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Jovver's '06 Outback 2.5i Limited- The Pickle


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Hello everyone! I have been lurking this forum for the past few months and decided that an intro thread is in order. I was able to pick up an automatic ‘06 Outback 2.5i Limited in Willow Green Opal/ Moss Green Metallic, codenamed “The Pickle”, to relieve my ‘06 STi from its duties of being my daily in the beautiful (:rolleyes:) NE OH weather.



1 Month After Purchase:









The Backstory and Specs:


I picked the car up in early April of this year with 62,500 mi on the clock. The car had one previous owner and is accident free. The interior and exterior are pretty fresh aside for some dings on the door guards and the rear bumper. I’m surprised the door guards actually did their job and protected the main door panels and I know they can easily be replaced at a later time. The car also came with new OEM brake pads and turned rotors at 50k mi and fresh Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires as of 55k mi.


The car did have an external headgasket leak due to never having the 30k or 60k service performed and was traded in because of that issue along with seeping front axle boots. The issues were reflected in the purchase price and the dealership performed the 60k mi service (aside from the coolant flush) and installed new front axles (assuming reman’d or Chinese knock off) as part of the purchase agreement. I promptly purchased a new Felpro head gasket kit, gates timing kit with water pump, new OEM thermostat and gasket, and new Felpro head bolts. I did not want the dealership to perform the head gasket job due to the fact that it would not have been done right.


The head gasket job was done instead by some trusted backyard mechanics and the machine work done through a local engine shop connection. I also took the opportunity to do some other minor mods and maintenance at the same time including better grounding wires off of the block to replace the corroded stock grounds (with the intention of helping prevent corrosion from electrolysis), carbide black powdercoated TGV housings, VHT wrinkle black painted manifold, valve covers, water crossover pipe, and other misc. brackets. The stock alternator shroud and injector shields were painted Dupli-Color bronze and I removed the hard Y pipe breather and replaced it with nicely routed silicone line and covered/ rerouted the spark plug wires to clean up the manifold/ engine bay. A black Subtle Solutions radiator shroud was also installed with bay cleanup in mind. A front diff fluid flush using Motul Gear 300 was performed during the motor reinstall, but a rear LSD flush has yet to be done.


One issue remaining is that I have been noticing a slight vibration at different low speed RPMs, a similar concerning vibration at idle while stopped, and a very audible and semi frequent clank when switching to reverse from park or drive. I have done some research on the issue and have been led to believe it’s due to the new/ reman’d axles or a the U joints on the driveshaft.

Edited by jovver
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Here are some pics from the head gasket job:



Engine Removal:







Gasket Leak:





Painted Brackets and Shields:





Milled, Cleaned, and Vacuum Checked Heads:





Stoned Flat Block:





Engine Assembly:









Complete Reinstallation:



Edited by jovver
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Current Mods (I will update as the build progresses):



Engine Performance/ Dressup


Fumoto F105N Oil Drain Valve

Subtle Solutions Radiator Shroud (Powder Coated Semi Gloss Black)

Subtle Solutions Alternator Shroud (Powder Coated Semi Gloss Black)

Kartboy Battery Tie Down

VHT Wrinkle Black Manifold, Valve Covers, Water Crossover Pipe, and Misc Brackets

TGV Housings Powder Coated Carbide Black

Dupli-Color Bronze Alternator Shroud and Injector Shields

Samco Silicone Radiator Hoses (Blue)

Grimmspeed AOS (Black)

K&N 33-2304 Intake Air Filter

Nameless Performance OBXT Axleback with 4" Muffler

Custom Alpha Motorworks 2.5" SS Midpipe with 4" Vibrant Turboflex Coupler, Magnaflow 20" Glasspak Muffler, and 18" Vibrant Resonator

OBXT Engine Cradle

OEM 07 STi UEL Header with Cerakote Titanium Coating

Custom Alpha Motorworks Catted Overpipe for OEM UEL Header

Custom Alpha Motorworks Aluminum After MAF Pipe (Painted Wrinkle Black)



Suspension, Driveline, and Braking


Fortune Auto Gen 5 500 Legacy GT Coilovers (Standard Springs 6k Front/ 8k Rear, Radial Bearings, & Rear Damper Adjustment Extenders)

Whiteline Rear UCA Inner Bushings WHI W63396

Whiteline Rear UCA Camber Adjustment Bushings WHI KCA399

AVO Turboworld Rear Sway Bar Reinforcement Brackets (Powder Coated Satin Black)

