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Discussion Starter #1
How difficult is it to install struts on the RS? I know this is a broad question but I'm just curious. I recently bought a used 00RS that has cut springs (shitty) and today the rears slipped off the perch on the strut. I heard this terrible grinding noise especially when in reverse. So, long story short I ordered a set of AGXs and Eibach pro-kits. This car is still really new to me and I don't have too much experience working on it. So are there any tips or suggestions for the install. Is it something I can do myself or should I just spend a bit of extra cash and take it somewhere?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Evan
 

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It's not too bad, but here's my suggestions:

1. Go to Sears. They have a box wrench kit that will save you tons of time. On each wrench, one end is the standard open wrench, non adjustable. However, the other end (the "box" end) has a built in ratchet. You'll want to use the 12mm ratchet on the rear strut tower bolt on the rears. Why? Because there is not enough clearance to get any other kind of wrench or socket in there. I'd take a picture but Amy took the camera. Using this little ratchet will save you tons of time and headache.

2. Don't remove the rear seat belts - that's not neccessary. However, if you want to, it's sorta easy IF you understand how it works. There is only one bolt, but it has a retaining washer on it so you cannot pull it all the way out. The front edge of belt housing has a little tab that fits into the car body. Remove the bolt, then pull the whole assembly towards the front of the car. Wiggle like crazy. Sooner or later it will come out. I personally remove the retaining washer so that I can remove the bolt, which makes things infinitly more easy to re-install or re-remove later.

3. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE STRUT TOWER BOLTS! They break easily. A little more than hand-tight is about all you want.

4. Do not remove the brake lines (leading to a brake system bleeding job later.) Instead, get a cut-off tool/hacksaw and carefully cut the middle of each "tab" out - just large enough to slip the brake line through. Of course, remove the retaining clips first. Then you can slide the brake lines out of the strut housing without removing them. Go to the "Photo Galleries" link from my home page www.rs25.com and then go to DMS Install. You'll see some pictures in there with lots of sparks - check them out and look at the end results. Very simple.

5. An impact wrench can make removing the strut-shaft bolt extremely easy. If you have one, use it. If not, I found that you can slip a giant screwdriver between two of the strut tower studs (sticking up on the top of the strut cap) and once the bolt is cinched down, use the screwdriver to provide leverage to tighten the strut shaft bolt.

6. The front strut bolts are adjustable - but just one of them on each side. Mark it before you take it out if you want to keep things aligned properly. If you are going to get it aligned afterwards, nevermind. I think it's the top bolt on each side. The rears are non-adjustable.

7. If this is your first time, expect it to take 4-6 hours. With practice, it takes me 2-3 hours to do all four.

Good luck!
 

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For the metal tab that the brake lines run through you can also use a grinder to cut a slit in the tab. You only need to cut it at one side then use some pliers to bend the tab out of the way. Do the same to the new struts then when the struts are in slide the brake line in and bend the tab back in place and reattach the retaining clip.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
wow, thanks for the tips. I'll be tackling this on wednesday or tuesday if I'm lucky. I'm sure I'll have tons more questions once I get into it.
Thanks again
Evan
 

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N/A said:
For the metal tab that the brake lines run through you can also use a grinder to cut a slit in the tab. You only need to cut it at one side then use some pliers to bend the tab out of the way. Do the same to the new struts then when the struts are in slide the brake line in and bend the tab back in place and reattach the retaining clip.
I *really* don't recommend doing it this way. Instead of having a nice, clean, easy to use cut like this:



You start to get a sloppy piece of metal that, once you've bent it out, and then back in, it's not straight any more. And, if you've ever bent metal a few times before, you'll know that it breaks after a few exposures to that kind of treatment.

Why do I say this? Because I tried that way first, and ended up destroying my strut housing. Believe me, the open slot is much better to work with. :D

Besides, the cut off tool is so much fun to use, why not make two cuts on each side? :lol:

 

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2001 Impreza 2.5RS 4-door silv
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For the rears: I only snugged up the top nut that connects the top mount to the strut. So, I could twist it a little when I had to line up the top mount bolts.(attach them first) then the bottoms then I took my torq wrench and a deepwell socket and toqed them down from the inside.
It made it SOOO much easier!!

Oh, and don't listen to your brother (like me) and line up your spring to the indent in the rubber on the top mount.
It doesn't matter.....aline the big hole on the top mount with the bottom mount bracket.

Hope that helps.
 

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overdeveloped beater
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Just a few items of advice:

1: Get at least the 12mm combination ratchet wrench as James suggested FOR SURE and 1 can of "PB Blaster" if the car hasn't been apart in awhile.

2: either way of removing the brake lines is okay, cut a slit or cut it all the way out. Be CAREFUL when you remove the retaining clips...they'll cut you up bad if you aren't careful.

3: Don't remove the top shaft nut until it's out of the car. It's much easier this way...believe me....

4: When you reassemble the rears, pay attention to the position of the upper spring retainer. It's marked for 4WD and FWD along with side. If you put it in the FWD position, you might end up rubbing. Don't torque the top shaft nut until it's back in the car and the 3 small bolts are snugged up.

