Model Year 2012 to 2017 Hybrid overlanding build

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    Hybrid overlanding build

    I bought an XV hybrid for several reasons — keyless entry and ignition is big one. More HP and torque and slightly better gas mileage. Silent EV mode can be quite nice in a campground at night. Better sound insulation and some luxury features. Of course there are drawbacks compared to the gas model, like 400 lbs extra weight, zero official towing capacity, and some delicate wiring. I found good deal on it since these are not very popular. I've always driven a tiny city car, so this feels large to me. I plan to build it up for off-road adventures and camping. I'll document my progress here and keep this first post up to date.

    Current mods:
    ADF 2" lift with multilink subframe spacers
    Black Rhino Rumble 15" wheels
    Toyo AT2 P215R75/15 tires
    Gorilla SplineDrive lug nuts
    custom front and rear bumpers
    custom front skid plate 3/16" aluminum
    Primitive skid plates transmission and diff
    Superwinch Terra 4500
    Yaesu FT-8900 ham radio, drilled roof for NMO antenna
    Diode Dynamics Stage 30 front LED bar
    Active grill shutter mod
    Pioneer MVH-1400NEX with iDatalink Maestro
    Bussman RTMR fuse/relay box
    Viair 87P onboard compressor
    Megan Racing front strut tower brace
    Subaru STI pitch stopper
    CKE transmission mount insert
    LED headlights and interior lights from
    Wiper fluid reservoir relocate

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    I've already owned the car for a few months before it occurred to me to write a blog. I'll write about existing mods when I have a chance. Better late than never.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    pictures coming soon. This forum uses very low res so I'm looking for a convenient place to upload

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    While trying to track down a clicking noise, I removed the front sway bar completely, and I don't think I'll be putting it back. There is a slight extra roll in turns but hardly noticeable. I think the articulation is improved, and I'll be looking for a chance to measure the difference. I don't have a convenient ramp.

    At 56k miles (4k miles lifted), I replaced the front LCA rear bushings. They were significantly worn and splitting. Bushings are cheap but it was a lot of work. The ball joint puller kit I borrowed from AutoZone did not have the right size cup, so I made my own. I drilled out the old bushing with a hole saw and that works nicely. I'm sure I will need this again in the future. With the new bushings in, I can't notice any difference on the road, but I'm sure it will help prolong the life of the other suspension components. This bushing is a terrible design, especially for lifted vehicles. I wish someone would design an LCA with the end bushing angled so it can be centered at ride height.

    Recently I've noticed the car is a little jerky when accelerating or shifting gears. To remedy this, I bought an STI "group N" pitch stop mount because I didn't want to risk extra NVH with a solid mount like Perrin. And it's cheaper too, I paid $30 on eBay. Subaru part #D1040FE000. Compared to the OEM mount, this one has the same bushing on the small end, and a stiffer bushing on the big end. The plastic dogbone feels like the same part too. This does help to make the acceleration a bit smoother, but in hindsight I wish I had used a stiffer part.

    While I was in there, I noticed one wire harness is severely frayed, due to rubbing the bottom of the air filter box. Bad design, shame on Subaru. I patched it for now with electrical tape, but I'll have to go back and add a piece of split loom later.

    Yesterday I installed a Megan Racing front strut tower brace to help protect the chassis, part MR-SB-SI08FU-1P. The last thing I want is a cracked frame from hitting bumps too hard. I've seen it happen on other cars. This part arrived assembled wrong, but it was easy to flip the bar around with 2 bolts. I haven't noticed much difference on the road, but I also haven't tried any fast maneuvers yet. I do notice the suspension clicking noise is reduced now, which was unexpected with this mod. I'm considering adding the rear strut tower brace as well, if I can think of a way to slide cargo around/over it easily.

    Today I installed a CKE transmission mount insert. My original mount was in good condition but I thought this might help with the jerky shifting. I'll test drive tomorrow. It was a very easy install, aside from some struggling to actually pop the rubber insert in.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #5
    Senior Member Cutlass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Quote Originally Posted by llamafilm View Post
    pictures coming soon. This forum uses very low res so I'm looking for a convenient place to upload Works well. To post the pics to this forum you have to manually put in the [img] [/img] tags.
    2016 Quartz Blue Pearl Premium CVT.

    Personalized with:
    Interior: LED lighting, auto dimming mirror, dashcam, trim rings on climate knobs.
    Exterior: Window visors, pin stripe, side molding, RokBlokz mudflaps.

  8. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Los Angeles
    Are you using anything for a spare tire carrier?

    What about weight when you are on the road? have you considered upgrading your springs. I also have a Hybrid, but noticed it does have a lower behind when loaded. I upgraded the springs to some rallitek, they did the trick.

    Also, thanks for the details on your mods. Really appreciate that, nice to know some of the reasoning for the mods.

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