('06-'08) Car ride is not as firm as it use to be, what to look for. - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Car ride is not as firm as it use to be, what to look for.

I just spent a big pile on money getting the head gaskets redone in my 100K 07, so now I'm going to run the car for another 50K or more (hopefully more).

One thing is that it doesn't seem to handle as well any more. Just seems a bit mushier. How long do the struts last on these? I did 145K on my 99 without ever changing those. I don't see any leaks on anything, nothing squeaks, but the rubber on the top of the front towers has some cracks.

What would be the most bank for buck?


I NEVER ride with people who drive like I do!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-04-2019, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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These are looking a bit crunchy.

Car ride is not as firm as it use to be, what to look for.-img_5468s.jpg

Car ride is not as firm as it use to be, what to look for.-img_5469s.jpg


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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 06:26 AM
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How’s the condition & pressure of your tires?

2007 Forester Sports XT 5spd
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:22 AM
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Wow those top hats are dead. Look at them, separated and torn. I bet they are providing 20% of the performance they used to.

Top Hats (100% needed for that car, do all 4)
Sway bar endlinks and bushings
Ball joints (only if needed)
Control Arm bushings (only if needed)

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaker View Post
How’s the condition & pressure of your tires?

Tires are good, less than 10k miles and pressure is the same all the way around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepstate View Post
Wow those top hats are dead. Look at them, separated and torn. I bet they are providing 20% of the performance they used to.

Top Hats (100% needed for that car, do all 4)
Sway bar endlinks and bushings
Ball joints (only if needed)
Control Arm bushings (only if needed)
I never liked cracked rubber. I'm just wondering if the struts have to come apart to replace the top hats, would it be best just to replace the struts too?

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 08:33 AM
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Struts have to come apart to replace the tophats.
It would be your call if you want to replace them then as well. OEM struts in factory spec tend to last a while, but there are options to replace them as well.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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I've been researching that. The Monroe Quick struts look like the easy way, but I'm not sure how they would perform. I sure don't want anything softer than the stock struts, but I make long trips in this car so too hard is not good either. I hate to think what OEM would cost.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:06 AM
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KYB GR-2 struts are also a popular choice. For just struts, your springs should be just fine.

OEM struts are $110-$117 a corner at the dealer (or online parts counter) for comparison.

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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 11:24 AM
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I did my 4 struts on my 2001 Forester after 200,000+ miles. They were long due because they leaked. Even my wife noticed the car handled better after KYB were installed. Given you are 100,000+ already, I would replace the 4 struts as well. It is not that hard to separate the strut from the spring. The springs are not under that much tension. I cannot remember if the front or the back where there is almost no tension, and you mainly need the compressor tool to compress to reinstall.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty much sold on the KYB struts. I know I need the struts and the tops, but what else? Should I replace the boots (bellows) as well?


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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamm View Post
I just spent a big pile on money getting the head gaskets redone in my 100K 07, so now I'm going to run the car for another 50K or more (hopefully more).

One thing is that it doesn't seem to handle as well any more. Just seems a bit mushier. How long do the struts last on these? I did 145K on my 99 without ever changing those. I don't see any leaks on anything, nothing squeaks, but the rubber on the top of the front towers has some cracks.

What would be the most bank for buck?

Based on those pics the top strut mounts are more to blame

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepstate View Post
Wow those top hats are dead. Look at them, separated and torn. I bet they are providing 20% of the performance they used to.

Top Hats (100% needed for that car, do all 4)
Sway bar endlinks and bushings
Ball joints (only if needed)
Control Arm bushings (only if needed)
@sleepstate Had it dead on. I bet the control arm bushings are similar to a degree. If you want to bring the car back to factory tightness, well you going to have to do all the suspension bushings, using Genuine subaru ones as well. Just experience to my lessons learned.

-If you want the cheap route then just reuse the struts as long as they are not leaking, pull them apart and install new genuine Subaru strut mounts.
-while apart replace bump stop and bellows, if you go to sell the car the will look new and do not cost more the 12-15 buck an axle id say.
-replace control arm bushings, ball joints, sway bar links,only in the front.
This should be your best cost to restored to tightness ratio.

this is your cheapest opt


Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepstate View Post
KYB GR-2 struts are also a popular choice. For just struts, your springs should be just fine.

OEM struts are $110-$117 a corner at the dealer (or online parts counter) for comparison.
Highly agree for struts if you feel the need to replace or have leaks when you pull them apart. but get new genuine subaru strut mounts and spring cushions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamm View Post
I'm pretty much sold on the KYB struts. I know I need the struts and the tops, but what else? Should I replace the boots (bellows) as well?
Again yes very cheap to do. you can rent the tool to pull them apart from autozone. i prefer to pay a reputable shop to assemble and re-assemble for 25$ a corner.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to living in this vehicle for another 50K min, so ride and handling are important. And I want to make sure I have all of the parts I need before hand. At least for the struts. I'll deal with the bushings and ball joints when I take it apart.

How hard is it to change out bushings and ball joints in one of these. And what do OEM ball joints go for?

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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I just ordered OEM uppers, boots, bumpers, seats, and spacers. Now I need to choose whether to keep the existing struts ( they don't appear to be leaking), or go with new OEM struts or KYB struts. The KYB struts are the most economical and I'm just not real comfortable leaving 12 year old, 100K struts on the car.

I'll also check the condition of the bushings when the strut is off. If they are obviously bad, I'll bit the bullet and replace them as well. If they seem to be OK, I'll save them for when I save more money.

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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 06:57 AM
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The GR-2s seem to be quite popular with no issues I've seen. No direct experience here though.

Not to hijack, but what are folks doing for replacement tophats? OEM seem way too high IMO...I see KYB has top hats for the front and rear, around 45 each. Are any cheaper aftermarkets like Monroe any good? They are 37 for front and only 21 for rear.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-14-2019, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Scooby24 View Post
The GR-2s seem to be quite popular with no issues I've seen. No direct experience here though.

Not to hijack, but what are folks doing for replacement tophats? OEM seem way too high IMO...I see KYB has top hats for the front and rear, around 45 each. Are any cheaper aftermarkets like Monroe any good? They are 37 for front and only 21 for rear.
For a daily looking for cheap oem replacements, I'd just go with the KYB tophats. $45 per pair is pretty cheap imo with decent quality. Otherwise, perhaps jdm tophats if you can find a set and are fine with the price.

The higher, the fewer.
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