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Old 2014-12-29, 06:12 PM   #1
jon
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Default lift kit

Looking for someone in reno that knows how to do a 2" lift on my 99 outback. Plus correct high profile tires? thx.
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Old 2014-12-29, 09:08 PM   #2
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Hi Jon, welcome to the forums!

I'm not familiar with any Reno shops that do Subaru lift kits specifically. At the recommendation of Ray Cunningham, I did bring my Miata by an off-road shop in Sparks last summer for some last-minute welding. I wish I could remember the name of the shop, but I've only been there the one time. Maybe Cory (MPREZIV) knows the place I'm talking about. However, the guys there build all sorts of sand rails and pre-runner/baja type trucks. I would bet they can do anything you'd like... if I can just remember the name of the place.

An alternative is just to use one of the existing recipes for a lifted outback. I believe King makes lift springs for the outback. Then you'd just need to source some appropriate struts. I bet Primitive can set you up with springs, struts, and spacers: http://www.writerguy.com/primitive/susp.htm Though 2" is probably a little higher than most folks go on an Outback.

As far as tires, most folks on this forum are looking to go lower profile and wider, while keeping the OEM final diameter. Going larger, even with a lift kit is troublesome and I don't know that there's lots of experience with it here. I know I've got just mildly oversized on my '09 Outback, and it's super easy to rub all sorts of things... fenders, bumpers, inside fender-well, struts. Lifted springs/struts alone probably won't get you much larger tires, unless you're okay with skinny tires, a weird alignment, and hacking off part of the front bumpers... which you may actually be totally okay with if you're building a dirt beast.

You might want to check out subaruoutback.org if you haven't already. I know there's a following over there for lifted Outbacks.
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Old 2014-12-30, 04:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Sperry.I wonder if the shop was Folbeck? They had not done work like this and also was some sort of liability issue. I would like to put high profile skinny tires on it for snow and ice. I ski. But if this lift idea may cause other problems, Probably should stop thinking about it ?
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Old 2014-12-30, 05:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon View Post
Thanks Sperry.I wonder if the shop was Folbeck? They had not done work like this and also was some sort of liability issue. I would like to put high profile skinny tires on it for snow and ice. I ski. But if this lift idea may cause other problems, Probably should stop thinking about it ?
Post the Primitive Racing link Sperry gave you on the Outback forum he also recommended with your question. I bet you could run the King lift springs with the 1/2" Front + 3/4" Rear Combo Primitive Strut Top Lift Spacers to get the 2" you want, and hopefully they can tell you how big of a tire you can fit with this combo, and if your struts and other OEM parts can survive the lift.
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Old 2014-12-31, 03:45 PM   #5
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King and Scorpion both make Subaru lift kits IIRC. Effectively they are springs and strut top spacers, and they work reasonably well. As for tires, you still won't be able to fit a whole ton more underneath the car without some issues. I've seen pictures of 29" Swampers on a Subaru that was lifted, but I can't comment how well it works other than to note that it will put a TON more torque on your axles and wheel bearings, so be prepared to replace both at more frequent intervals. They'll also hurt acceleration, braking, and fuel economy more as you go larger. If it were me, I'd do the lift but not go much bigger on tires. I've considered doing a Forester/Outback lift kit on an Impreza to fit Forester/Outback tires.
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Old 2014-12-31, 03:46 PM   #6
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Oh, and the fabrication shop was probably Samco, in Sparks just south of Glendale and east of McCarran.
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Old 2014-12-31, 04:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon View Post
Thanks Sperry.I wonder if the shop was Folbeck? They had not done work like this and also was some sort of liability issue. I would like to put high profile skinny tires on it for snow and ice. I ski. But if this lift idea may cause other problems, Probably should stop thinking about it ?
Folbeck was not the shop. They were a fabrication shop, not a repair place. They could probably lift a Subaru 10"... if you have a ton of cash for a one-off custom created suspension.

Like Cody said, your best bet is following the guidance of the guys over at subaruoutback.org. Since you're looking for snow/gravel type clearances, not rock crawling, the OEM suspension geometry is probably acceptable with a lift. Longer springs plus strut spacers sounds like a good bet, with low risk, since people have done them before you can find out what issues to expect. My guess is that you might need some extra bits (camber bolts? Whiteline rear camber kit?) to get the car back into alignment. I had to do that when I lowered my outback about 2", so a lift is probably similar.

For me, I ran into tire clearance issues up front against the trailing edge of the front bumper. It's pretty low clearance from the factory, so lowering the ride height made it worse. I don't know about a lift... it might be better or worse than factory, but regardless any significantly larger tires will probably rub there. If you're going skinnier or similar to stock width, you probably won't have issues elsewhere (assuming you are able to align the car close to original specs). All the clearance issues I've had outside that front bumper have been with width/offset issues.

One thing to consider is that you might not need or want much bigger tires. If you do the lift, then run smaller wheels, you can probably run a tire that's really close to OEM diameter and still get the benefits of taller sidewalls. No clearance issues, plus your speedometer will read right. The Pirelli Scorpion ATR comes in a 205/70/15 that's OEM sized for a '99 Outback, and that's a decent tire IMO (I've got them on my pickup). The General Grabber AT2's come in 205/75/15 which is a little less than an inch taller than the OEM tires, and are popular ATR tires with good snow ratings on TireRack.

I bet the King springs, spacers, 205/75/15 Grabbers, some camber bolts (I forget if the '99 has McStruts or multi-link in the rear, I think it's a strut, so you may need camber bolts in the rear too), and a little massaging here and there to eliminate any rubbing and you'll probably end up with a pretty awesome setup, assuming the OEM struts can work with the lifted springs. Again, subaruoutback.org is your best friend.
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Last edited by sperry; 2014-12-31 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 2019-06-06, 07:09 PM   #8
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Curious what kit you end up with?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
King and Scorpion both make Subaru lift kits IIRC. Effectively they are springs and strut top spacers, and they work reasonably well. As for tires, you still won't be able to fit a whole ton more underneath the car without some issues. I've seen pictures of 29" Swampers on a Subaru that was lifted, but I can't comment how well it works other than to note that it will put a TON more torque on your axles and wheel bearings, so be prepared to replace both at more frequent intervals. They'll also hurt acceleration, braking, and fuel economy more as you go larger. If it were me, I'd do the lift but not go much bigger on tires. I've considered doing a Forester/Outback lift kit on an Impreza to fit Forester/Outback tires.
My uncle is looking at a '99 a next project. It will gonna be a weekend toy. We'll take a look at it right after we finished installing the skid plate and a few jeep aftermarket parts on the Wrangler project. Seen some good reviews about Scorpion kits, we'll take a closer look at their stuff.
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