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.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.
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.