5: Even after you pay attention to getting it reassembled right, make an appt. to get it aligned. You'll be happier knowing it's right. Plus you can see how close you eyeballed it.

6: raise each END of the car at a time. If you only do a corner, the sway bar will work against you in lowering the control arm enough to remove the strut assembly.....trust me...I usually forget this little step.
 

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hmmm never had any problems with doing it that way before. How did you damage the housing bending that little piece of metal back? In reality you should just take this time to bleed your brakes and remove the brake line the way it was designed to be done. That or get some SS lines and use it as your excuse to remove the lines.
 

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The first time you bend those tabs no problems...

The second time... um, okay

The third time, kiss them goodbye.

Do it right the first time - open them up and you will have no worries.

And, YES, keep in mind that the strut caps are actually oblong - make a note of their position relative to the strut housing. So, for example, when you remove them you will notice that the strut cap hole is closest to the car, and the hole is NOT in the middle of the cap - it's like off to one side (!!!). Be sure and get it back in the exact "off to the side" place upon re-assembly.

I know this may not make a ton of sense, but basically, do NOT rotate the top cap upon re-assembly. If you do this wrong, since the hole is NOT in the center, you end up hitting the underside of the car with the strut cap. :eek:
 

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N/A said:
How did you damage the housing bending that little piece of metal back? In reality you should just take this time to bleed your brakes and remove the brake line the way it was designed to be done.
Sorry, should have quoted before.

Anyway, see above - the first time is not problem, but if you are like me and do your springs/struts/brake lines more than once, you are asking for trouble. I've replaced springs/struts about 4 times now and thank God I did it the way I did. I actually cut that slit the first time, and bending it back was getting fussy - the clip would not fit, the metal started to fatigue, oh what a frigging mess. One of them finally broke, so I had to replace the WHOLE strut. Do you really want to do that right before a race? NO. :(

And why in the world would ANYONE want to bleed their brakes if they did not have to, especially right before a race? Really now, I have better things to do than bleed brakes. ;)
 

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Silver '99 Impreza 2.5 RS
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Go here: http://www.subrew.com/kyb_hr_review.html for a review, installation notes, and several photos of a KYB AGX install (but with H&R springs).

We also have a page with tons of photos of a Tein HA coilover install: http://www.subrew.com/library/tein_install/index.html

Those might help out a little along with the advice you've already received.

I'll be taking my fronts out to install camber plates as soon as they show up. I'll do photos of that too. Unfortunately I don't know exactly when that'll be.

Good luck,

Sean
www.subrew.com
 

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not to hijack the tread. But i had some new struts installed and the seat wasn't put back in. From what i see there is a heavy guage wire in the seat that fits over some hangers. But i'm having trouble gettting all off them up and onto the hangers. Is there an easy way to do this, like remove some bolts?
 

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Got that right - there are two bolts that attach the bottom of the seat to the floor of the car, accessible with a wrench, and once you take the bottom out, then the top of the seat is held with three bolts.
 

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Thanks, trying to pull them up and over the hooks is a friggin knuckle buster. :curse: I love my scubie but they could can made access to the strut mounts in the rear easier. :boxer:
 

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Don't forget to buy the ratchet box wrench (#1 in my list above) to save yourself some more headache. It's worth every penny you have to pay to get the whole set.
 

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Well, I did a full 4-corner strut/spring install on sunday. (KYB-AGX/Eibach ProKit) I read every post I could find on the subject, printed the torque-specs, and went to Sears to buy that box-end ratcheting wrench. All the posts were very helpfull, except for this wrench thing. I didn't know exactly what part of the rear-strut tower caused the problem for you guys, but I had no troubles at all getting to the bolts. I didn't need the ratcheting wrench. The seat-belt assembly came out with no trouble, and all 3 tower bolts were easily accessable using a 1/4" drive and a 12mm deep socket. Perhaps I just got lucky?

FYI, for anyone who cares, I did the whoe thing by myself, and it took exactly 6 hours. P.S. It was about 110F in my garage at the time. Someone remind me NOT to work on my car in the summer.
 

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not to hijack but when you get aftermarket struts, can you put H&R, or Perrin lowering sprigns on them without the damage that they would cause on stock struts?

Second, how much would it be to install these at a shop. just need an educated guess.
 

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1997 LRSWRX, 1998 Lego GT
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Most places are gonna say that it will take about 6 hours, they like to take their jolly time, so it depends on what labor costs/hour, at flat 4 here they would charge between $400 and $450, just do it yourself.
 

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hmm.. i got some h&r springs put on my car done in a shop and it took them about an hour and a half to do the job at the cost of 120 canadian dollars (about 75 USD). i dunno where all this 4 hour stuff is comming from...
i do have a question about the h&r springs tho. is it possible to put the springs that are ment for the front on the rear? or do they have a specific fit for the front and rear?
 

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Better than you!
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Well when I say 6 hours, thats 6 hours to do springs, struts, bleeding the brakes and alignment. Id rather do it myself than pay someone else to do an easy job.
 
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