subaru outback in the outback?

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1016 Views:10890 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
This Thread has been Archived
As the name suggests, id like to take my 98 outback on an outback trek. Im thinking of doing part of stzleki track, all of oodnadatta track and all of the birdsville track.

Does anyone have any advice? am i crazy?

Thanks in advance.

c.
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Kevin Phillips - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
The tracks you mention are pretty much dirt highways and should pose no particular problem for your Outback. My wife has an Outback and I would have no hesitation taking it there - she would object though because it would get dirty !!. Seriously though, we have taken the Outback over well formed dirt roads on camping trips with no problems.

Cheers
AnswerID: 3061

Follow Up By: Colin - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
As Kevin suggests, the Outback will tackle most situation if driven carefully. The older Liberty with 'pump up' suspension is a better vehicle off road but .....!! I suggest you fit a sump guard (all the older Subarus have them)decent non standard shocks and more robust tyres. It is amazing to watch the jaws drop on the faces of 'real 4WD drivers' when you turn up in the bush in a little Subaru.
0
FollowupID: 1201

Reply By: Milo - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Just dont forget to take satelite phone and the number for towing service.You got yourself a soft roader which is as capable off road as a commodore.dont kid yourself,stick to the sealed road
AnswerID: 3070

Follow Up By: Colin - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
There you go Chris - thats one 'jaw dropper'.
On one trip I took with several Subarus and a Nissan Patrol, someone commented that the Patrol was there to recover a Subaru if it got into trouble - quite the reverse.
"don't knock it, if you haven't tried it"
0
FollowupID: 1203

Follow Up By: Brian - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
I usually don't comment on some of the crap on this forum but I can't resist this one. I think most of the questions are genuine but some people just don't know the Australian roads we have. I for one have done the Oodnadatta Track with a VS Commodore Wagon towing a Camp-O-Matic camper trailer. The road was great but of course if wet then forget about it and you shouldn't go when it is wet even if you have a 4WD as all you do is rip up the road for the people who live out in these remote places. I have also done the Tanami (not in the Commodore) but would gladly take it on so long as it was not wet. People have to get real and realise that a lot of our outback roads are quite capable of taking a 2WD so long as you take it easy and keep and eye out for the rare 4WD who think they own the road and are the only ones who have the right to be there. Thankfully they are very few and far between but they are out there lurking around.
0
FollowupID: 1212

Reply By: Kim Mcfarland - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
The tracks(roads) you are considering, are pretty much dirt highways. You will have no problems at all, provided it is not wet and you take precautions, such as two spares tyres and enough food and water in case something go's wrong.
The only other thing that you must be aware of is the speed you travel. It is very easy to hit a minor wash way at high speed and find yourself upside down in the scrub.
Apart from that it is a pretty easy trip and most enjoyable.
AnswerID: 3072

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Chris, The Birdville, Strez, and Oodnadatta tracks are good roads. You'll have no bother as long as the car is in good nick. Just get out there and enjoy yourself. I've got a troopy made for harder stuff, but the roads you looking at will give you a good feel for the country and be a lot of fun, with no risk in your car.
AnswerID: 3073

Reply By: pen - Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2002 at 00:00
Do it!! But as others have said, take lots of care and plenty of supplies, two spares as well as tyre repair gear. Went to Birdsville Races in an early Sports Wagon (before they fitted low range to them) and it started to rain on the last day. While all the real 4WD's were floundering in the mud, we sailed past them all. I've also seen a 2000 Liberty that had crossed the Simpson last year. Not that I'd recommend that, as it suffered damage from nose diving over some of the dunes.
Cheers and safe driving.
AnswerID: 3077

