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2003 VDC
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all
I just picked up a 2003 VDC in nice shape after watching for the right one for about a year.
First project is to decipher the McIntosh audio enough to decide whether to replace the one blown speaker, or start changing things.


Awesome car. No buyer's remorse here!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,163 Posts
plenty of good posts about changing out single pairs of speakers on 2001-2004 VDC cars, and or fixing what you got in the audio section.

(maybe you luck out and its just a bad wire, vs. a speaker that needs refoaming / reforming). find a wiring diagram, McInstosh are unique.
 

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00 Outback wagon 03 VDC wagon 18 Touring 3.6 white
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417 Posts
I also have a 03 VDC at least until the ordered 18 Touring gets here and my pass front speaker was blown. I called Crutchfield and they said I could go with 4 ohm speakers instead of the impossible to find original 8 ohm ones. Could not find anyone to repair the originals either so I went with them. . My head unit also recently went bad acting erratically and then just static. I guess this is extremely common so I sent it off to a repair shop in FL who turned it around in a week. They said it had the typical circuit board issues. With return shipping it was $220 which I didn't think was to horrible.

I would change the tensioner pulley right away. I do mine about every 50K. Easy job and a known weak spot. If it goes it at best only destroys the tensioner.

CV boots have been the biggest maintenance issues. Search on here you will find more than you want to know about it! lol
 

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2003 VDC
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks eagleeye. The front passenger speaker's foam seal was shot, and the dealer had his sound "Professional" replace the fronts while we were haggling. I asked the sound "Pro" if he was familiar with the McIntosh system and it's unusual impedance. He got pissed off and told me to leave him alone to do his work. I did leave, just as I watched him prying off the first door panel clip with a bigass screwdriver. He ended up replacing both front door speakers with Pioneer branded speakers. The same ones I see online for $29, I'd bet. I also discovered he had gouged up both door panels and the seal on one was not seated. He also had gouged a divot nearly the size of a dime in the paint of an otherwise pristine car. I was P.O.'d and got the dealer to knock $700 more dollars off. Anyway, the plan is to replace all 4 door units with Alpine or similar and decide if the rear sub needs a cheap-ish hi level amp after the McAmp so it can keep up. Consensus seems to be 4 ohms in the doors are OK if not running full blast for hours at a time.

An amp or HU failure will give me an excuse to replace both components, lol...
 

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2003 VDC
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips, BOBOBW. 2 axles are new(ish) but weren't done by an actual Subie dealership so we'll see how long they last. Hopefully they'll give me enough warning so I don't need any work done in the middle of nowhere.


I wasn't aware tensioners were a common failure point, thanks for the info. That's part of the reason I'm here!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
Joined
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27,163 Posts
Thanks eagleeye. The front passenger speaker's foam seal was shot, and the dealer had his sound "Professional" replace the fronts while we were haggling. I asked the sound "Pro" if he was familiar with the McIntosh system and it's unusual impedance. He got pissed off and told me to leave him alone to do his work. I did leave, just as I watched him prying off the first door panel clip with a bigass screwdriver. He ended up replacing both front door speakers with Pioneer branded speakers. The same ones I see online for $29, I'd bet. I also discovered he had gouged up both door panels and the seal on one was not seated. He also had gouged a divot nearly the size of a dime in the paint of an otherwise pristine car. I was P.O.'d and got the dealer to knock $700 more dollars. Anyway, the plan is to replace all 4 door units with Polk or similar and decide if the rear sub needs a cheaper hi level amp so it can keep up. Consensus seems to be 4 ohms in the doors are OK if not running full blast for hours at a time.

An amp or HU failure will give me an excuse to replace both components, lol...
sometimes McIntosh parts come up for sale on here, I can't remember anyone selling individual speakers recently.

@botenredwolf posts things that might work as good replacements too,...and enjoy reading your last post. (someone working towards a audio engineer degree, with a 2001 VDC wagon).
 

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Registered
2003 VDC
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey all
I just picked up a 2003 VDC in nice shape after watching for the right one for about a year.
First project is to decipher the McIntosh audio enough to decide whether to replace the one blown speaker, or start changing things.


Awesome car. No buyer's remorse here!

Clean, for now:
 

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