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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Lifting a newer Subaru

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#1 subeman90



  • Moderator
  • 2,805 posts
  • Akron PA

Posted 06 January 2006 - 08:23 PM

This writeup is from our member Andyjo This car he specifically did is his Impreza Outback. A lot of the things he did to the impreza in this mod would be done to other newer Subaru's like Legacys, Imprezas, Outbacks, Bajas, and Foresters. Enjoy

So for some time now every once in a while someone comes on the forums looking for information on how to lift their new gen. subaru. I've descided i'd throw together some of the pics i took when i lifted my impreza for a little help to those who can't quite put it all together.
So here it goes:
(For all bolt removeage, it's good to soak all of them in some PB Blaster for a day or two before attempting this opperation.. either that or have a very large breaker bar....)

First you'll need some suspension components (Fig. 1)from a taller vehicle, i chose a 99 forester. I only got the struts from it, but if you got the springs, already installed, this whole thing would be alot easier.
Figure 1
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If you have the springs already installed on the struts then skip this step, if not, get yourself a spring compressor (Fig 2). I went to Advenced Auto, and asked if i could rent one, they said sure. Charged me 49 bucks, and if i bring it back, they give me the 49 bucks back.
Figure 2
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Next you need a vehicle to lift, most likely if you're reading this, it'll be a subaru. I chose to use my car (Fig 3), which happens to be the only car i own.
Figure 3
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Our next step will be to pop the hood (if you don't know how to do this, turn back now...), take the hub caps off, loosed your lug nuts, and lift the car and put it on jack stands (Fig 4). If no jack stands are available, utilize the local universities supply of bricks, found convienently in the dirt pile on the back side of campus. (Note: Users without hubcaps may skip the hubcap removal step)
Figure 4
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Your next step will be to disconnect the brake line from the hub, so you don't end up ripping the brake line out when you pull the strut (Fig 5). You will also have to remove the clip attaching the brake line to the strut (Fig 6). Make sure you plug up the brake line (Fig 7) when you take it off, also, because you'll get brake fluid EVERYWHERE. (Note, if you have friends that like to mess with you, keep them away from your brake pedel from this step, till the end)
Figure 5
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Figure 6
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Figure 7
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Now for the fun part, get our your breaker bad/impact gun/10lb hammer, because now we get to remove the Strut-to-Hub bolts! Yay! Simply remove these two bolts (Fig 8) with your chosen anti-bolt weapon. My method was to shove my 1/2 rachet on there, lay down on the ground with my feet up in the wheel well and make alot of aggonizing noises until it came un-done.
Figure 8
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You're going to want to loosen the large bolt in the center of the strut cap now, or else you'll never be able to loosen it later on. With that done you can now remove the 3 Strut-to-Body nuts (Fig 9) holding the strut in place now. It should look something like Fig. 10 When you get the strut out of the car, this may require some very interesting controsions of your body and the strut-spring assembly. I found it easier to push the strut back into the car, and then pack towards the rear end of the car. When you get it out it should look something like Fig. 11, if not, please seek professional help... not this tutorial...
Figure 9
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Figure 10
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Figure 11
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Now, i've found that many people are afraid of spring compressors for some reason... I've found them very easy and enjoyable to use, you just simple put it on the spring (Fig 12), lock the little tabs, and crank down on them w/ a rachet somewhat evenly.. Once you do this you should be able to unbolt the top strut bolt without it flying across your driveway and almost taking out your neighbors :grin:
Figure 12
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Now you should have a bare strut just waiting to be left in your front lawn for a week. It's now a good time to compair the hight differences between your new suspension parts, and the ones you just ripped out of the vehicle. (Fig 13)
Figure 13
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You can now take the boot off of your old strut and put it on the new one, or you can put a new one on (Fig 14).. but who buys new boots if the originals arn't ripped? :-p With the new boot on and zip-tied to the strut you can line up the compressed spring you just took off, or you can uncompress the stock spring, and compress a new spring (Fig 15). Either way, slap that puppy on there and throw the strut top on, and bolt that sucker down. Now you can experience the joy of trying to uncompress the spring while lining it up with the strut cap. Good times... Anyhow, after you get this done you should have a complete Spring-Strut assembly, ready to go right back into the vehicle (Fig 16).
Figure 14
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Figure 15
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Figure 16
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Now to get the spring-strut back into the car, it pretty much the same as taking it out, except you've got a little more length to deal with. I found that bolting the strut cap up to the body first, was much easier than connecting the hub first. Also, make sure when you put the parts back in to look up the torque specs for your components. (Note: KYB Strut tops have a MUCH LOWER torque rating than standard subaru strut tops). So, now throw in the strut, bolt up the top, line up the bottom, and bolt on the hub (try to get the camber as good as possible..), re-torque the main strut nut, run the brake line back threw the strut, and connect that bad boy back to the caliper. You'll want to bleed your brakes afer all of it is done, because... well. because that's what you do. It also might be helpful to disconnect your swaybar when putting the new strut in, because it's taller, and your swaybar won't like that.
So that's about it, do the same thing for all of the struts, and when you get it all done bring it in for an allignment. After you get it all alligned & pretty you should test out your new lift by driving up a large sand pile (Fig 20)
Figure 20
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Enjoy your new lift! :headbang:

Disclaimer: This is how i did it, i'm sure i forgot stuff, but it'll get you started! :brow:

Note On the Strut Caps:
When installing this lift to an Impreza, you should use Forester Strut Caps in the Front, and Your Impreza Caps in the Rear. This will keep you from buying stuff you don't need! (ie: the rear Forester Caps)
All Impreza caps Worked for me.. but it may differ car to car & by the year.

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