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Subaru Legacy/Outback



  • francophilefrancophile Posts: 667
    Re the bad transmission noise: that sounds exactly like an input bearing. The input shaft has a bearing which spins whenever the clutch is engaged. Some cars have one that can be pulled out from the front, others have to have the entire gearbox disassembled in order to get them out. Either way it is not a $6K job, neither is it all that unusual to have a bearing fail somewhere on a vehicle at 90K miles.

    Re the choice among Subie/Saturn/Volvo: Saturns seem to garner the same kind of owner loyalty that Subies do, so I won't speak poorly of them here - although I *will* *strongly* recommend a Subie over a Saturn. Volvos, and Swedish cars in general in my experience, have far and away the highest repair bills of any cars in America; prices for parts are an absolute outrage. (I guess someone has to pay for all that socialism and all those 8-week vacations.)

  • mtnshoppermtnshopper Posts: 58
    After reading about the rock chips, I think I want some protection on the front of my car before I take off on a road trip. Seems like most people are using the acrylic hood deflector. What are the opinions about the acrylic hood deflector vs the vinyl front end hood cover? Do they both provide the same amount of protection? Is there a reason one might be preferred over the other? Dealer charges $112.00 for acrylic hood deflector and installation. Does the vinyl hood cover slip on easily over the hood?
    Thanks, Becky
  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    Mikezak - Dimming dome light:
    A dimmer is a simple device and small, I'm sure one could be cobbled together, try checking the electronics magazines or search the web. But you would have to rewire the switch(es) because right now they probably just connect and disconnect the ground to the light. What you want to do is send a signal to the dimmer, which would need 12V and ground on it all the time, and this is more complicated. Not worth the trouble in my opinion.

    Subiaudidude - engine shield:
    As someone said it does keep the engine bay cleaner but I suspect the main reason is is to aid airflow under the car and improve fuel economy. This also improves cashflow into Subaru's coffers, which clean engine bays don't.

    Re the hood deflector:
    I haven't got one because with my previous cars I've never experienced paint chipping off the hood. But I do have some tough stick-on plastic headlamp/foglamp protectors that came from an outfit in Texas. They are hard to fit but once on are invisible. The company also makes hood protector sheets. But I'm damned if I can remember their name at the moment. They do have a web site and if you go back in this list to about July/Aug/Sep of 2000 or so you'll find references to them, 'cos that's where I heard about them and I bought mine in September.
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    Just went through the same decision for my new OB. Decided on the acrylic hood deflector. I had the vinyl on my Mustang (sorry Kate). You needed to remove it when washing the hood, had to be careful it was tight enough not to rub the paint and can discolor the paint. Although the acrylic only protects the hood (it leaves the bumper to fend for itself), it is the right balance for ease of maintenance and protection for me. However, I would also appreciate feedback from those who have them. I just ordered mine from which gave me the best price by far - $50. It is easy to install or take it to the dealer (~$20). Also got the diff protector, wheel locks and an oil filter. Should arrive soon.

  • StoneGuard makes the stick-on stuff. They have kits for Soobs too.


  • evilizardevilizard Posts: 195
    >Subyaudidue - My thinking on the shield is this: >Why would Subaru pay to have that part there if >they didn't need it? It is probably there to >keep the engine dry and possibly wind noise. >Just my 2 pennies.

    Speaking with a salesman back in 2000 he told me that the undergaurd was part of the engine redesign. They switch from a DOHC to a SOHC in order to get more torque in the low end of the power band. In additon they put all that plastic crap on top of the engine to funnel in air (the ultimate poor mans turbo). The purpose of the bottom gaurds is to reduce the low pressue pull that would suck air down the engine bay into the bottom of the car. In this way they build more air pressure going into the engine air scoop.
    I don't know how much difference it makes but I would be inclined to leave it on. If its cracked I wouldn't bother fixing it with more than slapping on some duct tape.

    Now what I want to know is this.
    I just got a 2001 VDC. On top of the engine is a big old sheet of plastic which more or less prevents you from accessing any of the components (alternator, PCV valve, ECM module, throttle etc). Then on the sides of the engine (where you would access the spark plugs on the old 2.5L) they have some stamped sheet metal shielding. I am wondering what the deal is on this? Dirt protection (nothing is going to HIT those compenents inside the engine bay)? To discourage you from attempting your own repairs? An excuse to charge more for a repair (all that time taking covers on and off)?

    Actually I noticed this same phenomeon (plastic covers preventing you from getting at the juicy parts and accessories on the engine) on a Passat and a Volvo V70. the passat had it the worst. EVERYTHING was covered up except for fluid ports and air filter box. I could see in this extreme that it might make fluid maintenance easier for the mechanically challanged but the subies cover doesn't hide many other interesting parts.

    Any ideas?
  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    why would a brand new BB have a warped rotor? The only reasons I can come up with are: 1) someone beat on the car. Not likely since it only had 15 miles on it and was parked in the dealer's holding lot. 2) The wheels were over-torqued. or 3) The rotor was swapped by a dealer who needed a new rotor. Anyway, just wondering if anyone had a similar experience or any input.

