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Forester FXT Struts on '90 Legacy - with Pics.

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This isn't going to be as informative as I'd hoped as I didn't get many "before" pics or measurements....not sure WTH is up w/that. :-\


But @ least wanted to share that I installed '08 Forester FXT struts/springs/tophats - the complete assembly - on my '90 Legacy wagon.*


I don't know what the difference is between the FXT model and regular Forester struts.


I already had '98 Outback (OB) struts on it, which were getting weak. As they were used when I got them, I wanted to get new or almost new this go 'round. In looking around I could have gone w/replacements such as the GR2s, which I've seen on ebay or Monroes I've seen online. But I'd have to deal w/spring compressors and such.


But I read on the USMB that Forester's should fit and came across a full set on SubaruForester.org w/only 18K miles.


The fronts went in easy. The top hats were a perfect fit. I marked the top strut bolt, for alignment purposes, pulled the old, installed the new. The brake-line attachment is different on the Forester's strut - it's a U-shape, so I just wedged the metal section of the brake-line where the clip was installed on the old strut, and used a zip-tie to secure it on the Forester's.


* The rears are more work. When I installed the OB struts the rear top hats' bolts didn't line up, so I took the 'ghetto/cheap/lazy' route and just drilled a new hole for one of the bolts, slightly enlarged the other 2 and the top hats fit. Thankfully, the Forester's rear top hats match the OB's, too. So, I was good to go. I used a floor jack on the underside of the brake drum to push up a bit to level it out so the strut bolts would go in easily. I did the same 'mod' w/the brake lines as the fronts.


The ride is much firmer, which I wanted. The front end sits higher, probably a 1/2 inch or more than before, although the struts didn't appear longer. The rear struts on the OB are notably longer - see below. So I've now got more gap between the top of the tire and fender in the front than the rear. But the car seems more level..it had kind of a 'nose-down' appearance w/the OB struts.


I wonder if Forester fronts and OB rears might be an ideal combo?


I took it in for an alignment and they adjusted both fronts (apparently I didn't get my bolts back in the same place) and the left rear's camber (?). But from the rear it still looks like it's riding on the outside of the tires....not sure it's an issue - they didn't comment on it @ the shop.


Here are some pics of a comparison of Forester struts (on the left in the pics) vs. the OB struts:






Rears 2:


And the only before and after pics I have.


Side view w/OB struts and 205/70R-15 snow tires (26.29 in. tall):


Side view w/FXT struts and 205/60R-16 tires (25.68 in. tall):


Front view w/FXTs:


Rear view w/FXTs:




Let me know what y'all think.




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