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#1 2014-02-18 03:09:55

Newbie92x
Member
Registered: 2012-06-12
User Number: 7319
Posts: 55

Strut Replacement?

So I noticed when I parked my linear today that the rear drivers side tire has a difference about 2 in between tire and bottom of fender compared to rest of car. My brother is a lot smarter with cars than me but doesn't live in state anymore. I called him told him what I saw. Without hesitation he blurts out, "I bet it's your strut." I just replaced my fuel pump not to long ago and all though I am not strapped for cash I have bills I would rather pay than another $300+ job. I have an oil change in about 300 miles (months time for me). I have a lot of questions: Would it be safe to wait? I also was looking at the forums and saw that there was a debate on whether or not the stock struts were Saab or Subaru. Should I replace just that one or is a good idea to replace both? How difficult would it be to purchase 1 (or 4) fully loaded struts and install them myself, my only experience with my car is installing a head unit, and replacing the rear wiper. Finally what's the estimated cost on 1 (or 4) new struts. I honestly don't plan on keeping this car for long, moving to Denver in the next year or so and by then I hope to have enough saved up for either an '06 WRX with low mileage or a WRX a few years newer.

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#2 2014-02-18 08:44:48

Rodman
Member
From: Long Island
Registered: 2006-03-01
User Number: 1046
Posts: 2527

Re: Strut Replacement?

You should investigate what is causing the problem before ordering new parts. I think you can buy complete struts with springs and everything. swapping would be easier than dealing with separating the springs from the struts. I would replace all 4 corners and go get an alignment when done.


2005 satin gray metalic aero, sold. 06 wrx, adios!
2005 black aero, rescue project, jdm STi ver 7 drivetrain.
2005 desert silver aero, work horse JDM EJ205 AVCS
2002 bugeye, sedan :-( new project

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#3 2014-02-18 12:53:43

Snaab9-2
Your Arms Off
From: Delaware
Registered: 2005-06-20
User Number: 283
Posts: 4211

Re: Strut Replacement?

Rodman wrote:

You should investigate what is causing the problem before ordering new parts. I think you can buy complete struts with springs and everything. swapping would be easier than dealing with separating the springs from the struts. I would replace all 4 corners and go get an alignment when done.

If you can, let me know as I have found them (at least for the Aero).


05 Red SAAB 9-2 Aero 5 Speed: AP Stage 2 93 - FHI 20mm Rear Sway Bar - Stromung Shorty DP - STI UP - STI Axle Back

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#4 2014-02-18 15:04:23

Newbie92x
Member
Registered: 2012-06-12
User Number: 7319
Posts: 55

Re: Strut Replacement?

Snaab9-2 wrote:

Rodman wrote:

You should investigate what is causing the problem before ordering new parts. I think you can buy complete struts with springs and everything. swapping would be easier than dealing with separating the springs from the struts. I would replace all 4 corners and go get an alignment when done.

If you can, let me know as I have found them (at least for the Aero).

I will probably have my mechanic check when he does my oil change in about 200 miles. Since I have no idea what to look for at least he can tell me hey you need new struts and I can say that I'll replace them myself. I have been having a hard time finding if the aero and linear full struts are the same. If I order aero ones will I be able to bolt them right in? I don't have a problem spending all day go back and forth from youtube to my car to replace them. Labor is has just been bending me over the last two time I've got work done and I would think that it would be nice to be know how to do this. Is it a difficult process to replace these? Also if you could send me the link for the Aeros that be awesome.

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#5 2014-02-18 15:48:03

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
Supporter
From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8642

Re: Strut Replacement?

There is no complete spring/strut set that I have found that exists anywhere. Gabriel has 'ready-mount' spring/struts, but not for the Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-2x.

You have to separate the struts from the springs and re-install the original springs on the new struts. This requires a spring compressor for the front struts, and a bench vise is handy for holding everything while you break them down. A second set of hands are great to have, too.

