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2006 Forester 2.0X
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.
This is my first post here. I am not too familiar with Subaru, so I hope someone can help.

My parents in law own a 2006 Subaru Forester 2.0X . Current milage is approx 85.000 miles.

This car have self leveling suspension on the rear axle, but I have no idea how this system works.
My own beloved 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300 TD Turbo also have self leveling suspension with a large oil reservoir and a pressure pump delivering the pressure and oil needed. A small leak in the so called shock absorber (wich is only a hydraulic cylinder) is therefor no problem.
I've just discovered the above mentioned Forester have a small leak of fluid on the rear right shock absorber.

We live in Norway, where parts and labour is very expencive. The Subaru garage charges $1500-2000 for replacing both rear shocks.

1. Is there a reservoir some place with lots of oil, or is it all in the shock absorber?
2. Is the leak dangerous? Right now it is more sweathing than leaking.
3. Can the leak be fixed with some new o-ring or sealer?
4. Where can I buy a new shock at a reasonable price? (chaning to non-self-leveling suspension is not an option)

I am used to fixing cars my self, but I am no professional mechanic.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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3,572 Posts
Hello and welcome.
As you may notice I'm from Norway too.
If you don't want to change to non-sls suspension then there is very few choices.
Best advice I can give you is order the struts from the US or UK.
The US has a LL Bean version of the forester that is the only one that got sls setup like ours.
digging a bit I could find this
http://www.subarupartsforyou.com/cp_partlistbymod.php?model=Forester&subcat=Struts,+Rear&year=2006 (Not saying you can't order from this site but it's worth asking around for prices)
You can send a pm to SubaruPartsGirl here on the board and ask for prices tho.
Ordering parts from the US and even UK is much better then buying from Subaru Norway.
 

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2006 Forester 2.0X
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. Quite pricy even "over there". :-(
No seal rings that can be replaced?

Do you know how this system work? Will the shocks run out of oil when leaking?
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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Thank you. Quite pricy even "over there". :-(
No seal rings that can be replaced?

Do you know how this system work? Will the shocks run out of oil when leaking?
I'm not excactly sure but there should be a chamber with liquid on the side of the strut. The strut will pump up the car as you drive along hitting bumps and stuff helps. What happens with a leaking strut is that the side that does have a leaking strut will sag down. Since the springs on this system don't really hold the car up like on a normal suspension setup, they don't help at all.
Swapping the rear struts to gas struts is possible but you then need to swap the springs too for some springs designed for normal struts. And buying such springs here in Norway seems to be more or less impossible. Even buying gas struts for the rear is hard if you can't order by partnr.

I haven't heard of any way of repairing these struts. Sorry

Edit: Just to make it clear. It's less expensive ordering Kyb gas struts and normal springs from the US then swapping your sls struts for new ones. There is some that would suggest buying used ones. I'm not going to argue on that part. If they are used very little it may be good.
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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Subaru Norway asked over 4000 Nok for each sls strut. For comparison I paid around 5000 nok for a set of kyb struts and king springs and that's after shipping and taxes. (From Australia)
(2 struts and 2 spring)
 

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2006 Forester 2.0X
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not excactly sure but there should be a chamber with liquid on the side of the strut. The strut will pump up the car as you drive along hitting bumps and stuff helps. What happens with a leaking strut is that the side that does have a leaking strut will sag down. Since the springs on this system don't really hold the car up like on a normal suspension setup, they don't help at all.
Swapping the rear struts to gas struts is possible but you then need to swap the springs too for some springs designed for normal struts. And buying such springs here in Norway seems to be more or less impossible. Even buying gas struts for the rear is hard if you can't order by partnr.

I haven't heard of any way of repairing these struts. Sorry

Edit: Just to make it clear. It's less expensive ordering Kyb gas struts and normal springs from the US then swapping your sls struts for new ones. There is some that would suggest buying used ones. I'm not going to argue on that part. If they are used very little it may be good.

Thank you. So this system is nothing like on my mercedes where I have a 2 litre reservoir in the engine compartment and a pump driven by the engine?

Is there any way to fill up with more oil as it leaks out?

It feels kind of wasted to pay this amount for a new shock just because of a very small leak. As I said, the self leveling suspension is there to stay.
 

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Don, King of the parts diagram
MY11 WRX STi Sedan 6MT
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FrodeS,

Welcome to the Forum.

Self Leveling suspension is OEM in the UK for the SG5 Forester so plenty of questions get asked about it in the Europe Forum.

Here's a link to show how the SG Forester rear struts look and operate

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/632450-post15.html
 

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99 UK S-turbo
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The Mercedes is not just self levelling its hydraulic suspension (same as Citroen and Rolls Royce used) and fundamently different to the 'nivomat' style self contained SLS units on the forester.

Simon
 

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2006 Forester 2.0X
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Discussion Starter #9
The Mercedes is not just self levelling its hydraulic suspension (same as Citroen and Rolls Royce used) and fundamently different to the 'nivomat' style self contained SLS units on the forester.

Simon
Mercedes has the patent that Citroën uses, but it is used in a different way. In the mercedes, the main job is done by a spring, and the pressure in the "shock absorber" is adjusted according to the load. Two gas chambers inside the car do the accual shock absorbing.
 

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The forester SLS struts pump themselves up by going over bumps and such. With a leak it won't be able to hold pressure and that corner will sag. They're 1 complete nonservicable unit so once they start leaking they'll just have to be replaced.

Its much cheaper to just replace both rear struts and springs with the non-SLS versions, and the SLS imo doesn't do much of anything beneficial. SLS struts are more expensive and seemingly less reliable.
 

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2006 Forester 2.5 XT
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Hi Frode,

I've been looking for non-SLS rears for some time. It seems that it's extremely hard to find any non-OEM replacements in the Nordics. My best bet would be to keep an eye on eBay or try to find a Norwegian distributor of Tokico that might be able to put in an order for you (might be just as expensive as OEM).

PS. I have a full set of Swift springs lying around that I can't use because of the SLS :puke: I'm going for coilovers instead which is probably not an option for your parents in law..
 

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2007 Mitsubishi Pajero 5spd Automatic
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Hi Frode,

I've been looking for non-SLS rears for some time. It seems that it's extremely hard to find any non-OEM replacements in the Nordics. My best bet would be to keep an eye on eBay or try to find a Norwegian distributor of Tokico that might be able to put in an order for you (might be just as expensive as OEM).

PS. I have a full set of Swift springs lying around that I can't use because of the SLS :puke: I'm going for coilovers instead which is probably not an option for your parents in law..
Find a kyb supplier and order the struts after partnr. That's what I did.
For your car the rear struts from kyb non-sls have 334344 and 334345.
The front have 334370 and 334371.
Either that or order the same struts from a US dealer.
 

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2006 Forester 2.0X
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Discussion Starter #13
I've had KYB on a car once. Never again.

Anyway, the SLS is a nice option, and if they have a life span of 80-100k miles, they will probably only need chaning once or twice during the cars life. The forester dosn't need mouch maintenance in any other ways, so I don't see changing them as a big problem.
 
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