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Two Strut Or Not Two Strut? That Is the Question.

Struts allignment

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11 replies to this topic

#1 Equalizer

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:15 PM

98 Leg. OB, 
It just turned over to 200,000mi. and had my 2.5 replaced w/ a 2.2, got 4 new tires and plan to replace exhaust, so I plan to get by on my old "muscle car" for another year or until I can buy a near new one. 
 
  The back driver side strut was bad, so I replaced it. The passenger rear and front struts seem ok and don't sag or bounce.  Since I got new tires, I plan to get a 4 wheel alignment soon $85.
 
Q: Should I go ahead and buy a rear passenger side strut and install even if it seems OK?  It took me a lot more time than most would take so I cringe at the thought of getting those bolts back into place, busten knuckles, praying I can finish what I started, etc. but will do it if I REALLY SHOULD.
 
Otherwise, I'll get it aligned and put the $ toward a new exhaust system.  This is my 3rd and I really love my OBs, (except for the 2.5 head gaskets and timing belts that kept failing).  Hope the 2.2 solves that issue.
 
Appreciate educated guesses from anyone who's been there done that, or at least sounds convincing.   :huh:
 
 
 
 


#2 heartless

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 09:29 PM

if the one was bad, the other wont be far behind - usually best to do them in pairs at minimum

 

industry recommended to do them every 50K - your mileage may vary....


Edited by heartless, 02 December 2013 - 09:30 PM.


#3 Equalizer

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 10:53 PM

Guess I should be grateful they've lasted this long.

Not the answer I wanted, but I guess the next time will be a possible waste of $ on alignment if my strut goes in the next 6months.

 

 

It just seems that the more $ and TLc goes into the car, the more incentive to keep it a long time since I won't get anything for it.  Maybe I'll keep it for my great grandkids. By then it will be a classic like a '57 Chevy.  muscle car w/hood scoop and boxer "porche" engine, while everyone else is driven around robotically in electric busses.  



#4 Equalizer

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 11:25 PM

Now to think of it, my mechanic says i'm getting some pulsing in my brakes because the front rotors are worn.

Can't think of why, but does anyone know for sure if I replace the rotors that the alignment might go off some?



#5 grossgary

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 12:36 AM

you do not need to replace the rear strut, just leave it.  it'll be fine, i've done it gobs of time. it's not a big deal.  it's a functioning part and the struts can easily keep on chugging along for a lot more miles.  it might not...but it might.  and if it does - you can replace with a used strut assembly for $35 and it's easy (no spring disasembly, etc) - swap out and done in minutes.

 

"the one was bad so i replaced it".  if it wasn't bad you would have never replaced and be running two rear struts without ever even thinking about it.  having one new and one old is no big deal at all.  i've done it, no notable difference....which you're also confirming because you haven't stated any issues as such?  but you won't have any as I never have. maybe if you race, tow, or do something high performance related...but doesn't sound like it.

 

no - replacing rotors has nothing to do with alignments.  you can do those later.

 

that being said - if it's convenient you can have them turned for $15 instead of replacing rotors.

 

just replace the one that's vibrating, don't replace both.  been there done that too.  no big deal.  the "replace in pairs" mantra is highly talked about but way overkill.  i would highly recommend i on a $10,000 newer vehicle that yo'ure expecting another 150,000 miles out of...but that doesn't sound like the case here.



#6 Rooster2

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:39 AM

you do not need to replace the rear strut, just leave it.  it'll be fine, i've done it gobs of time. it's not a big deal.  it's a functioning part and the struts can easily keep on chugging along for a lot more miles.  it might not...but it might.  and if it does - you can replace with a used strut assembly for $35 and it's easy (no spring disasembly, etc) - swap out and done in minutes.

 

"the one was bad so i replaced it".  if it wasn't bad you would have never replaced and be running two rear struts without ever even thinking about it.  having one new and one old is no big deal at all.  i've done it, no notable difference....which you're also confirming because you haven't stated any issues as such?  but you won't have any as I never have. maybe if you race, tow, or do something high performance related...but doesn't sound like it.

 

no - replacing rotors has nothing to do with alignments.  you can do those later.

 

that being said - if it's convenient you can have them turned for $15 instead of replacing rotors.

 

just replace the one that's vibrating, don't replace both.  been there done that too.  no big deal.  the "replace in pairs" mantra is highly talked about but way overkill.  i would highly recommend i on a $10,000 newer vehicle that yo'ure expecting another 150,000 miles out of...but that doesn't sound like the case here.

+1 on grossgary's comments. I agree the "replace in pairs" is over kill, and prolly more of a marketing tool to sell more parts. That used to be said about replacing burned out head light bulbs. It never made any sense to me.........to replace a bulb that was not burned out.  That said............I too would not replace the other strut until it fails. Why make work for yourself.

