Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

McPherson Struts

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Justy

See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: Rear strut upper retainer nuts-Justy



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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosening the lower strut retainer nuts and bolts

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tire and wheel assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the trim cover over the upper strut mount.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 2 upper strut mounting nuts.
  10.  
  11. Using a suitable prytool, push the lower control arm down and remove the coil spring.
  12.  
  13. Remove the 2 lower strut mounting bolts and remove the strut from the vehicle.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Position the strut in the vehicle and install the lower mounting bolts and tighten to 57 ft. lbs. (79 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the coil spring in position and raise the control arm until the strut plate mounting studs pass through the body.
  4.  
  5. Install the 2 upper strut mounting nuts and tighten to 47 ft. lbs. (64 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the trim cover over the upper strut plate.
  8.  
  9. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  
  15. Check the front end alignment and adjust as necessary.
  16.  

Sedan, Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat
STANDARD STRUT

See Figures 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 3: Rear suspension assembly-Sedan, Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat



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Fig. Fig. 4: Loosening the rear upper strut bracket-to-body retainer bolts

The rear coil spring on this vehicle is similar in design to the front struts. The coil spring is mounted on the strut, and requires a special procedure to remove.


CAUTION
DO NOT remove the center nut on the upper shock plate, or personal injury and/or component damage may result.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the tire and wheel assemblies.
  4.  
  5. Support the lower control arm with a suitable jack.
  6.  
  7. Remove the two upper shock-to-body mounting bolts from inside the wheel arch.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower shock mounting bolt, then remove the strut assembly.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the strut in the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Install the upper mounting bolts, and tighten to 27 ft. lbs. (36 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Connect the shock to the lower mount and tighten the mounting bolt to 87 ft. lbs. (118 ft. lbs).
  6.  
  7. Remove the support from under the control arm.
  8.  
  9. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  

PNEUMATIC STRUT

See Figure 5

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Fig. Fig. 5: Rear pneumatic suspension assembly-Sedan, Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the air line from the top of the strut assembly.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the height sensor and solenoid valve wire harnesses from the strut assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tire and wheel assemblies.
  10.  
  11. Support the lower control arm with a suitable jack.
  12.  
  13. Remove the two upper shock-to-body mounting bolts from inside the wheel arch.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower shock mounting bolt, then remove the strut assembly.
  16.  
  17. If replacing the strut. remove the solenoid valve from the side of the strut.
  18.  

To install:
  1. If removed, install the solenoid valve on the strut, and tighten the bolts snugly.
  2.  
  3. Install the strut in the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Install the upper mounting bolts, and tighten to 27 ft. lbs. (36 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Connect the shock to the lower mount and tighten the mounting bolt to 87 ft. lbs. (118 ft. lbs).
  8.  
  9. Attach the height sensor, and solenoid valve wire harnesses to the strut.
  10.  
  11. Attach the air line to the top of the strut.
  12.  
  13. Remove the support from under the control arm.
  14.  
  15. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  16.  
  17. Lower the vehicle.
  18.  
  19. Connect the negative battery cable.
  20.  
  21. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  22.  

STANDARD STRUT

See Figures 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

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Fig. Fig. 6: Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD and AWD Legacy and Impreza



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Fig. Fig. 7: Rear standard strut assembly-AWD Legacy and Impreza



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Fig. Fig. 8: Rear standard suspension assembly-FWD Legacy and Impreza



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Fig. Fig. 9: Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza Sedan



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Fig. Fig. 10: Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza Wagon



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Fig. Fig. 11: Brake hose retainer points on the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 12: Rear strut lower retainer bolts



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Fig. Fig. 13: Proper rear strut placement. Notice the position of the coil


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.  

To install:
  1. 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 to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  2.  
  3. 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).
  4.  
  5. Install the brake union bolt, and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Insert the brake hose clip.
  8.  
  9. Bleed the brakes.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel.
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Install the strut mount cap.
  16.  
  17. On Sedan, install the rear seat.
  18.  
  19. On Wagon, install the speaker grille.
  20.  

PNEUMATIC STRUT

See Figures 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19

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Fig. Fig. 14: Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza Sedan



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Fig. Fig. 15: Rear strut upper mounting location-Legacy and Impreza Wagon



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Fig. Fig. 16: Brake hose retainer points on the strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 17: Rear strut lower retainer bolts



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Fig. Fig. 18: Proper rear strut placement. Notice the position of the coil



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Fig. Fig. 19: Rear pneumatic strut assembly-Legacy and Impreza

  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.
  26.  

To install:
  1. 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 to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  2.  
  3. 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).
  4.  
  5. Install the brake union bolt, and tighten to 13 ft. lbs. (18 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Insert the brake hose clip.
  8.  
  9. Bleed the brakes.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel.
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Attach the height sensor, and solenoid valve wire harnesses to the strut.
  16.  
  17. Attach the air line to the top of the strut.
  18.  
  19. Install the strut mount cap.
  20.  
  21. On Sedan, install the rear seat.
  22.  
  23. On Wagon. install the speaker grille.
  24.  
  25. Connect the negative battery cable.
  26.  
  27. Start the vehicle, and allow enough time for the shock to pressurize before driving the vehicle.
  28.  

SVX

See Figures 20, 21 and 22

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Fig. Fig. 20: Rear strut and suspension assembly-SVX Sedan



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Fig. Fig. 21: Disassembled rear strut and suspension assembly



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Fig. Fig. 22: Proper strut placement. Notice the "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. Remove the jack.
  6.  
  7. Connect the brake hose bracket to the strut and install the mounting bolt.
  8.  
  9. Install the rear quarter interior trim.
  10.  
  11. Install the tire and wheel assembly.
  12.  
  13. Lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Check the alignment and adjust as necessary.
  16.  

OVERHAUL



Justy

Because of the design of the Justy strut assembly, the strut on this vehicle cannot be disassembled and overhauled. If the strut fails, the entire strut must be removed and replaced.

Sedan, Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat

See Figures 23, 24, 25 and 26

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Fig. Fig. 23: Example of a spring compressor tool. This tool is secured in a vise, and the strut assembly is attached to it-Sedan, Coupe, Loyale, XT, Wagon and Brat



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Fig. Fig. 24: Compressing the coil spring



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Fig. Fig. 25: Disassembled rear strut assembly



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Fig. Fig. 26: Proper upper mount placement


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. 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, 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 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Slowly release the spring compressor.
  6.  
  7. Install the strut on to the vehicle.
  8.  

Legacy and Impreza

See Figure 27

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Fig. Fig. 27: Proper coil spring placement-Legacy and Impreza


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. 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, 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 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Slowly release the spring compressor.
  6.  
  7. Install the strut on to the vehicle.
  8.  

SVX

See Figures 28, 29, 30 and 31

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Fig. Fig. 28: Strut assembly attached to a spring compressor in a vise -SVX



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Fig. Fig. 29: With the spring compressed, remove the upper strut mounting nut



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Fig. Fig. 30: Proper spring placement in the lower spring plate



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Fig. Fig. 31: Cutaway view of proper spring and mounting place position


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. 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, 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 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Slowly release the spring compressor.
  6.  
  7. Install the strut on to the vehicle.
  8.  

 
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