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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had a shade-tree mechanic replace the rear struts on my 2001 outback wagon. The passenger strut is not look correctly assembled/installed. The spring is off the lower strut mount and sitting crooked. Is there a way I can get it to line up by jacking the control arm up and retorquing the top bolts or does the whole strut need to come out, spring compressed and repositioned?

I dont have a spring compressor. If it needs to come out I can have him fix his work, but its a bit of a trek to the shop so I wouldnt mind trying myself. Thanks so much.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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First mistake, using a "shadetree". Just because someone says they are an auto tech doesn't mean they are. I went through 9 people at the shop before deciding to just hire a nube and train him the right way.

The strut needs to come out and the spring compressed in order to get it positioned correctly. It doesn't need to be taken apart, only compressed and decompressed after the spring is set in correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply, yeah I would have done this myself but I just havent had time. I'll admit I'm just too cheap to pay a name brand shop the quoted $800 since this is supposed to be my beater.

Called up the shop yesterday and he said he was mystified how it was possible and would fix it, then he couldnt make it in to work today. Decided to take matters into my own hands which is only possible thanks to the endless info on this site. Turns out the spring was oriented in the groove correctly, it seems like it somehow rotated around. I can't see how it happened while driving but I also find it hard to believe he would have put the strut back in with the spring all bent up. IMO the KYB strut could use a slightly large diameter spring seat.

Breaking the lower bolt was the hardest part. This being my first time I was scared the strut was going to shoot open a few inches when the bolt removed the tension of the control arm. Decided to put a jack on the control arm and the strut. Compressed the spring, moved it around and set it back. Struggled a little getting the lower mounting bolt lined up but it wasnt too bad.

Looks much better now. At least I gained some exposure to working on struts too!
 

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2008 Outback 2.5i AT
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Take a look at the other wheels and note how the boot is supposed to look. As long as it doesn't interfere with the movement of anything I think it's good.
 
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