Ok guys, school me.
I was getting cupping on my right rear at ~53K miles. Took it to a local Subi-specific shop who said oh yeah, out of alignment, shocks and struts are still ok. Ok cool. Had alignment done, swapped the right rear and front.
8K miles later, I noticed I could see the uneven wear on the right rear again. Ran to the local Big O tires (only place open on Sunday) because they said they do free alignment checks. Guy took one look and ran his hand over the tire to feel the up-down-up wear and said yep, shocks and struts need to be replaced. I'm just under 62K miles.
Given that this has happened to two tires pretty quickly, I'm inclined to believe him. About 30K miles ago, I put on some 235/65R17 Atturo Trailblade XT's. I live in CO, camp with the Outback, drive to ski frequently, all that awesome outdoorsy stuff. I have considered putting in a lift a few times, but never pulled the trigger.
Now that I think the shocks and struts are going to be replaced, I'd love some info on what I should consider and what I need. I plan to have a shop (any Boulder, CO recommendations welcome) do all the install, and the Big O guy is going to call and give me a quote tomorrow, but I'm assuming that's for OEM equipment, though he did bring up my beefier tires and asked if they are on there full-time, so we'll see.
I'd like a little bit of an upgrade from OEM equipment. The back gets heavy with camping gear, cooler, wood, etc etc, plus I wouldn't mind a slight lift from stiffer springs for forest service roads and light off-roading. What brands should I consider? Do I need all new strut assemblies (Fully Assembled Front Struts 2015+ Outback - Primitive Racing
) or do I just need new springs and shocks and the shop can reuse the existing stuff like the toppers and dust boots?
Second, if I'm going to have a shop do all this, does it make sense to have the shop put in a lift kit at the same time? Would this make it any cheaper vs doing the lift as a stand alone? If I'm doing stiffer springs, is the lift even necessary?
Thank you all for bearing with me.