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XT suspension


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13 replies to this topic

#1 lancek10

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:46 PM

I am looking for XT expertise here so any help will be appreciated. I have an 89 xt 4wd mpfi 1.8 5sp. I also have an 86 ( I think it is an 86 no title yet) xt turbo AT 2wd. The first question I have is about shocks and struts. My 89 came factory with air ride ( I think ). The air supspension is gone and some other subaru conventional shocks and struts are on it now. The problem I have is that the ride height is way to tall and the car pulls to the right really bad. I can not find a shop to align it because of the non stock supsension. The manual I have says that the air and conventional suspension is "identical" except for the spring instead of air. So can I use the 2wd XT suspension from my parts car ( front and rear)? After I work the suspension out I want to rebuild the parts car turbo motor and instal it in the 4X4. What all do I have to swap with it ie. the computer, lines, exhaust etc? Will I have to run the scooped hood with a turbo motor? Well I will worry about the suspension now cuz my mpfi motor runs good. I am new to Subaru, but have lots of other brands of toys to work on too. Thanks in advance for your help. :-)

#2 StormTrooper

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 09:59 PM

Welcome to the board, my friend

about your inquiry of the xt suspension, im wondering what exactly has been done to your 4x4 to make it all high..maybe the car has been swapped with adjustable height thingys, and its cranked all the way up? kinda curious as to what's goin on down there...

Anyway, the XT 2WD Strut assemblies will go right into your 4WD XT, no prob. Only thing that would impede that is larger tires and if they rub...

I can sell you the set of 2WD XT Strut Assemblies that I have here. I was going to put em on my Loyale, but my bigger tires wouldn't be havein it, i think. You likely have the 185/70/13's, so youd be cool. any way, if you want them you can e-mail me by clicking on my name, and doing it through my profile...

Hopefully someone can help you with your other inquiries...

Good luck
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#3 lancek10

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:15 PM

Thanks for the welcome!! I don't have any need for your struts. I have a complete parts car that has all the suspension in tact. It is just 2wd and I wonder if all is interchangeable. As far as what is under my car now. This is my theory. It all appears to be factory subaru, but like out of a wagon or something that would be heavier that makes the springs heavier and taller. I dont know for sure, all I know is that is has paint pen jy marks on it and my car has an air suspension light in the dash. This setup would be great for offroad because it has a ton of ground clearance, but I need a freeway car for the snow and ice around here. Do you have any idea who the XT "guy" is? I used to know people that tinkered with brats, but I have lost touch with them. Well anyway I am in for a weekend of RD wrenching and hope it all works out. This will be the third time I will have taken the front end apart trying to rebuild and repair. I think it has to be suspension binding the vehicle. :cornfuzz:

#4 calebz

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:20 PM

You're probably right about the suspension being out of a sedan or wagon.. 4wd wagon=tall.. 2wd wagon=a little shorter. 2wd XT even shorter.. if you have the 4wd wagon suspension on there now, you should notice a big difference when you put the 2wd xt suspension on.. thats as low as you can go with out cutting/heating springs.

However, you talked about binding in your last post... what exactly is binding up? steering, is your 4wd binding?

The tall suspension shouldn't cause any problems.. just looks a little funny.

#5 lancek10

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 10:35 PM

Well I replaced the all the cv axles, the ball joints, wheel bearings seals etc. The axle nuts keeps backing off and the wheel tries to come off. It has a cotter key and I have used loctite with a torque wrench to specs. Feel likes the cv axles are stretched out so much that they are rubbing. Bottom line the car drives like fecal matter!!!! The tires are pointed in all different directions the factory axles were absolutely destroyed when I changed them. This car has been driven like this far too much. It is no different or worse in 4wd. That system works fine. I travel for work and really like XT's so I have always wanted another one for this job. Can't afford a WRX :(, but I am good with a wrench and want to save this little sub!!!!!!!! I want to end up with a 4wd xt turbo 4 cylinder that is reliable and fun to drive. I want to swap in the cruise control also. Well that is my story and I am sticking to it.

