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Thread: nepbug's 01 Outback - 1/22/17 Eff Me! Gut check time!

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    nepbug's 01 Outback - 1/22/17 Eff Me! Gut check time!

    In Sept 2014 I bought my 3rd Subaru, a base 2001 Outback 5MT. It was rough on the exterior as the previous owner did not have very good spatial skills and didn't believe in washing it, but it was at least taken to a mechanic regularly.

    It had 176k miles on it when I got it, but the short block and transmission had both been replaced about 3 years ago and only had ~30,000 miles on it.

    Here's a current picture (May 2016):


    Here's a photo from a few days after we brought it home (Sept 2014):


    I already have two other project Subarus, an 08 FXT and an 02 OBS (see signature for those threads) so I'm, going to take it easy on this one, hopefully. The current plan is to bring it up to the Limited trim level and maybe do a few more items, I hope I can keep the mod-bug at bay.

    Mods Completed:
    Exterior/Appearance:

    Battlewagon Skid Plate
    Fork Mount Subaru Bike Trays Modded for Disc Brakes
    02-04 WRX Wheels with Winter Tires
    All-Red Tail Lights
    Yellow Fog Lights
    Hood Deflector
    Rear Diff Skid Plate
    Window Tint
    Powder Coated Radiator Supports
    Powder Coated Battery Tie Down
    Baja Grill

    Interior:
    Limited Wood Grain Window Switch Trim
    LL Bean Steering Wheel
    Variable Intermittent Wipers
    Speaker Upgrade
    Stereo Upgrade
    All-weather Floor Mats
    Heated Seat Wiring Installed
    LL Bean Leather Seats (Beige)
    LL Bean Door Cards
    Autodim mirror
    02-04 Center Console Swap (dual cup holder)
    LGT Shift Knob

    Suspension/Steering/Brakes:
    16mm Rear Sway Bar Upgrade
    17mm Baja Turbo Rear Sway Bar Upgrade
    Baja Turbo Springs on 04 Outback Struts

    Engine/Exhaust/Drivetrain:
    Port and Polish OEM Exhaust Manifold
    Removed Factory RAM Air Blocking Plate
    H6 Axle-Back Installed
    Rear Differential Cross-member Bushing Upgrade
    Oil Pan Heater Installed
    4.11 VLSD Swap
    H6 100A Alternator Upgrade
    High Flow Cat Wrap, Paint and Port and Polish
    Intake Manifold Spacers

    Mod Wish List:
    Exterior:
    Spoiler
    Auxiliary Lights
    Heated Mirrors
    Heated Windshield
    Upgraded Hi/Low Beam Bulbs and Wiring.
    Custom Grill
    Color-Matched Mirrors
    Color-Matched Door Handles
    Hood with Scoop

    Interior:
    Gray Seat Belts
    Gray Carpet
    Cargo Mat Extended up onto rear seat backs
    Enhanced cargo area lighting

    Suspension/Steering/Brakes:
    Dimpled Rotors
    Powder Coated Calipers

    Engine/Exhaust/Drivetrain:
    Grounding Mod
    Delta 1000 Grind Cams
    Port and Polish Intake Manifold
    Port and Polish Heads
    Port and Polish Throttle Body
    Swap in Impreza .780 5th gear
    Last edited by nepbug; 01-22-2017 at 07:13 PM.

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    Maintenance Log

    A log of maintenance-type things.

