Outback Jack

Outback Jack's XG Outback Ute Build

2,043 posts in this topic

Hey Guys , thought I'd better start a Build thread on here.


My name is Jason (Jack- Nickname from lifting a car off a mate). I own a 1996 XG Outback Ute.


I purchased this ute from a Backpacker chick that drove it across from South Australia.

When I first saw it advertised, she wanted 6K .... I laughed and kept looking.....

Next week was 4.5K....... I rang and offered 3.5K cash.........

She needed to fly to NZ as she was travelling, so a deal was done, and the Ute came home with me.


As far as the history, she told me she met a guy in SA who had a mate who owned the ute, but died, so the guy put it in his shed and stored it, must of been there for quite awhile.

When I got her she was 100% factory, with dealer optioned Colour coded canopy and rims.

Just after Purchase....



After sorting.....





So far I have put on Extractors, High Flow Cat, Sports Exhaust in 2 1/2" , new T2 rotors and pads, all new suspension and Nolethane bushes everywhere.


I have all the original parts tucked away..... and a second Outback ute for parts that I picked up a few months later.

So rare even to see another one, let alone a complete one for parts.... so after 800 bucks changed hands I towed her home....

had a cracked head, was still regoed, but I let it lapse, as it was always for parts.




Have just been sorting a few running problems and getting her paint looking a bit better, I'm not going to make this a performance ute, I like to think I'm preserving a bit of Ford Australia's history.


These utes are getting rarer, I don't have any idea how many were made, they were very popular in the country with farmers.

They go like the clappers for a 148kw motor..... must be the gearing and Diff ratio of 3.45.


Anyway, thats my ute. I'm a refugee from Xfalcon, and I have some more info there, but will transfer as much as I can.


Ford On!



Defective, X-Taxi, ZL. and 1 other like this

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Ok, well ordered my new Dizzy in, a Bosch job , and don't need a new coil.... but got one anyway just in case, was a good priced bundle deal.

The coil is a pro-comp performance job..... havent bought any stuff from them, so will see what it's like. Should be here by Friday at the latest..... Sweet!


I put the spare windscreen wiper motor assembly in the Ute, sooooo quiet...... hehe. Old one was shocking, worked OK, just LOUD.

I did notice however that the second speed seems a lil slower than the old one. Anyone know why that is? All works correctly, so seems odd.

No biggy, just thought I'd ask. It's all lubed and motor is nice and quiet, so not sure what the go is.


Have a great weekend all........ Ford On!



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LOL, mate I get asked that question at least once a week. Sorry, but the spares ute is just that, spares for my ute.

It's getting harder to find all the replacement parts so I have to keep what I have.


To be honest with ya, it's a pain in the arse to get to the fuel tanks in these things, if I were you, I'd pull the spare wheel out, gut the back of the spare wheel area and put a drop tank in. Good drop tank around 150L will give you the same range, only need one pump (I need 2) and no basket full of wiring just to change tanks.


Spare wheel/tyre can then be mounted against the side panel in the back..... or hinge the old tank hidey hole lid and put ya spares in there.


Cheers. Jack.

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Awesome, My New Dizzy and Coil cometh from the East...... Express Post from Vic, so thats a week or more to here. ...

Better get me rocker cover gasket, goo and liquid paper soon..... Brand new Bosch jobby should see her right, and a coil... just for good measure.


Be the first time I've done a dizzy on a  4L OHC so got the manual to read to make sure its spot on. Take me time, so should be fine.

Mine was pretty crap inside, so be good to have a freshy on there, mechanic said it's on it's way out, I watched a spike come up under load on acceleration with him,  so best be safe and replace it.


Been cleaning like a biatch..... damn rental inspections..... lol ..... all good..... pass.


Come On Dizzy! You can Doooo eeeettttt.....!!!!!.....



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Lol, Well I have to eat my words.... Australia Post Kick Arse! I got my Dizzy this morning, as well as my 'Outback' ute Sales Brochure. Just a cool thing to have, cheers again Bear for the tip off =).







Here's the old and busted Dizzy, next to the new hottness......



