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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I just bought a used 2003 Subaru Outback and I am looking for advice from people with experience. My main goals at the moment are:

1. Stop engine oil leak
2. Improve suspension for off-road/rally driving
3. Improve lights for night driving/off-road
4. More power
5. Longevity

If you have any ideas or recommendations for any of these things please let me know. I am hoping to make some friends and learn a lot from this community.
 

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2020 Onyx
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1. You might want to create a separate thread for your oil leak as there are people who can help with that, but if you do, please provide photos of the oil leaks, quantify the oil loss, provide as much detail as possible so that people aren't simply left blindly guessing. Tip: Make the title of your post descriptive. Most "new owner" posts are just an intro, not a laundry list of problems or questions. People on the lookout for people to help might not bother looking in your thread, but if it said "mystery oil leak" it might attract the right kind of person. Also important to include the year, engine, transmission, trim, of your car, relevant service history, etc.

The first thing I always suggest is checking or replacing the PCV valve because a buildup of pressure in the crankcase will make oil loss worse almost no matter the source, and it's relatively simple to do.

2. Off road and rally are pretty different. Please be specific about the terrain and speed you're looking to conquor. Is it rallycross?

3. Lots of people add lights in various ways - you can search the forum or simply do a google image search for "off road lights subaru" off road lights subaru - Google Search for inspiration.

4. Not much you can do to add power, but you can prevent power loss. Light weight wheels and tires will help, but for rally they must be strong as well. If you do get aftermarket wheels and tires that are heavier than stock it will result in power loss. My advice is to not get a K&N or other gauze filter because of #5

5. Frequent oil changes, stay on top of maintenance; use paper air filters not gauze. If you have an automatic transmission use the right transmission fluid designed specifically for your Subaru transmission. Change things like front and rear differential fluid as well, brake fluid, power steering fluid, coolant, check all your ground wires and replace them if they're corroded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are very awesome, thank you. I will be posting in other categories that may be more relevant. To answer your inquiries: it's a 2003 2.5 L 4 speed automatic Subaru outback, relatively well maintained. I will look into the PCV valve.

I think rallycross would define my driving style better. High speed (70mph) driving through mud, gravel, and rough dirt roads, with a mixture of on-road driving. I have stock independent suspension but am wondering what may be a better suspension kit to keep me from hitting the ground after big bumps.

I am not sure if all light bars or compatible with my car so I am looking for information on what works best.

I've got stock rims and tires, but might need a tire with more meat on it so I don't hit rim on trenche des/potholes/etc.

With the oil leak I am frequently adding oil, every other fill up basically, and I plan on changing the oil and flushing the system at jiffy every 5000 miles. I appreciate the air filter comment, and I check my fluids every fill up, and will be changing everything during the oil change, and potentially sooner if it looks nasty.

Do you know where I can learn about the locations of all the ground wires? I am basically learning the parts with Google as I clean them and repair them.
 

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Team O'Neil has a good series of videos on rally type suspension, wheels and tires - for high speed rough terrain you will probably need stiffer springs and stronger shocks to match.


I'm not a gen2 owner but I think there are at least four ground wires, one from the transmission case to the firewall, one connecting the left side of the engine to the chassis, one on the right side engine to chassis, and battery to chassis.

I searched and found this: Engine Ground Location

You can do an advanced search within the site, focusing on your generation of car, for example:


Although this site has built-in search, sometimes google is better, but you have to format your search properly - example:

type in "engine ground site:subaruoutback.org" and the result is below:


or use google's image search tab and use the same format to get this:


Use your search skills to ferret out other Gen 2 owner's light setups.
 
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I've had good luck with KYB dampers + 05 Baja turbo spings + group n strut mounts. Others go with Raised King Spring out of Australia, beyond that you have five thousand dollar long travel gravel suspension.
 
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