Reply By: greg - Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00
Must put my bit into the argument. As for the crap on the forum well everyone has an opinion which I respect but they are not always right. The constant thing I read and hear is you can only take a Landcruiser or Patrol into real 4wd country. This is far from correct and the slight advantage they have over some of the other vehicles in extreme conditions is so minimal that it is not worth the cost. A small light weight vehicle will often go places a larger vehicle won't even look at and this is true in sand, mud up steep slopes etc. Clearance, Power to weight, Weight, the driver, prior knowledge of the track etc are all important factors in serious off road work. In the case of the Suburu the ground clearance and front and rear overhange can be a problem but for most situations you will not have a problem if you drive accordingly and go well prepared. By the way Subaru's have been across the Simpson desert which can be a reasonable test for any vehicle and driver. Have fun and drive slowly.
AnswerID: 3103

Reply By: Chris Schulz - Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks to all those who provided *constructive* replies... I am much more confident now... I should have mentioned that the car *does* have non-standard types (15" bridgestone dueller A/T) and non-standard suspension (although i cant remember what it is as the car is secondhand). I was mostly concerned about entry and exit angles with dunes but have since learnt that ill really only encounter them crossing the simpson.

Ill post my trek summary here when completed!!

c.
AnswerID: 3105

Follow Up By: Fred - Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 25, 2002 at 00:00
Chris - your reply suggests that you are thinking of crossing the Simpson Desert in a Subaru. Plan carefully if this is so. I crossed last year and one of the water crossings after Purni Bore came over the bonnets on fullsized 4wds. It would have been half way up your windows. Eyre Creek claimed a Disco for 9hours and 2 Landrover utes for an hour or so. Toyotas and Nissans had no problem while we were there but a Subaru would not have had the clearance or entry/departure angles needed to get into and out of or across the creek. Whilst you might manage much of the Desert, you could easily be stopped by difficult sections.
People who advise you to tackle off road conditions in non off road vehicles simply have not experienced what these roads can hand out at times. I saw a Commodore towing a full sized caravan near William Creek on the Oodnadatta Track when Lake Eyre had water in it. He was doing OK but had no idea what difficulties he could encounter if it rained or he hit a bad patch of road going a little too fast. On tracks such as the Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzlecki tracks I lock in 4wd to aid stability - imagine how much greater safety margin I have than a Commodore with a van behind!! I imagine he went home and told people that 4wds weren't needed in the outback as he had done it in his car.
DON'T even consider the Simpson unless you are accompanied by at least one full sized 4wd and of course take a HF radio or Sat phone and lots of recovery gear. Also keep an eye on the Desert parks bulletin website for road conditions. I was surprised at how often the desert was closed because of high water and/or mud between Dalhousie Springs and Purni Bore. Mind you if you cross these areas when they are dry it's a breeze but a few hours of rain makes them impassable. The actual desert conditions would play havoc with your lack of ground clearance. Discos which are allegedly full sized 4wds constantly scrape the sand because of poor departure angles. Imagine what a 4wd car such as a Subaru would do!! Good luck with your travels and I look forward to reading about them!
0
FollowupID: 1238

Follow Up By: Colin - Wednesday, May 01, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, May 01, 2002 at 00:00
Chris - I should have mentioned B4, there are Subaru clubs in each state which do trips to destinations with varying degrees of difficulty. They will provide you with all the confidence and technical support you need. Good luck
0
FollowupID: 1307

Reply By: donalddasher - Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 26, 2002 at 00:00
we did adelaide to birdsville,boulia,bedorie,djarra, isa,borroloola to roper bar along the gulf track, mataranka to darwin via kakadu then back to adelaide via the tar in non 4x4(hq holden panel van). the only problems were we shredded some tyres on the way to roper bar and carby vibrated loose in kakadu. approx 8000kms round trip. Clearance would have been advantagous but we were more than adequately prepared with tools,spares,recovery and com gear.Not everybody can afford full size 4x4 (although I have one now, I didnt 15 years ago) and if you use common sense and plan your trip to suit the conditions it should be fine.
Cheers donalddasher
AnswerID: 3127

Follow Up By: Bob - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
But Donald you didn't go on any 4wd tracks!!! That's why you were able to do it in an HQ. Had you been on any 4wd tracks in your HQ you would have found out how quickly a 2wd stops. That carby came loose because it was designed to stay in place on roads. It is irresponsible to take a vehicle designed for road use into off road situations. I'm glad you didn't cause any 4wders any inconvenience by having to recover you and your vehicle though.
0
FollowupID: 1265

