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2008 Outback WGN 2.5i Auto
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2008 Outback came without the plastic "plate" under the engine. Granted four years later I'm getting around to "fixing" this. Background info on the 08;
- Used for weekend errands, hiking, exploring NH
- Also the "pickup" in the family to haul all sorts of stuff
- Winter car when the Mustang is off the road
My questions are:
1. I was told by my dealer it wasn't needed. True / False?
2. Is it worth the $$ to put the Subaru one back?
3. What are your thoughts on the this one ? My only concern is that I'll get crap about it from the dealer during service
4. Other "plates" out there that are better than the above.
5. Does not having the "plate" (in any form) affect the cooling of the engine?
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i
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1,148 Posts
Well the OEM one was useless offroad and was only for street use. The Rallitek one you linked will work off road. Some mechanics might complain but the dealership should be seeing skids plates if they service any WRX ralley racers.
 

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2009 2.5i, H4, Auto.
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838 Posts
There are three reasons for the plastic one that it comes with:

1. Looks
2. Protect the engine compartment from some road debris and spray.
3. It does improve your aerodynamics a bit. Smoother airflow across the bottom of the engine bay will improve your mileage some, but not much.

For the money, the metal one you link will preform better than the plastic one for roughly the same cost.
 

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2008 Outback WGN 2.5i Auto
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys

Well the OEM one was useless offroad and was only for street use. The Rallitek one you linked will work off road. Some mechanics might complain but the dealership should be seeing skids plates if they service any WRX ralley racers.
I'd be surprised if they did. They'll just have to live with it or I'll start doing my own servicing again.

There are three reasons for the plastic one that it comes with:

1. Looks
2. Protect the engine compartment from some road debris and spray.
3. It does improve your aerodynamics a bit. Smoother airflow across the bottom of the engine bay will improve your mileage some, but not much.

For the money, the metal one you link will preform better than the plastic one for roughly the same cost.
#'s 1-3 were about what I thought. I appreciate the final perspective. I'm still looking into the Rallitek. I can't find the holes for the back portion. I'm going to take some pictures of my underside and send it to someone to see if they can help me out. I really don't want to pay to ship the plate back to Washington state from NH.

Thanks again.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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511 Posts
I just finished installing a Primitive front skid plate on my 2012 OB 3.6R.


It was an easy install. 3 bolts hold it in place. When time for an oil change the plate can be removed in less than 15 minutes.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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511 Posts
Was that a typo? I hope you meant 5 minutes.....

John Davies
Spokane WA USA

Typo? Probably not. I am 67. But I was including the time to reinstall the skid plate. So time added to do an oil change is 15 minutes or less. I have found installation is not difficult if you have the Skid plate on your chest as you slide under the car. I use a large piece of cardboard for my creeper thus I do not have to raise the front of the car. I install the rear bolt first then the front ones. On the new plates for the 2012 OB 3.6R the spacers are welded to the plate. I did have to drill the holes in the plate one size larger which helped with hole alignment.
I always replace the oil filter on oil changes and on the 2012 OB it looks like a big mess if it is tried with the skid place in place even if it did have the holes in it. I went with a plate that has no holes. I am also sure there is room for a Fumoto valve which I plan to install at the next oil change. With the skid plate there is no danger of the Fumoto valve being opened by a flying rock or underbrush.
 

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1999 obw 2.5l Auto 194,000 mi
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80 Posts
Or you could do this with a thirty inch sign. I got mine from work after a construction truck backed over it. Boss told me to make the old one disappear once it was replaced, so I did ;). It uses the stock mounting points and two of the bolt holes in the cross member. 5 min tops to remove or replace. The guys at the shop think its hilarious:29:

 

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I can give you very short advice: Don't do it! You will kill your CAT converters!
The reason why Subaru stopped installing them (Some 2005 models did have it) as gen 3 Subarus have problem with insufficient cooling of CATs. Specially if you "pick up" stuff, haul, tow, and drive up-hill. I had recall builten issued on my 2006 for re-programming the ECU to reduce heat in CATs during up hill drive. Even with that I got my CATs replaced twice under warranty. As a side note the inner CV boot, passenger side usually disintegrates first as it sits just above the CAT.
Something temporary for offroading might be OK, but I wouldn't drive around with it.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6R
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511 Posts
I have a Primitive engine skid plate on my 2012 3.6R Outback with the 5EAT transmission. I do not believe the CAT converter will be a problem. In the picture which is looking to the rear the gray in foreground is the Skid Plate. The dark item in the center is the transmission pan. I believe the two items on each side are the CAT converters. They are still out in the airstream. The CV joints are fore ward of the CAT converters. Primitive does not have a skid plate for the 5EAT yet. Depending on what it will be not sure if the transmission skid plate will cause a problem with the CAT converters.

