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


jovver
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The covers - any concerns with the neoprene holding moisture against the shocks/springs?

 

It is definitely a potential issue. There is some breathing room and they aren't as sealed as they seem in the pics. The question is would a little bit of moisture be worse than direct salt water spray into the junctions?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, the alignment resulted in a very unfortunate and unwanted situation. Even though the toe arm cam bolts in the subframe have plenty of adjustability to correct for a significant drop (I was extremely concerned that they wouldn't), they certainly don't have the ability to fix anything when seized in place. Temporarily stuck at 1.46 deg of toe in on my passenger rear wheel. Camber from the Whiteline upper control arm bushings seems to be at about -2 deg minimum.

 

Because of this, I have Whiteline adjustable lateral links and oem replacement hardware all around on order. The bolt will have to be cut out and I'm going to need the adjustable links early next year anyways. They may help dial in some positive camber for the time being as well.

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  • 1 month later...
Wanted to check in and see how you were making out with this setup, Alignment and ridequality, Travel and stuff, Thinking about the fortunes This week. Thank you for your time.. Looks great BTW

 

I suppose it has been quite some time since the last update and I apologize that there haven't been so many.

 

So far I'm loving the FA coilovers. Ride quality is phenomenal IMO and I like being able to adjust the height and valve damping. The alignment ended up at -2 deg all around and 0 toe. I am, however, a bit disappointed in the OEM sized tires. I have come to the discovery that they are the key factor of the ride quality and responsiveness of the vehicle. I still have quite a bit of slop and the car still floats while driving on the highway. Doing a simple shake test by rocking the car back and forth via the roof rails shows just how much the tire bulges while the suspension barely moves. I can't wait to change to a smaller tire size (235 40R 18 for the summer) because of this. This should change the effectiveness of the suspension and dramatically change the car's driving characteristics.

 

The tires also do not clear as best as I had hoped. I do get some significant rubbing in a few different spots, the main areas being the inside front corner of the wheel well and the inside corner of the front mudflaps. The rears clear without any issue. It is very annoying because I get a very loud groaning sounds as the tires rub along the flaps while the wheel well contact is your typical plastic scraping sound. This is merely a tall tire problem and should cease when the summer set is installed and fortunately this is only an issue at very low speeds.

 

Speaking of a summer set of wheels... I managed to con a good friend into letting me try on his summer wheels. They are 18x9.5 +38 Rays Gram Light 75DR with 265 35R tires.

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/WEMldNY.jpg

 

 

Unfortunately I did not take them for a spin around the block. I knew without a fender roll and over fender trimming they would not clear, but the static fit looks amazing. I said before that I was looking at a few different wheel options in this size range and due to a seasonal sale on one of the wheel distributor websites, I picked out my summer set. I am currently waiting on the shipment of my 18x9.5 +30 Avid.1 AV-52s in bronze! These wheels have a little less offset than the Gram Lights, but with less tire should have plenty of fender clearance while providing a nice flush fit. I will lose just over 1/2" on the sidewall height from the smaller tires and then dropping the car to fit those should net me ~1". After all is said and done the car should sit another 1.5" lower than it currently is.

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/yYXpvUk.jpg

 

 

I know the style is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is one of the looks that really strikes my fancy. A bit of the inspiration came from this car:

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/q3HzMy9.jpg

 

 

I have been meaning to take some pics to show my recent cosmetic changes. I finally installed the stainless braided brake lines, had the calipers epoxy painted in G2 gold, flushed the system with ATE Type 200, and the OEM wheels plastidipped in a black base with a couple top coats of copper metalizer. I am very happy about how close the epoxy gold color is to the OEM Subaru Brembo caliper color. Until I do snap a few pics, you'll just have to use your imagination.

Edited by jovver
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I appreciate you getting back to me, I have read the lowered outback thread more than 3 times front to back so i have a pretty good understanding of what needs tohappen for a successful drop to take place. Im glad to hear you are pleased with the fortunes. My dilema as of now is picking the right coilover setup due to the fact that i commute an hr to and from work. (highway) I'm no stranger to lowered vehicles and bagged cars built many in the past, But this particular build is a little different due to the commute factor. I have the same PICKLE as you . LOL and BRONZE is the way to go for rims.. Thankyou for your time you have been very helpful.. Whitey
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I appreciate you getting back to me, I have read the lowered outback thread more than 3 times front to back so i have a pretty good understanding of what needs tohappen for a successful drop to take place. Im glad to hear you are pleased with the fortunes. My dilema as of now is picking the right coilover setup due to the fact that i commute an hr to and from work. (highway) I'm no stranger to lowered vehicles and bagged cars built many in the past, But this particular build is a little different due to the commute factor. I have the same PICKLE as you . LOL and BRONZE is the way to go for rims.. Thankyou for your time you have been very helpful.. Whitey

