Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

2001 Subaru Outback 2.5L, lifting/struts/springs


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 TawClaw

TawClaw

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Redwood City California

Posted 24 May 2014 - 10:37 PM

Hey guys. I was referred here from someone at subaruoutback.org for specific advice on lifting my Outback. I want to install some new springs, spacers (I'm going to have some 2" custom-machined by a friend of mine), and maybe struts.

 

My struts are in good enough shape, not sure when they were last replaced (3rd owner). The car itself has 114k miles. Are there any longer struts I could install that would give me some lift? Maybe Forester struts? I know there are KYB GR-2's on the market, but those don't add any height. I might throw those in anyway, if they're better than stock ones. What do you think?

 

Also, what do you know about King Springs? If I can find them, I would considering getting them for a lift over a pair of Baja springs, which I hear will also give me a slight lift.

 

Other than these and fatter tires, is there anything else I can do to the suspension to give me "real" lift? Spacers will give me some ground clearance, but don't actually lengthen the space the wheels have to move up and down.

 

Also, do you guys think that in general it's better to make/have spacers above the strut between the top of the strut casing and the chassis, or within the strut casing above the spring? The former is much easier to machine, but if the latter provides some benefit let me know.

 

I'm looking for about 3.5-4" before fat tires.

 

TLDR: What can I do to give my suspension some real, non-spacer lift?

 

Thanks!



#2 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,743 posts
  • WV

Posted 24 May 2014 - 10:50 PM

that was quick! welcome!

 

can't go 4" lift with just struts - CV's can't take the angles.  you need engine/trans/diff lift blocks for that.

 

scott is a member here and offers lift kits, 2" and 4" and maybe others:

http://www.sjrlift.c...ts?limitstart=0

 

HiGuys and others as well.



#3 TawClaw

TawClaw

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Redwood City California

Posted 24 May 2014 - 11:08 PM

that was quick! welcome!

 

can't go 4" lift with just struts - CV's can't take the angles.  you need engine/trans/diff lift blocks for that.

 

scott is a member here and offers lift kits, 2" and 4" and maybe others:

http://www.sjrlift.c...ts?limitstart=0

 

HiGuys and others as well.

 

Hey! Thanks for the referral.

 

Ohh I see, would I need engine/trans/diff blocks if I got 4" without struts? I'm kind of a noob, just getting into this.

 

How much lift would I see with King Springs (or Baja springs) and a 2" lift kit? I've heard people say anywhere from 0.5-1.5" after the springs settle in. What has been your experience? I would be pretty happy if I got 3" after those two things.

 

So is it true that spacers don't actually do much in terms of usable height? As in, it lifts the body, but the wheels won't actually have more room to move, so it was almost useless to do anyway? Of course you do have ground clearance so it wasn't useless but you get what I'm saying.

 

One more question (I'm full of questions lol sorry), at what point does a spacer become too big to hold up securely? Throwing one or two inches of aluminum between the chassis and the strut doesn't seem too dicey, but would three or four inches there (theoretically) cause problems? Especially in the front, where most of the weight will be shifted to during breaking, putting a lot of sideways pressure on those joints. Or am I completely wrong here?



#4 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,743 posts
  • WV

Posted 25 May 2014 - 07:21 AM

2" lift is the generally accepted limit on Outbacks.  CV angles get too tight and alignment may become an issue.

Going to 2.5 or 3" means a lot of work for not much gain.  simple to just stay at 2" or go to 4".

 

the 2" lift kits are offset to allow for proper camber in the wheel alignment.  you can't just lift the car 2" without that or your tires will tilt outward, look funny, and wear on the outer edges.

 

if you want 3" you get a 2" lift kit and larger tires.

 

with 4" you need spacers so geometrically there's no practical difference between 2" and 4".

 

yes - you need blocks with anything over 2" - so yes you need blocks with 4" lift kits to drop the engine/drivetrain back down for properly geometry.

 

yes you loose movement with lifts.

the king springs are going to extend the struts and you'll loose range in the strut.

a lift kit pushes the body up and extends the geometry of the control arm, reducing it's downward range of motion.

 

you're getting ground clearance which is important to keep from getting high centered for those that just use the vehicles and play lightly - need to get through snow and mud without getting high centered. or for folks that just don't want to sit "down" into the car every time they get in and out of it.

 

for more serious off roading and playing, then having fuller ranges of travel becomes important.