#6 electryc_monk

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:10 PM

Did you mean the "castlenut" that goes on the end of the halfshaft keeps coming undone? :eek: I'd be worried that the flat washer and cut tappered spacer may be missing or improperly in use or maybe not even there anymore?

IF the rear gives you such worry - look at them closely they may actually be "semi-adjustable" after all there are a few different spring rear shock sets out there and they have a sort-of diling in ability. IF that makes sense to ya? Kinda like its got a,b,c, and d settings which height do you want kinda thing.

My first (86)GL 4WD wagon had either 3 or 4 settings on the origional rears.

Now as for the wheels in all directions comment, makes me wonder are the tires all balanced correctly?

wonder if the front steering arms and knuckles look like they have been adjusted at all and maybe they could be "deftly" or at least sighted by you with the car on jacks to see if you can "toe it in or out" as necessary to test the front ends allignment.......
with what others have said , is that enough to go from for starters there big guy?

and before i forget... welcome to the neighborhood.

#7 bushbasher

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:26 PM

the 2wd xt suspension will bring your car down to the right ride height. With the struts you've got on there, the steering arms may be angled down, which could cause the wheels to be toed in. I'm not sure about what problems this will cause, but may only be part of the problem with the handling. Don't have a clue what's wrong with your axles, are you sure you installed them correctly? perhaps the outside axle stubs are not pulled through the hub all the way, and are slowly making their way out? Did you put the bearings in right, are they still good? Maybe control arm bushings/ball-joints?

As for the engine, you shouldn't have to do much in the way of computer or wiring work, they use the same computers and harness. you will have to swap crossmembers, as the turbo crossmember has room for the turbo exhaust.

#8 lancek10

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:37 PM

Yes the caslenut keeps backing off. I have checked this little tapered "spring washer" out and it does show wear. As does the end of my brand new axle shaft. When the wheel backs off in the middle of nowhere that has any shop open you got to drive on lol. So I am going for the parts car front suspension. *sidenote: When I replaced the wheel bearings and seals I bought XT bearings, but had to get sedan seals that were smaller. So I am going to swap the complete front form the donor 2wd and the shocks from the rear to my 4wd car and hope that I can align it to 2wd specs. The control arms and steering all appear to be identical, but I have not torn into it yet. I just got the parts car a couple days ago. It was free all I had to do was haul it away, and it has a complete 4cyl turbo motor in it :).

#9 bushbasher

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 11:58 PM

if your newly installed parts show wear too, I would swap out the whole front suspension, crossmember, struts, axles and all. I dunno if the axles are the same between 2wd turbo and 4wd na though. It sounds to me like you are running xt axles in a wagon strut/hub or maybe vice versa, and that may be causing problems. On that turbo motor, you can get quite a bit of horsepower just by increasing the boost, and adding an intercooler. With increased boost, an intercooler, custom turbo exhaust etc you could have 160hp, possibly alot more. There are several members getting at least this from their motors.

#10 lancek10

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 12:23 AM

I think you are right about multiple components backyard engineered into a lift kit. The car is really fun to rally race through our mountain roads :), but it drives crappy on the freeway. I dont think the wear is bad enough on the axle to worry about. The hub and spring washer will defintiley get swapped out, but the axles are new and lifetime warranty so I dont want to use old hard boots again. I will just clean it up with a emery cloth. It is right behind the splined section on the outer end of the axle where it would contact the race of the inner bearing. I know the axles are installed correctly. I wonder how many of you have had the expererience of seized splines on the out put shaft of the rear dif. What a pain in the butt. I was just about to buy a used rear end when finally it popped off with a port a power. A job that should have taken a couple hours took a couple of days. That is the story of my life!!! I have more questions about the turbo swap. Should I just swap components onto my mpfi engine or is a complete swap easier. The parts car I have was wrecked in the front, but the engine does not appear to have any damage. It does not have a radiator in there anymore, but a brand new radiator, fender, and hood came with the car. What a deal huh all I had to do was haul it out of the lady's yard. I am not holding my breath, but the engine may run just fine as is and that would be so unlike my luck. Who knows maybe Subaru's will work out for me in the end. Thanks for all your help guys this site is cool. I am an avid off-road bbs reader and yours is just as helpful. They don't talk too much about subies there, but I am sorry guys they really know Samurai's lol. Is it OK to have love for lots of different brands ????????

