Thanks for that info, Suparu. That is about all I have found, too. I have all the parts to do a shock replacement and all new sti bushings on my 1998 legacy outback, but I don't want to spend $500 on king springs (the ideal, with an inch or two taller and +25% rate).
yeah, I hear that! A thing to consider with King raised springs (+2" higher) is that by raising the car with a stiffer and taller spring is that it keeps the shock at near max extension, limiting up travel (of the tire, down travel of the vehicle) but giving you nearly all the shock's travel in down travel (of the tire, up travel of the vehicle). So I think a FOR spring is ideal, b/c it pushed you up a little, but not too much and you still have most up and down travel by the car sitting closer in the middle of the shock travel.
It looks like my hunch appears correct in that forester springs are taller, allowing more travel on a forester, but a weaker spring rate than the outback. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the forester is built on the lighter impreza chassis? Then the lighter springs would make sense. Also, the forester spring perch is higher on the shock than the outback. That is mostly what gives those forester-shock modified outbacks their lift, not the spring rate. I mostly just want stiffer springs.
So in cars.com research, i get these weights.
1995 legacy sedan 3115
1995 legacy wagon 3190
1993 impreza wagon 2750
1990 loyale wagon 2405
1998 legacy wagon OB 3190
2000 forester 3125
2007 forester 3090
2003 impreza wagon WRX 3165
2003 legacy wagon OB 3415
1998 forester L 3058
2005 forester turbo 3210
so the older IMPS were lighter, but newer WRXs and FORs are close to as 2nd gen legacies with respect to weight, with 2nd gen OBs the heaviest...
Yes, fozzies (pre 09) are based on the impreza chasis, but I think the fozzies may have a higher spring rate despite a thinner coil thickness. or maybe similar rate but a taller spring, so it's under higher compression compared to legacy and OB springs...
I think early (gen 1 98-02) fozzies had a longer shock travel which actually put their lower spring perch closer to the tire. This explains why people can put a taller tire on OB strut-lifted vehicles compared to (gen 1) FOR strut-lifted cars. So with that, the 1st gen OB strut is the preferred strut lift, but the 2nd gen FOR strut assembly (strut, spring and top hat combo) provides more overall lift AND travel. I suspect you could marry a 2nd gen forester spring into an OB strut but you'd need the upper spring perch top hat combo... I think all the springs have the same lower diameter, it's just the top that changes.
gen 1 OB top
gen 2 OB top
gen 1 FOR top
94 SVX top
You could get a good lift up front with H-6 OB springs and a touch more with BAJA springs, but it's be higher in front than back with FOR springs. Mine works out pretty well with FOR in the rear and SVX in the front b/c my bumoer skid plate combo is like 140 pounds
It's a tiny bit higher in front, but it looks about right. Some might say "with the saggy butt" look, with a slightly lower rear wheel well arch, but I think the overall lift combo works well in my application.
slightly uneven terrain
SVX front FOR rear (new tires)
2nd gen OB front FOR rear (new tires)
1st gen OB front FOR rear (worn out tires)
SVX FRONT FOR rear new tires, unever terrain
Is that helpful, or muddy the waters further?
I know I was very confused about the little info I had, but getting it all in hand and now having side-by-side comparisons REALLY helped me out.