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93 Legacy w. Forester struts = caster off


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16 replies to this topic

#1 SubaruFred

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:19 PM

I just finished installing 2000 Forester struts into my 93 Legacy wagon and it has the typical caster isue in the rear. The wheels are pulled forward and not centered in the wheel well. What's the best way to fix this?

Outback trailing arm mounts?

OB trailing arms?

Adjustable trailing arms?

BTW, I didn't need to modify anything except the rear strut towers to accomodate the Forester top mounts. I slotted all 3 mounting holes but discovered that the steel center 'dome' on the later model mounts is slightly larger than the opening in the chassis strut tower. If anyone ever tells you that all you have to do is slot the holes, don't believe it like I did. What's needed is at least a 1/4" strut top spacer but since I didn't have any I stacked a few washers on the studs temporarily. I'll either be making or buying some saggy butt spacers soon. I probably should have used 92-94 Legacy mounts instead but I wasn't able to confirm that Forester springs work with Legacy top perches.

Here's a pic of the car with the Forester struts installed.

Posted Image

And here's one with just the rear struts installed but the angle better shows the caster issue:

Posted Image

Edited by SubaruFred, 06 January 2011 - 07:27 PM.


#2 Legback

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:13 PM

I just had an alignment yesterday and the tech said that my caster was off a little but there is no adjustment on most cars for that. He said something about trucks having the cant set a little different on each side to co:headbang:mpensate for road crown or whatever...he was drinking a cup of water while gargling this info to me. At any rate, my car tracks dead straight now.

#3 98obster

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:48 PM

looks good. :headbang: i wouldn't worry too much about the caster issue unless you have to have it perfect and then you should probably post your research on trailing arms in the "DIY lift" section. If you were ever to load down the wagon it would center out more. it also looks like you could even put in a slightly larger tire size. i would monitor the front boots as the old axles were very comfortable with the original angle and may wear quicker with the rise. what was your net increase in height?

#4 1982gl4

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 09:45 PM

That's how I rock my 92! Caster off. The OB's do have different trailing arm mounts that will drop them down and correct this a bit. But I have had no issues with mine. And I would think that the top hats off you early lego struts should work just fine. I have them on my 97 outback struts and everything went together great!
And here is mine after some bigger tires and the lift!
Posted Image
-SB

Edited by 1982gl4, 06 January 2011 - 10:03 PM.


#5 SubaruFred

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:02 PM

I just had an alignment yesterday and the tech said that my caster was off a little but there is no adjustment on most cars for that. He said something about trucks having the cant set a little different on each side to co:headbang:mpensate for road crown or whatever...he was drinking a cup of water while gargling this info to me. At any rate, my car tracks dead straight now.


I should probably get an alignment soon but it feels spot-on. I marked the camber bolts by chiseling a 12 o'clock alignment mark on the bolt head but discovered that they were already set to just about max negative camber. So I just adjusted them to max neg camber. I may need larger camber bolts though. On the rear I just held the hub assy to max neg camber while tightening the strut to knuckle bolts. Looks good to the naked eye but that doesn't mean much.

I think what most people notice most is when the toe is off. That really makes the car pull.

#6 SubaruFred

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:15 PM

looks good. :headbang: i wouldn't worry too much about the caster issue unless you have to have it perfect and then you should probably post your research on trailing arms in the "DIY lift" section. If you were ever to load down the wagon it would center out more. it also looks like you could even put in a slightly larger tire size. i would monitor the front boots as the old axles were very comfortable with the original angle and may wear quicker with the rise. what was your net increase in height?


I may just live with the caster being off. If it's as easy to fix as installing OB T/A mounts, it might be worth fixing. My concern is that it might look worse or even rub when I get bigger tires. Thanks for the tip on the boots, I'll keep an eye on them. I wish I could give a net lift gain but I'm coming from leaking air suspension that ranged wildly and I never took controlled measurements. I can say that the "HI" air setting provided a 1.57" lift according to Subaru and it appears to be at least as high as that, probably a little more. I measured from ground to the front and rear jack points and it was 9 1/4" front and 9 1/2" rear. From the ground to top of wheel wells measured 27" front and rear with 185-70-14 tires.

The best part is no saggy butt syndrome. A few peeps suggested that I'd have it with Forester struts but I'd call it less rake. The car is almost level front to back.

#7 SubaruFred

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

That's how I rock my 92! Caster off. The OB's do have different trailing arm mounts that will drop them down and correct this a bit. But I have had no issues with mine. And I would think that the top hats off you early lego struts should work just fine. I have them on my 97 outback struts and everything went together great!
And here is mine after some bigger tires and the lift!
-SB


What tires are you running? How close are they to the front of the rear wheel well?

I didn't have any old top hats or perches to use since I just came from air. I remembered that you said you had used early Lego top hats and perches but I couldn't remember which springs you used with them. I was afraid I'd spend $150 on new mounts, perches, etc. only to discover that the Forester springs didn't fit them. Also some people made it sound sooooo easy to fit the newer top hats. One guy just "filed them a little". Yeah, it took me 1/2 hr per side with a dremel and carbide bit!

