Steve's Cross-Country Subaru Outback | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Steve's Cross-Country Subaru Outback

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Steve

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Well, this isn't going to be a typical build thread. I'm not putting together a rig for day trips rock crawling or weekends in the desert. My vehicle is just plain not fit for these type of excursions. I am putting together a vehicle that will be comfortable on hours of Interstate at a time, and then capable of going on forest roads, gravel, dirt, and mild trails wherever we happen to find them. With that in mind, you will see as many comfort modifications as capability mods. I'm building a softroader.

Starting Point:
2008 Subaru Outback 2.5 XT Limited (turbocharged)
- Obsidian Black Pearl
- 5 Speed Manual Transmission

Factory/Dealer Installed Options:
- Auto-Dimming Mirror/Compass w/Homelink
- Floor Mats
- Winter Floor Mats
- Rear Cargo Net
- Rear Cargo Tray

Interior Mods:
- Dash Cubby GPS Mounting Plate
- Rear Dome/Reading Light
- WeatherTech DigitalFit Floor Liners (front only)
- LED Interior lighting conversion
- Sportster 5 Sirius Satellite Radio
- Garmin nuvi 2798LMT GPS
- TapTurn Signal Module
- LED Cargo Area Lighting
- LED Liftgate Flood Lights

Cosmetic/Convenience Mods:
- Liftgate completely debadged
- Smoked 3rd Brake Light and Back-Up Lights
- Hella Supertone Horn Kit
- LED Backup and License Bulbs
- Redline Tuning QuickLIFT Elite Hood Strut

Suspension
- 2011 Forester XT wheels for all-terrain tires
- KYB Excel-G OE REplacement Struts (2004 in rear for better load carrying)
- 3/4" Paranoid Fabrications Strut Spacers
- Yokohama 215-60-17 Geolander A/T-S Tires

Towing
- 2" Class III Receiver Hitch

Softroading Specific Mods:
- RallyArmor UR Mud Flap Set (black/gray)
- ARB Touring 2500 Awning
- Primitive Racing Skid Plate
- Viair 450P Portable Air Compressor
- OPT7 32" C2 LED Combo Spot/Fog Light Bar
- WaterBrick Potable Water Storage

Cargo and Storage:
Two configurations on different sets of crossbars. Swap back and forth in about 30 minutes. There are brackets for the awning on both setups;
Configuration A:
- Thule 450 Crossroad set w/50" crossbars
- Subaru Heavy Duty Cargo Basket (Same as Yakima LoadWarrior)
- Yakima LoadWarrior 18" basket extension
- FourTreks Modular ARB awning mount
- RoofBag Waterproof 15 cu ft Cross-Country Car Top Carrier
Configuration B:
- Thule 450 Crossroad set w/58" crossbars
- (2) Yakima Fork Lift bicycle racks
- (2) Thule Hull-a-Port Folding Kayak Mounts
- RhinoRack Foxwing awning mount

Future Plans:
- Fridge/Freeze
- Sleeping Platform
- Brackets for Jerry cans
- Interior Storage (where back seat currently is)









(Crappy phone photo through a window screen)










2011 Forester XT wheels I bought to mount the AT tires on. Tread was better than my OEM tread, so I'm using them now, and will get AT tires in the fall.


Sirius radio and Garmin GPS (with temporary wiring)


Updates to be posted as they occur.
Steve

[EDIT]
5/16/15 Clarified rack configurations
6/3/15 Added Viair 450P compressor and LED light bar
8/17/15 Added Strut and spacer installation
 
Last edited:

Lifestyle Overland

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Steve,

We had an '06 2.5 XT for a few years. That thing was awesome for doing exactly what you have in mind. Looking forward to your build.

(P.S. If it wasn't for a bad run-in with Subaru corporate over warranty issues we would still have ours. Word of advice; if you even suspect the clutch throw-out bearing is going out... stop and get it fixed immediately.)
 

Steve

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Thanks, String!

I've had this car since new, and it only has 34,000 miles on it. I've been on the SubaruOutback forum for many years, and am familiar as to what to watch out for. While I've seen a few complaints about the throw-out bearing, most have to do with the turbo filters and head gaskets.

This forum format is going to make an ongoing build thread difficult. Apparently you can't edit posts once they are up for more than a few minutes. I was going to come back and add some photos. I won't be able to go back and edit my first post as I make modifications.

Is this something that can be toggled for this sub-forum, Michael?

thanks,

Steve
 

Steve

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Today I picked up a set of 2011 Forester XT wheels for my Outback. Plans are to use them for the AT tires I eventually put on. The bonus, is that the tread on the Forester's stock all-season Yokohamas is much better than the tread on my OEM wheels. If they'll fit, I'll use them until I get new tires. They're 225-55-17s, so a little taller than my current tires.

 

swankrt

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Oooooohh I want to do one of these so bad! I almost did my 08 STi but think I'm going to do one more like yours.
 

