With all the stuff I put on this thing, it ends up being alot of weight on the Subaru Outback. I knew it was an issue when I put the rack, tent etc on, and headed up to New Hampshire. I lost so much rear ground clearance because of rear end squat, I had to call it a day and head back. The rear lower control arms were parallel to the ground almost.
It was then that I knew something had to be done to continue on this quest. I decided to do some research. After a bunch of searching, some measuring of parts store shocks and a friend that got me some measurements of springs I decided the 4th generation outback would work. So I picked up the phone and gave PRE Racing a call. They decided to come on board and some springs were on the way. *Disclaimer* I do this at my own risk. I made an educated decision based on my research and it worked for ME. Your results may vary. So they arrived, and with Mid Atlantic overland festival around the corner, had to get it done. The only thing I needed that I didn’t have was some spring compressors. A quick trip to auto zone solved that and we were on. I set aside 3 hours to do the spring swap. I ended up at just at an hour for both sides all said and done. Its a pretty straight forward process. If you don’t have a lifted subaru, you can see in this post how to get to the top strut bolts. Otherwise, get your ass to work.
Then take this thing off. It holds the strut onto the lower control arm. Take off your swaybar endlinks too. I don’t have mine connected, but I have faith that if you are doing this, you can figure that out. I like to use a crowbar to leverage the suspension down to let you pull the shock assembly out.
Take this time to clean your car. I don’t, so do as I say, not as I do. Right? Right!
This is what your spring looks like next to the old OEM crapola stuff.
If you aren’t sure how to use these things, take it to a shop. They can be VERY VERY VERY dangerous if you aren’t careful and be safe. PLEASE be safe.
Once the spring is compressed (I like to go so I can jiggle it, this way I know there is no load on the tophat) use a wrench and an allen key of some sort that you choose to take the tophat off. You have to hold the shaft with the Allen key to turn the nut off. Giggidy.
This is what you end up with.
Note these spring orientation. MAKE SURE YOU INSTALL THE SPRING WHERE THE RUBBER AND BODY MATCHES THIS SHAPE!
Install it! Stop playing around, it has to be close to dinner.
Also finally decided to install my brake line bracket extender.
This netted me about 3 inches total prior to break in. Now I am about 1″ over the lift, however that is LOADED DOWN. Unloaded it settles at about 1.5″ over stock (so 3.5inch in the rear total) The ride is honestly really good. I thought it would be too much for a stock damper and top out constantly. Surprisingly it does not. It rides very well, stable, takes a bit out body roll out of the mix with a slightly higher springrate, and handles a loaded car very well. It is super comfy on the highway, as well as compliant on the trails. I honestly can’t ask for more.
Oh, and the money shot. Fully loaded down car