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2003 H6 LLB Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In searching for a used Outback or Legacy, I sometime see a nice looking ride (that is: rust free) but has one thing that scares me off:

"Newer Tires in front" (or back).

Now I've always known that AWD like these need to have all 4 changed at once or at least have them all within a certain margin for tread depth/ rolling circumference .

That said, if I should go test drive one of these gems, what should I look, out for? Noises such as whine, grinding, etc?.

Or just keep looking to begin with?
 

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been asked and answered many times.

mismatched tires front and back,...after being run long and hard cause torque bind, (detected while making slow figure 8s in a parking lot, and you hear / feel growling),

torque bind is fixable. (although I would want some compelling reason to buy car car with it, like it is low miles/ perfect condition,...although if its got it there is probably something else wrong with it, as a experienced caring subaru owner would not let their car get hurt that way). ...and with as many subarus in your part of the world there are a whole lot that love and care about them.

people that would sell a subaru with mismatched tires: noobs / rubes that don't know any better. like say a used dealer that would not know a subaru from a suzuki. gets a car in with a pair of balding fronts, and swaps on 2 new cheapo new ones. (and what the car needs from the buyer: 4 tires that match and a alignment check)

so if you see one with a brand new pair on,...and it makes no growling noise when you drive it, ...just buy it and get 4 tires that match.

other thoughts on what you should be looking for: VDC / VTD cars. that VTD part in the trans is immune to torque bind.
 

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2003 H6 LLB Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for not just telling me to search the forums. . .

Not heard of VTD. Is that same as/part of VDC?

Any guestimate as to number of miles equate to "long and hard"? I'd have to drive a bit to see this one and would like to know my chances assuming the seller is reasonably honest.
 

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I don't think there's a clear metric to go by. Too many other factors involved.

Test drive on a dry day on concrete,blacktop and turn the steering wheel to full lock and literally just keep driving in circles. You can mostly coast if it's flag. You will feel silly but just do it. Torque bind will be a clear braking sensation. Very obvious.

If it's a subaru with open front and rear differentials you can install one new tire up front and one new tire on the rear. Im not recommending it but it won't cause torque bind and is technically workable and I've seen tire ships do it, so it would be less concerning than two new in the front or back.
 

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Thanks for not just telling me to search the forums. . .

Not heard of VTD. Is that same as/part of VDC?

Any guestimate as to number of miles equate to "long and hard"? I'd have to drive a bit to see this one and would like to know my chances assuming the seller is reasonably honest.
VDC is the electronic part that works all the cars systems.

VTD is the mechanical part inside / coupled with the transmission.



you have to read cars 101 what has what, as there are variations over the years 2001-2009.

here is the actual descriptions from the 2001 outback page of cars101

VDC: (variable dynamics control) The overall name of the system (also the model with that system) of full time traction control that senses vehicle direction and uses brakes, throttle and engine management to control and maintain stability.
________
VTD (variable torque distribution) new All Wheel Drive system that transfers powers front to back. Usually 45/55 front to back split.
The way the system operates, the VDC Outback is always in all wheel drive, using a Variable Torque Distribution (VTD) of 45/55 power split. When there is slipping the VTD system will vary and adjust that front to back 45/55 power split.
When the wheels are spinning or the vehicle is not going in the direction it is being steered, the VDC (variable dynamic control) engine management system kicks in and will use brakes to slow down wheel spin and control vehicle direction, and also control engine output to cut back power to the wheel (wheels) that do not have traction, again to reduce wheel spin and re-direct the vehicle in the direction it is being steered.

______

maybe post up what you are looking at for opinions here,.
...a few years back I was sitting in a retail parking lot in kingston, ny and counted 30 subarus out of 100 visible vehicles.0:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
. . .
maybe post up what you are looking at for opinions here,.
...a few years back I was sitting in a retail parking lot in kingston, ny and counted 30 subarus out of 100 visible vehicles.0:)
Uh, oh, you know where I live . . .

Yeah, there are lots of them around here. Unfortunately most of the ones in the price range I am looking are as rusty as my 03 LLBean. I just patched the rear brake lines on that one and am (still) toying with the idea of having a go at unibody rust repair. Just getting longer in the tooth and shorter on patience. It was adventure enough changing out the ball joints and one spindle.

