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jojito 01-08-2013 10:09 AM

New Owner of 1995 Legacy L Wagon - need strut advice and opinions.
Hi all - I purchased a 1995 Subaru Legacy L Wagon last month. It is my first Subaru and I have been reading a lot about maintenance and upgrades. Right now it is my primary vehicle (daily driver). While I'm not looking to build a race car or anything, I would like to consider stepping-up components as they need replacement. My first major job will be the struts.

My struts are loud and springy - I'd like to replace them. I've done a lot of reading and will try the job myself - it appears simple enough. However, I've read several posts about raising Gen II Legacys using Outback strut assemblies and I think that may be a worthy upgrade. The price seems reasonable and the extra inch or so would certainly be nice. However, I don't want to create problems with poor fitting mods.

So... I guess my questions is - if it were your Legacy, and you needed new struts anyhow, would you go thru the trouble of adding some lift, or is that flirting with disaster?

Rather than purchase second-hand/junkyard struts, I'm thinking of just buying new struts and springs... but I'd also like to identify what other parts and pieces would be needed for the upgrade. Based on what I've read it seems like there is always something that needs to be adjusted, added, shortened, lengthened, etc. Is that so, or am I making too much of it? Are used parts OK to use? Can I purchase the struts and springs as a kit?

I need to do something soon enough, and would kick my self to find out that I could have had a little lift just by buying different (Outback) parts. It makes sense, but seems too easy to be true!! If I can't find a good answer I'll probably just order OEM struts this weekend - that's why I figured sign-up and ask today.

Thanks in advance - Herman

Stasis 01-08-2013 04:56 PM

Checked this thread out?

jojito 01-08-2013 05:35 PM

I did read that, and it was kind of overload (though full of good info). Also said it was under construction and has blank posts; so.. I wasn't sure if I was missing something. Most of the Qs are about lowering - only a little about raising.

The *gasp* about raising the car made me think it's a really bad idea, so I thought I'd ask the question.

I'm not a Subaru guy, so I'm not aware of the ride heights of different Subarus. From the sounds of it though, the struts are nearly interchangeable in all models... I never would have guessed that.

If it were something I thought was bad for the car - there's no way I'd do it. That's what I'm trying to figure out. However, if it's merely a matter of pretending my Legacy is an Outback - it has a roof rack and all - that sounds like fun. I do a lot of camping and such.

Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it. I'll throw some pics up and show off what I got lol.

twisty 01-09-2013 07:17 AM

im pretty sure if you go too high you may have camber issues. you may need to look at the sway bar and end links as well. as far as i remember, the OB struts/ springs will fit on our car (i have a 95 wagon also) without issues. mine is FWD only so its going to stay a street car and be lowered a bit. my next one will be AWD and up a bit.

spooln30 01-13-2013 04:46 AM

Just buy a set of new KYB struts and I'm willing to bet you'll need the strut mounts as well. If your having suspension noise when driving over a bumpy road it would most likely be a strut mount but sway bar end links, SB bushings and balljoints should also be considered for the noise. That's being said check your suspension all around for any parts that show wear. The sway bar bushings and end links should be checked with the full weight of the car on the tires, meaning it still can be in the air but it would have to be on a set of drive on ramps or maybe some cinder blocks. The reason for checking those parts out like this is when you have your car jacked up and on stands the suspension is at full drop and it will be pulling down on the sway bar and its harder to tell if the bushings or end links are worn. GL.

zangado1 01-13-2013 06:35 AM

I have a 95 wagon and found a complete set of shock/strut spring assembly off of a 04 WRX Wagon at my local salvage yard for $200,the car was rear ended and had only 40.000 on it. My car handles like a dream...night and day differance for cheap.

jojito 01-13-2013 12:10 PM

1995 Legacy L Wagon - Outback struts update/Qs
1. The top shaft is thicker on the new front struts and the bump-stop won't fit. Do I need one or can I leave it off? I have them in-place without them, but I have a feeling that's not the correct way.

2. I can fit the front struts in-place OK with some fidgeting, but the rear is much less forgiving. I'm worried I won't be able to get the hub low enough for the knuckle to line up properly. Any suggestions? Can I compress the strut? Do I need to loosen/replace other parts?

Thanks again for your help.

I gave up about 2:30 this morning and went to bed - slightly terrified I've made a mistake by trying to go taller :) I just can't imagine how I'm going to get the rear new/taller struts installed without snapping something.

Please talk me off the ledge lol. Thanks, Herman.

jojito 01-13-2013 06:45 PM

Thanks zandango1. Did you have trouble getting the longer strut towers to fit in the rear? The lack of wiggle room for the rear struts is giving me a very hard time. Close but no cigar - I feel like I'm gonna break something trying to get it to work.

Also, got the fronts finished but didn't use a bump-stop... is that bad?


PS - I'm in Wilmington, Delaware - hola neighbor!

jojito 01-13-2013 06:47 PM






jojito 01-13-2013 06:55 PM

PS - all four struts had zero rebound. 100% toast. Thus, even if my lift attempt is a failure, not a complete waste of effort.

G Man 01-19-2013 10:16 PM

It looks like you forgot to take the swaybar off the lateral link.

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