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Operation Outback Amalgamation - Another project by John


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Man this restoration is very inspiring! I consider my lifted obxt a lost cause but this gives me some hope!

 

Thanks! That is nice to hear :)

 

Very time consuming but worth the effort. I've found extra time for such projects while teleworking :)

 

It sure is! I really enjoy it, though. For my job at Bag Riders I'm at a computer all day long working on abstract problems, so something about the generally linear process of mechanical work like this just helps me wind down mentally. I like working with my hands and the sense of accomplishment that comes consistently with a project like this. At least, that is the case most of the time, save those days where nothing goes as expected :lol:

 

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I've been really busy with work and various around-the-house/property stuff recently, but have spent a bit of time working on the Outback.

 

I don't believe I included a picture, but I replaced the rear main seal and resealed the service plates

oSkLuoQ.jpg

 

Also slapped on a new flywheel. The old one was looking prettttty bogus.

wBvBXKy.jpg

 

Remember that nasty leaky steering rack from a few posts back? I cleaned up all the gunk that had collected on the crossmember and installed the new-to-me rack. I also picked up new low and high pressure lines (the ones that poke up on the passenger side of the vehicle) from the dealership as well. New TOB is in there too, the old one had a lot of play in it... probably original!

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I made this fascinating 4 panel picture showing the before/after:

l8X6JK3.jpg

 

At the very least, now if there is another leak, I'll be able to identify where its coming from :lol:

 

Last night I had a good chunk of time to myself and was able to replace all 16 valves and valve stem seals and got myself set up to reassemble the cylinder heads. Overall the heads are in really great shape. The valve seats cleaned up very well and the new valves lapped in easily.

mI2D5i4.jpg

 

So that's about it for now. It feels good to have knocked out the valve service so now its just reassembly and we're back on the road. I'm excited to get this car out of my shop so I can get back to work on my specB and take this thing out for some fun in the snow!

Edited by BagRidersJohn

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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I got a few hours in the shop on Sunday and managed to get a few things done.

 

Resealed the oil pan

Resealed the oil pump

Installed new water pump

Cleaned up the pistons / deck

Reinstalled cylinder heads

 

I've spent a decent amount of time just cleaning gunk off the under/back side of the block so that in case I spring a leak at some point, I'll at least be able to see it! For better or for worse :lol:

 

The pistons had a lot of carbon build up on them. I had started to clean one piston off as you can see, but for once in my life I remembered (or, almost remembered!) to take a "before" picture before going at it!

ZmifA63.jpg

 

But with a bit of elbow grease and a white Roloc bristle disc, they cleaned up nice (I hadn't cleaned the old gasket material off the deck in this photo yet)

QLDkD2Z.jpg

 

The 642 MLS gasket laid on the prepped deck

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And here is where I left off. Next up is installing timing components, adjusting valve lash, then back in she goes. Very excited to get this hoss out of my shop so I can get back to work on my specB!

jbgGMx5.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Had about 45 minutes last night and got the timing components on! Next up is valve lash adjustment, fastener final check, then this puppy is ready to drop back in!

 

yse9Rot.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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It's so weird seeing a n/a sohc, must be so easy to work on.

 

I guess so! Of course the SOHC EJ is extremely common but I assume you must be speaking about your personal experience. In that regard, compared to the early DOHC NA they are a little easier to work, but honestly for a rebuild its all in the same ballpark. In comparison to the turbo motors, there are many differences of course. IMO the NA motors are just easier/faster to pull and there are fewer things to be mindful of in the cylinder heads. I like working on both types. I've owned far more NA Subarus over the years as they're a dime-a-dozen here in VT but prefer the turbo variety for I think obvious reasons :) I don't have much experience with the F-series engines so can't comment on those :confused:

 

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I had a couple hours in the shop yesterday and plopped the engine back in. Not much left to do now aside from add fluids, cross my fingers and start it up! Aiming to do that tonight so wish me luck :)

 

OCpjBO6.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Little update! tl;dr = Car is up and running!

 

I finally got around to adding fluids / whatever else is missing in that last photo, primed the oil pump, and it fired right up (and continued running, equally important :lol:) to my great joy. However, I wasn't done yet!

