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Premium Member
2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

What is the official wading (water fording) depth of the OB? I see that the air intake and alternator is pretty high up. Are there breather tubes for the transmission and differentials?

Thanks in advance.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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619 Posts
Got caught in a bit of a flood the other day. I was on streets, and evidently a storm drain was blocked. The water was about 12-15 inches deep at the most. I could feel it when the front bumper hit the water line. Car just chugged right through it, though. Past at least one stuck sub-compact... Sometimes it pays to have the lifted station wagon.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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Hey all,

What is the official wading (water fording) depth of the OB? I see that the air intake and alternator is pretty high up. Are there breather tubes for the transmission and differentials?

Thanks in advance.
If you put a snorkel on it...like they do in Australia/Africa, etc...water depth does not matter if you don't mind damp feet...
 

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If you put a snorkel on it...like they do in Australia/Africa, etc...water depth does not matter if you don't mind damp feet...
And the breathers... and go slow but steady... and don't get floated away...

I considered a snorkle. It looks like a fun and neat project. However, I decided there's no water in Florida that's deep enough for me to go into that I'm willing to put my car in.

I've had a vehicle in hood deep water, it's fun until it stalls or gets stuck (like I did) and you have to swim for help. Then it takes days for the car to dry out. I'm not doing that in the family wagon.

yet.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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I've had a vehicle in hood deep water, it's fun until it stalls or gets stuck (like I did) and you have to swim for help. Then it takes days for the car to dry out. I'm not doing that in the family wagon.
...I thought you said there was not enough deep water in Florida...looks like you found it once maybe you will again...snorkel would be handy...and a mask too...lol.
 

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Premium Member
2012 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the responses. Hehehe, for me, i have no interest in snorkel...however, knowing that we sometimes get lots of rain, i want to know the limits.
 

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2019 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited
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...I thought you said there was not enough deep water in Florida...looks like you found it once maybe you will again...snorkel would be handy...and a mask too...lol.
Oh, there's plenty of deep water... just not that I'm willing to drive into it! Maybe I could pull off the brush bar and put a plexiglass mask on, instead... Hmmm.... maybe nice thick Lexan...

If there's enough water on the road to wreck the car and I don't realize it until too late... then it's a $500.00 deductible and I'll move on!
 

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2011 2.5i base
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270 Posts
I've had a vehicle in hood deep water, it's fun until it stalls or gets stuck (like I did) and you have to swim for help. Then it takes days for the car to dry out. I'm not doing that in the family wagon.

yet.
I did this in my Outback when it was 3 weeks old... had water halfway up the doors.

The car would have gotten through if it wasn't for my car sitting the oil pan on a berm.

Car ended up with water inside up to the seat tops by the time I got it pulled out.

Still running though... so I'd say the depth is at LEAST 20 inches, or up to the headlights, then it looks like water got splashed in to the intake tube.

Diffs were fine. No water came in through the breathers.
 

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And the breathers... and go slow but steady... and don't get floated away...

I considered a snorkle. It looks like a fun and neat project. However, I decided there's no water in Florida that's deep enough for me to go into that I'm willing to put my car in.

I've had a vehicle in hood deep water, it's fun until it stalls or gets stuck (like I did) and you have to swim for help. Then it takes days for the car to dry out. I'm not doing that in the family wagon.

yet.
Yes, I also live in fl and have a 2013 OB with a 3” lift kit, I have gone through much deeper water than I should have with it. flooded roads passing hydro locked cars with my headlights under water. I am looking at getting a snorkel, but I think I will have to build it myself. Along with breather tubes for the diff and the cvt.
 

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Premium Member
2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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418 Posts
Nobody has addressed the issue of all the electronics these cars have. Do you really want to submerge all that under water?
 

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Nobody has addressed the issue of all the electronics these cars have. Do you really want to submerge all that under water?
Ideally no, that is very bad, but with the stick outback the engine will hydro lock before the electronics fry. You can do some work to waterproof the fuse box. But like me for example I am running 3kw of accessories with relays and I installed a second fuse panel next to the fuse box, so for me I just have to pull fuses so the electricity doesn’t corrode the metal more than it would if there was a voltage load.

Buy the short answer is no. Submerging the electronics could damage the car severely, more than just frying an ecu, if you burn a coil pack the engine will misfire and could develop rod knock.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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12,931 Posts
Lots of folks have relocated the ECU since I believe it sets low in the passenger footwell.

This should make sure the engine can stay running and ingest plenty of water.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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@Brucey

links / video ? = river ...maybe ?

... my present minute memory of driving on a road with a foot of brown water on it = glad I did not hit a submerged chunk of fire wood or rotten log.
as when the water receded that is what was laying all over the place.
 

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My plan is not to be able to drive along looking at salmon out of the passenger window, but to not kill the car when I occasionally need to cross water. When there is a bypass I will def take that, but that isn’t always the case. So my ideal driving depth is ab 4ft. Keep in mind I already have a 3” lift kit and 30” all terrains so the car is sitting 5” higher than it was
 

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My plan is not to be able to drive along looking at salmon out of the passenger window, but to not kill the car when I occasionally need to cross water. When there is a bypass I will def take that, but that isn’t always the case. So my ideal driving depth is ab 4ft. Keep in mind I already have a 3” lift kit and 30” all terrains so the car is sitting 5” higher than it was
4 feet ? I guess you have a moon roof, so a if a fish swims by a side window you can just stand up an grab it with a net ?

maybe drive the outback on a giant tarp and wrap it up. (they use to do that with army jeeps in some test videos)
 
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4 ft is not that high on the Subaru it already sits over a foot above the ground, that’s not up to the window.
 

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That may be, but still a very risky decision in my opinion.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Also you'll have to do something about the rear differential vent.
 

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