2015 Outback.

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grantwilson

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Its not 100% up to date, but itll work for yal
This is to chronicle the build of the (what I venture anyways) first offroad oriented outback. Take it for what you will, but that’s what I am categorizing it in. It is meant to basically go anywhere a jeep/fj/4runner whatever will go, and be self sufficient. By the end of this there will be drawers for camping supplies, hot water pressurized shower, and a whole host of other things to make this an amazing "overlanding" vehicle.


First off, a little guide for you. All the images are hosted on my flickr. If I do some reorganizing and jazz, some images may disappear, just give me a heads up, and I will fix the links to make sure they show alright. Next, if you have any questions, concerns, elaborations, suggestions, feel free to interject. There is always another/better way to do it and I am open to the help. Eventually this will be an actual webpage (just gotta do it) with details, pictures, video etc etc. Chime in and lets make it fun!
So, why an outback? I have owned a decently built JK 4dr (2.5" lit, 33s, skids, onboard air, rock sliders etc etc etc) and loved offroading. It was quite fun. The ride sucked, MPG (ok, doesn’t really matter to me, but it may to others) really sucked iwth 33s not regeared and loaded down, and it was noisy, temperatures were weird inside because of the top and a host of other things. I wanted something better. When i was in Saudi Arabia, i had a chance to work on a friend's outback and take it out quite a bit. He wanted a fun desert camping car. I outfitted it with about 3" of lift, all adjustable control arms, some custom bits and bobs and it was awesome. It was a tank that went through anything. But not only that, it was comfy, quiet, and just worked. I wanted it. Fast forward to a year later, I am back in the USA. I make a line to the Subaru Dealer and test drive the forester and the outback. I settled on the outback, mainly because of ride quality and was on my merry way.
 

grantwilson

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Make sure you check out the new WWW.OFFROADSUBARU.COM
I am working with other Subaru lovers to build a repository of Trip reports, reviews, products we use, our modification lists with links to everything we have, How to articles and other things. If you would like to be a contributor, own a Subaru (or would even like to do some product reviews of what you use) drop me a message!


Running Tally of Parts and cost:
Car: 27,800
Yakima Load warrior rack - 120.00 Craigslist
Yakima Load Warrior Extension - 139.00 Amazon
SOLD
Cooper Discoverer A/T3 245/65-17 5ea. - 850.00 Town Fair Tire (local shop price matched Discount Tire price)
Midland CB radio 1001z - 41.18 Amazon
K30 mag antenna - 26.62 Amazon
Replaced
SWR Meter - 15.95 Amazon
Jumper cable for WR Meter - 12.95 Amazon
Torklift hitch - 264.00 Torklift
Curt Wiring harness - 25.50 - amazon
Masterbuilt HFTB HITCH-HAUL Folding Receiver Bar - 25.00 Amazon (daily lightning deal)
Curt Manufacturing 31006 Spare Tire Mount - 78.00 Amazon
3 bolts to mount wheel - 13.00 Lowes
Smittybilt 29312B Receiver Hitch D-Ring - 30.98 Amazon
2 of Titan Wheel Accessories t150-545-545-12125-2 (2) 1.50" inch (38mm) - 99.90 (4 total spacer) Amazon
2 of WARN 85340 0.875" - 1.125" Universal Swivel Light Mounts - 26.49 x2 - Amazon
TMS® 2 X 18w 1260lm Cree Spot Led - 52.00 Amazon (3 units)
StowAway Hitch Tightener - 21.95 Amazon
Superwinch 1145230 Terra 45 4500lbs synthetic rope - 301.99 Amazon
4 2015 Legacy wheels (one is currently spare, eventually will be main wheels) - 250.00 Craigslist
Anderson Design 2" Lift kit with subframe spacers - 550 (hes on facebook)
Front Skid Plate 2013+ Outback
Add Oil Holes Extra $20, Thickness : 3/16" - $288.00 primitive
Add Fumoto Valve $29.00
3/16" Rear Differential Cover - $110.00 primitive
14mm Camber Bolts - 1 $19.00 primitve
2015+ Outback/Legacy 3/16" Mid-Armor - 1 $135.00 primitive
ARB 2000 awning $258.30
FourTrex Mount $93.10
Awning Room $156.60
Trailhead deflators $53.96
ARB tree strap 10' $35.00
ARB snatch block 7000 $83.77
Black MaxTrax $289.00
Mounting Pins for Maxtrax $26.96
3/4" ARB Red Pin shackles (Qty 3) $31.59
synthetic rope shackle 26.00 - (all above from southeast overland. picking up items from an offroad event this weekend)
Steel for winch mount and other items - as of 5/12/15 $118.00
replaced
Wood for drawers and drawer slides, hardware - 120 - Lowes
Air Horns - 160 - amazon daily deal
Husky Floor mats - 80.00 amazon
30" led bar - 200 - side tracked offroad
frontrunner floorboard water tank and hose kit - 200.00 - frontrunner
camp chef triton shower - 126 - amazon
water filter - 8.00 - amazon
water pump - 58.00 - amazon
Edgestar Fridge/freezer - 300.00
parts to build the slider for freezer - 68.00
shower tent - 89.99 amazon
first aid kit - 100.00 amazon
tablet/phone holder 28.00 amazon
one gallon propane tank 53.00 amazon
codipro double swivel shackle- 100.00
Custom made and designed roof rack - 1300
Custom winch center bumper - 700
both made by Costa Fabrications also found here
outback by Flsimages, on Flickr
 

