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IMP strut swaps (for lift)


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17 replies to this topic

#1 superu

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:11 PM

Has anyone put forester or OB struts on an older impreza?
I've got a '93 IMP that's got a dead strut tower mount and lazy struts. I think stock "L" models are practically low-riders (since I've done the outback strut swap on my legacy), so if I'm replacing stuts might as well get lift too! Sso my question is this, is there a preference for forester over outback struts on an Impreza? And in doing this lift, how would the 1.8 do with 15inch rims and like 195x75 tires?
I don't want to kill the fuel economy, but i would like more clearance... I think old rims from a forester would be fine, and a good set of something like an all weather 195 vs, an all terrain 205 wouldn't be too heavy...

Thoughts?

#2 ballitch

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:11 PM

forester struts would work fine, but that is like 2 inches of extra strut, maybe more. might not be so good on axles, but you could try it, i remember someone here did it to their impreza not too long ago. id just use the stock forester wheels, arent they a little bigger diameter than the stock imp' wheels? definately need an alignment after that though. you might want to think about a 2.2 conversion, basically a drop-in affair. if you search you will see what im talking about.

~Josh~

#3 dome24

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 03:57 PM

Has anyone put forester or OB struts on an older impreza?
I've got a '93 IMP that's got a dead strut tower mount and lazy struts. I think stock "L" models are practically low-riders (since I've done the outback strut swap on my legacy), so if I'm replacing stuts might as well get lift too! Sso my question is this, is there a preference for forester over outback struts on an Impreza? And in doing this lift, how would the 1.8 do with 15inch rims and like 195x75 tires?
I don't want to kill the fuel economy, but i would like more clearance... I think old rims from a forester would be fine, and a good set of something like an all weather 195 vs, an all terrain 205 wouldn't be too heavy...

Thoughts?


I swapped in legacy struts on my 97 Brighton and got a good little boost in clearance, about 2 inches, need new rims/rubber soon so i think im just gona go to the tire shop and see whatll fit. Supposedly the forrester struts give a little more lift, but i went with the legacy cause they were in stock. Id recommend getting new coils at the same time and get a little more lift.
Plus im finding a 2.2 to swap out my 1.8 and gain 30 horses or so. If you do a search youll find tons of info on the swap on here and nasioc.com

#4 superu

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 12:48 AM

I swapped in legacy struts on my 97 Brighton and got a good little boost in clearance, about 2 inches, need new rims/rubber soon so i think im just gona go to the tire shop and see whatll fit. Supposedly the forrester struts give a little more lift, but i went with the legacy cause they were in stock. Id recommend getting new coils at the same time and get a little more lift.
Plus im finding a 2.2 to swap out my 1.8 and gain 30 horses or so. If you do a search youll find tons of info on the swap on here and nasioc.com


I am actually familiar with this lift as I've done it to my legacy L.... I did outback struts from a '97 wagon into my sedan which lifted it 2 inches, plus the clearance for larger tires (which game me another inch)...

I am just curious if anyone has done this on an older impreza...

I understand forester struts will do it, but to make sure and get the top mounts (like a washer) from the struts to go into the car.. IMP's a possibly a little different...

#5 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 04:11 PM

I am actually familiar with this lift as I've done it to my legacy L.... I did outback struts from a '97 wagon into my sedan which lifted it 2 inches, plus the clearance for larger tires (which game me another inch)...

I am just curious if anyone has done this on an older impreza...

I understand forester struts will do it, but to make sure and get the top mounts (like a washer) from the struts to go into the car.. IMP's a possibly a little different...


I did this to a 97 Imp and i think that they are all the same, but after the strut swap i was getng a really bad knocking noise from the rear, i replaced teh top mounts but i got impreza ones instead of legacy which the struts are, they were ok for a while but they are knocking again. Im wondering if just my coils are to soft and im not getting enough rebound. Next im gonna try outback coils to see if that helps. then maybe try legacy strut tops. I did get 2" out of just the struts which allowed me to clear 215 40-18's LOL i couldn't pass them up 300 bucks for all 4 rims with 3 tires, i spent yesterday searching yards for a 4th, finally found one after 5 o clock, got it mounted and damn they look good, kinda goofy but defently better than 14's with snow tires. As soon as i get a digicam ill post some pix.

