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Will Outback/Forester springs&struts work on a '96 Legacy?


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36 replies to this topic

#1 porcupine73

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 07:44 PM

Read some interesting posts on here about putting Outback or Forester springs and struts on regular Legacy's and Impreza's to raise the ride height a couple inches.

Anyone know if this would work on a '96 Legacy Brighton Wagon 2.2 AT? Maybe by using '96 Outback struts&springs? Any fabrication required or pretty much just bolt&play?

Any potential highway handling issues and/or safety inspection issues? Think a Subaru dealer would do an alignment on a setup like that or be all like 'woah dude, we can't touch that thing'. Would this overly stress out anything like the axle shafts? Thanks! :cool:

#2 ericem

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 11:59 PM

Im pretty sure there longer and i dont know if the mounts look different. Wait for someone else to come in.

#3 Skid542

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 09:57 AM

Everything I've heard they will give you approximately an inch or so and should be a bolt in replacement. However you will need to get your alignment redone as you will have changed the geometry of things slightly. Other than that I don't forsee any problems, particularly if you are using the same year springs/struts.

#4 johnceggleston

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:22 AM

it's a direct swap. and if you pull the spring / strut as a unit you don't need the spring compressor.

what are you going to do about wheels & tires? stay with 14" or step up to 15" 205/70r/15. basically you're making it an outback without the differential.


Everything I've heard they will give you approximately an inch or so and should be a bolt in replacement. However you will need to get your alignment redone as you will have changed the geometry of things slightly. Other than that I don't forsee any problems, particularly if you are using the same year springs/struts.



#5 mtsmiths

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:42 AM

Both our '95 Legacy and our '00 Legacy (Brighton) have been switched over to Outback struts/springs.

And yes, have both front and rear re-aligned. Two inch lift with the same tires, both cars. No significant change in handling.

#6 avk

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 11:38 AM

This subject comes up periodically. Outback and Forester also have "lift kit" with spacer blocks betwen body and suspension/drivetrain.

#7 porcupine73

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 05:55 PM

Thanks so much for all the info guys. Maybe I'll give it a shot. First I have to finish up work on my '00OBW before tearing into the '96 Legacy.

I want this '96 to be my winter go through it all vehicle, which it already does a good job of, but sometimes the snow is a bit deep when the back roads aren't plowed.

Unfortunately, I already have in the garage new OE struts, springs, mounts, rubber parts, etc., for the strut assemblies for all four wheels. So hopefully all I'd have to get would be the '96 Outback struts&springs and still be able to use all the new upper spring seat thingy.

Anywho, if I do get the Outback parts, there might be some new OE '96 Legacy struts&springs showing up in classifieds! thanks again, Louis :clap:

#8 porcupine73

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:28 PM

Outbackifiaction in process on this '96 legacy brighton. Purchased '96 Outback KYB GR2 struts from performancepeddler on eBay (rec'd one wrong part # hope they will make it right). Bought OEM '96 outback springs and all components (strut mounts, spring seats, rubber parts, nuts, bolts, etc) (except the struts) from subaru-parts-dealer.

Will probably run the rims/tires from me '00obw on the '96 after this changeout and get some closeout rims and tires for the '00 from tirerack.
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#9 njdrsubaru

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:51 PM

http://www.flickr.co...baru/216391735/

here is a picture of my old car, i was just a plain legacy LS wagon AWD, i did the swap, it took me total of 3 hours, its a direct bolt, no need for any fabrication. Watch out for the CV axle try not to pull it out too much or you may run into problems... also try to mark with a sharpie the original strut bolts up top so you know where the struts where, that way you can get away without any alignment, you must try to match the new struts to those marks as much as you can... i ran my old legacy with no alignment and had no problems, the tires were fine, the car was running str8... Also get yourself some PB blaster, those bolts by the knuckle can be a beotch to loose...

hmmm what else, make sure you have someone there with you just in case you need to push the control arm down with the new struts :lol: yeah that happened to me and i wish i had someone there

also since you are there if you have any cv axles to be changed take the extra minute and change them since you'll have everything hanging anyways

then enjoy your ride, its awsome, i am doing a lift to my impreza, shes getting forester struts, hopefully i'll be able to get them in before Carlisle


Actually the complete swap with struts and springs will give a height close to 3" if not more, my legacy was taller than a stock outback 96 to 99

#10 porcupine73

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 08:07 PM

Excellent thanks for the advice njdrsubaru. I replaced the rear struts on this '96 a couple years ago with aftermarkets and like you said those bolts were tight but I pounded them off with an impact wrench. I didn't know at the time the positioning of those bolts was important for alignment and that's probably why I ruined this set of tires. I'll find a trust local alignment shop from my local bud Nile.

The boots are in OK shape, a little cracked like old rubber; I could maybe have all the half shafts rebuilt by that place that works with ccrengines; not sure how much that'd cost. This vehicle needs timing belt, water pump, seals, etc., anyway so it'll be down for awhile.

A 3" rise would be sweet. I was a little upset with myself that I didn't get the scorpion/king lift springs but that might be overkill for this project.

