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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Putting WRX Springs/Struts on a Legacy

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#1 syphon


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Posted 14 December 2004 - 01:04 AM

Hey all. I recently retro-fitted some '02 WRX Sedan struts and Springs on to my '93 Turbo Legacy (with SubaruTex's help). I'm fairly certain that the springs/struts from any WRX (or STI?) would fit any Legacy, but not positive. I wanted to post this writeup here in hopes that it would help someone. This is cut&pasted from my writeup on LegacyCentral.

First off, the result. My car handles a bit better with stock WRX suspension. Nothing tremendous, but it's a bit stiffer ride than before and seems to feel a bit more responsive.

As for ride height, it looks almost exactly the same. I suppose there could have been a minute lowering, but nothing noticable to the naked eye (especially since it was dark when I looked). The bonus to this, is that I can put any WRX lowering springs in. With the exception of maybe a Civic or Eclipse, nothing can beat the aftermarket availability for the WRX.

I understand that many people simply want to put WRX springs into their existing struts. I can't help you there. I know for a fact that the fronts wont fit, but rears might. I dont know.

What you need:
1. Struts and Springs from a WRX (or STI I imagine). Make sure to get the corresponding model, Wagon or Sedan (depending on if your Legacy is a wagon or sedan). I bought used Struts/Springs from an '02 WRX I believe. Since tons of WRX guys upgrade their suspension, they have a lot of stock stuff lying around. I paid $120 for all 4 struts+springs. I imagine that any imprezza suspension (Imprezza, WRX, or STI) will fit any Legacy suspension, but I certainly could be wrong.

2. Upper Spring Perchs from a WRX for the front. The front springs on a WRX are tapered, so your old upper spring perch will not fit. I happened to use some from an old GC Imprezza, so I suspect that any imprezza spring perchs will work.

3. A pair of washers for the rear. The WRX strut has a bit more thread at the top of the piston on the strut. If you don't add an extra washer on top of the Top Hat, the Top Hat and Upper Spring Perch will clunk together on bumps.

4. A couple zip ties. The Legacy Strut has a little slot to hold the front brake lines to the strut. The WRX has a corresponding spot, but my brake line didnt fit in there. We zip tied it to the slot instead.

Everything else you need, you can re-use from your existing suspension. All the bolts match up, the Top Hats all match up, and the spring perchs match up in the rear (remember you have to buy new upper spring perchs for the front).

What to do:
1. Jack up car, put on jackstands. Remove tires. Just in case you didn't know, you can jack up the rear at the Rear Differential, and the front can be jacked up at the piece of the CrossMember right behind the oilpan (make sure to place jackstands too).

2.Remove entire Rear Seat. First, pull two bolts front the rear footwell and then remove the seat bottom. Then, remove the 3 bolts holding the seatback down (on the bottom). Then, lift the seatback upwards so it pops free of the hooks, then pull it out. You can now access the top of the rear struts through little holes where the seatback was. This if for a legacy SEDAN, and i'm not sure where the rear struts are on a wagon. Probably easier to get to.

Note: I suppose you should do this before jacking up the car, if you feel safer working inside the car when it's on it's wheels.

3. Starting in the rear, remove the two bolts holding the strut to the hub. You have a choice here. The rear struts have a little tab that holds the brake line in place. You can either sever the brake line and then remove it (doing this means you have to bleed your brakes when you're done) or you can do what I did, and take a hacksaw and cut the tab so the brake line is free. I wasn't planning on re-using my struts, so I didn't worry about cutting this tab in half.

4. After cutting the brake line free and removing the two lower bolts... remove the three top nuts from inside the car (this is what we had to remove the seat for). The entire strut assembly is now free.

5. Going to the front, do the same. Remove the two lower bolts, hacksaw the brake line free, then remove the three upper nuts from under the hood (these ones are much easier to get to than the rear).

6. With all 4 strut assemblies out, go ahead and put the tops onto the WRX struts. Simply compress the spring with a spring compression tool, remove the top nut (you'll have to vice grip the strut piston so it doesn't spin with the nut). Once it's taken apart, move the upper spring perchs and top hats over to the WRX struts... with the following differences.

Front: The WRX spring is tapered, so your existing Legacy Upper Spring perch is too big. I used Perchs from a GC Imprezza, or you can buy stock WRX upper perchs. I cut the rubber ring that sits on top of the spring down to size, then was able to bolt the entire strut assembly back together.

Rear: The spring perchs all fit up. However, when you put the top nut back onto the strut, you'll have to add a second washer. If you don't, the upper spring perch will clunk against the bottom of the Top Hat.

7. Now that all four strut assemblies are back, go ahead and put them back on the car just like you took the old ones off. The rear will bolt in just fine, and the brake line will attach to the WRX strut tab just fine. The front, however, is too big for the Legacy brake line. I zip tied mine to the tab. The front also has another item of note, and that's the Camber Adjusting bolts.

Note: You'll notice the of the two lower bolts on the FRONT struts, the upper one is oddly tapered near the head. This is because it is used to adjust the front wheel camber. Once both of those bolts are on (but not all the way tightened), spin the upper bolt. Notice how it adjusts the camber of the hub. I don't know of a decent way to make sure your camber is ok, but you'll want to make sure that both sides have the same amount of camber. It's recommended that you get an alignment after doing this, unless you're confident you can get your camber correct.

8. Put your backseat back in, tires back on, and drive away.

If you guys have anything to add or any questions of me, feel free to PM me or something. I'm no expert on suspension, but I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Hope this writeup helps.

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