grantwilson

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obviously. i already built a 2009,.....the first 2015 for sure

It all started with tire. Everyone has to have tires right? Decided on a 245/65-17 Cooper A/T3 mainly because of all the crazy awesome reviews i read about them. Im happy with them

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
white letters out baby!

So what do you do when you get new tires? You go offroading. This was at about 900 miles i believe?
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
[video=youtube;xMlKVWUrR8][/video]

first project was to pull the bumper and core support, check if i can figure out how to mount a whinch

XT013017 by Flsimages, on Flickr
XT013037 by Flsimages, on Flickr
i figured it out. ill show you when i do it :)

So that actually brings us to today, current times
Stuff is starting to show up in the mail

rear recovery point:
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr

Top is the stationary rear tire carrier, bottom is the unit i have to make work with it
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr


Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
wheel spacers!!!


I went ahead and put together the rear tire carrier. I started with what you saw above and got to work
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
cut off the part that would slide into the hitch
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
and make it nice and smooth
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
slide into the area the rear rack would normally go.
 

grantwilson

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Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
make some holes and throw it in
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
Ill be covering the pin in maybe a rubber hose to snug it up?

used a wheel spacer to set up the studs
Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
bolted it down to position all the bolts in the slots

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
lay down some ugly welds (dont have gas yet :/)

Untitled by Flsimages, on Flickr
and its done

waiting on my torklift hitch and i can put it on
 

grantwilson

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hitch is installed. the rest of the welding on the winch mount is done, had to raise the hitch mount tire carrier to look right, welded that all up. i have a bunch of welded bare metal stuff. but whatever. i threw this car together in like a week and a half
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
so i have a TON of video to go through. Onboard, from behind via trailing and ahead via lead car. give me time to sort and edit.

until then, here are a few pictures:)
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

went through that puddle without even realizing it was as deep as it was
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

2015 Subaru Outback Expo by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
moutned my matrax
 

grantwilson

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Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
installed train horns and almost finished with my rear drawers
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
fit perfect. gotta cover hte drawer faces and done
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

led bar installed
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
drawers are done
they are just high enough to fit the harbor freight ammo boxes for stuff like stakes and batteries and such
the black part with the drawers closed, actually finishes covering the spare tire well and allows access to the tools and recovery gear that is stored there.

