Using Forester Springs/Struts/Shocks to lift 1st Gen Outbacks - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using Forester Springs/Struts/Shocks to lift 1st Gen Outbacks

I recently ran across this car posted on NASIOC. It is a 1st Gen outback that was lifted through the use of 2005 Forester Springs/Struts/Shocks. I think there are a few people on the board who may have done this, but it seems like a cheap and easy way to get a nice lift for your 1st Generation Outback.

I have e-mailed the guys at Team Illuminata to see if they can give me more info on how they achieved the lift. If you have done this, or have information on how it is done, please post it here.

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http://www.teamilluminata.com./Customers/OBAT/obat.htm

They report a lift of 2.5" in the front and 1" lift in the rear, for an increase in ground clearance of 2" in the front and 1.75" in the rear. 0.7" of that increase in ground clearance can be attributed to the 215/75R16 tire they put on the car.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Forester spring lift

I would like to know more about this as well. Seems like a nice economical alternative to King springs or a body lift. I just wish I new about it before I put new struts in. Suspension tear downs are always a bit rough. I wonder if Forester endlinks would be needed to accommodate the extra height? The result looks great! I guess one could always just do the taller tires for a small lift.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So I got a reply from Paul at Team Illuminata. Sounds like a good guy, and he was happy to provide info on how they did the lift. Since he helped us out with info, keep him in mind when you are buying parts, as I remember he had one of the best deals going on Primitive skid plates.

Here is an excerpt from his e-mail that deals with the lift:

Quote:
I must say I am no expert when it comes to this lift project and was a bit skeptical going in but my research seemed to indicate that any post 04 Forester struts would bolt right up and achieve a reasonable lift. Even when I had both struts next to each other on the ground I was still skeptical that they would lift the car any significant amount but was pleasantly surprised by the results. Of course, the oversized tires contribute quite a bit too, about 3/4" actually.

I am not sure if earlier struts would work so stayed away from those plus, we wanted the benefit of fairly new struts too. It would be best to use complete strut assemblies for convenience and, indeed, it is necessary in the rear as the Forester spring tops and springs are significantly smaller. In the front I think we used the original OB tops but having complete units would make it very simple. One incompatibility was with the brake line mount on the struts which is slightly different. We just zip tied them on rally-style though. Oh, and tires rub a bit on the inner, lower mud flap mount in the front. A bit concerting the first time but doesn't seem to be a problem. Otherwise, yes, it all just bolts up. Aren't Subarus great?
So it looks like this may be a nice cheap option. I did a quick run down on the cost of complete strut/shock/spring assemblies for a Forester, and it looks like you can get the complete assembly for all four corners for about 430 bucks. That is everything, shocks, struts, springs, mounts, everything need to bolt it right up.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is great information all gathered in one spot. I just got off the phone with Ron at Rallitek in PDX about HD springs for Gen 1 legacy outbacks. Rallitek can get them for $148 and as I recall reading, they raise the rear an inch or two. I like the idea of stiffening up the rear a little bit and maybe adding a larger front sway bar.

What do you think of the balance if a Gen 1 with Forester front springs, shocks, mounts and stock rear shocks with the HD springs from Rallitek? Would the car balance out level-wise? Does anyone have images or measurements showing the front with the forester setup or the rear with the HD springs?

Thanks,

Sesh


(MODS, feel free to organize this into a new thread if needed.)
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I found this post:

Rallitek HD rear springs

which shows the Rallitek HD springs to raise the rear about 1.5".

The link in the above post to Team Illuminata states that the Forester setup raises the front about 1.75", adjusting for the tire size they used.

Sounds like a pretty good balance to me. Any thoughts? With this info, I think that the only great compliment to this setup would be a larger front sway bar from Rallitek. I'll price it all out in the next post.

Sesh
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am interested in lifting my 97 outback. But is it possible to keep the stock tires, or is that silly?

Also exact measurements would be great, instead of adding the tire info.

I am keenly watching, before i buy what is needed to lift.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by STL97outback
I am interested in lifting my 97 outback. But is it possible to keep the stock tires, or is that silly?

Also exact measurements would be great, instead of adding the tire info.

I am keenly watching, before i buy what is needed to lift.
Keeping stock tires would be fine. It certainly isn't isn't going to make the car look funny, just don't expect the same increases in ground clearance. I am not sure that exact measurements are to be had at this point, but it would appear that the Forester struts will result in about 1.25" increased ground clearance in the front, and 1" in the back, based on subtracting the increased tire size.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, it looks like to get all new parts for the setup that I mentioned you would be set back about $600.

