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Discussion Starter #1
Good evening everyone. I took the leap and purchased an Outback today:

2009 Outback XT with manual transmission. I had searched for about 3 weeks, and found a clean post updates 3rd gen with a somewhat clean service history from a private owner.

I had a 2012 VW TDI Sportwagen that I had ordered from the factory brand new, but got caught up in Dieselgate and decided to get rid of it. Then I had the crazy idea to buy a surplus HMMWV that I've wanted since I was 10 years old. After driving that every day for over a year, and then with my wife being pregnant with our first... I pushed myself back into another wagon, but still managed to keep the HMMWV!

I'm fearful that I should have gone for the non-Turbo Outback due to the simplicity, but ultimately it came down to the following decision between two private parties:

2009 Outback XT 5MT, 157,000 miles, seemingly good service history - $7750
2009 Outback 2.5i 5MT, 105,000 miles, great documented service history with receipts, but with a damaged rear bumper - ~$6900

I couldn't stop being excited about the XT, and I drove 6 hours to pick up the XT and trailer it home. My wife's V6 4Runner was NOT happy about this.

I also plan on using the Outback to shuttle around our little 8 acre property. Hopefully pictures of it off on my trails to follow someday.





 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Welcome. I have 2. I luvs mine.

Just take care of the turbo and your block. Keep it fed with oil, some XTs are users. And only premium fuel and fluids, so don;t try to pinch pennies. The fuel economy s*cks, but ... you didn't buy a turbo for a thin wallet ... right?
 

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2005 OBXT Ltd Obsidian Black 5MT
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Welcome to the group!

Very nice find.

If you take care of it, it will take care of you. But as @traildogck said, these can be a bit of an expense when it comes to maintenance.

You've come to the right place for any questions or advice on these. The '09 is about the cream of this model.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This car won't be going down to my stream until I make another path, lol. Burning clutch on the way back up. My house is about 300 yards above this picture, and I'm guessing a 30 degree slope at the tip top.





But when it has room and the ability to have some speed, it didn't get stopped :)

When will they make an Outback with a transfer case? :D

I'll make this my... "build"... thread? Got it titled, tagged, and inspected today. It was surprisingly clean underneath. A few leaks I'll have to look into. The bigger problem is that this morning it immediately threw a CEL and started stumbling. I'm starting a purchase list to make sure it's reasonably refreshed. Even though the previous owner believed the timing belt was changed at 100k, I might go ahead and tear it apart to do it and several other things.
 

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I bought my 2009 XT 10 months ago and absolutely love it! When I bought mine I was worried that the turbo would eat my wallet, but it really hasn't. I mean, yeah gas and fluids are more expensive but it hasn't been extreme.

Now the suspension on the other hand... the suspension has a ferocious appetite for my wallet! Every time I replace something I think "Welp! I've basically rebuilt everything at this point, I think I'm done!" then the car is like "LOL NOPE!"
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looking into the stumbling, rough idle issue, I started following the FSM's troubleshooting guide. This started by disconnecting the ground cable from the battery, disconnecting the computer, and trying to verify signals coming out of it. I looked ahead in the FSM and it wanted me to access parts on the next step (I think the fuel injectors) that were **** near impossible to get to.

I decided to abandon the troubleshooting and start replacing common wear parts and see what I see along the way. Step 1 was going to be replacing the air filter.
It had a K&N filter, and I thought perhaps it was over oiled or something like that and restricting air flow. The next step was checking for vacuum leaks with MAF cleaner. The next step was checking fuel pressure. All of these had no impact. The next step was replacing spark plugs. While I was in there, I was going to do a compression test and do a visual inspection of the coils.

Apparently, unhooking the battery as long as I did reset the computer. That seemed to have sent the car into a relearn procedure that made the car completely die at every stop light or parking lot or any time I would push in the clutch without also giving it gas to stay around 1500 RPM. On Saturday, I kind of got pissed because I wanted to just enjoy driving the car, so I took it on a 30 minute drive where there were no stops. I then drove back to my office/shop and I'd gotten good enough at revving while stopping that I hadn't given it the chance to fail, and sure enough I noticed that it wasn't dying anymore.

I took it on several trips over the weekend and everything seemed to be fine. But then when I came back home it stumbled and died in my driveway this morning. I planned on replacing the spark plugs anyway, so I got started on that. What I found from the old plugs was telling:



They seemed to have perhaps twice the gap as the new ones, and they weren't the "correct" plugs. It appears that the only difference was that the old plugs had a nickle electrode instead of a platinum of the factory correct plug. According to NGK, the old plugs have a life of 40,000 miles, and the correct plugs that I installed have a life of 80,000 miles. My suspicion is that someone used the wrong plugs on the right maintenance schedule and they were just overworn as you can clearly see in the picture.

