13 June 2022

 Site shutting down soon.

After a long run and many interesting journeys through several owners, the Superu is no more and this site will be retired.

Please feel free to check out my new site saveoldsaabs.com for an automotive fix of another kind. 

Thanks for all the support over the years. 

02 February 2018

New class of enthusiasts recognizing the value of a modestly modded Subaru!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

13 December 2016

Superu has met it's unfortunate end.

Sad to report that the Superu has met its untimely demise on a lonely rural road in Texas.  Here's the story as I was told by the person who bought her from me months before.

After having the car serviced somewhere between Wisconsin and Texas, on a dark and lonely road, the rear wheel which had not been securely affixed at the last service loosed its grip on the hub and left the heroic Superu to drive and cope with maintaining purchase with the asphalt on only 3 wheels!

Given that she was not designed to handle such challenges like a Robin Reliant or an Elio, she quickly lost the battle and hurtled into a roadside ditch.  Fortunately, the driver escaped with only minor injuries but the insurance company later declared the Superu a total loss.  😢

As I have in the past, I will continue to respond to posts and emails from folks with questions about the Superu, it's conception, build and capabilities.  As my family grows and new drivers emerge in the family, I am considering a new Superu II project and this will be the place to find updates and info about it.

Thanks to everyone who helped along the way with advice, suggestions, helping hands and company on trail rides and camping trips.

Stay tuned and keep on modding!

23 May 2013

Superu has moved on, but...

The Superu has moved on to a new home in Wisconsin and is working on field work for a researcher who spends much time in the desert.

Should prove a perfect match!  I am happy to continue to assist other subie enthusiasts with questions you may have about the great adventure that was the build and use process of the Superu.

I'll also be providing updates on gear and new adventures so please check back often.


24 January 2013

Update on King Springs

There's nothing like living in a place with more dirt roads than paved to make you appreciate a good set of aftermarket springs.  In preparation for installation of the lift kit on the Superu, I installed a set of King Springs that I sourced direct from the manufacturer in Australia.  Here's a couple of shots of them.

Combined with fresh KYB GR2 shocks these springs provide a firm but forgiving ride and help to take the cringe out of the ruts and holes that seem to be in an unending supply up here.  The stance of the car was close to original with just a slight lift in the back which helps to offset the extra weight of carrying a full sized spare and extraction gear like the hi-lift jack, shackles and tow straps.  Overall, I'd say these springs were well worth the investment and would recommend them for anyone looking to improve the offroad capability and comfort of their 3rd generation Outback.

01 November 2012

Snow tires are on!

Over the past few winters I've been quite pleased with the Yokohama Geolandar AT/S all terrains on the Superu.  This year, we're kicking it up a notch and shoeing up with a set of General Altimax Arctics.

Update:  These tires are on and they are quieter than the Yokohama's they replaced.  Grip is good in dry and wet conditions and so far, I am very pleased with them.  Will report back soon with snow updates.

January update: SNOW!!!  These tires bite into snow remarkably well and have been very good on ice. Lots of grip and strong lateral stability.

New feature! Gear reviews!

While most of you are used to reading updates on the Superu's adventures, this fall will mark the start of some new additions to this haven of Subaru excitement.

Kicking off the season is my review of a lightweight yet very warm down sweater by Stoic.  If you're anything like me, you just read that line and asked yourself, "what the heck is a down sweater?"

Think of it this way, it's like the down jacket's skinny cousin.  The particular down sweater featured in today's review is the Stoic Hadron Down Anorak.  Weighing in at just 8 oz but packing 850 fill goose down, this sweater does not disappoint.  I've worn it as a secondary layer under an Arc'teryx shell, and as a jacket over a lightweight T and it has been toasty warm and breathable in both instances.  No overheating under moderate exertion, nice warmth standing in a cold rain on the soccer field sidelines and supreme packability are the hallmarks of this item.

In summary, this is a very effective piece of apparel for a variety of conditions and I am comfortable recommending it as a versatile addition to your expedition wardrobe.

08 September 2012

Gone up country

The Superu came with us on our new adventure up north and is no longer for sale.

Stay stuned for winter fun updates!     

06 June 2012

Took the Superu with us up north.

For those of you who've followed the Superu over the years, you know pretty much all there is to know about this great little Subie.  In the interest of enlightenment for those of you who haven't followed the build, I'll give a brief rundown.

Started out as a base 2005 Subaru Outback wagon.  Over several years, many modifications and enhancements were made.  Some have remained and some have been removed or changed.  What is here today is the current iteration of the Superu.

