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Bargain Forester SF rear strut replacement. fix saggy butt

Mr B

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With age of the SF most owners looking at cheaper repair options for the saggy butt issue on the old fozzy.

while it is possible buy new no name shocks for the SF for 80<>90£ you are best not doing so as they are generally junk.

New SLS from Subaru Main Stealers would set you back around £700 just for 2 shocks :-O


Using German Optimal brand shocks we can have a reasonable quality pair of shocks for £101 (price/supply keeps changing so do new search)

These are non SLS (SLS only available from Subaru) so will need new springs to match & at 15+ years old you best with new springs any way.

Suplex do pair of springs for £47

Add to this a KYB fitting kit which consists of 2 new bump blocks & 2 new shock boots at £23 & you have a complete repair solution for £171 (£85.50 a side)

Main reason this option is low cost currently is competive price on Optimal shocks & fact Suplex springs are on offer.

If you find the standard original strut top mounts to be beyond reuse new is £40 each for monroe brand or £52 for KYB


optimal struts & Suplex springs have 12months warranty & are good products and end result is very pleasing with vehicle sitting pert & ride far far better than the 15yr+ sls .

Subarus don't have to be expensive, actually cheaper than say a frelander-1 td4 for most general repair plus all the subaru elec windows & sunroof work & the boot not full of water like the Land Rover baby Hippo :-D  ...


* Parts based on SF 1997 to 2002 non turbo

turbo & sport forester have 15mm lower suspension

They do physically fit but specific springs are available for the turbo from suplex, I would recommend KYB excel G struts & springs for the turbo & maybe sport if budget allows.

Optimal Struts, Rear Left  A-3561GL    Rear Right A-3561GR (sold as pair)>


*KYB Excel at great price (sold as pair with boots & stops)>



You can use SG struts & they at super price at moment (£40 each), they give about 30mm extra height when fitted to SF as the spring perch is higher on SG strut but all else same.




Suplex Springs>


KYB bump/boot Protection kit>


Strut top mounts if needed>



Links above are a guide & via eBay due to availability to all, worth checking good local motorfactors for a price match or searching a bit more as prices constantly change & bargains can be found when factors are clearing older range stock.

KYB SF part numbers if needed (easy cross these to other brands such as Sachs etc) >
    Right Absorber KYB 334191
    Left Absorber KYB 334192
    Protecton boots/bumps KYB 910072
    Coilover Springs KYB RA5761


SG 2003<>2008 rear struts is well covered here>



Are your old struts SLS !?

Well lot of myths on this like: lime green on SF is SLS, SG has fluid canister on side of strut & sh looks like a normal black strut !

Reality is the lime green tends be found on very first couple year models of SF, later ones around 99 to 2002 are all black & look like standard shocks.

Even Pedders list wrong info on SLS identification so do your homework.

Best way to tell is either via part number on shock or looking at spring diameter as springs on SLS are thinner than non SLS.

SLS shocks have a lot of pressure on the piston & better condition ones are real hard push rods in by hand once stripped down.

Below are part numbers listed to strut type.

Part numbers for Non-Self Levelling struts
right hand side
left hand side

Part numbers for Self Levelling Struts SLS
right hand side
left hand side


Below is diagram & spec on ride height of SF, measure is from centre of hub to arch inner face




Pics of optimal struts & suplex springs on a 1999 SF GLS we done (original strut is Tokico 20360FC250) .

You can see the old SLS spring is thinner than the new non SLS spring .

IMAG1516.jpg  IMAG1517.jpg


IMAG1514_copy.jpg  IMAG1518_copy.jpg

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