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Discussion Starter #1
Today my wife and I test drove an '05 OBXT with 80k miles on it, actually it changed to 80,000 exactly on the test drive.:) She really loved the car and of course the power, but once we got on the highway it was a different story. She got up to about 70mph and the rear end became...floaty, for lack of a better word. It literally felt like my old Chevy truck did while pulling my 6000 pound boat. The car felt like it was moving side to side while driving perfectly straight down the highway. It wasn't just at higher speeds either, this movement would start around 50mph.

I'm really hoping this is not how all of the 3rd gens drive down the highway as this would easily be a deal killer for both of us. My mom has a 2011 OB Premium that definitely doesn't do that, so I'm positive this is something wrong with the particular car we drove. I can't imagine what could be so wrong to cause it to feel that unsafe though.:confused:
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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396 Posts
Was it in an accident by chance? Or maybe it could just be an alignment issue paired with poor tires. Also, Idk what the suspension life on these cars is like, but it may be do for some work there at 80k.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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being in CoSpgs (my oldest daughter lives there!) it should be easy to find and test drive another same-gen car to compare. maybe, as said, it was wrecked or something is worn affecting the handling.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
Today my wife and I test drove an '05 OBXT with 80k miles on it, actually it changed to 80,000 exactly on the test drive.:) She really loved the car and of course the power, but once we got on the highway it was a different story. She got up to about 70mph and the rear end became...floaty, for lack of a better word. It literally felt like my old Chevy truck did while pulling my 6000 pound boat. The car felt like it was moving side to side while driving perfectly straight down the highway. It wasn't just at higher speeds either, this movement would start around 50mph.

I'm really hoping this is not how all of the 3rd gens drive down the highway as this would easily be a deal killer for both of us. My mom has a 2011 OB Premium that definitely doesn't do that, so I'm positive this is something wrong with the particular car we drove. I can't imagine what could be so wrong to cause it to feel that unsafe though.:confused:

Your description is fairly accurate for a 3rd gen car with defective rear shocks. 80k miles is enough to kill rear shocks in those, so it isn't surprising.

Several users on this board (myself included) have observed the same floaty sway until we replaced our rear shocks. I went further and beefed up a few things suspension-wise.

Can't say for sure without seeing the car- there may be other problems too. But the floaty old Chevy description is classic for an 05-09 with dead shocks.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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2,105 Posts
Mine did the same thing when I got it. It was not even close to safe on the highway. 04 kyb rear struts fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking it could be the struts, only they seemed pretty good. There was none of that floaty ride or bounding over bumps like you normally get with shot shocks. I know there has to be something wrong with just that particular car though, as if all Subaru's drove like that one they would have gone out of business long ago.:eek:
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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lift the boots and feel for oil on top of the cylindrs.

the wife's outback had a bad rear strut at <64K miles or so. The other struts were all weak. (at least when compared to the new KYBs I installed)
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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70 Posts
But the floaty old Chevy description is classic for an 05-09 with dead shocks.


Yup. My rear suspension is on its way out. I can tell. It's got that smooth, floaty bounce feeling whenever I go over wavy pavement. To be perfectly honest, I like that feeling so I am not doing anything about it for the next month or so. We'll see how things get during the first snowfall and I'' reassess the situation then..

@OP: As someone already mentioned you should definitely drive another gen 3 so that you can compare notes!
 

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2005 Outback 2.5 XT Limited 5AT wagon
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Sound like the infamous ghostwalking issue that seems to plague some owners. Do a search for it. Replace the back end with new King springs and factory struts for a 2004 Outback. Don't use the 2005 struts. Then get an alignment and have the tech set the toe in to the max it can be within Subaru specs.
 
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