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Link thread for swapping Subaru struts into GC8/GF8, come all and post advice and questions!

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After doing some searching myself, I find that there's some good info out there among the Subie sites on swapping newer Suspension components into older Subies.


I'm looking to swap out my city beaten 98 GF8 suspension, so I've done some info gathering and have come up with a pool of useful links for your typical GC8 or GF8 swaps.


Maybe you'd like a lift for trail trekking, nab some Fozzie struts (Forester). Most Subie compents will bolt up, if not with some coaxing.


I'd like to hear from some members that have done these kinds of swaps themselves, on what worked out for them and what didn't.

Ideally, I'd appreciate a first hand account of the work and end result.





http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showpost.php?p=18820009&postcount=7 General info on modifying the suspension on 93-2001 Impreza's of all trims

Which came from this "will this suspension part fit my x Subaru?" http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18820009#post18820009


http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/118004-the-unofficial-how-to-lift-your-impreza-thread/ the-unofficial-how-to-lift-your-impreza-thread


http://www.rs25.com/forums/f105/t70898-diy-strut-spring-install-pics.html diy-strut-spring-install

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1589951 Assembling front strut


http://bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=45743 Info on Legacy strut top hats and springs, needed to fit GD WRX rear struts into a GC8/GF8 (at least that's one route)


http://www.rs25.com/forums/f9/t109573-forester-struts-impreza-gc8.html  forester-struts-impreza-gc8

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2279833    What USDM Springs/Struts Will Fit a JDM '94 GC8?



http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1980173     GD suspension on a GC

http://www.rs25.com/forums/f9/t200479-02-wrx-front-struts-l-rear.html Saggy rear, wrx front struts and stock rear struts


http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1429052 Trailing link install tutorial

Edited by SnatchedHatch
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I went the drilling route,

I've successfully swapped in some '04 WRX strut/spring/tophat assemblies into my 98 OBS GF8

I'm using 16" 01' RS rims with 215/60R16 TripleThread Fozzie tires. The WRX setup is just above stock height, so I have zero rub issues.


Due to the spring rates meant for a heavier car, I was wondering if they'd be bouncey. They are ever so slightly, but it's not too bad.

The way I look at it, with the HD springs and oversize tires, I can bank on a satisfactory ride even when loaded with cargo/people (the alive kind).


Rides like a dream, stiff but giving and certainly much better than my seesaw, creaky, rattley sounding ride of the past.

The car stays flat at all times, giving it such a smooth roll.

Coupled with the gem of a powertrain on this one, it surprises me how it's stepped up in "performance".


The power deliver is consistent and potent enough to zip around all the family rides in traffic!

Damn.. I can only imagine how well this will do on the highway.


Steering is a little lax for what the struts can handle, and being a wagon, upgrading the sway bars would help as well (very sharp maneuvers can be felt through the body, just something you have to compensate for while driving).

However, I'm not worried about that as I'm not building an autocross ride and I like still being able to hit some trails.



The fronts were bolt-on, however, they need some make-shift brakets to hold the brake lines in place. I've got that covered with a generous helping of zip ties :D


I took the opportunity to replace my long worn sway-bay endlinks that were incredibly noisy. $10 each at a local auto parts store



The rear tophat bolt patterns were slightly different, as described in the links above (the same situation with newer gen Forester tophats).


What I did, was I purchased new, but identical WRX tophats and installed them (we had a spring compressor).


You should replace the rubber when using used struts.

I swapped them on, and then took the spare old tophat, cut off the one bolt that is off by a cm or so from GF8 OEM spec.

The remaining two bolts, fit when the chassis holes were widened about 2-3mm on the outer edges for the pair.


Once I was able to bolt on the modified old tophat by the two inner bolts, I turned my attention back to the rear WRX struts complete with new tophats.


I used some stiff cardboard (hard plastic, wood, or sheet metal would work better) to make a template for the WRX bolt pattern.

I placed this bolt pattern over my GF8 chassis and onto the two exposed bolts from the modified WRX tophat (already in place).


This allowed me to precisely pinpoint and drill the remaining hole, as it close to a Cm away from the original GF8 chassis hole.



Note, I started with smaller drill bits, to be able to focus on precision and to work my way up to a hole that was barely large enough for the WRX tophat bolts.




The template and spare modified tophat were removed, the rear WRX strut was moved into place and coaxed into its new chassis holes.



I used the tophat nuts to further bring the replacement strut into it's new place of residence.

The bottom of the rear strut bolted up as normal, and the brake line brackets were usable, as the rear utilizes steel clips found on the original struts.


One thing has worried me, and I know I have seen (in one of the links above) a plastic bushing/spacer used in between the WRX/forester strut tophat and the GC/GF chassis to rectify this.

The center of the top hat has a rounded, inverted bowl shape, that fits snug into the large circular hole in between the three tophats bolts/holes.

The new location of the WRX or Forester tophat offsets this bowl and does not fit it in the center of the circular hole. It rests againts one side of the hole, causing a slight gap between the tophat and the chassis.


It seems secure, but I have been taking it easy with my Wagon as it does not inspire confidence in me. So far, with some lightly spirited driving, I have heard nothing out of the ordinary and everything looks as it did when we installed it.
Should I rectify this? Let me rephrase, can I get by with this setup, or will it over strain the chassis or tophat bolts?


I took some pics of the process, notably the template and drilling of the chassis. I'll get those posted soon.



Edited by SnatchedHatch
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ducking in to pimp my 06 WRX Wagon's original springs. I swapped-in SPT PInks early on so, these stock springs only have about 1900 miles on them.


like to get shipping + $25 .


I could try to measure free-length and other dimensions if needed.


(I also have my original axle-back but, shipping would be crazy on that)


local pickup of course is fine if you live in DFW area or have someone traveling from here.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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I will begin checking into shipping. My guess is no less than $13-$14 . seems unlikely to be over $22-$25 though.


just to be clear, this is front and rear stock springs as removed from the struts on my 06 WRX WAGON. approx 1800-1900 miles.


no other parts. If I can jam them into a flat rate box, I might do that. Otherwise, i will use UPS. The UPS hub is close to my work and we will have tracking and some insurance.




pm me your address. (be sure to give me w'ever address is best for you to receive a package.)

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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I'll take some pics tonight before packaging them. Dunno how close an estimate I can get but, it'll work out.

PayPal is fine. If you want, you can check-out my rating on ebay (mostly purchases - user
1_lucky_texan )

I don't want to make 2 trips to ship so, we could do something like you PP $45 to me and I'll absorb any amount over $20, or refund via PP w'ever is saved if under? They  aren't all that heavy and will nest togther a lot ( I think ) so weight and dim weight should be OK.

or if I can get a good weight, i THINK my shipping guy here at work can get a close number.

it'll work-out.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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