Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I've been off the forum for a while, busy with school and other projects. The Outback has been, mechanically, pretty much trouble free. I'm on school break and decided to do some rustproofing.
I cleaned the car, jacked it up, and found this on both sides once I chipped away the undercoating and rust. I had no idea this was here. Years ago when I did the driver's side doorjamb/dogleg I oilcoated the inside of the cavity, and I have done so once a year since then. I guess that wasn't good enough.
How structural is this? Has anyone successfully welded this spot up? Any suggestions as to how I might fix it (other than 'buy a new car')? Is it structural, or could I just POR 15 and fiberglass it up? (Fiberglass, when used with POR 15, doesn't trap moisture or make rust spread.)
It's kind of a pinch seam, where the inner fender meets the rocker panel, and seems like a tricky repair. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

Attachments

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,194 Posts
is that the passenger side looking forward?

or the drivers side looking backward?

(US spec left hand drive of course).

edit: @Lverano may have suggestions having used fiberglass (and Por15 ?) on his gen2 outbacks.
 

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That is the passenger's side looking forward, the driver's side looking forward has similar rust but not quite as bad.
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
6,124 Posts
In the photo you've got the jackstand under the pinch weld, and it's obviously supporting one side of the vehicle. How does that area look? Would you crawl under it if there were no wheels on the car?
 

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The jack point, and the rocker-floorpan pinch weld, is solid.
 

·
Registered
'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
There's not a lot you can do to repair that.

IMO, the culprit is the Body Rivet inside the wheel well allowing salt water into the inside of the panel.
 

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Well, I think I found a bigger problem. This is the driver's side rear 'frame rail', right where the subframe attaches. I'm no expert but this looks very bad to me. I will put POR 15 on the outside and oilcoat the inside but at this point I think all I can do is slow it down.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Rusted frame rail- how long do I have?

This is the driver's side rear 'frame rail' on my 2003 Outback, right where the subframe attaches. I'm no expert but this looks very bad to me. I will put POR 15 on the outside and oilcoat the inside but at this point I think all I can do is slow it down.
I'm doing my best to scrape it down first but the gas tank, subframe, and brake line makes access difficult.
How long do you guys think I have before this becomes unsafe to drive? The subframe mounting point is obviously a very structural area and it's probably been weakened significantly already.
 

Attachments

·
On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
·
26,194 Posts
This is the driver's side rear 'frame rail' on my 2003 Outback, right where the subframe attaches. I'm no expert but this looks very bad to me. I will put POR 15 on the outside and oilcoat the inside but at this point I think all I can do is slow it down.
I'm doing my best to scrape it down first but the gas tank, subframe, and brake line makes access difficult.
How long do you guys think I have before this becomes unsafe to drive? The subframe mounting point is obviously a very structural area and it's probably been weakened significantly already.
restored the above as you had a lot more to say.

in the past year I put a new subaru subframe on my 2002 H4 sedan, the original had collapsed while I was on a 200 mile round trip leaving the right rear tire coming into contact with the main unibody of the car at the top inside of the tire. (the day after the trip).


that car has more rust then yours. so structurally I would think you have a lot more time before that happens.

I just wanted to keep driving it for the time being. but will probably part it into a couple rust free things from the south sometime soon. only 116,000 miles now on the drive-train,.... front panels, doors, and interior are great,.. will take the brakes and new subframe before chucking the rusted carcass.

could you take a pic of the subframe from the rear looking at it from under the bumper.?

and be happy this is not a forester or a impreza. ...those have rear cross members (not subframes) = a lot more expensive to replace and if one of those ever rusted out I would toss the whole car.
 

·
Registered
'03 L.L. Bean OBW 162,000 mi Dad: 2012 3.6 Limited 90,000 mi Mom- 2015 Impreza 5MT
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Here's a picture of my subframe. The subframe is solid, I've been proactive with treating and painting it.
I managed to scrape away the flaky rust on the frame rail, it looks quite crusty underneath. No holes but I think it's probably rusted through in a few spots (there's still metal there, but there's rust that's worked its way through the metal).
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2019 Outback Wagon 2.5i limited
Joined
·
283 Posts
It’s a bit hard to see how deep the rust is, but to me it just looks like Fluidfilm would keep the rust at bay. You’d want to spray at least before every winter and that should really slow it down you could use an oil spray, but I feel that’s bit bad for the environment.
 

·
Registered
2002 Outback Base Wagon, 2.5L H4, Manual trans, 198K miles
Joined
·
2 Posts
Tackle it asap or it'll get way ahead of you. Mine is ready to become a parts car in September once registration expires I'm afraid. Photo is showing rocker panel/trailing arm attachment area in front of drivers side rear wheel. This is what 16 years in Buffalo NY does to a Subaru. I keep trying to think of ways to fix it since rest of car is great and reliable, except passenger side in same location is just as bad, but its just too far gone. Dogleg area on each side is rusted through, as many have said it works from the inside out, in this case both directions.
 

Attachments

1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top