 

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I can give you very short advice: Don't do it! You will kill your CAT converters!
All turbo models have a full cover and two/three cats up under the hood in the downpipe, not to mention the turbo holding on to heat up there. No problems with dying turbo model cats...so not buying that explanation.

Subaru is cheap and cut out the full cover on NA models because it wasn't needed. The turbo models need the cover to keep underhood pressure down so the intercooler scoop works properly. They also need all the aero help they can get for fuel economy. Take a look at the bottom of a Prius.

There are a number of skid plates, GTSpec makes a real nice one. I think Primitive makes one as well for the Legacy/Outback, I had both of those brands on my 09 WRX they are both good, but offer a little less splash protection than the stock cover. Much more protection for the oil pan and other stuff though.

Still have the Primitive in the basement wonder if it will fit our Outback XT...
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Limited CVT, 2014 XV Crosstrek manual, 1999 Outback Legacy MT
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I put Primitives in all three places at 15k miles: engine, CVT, rear diff. I just finished a two month, 6,000 cross-country road trip (Rockies, Cascades, Highway 1 etc.) with absolutely no problems. One coastal access road of maybe 100 meters was memorable, but nothing touched the plates either coming or going. The beach (soft and hard sand) was a hoot. Cape Overlook, Oregon. Video: Facebook Here are the pix when it was up on the rack at the dealers: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150230950681021.320857.619911020&type=3
 

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2003 Outback 5spd
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6 Posts
My $0.02 - put Primaitive on an '03 Outback 5 spd

I am very happy with the 3/16" Primitive skid plates (F+R) I put on my recently purchased '03 Outback.

I considered the Rallitek plate, especially with a long history of purchasing products from iPd (the aluminum splash guard for the 240's were a big improvement of the original stock plastic - not a skid plate but a quality replacement - upgrade)

In the end the 3/16" thick plate from Primitive was what I went with as I am planning on using this car as my TSD rally car with POR being my first major event planned with the car.

Check out my install pics to see the stock and Primitive side by side.

Skid plate for Outback
I am going to check on the catalytic converter locations and if it looks like a cooling issue then only run the HD plate when needed. I have also mounted their skid plate mounted light bar and covered the oil change access holes with SS plumbing clean-out covers.
 

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My sons 2000 Outback
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212 Posts
Or you could do this with a thirty inch sign. I got mine from work after a construction truck backed over it. Boss told me to make the old one disappear once it was replaced, so I did ;). It uses the stock mounting points and two of the bolt holes in the cross member. 5 min tops to remove or replace. The guys at the shop think its hilarious:29:

And it has a nice Night-time glow as cars approach. that IS funny
 

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My sons 2000 Outback
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212 Posts
I am very happy with the 3/16" Primitive skid plates (F+R) I put on my recently purchased '03 Outback.

I considered the Rallitek plate, especially with a long history of purchasing products from iPd (the aluminum splash guard for the 240's were a big improvement of the original stock plastic - not a skid plate but a quality replacement - upgrade)

In the end the 3/16" thick plate from Primitive was what I went with as I am planning on using this car as my TSD rally car with POR being my first major event planned with the car.

Check out my install pics to see the stock and Primitive side by side.

Skid plate for Outback
I am going to check on the catalytic converter locations and if it looks like a cooling issue then only run the HD plate when needed. I have also mounted their skid plate mounted light bar and covered the oil change access holes with SS plumbing clean-out covers.
Just went to teh PRIMITIVE website.. do not see that they Offer Skidplates for the 2000 anymore
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, Focal X 421 wheels, Yokohama Geolander A/T-S tires, Rally Innovations Light Bar, KC Apollo lights, Primitive Racing skidplate
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3 Posts
Go Primitive

I recently installed a Primitive 3/16" skidplate on my '11 OB and love it. High quality, excellent manufacturing and fit, and it couldn't have been easier to install (and remove, if necessary, in order to appease surly mechanics) - 3 bolts into existing frame holes, no cutting, no drilling. I've had no overheating issues and I drive my car hard on steep mountain roads.
 

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08 Outback Touring Blue/Grey w:Alpine stereo,corrosion management,front/rear swaybars/endlinks(Whiteline), King Springs, KYB struts,LWT crank pulley,K&N air filter
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294 Posts
110,000 miles on our 08 Outback with a Primitive plate and no issues.
 
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