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93 legacy air ride struts


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28 replies to this topic

#1 PeterD

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:40 PM

My friend has a 93 legacy wagon and well she just got one of the struts replaced and it cost her a lot to fix. today she calls me saying that her car seems to be bouncing up and down.. like the shock is blown.

is ther an alternative to the air strut... seems kinda wacky to me. can it be replaced with normal gas struts. if not whats a good place to look for them

Thanks guys

#2 PeterD

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:51 PM

i did some searcing and found a few links that will help.

i want to help her but dang it seem the air struts are a killer on the wallet.

why did subaru do this... gas works jus fine.

#3 nipper

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 03:22 PM

Air struts were all the rage, they give you an ability to keep the car level no matter what the load, and raise it and lower it at will. It also helps with handling on the highway. Subaru is not the only one to do it (been around since the 50's and not on top end cars either).
Now that said, do a search for that topic here, its not a big deal to put in nice old fashioned gas straurs and rip out the air system.

nipper

#4 grossgary

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 04:15 PM

converting is easy and cheap.


typically a leak can just be a 50 cent o-ring. best to replace them all if you want to keep the air ride, those o-rings are now 10 years old +.

i like the air ride on my XT6. but it is more maintenance than a standard strut. best to condition the struts which i've posted about before, but either way there are alot of o-rings, air bags and compressors, fittings that can go bad. mine has been fairly trouble free, but i've done some preventative maintenace to the struts and replaced all the o-rings. requires some research and taking time to understand, maintain and trouble shoot. i've also got a stock pile of extra parts to swap if anything fails, that makes it easy too.

convert to standard struts and no more worries.

#5 subiedoobydoo

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 01:06 AM

I have a front set of air struts off of a 94 Wagon, that are like new. Less than 1,000 miles on them. A woman bought them brand new from subaru, then sold us her car. You can have both left and right fronts for $300 plus shipping. These babies are over $300 each from the dealer. email me at cow562yanks@sbcglobal.net if interested. I will take Paypal or money order.



Thanks,


Dan

#6 monstaru

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:56 AM

seems i can help youin more than one way......i have a 92 and have the conversion done on it(simple bolts)just unhooked air ride stuff and put in new struts...........it was done when i got it .seems to work fine.........

#7 PeterD

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:12 PM

Thanks guys. im going to have a look at her car today and see what im getting myself into. she is worried about cost. if i can get some junkyard struts and springs... strut assemblys for a good price it may be a gift.

i'll read up on that post i found on this.. to see what springs/struts are compatable.

will this be a bolt in swap or will there be modifications?

#8 nipper

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:25 PM

My freind did it on one and it was a bolt in. Only thing he had to pay somone for was a wheel alignment to just make sure everything was still good.

nipper

#9 PeterD

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:50 PM

im getting confused on what struts will work. im guessing 95 and up legacys will work. i read someware that i till make the back end squat a bit... are all the top mounts compatable?... from 93 up... i guess the older ones 91-92 are differen't.

im sure i can find the parts...im just confused on what will work and what won't. ide like this to be a bolt up process.. or make it as simple as possible. i can change the top mounts around. i have my spring compressor.

she seems kinda excited about the idea.. giving her less problems in the long run.

#10 PeterD

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:37 PM

OK i got a chance to look the car over. and to tell you the truth this is way over my head... i have no idea about these cars at all.

When she hit the speed bump in the parking garage she said the car got real bumpy all of a sudden. all 4 air sturts are flat. it looks like its lowered about 3 inches with now fender gap at all. i drove it around the block and it does infact ride like its been lowered. Any good ideas on ware to start. i don't know why all 4 struts would go flat over a speed bump... someting get unplugged... a hose pop off. also im still wondering what the best strut spring setup would be... im going to look into this if the air system cant be fixed.

freakin nuts guys... this car is old..and already super complicated... nothing like my good ol 82:brow:

#11 nipper

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:55 PM

Its rare for all 4 air struts to go poof at the same time, unless she was flying at that speed bump and caught some air.
Mechnaically its not a hard system to dignose. Hyanes does cover it in thier manual. It sounds like a broken air line. can you hear any air leaks when you press the height adj button? can you hear a compressor running? The compressor is in front of the left front wheel under the mud guard.

nipper

#12 PeterD

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:14 PM

Its rare for all 4 air struts to go poof at the same time, unless she was flying at that speed bump and caught some air.
Mechnaically its not a hard system to dignose. Hyanes does cover it in thier manual. It sounds like a broken air line. can you hear any air leaks when you press the height adj button? can you hear a compressor running? The compressor is in front of the left front wheel under the mud guard.

nipper


i may have to pic up a manual to look at this stuff,

i presed the height button but nothing happend. i didn't hear the compressor. is it quite noticable.

#13 nipper

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:17 PM

Well with the car in the on position, not running, you should be able to hear it (window down etc etc). Sounds like this may be something as simple as wire knocked loose or a dirty connector. You should be able to hear the it run outseid the car as the car tries to pump itself up. I am not sure if they time out or not. You can always have somone press the button as you put your ear to the fender.

nipper

#14 PeterD

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:28 PM

i'll do that. i had the car running so i gues that could have made hearing it impossible.

thanks for the pointers

#15 PeterD

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 04:44 PM

Well i got a chance to look at the subaru up close again. jacked the car up looked at the compressor and all the hoses and conections. everything looks clean, plugs are on good, hoses are all conected. i turned the car on to see if i could hear the compressor and its a no go. nothing at all. not a sound, not a hiss. how could driving over a bump cause this to happen?... all the conectors are on. the relays and fuses are fine.