#11 electryc_monk

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 12:51 AM

hmmm . wild hair moment for consideration.

Does the body and frame of the turbo car have(ignoring the front damaged area) a more solid setup or does the N/A car have the "less rusty/ cleaner, longer life expectancy" body and frame setup?

If you answer the turbo dos then the first thing I'd do is get that car up on stands and prep it for a 4WD swap over that way the engine and ECU and its wiring and turbo plumbing and vacuum lines ALL are ready to go (side not the PSI of the turbo fuel pump is significantly hgier then the N/A FI system). The swapping of the 4WD subframe with the help of a friend or two is honestly a weekend or less project.... especially IF you have access to or own a FSM (Factory service manual). you could do a direct swap of the tranny back of the driveline and it really isn't all that "difficult, just requires patients and a few other things like space, time and a few willing accomplicies.

now about the idea of the shafts... there are TWO different halfshaft designs... there is a 3 RIBBED and a 2 RIBBED design .
That being said the actual shaft has either 2 or three ribbs on it (usually on the wheel side).

the 2 ribs is the 23 splineor 25 spline at 116mm diameter (inside the mouth of the female end(that which slips onto the tranny) called part number AU85 i wanna say....
the 3 ribs are the AU95 and only 25 spines as they are the 130mm inside diameter of the female end of the halfshaft

[this was a seriously frustration time for me with autozone as we had to order then measure after the first fiasco and then the second one didn't measure right but, third timesa a charm sooo the part number 7310 is the AU95 which is the 25 spline large diameter halfshaft for the 4EAT tranny :>) useful trivia for anyone if they so choose... but i'd wanna go reverify before you go off and order a set off this info as the numbers may be swapped in my head.....

#12 lancek10

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 09:37 PM

The turbo car is thrashed!!!! The engine compartment is ok but the inside is destroyed. My 4wd car is really clean and straight. The interior has cigarette damage on all the cloth but the seat are good enough to refinish. I live in OR so rust is not a factor out here. I am going to dive into in this weekend. Swap struts, hubs and brakes from 2wd and see where I am at. I will keep you posted. Just for kicks all you guys should come to OR. Yes the jobs suck. but cars are everywhere and cheap. Wish me luck!!!!

#13 electryc_monk

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 10:36 PM

as always the best of luck try to consider waiting till the last possible moment before swapping the brake calipers so that the least amount of fluid is lost in the swap and less time will be spent purging the system of air and any accidental particulate matter.

well the only reason I was wondering about the turbo is its already got all the wiring in place and if there wasn't a rust issue with it and the body was in safe condition then swap all the best stuff into it. swap the carpet and seats, swap the dash parts if you want by all means swap the 4WD setup.... its all in perspective the swaping will best be down as a undercar first idea (just my experience) that way all the heavy/hard mounted stuff is done and the less stamina necessary stuff like calipers and disks and seats and doylies et al can be done when you lower on energy and can work with an extension cord and a flood lamp as it would then be too dark to install a (insert here)


okay enough babbling have fun dude.
I still find stuff that is hidden from the average pair of eyes so its not all slim pickens area here just yet. :>)

#14 lancek10

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:23 PM

Update for my frustration. I swapped out struts and shocks out of 2wd and also replaced spring washers on both sides. The new struts were 2 inches shorter below the lower spring perch than what I took out of the car. This dropped the front end of my car considerably. The suspension went back together so much easier due to the shorter length. Well here is the problem. The car appears to sit way lower on the RF. The axle nut did not back off again, but the car will put you in the ditch if you let go of the steering wheel. Pulls to the right bad. It also sounds like I might have a RR wheal bearing going out also. Could my car be bent? I know that it is unibody so wouldn't I be able to notice it in a body panel or something. I have not had the car aligned yet, but I know that there is not a whole lot of adjustment to be had with this suspension. NOW WHAT ???????????????????????????




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