Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Car: 2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Suspension/Lowering Qustions - '04 OBW
Well I think it is about the time for some new struts. Mine certainly aren't terrible yet, but I've got a little bit of a bounce over rough roads and I hear a little noise coming from the front end over bumps, too. It certainly hasn't reached the point of being floaty or annoying yet, in fact the car just passed safety inspection with flying colors in October and was just aligned in December, neither mechanic (inspector has been my trusted mechanic for years, alignment guy is a coworker) mentioned anything about the struts, so they aren't bad yet. But I just rolled 116,000 miles last week, and I think it is just about time to start thinking about it. I've done a little research here trying to find answers to my questions and I've gotten a few conflicting answers.
First of all... I am considering lowering the car just a little bit. Not much, I don't want it to be as low as a Legacy, I like the little bit extra ground clearance, but I'm getting new wheels in the spring and doing a few appearance mods, I want a little bit sleeker look. I've read that leaving everything else stock but using Legacy struts will give me a small drop in height. Is this true? Anyone who has done this before on a 2nd gen, do you happen to have pictures?
Secondly, I LOVE the way the car rides right now. Soft enough to be comfortable, firm enough to have excellent road feel. How much of that will I lose going to Legacy struts? My example is my '99 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, it is lowered on stock struts with aftermarket B&G lowering springs. I'd say overall its about a 2 inch drop from stock. And it rides... stiff, to say the least. A lot less comfortable than my dad's nearly identical '03 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, same suspension/body/chassis. I don't want that to happen with my Outback.
Thirdly, while I am in here, should I look into upgraded swaybars or the like? I'm not unhappy with the way the car handles now, I think it handles very well, especially considering what kind of vehicle it is. Nimble enough for me to get in and out of busy traffic, as well as handles well enough to take the long, windy, narrow back roads around here at speed without fear of losing traction. But there is always room for improvement, right?
Even though I am getting new wheels, I am keeping with the same outside diameter by keeping the stock size tires, 225/60R16s. My concerns with the Legacy struts would be the possibility of rubbing on full lock or over bumps... anyone who has done this care to chime in on this as well?
Thanks in advance for replies. I plan on doing this probably sometime in the spring.
2014 Ford Explorer Sport - 29,000 miles, 3.5 EcoBoost V6, K&N Intake, vent-to-air mod, DD
2004 Subaru Outback Wagon - 146,000 miles, 2.5 H4 EJ251, 4EAT, sold to my brother
1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP - 197,000 miles, Toy/money pit
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