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Woohoo!

 

Old shock is out, new one is in. All I had to do is follow the recommendations above: pound the bolt back in, get the shock supported so it didn't travel with the bolt, and support it from underneath a bit. The spring was at such an angle there couldn't have been much weight on it, but I still wrapped it with a towel, strapped it in, and packed the area in with that grungy mattress and old pillows. By the time I got the bottom half of the shock out, the spring simply hung in place, so there could not have been much weight on it.

 

Putting the new shock in wasn't bad, either. Compressing the spring is the most labor intensive bit, since I was taking my sweet time and being very careful to compress both sides at the same time.

 

Pics to follow. I want to swap the other side first.

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yeah, the rear spring on my Outback was 'almost' wimpy enough I think one of my buddies could have held it for assembly.

 

not safely though.

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I usually put about 4 turns on each compressor, switching back and forth as I go to compress the spring evenly.

 

When putting the strut back in I bolt the top in loosely then just push down on the knuckle to get the bolt hole lined up. Then you can move the strut around if you need to, and don't have to worry about a jack slipping out from under it.

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Glad to hear you got that broken one out safely! Yay!

 

I do the same as fairtax said - 4-5 turns on each compressor to keep things even.

Once assembled, hang from the top mounts - I usually thread the nuts on till the stud is about flush with the top of the nut, maybe a little past flush, then line things up at the bottom end.

 

Still need to do my fronts...waiting for warmer weather tho - the fronts arent in as desparate need as the rears were...

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Count this as a lesson learned, and experience under my belt.

 

The old one was busted up. The shaft, as you can see below, separated at the top. The amount of rust at the break line makes me think it had been broken for a while. In case y'all didn't know already, that bend in the shaft ain't supposed to be there either  :P .

 

IMAG0150.jpg

 

Now, that being said, I may have a different problem on my hands. I removed the obviously broken shock first, and installed the new one there. I didn't compare the two, since it would've been pretty difficult considering the shape of the original shock. However, I did make sure that both new shocks were identical. Problem is, when I took out the "good" shock on the passenger side, I did compare it to the old shock. This is what I found:

 

IMAG0145.jpg

 

The bottom spring mounts aren't the same height. Methinks I'll be blessed with more experience installing shocks at some point in the near future, probably as soon as the weather warms up. I'm no genius when it comes to struts, but I figure that's going to alter the ride height of the rear of the Baja. It shouldn't blow up on me, but it'll be something I want to correct in the near future (Please tell me if I'm wrong, though I'm dreading it).
 

I believe John "Mudrat" Bloom put the lift on, at the same time as he installed the bumpers. I figure I'll get a hold of him and see if he used different shocks, or if he cut & welded those bottom mounts.

 

*sigh*. Story of my life. Makes for good stories, though.  ;)

Edited by the_bard

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If you have a cutting torch you could always cut the spring to release the tension and then get new springs.

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Well at least for the time being you'll be riding an inch lower.

 

Did you check the part number on the strut to make sure they sent the correct strut?

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Nope. That would've made sense, but no. I ordered them off Amazon, and found it odd that they had shipped from two different locations, in two different boxes. Hence my "let's pair these up and see if they physically match".

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different boxes and shipping points arent all that unusual - but definitely check part numbers

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I learned long ago to open boxes, check the parts, and compare part numbers to the invoice. I've recieved several incorrect parts through online orders over the years.

Most recently I got a strut mount that was the wrong part. Had the correct part number on the box. Part that was in the box was wrong. Had to wait a few extra days for the correct part to arrive. But better that than having the car torn apart and finding out the part is wrong, then to do everything all over again, or re-use the old rusted about to fall apart mount. No way I was gonna do either.

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John Bloom helped me out tonight via phone, and pointed me in the direction of what I figure is the right answer. RockAuto lists the KYB 341276 as fitting the 2003 Baja. The only rear shock they've got available for the 2006 Baja is a Monroe 71113, which seems to have a pretty bad reputation online. When Subaru lifted the 2004-2006 Baja's, I'm thinking they changed out that rear shock.

 

I'll be waiting for warmer weather before I put in another set of shocks, though. It's cold out there.

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