It's been a while since I updated this site although recently I've been contacted by several folks starting Outback builds of their own and looking for some advice.
Here's a short list of some of the best advice I can offer on the subject of modifying your Outback.
- Do what you want to do. This may seem basic but believe me you will gets tons of unsolicited advice telling you why you shouldn't do this or that, how you are wasting your time and how you should just buy (insert brand of 4x4 here) instead of trying to make one out of your Subie. Ignore most of these people and follow your heart. This should be a labor of love that will result in that happy feeling you get when you walk outside and see what you've created.
- Make a scratch list of things you would like to do with your Outback. Not what to build, but more of a where to go list. This step will be key to helping you sort out what to do and the order in which to do things. Is exploring rough terrain in the plans? Consider a lift kit and decent all terrain tires. Not planning to ford any deep water? Skip the snorkel for now. Perhaps a lift isn't needed for the roads you'll be traveling but better handling is. There are some good suspension options out there that won't break the bank
- Prioritize what to start your build with. If this is your daily driver but you want to use it to explore on the weekends during the build process, adding skidplates to protect the oil pan and rear diff may be a good start. If you can afford to have the car on jack stands for a while, you can dive into suspension or engine mods that may not end up being done in a weekend and will require extra time to get things just right.
- Seek help from others. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and many people who will be more than happy to help you along the way. Some will help you to avoid mistakes they've made. Some will guide you towards the resources you need. Some will even show up in your driveway to help you with parts of your build! Yes, it's true. Folks on expeditionportal.com, subaruoutback.org and AUsubaru.com are some of the best around and you may be surprised by the help you'll get and the friendships you will forge along this journey.
- Have FUN with it. As Ben & Jerry are so fond of asking, "If it's not fun, why do it?" Take your time, enjoy the successes, learn from the setbacks and have a great time with your Subaru!