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Strut BOTTOM lift? (as opposed to strut TOP lift)


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25 replies to this topic

#1 backwoodsboy

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:34 PM

Hey folks,

I know the preferred method for lifting a subaru is a subframe lift along with strut-top spacers.

This worked really nice for the EA cars, but Im toying with the idea of a lift for a 98 Forester.

I know there are lift kits available, and they incorporate the strut top spacers. While this does lift the vehicle very well, it still leaves the lower spring perches of the struts an inch or less from the tops of your tires. :-\ This would of course effectively kill the mounting of significantly larger tires.

There was talk a while ago about someone who re-welded the spring seats further up on the struts, but in so doing... you lose suspension travel.

MY QUESTION :

Is it a do-able thing to re-work the BOTTOM of the strut where it bolts to the knuckle? I know you'd still have to drop the subframe with spacers.... but it seems lifting from the strut bottom would give you the height you want.... it would get the lower spring seats away from the tops of the tires, and you'd keep all your strut travel!

Ideas? Discussion?

#2 3eyedwagon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:47 PM

I'm not familiar with how many mounting points the new gens have on the bottom of the strut. If it is more than one, I think it could be done quite well.

If it is similar to the older cars, like gen 2s, then I think you would have a problem keeping the whole deal from spinning. That's really the only reason I haven't done something like that for my gen 2.

Just keep in mind how much stress is put on the strut, and how many adjustments it is critical for. The camber alone is a huge issue.

If you have any pictures of the setup, it may be good to post some here too! I'd love to see something like this done.

#3 The Beast I Drive

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:51 PM

Someone with a lot of knowledge on this is Bratsrus1, jerry did this on his hatchbrat and it works very well. If I recall he machined the spacers out of solid stock.

#4 backwoodsboy

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:54 PM

If I end up going this route, I will ASSUREDLY post pics. :grin:

The Forester has a 2-bolt setup. (one being an adjustable camber bolt)

I know it would take some precision measuring and fabbing, but so does a strut top spacer.

Im just kindof fishing for anybody that has ever done (or almost done) this before... :confused:

#5 backwoodsboy

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:55 PM

If I recall he machined the spacers out of solid stock.


Thanks!

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:27 PM

the problem is, the bracket on the strut that attaches to the knuckle actually extends inside the rim, so if you make an extension that attaches the lower hole on the strut to the upper hole on the knuckle, the upper part of the bracket will hit the rim.


IIRC, SJR tried it.

#7 woundedbrat

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:37 PM

It sounds possible similar to what I did when lifting my brat

Posted Image

Posted Image

With the adjustable camber you may need to design a system that lets you adjust it more as the longer strut will cause a positive camber \--/.

#8 woundedbrat

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:44 PM

the problem is, the bracket on the strut that attaches to the knuckle actually extends inside the rim, so if you make an extension that attaches the lower hole on the strut to the upper hole on the knuckle, the upper part of the bracket will hit the rim.


IIRC, SJR tried it.


can you turn the strut 180 degrees so the camber adjusters are inboard on the strut and make the bracket so the top mounts are on the inside and the bottoms are on the outside like they should be. ?

#9 merkatroid

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:11 PM

With the adjustable camber you may need to design a system that lets you adjust it more as the longer strut will cause a positive camber \--/.[/QUOTE]

The rear camber isnt adjustable on the newer cars. You could use "crash bolts" in the place of the factory bolts, but they suck and will slip, I tried them and hated them. On my Impreza I ended up using Whiteline turnbuckle rear lateral links to adjust camber, This would work perfectly. You could also use a camber plate. The camber plates that come with most coilovers for the front struts will fit on the rear strut mount also.

So I bet he could use extensions, kinda like you made. Numbchux made a good point though, the two mounting bolts are "inside" the wheel. You would have to make a extension to the bottom of the strut and then make a mounting plate bracket that goes inside the wheel to the two mounting holes.
Oh and nice job on the strut extensions. Looks good.

#10 Phizinza

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 01:46 AM

Because the Foresters use the top and bottom bolt design which has a bracket rapping around the knuckle I'd say you could weld a some steel bar to those brackets to drop the knuckle away from the strut. I'd want to get some sort of camber adjuster at the same time as this would easily screw up camber if drilled slightly wrong.
Just food for thought. I'm a grind/weld happy lunatic.