I replaced my rear struts without a spring compressor - the springs in the back are soft enough that you can take them apart and re-assemble without it.

However - looking at your original post, I doubt that it's your struts causing a 2" sag on one wheel. The strut does not support the car, the springs do. If anything, I'd bet that your lower spring perch has rotted off the strut where your car is sagging. If that's the case, don't drive the car until it's corrected. Essentially, if this is the case, there is no spring on that corner supporting the car any longer:
http://images55.fotki.com/v648/photos/1/10222/6359196/IMAG0113-vi.jpg


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#6 2014-02-18 16:45:18

Newbie92x
Member
Registered: 2012-06-12
User Number: 7319
Posts: 55

Re: Strut Replacement?

krazykarguy wrote:

There is no complete spring/strut set that I have found that exists anywhere. Gabriel has 'ready-mount' spring/struts, but not for the Subaru Impreza/Saab 9-2x.

You have to separate the struts from the springs and re-install the original springs on the new struts. This requires a spring compressor for the front struts, and a bench vise is handy for holding everything while you break them down. A second set of hands are great to have, too.

I replaced my rear struts without a spring compressor - the springs in the back are soft enough that you can take them apart and re-assemble without it.

However - looking at your original post, I doubt that it's your struts causing a 2" sag on one wheel. The strut does not support the car, the springs do. If anything, I'd bet that your lower spring perch has rotted off the strut where your car is sagging. If that's the case, don't drive the car until it's corrected. Essentially, if this is the case, there is no spring on that corner supporting the car any longer:
http://images55.fotki.com/v648/photos/1/10222/6359196/IMAG0113-vi.jpg

Well I guess my measuring is a little off I went and measured with an actual measuring tape and got anywhere between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch between the start of the tire and the bottom of the rear fender. I took off the covers in the hatch area where the struts bolt in and the one that is lower has no signs of rust or any decay while the other side has slight rust. If the spring perch has rotted off the strut wouldn't it be very noticeable when driving? Ride just feels slightly bumpier.

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#7 2014-02-18 17:02:10

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
Supporter
From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8642

Re: Strut Replacement?

I just ordered two new front struts for my car! banana

A broken spring perch is the LOWER part of the strut - note the rust damage in the picture. An examination to confirm/deny this problem would be done in the wheel well. If it was busted, it would be VERY noticeable.


2005 Aero 5MT
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6MT - Sterling Gray Metallic

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#8 2014-02-18 17:17:44

Newbie92x
Member
Registered: 2012-06-12
User Number: 7319
Posts: 55

Re: Strut Replacement?

Definitely not that. Looking at them they look fine. The more I look at the more think I just imagined it because they are almost the same now. We went from 10 degrees to 50 degrees over 2 days. Could temp change cause this?

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#9 2014-03-06 20:41:13

sdunlimited
Member
From: Seacoast NH
Registered: 2007-08-07
User Number: 2206
Posts: 106

Re: Strut Replacement?

Old Man Winter accelerated my rear strut replacement schedule this week...

Hit a pot hole the other day - hard - and started getting some intermittent bad noises behind me on the drivers side.  I knew that strut was on it's way out but the cold weather had me doing a whole lot of nothing about it.  I back into a space at work today and notice my Blizzak tread pattern has a 1" wide gap on the inside.  Reach in there real quick and sure enough, the lower strut perch is bent down and bumping the tire.  Fortunately I already had all the parts with the top hats arriving just yesterday no less.  Surprisingly, on this side anyway, the top hat was pretty beat up.  I say 'this side' because the cold and dark only allowed me to change one side at the moment.  The other one will get done before heading back to the office in the morning. 

I was hoping to throw these in along with the 22mm adjustable sway bar and endlinks that just arrived this week  banana in the spring but I guess it's good that these are getting down now.  The new rear sway will go on when the summer tires go on and hopefully there will be a decidedly improved handling response  up

Moral of the story?  Change out them rusty struts!

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