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Second Hand Subie Build

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by TacoFergie, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Jul 7, 2020 at 10:54 AM

    TacoFergie [OP] Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2015
    First Name:
    Here is my little beater 2001 Subaru Outback build/maintenance thread. It's fun little beater that I love to tinker with. Here is the story and build!

    Found this little bugger on facebook swap about 1 1/2 hrs away for $700 with a leaking water pump. It was on swap for 30 min before I agreed to buy it and there were 5 others interested but I was the first. The PO had it for 5 or so years and about 80k miles. He had the headgaskets replaced when he got it as well as timing components. All OEM parts, OEM MLS headgaskets (all records/receipts to prove it) so it should be good for years to come. I got it with 209k on the clock. I primarily got it for a local Gambler 500, but after getting it I was surprised how clean it was and that I didn't want to get excited/carried away on the Gambler run and blow it up or damage it too much. Since then I have been lucky to find a lot of good second hand parts for the build and for cheap! Which is the main part! Also as a side note. Myself and a buddy have "re-habbed" a couple of 2nd gen outbacks and had a lot of fun doing them and they have been given to or sold for cost to good homes. I enjoy helping people and my buddy has enjoyed me teaching him some more in-depth automotive skills.



    First I focused on the obvious issue at hand, the leaking water pump and a misfire (found after I got it in the driveway. I also noticed some minor oil leaks, which lead to the misfire due to oil being in the spark plug tubes. After starting the project I noticed the water pump had a couple bolts that were loose, which lead to the leak. But being as I already had all the parts and it was at 80k ish on the current timing belt I replaced it.

    Parts List -
    -Dayco timing component kit (chosen because it uses NTK idlers which are OEM)
    -Asin water pump (OEM quality)
    -Denso spark pug wires
    -NGK Iridium plugs (used on every modern vehicle I have ever owned)
    -Felpro Valve Cover Gaskets
    -Subaru Cooling System Conditioner (basically a cooling system leak preventative, but not one that will plug coolant passages)
    -Toyota Long Life Coolant (the Red stuff), chosen because it's the same as subarus coolant and it's cheaper.



    From there after driving it for a bit I found some other issues, most would probably not care about for a car like this. The rear struts were shot, front brakes warped like crazy, multiple suspension rattles and the transmission was shifting a little goofy. I am very particular about rattles and such in my vehicles...so this wasn't going to do! Here is a break down of what I did from there. Also the Right Front fender was rusted from a previous low speed run in with a deer by the PO. I also installed this sweet shift knob I got from Japan almost 10 years ago when I was in Okinawa from an Option Auto!!

    Parts list -
    -Used KYB struts front and rear, used with about 10k miles on them. Picked up for $100. The PO switched to coilovers.
    -New Strut mounts
    -05 Subaru Baja Turbo Springs, good for about 1.5" lift. Free from a local subaru guy!!!
    -New sway bar bushings and links
    -New ball joints
    -New inner and outer tie rod ends
    -New OEM Subaru transmission oil filter, it is well known in the Subaru community if aftermarket oil filters are used that it will likely have shifting issues due to the pressure relief valve not being the proper pressure setting.
    -Valvoline MaxLife ATF, the only ATF I'll use. Look into Bob is the Oil Guy forums and you'll see why.
    -Also changed the differential fluids at this time.




    After just a few short miles I noticed the lift created front axle noise just upon accelerating straight! The cause was Carquest aftermarket axles. After swapping those out for new "warrantied" axles, the noise was still there. From there I found that either OEM Subaru axles or aftermarket "HD" axles are the cure.

    Parts list -
    -Used HD front axles from a local subaru guy for $50, normally they are about $150 each new.


    Now that it's driving nice I started working on improvements. I installed new headlights as the OEM ones are terrible!

    Parts list -
    -Ebay Legacy headlights (same mounting but with a single dual filament bulb making it easier to retrofit)
    -ACME H1 Retrofit Kit from The Retrofit Source
    -Krylon Yellow "Stained Glass" paint for the reflector housing. I actually don't care for the look on the car. But I'm not taking them apart to change it. I really just wanted to see how it turns out as I haven't tried it before.

    Low Beam



    High Beam





    The reverse lights are also not that great. I have been playing with COB LED panels for a little while and decided to see if I could use them in these housings. Boy do they work nice!!!! I did not add an LED Controller as they are not used for extended periods of time. I wanted to do this as a proof of concept because I want to do this for my Tacoma tail lights.

    Parts list -
    -COB LED panels from ebay - $1.50 ea
    -Small fans designed for 3d printers to cool them.



    So now I focused on the stereo. Cheap, DIY and decent sound quality was the name of the game! Which normally doesn't go together. I installed a JVC KWX830BTS mainly for bluetooth and the ability to run amps Front, Rear and Subwoofer if I choose later. I like building speakers as well so for those I went with Parts-Express and built my own front component set and rear speakers. They frequently have "buy-out" speakers which is usually over stock item, not that they are poor quality. I also had left over Noico Dampening material left over from other projects that I deadened the doors and mildly sealed the doors. I used 3500k HPF and LPF for the doors and 4k LPF for the rear doors. The sound is very surprising just running off the head unit power. I plan to add a small 8" subwoofer in the spare tire area once I get a full size spare and mount that elsewhere.

    Parts list - https://www.parts-express.com/
    -JVC KWX830BTS Head Unit
    -Tweetes - Dayton Audio AN25F-4
    -Woofers - 6-1/2" Poly Cone Midbass Woofer 4 Ohm Part # 299-609
    -LPF - Dayton Audio 3.5k-LPF-4
    -HPF - Dayton Audio 3.5k-HPF-4
    -Subwoofer that I plan on using - Goldwood PAC8 8" Dual Voice Subwoofer Coil 4 Ohm per Coil Part # 299-524
    -Total for the speaker components are about $95


    Lastly, wheels and tires! The wheels that came on the car where constantly loosing pressure from the beads from corrosion. Tried multiple times to clean the bead seats with no avail. Then I found a set of 2000 Impreza RS wheels for $80 that were a bit rough from some curb rash. I sanded them down, used JB Weld to repair the curb rash and then sprayed them silver (rustoleum industrial enamel primer and silver paint) for an OEM look as my color Outback doesn't lend well to other colors, at least in my opinion. At that time of install I put on new 215/70R16 Falken AT Trail tires. These tires have been incredible so far, but they haven't seen any snow yet but from reviews they should be great. I also installed some 20mm (apx 3/4") spacers to push them to about flush and to lessen the rubbing, which is only against the mud flaps and I am just letting them "self-clearance". haha

    Parts list -
    -2000 Subaru Impreza RS Wheels. Used, beat up and restored.
    -215/70R16 Falken AT Trail - about $450 brand new.
    -20mm wheel spacers for better fitment.



    Thats all for now. I know I missed a couple things like the roof rack but thats all I can think of for now. This is about the stopping point for this car (outside of maintenance) as it is purely a third car for us and something to keep mile off my 2015 Tacoma as I plan on keeping that for a VERY long time. Especially in the winter as I would rather have some asshole hit this than my Tacoma. Plus with full coverage insurance it is worth more wrecked than I have into it, not that I want that to happen since I love this little car!

    In this picture I used it as a tire hauler when I swapped my Duratracs to a set of FN Wheels Six Shooters. There is 2 pairs of wheels with tires in and on this thing. haha

    tcBob and Mason27 like this.

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