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Outback struts on a Forester?


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#1 MountainBiker

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 04:17 PM

I've seen lots of posts about putting Forester or Outback struts on OBS and IMPs, so does that mean I could fit Legacy Outback struts on my Forester?

I have oversized tires, 215/65-16 (27.0") Pirelli Scorpion ST, and they have only about 4mm of vertical clearance from the spring base on the rear struts! (see picture) I'm thinking that the OB struts will provide more clearance for larger tires, since various reports here say that 29" tires will fit. It would be real easy for a rock to get wedged in there and cause some damage. I'm at the point where I need new struts, so now is the time to find out if this will work. And if I get a little extra lift while I'm at it, even better!

What years of OB struts have the best chance of fitting on my 2002 Forester?

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#2 MountainBiker

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Posted 12 March 2006 - 12:20 AM

I'm sure somebody has already looked at and studied the strut dimensions. Anyone?

#3 MountainBiker

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 10:55 PM

I was able to get a hold of KYB struts for the 98-02 Forester and the '96 Outback. You can view my measurement results in the attached file.

It appears to be possible to use the Outback struts on the Forester (might need different top hats). Doing so would give more tire clearance to the rear struts and more height, due to the longer rear Outback strut length. Tire clearance was the reason I looked at the Outback struts, but the fit issues and the decreased stroke make it not worth it for me.

Anyone with an Imp wanting a lift, I'd suggest you go with the Outback struts if you are considering getting large tires. I've also observed that '03 + Forester struts have more clearance too.

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#4 MountainBiker

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 10:57 PM

Forester Front on Left, Outback Front on the right.
Posted Image

Forester Rear on left, Outback Rear on the right.
Posted Image
You can see that the spring perch is higher on the Outback, but also that the spring orientation will need to be different, perhaps requiring the use of the Outback tophat.

#5 MountainBiker

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 10:59 PM

So what am I going to do? I'm trying to get a rear strut from an '03-'05 in my hands, because I believe the spring perch is aligned the same as on my '02. This should make it real easy to mount the newer strut with more tire clearance onto my '02 Forester, while also giving a bit of lift.

I've got a SubaXtreme lift kit on the way, so hopefully I'll have the strut situation figured out by the time the lift is ready for install.

#6 superu

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 10:57 PM

Good beta!!

Forester Front on Left, Outback Front on the right.
Posted Image

Forester Rear on left, Outback Rear on the right.
Posted Image
You can see that the spring perch is higher on the Outback, but also that the spring orientation will need to be different, perhaps requiring the use of the Outback tophat.



#7 MountainBiker

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:21 PM

Well, I did get a rear '04 Forester strut. It does have more tire clearance than the '02 F'ster rear strut, and just about identical tire clearance to the '96 OB rear strut. The '04 Forester strut is also a little longer, so it would have lifted the rear of my '02, but it unfortunately has less travel!

I'm not willing to sacrifice travel (articulation) for tire clearance, so I went with new KYB GR2 struts designed for my '02 all around. Got them mounted up at the same time I installed the SubaXtreme lift, Woo Hoo! :banana:

#8 outback_97

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 03:39 PM

Sounds cool, any pictures of the new setup?

Your 215/65/16 tire is almost exactly equal in diameter to my 205/75/15 setup on my Outback. It would be a good tire size for me if I were starting from scratch and had to buy wheels and tires, and probably better handling than my 75 series. How do you like the tires?

I think I'd have a little more room to go bigger on mine w/r/t the strut but would start having problems with rubbing on the fenders / mudflap area. Where have you seen people successfully using 29"? I think that'd be way too big (our tires are around 27") but am not familiar with Foresters, do they have that much more fender room?

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#9 MountainBiker

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 06:15 PM

No pics of the lift yet. I haven't even got around to measuring the new ground clearance!

Not quite sure where I read about the 29" tires, but it was regarding fitting under the strut, not necessarily the bodywork. My tires are fairly close to rubbing in a few areas, so larger tires, even if they would fit under the struts, turned out to be a poor option.

The tires are okay. They are a little better offroad than the stock Geolandars, and about the same on-road. I'd like something a bit more like a real All Terrain tire though. The only other option for my 16" wheels that looked decent was the General Grabber ATs, but I think those would be quite poor on-road. And as much as I hate it, most of the Subaru's life is spent on the pavement.:mad:

#10 sayn3ver

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 07:16 PM

29's, imho, will not fit under the outback strut. Just not enough room.

#11 scoobyclimbs

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 01:50 AM

nice work and info! I can't wait for pics!

I have lifted my '03 outback with Kingsprings using stock struts (fronts with '03 forester tophats(due to Kingsrpings wider spring design on top)/rear struts stock w/stock top hats.

I squeezed a 215/75R15's Yokohama geolander AT+II's (27.6 dia.)mounted on a 15" Konigs w/ 40mm offset. It's a tight fit just clearing with no rubbing!

If you could do a body lift you might get away with more clearance using a coilover DMS strut but that will cost around 4k!!!

My question is what are the dimesions of the gen 3 outback struts('05-06)
They lifted the car abit to make it a truck classification for cafe ratings.

If it was feasable to mount the new struts with higher lift from a new gen 3 on a gen2 outback I'd do it in a heartbeat!:banana:

#12 MountainBiker

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:27 PM

29's, imho, will not fit under the outback strut. Just not enough room.

I believe you are correct. My tires are 27.0", and are maxed out on the '02 Forester struts. Since I measured the '96 OB struts to have about 3/4" more clearance, that only gets you to a 28.5" diameter tire, and that is just a guesstimate.

#13 MountainBiker

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 12:31 PM

nice work and info! I can't wait for pics!

Hopefully this weekend.

My question is what are the dimesions of the gen 3 outback struts('05-06)
They lifted the car abit to make it a truck classification for cafe ratings.

If it was feasable to mount the new struts with higher lift from a new gen 3 on a gen2 outback I'd do it in a heartbeat!:banana:

The newer OB has a completely different strut shape and suspension design. When I looked under some OB's, it looked like it wouldn't even be a close fit.




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