Old manky worn out dizzy.....





I love new , well machined parts.....mmmmmm......





Found THE easiest way to do these XG dizzys with bosch jobs in em. No taking off manifolds and shit, just the Idle Speed Controller, and the Vaccuum hose from the throttle body..

mark ya dizzy position on the motor with a sharpie or something ( I mark along the bottom edge of the TFI module) . Then pop the cap off, leave plugs on and roll off towards the back out of the way.

Now you have to get the rotor button centre line to line up with the line next to the word "finish", key the motor and do the final bit by turning the motor by hand.


(If you do not have this START or FINISH on your spacer under the rotor, it's after market stuff, theres a ridge right on No1 on the cap, line up to there, as long as when the dizzy is fully in when you fit the new one later, it returns to the exact same point as you took it out.

Only THEN do you loosen the dizzy bracket.




 Then slowly pull the dizzy up, the rotor should swing up as you bring it up, thats cool, we'll line that up later. Be careful of the drive pin under the dizzy , if it comes out, DONT drop it in the sump, or you'll be draining oil and getting a magnet.... lol . Replace in the hole from wench it came.


I then remove the rotor and spacer from the dizzy, as it makes squeezing it out easier. Straight up, lay on it's side, top towards you, then pull forward seems to work well.


I hope you'll spend the 50 extra and buy a decent Bosch dizzy, the cheaper ones always have some problem. made in Australia kicks arse too!

The New Bosch dizzy is easy, lube up ya dizzy gear with a smear of grease, take the cap off, rotor out, spacer off.


Take dizzy put roughly in position, but don't drop it in. Then re-fit spacer and rotor button. Set the rotor button to about 10cm to the clockwise position of where ya want it to end up

where you previously had it lined up before you pulled it out

.... Non-bosch - No1.

Bosch- somewhere between start and finish line.


So with dizzy fully in,  the rotor button is pointing exactly where you want it. On Bosch, this is the Finish line where you pulled it out. Anything else without a bosch spacer, it's the No.1 lug you lined up to before removing.

Just take note that the body of the dizzy can shift around until you clamp it back down (13mm) , so make dead sure you have it perfectly lined up BEFORE you clamp the dizzy down.

Clamp down the dizzy, keeping an eye on the settings.


After that, lift the closest edge of the cap over the top and fasten clips, can be fiddly... have patience and wiggle it over.

Then put dialectric grease on the pins for the dizzy, plug it in, refit vac hose to throttle body, and refit Idle Speed Controller (10Nm) , then a quick look to make sure you missed nothing, that all leads are on good.


Then and only when ya sure it's clamped down and set well, Start the car. If it runs nice, you hit the mark, but just to keep ya satisfied it's perfect... see below.....


Get the car to operating temp, then bridge between the two far left pins in the diagnostic port under the drivers side dash, near fuse panel.

I used the female pins in one of these narva plug kits and a bit of wire  to make a link, perfect fitting the pins, solder em if ya can. Here's one I prepared earlier....




Turn car off, link the top left pin.... with the bottom left pin , effectively putting the car into diagnostic base timing mode, Start car, let idle... idle will raise to around 1400-1500 rpm , while it is like this connect a timing light and  check timing, mine was spot on, and so should yours be... if not, correct as necessary, loosen dizzy a bit, need to line up to the IGN one on the left but only while your still in the high idle mode for base timing, or it will be out.


Hope someone can use that.... probably been done here somewhere before.....


It's in...... time for some beers.....




Cheers, Jack.



As long as it goes in exactly as you took it out, you can't balls it.

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Well Dizzy seems to be going well, Motor is quieter for sure. I have only driven it into town and back twice so far, so today might take her for a morning run and see how she goes.

The High/Low idle is still stuffed on the computer, so will have to get that fixed in a few weeks, just gotta get her up to Perth for that. Still have idle problems when first started. Will get computer fixed and new ISC fitted up when I can find one. Then it's onto the rest........ lol


Have a great Weekend......


update: Adjusted timing Saturday arvo, now running super sweet except the High / Low idle on my ECU that needs repairing.




