How to install new springs and struts

Struts, spring, anti-rollbars, braces and the like.

Moderators: Helpinators, Moderators

1-3-2-4
Second Gear
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:21 am
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by 1-3-2-4 »

Crap how to get lower bolt out for rear? The cv joint is in the way on the nut side
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

I'm trying to remember what I did.....I think I may have removed that long bolt holding the lateral links to the spindle, which gave more room to move around things so the bolt could be removed.

I may be completely off base.....I remember the same issue, but I don't recall what I did to resolve it.
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
1-3-2-4
Second Gear
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:21 am
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by 1-3-2-4 »

Need a box wrench did not have one last night so I used channel locks
Colo94SS_5sp
In Neutral
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 11:28 pm

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Colo94SS_5sp »

I am having the same problem trying to remove rear strut. How do you remove the lower nut on the strut assembly where it attaches to the knuckle? I have room to the top nut, but there is no room to get to the lower one. Do you need a special tool?

Also, I already purchased the struts and the mounts. I noticed most Subie owners perfer KYB. I got Monroes. Are they at least as good?

Thanks

92 Subaru Sport, Sedan Auto - Sold
94 Subaru Sport Sedan, 5sp, no mods. My daily
TurnNburn
Second Gear
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:41 am
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by TurnNburn »

Welcome to the forum,

Monroes are alright for an OEM replacement. But IMHO even the KYB GR-2's which are about the same price as the Monroe's, give you a stiffer ride (about 10% more then stock) which equals better ride characteristics and thats good. Im not looking for a cruiser, so i like a stiff suspension. But thats just me. If you want to get more performance out of your suspension, KYB makes the AGX which is adjustable and is awesome. But they are about twice the price at about $100ish each.

That being said, i am currently rocking the Monroe's. Not by choice, thats just what came with the car. IDK how old they are, but the ride quality is very squishy to me after having the AGX's on my 2.5RS.
1990 NA 2.2 Open Light rally car
darkcrave
Second Gear
Posts: 493
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:10 pm
Location: norcal, CA

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by darkcrave »

Good guide bump :-)
Tune
TMIC
Fuel
Taillight
n2x4 wrote: Seriously, anything will fit. Subarus are LEGOs.
93Leg-c
Fourth Gear
Posts: 1886
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:17 am
Location: Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by 93Leg-c »

I've replaced the struts and springs on three of my first generation Legacies and on my second generation Legacy. I did not use special tools. I haven't done them in a while but from what I recall, a 12-point box wrench (don't recall if it's a 17 or 19 mm size), 1/2" drive socket and ratchet, 1/2" drive breaker bar with a 2-1/2 or 3 foot pipe (to slip over the breaker bar and box wrench; this is to provide leverage to loosen and tighten the bolt/nut), a 3 lb rubber mallet (to whack the box wrench and/or breaker bar for the torque needed to break loose the bolt or nut), a 2 or 3 foot crow bar along with an assortment of wooden blocks that may be needed to release tension of the suspension or to raise the strut in place to install the mounting bolt(s). If the nut or bolt is "frozen", apply PB Blaster and let it soak (the amount of soak time depends upon how frozen it is) for several hours to several days.

The KYB GR-2's will definitely give a firmer ride and better handling than the Monroe's. I've had both, and for me, it's no questions that the GR-2s are the way to go.
'94 TW
jp233
Second Gear
Posts: 259
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:51 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by jp233 »

Replaced the rear struts on my 93 wagon and wanted to add a tidbit for the sticky. Haven't done springs in a long time, that was fun.

Anyways, I marked the aglinment of the tophats, upper rubber damper, and the upper perch just so the whole assembly would slide back into the car easily without having to rotate the strut much if at all, this made it a little easier having the strut clevis slid into the knuckle. Then I could use a jack under the knuckle to raise the whole thing in through the holes in the body easier (which is key if you're doing this without a spare set of hands around to help). Then once you snug up the top nuts into the body, you can use the jack to help line up the bottom mount bolts without having to wrangly it by hand (also easier if you dont have a spare set of hands, since getting those bolts all the way through may be tough without a 3rd or 4th hand).