If I had something better than a gravel drive to work on, I might feel more inclined to fix what I have.

The one that put a glint in my eye is a 04 wagon, says rust free. So far no answers to phone calls. PICS are blurry but don't see any VDC emblems.
 

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Uh, oh, you know where I live . . .

Yeah, there are lots of them around here. Unfortunately most of the ones in the price range I am looking are as rusty as my 03 LLBean. I just patched the rear brake lines on that one and am (still) toying with the idea of having a go at unibody rust repair. Just getting longer in the tooth and shorter on patience. It was adventure enough changing out the ball joints and one spindle.

If I had something better than a gravel drive to work on, I might feel more inclined to fix what I have.

The one that put a glint in my eye is a 04 wagon, says rust free. So far no answers to phone calls. PICS are blurry but don't see any VDC emblems.
VDC 2001-2004: even if missing the emblems on the fenders on what is listed a a H6: easy to spot in interior pics if it has a McIntosh head unit with those antique looking silver nobs. ...although the head units fail, and get replaced with aftermarket.
(no other 2001-2004 subaru has those).

here is a example of a VDC one that is intact (just for looking at):
https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/d/subaru-outback-vdc-great/6232536198.html

pricey though, = I am not bothered that it is at a local auto shop, those old early 1980s blue NJ plates show that there has been a registration on those plates for maybe 35 years,...like senior citizens and one of their relatives is putting up the craigslist ad, so no crooks need bother them.

pricey like those minty premium subaru fixer/ flipper guys in Tilson.

____

alternatively: how many miles on your Bean, maybe look for a rust free 2001-2004 H6 car that is being sold as "needing head gaskets",...and you swap in your good stuff. (even if that means haulling it from far away,..."rust free" )
 

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OK - dumb questions again:

How do I tell if my 2 '01s ( Legacy wagon and Outback Limited, both with the 2.5) are only VTD or full VDC?

In either case, if for some reason I am stuck for a bit with mismatched tires, would it help at all to turn off the drive to the rear, or would prolonged running that way cause other problems? My '96 legacy wagon has run for 50K miles now with the rear disconnected, with no apparent issues being developed because of that.
 

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OK - dumb questions again:

How do I tell if my 2 '01s ( Legacy wagon and Outback Limited, both with the 2.5) are only VTD or full VDC?

In either case, if for some reason I am stuck for a bit with mismatched tires, would it help at all to turn off the drive to the rear, or would prolonged running that way cause other problems? My '96 legacy wagon has run for 50K miles now with the rear disconnected, with no apparent issues being developed because of that.
neither one is, only 2001-2004 VDC with the badge, so H6 power, and over and above the bean and base cloth seat six.

see cars101.
2001 Subaru Outback options, prices, all currrent and older Subarus Outbacks Foresters Imprezas Bajas

I got mine as a slightly used corp demo, ...sticker on it originally was $34,000 or so with the couple add ons. (I think my sedan was about $26,000 when it was new by comparison).

_____

so if you read the cars 101 pages for 2001, your outback has a limited slip rear, and your legacy may not. (I think if I had my choice on 2" of sloppy snow, with bare road in places I would pick the legacy,..my 2002 sedan's limited slip rear is kind of spastic cumbersome in those particular conditions).

edit: whoops a 2001 legacy L also has limited slip rear. (learn something new everyday).
http://www.cars101.com/legacy2001.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
eagleeye;. . . here is a example of a VDC one that is intact (just for looking at): [URL said:
https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/d/subaru-outback-vdc-great/6232536198.html[/URL]

. . .

pricey like those minty premium subaru fixer/ flipper guys in Tilson.

____

alternatively: how many miles on your Bean, maybe look for a rust free 2001-2004 H6 car that is being sold as "needing head gaskets",...and you swap in your good stuff. (even if that means haulling it from far away,..."rust free" )
I probably know right where that one in NJ is. Lived in the area for years. It is a bit over priced, for me. As are those guys in Tillson. But they are a retail dealer, so . . . Pass them often but never stopped in, I don't think.

