DIY Shock+Strut replacement - how difficult? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
Subaru Forester Forum
ebay search
Subaru Forester Forum
Go Back   Subaru Forester Owners Forum > Technical Forums and Vehicle Assistance > Suspension and Handling
SubaruForester.org is the premier Subaru Forester Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-26-2010, 10:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
Forum Member
 
Wormguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 106
Location: Riverside, CA
Car Year: 2001
Car Model: Forester S
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default DIY Shock+Strut replacement - how difficult?

I have an '01 Forester on which I would like to replace the shocks/struts.

Is this straightforward?

Did you buy the shock/struts with new coil springs, or put back the old springs using a compressor?

Can you direct me to a good source for the replacement parts?
__________________
2001 Subaru Forester S, M/T, 2.5L N/A, 165K miles
Wormguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-26-2010, 10:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
Forum Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
 
stan_t's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,433
Location: San Francisco, CA
Car Year: 1967
Car Model: VW Beetle
Transmission: 4MT
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 12 reviews
Default

Our cars have struts on all 4 corners, only '09+ have shocks in the back and struts in front.

It's not a difficult job, but can be time consuming and impossible to complete without the right tools. I'm down to less than 2 hours for strut/spring swap for either front or rear. You will need spring compressors and air tools help alot.

As far as what to replace and options you have, you need to read up on that and decide -- there are a few options depending on budget and goal.

Stan
__________________
Shocks > struts.
stan_t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
The Seventh Sister
Administrator
Lifetime Supporting Member
 
pleiad7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26,695
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: Forester XT Premium
Transmission: 4EAT
Gallery: 70
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 104 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 49 reviews
Default

Roo did an excellent, very detailed write-up here: The cost of a Swift install?

You can reuse your springs (they don't really wear out), and replace the struts with KYB-GR2's. They are very similar to the stock struts, maybe a little firmer. Can be had VERY cheap on amazon.com:
Amazon Amazon
__________________
-Silke
04 FXT PP PSM ~ "Subed"
98 Forester S ~ "Slynki"
pleiad7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 12:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
aka DMax in Alaska
 
bjcarter2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 787
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Car Year: '06
Car Model: Mini Cooper S JCW
Transmission: 6MT
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 8 reviews
Default

pleiad7 speaks the truth about the KYB Excel-G. KYB is getting away from calling them GR-2s. KYB no longer manufactures them in silver; only black. If you order a GR-2, you will get an Excel-G. They are considered OEM replacements.

I just installed a set with Swift Spec-R springs last night on my '08 FSXT. A little more firm than stock but a great trade off over AGXs for price on a daily driver especially if you are not going to track the car. The strut and springs combo will make a great combo for a DD and an occasional track session.

The time it took us to do the install...3 hours start to finish. That includes building the new struts to install them. My son and I were really taking our time too. Keep in mind though that I only have 40K miles on my '08 FSXT. Your mileage may vary and nuts and bolts may not be as forgiving for you as mine were for me.

I used the '04 WRX Sedan specific struts, springs and top hats. I used a 1/2" spacer in the rear and the car is level at 26" front and rear at the top of the fender lip. I am glad I opted for the spacer. Definitely would have had the saggy butt going on.

Overall...I am extremely pleased with the outcome. My wife...not so pleased. She says it looks small now. It will grow on her though. She didn't like my 1-ton diesel pickup at first after a bit, I couldn't get her out of the seat unless the 30 foot RV was hooked to it.

Anyway, the Foz rides firm, yet not bouncy like coil-overs and handles like its on rails. If I had a set of Star Specs or similar tires, it could only be better.
__________________
08 FSXT - Deceased 11/27/13
06 Mini Cooper S JCW
bjcarter2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 28
Location: San Francisco, California
Car Year: 2000
Car Model: Forester S
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default $269 for set of 4 KYB struts for 2000 Forester

The Amazon price from this company is $39 cheaper. KYB Outlet | Shocks and Struts from Just Suspension, an Authorized KYB Dealer
__________________
2000 Forester S 5-speed manual

Last edited by Tony; 06-26-2010 at 01:18 PM. Reason: New information
Tony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2010, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
Forum Member
Lifetime Supporting Member
 
stan_t's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 8,433
Location: San Francisco, CA
Car Year: 1967
Car Model: VW Beetle
Transmission: 4MT
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 12 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjcarter2 View Post
I just installed a set with Swift Spec-R springs last night on my '08 FSXT. A little more firm than stock but a great trade off over AGXs.
Really? Those springs are designed for an STi, mainly for the track with some daily driving in mind. They are also super low for the Forester. Just another proof that everyone's idea of a DD-friendly setup is very different.