and does any one know for sure what struts and spring combination will work with this car that would be great. all of the posts i found didn't help but confused me on what cars to get them off of. i want to get her car going soon and im about ready to scrap this whole air ride crap. :banghead:

#16 nipper

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 05:02 PM

Thats about as far as i can go without laying my hand on the car. i can scan you the pics from the book and email them to you if that helps at all...



nipper

#17 PeterD

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Posted 07 October 2005 - 10:08 PM

Thanks for the help you could give. i may have a manual for this car at my parents house. i'll check. now the hunt for real suspention is on. ;)

#18 Gnuman

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 01:50 AM

Well i got a chance to look at the subaru up close again. jacked the car up looked at the compressor and all the hoses and conections. everything looks clean, plugs are on good, hoses are all conected. i turned the car on to see if i could hear the compressor and its a no go. nothing at all. not a sound, not a hiss. how could driving over a bump cause this to happen?... all the conectors are on. the relays and fuses are fine.


and does any one know for sure what struts and spring combination will work with this car that would be great. all of the posts i found didn't help but confused me on what cars to get them off of. i want to get her car going soon and im about ready to scrap this whole air ride crap. :banghead:


Sounds like the compressor died. Old age and whatnot?

the 92-24 struts will work. I recomend KYB as they are the best. GR-2's will give you about 15% stiffer ride than factory standard. They can be found online for as little as $65 a pop. To be completely certain that the car remains level, you may want to get new topmounts and springs. This may turn out to be an unnecessary expense however. there may be cheaper struts out there, but the KYB's are what Subaru uses for good reason.

#19 PeterD

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Posted 08 October 2005 - 05:33 PM

Thats just want i wanted to know.

we are on a college budget so new springs are probably out of the question. i heard that the older 92-94 struts mount different than the newr ones. something about the rear being shorter. will newer 95+ springs work.

#20 PeterD

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 02:49 AM

i found a 92 legacy at the pull & save. looks like its in ok shape, even has new rear break rotors on it. im thinking of snaging atleast the springs and strut mounts. as i said this is a low budget project or as low as i can keep it.

what would the likelyhood of the rear sitting lower than it should. would it be better to go with a newer outback strut and spring setup? would they work with the 93 strut mounts... im so in the dark on this and i have searched and none of the posts are real clear. 92-94 struts will work but i have the risk of the back end sagging...correct. if so how can i go about getting a setup that will not sag.

#21 babyfacefitz

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 08:52 AM

I converted a 90-94 suby (I can't remember the year). But you need to get some coil springs. Look around at the junk yards.

Michael

#22 Gnuman

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 12:27 PM

what would the likelyhood of the rear sitting lower than it should. would it be better to go with a newer outback strut and spring setup? would they work with the 93 strut mounts... im so in the dark on this and i have searched and none of the posts are real clear. 92-94 struts will work but i have the risk of the back end sagging...correct. if so how can i go about getting a setup that will not sag.


The "rear end sag" is because the 92-94 rear springs are shorter than the 90-91 version. Your car is a 93, so the 92-94 rear springs should be fine. If you want the rear end to sit up a bit (I tow with my car and the hitch often hits the ground, even when unloaded, due to the steep driveway ramps and gutters around here. Because of this I would want the back end to sit up a bit) then get a set of '90-91 rear springs as well. You can go low cost now, and maybe have to replace them in a few years, or you can spend a bit more now and not have to replace them again within the expected lifetime of the car. If you do a search on struts for a 90-94 Legacy you will find that most of the links point you to people that sell KYB. There is a reason. ;)

I'm also saving up to repalce my struts, as they are worn out. I plan on getting a full set of AGX (from KYP. Enough letters for you? :brow: ) because my expected use makes them very desireable. When towing I like to be able to have stiffer struts than I normally would. This is a $500 proposition, and not what I would recomend fo you. GR-2's would be the direction I would point you in. Look for a set. They are cheaper that way (but you may have to save up for them). The very cheapest method is to simply grab the JY struts and use them, despite the fact that they are likely worn. That way, you can have the time to save up for the good stuff. . .

#23 Mike W

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 02:49 PM

Seems like most junk yards sell complete strut assemblies and don't really like taking them apart. With luck maybe you could score a set of used but almost new...then it'd just be a quick swap to get them on the car.

I recently converted my '93 Leg wagon to KYBs and love it. I could have kept fixing the air suspension but decided it was replace and be done. Might even improve the resale value of the car if I decide to sell it.
I had a set of strut assemblies from the junk and used those springs and tops and bought a set of KYB struts from Tirerack. Cost for the new struts was $327 shipped. I wanted to raise the car a little for improved clearance, so I went with struts spec'd for a '97 Outback but it would have been the same deal with normal struts. The little lift is great and the handling and ride is much better than the air suspension.

The whole swap took me maybe three hours and really wasn't bad at all. Jack it up, put it on stands, un-bolt the sway bars, cut the brake line mounts with hack saw, mark lower bolt positions, remove struts and put new ones in. Reassemble and get the alignment done. A cheap style spring compressor worked fine. When removing the rear struts I cut the hoses and wires because looked like I'd have to remove the plastic in the cargo area to unplug them. I removed the air suspension fuse from the fuse box and unplugged the wires to the compressor and tank. That made the light on the dash switch blinking. Next step is to hook up the compressor for use as an on-board air supply and run an big rig style air horn.

#24 PeterD

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 06:53 PM

thanks fellas thats the kinda explanation i needed. im headed back to the pull and save tomarow and will grab the struts/springs after i talk to the legacy's owner... she dosn't really understand my suspention swap.. but i told her it will be a hell of alot more reliable than the air crap.

#25 johnphils

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 05:26 PM

You can you any 1990-1994 legacy standard struts plus springs.
Plus an alignament and your set.




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