Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of October's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a blown driver side strut on my '08 OB. I'm not exactly thrilled to have to replace them at 68k but I'm going to chalk this up to a fluke.

One shop is recommending the Monroe OESpectrum struts, from what I read people seem pretty happy with them. On the forums here I see a lot of people buying the KYB GR-2 / Excel-G struts. I could go also go with a set of Bilstein's or similar.

I'm not sure yet if I plan on driving this car into the ground or selling it, though with resale value dropping I probably should make up my mind soon. The car is a daily driver and is shared between my wife and I. I occasionally tow our 22' sailboat which just about maxes out the tow capacity.

I think it'll be better to replace these sooner than later. I wouldn't mind a slightly more sporty or stiff ride as the OE ride for the OB is fairly floaty. Any help would be hugely appreciated.
 

·
Registered
2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
348 Posts
The best long term solution would be to upgrade your springs too - i.e. King Springs. As for the struts, I liked the KYBs I had on my Impreza enough that I plan on putting KYBs on my 07 Outback as soon as it is time.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
08 isn't a spring Chicken - put another stock shock on it and chalk it up to a fluk.
True. She's not at all. I haven't priced out OEs yet. I am wondering if aftermarket would be a better choice for a more sporty ride. This vid for the OESpectrums is pretty interesting

What 22ft sailboat? I only know of one that falls within the max towing capacity. Been racing sailboats a long time.
It's a newish Catalina Capri 22. The boat, trailer, and small amount of gear puts us right at 3k lbs, though the OB is rated for towing quite a bit more outside of the US. In the UK it's rated for over 4k, though thats with the same 200lb tongue load limit, which puts your ratio at 5% trailer weight, which seems a tad risky.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The best long term solution would be to upgrade your springs too - i.e. King Springs. As for the struts, I liked the KYBs I had on my Impreza enough that I plan on putting KYBs on my 07 Outback as soon as it is time.
Do you think it's worth while to do all four corners at once? Did you find the KYBs stiffened things up a bit? What did you like about the King Springs? I haven't heard much about them.
 

·
Registered
Fresh Out of Outbacks!
Joined
·
14,499 Posts
You definitely don't want to replace one. Some recommend doing all 4 at once, I think either axle at a time is sufficient. You can make your own decision there. You really don't want differential handling from one side to the other though, that could be dangerous.

KYB's direct replacement for the rear, #341443 is a decent durable part however I think it still leaves the rear end too bouncy & floaty. The #341276 is the same part meant for the 2000-04 Outback. That is a considerably stiffer strut, and I think they improve the handling on the 05-09 cars by 100%. The stock #339099/98 front struts are great.

I've never tried monroes in my subarus, never particularly impressed with the brand.
 

·
Registered
2015 Subaru Outback Premium | 2007 Outback 2.5i
Joined
·
348 Posts
Do you think it's worth while to do all four corners at once? Did you find the KYBs stiffened things up a bit? What did you like about the King Springs? I haven't heard much about them.
I would do all the struts at once and plan for the Kings down the road if you decide that route.

The KYB, mind you, were on my Impreza (Outback Sport) and were actually Forester Struts - so I got a little lift and a little stiffness from that change. But that is cuz the Forester is a little heavier than the Impreza so the struts are tuned accordingly. That change was perfect for me since my commute is a 90 miles round trip on concrete sectioned highway. For the Outback, I don't suspect the KYBs will stiffen the ride short of the difference you get from replacing a cheaper, dead strut with a new, quality strut. But, the springs will make a difference. You won't feel every bump, so to speak, but you will notice an improvement in handling, especially when you're towing your boat - and you'll be preserving your new struts with those stiffer springs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
True. She's not at all. I haven't priced out OEs yet. I am wondering if aftermarket would be a better choice for a more sporty ride. This vid for the OESpectrums is pretty interesting OE Suspension Vs Monroe - YouTube



It's a newish Catalina Capri 22. The boat, trailer, and small amount of gear puts us right at 3k lbs, though the OB is rated for towing quite a bit more outside of the US. In the UK it's rated for over 4k, though thats with the same 200lb tongue load limit, which puts your ratio at 5% trailer weight, which seems a tad risky.
Just the empty hull is 2200lbs add about 500lbs for the trailer - your easily way over the max before you even add passengers or basic gear. UK towing specs are very -very different than here for some very big reasons. Some advice don't Cite specs given to cars outside of the US if your towing overloaded in the US. Puts a bulls eye on you for potential lawsuit if something goes wrong. Shows you knew you were over the limit.

Then gen3's and earlier models have very weak cooling systems for the towing efforts to start with. As a yard mule moving it to the hoist no big deal. Hope your not hauling the Capri at highway speeds any measurable distances. Our rig is 1700lbs empty towed it with a 2001 for 11yrs on flat cool trips with driver only in the car. Anymore than that or 85+ degree temps and the cooling system was at max capacity.

Toss stock shocks on it and call it good. All the aftermarket stuff has a shorter life span than the stock gear. Not to mention its your pack mule so spending more money on after market stuff just costs you more money ;-)

Subaru parts online - pull the strut take it to your local Napa machine shop parts store $10 or $15 for them to mount the new shock. Easy and cheap. By the way the Capri is probably what caused the shock to bite the dust early.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You definitely don't want to replace one. Some recommend doing all 4 at once, I think either axle at a time is sufficient. You can make your own decision there. You really don't want differential handling from one side to the other though, that could be dangerous.