Anyway, I wish I had listened to you and bought the Legacy parts instead.

#8 WoodsWagon

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 01:23 AM

The trailing arms are the same imp/leg/for/outback, it's the mounts that are longer. Easy to swap in, and gives you a little more clearance for tires at the back door.

#9 1982gl4

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:40 AM

What tires are you running? How close are they to the front of the rear wheel well?

I didn't have any old top hats or perches to use since I just came from air. I remembered that you said you had used early Lego top hats and perches but I couldn't remember which springs you used with them. I was afraid I'd spend $150 on new mounts, perches, etc. only to discover that the Forester springs didn't fit them. Also some people made it sound sooooo easy to fit the newer top hats. One guy just "filed them a little". Yeah, it took me 1/2 hr per side with a dremel and carbide bit!

Anyway, I wish I had listened to you and bought the Legacy parts instead.


You will get it right all of our projects have issues at first :rolleyes: I'm running 205/55R16's on it right now. They aren't enormous or anything, but they do keep it from looking goofy with the taller stance. This is how close they are to the wheel well.
Posted Image
I'm using the 97 ob springs in the rear (I think I had to space the mount in the rear so the threads would grab using a couple of washers) with the 92 legacy springs in the front (the ob ones I had were broken) I would think that the top hats would fit fine on the forester springs/struts, but I don't know for sure.

#10 Crawlerdan

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:57 AM

i instaled forester training arm mounts, took 20 mins for both, immediately corected the caster issue, and i run big tires too, so i needed it

#11 grossgary

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 11:51 AM

The trailing arms are the same imp/leg/for/outback, it's the mounts that are longer.

trying to picture this, which mounts are you referring too - the strut top mounts that are longer?

#12 subaru360

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 03:46 PM

The bracket that mounts the front of the trailing arm to the body. You need to use forester or outback ones when you lift a car with forester or outback struts.

#13 grossgary

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 09:24 PM

great, thanks 360.

friend of mine is running OBW strut assemblies on his 97 Legacy L sedan which raised it a few inches. he's put quite a few miles on it like that, should he be considering that mount swap?

#14 subaru360

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 09:34 PM

I would, they are cheap used and will center the wheel in the wheel well. It affects rear caster, which doesn't cause tire wear, so you can go without them if you don't care how it looks and aren't running bigger tires.

#15 SubaruFred

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:34 AM

The trailing arms are the same imp/leg/for/outback, it's the mounts that are longer. Easy to swap in, and gives you a little more clearance for tires at the back door.


Thanks! Exactly what I needed to know.

You will get it right all of our projects have issues at first :rolleyes: I'm running 205/55R16's on it right now. They aren't enormous or anything, but they do keep it from looking goofy with the taller stance. This is how close they are to the wheel well.
I'm using the 97 ob springs in the rear (I think I had to space the mount in the rear so the threads would grab using a couple of washers) with the 92 legacy springs in the front (the ob ones I had were broken) I would think that the top hats would fit fine on the forester springs/struts, but I don't know for sure.


Do I ever know about issues when modding! My other car is a 2008 Scion XB with a custom turbocharger setup. It took me a year to get that all sorted out. Engine management that works fine on the Scion TC doesn't work on the same-engine XB and no one knows why. I was the lucky guy to find out first. I've got so much time and money in that XB that I needed this old Suby to take the risks of winter driving, salt, parking in DC, etc.

In retrospect I wish I had tried using Legacy top hats in back but at this point the easiest solution is to install some spacers. I need to correct the camber on the right side anyway. I forgot to hold negative camber when I tightened the strut/knuckle bolts on that side. There's actually quite a bit of play in that connection and after a 2" lift I don't it's possible to have too much negative camber.


i instaled forester training arm mounts, took 20 mins for both, immediately corected the caster issue, and i run big tires too, so i needed it


Thanks! So it seems I can use OB or Forester TA mounts to correct the caster. I might not need it with 205-75-14 (26x8x14) tires but it will look better.

#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:12 AM

Yeah the Forester / OB trailing arm mounts are about an inch "taller" than regular legacy/impreza mounts. I had heard the OB trailing arms were longer, but I looked up the part number and it's the same for OB Leg, Imp, and Forester.

#17 ashergrey

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:27 AM

I would, they are cheap used and will center the wheel in the wheel well. It affects rear caster, which doesn't cause tire wear, so you can go without them if you don't care how it looks and aren't running bigger tires.


Yeah the Forester / OB trailing arm mounts are about an inch "taller" than regular legacy/impreza mounts. I had heard the OB trailing arms were longer, but I looked up the part number and it's the same for OB Leg, Imp, and Forester.


Anyone have a part number for the taller OB/Fozzy trailing arm mounts? I'd like to price out a factory replacement before hunting through the scrap yards.




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