Outback as backroad camp vehicle?

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Also, the computer system got a little wonky on that trip. Maybe because it was a pretty rough road. A couple of times the engine wouldn't even rev if I put on the gas in the drive. The car wouldn't move. But it resolved eventually every time.
Oh yeah...my 3.6R did this last winter. I tried to go through a deep puddle of slush at the grocery store (in a pretty good dip. Slush was about 8 inches deep). The car got stuck, but to be fair we still have the stock tires on there and they are bald as all heck. When I would hit the gas, nothing would happen. No rev increase, no tire movement. Engine sounded like it was bogging down. My azz was still hanging out in the highway during the throttle struggle. T'was a bit stressful. After a minute or two it finally pulled out of the slush.

The strange part is that I was trying to spin the tires while working the steering left to right to find purchase. Does this sortof match the conditions when it happened to you? I have a gut feeling that it's some sort of safety "feature" related to the AWD. Maybe it had all four brakes activated to eliminate spin? I remember getting out of the car after I parked and was cursing like a sailor. 😕
 

DaveM

Explorer
Just thought of another question: any significant differences between 2015, 2016, and 2017 models of the Outback?

Looks like 3.6r comes in Limited trim only (would prefer the Premium for less electronic stuff). Any differences in body style, motor specs, or xmode? Was hoping to get newer than 2015 but if I want the 6 cylinder I may need to compromise on model year to keep the price under $25k.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Just thought of another question: any significant differences between 2015, 2016, and 2017 models of the Outback?

Looks like 3.6r comes in Limited trim only (would prefer the Premium for less electronic stuff). Any differences in body style, motor specs, or xmode? Was hoping to get newer than 2015 but if I want the 6 cylinder I may need to compromise on model year to keep the price under $25k.
I think those years are more or less identical. No expert though and others might know better. In 2015 (when we bought the 16), the 3.6R only came with the top two trim choices. We have the lower (Limited?)...so I'd guess that either has xmode.

We paid right around 37K for the 3.6R Limited and had trouble finding one. The two MT dealers had one each. We were told that Subaru doesn't make many 3.6 models. Most peeps want the 4 banger.
 

4xpedition

Member
Hi Scott, thanks for adding more details. I've been going over your videos looking for insights. Great work.

Based on what I see and am reading I think the Outback (w lift and BFG AT KOs, plus roof rack and armor etc.) would handle the majority of what I use my Tacoma for now. The trade off between last mile travel and trail/road comfort for the family is one I'm willing to make. I suspect the Outback will actually mean we go more places since long distance driving in an old truck can be exhausting for the wife and kids (and driver!). I'd handle extra camp storage with a platform rack and bins (or eventually a small camp trailer).

I have a couple of questions:

1) Assuming I use a lift like the LP Adventure kit. What rear springs would I be looking for to add a little extra support for camping loads? Most non OEM springs I'm finding are described as 1" - 1.25" lift, but I'm not sure I want extra lift, just more resistance?

2) I've been reading a lot about a transmission wobble that drivers get after doing the 2" lifts. There's a transmission spacer out there that seems to remedy the issue. Do you have any experience with the wobble or the spacer?

3) lots of chatter online about bad Subaru engines, head gasket issues, oil loss and early motor burn out. This may have been pre 2009 cars and only the 4 cylinders, but I'm not sure. I'm probably looking for 2015-2017 and 3.6r only. Are there any known motor issues (that you are aware of) with those years?

Incidentally, Sedona (my wife's hometown) would probably be our first trip in the Outback if I can make it happen before June. Thanks again!

edited to add: scratch question 1, I found RalliTEK 0" overload sprigs. Assume that's what you'd add to the standard 2" lift to help with load but not over do the lift.
Hi there and no problem.

1.) I'm not entirely sure about the resistance vs lift. I tend to think you might want the lift if you add a rear tire carrier.
2.) I have had no tranny wobble. No experience with the spacer.
3.) Probably pre 2009. My son has a 2013. He has a RTT on it but has stock wheels and tires, no aftermarket springs. His is the 4 cylinder. We've had no problems with that one either.

Sedona! Cool, did she graduate high school there? If so, what year? I have some friends that call Sedona their home town.
 

4xpedition

Member
Just thought of another question: any significant differences between 2015, 2016, and 2017 models of the Outback?

