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Registered
2005 Impreza
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellas, I need a no-BS answer from you guys over here.

I own a 2005 Impreza RS. I really like the Forester's ground clearance and want it on my Impreza. So I want to put a Forester suspension on it. I've seen a few others do it and it looks really nice.

Here's my issue: I don't want to find a OEM swap, I need something new. Also, the replacement - as you all know - for the Forester is the KYB GR-2s, which I'm not really happy about as they don't get great reviews. I'm looking to get something that can take a whoopin' and keep going for awhile - KYB just isn't giving me that impression.

So here's my question: What other aftermarket strut/spring combo can I use that will give me good fitment on my Impreza?

Thanks guys.
 

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1998 Cayenne GTS 6speed
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1,751 Posts
Hey, KYBs are not that bad... I've been abusing them for awhile with no issues so far (and there is lifetime warranty, too - which they do honor, in my personal experience). Not too mention that this is the only budget solution (except OEM, which are about $130 more for 4 struts), unless you're looking to spend money on Konis (pointless with Forester springs) or one or other coilover solution.

GR2+Swifts are a nice solution which I, personally, like. Or just stock Forester suspension (might be a tad too high from an aesthetic point of view), which you can probably get quite cheap here. And then decide on how to go from there.
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
You're kidding about hearing bad reviews of the KYB's right?
I've got a set of GR-2s and couldn't be happier. Kayaba (aka KYB) have been one of the worlds leading producers of aftermarket replacement struts and shock absorbers since the 80's.
They started mass producing dirt bike suspension, and there aren't many other suspension systems that get abused like they do. Eventually they moved into the automotive industry and currently are the supplier of the OEM struts for many manufacturers. The OEM Subaru struts are made by KYB.

Now KYB is no Ohlin or FOX when it comes to the way they're built... but you really can't beat them in OE-quality shocks/struts that take the abuse.
The GR-2s are valved mildly stiffer than the factory struts, which could be the reason you've seen the less than great reviews of them. Some people don't like a stiffer ride, which could explain these supposed reviews you speak of?

[/rant]
 

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2005 Impreza
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
You're kidding about hearing bad reviews of the KYB's right?
No, running a Google search on "KYB GR-2 reviews" I've gotten a lot of negative feedback. I can say however to the fact that none were from Subaru owners - not that it makes a difference. I guess I'll have to look into their warranty.

Don't know man, I'm just going by the reviews...
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
The KYB's are really the only direct-replacement aftermarket choice for the Forester. There simply isn't anything else made that fits besides coilovers. Also, the OEM struts are made by KYB, so how bad could the GR-2's be? I'm pretty happy with mine so far...

You could try an Outback suspension, I suppose. I hear Bilstein makes some aftermarket struts for the Legacy/Outback platform.
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
No, running a Google search on "KYB GR-2 reviews" I've gotten a lot of negative feedback. I can say however to the fact that none were from Subaru owners - not that it makes a difference. I guess I'll have to look into their warranty.

Don't know man, I'm just going by the reviews...
Well here's another Subaru review for you then...

I've been running my KYB GR-2's (WRX fitment) with STi springs (inch lower than WRX) and haven't had any issues for the duration of the 18k miles I've put on them. No clunks, leaks, rattles, or bouncing... just a little surface rust in spots from Canadian winter driving. No more than was present on my 25k mile OEM units.
They're stiffer valving than OEM struts, so they work great for more aggressive driving. It also makes them a great match for lowering springs.

I give them an 11 out of 10, and I've had a lot of different suspension types on different cars over the years.
 

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15,769 Posts
The only thing pointed out to me by my suspension specialists is that the KYB-GR2 (Excel G over here) strut body is made of thinner steel than OEM. I now run specialy reinforced Legacy / Liberty struts ('99 I think) with Koni inserts.

But the GR2s took a lot of pounding - until they bent that is!
 

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2005 Impreza
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I give them an 11 out of 10, and I've had a lot of different suspension types on different cars over the years.
Man, did you take my knock on KYBs personal? Seriously man, outside of you I don't hear much good about them. Just calm down, I'm happy that you love them, but 11 out of 10? Come on...
 

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2014 CVT
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824 Posts
you say most of the reviews are for non-subaru set ups, how can you compare them to subarus???? and have you thought of going with a spacer and keeping the struts you have now??? also check out the off-road section, and see what ppl have been useing im not sure if king springs would work for you
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,572 Posts
^Now there is a thing I wonder how looks like. kyb struts with raised king spring for a forester with 1" lift blocks. 215/65/16 wheels. All on a impreza :biggrin:
 

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Premium Member
2007 XT Sport 5MT
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24,015 Posts
Man, did you take my knock on KYBs personal? Seriously man, outside of you I don't hear much good about them. Just calm down, I'm happy that you love them, but 11 out of 10? Come on...
Nothing was taken personally... I just found it somewhat noobish to believe a bunch of reviews off google. You might as well do everything consumer's report tells you to :icon_rolleyes:
If you want some Subaru related reviews of GR-2's, search on the various Subaru forums for reviews on them.
I'm not coming on anything... so take my 11 out of 10 however you want. I love them, end of story.

Now a no-BS answer... no matter which strut you choose, either the OE Forester springs or King springs would look great on an Impreza. And as Elmy said, Kings combined with some 1" lift spacers... would make for a badass offroad Impreza stance.
 

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Registered
99 UK S-turbo
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8,566 Posts
If you are raising more than an inch, it you may want to consider the longer arms and spacers that keep the geometry sensible on a Forester.....

Subaru built the JDM Inpreza 'gravel express' which I believe used basically the Forester bits under a classic wagon, complete with rear mounted spare and 240bhp 2.0 turbo.

Gravel express on IWOC is a good starting place, note production start coincided with Forester ('96) - no coincidence I'm sure especailly considering JDM forester turbo's shared their engine spec with the WRX wagon.

Simon
 
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