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  #1  
Unread 6th May 2010, 06:23 AM
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Default Lift Kits - The definitive answer!

G'day Lads,

This is the thread that hopefully will make it clear on what is the best kit to buy (at least in Australia, apologies to our US/CAN/UK/elsewhere friends)

I believe that more people would be inclined to raise their Subies IF they knew all the most valid points, such as;

1. Pricing of kit, both including installation labour and without.

2. How long you have had the kit installed for (Km and time frame)

3. Type of lift, be that Spring, Strut or Body lift including combinations.

4. Did it allow for larger/better tyres to be fitted and any adverse/complimentary effects it has had on the vehicle

5. Supplier of the kit (E.g - BYB, Scorpion, home fabricated,etc) and the service (how they operated, do they post/is it install only etc) or if you installed it yourself

6. And how it is holding up, what sort of punishment it has had, trips completed, etc.

It would be fantastic if those of you out there who have had this type of work done could weigh in on this topic.

Admin - Perhaps make this a sticky? As people would progressively add to this as they got lift kits done to their rigs?

Any thoughts/opinions would be most welcome by the larger offroading subaru community I would assume. I understand that there are other various threads detailing minor elements of this discussion, however, lets concentrate this information in one place, for the benefit of all subie pilots out there...

Cheers,

Aitcho.
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Last edited by Aitcho; 6th May 2010 at 06:33 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 6th May 2010, 07:48 AM
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1. Pricing of kit, both including installation labour and without.

Multi Facet but in total installed (All components, different times) about 1k

2. How long you have had the kit installed for (Km and time frame)

30mm Spring lift since 96,000km, 1" Strut lift since 116,000km

3. Type of lift, be that Spring, Strut or Body lift including combinations.

30mm King Spring (Raised), 1" Jackson Rally Strut blocks

4. Did it allow for larger/better tyres to be fitted and any adverse/complimentary effects it has had on the vehicle

Yes bigger tyres, so far only gone up to 215/65/16, Springs reduced body roll, Strut lift caused camber issue over time (Toed out by 10mm).

5. Supplier of the kit (E.g - BYB, Scorpion, home fabricated,etc) and the service (how they operated, do they post/is it install only etc) or if you installed it yourself

King Springs through mechanic, service time was quick enough after they sourced the product direct from manufacturer (1 week). Jackson Rally were a pleasure to deal with, got details of dirtyimpreza.com and the product was quite good. Again, mechanic installed it pretty simply. Must add I bought an AUsubaru 2" lift kit, took ages to hear back and was over 2 months till I recieved the product. Welds were a little messy for my liking so its sitting brand new in my garage unused.

6. And how it is holding up, what sort of punishment it has had, trips completed, etc.

The springs have been great, put about 40,000km on them but after about 10,000km put new struts and shocks in (Unfortunately, bent rear strut on first trip). When replaced strut tops went in and the car has been awesome, got some bigger tyres and now my lift including wheels would be about 55mm +. As mentioned I developed a camber issue and basically wrecked my AT2 GG fronts, toeing out by 10mm. Reccomend getting a wheel alignment from a specialist withing an 8 week period, especially if running MT or AT tyres with aggressive patterns.
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  #3  
Unread 6th May 2010, 07:02 PM
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Good idea. It's now stuck in the right place; go for it. I'll respond with all my info when I get a little more time.
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  #4  
Unread 10th May 2010, 01:52 PM
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1998 Forester "S"

Total cost:
$100 used 2005 Forester suspension, $200 Ironman springs, 18mm rear swaybar (free)

Time in service
Struts about 3 years on 3 different cars ~45,000 miles

Type:
Strut / spring lift with 1in composite strut top spacers

Tires:
215/75-15 General Grabber AT2, SG struts allowed for about 1/2 - 1in additional clearance (rears allowed less than the fronts)

Supplier:
Take off OE parts, Ironman springs, home made composite spacers.

So far so good. Been taken on many camping trips, mostly 2 tracks with some light off-roading (IE no rock hopping) Hauls our camper just fine.


My costs are certainly the exception.
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  #5  
Unread 11th May 2010, 09:27 AM
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One for the Old School cars out there, so probably not as relavent, but here goes.

1. Pricing of kit, both including installation labour and without.

From memory about $300 second hand at a Club auction. Install cost about a 'Slab' as it was fitted by the same person I bought it off, and done on a Saturday at his workshop.

2. How long you have had the kit installed for (Km and time frame)

about 250-275000kms, cant recall now due to being fitted in 1997, I think.

