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there was a longish thread in the Gen5 section (there might be more, this is just the one I remember)

pros might be better feel to the steering (the loaner 2020 I had didn't seem bad at all, I'd leave it be if I owned that one).

cons are that maybe the engineering of the existing link is there for a reason (could transmit more NVH, but also to buffer other moving parts - not sure).

people that have them seem to like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I'm reading that thread you linked and noticed that @traildogck was considering making a hard urethane version of the steering dampener lockdown. That would be ideal!

Seems like the consensus is that those who want more steering feel like it quite a bit. Given the tall sidewall tires we have, I think the tires themselves have more than enough flex and squish that I'm not worried about too much harshness in the steering wheel.

The thread linked to the Legacy GT board where someone has installed it successfully on his 2020 Legacy.

I'll go ahead and order the thing - I saw mention of a free shipping promotion but can't find it. There is a 10% off coupon code that works PERRINFTW10
 

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2020 Outback Limited XT, 2013 Outback Limited 3.6R
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This would be a VERY welcome change, but I wonder about the warranty implications?
I understand how servicing your own vehicle affects things, warranty-wise, but what happens if you have say a power-steering-pump failure, or maybe even a tie-rod problem, it seems like they could (potentially, I'm sure it differs depending on your service-manager) point back to this?

I'd be more apt if it were urethane, too, or at least buffered by a urethane-spacer, on each side. I get that it would (slightly) reduce the whole point of the lockdown, but I'd trade the different, for the peace-of-mind, in terms of wear/tear.
@traildogck Did anything ever come of the Gen5 (which appears to need the same fitment, as the Gen6, in this area)?
 

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2020 Limted XT Black/Ivory
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If you have some sort of failure, I would imagine it's pretty quick to reverse it to avoid any sort of argument. I do agree that in this application, urethane may be a better option.

I may pick one up.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Our cars don't have power steering pumps! Nobody has reported an issue with this device over the years, which doesn't mean it can't happen, but it's been around long enough that if it were an issue you'd think it would be mentioned in these threads. I've looked at the Forester and Legacy GT boards as well. Nobody has issues except for the caveat about consulting the FSM about re-tightening of the collars with the steering wheel in the neutral (center?) position.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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Any comments pro/con?
Back in 2017 I posted a topic for the Perrin Steering Dampener Lockdown on legacygt.com under the gen6 Legacy sub-forum beginning here. My various posts in that topic gave my impressions & suggestions on fitting.

On our 2016 gen6 Liberty (Legacy) 3.6R it made a big difference to the way the car steered. It took away most of the vague on-centre steering that the 2016 gen6 had when travelling in a straight line & also made the car more fun to drive through the twisty bits (more direct on-centre steering & quicker response). I had it fitted for quite a while & didn’t notice any increased harshness even on rough roads.

I didn’t fit it to our current gen5 2019 Outback 3.6R because Subaru made quite a few changes to the suspension & steering which greatly improved the way the car steered. It doesn't have any of the vague on-centre steering that the pre-2019 models had so I doubt that the steering dampener would make much improvement (this is for the Australian spec cars – I don’t know about the US built cars). Our 2019 Outback 3.6R has a lot more road feedback compared to our previous Liberty 3.6R so increased harshness could be a problem with the dampener lockdown.

Our gen5 2019 Outback 3.6R has better steering without the Perrin steering dampener lockdown than our 2016 Liberty 3.6R had with the Perrin steering dampener lockdown. I doubt that the gen6 Outback would have gone backwards in this area so they also may not benefit much from one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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There is no point to a urethane adapter. Let’s stop that train. The effects of the Perrin adapter are so slight that they are not be even noticeable if you are not specifically trying to notice the difference. A urethane adapter would be even less noticeable and, thus, pointless.

By the way, “Dampener” seems like the wrong word selection by Perrin. The effect is the opposite of dampening, right? The steering is livelier, tighter, and more responsive with the Perrin adapter. In contrast, dampen means to deaden, subdue, or make spongier.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is no point to a urethane adapter. Let’s stop that train. The effects of the Perrin adapter are so slight that they are not be even noticeable if you are not specifically trying to notice the difference. A urethane adapter would be even less noticeable and, thus, pointless.

By the way, “Dampener” seems like the wrong word selection by Perrin. The effect is the opposite of dampening, right? The steering is livelier, tighter, and more responsive with the Perrin adapter. In contrast, dampen means to deaden, subdue, or make spongier.
Technically they call it a dampener lockdown, so they're locking down the Subaru Steering Dampener, so you're right. If we shorten it to dampener lockdown it makes more sense.

Some people say it makes a dramatic difference and for others it's subtle or negligible - that was part of the old thread as well. Is it placebo vs sensitivity? In any case, I'll report my findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't see a need to fix a nonexistent problem on a 2020 OB.
I find it to be a problem - notice having to correct steering way too much - similar to the observations of others who have decided to use the lockdown. I like tight responsive steering and at least on my car I'm making incremental changes to improve it. The 2020 Outback to me, drives like a minivan, but then again all of my previous vehicles have been much more sporty, with lower profile tires and less ground clearance. I know that the steering lockdown isn't going to magically transform the Outback into a go-kart, but I'm going to enjoy incremental improvements in steering feel and responsiveness. At low speeds I have no issue with the Outback's steering, but on the freeway it feels vague to me, compared to my Legacy GT Wagon, WRX, SVX, 1996 Impala SS, MR2 Turbo, Eclipse GS Turbo, Honda Fit. Compared to my brother-in-law's Sienna minivan the Outback is good though.

