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Old 02-17-2001, 05:47 PM   #2


I don't have any pics but after owning several Subarus since 85 maybe I can enlighten you a bit. The biggest problem with off road is the ground clearance of the chassis. Unfortunately, sometime in the late 80's or early 90's Subaru did away with the dual-range manual transmission and a lot of the skid plate protection. This was probably done to go to a full time all-wheel drive system but I doubt it as my 87 RX turbo was full time AWD with dual range. I really liked the dual range because the low ratio really allowed the cars to pull thru deep mud and muck and very steep grades. I also had an 85 GL hatchback that was only limited to where it would go by it's ground clearance. It could do steeps with the best of them. I also learned the hard way that following the bigboys (real 4X4s) can lead to some real good lower body damage. On thing I always liked about the older cars is that they had full skid plate protection for the engine oil pan.

As far as snow, mud, and sand all of my Scoobys were great. I once buried my 85 RX turbo to the axles in beach sand at Lake McCoughney in Nebraska. Again, limited by ground clearance but it was very loose sand.

My only recommendation is to watch closely for hidden obstacles such as rocks and logs under the water or mud you are traversing. As much as those Outback commercials like to show the invincibility of Subarus, remember that you are still driving a unibody car with limited ground clearance and a lot of unprotected mechanicals underneath.

have fun!

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