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2006 Forester LL BEAN
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Discussion Starter #1
After spending several hours over the past week I am :evilatyou: steaming. I have 92K miles on my 06 LL Bean and my struts are shot. After searching for rear self leveling suspension (SLS) replacements I really do not want to spend $850 are struts for all four corners. That does not even include labor, which I am confident I can execute myself. I just want to get rid of the SLS. Which struts and springs should I get? I have searched and read nearly every thread on struts for my subbie and I am still not clearly sold on which set of springs and struts. I do not want to loose any ride height or do not want to any sag. Can I do the KYB spring and strut swap? If so which? Perhaps a different brand? Cost is an issue. Of course I want do it right, but do not want to spend an arm and a leg. Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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2007 FXT 4eat
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260 Posts
850 for four corners is cheap already.. AFAIK 1 piece of the rear self leveling strut is 600+ already.

mine just got busted a week ago.. perfect time to go low.. what i did was get a kyb ordinary strut( non self leveling) and tein lowering spring..

if you really like the standard height then you can just get kyb struts then get an oem springs for non sls forester.

btw, part number for the kyb struts is quite confusing... AFAIK sf and sg forester do have the same strut.. i bought sf rear strut for 07 xt forester and we installed it without any problem.:icon_biggrin:
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
What about buying gas struts and springs from kyb. They do have both types it seems. That will keep your groundclearance I belive

Edit: I'm wrong here. Kyb only supply springs for the SF. Not the SG it seems. If you for some reason go for SF suspension you can go kyb all the way.
Or else like others said buy kyb struts and oem springs from a non sls foz.
Or if you like a lower ride you have all the other options too.
 

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Just replace the rear struts and springs with one from another SG (03-08) forester. All model SG foresters have the same strut fitment, you could probably find some from an XT thats been lowered pretty cheap. I got a full set of WRX suspension for $200, so just rear forester stuff should be pretty cheap.
 

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2006 Forester LL BEAN
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice. I will keep you all posted. I think I am sold on the KYBs and stock springs for the rear.
 

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2006 Forester LL Bean 4 sp auto
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6 Posts
I had a huge struggle when buying my 06 Forester LL Bean with self-leveling because I loved the feel of the WRX SW. The cost of premium gas and other practical considerations (and my wife!) ruled and I bought the LL Bean version.

Now I have 65K on the odometer, the ride has deteriorated and I am ready to bite the bullet and replace the struts. I would love to have the feel with road feedback of the WRX.

How does the self-leveling rear work?

What struts are commended? Can I replace the rear struts with some better ones w/o losing the SLS?

Thanks!
 

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2007 FXT 4eat
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260 Posts
i really hate those self leveling strut when one of it gets busted... uneven tire wear on both sides of the car will be very very obvious..

i tried testing SLS by pushing the shaft down.. wow! its very strong! i cant push it down even an inch! the busted sls acts like its just a normal strut.. you push and it retracts.

your option here is to get kyb strut and slap a non sls spring

the strut itself has the self leveling feature
 

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Basically the SLS struts "pump up" to increase the pressure and stop the back end from sagging with a heavier load. They use a weaker spring and use the strut to control ride height. If you want a WRX ride, go for wrx take off suspension!
 

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2006 Forester LL BEAN
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I am for sure getting rid of the SLS crap. As for ride height... I want the same or an inch or so more. Here in New Mexico there are some great trails that require an additional height. Of course I am not going rock crawling.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
If you want more. Buy raised King springs. Will get you a bit more ride height but will also cost you more to get since there is some lack of king spring dealers around the US and most of the world it seems. I think I read on one thread about some dealer going to import king springs tho.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 5 Speed Manual
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536 Posts
Wow! I'm glad I came across this! I have been thinking in the back of my mind how cool it would be to have the SLS feature on my '06 XT, but at that price and the troubles that seems to arise (along with the short lifespan) I'm going to reconsider...

I've got 80K on the OEM ones and haven't noticed any difference in ride handling... I know all the tire tech guys say to replace them at 50K, but oh well :biggrin: The funny thing too is that I have yet to have any sort of wheel alignment done and the 2nd set of tires are wearing nicely! YAY FOR SUBARU!! :Banane17:
 

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2006 Forester LL BEAN
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
OK, I just purchased non-sls G2 struts for all four corners, but I need a part number for the rear non-sls springs. Additionally, do the top hats from the sls fit the non-sls struts? HELP:icon_redface:
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,594 Posts
OK, I just purchased non-sls G2 struts for all four corners, but I need a part number for the rear non-sls springs. Additionally, do the top hats from the sls fit the non-sls struts? HELP:icon_redface:
I can't help help you with part nr. As for the top hats the gr2's are replacement struts so they will fit your oem top hats
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,752 Posts
OK, I just purchased non-sls G2 struts for all four corners, but I need a part number for the rear non-sls springs. Additionally, do the top hats from the sls fit the non-sls struts? HELP:icon_redface:
Don't know about top hats, but if you're buying SPRINGS, you don't really need PN - just tell them "any 03-08 Forester EXCEPT LL Bean". Try junkyards, too (e.g., car-parts.com). And if top hats ARE different, you can always get what you need used (junkyards or NAISOC - any 04-07 Impreza will do).

EDIT: Alternatively, buy Swifts springs if you have a little more cash to spare - you'll like the improvement in handling.
 

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2006 Forester LL BEAN
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I have been out of town for over a week. My son did the G2 strut and rear spring swap out while I was gone. Wow, it drives so much better. Much better than blowing a ton of money on the SLS. Thanks for the support!:woohoo:
 

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2005 Forester 2.5Xten
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19 Posts
Hi,

Can you tell me the brand and part number of springs you used. I replaced my rear SLS suspension with KYB dampers and standard spings on my MY06. Rear end sagged by at least 2 inches.


Thanks.
 
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