Looks like 3.6r comes in Limited trim only (would prefer the Premium for less electronic stuff). Any differences in body style, motor specs, or xmode? Was hoping to get newer than 2015 but if I want the 6 cylinder I may need to compromise on model year to keep the price under $25k.
I know that with anything before '15 you can't put larger tires on the rear as you will experience significant wheel rub (in the rear) if you go with LP Aventure (they do make a kit for older Subis but install requires some fab work). I couldn't tell you the other differences other than the CTV shifting is better the newer you go.

One thing I would say for me in hindsight: I would have opted to buy the Touring model as the roof rails are the old style low profile. I would have preferred that as I would have rather just mounted my Yakima rack to the roof of the vehicle with Yakima towers as opposed to using the Yakima landing pads mounted to the cheap and lame plastic rails that come with every other model. Subaru really needs to dump the cheap plastic roof rails.
 

4xpedition

Member
Oh yeah...my 3.6R did this last winter. I tried to go through a deep puddle of slush at the grocery store (in a pretty good dip. Slush was about 8 inches deep). The car got stuck, but to be fair we still have the stock tires on there and they are bald as all heck. When I would hit the gas, nothing would happen. No rev increase, no tire movement. Engine sounded like it was bogging down. My azz was still hanging out in the highway during the throttle struggle. T'was a bit stressful. After a minute or two it finally pulled out of the slush.

The strange part is that I was trying to spin the tires while working the steering left to right to find purchase. Does this sortof match the conditions when it happened to you? I have a gut feeling that it's some sort of safety "feature" related to the AWD. Maybe it had all four brakes activated to eliminate spin? I remember getting out of the car after I parked and was cursing like a sailor. 😕
I'd say you are right on the locking. I notice in my situation a second issue was that the emo brake would come back on the moment I'd turn it off. I literally had to hold the emo button while driving to move.
 

DaveM

Explorer
Hi there and no problem.

1.) I'm not entirely sure about the resistance vs lift. I tend to think you might want the lift if you add a rear tire carrier.
2.) I have had no tranny wobble. No experience with the spacer.
3.) Probably pre 2009. My son has a 2013. He has a RTT on it but has stock wheels and tires, no aftermarket springs. His is the 4 cylinder. We've had no problems with that one either.

Sedona! Cool, did she graduate high school there? If so, what year? I have some friends that call Sedona their home town.
I'd do the 2" lift all around, that seems to put the rear just above the front from what I see online. Then add the RalliTek rear coils either 0" or maybe .5" just to help with gear loads. I don't think I'd do the rear tire carrier.

She was born and raised in Sedona, but I think she went to high school in Cottonwood, '93. No HS in Sedona back then I guess. We drive out from Bay Area once every year or two. I love the desert!
 

DaveM

Explorer
I know that with anything before '15 you can't put larger tires on the rear as you will experience significant wheel rub (in the rear) if you go with LP Aventure (they do make a kit for older Subis but install requires some fab work). I couldn't tell you the other differences other than the CTV shifting is better the newer you go.

One thing I would say for me in hindsight: I would have opted to buy the Touring model as the roof rails are the old style low profile. I would have preferred that as I would have rather just mounted my Yakima rack to the roof of the vehicle with Yakima towers as opposed to using the Yakima landing pads mounted to the cheap and lame plastic rails that come with every other model. Subaru really needs to dump the cheap plastic roof rails.
I need to verify this for the Outback, but Rhino Racks makes metal roof rails to swap for OEM on many trucks and cars. They are for mounting their Pioneer platform racks.
 

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DaveM

Explorer
Ok, Tacoma sold last Thursday (had a LOT of interest). Went straight to the Subaru dealer and left about an hour and half later with a 2016 3.6R Outback! I'm now broke and can't afford any of the modifications I want of course, but I'll get there ; )

Scott if you're still listening in on this thread, I may have some questions about the various lifts available. I'm guessing you did some research between the LP Aventure lifts and some of the others like ReadyLift etc?
 

Waltzing Matilda

Adventurer
Congratulations on your Outback purchase- have fun and post updates of your adventures!

I did a lot of research earlier this year, and nearly bought a new Outback in March after learning Consumer Reports named Subaru the best manufacturer of 2019.

Long story- but I decided to wait. However- I discovered a dealer in El Cajon (near San Diego) that offers a "Baja" model with many of the modifications mentioned here. Lift kit, BFG ATs. Yakima carrier roof rack- all done by the dealer, so the warranty isn't compromised.

