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Old 12-25-2000, 10:11 PM   #1
lucien2
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1998 Volvo V70R
Silver

Post Outback Musings...

Sorry to have been away so long (not that I would have been missed :rolleyes , but my experience at Performance Driving School sent me of on a wild goose chase, trying to hunt down a worthwhile BMW for cheap. I have since decided that this is a silly idea, and that $2500 or so spent on the OB ('99) is better overall than $5K spent on a 1987 325is. I think.

NEway, remarcable's analysis got me thinking, since we have the same car with the same miles. What is an enthusiast Legacyy OB owner to do about struts and springs? Is there NO performance option that will apply? I am considering an upgrade to 16" rims, maybe off an RS, but don't know if that will work. Certainly, getting those 70 series sidewalls outta here will help cornering a lot, and I LOVE my whiteline swqaybar. Still though, I wish we had more suspension options. I'd be okay with a leetle lowering, but I think 1.5" (or more) would look freaky on the OB.

My plan at the moment:

16" rims with 215/60/16 rubber

some sort of brake upgrade ( I had a lot of fade by my third time around Summit Point. Heat was the problem...on the pads and in the fluid.)

swaybar links, front strut tower brace

Stromung muffler (worth it? 2.25" catback better?)

mayhaps the Rallispec cold air intake....


...just a few car nut musings on Xmas night.

be Merry, y'all!
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Old 12-26-2000, 07:25 PM   #2
lucien2
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I've got an email in to Dale about that..thanks for the head's up. I know the OB isn't the best car to futz around with, but hey, it's mine and I can't afford to trade it in.

Actually, my biggest problem at Summit Point ended up being brakes- too hot too soon. I had to limit my top speed down the straight because I didn't have the beakes to handle it at the turn. I guess Blue Dot, SS lines, Mintex pads and maybe cross drilled front rotors are in order for that, yea?
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Old 12-27-2000, 01:27 AM   #3
nuburu2
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Lucien, Might I suggest getting in on the Group Buy on Magnecor KV85 Ignition leads currently going on in the Vendor Section. Won't make the car handle like a 325I but sure looks nice every time you pop the hood and you'll most likely never buy another set of wires for the OutBack!
On the Spring/Strut issue you might want to look into Dale Teagues Wagon specific springs from WhiteLine. Check postings this board last 30 days to catch up. Don't know why the OutBack would differ any from our GT's as far as fitment. And if it's handling you're after that runs opposite of "Ground Clearance" issue. Just my $.02!
Glenn O
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Old 12-27-2000, 12:59 PM   #4
nuburu2
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Thumbs up

OH YEAH!!! The Cross-drilled rotors would help out a lot! Just be sure to get the good ones (like Brembo), not some Mickey Mouse imitation. Might need to save up a bit for that upgrade though!
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Old 12-28-2000, 06:55 AM   #5
Mx5racer
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Every time I go to the track, I put on good track brake pads, and make sure I have clean fresh high temp brake fluid.

That is really all you need. SS brake lines are nice, and make it easier to modulate the pedal, so you could consider that.

According to Grass Roots Motorsports, drilled rotors are mostly for show, as today's brake pads don't gas off like they did 50 years ago (they mentioned that Nascar and F1 don't use drilled rotors). I don't have them and don't miss them. Besides, track rated brake pads will eat your rotors for lunch.
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Old 12-29-2000, 04:32 PM   #6
GG
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Start with better brake pads, or upgrade to the Subaru 4 pug calipers. Putting $2,000 into the set-up of an Outback would not be cost affective there is to much to undo with the differences between an Outback and a normal Legacy or Legacy GT. Tires, yeah 60 series will help alot, better shocks maybe, hard to tell with the Outback. Consider saving for another car or Subaru that you can really mod for autocross or track time. Because of differences in the factory set-up for the Legacy Outback version most recommend not even starting the mod process.
My toy is an 83 Saab Turbo and it's taken me 3 years (and more than a couple of grand) to "get it ready", so don't rush it.
Garry
98 GT Wagon
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Old 12-30-2000, 06:37 AM   #7
lucien2
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Have a Nice Day?