 

so it depends why you want a lift.

 

"too big to hold up securely" - nowhere near the small amounts you're talking about.  the spacers aren't leveraged or anything critically happening structurally with them, all sorts of other things will fail before a block of metal does.



#5 TawClaw

TawClaw

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Redwood City California

Posted 26 May 2014 - 12:52 AM

Wow thanks for all the help! I guess I'll just stick to 2" plus tires then, but do you think I could get away with 2" spacers and Baja springs? It's probably not worth doing but worth asking.

 

I've thought about the camber, always important with a lift. Thanks for the reminder.

 

Oh and thanks for the reassurance about the spacers holding up. That was the biggest concern I had.



#6 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,743 posts
  • WV

Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:14 AM

I'm unsure of the 2" lift with baja springs, but I wouldn't hesitate to try it.  I don't think it would much matter since it's not much in the way of a lift. I installed them in mine, and maybe it lifted it over stock, but it's small. but they are stiffer if you're carrying loads which is why i got them. 

 

The limiting factor when lifting a Subaru is the inner DOJ CV joint. You'll be going through more boots and possibly more CV's if you get too much angle.  It will certainly work, I just don't know at what point you start hitting those limits.  And no one probably knows, it's probably a mathematical function rather than an asymptotic cliff and would be dependent on vehicle, lift, weight you're carrying, what you do with it, etc.

 

in other words, if 100,000 Subaru's did the following, it would average out like this: 

 

2" lifts would need CV boots every 35,000 miles and axles would last about 150,000 miles.

 

2" lifts with baja springs would need CV boots every 20,000 miles and axles would last 75,000 miles.

 

i'm making up those numbers, but the more lift you'll stress the main weak point of lifting with strut extensions only.  i'm not sure when CV's start being a problem but it is somewhere between 2 and 4".  you don't sound like one who wants to push the limits and risk frequent part replacement, so i'd stick close to 2" or just go the full deal to 4". given your apprehension i don't think you should try and wade into the murkey abyss in between.

 

two keys if you lift it:

 

1. If you do lift it make sure you retain your original axles.  reboot them when the boots fail.  mechanics routinely replace axles with aftermarket axles.  but that's a terrible option for a Subaru in general and certainly one with a lift.  aftermarket axles are notably lower quality than Subaru axles.  i've seen lifts installed on Subarus with brand new aftermarket axles that had no issues prior to the lift, but then did after it was lifted.  Install Subaru or FWE axles and all is well.

 

2.  when rebooting,  use Subaru axle boots.  i document all of my Subarus on an excel spread sheet (i've owned like 40, though not all i documented/were daily drivers), and the aftermarket boots fail in 30,000 miles often on non-lifted Subarus. and those are Beck Arnley, who  traditionally supplies decent parts.  the Subaru

boots are more robust.

 

If you ever need to replace an axle for some reason just buy a used Subaru axle (green inner joint) for $25-$33

www.car-part.com



#7 Prwa101

Prwa101

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 683 posts
  • Sandy, OR

Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:24 AM

Raised king springs will bring you up about 1.5" and put a 1" spacer on the top of the struts. That'll give you 2.5" and stiffer suspension. This is what I've been running this on my forester and I love it. Primitive here in oregon sells king springs.

Prwa

#8 bratman18

bratman18

    ADIDASubarus

  • Members
  • 3,447 posts
  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 26 May 2014 - 11:53 AM

Raised king springs will bring you up about 1.5" and put a 1" spacer on the top of the struts. That'll give you 2.5" and stiffer suspension. This is what I've been running this on my forester and I love it. Primitive here in oregon sells king springs.

Prwa

The newer suspension design really does not like anything over 2". The bushings get tweaked big time and it seriously affects the camber, especially in the rear. 



#9 Prwa101

Prwa101

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 683 posts
  • Sandy, OR

Posted 27 May 2014 - 01:50 PM

The newer suspension design really does not like anything over 2". The bushings get tweaked big time and it seriously affects the camber, especially in the rear. 

The front only changed about 2 degrees which was fixable with an alignment.. The rear didn't change at all. was still within spec. I know someone who runs 3" strut lift on his forester in Washington and dosnt have any problems. Scooby climbed has the same set up as me and he's had it on two of his foresters. 