Screen Shot 2019-05-11 at 8.34.23 PM.png

I also learned the Outback model change year is coming up- due for a redesign in 2020. (Forester re-design was 2019- Subaru does this every 5 years )
So I'm waiting to see what they come up with for 2020, and if it's not much different- I'll reconsider the 2019 model.
 

rickmac

New member
2020 is a complete change. Similar look on the outside but guts turn over to their global platform and the 3.6 is gone with a 4 turbo coming in as a replacement. Both have pros cons depending on your wish list but I ran out to buy a 3.6 knowing the change was coming. Rock solid engine.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

Waltzing Matilda

Adventurer
Thanks! I just read a review. Would be interested in your thoughts re: 3.6 vs. 4 cyl. turbo. A pro/con discussion, from various perspectives, would be helpful.
For example:is the 2020 Outback heavier, and will a 4cyl+turbo be sufficient for towing, carrying people +heavy gear etc. or is the 3.6 still a smarter choice, esp if you plan to keep the car for many years?

Related: I currently have an "old school" Honda hybrid Accord from 2005, with about 119K miles. It's 6 cylinders vs. the currently offered 4, and with the electric motor boost it has about 260 HP (about the same as the new Outback turbo). It's my daily driver, and I love the extra "gear" when I need a quick burst of speed, pass on hills etc.

While the mileage is lower than the newer models, the Honda mechanics tell me to keep the 6-cyl. version, since the engine doesn't have to work as hard to push a larger sedan around, and will last for... well, it's a Honda.

Would the same logic hold true for the 4cy./turbo 2020 Outback?
 

Waltzing Matilda

Adventurer
I just found the least helpful review of the 2020 Subaru Outback ever...what language is this translated from/to??
Horse energy?
HP="Hewlett Packard"?? 😂

"Engine and Specs
Which may come to become the inside of the car that more than more than possible to offer you some genuinely useful changes. One indicates by one of the most common novelty is definitely a refreshing 2.5-liter turbo inline-actually quite a quantity of engines, is designed up inside the amazing production of 260 horse energy. Offered to provide 6-piping strategy variables about 252, you happen to be taking spot to turn out to become going to create to have acquainted with a give the critical collection the effectively-the truth is really valued inline-50 Business 12 unquestionably not inside the offer constructed in. Could really magnificently more than more than maybe confirm out obtaining create to make as getting a distinct disgrace, pondering its sorts-6 design. The full variance now components a normally-aspirated 4-home-based domestic plumbing engine with about 175 Hewlett Packard. This answer to more than nearly definitely money flow, irrespective that will confirm the increase to create to turn into generating consumption of some prospective enhance. All engines arrange linked with a CVT and all-tire-make strategy as enhanced qualities."

Source: https://www.subaru-cars.com/2020-subaru-outback-release-date-rumor-color-interior/

Thanks! I just read a review. Would be interested in your thoughts re: 3.6 vs. 4 cyl. turbo. A pro/con discussion, from various perspectives, would be helpful.
For example:is the 2020 Outback heavier, and will a 4cyl+turbo be sufficient for towing, carrying people +heavy gear etc. or is the 3.6 still a smarter choice, esp if you plan to keep the car for many years?
 

vhercules

Member
Ok, Tacoma sold last Thursday (had a LOT of interest). Went straight to the Subaru dealer and left about an hour and half later with a 2016 3.6R Outback! I'm now broke and can't afford any of the modifications I want of course, but I'll get there ; )

Scott if you're still listening in on this thread, I may have some questions about the various lifts available. I'm guessing you did some research between the LP Aventure lifts and some of the others like ReadyLift etc?
Check these guys out - ADF- https://andersondesign-fab.com/ ... there are tons of subie owners (outback, forester, crosstrek) with ADF lift kits. Have heard pretty good things aboutt hem. You can get a 2 inch lift with the multi link spacers for rear to center the wheels and throw in larger tires.
 

rickmac

New member
Subaruoutback.org forum has as much info as you could ever want. My old school thinking is that the 6 is smoother, quieter and better for off road and light towing. This is based on prior experience with turbo 4s and many now argue that the new turbo 4s are the future and will be better at everything but I'll stick with my basic 6>4 thinking for now.

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