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Old 09-05-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
slow03
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'12 Fiesta hatch

Talking Baja love..

Hi all.
Wanted to post my Baja story. To get some input, and also just to share.

Background:
My dad bought her in November of 2002. Shiny, new, and of course Baja yellow!!! I acquired it from him in 2005 when he decided a minivan is better to haul all his stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed her for 2 years, and saw her past the 100K mile mark.
Did my own tires, brakes, and timing belt. (I am a technician).
In 2007, my sister's Neon was falling apart, and I craved a 5-speed and the spool of a turbo. So she got the Baja, and I got myself a very nice Forester XT.
After getting engaged, I decided that I had to get out of one of my car payments(also have a Corolla for the wife). So the Forester found a new home right before the wedding(Jul 2009).
The point came where my sister didn't want to dump money into the Baja, so she bought an '08 Impreza... And here I am back with my Baja!!!

Bad news:
Unfortunately the Baja now has 180,000 miles, and is in need of some major TLC.
A bad alternator caused 16-17 volts to run through the system for about 2 hours as I drove home from work. Since then it has killed 3 other alternators, and a couple of batteries. It took out another alternator and battery on Monday. So next weekend, it will be getting a brand new engine harness, alternator, and battery!
It also needs new suspension, tires, exhaust gaskets, and eventually head gaskets. All coming soon.. Maybe

The plan:
Fix it up, and get it on the road.
I want to build a daily driver/ultimate camper truck! Maybe someday I will replace the engine and swap out the autobox for a good old manual...

I want this Subie to last forever!
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:40 AM   #2
BajaGuy68
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I hope you keep her....I'm keeping mine!

I had an 06' Baja Sport and it was great! I traded her in for another 06' Baja...a Turbo Baja!... with only 4,200 mi. on her!! She now has around 25K and looks like showroom condition. It's a fantastic "trucklet" thats going to be with me for years to come! I won't trade her for anything....even if Subaru came out with a new, restyled version!
Baja Love!!
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
BrunoShield
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I've only owned my 03 NA Auto 140,000 mile Baja for a little over a year but it will leave the family only after I die! It has been the most fun, most reliable, most attention getting vehicle I've ever owned. I've owned faster, a '68 Dart GTS. I've owned more attention getting, '65 Ford 4 X 4 pickup so ugly it hurt your eyes. But I've never owned one more reliable or more fun!
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
Baja Milk
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I just paid off my 03 manual and it has 77K miles on her. I'm excited to have a car paid for that I still enjoy. She's no looker...but that makes it all that much more enjoyable.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
seaview
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My 03 n/a auto with 110000 miles is probably the last vehicle I'll buy for myself until my power wheelchair..............Pete L.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:11 AM   #6
atasnailspace
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No pics?
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #7
slow03
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No pics yet.... New tires and suspension going on this week. Will get pictures when she's back home.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
slow03
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Default Busy, busy, busy...

Life has been busy. (Being a newlywed and all).... But I finally have time to obsess over the Baja again.

So the Baja is still running strong! Just turned 186,000 miles! I have big plans for my little truck. Now that it is back up to "code", I can focus on the toys...
I have 4 KC day-lighter off road lights coming in the mail soon. After that I will start planning and executing my custom front bumper.
Long term plans are to have the bed and cladding sprayed with Line-X. When the little 4 banger lets go, (or should I say "if"), I'm planning to transplant in a 3.0/3.6 H-6 from an Outback. If monies allow, I will also convert it to manual trans. Already on the lookout for a donor car.
Here is a sketch of what I am planning.... Enjoy!



I know it sounds ambitious, but I am a technician, so I can do all the work myself.

(My dealer just got a 2003 Baja in the same yellow as mine, but with a manual trans! I am thinking of working out a trade....)
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
kev m
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Right on with the line-X - the 6-cyl conversion could be bad ass - it would add some towing grunt too!

Keep us posted!

One question - would the manual mate with the 6-cyl? And even if it did, would it stand up to it?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:31 AM   #10
speedymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev m View Post
it would add some towing grunt too!
the frame is the weak link not the engine. H6 outbacks are still rated at 2400lbs.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:31 PM   #11
kev m
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedymatt View Post
the frame is the weak link not the engine. H6 outbacks are still rated at 2400lbs.
But what are they rated out outside the US?

I don't know the answer, but I know that on most BMWs for instance lawyers keep the ratings un-necessarly low in the US for liability reasons.

