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Hi All!

We just got our second Soobie.  The first is a gorgeously rusted '93 Loyale that we've had for almost 2 years despite its ... "condition."  (Someone told me it's like a nice pair of worn jeans).

This 2001 Forester is awesome!  Engine is strong and the clutch is brand spankin new.  It has some mods because we got it some a city boy who lowered it, put on a different bumper (from an outback?), heavily tinted the windows, larger wheels (17s), and added a beefy resonator.  You can hear this thing 4 blocks away.  We're looking to use it in the FOREST (and desert).  First item on the agenda is to raise it back up.  I'm a Youtube and Ultimate Subaru mechanic, so I took it to the shop to see what they would suggest (and to get a quote).

The shop said the previous owner just swapped out strut assemblies, so the job is easy enough: get some quick struts and swap em back.  Instead of paying them $1500 to do the job, I figured I can do it myself with inexpensive parts.

My questions are these:
1.) If I get some quick struts from ebay or elsewhere (www.tiny.cc/quickstruts), is it easy to swap out without using a spring compressor?
2.) Instead of stock-size quick struts, if I wanted to raise it up just an inch higher, are there quick struts that will do that for me (I read on another thread that raising up to 2" higher doesn't need extra work)?
3.) Should I find stock 15" wheels to replace these 17"s?

Thanks for any help and advice!

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Edited by Tony Cortado

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if you can remove the strut assemblies, you can take them and new parts (KYB is the MUCH preferred brand of strut) to a shop and pay them to move the parts over for you if you don't want to mess with spring compressors but still want to save a little money.

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10 minutes ago, john in KY said:

15 inch wheels will probably not clear the front brake calipers but easy to check.

Aren't 15 inch stock for 2001 foresters?  (I don't really know)

Edited by Tony Cortado

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I don't know either. 

 

Edit:  Checked another site and you are correct. My bad.

Edited by john in KY

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yes, 15" is stock on early 2000s Foresters.

If the only thing needed to bring the Foz back up is "stock" strut assemblies - get KYBs, not Monroe.

KYB is the preferred "aftermarket" brand for Subarus of all ages.

you would need to purchase the struts themselves, and probably springs... everything else can be swapped over - top hats, rubber spring insulators, boots, etc.

however, i would suggest getting at least the front tophats to have on hand, as the bearing in them tends to go with age..

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On 1/4/2019 at 9:51 AM, john in KY said:

15 inch wheels will probably not clear the front brake calipers but easy to check.

They will fit on foresters up to 04 at least I know.

It's the 2000+ Outbacks that got the big brakes and minimum 16" wheels.

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Go to your local you pull and pay and grab a newer set of KYB's off a Forester, complete struts and springs for about 45 each.  I watch for them all the time when I'm going through the yards and pull them when I see a good set, even if I don't need them right away.

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1 hour ago, jonathan909 said:

I'm still trying to catch up with all y'all wrt what a "quick strut" is.  Does that just mean "strut-with-spring assembly"?

 

yup.  "preloaded" strut assembly.

I don't think KYB makes them.....only monroe and gabriel???

I wouldn't go that route.  I would buy a set of used OEM and put those springs on new brand new struts, or just run the used for a while and see if they are decent.

I would never put Monroe garbage struts on a subie.  Definately stay away from "Sensen" struts.........chinese junk.

 

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15 hours ago, lmdew said:

Go to your local you pull and pay and grab a newer set of KYB's off a Forester, complete struts and springs for about 45 each.  I watch for them all the time when I'm going through the yards and pull them when I see a good set, even if I don't need them right away.

while this is a great option if the pull-n-pay yards are available to you, but not everyone has access to one (or more).

There are ZERO pull-n-pay yards anywhere close to me.. none of the yards here will allow anyone out in the "field" - you go to a counter, ask for what you need, and a yard employee will go get it for you here.. "insurance reasons" is the stated reason why.
 

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I can't be the only one here who finds that weird.  Out here in Calgary we have three self-serve yards - Two Pick-n-Pull and one smaller regional independent.  But a few years ago, out in Southern Ontario (where the vast majority of Canada's population is) I couldn't find one to save my life.  I'm sure there's a pattern in this, but I sure haven't been able to suss it.

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well, it is what it is - and for those of us that do not have access to pick-n-pull, it does suck. But what do you do? We can not force them to let us go get our own parts off of cars in the yard.

years ago we used to be able to do it, but not anymore.

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:27 PM, lmdew said:

Go to your local you pull and pay and grab a newer set of KYB's off a Forester, complete struts and springs for about 45 each.  I watch for them all the time when I'm going through the yards and pull them when I see a good set, even if I don't need them right away.

Can I just swap out the assemblies?  Take off the bolts and swap?

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1 hour ago, Tony Cortado said:

Can I just swap out the assemblies?  Take off the bolts and swap?

yes, if you have complete assemblies, you can do this.

3 nuts on top, 2 bolts on the bottom - out with the old, in with the "new". pay attention to the 2 large bolts at the bottom - one is cammed for alignment purposes - it needs to go back in the same place.

being as how you will be changing the overall stance, you should make an appointment for a proper alignment as soon as possible after the swap so you don't end up with unnecessary tire wear

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Can someone please enlighten me as to how and why KYB are the preferred brand?  As a general rule I go econo and ignore the expensive upsell to "greater quality" with most replacement parts.  That is, unless there are compelling quantitative and/or qualitative arguments for the extra cost presented by people who know - a ready example is the OEM thermostat.  So when I replaced all four struts on my '02 Forester (since its crash, transplanted to the '01), I went with Gabriel Ultra and FCS (from Rock).  How much difference will it make?

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they make the OEM struts for most Subarus on the road.

 

My experience with most 'consumables' for autos is that the 'econo' choice will poor quality.  Short-lived or poor performance.  Though, I don't have much experience with struts - that has been the case for belts, wipers, brake pads, radiator caps, hoses, etc. Economy stuff seems to be made for folks selling or flipping cars.

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9 hours ago, jonathan909 said:

Can someone please enlighten me as to how and why KYB are the preferred brand?  As a general rule I go econo and ignore the expensive upsell to "greater quality" with most replacement parts.  That is, unless there are compelling quantitative and/or qualitative arguments for the extra cost presented by people who know - a ready example is the OEM thermostat.  So when I replaced all four struts on my '02 Forester (since its crash, transplanted to the '01), I went with Gabriel Ultra and FCS (from Rock).  How much difference will it make?

Monroe & Gabriel are a much "softer" ride than KYB - they also allow more body roll, too.. I have tried both on the various Subarus i have owned over the years and did not really care for the ride, and they did not seem to last very long on the poorly maintained roads I have to drive on here.. I live in rural WI, and some of our roads are not great - especially the gravel ones..

I much prefer the KYB in ride and handling, and the KYBs just seem to hold up better to the beatings these roads can dish out.

fwiw - the Subies I have owned are:

1989 GL wagon, FWD, 5 spd

1990 Legacy LS wagon, AWD, Auto

1995 Legacy L Wagon, AWD, Auto - Forester strut lifted

2002 Forester, AWD, Auto - pretty much bone stock

Other Subarus we (other half) have had - 88 GL Coupe Auto w/push button AWD, 89 GL 5 spd Dual Range wagon, 1991 Legacy FWD 5 spd sedan, and a 2006 LL Bean Outback

Edited by heartless

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