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  #21  
Old 7th June 2018, 03:52 PM
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Rally Rally is online now
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Originally Posted by Beachworm View Post
Thanks for your comments Rally. I assume you are talking about front and rear lockers rather than a centre locker as the cost of that is negligible. I appreciate that lockers are desirable on SG and before but not so with SH and SJ as the VDC acts as a virtual lock on all three though not such a solid type of lock. For this reason I value an effective lift over any modifications to the driveline which may not even be possible with the system operating since 2009. In any case, the problem of clearance under the rear diff with a spacer or spring lift is not an issue with Foresters produced before 2009. The Mcpherson strut rear suspension does not require rear sub-frame spacers.

My contention is that, given I own an SH or SJ, and have the money to spend I would prefer a lifting system that does not compromise the clearance under the rear diff and should, at the same time, rectify the design of the rear lower control arm that unnecessarily reduces clearance closer to the wheel.
My point in my first post on this thread was that as very few people were prepared to spend big money on the diff locker which does a lot more for off roading ability than a 2 inch lift, they would be unlikely to spend big money on a lift. As such, you would probably need to develop something yourself.
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  #22  
Old 7th June 2018, 04:35 PM
scalman scalman is online now
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well most of them go for look too and lift with AT tires does look good does it ?
but as other lift ideas goes not so much more you can do with subaru besides strut spacers and body spacers, and newer models are even worse on that.
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  #23  
Old 7th June 2018, 04:46 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachworm View Post
My contention is that, given I own an SH or SJ, and have the money to spend I would prefer a lifting system that does not compromise the clearance under the rear diff and should, at the same time, rectify the design of the rear lower control arm that unnecessarily reduces clearance closer to the wheel.
I do follow you; you make good points though the exhaust cannot be excepted from the clearance measurements (lowest...except exhaust).

Here is how it was on my 2013 Outback.

0.5" spacers and 0.4" from bigger tires. Total 0.9" lift. No rear subframe drop. Then skid plates under engine, transmissions, and rear differential.

Outcome, measurements: real life clearance to front and transmission skid plates: 8.5". Clearance to exhaust: over 9". More to rear differential. Outcome, driving: no issues on easy trails in the US Southwest, constant ping-pong but few real hits when driving carefully on moderate 4x4 trails. Note that some moderate trails where too hard to even try. This due to approach and departure angles on the OB. Some also test the AWD to its limits.

2" spacers, 2" drop, 0.4" from bigger tires. Total 2.4" lift + same skid plates.


Outcome, measurements: 10" to front and mid skid plate but note that rear diff is now only at 8.5". Therefore the nominal gain in clearance is 0". Outcome, practice: WAY easier to drive moderate trails in the US Southwest even though some remained too hard to be worth trying because the only Subaru with half-decent angles is the Forester. No lift can salvage the approach angles of OB, XV, Tribeca, or Ascent. Also, some have ledges where the AWD is out of its league.


In sum, there is no reason to be too worried about the rear differential becoming the lowest point. I only hit its skid plate hard once, and I knew it was coming, so that was on me. I went too fast through a very small but deep mud hole.

Also, I NEVER had issues with the rear control arms. There was a guy with a heavily modified 2015 OB who broke one of those, but that's because his car was too heavy. Judging from his videos, he was not as cautious with the skinny pedal as I was.

On the contrary, the Toyota Prado design's weak point is precisely the rear lower control arms, both their mounting points, which are weak, and the arms themselves, which are weak as well. I have scraped one of mine already (the 4Runner has the same frame/configuration as the Prado) and one of my rLCA skid plates took a good hit on a very remote and long track, just 20-30 yards from the very end! That hit would have deformed the mounting point had it been still unprotected. But I never ever scraped the rear control arms of the OB and I did plenty enough to doubt that is an issue on a Subaru. Yes, they are a sore point visually, but never had an issue.
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  #24  
Old 7th June 2018, 04:51 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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...and so, the best way to go is:

2" lift and a 1.5" drop OR 2" front lift, 2.5" rear lift and a 2" rear drop.

The rear can tolerate 0.5" difference easily and that does help with the rear diff clearance. A 2.5" rear lift will also help a bit with the notoriously sagging Subaru rear.
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  #25  
Old 7th June 2018, 04:52 PM
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I suppose you are right. I admit that for me function comes a long way ahead of form. Perhaps this is why my car is a lot more capable off road than it looks. I do find it difficult to get my head around the fact that many people are really only concerned about the look. I call them virtual off roaders. Not saying this is the case here.
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  #26  
Old 7th June 2018, 05:02 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
I suppose you are right. I admit that for me function comes a long way ahead of form. Perhaps this is why my car is a lot more capable off road than it looks. I do find it difficult to get my head around the fact that many people are really only concerned about the look. I call them virtual off roaders. Not saying this is the case here.

If you are referring to what I said about the rear control arms, it is not a matter of look per se but that they look vulnerable. They look easy to damage. But they have not been in my experience. This is not about aesthetics, it is all about function.
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  #27  
Old 7th June 2018, 05:09 PM
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No, I wasn’t referring to you
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  #28  
Old 7th June 2018, 05:29 PM
scalman scalman is online now
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stock subarus are a lot capable in mud, sand , snow , just dont put them too extreme and they will fly when others will sink. lift needed as for me because bumpers where too low if you want to go where you need approach and departure angles. and some clearance in middle of car as that exhaust sits lowest. and lift is cheap if you not hunting big names it hurts nothing as well. people lift everything imprezas , forys, outback, legacys and they all fine. put some AT tires with that lift and you will go places. on older 4eat models 1st gear i think locks center 50/50 , or you can make button even for that 50/50 very simple. manuals dual range are very capable just watch for that clutch it burns fast. all that is about function. subaru cars are all about function.
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  #29  
Old 7th June 2018, 06:51 PM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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Yup. Function is what makes a Subaru, Subaru!


Hands down most all-around useful vehicle one can buy.
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  #30  
Old 7th June 2018, 06:57 PM
Beachworm Beachworm is offline
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This has been a very interesting discussion for me and I have decided that to get the best Subaru for off road fun I need to buy an SG Forester. It will give me the best approach and departure angles, no problems with rear diff clearance or lower control arms. I should then buy a stat write off SH Forester and use it for parts to upgrade the systems to give the SG a dose of VDC. (I then sell all the bits I don't use to recover my costs - I've done this before a number of time just not with a Subie). Then I'll fit 50mm strut top spacers and larger AT tyres and I'll be happy.
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