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ron917

Front struts for 99 Outback Wagon

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The original struts have a bracket for the ABS sensor cable, tack welded opposite of the brake hose bracket. The new KYB GR-2s that I got from Tire Rack don't have that ABS cable bracket. Otherwise, the replacements look identical to the originals.

 

Did I get the wrong part, or am I supposed to figure out a way to move that bracket? A couple minutes with a drill and MIG welder would do the trick. Or maybe just go with zip ties?

 

I found it strange that many web sites don't list front struts for my car. They have listings that specify 95 thru 5/98, then 00 and up. My car was built in 4/99. Tire Rack didn't specify a build date, just asked for year/make/model as usual.

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call them up and tell them you need the ones for abs.

 

The original struts have a bracket for the ABS sensor cable, tack welded opposite of the brake hose bracket. The new KYB GR-2s that I got from Tire Rack don't have that ABS cable bracket. Otherwise, the replacements look identical to the originals.

 

Did I get the wrong part, or am I supposed to figure out a way to move that bracket? A couple minutes with a drill and MIG welder would do the trick. Or maybe just go with zip ties?

 

I found it strange that many web sites don't list front struts for my car. They have listings that specify 95 thru 5/98, then 00 and up. My car was built in 4/99. Tire Rack didn't specify a build date, just asked for year/make/model as usual.

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I have the same exact issue this am (kind of ironic), with my local Schwab dealer. I have a 12/98 build and was told that, KYB does not make struts for that model and year??? Also the KYB tech rep he called said the same thing? Does anybody know why or is there a fix for this? I understand that Gabriels will fit this car, but I have heard GR-2 are much preffered.

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Pauli, that doesn't sound like good news. I also prefer the KYB GR-2s to anything else available for my Outback.

 

I've had a lot of trouble findiing the proper parts for my '99, even from multiple dealers. It almost seems like Subaru used random parts for each car they built.

 

I'm going to carefully check the new struts against the originals and do some further research. If the ABS cable bracket is the only difference, I'll put them in and do something to keep the wires out of the way.

 

Can anyone describe how the front ABS sensor cable is routed in a '95 thru 5/98 Outback? Pics are best of course.

 

If these front KYBs won't work, I'll return all four struts and go with OEM from one of the online dealers. Gabriel and Monroe list struts for my car, but I haven't been real happy with them in the past. I wish Bilstien made struts for my Outback.

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Here's what I know so far:

 

Tire Rack sent me KYB GR-2s, part numbers 235632 and 235633, for front struts.

 

Other vendors (e.g., Advance Auto Parts) call for those same numbers for my car, and all Legacy Outbacks '95 to '99. Some other web sites do not list a front GR-2 for my car, but end at 5/98.

 

KYB's web site, http://www.kyb.com, says they're catalog is coming soon. No help there.

 

Monroe's online catalog (at http://www.monroe.com) calls for 71412 and 71413 for my front struts. Those same numbers are listed for '95 to '99 Legacy Outbacks. rockauto.com has actual photographs and dimensions for those Monroe struts. You can see the ABS cable bracket on the Monroes. The dimensions given for the Monroes match the KYBs within 1/8 inch.

 

Gabriel's online catalog (http://www.gabriel.com) calls for G55865 and G55866 for my front struts. Those same numbers are listed for '95 to '99 Legacy Outbacks. I could not find a photo or dimensions for the Gabriel struts.

 

My thinking is that, except for the ABS cable bracket, the KYBs should fit. I can easily fabricate some kind of bracket, use zip ties, or hack the brackets off the old struts and weld them to the new ones.

 

The FSM does not show an ABS cable bracket in the strut section. It does show one in the brake section, but it is not welded to the strut. It is held on by the nut on one of the big strut mounting bolts.

 

I intend to try fitting the KYBs tomorrow. I'll check and measure everything to make sure they'll fit. I'll post an update when I'm finished.

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Ron917, I pm'd you my findings before looking at all your posted data.... so no need to reply. One of my quotes gave me the same for the front 235632 and 235633, the other gave me 334111 and 334112 (both guys were perplexed) which is what I got when I cross referenced Gabriels that supposbly fit the 99 G55865 and G55866?? I looked and http://www.kyb.com is no help but http://www.kybshocksonline.com does. When you type in all the info for Subaru, Legacy, Outback, 99. The only thing that comes up is the strut mount, nothing else, no struts.