Also, in order to tighten the jesus bolt (top damper mount nut), I first gingerly used an impact gun just to get it close before taking off the spring compressor, but in order to torque it down to the proper spec (I used 44 ft-lbs) I useda set of vice grips on the strut shaft (and I used the finest duct tape to try and protect the shaft). I clamped the vice grips as high up on the shaft as possible, i.e. what would be hidden under the bump stop anyways and wouldn't ruin the lower seal. Wedge the vice grips inside the wheel well against the edge, and you can torque down the jesus nut.
12 Outback 3.6R Limited
94 Leg LS wag AWD, sold
93 Leg L wag FWD, sold
06 LGT 5EAT, project
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

Usually I will just use the impact gun to tighten the nut, and verify it's torqued enough with a torque wrench.
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Thesubielover
Third Gear
Posts: 709
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:20 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Thesubielover »

Any pics pf the final product? How is the handling after these mods, ride etc.
93ss 3inch tbe, Hallman mbc,06 wrx td04, tmic, bov, bugeye seatsStolen x2, sold
93ss Stroker,440cc inj, VF39, '06 TMIC, EJ20G heads & intake, EJ25 crank, 4.11Traded
93ss 4eat, coils, stanced, wraped, flat black, stock show car
keithmoilanen
Second Gear
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:30 pm
Location: Vancouver, Wa

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by keithmoilanen »

Thanks for the good post
2018 WRX
1991 Legacy Turbo
Sold 1989 Lifted Wagon
Sold 1987 Wagon
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

Resurrecting this oldie, but goodie...

I'm installing new struts right now, but one thing this thread didn't seem to cover was orientation of the top strut mounts (in case you didn't mark it or some other circumstance).

In my case, I pulled the driver-side rear strut assembly out and noted the mount bolt facing outward from the car. I noticed also that the notched lobe was oriented as the forward-facing interior bolt. I completed installation of driver side rear, and moved to passenger side rear. When I pulled passenger side rear assembly out, the notched lobe was facing outward from the car. This has me very confused as to what is correct.

Does the notched lobe indicate the same orientation on both sides? Should they match on both sides?

I tried to match the notch on the passenger side, but when looking at the top mount bolt up on each side it doesn't look right.
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

Ross,

Do you know if the struts were ever replaced previously?
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

GR-2s were put in about 15 years ago, but then about 7 years ago a buddy of mine and I put in lowering springs. I honestly can't recall if we paid any attention to the top mount orientation. It is entirely possible that we did not.

From what I can tell, the top mounts do in-fact have a design to them that would affect the geometry in relation to the knuckle. Is that correct?
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

Yes, it can affect the orientation of things.

Any chance did you take some pictures you can share?
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

I just looked and the factory service manual says there is a marking on the top of strut top hat that says "OUT". This should be facing outside of the body.
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

Thanks Josh, very helpful. I'm at work now, but when I get home I'll look for the "OUT" marking. I'll take some pics too.
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

After wire-brushing away a lot of rust and dirt, I found the "OUT" mark.
Image
Image
This is what the strut mount looks like fully seated and bolted to the car body. Notice the rubber part of the top hat slopes toward the back of the car.
Image

Also interesting and worth noting, the upper spring perch has "4WL", "FF", and "4WR" markings on it. I'm not sure of their significance.
Image
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

So it's the upper spring perch is what should have the "OUT" listed on it. The mount itself won't. So is the mount itself not symmetrical?
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

I haven't removed the other rear strut assembly yet to check the mount orientation. When I do, I'll take some additional photos of the rear top mount. From what I recall, the rubber part that interfaces with the body of the car (seen top down in my photos) has a slope to it (second to last photo). That slope gives an impression, or illusion, that geometry changes as the mount rotates. If that's true or not, I'm unsure.

I installed the other FRONT strut assembly and did find the "OUT" marking on the upper spring perch. I don't believe this marking exists on the rear upper spring perch (last photo).

Front upper spring perch:
Image
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

Here are photos of the driver's side rear top mount rotated 360 degrees. For some reason this one was especially difficult to bolt in.
Image
Image
Image
Image
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Legacy777
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 27767
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:37 am
Location: Houston, Tx
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Legacy777 »

You should be able to determine the orientation of that mount based on the angle of the car mounting location and bolt hole orientation.

How did you install the rear mounts in relation to these orientation pictures? How does the bolt hole orientation on the car look like?
Josh

surrealmirage.com/subaru
1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
2020 Outback Limted XT

If you need to get a hold of me please email me rather then pm
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

Honestly, I did not follow the angle of the mount related to the angle of the car mount location. I purely followed the "OUT" markings as my guide. Whether that's right or wrong, I don't know. What gives me comfort though is that the upper spring perch has point (as seen in a previous pic) that seats into a cup on the mount. This interface seems like it would accommodate any angle.
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
arse_sidewards
In Neutral
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:17 pm

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by arse_sidewards »

Well the rear mounts only really fit one way (spring hits stuff otherwise) so.......
'93, '93 and '94 Legacy L, wagons, FWD and AWD, all are NA 2.2 w/ 4EAT.
Mr.Pessimist
First Gear
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Spokane, WA
Contact:

Re: How to install new springs and struts

Post by Mr.Pessimist »

They must be installed correctly then since I can fit a finger between the body and the lower spring perch. I assume that's where the assembly would likely rub.
~Ross
1993 FWD 5MT Green NA Legacy
Post Reply