Steve

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The STi would be wild as an off-roader. There's a whole forum dedicated to Imprezas rallying, off-roading, etc., oddly enough called dirtyimpreza.com. And an Instagram account with some great ones called  rallysauruswrex
 

swankrt

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Yep I've checked them out love them. Excited to see yours come along!
 

msoverlandbound

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@steve

re: Forum format and editing

Noted! We'll take a look and see what can be done.

-Corrie @msoverlandbound #0000
 

Steve

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Thanks Corrie, I'd appreciate that.

I could make an edit today. I just ordered two of the items from the "Future Plans" list:
– 3/4″ Strut Spacers (I was going to get 1", but that limits me to a smaller tire OD.)
– 2004 Outback Heavy Duty Rear Struts
 

Michael

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@steve @msoverlandbound

Hmmmm, something bigger is afoot here. I'm having some trouble too. You should see an "edit" option in the header. I'm seeing that, but getting some other weirdness.

Do you guys not see the "edit" option?

M

See below:

 

Steve

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12564 said:
@steve @msoverlandbound Do you guys not see the “edit” option? 
Nope. (answered in "Support" forum, too.)

Yesterday I ordered my Primitive Racing Skid Plate. That'll protect the belly from rocks and gravel kicked up by the more aggressive AT tires when I get them.



I also changed directions on getting a light bar. Instead of using one to mount both fog and driving lights, I decided to get the brackets made for my Yakima LoadWarrior roof basket, and mount lights up there. I don't expect to need fogs as much as better road illumination. So having them mounted high is a better (and less costly) option. I still may use fog lights up top, due to them lighting up the sides of the road better than pencil beams, unless someone has a suggestion for a reasonable priced all around 6" lamp.
 

Steve

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Today I installed my new Redline Racing QuickLIFT Elite Hood Struts.

I also started doing the wiring for the cargo area LED strips, the lift gate door LED flood lights, and the backup camera for the new Garmin nevi 2797. I've got all the panels on the inside of the lift gate removed, and the interior panels around the rear opening to get to the hot wires on the rear overhead light.

I've got a pile of stuff in the garage to do to the car. I just need to find time to do it!
- Finish LED lights and backup camera
- Install '04 rear struts
- Install 3/4" strut lift
- Install rear mud flaps (fronts done)
- Mount the new wheels
- Paint the LoadWarrior basket, and add the light mounts
- Install the hitch that's been in the garage for more than a year
- Install the Primitive skid plate (that should arrive Wednesday)
- Adjust hand brake
- Install TapTurn (that was supposed to be here Friday, so expecting it this next week)
- Install the Hella Supertone horns I've had on the shelf since 2008
- While I have the grille out for the horns, get the chrome vinyl wrapped
 

Michael

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@steve It looks like the build is coming along nicely! You have the right kind of problem, plenty to do and not enough time! :blush: I like the combination of functional and stylish (vinyl wrapped chrome). I'm curious how you like the Hella super horns. I need to replace my beep beeps as well.

M
 

Steve

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Thanks @Michael

I had Hella Supertones on my Subaru WRX Wagon, so when I bought the Outback, I bought a pair, too, but never put them on. Now that I'resold the WRX and working on the Outback project, I figure it is time to mount them, having sat for seven years... At the time, I made a Quicktime video of the WRX vs Supertone hen, but it really didn't do it justice. It is more of a piercing sound, rather than substantially louder. http://www.morrisgarage.com/wrx/supertone_medium.mov (Hmmm, that's not pasting as a link for some reason)

If I didn't already have the Hella horns, I'd use a set of Stebel Nautilus Compact Twin-Tone air horns. I have some mounted on my Vespa and Suzuki, and have noticed a definite improvement in getting people's attention of the anemic stock horns. Here's a WAV file (750Kb)

Steve
 

Dan_Zehner

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This looks awesome! I have a 2005 Legacy GT Wagon that I'd like to put a similar treatment on someday for a cross country trip or two. Keep up the good work!
 

Steve

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Today I painted and installed the Primitive Racing skid plate. I also finished the LED lights in the cargo area.



 

Steve

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Here are the LED light strips I added to the cargo area. $7.19 a pair on Amazon. http://amzn.to/1IwVlO9 I'll be adding two more on the lift gate to act as flood/puddle lights.





 

Steve

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<p>I installed the other two LED strips on the lift gate today. Same parts and wiring as above, except this time I used the always hot side of the third dome light, and added a switch on the inside of the door. This way I can have the lift gate open and not have the overhead lights on, or if I'm sleeping inside, I can have these lights on without any other interior lights. There's adhesive around the switch that I'll peel off after it drys.</p>
<p>I'll add another photo tonight after it gets dark.</p>
<p>Steve</p>
<p>
</p>
<p>
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<p>
</p>
 

Steve

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<p>Wow, what a huge difference that made! First photo is with just the LEDs I added inside the cargo area yesterday. The next two photos are with the overhead LEDs turned on. All that light for just $14! I'm very pleased with the outcome!</p>
<p>Steve</p>
<p>
</p>
<p>
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<p>
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Steve

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I put on a set of 2011 Forest XT wheels yesterday and this morning, as well as finishing the Rally Armor flaps.