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'05 Outback 2.5i - 5-Spd Manual (Now with a new Family)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm considering a minor lift for my '05 Outback, and see two viable options:

  • King Springs -- They provide a balanced (front to rear) increase in spring rate of approximately 25%, and approximately one inch increase in ride height.
  • Subtle Solutions Lift Blocks -- 1" increase in ride height

As with everything else, there are pluses and minuses to both approaches, and if I go with the subtle solutions lift, I will also be adding RalliTek Overload rear springs. Both Solutions will be accompanied by a change to the '00-'04 KYB GR-2 Shocks/struts front and rear.

On one hand, the King Springs seem like the logical solution, since they would be providing a balanced increase in spring rate/roll stiffness front to rear. However, those who have gone with the RalliTek rear springs seem largely happy with the overall handling of the car after the upgrades, and I haven't heard any complaints about issues with this approach (increasing spring rate/roll stiffness in the rear only). My concern with the King Springs verses the lift blocks (other than this is a slightly more expensive approach) is that I would not be changing the travel of the shocks/struts, so the 1" lift would shift the compression/extension relationship.

While ultimately this wouldn't be the end of the world, I do have some concerns that the reduction in drop travel (now an inch less because the static ride height is an inch extended from stock, but the shock travel is the same), could lead to the car being more prone to 'lift' an inside tire under extreme cornering (I know, it's an Outback, not looking to debate the handling characteristics), or more easily lift a tire off the ground when transversing uneven terrain.

Assuming that there is no technical limitation to the rest of the suspension systems, lifting with the blocks would still give me 'the original suspension travel' just displaced downward by an additional inch, and theoretically avoid the concern with the lift springs, no?

  • So essentially the 'Block Lift' gives me stock suspension travel (compression/extension), but that travel is just 'shifted' downward by 1" overall..
  • While the spring lift leaves me with more compression travel than stock, but less extension travel than the stock configuration (Hence the concern with lifting a tire mentioned above -- I've seen this play out lifting IFS trucks in years past)

Am I either oversimplifying/overcomplicating this, or missing something entirely? For Example:
  • Would using lift blocks require extended compression bump stops (in the rear anyway, not sure if there are any bumpstops other than the struts internal stops on the front?) to avoid possible damage to the shocks/struts?
  • Would there be a physical limitation to another component of the suspension that would prevent me from 'gaining' the additional inch of extension travel withe the lift blocks anyway?

Okay, I think my head aches sufficiently for now, going to sit back and see what experiences others have had, thanks in advance..

EDIT: To Wagondude's point below, I failed to mention the anticipated use of the White Line Rear Camber kit for proper alignment of the back end, and Camber bolts for the front if necessary (hoping to avoid them, but we'd have to see)..
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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The biggest problem, is that the suspension geometry is very touchy with these cars, As you raise the suspension, It will effect the static camber and toe in the rear far beyond what is built in for adjustment. The only way to prevent that is to install a body lift to correct the geometry. Otherwise, you could get some really hairy winter handling issues.
 

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'05 Outback 2.5i - 5-Spd Manual (Now with a new Family)
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The biggest problem, is that the suspension geometry is very touchy with these cars, As you raise the suspension, It will effect the static camber and toe in the rear far beyond what is built in for adjustment. The only way to prevent that is to install a body lift to correct the geometry. Otherwise, you could get some really hairy winter handling issues.
Yes, I guess I should have mentioned the intention to use the WhiteLine Rear Camber kit, and front Camber Bolts if necessary. I guess the question is will these be enough or not. Ideally I'd like to get to about -0.5* Camber front and rear, or at least to 0.0*..
 

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2019 3.6R Touring
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32 Posts
Resurrecting a very old thread as I was about to post these exact questions regarding doing the same to a Gen 4 vs Gen 5. Any other feedback from users that have done one (or both) of these types of lifts on newer OBs?

The OPs questions sum up mine perfectly (in short, body lift vs spring lift pros and cons). I'm still sifting through all the other old posts on the topic that I can find, but this is one of the best summaries of my questions so far.
 
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