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Old 11-19-2012, 09:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gonna do the struts

I am going to buy the set of 4 struts at shock warehouse online for $304. Can't decide if I should do the project myself, or take it to a mechanic. I figure I would save $200+ in labor. Then drive her down to the alignment shop. Don't have a "spring compressor"

Thoughts?
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I haven't changed suspension on my outback, since I just bought it today, but I have on other vehicles. If you feel you can do it, go for it. "rent" a spring compressor from autozone/advanced auto/oriellys for ~$50, but you get that back when you return it. Do it.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dito.

Just make sure the compressor is attached securely. You don't want the spring kicking out and hitting you or a bystander. That would be nasty.

After all the struts are on the car and the car on the ground, go around to all the center nuts and recheck that they are tight. If they are loose, you'll get a knocking noise on bumps.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you might wanna read here before deciding;

2003 w/ H6 + Baja Springs and KYB struts done!
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check out SenSen struts on Rockauto.com if you want to save a little cash. $36/ea for the fronts and $23/ea for the rears.

More Information for SENSEN 42140697

I've been running them for a few thousand miles and they feel great. Have done a lot of research and haven't found anyone with anything bad to say about them either, short or long term. Installation went smooth and they seem to be a quality part, nothing sketchy about them at all. Brackets for the brake hoses and ABS wires are in the factory location with the correct thread cut for the bolts.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnout8488 View Post
Check out SenSen struts on Rockauto.com if you want to save a little cash. $36/ea for the fronts and $23/ea for the rears.

More Information for SENSEN 42140697

I've been running them for a few thousand miles and they feel great. Have done a lot of research and haven't found anyone with anything bad to say about them either, short or long term. Installation went smooth and they seem to be a quality part, nothing sketchy about them at all. Brackets for the brake hoses and ABS wires are in the factory location with the correct thread cut for the bolts.
Thanks. I just ordered the 4 struts. $149 to my door in 4-5 days. I will man up, and rent the spring compressor and get busy next week. Lifetime warranty seems like a can't miss for daily driving. I am replacing, not "upgrading" anyway, because I believe the left front is actually broken, to the point where my steering wanders at low speed on rough paved roads, and I get a Clunking when going over the 1&1/2 lip to my driveway. All Struts are original, from the 11/2001 manufacture date.

I will report back after install and a few hundred miles.

Thanks. This forum kicks ass and saves hundreds for cheap/ broke bastards like myself.

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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inspect balljoints, tierods, steering rack bushings and the bushings on the lower control arms.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zioncanyon View Post
Thanks. I just ordered the 4 struts. $149 to my door in 4-5 days. I will man up, and rent the spring compressor and get busy next week. Lifetime warranty seems like a can't miss for daily driving. I am replacing, not "upgrading" anyway, because I believe the left front is actually broken, to the point where my steering wanders at low speed on rough paved roads, and I get a Clunking when going over the 1&1/2 lip to my driveway. All Struts are original, from the 11/2010 manufacture date.

I will report back after install and a few hundred miles.

Thanks. This forum kicks ass and saves hundreds for cheap/ broke bastards like myself.

I second (third?) the suggestion to rent the spring compressor. Whatever you do, do NOT buy a cheap manual one thinking you'll save money. Be careful with it, too - springs under pressure make great murder weapons.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just in case you haven't seen these DIYs yet:

Front Strut Replacement, 2000 Outback

Rear Shock Replacement, 2000 Outback Wagon
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Advance Auto will ACTUALLY rent you a pretty good spring compressor for free.
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