  • 2005 Subaru Outback wagon 2.5l H-4, 4 spd automatic transmission, 170,000 miles
  • Power windows, power locks, all the standard airbags, full sized spare on matching wheel.
  • Primitive Racing skid plates front and rear
  • Safari Snorkel custom fitted by the 4X4 Center - So. Burlington, VT
  • King Springs for approx. 1" suspension lift. - direct from Australia
  • BYB Lift Kit for approx. 2" body lift. - direct from Queensland, AU
  • Nicro Solar Cabin Vent - exhausts hot air when the car is left in the sun.
  • Original cloth seats replaced in 2011 with black leather seats from Legacy GT.
  • Carpet replaced in 2011 with brand new Subaru black carpet to match seats.
  • Oil changed every 5k miles with synthetic.
  • Tires rotated every 6k miles.
  • SCROLL DOWN on this page for more details and photos!

23 February 2012

Superu is for sale!

Winter is nearly over and the Superu is getting prepped to find a new home! Stay tuned for updates.

14 December 2011

The SUPERU is back!!!!

After a brief sojourn, the Superu is back in my driveway! It's a long story, but ends well enough as the Subie is now back with me for another fun (hopefully snow filled) winter!

I'll likely be offering it for sale again in the spring, so stay tuned.

UPDATE:  There has been additional interest lately in buying the Superu.  Since I have the winter tires on my other vehicle, I may entertain selling before the spring.  All inquiries may be sent to my email address in the comments below.  Details about the car are all over the blog! 

09 July 2011

The Superu is UN-SOLD!

After 4 fun filled years, the Superu is moving on to it's new owner! (Now, it's back. See post above.)

Dirt roads?

No problem!

Wet roads?

No problem!

Snow roads?

No problem!

No roads?

No problem!

Here's a short list of the amenities.
  • 2005 Subaru Outback Wagon w/~165k miles (nearly all highway)
  • 2.5 liter boxer engine w/4EAT automatic transmission
  • Safari Snorkel professionally installed by the 4x4 center in Burlington, VT
  • Primitive Racing skid plates front and rear.
  • 2" Body Lift from AUSubaru in Queensland, Australia
  • 1" of additional suspension lift from King Springs AU
  • New KYB GR-2 struts all around (2011)
  • Recent timing belt service
  • 4300k Xenon HID projector headlights
  • 3000k Xenon HID fog lights
  • Auto-dimming mirror with compass and Homelink
  • New catalytic converters installed by dealer under warranty at 137k miles.
  • Class III 2" Hidden Hitch trailer hitch
  • Recent brake pads and rotors all around (2011)
  • Synthetic oil used for all changes and for diffs and tranny
  • Nicro solar powered cabin vent
  • Black Leather heated/power seats from an 07 and new factory black carpet in lieu of original tan cloth installed in 2011.
  • Custom front light bar w/Lightforce Striker 170 driving lights
  • Alpine stereo w/ipod interface and cable included
  • Yokohama Geolandar AT/S all terrain tires w/full sized spare
  • Subaru All-Weather floor mats front and rear
  • JDM Rain Visors
  • Rally Armor Mud Flaps
  • JDM tail lights(original right rear cracked when tree jumped in front of it while reversing so I replaced both. Small dent and paint crack near light.
  • Pine tree pinstriping
  • Envy of your friends and family
  • Incredulous looks from passersby
  • Chance to be engaged in conversations with total strangers
  • And most importantly, a great looking and fun to drive car that will take you almost anywhere through any type of weather!

    This is a recent shot of the driver's side after removal of all decals. Passenger side still has all rally decals.

    This is a shot just after the lift kit installation was completed. Cargo basket is already removed and sold.

    07 Leather heated power seats and factory new black carpet.

    Overall, the car is in very nice shape for it's age and miles and is still my daily driver on a 118 mile highway R/T. I am the second owner and have owned this car since 2007. I would confidently drive this car anywhere.

    More pics taken 7/28/2011 below:

    Toggle switches were set up for multiple auxiliary lights and compressor. Top switch is still in use for Lightforce lights so they don't have to be on with the high beams unless you want them to be. Other switches can be used for whatever you may like to add. Shift knob is custom Arizona river rock with gecko carved into it. The original knob is available.

    The vent pic is the inside view of the Nicro solar powered cabin vent. It comes in handy when parked in the sun to vent hot air from the car and keep things cooler until you come back.

    This shot shows the current mileage as of 7/28/2011. Actual miles may be slightly higher by end of auction.

    Please bear in mind this is a used car and as such is being sold as-is with no warranty expressed nor implied. If you are looking for a like new car, check out your local Subaru dealer's used lot. If you are looking for a fun, purpose built off-road capable vehicle that has been well cared for, then start bidding! This is what you buy when you want an SUV to venture off the beaten path, but need something that will deliver 28 mpg on the highway!

    Payment via Bank Check or cash.

    Please note, some pictures show equipment that is no longer installed on the Superu! All equipment included in this sale is listed above.