Struts & coil spring choices?

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SoobyToo58
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:35 am
Location: South East PA

Re: Struts & coil spring choices?

Post by SoobyToo58 »

SupeRoo Baja wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:04 am Hmm, Seems the Subaru PN is 20365AE22A for your rears at 97$ each, Front strut PN is 20310AE44A for 105$ each. It does show they are different from the 03 to the 04-06. Primitive Racing shows a full 4pack of KYB for the 05 at 560$ plus shipping! There are a few places that state the KYB 38FYXR fits 03-06, but for 90$, you might as well get the OEM at 97$. Getting them from the dealer you're at about 400$. I'm an OldSchool 03, so...


***Note about buying OEM parts.. use the online Subaru parts dealer websites. When you select your item, change the location to your local Subaru dealer.. then go pick up local and never pay shipping on them. And the website normally has discounted prices compared to over the counter***


Are the Strut Mounting Kit and the Boot Kit specific to the manufacturer and model of the strut or will any Strut Mounting Kit and Boot Kit fit any strut?

Any strut kit should work all the same. Don't need to match up companies, but they are vehicle specific. And I don't think there's a difference between an 03 and 05 on this one.

do think I'll need an impact wrench to remove any existing bolts?

You shouldn't need an Impact for the interiors bolts, they are tight, but are protected from corrosion, so they will come out fine (should). The bottom bolt on the strut that connects to the Hub however is a whole other story. This one will be tight and exposed to the elements.. so possibly rusted down. If I remember right, the Rear strut is held in by 1 large bolt on the bottom, 3 nuts on the top. The front is 2 large bolts on the bottom (Mark for alignment), 2 small bolts holding brake line/sensor wire, and 3 top nuts. The only one you might need power tools for is the rear lower.. or a large breaker bar and cheater bar.
Just finished both rear struts this weekend. It took quite a while and effort and screwing around with a jack under the strut to line up the bolt holes. That part was maddening. I would jack up the strut to within an 1/8 inch and the strut would kick out. It seems the strut is not lined up perfect with the bolt hole on the bottom of the control arm. (I think it's the control arm!) I can't even explain how I finally did it but I did it.
What I learned is that it's a good idea to use some silicone spray on the top big rubber piece that come with the strut mount kit because if you don't, like I didn't on the first one I installed, then it's hard as hell once the coil spring is released from the spring compressors to align the bottom bolt hole (rotation wise!) in the strut with the with control arm hole.
I sprayed silicone spray on the second one and it was relatively easy to turn the bolt hole to align it. Getting it in line (height wise and left and right wise!) with the lower control arm bolt hole is another story. I did the first one on Saturday and it started to rain heavy (I was working outside) and I just kept at it in the pouring rain until it was done.
I'm getting too old for this shit. I've been doing it my whole life to save money but it gets harder all the time. I'm surprised I still have my sanity and I'm sore as hell but I do have that old sense of satisfaction once it was done.
I should have become a doctor!
I try and return the favor by helping out others here when I see something I can help with.
Thank you for all your in depth advice.
ZUBAJA
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Re: Struts & coil spring choices?

Post by ZUBAJA »

I think I used a scissor jack to push down on the trailing arm to align the holes. I thought "I can't imagine doing this with 2" lift spacers. Dennis
SoobyToo58
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Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:35 am
Location: South East PA

Re: Struts & coil spring choices?

Post by SoobyToo58 »

...and Thank You for your help and comments as well!
SupeRoo Baja
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Re: Struts & coil spring choices?

Post by SupeRoo Baja »

Haha Good Job, always with being a pain in the butt these Bajas ;)

Funny thing.. the instructions to install the struts are on the spare jack.. since you are supposed to use that to wedge in and separate the suspension.. I've always found that a bit fiddly tho.. I like using jacks under the strut and removing the swaybar.

Sorry I forgot to mention that.. might have made thigs a bit ezr.. but I've done it so many times using a jack that I just slam it all in with prybars and such.
SoobyToo58
Scoobytruck Contributer
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:35 am
Location: South East PA

Re: Struts & coil spring choices?

Post by SoobyToo58 »

SupeRoo Baja wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 11:58 am Haha Good Job, always with being a pain in the butt these Bajas ;)

Funny thing.. the instructions to install the struts are on the spare jack.. since you are supposed to use that to wedge in and separate the suspension.. I've always found that a bit fiddly tho.. I like using jacks under the strut and removing the swaybar.

Sorry I forgot to mention that.. might have made thigs a bit ezr.. but I've done it so many times using a jack that I just slam it all in with prybars and such.
Well, you may have forgotten to mention that but the fact is that all the other things you did mention were a damn big help and it would have been whole a lot worse if you didn't fill me in with what you did.
As for the jack, I never thought of using it that way but now that you've mentioned it, it seems like it should have been obvious to me. It was a real freakin' annoying bear lining up the bottom bolt hole on the strut. I sure as hell don't want to go through that nonsense again.
As it turns out, I may have to get under there anyway and possibly remove and reinstall both rear strut assemblies all over again. In that case, I'll give one or both a try.
There's an annoying constant little squeak that sounds like rubber on metal coming from back there. It's not too loud at all but it's like Chinese water torture! I've been trying to live with it but I just keep thinking that maybe I didn't install those Strut Mount kits correctly which could possibly cause damage or maybe cause them to not last as long as they should or even fail somehow. If they are installed correctly, maybe they just need some silicone spray on the top rubber pieces to kill the squeak. That's one possibility.
The other is that when I removed the old strut assemblies, there was a small piece of thin plastic on each one molded to the cylindrical shape of the bottom last few inches of the coil rod that was between the coil and the plate it rests on on the strut. The old plate had come a bit loose from the old strut so the old plastic pieces were all chewed up.
(See the attached stock photo.)
I'm assuming they were there to begin with to either prevent excessive wear between the coil and the plate and/or to stop squeaking. I thought I could do without it and I didn't bother trying to re-use the chewed up pieces because they were too cut up to re-use. There weren't new ones either with the new strut or new coil spring so I didn't give it much further thought. Maybe that was a mistake!
I was thinking of cutting a small piece of silicone sheeting to stick in the place of the old ones or molding a small piece of No. 2 plastic which can be easily reformed if you heat it up in an oven at 350 degrees. (I get the plastic from laundry detergent jugs and always place it on parchment baking paper first in the oven!)
That would mean completely removing and disassembling both damn strut assemblies, installing that small piece and reinstalling the whole shebang all over again.
...and the beat goes on.
My next car is gonna be a horse!
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