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2012 Outback 2.5i Limited
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to beef up my 12 OB 2.5i and protect the under carriage. Engine bay, tranny, exhaust. I live in New England, but take it up north and off the beaten path fishing, biking and camping. I'd also like a grill guard/light bar to dress it up more than anything. I've done some web searched, but hoping those of you who've installed can share links and pics.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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3,814 Posts

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
Primitive also makes light bars... but they are a bit... Well. You have to want one and have a certain level of commitment.

Here's what their skid plates look like on my 2011:

The oil pan and tranny cover:


You can see the rear diff cover:


And before install:


Plenty of others have them, for various years. They are stout enough to stand up to off road use and random road debris. Rock crawling is not recommended!

The light bar they made for me (they make less extreme ones, too):







and my current avatar pic:

 

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Premium Member
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1,249 Posts
I went with Primitive like Reddoak did, all three skid plates. I'm confident that it will be protected against almost anything :)
 

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2011 Outback 3.6 premium, rear sway bar, and way too many accessories. Anything that can make Boston winters more tolerable (e.g. remote start, molded wintertech snow mats etc).
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279 Posts
Gorgeous pics. Looks practical and not at all just cosmetic, like many of the plastic pieces one sees on similar vehicles.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
The plastic piece isn't a skidplate, and isn't meant to be one. It's more of an aero/drip pan. Mine cracked and was broken after one drive through a field of grass. Tough grass...

I've bounced the Primitive one off a few curbs (it chips the concrete), a half buried 2x4 in the sand (surprise!) and a few other miscellaneous objects here and there. Mostly brush and small branches, but it's nice to hear a nice solid gong off the aluminum than a nice solid thwack off the oil pan or tranny. I don't know what I hit with the rear diff before putting the plate on it, but the mechanic who did an alignment after I lifted the car pointed out a small notch in the case and suggested I quit waiting to put it on. It went on that day...

The only downsides have been these:

  1. It ain't inexpensive. Still less than a tranny if I put a rock through it.
  2. I hear more CVT noise. Kind if a high pitched whir. Not loud, but I can hear it if I listen for it.
  3. It adds weight. Not much, but hey, it's there.I've lost weight myself over the last few months, so we're even. :D
 

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2012 Outback 2.5i Limited
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just what I was looking for. And the pics are really apprecaited. Time to pull out the Visa. Spend now, save later.

Thanks all!
 

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2013 OB Limited 2.5 CVT
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53 Posts
I think I will be adding the engine and rear diff skid plates in the near future. I expect to be up and down a few gravel roads this summer :) Thanks for the detailed info and feedback.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
Anytime. Anyone needs any more pics or details I'm glad to help. My car kind of turned into a Primitive Rally parts demonstration machine... and I'm OK with that.
 

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Premium Member
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1,249 Posts
I think I will be adding the engine and rear diff skid plates in the near future. I expect to be up and down a few gravel roads this summer :) Thanks for the detailed info and feedback.
I'd suggest you get the three-pack. I think it's a better deal too :)
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,345 Posts
I always wondered what the front under bumper guard was for.

 

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2011 2.5i base
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270 Posts
Primitive plates are good, but like reddoak said, it made for rocks. If you come down on a rock, the front will bend up in the middle and contact the with the sway bar which makes awful noise... but iI can guarantee you that without the plates my oil pan and radiator would have been destroyed long ago. I usually just bend it back when I change my oil and all is well again. They add a little weight, but after pulling the vibration dampener off it's a minimal amount.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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4,861 Posts
I went with Primitive like Reddoak did, all three skid plates. I'm confident that it will be protected against almost anything :)
...including the occasional I.E.D.?...

I put a panzerplate on my TDI this past fall due to the low ride hieght and high snow. Everytime I hit a big piece of ice and hear clunk I just chuckle knowing that had I just replaced it with the cheap OEM plastic pan it would have been destroyed. It's nice not having to worry about that any more. After seeing how well my panzerplate works I would say that primitive is in the future for next winter.
 

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1,249 Posts
I hope there aren't any IED's in Washington State! (heck, anywhere....but that's unfortunately not the case).

I looked at that Panzerplate when I was TDI shopping, but picked up a BMW instead and there is no such protection for that one :(

You really can't go wrong with the three-plate setup. As Reddoak mentioned, I've heard a bit more reflected noise from my CVT, but I look at my Subaru as a more "industrial" type vehicle and I really only notice it at idle with the windows down.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i
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11 Posts
When you installed your rear diff skid plate, was there a 5 pd weighted bracket bar just aft of the U-joint where the front two bolts go?

If so, did you just leave it off? And if to that, have you noticed any adverse affects from it?

My 15' Outback has this piece, and the only way I see it is that I'd have to leave this off, but am wondering why this there.

Cheers!
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i
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11 Posts
Anytime. Anyone needs any more pics or details I'm glad to help. My car kind of turned into a Primitive Rally parts demonstration machine... and I'm OK with that.
When you installed your rear diff skid plate, was there a 5 pd weighted bracket (possible damper) bar just aft of the U-joint where the front two bolts go?

If so, did you just leave it off? And if yes to that, have you noticed any adverse affects from it?

My 15' Outback has this piece, and the only way I see it is that I'd have to leave this off, but am wondering why this there.

Cheers!
Dan
 

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'14 Outback 2.5i Premium
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178 Posts
When you installed your rear diff skid plate, was there a 5 pd weighted bracket (possible damper) bar just aft of the U-joint where the front two bolts go?

If so, did you just leave it off? And if yes to that, have you noticed any adverse affects from it?

My 15' Outback has this piece, and the only way I see it is that I'd have to leave this off, but am wondering why this there.

Cheers!
Dan
Post pictures of that if you can. That sounds interesting.
 
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