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
- - - - -

Lifting a 95 impL, AA kit vs strut/spring lift?


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#1 sayn3ver

sayn3ver

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 255 posts
  • South Jersey

Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:05 PM

Ok. First of all, hello to all. I am new here but not to board such as rs25.com I've been kicking the idea around of lifting my impreza? WHy? Because i spend more time off road then on. Second, its a beat up car, in various shades of primer, with a recently discovered rusted through rear quater panel(i have sanded, rust converted and spray painted for the time being, trying to decide the best way to fix the hole). So in essance, i love off roading, i do not have a cream puff body, and i am ready to bang, bust, and get down and dirty with no worries.

I know i want more ground clearance. But how shall i obtain it.
From reading and looking around, it appears i have narrowed it down to 2 options.

1) go with the AA lift kit for $600, use my current struts and springs(95L coupe) and achieve the 4inch lift. I have a buncha questions about this route. First, i understand its lifting the unibody from the subframe and lifting the struts. Will i have to modify hoses, linkages, etc for the body lift? I realize the engine will be sitting lower in theengine compartment and this causes concern about installation. I contacted AA and said they had no instructions i could look at online.

2). Go with the foster/outback strut and spring combo, lift car pretty good.My specific questions are, if i go this route, do i just buy struts and springs from outbacks/fosesters of the same year as my car(i realize the fosester didnt come out until 97/98, correct?) I know the forester shares the impreza platform. And since i have a coupe, will the rear strut mounting differ from the hatched impreza OBS? I want the most ground clearance i can get, so should i go with all outback parts? Can i use my exsisting strut tops with the new outback struts and springs? I did alot of reading and no one makes it very clear as to what exact model year parts to use. Most people just say use forester parts, but if the outback parts will yield me highler clearance, i would want to go with the outback parts.

Last, tire size. What is generally considered the largest tire i can equip with no cutting/modifying of fenders. I mean, i have seen few tires that seem like they would fit. I thought 215/75/15 is the smallest extreme off road tire companies make. Will regular All terrains in 205/75/15 or 205/80/15 fit work as well? Also, for tires like super swampers with the non standard 3 number description(xxx/xx/xx), what sizes fit,(etc, 29inch? 30 inch?)

Between lift kit and struts.springs, if overall lift height achieved is the same, what is more advantageous? I for one seem to lean away from installing a lift kit(would be doing so in my drive way) and towards the easier to install struts/springs. I have an auto also and do not know if that affects the difficulty or abilty to use the AA kit.

Thanks for you time, i know this was a bit long.

#2 soobmater

soobmater

    Got Mud?

  • Members
  • 1,668 posts
  • South Bend

Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:22 PM

hrm, i dont have a new gen lifted roo, but i might be able to help. Personally, i would go with th AA lift. just because its bigger. i think u should be able to run the 29 inch tsl's. Might take a bit of trimming though. but u said ur not afraid to bash ur body, why not cut it a lil bit. U should be able to run 28 inch swampers with less body trimming of course. hope that helps a lil.

#3 Ratty2Austin

Ratty2Austin

    have tools, will fix

  • Members
  • 2,385 posts
  • West Coast USA

Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:25 PM

here is my 94 imp L wagon.... forester struts from a 99- and 215/75R15 BFG all terrains :brow:

Posted Image

I am still waiting on my purchase of a lift kit, and tranny swap (4wd D/R) to see who has the best kit for the buck... or making it myself (we are all money savers here :rolleyes: )

otherwise, for how easy the strut swap is.. it has pretty good results for the money... and it will work with a lift down the road too when I get mine :D

#4 DARKSTI

DARKSTI

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Reno911!

Posted 29 January 2006 - 05:39 PM

how do you like the A/T's in snow?

#5 NoahDL88

NoahDL88

    Elite Master of Cookies

  • Members
  • 4,264 posts
  • Everett, WA, USA

Posted 29 January 2006 - 06:18 PM

I also have the Forester struts and springs on my 96 OBS, there great, although the limiting factor on the tire size is the width not the height of the wheel well, so an extra 2 inches from AA won't help to get a bigger tire under there.

#6 Kostamojen

Kostamojen

    From FF-1 to BRZ!

  • Members
  • 1,692 posts
  • Roseville, CA

Posted 29 January 2006 - 06:38 PM

Do both.

Actually, I would do the AA kit, Forester struts, and Scorpion springs, plus taller tires :P

#7 sayn3ver

sayn3ver

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 255 posts
  • South Jersey

Posted 29 January 2006 - 07:17 PM

I do not have the money and time right now to do everything. 1 thing at a time. I am wondering how much additional work isneeded to get the AA kit on and running.

After doing some thinking, i think i'd like to start off with the struts/springs first, and progress from there after i spend some time with the additional ground clearance and see if i need to invest in the AA kit.

