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2005 Outback 2.5XT Limited 5SP Manual 206K Miles
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Subaru Gods willing, I'm about to turn 200K miles (I'm actually @198,500 now) and I've lined up the parts to do front OEM/KYB shocks/struts/mounts/etc......

My head is about to explode after HOURS of reading, including the entire "Gen. 3 Suspension Sticky", about every post with the word "spring" in it, as well as shopping and pricing aftermarket swag online...

I have already freshened up nearly EVERY bushing in my car (no exaggeration) , installed Mevotech LCA's, Rear shocks, end links, etc.

Besides replacing springs for higher performance reasons, Rallitek, Bilstein, etc., should I be replacing my stock springs at this point?

Since I am more or less "All stock" still (except for a FEW "relatively insignificant" aftermarket bushings), I would more than likely only be going stock, though I am tempted to "upgrade"...

Also, if I buy new front springs, am I then "obligated" or wise to replace the rear springs as well?

Thanks in advance for any advice, opinions, and help!!!
 

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2009 3.0R Outback
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589 Posts
I don't know if you read my recent post in that thread, but I just replaced the entire rear suspension on my OB (all poly bushings and adjustable control arms). Had planned to tackle the front yesterday but it was too cold and rainy for me to get motivated.


Bought new front/rear OEM springs to go on KYBs. Wish I could definitively say that I needed new springs at 150k, but I really just bought them to save time and effort by not having to take them off the old struts. They did have some peeling and rust though. The rear end seems to sit a little higher now, but not sure if that's from new struts or the springs.


New springs probably aren't really needed if you don't notice any sag, especially with you being in LA where rust isn't an issue. I guess it comes down to whether you're willing to spend the money on them or not.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,390 Posts
you are under no obligation to replace all 4 at the same time. as a matter of fact...indeed physics, materials engineering and nature, you can replace one spring if you want, i've done it and you can't even tell on an average daily driver. to be sure - the 'replace in pairs' and 'replace all 4' ideas do have a purpose, reason, and a fit for specific cases, notably shops that need streamlined, scaleable approaches, but in general these ideas are mechanically irrelevant in terms of maintaining a daily driven *subaru* (i'm not speaking about anything else).

best to replace the springs at this point, that's a lot of miles and there's too many unknowns.

more specifically, i would assess some things and make an educated guess, subaru springs are stout and can easily run the life of the vehicle. but there's not a good way to test them, the very few failed springs i've seen don't visually appear any different than new ones that replace them.

have the struts been replaced before, or are they currently fairly poor condition? if not/so i'd get new springs and assume they've done more work than normal with aged struts.

if the car is driven aggressively, tows, typically loaded a lot with weight/hobbies/gear/people - get new springs.

if the struts have been only pushed about average, and has had struts replaced before, and rarely carries weight - then you could assume the springs haven't seen much loading or overloading and are fine to leave in place.

it's just hard to know, answer, analyze all those variables over 15 years so usually best to replace.

you can also not replace and replace them later if needed, no big deal, just kind of a waste of time for some people. but in reality you're not likely to have spring issues, it's not very common and I see gobs of 200,000 mile subarus.
 

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2005 Outback 2.5XT Limited 5SP Manual 206K Miles
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you very much for your input idosubaru!!

I have certainly driven my XT aggressively any chance I get, at least when I can do it somewhat safely.

I have also been VERY meticulous on maintenance, and believe this would be my 3rd set of shocks...if not my 4th, which I know is a little bit "over the top", but shocks/struts was the first job I tried tackling myself after I was out of warranty, and after finding out I could "borrow tools" form the local auto parts stores... add to it a Lifetime Alignment from Firestone, which I have DEFINITELY gotten my money's worth out of, and maybe I get a bit carried away or obsessive...

This is why I am asking the experts...

That said, I am embarrassed to admit that I think I've failed in the realm of "clocking"... Never have I "marked the springs" or paid heed to the original paint marks. On the rears, I've always just "squared them up" by eye... On the fronts I've always assumed that since they are rotating on the bearing and that they appeared symmetrical, it wasn't an issue. I always kinda thought if the spring hit the notch at the bottom, I was good to go... How doomed am I?

Will I burn in H...E... double hockey sticks for my ignorance?

Honestly though, I need a good lesson or explanation about the rhyme or reason behind "clocking" my shocks/struts...