I imagine if nothing else it would mean you could safely tow at the limit of 2400 lbs at more ease.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:48 PM   #12
kev m
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev m View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by speedymatt View Post
the frame is the weak link not the engine. H6 outbacks are still rated at 2400lbs.

But what are they rated out outside the US?

I don't know the answer, but I know that on most BMWs for instance lawyers keep the ratings un-necessarly low in the US for liability reasons.

I imagine if nothing else it would mean you could safely tow at the limit of 2400 lbs at more ease.

As a follow up to that, it appears that you may be mistaken. Unless you were specifically talking about the 2006 H6 (as I can't find data on that right now).


But using the comparison function on Subaru.com you'll see that the 2009 H6 Outback and the redesigned 2010 H6 Outback and both rated at 3000 lbs, while at the same time the 2009 2.5 Outback is and the 2010 2.5 Outback are rated for 2700 - so in both of those cases the chassis wasn't the limiting factor.

Having towed more than ton of stone with the NA Baja I can tell you the chassis was not the limiting factor. The NA motor could handle it, if you weren't in a rush, and as long as you didn't start from a dead stop up at a step hill...

Last edited by kev m; 01-29-2010 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
speedymatt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev m View Post
As a follow up to that, it appears that you may be mistaken. Unless you were specifically talking about the 2006 H6 (as I can't find data on that right now).


But using the comparison function on Subaru.com you'll see that the 2009 H6 Outback and the redesigned 2010 H6 Outback and both rated at 3000 lbs, while at the same time the 2009 2.5 Outback is and the 2010 2.5 Outback are rated for 2700 - so in both of those cases the chassis wasn't the limiting factor.

Having towed more than ton of stone with the NA Baja I can tell you the chassis was not the limiting factor. The NA motor could handle it, if you weren't in a rush, and as long as you didn't start from a dead stop up at a step hill...
when you compare towing it doesnt make sence to compare the chassis of a 2003 and a 2009 there is no comparision how many improvments did the car go through when it was redesigned in 2005? so yes i used the outback that most closely matched our chassis.

and how much over a ton did you tow? the designed factor of safety will cover you to a point but if for any reason something went wrong you would be liable for not following the factory limits.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:22 PM   #14
slow03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev m View Post

One question - would the manual mate with the 6-cyl? And even if it did, would it stand up to it?
Most subaru engines and transmissions will bolt to each other. There is a 6-speed STI somewhere on the forums with a turbo charged H6 engine.

If I do the manual swap, I would try to find the gearing that I had in my Forester XT. I've seen guys put 300-HP through that trans without any issues.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #15
Spring
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Nice story, very cool! I think all the work you are putting into it will pay off with some great times and memories! I just got my '06 Baja turbo fixed after being broken into. They took the nav/stereo and the entire A/C heat console as well. It took three trips to the dealership and the audio shop, but he's finally home!
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:02 AM   #16
kev m
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FWIW I'm not suggesting the Baja could/should under any configuration tow 5000 lbs or something like that.

Matt you make the point well with the H6 in basically the same chassis is only rated at 2400 and extrapolating from the later models Subaru has rated the later-outback with the H6 at 3000. So that supports your logic, i.e. that based on powertrain strength they might have rated the H6 Outback higher in those years IF they felt the chassis was up to it.

BUt, one question no-one has answered was the ORIGINAL QUESTION I ASKED.

I have seen with other brands where they rate their vehicles significantly lower in the US when the EXACT SAME CHASSIS is rated HIGHER in Europe.

This is done STRICTLY for liability, as it is no secret the US is plagued by this moreso than most other areas in the world.

So my ORIGINAL QUESTION WAS AND REMAINS - IS the Baja or related Outback platform (through 04) rated for more towing ability elsewhere in the world?

IF IT IS, that would be enough for me to tow A LITTLE MORE with this chassis.

YMMV.

That was my only point.

Kev


PS - re-read what I bolded - you said 2000 max for NAs, then in the same sentence said 2400 NA with trailer brakes. Minor contradiction. For the record I think it was 1000 for NA without trailer brakes and 2400 with. Yes? But there can be only one "max".
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:20 AM   #17
kev m
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Case in point

Now I'm only using the 2010 specs cause it's easy to compare US to UK (since that's what's currently available). I'll search to see if I can find historical specs for 03 or 05.

