Subaru Car 1998-05

Strut (MacPherson Strut) Assembly

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Overhaul (Coil Spring Removal & Installation)



  1. Remove the strut assembly from the vehicle and secure in a soft jawed vise.
  2.  
  3. Compress the coil spring with a spring compressor until the upper spring seat can be turned by hand.
  4.  
  5. Remove the self-locking nut on the top of the strut assembly, and then remove the upper spring seat.
  6.  
  7. Remove the coil spring and compressor. If the spring is being replaced, slowly release the spring from the compressor and compress the new coil spring.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Place the proper end of the coil spring on the lower spring seat on the strut.
  2.  
  3. Install the insulator, upper spring seat and strut mount on the strut piston. Install a new self-locking nut. Tighten the nut to 36-43 ft. lbs. (49-59 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Slowly release the spring compressor.
  6.  
  7. Install the strut on to the vehicle.
  8.  

  1. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Using a coil spring compressor tool, carefully compress the spring. Remove the self locking nut.
  4.  
  5. Remove the strut mount, upper spring and rubber seat from the strut.
  6.  
  7. Gradually decrease the compression force of the spring compressor tool. Remove the coil spring.
  8.  
  9. Remove the dust cover and helper spring.
  10.  
  11. Check for the presence of air in the damping force generating mechanism.
  12.  
  13. Using the spring compression tool, compress the coil spring.
    NOTE
    Be sure to properly install the coil spring.

  14.  
  15. Position the coil spring so that its end face fits good into the spring seat.
  16.  
  17. Install the helper spring and dust cover to the piston rod.
  18.  
  19. Pull the piston rod fully upward, and install the rubber seat and spring seat.
  20.  
  21. Install the strut mount to the piston rod, and then tighten the self locking nut, temporarily. Be sure to use a new self locking nut.
  22.  
  23. Use a hexagon wrench to prevent the strut rod from turning. Tighten the self locking nut to 41 ft. lbs.
  24.  
  25. Carefully loosen the coil spring.
  26.  

Removal & Installation





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear strut and suspension assembly-SVX sedan

Rear strut and suspension assembly-SVX sedan

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Disassembled rear strut and suspension assembly-SVX

Disassembled rear strut and suspension assembly-SVX

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Proper strut placement. Notice the word -out'' written on the upper spring plate

Proper strut placement. Notice the word -out'' written on the upper spring plate
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rear quarter interior trim panel.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolt securing the brake hose bracket to the strut and position the bracket out of the way.
  8.  
  9. Remove the knuckle-to-strut mounting nuts and remove the lower bolt. Leave the upper bolt in place.
  10.  
  11. Support the rear knuckle assembly with a suitable jack.
  12.  
  13. Remove the three upper strut plate mounting nuts.
  14.  
  15. Lower the jack about and inch and remove the upper mounting bolt from the knuckle assembly.
  16.  
  17. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  18.  

To install:

  1. Install the strut in the vehicle and install the three upper mounting nuts. Tighten the nuts to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Raise the jack to line up the knuckle with the strut bracket, and install the mounting bolts and nuts. Tighten the mounting nuts to 112 ft. lbs. (152 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install all remaining components then check the alignment and adjust as necessary.
  6.  

  1. On sedan, remove the rear seat cushion and backrest.
  2.  
  3. On wagon, remove the strut cap on the quarter trim.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the rear wheel lug nuts.
  6.  
  7. Raise and support the vehicle safely.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tire and wheel.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake hose clip, and then remove the brake hose from the rear strut.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolts that retain the strut to the housing.
  14.  
  15. Remove the nuts retaining the strut to the body.
  16.  
  17. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  18.  

To install:

  1. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
  2.  
  3. Be sure to use new locknuts, as required.
  4.  
  5. Do not subject the ABS wheel speed sensor to excessive tension.
  6.  
  7. Check and adjust the wheel alignment, as necessary.
  8.  

With Pneumatic Struts
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Rear seat assembly, on the Sedan
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on the Wagon
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Air line from the top of the strut assembly
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses from the strut assembly
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower (from inside the vehicle)
     
    Strut from the vehicle
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Strut on to the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration if needed. Install the retainer nuts, and tighten to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly, using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm)
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  2.  
  3. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses to the strut
     
    Air line to the top of the strut
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  4.  
  5. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  6.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Rear seat assembly, on the Sedan
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on the Wagon
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Air line from the top of the strut assembly
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses from the strut assembly
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower (from inside the vehicle)
     
    Strut from the vehicle To install:
     

  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:

    Strut on to the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration if needed. Install the retainer nuts, and tighten to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly, using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm)
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  6.  
  7. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses to the strut
     
    Air line to the top of the strut
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  8.  
  9. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear pneumatic strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Rear pneumatic strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza (1997)
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. On the Sedan, remove the rear seat assembly.
  4.  
  5. On the Wagon, remove the rear speaker grille and service hole cap.
  6.  
  7. Remove the strut mount cap.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the air line from the top of the strut assembly.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the height sensor and solenoid valve wire harnesses from the strut assembly.
  12.  
  13. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  14.  
  15. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  16.  
  17. Remove the brake hose clip.
  18.  
  19. Remove the union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
  20.  
  21. Remove the lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing.
  22.  
  23. From inside the vehicle, loosen and remove the retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower.
  24.  
  25. Lower and remove the strut from the vehicle. To install:
  26.  
  27. Install the strut on to the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration if needed. Install the retainer nuts, and tighten to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  28.  
  29. Connect the strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly, using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm).
  30.  
  31. Install the brake union bolt, and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm). Insert the brake hose clip.
  32.  
  33. Bleed the brakes. Install all remaining components.
  34.  
  35. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  36.  

