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Impreza springs with Forester struts?


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49 replies to this topic

#1 wallaceg

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:04 AM

It's time to replace the struts on my 97 Impreza, and I'm thinking of using Forester struts to get a little extra clearance. I've read a bunch of the threads about using Forester struts on Imprezas, and it seems like everybody uses longer struts AND springs.

I'm on a tight budget and would prefer to use my OEM springs on the new, longer struts. Will this cause a problem? Also, I remember reading that the strut caps for the Forester use a different bolt pattern than those on the Impreza. Is there any problem using the old strut caps on the new struts?

#2 Andyjo

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:14 AM

yoiu can do it, i'm only using the struts.

#3 wallaceg

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:20 AM

How's the driveability? This is my daily driver, not an offroader. I want a little extra clearance but not if that means the normal driving performance is compromised(clunking noises, tire wear/alignment issues, sway bar problems, etc).

#4 alexk02

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 09:37 AM

I am in the same situation with 99 Legacy and have a similar question: while replacing the struts I am thinking of buying the regular Outback struts (I don't want stiffer ride with GR2's) and use my original springs. Eventually when replacing tires, I'd like the smae size as on the Outback (205/70-15). So the question is the same as above - any problems other than related to higher center of gravity: alignment, sway bar attachment, rubbing, longer brakelines/steering shaft extension, etc.

#5 strat

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:38 AM

I am in the same situation with 99 Legacy and have a similar question: while replacing the struts I am thinking of buying the regular Outback struts (I don't want stiffer ride with GR2's) and use my original springs. Eventually when replacing tires, I'd like the smae size as on the Outback (205/70-15). So the question is the same as above - any problems other than related to higher center of gravity: alignment, sway bar attachment, rubbing, longer brakelines/steering shaft extension, etc.


mine 96 legacy is lifted on outback struts and springs. alignment still comes back within spec, no rubbing issues, no longer brake lines/steering shaft extensions etc... i'm clearing 215/65/16's so you shouldn't have any problems.

#6 Andyjo

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:40 AM

it drives fine, i can still take '15mph' warning sign turns at 45mph :rolleyes:
i also took out the front swaybar... didn't notice much difference

#7 wallaceg

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 10:48 AM

i also took out the front swaybar... didn't notice much difference


Did you take out the swaybar to get better suspension flexing, or did you need to remove the swaybar because it was causing problems?

#8 Andyjo

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 11:06 AM

something about going offroading.. and only coming back w/ one swaybar link when i got back, made me take out the swaybar :rolleyes:

#9 superu

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:37 PM

I'm running outback struts (and springs) under my '95 legacy L with no problems. I've got 205x75 14s and could clear larger with no issues.

I am in the same situation with 99 Legacy and have a similar question: while replacing the struts I am thinking of buying the regular Outback struts (I don't want stiffer ride with GR2's) and use my original springs. Eventually when replacing tires, I'd like the smae size as on the Outback (205/70-15). So the question is the same as above - any problems other than related to higher center of gravity: alignment, sway bar attachment, rubbing, longer brakelines/steering shaft extension, etc.



#10 superu

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:40 PM

I too am going to throw forester struts under an impreza, and my question is also about the stut tops. So will a complete forester strut with spring bolt into an IMP, or am i going to have to get tops as well, compress the spring, switch them out, then go for it?

I've got access to 4 complete forester strut assemblies (struts with springs) , and would rather not deal with mounts as well... Do I need to do top mounts too?

yoiu can do it, i'm only using the struts.



#11 Andyjo

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:20 PM

they should fit fine, the forester struts fit in the imp. caps, no problem, i think i've heard that the forester ones just pop right in, no cutting, etc..

#12 subie94

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 10:04 PM

I'm running outback struts (and springs) under my '95 legacy L with no problems. I've got 205x75 14s and could clear larger with no issues.



i take it your using the outback strut tops?

did you have any probs with the tops fitting in the stock bolt holes? or did you have to do some modifing ?

i shold be getting some struts soon and wanted to know how it's gonna go.and what problems to prepare for..

#13 Andyjo

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:57 PM

i take it your using the outback strut tops?

did you have any probs with the tops fitting in the stock bolt holes? or did you have to do some modifing ?

i shold be getting some struts soon and wanted to know how it's gonna go.and what problems to prepare for..

I'd go with new caps either way, drilling a new hole won't mess w/ your structural integrity that much :rolleyes:... i didn't when i did my forester swap and i wish i did... the caps i have are pretty old, and showing signs of the abuse i've put them through, and the high milage (cracking etc..)

#14 superu

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:29 PM

Yes, 97 stuts all the way.. The tops were also from teh OB. I admit I didn't do the instal myself. i pawned it to my mechanic, and all he said was that it was a ***************. But they just bolted right in. Apparently the clips for the brake lines are a headache... He just poped the square bracket open and slid in the brake line clip, so when you get to the brake lines, be careful and use your extra attention there, ergo don't get to lazy...

But to answer your question, the OB struts went right into my non-OB legacy as a bolt in procedure and instant 2" lift...

good luck, and welcome to the lifted new gen group ;)

Andyjo has a sweet writeup with good tips (checkit in USRM), like mount the strut into the car first, rather than to the knuckle first... etc...

i take it your using the outback strut tops?

did you have any probs with the tops fitting in the stock bolt holes? or did you have to do some modifing ?

i shold be getting some struts soon and wanted to know how it's gonna go.and what problems to prepare for..



#15 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 05:50 PM

they should fit fine, the forester struts fit in the imp. caps, no problem, i think i've heard that the forester ones just pop right in, no cutting, etc..


