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2000 Subaru Outback Base
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty new to upgrading/maintaining a vehicle myself, as well as new to Subaru. I'm loving both so far!

I'm interested in upgrading the suspension on my 2000 Outback Base but I'm having problems finding the info I need on the forums all in one place. Most everything I'm finding is a partial explanation or is just over my head (I am a technically inclined person, I'm just learning about cars in general as I go, trying to do one thing at a time on my outback till I get it figured out!).

Basically what I'm looking for is an introduction to upgrading suspension on my car. I live in Colorado Springs and therefore spend a lot of time up in the mountains and relatively off-road. Despite being all wheel drive, the stock Outback seems a little limited in off-road capacity compared to a similar Forester or such. I want to make my vehicle more off-road capable without sacrificing too much mileage or performance for in-town driving. I'm trying to figure out if I should just be concerned with upgrading springs or if there are other components that I should/have to upgrade. Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated!

So far I've gathered that King Springs is a good direction to go, but again, I really am on an introductory level here. I have some friends that have done upgrades similar to this on other cars to help me when it comes time to actually do the work, but being a relatively thorough person I want to gather as much information as possible before buying anything/taking anything apart. Again, any help or guidance is appreciated!
 

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'97 Outback stock - Well she was rolled 7/9/17 coming back from Savannah, Ga and totaled :-( Not I have an '07 Outback - not sure for how long though - would like an XT :-)
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One issue I have on my '97 OBW is the 'open' differentials. If I were to do more off-roading/trail riding I would look into adding limited slip capability to both differentials. I was doing some mountain side exploring and the car just wouldn't go. Two wheels would attempt to grip, then spin, the other two just sat their. (I do have a '79 CJ5 with a locker in the back, and low range gearing, so there is some understanding of 4x4, and AWD. I just wanted to see how far the Subie would travel - not far.)

Later, T.J.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Base
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These links have been helpful for sure, thanks!

Still looking for a breakdown of the parts involved in the suspension, what each does/what upgrading it would do, as well as what I should look for overall when upgrading suspension for off-road. Everyone seems to be talking about lift distance, but it seems like there are other factors involved in upgrading suspension...how can I qualitatively compare these factors? I get that an extra 1.5" of lift helps with overall ground clearance and therefore increases my car's versatility, but there has to be more involved than ground clearance...what else should I be looking for?
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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What are you trying to do. Versatility is a pretty general term. Some folks may say I want my car to be versatile enough to get in and out of mickey's hot tub without too much trouble and be easily drive-able by my wife to pick the kids from school and get 25 MPG's. What do you want to do. Speaking of Mickey's hot tub and Subarus, this is what you would need to do to get your subaru to be able to handle that technical feat.

 

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2000 Subaru Outback Base
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well that is certainly more extreme than anything I'm looking to do...

Living right next to the mountains there are a lot of dirt roads in moderate to poor shape leading to the kinds of things I want to do. I like to go shooting, camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, etc. and frequently these activities lead me into adverse driving conditions. Dirt roads riddled with pot holes and washboarded out are the norm when I find myself out in the mountains, and sometimes it would be helpful to be able to drive my car actually off-road. As it is, with all wheel drive and decent ground clearance my car is strictly capable of doing most of this, but I want my car to be COMFORTABLE driving on these roads (or lack thereof).

Just over a year ago I was driving a Ford Aerostar, hardly the car for trecherous driving conditions. After that I upgraded to a Nissan Xterra, which provided me with a car that could go anywhere I could want and then some. The Xterra had zero problem on shoddy dirt roads and off-road. Well I ran that one into someone else's car, head first...After that I ended up with the Outback. I don't anticipate being able to get my Subie to the point where it could keep up with an off-roading Xterra or equivalent, but I don't want to worry about whether I'm going to damage my car when I take it out for some fun. I don't want to go make any upgrades that would significantly diminish my fuel economy, but I want to be comfortable driving on narrow, washboard roads out in the mountains without having to drive so slow that I have to pull over and let people pass me every time I go out.

I like the idea of using the Baja springs because I feel like the Baja is a car much more designed for the type of driving I like to do in the mountains than the Outback. Although hardly chained to pavement, the Outback just doesn't seem to have the "off-road attitude" I'm looking for, and that's really what I'm looking to do.
 

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Spent years doing all of what you describe in a FWD VW I can only think of one time where a Subaru wagon climbed up and over a berm and parked in a upper parking area closer to the trail head I was trying to get to. I had to park about 5 minutes farther away with all the other cars LOL

You might want to spend a very busy year camping and adventuring with your outback before you go spending money messing with it. You might be surprised that it actually does everything you need. My Legacy GT Limited did lots of off road fun too even crossed a few creeks and a muddy bog without much drama though I did need to drive around large rocks and slow down and pick my lines for rutted out spots.
 
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