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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got at least one dead shock on my 2005. Getting odd motion over bumps. It's got 175K. The rears were replaced at 105K, but the front struts are original.

From new, it's always felt a bit underdamped in the rear to me. Always a couple of cycles over a big disturbance.

I'm not looking for sharper handling or off-road prowess, just decent ride control.

Any recommendations?
 

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2013 BRZ 2005 OBXT
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230 Posts
KYB are really the only sure fire way to go if your looking to stick with a strut. If you are fine with losing some of your outback ride height and want to go down to legacy height there are a couple other options for dampening but they are expensive.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KYB are really the only sure fire way to go if your looking to stick with a strut. If you are fine with losing some of your outback ride height and want to go down to legacy height there are a couple other options for dampening but they are expensive.
Thanks, Jason. I'm not interested in lowering the ride height.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,171 Posts
4 new KYB struts, the rest are chinese junk. (the OEM is a KYB...probably).

changing a 2 in the front / 2 in the rear can make for a odd ride.

I bought my 2 sets online for my 2 subarus

, intended to buy mounting kits as needed locally. (but did not need them on install day).

one set I got on Amazon, the other from Rock Auto.
 

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2005 Outback R LL Bean 3.0 H6 w/ 5 speed sport shift
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601 Posts
I agree, KYB! I put these on my 05 OB wagon and no more weirdness of ghostwalking tendencies. Plus, the ride was improved dramatically and quieter than before. I highly recommend.

Oh, by the way, the former owner had just installed new strut/spring assemblies before I purchased the car and they went bad within months! Why go the cheap route when your life may depend on your decision?

Then, take it to someone who knows how to do a good 4 wheel alignment. Some on here say Firestone does good work and you can buy a package for additional alignments at a very reasonable price.
 

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Fresh Out of Outbacks!
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14,499 Posts
Not many choices on the market.

KYB is best for parts quality- they are the OEM for Subaru.

New struts always offer more control than old ones, but if you need even more control I would suggest using the parts meant for the 2nd generation Outback (2000-2004). The fit is the same, but since the older models weighed more there is more damping.
 

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2016 WRX, 2017 BRZ, 2017 Legacy
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365 Posts
I agree, KYB! I put these on my 05 OB wagon and no more weirdness of ghostwalking tendencies. Plus, the ride was improved dramatically and quieter than before. I highly recommend.

Oh, by the way, the former owner had just installed new strut/spring assemblies before I purchased the car and they went bad within months! Why go the cheap route when your life may depend on your decision?

Then, take it to someone who knows how to do a good 4 wheel alignment. Some on here say Firestone does good work and you can buy a package for additional alignments at a very reasonable price.
Sounds like the previous owner put on cheap junk to get the car sold.

I installed the KYB GR2 front struts:

PartsTrain.com - Hard to Find Auto Parts and Truck Parts -
PartsTrain.com - Hard to Find Auto Parts and Truck Parts -

That firmed up the front a little bit, much better than stock.

For the rear I installed the longer 2004 OB shocks. Since the 2004 was heavier it has more damping and thus rides quite a bit firmer - which our Outbacks desperately need, especially when loaded or towing. The slight increase in ride didn't hurt either.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i
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446 Posts
New struts always offer more control than old ones, but if you need even more control I would suggest using the parts meant for the 2nd generation Outback (2000-2004). The fit is the same, but since the older models weighed more there is more damping.
For the rear I installed the longer 2004 OB shocks. Since the 2004 was heavier it has more damping and thus rides quite a bit firmer - which our Outbacks desperately need, especially when loaded or towing. The slight increase in ride didn't hurt either.
+1 on KYB.

I've had Gen2's all-around for 5-6 months now. I also have the overload springs in the rear. I can't say I'm thrilled with them. The ride is somewhat harsh, especially when I'm alone.

If I had to do it again, I think I'd go Gen3 KYB struts all around
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
+1 on KYB.

I've had Gen2's all-around for 5-6 months now. I also have the overload springs in the rear. I can't say I'm thrilled with them. The ride is somewhat harsh, especially when I'm alone.

If I had to do it again, I think I'd go Gen3 KYB struts all around
Hmmm...

That's two comments of harsher ride with Gen 2 rear shocks, one with stiffer springs and one (I guess) with original. I'd hoped that they wouldn't be that noticeably stiffer, just not quite as underdamped over large excursions as the Gen 3 were, even when fresh and new.

Fair statement?
 

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2013 BRZ 2005 OBXT
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230 Posts
Hmmm...

That's two comments of harsher ride with Gen 2 rear shocks, one with stiffer springs and one (I guess) with original. I'd hoped that they wouldn't be that noticeably stiffer, just not quite as underdamped over large excursions as the Gen 3 were, even when fresh and new.

Fair statement?
They are noticeably firmer in a good way. Especially when you start to load the car up they do a better job of handling the extra weight of people in the rear seats/luggage in the back.
 

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2016 WRX, 2017 BRZ, 2017 Legacy
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365 Posts
Hmmm...

That's two comments of harsher ride with Gen 2 rear shocks, one with stiffer springs and one (I guess) with original. I'd hoped that they wouldn't be that noticeably stiffer, just not quite as underdamped over large excursions as the Gen 3 were, even when fresh and new.

Fair statement?
No, I only see one reference to a 'harsh' ride, and that is with a stiffer spring.

If you are referring to my post, I only changed the shocks - I did not change the springs.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An update.

KYBs went on about 10 days ago. I just used the standard 2005 replacements, not the 2004. I'm happy that I did. The rear pogoing that it's had both when new and with the replacements from 40,000 miles ago is now gone. The ride is not at all harsh, just well controlled. I tow maybe once every 3-4 years and rarely carry passengers, so I didn't need the extra control under load that I'd have gotten with the 2004 shocks.

All fine now.
 
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