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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, just picked up a 2000 Outback. Driver side front strut is bad. Although the only real symptom I notice is the car jerks when turning/hitting a bump. Nothing dramatic but it is noticeable.

Cheapest quote I got to replace both front struts is $450 parts/labor. But I'm wondering. What am I risking by driving around with one bad strut in terms of damaging other suspension components?
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Awesome video, great illustration of aggressive/panic braking with a lousy strut or three!

But to answer your question- it typically puts extra stress on the front brakes (and less on the rear) and makes the springs work harder. Maybe some funky tire wear too. Not that bad as far as normal driving goes.

The real problem with bad struts is that it totally smokes your chances for a clean avoidance maneuver at highway speed.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #5
Awesome video, great illustration of aggressive/panic braking with a lousy strut or three!

But to answer your question- it typically puts extra stress on the front brakes (and less on the rear) and makes the springs work harder. Maybe some funky tire wear too. Not that bad as far as normal driving goes.

The real problem with bad struts is that it totally smokes your chances for a clean avoidance maneuver at highway speed.
Gotcha! I'd like to wait until Spring to change them. Sounds like I should be able to do that without wearing other parts out to much.

Thank you very much!
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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nope, not a big deal. it won't handle or perform the same obviously but not a big deal.

it was said that a bad strut puts more strain on the springs since they have to carry more load and do more work. might want to replace them anyway.

3 nuts two bolts hold it to the vehicle, that's it, if you want to do it yourself. then there's an ancillary bracket or two for the abs sensor to swap over, another bolt.

you could buy a used one for $50 from Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and be done in 30 minutes or for new parts - remove and install yours and take it to a shop to do the strut/spring disassembly.

RockAuto Auto Parts has great prices sometimes.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #7
nope, not a big deal. it won't handle or perform the same obviously but not a big deal.

it was said that a bad strut puts more strain on the springs since they have to carry more load and do more work. might want to replace them anyway.

3 nuts two bolts hold it to the vehicle, that's it, if you want to do it yourself. then there's an ancillary bracket or two for the abs sensor to swap over, another bolt.

you could buy a used one for $50 from Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market and be done in 30 minutes or for new parts - remove and install yours and take it to a shop to do the strut/spring disassembly.

RockAuto Auto Parts has great prices sometimes.
Thank you very much! If I wait until Spring I can do it myself (no place to do the work right now). A local shop quoted me at $450 to do both front's. Sounds reasonable I think?

The shop also mentioned that my steering rack was leaking on the driver side (the boot is ripped). But he said he thinks I'd be fine to just keep the reservoir topped off. My sway bar end links could also use a replacement but he said they aren't terrible.

I don't think end links really bother anything when they are bad. And if the steering rack did completely die I'd just lower power steering if I understand correctly. Not that I plan on letting that happen but..
 

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2017 3.6R Limited (Wifes), 2009 3.0R Limited 125k (Mine)
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That is not a bad quote. Which MFG of strut? I paid 350 for KYB struts, mounts, bellows and stops and I did the install. For just struts I was at 180. 450 installed is a good price if you are unable to do the work. Just for laughs I called the local dealer and got a quote for just fronts and it was 900 (just struts) or 1600 front and rear. Did my whole car under 500.

I would change them sooner than later, they will eventually damage other front end components as well as making the car very unstable/unsafe in an evasive maneuver.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #9
That is not a bad quote. Which MFG of strut? I paid 350 for KYB struts, mounts, bellows and stops and I did the install. For just struts I was at 180. 450 installed is a good price if you are unable to do the work. Just for laughs I called the local dealer and got a quote for just fronts and it was 900 (just struts) or 1600 front and rear. Did my whole car under 500.

I would change them sooner than later, they will eventually damage other front end components as well as making the car very unstable/unsafe in an evasive maneuver.
Good question. I'm gonna call and ask.

$180 sound a lot better then $450!!! I wish I had a place to do the work. If I can make it till spring I could do it myself. Sucks!

$900 is insane! Wow.

Yea that's the thing. I want to wait. But I do travel quite a bit on the weekends. Just comes down to chancing it for another 2/3 months. Or eat the cost now and have this shop install them. Which could save me money in the long run I guess.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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$450 for front struts is cheap using cheap struts. You may also want to inquire about the alignment after. If you do it yourself, be sure to mark the spindle down the lower strut line so you can get the upper camber bolt back in close to the same spot. It will make the alignment easier.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #11
$450 for front struts is cheap using cheap struts. You may also want to inquire about the alignment after. If you do it yourself, be sure to mark the spindle down the lower strut line so you can get the upper camber bolt back in close to the same spot. It will make the alignment easier.
Thank you for the tips! I've called Advacned Auto and NAPA.

Seems nobody sells a loaded strut with the spring attached. Does anyone know of a brand that does sell them this way?
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Thank you for the tips! I've called Advacned Auto and NAPA.

Seems nobody sells a loaded strut with the spring attached. Does anyone know of a brand that does sell them this way?
You won't find a strut manufacturer who does it, too much variation in the inventory.

You may find specialist resellers who are setting up new struts on new or good used springs and then selling them on an exchange basis. This used to be fairly popular, but I sense that it has declined somewhat with increased local availability of spring compressors and higher shipping charges.
 

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Super easy to replace your self once replaced you will need an alignment given it will be off.

The stock subaru struts are pretty cheap at the online subaru parts sources.

You can probably have the 2000 struts done your self in 2hrs at around $70-$80 a strut.

In my case the strut was in great shape the shock was shot I simply bought new stock shocks and had NAPA mount the new shocks on the old struts. I think that ran me $64 for the rear for the shocks and $10 to have each one mounted.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Super easy to replace your self once replaced you will need an alignment given it will be off.
Yup. You can probably rent or borrow a spring compressor from Autozone or the like.
 

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Yup. You can probably rent or borrow a spring compressor from Autozone or the like.
I didn't even bother with that given NAPA would do all that for me for $10. Simply dropped them off in the morning picked them up at noon and put them back on the car that evening.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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I highly recommend that you do not install Monroe or Gabriel. Their piston rings are metal and the valving is poor. They don't last long, maybe 25-30k miles. KYB is the best bang for the buck and they last. I have 120k on the set on my lowered Cavalier and it still rides like the day I installed them.
 

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2000 Subaru Outback Legacy 5spd
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Discussion Starter #17
I highly recommend that you do not install Monroe or Gabriel. Their piston rings are metal and the valving is poor. They don't last long, maybe 25-30k miles. KYB is the best bang for the buck and they last. I have 120k on the set on my lowered Cavalier and it still rides like the day I installed them.
KYB it is!

Thank you everyone for the tips! Much appreciated. I'm going to wait a couple months until spring and tackle this on my own. Then again if the weather stays warm I may be able to do this sooner!
 
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