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Top Hat/Strut Questions

4076 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  H61
Im having a steering problem related to my top hat bearings and need some advice. I have a 97 legacy wagon with a 6 inch SJR lift. I put new forrester struts on and kept the legacy springs.
I had never done a set of struts before and I have something wrong with my top hat assembly ( the way I put it together) or bad bearings ( they are only 8 months/7000 miles old.
When I turn the car wants to continue tracking in the direction of the turn, with the left turn being worse. It is aligned correctly, tracks strait on the freeway but crowned asphalt roads are strange
When I got it aligned the tech said my top hat nuts were too tight. But, the guy who repairs my big issues said they should be tightened all the way down and still be smooth
Mine do get smoother if I loosen the top hat nut out to the last couple of threads showing, but thats got to be too loose. If I tighten them down snug you cant turnn the strut by hand from the wheel well.
Im such a noob at struts I dont know If you should be able to turn them by hand

Help Please
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· Registered
2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,359 Posts
Can we see your set up in refernce to the top of the struts? It sounds like you may have the top hats side loaded. When I did a 3" lift I needed camber bolts to be able to align the car. If you dont have these I have some doubts about the alignment on the car.

What size tire are you running. Larger tires will also cause what you are describing to happen.
 

· Registered
Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,942 Posts
yes - There are conical washers that need to be put in the correct location to keep things moving smoothly.
 

· Registered
2017 3.6R Limited (Wifes), 2009 3.0R Limited 125k (Mine)
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244 Posts
I just recently did mine as well and one of my mounts had a very sticky bearing that was not far from totally seizing. Glad I replaced them, the steering is so much smoother during full lock left to right maneuvers..
 
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