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Old 05-29-2001, 09:45 PM   #1
akrieg
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 4265
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: WA
Vehicle:
2001 2.5RS Sedan
Blue Ridge Pearl

Post Additional Suspension Mod Tips

I installed my WR Sport suspension this past Sunday. The installation was easier than expected following the guides by Alex Shikhmuradov and Kris Marciniak . As a result, I have a few additional tips to add to the suspension mod.


For the Front Struts:

Break the lower 19mm nuts loose on the struts before removing the 12mm nuts on the upper strut mounts. This will prevent the 12mm bolts from sliding in the strut tower holes and damaging the threads when you're breaking the 19mm's. Use some penetrating lube on the 19's also. It makes removal much easier and is cheaper than breaking a socket or other wrench.

For the brake line, I cut a slot in the attachment brackets rather than disconnecting the lines and bleeding. The line is quite secure with the retaining clip and ridged impressions on the bracket. I don't understand why Subaru doesn't make the bracket slotted by design. Though I suppose in a rally it may be more secure as a hole rather than a slot. I also used a metal file to round the corners of the slot as an extra precaution to avoid damaging the brake line.

Before removing the top hat or even breaking the 17mm nut on the top of the strut, look at the markings and holes on the top hat. Looking down on the top hat with the strut vertical, notice the hole at the edge of the hat that aligns to the center of the lower strut clevis (where the 19mm bolts attach). Position this hole in the same orientation when you put the hat on your new strut to ensure proper hat alignment and prevent it from rubbing against the strut tower. You only have two chances to check this so pay attention.

If you have attachment brackets for the speed sensor wire that aren't welded to the strut housing, place them between the strut clevis and the washer of the top 19mm bolt (order: strut, bracket, washer, nut).

The upper 19mm bolt is used to adjust the camber. Note that it has degree markings around the bolt head and there is a vertical marking next to the bolt hole on the strut. I don't know how these marking correspond to camber in terms of degrees, but I have these set the same on the left and right struts until I get an alignment.


For the Rear Struts:

Remove the seat belt tensioners for easy access to the top strut mount bolts. You'll need a 14mm long socket plus an extension or a short socket plus a longer extension to get to this bolt. It's held to the tensioner bracket by a plastic retaining washer so the bolt may not come out of the bracket. If it does, look for the washer. Also note that the bracket has a prong that inserts into a hole toward the outside of the car. Make sure this prong is reinserted when you reinstall the tensioner.

After the struts are removed and before disassembling them, examine the top hat. There should be three markings 4WL, FF, and 4WR and corresponding notches on the top outside edge of the hat (under the dirt). Notice that the outside strut mounting bolt aligns with one of the notches (4WL for the left strut and 4WR for the right). Make sure these are aligned when the hat is on the new strut. The strut mount doesn't swivel like the front mounts do so you'll need to compress the spring and loosen the 17mm bolt if they're misaligned. Also note the notch & bolt orientation with respect to the lower strut clevis. Proper alignment will be obvious when you try to reinstall the strut in the strut tower holes.

To tighten the top 17mm nut on the rear struts, I braced the top hat with a wrench placed between two of the three top mount bolts. There's a risk of snapping the bolts, but at 39 ft-lbs torque I felt it was safe. Though I'd be concerned doing this to break the nut free. For peace of mind, use the pass-through socket wrench/allen wrench combination or an allen wrench and deep 17mm socket with vice grips. The allen wrench size is 6mm.

On my Impreza there were no washers on any of the rear strut 19mm bolts (contrary to what Alex says in his guide). I hope they're not required.


General:

Have a friend or relative help - a second set of hands is needed.

Make sure you know which direction to push or pull when loosening bolts so you don't tighten them instead. I found myself doing this a couple of times.

Use a torque wrench for the 12mm upper strut mount nuts (14.5 +/- 4.3 ft-lbs) and 17mm strut nuts (39.8 +/- 3.6 ft-lbs). It's nice knowing you have the right torque so parts won't break or come loose. The 19mm bolt torque spec is 112 +/- 14 ft-lbs, but since I'm going to have an alignment I just made them as tight as possible with an open ended wrench.

Use a spring compressor. It makes alignment of the top hats much easier. It's safer too!


Disclaimer: These tips are based on my MY01 RS so I can't guarantee they'd be applicable to all Imprezas. I'm no mechanic either so this may not be the best way to do things.
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:31 PM   #2
ebedrick
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Member#: 4306
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Woodbury CT USA
Vehicle:
2003 The Ugly Wagon
WRB

Post

pm'ed you with some questions
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Old 06-01-2001, 04:33 PM   #3
ebedrick
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Member#: 4306
Join Date: Feb 2001
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Woodbury CT USA
Vehicle:
2003 The Ugly Wagon
WRB

Post

pm'ed you with some questions

oops soory for the double post

[This message has been edited by ebedrick (edited June 01, 2001).]
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Old 06-01-2001, 06:43 PM   #4
KC
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Member#: 442
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: SE Mass/RI
Vehicle:
2013 Crosstrek XV
00 Honda S2000

Post

Please note... the instructions above are for an RS, not the new WRX.

WRX instrustion tips:
Same as above with the exeptions of:

1) No slotting of the brake lines holders needed, nor do you have to bleed the brakes. They come bolted to the strut with a 12mm bolt.

2) The top hats in the rear are already marked 'OUT' with an arrow and a hole. So no need to mark them.

Now imagine if the RS had come that way, (no cutting needed) more people would be doing swaps.

--kC

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Old 06-02-2001, 01:59 PM   #5
ThinkTank
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Member#: 6821
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Vehicle:
2006 Scion TC
Mica

Post

I have a 2002 RS. Will my instructions be the same as the WRX? What spring/strut set fits my car? I heard Eibach is coming out with a set of springs. What about struts?

Thanks
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Old 06-03-2001, 11:24 AM   #6
akrieg
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Member#: 4265
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: WA
Vehicle:
2001 2.5RS Sedan
Blue Ridge Pearl

Post

Consider both instructions (WRX & old RS). When you get in there to take the struts off, it should become obvious which applies. I don't imagine there would be many differences, if any other than those mentioned, between the two and a new RS.
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Old 06-04-2001, 08:01 AM   #7
WoRX4Me
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Member#: 4593
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sedan
Raichu Yellow

Post

For those who need to slot the brakeline support, may I suggest wire-tying the line around the strut. It's common practice in racing to ensure vital components don't become tangled with other vital components. Don't wrap around the rubber hoses. A big zip-tie could also hold the fitting securely in the slot. I don't see why it should prevent anyone from making the mod.
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