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2000 Forester GLS
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've gone through the threads but can't find a basic description of performing a straight swap of a standard strut/spring combo. They all seem to be about lowering and beefing up etc.

My rear shocks have finally gone and I'm riding on the rubber stop. I've bought second hand strut and spring units from a 99 Forester that's been broken. Tomorrow I hope to take out the old struts and springs and replace them with the new ones.

I don't have a manual so just hoping for a bit of basic guidance, work order, things to avoid, and other thoughts. I see quite a lot of mention of sway bars but don't know if this applies to me doing a straight swap?

As far as I know the parts i have bought are the same as the ones I am replacing (bloody hope so anyway!) and I presume will arrive as they were taken off the old car, i.e. in one piece.

any advice most gratefully received.

Forester GLS 2000, non turbo, year 2000
 

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Emeritus Forum Staff
2015 Triumph Tiger XCx 1 Down. 5 Up.
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5,242 Posts
Firstly, don't rush.

Secondly, if you're reusing the top hats, they it's a lot easier to loosen the top nut while they are still on the car (don't undo them totally on the car though obviously ;o)

http://www.scoobymods.com/jdm-forester-sti-pink-t2666.html

The above link is for Peaty's swap to STi springs but the principle is the same.

Thirdly, once you've finished, make sure you get the alignment done.
 

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8,844 Posts
If its the whole thing with the strut, spring, tophat etc still assembled then its -very- easy and just 5 bolts per corner. Just read over a few of the suspension install threads on scoobymods. Also, if the bolts have never been touched and theres rust on the car, get some PB blaster and spray all of the bolts down that you're going to be taking off before you even think about working on it.
 

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2000 Forester GLS
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
new shocks arrived with what looks like a leak?

Thanks for the tips.

My new (old) suspension has arrived and whilst one shock is completely dry, the other has evidence of oil coming out of the shock where the plunger goes into the main shock body. Is that a sign of imminent terminal decline, or suck it and see, and hope that it still have good live in it?

I've jacked the car up and cleaned the work area, but before I start I can't work out how to detach the flexible brake line from the old shock? I can unscrew the solid brake pipe from its female housing, but how does that housing come off to release it from the bracket? Does it screw off? If so, do I just take a pair of vice grips to it?

I don't want to start until I know how I'm going to get through it. Also, how is the best way to stop brake fluid spilling out? I was going to just stick a bung up the pipe.

Many thanks
 

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2000 Forester GLS
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Finally figured it out.

I got right in there and took are really close look and I see that the flexi tube is held in the bracket by a square washer. It had all got so rusty in there it was almost impossible to make out what was going on.
 

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2000 Forester GLS
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39 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Conclusion:

I have now finally sorted out my car! so here's a recap for the archive.

Fozza 2.0 GLS, non-turbo, year 2000.

First, my car was bottoming out on sleeping policemen, then as the suspension got worse, the springs collapsed completely and I was all but sitting on the rubber spring mounts. time for action.

I got messed around by my Subaru main dealer who told me i had leaking self-levelling suspension, and they wanted fifteen hundred quid to put it right. I then tried an independent subaru guy, Phil Rowlands, in Cullompton in Mid Devon. He's brilliant and really knows his stuff, so I thoroughly recommend him. he pointed out that I didn't have self-levelling suspension. he fixed a brake disc problem I had, but then I left devon and was on my own again.

because of the recommendations on this site I went to buypartsby and ordered a set of standard KYB shocks and springs, total cost two hundred and sixty quid. then set about putting them on myself, having never done such a large job before. it was a bit daunting, but if you are mechanically minded, and aware of the standard stuff that can go wrong, like stubborn brake line nuts disintegrating, then it's not too bad.

1. First, I took the (inside cabin) metal dust caps off the top strut mounts. Then loosened the big shock nut on top of the piston.

2. jacked up car, supported with stands, and removed wheel.

3. undoing the brake line nut on the shock mount is probably the hardest part of the whole job, depending on how old your car is. I would recommend that if your car is old and rusted, that before you take on this job, spend a week gently heating it with a blow torch, not enough to melt the rubber, and spraying with penetrating oil. I heated the female side, then sprayed the male side with the oil so that it cooled faster and hopefully opened up a slight gap. It worked on one side but not the other and I eventually destroyed the short brake pipe and had to replace it.

4. undo the brake pipe nuts before you remove the square washer that holds the brake line in place. I couldn't even see this washer it was so dirty, so a good scrub with oil and a toothbrush will reveal how it works.

5. Having separated the brake line and removed the washer, the flexible line pulls out and I stopped it from leaking with a toothpick.

6. more heat and oil on the big nuts till they finally turned using a breakers bar. I undid the anti-roll bar nuts to allow the hub to fall making it easier to remove the shock.

7. Rebuilt the new shock using the old top hats and rubbers, but replaced the piston helpers and dustboots. it's not difficult, but you will need spring compressors, remember the old springs are knackered, but the new springs are much stronger.

8. make sure you know which way up the springs go, i found i did one each way and had to go back and do it again.

9. just follow the marks on the top hat, and it's easy.

10. put it all back together again.

11. the only tool I didn't have was a deep socket ratchet with a hole in, I will get one of these so that I can do the final tightening on the big nut. so far I have just given it a tweak once the car was back together again, and sitting on it's wheels.

12. it's not a hard job, but requires a bit of strength moving those shocks in and out at arms length, I only saved about a hundred and fifty quid, but the result was well worth it.

the car is transformed, it drives properly, doesn't get anywhere near bottoming, the rear now sits up slightly higher than the front, with plenty of clearance. I'll need to get my tyres realigned, but now I am one very happy bunny.

good luck and thanks to you all for your help.

stumbler

ps. there is a link to someone lowering their fozza on Scoobymods with pictures and much more technical detail at

http://www.scoobymods.com/jdm-forester-sti-pink-t2666.html
 

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2004 fxt
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18 Posts
you sound just as cautious I would be tearing into my baby.
I lowered my previous car (2000 jetta) by myself. Was my first time with suspension, very intimidating at first but taking your time and being careful is a priority, And doing it myself was an awsome feeling.
Hope to lower my foz next spring, after 1 more winter of 4x4in' through the snow :Banane08:
 
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