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Old 05-15-2003, 11:54 AM   #1
bdoss123
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Default 1996 Outback Questions

I just got an interesting trade offer for my jeep. Here is my question though, can anything be done with the 2.2L in the 1996 Outback? How were these cars in terms of performance, upgradeability (not sure if that's a real word), and reliability?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Brendan
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Old 05-15-2003, 12:09 PM   #2
BOY
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99 RS-T RIP
02 Forster-S

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Subaru engines/drivetrains are like Legos... anything you can do to an Impreza (L, RS/TS,OBS, WRX) you can do to a Legacy (L, GT, OB). Have fun
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:52 PM   #3
bdoss123
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What do you think about this engine though, with 140k on it. Should I just try to get the Outback and then trade up for a newer legacy or impreza? Or could I save some cash and make the outback fun to drive for a while?

BDOSS
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Old 05-15-2003, 04:08 PM   #4
BOY
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Ultimately that will be your decision but the Legacy is already fun to drive... but its not the quickest thing on the road. If your Jeep is worth the trade you can get some power adders and have a REALLY fun car (EJ20 swap anyone).
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Old 05-15-2003, 04:41 PM   #5
bdoss123
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If the outback looks in good condition, then my jeep would actually be worth less than it. I have been saving for a new ride, so I would have money to put into the outback, or I could try to get rid of it and get an impreza (and make payments for two years). What do you mean by "power adders"?

BD
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Old 05-15-2003, 04:58 PM   #6
BOY
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Well, like I said... Subaru engines/drivetrains are like legos. Just about any part that will work on an Impreza will work on a Legacy. The engines are easily swapable (wiring is a bear though), trannies swap easily enough too. The 2.2 as it stands is a bit underpowered but it does respond well to basic bolt-ons (intake/headers/exhaust) and you can always add a turbo (either kit or DIY). Many of us with RS-Ts (like myself) either have swapped the 2.5 block out for a 2.2 (thicker cylinder walls) or are thinking about it. Shoot, the Legacy turbo 2.2 is the USDM "holy grail" of blocks due to its bullet proof OEM design (the non-turbo block isn't as stout but more suited than the 2.5 for boost). Also, you may want to follow the DNT supercharger thread in the AFI forum (and on RS25.com) as the S/C kit should work on the 2.2s also.
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Old 05-15-2003, 07:37 PM   #7
bdoss123
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Thanks a lot for the info. I am gonna get pics of the subaru and see what its like. If i like it i'm gonna hold on to it and try to super/turbo charge it. As well as the bolt on n/a stuff of course.

I appreciate it,
BDOSS

What are considered a better mod for the 2.2 , the supercharger or the turbo. At 140k do you think this engine (been maintained well) will be able to handle something like this without extensive work being done to it? If it would require work, what kind of work/price would I be looking at?
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Old 05-16-2003, 09:34 AM   #8
BOY
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Tough to say what condition the engine is in. If the head gaskets have been replaced then it'll probably take sub 5psi (turbo or S/C) pretty readily. Couple of things to check for,

1. Crank seal (look for signs of leaks on the timing belt cover). The gasket around the belt cover will swell if it has had any contact with oil... good sign that a crank seal has blown before
2. Obviously check all the fluids, especially check for cooling/oil contamination as head gaskets are notorious points of failure
3. Make sure you listen to the car as it warms up... make sure the engine is cold when you start it. It will probably be a little loud and ticky... its a Subaru quirk, but the noise should go away within the first minute or two.
4. If the car has a CEL don't necessarily get worried... get the code pulled (from autozone/pep boys/etc) and bring it here, we'll tell you if its a common BS code or something to worry about.
5. Make sure to do some low speed cornering (full steering wheel lock) to check the center diff. If you get a shaky steering wheel and any kind of clunking the car likely has a blown/dying center diff.
6. Rear wheel bearings are notorious for failure too (at least on the Imprezas) so make sure to listen for bearing whine

Thats all I've got off the top of my head... good luck.
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Old 05-16-2003, 12:39 PM   #9
bdoss123
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Nice, I appreciate it. What kind of HP can be gotten out of an Outback with N/A mods,, what about with a low psi turbo?

Thanks,
BDOSS
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Old 05-16-2003, 07:05 PM   #10
linsavy
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Unless this Outback is a screaming deal it sounds like you might be happier with an Impreza or non-Outback legacy. The outback was a ton of body roll (although you are used to that in the Jeep). The others will handle better and cost less for the same model year. Outbacks are harder to mod the suspension.
Turboing a Subaru is not to be taken lightly. There is a ton of info on it in this site. It requires good engine management that is expensive and time consuming.
The supercharger is not yet developed. It sounds good, but is yet to be proven.
If you want more power now, get a car with the 2.5l or find a used WRX wagon. If you want more power later, then buy a car with the 2.2l and save for a swap or wait and see on the SC kit.
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Old 05-16-2003, 08:25 PM   #11
bdoss123
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I figure if i considered turbo it would be a ways off. I'd prolly do cheaper N/A stuff, then if I decided to move up to a newer impreza I could swap the stuff outta the outback right?

Doss
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