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97 Legacy Wagon Suspension upgrade (comfort)

1997 Legacy Wagon 2.2 Sustension Comfort

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11 replies to this topic

#1 igammie

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:55 AM

I have major back problems and want to upgrade the struts (maybe spings) and mounts.  My aim is not to lower (lots of snow up here), but to improve ride comfort. Not necessarily softer, just smoother.

 

I can't find anything here or elsewhere regarding this.  Any informed opinion would be really helpful.  Given the cost of the upgrades (vs car value) I can't try a number of systems.

Thanks in advance, I am a newbie here.  I will be doing the install myself, but will pay someone else to do the alignment.



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:05 AM

Struts are what you want to focus on. The springs merely hold the weight of the car up, struts are what controls how that weight moves. Struts can make the ride smooth as glass, or hard as a stone.

The original struts are usually the best mix between smooth ride and decent handling. But since yours are now 16 years old, they're probably pretty well worn out.
KYB Excell are stock replacement OE struts and will restore the car to its original ride quality.

If you think you may want something a bit softer, Monroe makes an OE style strut designed for Import that has a softer ride than the original struts. They are designed with the idea of removing some of the "harshness" of factory struts, which usually means they're going to be extra soft.

Some other thoughts.
Ride harshness can be affected by worn out wheel bearings, suspension bushings, ball joints and tie rod ends. Give all of these parts a through inspection and replace anything that is worn or loose.
Strut mounts isolate some of the jolts that transfer through the strut from reaching the chassis of the car, but they wear out with age and mileage. Of the rubber in the mount is cracked or split, plan on replacing the mounts as well.
The rear springs on the wagons will begin to sag with age. If the rear of the car looks low compared to the front, the rear springs should be replaced at the same time as the struts. Using worn sagging springs wih new struts will cause the struts to fail early.
Inspect the front and rear springs for signs of rust. If the coils have areas of heavy rust, they will be weakened and can break in those areas. Replace any springs that have heavy pitting or flaking rust on the coils. Always replace springs in pairs (front pair/rear pair) or ride comfort and handling will be adversely affected.

#3 igammie

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

Thank you for the considered and detailed reply.  From what you said I'll look for the Monroe's.  If you know the part number please to let me know :D

 

(bow)
 

I'm guessing this one: MONROE 71600, OESpectrum Strut

    



 


Edited by igammie, 19 August 2013 - 11:20 AM.


#4 bstone

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:03 PM

http://www.kyb.com/p.../shocks/gr2.php



#5 heartless

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:47 PM

Thank you for the considered and detailed reply.  From what you said I'll look for the Monroe's.  If you know the part number please to let me know :D

 

(bow)
 

I'm guessing this one: MONROE 71600, OESpectrum Strut
 

 

yeah, that is fine for the right front - if you dont have ABS (specifies non-abs car), but each corner is going to have a different part number - they are specific to location on the car. go here: http://www.monroe.com/en-US/ - enter your year, make & model info on the left and it will bring up a list of compatible struts - be sure of what you getting as there are differnt versions for different specs (right hand drive, ABS vs non-ABS, FWD vs AWD, etc)

 

I can vouch for the Monroe struts - have them on my 90 Legacy & I like them. We have some pretty rough roads around my area (where in Wisconsin are you? I am near Abbotsford - north central part of the state), and they do help smooth things out a bit.



#6 Gloyale

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 06:04 PM

kyboutlet.com

 

get outback struts for some extra height :)



#7 Rooster2

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:05 PM

If your Outback has the standard seats, then they are not the most comfortable or supportive. I found leather seats in a wrecking yard from an Outback "Limited" model. The leather seats are very comfortable.....well worth doing a swap out.



#8 igammie

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 08:03 AM

Thanks all I'll be going for the OESpectrum Strut

Heartless I'm in Tomahawk, so up in the barren Northwoods ;-)  If the new strusts and mounts do not make enough difference I might then see about getting upgraded seat?

 



#9 heartless

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 08:21 AM

ha - practically neighbors! LOL

 

just make sure you order the correct strut for each position on the car - each will have its own part number.

 

You may want to consider the seat upgrade in addition to the new struts if your back is bad enough. the Monroes will soften the worst of the jolting from cracks in the road, but they wont take it away completely.

 

I havent been up to Tomahawk in a good while, but if the roads up there are anything like they are here in Clark County (one of the poorest in the state) - try altering your lane position, too...I have found that if I move to the far right side of the lane (right hand tires almost on the white line) it gets me out of the "ruts" and most heavily traveled (beat up) part of the road. It is usually MUCH smoother traveling in that position, than in the standard "center of the lane" position.



#10 ivans imports

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:42 AM

Ilike the kyb struts very good



#11 heartless

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:39 AM

Ilike the kyb struts very good

 

Also very expensive when compared to the Monroes...

Monroe = about $75 each

KYB = about $125 (or more) each for the same car.

 

I looked at KYBs when I was shopping for struts for my car - couldnt afford them.



#12 ivans imports

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:59 AM

Well i see them in action in many subarus the kyb lasts 3 times as long as monroes and the cars round here get beat Kyb All the way







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: 1997, Legacy, Wagon, 2.2, Sustension, Comfort

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