i DO need ot make one more set of dividers to hold hte ammo cans from sliding back, but other than that, im done

water tank is sitting there. ill wire it up tomorrow
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
 

grantwilson

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Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
drawers are done
they are just high enough to fit the harbor freight ammo boxes for stuff like stakes and batteries and such
the black part with the drawers closed, actually finishes covering the spare tire well and allows access to the tools and recovery gear that is stored there.

i DO need ot make one more set of dividers to hold hte ammo cans from sliding back, but other than that, im done

water tank is sitting there. ill wire it up tomorrow
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
havent forgotten about you. went wheeling this weekend
ill get you more info the coming days
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

(click that one, its a video on flickr)

some wear and tear
good control arm by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
good side
dented control arm by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
not so good side
Subaru Outback Switches by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
switches
Subaru Outback Packed up by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
all packed up
camping out by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
cooking some grub
polar opposites by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
 

grantwilson

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Taking Care of some Pretty finishing work before i get it powdercoated.
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

welding every single edge of the expanded steel, then wire wheel, then flapper wheel. Since im powdercoating, should flow in well.

The devil is in the details i truly believe. Small things like this set it apart from off the shelf things.
So. youve seen the jalopnik so you know i had a 4dr wrangler

You will note i never said i was TRYING to go where they do....just that it is able to. Plan for what you want, build for worst case.

IMG_9277 by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
thats Mt Fuji in the background.
_97T5620 by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

And i also had an outback:
Camping Nov 7 by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
you can see it there behind hte jeep a bit.


For what i want to do. Class 4/6 (depending on state) camping, with some occasional heavier wheeling (which its done with no real issues) the outback is just fine. If I wanted to do heavier stuff, id have gotten something else...and who knows, i may do that later on down the road when i find i cant do something i really want to.

And all that money? (before any modifications)
An equally equipped Wrangler is over 35,000. (mid equipped sahara with hardtop), 4 runner is almost 40k, 33k for an xterra

I have less than that total (ok, well now with the tent and stuff maybe right at) into this car with damn near EVERYTHIng i want.

PLUS adaptive cruise control, auto hatch (omg i love it) super comfy ride and VERY quiet ride. Even if you go offorading EVERY saturday or sunday, you spend 70% of your days not wheeling/camping/exploring


I went up with the Exploring NH guys this weekend. Did an "easy" trail with them, found ONE spot where it took a little effort because not having a REAL low range. it happens. thats why i have a winch if i need it. My car is currently overloaded (springs havent came yet) and my rear control arms were dragging a rock not letting me get a running start. I already knew the limit, and opted to bail out on the harder stuff later in the day.

I have nothing to prove on the trail. Im out to have a good time, hang out with people, and camp. wheeling isn't even required. Im super happy just poppin a spot next to the ocean or a lake or a waterfall and hiking.

I have been through rausch twice (and you didn't even see the ****ty stuff honestly. it was almost 4 hours of wheeling) and a few other runs and have never gotten stuck or had ot pull line so far. Its more than i can so for guys on the same runs that ive been on.


I dont see the lack of a REAL transfer a case to be a HUGE issue, but it is one that has to be considered. It does pretty well. Like i mentioned above, i hit a rough spot this weekend at about a 35-40% grade and rocks. Pretty much the worst case for this car. It took about 5-8 minutes, but found a line that worked and pulled it over without pulling line.

To be honest. If Toyota, Jeep, and MAYBE nissan were up to snuff on technology, i would have prolly gotten a 4 runner, or an xterra. I really wanted adaptive cruise control, and neither offered, or planned ot in the next few years. I need to buy a car at THAT time (just moved back from the desert, and needed a car in the US). I had a 35k cash budget, and this was the best overall bang for buck for what i felt at the time are my requirements. I knew i would be doing all this stuff, just as i knew i would with my jeep.

as for possibility of damage...isnt that any vehicle? We all put thousands of dollars in rock rails, skid plates, control arms etc on our trucks to deal with rocks right? FJ IFS drags over damn near everything. ive seen it. Its just part of playing with rocks.