 

One more thing.. can u raise them any more if you had to? I know there lgt. didnt know how much more adjustment was available with the fortunes. thanks Whitey

 

Not a problem, I try to help where I can. As I mentioned above, ride quality (especially on the highway) is highly dependent on the equipped tires. Is your car also a 2.5i or is it an H6? Are you planning on running smaller OD tires or sticking with the stock size? Currently with Michelin Primacy MXV4s in 225 55R 17, the car rides like it is a WRX/ STi on lowering springs. Not harsh at all and it tightened up cornering ability quite a bit, but immediately made the tires the weak link in the suspension setup. I can now feel the tires squirming around as the sidewall is flexing during sweeping turns (highway on/ offramps). It is a very discouraging feeling because it feels like it wants to let loose during the flex/ shimmy.

 

The coilovers are Legacy spec, so you would be able to run them at stock Legacy height (a little bit higher than I am now), but I'm not sure if you could go taller than the stock height. They will go low enough to tuck tire in the wheel wells. I may end up bumping up to a 7k spring in the front because it is much softer for coilovers than I was expecting, though the damping is set soft to midrange on my setup and I will have to get a feel for it with the smaller tires. I am used to 8k on the front of my STi and 6k in the rear, but a turbo model has more weight over the front axles and it's a different chassis and coilover brand altogether.

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Thank you very much, This information is a great help to me, I have the 2.5i I will run stock wheels till spring.

 

So you were able to get your alignment dead nuts? I have the LCA's RCA's in route,

 

Looks great BTW.

 

Yes, at the height I am at the alignment would have been in spec on the factory adjustment. I do recommend some camber adjustment in the rear to even it out side to side (otherwise you are at the mercy of the geometry at the set height) and you should be fine with adjustable lateral links. Going any lower and it would have been dicey without adjustment.

 

Stock sized tires should get you by til spring, but I highly recommend smaller tires for the height.

Edited by jovver
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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I made it a point to take a few pics of the car in its current state. You can see the unevenness of the plastidip copper top coats, but it works as a temporary solution. The tires will be removed early summer and the wheels powder coated. At least they are not silver right now so I feel that is a win.

 

Shady Side:

 

http://i.imgur.com/Rsnq8Ta.jpg

 

 

Wheel Closeup (In the Shade):

 

http://i.imgur.com/f99dK4I.jpg

 

 

Sunny Side Up:

 

http://i.imgur.com/18YslmF.jpg

 

 

I absolutely love the effects of these colors in the sun.

Edited by jovver
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  • 2 months later...
Any Updates? Inquiring minds want to know!!

 

Not much has changed in the last couple of months as I have been focusing my attention on the fun car. (Acquired some pretty serious hardware and have a retune scheduled for the beginning of the season)

 

The wheels did arrive beginning of January and unfortunately my expectation became a reality. The antique bronze finish that the wheels came in is not quite to my liking. :icon_frow I just dropped them off at the local powder coating shop (same shop that did the control arms and other parts) and we ordered a sample of what I'm hoping will be the final color. I also dropped off a few parts for another Pickle project a few weeks ago and will clue everyone in when I get said parts back. :icon_wink

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  • 1 month later...

I made some progress this past week. After countless hours of searching and many powder coat samples ordered, I finally landed on Sterling Copper Metallic for the color of my 18x9.5 +30 Avid.1 AV-52 wheels. They were promptly sprayed and baked and after I picked them up I had some 235 40R 18 Cooper Zeon RS3-S tires mounted and balanced a couple days later. I then took the opportunity to test fit them this weekend after the first hand wash of the season!

 

http://i.imgur.com/SoDnU91.jpg

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/QU0MzbE.jpg

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/H11UmkG.jpg

 

 

I'm super pumped about them so far, but the car definitely needs more low! I am making moves on the aforementioned project for the car and will post up when I get some worthwhile pics in the next couple of weeks.

Edited by jovver
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  • 3 weeks later...

As promised, here are some pics of the new pickle project that I was hinting at before. Lo and behold, the start of the 2.5i exhaust extravaganza. The quest for the infamous subie rumble.

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/SxNBQoH.jpg

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/JXk1a96.jpg

 

 

This is an OEM UEL header from a GD chassis WRX STi (07 specifically) that I picked up from a good friend and had coated in Cerakote titanium.