Actually, I'm gonna embarrass myself even more and say that I am often confused about the verbiage and difference between the two terms shocks and struts... Let the abuse and ridicule begin...
 

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Springs do go flat especially if you haulheavy stuff lots. My 2010 needs new struts and springs. Tempted to go stiffer Ralitek but afraid of ending up with a really stiff ride when not loaded. Which leaves me back at stock stuff.
 

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2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LLBean 3.0R Automatic
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819 Posts
...front OEM/KYB shocks...
...
I have already... installed ... Rear shocks

...should I be replacing my stock springs at this point?
no, you dont need to replace springs

I put new shocks all around, on my H6 @180k miles. The rear fender lip to wheel center heigh increased 1/4", due to the shocks only..
 

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Premium Member
'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,366 Posts
Outside of weakening from rusting, the springs should never sag under normal use if they have been designed correctly. However, hard coil-binding can shock load them enough to cause sagging, so that is something you want to avoid.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,491 Posts
200,000 miles under aggressive use? how long have you owned the car, does it do some offroading, or curb jumping/ smashing?

has it been in LA the whole time? any rust on what you got.

@traildogck might have a suggestion. (owning 2 such cars with many iterations of suspension).

and our other respondents did not mention his great limited production hand crafted bushings. (...and more).
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...6-subaru-specialty-products-tdck-cke-ssp.html
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,784 Posts
I wish there were per-assembled options for the Tribeca (other than a dubious cheap one).

I would have replaced all four entirely.

I went for 4 struts with the 4 tophats and a shop for the labor instead. 144,000 miles. One of the front struts had it. Remarkably, even the front tophats were the factory ones.
 

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2005 Outback Wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean
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926 Posts
Not too many spring upgrade options if you want Outback height. The ones that are are kinda pricey. Maybe someday @traildogck will go completely nuts and offer upgraded springs.
If you do stiffen the fronts and leave the rears stock that car will be a handful.
I've wondered if any other vehicle uses a slightly more robust strut/spring whos lower 2 mounting bolts match the Subaru knuckle. Maybe a Nissan or other van/suv to maintain height. Might still have to use a subaru mount. Imagine if a Pathfinder strut assembly would interchange.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,151 Posts
Not too many spring upgrade options if you want Outback height.
BC Coilovers. Then opt for the Swift spring option and drop the standard spring rate. Which is 8 front and 6 rear. dropping 1-2 in the front and 1 in the rear might be about right.

BCs for the OB application will actually lift a Gen3 OB if you want them to. Or drop. Or, offset rear lift...Whatever you want.

$1500 with Swift Upgrade I have the BC Springs in the 8/6 spring rates. Too stiff.
 

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2005 Outback 2.5XT Limited 5SP Manual 206K Miles
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Trying to keep my response "light"/honest...though smart-ass comes naturally

200,000 miles under aggressive use? how long have you owned the car, does it do some offroading, or curb jumping/ smashing?

has it been in LA the whole time? any rust on what you got.

@traildogck might have a suggestion. (owning 2 such cars with many iterations of suspension).

and our other respondents did not mention his great limited production hand crafted bushings. (...and more).
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...6-subaru-specialty-products-tdck-cke-ssp.html
Aggressive is CLEARLY subjective... L.A. Roads KINDA SUCK (in more than a traffic sense)...
I am the original owner (May 2018 minus Jan. 2005 = 13+ years)...
Yes. Yes/Yes (NOT proud of these last to "yes" answers).
Travel frequently, "loaded for Bear" (fly-fishing, camping, snowboarding really) on road trips to NorCal, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Idaho... Been to B.C., Canada... So some minor rust... (also, believe it or not, it rains here too!! Some years quite a bit...)

Thanks for your help and insight "eagleeye"!!!
 

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Premium Member
2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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2,784 Posts
BC Coilovers. Then opt for the Swift spring option and drop the standard spring rate. Which is 8 front and 6 rear. dropping 1-2 in the front and 1 in the rear might be about right.

BCs for the OB application will actually lift a Gen3 OB if you want them to. Or drop. Or, offset rear lift...Whatever you want.

$1500 with Swift Upgrade I have the BC Springs in the 8/6 spring rates. Too stiff.
This sounds about as good an advice as you will get.
 
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