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2002 OBW, 2.5L, H4, Manual
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

We currently have a Gen 2, 2002, 2.5L Manual that has been loved but at 300k km (186k miles) and significant wear we've decided is not worth (for us) to keep it alive (timing belt service #2 coming up, head gaskets have been getting worse, many others).

We're in between a Gen 4 and Gen 5. I hunt out of the back of our current Subie, driving up fairly pot-holed & rutted logging or grazing lease roads, sleep in the back, and haul back an elk or deer when I'm done. One of the last trips I took I got into some fairly deep mud, so I have a desire to lift our next one. The more I read on the possibility of lifting it, the more it sounds like the earlier in it's life (km/miles wise), the better, for things like drive shafts and CV boots not being too worn in. For the most part I've been hoping for a 2017 3.6, but had also been looking for 2013-2014 and am not opposed to a 2.5 if the right flavour comes up. With 2 young kids leather would be nice but not a dealbreaker.

  • I'm in Canada in a province that doesn't use salt (Alberta), and with a slightly higher demand for OBs I think as prices are a little higher on average hear than neighbouring provinces, and quite a bit higher than out east where they use lots of road salt.
  • There is a 2019 3.6R Limited with 2" LPA body spacer kit (installed by a Subie dealer who rep'd LPA, so apparently they guaranteed that they will not affect warranty with Subaru Canada), but it's at a dealer so would have to pay taxes where I am, total would come to ~$25k USD.
  • Alternatively, a very low mileage 2012 3.6R Premium with 48k km (30k miles) came up that I can get for ~10.8k USD. At first I thought a low mileage older car without a lift would be a great option to get in at a lower price point but still have not too much wear to be able to lift it. However, even though it's low mileage being a 2012 it's been exposed to the elements for 8 years and showed a typical amount of corrosion on the underside. Not a ridiculous amount, I think I could still get the necessary nuts/bolts apart to do a lift, but just not sure it would be a wise move to put that amount of time/effort to do so for such an old vehicle.
What do you guys think?

I may start another thread on the suspension side of things, as I think part of my indecisiveness is not fully understanding vehicle suspension and the best way to lift a vehicle. Originally I assumed that if I didn't get a vehicle with a lift already on it then we'd use one of the standard body spacer kits that I've seen on many of the Gen 5's. I've also read some reports of those who took their 2010-2012 Gen 4's and replaced their shocks/struts with something stiffer and added 1" of lift at the same time, which sounded like is a better option for overall ride quality. Would shocks/struts with 2" of lift negatively impact the feel on the road? Am I right in assuming that the shocks would need to be considerably stiffer to avoid getting more body roll with the taller stance, which would therefore result in a rougher ride? What about a combo - 1" longer shocks/struts with a 1" body spacer kit? Would that give the best of both worlds, or just be double the $$$ with not much benefit?
 

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Registered
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3,342 Posts
Hey guys,

We currently have a Gen 2, 2002, 2.5L Manual that has been loved but at 300k km (186k miles) and significant wear we've decided is not worth (for us) to keep it alive (timing belt service #2 coming up, head gaskets have been getting worse, many others).

We're in between a Gen 4 and Gen 5. I hunt out of the back of our current Subie, driving up fairly pot-holed & rutted logging or grazing lease roads, sleep in the back, and haul back an elk or deer when I'm done. One of the last trips I took I got into some fairly deep mud, so I have a desire to lift our next one. The more I read on the possibility of lifting it, the more it sounds like the earlier in it's life (km/miles wise), the better, for things like drive shafts and CV boots not being too worn in. For the most part I've been hoping for a 2017 3.6, but had also been looking for 2013-2014 and am not opposed to a 2.5 if the right flavour comes up. With 2 young kids leather would be nice but not a dealbreaker.

  • I'm in Canada in a province that doesn't use salt (Alberta), and with a slightly higher demand for OBs I think as prices are a little higher on average hear than neighbouring provinces, and quite a bit higher than out east where they use lots of road salt.
  • There is a 2019 3.6R Limited with 2" LPA body spacer kit (installed by a Subie dealer who rep'd LPA, so apparently they guaranteed that they will not affect warranty with Subaru Canada), but it's at a dealer so would have to pay taxes where I am, total would come to ~$25k USD.
  • Alternatively, a very low mileage 2012 3.6R Premium with 48k km (30k miles) came up that I can get for ~10.8k USD. At first I thought a low mileage older car without a lift would be a great option to get in at a lower price point but still have not too much wear to be able to lift it. However, even though it's low mileage being a 2012 it's been exposed to the elements for 8 years and showed a typical amount of corrosion on the underside. Not a ridiculous amount, I think I could still get the necessary nuts/bolts apart to do a lift, but just not sure it would be a wise move to put that amount of time/effort to do so for such an old vehicle.
What do you guys think?

I may start another thread on the suspension side of things, as I think part of my indecisiveness is not fully understanding vehicle suspension and the best way to lift a vehicle. Originally I assumed that if I didn't get a vehicle with a lift already on it then we'd use one of the standard body spacer kits that I've seen on many of the Gen 5's. I've also read some reports of those who took their 2010-2012 Gen 4's and replaced their shocks/struts with something stiffer and added 1" of lift at the same time, which sounded like is a better option for overall ride quality. Would shocks/struts with 2" of lift negatively impact the feel on the road? Am I right in assuming that the shocks would need to be considerably stiffer to avoid getting more body roll with the taller stance, which would therefore result in a rougher ride? What about a combo - 1" longer shocks/struts with a 1" body spacer kit? Would that give the best of both worlds, or just be double the $$$ with not much benefit?
If it's in your budget the 2019 3.6R is a fantastic deal in my opinion. Go for that one. Absolutely!
 

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SubaruOutback.org Founder
2018 Outback Limited 2.5L - 100,000+ miles
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4,948 Posts
Both are good deals, it just comes down to what your priorities are as far as spending money with your wants and needs in the vehicle. I do agree with your assessment of placing priority on getting a 3.6L, I have had a Gen 4 and a Gen 5 Outback both with the 4-cylinder and would have preferred to have had the bigger engine on both.
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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1,244 Posts
I am partial to the 3.6L... power is good (even better once you put headers on it) and it is even MORE docile around town than the 4cyl is. Get into the throttle and the power delivery is butter smooth

fuel economy for me is 25mpg. I do about 45/55 split city/highway. Having both a EJ and a FB legacy FB is far more responsive with the CVT.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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83 Posts
2" LPA body spacer kit (installed by a Subie dealer who rep'd LPA, so apparently they guaranteed that they will not affect warranty with Subaru Canada)
Don't assume, get it in writing! Go with the 2019 3.6R Limited - newer, less miles, already lifted and a 3.6. Then drive it until it drops.
 
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