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want to do minor lift on 99 legacy need input


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24 replies to this topic

#1 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 01:57 AM

looked around online and found some lift kits lsited for my sube, sent out some e-mails to the companies and haven't heard back yet

this legacy i bought sits really low to the ground to me and i drive quite a few dirt roads, i need a little more clearance, i don't want to spend a fortune but do not want problems later on either

so is using the outback stuff better than going with an aftermarket lift kit?

or do you guys have any other suggestions?

thanks for your time

#2 ezapar

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:39 AM

looked around online and found some lift kits lsited for my sube, sent out some e-mails to the companies and haven't heard back yet

this legacy i bought sits really low to the ground to me and i drive quite a few dirt roads, i need a little more clearance, i don't want to spend a fortune but do not want problems later on either

so is using the outback stuff better than going with an aftermarket lift kit?

or do you guys have any other suggestions?

thanks for your time


You can go either way. Either will make your car taller. The struts will allow taller tires.
If you just want 2 inches taller, buy the lift kit.

The strut/spring lift is cheaper.

#3 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:15 PM

ok did not realize i would not be able to put 15's on it if i only do the lift, maybe i will go with the outback set up, i have to replace the struts, shocks, springs and wheels right?

#4 crazy D

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 02:26 PM

ok did not realize i would not be able to put 15's on it if i only do the lift, maybe i will go with the outback set up, i have to replace the struts, shocks, springs and wheels right?


i dont think u have to replace the wheels

#5 subie94

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 05:57 PM

i haven't found out personally,but i believe that if you use the outback springs..then you need of course to use the strut tops(part that attaches to body).now doing this will rquire you to drill new holes(for back struts i think)

you can get out of that by just useing the legacy springs and tops.granted you lose a small bit of height an stiffness that you'd get from OB struts but then you don't have to take the chance of messing up the drilling new holes.

don't take this as me trying to talk you out of doing the strut swap,just thought i'd let you know.

also,no you don't really have to replace the wheels..it'll give you extra money for buying taller tires.

#6 soloracer34

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:12 PM

On the cheap just replace the struts, keep your springs and strut tops. unless someone can correct me the Outback does not have stiffer nor longer springs. I put 98 outback struts on my 90 Legacy using the stock springs and tops and ended up with 1.25" lift in front and 1.75" in the rear of my Wagon. The ride is perfect on road or off with the KYB GR-2's, firm and controled without being harsh. You may need camber bolts to bring your alignment back into spec. they're fairly inexpensive at $25 a pair.

Your stock wheels will be fine you can get a little more ground clearance by using a taller tire. Your local Discount Tire or other dealer should be able to tell you what will and will not fit. There are plenty of good choices in 14", 15", 16" or whatever you desire. A 1" taller tire will fit fine and adds another .5" of clearance.

Odd side note, for a 90 Legacy AWD the 98 outback KYB's were over $100 less than 90 legacy AWD struts. Go figure.

Good luck with the lift.

#7 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:22 PM

thanks for all this input guys!

ok want to make sure i get all this right, i need to get ob struts and ob kyb g2 shocks and a taller tire

one question is if i go to a 15 tire will i get even more clearance?

and does anybody with a 98 or 99 legacy seem to have a spoiler type thing coming down from the bumper in the front, i had a 91 and it just did not seem so low ,but i don't think i had this spoiler/bumper thing
this 99 is so low you cannot park it over a curb in front??
almost makes me think something is wrong with it

thanks so much for all your help!

#8 subie94

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 09:58 PM

and does anybody with a 98 or 99 legacy seem to have a spoiler type thing coming down from the bumper in the front, i had a 91 and it just did not seem so low ,but i don't think i had this spoiler/bumper thing
this 99 is so low you cannot park it over a curb in front??
almost makes me think something is wrong with it

thanks so much for all your help!


don't have a 98/99 legacy but i do have a 94 gt that has what i think your talking about..
Posted Imageis the grey area,the part your talking about(or close to it)
might be like a air dam

there's been acouple of times that i've scraped it..along with my oil pan.

as far as something being wrong..you could look at the springs to make sure you don't have a busted one like i had.because one spring broke,it affected the rest...and now i believe i need all four replaced(which is a good reason to do the strut swap)

#9 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 10:02 PM

ok good news
went and checked the car and i already have 15's

now i am crawling all around looking under there and i am not seeing shocks, so am i stupid and cars with struts don't have shocks? or did i just miss them, so everybody meant get kb g2 struts for a 99 ob?

there is no room under that car, i would much rather have to climb under my f350!!!