But 2010 Outback

2.5L U.S. Tow Capacity - 2700 lbs - UK Tow Capacity - 3968 lbs (1800 kg)

H6 US Tow Capacity - 3000 lbs - UK Tow Capacity - 4409 lbs. (2000 kg)

http://www.subaru.co.uk/Subaru_co_uk...?menuid=M0M8M7

Which SUGGESTS Subaru is not unique for de-rating their chassis in the US to avoid a perception of liability in our overly-litigious society.

Now I need to see if I can find older specs to see if the same was true for 03-05 Outback and/or Baja (again I still don't know if the Baja was exported or not, I'm assuming not).
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:34 AM   #18
kev m
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Further follow-up

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/EDITORIA...ar_review.html

2003 UK Outback (yes, diesel powertrain, but the diesel is actually rated 100 kgs lower in towing capacity on the 2010 website, so we can logically presume that the gas versions of the same chassis for 2003 were AT LEAST equivalent to this).

Max Towing (with trailer brakes) - 3748 lbs. (1700 kgs) - (without trailer brakes) - 2551 lbs. (1157 kgs)

and this PDF for 2004 UK Outback agrees -

http://www.unitedpictures.tv/apsyste...iles/269_1.pdf

2.5L - Tow Capacity - 3968 lbs. (1800 kgs)
H6 - Tow Capacity - 4409 lbs. (2000 kgs)


Now what this means to an individual in the US from a liability standpoint well, that's up to you to decide.

BUT I think it is strong empirical evidence that the chassis can handle more than the artificially low limits that Subaru publishes in the US.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:07 AM   #19
AnAnim2
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In early 2003 both my son and I bought Baja's his THE YELLOW, mine the GARNET RED. BOTH were called the classic model ,all power and all leather,in 2004 the classic was replaced by the turbo. NOW in 2010 my sons has 49,000 miles , mine has 44,000 and all the milage is highway, from PA to Maine, from PA to Northern Canada where the roads end also carrying a canoe. Traveled from PA. to Wyoming for 5 months,FROM APRIL TO SEPTEMBER. HAD BEEN through all kinds of weather snow storms in April, May, June and July and the Baja just kept going through the mountain passes, Also in April when the Park Service released the captured buffalo from the winter It even stood up against a challenge ,although I back up down to road as the Bison continued heading towards me.Was the only time I worried knowing the bison would win against my Baja.Also in July while parked during a trip I was guiding for 4 days, a pack rat got into my engine and it ate my spark plug wires and other wires from the harness.Not to mention the nest it built.Took 3 days to trap the rat in my engine and from PA to North Carolina IN THE RAINS OF HURRICANE IVAN .Also got pulled over on the beach in Assateaque National Seashore in Maryland by the National Park service even though I had a permit.The ranger I believe pulled me over because in 2003 they had never seen such a small truck driving down the beach.My small truck with the light Bar against monster trucks .Never got stuck in the sand and had a blast.Also made money as there were backpacker who were fried from the sun after a 9 mile hike to get to the parking lot.Paid us to transport their gear to the lot.That was so cool.
The amazing thing is that my Baja is giving me 36 miles on the highway, but only 23 to 24 city. In Wyoming the Baja was a hit as no one had ever seen one .I can't tell you how many offers I had to sell ,NO WAY ITS MINE
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:55 PM   #20
YBajaSteve
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well Slow03, back on topic since your thread got thrown all over the place, Im loving the added clearance with approach angle you drew up with that front bumper, lets see something like this make it into production! I kno i need it! and the liner on the bottom is another one of my many wishes!!



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Old 02-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #21
slow03
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Default Pay load:.............

Since everybody seems to be so interested in payload, I struck a deal with mother nature to see how much my Baja(N/A) and my mom's Outback(H6) can hold......

Turns out both can easily hold about 10,000 "Al Gore/Obama pounds" of Copenhagen global warming!




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Old 02-06-2010, 06:46 PM   #22
Benhart21
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Stop Bogarting all the snow and send some back CO's way.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:00 PM   #23
Emsanon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benhart21 View Post
Stop Bogarting all the snow and send some back CO's way.
You aren't kidding! We didn't even have one snowflake fall this winter. It's sad. The east coast is taking our snow!
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:01 AM   #24
Baja_Gernaut
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:17 PM   #25
YBajaSteve
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need bigger pics ^^^ I cant see much
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