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SUCCESS! The KYB GR-2 front stuts part numbers 235632 and 235633 fit perfectly!

 

Except for the ABS sensor cable bracket, they are identical in every dimension to the OEM Subaru struts that were on the car.

 

The ABS sensor cable has a rubber gromment on it with a clamp folded around that. That clamp is what is bolted onto the bracket on the stock struts. Using a screwdriver and two pairs of pliers, I openend the clamp. I then pushed the rubber grommet up the cable about an inch or so, and folded the clamp back as it was. I used a large zip tie through bolt hole in the clamp and around the strut body to hold the cable in place.

 

I wanted to drill/chisel the brackets off of the old struts and tack weld them on to the new, but I ran out of time - it got dark and started raining (I really need to clean out my garage so I can work in it). Another option is to fabricate a bracket that is attached via the strut mounting bolts - the FSM drawings (in the brake section) show that arrangement. The brackets will go on my "to do someday" list.

 

I didn't get to the rear struts today, and rain is forcast for tomorrow, so it may be next weekend until I get to them. I'm sure they are the correct parts (KYB GR-2s part numbers 335020 and 335021).

 

Just having new front struts made a drastic improvement in the ride. The old ones were very weak, one had no resitance at all under compression.

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Ron917, I pm'd you my findings before looking at all your posted data.... so no need to reply. One of my quotes gave me the same for the front 235632 and 235633, the other gave me 334111 and 334112 (both guys were perplexed) which is what I got when I cross referenced Gabriels that supposbly fit the 99 G55865 and G55866?? I looked and www.kyb.com is no help but www.kybshocksonline.com does. When you type in all the info for Subaru, Legacy, Outback, 99. The only thing that comes up is the strut mount, nothing else, no struts.

Paul, I don't think kybshocksonline is an official KYB website, they appear to be just a vendor.

 

I don't think that 334111 and 334112 are correct for the Outback. I see them listed at many sites for the regular Legacy. The only way to know for sure would be to measure them, and compare against the dimensions for the Monroe 71412 found at rockauto.com (http://www.rockauto.com/ref/Monroe/71412.html)

 

Per my previous post, 235632 and 235633 fit the front as long as you can figure out a way to support the ABS sensor cable. 335020 and 335021 are correct for the rear as near as I can tell (I'll know for sure when I install them).

 

-Ron

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Ron,

Great I will go with those part numbers. I appreciate the info, this sight is great and it was so funny that somoene out there had the same exact problem I did on the same day!!!! If anything else comes up please advise. I will do the same. Long live the Subie.....

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Great info, thanks guys!! Ron, did you need any special tools to do the struts? Like a spring compressor or something to compress the strut? I replaced the cv joint so I've had the two bottom strut bolts out. I don't want to take the tops ones out and have the thing jump out doing damage. Thanks

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Considering that we use big wire ties to hold down electric cables on our trains I don't think you have to bother cutting off and welding brackets.

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Great info, thanks guys!! Ron, did you need any special tools to do the struts? Like a spring compressor or something to compress the strut? I replaced the cv joint so I've had the two bottom strut bolts out. I don't want to take the tops ones out and have the thing jump out doing damage. Thanks

 

Spring compressors are ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED to change struts. Doing it without is asking for trouble. My spring compressors cost about $55 at Sears. They can be rented or borrowed from Advance Auto, Autozone, etc.

 

You can take struts out of the car without a spring compressor by removing the three nuts that hold the mount to car body and the two big bolts at the bottom. However, you cannot remove the big nut in the center of the strut mount without compressing the spring.

 

Follow the procedure in the factory service manual. Even Haynes should be OK.

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A vise and air tools make it a lot easier too. When you install the compressor be very carefull and spend extra couple of minutes lubing and aligning the device. You don't want to have to go back and repeat the process.

If you are a beginner it is money well spent to take the struts off and have a pro change the springs.

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FYI many auto stores will "rent" you a spring compressor for free, you get 100% of the cost back when you return it.

 

And I highly suggest having air tools to use that compressor, it makes the job much much easier.

 

Steve

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