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While I was scouting around at Idle speed controllers, I found this.......


Had to have it.... lol , I don't even own a Video Cassette  machine anymore........ it's original, with a letter verifying authenticity , so thats a bonus.


Ute is running well since played with the timing, but can't wait to get the rest fixed up..... hehe, then it's Fishin time......


have a good un.... Jack.

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I wouldn't go anything but Bosch distributors for E-series engines. Four-litre engines seem to be fairly sensitive to ignition issues - so go with OEM. I've heard the cheap shit can chew out the accessory drive  and given the cost of things...that's a replacement engine for anyone with reasonable financial sense. Who wants to pull an engine a few months after replacing the distributor?


The ISCs on these things are painful. They tend to stick and fart around after 25+ years of service. Hate that hanging revs thing when you change gear (manuals) Might be a bit dodgy...but I hand cut a new gasket that blocks them off and just use the mechanical stop to set idle. There are issues with this approach...when you want to set base timing...you short the test plug to get it into it into timing mode. The engine revs up then drops back to base idle....and you know it's ready to set base timing. If you block off the ISC.. you don't get this and can't tell whether it's ready to tune. Small price to pay for a crisp reduction in revs when you shift gear though IMHO......

Outback Jack likes this

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Yeah theres some pretty dodgy dizzys out there Gav. 

At least the Bosch one is made here, so there are standards to be met.

I got an aftermarket one here where the clips for the cap..... are screwed into the side of the housing with THE most dodgiest wire triangular pieces holding the clips....not good. lol.


ISC, well, not sure on mine.... it chugs like it's got a 3/4 race cam when you first start it cold, but not all the time.

Sometimes it will stall, but thats the high/low idle not doing it's job on ECU.

If I give it a lil rev, she's fine.

Found ISC's for about $95, which is not bad, so maybe replace that next.


I am also designing a flap that goes between the fuel tanks in the filler hose to stop fuel transfer between tanks...... it's stupid how much transfers on sharp cornering.

I need to find a solenoid operated fitting that is fuel resistant, then run power to it and put a micro switch under the fuel filler cap, so when you open to fill up, it opens the valve to allow fuel into Aux Tank, but when ya finished and shut the filler lid, it closes and stops fuel transfer.

I will put a couple of small holes at the top of the flap to let air move so I don't get air lock.

I just gotta find the fitting I want.... was going to go manual , with  a ballcock type set up, but I'm not opening the fuel tank area every time I want to refuel.... lol .


To anyone wanting a Ute with duel tanks.... my advice, get another Tank exactly the same , spin it around and have a seperate filler on the drivers side for it...... or just go one big drop tank where the spare wheel goes, and use that area under the tray as storage.



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the outback i have has two fillers, but i havent seen any others with 2 caps only 1, probly because the tubing is pretty complicated.

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the outback i have has two fillers, but i havent seen any others with 2 caps only 1, probly because the tubing is pretty complicated.

Thats pretty sweet ZL , never seen that, but a great idea, save a lot of grief.


Hey Jack theres fuel shutoff solenoid like your talking about made by aeroflow, I'm not sure where I saw it, most likely the catalog

Cool, cheers man, hope it's big enough to go in the filler pipe, its like 3-4"..... will check it out , thanks man.


I saw this video for the first time a couple of weeks ago, it's awesome.....sooooo Aussie.... lol . I saw the actual original video tape on Egay, should be here in next week. Cheers man. Gazzanats in Collie this weekend mate!


Why does this make me think canyonero...


Well pretty much same as what im doing with xd but im going reduced fuel range for some stupid reason.

Canyonero was just TRYING to be tough..... The XG Outback just IS tough......hehe. I did see a custom drop tank for utes, it's just a bit far away for me......


Maybe someone else will be able to use it, great idea..... except if ya get shunted up the arse end....... lol


Just getting the ute ready for Gazzanats down in Collie this weekend, not putting her in anything, she's not that good, just taking some mates down for a look.



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Yeah nos2 , you maybe right, just a replacement cover to hide the drop tank. My bad.


