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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Looking for advice, strut/spring combo


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3 replies to this topic

#1 yohy

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 11:26 AM

Looking for advice/comments/suggestions, please. I have just purchased a full set of KYB GR-2 struts for my ’97 which was one of the vehicles involved with the following campaign:

“Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) has determined that affected vehicles, listed below, may have been manufactured with front coil springs on which paint was improperly applied. If an affected vehicle is operated for an extensive period in a “salt-belt” area (see list of states below that use large amounts of salt on the roads in the winter), continued exposure of the salt could corrode the front coil springs and eventually cause them to break. If a front coil spring were to corrode and break, the broken spring could contact the tire causing severe tire damage and possible rapid tire deflation.”

Phew, now to my question, I have been worried about changing out the struts using the “suspect” springs mentioned above so I have been looking for a new set of springs. Now, I have an opportunity to purchase a full set of Eibach springs for the vehicle but am curious about the following:
1) The springs will lower the vehicle (Front - 1.2 in, Rear - 1.2 in,), what problems/issues will I run into with this?
2) Will the spring/strut combination work?

Any and all advice will be welcome.

Thanks.

#2 hklaine

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 12:25 PM

Did you go into the dealer for the recall? The spring guards that they install will also fit your GR-2's.

I have Eibach's on my SHO, and they are great springs. I am running the Eibach's on adjustable Koni's, which are built for a stiffer spring. The only concern I would have is the dampening of the GR-2's against the spring rate of the Eibach's. The GR-2's (I run these on my Legacy - they are great) are a bit stiffer than stock but are still considered a stock replacement. One of the largest side effects will be increased stress on your struts, and shortened life, due to the strut having to dampen a stiffer spring. As long as the springs aren't too stiff, the handling should still be OK, and the struts should last for reasonable amount of time.

The lowering shouldn't be a problem. It should provide some better handling and a nice improvement in appearance with less wheel gap (at lease in my opinion). :grin:

I plan to replace my springs this summer, but probably not for another month or so.

-Heikki

#3 yohy

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 02:42 PM

Heikki,

Thanks for the reply and the advice, and yes, the dealers installed the spring guards but they were unable to advise if they would fit anything other than Subaru struts. You seem certain the retainers will fit non-Subaru struts, is this from experience? I am also a bit nervous about changing the springs that might be compromised. Now if I had replaced the struts before having the recall completed, they would have replaced the springs. With that, I am curious why they didn’t just replace the springs versus putting on a “retainer”!

Now your comment on spring rates was what I was wondering about. You say; “The only concern I would have is the dampening of the GR-2's against the spring rate of the Eibach's”. Is there a reference somewhere that would detail this? The part number for the springs is # 7706.140 and is the application specified on the Eibach website. I really hate to use springs that would have a negative effect on the struts.

You mention that you will be replacing your springs next year? On the 96? Will you go stock Subaru or aftermarket? Just curious.

Again, any further advice is gladly accepted.

#4 hklaine

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Posted 04 June 2005 - 03:19 PM

I don't know about all aftermarket struts, but the spring gaurds do fit the GR-2's. At least they did on my car. I installed the OEM springs when I did my struts and therefore felt I should transfer the spring gaurds, just in case.

As for the retainer... It is very quick and easy to install, and probably inexpensive. I would imagine these are the reasons they install it over replacing the springs. They don't have to remove the strut, perform an alignment, etc...

Spring rates are generally available from the technical departments at these spring companies. I would imagine that a range of appropriate spring rates are also available from the strut manufacturer (?). I have never pursued the latter. With the springs, the information generally isn't printed in most literature or on the web site. Calling the company's technical staff is the way to go, as they can provide full specs for their products. Knowledgable shops also have this information, provided they have people who understand it. If they don't have either, go elsewhere. ;)

Keep in mind, however, that any stiffer spring will reduce the life of the strut. That's just the nature of damped oscillations.

I'll be installing the iON Sport Spec Springs (yes, on my '96 BG). Their web site doesn't include much info, but you can find it here: http://www.ionperformance.com/
I hope to have these installed in the next month or two.

-Heikki




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