Subaru OBW build(?) mods(?) or whatever..

borison

Adventurer
I thought I should post some images of my project.
1996 Subaru OB, 2.2L, 5 spd, 121,xxx, cold weather pkg, General Grabbers AT2, some window tint on the top half and some bedliner on the lower half.
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hove102

Adventurer
Awesome OBW! I'm actually looking at picking one of these up because I can't do the mileage that my Montero gets anymore. I can see the AT2s you've put on there; any other mods on it/in the works? Also, what made you choose this particular OBW?

Subscribed. :coffeedrink:
 

Hondaslayer

Adventurer
Reminds me of my old Outback "Nessie" 96, green with a 5 spd and 2.2

Ran Ironman +2 springs, SG Forester struts in the front, 99 Outback struts in the rear + Subtle 1/2 in spacers with 215/75-15 Grabber AT2's. Took it down several trails that I had no business being on :lol:



The "trail" that I should not have been on :lol: It was a trail leading back to our hunting area. Only ever took ATV's and occasional a tractor down it.









96 5 spd was the best year. High roof, indestructible drivetrain. Perfection.
 
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borison

Adventurer
Awesome OBW! I'm actually looking at picking one of these up because I can't do the mileage that my Montero gets anymore. I can see the AT2s you've put on there; any other mods on it/in the works? Also, what made you choose this particular OBW?

Subscribed. :coffeedrink:
I wanted the 2.2 w/ the 5 speed for better durability, i.e head gaskets. Sadly mileage is not very good, like 80's Toyota 4x4 good. This particular rig was in immaculate condition though.
 
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hove102

Adventurer
I wanted the 2.2 w/ the 5 speed for better durability, i.e head gaskets. Sadly mileage is not very good, like 80's Toyota 4x4 good. This particular rig was in immaculate condition though.
How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking? And 18/21 is definitely something I can live with...plus it'd have a stick so the fun factor is worth it. Does the 2.2 feel underpowered in the OBW?
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking? And 18/21 is definitely something I can live with...plus it'd have a stick so the fun factor is worth it. Does the 2.2 feel underpowered in the OBW?
Yes it can feel underpowered however! The 2.2 can be pushed harder than the 2.5's before cooling capacity becomes an issue. With the 2.5 I always ran out of cooling before I ran out of power and I typically ran out of cooling long before I ran out of power! The 2.2 on the other hand same trip same boat in tow would just chug along happily with proper running temps where the 2.5 was in full overheat prevention mode. Speaking with several subaru gear heads they all pretty much said the same thing two major factors were in play with the 2.5's and the body style up through 2009. The wedge body shape limited the cooling capability some what and with the 2.5's Subaru struggled with getting the exhaust system set up to reduce heat build up on the exhaust side of the program as a result the 2.5 was easy to get hot and bothered on the exhaust side if pushed hard OR outside temps were hot and the cooling system just couldn't cover the cooling needs with enough air flow. Both were issues I came a cross with our 2001 2.5 nearly every summer road trip in CA, Sierras, Desert, LA - etc where outside temps and climbs vs highway speeds or even head winds were able to either get the exhaust end of the program hot and start challenging the cooling system or the cooling system getting over worked due to hot outside temps and vehicle speeds etc.

This was dramatically improved with the 2010 ground up redesign far superior frontal air flow for cooling capacity, far superior exhaust porting and flow on the exit end of the program with the same old EJ 2.5 family. The best 2.5 EJ's Subaru built were between 2010 and 2012. At which point the old EJ was retired for the new ground up engine family which has some miles to go before folks really know how its holding up and handles the heat or loads of a worked hard Subaru.
 

hove102

Adventurer
Yes it can feel underpowered however! The 2.2 can be pushed harder than the 2.5's before cooling capacity becomes an issue. With the 2.5 I always ran out of cooling before I ran out of power and I typically ran out of cooling long before I ran out of power! The 2.2 on the other hand same trip same boat in tow would just chug along happily with proper running temps where the 2.5 was in full overheat prevention mode. Speaking with several subaru gear heads they all pretty much said the same thing two major factors were in play with the 2.5's and the body style up through 2009. The wedge body shape limited the cooling capability some what and with the 2.5's Subaru struggled with getting the exhaust system set up to reduce heat build up on the exhaust side of the program as a result the 2.5 was easy to get hot and bothered on the exhaust side if pushed hard OR outside temps were hot and the cooling system just couldn't cover the cooling needs with enough air flow. Both were issues I came a cross with our 2001 2.5 nearly every summer road trip in CA, Sierras, Desert, LA - etc where outside temps and climbs vs highway speeds or even head winds were able to either get the exhaust end of the program hot and start challenging the cooling system or the cooling system getting over worked due to hot outside temps and vehicle speeds etc.
What type of Subaru did you have before? A 2001 Outback? I'm not planning on doing any towing, which I noticed was something you used your Subie for, but it's good to know about any sort of issues before I pull the trigger. Would upgrading to an aftermarket header and/or wrapping the stock exhaust solve any of those problems? Also, what length of road trips are you talking about (e.g. driving for multiple hours, climbing big grades) when you refer to your past experiences?

