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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I put it off too long. My wife’s car needs some suspension and steering maintenance and love. This is a daily driver and grocery getter. It is driven conservatively and gets about 10K miles per year.

2000 Forester L - 4EAT transmission
200K miles.
All original suspension and steering.

I was advised on some of it and I have known some of it. Some of it I just assume. If I’m going to have it all apart, I might as well be a little pre-emptive. The transmission is slipping a little, but if I can repair all this for $1K or so in parts, we’ll get a return on investment in a few months.

The plan is to give this car to our son in a few years so I intend to repair it. I’d even swap transmissions if it finally gives up the ghost. He wouldn’t mind it lifted so perhaps that should enter this discussion as well.

Shocks/struts. They have 200K miles on them. I assume they need to be replaced. Since I will have this suspension apart anyway, I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be good to replace them. Other thoughts? Advice on basic replacements that are cost efficient and will perform fine?

I knew the rear fluid bushings in the front LCA had leaked at some point. I was advised the bushing are shot and I don’t doubt it. They seem to be pretty straightforward to replace. I assume the front bushings need to be replaced too. I don’t have a press, but I am not opposed to buying one for this and future use. Suggestions on replacing bushings vs swapping complete LCA. Suggestions on which ones to go with?

Steering rack - both boots are torn and it is weeping fluid. Replace the whole thing or just replace the boots and milk it as long as possible. Looks like a Cardone version sells on rock auto for $191.

Thoughts on doing all this myself. It’ll be on jack stands in the garage. I’ve pulled the engine and did head gaskets, all the seals, etc., timing belt, etc. I have done shocks on my truck, etc. I guess a middle ground shade tree mechanic. The only tool I don’t have is a hydraulic press.


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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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<snipped> it might get better visibility there. <snipped>
@Silverbullet555 that depends on how you view the forum. I always click on "new" & never on a specific section or sub-forum.
527339

The "Problems, Maintenance, and Warranty" sub-forum is like the technical "general forum", below that, are sub-forums for specific issues... discussions. It's always best to create your thread in the sub-forum that best matches the problem you're working on.

If you're concern is that no one replied to your thread, there's this:
You can bump up your thread once a day, which will move it to the top of the "new" list.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal][/quote]
 

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2009 Legacy
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775 Posts
Regarding suspension and your son wanting it raised, if you're replacing the struts, this would be the time to space it up. You wouldn't want to do an alignment twice: once for the struts' replacement and one more time for when you put the spacers in.
Anderson Design sells really good spacers. If all you want it a mild 1" raise, all you need to do is put spacers in the struts' tops. It is a bit of a challenge to get the struts back in place but it will look good. If you go with more than one inch, you will need to put spacers in other parts of the car as well - not difficult but more work.

Regarding presses, I bought a 20 ton press from harbor freight:
At one point, I needed a stubborn bearing pressed out and the guy at the machine shop quoted me $120 after he said "Oh, that's for an Acura - those are special.. " :rolleyes:
The press was on sale and, with a 25% coupon, I paid $140 so that's a no brainer. You will need space for it, tho, because they are not the smallest tools in your shop. I put mine on wheels.
That press works great. You won't ever need to worry about getting anything in or out again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's good news about the spacers. Mechanic said the struts are fine and didn't feel bad. But, the bushings need to be replaced which could be masking struts I suppose.

He also said only rest bushings need to be replaced. The fronts were fine.

So, it needs front LCA rear bushings, steering rack boots and an alignment.

Is there any reason I should go ahead and replace the struts or front LCA front bushings? Sometimes, the tradeoff is so substantial that if you have it apart then you should do additional work. I'm not sure this is the case.

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2001 Forester
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@Silverbullet555 Been there and done it with my 2001 Forester. Finally after 180,000 miles, I repaced all 4 struts, they are not hard to replaced. I paid someone to replace the front bearings, ball joints, control arm bushings. Front tie rod ends I replaced myself. Front steering rack has been replaced once due to torn boots and leaks. The rear other than the struts are still stock/factory everything.

The LCA front bushings were broken on my 2001 and that resulted in Clunking sounds going over bumps. The struts were leaking, you could see the stains.
 
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