 

There was a very very loud squealing-type noise that wasn't obvious as to where it was coming from. At first I figured it was the P/S pump wailing since I had just replaced basically the entire system except the hoses off the reservoir, but after a thorough bleeding the sound remained. I thought maybe the timing belt was rubbing on the guide so popped off the inspection cover and no sign of abrasion in there, thank goodness. All the accessory belts are in good shape and at proper tension.

 

I decided to poke around with a stethoscope while the engine ran, and I was relieved to find that the engine and accessory pumps all sounded happy, but left me wondering what I was missing. With the engine off, I started to turn it over by hand to see if the noise would present itself and sure enough, it did. It sounded just like a warped rotor where you get a "grindy - dragging sound" every rotation. At this point, I thought maybe I got a bad clutch disc? Maybe I made a careless mistake during installation? I wasn't sure. With the engine running, the sound seemed to be loudest while under the car, but that is tough to say since things tend to be louder in confined spaces like that anyhow :lol:

 

Next, I enrolled the aid of my favorite (and very good looking I might add) helper aka my wife to come and turn the engine over while I did more stethoscope work. Immediately as she started to turn over the engine, I heard a scraping noise and crawled under the car to investigate. Lo and behold, I quickly found the culprit. The flywheel inspection cover (the thin piece of metal that bolts to the bottom side of the engine) must have been slightly bent at some point during engine installation and ended up with half of it bent upwards into the bell housing.

 

I removed the bell housing bolts, jacked up the motor enough to access the hardware for the cover plate, removed it, bent it back into shape with a mallet, and put it back on. Voila! All happy now!

 

Time to go get some snow tires on the ol' girl and put some miles on it! Probably wont be doing much until the spring time so, until next time :)

QUpU53m.jpg

 

I made a few "layout" things to reflect what's been done over the last few months, to summarize:

-- Black leather interior swap

-- Custom upholstery on the pillars up

-- Replaced steering rack

-- Replaced damaged panels on LH side of car

-- Rebuilt engine, replaced valves & valve seals

-- Brake job

 

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Edited by BagRidersJohn

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I was going through parts in storage I found my WRX original steering wheel and 5MT shift knob so I decided to throw them on the Outback along with a 3" extension. I can't recall the vendor of the shift knob but its pretty darn heavy and with the extension it is a lot of fun to throw around! The knob and "new" steering wheel (the one in the car was pretty worn down with > 200K on it!!) made a big difference.

87yT7dH.jpg

 

So far I've just puttered around town for "shake down testing" and all is well but boy howdy, does this car need an exhaust haha. Unfortunately, since its the early PZEV / low emissions model I'll need to fab something up so likely a project for another time. I found one thread where a guy modified some UEL Headers intended for a 2.5i but I think I'll go the route of modifying the OBX H6 exhaust since it should be pretty close to begin with. I bought an H6 exhaust gasket to compare against the H4 flange and its close but wouldn't bolt right up without elongating one of the bolt holes. Either way, it feels like a better starting point than a UEL header so that's what I'll end up trying when the time is right.

 

It doesn't look half bad for 16 years and 200k miles I'd say! I'm excited to put a mild lift and a more aggressive wheel/tire combo sometime soon :)

uVBuDKy.jpg

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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Finally got winter tires mounted and an alignment! While a bit under powered, the car drives great. Just putting miles on it now, breaking in the clutch and trying to notice any other stuff I should replace. I think one of the front axles is on its way out but I need to do more driving to know for sure.

 

The other night while on our way home, my wife encouraged a quick photo-op stop as the sun was setting on a particularly clear evening. Looks nice!

sOoDtzz.jpg

 

I'm excited to put a mild lift and some aftermarket wheels on this car :) Still considering a "quick respray" in the spring/summer but we'll see how I'm feeling then. The light gold has grown on me a bit!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 1 month later...

I've really got to clear the orange out of my own headlights. Nice inspiration build thread here!

 

 

Do you have an adhesive preference for the headliner fabric? I've stitched mine on with heavy thread, having known lots of people who tried spray-adhesive only to have it fall down again months later.