Whiteline Adjustable Rear Lateral Link Kit WHI KTA124

Whiteline Rear Diff Positive Power Bushing Inserts Kit WHI KDT927

TechnaFit SS Braided Brake Lines

G2 Gold Epoxy Painted Calipers

AVO Steering Shaft Mount Bushings

Whiteline RCA Kit WHI KCA313 (Not Yet Installed)

Whiteline Rear Toe Lock Kit KCA307

Whiteline Lower Inner Control Arm Bushings WHI W53353

H&R Camber Bolts TC114 (Front)

Centric Premium Rotors

Stoptech Street Brake Pads

Whiteline Adjustable 22mm Front Sway Bar WHI BSF30Z

Whiteline Adjustable 20mm Rear Sway Bar WHI BSR39Z

Kartboy Endlinks (Front and Rear)



Legacy Driveline and Spacer Removal Mods


LGW Upper Rear Control Arms (Left/Right) (Powder Coated Bronze Burst)

LGW Front LCA Mount Plates (Left/ Right) (Powder Coated Sterling Copper Metallic)

LGW Rear Lower Trailing Arm Brackets (Left/ Right) (Powder Coated Bronze Burst)

LGW Trans Cross Member Rear AT (Powder Coated Sterling Copper Metallic)

LGW Legacy 2.5i Sedan 4EAT Driveshaft

LGW Steering Linkage



Wheels & Tires


Avid.1 AV-52 18x9.5 +30 (Powder Coated Sterling Copper Metallic)

Nitto NeoGen 225 40R 18 (On Avid.1 AV-52 Wheels)

OEM 7 Spoke Wheels Powder Coated Sterling Copper Metallic

General AltiMAX Arctic 225 45R 17 (On OEM Wheels)

Kics R40 Regular Color 2 Piece Lug Nuts

McGard Spline Drive Lug Nuts (Black)





Hella Horns (Black), Subimods Bracket, and DIY Wiring Harness

Retro-Quik BiXenon Projector Kit and Blacked Headlight Housings (Morimoto Mini H1 6.0 Projectors, Morimoto 3Five DSP Ballasts, and H1 3Five 4300K Bulbs)

Hella Optilux 12V/55W Xenon Yellow Bulbs (for Fogs)

Misc Arlon Aztec Bronze Vinyl Decals

PIAA Super Silicone Wipers

Crux Motorsports L7 Badge Overlay w/ Ring (Satin Black Base w/ Aztec Bronze Accent)

Bronze Plastidipped "Outback" Badge

Primitive Racing 1/8" Aluminum Skidplate





Weather Tech Digital Fit Floor Mats (Black)

Elite Autosounds Window Tint 35%F, 20%R

ProDriven Auto Interior and Door Step/ Courtesy LED Kit

Garmin GPS Hardwire Kit

Proper+ Shift Knob (330mm Green)

Viper 5706V Security And Remote Start System

Pioneer DEH-X6600BT

Metra Receiver Wiring Harness 70-8901

AvoJDM 04+ Dual Zone HVAC Panel H6217AG911

AvoJDM 04+ Dual Din Pocket 66128AE0**

AvoJDM Legacy Hazard Switch 83037AG001

AE64 SVX-DC JDM I88 Adapter Harness w/ Illumination Wire

iTrek Garmin Nuvi Vent Mount

















Edited by jovver
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So far I’m absolutely loving this car. It’s nice to have a slow, comfy cruiser that gets relatively good gas mileage (compared to my relatively harsh STi), but still has the performance of Subaru’s AWD. The problem is this Outback is just a little too sloppy for me and I’m not a huge fan of the washy floating feeling at highway speeds. Unfortunately 90% of my driving with this car is on the highway so I experience this effect a lot. Because of this and my goal to make the car look a bit better, I intend to lower it. Almost, if not as low, as my STi. I would like it to have RS4 wagon/ fitted Allroad stance.


Based on a bit of the research that I’ve done in the lowered Outback threads, to complete my ride height goal I need a few major suspension components and some fender work. Outback specific coilovers aren’t going to give me the drop I want, but at the same time I’m not trying to tuck tire to avoid serious fender work or swapping out the body spacers. I am shooting for ~.5” lower than stock Legacy wagon takeoff height. I do understand that the suspension geometry will not be correct, but the car will never be tracked or driven hard enough to where that would actually matter. Premature bushing or axle boot wear is a huge concern though. Here is a list of parts that I plan on compiling to accomplish this goal and I’d appreciate any advice/ constructive criticism.