    Replaced drive shaft 09/14
    New transmission output shaft seal 09/14
    Replaced the glove box/lower dash trim piece 10/14
    Cleaned the IACV and replaced seal 10/14
    Replaced cracked passenger head to airbox breather tube 10/14
    Repaired Rear Defroster Grid in 4 places 10/14
    Oil Change 10/16/2014 ODO: 178,352
    PCV Valve Change 10/16/2014 ODO: 178,352
    Replaced torn air intake flex section: 10/25/14
    Fuel Filter 12/09/2014 ODO: 180,747
    Oil Change 04/05/2015 ODO: 186,357
    Strut Replacement 5/2/2015 : ODO ~188,000
    Front Passenger Axle Replacement 05/03/15 ODO: ~188,000
    Replaced Driver side axle because of torn boot 6/7/2015
    Clutch Slave Cylinder Replacement 6/20/15 ODO: 190,866
    Window Gusset Replacement 6/20/15 ODO: 190,866
    Oil Change 08/22/2015 ODO: 194,817
    Replaced seat back heater elements on both seats 11/8/15 ODO: 198,738
    Replaced drive shaft again 2/7/16
    Oil Change 2/10/2016 ODO: 201,380
    Oil Change 07/5/2016 ODO: 209,111
    Oil Change 10/2/2016 ODO: 215,100
    Knock sensor replaced 12/27/2016 ODO: 219,120
    Transverse Link Bushings replaced 12/28/2016 ODO: 219,150
    Last edited by nepbug; 12-28-2016 at 03:19 PM.

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    EJ251 vs EJ252 Differences

    EJ251 vs EJ252 Differences

    Well, my Outback is an EJ252 and my Impreza is an EJ251, so as I come across the differences I will post them here.

    Wikipedia claims 156 hp for the EJ252 and 165 hp for the EJ251. I'm not entirely convinced of this, it does seem as though a typo could have occurred and the 6 and 5 were transposed to give the 156 number. The Wiki is pretty inaccurate and poorly referenced, I've corrected a few things (The 00-04 Legacy/Outback engine types) that could be confirmed via opposedforces.com part numbers, but I will not take it as the truth just yet.

    From researching part numbers here is what I have concluded as some of the differences/similarities:
    Block halves: different, but listed as an interchange for either, so it is likely just marking differences
    Cylinder heads/cams: Same
    Pistons: Same
    Connecting Rods Same
    Crankshaft: Same
    ECU: Different
    Intake Manifold: Different
    Throttle Body : Different (this is likely just because of the different style IACVs I show below)
    Cam Pulleys: Same

    So, if there is a performance difference it seems to be likely in the ROM on the ECU, though the manifold could also be a possibility, but 9 hp from an OEM manifold seems far-fetched.

    I might try an EJ251 ECU and see what happens. The later years EJ251 used the same ECUs for the auto and manual cars, so in theory I could grab and EJ251 ECU out of an Auto and be able to give it a try. I do wonder about idle and controlling the IACV though, I will have to investigate that further.

    IACV
    The EJ251 uses this style:


    The EJ252 uses this style:


    MAP Sensor Location
    *pictures to come*

    Forward O2 Sensor

    The Forward O2 sensor on the EJ252 is a 4-wire unit


    The EJ251 uses a 5-wire unit


    Rear O2 Sensor

    The downstream O2 sensor on the EJ252 is a heated 4-wire unit


    The EJ251 uses a heated 4-wire unit as well, but it's got a different connector and configuration
    Last edited by nepbug; 11-11-2016 at 02:58 PM.

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    Reserved

    Reserved #3

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    One month in, what's been done

    Ok, so I've been mostly doing maintenance items so far in my first month of ownership. The mods will get a separate entry and will be linked in the first post. So to catch up to what I've done on it so far maintenance/non-mods/repairs:

    When I bought the car it had two seizing u-joints, so the drive shaft needed to be replaceed immediately. Previous owner was quoted $900, I fixed it for $48, ah so glad I am not one of those people that don't have a choice but to pay someone else to work on my cars.

    • New drive shaft (used a 99 Outback drive shaft, first and second gen OB are fully compatible with each other, even though they have different part numbers, they are just built slightly different)
    • Replace the transmission output shaft seal (figured the bad u-joints might have buggered up the old one)
    • Remove previous owner's bumper stickers and dealer badges and remove the crusty AWD stickers
    • Re-sealed the exhaust, including replacing the exhaust manifold studs (that had mostly become bolts anyways) and using copper flange nuts instead to help prevent seizing in the future
    • Squeezed window gussets to get rid of howling wind noise
    • Installed Factory Crossbars
    • Replaced the glove box/lower dash trim piece
    • Cleaned the IACV (and replaced the ghetto black silicone seal the previous mechanic had used)
    • Replaced a cracked passenger head to airbox breather tube
    • Replaced PCV Valve
    • Changed oil and filter at odometer reading of 178,352. Valvoline NextGen 5W-30 with a can of MOA for good measure using a Purolator PureOne filter (usually use filters with better bypass pressure ratings, but I've got a few on the shelf and some car has to use them!)
    • Repaired Rear Defroster Grid in 4 places
    Last edited by nepbug; 02-24-2015 at 03:16 PM.