I'm going to look for used Forester springs and such to keep this on the cheap. Maybe I can knock it down 100 bones or so, but I'm not complaining about $600 for a lift and all new shocks and springs.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockhopjohn

but it would appear that the Forester struts will result in about 1.25" increased ground clearance in the front, and 1" in the back, based on subtracting the increased tire size.
Then wouldn't the car be lopsided?
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by STL97outback
Then wouldn't the car be lopsided?
That is a tiny amount. With the Rallitek springs my car is 1.5" higher in the rear, and I hardly notice it.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by kanurys
Well, it looks like to get all new parts for the setup that I mentioned you would be set back about $600.
Maybe if you get it from the dealer, you can get all the same stuff for $430 from an online parts distributor. Ready to bolt in.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockhopjohn


That is a tiny amount. With the Rallitek springs my car is 1.5" higher in the rear, and I hardly notice it.
Your forrester numbers had the front higher than the back, I don't like that. Makes it look like there is a load in the back.

I prefer to have a rake (rear higher than front) or level look.

Looks like I might have to go aftermarket for a lift.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by STL97outback


Your forrester numbers had the front higher than the back, I don't like that. Makes it look like there is a load in the back.

I prefer to have a rake (rear higher than front) or level look.

Looks like I might have to go aftermarket for a lift.
You're right, it was higher in the front than in the back, but I would bet you money you wouldn't be able to spot it. Just look at the pictures of the Outback above, do you see a noticeable rake, because I sure don't
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockhopjohn


You're right, it was higher in the front than in the back, but I would bet you money you wouldn't be able to spot it. Just look at the pictures of the Outback above, do you see a noticeable rake, because I sure don't
I can't tell, because the angle is bad. Should be a side view. I am way too anal, so I can probably spot it in person

Just went to Rallitek's site, they have nothing to lift my old Outback. So I looked at Forrester lift, since I figured if Forrester parts fit our Outback, Forrester aftermarket will fit ours too, but there was no lift kit there.

Search continues..
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Two things:

To find out if Rallitek made anything for my Gen. 1, I had to call and talk to them directly. None of the products were listed on their website. Try giving them a ring. They're really friendly.

The stock stance for a Gen. 1 is lower in the front than the back, so I don't think it will set it back after the above described lift. This is what I estimate solely on the measurements already talked about.

STL97, I do see a slight setback on the Team Illuminata car, and I wonder if there is a way to raise the rear a little more or lower the front by a half inch to an inch. Maybe by using forester strut mounts instead of outback ones or visa versa. Are there spacers that can go between the rear mounts and the body of the car? Is that even a possibility?
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think its getting too late for me or the head cold is really getting to me.

They say that the Forester rears will raise the rear 1".

The other posts say that the Rallitek Springs will raise the rear atleast 1.5".

That is much better than the Forester rears in my own head because the HD springs won't compress as easily as the Forester springs, keeping the stance in the back more constant. Also, the difference in lift is around 0.5". Pretty negligible.
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockhopjohn


Maybe if you get it from the dealer, you can get all the same stuff for $430 from an online parts distributor. Ready to bolt in.
I'm definitely doing the HD springs and GR-2's in back no matter what. I'm still undecided about lifting the front.

Any hints as to a good place to find Forester fronts all assembled, new? Or a good place for KYB GR-2's?

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by kanurys


I'm definitely doing the HD springs and GR-2's in back no matter what. I'm still undecided about lifting the front.

Any hints as to a good place to find Forester fronts all assembled, new? Or a good place for KYB GR-2's?

Thanks
eBay is a great source for the GR-2s. Although I got mine locally from Les Schwab for not too much more than they run on eBay.

http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_nkw...Q_fromZQQ_mdoZ

This was just the first place I looked, you might be able to find these cheaper elsewhere. 108 a piece for fully assembly Forester front strut assemblies.

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...layCatalogid=0
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by rockhopjohn


eBay is a great source for the GR-2s

http://shop.ebay.com/items/_W0QQ_nkw...Q_fromZQQ_mdoZ

This was just the first place I looked, you might be able to find these cheaper elsewhere. 108 a piece for fully assembly Forester front strut assemblies.

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...layCatalogid=0

Cool, thanks. I saw those earlier. That's not too bad. $216 for the front.

The cheapest rear GR-2's on ebay are about $60 each and the HD springs are $148, so we're talking $270 for the rear.

Total at $486 + shipping and we're over $500 give or take a little depending on where you get those fronts.

Hmmm.... (grinning and scratching chin)
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Old 02-18-2009, 12:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by kanurys



Cool, thanks. I saw those earlier. That's not too bad. $216 for the front.

The cheapest rear GR-2's on ebay are about $60 each and the HD springs are $148, so we're talking $270 for the rear.

Total at $486 + shipping and we're over $500 give or take a little depending on where you get those fronts.

Hmmm.... (grinning and scratching chin)
DO IT
DO IT
DO IT
DO IT



So that I can see the measurements on how much your car gets a lift, and how it looks, before I pull the trigger.
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