KYB's direct replacement for the rear, #341443 is a decent durable part however I think it still leaves the rear end too bouncy & floaty. The #341276 is the same part meant for the 2000-04 Outback. That is a considerably stiffer strut, and I think they improve the handling on the 05-09 cars by 100%. The stock #339099/98 front struts are great.

I've never tried monroes in my subarus, never particularly impressed with the brand.
Sorry for the confusion. I should have said do the rear at the same time as the front. I would never replace a single strut, brake, etc. ;-)

They put monroe ceramics in when I did my brakes. I haven't tried slamming them yet but they seem to be slightly more smooth.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would do all the struts at once and plan for the Kings down the road if you decide that route.

The KYB, mind you, were on my Impreza (Outback Sport) and were actually Forester Struts - so I got a little lift and a little stiffness from that change. But that is cuz the Forester is a little heavier than the Impreza so the struts are tuned accordingly. That change was perfect for me since my commute is a 90 miles round trip on concrete sectioned highway. For the Outback, I don't suspect the KYBs will stiffen the ride short of the difference you get from replacing a cheaper, dead strut with a new, quality strut. But, the springs will make a difference. You won't feel every bump, so to speak, but you will notice an improvement in handling, especially when you're towing your boat - and you'll be preserving your new struts with those stiffer springs.
I really appreciate the input. It's great to hear first hand experience.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just the empty hull is 2200lbs add about 500lbs for the trailer - your easily way over the max before you even add passengers or basic gear. UK towing specs are very -very different than here for some very big reasons. Some advice don't Cite specs given to cars outside of the US if your towing overloaded in the US. Puts a bulls eye on you for potential lawsuit if something goes wrong. Shows you knew you were over the limit.

Then gen3's and earlier models have very weak cooling systems for the towing efforts to start with. As a yard mule moving it to the hoist no big deal. Hope your not hauling the Capri at highway speeds any measurable distances. Our rig is 1700lbs empty towed it with a 2001 for 11yrs on flat cool trips with driver only in the car. Anymore than that or 85+ degree temps and the cooling system was at max capacity.

Toss stock shocks on it and call it good. All the aftermarket stuff has a shorter life span than the stock gear. Not to mention its your pack mule so spending more money on after market stuff just costs you more money ;-)

Subaru parts online - pull the strut take it to your local Napa machine shop parts store $10 or $15 for them to mount the new shock. Easy and cheap. By the way the Capri is probably what caused the shock to bite the dust early.
I've done the math and with the wing keel, trailer, and gear I'm at 2850lbs. So far I've only towed it from/to home, club, and storage. Total of around 40mi, a handful of them were on the highway. The highway was concrete and made for some terrible oscillations, so I'll be avoiding that section from now on. Although it towed OK, I wouldn't ever trailer sail it. Next season I may just end up renting or borrowing a friends truck.
 

·
Registered
2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
Joined
·
276 Posts
I actually just put new rear 04' KYB's on yesterday. SUCH A DIFFERENCE! Before, it was floaty feeling, and bouncy after bumps. Now it's much more stable feeling. The damping rate is higher on the 04' struts.

As far as new springs, I would wait and see how just the 04's are. The struts are the same length (the 04's may actually be a tad shorter), but the spring perch is higher on the 04's. Since the lengths are the same (or close), but the spring is mounted higher on the strut, the spring is pre-loaded higher. Basically it'll stiffen the rear up similar to how higher spring-rate coils would. There is a consequence though: articulation is shortened. Not a big deal unless you routinely flex your Outback offroad. And even if you do, you really only need 3 wheels on the ground anyways.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,806 Posts
I've done the math and with the wing keel, trailer, and gear I'm at 2850lbs. So far I've only towed it from/to home, club, and storage. Total of around 40mi, a handful of them were on the highway. The highway was concrete and made for some terrible oscillations, so I'll be avoiding that section from now on. Although it towed OK, I wouldn't ever trailer sail it. Next season I may just end up renting or borrowing a friends truck.
Yep keep it to the local yard mule work and your good. The Catalina 22 is essentially the same boat and all the guys doing the lake circuit with those run with fairly decent sized tow machines. KB shocks would be a waste of money for the short haul to the club and just moving it around the yard at the club. There have been some fit complaints with the KB's off and on also. Some people like to spend lots of time messing with their cars others like them to just work so they do other things like say go sailing ;-)
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry for the delay all. I'm going to go with the KYB GR-2's and will report back!
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Finally ordered the GR-2 / Excel-G and boots. I'm having trouble finding the front mounts though. Nothing on KYB Online Parts Catalog except the rear mounts. I contacted KYB to inquire about the front mounts.
 

·
Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
At 68k I would just replace the struts and leave the top hat/mount. Unless you know there is a problem.

Tom
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At 68k I would just replace the struts and leave the top hat/mount. Unless you know there is a problem.

Tom
I don't think there is a problem with them. I think a few well hit potholes contributed to the current issue. Then again it's hard to say until you have them off. I wonder if I could buy them and then just return them if the stock ones look OK.
 

·
Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
Joined
·
2,926 Posts
At 95k, I didn't have them on hand, and I wouldn't have used them if i did. Mine looked good. Unless you hear noise that could be related, I wouldn't worry. You could always find a local source if you have to run out and get them.
 

·
Registered
'08 3.0R LLB OB
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
At 95k, I didn't have them on hand, and I wouldn't have used them if i did. Mine looked good. Unless you hear noise that could be related, I wouldn't worry. You could always find a local source if you have to run out and get them.
Thanks Tom. We hear rattling but I'm pretty sure it's only from the blown strut. Maybe I'll pop my head under the hood this weekend and have someone turn the wheel and listen to the barrings. Visually they look fine.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top