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Discussion Starter #1
My recently purchased 04 Forester XT is ready for it's drop. With Vail reporting 19in of new snow this morning, it probably doesn't come at the best time possible, but oh well. Saturday it happens and I just want to make sure I have all the bits and pieces when I take it over to the shop so that I can leave later in the day with it installed.

Here is what I have:
Impreza takeoffs
STI Wagon Pinks
and Koni Inserts

Everything is new in box besides the takeoffs. I would also like to keep the Forester suspension in tactic just in case I need to go back to the factory setup. I've snapped a couple photos showing all the parts, mostly because the only hardware I have comes with the Konis. Those can be found here: Flickr: sellmycraig's Photostream
Anything missing from what you can tell?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had always just assumed I need to make sure I had the correct top hats for the car; I never thought to put concern with the springs? My STI springs might not fit in my Subie top hats? Could someone please clarify? It would be much appreciated.
 

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I'm running OEM STi springs ('05?) with stock '07 Forester tophats -- as long as your pinks are '04-'07 fitment, you are fine.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Perfect; I kind of figured. Come next week, Ellen will be sitting prettier and wearing shiny new gold slippers in the 17x8 variety. Pics to come.
 

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I think you will like that setup. Put those gold slippers to good use :rock:

Stan
 

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I'd recommend doing the D-rex mod if you're putting them in impreza housings w/ impreza based springs.

For further clarification on the top hat...

Sturt Insert, Spring, Top Hat all have to match year grouping. If not, you have a dysfunctional pacakage.
 

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What year impreza are the konis for? If they're for a bugeye you'll need a spacer to get them to fit newer style tophats. 03 and earlier impreza stuff uses the old style tophat and spring, 04+ uses the same style as SG foresters.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Alright, so I think I might have a problem. I just took a closer look at what the Subaru shop game me. Here is the breakdown: L/R and R/R off of a 05 Impreza RS and then one L/F from a 02 wrx and one L/F off of a 06 Impreza. (all of this info was written on the struts with white market) The struts is all over the place and I have two left front struts. If I get the 02 wrx L/F strut swapped out with a 04-06 R/F strut should I be all set without a need for spacers? I'm a little lost on what the spacer looks like and does also.

When specifying the strut inserts on TireRack I said I had a 04 WRX which gave me the part numbers 8610-1351sport and 8610-1440sport.

I'm feeling a bit lost, but something tells me swapping out the 02 wrx L/F strut as noted earlier will give me the right equipment. I will also look into what the d-rex mod is. I am also beginning to wonder if Impreza struts are the same as a WRX struts...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So I am itching my head on these D-rex extenders. I found a very helpful thread here and I think that I am beginning to understand the concept. AcquaCow Presents: D_rex Koni bump extenders + Gymkhana springs. - Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community: RS25.com
After first, I was like, how the hell is this round piece of metal at the end of the strut doing anything to extend the travel, but now I am feeling as though something internally is happening to the strut insert. Is this essentially a big washer that is adding volume but making the bolt that's being threaded into the end further out of the housing due to the D-rex extender?

This obviously doesnt change the ride height, correct?
 

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I believe you may be okay with the struts. You would only have a major problem if you had one rear from a wagon, and another rear from a sedan since the strut bolt holes are spaced differently. The Bugeye and '04+ strut bodies are the same even though they take different tophats -- the tophat difference comes in with the threads on the strut shafts, you'll be removing those anyway. Having 2 left front struts just means that on your right front the brakeline bracket will be on the wrong side of the strut, but you can zip-tie the brakeline in place. At install days, we've installed front struts on the wrong side at least once -- trust me, they fit just fine LOL.

I'm running an '04 strut body on my left front, and an '02 body on the right front -- they are the same. As long as all 4 of your inserts are '04 (actually, I think just the rears make the real difference), your tophats will work fine.