Sorry for the thread hijack, btw!
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
What type of Subaru did you have before? A 2001 Outback? I'm not planning on doing any towing, which I noticed was something you used your Subie for, but it's good to know about any sort of issues before I pull the trigger. Would upgrading to an aftermarket header and/or wrapping the stock exhaust solve any of those problems? Also, what length of road trips are you talking about (e.g. driving for multiple hours, climbing big grades) when you refer to your past experiences?

Sorry for the thread hijack, btw!
2001 Legacy GT Limited 5spd MT 2.5L - Its an identical car to the OB in every way except the taller suspension, they were rated the same for towing, they have the same exact running gear they even sport the same exact hitch and mounting gear. In many ways the sedan body is just stiffer and stronger than the more flexy OB wagon body. I bought my mom a 2010 legacy before we bought our 2010 OB even today the Legacy and the OB are identical platforms regarding engine, transmission, cooling system yep even the hitch mounting is identical between the two still. Around 2007 Subaru stopped rating the Legacy and the Impreza for towing capacity but they rate the more expensive models on the same platform ie the OB, Forester and the XV simply as a marketing ploy to drive more people to the higher profit margin model given they think they are getting more car when in reality the Impreza and the Legacy offer the same ability as the XV, Forester or OB etc and just are not getting published marketing data for tow ratings. All the auto makers do this today, RAV4 vs Corrolla, CRV vs Civic, Ford Escape vs Ford Focus- in reality they all have the same towing and load capacity given they are all the same machines regarding engines, transmissions and cooling etc.

Yes we towed but we also had lots of trailer free trips where nearly every trip I found some type of combo be it outside temps + head wind or speed etc where I saw a bump in temps. The second that generic needle moves from center your overheated so anytime ours started to gravitate beyond normal I was in full temp management mode till the needle settled back to normal. 180,000 miles and 12yrs of trips all over the west coast both with trailers and sans trailers only reason we replaced it was for the larger wider 2010 OB given the old 2001 was still 100% heck its last major road trip we did 2500 miles mid summer at 170,000 mile mark zero issues except yep found our limits on cooling outside of LA headed East on the 10 with nothing but a skinny roof box on the lid. 72mph temp would start to rise, back it down to 65mph and it was perfectly happy. It didn't help that we had a 15mph head wind blowing 98degree desert heat at us and the 10 headed East out of LA has a little bit of an incline for a while.

Having said that anytime the outside temps were under 80 degrees I could push the car hard and be pretty safe not to see a temp spike. But its hard to find a CA summer trip where you don't cross 100 degree weather at some point be it Fresno headed to Kings Canyon, LA Grapevine or passing through Redding CA in 115 temps while headed to Oregon or Washington.
Running synthetic motor oil helped some seemed to increase the tolerance just slightly for the hot temps over standard motor oils. So in the summers I ran synthetic and in the winter I ran standard, mainly given standard oil had the heater warmed up in half the time than it took with synthetic in the car.

The 2010 I found I can pack it heavier, and run harder in hotter outside temps without any cooling system overload issues the dramatically improved air flow through the front end increasing the cooling systems efficiency and yes the greatly improved exhaust routing and exhaust port sizing has made a big difference also. However cold starts the 2010 2.5 sounds like a MAC truck thanks to the greatly improved exhaust porting at least till its warm then its quiet again.
 
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borison

Adventurer
How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking? And 18/21 is definitely something I can live with...plus it'd have a stick so the fun factor is worth it. Does the 2.2 feel underpowered in the OBW?
I paid around $6k in 2006 w/ about 95k miles. The manual does help the 2.2, but yeah I wouldn't mine a few more ponies.
 
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