#6 Andyjo

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 05:05 PM

I think the knocking is the swapbar being pissed off.. at least mine is.... ?

#7 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:03 PM

I think the knocking is the swapbar being pissed off.. at least mine is.... ?


it knocked before i lifted it, then after the lift when the whole backseat was dissasembled i drove it and it still knocked i could see the top of the strut moving in the top, i replaced the top and the noise went away, for a while but now its doing it again. Would adding an upper strut sway bar thingy help? or are those just snake oil?

#8 seanski06

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:22 PM

not to intrude...but i see ur watching dome...do u know any difference between wrx struts and the foresters or outbacks...would the wrx struts still work on an older impreza and just not give as high of a lift

#9 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:30 PM

not to intrude...but i see ur watching dome...do u know any difference between wrx struts and the foresters or outbacks...would the wrx struts still work on an older impreza and just not give as high of a lift


i don't know for sure, but im pretty sure the mounting is the same,

#10 seanski06

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:34 PM

yea..but ur not sure of the strut perch?

#11 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:39 PM

yea..but ur not sure of the strut perch?


no i don't know about that, it could be causing my noises now im not sure but i know that Legacy struts will work in Impreza strut tops

#12 seanski06

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:41 PM

what kind of springs are you using?

#13 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 10:43 PM

what kind of springs are you using?


stock 1.8 Brighton coils, im ordering some off a OBS now

#14 seanski06

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:00 PM

it could be the springs are too soft?....i dont know a whole lot but maybe its too much work on the strut or just not enough stiffness and it could be hitting the bump thing

someone else can correct me...but maybe you'll get something from it

#15 lookitsawagon

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:08 PM

Hi guys,

After searching a lot on Nasioc about suspension, it sounds like the 'clunking' you're getting and the movement of the strut top is really similar to what happens when later-model WRXs try to swap in suspension parts meant for earlier models. The strut top nut, when fully seated, does not tighten up the strut assembly enough, and it clunks (moves) when you go over bumps/brake hard. They have fixed this by doing the 'washer mod'- putting 1/4" worth of grade-8 washers to sit on the shoulder of the strut piston to take up the slack before torquing the strut top nut.

This may have been already covered- my apologies if this is common knowledge on this board, but it sounds like this is what is happening when you put the 'long' struts on you Imp...

#16 dome24

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Posted 16 April 2006 - 11:42 PM

Hi guys,

After searching a lot on Nasioc about suspension, it sounds like the 'clunking' you're getting and the movement of the strut top is really similar to what happens when later-model WRXs try to swap in suspension parts meant for earlier models. The strut top nut, when fully seated, does not tighten up the strut assembly enough, and it clunks (moves) when you go over bumps/brake hard. They have fixed this by doing the 'washer mod'- putting 1/4" worth of grade-8 washers to sit on the shoulder of the strut piston to take up the slack before torquing the strut top nut.

This may have been already covered- my apologies if this is common knowledge on this board, but it sounds like this is what is happening when you put the 'long' struts on you Imp...


hmm this sounds like it mite work, it seemed that it just wasn't "snugging up" in the mount hmmmmm:rolleyes:

#17 superu

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 06:25 PM

Hmmm, this all helps my initial question.
I'm about to contact KYB directly to ask them for schematics and details for '93 IMP, and other read/models. I've got my stock set of 95 legacy L stuts, and am thinking about forester (98?) and 97-99 outback wagon or sedan struts.
The car's left rear, upper strut mount is toast, and my G-friend want's a little more clearance, so i suggested the OB struts (as I did on my Leg), but just want to get the right set for her older IMP. I'm also told to get the "washer" from a forester set to go with the forester struts, but have also heard OB struts will go into an IMP...

THanks for the beta, and I'll IM you guys about your situations (Dome and Andy)...
Thanks and keep the info coming!
-mw-

#18 Andyjo

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:44 PM

My clinking def. sounds like it's coming from under the car... i'm going to take out my swaybar and see what happens :grin:




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