 

Don't know where you live, but if possible go to a small family owned muffler shop that does the cut, pipe bend, custom installation work. Both of my Outbacks have had the exhaust pipe rust out at the resonator. The shop recommended simply cutting out the bad pipe section and resonator, and welding in a straight pipe. Result was great. Car is super quiet. I don't know why Subaru bothered to have a resonator in the system to begin with. Cost out the door was less then $50.  Don't bother contacting Midas, Car-X, or any other major muffler chain shop that will insist that your entire muffler system has to be replaced at a high cost. Find the small shop that will fix only what needs to be fixed at a lower cost.



#7 grossgary

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 10:48 AM

+1 to exhaust comments, exactly.

 

a shop that wants to help you out can cut out the rusted section and weld in new pipe.  $50 he mentioned is the same they charge around here.  it only takes them 30 minutes and the materials cost is almost nothing so that's easy money for them.

 

they rust through at typical areas like flanges, so they're easily cut out and replaced.

 

if it is an easy flange you can even cut it out yourself, buy a piece of pipe at any auto parts store, cut it to fit (sawzall), rent a tail pipe expander (free at advance auto) and slide the new pipe in yourself.  i did a 99 legacy earlier this year and it was amazing, took like 15 minutes, very easy.  but in general it's worth it to have a shop do it in case it's not straight in the arer that needs replaced.



#8 Rooster2

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:25 AM

+1 to exhaust comments, exactly.

 

a shop that wants to help you out can cut out the rusted section and weld in new pipe.  $50 he mentioned is the same they charge around here.  it only takes them 30 minutes and the materials cost is almost nothing so that's easy money for them.

 

they rust through at typical areas like flanges, so they're easily cut out and replaced.

 

if it is an easy flange you can even cut it out yourself, buy a piece of pipe at any auto parts store, cut it to fit (sawzall), rent a tail pipe expander (free at advance auto) and slide the new pipe in yourself.  i did a 99 legacy earlier this year and it was amazing, took like 15 minutes, very easy.  but in general it's worth it to have a shop do it in case it's not straight in the arer that needs replaced.

Agree, however, without a lift, doing exhaust work becomes difficult. I have used the drive up, and on, ramps to do exhaust work, but still found it difficult to do any work under the car due to confining limited work space. Finally told myself to have exhaust work done at a shop. It's worth $50 to have someone do the torch off, pipe bend, and weld on new pipe.



#9 grossgary

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 01:20 PM

i agree - exhaust work is best left to a shop and that's why i voted for your suggestion to begin with.  just throwing out another option if he happens to be the "I'll attempt it myself" type.  i definitely don't recommend it, that's for sure.   then the dirt, debris, hot metal bits from cutting, and rust all falls down in your eyes, it's awful!



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:13 AM

No need to do an alignment after replacing rear struts. Only adjustment on the rear is toe and you don't mess with that when replacing struts. Save the money spent on an alignment and use it to fix the exhaust.

I generally replace struts in pairs, but the ones I've done both are bad. I don't see any real reason to replace more than one unless you notice the car handling strange with the one new one.

#11 Rooster2

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:11 AM

i agree - exhaust work is best left to a shop and that's why i voted for your suggestion to begin with.  just throwing out another option if he happens to be the "I'll attempt it myself" type.  i definitely don't recommend it, that's for sure.   then the dirt, debris, hot metal bits from cutting, and rust all falls down in your eyes, it's awful!

Certainly agree with you about crap getting in your eyes. I can tell you have been there, done that.  That in itself is one of the biggest deterrent against a "do it yourself" exhaust replacement project.



#12 Subaru Scott

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:28 PM

+2 on the strut. In the 30+ years I've driven roos, I've never seen a factory strut or shock go bad. Remember seeing rear shocks with the upper metal guard completely rusted off... still not leaking a drop or bouncing at all. EXCEPT: the air rides (that trick never works), and a Budget rental '86 sedan while I was a dealership tech, that had bottomed out SO HARD that the rubber bumpers on the front struts which ride on the shafts, had been crammed down over the body of the strut!!! :blink: Yeah, those were leaking... that car saw some AIR!!  Nothin parties like a rental!! :D My rig has almost 400k of hard miles hauling trailers, boats, limestone piled on till it hit the stops and still on originals.

As for the exhaust, there's only six nuts, one bolt, and a few rubber hangers to slip off and pull the whole works out from under the car where you can have your way with it... why torture yourself?


Edited by Subaru Scott, 05 December 2013 - 09:54 PM.






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