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    As-Bought Pictures

    Here's some pics of how it stood when purchased. What you can't see is how nasty some of the interior is. The seats are pretty dirty and the seat belts and carpet are downright filthy, I don't care for beige interiors much for how much they show dirt.

    About 15 minutes after we bought it in Aspen, CO (my fxt is parked behind it)


    Driving it home 3 hours that first day, the aspens were changing to a nice golden yellow for most of the drive.


    Once we got home.


    Showing off the impressive dents the previous owner added.




    So many ugly badges and stickers.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Intro

    So I'm still trying to sort a few little things from the OB's previous life. Cleaning the IACV cured the high cold-idle (it was at 3000 rpm and wouldn't drop until engine was fully warm.

    Two days ago there was an incident that made me think my throttle position sensor is sticking. I was driving and had a sudden loss of power no matter how much I pushed the pedal, then all of a sudden, bam, big power surge. It seems as though the TPS wasn't moving with or sensing my increased throttle input thus the ECU wasn't sending more fuel. If I was monitoring my A/F ratio I would bet my mixture was starting to lean out with my increased throttle input before the surge. It's only happened the one time, but I'm going to address this now so it doesn't happen to the wife without me around.

    So, to address that I went to the salvage yard today and picked up a TPS to swap in. While at the salvage yard I scored three 02-04 WRX rims, so those will be my winter rims after I source a 4th one, woohoo!

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    OEM Exhaust Manifold Port and Polish

    OEM Exhaust Manifold Port and Polish
    When replacing the transmission output shaft seal I decided to do a few things since I had things out.

    Replaced 5 of the exhaust manifold studs, the last one was really in there and was in the best shape, so I left it.

    Replaced the exhaust manifold gaskets.

    Did a quick little port and polish on the exhaust manifold.

    Before (look at those sharp edges!):



    After (carbide bit, then 80 grit, then 120 grit):


    Note that the picture shows the exhaust manifold gasket on in the wrong orientation, the dimples go toward the exhaust and the smooth goes towards the heads.

    When I punch it I can hear a little whistling in the exhaust (above ~3500 rpm), I think this is a result of the PNP as I don't think there are any more exhaust leaks, but I'll go over them again..

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Intro - 10/18/2014

    I don't know what happened to the reply from Muse, but he stated the whistling might be "phantom turbo".

    After googling it and listening to some YouTube videos I think that is the issue.

    At least now I won't be chasing my tail looking at other things. Interesting legacy-specific phenomenon.

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    t3h ub3r m3mber superu's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Port and Polish OEM Headers - 10/1

    Welcome to the spacious side of the Subaru line-up!

    I enjoyed reading, "I hope I can keep the mod-bug at bay."
    followed by a page of intended mods.

    But when you read into them they're more like, "it just shoulda been that way to begin with" so with that clarity they're hardly mods but requisite improvements.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Port and Polish OEM Headers - 10/1

    Quote Originally Posted by superu
    ...
    I enjoyed reading, "I hope I can keep the mod-bug at bay."
    followed by a page of intended mods.
    Yeah, laying out all the mods to make it a Limited looks like a lot.

    Everything else is low-dollar things or stuff down the road. I'm not going to be pulling heads to do a port and polish/cams without another reason.



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    t3h ub3r m3mber superu's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Port and Polish OEM Headers - 10/1

    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    Quote Originally Posted by superu
    ...
    I enjoyed reading, "I hope I can keep the mod-bug at bay."
    followed by a page of intended mods.
    Yeah, laying out all the mods to make it a Limited looks like a lot.

    Everything else is low-dollar things or stuff down the road. I'm not going to be pulling heads to do a port and polish/cams without another reason.