Doh! I was afraid you'd say that. I was all set to buy a 1987 325is, but I am worried about dropping 5k or whatever into something right away. I simply won't have the time to commit to too much track experience, which makes it difficult to justify having a car dedicated for that purpose. *sigh* I guess I'll up-rate the pads, get the swaybar links for my bar, maybe a stromung, and call it a day.
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Old 12-30-2000, 11:08 AM   #8
Gambit
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Go for slotted Brembo discs. You can get them from Primitive Racing. Also get racing pads for track use.
Unfortunately I really don't know how the suspnsion dynamics of the new Outbacks. Maybe Legacy wagon parts can be used?
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Old 01-01-2001, 07:17 PM   #9
GG
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You should have something you can drive everyday, and have a blast with on the autocross circuit or track time, but an Outback tan't the right ride for that, neither is the Forester. The 325 might be a good choice depending on the condition of the car and how far you take it. Some take the car so far that's it's pure misery to drive on the street, so it's only used on the week-end. Others build a compromise that fills both uses. Bimmer's tend to be very expensive, even for the basic's (Saab's also for that matter !), maybe finding a used Impreza that you can tune would be the economic and fun thing to do.
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Old 01-02-2001, 09:07 AM   #10
Mx5racer
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Quote:
Putting $2,000 into the set-up of an Outback would not be cost affective there is to much to undo with the differences between an Outback and a normal Legacy or Legacy GT.
Forgive my ignorance, but couldn't you just change the struts/springs (and possibly upgrade the sway bars) on an Outback and get a car that handles as well (or better than) a stock GT?
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Old 01-02-2001, 09:21 AM   #11
Mx5racer
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Hey,

If upgrading your Outback is not practical, why not spend $1,000-$2,000 on a MR2, Miata, Civic SI and have a fast, nimble track car that is low maintenance and cheap to upgrade?
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Old 01-02-2001, 09:32 AM   #12
lucien2
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It isn't the right time to consider another part-time "toy" car, as I am in between jobs right now. I've learned alot about the e30 and e28 bimmers, but I think I'll have to wait a couple years. Plus, my wife has her heart set on a 2002 Mini Cooper, so I am pretty much resigned to the OB (That Cooper shoulf kick butt at the track, tho' ). On the other hand, the OB is still a way fun wagon to drive, and I'd like to see how well a few well-chosen mods affect the car. Here is the text of the email I got from Whiteline about it:

Hi Lucien,

Thanks for your e-mail.
It seems that you are wanting your Outback to handle better. We can do replacement coils that will not lower the car, these with better shocks will make the car handle better. Replacing the coils without better shocks will make the car handle worse.

Best thing we can suggest is:
Front AND Rear swaybars BSF19 (20mm) or BSF19X (22mm)
Anti-lift kit (KCA319)
Front and rear heavy duty swaybar links (KLC20A AND KLC19 respectively)

Each of these will improve the handling of your car.
Once all these are done and you still need more out of your car, then look at coils and shocks. And of course we are assuming that you have good tyres.
Last thing would be to change the wheels and tyre profile.


So I'll spring for the front bar, 4 links, street pads, then maybe a Stromung and Rallispec's intake and call it a day. Betcha I'll have a way fun Outback, too. That'll be about $1k total.
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Old 01-02-2001, 03:25 PM   #13
lucien2
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Silver

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Yea, it was your swaybar post that got me thinking, actually. That's cool- sounds like we are at the same point in our thinking and our wallets. I wish I had an Impreza too, but, like you, I gotta have the OB. I need a wagon to haul my gear and, at the time, only the OB's blistered roof swallowed everything. Keep in touch; I think we are pretty much the only OB owners willing to go down this path. I'll prolly wait for warm weather so I can try some of the install myself, at least on the front bar and the front and rear links.
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Old 01-03-2001, 01:47 AM   #14
remarcable
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Ya know what?

I was watching speedvision the other night and they had this seriously tuned audi wagon that made me very very jealous.

twin turbos, an insane amount of horsepower (like 590 or something), and AWD.

Well, I paid good $$$ for my 99 Outback (New in June 1999) so unless I total it, I'm not getting another car for awhile.

I have a bit of cash saved up that I was going to build a new computer with, but I'm thinking that $1200 or so could get me some nice stuff.

The main issue I want to address is body roll. Second issue is brakes. Third is sound. Fourth issue is rims/tires.

I just spent $500 on new tires a few months ago so I'm not quite ready to ditch the 15inch rims and new michelin rainforce tires, so now would be a good time to get everything else done.

I think Teague's shop is only about a 4 hour drive from here and I have a friend who lives less than an hour away who I can stay with for a weekend.

Order the parts, schedule the install, give 'em the car.

The only small hitch in those plans are what parts to get and where the cash comes from.

I know (now) the Outback isn't the best car for modding etc, however I still like it. I have fun in it. An impreza would not make it through the crap I have taken my outback through (not without a decent amount of damage).

I want my Outback to handle BETTER on the road and if the dirt/offroad capabilities are improved then all-the-better.

I'm going to send Dale Teague's shop an email after I balance my checkbook and check my calender to make sure I have the time and money (So I don't end up wasting their time and/or money).

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