Follow Up By: Bob - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
But Donald you didn't go on any 4wd tracks!!! That's why you were able to do it in an HQ. Had you been on any 4wd tracks in your HQ you would have found out how quickly a 2wd stops. That carby came loose because it was designed to stay in place on roads. It is irresponsible to take a vehicle designed for road use into off road situations. I'm glad you didn't cause any 4wders any inconvenience by having to recover you and your vehicle though.
0
FollowupID: 1266

Follow Up By: Bob - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
But Donald you didn't go on any 4wd tracks!!! That's why you were able to do it in an HQ. Had you been on any 4wd tracks in your HQ you would have found out how quickly a 2wd stops. That carby came loose because it was designed to stay in place on roads. It is irresponsible to take a vehicle designed for road use into off road situations. I'm glad you didn't cause any 4wders any inconvenience by having to recover you and your vehicle though.
0
FollowupID: 1267

Follow Up By: Bob - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
But Donald you didn't go on any 4wd tracks!!! That's why you were able to do it in an HQ. Had you been on any 4wd tracks in your HQ you would have found out how quickly a 2wd stops. That carby came loose because it was designed to stay in place on roads. It is irresponsible to take a vehicle designed for road use into off road situations. I'm glad you didn't cause any 4wders any inconvenience by having to recover you and your vehicle though.
0
FollowupID: 1268

Follow Up By: Bob - Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Apr 27, 2002 at 00:00
But Donald you didn't go on any 4wd tracks!!! That's why you were able to do it in an HQ. Had you been on any 4wd tracks in your HQ you would have found out how quickly a 2wd stops. That carby came loose because it was designed to stay in place on roads. It is irresponsible to take a vehicle designed for road use into off road situations. I'm glad you didn't cause any 4wders any inconvenience by having to recover you and your vehicle though.
0
FollowupID: 1269

Reply By: Mike- Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00
Chris, the simple answer is that your vehicle, as it is set up now, will do these roads easily. Enjoy your trip. Happy trails, Mike.
AnswerID: 3170

Reply By: donalddasher - Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00
Well Bob
You can't argue with ignorance.
Cheers donalddasher
AnswerID: 3174

Reply By: Wayne - Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Apr 28, 2002 at 00:00
Disco's have a poor departure angle?
MMMM? i not sure about that comment Fred.
AnswerID: 3186

Reply By: Royce Moncur - Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 00:00
I don't know if you guys have stopped reading responses to this yet..... In 1997 my wife and two teenage kids did the Tanimi in a 1984 sube towing and offroad trailer loaded down with big canoe and four bikes AND extra set of tyres. The cruiser had a head-on collision a few weeks before and we decided to still do the trip with our beaut old subie. No mods, but did well even though the track was still washed out in lots of places following the rains. We had to keep up momentum in some spots and my experience over the years probably helped out. We did have the battery catch on fire because it jumped out of its clamps. They were metal and arced. I only use plastic now! Ah yeah.... drove off to camp near the 'granites' and punctured two tyres on the bits of stick damn!

It was still flooded at the boarder so we headed up through Ladjamanu and Kalkaringi. Big trip! The sube was WAY EASIER TO DRIVE than my old 45 series troopie.

Later we did break a trailing arm pin..... but fixed it okay with a bolt from my tin of spares.
AnswerID: 3460

Reply By: karin - Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 00:00
Hey Chris, i'm one of those fortunate people that own a subaru 4wd, and i'm one of those that crossed the simpson dessert in a subaru last year,a 20 year anniversary of the 1st. crossing by subaru, the 2nd. club in history to ever do it, the 1st. was the landrover club,.............so never underestimate the capabilities of your machine, a subie can go everywhere a big 4wd can go, and even more,............http://www.subaru4wd.asn.au cheers,happy subieing.
AnswerID: 3547

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)