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Old 05-28-2003, 01:09 AM   #1
ws6fiero
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Default Maybe I should've gotten an outback...

So on my long weekend I decided to go on a drive. I set out in search of some nice twisty dirt roads, and maybe even trails. Unfortunately, we don't have many of those in my area of Michigan, so I was glad when I came across my favorite roadsign - "Seasonal Road". At first it looked a little rough. Then it turned muddy. Then it turned into a car-swallowing mudpit. One mile later, this is what my car looked like:





All I can say is that it was a wild ride and I am amazed that I made it through with stock ride height and RE92s. I'm not sure if I'll be repeating this anytime soon, though. It took a good 1.5 hrs. to clean all the mud that was on the car, and I'm sure I missed a few spots!

Anybody else here have pictures of their legacy on an offroad excursion?

edit: In case you were confused, the pictured dirt road is not the one that covered my car in mud.
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Last edited by ws6fiero; 05-28-2003 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 05-28-2003, 06:06 AM   #2
richeich
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heh-heh. Looks good!

I've always wanted to do something like that, but I'm just too lazy to want to clean it up. So I've just avoided it.

Rich
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Old 05-28-2003, 12:42 PM   #3
KD7000
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Thumbs up

That's some nice work! Reminds me of my Chevy Blazer days!

I haven't gone on a really muddy trail with the Legacy, but at the end of last summer, I took a quick trip on about 2 miles of "unpaved" road up in NH. You know, the ones where they've cleared off all the old pavement, leaving slightly packed dirt, awaiting the new pavement...

There was no traffic at all, and running just about the posted limit, I could pretend I was some kind of rally driver.

Scared the crap out of my wife, though.

-Brian
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:01 PM   #4
mvstype
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The mud looks great!

MV
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:27 PM   #5
hunts
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Hehe.. exactly what richeich said.

And ironically, I'm thinking of lowering my Forester!
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Old 05-28-2003, 02:27 PM   #6
Heather
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Exclamation No!

Let's pretend you never said, "I should have gotten an Outback" NO!!!! That would be a really huge mistake. If you care at all about how your car handles, then please forget about the Outback. It is one sloppy, floaty, pig on the road and you will not feel connected to the road, any road feel, and when you turn the wheel, it will not feel like it goes as you expect. Outbacks were my worst nightmare and I want to spare you the pain of discovering this truth for yourself. Mud is nothing compared to muddy handling Take it from someone who knows.
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Old 05-28-2003, 04:46 PM   #7
ws6fiero
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Heh... thanks for the advice, Heather

Truthfully I think the stock ride height is a good compromise on my legacy. High enough to get through a lot of messy situations, but low enough to be ok on pavement. It could stand to be a bit stiffer, though...
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Old 05-28-2003, 05:39 PM   #8
ciper
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I regularly take my LOWERED legacy off road, cant imagine why you would want an outback! The underside of the car has seen better days but nothing serious. Ive got stuck a few times too.

Getting stuck prompted me to build another Subaru to get revenge. One day I will return to every place I got stuck and show it who's boss
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Old 05-29-2003, 03:41 AM   #9
eastbaysubaru
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Quote:
Getting stuck prompted me to build another Subaru to get revenge
LOL!!!

-Brian
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Old 05-29-2003, 11:48 AM   #10
gumball
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Default

isn't there only 1" of clearance difference between the 2?
I thought the Outback is 7.5" and the Legacy is 6.5" ?

I mean, an inch is significant, but not huge, like the H2's 10",
now that's a lotta clearance. I'd say the tires are a
big diff betw. the 2.
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Old 05-29-2003, 12:10 PM   #11
ws6fiero
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gumball - yeah, I think it's only an inch. But like you said, more aggresive tires would've been nice. I hate to blame it on the RE92s , but I don't think they were helping, either.
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Old 05-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #12
sooberoo
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Default Re: No!

Quote:
Originally posted by Heather
Let's pretend you never said, "I should have gotten an Outback" NO!!!! That would be a really huge mistake. If you care at all about how your car handles, then please forget about the Outback. It is one sloppy, floaty, pig on the road and you will not feel connected to the road, any road feel, and when you turn the wheel, it will not feel like it goes as you expect. Outbacks were my worst nightmare and I want to spare you the pain of discovering this truth for yourself. Mud is nothing compared to muddy handling Take it from someone who knows.
Heather
A really huge mistake? Heather, above all this is a Subaru forum, IMO, buying anything other than a Subaru would have been the mistake! What's up with your gripe with Outbacks? You make them sound like Yugos or something! I'm no big fan of the styling or size of the Imprezas and WRX's but you don't see me trying to drag them down on this forum!