I took it on another test drive afterwards, and it still had the same problem, which makes me think that the large gap caused the ignition coils to work extra hard to produce the voltage necessary to jump the gap on the bad spark plugs. So I'm actually going to replace every coil. Since the car ran fine earlier in the week and it was 11 PM already by the time I was ready to install the new plugs, I didn't bother with measuring compression of the cylinders.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Discussion Starter #9

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Ditch the K&N, and see if those correct NGK plugs help things a little bit. Report back as soon as you see how it behaves.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This strongly suggests the coolant temperature sensor is giving a wrong reading. Assuming this is consistent.
Here's a prime example of what I dislike about what I'm seeing with this FSM which I talk about in another thread.

I know that the manual is written for Subaru dealers, but the ONLY way it appears to have to test the ECTS is by hooking up the scan tool and looking at the reported temp. That and testing resistance at cold and when warm and "see if they're different".

I just measured with an ommeter. 1,250 ohms when "cold", although it was still a little warm from the drive in this morning. And 239 ohms when warmed up.

Almost every FSM I've ever seen will tell you what resistance it's supposed to be for a given temperature. So for this one to completely rely on a scan tool is very sad :/

Especially since the scan tool isn't seeing the sensor temperature, but it's seeing what the computer thinks the sensor temperature is... at least that's how I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Initial codes were misfires on cylinders 2 and 4. After swapping coils around from left to right, the new code is misfires on cylinders 3 and 4.

Lol. Not conclusive... but new coils ordered and I should be able to install them on Friday.

It's possible that the coils are so weak at this point that the additional fuel injected in when the engine is cold overwhelms the spark. We'll see!
 

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Here's a prime example of what I dislike about what I'm seeing with this FSM which I talk about in another thread.

I know that the manual is written for Subaru dealers, but the ONLY way it appears to have to test the ECTS is by hooking up the scan tool and looking at the reported temp. That and testing resistance at cold and when warm and "see if they're different".

I just measured with an ommeter. 1,250 ohms when "cold", although it was still a little warm from the drive in this morning. And 239 ohms when warmed up.

Almost every FSM I've ever seen will tell you what resistance it's supposed to be for a given temperature. So for this one to completely rely on a scan tool is very sad :/

Especially since the scan tool isn't seeing the sensor temperature, but it's seeing what the computer thinks the sensor temperature is... at least that's how I understand it.
Check out Free-SSM. If you have a windows computer your can buy a $20 cable and you will be all set.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/65-parts-accessories-performance/39426-freessm-complete-access-your-ecm-tcu.html

It's better to see what the computer thinks, since that is what it is using to control the mixture.

But it sounds like you are on the right track with misfire and it being the coils!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Received and changed the coils this evening. I unplugged the ground on the battery to reset everything at the same time.

It seems to have somehow gotten worse. I'm thinking the next step will be to get a smoke tester and try to find if anything is leaking that shouldn't be, while also getting access to some kind of scanning/logging.

Pretty upsetting that there's no change at all with the horrible spark plugs that came out and the new coils. It feels like it's performing worse, actually.

On the way back on the test drive, I sucked a bird into the intercooler hood opening. Never had that happen before. Little feller was gutted and cooked. I cleaned up what I could, but if it ends up smelling like fried chicken I think I'll have to go to KFC to satisfy the inevitable craving...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Intake manifold vacuum pressure test:

Supposed to be -20.85 inHG
Read steady -14 inHG.

Vacuum leak suspected. Smoke tester was ordered last night.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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I'll be reading that info shortly, Chris. Thank you for the link.

I got the smoke machine today and started testing. Removed the air intake just downstream of the air filter and plugged it. Smoked from the brake booster vacuum line. Only two leaks that I was able to see with this method, both from little flanges in the pictures below. What are these?

And does testing this way end up checking the intercooler? Or do I need to apply vacuum pressure to the valve on the intercooler to open up flow into it?

Driver side front of engine, zoomed out:



Driver side zoomed in:



Passenger side rear of engine, zoomed out:



Same side zoomed in:

 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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It looks like someone deleted your TGVs at some point.

There is supposed to be a little sensor/actuators there to operate the TGV baffles inside. Gutting the TGVs is a Mod that people do, there are several ways to to it. It looks like this Mod was done with a type of block-off plate which is leaking.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Agreed, those look like block-off plates on the TGV shaft bores.

Might even be this kit.

Air (smoke) must pass through the intercooler to get from the air filter hose to the TGV bodies where you found those leaks, so you're good on that score- it's already flowing through the IC.
 
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