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    and having other heads on the bench makes that improvement easy . . . no need to pull the stockers for the P&P

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Port and Polish OEM Headers - 10/1

    Quote Originally Posted by superu
    and having other heads on the bench makes that improvement easy . . . no need to pull the stockers for the P&P
    True, I hope to turn the extra heads I have into a winter project. Maybe even set up a rudimentary flow bench to quantify results.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Battlewagon Skid Plate

    Battlewagon Skid Plate
    One of the first things I noticed upon inspecting the car was that it was missing my under-tray, I am pretty convinced that a lot of independent mechanics pitch these the first time they seem them to make it easier on themselves down the road. Well, I like a cover for the aero/cooling benefits, but finding one is often difficult unless you want to buy directly from the dealer.

    While perusing craigslist I stumbled upon a homemade skid plate, so I nabbed that and installed it. It already was painted with Battle Wagon on it, all I had to do was chase my threads in the mounting points and add some spacers on the backside of the plate on the front mounting points.

    It's not going to protect from a rock bash, but it should help direct air and easily withstands the onslaught presented on paved and gravel roads, which is where this will spend 99.99% of it's life.

    Last edited by nepbug; 02-14-2015 at 11:46 PM.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Skid Plate

    Threw codes P0301 and P0302 yesterday; cylinder 1 and 2 misfire.

    I'll start digging into that, many possibilities.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Limited Wood Grain Window Switch Trim and Misfire Troubleshooting

    Limited Wood Grain Window Switch Trim and Misfire Troubleshooting

    Ok, a little update.

    First, I got my limited window switch trim in. I'm not a huge wood grain fan, but it is WAY better than the brown plastic that was there. So scratch that off the to-do list.

    I also replaced my torn air intake boot, not more sucking in hot engine air!

    Now the P0301/P0302 misfire code troubleshooting.

    I wanted to start out checking the easy things.
    I started it up and let it idle, it wasn't misfiring.
    I started wiggling wire bundles and injector connectors, none of that induced a misfire.
    I then grabbed a screwdriver and started to use it as a stethoscope and listened to the injectors to see if any were exceptionally noisier or quieter than the other, no obvious issue there. Just as I was finishing this checkout the misfires began again. Idle became rough and the exhaust sounded like I had UEL headers on. I went over and sniffed the exhaust a little (put hand over tail pipe for a few seconds and then smelled hand) and it seemed a bit on the rich side, so it looks like the misfire is not necessarily on the fueling side of things.
    So, next I "ohmed" out the spark plug wires. All values of these generic wires were about 50% higher than a spare set of NGK blues I had, so I swapped out the wires on cylinders 1 and 2. No change, misfires continued.
    Another thing that the previous owner had changed earlier this year was the coil pack, so now it just had some no-name generic coil pack on it. I swapped that out for a used OEM one. Misfires went away!
    Did some driving around town running errands and the light went out.
    One the way home, the CEL came back on, but no loss of power or rough idle connected with it, and it wasn't a flashing CEL either.
    Pulled the codes when I got home, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304 and P0420. So misfire on all cylinders and the cat efficiency code Subaru is famous for.

    So, I've got more things to check (plugs, crank sensor, camshaft sensor, etc), but the car hasn't had a rough idle or loss of power since swapping coils, so it seems better right now. A CEL constantly on will drive me insane, so I'll keep digging. First I think I'll reset the ECU and see if/how quickly it comes back.
    Last edited by nepbug; 02-14-2015 at 11:50 PM.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Bike Tray Mod

    Bike Tray Mod
    So, I took some Subaru Bike trays, bolted them to the heads of some Rocky Mount racks that I had (they had bent trays from a bike on car into the garage door incident). They work great on the Outback as the OB has the extra length to handle the long trays, the only thing is the trays do not clear 180mm or larger disc brakes.

    So out comes the dremel to fix that.


    I'll put some black touch-up paint on there eventually, but it's aluminum and I'm not really that worried. I need to see if I still have some black touch up in the garage, otherwise the next time I'm spraying something with black I'll get these.


    Last edited by nepbug; 02-14-2015 at 11:47 PM.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Ball Joint Removal Tool

    Ball Joint Removal Tool

    I made a ball joint removal tool similar to "Snipers Ball Tugger"/Snap-On BJR1




    I need to do a fit check it as I might have made the wall too thick to clear the brake backing plate.

