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SG9 XT major service planning


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Hi all, my first proper post after declaring mesen on the newbies forum.

Righto, we bought a 2008 SG9 2.5 XT with 27k on the clock last week, it's my Mrs' car, and replaces her trusty 2002 H6 Outback...which has been a completely reliable workhorse, pity its the heavy road tax but it was a decent price so we wort of wrote the extra £200 per year off by saving over a grand on what it would have cost from the typical dealer...doesn't this sound grand in theory eh, man maths at their best.

The morning after we got her i changed the engine oil and filter, it now has Shell Helix Ultra 5w40 running through the veins, i've just had the wheels off and the pads out and checked all is well in the brakes dept and suspension, it is, all piston and sliders are free, its had a replacement set of pads once by the look of it a new front caliper and possibly new rear disc/drums at some point, difficult to tell, anyway the brakes don't need any new parts for the forseeable...which makes a change to the cars i normally buy where the brakes are neglected, and a new paper air filter should be here tomorrow, and being a tight wad i've washed and dried the cabin filter...yeah i know you can't take it with you.

So, i'm making plans for the major service i'm going to do this spring, will be ordering the parts in and would welcome input that helps and might stop me dropping a clanger.

1. Will be renewing all transmission oils, GL5 seems to be the standard for diffs agreed?   Presumably there's a transfer box just like the Outback, that also ok with GL5?

2. Renewing the auto transmission oil, now when i looked at MIller's oil chooser the oil recommended was the equivalent of Toyota WS (world standard) which is synthetic and equivalent to Dexron6 full synthetic, is this correct chaps?   obviously the autobox needs the right oil and i need this to be absolutely right, i still have some Dexron 6 left over from the autobox change on my Landcruiser (yes that WS stuff), i always buy oils in bulk, much cheaper that way and it doesn't hurt when you are as obsessive as i am about maintenance.

2a. There's an oil filter (similar size to the engine oil filter) on the gearbox, is this a Subaru only part or is there an equivalent available, ie from Mann, Purflux, Mahle or similar good quality makers?  anyone know the part number please?

3. Spark plugs, changing the Outback plugs was a horrid job and if its as difficult then i'm likely to entrust that to a good specialist...i used to do lots of mechanical work over the years and still do most things but i'm far from a spring chicken now (understatement of the year) so if its as awkward as the H6 was then i'll think twice, also which plugs please, bear in mind i'll put Iridiums in so they last as long as possible, so which plugs lads and shall i DIY?

4. The brakes will get a full strip clean and lube with the correct brake grease, i'll paint the calipers and unswept parts of the discs in black, have done this for years cos i hate to see rusty discs and calipers and not all that keen on bright colours either...this car is a not to be at all memorable, boss's orders....i'll change the brake fluid, is 4 acceptable?

5. Coolant, its green colour at the moment which means its probably standard glycol, not too bothered about the colour but which coolant would the collective suggest.

6. For the rustproofing i shall once again use Bilt Hamber's finest products, which have served me well and is a delight (well as nice as this job can be) to use compared to everything else, very much due to the brilliant probes that come with the large cavity aerosols, forget the nightmare that some old fashioned rust preventative products were to warm mix and apply, thankfully times have moved on.    Will be derusting and painting the suspension and subframes in some seriously hard paint, and painting the exhaust with Zinc paint.

7. OIl filters, i've had good service from K&N oil filters on the H6 (Mann's due to the shape only had about 2 turns of thread holding them on, blow that, binned it), but i can get Mahle filters for less than £5 each delivered (usually buy them half a dozen or more at a time because my cars get oil changes every 6 months), so what's the thoughts about filters?

8. Eventually when i need to replace the brake friction materials or discs, i've been having excellent results with Brembo, they have that nice soft progressive pedal that one used to get with Ferodo back in the day, so would be happy to stay with them, what the thoughts?

9. The CV joints all appear fine, don't suppose there's any grease points on the propshaft(s), my Landcruiser still has greasable props but they took the autobox dipstick away with the later transmission, not a good move Toyota, thankfully Subaru haven't done the same, so, any other transmission maintenance i haven't thought of?

I think thats it for now, sorry about the long post, i know i tend to waffle but you'll either get used to it or tell me to clear off :-)

Thanks for reading,  i'd welcome any input please and some reminders about the really important things i've probably forgotten cos i is old and forgetful.

edit..oh and what specialist in Northamptonshire or nearby would you lot use please?

Regards   Judd



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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, 10 litres of Millers Millermatic SP111WS ATF oil turned up from Opie, and i've just changed the first sumpful, always found Millers to be good oils and their technical people always helpful if you contact them with a query.

The job is as easy, if not easier, than changing the engine oil so don't be afraid to have a go yourselves if yours is due, just under 4 litres came out so i put 3.5 back in then topped up to the right level with the engine running, for ease of accessing the dipstick tube i had some 10mm plastic pipe which fitted nicely in the tube and cut it to length so a small funnel pushed into the other end propped up nicely between the pipes which run beside and to the rear of the intercooler, 2 minutes pouring gently and that fresh oil was in.

The old was still nice and red but obviously less translucent than the new, and it still smelled good, result.

I plan to swap an ATF sumpful annually as i do with my other autos, so keeping a decent percentage of fresh oil in the system at all times.

The ATF filter i mentioned above i have been reading up on, now it appears some people have put a standard oil filter in place of this ATF filter, and from what i read that is a mistake, possibly a costly one, because the ATF filter works entirely differently to a normal oil filter.

An oil filter is designed to filter all the oil going through the system continually, the relief valve opening for straight through oil flow only when the filter cannot cope with the flow, agreed?

The ATF filter is designed the other way from what i understand (this from one knowledgeable chap on an Outback forum who cut them apart to see the difference), where the normal oil flow isn't all filtered and only a percentage of the oil flow goes through the filter medium, apparently if an oil filter is used instead there can be oil shortage problems for the gearbox due to this difference, however due to the part time nature of the filtering it appears the correct filter can last the lifetime of the box so i'm in no hurry to change it at the moment, especially given the low mileage of the car, but that is one filter which will be the genuine part only.

Much of the science of this is above me, but if anyone would like to comment on this ATF filter situation i would welcome it, and also happy to be put right if i'm barking up the wrong tree or got the wrong end of the stick, which wouldn't be the first time.


I'm leaving the other transmission oil jobs till the warmer weather comes, and secondly till the road salt has all disappeared, once its cleaned fully underneath in the spring and up in the air i'll change the other oils and coolant.





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