#10 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 10:54 PM

that is it, boy is this thing low, it is going up!!!!!

i am not sure the strut swap is going to be enough for me, will i be as high as an outback? i am still going to look at the lift kits too

#11 subie94

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:01 PM

that is it, boy is this thing low, it is going up!!!!!

i am not sure the strut swap is going to be enough for me, will i be as high as an outback? i am still going to look at the lift kits too


some folks that have done the swap have been about 1/2" higher then a outback.

as far as you not finding shocks...the strut is basicly the shock with a spring in one.

#12 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:14 PM

ok i think i could live with the height of an outback, will do more research

thanks so much!!

#13 courtney

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:36 PM

is it just me or does it seem like as low as my car is 1.75 in is not going to get me as high as an ob

did any of you guys think that and then when you changed the struts 1.75 in was a lot higher than you thought?

this all sucks becuase supposedly this car has new regular struts and it has new tires that are way too small :mad:

hate to waste money but it has to come up, the first time i go down the dirt rd to the house that spoiler thing on the front is going to get busted:(

#14 subie94

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 11:57 PM

is it just me or does it seem like as low as my car is 1.75 in is not going to get me as high as an ob


do you have or can you ger a side pic of you legacy...

cause if it is at 1.75 off the ground then i'd say your pretty much sitting on the ground..

i also take it that the legacy was used whe you bought it.if so,did previous owner mention anything about him/her lowering the soob?
cause that's the only way i can think of that a legacy would be that close to the ground..unless all four springs are busted and struts are gone..

#15 courtney

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 12:15 AM

no sorry i did not word that right, one of the guys on here said he did the ob struts and he gained about 1.75 in height, i just thought that did not seem like much height and this car sits really low to me, so i am thinking it will not be enough height, sorry to be so confusing

part of this is becuase i have been driving a ford f350 for 3 years and i am sure everything is low to me

#16 subie94

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 01:04 AM

no sorry i did not word that right, one of the guys on here said he did the ob struts and he gained about 1.75 in height, i just thought that did not seem like much height and this car sits really low to me, so i am thinking it will not be enough height, sorry to be so confusing

part of this is becuase i have been driving a ford f350 for 3 years and i am sure everything is low to me


that's ok..for a minute there,i thought you had a dropped legacy.

#17 soloracer34

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:44 PM

Funny you mention a F350, my other ride is a F250 SD which was trying to bankrupt me on fuel bills which is why I picked up my beater Subie in the first place.

http://www.tirerack....category=Shocks

I ordered my struts from Tire Rack, $83 ea front $69 ea rear. This should be all you need assuming nothing is broken or otherwise funky underneath. Take it to your shop of choice or break out the spring compressor and have at it. With mild goofing off it took about 4 hours to complete the install. If you get it done and get a taller tire on it and it still not high enough get the lift, you probably needed new struts anyways.

FYI searching Tire Rack it appears a stock 99 outback has a 205/70-15 which is about 26.3" tall. Stock 99 Legacy appears to be equipped with a 185/70-14 which is approximately 24.3" tall. A 2" taller tire yeilds a 1" increase in ground clearance. Combined with the strut lift another 2.75" is nothing to sneeze at. If you end up with 10" from oil pan to ground you'd be hard pressed to damage something on nearly any public road. If there are still issues a fancy skid plate would help as well.

Does your drive home look anything like the Safari Rally?

#18 courtney

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 09:59 PM

hey soloracer
thanks for all that good info

you are prob right the struts and tires will be enough and i don't want to get into doing things to axles, etc

we have lots of washes here and it is lots of steep ups and down, becuase of that i was worried about getting that spoiler thing busted in the front

thanks for those numbers on the tires, will get some bigger ones, i already have the 15 in tires, do you think that the stock ob size will be as tall as i can go or can you get any bigger, think everybody says 27in but i am not sure how to measure like that, the tire place prob will

thanks again for the help

#19 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 09:43 PM

I would buy outback struts, and the springs to go with them... this will give you the height that you want..