 

I had always intended to replace the stock exhaust at some point down the line to refresh the setup (my OEM axleback is starting to get a bit rusty) and since I just installed an EL header on the STi, I figure the Outback can scratch the UEL rumble itch. It makes perfect sense in my mind, but I may be crazy. The inefficient, rumbling exhaust should be on the low and slow car instead of the "racecar" where the power advantage and efficiency is wanted.

 

I put a ton of consideration into this idea that ultimately led to the specific route I'm taking. First off, there doesn't seem to be an abundance of aftermarket exhaust options for the 2.5i. In fact, I haven't found a single one. There were a couple of header options including the Rallisport Racing variants, but lately the Google search nets no hits on the company. I had also read about long lead times and the price was a bit more than I was interested in spending for a header on my daily driver. Secondly, the OEM turbo UEL headers are a dime a dozen and often produces the best sounding results. Thin walled tubular headers are often tinny and can produce a bit of rasp. As for catbacks, I have found one viable option; the Nameless catback for the OBXT. With it I am able to select a few different options to tailor it to my liking.

 

The last (and trickiest) piece of the puzzle is joining these two exhaust components. This will be accomplished via a custom fabricated 2 piece catted adapter pipe. The front O2 will drop straight down to the turbo UEL header O2 spot, and I will have to cannibalize the rear OEM catalyst in my stock setup and add a rear O2 bung after that in the new pipe. The rear O2 harness will get an extension (partly with the OEM harness extension from the GD STi) and the idea is to keep the off the shelf rear O2 intact for potential replacement in the future. This adapter pipe will also have to make the sizing transition from 2" to 3".

 

In theory, this should all work out flawlessly. I have spoken to a few people with similar setups that have been fabricated and have been running without a tune that have not had any O2 related CEL codes pop up in 10s of thousands of miles. Before I pull the trigger on the Nameless catback, I may take the car up to the tuning shop that worked on my STi and see if they can play with the ECU a bit. If it is able to be recalibrated, then the potential rear O2 sensor issues will be nonexistent. If not, I will have to be very careful about keeping the setup in check.

Edited by jovver
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  • 1 month later...

Still on the path to the perfect fit. I'm going to have to reconfigure the setup a little to be where I want (less tire, stiffer springs, & moar low), but here's the #pickle as it sits now:

 

http://i.imgur.com/1mh9Jdn.jpg

 

The 235 40r Coopers were quite the challenge to fit. Many sessions of cutting plastic flare, rolling and pulling a bit, and adjusting camber. Right now the alignment is maxed and -2.1 degrees in the front (might prove to be a spacer geometry or some other issue), and -3 in the rear with all of the adjustability in the world. I am going to be stepping down to 225 40R 18s and will dial out some camber in the rear. (probably to -2.5) The car will then be lowered to a gapless tire/ fender fit with new 10k FA springs in the rear and moving the current 8ks from the rear to the front.

Edited by jovver
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  • 2 months later...

Got a small update on my build progression! The spring swap job was unfortunately a complete failure. Physically swapping the springs wasn't a big deal at all, but the setup did not allow me to get what I wanted. Because of the increase in spring rate you have to lower the coilovers that much more to be at the same height as a softer set. The rear knuckle mount bodies are the limiting factor on ride height for these cars. The threaded strut body bottomed out in the mount before I even got to the height that I was at before... and I wanted to go 1/2" lower.

 

After I got the 8k springs back on I then lowered both the front and the rear a touch to fit the 225 40R tires and went in for a realignment. I'm now at -2F and -2.3R and have ample clearance all around. There is still some slight rubbing in the front over large bumps, but the rear clears with quite a bit less camber. The car looks fantastic (IMO) as it is noticeably lower than before. I am going to get a pic in the same spot by the storage units that will show the height difference.

 

I am also making some significant progress towards the exhaust reconfiguration project. Ordered the Nameless axlebacks and they arrived pretty quickly. Bought myself some new O2 sensors and an OEM rear O2 extension. I took the car up to the shop that tuned the STi and had the ECU scanned and good news is the car can actually be tuned! This gives me high hopes that I can have an optimized map for the UEL header and maybe even get a decent power bump with an intake.

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/1kYWl7i.jpg

Edited by jovver
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  • 1 month later...
VERY interested in seeing how this exhaust work-over turns out, and sounds. I recently picked up an '09 OB 2.5i and have been planning some mods for it. Are those the 4" or 5" mufflers from Nameless?