    I also will add a few more features, but need some round stock to finish it off. This should be serviceable as it is.

    Once I get all the features I want added I will powdercoat it.

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Ball Tugger

    Today, I tackled the de-nastification of my door cards. I have no idea how the previous owner got them so nasty, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

    I had already tried a few different all-purpose cleaners without any response out of the stains. My brother used to professionally detail cars and he suggested I try lacquer thinner for cleaning some dirty visors I had, so I decided to give it a go on the door cards, fantastic results!

    Here's the before:


    Here's after cleaning with Lacquer Thinner, scrub brush and a paper towel.


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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Disgusting Door Cards Restored!

    Installed the temporary fender fix until I can find a good one in Winestone Red.


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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix

    I have one of those decals ready when I do rust repair on my right quarter panel. Nice build by the way.
    Life is What Happens While We're Making Plans.
    1. 2001 Subaru Legacy L Wagon, Name:Yossarian, 5MT, 182k- Daily Driver
    2. 1995 Subaru Impreza L Sedan, 5MT, 101k-127k (head gasket leak)-Sold
    1. 1994 Geo Prizm, Auto, 132k-146k (too much rot) -Sold

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix

    Quote Originally Posted by twoheadedboy
    I have one of those decals ready when I do rust repair on my right quarter panel. Nice build by the way.
    Yeah, the decal actually is nice because I used to be irked every time I would see the big dent, now I just smile in amusement. I know I'll get it fixed eventually, but in the mean time I hope it makes other people smile the way it does me, much better than just a huge dent.

    In other news, I got the car through emissions, VIN inspected, title transferred and new plates.

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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    It's good to have this thread running again. Surely there are good things to come.

  25. #25
    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    Well, yesterday we had a balmy high temperature of 5 degrees here in Denver so I wasn't really planning on any car work, but I did some. I went out in the morning to slap on the new plates, as the temp tags had expired, and started the car to warm it up. This is when I discovered that the Outback leaks fuel when cold, it's the pretty common clamps-loosening-when-cold issue.

    I first saw the leak on the passenger side and, of course, it was under a bracket that would not allow access to the clamp for re-tightening. I had to take off the air intake and that bracket to access it. I then positioned the clamp so that I can get to it without all of that work in the future.

    I thought that did it, but then caught another whiff of raw fuel and sure enough the driver side had a leak too. This one was much easier as I just needed a longer screwdriver to get to it. I then went around and tightened all the clamps up I could get to, quite a few were loose.

    So my 5-minute task in the single-digit weather turned into about an hour, but no probs now. I'll look into changing the clamp style once it gets warmer out.

  26. #26
    t3h ub3r m3mber Grimmrican's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    lol thats funny
    Subaru Legacy L

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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    So, today I realized the I am missing the left rear mud flap. Geez, it took me driving in snow and seeing a bunch of extra crud there compared to the other wheels to notice, nevermind having had the car for two months now.

    So add that to the list of little things to pick up at the salvage yard.

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  28. #28
    t3h ub3r m3mber superu's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    So, today I realized the I am missing the left rear mud flap. Geez, it took me driving in snow and seeing a bunch of extra crud there compared to the other wheels to notice, nevermind having had the car for two months now.

    So add that to the list of little things to pick up at the salvage yard.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
    Hmm, ask your 'lil missuz if she remembers backing into a tall curb, or some such thing


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    SLi Lurker nepbug's Avatar
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    Re: nepbug's 01 Outback - Temporary Fender Fix 11/3/14

    Quote Originally Posted by superu
    Quote Originally Posted by nepbug
    So, today I realized the I am missing the left rear mud flap. Geez, it took me driving in snow and seeing a bunch of extra crud there compared to the other wheels to notice, nevermind having had the car for two months now.

    So add that to the list of little things to pick up at the salvage yard.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
    Hmm, ask your 'lil missuz if she remembers backing into a tall curb, or some such thing

    Ha, nope. I looked back at my "as-bought" pictures and it is missing there too.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

  30. #30

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