the 15" rims dont have to be changed.. there are lots of tires available for that size wheel.. I have an impreza L wagon, and I put 99 forester struts and springs on it (the only mod needed was the rear strut cap needed to be swapped, so the install was forester front strut complete- and the rear was a forester strut+forester spring+impreza rear cap)

this gave me lots of lift.. and I can now run 215/75 R15 BFG A/T tires- see in the pic

Posted Image
Posted Image

this might be too much for what you want, but all you would have to do is get some more reasonable sized tires.. like the stock outback or forester sizes... 205/70R15 approx... tire tread up to your choice :D

#20 SuBrat84

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 10:30 PM

Hi,
I will be the one doing the strut swap for Courtney and I just wanted to clarify a couple things before I get half way in there and need something else or whatever. 99 Legacy L is the patient. 99 Outback KYB GR2 struts going on there. Should we also get the OB strut tops (hats?) and would we still need the camber bolts if we have the proper tops? Providing everything else is A+ what all do we need for this swap?
1. KYB GR2 struts, front and rear = 4 total.
2. ??? (Outback strut tops?)
3. ???? (Camber bolts??)
4. ??????????

As long as I line up the springs and stuff it shouldn't need an alignment, right? Or is an alignment needed after a strut swap??
Thanks you guys! I want to do a good job for Courtney!!
-Eli-

P.S. ( I just did a strut swap on a forester and it's super easy. )

#21 Ratty2Austin

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 11:44 PM

parts list=

1. subaru to be lifted
2. new or used struts to be the lifters (in your case, 4 new OB shocks+OB springs?) front struts will bolt in. I think all EJ years and types are interchangeable as far as bolt pattern top and bottom)
3. Rear strut caps/hats might be different. its up to you to buy these with your new struts... I used the old ones off my car cause the bolt pattern was different on the new ones, so the old ones just went on the new struts and they bolted on the car.

you will not need new camber bolts unless yours are damaged... just re-use the old ones unless you feel like putting new ones in for the heck of it :D

hope this helps!

dont worry- the swap is pretty easy-

the height comes from the
1. strut bottom length
and
2. new capable tire height with the new strut height (aka, you can now put larger sidewall tires on and gain a little height here too)

#22 SuBrat84

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 12:10 AM

So you think we should get the OB springs as well, and not just use the Legacy springs?

#23 subie94

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 06:05 PM

So you think we should get the OB springs as well, and not just use the Legacy springs?


well if you do use OB springs,you'll need the OB strut caps..which like austin said

3.Rear strut caps/hats might be different.


to get the OB strut caps to fit,you may have to mod the holes they mount in..(re-drill new ones)

as far as i know,the OB springs are stiffer the legacys.not sure if they provide any more height.

#24 soloracer34

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:23 AM

If you choose to change springs as well you may or may not need to change the strut tops as well which was mentioned previously. I suggest just the strut and keep your springs. On rough roads stiffer springs (if the OB springs are stiffer which I'm not certain they are) are not necessarily better in my opinion. I think you'll find the 15% stiffer than stock valving of the KYB GR-2's coupled with stock springs are great on rough dirt roads.
If you go with new struts only the junkyard part hunting step is eliminated. You could always continue to build off the strut lift later by adding different springs, lift blocks etc. if you decide you still want more.

I only mentioned camber bolts previously because in my swap puttting 98 OB struts on a 90 Legacy wagon the extended ride height left me with positive camber in the front even with the factory camber adjustment bolt turned full negative. The aftermarket camber bolt would only be needed if you could not get the alignment back into spec with the factory hardware. At $25 a pair they're not expensive and would be installed in place of the factory lower strut bolt to allow additional adjustment if needed. In my case I ended up with .5 degrees positive camber at the limit of factory adjustment which I've continued to drive with until I get the camber bolts.
Keep in mind on your 99 there may be different range of adjustment and you may be just fine without them. A proper alignment would be best after altering suspension geometry as control arm, tie rod angles etc. are all different now.

#25 dome24

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 11:25 PM

I put 99 Leg struts on my 97 imp with the stock coils and tophats, i gained an inch and a half or so, but its just not nearly stiff enough, if i push on the trunk it goes down really easy but bounces right back into place solidly. I want it a little stiffer so i can put stuff in the trunk without riding nose high, so im thinking about getting some sport <h&r, eibach etc> coils for an outback, so even if they do lower an outback, they would lift an impreza. This idea has been killing me for months im just not sure if it ll work.
Most of my driving is around town so i want a better handling car but i still rock it off road and the snow is coming soon so i like the lift




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