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Old 08-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #1
Guzzler
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Default Rear Shocks

Ok, it looks like I've just blown my 3rd left rear shock absorber

I know I caused the first blow out (caught some air time when off road), the second one was about a week after it was replaced (not sure what caused it, maybe from some dirt road work), and now the third (no off road driving at ALL, just parking lot and street speed bumps, but I've been a good boy and taken them slowly).

I'm not sure I want to go back to the OEM shocks, I have to look to see if the existing shock is still under warranty though. IF it isn't still under warranty, anyone have any suggestions for aftermarket rear shocks?

I know that replacing the rear shocks is a royal pain, because one has to darn near completely disassemble the rear suspension assembly to replace the shock (downloading a repair manual right now to verify).
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:00 PM   #2
moonzie
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Are you saying that the left rear shock has blown now 3 times? eek..

Replacing the rear shocks isn't really all that bad. You'll have to remove some switchback trim from the inside to get to the top hat bolts/nuts.

Of course make marks for your alignment. The hardest part for me was taking off the original bolts that attached to the wheel assembly. Be sure to get a can of PB blaster! May even need to apply some flame. You might need to apply a little lift pressure to the shock to get the bottom bolt to slide out.

After that the shock & spring assembly should just detach. Use a spring compressor to replace the shock. It's time consuming and requires a bit of grunting and cursing but it's not complicated.

EDIT: I believe KYB GR-2 is what Subaru uses from the factory. I tried the Megan Racing coilover kits and didn't like em. Too stiff and very bouncy. I'd recommend going with KYBs. Also, at one point in time I found some company that actually makes stiffer springs specifically for the Baja (and Legacy too I think) that will allow you to carry a bit more weight in the rear.

Last edited by moonzie; 08-11-2009 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #3
moonzie
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
PA-Outback2000
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i am selling my old suspension, whih fits the baja. le me know if u r interested.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:03 PM   #5
Guzzler
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Just got back from the dealer, somewhat good day. They replaced my rear shock for free! Even though it was past the warranty.

But they got me on my belts They were cracking, so I had them replaced.

Now the bad part. I have to take it back Nasty "thunk" sound when going over bumps.

At first I thought it was jack (not tightened down in it's compartment). Nope. Then thought it was the seat, not latched fully. Nope. Thought it was the pass through, again not latched fully. Nope.

I can recreate it just by bouncing on the back, from... You guessed it, the left rear.

Took off the tire to see if anything was amiss, nope looks good. Spent a good 2 hours sweating in 108 F trying to figure out what it could be. Sucks because I am by myself and trying to bounce on rear and see what it could be, just isn't happening. Finally gave up, and called the dealer to schedule a return.

It wouldn't be so bad, but they no longer have loaners to give out. Sat there for 4 hours for them to do the paperwork, and repairs. Heck, the "auto mall" where they're at, is EMPTY. There used to be 5 or 6 dealers there. Now only 2, from a year ago. And their lot is darn near empty. Frick'n ghost town.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:09 PM   #6
FRANK MARTINEZ
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Check your spare, it could be lose. I got some bungee cords on mine for extra support.
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:16 AM   #7
Guzzler
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Wasn't the spare.

They took it back and in about an hour it was done. I really didn't understand what they "tightened" up, as they were really back logged and had people waiting.

Unfortunately, the "thunk" is still there, but not as bad as it was. When I replace my brake pads next week, I'll pull the shock out myself and see if I can get rid of the noise completely.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #8
moonzie
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You know that's freakin' pathetic. You've taken it to the dealership - THE place to have your Subaru worked on by liscensed Subaru mechanics. They don't even give your car a quick test run when they're completed to make sure all is in good order. That's just lousy and, in my opinion, UNprofessional.

I'm really glad I've got an in on my local Subaru mechanic. Twice he's done work to it and both times he took it for a test drive before turning it back over to me.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:45 PM   #9
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You think that's bad, beware of BMW motorcycle dealers. Not all dealers, but there have been a couple, that hearing the stories coming out of the service department are out right frightening.
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:50 PM   #10
Pursuit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guzzler View Post
I know I caused the first blow out (caught some air time when off road)
Did you mention this to the dealer? I'm guessing not, but I'm thinking you possibly bent something that's stressing your shock as it travels through its compression.

It's up to you whether you mention it to your dealer, but I'd have someone who knows what they're doing at least take a look and give them the full story so they know everything they need to know.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:22 AM   #11
Guzzler
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Actually I did mention the "air time" when they found the first blown shock. I never denied that it was most likely my fault.

The service rep, and the mechanic both thought it was kinda cool that I actually take my Baja off road some times. They quizzed me on how well it handled, which I replied "It rides like it's on pavement most of the time, except when I caught a bit air "
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:41 AM   #12
Guzzler
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Yea!!! It's fixed. By my dealer no less!

I was due for new rear brake pads (this is the only vehicle I've had where the rear pads wear faster than the front, but the replacement was the easiest I've ever had to do) so after replacing the pads I dove in to the rear shock.

What a pain. The shop manual is very basic on instructions (actually the Legacy manual, it's the only one I could find to download), with no real good info on 'gotcha's'. It says to use the include jack to move down the rear link on installation, but it's damn useful on removal. Just to take the load off the bottom mounting bolt (unfortunately I figured this out after I was done).

After removing the shock I looked it over and I couldn't figure out anything wrong. I looked and moved the rear assembly around and couldn't find or hear a thing wrong with it So I put everything back together.

One word of advice for those doing this. Don't follow the manual on the bolt up order. It says to put the shock in and secure the top nuts first, then use the jack to move the link assembly down, then secure the bottom bolt. Yea, right! Trying to get the bottom bolt lined up and inserted was EXTREMELY difficult. Instead, use the jack to lower the link assembly as much as possible, then insert the shock and put in the lower mounting bolt, then wiggle the top into position and slowly release the jack while making sure the top two studs go into their respective holes. It takes more time doing it this way, because you have to work the jack a little, check alignment, work the jack a bit more, and repeat. But it takes less physical effort in the end.

When I got done and went for a test drive, the noise was still there I gave in and called the dealer for another appointment.

This time, I could see the mechanic was just as frustrated as I was. I stayed out side and watched from a distance. The mechanic went for several test drives with another mechanic in the back. After about 3 hours of them fiddling around the mechanic brought up the car. I used the universal hand gesture of "Well?!?!?" He rolled down the window and asked if this was my truck, and said "Get in, lets go for a ride."

The first thing he said when I got in was "Damn that was an irritating noise, wasn't it? Didn't take much of any bump to get it going." As we drove around sure enough it was gone. I asked "What the hell was it?" Turns out the nut on the shock shaft kept loosening up on it's own, so they put a nylon lock nut on. Which I know is a pain, because you need a hex key to keep the shaft from rotating while you tighten the nut. Try doing that with shock mounted without any special tools, like a ratchet with a hole in the middle and a hollow extension (which oddly, the mechanic had).

So all is well, the dealer took good care of me.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:59 AM   #13
moonzie
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Ahhh that's a good one. I had that happen with my GF's 93 Legacy Wagon. Replaced all shocks last winter - they were factory originals! Needless to say they were all wasted. Got all the shocks replaced and had the same bumpity sounds over every bump on one of the front shocks. Sure enough, the shaft nut had worked itself loose, even though I torqued it down to spec. So I went and torqued them all down a little past spec and it's been fine ever since.
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