight as stock right? You should have then noticed better acceleration possibly with a lighter than stock tire? Was that the case? I am not sure how much the stock 18 wheels weigh in comparison to the 502s either so there’s that. Also, the tire shop said they thought the 235s would rub but I’ve read that people have used them without a lift a no rubbing. Still researching that. Anyone on here have any ideas about that please chime in. Thx!
 

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I have noticed that the tire websites vary quite a bit in the weight category. Discount Tire quotes the 225/60-18 Dueller as 27, and my stock 18" wheels weigh 26, so that's where I started my calculations-53 pounds per corner. The 501 is 23.8, 502 24.3. The Falken site says 30 for 225/65-17, 35 for 235. Member Fattcoffee is very happy with his Wildpeak 235/60-18s on OEM wheels; those weigh 34.1 (225 30.2), and are another good option. There's one other thing you might find useful- check out Wes Siler's great piece for Outside Magazine on the pros and cons of modding Outbacks. He is their Adventure Columnist , but it's easier to find the article on his website, indefinitelywild.com. Chock full of useful insight!
The bottom line is I'm probably overthinking this and should just get the setup that looks the best to me, but the math is pretty compelling. Have fun with your build- are you planning anything besides the tires? Me, I'm keen to get a Skid Plate from the Canadian LP Aventure folks.
 

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Going to try these tires out on my 2015 Outback I just picked up. My last Outback I had put the Geolander G015's on it but before I could really test them I gave it to my folks.
 
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