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Old 03-10-2010, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Replacement struts on 2006 Outback Sport

Hey guys,

It's time to replace the rear struts on my 2006 Outback Sport. The car has 110K miles on it and both rear struts are beginning to leak, so I figure it's time.

I've searched this forum and others and have found that the KYB GR2 struts are a good replacement strut for the Outback. How about the Outback Sport? Not sure what the differences are suspension-wise between the Outback and Outback Sport...

My local independent Subaru shop recommends OEM struts, but they seem a little pricey @ $150 each plus $60 labor each. So just to do the rear, I'm looking at $420.

Tirerack.com lists the GR2 as a replacement strut for the 2006 Outback Sport - Tirerack link

According to that link, I can get both rears for $134, which is a lot cheaper than the OEM struts. I'm a little confused also between inserts vs "strut housing." Does "strut housing" mean that it's the entire strut assembly. Is there anything else I would have to buy besides the strut housing?

Also, would I have to be concerned with the sagging rear end I've been reading about?

Thanks for any feedback and suggestions. I'm a bit lost with all the suspension stuff and appreciate any advice. Thanks!
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The GR2's are an OEM replacement. They will be perfect. And yes, buy online. And then just pay a shop to do the swap if you cannot.

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Old 03-12-2010, 11:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Brian! I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I bought my struts from just-suspension on E-bay.

For me they were the cheapest due to free shipping and no tax [out of state]. No issues with them, sent what the advertised and it was cheaper than all but one other place I CA but the tax made them more expensive.

When you buy a strut, you generally get just the strut but, that is the bottom strut housing and cartridge in one unit. Some struts have replaceable cartridges, the one for mine does not.

So, if you buy just the strut, they will reuse the top spring housing, spring, bump stop, top mount, bolts, dust boot, etc.

Look at this picture, the strut is #33 that's what you get when you buy a rear strut. The other stuff like the mount, the boot are separate parts you would have to order. You may not "need" them but only taking it apart and examining it wil tell you that. I bought new mounts just because I've run in to worn/frozen bearings in other cars in the past and didn't want to be half way through and have to wait to get new ones.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh, to answer the "sagging rear end" question, your struts are nitrogen charged and supply some of the support for the rear end [the spring does most of it] . If the strut is leaking, that's what's causing your sag. Your springs are not really old enough to be fatiqued enough to cause sag [unless you regularly haul extremely heavy loads].
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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^Thanks for the wealth of information. It makes a lot more sense now. I appreciate it
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Dane, I just noticed you're in CA too.

You might want to check the part numbers at either tire rack or at KYB.com for your car then check if they are currently selling them at just suspension. I got the set of four with free shipping for my car for $274. Just for comparison the Cheapest online "auto parts store" [Rock Auto, which for most things I highly recommend, actually got my mounts from them] was about $30 more for the set. I know it seems like more than tire rack but, the front struts cost about $35 more per strut than the rears almost everywhere.

I mention this because, if your rears are going ... the fronts generally aren't too far behind. If you're having someone do it, You might be better off sucking it up and buying a whole set and do it all at once. Beside your handling getting a little worse you next sign that the fronts are fading will be increased tire wear [generally on the inside of the tire]. even if the car is aligned, the force of turning with worn struts will make the tire ride on the inside edge and may prematurely trash your tires.

Your call but I would [and am] doing it all at once, get a four wheel alignment and probably help get more miles out of a set of tires [which aren't cheap].

I know, I'm starting to sound like a salesman here
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ETC
Hey Dane, I just noticed you're in CA too.

You might want to check the part numbers at either tire rack or at KYB.com for your car then check if they are currently selling them at just suspension. I got the set of four with free shipping for my car for $274. Just for comparison the Cheapest online "auto parts store" [Rock Auto, which for most things I highly recommend, actually got my mounts from them] was about $30 more for the set. I know it seems like more than tire rack but, the front struts cost about $35 more per strut than the rears almost everywhere.

I mention this because, if your rears are going ... the fronts generally aren't too far behind. If you're having someone do it, You might be better off sucking it up and buying a whole set and do it all at once. Beside your handling getting a little worse you next sign that the fronts are fading will be increased tire wear [generally on the inside of the tire]. even if the car is aligned, the force of turning with worn struts will make the tire ride on the inside edge and may prematurely trash your tires.

Your call but I would [and am] doing it all at once, get a four wheel alignment and probably help get more miles out of a set of tires [which aren't cheap].

I know, I'm starting to sound like a salesman here
Thanks for the info. I am thinking about biting the bullet and doing all 4 at the same time. Makes a lot more sense in the long run. I'm going to have my mechanic take a look at the strut mounts and see if those need to replaced also. I will check out just suspension as well.

Thanks again for the feedback. Great info and very helpful!
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