No false expectations - there are a lot of different parts in the car, including the tires and ground clearance, that make go-kart handling impossible due to physics - my goal is just to shift the car one step in that direction, with no expectation that it will become a Porsche 911.
 

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Also the steering is speed sensitive, the EPS unit changes the amount of force the motor applies to the steering gear based on a number of factors, one of which is vehicle speed.

Doesn’t mean that is what you’re experiencing, just something to note.
 

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Wonder if it will reduce the "put hands on the steering wheel" with audio alarm? On our one roadtrip I was annoyed with frequent alarms while my hands were on the wheel while on a mostly straight road. If this addition could eliminate this issue I will probably install one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have read extensively hundreds of posts about the steering lockdown and regarding lane keep assist two comments stand out.

1) Lane Keep Assist doesn't activate as often because the car wanders less and tracks more true.

2) When Lane keep assist does kick-in, you feel it as a much sharper correction at the steering wheel.

About the hands-on-the-wheel I don't have any anecdotes to share - that feature (lane centering) is too new for a lot of comments about the lockdown, which is a semi-rare mod to install.

Maybe @2020XT could comment because he installed one on his Outback?
 

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I wonder if this could help the constant bouncing and corrections the lane keep assist does. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts @SilverOnyx
Yeah, this part was going through the back of my mind, too, as I typed my above response. Obviously, if you're in full-cruise-control, and the keep-assist is making tiny-adjustments, the whole system will feel-soft, regardless, given that it might be countering your slight corrections.
I think the steering response got a LOT softer, in the 2013 (coming from a 2010, same generation), and is similar, in my 2020.
I'm considering installing in both, particularly the 2013, because there are no warranty-concerns there, obviously.

I had 911 C4 (one of the last air-cooled model-years), and numerous other cars that I've rallied a little, over the years (a couple of GTIs, and currently an R32), so I have a pretty good feel, for what really-responsive steering is like, when it's go-kart, or close.

I get (sort of) why Subaru added the dampening, but personally I'd opt for an add-out, if they had such a thing, perhaps a "performance package" of sorts, without the dampener, slightly more progressive springs, and better struts, maybe a slightly bigger set of sways and end-links, and a less dampened-throttle-response-mode, if they had such a thing...
I truly wish Subaru would add the "S & S# mode" back into the Outback, which they could do, easily enough, via s/w, currently (given that it's in most of the other products lineups, such as the Legacy and WRX, that share almost all the same parts-effected, engine-throttle-management, CVT, etc). Heck, I'd purchase it, if they offered it as an aftermarket component, even though it'd be an entirely s/w implementation.
I have no expectations of my Outback being a rally-car, but I sure would like it to loaf-a-little-less, in all aspects, but particularly in terms of throttle and steering response (selectable, ideally, when desired, at least the throttle-mapping-response).
The overall stock-handling is better on the 2020, IME/IMO. It's the first Outback in a LONG time, that I haven't upgraded at least the rear-sway-bar and end-links...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My SVX, Legacy GT and WRX all had the same Subaru rubber steering dampener in the steering system but the steering response was fine for my taste and I would not think of installing the Perrin lockdown, so I'm not saying that the rubber steering dampener alone "ruins" steering response, but it does soften it. In a car with a tight suspension the softness was not averse to me.

The Outback is significantly looser than those cars, and it's not solely due to the steering dampener, but since many parts in a suspension can conspire to create looseness, in the Outback only, to me, it's something I'm choosing to install to remove just that much incremental slop.

I've also ordered @traildogck 's front sway bar bushings and the ultra-soft transmission mount insert. I like a more raw connected feel to my cars, NVH be damned. Others like the serenity of riding on a cloud, but that's not me. My next set of tires will also have stiffer sidewalls for the same reason.

The only reason why I didn't order the rear bushings is that I'm waiting for someone to make a stiffer rear sway bar before I do that.
 

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@SilverOnyx I think we expect similarly, from our cars, no question, on feeling-connected.

Excellent mention on the additive-effect, of suspensive and input changes, it's definitely a series-of-improvements/changes, not just a band-aid fix!
I might upgrade my rear-sway, on my 2020, if someone makes a set of stouter end-links, to-match. The stock sway performance isn't bad, certainly better than the gen4 stock ones, and prior generations, where I definitely felt a strong compulsion to upgrade.
If both are offered though, at reasonable cost, I'm sure I'll be down there swapping things out, and yeah, my 2nd set of tires will definitely have much stouter sidewalls ;-]

I have a urethane engine/transmission mount insert on my R32, and was fairly shocked at the change (it's literally a 5-10 minute swap), even after upgrading the sways and bushings, on it (it already has pretty beefy end-links).
 
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