:mad:
Well I soppose I'll see for sure when I put the car on blocks and get into the job, but side by side, the forester tops look identiical to legacy tops, and NOT the same as IMP tops... The mount dust cover doesn't even fit on the forester mount bolts..

Iam not very excited right now (like i was hoping to be when I got the FOR struts), and perhaps it'll come out in the wash when i get under the car and pull stuff out, but initially it looks like 98 forester strut mounts (tops) are NOT the same as IMP tops...
:mad:
Pix, FOR strut left, LEG right
IMP dust cover on FOR mount
IMP mount in car, NOT the same as FOR dome-toped mounts (poor pic)

#16 Andyjo

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 05:55 PM

Where'd you get the caps from? i'm sure they'd swap them no problem, the bearing on the inside of the imp & forester are identical. and the bolt pattern should be too, because the forester was built on the impreza platform... odd

the rule of thumb was usually forester stuff for imprezas, and outback stuff for legacies.... mismatching causes headaches :-\
Also, i think Austin used all forester stuff with no problem?
are you swaping into an impreza of a legacy?

#17 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 06:34 PM

Where'd you get the caps from? i'm sure they'd swap them no problem, the bearing on the inside of the imp & forester are identical. and the bolt pattern should be too, because the forester was built on the impreza platform... odd

the rule of thumb was usually forester stuff for imprezas, and outback stuff for legacies.... mismatching causes headaches :-\
Also, i think Austin used all forester stuff with no problem?
are you swaping into an impreza of a legacy?


I've PMed you a couple times on this so lemme recap, hopefully it may refresh for you...


I've done the outback strut swap into my '95 legacy, worked out great.. i know the IMP-FOR, LEG-OB connection which is why i was stumped that these FOR tops looked like my LEG tops...
Then the IMP dust cover (right out of the car) didn't fit the FOR mounting bolts... I just got 4 '98 FOR stuts from a yard in Phoenix today, hince the pix
:confused:
You can email me directly (aspleenic@aol.com), it might be easier to work directly through this that way...
Its basically you and Eric (Zapar) that've done IMP lifts that I know of, and he used OB struts...
anyhoo, thanks for your help man, i appreciate it...

#18 Andyjo

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 06:59 PM

Well i suppose my reply shoudl be public knowledge, from Austin i've recently learned that the Forester FRONT caps go into the impreza, the REAR caps should be your impreza caps.. and if you're luckly like i was you can use all impreza caps.
So, superu, all you need to do is get a spring compressor (you can rent them at a store... and return them, get all your $$ back) and just swap off the cap
you should be all set then! ;)
And othes who have lifted Imps: Austin, Noah.... anyone else?

#19 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:43 PM

Well, I guess its still better to know this now, than when the car is ripped apart an undrivable.... :rolleyes:
The LR mount is toast, and both rear strut shocks are 'tired', hince the need for new struts...

Its my G-friend's car and she hates spending money on money-pit things like cars...

She wanted a bit more clearance thatn the stock 6.5" so I pipe up, "Oh let's just drop forester stuts in there." Well, now after buying 4 struts I need to get a pair of mounts as well, I hope to get these for little to no money :rolleyes:

I know IMP top mounts are $98/each from the dealer, and getting a pair of mounts from a yard might be costly b/c of the labor to remove struts from the car, then part the assembly into its compontents so I can get the mounts...

Arrgghh!!

Oh well, i guess worse things could happen... I'll just have to stall her on the repair until I can find and buy the mounts. . . .

Any doners out there?!?? ;)

-mark-

Well i suppose my reply shoudl be public knowledge, from Austin i've recently learned that the Forester FRONT caps go into the impreza, the REAR caps should be your impreza caps.. and if you're luckly like i was you can use all impreza caps.
So, superu, all you need to do is get a spring compressor (you can rent them at a store... and return them, get all your $$ back) and just swap off the cap
you should be all set then! ;)
And othes who have lifted Imps: Austin, Noah.... anyone else?



#20 Andyjo

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:46 PM

i think they're something like 20 a pop on tirerack.com
that's where i got my impreza ones

#21 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:00 PM

:banana: Sweet!! :banana:

Thanks yo!
This makes me happier, I'll keep you (all) posted...

i think they're something like 20 a pop on tirerack.com
that's where i got my impreza ones



#22 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:03 PM

Hmm, seem to be $61 a piece :confused:

http://www.tirerack....egory=BootMount

Do you have a hook up there or something? ;)

#23 Andyjo

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:13 PM

WAIT!!
why do you need new rear caps? you ahve everything you need!
take the forester setups you ahve, and slap them in the front
then just take the rear caps from the impreza and put them on the forester suspension
should be good to go!
:clap:

edit: wierd... they weren't that expensive when i bought them.. but that was 3 years ago...

#24 superu

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:44 PM

B/c the driver's side rear mount is toast...
(pix are certainly clearer than words)
When you jack up the car, this strut falls out of the mount and the wheel hanges by the lower control arm and drive axle...

WAIT!!
why do you need new rear caps? you ahve everything you need!
take the forester setups you ahve, and slap them in the front
then just take the rear caps from the impreza and put them on the forester suspension
should be good to go!
:clap:

edit: wierd... they weren't that expensive when i bought them.. but that was 3 years ago...



#25 Andyjo

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:54 PM

:eek:
i thought you ment the strut was toast.... man.. that's nasty.. mmm... i'd get a new top too :rolleyes:
good luck! sorry about the mixup

B/c the driver's side rear mount is toast...
(pix are certainly clearer than words)
When you jack up the car, this strut falls out of the mount and the wheel hanges by the lower control arm and drive axle...






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