You seem like a rational dude. Any more questions, feel free to throw them. Im always down for discussing with intelligent people.
 

grantwilson

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I put a good bit of thought into it. Given the places i normally tend to go, there is no increased wear and tear as it isnt all that rough. What you saw, is like i said worst case. The exhaust actually just got pushed vertically and the exhaust hanger ended up above the body side hanger in the rear pushing it up against the DS and CV axle. all it took was a screwdriver and a pull to put it back where it should be. As for similar terrain. if you check out this video
[video=youtube;FvhjZwT81UE][/video]

FJ cruisers occasionally scraped in the same places i did. (at 1:10 it was a pretty decent obstacle that video never conveys) The only real difference is i end up 3 wheels alot more because of lack of flex than the dedicated offroad rigs.

like you said, its a give and take. I gain alot more day to day comforts in exchange for decent but not outstanding offroad ability. Increasing ground clearance, better tires, stiffer spring in the back to bring it back up to where it should, increase chances ill have no issues. Future rock rails, current skid plates, and winch make me comfortable if i get myself in trouble and have to winch myself out.

I bought hte car brand new off the lot. I didnt want to deal with anything used, as within a 200 mile radius, everything was overpriced, not far off a new price, or just not available (the outback for instance is totally redesigned for 2015)
holy crap what a weekend


Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
bent a trailing arm on an offcamber backing down and just sitting wrong. weight of the whole car went on the back right wheel. crush. was able to straighten it and get home
Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

overall it was a great weekend. good times and reat people at the MAOF
Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Mid Atlantic Overland Fest by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
star trail maof by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
 
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grantwilson

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so after i tacod a trailing arm, i ordered a new one. 40.00 with bushing
by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

not gonna ****ing taco again is it...
[video=youtube;UueMWjDJudU][/video]
Light Comparison by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
ambient with trunk closed
Light Comparison by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
just rear dome light
Light Comparison by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
rear leds on
[video=youtube;UH1yfd1X1_U][/video]
started the bumper swingout for the rear.
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
doesnt seem like much. this is the bar that will run behind the hatch that the tire and cans will be attached to. about a 10* sweep to match roughly the hatch. ill work on the tire mount and bearing mount tomorrow
 
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grantwilson

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working on the tire carrier. this will be the bar with all the stuff mounted to it
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
and then the main support bar nestled into the bumper support
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
soooo i did some more things
getting the heavy welding done at work for all the joints, bearings and bearing post then i can build out the spare tire holder and water can portion hopefully in time for Overland expo east
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
 

grantwilson

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So. swingout is done MINUS the water can holder. just need 3 bolts to mount the wheel and its all done. I still need to figure out what im going to do about a water carrier. Anyone wanna contribute a two can idea?

After VT ill have it powdercoated. ill just spraypaint it for that.

Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
proposed mock up
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
im no pro, but it will work id say
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr

click for video
 

grantwilson

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[video=youtube;KicyDEvIo6M][/video]
SO i have made the first irreversible modification to the subaru
I had issues with the tire carrier moving fore and aft in relation to the car, and it annoyed the **** out of me. So I decided to beef it up a bit
I used 1/4 plate, with 2x2 1/4 wall tube and some 1/8 strips for bolt tabs
The main assembly slides into the braces and bolts in. Fixed everything and zero issues now
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
Oh and i notched for my pump spout

Headed up to boston this weekend to have the front bumper finished up.
A little sneak peak before I get it all done and jazz.

Finished up the front bumper. Still need a little finish work though. ILl work on it

Untitled by Grant Wilson, on Flickr
 

Overland-Indiana

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Cool rig, you don't see very many of these being heavily modded like yours, nice work!