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Bratastick

replacement struts on 82 Brat

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Bought some replacement struts off Amazon, Gabriel G55726, and have installed them. 

When the old ones came off they didn't really have any rebound. Pretty much would stay put wherever you put them. I'm guessing that indicated they were shot? Had 100k on them. I suspect they were original. 

 

The replacement ones are completely extended at rest. They push down with resistance as you would expect. It seems though that when installed there's not enough weight to compress them and they stay at their full extended amount. Is that right? When I go over bumps they "top out" I can hear it.

 

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Originals are oil. A lot of after market stuff is also oil but gas pressurised and tell tale is they are strapped or bound in shortest position and spring to longest upon release. Hearing something top out? Did you inspect the top mounts for worn or dry bushing? And point them same direction. As they came out?

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I've been running these gabriel struts now for a few months and they just don't ride very well. They are definitely are riding at the top of the stroke. Is it possible to get original oil struts? Does Subaru still sell them? 

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Drop the setting on your rear axle to allow some of the tension on the torsion bars to be reduced. This will lower the rear end and hopefully stop the shocks from topping out.

 

New shocks will never ride the same as worn shocks - that's the whole point of replacing them in the first place!

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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You know, the older factory shocks/struts last a ridiculously long time.

 

I hope you didn't throw your old ones away. 100k is barely broken in for a Subaru.

 

I realize their is an awful lot of marketing pressure telling you, "Change your shocks and struts for a better, safer ride!"

 

Were they leaking?  I didn't think so.

 

That's how inferiorly made shocks/struts fail. The seal goes bad, they leak out the oil, and the car starts bouncing.

 

Was it bouncing?  I didn't think so.

 

Sure, it is possible for the internals to wear while still maintaining the outer seal, but not in my experience.

 

I have been driving Subarus almost exclusively for nearly 40 years, and have never changed out my factory units. Ever.

 

My main work vehicle has over 500k HARD miles with lots of towing. I noticed a few weeks ago that the LF spring is broken at the top coil. Still rides fine, doesn't bounce.

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Your factory shocks must be different to ours...

 

My L series: Front and rear sturts/shocks swapped at ~380k km. Rear shocks replaced with KYB aftermarkets (gas) at ~470k km. Now at 520k km and the fronts probably need replacing, but am yet to check for leakage. This unit is my offroader.

My Brumby: rear shocks replaced at ~200k km

Sister's liberty: front struts replaced. 350k km at the time.

 

The brumby sat for a very long time (outside I assume) so constant use seems to be good for shocks.

 

Dust and dirt is also a killer. Those plastic boots on the shaft are good for the shocks ;)

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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"The brumby sat for a very long time (outside I assume) so constant use seems to be good for shocks."

 

Yeah, if they sit for too long, the shaft will begin to rust, and then the seal is history.

 

I've seen regularly used EA81s with the upper metal shock housing completely rusted off and still rocking with no leaks!

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Subaru Scott, I'm sorry but no strut or shock, from any manufacturer, will last the life of a vehicle.

 

OP, most struts start to wear out between 60-100k miles.  The car don't have to bounce for the suspension to be worn out.  It's mostly a "feel" thing, but if you've got the suspension off the car, there should be resistance when you try compressing the strut and it should try to rebound after you release it.

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Freddo, he said struts, not shocks. If you hear them topping out, it's possible there's just too much gas pressure and what you're hearing is the internals of the strut slamming into the top of the tube when they go to full extension. I've only replace a few Subie struts over the years for leaking and never had that problem, but I don't use Gabriel. they're pretty much bottom of the line.

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Yes, well, of course YMMV...  ;)

 

And you will be able to source endless accounts of people who swear their new shocks/struts made their car handle like a Cadillac, or a race car. Whatever it is they were going for.

 

They just spent hundreds (or thousands) on the latest XYZ Purple fusion abracadabra struts, and now they're in a completely different car.

 

And they're not necessarily lying, most will make themselves believe it. Just like how it shifts better with a $150 weighted shift knob!

 

EA81s never had pressurized gas struts/shocks from the factory. When they are loose from the spring, they do not try to extend.

 

Pressurized gas helps to keep the oil from foaming on repeated, high speed oscillations.

 

This can be beneficial when you are driving in a rally race, or down a long staircase.

 

On a bare strut/shock without the spring, if you can feel firm, EVEN, resistance throughout the entire stroke, then it's just fine.

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Skip, true that.

 

And yes, gas struts/shocks will sit a bit higher than oil filled units...

 

Cheers

 

Bennie

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