Wanted Engine Performance Mods




Wanted Suspension and Driveline Mods




Wanted Wheels, and Tires


Fifteen52 Turbomac 17x8 +30 (Powder Coated Sterling Copper Metallic w/ Clear Vision)




I also really want to improve the brakes a bit because they seem very lacking and mushy for fresh pads. I am considering bumping up to some SS braided lines and DOT4 fluid, adding a Grimmspeed master cylinder brace and purchasing better rotors and pads next time they need to be changed. The ultimate goal would be to get some 06/07 WRX 4/2 pot fixed calipers and ventilated rotors on all 4 corners.


In the meantime the plan is to plastidip the "Outback" badge and stock wheels to continue the bronze accent theme. The front chin guard and rear hatch chrome trim piece will be vinyl wrapped with the same Arlon Aztec bronze that the stickers were cut from resulting in a perfect match. I would also like to paint the stock calipers in G2 gold to give them a nice clean refinish and accent color that pops.

Edited by jovver
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I can't wait to do it, though I can't promise too much in the immediate future because the STi still takes priority. I do have some things in the works for this one including a head unit and remote start install. Edited by jovver
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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update, nothing too exciting. Plastidipped the "Outback" badge and installed some Rokblokz mudflaps as well as my reworked L7 badge overlays from Crux Motorsports.



Edited by jovver
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  • 2 months later...

Well the mod bug bit again. After a few months of listening to standard radio and not being able to connect with any auxiliary in the car, I broke down and ordered the JDM dual din HVAC bezel from AvoJDM as well as the SVX DC i88 harness to run the setup.












Overall, I am thoroughly surprised by how much overhead the stock door speakers have. There is definitely a ton of potential in them with more precise and custom control from an aftermarket head unit. During all of this, I was in the mindset of having to upgrade them to work well with the new head unit, but I may just leave them as is because I am very satisfied.


I went with a Pioneer X6600BT single din receiver based on my good experience with the Pioneer unit in my STi. I topped the install off with the JDM pocket to hold my phone/ iPod and the JDM hazard switch for an easier install. This head unit has plenty of EQ adjustability, custom color settings, bluetooth connectivity, and AUX & USB ports. I got the color match pretty close to the JDM HVAC, but the stock main cluster and clock/ info display is hard to match to. (Annoying to me, but I ask too much sometimes) Fit and finish is decent. The whole assembly is very tight against the drivers side faux wood grain trim strip and the pocket border gap is not quite the same around the bezel. There are some other gaps around the whole bezel assembly and obviously it won't fit 100% right as it is designed for a RHD car. A little shimming and shaving should help even it out. I like the flat black much more than the stock glossy dark grey because it matches the storage cubby above it.


Here is a quick pic of the refinished shifter trim. Sanded, a couple of coats of primer, finishing with a couple coats of Rustoleum flat black:



Edited by jovver
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Oh, fwiw, I put King lift springs on my xt and am thrilled with the handling. I used 04 OB rear struts and 05 OB struts up front. It really helped the floaty ride. It's nice having the extra height in the snow
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Thanks a lot. Now I want to get the JDM hvac panel for my OBXT.


I like seeing people give love to the non turbo out backs.


You definitely should, especially if you don't have any AUX or USB input stock. It is completely worth the cost and you don't have to get a fancy/ expensive dual din touch screen head unit. Shipping was reasonably priced and much quicker than I had expected. (~1 week turnaround) It's funny you say giving this car some love... Sometimes I like driving it more than the STi!


Oh, fwiw, I put King lift springs on my xt and am thrilled with the handling. I used 04 OB rear struts and 05 OB struts up front. It really helped the floaty ride. It's nice having the extra height in the snow


I considered a lift right after I took possession of the car, but I just like the look of a lowered, well fitted Outback too much. Around here we have a nice big storm and the snow accumulates. Everyone drives as slow as possible and the highways are parking lots. Soon after the road crews get out, the roads are mostly clear. I never have to traverse through any deep snow unless I'm purposely messing around in an uncleared lot.

Edited by jovver
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Is your shift knob a bong? That thing would look sweet with some gold wheels.


