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2.0 X 2005 rear sls


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HI new here but not new to Subaru's having owned several outbacks.

Just changed to a 2005 Forester X 92k on clock and good history

Didn't realise they had SLS on rear end and am wondering if mine is on way out .

Just feel it look low at back especially when parked on a hill/slope.

does it go down when parked ?

any tell tale signs i should look for underneath?

feels spot on to drive but can't tell if its riding level when on the move

ta much

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Sagging on the rear is common sign of failing rear SLS.

New SLS is very very expenxive as the SLS tokiko struts are only available from Subaru.

If struts not leaking they will pass MOT ok but if intending keep vehicle a while then replacing would be very wise.

You can use KYB struts though & kyb flex springs for replacement option, if towing a lot you may be better use springcoil custom spec'd springs to match towing needs.

Thread below with links for parts >


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many thanks , only bought it a week ago

its only noticeable when parked on a slope 

used to have a discovery whcih sat down a bit with air suspension when parked and wondered if these were similar in that they settle down when not driving 

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No these are mechanical valves & height is adjust using the struts own ride motion to pump the fluid to maintain a set height .

Ideally you want look at it on level ground, in good order rear should look pert.

If not towing you could use it like it for some time.

Replacing is obviously the best route & not overly costly usng KYB parts, Struts springs & all parts would cost around £240 & fitting is easy (1hr for garage) A job you could do yourself if spanner handy.

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thanks again, will have a look underneath over weekend  should i be looking for leaking fluid or anything else?

of course it could just be me as ive been driving outbacks fr years !

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Yeh you can check for fluid but generally they not leaking, it normally an internal valving issue with the sls that causes it to not work & sag.

Generally anyone questioning it has some level of sag, worse case on sls is about 50mm drop . It a good sign car done a fair bit of towing or been on real rough B roads/farm tracks as 92k not a lot for them, I see original  sls on SG foresters like yours at almost twice that mileage under lighter use & probably more motorway miles.

The KYB stuff is good way go & parts have 2yr warranty.

Can effect handling, especially if one side only failed.

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HI thanks for all the info and eBay links.

I've had a good look underneath and its currently fitted with KYB excel G on the back, cant see a part number.

does the SLS just look like a normal shock and spring? as these do 

I'll take a pic just now and post here 


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SLS is made buy tokico & looks much the same, some had external oil canister & some didn't.

If looks saggy or you carry load/towing you could try new springs & perhaps get a pair from springcoil & spec them sliightly stiffer rate & 15-20mm over standard ride height.

Would be good measure your ride height on rear.

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Yeh that deffo sagging on the rear .

should have stamped number on the kyb struts.

Springs more tricky on knowing what they fitted but I know if you fit the sls springs (kyb do sls spec springs as well) you get sag as they not same height or spring rate as the non sls so possible parts man ran it through computer and supplied original sls spec when should of been non sls.

Have good look at struts for numbers, if they right I would advise getting a set of springs from  springcoil.co.uk & specify 15-20mm extra ride height over their standard as then allows for some loading. If heavy towing get higher spring rates. Set of springs from them is about £130 but quality very good & they good on phone as done a few now for the forester non sls conversions.

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other than the sticker on one side i can see no markings on them and just to add to it all , theres no locking nut socket !!

this'll teach me to buy in a hurry but my outback died on me 


i think what i'll do is pop it to local garage get them to have a good look and see what they can find and i'll report back if thats ok, 

youve been a star so far thank you 

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Yeh sounds like a plan, have good hunt round the cars holding pockets etc as may find the wheel socket, if notyou can normally bash a socket on to get them off. My guess is someone done the rear suspension & used new kyb springs but sls ones rather than non sls (seen it done more than once :-S )

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Is also possible struts wrong ones but that more unlikely as kyb list them only (even for sls model) when parts put in info on the database, with springs if they see it sls model they tend supply same sls kyb spec springs unless clued up on the conversion ...

pretty sure the struts have model number stamper in the body as well as the red KYB sticker .

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car is booked in for tomorrow 

garage seemed a little confused by my explanation and didn't seem to think it was possible to put wrong springs on.

do you happen to have any dimensions or specs for the correct shocks and springs before he tells me i need both?


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Well it is indeed possible as I seen it done & had correct it myself, both springs for the sls & non sls are virtually same besides length little different & Kg spring rates not same.

Many people tried replacing the sls with kyb strut & reuse old spring & that how found spring specs different between the 2 & need the matching non sls spring to match the non sls strut.

I will supply you with both kyb spring part numbers (may help garage) & hopefully some spec details if can, could be few hours as a busy late afternoon .

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got it i think








Part Series


Part Number


Cross Reference

Currently Unavailable

Mfg. Name

Suspension Strut

Mfg. Description

gas trut

Extended Length


Compressed Length





- See more at: http://www.shocks.com/kyb-334344-excel-g-strut.html#sthash.khIS2n6N.dpuf




Thickness/Strength 1 [mm]: 13,5


Outer Diameter [mm]: 160


Weight [kg]: 2,79


Length [mm]: 359


Parameter: AC

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update - garage are unable to find the numbers on the struts or springs but agree its sagging

they're prices are pretty close to those on eBay so what we've decided to do is get the shocks and springs and if the shocks turn out to be the same they can be returned an i only pay for springs 

are the boots worth getting?

I do carry some kit around each week not overly heavy but heavy enough



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