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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! thought id make my first post here after some browsing of the site!

Just picked up my first Subaru ever. 2001 outback, 2.5. Got what i think is a reasonable deal. The car was in an accident and wrote off the passenger side.

Needs:
- New fender
- fix bumper
- Inner & outer tie-rod
- Control arm
- Strut and strut mount
- sway bar and end link.

Luckily a good friend of mine has an entire subaru junkyard in his unfinished basement. Scored an entire engine cradle/subframe with everything on it, rack, axles, knucles, dual piston calipers, sway bar etc.
cost - $0

Bought the car to originally re-sell for profit after fixing but fell in love with it!

Paid $500, the guy originally wanted $1300.

Has Trailer hitch, heavy duty rear cargo bed, and always undercoated/rust proofed, and just had alot of work done ( bushings, brakes) and came with a full tank of gas!!

I plan on starting a build thread tomorrow or day after once i go to the shop and get some pics. right away ill be fixing all regular care and maitenence problems, also tinting the tail lights, buffing the headlights, possible hid coversion for headlights, buffing and polishing car, fix leaky rear window thats currently caulked with cracked wood filler? or something similar. Later ill be Painting body panels, rims, calipers and maybe more. I will be making custom skid plates, and a pre runner style bumper armor and some off road lighting. Bigger sway bars, Custom intake and some small engine upgrades.

We have alot of dirt roads here in New Brunswick Canada that are calling a Subaru's name, and lets face it my 94 Chev on 38" military tires doesn't quite have the fuel mileage for long trips that my wagon will! so i want it to be reliable, capable and cheap! <--- main focus of build. Ill be in school for next 2 months completing a carpentry block so money will be tight. Also this will be loaded with 200 - 300 lbs of tools 5 days a week.

Which brings me to my questions! I have been looking around forums and asking local Subaru guru's and there seems to be alot of confusion about some things i wanna do.

#1- Lifting a 2001 outback.
2-3" optimal with better ride quality.
I cant seem to find an easy solution specific to this car. Right now im thinking gr2 struts to fit 2001 OB and 04 - 06 Baja springs. now should i also go with strut spacers or ive been told by the local import auto shop to use custom lift blocks on the subframes? is there anything i need other then struts and springs? opinions? I was told to use forester struts but there is a lot of confusion on whether or not i need the control arms and mounts as well as struts.or if theres even a size difference on this year outback.

#2 - How compatible are legacy outback parts?
I can get almost any stock legacy part i need. Along with alot of wrx and STI parts. May get a limited slip rear diff.

Any help appreciated! Stoked to start my subaru build.

* Haters need not comment as you will be verbally beat over internet forums and made to physically eat your words one letter at a time through a straw attched to your usb port. seriously though i like to keep things fun and positive!
 

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exhaust(ion)

I'd offer some advice, but reading your plans made me way too tired. you must be an ambitious fellow. Good luck.
 

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Great find. my first suby was a 2000 with a blown motor and 200k on it.
I would reccomend the new struts and baja springs first. see how you like it and go from there if you want to do spacers or taller tires.

Upgrading to a limited slip is great but becareful to make sure you get the correct gearing.

You can get larger sway bars of a baja also. this will make a big difference for the price.

The best thing unless you are going to turo the car is a cat0-back exhaust. headers can give you a little more over 4k rpm but not much. if you are handy with a welder you can fab up something yourself or a muffler shop can put together something pretty cheap.

Good luck and keep everyone up to date on your progress
 

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I had a heck of a time getting parts just for my regular 2005 Outback, I have heard people say that the "version" depends on what day of the week the car was built and which parts were in excess that particular week as to how the car finally all went together.

Top strut mounts with bearings for the front were listed in a number of places. I purchased a set from Subaru in Tacoma, WA and a set from an online place, DriveWire. Well, both of those sets were about 1/2" too small from bolt to bolt on the top three bolts that secure it to the top of the strut tower.

Finally, out of desperation, I took an original top mount to the local dealer and they matched up the number molded in the top of the rubber mount. They ordered two (at about $40 more per mount than online), but in two days, I had the exact replacement parts! Even the small center dust seals fit over the top cap where the strut top is connected (visible under the hood).

When the other mounts came, I had to arrange for credit and make sure it all got shipped back to the proper places -- what a hassle!


All this to say:
If you want to make it stock, figure you will have some problems.
If you want to make it something ELSE, figure you may have LOTS of problems!
If you DON'T have problems, consider yourself lucky!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies guys! Those roof racks are Subaru racks and have a cool key lock function to adjust and remove them with what I assume is the main key although I haven't tried yet :s I will definitely be getting the baja springs as they seem to be the cheapest option and I can get the gr-2 struts for 75 shipped a piece. Thanks for the baja sway bar idea! Do you know if I need the baja mounts as well?

Still haven't made it to the shop yet as I'm leaving every morning around 6:30 driving 150km to school and then back. Will try for tomorrow.

Thanks again for the advice
 

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Discussion Starter #8
what way does it throw it off? is it just the camber, if so is there adjustable strut mount/plates like on a lowered car that could be used? or what about taking some material out of the strut, oval the holes for more adjustment.

Grabbed a couple photos for now, tear down starts tomorrow, still dont have a temporary replacement strut but a buddy informed me he has a full set of forester struts i can have! might throw them on till the gr-2's are ordered.

Heres my donor parts and a better pic of the smashed damage,






and a bonus pic of my other project! lost a chrome trim piece around the fender and broke through some rust on a recent recovery mission. you may also notice the frame is slightly bent from jumping a little to high in the last hill climb race!
 

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Along with having to get 4 struts with a longer extension rate, you will have to modify all 4 mounts, rear control arms and rear lateral arms. The angle difference on the cv axles will stress the joints so you should upgrade those as well. A slight increase or decrease in height is manageable, but when you go to an extreme either way, it will never be right. The handling will suffer, tire wear, component wear. If its not a daily driver and you just want something different, it could be managed. Its not like lifting a Chevy.

I've advised this before to other customers: When you add in that poly spacer, you are extending the shaft of the shock/strut and risk breaking the shaft out of the base tube. It will be extremely stiff because you lose the jounce rate the part is designed to function in. And everytime, no matter how I show them on paper, they insist on installing the parts anyway. Then pay me twice to take them out afterward.

I am just trying to save you time and energy. The spacers don't work. Yes you can get the adjustable mounts, but match them with the proper spring/strut combination that doesn't effect other components associated with the drive train or drastically screw the ride control. Do the math and plan it out first.
 

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cardoc, please stop spewing misinformation. People have been lifting Subaru's with strut spacers for decades. Spacers, springs, or both achieve the same results. 2" over stock will not destroy anything, or prevent the car from being aligned again. On a gen2 that is easily remedied with camber bolts in front and a Whiteline bushing in the rear. If he just uses Baja springs, the alignment will be fine with stock parts.

It's also EXACTLY like lifting a Chevy, especially one built since 1988. Crank the keys a little, add a reasonable strut spacer ('07+), you're fine. Go crazy and you need a subframe drop, just like a Subaru.
 
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