#11 Numbchux

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:14 AM

here's where I saw the information I was referring to.....
http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=74340

#12 subaruguru

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 12:37 AM

thats how bratsrus1 did his lift on his ea81 hatchbrat

#13 backwoodsboy

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:17 AM

Well, I put 'er up on the lift last night at the garage, and the situation seemed to call for one of two things.

A) Something like this (look ma! No fat spring perches!) in combination with a strut TOP lift: (although it seems a crime to cover up adjustable shocks with a strut top lift block)
Posted Image
http://cgi.ebay.com/...bayphotohosting

OR

B) Run some wheels with significantly less negative offset (which will only lead to other troubles, I know)

Looks like this isnt going to be for those who are "faint of cash"
:-\

#14 WoodsWagon

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 05:29 PM

I believe what the guy in coneticut with the legacy jacked wayyy up did was a strut bottom lift. I think they cut the the bracket off of the bottom of the strut that bolts to the knuckle, then took another set of struts, sawed them in half, so that they were empty tubes with the bracket at the bottom, and welded them onto the bottom of the working strut. This extended the strut, but didn't give the clearance/offset issues that would happen if you built an extension off of the working struts bracket.

THIS WAGON:http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=81629

You pretty much sleeve the bottom of the working strut with the gutted strut as an extension, then weld.

#15 Phizinza

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 06:35 PM

Welding the casing of gas filled struts isn't fun :Flame:

#16 Reveeen

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 07:34 PM

When I lengthened the front struts on my EA82, I found some hydraulic tubing, the ID the same as the OD of the struts. After cleaning off the brackets on a new strut, and cutting the bottom off of an old strut, I sleeved the thing from the spring perch to the bracket on the bottom, the empty bottom is "weldable", and the spring perch is "weldable".

#17 Numbchux

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:32 PM

yes, it's been done on an EA car. seriously......it's a different animal on the EJs.



I wouldn't run full coilovers, especially not low quality ones. if you're lifting something, I'm assuming you're going to be using the suspension travel you have, if you go coilover, you'll probably limit that, a lot.


IMHO, the best setup would be strut top blocks, stock struts, and Ground Control coilover sleeves. available in any spring rate, so you can order some that are the same as stock.

here's a pic of a ground control sleeve on a stock subaru strut:
Posted Image

look at all that unused spring perch you could hack off.

#18 the_postie

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 05:36 AM

Here's a article with a pic of a strut lenghten at the bottom http://www.subaclub....MyCar/Shera.htm

#19 backwoodsboy

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:45 AM

Posted Image

look at all that unused spring perch you could hack off.


Now THATS what Im talking about!
:headbang:

Thanks... something like that would be perfect.

#20 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 11:43 AM



SJR tried it.


OK this is my next project, I would like to see a 4" extension on the bottom utilizing the stock strut , anyone done that??

#21 Numbchux

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 06:24 PM

Now THATS what Im talking about!
:headbang:

Thanks... something like that would be perfect.


guy on RS25 posted pics of Ground control install where they removed the stock lower perch on their AGXs:
Posted Image

Posted Image


more here (pretty humorous pics too!)
http://www.rs25.com/...ead.php?t=78808


yes, it's an $800 suspension system, and I'm not sure if KYB makes the AGXs for an outback.....BUT, the adjustables would be pretty sweet. the AGXs on the softest setting are about the same as stock. and you could stiffen them up and rally it a bit :clap:

#22 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:56 PM

Next week I get a new car its a 92 Legacy Sedan 4 dr with 5 speed , its going to be lifted 4" with the lift at the bottom of the stock strut , now I have a few ?? length wise whats all the strut options for the EJ , say stock legacy , outback and others, ?

#23 Numbchux

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:01 PM

stock legacy , outback and others, ?


that's about it. outback and forester are taller, other than that, height-wise, they're all pretty much the same. there are a couple different lower spring diameters, so the lower perch differs....but height-wise, pretty much the same.

#24 Scott in Bellingham

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:01 PM

that's about it. outback and forester are taller, .


how much in inches over stock legacy?

#25 ChuckPT

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 02:55 PM

I've got an '02 WRX. I have looked into lifting it a little and found that the forester stock struts are between 1.5-2" taller than stock wrx struts. I don't know compared to a legacy though.




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