Definitely do want to get stainless brake flex lines, but there are different part nos. for rear disc and rear drum, and of course this brighton has rear drum, but maybe I want to convert to rear disc first?

#11 WoodsWagon

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 09:10 PM

Uh, I hate to say this... but I think the 96 outback was stock height as the legacys.. I think it was in 97 that it switched to the higher suspension.

Can you compare the struts you bought to the ones you have in the car? The spring seat should be noticably further up the strut on the replacements.

Oh, and the brake lines that run through the brackets on the struts? Use a hacksaw to cut the bracket, bend it, and slip the hose in, then bend it back to hold it in place. Saves bleeding the fronts. The backs, youhave to remove the solid lines to the wheel cyl. so you're screwed anyway.

#12 dmanaenk

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:25 PM

Uh, I hate to say this... but I think the 96 outback was stock height as the legacys.. I think it was in 97 that it switched to the higher suspension.

Nope, 96 was the first year.

#13 porcupine73

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 07:24 PM

I think the 96 outback was stock height as the legacys.

Hm, not sure, I will have to measure and compare. I do know that KYB struts do have different part numbers for the Legacy and the Outback for '96, and different OEM spring part #'s too.

On the brake lines yep, on the rears I just chopped out the little bracket with a dremel. The drums still have that little coupler at that point. I might try harder to break those loose this time as I'm considering a change to the braided stainless brake lines and maybe to rear disc if I can figure out exactly what parts I need, like do I have to change the hubs/spindles.

#14 porcupine73

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 11:48 AM

Ok finally actually getting around to doing this changeout! Unfortunately it turned out that, although I specifically ordered OUTBACK springs, the dealer sent me Legacy springs anyway. So I ended up getting Scorpion springs for a '96 Outback from Renick a few months ago.

Here's a comparison pic of one of the front stock original strut assemblies (note the 'spring guard' for that recall about the spring fracturing and puncturing the tire):
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#15 johnceggleston

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:48 PM

Ok finally actually getting around to doing this changeout! Unfortunately it turned out that, although I specifically ordered OUTBACK springs, the dealer sent me Legacy springs anyway. So I ended up getting Scorpion springs for a '96 Outback from Renick a few months ago.

Here's a comparison pic of one of the front stock original strut assemblies (note the 'spring guard' for that recall about the spring fracturing and puncturing the tire):
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if you have the time and don't mind the inconvenience, how about posting a picture with both struts upside down. this would show if the spring heights are different, or just the strut lenghts.

OR you could compare and just tell us.

thanks, john

#16 porcupine73

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 06:55 PM

hehe...too late for that. All the new ones are already installed. I used the yellow Scorpion/King Springs. I still have the new Legacy springs I was sent (though I ordered Outback springs); will probably use those on my '94.

I might have some pics of the OEM legacy spring side by side with the Scorpion spring but I"d have to look. Anyway in the pic both struts are fully extended.

#17 porcupine73

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:36 PM

Ok, project complete! '96 Legacy brighton now has '96 Outback struts, plus '96 Outback scorpion/king springs lift springs, plus 225/60R16 xice tires. Ground clearance is now ~11.5". Ride is pretttyyyy stiff but I love this vehicle!!!

The red soob is the '96 legacy with the outback struts and outback lift springs. The white soob is a '94 legacy with the original struts/springs.

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#18 Gloyale

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 07:56 PM

Will Outback struts work on 1st gen Legacy? 90-94?

#19 porcupine73

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:03 PM

Will Outback struts work on 1st gen Legacy? 90-94?

Hi. Not 100% sure. My impression is yes they will fit. The issues with the KYB GR-2's seem to be that sometimes there is no spot on the strut to mount the ABS cable, so a wire tie or simliar fastening method needs to be used. I want to do this on the white '94 too.

#20 njdrsubaru

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 08:08 PM

the fronts will work...

but the rears you will have to swap the strut top with your orignal 94 top

#21 SuperRu

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:28 PM

Here is a pic of our 95 with 04 Forester struts.

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The wheels are Forester XT's with 225-60-16 Sumitomo's. The tires rubbed in front so they didn't stay on long. When we wear out the stockers I think I'll try some 215's on my daughters car.

#22 porcupine73

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:32 PM

Wow SuperRu that is hott! Looks great. Yes I have some 225/60R16 xice on my '96 now, and they do rub sometimes in the turns, but not enough (yet) to make me take them off.

#23 SuperRu

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:40 PM

Thanks. If my 16 year old daughter doesn't wreck it I'm going to eventually put on 04 Forester front brakes and Legacy (H6) rears. She is lucky that her Dad has all these takeoffs from his car. Or maybe I'm lucky one. :grin:

#24 porcupine73

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:46 PM

If my 16 year old daughter doesn't wreck it

:lol: :lol: :lol: :dead:

Wow.....sounds nice to have all those takeoff's from an H6...so I take it the H6 is hottttt t too! :slobber:

#25 Tide13

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:55 PM

That looks really sharp. I'd love to do that to my Legacy.
Have you noticed any changes in the fuel economy?




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