 

I'm getting very excited about it as well! It sucks having parts sit around as back burner projects, but I'm a bit used to it by now. These are the 4" mufflers. I know that NA cars are a little louder than the turbo ones with the same size muffler (turbo itself acts as a muffler) and I wanted something that was a little on the aggressive side, but not too loud. I don't think anyone has done this combination before on a 2.5i and hopefully I can pull it off well and relatively soon.

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  • 8 months later...

Anyone still paying attention here??? It's about time for my semiyearly status update! :lol:

 

Unfortunately things never seem to go as planned with this project, but I am persistent enough to not let it go. I set aside time to take the car to a local performance shop for the driveline spacer & suspension geometry correction. (I was not up to tackling that job myself) The driveline and suspension parts swap went very well. I was fearing a major hangup that was going to render the car useless until different parts could be acquired.

 

I also took the opportunity to get the exhaust sorted. Well... most of it... I was led slightly astray when it came to the fitment of an OEM UEL header. It turns out that the flange for the turbo uppipe points right at the NA engine cradle and no amount of custom fabrication was going to allow me to use it this round. I made the call to continue with the OEM EL header.

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/MQtu04f.png

 

 

Luckily there is a simple and obvious solution to this problem. To use a turbo manifold, you need to use a turbo engine cradle. I will have a turbo uppipe modified and routed up and around towards the existing catback exhaust. Essentially, turbo exhaust routing without a turbo. I even have an uppipe with seized and snapped studs sitting around that is a prime candidate for this reconfiguration.

 

They say pics are worth 1000 words... Here are some mid fabrication shots:

 

 

OEM EL Header and Adapter Pipe:

 

http://i.imgur.com/Eu9rVh8.jpg

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/Gh954yu.jpg

 

 

V-Band Junction and Trans Mounting Bracket:

 

http://i.imgur.com/25Pkhle.jpg

 

 

Resonated Catback with Nameless 4" Muffler Axleback:

 

http://i.imgur.com/cf3fcsB.png

 

 

The change in driving characteristics with the suspension geometry correction is absolutely amazing. I did not think the difference would be as noticeable as it is. The car feels much more composed driving down the road and it definitely feels much tighter, even just casual commuting around city streets. I did have the large control arm mount bushings upgraded to Whiteline polyurethane, but those shouldn't change the feel of the whole car. What I did not expect was that the rear wheel height and fitment would change when the subframe and trailing arm mounts moved closer to the body. It only dropped by 3/8" or so, but it was enough to warrant another height adjustment. The front did not change... I guess because a MacPherson strut design acts different with the mounting? The wheel position also moved out from the center of the vehicle so I lost some tire clearance. I'm hoping with this next alignment that I can keep a reasonable amount of rear camber.

 

As for the sound, it's... different. Definitely much louder than I was expecting. It is extremely unusual and absolutely hilarious coming from this car. When getting on it I get sounds very similar to an EL race oriented Subaru. Unfortunately, since it doesn't really have that classic Subaru rumble it's not exactly what I want and the project is not complete. As stated above, I definitely know what needs to be done for the next step so all hope is not lost. In the meantime, I will try to get a sound clip uploaded soon.

 

The timeframe to get the exhaust system finalized is the end of this season. My goal is to be done with the major components of this car by the end of this year.

Edited by jovver
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Interesting to hear your feedback on removing the body spacers. I want to do that at some point. Where did you source all the parts?

 

Some parts were sourced from part outs on Ebay (driveshaft & steering linkage), but most were brand new from the dealership or sites that have OEM parts. It took me a while to get everything (I was only shopping when it was convenient and wanted as low mileage parts as possible) and while I was waiting to pull the trigger on some of the higher cost items I had the suspension brackets and transmission mount powder coated.

 

One of the things I have noticed is that the car isn't as easily pushed around on the highway anymore. Even after the coilovers I used to feel the rear end getting a little unsettled when passing a semi or if it was a moderately windy day with an inconsistent cross breeze. I was attributing that shimmy to the small rear swaybar. Now it seems that it's planted more under the same conditions. This has also translated a bit to cornering on highway ramps. I still feel like the rear end wants to follow and catch up to where the front is going (definitely a rear swaybar characteristic), but it is much more confidence inspiring when this is happening. Over some bumps the rear end was easily unsettled and there were many times were it felt loose and disconnected.

 

The short and sweet of it is; if you have the means to make the swap happen, do it. You will not regret it one bit.

Edited by jovver
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  • 3 weeks later...

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