Last post on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
What is this discussion about?
Subaru, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Sedan, Wagon
Your Community Leaders are ateixeira and rsholland.
Jun 19, 2006 (6:52 pm)
A few months ago I had a posting asking for advice on suspension modifications for my 2005 Legacy GT Limited wagon (5-speed manual). I'm happy to report to you the following.
This weekend I installed Cobb front and rear tubular swaybars, Cobb front and rear billet endlinks, the Cobb double-adjustable short-throw shifter, and Cobb hardened shifter bushings. This transformation I'm calling "Spec C" following Subaru's "Spec B" (Bilstein) treatment of the Legacy GT. I also added to my vehicle a Subaru OEM subwoofer and STI (JDM spec) metal pedals.
I cannot begin to describe how much this has transformed the vehicle into a serious sporting machine (watch out Bimmers!). Prior to these modifications, I had seriously considered getting rid of my LGT and replacing it with an Audi A4 Avant or a Volvo V70R. While I loved the LGT's sweet engine (even though it is a thirsty beast), I was left unsatisfied with the handling capabilities because of the soft-tuned suspension.
With these "Spec C" modifications and my Pirelli PZero Nero M+S tires, I now feel the LGT is a worthy contender to its European rivals. The unpleasant body roll is now almost completely eliminated (I have the rear swaybar set at the softer setting--switching to the harder setting would probably eliminate lean completely). There is much less understeer now, and cornering is a true joy. Shifting gears is now short and precise, although perhaps a little more notchy than before. I feel like I have a new car--a car that I would actually want and buy if I didn't already own it!
The one modification I'm not thrilled with is the JDM spec STI metal pedals. I decided to buy the JDM spec rather than the USDM spec STI pedals because the JDM accelerator pedal is larger--this would make heel-toe downshifting easier (something at which I'm not very competent). Unfortunately, now the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal are very, very close together. If I'm not careful when braking, I'll unintentionally hit the accelerator as well. I'm concerned that when winter time comes around and I'm wearing boots, it may be difficult to brake without hitting the accelerator as well. I don't have huge feet (men's size 10). I suppose with time I'll get the hang of these new pedals, hopefully before I rear-end a vehicle in front of me!
So, to those of you who want to transform your '05-'06 Legacy, go the "Spec C" route--it's well worth the cost in my opinion. The Cobb parts mentioned cost me about $850 excluding shipping and installation. The STI pedals (both USDM or JDM) are overpriced--I now know I could have bought aftermarket pedals for half the price and they would have been just as good or better.
My next modification, which I'm considering for the future, is changing the springs and struts for Tein Flex coilovers with an EDFC controller. I'm not going to do this anytime soon--I'll wait until I get "bored" with my LGT again. Does anyone out there have experience with the Tein Flex coilovers on an LGT? I'd be interested to hear your experience.
#9079 of 10838 insurance
Jun 19, 2006 (6:53 pm)
I get this thing every year from my insurance company Liberty Mutual which shows the IIHS claims for previous years, for 2002-2004 the RAV4 had an injury claims rate of 138 (average for group is 100) and a collision claims rate of 116. The CRV 96/90 and the Forester was 78/75. The Outback is in another group as its classed as a midsize and not a small vehicle but it had a 71 injuries, 70 collision claims rate.
I have not heard that stability control provides any insurance discount. FWIW for Liberty Mutual the 2 vehicles I have with ESC - Tribeca and Sienna do not have lower liability portion of the premium (presumably that is a function of both how often you crash and the results of that crash especially with respect to injuries as opposed to the collision portion which is a function of how much it costs to fix the damage) than any other of my other vehicles (I got 5 altogether) and are actually higher than my WRX which has the highest collision claims rate in its class (154) but the lowest injuries (74) - now does that say something about the structure of the WRX or what!
While I will certainly look for ESC on my future cars, especially for my kids who are getting to driving age, with a Subaru with good tires (and that also means winter ones for winter) I don't think having ESC will be a make or break deal.