The spacers look interesting, they are supposed to move the bottom of the insert lower down, giving the shaft more travel = your bumpstop would be lower. This would not change the ride height, it will just let the shaft travel further down. I haven't had an issue with travel (that I've noticed) with the stock STi springs, I did bottom out on RCE Wagon springs -- those were like 2 inches lower though.

Learning this stuff is pretty neat, eh?

Stan
 

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That guy's springs look pretty short and are coil-binding -- "good" springs should not coil bind. I also don't like how close the bolt that secures the inserts is to the axle boot. Still a neat mod though, pretty much necessary if you are very low.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Stan, I'm a touch confused on the tophats on the mixed year front takeoffs. The strut threads are different any they take different tophats but I still shouldn't have a problem with the one 02 and one 06 tophat when I am using the 04 specific koni inserts?
 

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The threads I'm talking about are on the end of the stock shafts, where the tophats go. You'll be gutting the strut and replacing everything inside with the Koni insert -- the stock shafts will be gone. The Koni shaft threads should be good for your stock tophats.

Stan
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The threads I'm talking about are on the end of the stock shafts, where the tophats go. You'll be gutting the strut and replacing everything inside with the Koni insert -- the stock shafts will be gone. The Koni shaft threads should be good for your stock tophats.

Stan
Okay, fair enough. I'm taking your word for it. :icon_biggrin:
I was starting to think the threads of the Koni inserts might conflict with the threads of one of the tophats. Ignorance is bliss; IGNORANCE IS BLISS!
 

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Consult with the shop if you are unsure, they should know if this will work. I think the Bugeye front struts would fit our tophats anyway, it's the rears that won't. Bugeye struts are just valved softer. I have a left stock Bugeye strut and a stock '07 FXT tophat, I can try fitting them together if anyone is interested.

Stan
 

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Not sure if this was mentioned already but if your rear strut shafts have the smooth shank below the threads like the one in the first pic of the bump extender link you'll need to use a spacer with '04+ top hats.

When mixing and matching I always recommend dry fitting your top hats without the spring to see if the top nut will actually torque the top hat down before it runs out of threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Not sure if this was mentioned already but if your rear strut shafts have the smooth shank below the threads like the one in the first pic of the bump extender link you'll need to use a spacer with '04+ top hats.

When mixing and matching I always recommend dry fitting your top hats without the spring to see if the top nut will actually torque the top hat down before it runs out of threads.
The Black Box: Assuming you are talking about the strut shafts of the Konis, I just went outside to look at them and the rears have a smooth shank area of about a quarter of what's shown in the the first pic of the link. Would someone mind showing me what one of these spaces look like just so I know?
 

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Is this essentially a big washer that is adding volume but making the bolt that's being threaded into the end further out of the housing due to the D-rex extender?

This obviously doesnt change the ride height, correct?
Stan has the basic jist.

As others have pointed out, the Koni's are just an insert, they are not a complete strut. In short, you cut to top of the original strut off, remove all of the guts including the shaft, and drop in this insert Koni sells.

Now, the problem arises of holding this insert inside this shell of a housing you just created.

Option one, you put a giant nut on the top of it to hold it down. Suby struts aren't threaded at the top, so not an option.

Or Option 2, drill a hole at the bottom and run a bolt into the bottom of the insert. <- This being how Suby's are done.

Well, there's a little catch to this, you need something to thread into. To "solve" the problem, Koni welds a little (but still somewhat tall) nub onto the bottom of the insert. Unfortunately, this pushes the strut a little high in the housing, and thus forces the shock into part of the travel to just sit at normal height.

End result is the strut limits downward travel. To remedy this, drill out the bottom of your strut bigger so that now the nub on the bottom of the insert drops through as well. But wait, if the nub is hanging down, how does running a bolt hold it into the strut so it just doesn't pop out?

And this is where the D-rex spacer comes into play. Yes, it's an overgloried washer that is recessed so the nub on the insert drops down into it, but it butts up against the strut housing so it can all be bolted together snug.

Hopefully this made some sort of sense.
 
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