Anyone with a new gen, will i need to fab up a homemade skid guard for my sump with the AA lift or will and of the numerous skid guards(like the primitive 3/16 inch) will work?

I would most like to see if someone can give me an idea of whats involved in the AA kit install. Struts and springs are cake, at least i think so( i do most of the work on my imp).


As for autos in the snow, i have never driven a manual suby in the snow. I have had some good experience(no serious off road experience) in the snow with m auto and love it. I have yet to get stuck anywhere and that was with bald all seasons.

#8 subie94

subie94

    Major Subaru Fan..

  • Members
  • 1,583 posts
  • Epsom,N.H.

Posted 29 January 2006 - 08:35 PM

myself,i'd just got with the strut/spring swap.

1-easier
2-it's cheaper
and number 3-with the right strut/spring/tire combo,you can almost get the same about as with AA.

i'll be doing the spring/strut swap soon...

#9 NoahDL88

NoahDL88

    Elite Master of Cookies

  • Members
  • 4,264 posts
  • Everett, WA, USA

Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:03 PM

I'd like to reiterate, that even with forester struts, without wheel spacers (which i think are not the best or safest idea) the biggest tire you can run are the allterrains that Austin is using. The tire size is limited by the struts, not the wheelwell.

#10 ezapar

ezapar

    [OWB]

  • Moderator
  • 27,193 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:18 PM

I don't think you can get a 29 under even an outback strut. I can squeeze 27/8.50s, but only with a couple washers on each stud. Stock Soob wheels.

Who can say?

You'll get quite a bit of a lift with the outback/forester struts and springs. (probably the same part #) You can also add bigger tires that way. I'm kinda freaked out by the idea of adding length to the bottom of a strut to lift a car.

#11 Andyjo

Andyjo

    I'm Not Austin!

  • Members
  • 1,808 posts
  • Windham NH

Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:27 PM

I'd go w/ the strut swap first, and if you need more.. then get more.
my forester strut swap loves being abused... and as for the AWD auto, it rocks in just about anything! :brow: especially if you can lock that center clutch pack :banana:
but yeah, i'm planning on getting the same size tire austin has, and i most likely will have to do some large hammer work.

#12 ezapar

ezapar

    [OWB]

  • Moderator
  • 27,193 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 29 January 2006 - 11:41 PM

Nope, can see it being pretty hard to fit 29s. . .


Posted Image

#13 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 6,021 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:46 AM

I know you've sort of made up your mind, but nonetheless, it should be stated that an AA lift requires the use of Outback/Forester struts to gain the clearance at the spring perch....

so you're options are spring/strut lift

or spring/strut lift AND AA body lift.

that being said, EJ wheel wells are a bit bigger than old gen cars, Austin is running the exact size tires on his impreza that I'm running on my 4" lifted GL, and I had to do some serious pounding to get 'em to fit, and they still rub when I turn.

Zap.....the Outback/Forester strut mod lifts the car by extending the bottom of the strut. The AA kit puts blocks on the top of the strut just like virtually all the EA body lifts (excluding mine and a couple other's rear end....which I LOVE)

#14 ezapar

ezapar

    [OWB]

  • Moderator
  • 27,193 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 30 January 2006 - 12:54 AM

Zap.....the Outback/Forester strut mod lifts the car by extending the bottom of the strut.


They are longer out of the box. I'm talking about cutting them and adding length.

#15 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 6,021 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 30 January 2006 - 01:28 AM

They are longer out of the box. I'm talking about cutting them and adding length.


yea, I know....I didn't phrase that very well :banghead:

anyway, I'm not sure why anyone would consider cutting and adding length to the struts...:confused:

#16 mudrat79

mudrat79

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 697 posts
  • Eugene,

Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

There is another option.....it will gain you 2-3 inches of physical ground clearance before tires , and is All suspension lift....:)

It can net you more if I include a Block kit to it as well....But you are still limited unless you trim fender to clearance for tire diameter....

Pm me if you want more info on it....

John

#17 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 6,021 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:43 AM

There is another option.....it will gain you 2-3 inches of physical ground clearance before tires , and is All suspension lift....:)

It can net you more if I include a Block kit to it as well....But you are still limited unless you trim fender to clearance for tire diameter....

Pm me if you want more info on it....

John


???

What are you up to?!

#18 Shadyirishmen

Shadyirishmen

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 655 posts
  • Scappoose OR,

Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:48 PM

We have 29"S under both our lifted legacy and Outback with Outback struts. They will fit. The lift kit will get you high enough that you will not destroy your wheel wells. If you'd like pictures email me or just view the pics of the legacy here. http://www.ultimates...&cat=500&page=2

#19 ezapar

ezapar

    [OWB]

  • Moderator
  • 27,193 posts
  • Seattle

Posted 30 January 2006 - 04:50 PM

He's asking about an imp.