  1. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Negative battery cable
     
    Rear seat assembly, on the Sedan
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on the Wagon
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Air line from the top of the strut assembly
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses from the strut assembly
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower (from inside the vehicle)
     
    Strut from the vehicle
     

  2.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Strut on to the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration if needed. Install the retainer nuts, and tighten to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly, using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm)
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  2.  
  3. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Height sensor and solenoid valve wiring harnesses to the strut
     
    Air line to the top of the strut
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     
    Negative battery cable
     

  4.  
  5. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  6.  

With Standard Struts


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the rear standard strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza models

Exploded view of the rear standard strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza models
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Rear seat assembly, on Sedan only
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on Wagon only
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower, from inside the vehicle
     
    Strut from the vehicle
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Strut onto the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration.
     
    Strut retainer nuts and tighten to 14 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) on all models except Legacy/Outback. On Legacy/Outback, tighten the nut to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 162 ft. lbs. (220 Nm) on WRX models and 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm) on all other models
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  2.  
  3. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     

  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Exploded view of the rear standard strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza models

Exploded view of the rear standard strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza models
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Rear seat assembly, on Sedan only
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on Wagon only
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower, from inside the vehicle
     
    Strut from the vehicle To install:
     

  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:

    Strut onto the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration.
     
    Strut retainer nuts and tighten to 14 ft. lbs. (20 Nm)
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm)
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  6.  
  7. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     

  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD and AWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD and AWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear standard strut assembly-AWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Rear standard strut assembly-AWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD Legacy and Impreza (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza sedan (1997)

Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza sedan (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza wagon (1997)

Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza wagon (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Brake hose retainer points on the strut assembly (1997)

Brake hose retainer points on the strut assembly (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Rear strut lower retainer bolts (1997)

Rear strut lower retainer bolts (1997)

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Proper rear strut placement. Notice the position of the coil (1997)

Proper rear strut placement. Notice the position of the coil (1997)
CAUTION
Do not remove the large nut on top of the strut assembly unless the coil spring is properly retained with a spring compressor.

  1. On the Sedan, remove the rear seat assembly.
  2.  
  3. On the Wagon, remove the rear speaker grille and service hole cap.
  4.  
  5. Remove the strut mount cap.
  6.  
  7. Raise and support the vehicle safely on jackstands.
  8.  
  9. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  10.  
  11. Remove the brake hose clip.
  12.  
  13. Remove the union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing.
  16.  
  17. From inside the vehicle, loosen and remove the retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower.
  18.  
  19. Lower and remove the strut from the vehicle.
  20.  
  21. Installation is the reverse of removal. Install the strut on to the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration if needed. Install the retainer nuts, and tighten to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Secure the strut to the rear wheel knuckle and tighten the bolts to 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm). Tighten the brake union bolt to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm).
  24.  
  25. Bleed the brakes.
  26.  

  1. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Rear seat assembly, on Sedan only
     
    Rear speaker grille and service hole cap, on Wagon only
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Wheel and tire assembly
     
    Brake hose clip
     
    Union bolt from the brake caliper. Move the brake hose out of the way.
     
    Lower nuts and bolts securing the strut to the rear wheel housing
     
    Retainer nuts securing the strut bearing cap to the strut tower, from inside the vehicle
     
    Strut from the vehicle
     

  2.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Strut onto the vehicle, making sure to position the strut properly in the upper strut tower mounts. Refer to the illustration.
     
    Strut retainer nuts and tighten to 14 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) on all except Legacy and Outback. On Legacy and Outback, tighten the nut to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
     
    Strut to the rear wheel knuckle assembly using the retainer nuts and bolts, and tighten the bolts to 162 ft. lbs. (220 Nm) on WRX and 145 ft. lbs. (196 Nm) on all others
     
    Brake union bolt and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm)
     
    Brake hose clip
     

  2.  
  3. Bleed the brakes.

    Wheel
     
    Strut mount cap
     
    Rear seat, on Sedan
     
    Speaker grille, on Wagon
     

  4.  

Testing



  1. Check for oil leakage.
  2.  
  3. Move the piston rod up and down to check it operates smoothly without any binding.
  4.  
  5. Measure the play as follows:
    1. Fix outer shell in a vice and fully extend the rod.
    2.  
    3. Set a dial gauge at 0.39 in (10 mm) from the end of the rod, then apply a force of W 4 lb (20 N) to threaded portion.
    4.  
    5. With the force of 4 lb (20 N) applied, read dial gauge indication..
    6.  
    7. Apply a force of 4 lb (20 N) in the opposite direction of -W-, then read dial gauge indication.
    8.  
    9. If the difference of the two is more than 0.031 in. (0.8 mm), replace the strut.

      Click image to see an enlarged view

      Fig. Use a dial gauge to check the free play of the strut

      Use a dial gauge to check the free play of the strut
    10.  

  6.  

 
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