Well got stuff all done on the Ute yesterday, so will be doing it today. Not sure if heading to Gazzanats Saturday or Sunday depends which day me mates have off.

Need to get some more micro fibre cloths..... I seem to have used/abused a whole pack..... lol

Give the Ol Girl a polish etc..... just so I'm not laughed at tooo much..... lol



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Haven't got much done on the ute lately, besides cold starts (not having high and low idle working on ECU) she is behaving really well.

I have been using 95 octane in her (98 when i can get it), fuel guages don't seem to be accurate, might need to have them calibrated. I did test the float travell measurements....seem fine.


Will have a fiddle with the brakes again after my cold from Gazzanats goes away.


I did have a question though fellas.....

The mechanic I had the ute at last time said when he jacked her up and tried to spin the right rear, it wouldn't turn until he loosened the caliper bolt.

Does this mean it could be a bent bolt? or is it just too tight ?

Also he tells me the pads on the back are not even worn in, and couldn't be adjusted properly until they are. Is he just not setting them up properly?

just want to fix em up, the squeal at low speed, when reversing or just starting to roll off sounds shit and want to bleed them out again properly.


I was going to replace the calipers, all 4 just to be safe. I have all new t2 rotors and bendix advantage pads at all 4 corners, so sure it's the calipers letting the team down


Cheers Guys, Have a great weekend.



p.s. Got me new Outback Video... same as the one above , just an original hard copy.

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I'm still alive fellas, just broke and , like Demmo, completely baffled by my fuel system........ even with everything how it should be I still seem to be draining tank two when switched to tank one, and it also seems the pump is running in the designated tank..... so I'm a bit lost to be honest.

May have another crack at it when I can.


On a good note, with some clay barring I am finally getting closer to removing the black over spray spots left on my ute after a certain workshop did some work for me.


Brakes still playing up, sound shit......sooooooo hanging for new calipers........... maybe when I have a mate over will ask if they can press the pedal for me while I bleed them through again. Helped a bit last time, but my one man bleeding kit is busted now, so will have to ask.

Might keep them good enough till i can get the rebuilt Calipers.


Stay well all. Jack.

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The fuel switch solenoid might be stuck? returning to both tanks?

The Outback runs a switching mechanism(motor driven) for both tanks in the rear near the fuel tanks, the return can only go back to the tank it came from.

I been playing with this for ages mate, to be honest, it's a pain in the arse.

Even if I'm switched to tank 1... tank 2 is losing fuel. Then when tank 2 is almost empty, tank 1 starts to drop... it's just bizarre. lol

And I get the shittest fuel economy, about 400km on 60L.... if that, so I got a lot of work to do.....

Basically it's too much farkin wiring for a smart arses fuel system, all it needed to be was a switch for the fuel pumps, and a seperate one to read the tanks.

Which is what will happen soon if I can't find the problem. Like building a space shuttle to go to the corner shop for milk, overkill.

Have a great Easter mate.


You have a bunnings near you?


Kinchrome 1 man brake bleed kits are worth $10 there. Worked well enough on the last car I used it on.

lol, Bunnings is a fair way from here, will try get another one at parts place in town. Cheers man. Have a great Easter.


I used clear hose and a coffee jar one time. Just needs to sit higher than tge nipple

I really don't need to hear what you and the missus get up to in the bedroom.............. lol ......sounds kinda kinky........


Cheers mate, like it when they lock on, nothing worse than sitting in the car bleeding away, just to find a big puddle of brake fluid on the garage floor when ya get out.


Have a great Easter guys, I will doing some work on these brakes, were better when i did them, everyone else who touches em makes em worse.



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Automotive parts places might sell the kinchrome brake bleed kits too.


Or you could make your own kit like unfamilia.

-clear hose

-small jar 

-maybe a plastic fitting to go into the brake bleeder nut


fill up the jar with an inch of fresh brake fluid

put clear hose into the jar, with the end sitting in the fluid

hook other end up to the brake caliper/fitting

now you want to have the jar sitting higher than the brake caliper. Air likes to rise , so it will rise to the highest point of the fluid system.


Hope you had a good Easter.

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