And you're saying that when you turn and back up, no rubbing happens, that you're able to leave the wheel wells the way they are stock? And that when you get off camber and turn the wheels no rubbing happens?
You kept the plastic water guard right?

#20 sayn3ver

sayn3ver

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 255 posts
  • South Jersey

Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:32 PM

wow, what a huge amount of info.

Tire size isn't a big deal right now, i would like to run the biggested possible but i dont want to go to hell and back to do it. What does trimming the fender entail? My fenders arent mint and one already has a dent in it. It would be cool tho to show up to a trail run on super swampers and have my bro's truck buddies kinda stare.

As for lift kit or struts, i undertand the AA kit needs the forester struts. would it be easier to do the kit while i am doing the struts anyway? I just dont know how much work is involved in getting the spacers in the subframes.

The other reason i am shying away from the lift kit is because i dont feel like fabbing up a custom sump guard. I already banged in part of my oil pan and my tranny pan is somewhat funked up as well and definetly want a guard to be like top priority.

I do have the $$$ for both struts and AA kit, but then i'd have to wait for tires. I planned on using the stock 15inch steelies(i have 2000 2.5 rs 16inch alloy wheels on them now). Is there a better wheel option available, considering i am a college kid only working a part time job(cvs pharmacy tech represent).

Also, does anyone recommend another lift kit besides the AA. That kit seems to be better than the BYB one and i really havent seen any others besides the exspensive scorpion kit from australia.

#21 soobmater

soobmater

    Got Mud?

  • Members
  • 1,668 posts
  • South Bend

Posted 30 January 2006 - 09:41 PM

Do both.

Actually, I would do the AA kit, Forester struts, and Scorpion springs, plus taller tires :P


LOL thats what i would do.. Well lets see...If you get the lift and strut swap done, then u could save up for some swampers :) Trimming ur fenders isnt hard, get out the ole' hacksaw or dremel or something. Zap's wheel wells look very stuffed with those 27's. I personally want to see a Imp with the 4inch lift and strut swap. maybe then u could fit 29's, but i bet it would be a very tight vit. another thing, is how about like BFG mud terrains?? http://www.4wheelpar...=TIRES&man=BFGO 215/75/15. those tires would go nice. Not quite as mean as the swampers, but close.

#22 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 6,021 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:40 PM

well, I wouldn't jump to say that the AA kit is better than the BYB kit, they're both very good. however, BYB doesn't make an EJ kit....so you have to go with the AA one.

15" steelies are perfect for wheeling a subaru. most decent sized off road tires come for 14 or 15 inch wheels, gives you lots of sidewall for a larger contact patch off road, and allowing you to air down more effectively.


the subrame lift isn't too hard to install (well, I assume it isn't, it's not on an EA car, and the EJ's aren't much different) but even though a subaru lift is pretty straightforward, it's still amazing how quick the costs rack up. and tires are spendy. I'd say get the struts/springs, and some tires. and add the body lift this summer sometime, or next year...

#23 Kostamojen

Kostamojen

    From FF-1 to BRZ!

  • Members
  • 1,692 posts
  • Roseville, CA

Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:07 AM

it's still amazing how quick the costs rack up.

Its a hell of a lot cheaper than the performance stuff...

#24 sayn3ver

sayn3ver

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 255 posts
  • South Jersey

Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:10 PM

Thank you.

I was asking if any one kit is prefered for the ej, or is cost a good enough factor?

So, is there a difference between outback and forester parts? If not, i am gonna order struts and springs(still might junk yard the springs if i can, going to go to a upull it this friday hopefully and see what i can come up with).

I am not looking to go do serious rockcrawling with this rig, just some moderate off roadness. I dont live near any trails that i know of (south jersey) but we have quite a few mud holes and various forests/pine barren spots that a lift for the suby would be helpful/required.

About skidplates, with the lift kit, will standard aftermarket ones work or because of the lowered engine, will i need to fab them up. I assuming just a big peice of steel that bolts to that lower radiator support bar and the jacking point under the engine will be good enough?

So to recap,

I think i am gonna do the struts alone first, with all intentions of doing the lift kit later this year(summer time is a good time) and not too far off.

With only the strut lift, the biggest size tire i can fit is a 27(which is either what, a 205 or 215/75/15 all terrain? or will any mud terrains fit? If so what size. I heard the dunlop MT's are pretty good

#25 Numbchux

Numbchux

    EJ conversion addict

  • Members
  • 6,021 posts
  • Duluth, MN

Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:08 PM

you could use either size, but I would say 215 would be about your max

doesn't matter what tread pattern, as long as it's about that size

the 2 sizes you're looking at are 27.1" and 27.7" so if you're going with something standard sized, that's your diameter, and I would say 7-8" wide would be good

AA is the only company to make an EJ body lift in the US

forester parts fit on impreza....outback for legacy

skidplate will be different after the body lift, you've got sort of the right idea, but you might want to make something a little more exact.

sounds like you've got a good plan! get started




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users