Stan
__________________
Shocks > struts.
stan_t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 12:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
aka DMax in Alaska
 
bjcarter2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 787
Location: Palmer, Alaska
Car Year: '06
Car Model: Mini Cooper S JCW
Transmission: 6MT
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 8 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by stan_t View Post
Really? Those springs are designed for an STi, mainly for the track with some daily driving in mind. They are also super low for the Forester. Just another proof that everyone's idea of a DD-friendly setup is very different.

Stan
I drove an '08 FSXT that these springs were on except they were matched to a set of AGXs. A great way to loosen teeth or induce labor. I bought the set and scraped the AGXs (as it turns out, one was dead anyway) for the Excel-Gs.

I just returned from a 100 mile round-trip drive with my wife and she only made one comment about harshness and that was over a normally sharp bridge joint. She's happy; I'm happy.

No tires rubbing at all. Plenty of room for loading anything of weight. And most of all, it looks great.
__________________
08 FSXT - Deceased 11/27/13
06 Mini Cooper S JCW
bjcarter2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 03:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
Forum Member
 
ddavidv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,219
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Car Year: 02
Car Model: Forester L (sold)
Transmission: Manual
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Default

Wormguy:
You will need the struts (KYB, as suggested above) and spring compressors. KD Tool makes a pretty decent one for not a lot of money, or you can borrow from many chain parts stores. You will also have to crack the brake lines open thanks to Subaru's stupid design, so will need some fluid and a helper to pump the pedal. If you've never bled brakes before look up the how-to before you try. After installation you will need an alignment also. So yeah, you can do it yourself, but it's not a simple afternoon project where you're done once the parts are on the car. You may want to get quotes from some shops and see if the savings are worth the hassle.
__________________
'02 L m/t. Insurance adjuster 4 U.
ddavidv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 04:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,598
Location: Norway (Far North)
Car Year: 2007
Car Model: Mitsubishi Pajero
Transmission: 5spd Automatic
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddavidv View Post
Wormguy:
You will need the struts (KYB, as suggested above) and spring compressors. KD Tool makes a pretty decent one for not a lot of money, or you can borrow from many chain parts stores. You will also have to crack the brake lines open thanks to Subaru's stupid design, so will need some fluid and a helper to pump the pedal. If you've never bled brakes before look up the how-to before you try. After installation you will need an alignment also. So yeah, you can do it yourself, but it's not a simple afternoon project where you're done once the parts are on the car. You may want to get quotes from some shops and see if the savings are worth the hassle.
No need to crack the brake lines if you have the tools to cut in on the strut. The part of the strut holding the brakeline in place can be cut into. There is a clip on the brakeline anyway. So all my kyb's are cut on the outer end where the brakeline sits.
But cutting the old strut while it sits on the car you must be careful so you don't cut the brakeline or anything else. Like the strut itself you don't want to cut.
__________________
07 Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 5EAT
99 Forester: Sold
Elmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
Forum Member
Thread Starter
 
Wormguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 106
Location: Riverside, CA
Car Year: 2001
Car Model: Forester S
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Default

Thank you all for the advice. I have some 20 years of shadetree mechanic experience but haven't tackled struts before. While I don't have air tools, I have breaker bars and sockets because I am planning to do a timing belt on an '01 Honda Odyssey very soon.

This job looks quite doable. I will order KYB struts and borrow coil compressors from AutoZone. There is a shop nearby from me that can do an alignment.

ddavidv & Elmy: I have bled brakes many times before, but didn't realize that one could try modifying the (rear?) struts to avoid having to do it.

Let's see how it all goes...
__________________
2001 Subaru Forester S, M/T, 2.5L N/A, 165K miles
Wormguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2010, 02:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
Forum Member
 
ddavidv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,219
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Car Year: 02
Car Model: Forester L (sold)
Transmission: Manual
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
Default

Air tools or electric impact gun will make using the spring compressors far faster.
I'm not a 'cut the strut' kind of guy so it never crossed my mind, but I don't see anything wrong with doing that, either. Sounds like you are capable of doing this job.
__________________
'02 L m/t. Insurance adjuster 4 U.
ddavidv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2010, 10:25 AM   #12 (permalink)
Forum Member
 
Galager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,253
Location: New York, NY
Car Year: 13
Car Model: Forester XT
Transmission: 4EAT
Gallery: 0
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Feedback Score: 8 reviews
Default

I have done this three times now. Do yourself a favor, buy new nuts for the bottom strut bolts. They are easily stripped, even when using a torque wrench and actually supposed to only be used once as per the subaru manual. I stripped one on my car re-installing, it stripped the camber bolt alos, and it was a PITA, had to get a special nut cracker to get it off.
__________________
'05 XT 5 spd VF - SOLD
'13 XT Touring
Galager is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Subaru Forester Owners Forum > Technical Forums and Vehicle Assistance > Suspension and Handling

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:15 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.