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Subaru Legacy/Outback

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  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    docfreed-
    Save your money. Those [fake] xenon bulbs only looks bright but don't do any better.

    -Dave
  • I read an article in Reader's Digest about child safety in SUV or station wagon type vehicles. There is a danger of lose items from the cargo area that can fly foward and strike occupents in the event of a crash. This can result in either injury or death. The recommendation by RD is to install a cargo barrier that has been crash tested and fixes to the frame. Subaru offers a "dog barrier." When I asked the part's employee about crash testing, he laughed. He said that in the event of a crash the "dog barrier" would pop out. The results of a web search has yielded one company based in Australia that makes the Milford Cargo Barrier. Does anyone have experience in equiping your outback or other vehicle with a heavy duty cargo barrier?
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Rosendo-
    What will you be stowing back there whilst you're transporting a child/children in the rear passenger seating that will be dangerous?
    You could either tie down what may be dangerous. There are tie-downs;
    or, don't transport a child/children should you stow what may be deemed dangerous.

    my $0.02

    -Dave
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,624
    I'm big on tying down "flying projectiles." I've read stories about sand bags flying through rear seats in sedans in wrecks! As you've found, it seems that "safety barriers" are really only common in Australia (not quite true - I only searched in English). Good luck trying to find anything in North America - maybe some netting....

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • I'm with Steve on this. My Legacy did not come with the tiedowns, so I pulled my rear floor trim up to confirm my suspicions the threaded holes would be there. Then bought 4 tiedowns from an Outback at the U-Pull salvage yard. They're strong enough to hold up to a 30lb item provided they're well secured (not good enough for a toolbox, for instance). I keep a pair of what are considered motorcycle tie down straps under the floor for use at any time.

    It's important to visualize in your mind the car taking a severe hit and then rolling and perhaps another hit when you secure whatever you're carrying. This will keep your mind on task, and your securing efforts will consider forces from all, and multiple angles.

    The factory tie down hooks are apparently unavailable from dealers as I tried twice to get them. Both times the wrong part came in and they gave up.

    IdahoDoug
  • HYPOV,

    Having two small children and the essentials that must be packed along with them, there isn't much room left for groceries. Break out your high school physics text and you'll remember that thing's in motion stay in motion ( a can of Campbel's soup traveling 40 mph) until another force acts upon it (your head). Tie downs aren't the solution. Tiedowns in the Outback are useless. They are flimsy and made of plastic. I think that you are being unrealistic about the dangers of anything not secured in your car, ie. cell phone, book, coffee cup, etc.... As a parent of two beautiful children, I have the responsibility to keep them safe as possible.

    Pick up this month's Reader's Digest. It will open your eyes.

    If anyone has some useful information please give your input.
  • hypovhypov Posts: 3,068
    Rosendo-
    My remark was not to spike.
    but to jolt the brain cells a li'l.
    Firstly, you haven't found anything secure yet.
    I mentioned tie-downs.
    Think of ways to secure your groceries whilst you try to find what you're looking for.
    Example: collapsing milk crates with cover for stowing your groceries, then tie them down.
    As for the cellphone, keep it in your pocket. Books, coffee, and what nots in the front... you don't need them while you're driving. Don't have them in the car when the kids are with you.

    I am being realistic. I know of the dangers being in an accident.

    -Dave
  • HYPOV,

    Thanks for the advice, but I've been there and done that. I was only trying to enlighten you for your own safety, in case you haven't been taking those same precautions. Still looking for a permanently safe solution.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Depending on how much you wanted to spend etc. I'd suggest several differnt options.

    VDC/LLBean/H6 Base Outback (available in Canada) are all options. They are powerful with the H6.

    If you are looking used, I'd go for a '99 Outback. I'm a big fan of the DOHC 2.5L engine, while not quicker off the line, it's higher revving and "feels" more powerful due to the lighter weight of the 2nd generation legacy body.

    -mike
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    Yes, the dangers are very real, but short of an industrial strength cargo space divider, objects will fly. This goes for any vehicle without a trunk - wagon, minivan, or SUVs. Press-fit dog gates will become a weapon in their own right, as they fly thru the interior. Cargo nets and tiedowns offer some limited protection, but realistically, who often do any of us take the time to do it right?

    Rosendo, if this is really upsetting you, I suggest that you try a commercial van conversion shop. They can probably take the units they install in the cargo/delivery versions of Dodge Caravans and cut one down to size to fit your wagon.

    Good luck,

    Steve
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for keeping us posted on your final decision. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm off line for a few snow days and Tom and Angie have joined our ranks! Congrats to both of you.

    LT1 in a Legacy may sound good, but I agree it would end up nose-heavy. Besides, the 2.5l makes 300hp in the STi, and the next Legacy is rumored to get 350hp.

    So I guess you could then "downgrade" to an LT1 at that point. ;-)

    -juice
  • ncvolncvol Posts: 196
    Juice

    How has the Subie been doing up there in 2+ feet of snow?
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    I understand the need to secure items in the cargo bay, but didn't know Reader's Digest had gotten into the business of testing vehicles.

    Ed
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Great. I went out with the Forester to get milk and emergency supplies. Like red wine. :-)

    They finally plowed in Tuesday morning. Since then we've been able to get around easily, including my wife in her Legacy (which has less clearance). The hard part was re-shoveling the drive every time they plowed the street!

    Two cars got stuck on my street - a 626 and a Corolla. Trucks were getting by OK.

