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Hi y'all, I've done a lot of searching on this subject, and I was led to believe Forester struts are a direct swap onto a 98 Legacy (non-Outback), to give a little lift. I bought a set of FCS complete strut assemblies (for an 05 Forester) and brought them to a local shop for install on my 98 Legacy. They say they will not bolt on. 

 

What am I missing?

 

Did I get the wrong year Forester struts, or do I need to swap out top hats or something? Maybe I should've just gone with '98 Outback struts/springs?

 

Thanks so much for the help! :) :)

Edited by pooooobaru

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Outback struts would be your best bet. You can swap strut tops if they are different but the brake lines attach differently. You can work with what you have though.

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Outback struts would be your best bet. You can swap strut tops if they are different but the brake lines attach differently. You can work with what you have though.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. Should both Legacy (non-Outback) and Outback from this generation have the same strut tops? Maybe I can go with KYB struts for a '98 Outback and just re-use my existing springs.

 

Wondering if anyone else has done Forester struts onto a Legacy (non-Outback), and if top hats needed to be swapped?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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05 Forester will bolt right in. The exception may be that the rear tophats from your legacy may need to be swapped onto the rear struts like an Impreza. But I don't think so. 1998-2008 Forester struts are all the same essentially. 04+ is slightly taller I think.

 

This is easy as a DIY job. Just make sure to disconnect the swaybars. Or if you're sure you need a shop to do it, find another shop.

 

I have a 98 Legacy sitting on Forester suspension in my driveway right now. It was all a direct bolt in affair. Took me 2 hours.

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05 Forester will bolt right in. The exception may be that the rear tophats from your legacy may need to be swapped onto the rear struts like an Impreza. But I don't think so. 1998-2008 Forester struts are all the same essentially. 04+ is slightly taller I think.

 

This is easy as a DIY job. Just make sure to disconnect the swaybars. Or if you're sure you need a shop to do it, find another shop.

 

I have a 98 Legacy sitting on Forester suspension in my driveway right now. It was all a direct bolt in affair. Took me 2 hours.

 

 

Cool, thanks very much for the reply. This is encouraging. Not sure what the shop's deal is. Maybe I was sent the wrong parts. Guess I'll check it out when the car is back home and try to do the swap myself. 

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Maybe post some pics of the strut assemblies when you get them back. We're pretty good around here, we'll be able to tell if you got the wrong parts. Having lifted a couple 2nd generation legacys I can tell you that forester all 98-08 forester struts are a direct bolt in.

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Maybe post some pics of the strut assemblies when you get them back. We're pretty good around here, we'll be able to tell if you got the wrong parts. Having lifted a couple 2nd generation legacys I can tell you that forester all 98-08 forester struts are a direct bolt in.

 

Cool, I will do that! Thanks for the reply.

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Forester is impreza based and the rear top hat has a bolt pattern that matches the 90-94 Legacy bolt pattern would be my guess. The struts will swap but the top hats will not (in the rear).

 

GD

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All of the 98-08 foresters use the 95-99 legacy/02-07 impreza top hat pattern. Only the 90-94 legacy and 93-01 impreza use the smaller rear pattern.

Edited by 86BRATMAN
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Why wouldn't they fit? What did the shop tell you?.Or just..find another shop...

 

There should be P/N's on the strut portion, which will tell you what they are were 'sposed to fit. But if struts are USED it doesn't mean the top hats are matching, though.

 

 

Yup - bolt-in. You'll need to get a long pry bar to lever down the control arm, etc to fit them in, and may want a helper.

 

And, YES, it'll still align fine.

 

If you do it yourself, read up on the front TOP strut bolt (where it attaches to knuckle). It's used for Camber adj....mark the bolt head before removal, put it back where you found it, and usually your alignment is really close (assuming it was good b4).

 

.

Edited by wtdash

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Why wouldn't they fit? What did the shop tell you?.Or just..find another shop...

 

There should be P/N's on the strut portion, which will tell you what they are were 'sposed to fit. But doesn't mean the top hats are matching, though.

 

 

Yup - bolt-in. You'll need to get a long pry bar to lever down the control arm, etc to fit them in, and may want a helper.

 

And, YES, it'll still align fine.

 

If you do it yourself, read up on the front TOP strut bolt (where it attaches to knuckle). It's used for Camber adj....mark the bolt head before removal, put it back where you found it, and usually your alignment is really close (assuming it was good b4).

 

Guy at shop said top hat was different. But I get home and turns out he didn't even open up the box that the fronts were in. :/ Sooo...

 

I'm sure I could do this myself if the parts are correct. I bought fully loaded strut assemblies (price wasn't much more than struts alone) as I didn't want to mess around with a spring compressor if I were to do the install myself. FCS part numbers 1331583L, 1331583R, 1331747L, 1331747R—everywhere I look these fit an 05 Forester (and other years as mentioned). 

 

Here are some pics, as requested above. Do these look right? Tomorrow I'll take a look and see if these fit.

 

Front:

 

front.jpg

front_tophat.jpg

 

Rear:

 

rear.jpg

rear_tophat.jpg

 

Thanks for the help everyone, really appreciate it.

Edited by pooooobaru

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Those look 100% correct. The only side note I can give on installation that hasn't been mentioned is that your brake lines won't mount like they do from the factory. The newer lines bolt to the strut instead of being held with a clip, I've used zip ties in the past to hold the brake line to the strut when fitting newer struts to older cars.

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Looks great. I second the zip ties. Put them in yourself and save some $$$. You have to use a little muscle and creativity when bolting the spindle in. I used a steel pipe as a pry bar and knelt on it to slowly move the control arm where I needed it to go last time.

 

Your stock tires will look little afterwards. I put 225 70 15s under my legacy and they work great. had that size on my old lifted impreza. Put AT 215 75 15s under another legacy.

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BTW, you'll likely need to cut the bracket around the brake line.DO NOT bother w/removing the brake lines...you'll then you have to bleeeeeeed the brakes...PITA and totally unnecessary. Remove the clips, Get a hacksaw, cut a slit, bend the slits opposite and slide out the line - hold it out of the way while you're swapping and see above to Zip it back....No Prob.

Edited by wtdash

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Thanks everyone for the help and input. Install took a couple hours—was pretty easy. Carefully cut the mount holding the brake lines. The new struts had clips so no zip ties were necessary for me (although we do have plenty of zip ties elsewhere on the car!) Disconnecting the sway bars helped a lot. Found some Outback wheels at a local junkyard and threw them on, and made a slight modification to the front bumper. Here's a before and after:

 

Before

IMG_1833.jpg

 

After

IMG_3830.jpg

 

Gonna throw a skid plate on it and some General Grabbers and take this thing off road! 

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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Thought I'd just add an update to this post. Here is a newer pic of our ol' battlewagon, and a little video I put together on the car! Thanks again for the help here.

 

IMG_1983.jpg

 

Video:

 

 

 

Looking back it's pretty dumb that we were going to have a shop do the install since it was so easy! They did a fine job on a bunch of other work they did but apparently don't know anything about lifting Subarus :)

Edited by pooooobaru
  • Like 1

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