 

Prwa



#10 TawClaw

TawClaw

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Redwood City California

Posted 27 May 2014 - 02:24 PM

Thanks so much everyone for all the feedback. After reading these reccomendations I realized I needed to do some more homework on exactly how cars' suspensions work. I read a bunch about this and feel I have a better understanding of it now. This project has definitely educated me in that regard.

 

I've decided I am going to take it semi-easy and safe. I'm going to order a set of King Springs from Primitve and get a 1.25" spacer set from them as well. I don't expect the Kings to give me more than about .75"-1" and am comfortable with the amount of lift that will give me with the spacers. If I end up getting more lift than I bargained for I can always take out the spacers. I'm also going to size out some Grabber AT2 tires which should give me a little more clearance. My struts are in good condition so I won't need to do those just yet, but when I need to replace them I will probably get some GR2's.

 

Again, thanks everyone for the help. Rest assured after I read your comments I did research on my own so I don't need to rely on others so much in the future. Cheers!



#11 bratman18

bratman18

    ADIDASubarus

  • Members
  • 3,447 posts
  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:56 PM

The front only changed about 2 degrees which was fixable with an alignment.. The rear didn't change at all. was still within spec. I know someone who runs 3" strut lift on his forester in Washington and dosnt have any problems. Scooby climbed has the same set up as me and he's had it on two of his foresters.


Prwa

Dude, entirely different rear suspension design. If you're going to offer advice, make sure it's correct. The rear suspension is completely different on the 2000+ legacy and Outback than it is on the 98-08 forester. That's why I said the newer suspension design. I have owned several lifted cars including a forester just like yours that I had lifted 2 inches. It's different. You work in a subaru shop, you should know this.

Edited by bratman18, 27 May 2014 - 05:59 PM.


#12 Prwa101

Prwa101

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 683 posts
  • Sandy, OR

Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:42 AM

Dude, entirely different rear suspension design. If you're going to offer advice, make sure it's correct. The rear suspension is completely different on the 2000+ legacy and Outback than it is on the 98-08 forester. That's why I said the newer suspension design. I have owned several lifted cars including a forester just like yours that I had lifted 2 inches. It's different. You work in a subaru shop, you should know this.

 

Normally i wouldn't reply to such non sense, but i feel the need to back my self up as a Subaru mechanic..

 

1. The only difference in suspension between the forester and the legacy are the rear strut design. Much like the older EA style. But regardless, if your bushings are getting tweaked that much  with king springs and 1" spacers there old and you should have replaced them before lifting it. 

 

2. Primitive wouldn't have let him buy the 1.25" spacers and king springs if they wouldn't work and would cause major issues. So this is not only me who works for a shop, but also Primitive telling his it'll work. Two well known shops on the West coast. Your bushing problem is probably caused by all the salt you play in. 

 

3. did you at all read how much lift he wanted? or read his last comment? 1" on the top of the strut and about 1.5" in spring. the 1.5" in the spring will very depending on how loaded the car really is. making it less that 2.5" wow that some hard math.

 

4. The difference between you and i, Bratman. Is i work in a shop on a regular basis, this is why i don't have nearly as many posts as you, because im in the shop and your on the computer. Big difference. And you probably shouldn't be slandering me nor anyone else from SSI and Primitive, since we build and swap cars all day. Oh and BTY we sold the pimp wagon, 1100$. The guy drove it away a month ago. He was a smilen. 

 

Conversation over.

 

TawClaw- if you run into any issues with the axels, Primitive also has body/sub frame spacers i do believe. Or even better buy some HERI Slip yoke axles. 

 

PRWA



#13 bratman18

bratman18

    ADIDASubarus

  • Members
  • 3,447 posts
  • Jefferson, Maine

Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:12 PM

Lol. You're something else. You don't know me so don't assume things. Evidently you're the one who didn't read. My post count doesn't mean a damn thing. I've been on this forum longer than you so of course I have more. I didn't speak badly about anyone. I have dealt with primitive and they are awesome and knowledgeable. And good to know that GD was going to screw me by charging me 2k more for that car. And if you read, I didn't and don't have any bushing problems lol. If you lift a car with the newer rear suspension, much over 2inches, the bushings are not happy. Plain and simple. I've seen and worked on them. But keep assuming, and posting like you know all because you work for the almighty GD.


Oh and one specific car is a 2013 outback with 3" of lift. The bushings are so tweaked it's not funny. And the camber is terrible. Obviously the bushings aren't old in that car ;)

Edited by bratman18, 28 May 2014 - 12:14 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users