#9080 of 10838 Re: insurance [cptplt]
Jun 19, 2006 (8:40 pm)
I have to second your comment - and Ken's - about dedicated winter snow tires as a great safety feature, and the most important one for those of us where it snows. Everything else is secondary when it comes to handling up here, even the VDC and the "Spec"-type stuff!
By the way, I like - so far - the standard equipment all-season tires for summer use, and am rather confused as to why people revile them. The only negative I notice is that they're a bit noisy compared to the Yokohamas on the 2.5i.
#9081 of 10838 Re: subaru outback vs rav4 [kens]
Jun 20, 2006 (10:31 am)
Stability control actually only comes into play in over-the-limit situations, by definition.
Toyota's system seems to act early and often, the thing is it sort of spoils the fun, not letting you bring the tail out, and with hyper-active traction control it's hard to get any momentum in sand or snow. I'd at least like to see an off switch.
Also, the RAV4 got only 4 stars for the passenger in NHTSA frontal tests, all new Subies manage 5 star safety all around.
Sure, I want stability control, but I'd pick permanent AWD and better crash tests scores over that option alone.
#9082 of 10838 Re: Legacy GT "Spec C" [mountnman4u]
Jun 20, 2006 (11:16 am)
I have experience with Tein HA coilovers on an Impreza.
I would be very cautious about any sort of coilover on a Legacy GT. It is not a WRX STi.. I wouldn't give up too much ride quality. That said-- you've already done everything you possibly can without touching the struts & springs, and they are pretty soft.
However, the thing that scares me is this:
"Front: 8kg, 448 lbs; Rear: 9kg, 504 lbs"
I don't know how the linkage works on the rear of the Legacy but I am sure that the front is a mcpherson strut which means 95-100% of the spring rate is the wheel rate. I had 8kg/m (448lb/in) springs up front with my Tein HAs and the ride was EXTREMELY rough on normal roads. Unless you have ridden in a car with this exact suspension on it and you are sure that you can live with it on a daily basis, I'd highly suggest that you look elsewhere. Your Legacy is a few hundred pounds heavier than my Impreza, but you'd still have a pretty dang high suspension frequency. It won't be nice.
#9083 of 10838 Re: subaru outback vs new rav4 [iknevs1]
Jun 22, 2006 (4:56 am)
You need to decide which is more important, AWD or stability control. The RAV shuts down AWD at pitifully low speeds.
Jun 22, 2006 (9:33 am)
Have a problem that's cropped up on my 05 GT Wagon lately. After about 20,000 miles of fine service, I noticed it was idling kinda rough at a stop light one day. My buddy and I were both in the car and could feel it actually shaking the whole car. Was not a steady shake either. It comes at irregular intervals, then pauses for a second, then comes back.
I figured I'd wait until my next oil change to have it checked out, but about a week later I got a check engine light. Since the cruise was out because of it, I took it in that week. The code was for a cylinder missfire. Was told that one of the spark plugs was fouled and they moved the injectors around. They also reset the ECU. Anyway, they said it was likely bad gas and charged me $175 even though the car is under warranty because it's not Subaru's fault.
I understand the charge if the issue was indeed bad gas, but I use Shell 93 octane V-power exclusively. Bad gas seemed pretty unlikely to me.
I began filling up with Mobile gas after this. For about a week after taking it in, the idle was nice and smooth again. Then the vibration came back and has been back since.
I've read on other forums that some shake from the boxer engine is normal. Seems to me that if it didn't do it for the first 20K miles, and didn't do it after an ECU reset, it's not normal. I'd like to get this fixed, but I'm afraid to go back and get charged again. Another dealer isn't an option as they are too far away. Anybody else run into this? Any suggestions?
Jun 22, 2006 (10:22 am)
On a side note, my Firestone Z50EP's are starting to get a little thin. I've been very happy with these tires. Any suggestions on replacements.
#9087 of 10838 Re: 2006 Outback AC Question [steveb10]
Jun 22, 2006 (11:52 am)
I experienced the same short cycle with my 06 Outback AC, but it seems to have "broken-in" and corrected itself. Either that, or the weather is just cooler.
I suggest waiting a bit before asking the dealer to repair it.
Let us know what happens.