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11' Outback 2.5i CVT Limited
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been agonizing over this for way too long. Gearing up for next Colorado trip. How essential is the CVT and read diff skid plate?
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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847 Posts
All or none, son! If you only get the engine plate, you will be forever worrying about the other bits getting holed by a rocky ledge. Put all three on and enjoy the mountains. This doesn't mean you should not drive very carefully over rocks.....

Now.... do you have proper tires?

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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11' Outback 2.5i CVT Limited
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
no I don't. I will have full size spare. Between quite a few mountain passes and side roads I shouldn't take, I have made probably over 100 miles on gravel and rocks. Nothing happened and I know I am pushing it but will take a chance this time too. Set of 4 decent dirt tires is not an option right now
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
I got all three. I put on the Engine one and the CVT ones, then ran out of time, so figured to save the diff one for later.

Next time I was getting the oil changed, my local Subaru mechanic points out a nice notch in the rear diff casing. No real damage, per se, but he recommended I stop screwing around and put the diff one on before I went off-roading again... Which I did.

Even in rock free Florida, I occasion whang the plates off of unseen objects and tree roots. A 2x4 slightly buried in sugar sand makes a very distinctive ringing tone off of a Primitive Rally skidplate. I don't know or want to know what it sounds like when it contacts an oilpan or transmission pan.

The point is, if you think you might need one, then you might need all three. What's the point of saving the oilpan from that unseen rock when it tears open the CVT oilpan instead?

I recommend that you put all three on, before you have a "you're not going to believe this" post.

As far as tires go, I was very surprised at the difference in off road performance between the stock tires, and even an all terrain like the Yoko Geolandars I put on. The stock tires are fine, and even OK off road, but they have nowhere near the grip on mud and dirt that tires made for it do. And I've been led to believe they are much more durable and puncture resistant, as well. If I were you, I would at the very least carry a full size spare when off road (even a stock Conti is far better than relying on the small temp spare.) I deflated my full size Yoko spare and stuffed it in the wheel well in place of the now too small temp. I have a tire pump if need be.
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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2,893 Posts
All or none, son! If you only get the engine plate, you will be forever worrying about the other bits getting holed by a rocky ledge. Put all three on and enjoy the mountains. This doesn't mean you should not drive very carefully over rocks.....
Agreed. I started with just a front (Rallitek) plate, but have since added Primitive's transmission pan and rear diff plates. About the only think I can destroy really easily now is the exhaust!
 

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11' Outback 2.5i CVT Limited
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215 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeh I hear you guys. Might as well put full undercarriage rally armour but that would be costly and quite funny on a car that is not ever real off roader so I have to start somewhere. Budget as always intervenes so I started with front skid plate. The rest of the armour will hopefully join us for the next trip. What exactly is the story with full size spare in place of donut. What's the max size I can fit in there? Thanks guys. I was hoping to get 16" steely with OEM size used tire so I could eventually upgrade to 5 steelys with nice fat 215/70 geolanders
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
I have my stock steelies, and went with 225/70/16 Geolandars. In order to fit the full size spare (also a Geolandar 225/70r16 on a steel wheel) in the spare location, I had to remove the spare (duh) and the foam insert in it. I also had to deflate the full size tire pretty much completely. After that, it wedged in there, and pops up the hatch floor by about a 1/2 inch, unless there is any weight on it, in which case it presses down.

Tight fit, but it works. Here's the tire jammed in there:

I keep all my recovery straps/jumper cables/etc. inside and under the tire.
 

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2000 Outback limited
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21 Posts
From my experiance, the engine skid is the lowest. If I come up to a rock of questionable size, I will creep towards it. If it scraps the engine skid then I back off and pick another line. I don't trundle many rocks under the entire length of the family truckster.
 

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96 Legacy OBW, EJ22 swap, 2" suspension lift, 215/75r15, HIDs, 06 WRX interior swap
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335 Posts
i agree with MrPulldown. i too just have the engine plate and use it to gauge my ground clearance to questionable objects. makes quite the ringing noise when it hits so its a perfectly obvious tell tale sign of whats happening underneath.

on a side note. i would have gotten the stinger tail option but that is only available for MT's in the 1st gen outbacks and mines an AT.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
From my experiance, the engine skid is the lowest. If I come up to a rock of questionable size, I will creep towards it. If it scraps the engine skid then I back off and pick another line. I don't trundle many rocks under the entire length of the family truckster.
That works fine on levelish ground. But if you have a tire on a rock, root, whatever and drop it off... You can clear right over things with the engine, and drop the tranny onto something.

So use the big (and lowest) plate to gauge clearance, just keep track of where you tires are as you negotiate terrain.

The big plate makes a nice gong...
 
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