Besides I think his post was more rhetorical in nature. Regardless of whether it was an Outback or Legacy, he had fun and he didn't get stuck. Ah the beauty of AWD!
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Old 05-29-2003, 12:50 PM   #13
ws6fiero
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Default Re: Re: No!

Quote:
Originally posted by sooberoo

Besides I think his post was more rhetorical in nature. Regardless of whether it was an Outback or Legacy, he had fun and he didn't get stuck. Ah the beauty of AWD!
Exactly
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:34 PM   #14
Heather
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Default Re: Re: No!

Quote:
Originally posted by sooberoo

A really huge mistake? Heather, above all this is a Subaru forum, IMO, buying anything other than a Subaru would have been the mistake! What's up with your gripe with Outbacks? You make them sound like Yugos or something! I'm no big fan of the styling or size of the Imprezas and WRX's but you don't see me trying to drag them down on this forum!
Besides I think his post was more rhetorical in nature. Regardless of whether it was an Outback or Legacy, he had fun and he didn't get stuck. Ah the beauty of AWD!
O.K. I guess it seemed out of context. If you do a search on me you will see my entire story, but be warned it is a long sad tale (with a happy ending )
To sum up your question as to my gripe on Outbacks.
I had an Impreza for 5 years. Had baby, husband wanted bigger and safer. Bought 2002 L.L. Bean last year. Lived in pain and depression with that car due to it being an automatic and it not handling like an Impreza. I had no idea how I cared for great handling, but I do. Simply put the Outback has large profile tires and a tall center of gravity. This causes intense body roll, lack of road feel and no smiles.
Here's what www.spdusa.com has to say:
"If you are interested in a more nimble Legacy and you want it to handle well, do not get the OUTBACK with its raised suspension, rather get the Legacy GT. Pretty straight forward advice. There is just nothing that can be done to improve the Legacy Outback handing."
I tried to tune my Outback with a larger rear swaybar, better tires, and all to no avail. Some people, and perhaps you are one of them, do not care about excessive body roll, poor road feel and crappy handling. If that's you, enjoy your Outback, but most of us here on this club care about performance, handling, suspension and tuning, or we would not be here. The point of this club as I see it, is to help one another to avoid our past mistakes. That is what I was doing. The author of this threads title made the post seem to be about regretting the Legacy and wanting an Outback. I have a Legacy GT now and we love it. A world apart from an Outback, you'd have to have both cars, like I did, to know this. I was simply giving loving sisterly advice to my fellow pals here. No offense please, and do lighten up!
Heather
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:19 AM   #15
AKSubie
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Default

Hahaha!! Great photos ws6fiero and your story reminds me of my brother and I. We both have 2000 Legacy's, mine a GT and his an Outback. Whenever we went looking for houses for me or him, I would always end up driving on the hillside on the rutted gravel/dirt/muddy roads, and he would always end up being on the Highway and paved streets. We never planned it that way, it just happened, seein as we had no idea if the road would be paved or a 2 track. We laugh about it now though, and when we now hit the back roads in his OB, he says "we should've brought your car"

Anyway, cool pics, and it's a testiment to Subaru's that you didn't get stuck.
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Old 05-30-2003, 03:17 AM   #16
sybir
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Yes.

Default

Heather, no offense, but you're painting pretty broad strokes there.
Older outbacks do not have hte same suspension as the one you owned, for starters. My OB has firmer struts with bigger pistons than the GT's, and stiffer springs, stock, as well as a bigger sway bar. Changing wheels and tires makes a huge difference, as well as the nut behind the wheel.

If you're happy with your decision (and I remember what you went through), I'm happy for you, but you're alienating quite a few people with what you're saying, ok?
It's not your choice, but calling them crap is uncalled for. I like big fogs, clearance, and a car that does it all, onroad and offroad. A GT can do it, too. It's personal preference.

FWIW, my parents have a 2002 LL Bean, and I agree that the car feels disconnected and more isolated, than GT's (I had a 2003 GT for a rental for 3 weeks) and the earlier cars. That's what suspension tuning will do for you.

I know, I'm prolly overreacting, but this forum has been my stomping grounds for years, and since all the other OB-GT guys have run off, I'm the only one left to defend us......


Spekaing of which, remarcable, devancleve, dscottf, sobelizard.....where the hell did all those guys go?
It sure as hell wasn't to the OB forum
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:04 AM   #17
kmin
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Default sticking up for my fellow OBers

Just showing my support for fellow OB owners... I think sybir's probably right... I'm pretty fond of my '97 OB's handling. Okay, so it could use a front swaybar, and it doesn't handle like a race car. I have acceptable road feel though, even doing 80 on the highway (112 is pushing it tho, fwiw ). And yup, body roll can be an issue, but heck, I know it's not gonna roll over, and it scares all my friends, which sure can be fun!! For daily use, I think my OB is fine, maybe the later ones aren't so hot for handling, performance, etc. Of course, if I was running a race, or drove as if I were, then maybe a regular Legacy would be better suited for that. But since I don't take right turns at 40mph, or drift through bends, my OB suits me just fine.