  • nygregnygreg Posts: 1,936
    stupid spell checker
  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I have the hood deflector on our '00 OB. It was easy to install. The included instructions weren't the greatest, but it's easy to figure out.

  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    And forgive the "non-PC" reference to the vinyl cover... :)

    I've never had a vinyl cover, partially because of the trouble they can cause the paint underneath... buffeting at high speeds can rub & scratch the paint. I also understand that moisture hiding underneath is a problem. Sounds like the plastic deflector is a lot less labor-intensive to own & does about the same job. IMHO.

  • sibbaldsibbald Posts: 106
    Greg, make sure you get new rotors as turning them will mean sooner replacement down the road. I never had any problems with my 97 OB and pride myself on being easy with the brakes. Any how, my 2 k OB rotors have needed turning since 12,000 kilometers but I am holding off as the dealer will turn them for free up until the end of year three. My buddy has the same OB and his were quite bad by 15,000 kilometers. I have 170,000 kilometers on my Toyota and they have never been turned. Anyway, FYI.

    Sorry to be a bit negative, but what is with the big ugly plastic deflector for the 00 and 01 models. The deflector for the previous models added to the overall looks of the vehicle IMHO. I held the new one to the front of my 2 k white birch OB and decided to just buy an extra bottle of touch-up paint.

    Cheers, Tom
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaPosts: 2,924
    The most likely cause of warped rotors is overtightening, usually by idiot mechanics with an impact wrench.
    Blame the flat rate system of charging for labour to for this, the more jobs a mechanic gets in and out in a day the more money he makes, there is no time to muck around with a torque wrench on wheels so grab an impact wrench and literally run around the vehicle tightening the lug nuts a few weeks later you usually have warped rotors and usually no comeback but because it is very hard to prove them liable.

    They usually can come up with a hundred reasons why your rotors are warped and none directly linked to them.

    Cheers Pat. (Ps they probably pulled the wheels when they were doing your pre delivery inspection this would explain how come the wheels would get tightened with an impact wrench on a new car)
  • Okay so now I gotta by a new torque wrench. My trusty old Sears pointer on the scale is just too suspicious to do my lug nuts. Need a good dial type. Any recommendations that I can have confidence in and yet not break the bank?

  • subearusubearu Posts: 3,613
    I bought a nice Sears Craftsman for about about $50. Decent handle and has a dial lock.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I also got mine from Sears. You dial in the torque, and once you reach that amount, it kind of "snaps" to let you know. I may not be describing it properly, but basically the handle give you feedback so you know it's tightened properly.

    Very cool, I use it OFTEN. It has a long shaft so it also gives plenty of leverage (good to remove those stubborns bolts in the first place).

    Alloys take about 70 lb-ft, steelies about 75.

  • evilizardevilizard Posts: 195
    I had a 96OB that I thought had warped rotors. I bought it when it was 2 years old with 22K miles so this was not inconcevable. It had been a dealer driven car so all maintence had been done at the dealership.

    After pulling off the tire I got a little caliper gauge and confirmed there was a high spot. Went out and got new rotors, replaced them and checked it again. Same problem. Pulled the rotors off and discovered that the HUB underneath was out of tolerance right around one of the bolts. Some grease monkey with an impact wrench had overtorqued the wheel and bent the hub.

    It took two hours with a rigged up angle grinder to get that out. But hey, grease monkey saved 15 seconds!

    Now I do all my tire work as far as changing and rotating. If I need a new tire I bring the whole wheel in and have them change it out and balance it. If I need all new tires I space it out over a few visits (having an extra full size spare helps, with it and the doughnut you can get it in 2 trips).

    If the grease monkeys MUST work on my car I watch them like a hawk, don't let them get anywhere near my car with a impact wrench and insist that they check the final product by trying to losen the nut with a torque wrench set to 72ft/lbs.

    It is a REAL pain to have to go through all this but the alternative sucks too.
  • peterson10peterson10 Posts: 116
    I'm going straight to Sears after work to buy a good torque wrench.
  • I would guess this one from Sears makes sense:
    1/2 in. square drive wrench measures 20 to 150 ft. lb. in 1 ft. lb. increments. Superior internal mechanisms reduce friction and provide accurate and consistent measurements. Micrometer-type scales stamped into housing show torque settings in both English and metric units. Accurate to 4 percent on clockwise or right-handed reading greater than or equal to 20 percent of capacity. Larger ergonomic handle easily turns to set torque. 90 day limited warranty.
    Sears Item #: 00944595000
    Mfr. Model #: 44595

  • hammersleyhammersley Posts: 684
    I don't even remember where I got mine, but it has a dial incorporated in the handle... just unlock, twist the grip to the desired number, and lock it in... Gives a distinct "click" when you're tight enough. Works both ways, too, which is good, since the ol' PowerWagon has opposite threads on one side.

  • goosegoggoosegog Posts: 206
    The company I could not remember is called X-PEL. They supply transparent, flexible, stick-on vinyl protectors for lamps and paint and are on the web at I can recommend the product and have no financial or other interest in this company.

    Juice; how do you come by the torque figures for alloy wheels? Would all alloys be about the same? After all, there's cheap alloys and expensive ones and I presume the actual alloy they are made of is not necessarily the same.
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