    -juice
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Idahodoug...you said "My Legacy did not come with the tiedowns, so I pulled my rear floor trim up to confirm my suspicions the threaded holes would be there. Then bought 4 tiedowns from an Outback at the U-Pull salvage yard."

    Are you talking about a sedan? My 00 Outback wagon doesn't have tie-downs. Nor have I noticed anywhere to fix them if I had them. The floor is plastic and lifts up to reveal styrofoam. Under that is the spare.

    By contrast, my old Mercury Tracer wagon had them. But they were useless anyway.

    I agree with fibber2. This is the only secure way and will prevent even heavy items from coming at you. Ugly though.
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    My previous 00 Outback (and the new 02) had tiedowns in the back, 4 of them, mounted along the sides of the cargo area, right above the floor. They are plastic, but could likely be replaced by something stronger. I believe they do thread into the frame.

    Craig
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My Forester has 4 sturdy tie-downs. I haven't used the ones in my wife's car yet, so I can't comment on them.

    -juice
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Oh, the plastic ring thingies. I didn't consider them. I thought we were talking about proper straps made of seat belt material, bolted to the floor. Sorry.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,735
    actually had web belt material adjustable straps attached to the load floor. Surprised that I haven't seen anything like that since.

    Steve
  • All:

    Can you suggest quality aftermarket accessory suppliers? I find this board extremely valuable and read every post.

    Thanks in advance
  • Our mtns. in Oregon got a big snowfall (30") over the weekend (like you folks out east), so I thought I'd give the new OB a trial run yesterday. The road (Santiam Pass) had been well-plowed, so it was a little hard to tell. On hard pack it handled great; a little squirrly in slush but what car isn't. When I got to the parking lot at the ski area (4-6" on the pavement), I did a little test drive and was impressed. About the same as our old '95 Legacy, but maybe a little better with the bigger tires?

    But I was impressed with the uphill power on the way up. In the old Legacy, I used to have to shift down (AT) into 3rd gear several times, and on a couple grades I could barely keep it up to 40. But I drove the whole way without shifting down. And it's so quiet and comfortable. You sit up on the road higher without giving up stability. Absolutely no regrets about not getting the CRV. I washed it as soon as I got back in town. Wonder if I'll keep up the good habits.

    Geez, there are a lot of OB's on the road. I really notice them now. And every time I see a CRV I have to smile (condescendingly) a little.

    One question: I notice when you let off the gas, at about 20 or 30 you can notice a slight downshift that I don't recall in the Legacy. I didn't detect it when I was on snow, but I wonder if that could cause a little slippage if on slippery surface? Anybody notice that on theirs?
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Sounds like you are enjoying the new car! I'm pretty sure I have the same downshift when letting off the gas at those speeds. It doesn't provide a noticeable deceleration, but definitely kicks down a gear.

    Which ski area were you at?

    Craig
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    A lot of newer trannies do this as a way to apply engine braking when someone lets off the gas completely. I find it great when driving in snow because I don't need to brake which might induce a skid.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try subaruparts.com, and also e-mail parts@libertysubaru.com for a 2nd price quote, I don't think they have a web site.

    Both sell OE accessories, but near wholesale prices.

    That tranny is downshifting because it's getting ready to accelerate out of the turn you're approaching. Engine braking also helps prevent baking the brakes, so it's intentional.

    -juice
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Drove the Outback this morning, and noticed the downshift happens almost precisely at 24mph in my car, when braking. Very gentle at that speed, don't notice it much at all. I think it is going from 4 to 3.

    Craig
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Hoodoo Ski area is at the top of Santiam Pass. It can be an exciting drive depending on conditions. I remember going over it once when semis with chains were getting stuck. Our Subaru just soldiered right on by, and we enjoyed a day of cross country sking at Hoodoo.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 426
    Anyone put 225/60/16 Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires on their Outback? Wondering how they perform. My original Firestones are starting to slip at 38K...and the reviews @ tirerack sound great, but no Outback reviews...

    Thanks,

    Ralph
  • rob999rob999 Posts: 233
    I JUST had these installed on my '01 last month. Definite improvement in sound level and traction - but that's just my subjective impression.

    Unlike many of the Northern states, our area (suburban Chicago) hasn't had a lot of snow whereby I could really put them through their paces, but we had 3-4" about 10 days ago and they definitely seemed to be an improvement over the Firestones.

    I got mine from Costco - same price as TireRack plus there was a Michelin sale at the time (and no shipping charges). They don't stock the PS A/S, but they did a special order for them. Costco also includes valve stems and road hazard insurance that other places nickel-and-dime you for.

    I'm definitely happy with my purchase.
  • Yes, it's Hoodoo Ski Bowl. It's infamous for its "Hoodoo cement"--heavy wet powder. You have to do jump-turns to stay on top of it. Only another hour away is Mt. Bachelor, I think the best ski area in the Pacific NW. Almost always light powder. But if the weather's bad (as it was this week), it's a long drive.

    Thanks, all, for the advice on the downshifting.

    I have another trivial question: How do you keep cats off a car (hood)? I didn't enforce any deterrent with my old Legacy, but now I'm suffering the consequences. When I got back from the mtn, I washed it, and the damn cats were on it in no time. What can you do, short of shooting them? (They're my wife's cats.) I hate having to cover it up, but I've been putting a piece of plastic on it--when I remember. Any advice?
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