Having said that though, I might defect to the Legacy camp, having seen the pics of the latest generation... It's hard to argue with a car that's that beautiful inside and out. Hmm, or maybe if they raised the suspension and made it into an OB... Hmm...

But you know what? Subarus rule. Period. My OB has pulled itself out of a ditch, with just the front right and back left wheels on the ground. Truly, the beauty of All Wheel Drive.
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:22 AM   #18
sybir
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Yes.

Default

Word.
I hate that 112 speed limiter
FWIW, I can take right handers at ~50 with just a little stepout on the back (it *does* have an 18, stock)
I had a bunch of plans for stiffening up the chassis, but I think I'm gonna put money towards a new turbo Leg.......

I've grown to love my OB, it works well for me
Ver' important, btw; I've had ti completely overloaded (IE the entire back, up to the front headrests, solid, and it didn't sag in back more htna an inch, and I still had clearanc eot drive normally, which is something I'll have to get used to on a new car; I've gotten spoiled by knowing no matter what a dip, rise, or bump looks like, I can clear it.....


But it's gonna be retired to beater status in ~a year or so when we get the turbos, because there is no question in my mind that I'm getting a turbo wagon.......
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Old 05-30-2003, 05:25 AM   #19
Rotorflyr
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Default Re: sticking up for my fellow OBers

Quote:
Originally posted by kmin
Just showing my support for fellow OB owners... I'm pretty fond of my '97 OB's handling. it doesn't handle like a race car. I have acceptable road feel. I think my OB is fine, maybe the later ones aren't so hot for handling, performance, etc. But you know what? Subarus rule. Period. My OB has pulled itself out of a ditch, with just the front right and back left wheels on the ground. Truly, the beauty of All Wheel Drive.
I agree, while the OB is (mainly) my Wife's car, I have driven it enough to say it handles just fine, and yes the road fell can be a little rough with the OEM tires, you can eaisly change that. I have not driven a newer model so maybe thing's have changed. Sure it isn't as nimble as a WRX, nor a quick, but it wasn't intended to be either. I will admit Im looking forward to seeing what SOA does with the new legacy, and if they don't water it down too much from the JDM version, I'll be picking up one in sedan form for myself! (and when the wife's ob get's older, we'll probably look at a gt wagon for her)
Also we're both be interested in seeing what they do with the "new" outback as well.........
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Old 05-30-2003, 12:14 PM   #20
Heather
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Have a Nice Day? Point well made

O.K. I will butt out and go back to the Impreza forums. Points well made. Just blame it on pregnancy hormones if you want. Outbacks are still Subarus and that's all that counts
Heather
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:38 PM   #21
sybir
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Nah, not trying to chase you out, Heather
You've got a GT, you belong here too.......

We just gotta keep it all peace and love in here, eh?

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Old 05-30-2003, 02:33 PM   #22
sooberoo
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Sybir, what kind of shocks did you upgrade to? Are they a straight over replacement? I think my car may need new ones this summer.

For the fellow who made a comment about the Outback OEM tires, AMEN brother! They sucked the hind one big time! I should have realized this when I saw the same Michelins on my neighbor's Jimmy! Anyway, last year I installed Bridgestone Turanzas. Huge difference for the price! During the winter I normally run Yoko Guardex's on steelies, but the Turanzas also provided really good traction during snow storms we had here in Calgary earlier this month!
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Old 05-30-2003, 02:41 PM   #23
sybir
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Default

I'm still running stocks.
I pulled the suspension a year or so back to swap for GT stock stuff, and found that the pistons on the OB were 10mm bigger in diameter, and the springs were firmer than the GT springs....
So I stayed stock until I can either afford coilovers, or, more likely, get a new turbo leg.....
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Old 05-30-2003, 04:03 PM   #24
sooberoo
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Yeah, I also was considering the GT swap, but read that there were clearance issues with the Outback 15 inch wheels. I've also heard about the KYB GR2's but remain unsure as to there availability.
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Old 05-31-2003, 09:42 PM   #25
sybir
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Yeah, the problem you'll run into with GT-spec struts and OB wheels/tires is tha tthe 205/70/15's are too tall, and will rub on the bottom of the spring perch (~1 inch lower on GT/KYB aftermarket suff)

I've run 205/55/16's. 215/55/16's. and 225/50/16's on my RS wheels, and from measuring, even the 215/55's would clear, but I just decided to go to the smaller rolling diameter that's stck on every other Subaru. FWIW, the difference in speedo reporting isn't noticably different enough for me to worry.....
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