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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Yep. That happened in 5 days. An alignment is HUGELY important before you take a 1500 mile trip. Went to Wolf Creek, CO a couple of weeks ago, and these tires barely had any wear on them. So I debated getting an alignment before the trip (which is breaking my #1 rule before taking a trip)....and didn't get it because the car rode perfectly, and drove straight and true.....so I thought....

So, I get back from the trip, and what do you know, noticed that I completed destroyed both front tires. The passenger side tire isn't as bad as the drivers side. But yeah, that's what happens when you drive 1500 miles in 5 days on a mis-aligned car. (lesson learned, I'll never break that rule ever again).

So, since I have to get new tires and an alignment (obviously), I decided to replace the struts with KYB GR-2's. Everything is currently being shipped, but had a question as to exactly what else I may need for the strut replacement.

I already replaced the top-hats about a year ago, so they're fine. I ordered the spring-seat rubber things, and they're on the way. I ordered the GR-2 struts (FR 334370, FL 334371, RR 334344 and RL 334345). What else do I need, or did I mange to cover everything for once? Anything else I should replace while I'm at it?
 

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Don't need anything else, you might want to pick up some new bolts though as it will make it easier to get it all bolted up again, my lower strut bolts have gotten incredibly corroded and it makes it a pain to work on. But your alignment must ahve been VERY off. My friends car didn't even have that much wear with a bent rear strut after about 10,000 miles that had very visible negative rear camber (probably about 10 degrees+). Must have had a decent amount of toe out along with some neg camber.
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
Wow, good effort, it doesn't look like massive negative camber, so you must be running some serious toe out.........

Simon
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^^ We'll see. When I get the alignment done, I'll post up some numbers to compare to my last alignment (a year ago).

Also, I was thinking about tackling the engine mounts, trans mount and rear diff bushings (as the the drivetrain slop is getting noticeably worse). What does Subaru call the rear diff bushings as I can't find them on subarugenuineparts.com.
 

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Premium Member
2004 FSTI automatic
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2,643 Posts
Whoa..that sucks! You going to replace bushingsw/ oem or group n? Kartboy tranny crossmember bushings?
I would swap out spark plugs if doing engine mounts...we had to lift the engine on my 04 to get them out, and wish I did mounts.
 

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Premium Member
2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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15,120 Posts
I have been driving almost 50 years and probably have gotten 3 alignments. And one of those was bad and caused me tire wear. I honestly believe getting alignments done (unless you have a problem or replace something in that area) is like a 2000 mile oil change = un-necessary.

My point is: did you have a previous alignment? And why?
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,824 Posts
You're off road quite a bit.
So would any of the forces you're putting on the tires have any impact on alignment, such as disconnecting or removing your sway bars? Would upgrading to larger sway bars constitute a need for alignment check?
 

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You're off road quite a bit.
So would any of the forces you're putting on the tires have any impact on alignment, such as disconnecting or removing your sway bars? Would upgrading to larger sway bars constitute a need for alignment check?
Nope, but with that much wear its likely that somethings bent. Bumping the car around can screw up the alignment.

The worst part is that most alignment shops don't really care very much and the alignment going out probably won't be much better than what you went in with.
 

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As we all know, it is your toe that killed those tires. If you trust your shop to do a good job, then so be it. If you want peace of mind, do it yourself. It's really easy and will probably take less time than taking it to your shop. There are several alignment threads around to guide you through.

Since we cannot adjust caster with oem strut configuration, that is one less adjustment we don't spend anytime with.

Max out your negative camber and make sure it is even on both sides by measuring gap at the top of the tire from vertical and that is done. I generally don't care about what degree I get as long as I know I got as much as the slot can provide and they are the same on both sides.

Now all you are left with is adjusting your toe, and that is as easy as measuring and turning a nut.

I have always done all my cars this way and have had no problems. With zero toe, camber wear should be very minimal. To extend tire longevity, rotate. And, to increase usage even further, monitor the wear and swap/remount the tire to the opposite wheel when you get about half to two thirds wear on the insides of the tire.
 

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2007 Forester 2.5x SE
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879 Posts
As we all know, it is your toe that killed those tires. If you trust your shop to do a good job, then so be it. If you want peace of mind, do it yourself. It's really easy and will probably take less time than taking it to your shop. There are several alignment threads around to guide you through.

Since we cannot adjust caster with oem strut configuration, that is one less adjustment we don't spend anytime with.

Max out your negative camber and make sure it is even on both sides by measuring gap at the top of the tire from vertical and that is done. I generally don't care about what degree I get as long as I know I got as much as the slot can provide and they are the same on both sides.

Now all you are left with is adjusting your toe, and that is as easy as measuring and turning a nut.

I have always done all my cars this way and have had no problems. With zero toe, camber wear should be very minimal. To extend tire longevity, rotate. And, to increase usage even further, monitor the wear and swap/remount the tire to the opposite wheel when you get about half to two thirds wear on the insides of the tire.
+1 I agree, you might want to give it a try yourself. I did the alignment on my old 87 Topaz, when I was ~19 (a poor student), without any instructions or assistance. I just looked at it and figured it out on my own.

The Subaru AWD may be more complex, but there is a lot of info available online nowadays to help you out.
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I'm an idiot. I forgot I had my steering rack serviced about two months ago, and never got it aligned thereafter. Forgot all about it since I wasn't the one who took it to the shop. So yeah, after about three hours of looking around under there for bent stuff, I realized this. Guess being loaded down with work and not getting much sleep does that to you. (and when it comes to this stuff, I'm usually right on top of it.)

So yeah, the "mystery" alignment issue was my own fault in not following up getting an alignment done after steering rack work. But that's fine, new suspension going on anyway. :biggrin:
 

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2010 Forester
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619 Posts
I know your pain....I once took a drive from CT to FL with a tire that I did not realize was out of balance. When a car is driven constantly around town there is no hint that you are out of balance.
1000 mi. later I had a flat spot that forced me to buy a pair in FL before I could drive home.
If nothing else, drive a car at 70 or so for a few miles to hear/feel it out before embarking on any high milage adventures.
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
The shop that did the rack didn't align it (even just toe) afterwards?

Wouldn't go there again then!

Simon
 

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Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
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5,732 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
yikes... now that tire is dead
BOTH front tires look the same, but I have 4 new (well, slightly used) ones on their way, should be here Thursday along with my freshly sprayed wheels in gunmetal gray. I'm hoping the tires I purchased are the white-lettered ones, the site didn't specify......they'll probably be black walls though. No biggie either way.

As for the rack being serviced. It wasn't replaced at the shop, it was just inspected which required it to be removed. The mechanic wrote on the invoice that it needed an alignment and told my friend to tell me (who picked up the car for me). Well, my friend conveniently forgot to tell me, and I never looked at the invoice, so yeah......still my fault completely though.
 

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2008 Sports 2.5x
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335 Posts
My '08 had a left rear wheel bearing went bad at 66Kmiles about 2 weeks ago. Very loud almost from the start. When I had it up on the jack stands I noticed the inboard edge of the front tires was starting to feather. The dealer replaced both front struts under warranty when he fixed the wheel bearing. Alingment was was another $89.00. The car never pulled to the left or right. The tires are the second set I installed about 20,000 mi ago and rotated every other oil change.
 
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