Tad over 178,000. Needs exhaust. Given the cost, I am thinking of dropping the whole exhaust and doing as much patch welding as possible. I can't seem to get metal in the right places on the top side of the pipe. Nasty working on rusty pipe. Not much after market that is Cal certified. From what I see there is no difference in Sub part numbers, Cal of FED so I suspect the after market people cannot justify the expense of the Cal testing.

I have been on the hunt, casually for a better body with some kind of "mechanical issue". I've seen a few ads where the guy has clearly been BS's by somebody, or just thinks he knows. But those seem to go quick. or they never respond.

Then again, I'd be OK with selling it and moving on. Also thought about those Vanagon conversions, just not that into VW of any form. Well early bugs and vans were fun.
 

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I probably know right where that one in NJ is. Lived in the area for years. It is a bit over priced, for me. As are those guys in Tillson. But they are a retail dealer, so . . . Pass them often but never stopped in, I don't think.

Tad over 178,000. Needs exhaust. Given the cost, I am thinking of dropping the whole exhaust and doing as much patch welding as possible. I can't seem to get metal in the right places on the top side of the pipe. Nasty working on rusty pipe. Not much after market that is Cal certified. From what I see there is no difference in Sub part numbers, Cal of FED so I suspect the after market people cannot justify the expense of the Cal testing.

I have been on the hunt, casually for a better body with some kind of "mechanical issue". I've seen a few ads where the guy has clearly been BS's by somebody, or just thinks he knows. But those seem to go quick. or they never respond.

Then again, I'd be OK with selling it and moving on. Also thought about those Vanagon conversions, just not that into VW of any form. Well early bugs and vans were fun.
...more about waiting patiently for the right one to come along, such waiting may take a few months as at the present time the pickings are slim.

...and on the VW conversion, I have thought of such things, rare do I see a vanagon / camper locally that is in rebuildable shape for sale. .....maybe tomorrow one of your actor neighbors will pull one out of a barn and stick it on the lawn for you to snap up though.
(if so and you want to keep your EZ30D, you can get a 60,000 mile Japanese used one from NYC base JDM importers for just $700.)

I don't know if its easy to turn one of those into a proper subaru powered 4wd VW synchro van though. (them are like $20-40,000 things).
 

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Eagleye:

Thanks - missed that link somehow.

The second question still remains for those with the full VDC: if stuck with mismatched tires for some reason, can the rear drive be disconnected temporarily to reduce/eliminate torque bind?
 

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Eagleye:

Thanks - missed that link somehow.

The second question still remains for those with the full VDC: if stuck with mismatched tires for some reason, can the rear drive be disconnected temporarily to reduce/eliminate torque bind?
no as the VTD part is mechanical, there is no way to put it into front drive mode. If I had do drive on a mismatched or temp spare I would just put it on the back and drive slow,...and fix the problem ASAP.

you can't put a subaru with a manual in front drive mode either. (manual trans = mechanical viscous coupling,...vs. the automatics electrical thing with the Front drive fuse)

I guess you could disconnect shafts mechanically, like some do to tow subarus 2 wheels down on dollies.

the only pre-2010 VDC cars without VTD I think are a couple 4 cylinder 2008-2009 , and a couple years of euro/aussie/ kiwi / JDM specs here and there. (some guy here form lithuania has a 2003 era eurospec outback wagon, 4 cylinder automatic VDC without VTD.) ...so in those none US / Canada cars on here you really got to read.
 

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other thoughts on what you should be looking for: VDC / VTD cars. that VTD part in the trans is immune to torque bind.
Uh, What?!

No, I've never seen one bind. But even though they have a true differential, they still have a clutch pack to electronically limit the amount of slip between the front and rear.

Torque bind might be unlikely, but I would not call it immune. And it's certainly not immune to damaging those clutch packs with mismatched tires.
 

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Uh, What?!

No, I've never seen one bind. But even though they have a true differential, they still have a clutch pack to electronically limit the amount of slip between the front and rear.

Torque bind might be unlikely, but I would not call it immune. And it's certainly not immune to damaging those clutch packs with mismatched tires.
OK maybe immune was a poor choice of terms,...

VTD 2001-2009: "harder to strain" then a regular subaru automatic of the day. :wink2:

everyone should have been made with this tag on the bottom

 
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