 

 

And, is this the same pre + paint process for the interior trim you used on the sedan (and maybe WRX, too?) Guessing it holds up pretty well to heavy use, looking forward to try it myself someday!

 

Any topcoat after the color, to protect it? Or is all the magic in the prep?

 

 

Thanks!

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I've really got to clear the orange out of my own headlights. Nice inspiration build thread here!

 

 

Do you have an adhesive preference for the headliner fabric? I've stitched mine on with heavy thread, having known lots of people who tried spray-adhesive only to have it fall down again months later.

 

 

And, is this the same pre + paint process for the interior trim you used on the sedan (and maybe WRX, too?) Guessing it holds up pretty well to heavy use, looking forward to try it myself someday!

 

Any topcoat after the color, to protect it? Or is all the magic in the prep?

 

 

Thanks!

 

Thanks! I always use 3M Super 90 which works very well; no headliner sagging on any cars. I always spray both the surface and the material, but you have to be careful as to not saturate the material otherwise it will soak through and get crispy-- not good! You can also use contact cement like this stuff: https://www.grainger.com/product/29RU98?ef_id=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxi9rZBeeE3zmI04C6Rq8c0C0KzJKn6VEW0tjf6HUxiSCQ23tbbr8DIaAk2yEALw_wcB:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!2966!3!264955915652!!!g!467408784604!&gucid=N:N:PS:Paid:GGL:CSM-2295:4P7A1P:20501231&gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxi9rZBeeE3zmI04C6Rq8c0C0KzJKn6VEW0tjf6HUxiSCQ23tbbr8DIaAk2yEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

I've never used the contact cement, though seen it used in the upholstery shop

 

Same process for all cars, yep! For high traffic interior pieces, I've had the best results with this process:

 

Clean the part with soapy water

Scuff the part with a maroon scuff pad

Clean with a degreaser

Spray with adhesive promotor, 2-3 coats

Color coat

 

Hope that helps!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 1 month later...

Its springtime which means no more winter tires! This weekend I put on this set of Method MR-502's that were on my wife's 2010 Outback and then her 2010 Forester but she didn't want to run them anymore so I had to put them to good use :lol: The tires are a bit chonky at 235/70 on these 15x7 +15 wheels and rub a bit in the front but certainly something I can address on this high-mileage hog. I'm digging the look!

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Definitely needs a slight lift!! I'm thinking 2" will be the ticket!

 

Now that the weather is warming up, it really has me wanting to give this car a quick color change respray. I had the absolute pleasure of driving an ND Miata for a few days and aside from the really fun driving experience that car offers (especially as a manual!) I fell in love with the color called "Ceramic Metallic" which is a super cool, very cold silver/grey with a fine metallic. It looks like I can get it as a two-stage finish and man oh man do I think it would look nice on this Outback. We'll see what I have time for this summer, but the want is real!!!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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That looks awesome! Makes me want to get a 4th gen outback to compliment the LGT...with a little lift + those wheels+ the roof basket that looks like an awesome off road/adventure/camping car. What? It’s got 200k? Who knew? Lol very well done!

 

Thanks!! Yeah its a bit over 200k :)

 

did you add wheel spacers? The wheels are sticking out a bit. And do you think these rims would clear OBXT brake calipers? I'd doubt it :(

 

No spacers, they're just a low offset wheel! They clear the FHI 4/2 pots rotors up to 300MM so I would imagine that the OBXT brakes wouldn't be a problem... I'm about 99% certain I've seen OBXT's with these wheels in the Outback mods thread!

My 2007 specB (full undercarriage & drivetrain refinish, every nut and bolt replaced, full engine rebuild/restore, glass-out respray, air ride, wide body, and more! All done by me, at home!)

Instagram: @bagriders_john for more Subarus (and also my wife and cat)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Never took the chance to reply. Thanks for the info. So this rim/tire combo has an ever so slightly larger diameter than my 225/60/17 yokohama geolandar. You have more cushion though, and your wheels stick out more. The extra cushion is nice when you go offroad and also if you do need to lower tire pressure. When I lower tire pressure, I have to be careful as there's not much sidewall left.
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