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Outback Strut Advice?
Posted 23 November 2003 - 01:27 PM
So here are my questions:
1. When are most folks replacing their struts?
2. How much should a strut cost?
3. Which manufacturer makes the best strut?
4. Can I install them myself as a "shade tree mechanic" or is this a job best left to the pros?
5. What should the total out the door price be?
Thanks in advance for the help.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 03:00 PM
2) Doable by a shade tree mechanic? I think so, I'm one myself and I'm ready to do them on my Legacy the minute they give any sign of failing. If you have access to a good spring compressor (look for a thread on this page titled «borrow tools for free) and at least to a Haynes manual, it's not a very difficult repair.
3) I would wait for the struts to show some signs of wear before replacing them. They give advance warning and this give you time to order the parts and prepare. My car is a 96 (200,000 kilometers) with what I was told are the original struts and they are still working perfectly.
My 2 cents.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 04:15 PM
That said, we have almost 150,000 miles on our '00 Legacy wagon, and I just had our struts looked over by my local tire guy when they had the car up swapping the winter wheels/tires on. He said no signs of wear yet, so I ddon't think you need worry for a long-long time.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 04:51 PM
But I guess that's subjective.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 06:12 PM
It is always required to use two spring compressors (one on each side of the spring) so that the spring will compress straight.
Your struts might be perfectly fine with only 80k, my 93 Legacy went well past 140,000 miles (~230,000km) before I changed the struts.
Try to bounce each of the four corners of the car. If the car rebounds just once and not bounce excessively, the struts are ok. Do you notice that the car feels "skittish" on rough roads when turning, if not your struts are fine. Also inspect the struts for signs that the oil has leaked out.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 06:32 PM
P.S. I think KYB makes the OEM strut.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 07:41 PM
Car springs are certainly dangerous. I do struts routinely myself, but it isn't necessarily something I recommend that people do. You need to be pretty experienced in the shop before trying it IMHO. I have seen cars where the compressor doesn't seem to fit in a way that seems safe, and cars where it works great.
The struts on our 99 at ~145k miles are pretty much toast.
KYB does make the OEM strut on our 99.
Posted 23 November 2003 - 11:16 PM
Thanks again for the inputs.
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