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Discussion Starter #1
Need some opinions here. I just purchased an 05 Outback and it drives fine on regular roads. On the highway, however, I noticed it bounces and sways a bit over road imperfections such as bridges or undulations in the road surface. The suspension feels good otherwise...rides nicely and no clunks or noises. I've never owned an Outback before so I'm wondering if this bobbing, bouncing suspension is normal for this vehicle? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,195 Posts
Oh yes, it's normal. The stock dampers are very poor as it would turn out.

I highly recommend looking for some KYB type aftermarket (good value vs performance) dampers and sending the stock stuff to the trash. I am about to do this on my 05 OBXT and I already have these on my 04 OB. Well worth the small investment.

Consider higher spring rate springs at the same time. You'll not regret it and if you are not too obnoxious, it won't drive like those lowered Civics you see everywhere (bounce, bounce, bounce).

SUBARU OUTBACK KYB Excel-G Gas Shocks and Struts 334275 - SummitRacing.com
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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I'd recommend the kyb 04 outback rear replacements. Justsuspension.com has them for around 60 each. It will firm up the back and get rid of the bounce without being too harsh. If you replace the stock ones with the same year kyb replacement, you'll be bouncing again pretty quick.
 

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2007 Outback 2.5I non Turbo
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I just did mine about a month ago, I have an 07 and used the 07 KYB in the front and the 04 KYB in the rear. The 04 KYB's in the rear gave the car a much nicer ride. The other part that I found I needed to replace are the sway bar end links. The cause a clunking when going over bumps and an easy change well doing struts.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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14,366 Posts
They are mushy and bouncy from the factory, age doesn't make it any better.

I used the kyb 341276 in the rear of mine and the ride is greatly improved.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips. I am shocked and disappointed by this problem, especially coming from a company like Subaru. I have owned many Japanese cars over the years and never felt anything like that on the highway from any of them. My 96 Accord wagon feels glued to the ground in comparison! This vehicle was purchased for my sister so my concern is for her safety and satisfaction with the car. I discussed it with her and we may replace the struts with KYBs at some point.

Rasterman, when you say the ride is greatly improved, do you mean that the floaty/bouncy movement of the suspension was better after installing the KYBs? The car rides nicely, as far as absorbing bumps in the road is concerned, it's just that yucky floaty feeling that makes me uneasy about it. Please let me know, thanks.
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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there's a whole thread about it, but the short version is that if you install new struts made for the 05-09 (any brand) you'll bring the mushiness back to factory spec, which was still pretty mushy. And it won't take many miles for it to get the float-o-bounce component restored to your daily travels.

The KYB 341276 is the rear strut for the 2000-2004 version of the outback. That was a heavier car, so that strut has heavier damping. It happens to fit the 2005-2009 cars as well, and when you put them in it stiffens up the ride considerably.

When combined with swaybar upgrades and/or stiffer springs, it's a transformative change. Out with the huggy-bear, in with the hot hatch feel.

Have fun!
 

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Lawn ornament XT
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Yes, the struts alone are the best bang for the buck in improving 2005-2009 suspension. I'd consider springs to be one of the last things to change, and the swaybars somewhere in between.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok, thanks. Like I said, we bought the car for my sister, and she is used to driving a Honda so this Outback is a little unsettling. I told her if she doesn't like that feel, we can do something about it...and know I know exactly what that is! Your help has been invaluable. Thanks again.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,195 Posts
there's a whole thread about it, but the short version is that if you install new struts made for the 05-09 (any brand) you'll bring the mushiness back to factory spec, which was still pretty mushy. And it won't take many miles for it to get the float-o-bounce component restored to your daily travels.

The KYB 341276 is the rear strut for the 2000-2004 version of the outback. That was a heavier car, so that strut has heavier damping. It happens to fit the 2005-2009 cars as well, and when you put them in it stiffens up the ride considerably.

When combined with swaybar upgrades and/or stiffer springs, it's a transformative change. Out with the huggy-bear, in with the hot hatch feel.

Have fun!

Thanks for the heads up. My 05 OBXT is in dire need of new suspension. Props!
 

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took your advice and put 2004 shocks and new springs on the rear end of my 2006 outback and it drives like new. THANKS!!!!! I was about ready to dump it. does anyone know why subi has not recognized this problem and issued new specs to the OEM manufacturers????
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i
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Do a bounce test. If the rear end quickly stops bouncing, it means the strut is fine and the bouncy suspension is normal. If it keeps bouncing, it means your struts are blown.
 

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Another satisfied customer. The Rx of the prev-gen cartridge and the trick of using the car's scissor jack to align the strut and knuckle: priceless.

I bought my 2007 2.5 Limited with 90K gentle miles on her ("them," these days? :)) I was alarmed when I first went over a freeway "bump." And I finally decided to see if this is a thing by googling "Outback bouncy." This thread and its easy solution popped up. First strut cartridges I've replaced since 1992-ish. This is a safety play, so I won't be concerned if it turns out that I'll pay for it, as I expect I will, with poorer ride on logging roads in the Sierra.
 

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Reviving an old thread here as the outback I just purchased also has a lot of bounce going on! Love the car still.

Question.

For a 2008 outback, to stiffen up the ride and get it feeling better, I read it's good to go with rear KYB struts from the 2004, as they're stiffer than the 2008 struts.

How about the front? Matching 2004 struts, or you can go the correct struts to match the model year for the front? Also kyb.
 
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