Haha, not quite. Gold was a consideration, but I'm still feeling the bronze. Looking at bronze burst or sunken treasure powdercoats. That or something wild like shocker yellow. :cool:

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Yellow would be cool if you're a Packers fan. Bronze would look really cool. What kind of wheel?


Shocker yellow is more of a monster green than yellow. Right now the leading contender is a set of 3SDM .06s. Also considering some concave 7 spoke wheels like Niche Veronas or Work Emotion XT7s or concave 5 spoke wheels like Rota RT5 or Rotiform Nue. The backup plan has always been Rota Grids. (my favorite style of wheel) Wheel sizing would be in the 18x9.5 +35 range and I'm planning to run a 235 40R 18 tire.

Edited by jovver
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Woohoo for NA Outbacks! I lucked out and found a 07 with the 5MT that I have resurrected from the dead. I kept it stock height though, and ground the calipers til some 15" wheels fit, perfect for 225/70-15 General Grabber AT2's.


Very cool. I was looking for an 3.0R 5spd auto, but settled for the 2.5i because of the price, mileage, and convenience of the location to me.

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where did u get the dash kit and harness? must have


Dash kit can be found on AvoJDM and the harness is from AE64/ SVX DC. HERE is an entire thread about it. I will also PM you the direct links.

Edited by jovver
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  • 4 months later...

Well it has been a while since the Outback has received some love, but I have been a bit busy compiling parts and have something worthy of a build update.


After doing a bit more research on the subframe spacer removal and LGT suspension geometry swap, I have decided that it is actually a worthwhile endeavor. So far I have acquired LGT front control arm mounting plates, rear trailing arm brackets, and rear upper control arms and all of the associated hardware. I had these parts powder coated in "bronze burst" by a local shop called North Coast Powder Coating and added Whiteline inner UCA bushings and outer camber adjustment bushings to the LGT UCA's. I also purchased some AVO swaybar reinforcement brackets and had them stripped and recoated in "satin black" for when I bump up the rear swaybar.



Here are a couple of pics of the freshly powder coated parts:









I used these parts as a test for the color, but may end up going a touch lighter. Without any direct sunlight, the coating is very dark and subtle. I am also going to revamp my accent sticker color to match a little bit better as well. I have samples of coatings from Prismatic Powders on the way as well as a few Arlon vinyl swatches.



What makes matters a bit easier is that I have found a local Legacy owner who would like to raise his car via the stock OBW struts and springs. He has also agreed to make the proper spacer swap happen so it is a win for both of us. My goal is to have at least the Legacy wagon struts on my car within the next couple months and the full swap competed by the end of the summer. I may add the Whiteline 20mm rear sway and Kartboy endlinks at all 4 corners as well.

Edited by jovver
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  • 3 months later...

Well my suspension swap plan came to a screeching halt due to my stock rear struts letting go. Needless to say I was persuaded to make a move that would have come much later down the road.






After about a months wait, I now have Fortune Auto Gen 5 500 coilovers waiting to be installed. I went with the standard springs with 6k front and 8k rear rates, radial bearings in the front, and rear extenders (not pictured). The goal is to have these installed within a couple weeks and start the drop process.



In the meantime, I ordered some material and had some custom coil covers made. These are 2mm thick neoprene with 3/4" wide Velcro strips down the seams. The top and bottoms have a hemmed loop for zip ties to keep them snug around the bodies.



Edited by jovver
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  • 1 month later...

Well it finally happened. I set aside a weekend to get some parts installed. Surprisingly for 85k mi on the car everything came apart relatively easy and things are looking decent underneath. I did soak every junction in PB blaster overnight and there is no doubt that it helped a ton. The rear upper control arms proved to be the most difficult part of the job because of the clearance to get tools in the inner pivot area.


Here is how the car sits as of now:







I am going to let the springs settle for about a week, readjust to dial in the height a bit more, and then get an alignment. Right now the rear is a bit out of spec with a lot of toe in. (not unreasonable for a ~3.5" drop) I may be working with a minimum camber setting because of how low it is, even with the Whiteline camber bushings in the UCAs.


In preps for changing the wheel color, I had a local friend paint match the lower grill chin guard to match the rest of the bumper cover. I was talking about having it vinyl wrapped and the rear "diffuser" section to match, but decided against it because of the durability of the material in those sections.





Next up on the to do list are the stainless braided brake lines, brake fluid flush, painting the brake calipers, and dipping the stock wheels in a copper/ bronze color.

Edited by jovver
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