3. Type of lift, be that Spring, Strut or Body lift including combinations.

Body Lift, with HD rear springs. Not sure if they added anything extra to the back, but definitly came out with a 'bums up' attitude.

4. Did it allow for larger/better tyres to be fitted and any adverse/complimentary effects it has had on the vehicle

Is now possible to run 14" wheels instead of 13", but due to already having several sets of 13" wheel and tyre combos, as two sets of snow chains to suit, I still run factory 175/70/13. It took about a week or two to get used to the change it height, and 'shortening' of the gear lever. I also found that I had to have the front struts 'bent' to bring the camber back within factory spec's to be able to do a proper alignment.

5. Supplier of the kit (E.g - BYB, Scorpion, home fabricated,etc) and the service (how they operated, do they post/is it install only etc) or if you installed it yourself

SubaMods. No longer in business.

6. And how it is holding up, what sort of punishment it has had, trips completed, etc.

Still going strong. As a member of the Victorian Subaru 4wd Club, and one of the few who still goes hard core, It is still straight, and as good as the day it was installed.

Beigewagon.
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  #6  
Unread 15th May 2010, 11:50 PM
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1. Pricing of kit, both including installation labour and without.

$350, picked it up myself even though i got charged for postage and put it in myself, took 5-6hrs drinking beer


2. How long you have had the kit installed for (Km and time frame)

15k km, 5 months

3. Type of lift, be that Spring, Strut or Body lift including combinations.

Strut lift

4. Did it allow for larger/better tyres to be fitted and any adverse/complimentary effects it has had on the vehicle

Has a knock in the front end now where it should be insulated with high density rubber, and because it was made incorrectly.

5. Supplier of the kit (E.g - BYB, Scorpion, home fabricated,etc) and the service (how they operated, do they post/is it install only etc) or if you installed it yourself

BYB/Ausubaru, service was terrible, took 6months to get it, and only because i picked it up myself despite paying for postage. Welds were disgusting, nuts had been welded (illegal). Had to file out holes A LOT to make it fit properly. It has incorrect dimensions and castor was offset wrong.

6. And how it is holding up, what sort of punishment it has had, trips completed, etc.

Not sure, too scared to check
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  #7  
Unread 16th May 2010, 07:59 AM
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1. Pricing of kit, both including installation labour and without.

Labour = 1 day, price of kit = $450 including a complete L series

2. How long you have had the kit installed for (Km and time frame)

Prob close to 30,000km/3 months - feels like I've had it forever!

3. Type of lift, be that Spring, Strut or Body lift including combinations.

3 inch body lift with only 2 inches on the gearbox crossmember. Lifted King Springs

4. Did it allow for larger/better tyres to be fitted and any adverse/complimentary effects it has had on the vehicle

Yes. Some guard trimming on the front guards needs to be done. 27's fit ok under there and really look the part. I need to lengthen my radius rods due to the 2 inch lift on the gearbox crossmember as this is shared with the radius rod body mounting point. On almost 100% lock either way the tyre can rub the rear of the mud guard, longer radius rods will push the wheel forward to avoid this. Minor issue that I'm living with...

5. Supplier of the kit (E.g - BYB, Scorpion, home fabricated,etc) and the service (how they operated, do they post/is it install only etc) or if you installed it yourself

Dunno who made it probabily BYB. The kit is about 5 years old I've been told. Self installation, took a day in the shed with some jacks and stands...

6. And how it is holding up, what sort of punishment it has had, trips completed, etc.

Had a small hammering in the sand at Robe SA, been offroad a little in the wombat but nothing as serious as I've done previously with the welded rear diff...


Other notes: The speedo is out and I've damaged the cable when installing the kit so now I've got a GPS as my speedo - you'll be surprised how many people are not sitting on the speed limit, I choose to.
Flares still need to be fitted with the aftermarket 14 inch rims as the offset increases the subi's track width a little bit. Most noticable is the front wheels, rears are *almost* under the guard. The larger spare doesn't fit under the bonnet as standard, there's a captive nut in the rear cargo area's floor that was used before I got a wheel carrier made up.
Driving an L with an EA82 and large tyres must SUCK. Driving with an EJ isn't much fun after driving with stock gearing. I'm hoping to build a suitable gearbox to counteract the change of the larger tyres.

Other than that I love it offroad and where I can now go without scraping the guts out of the L series.

Cheers

Bennie
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  #8  
Unread 17th May 2010, 02:59 AM
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ORIGINAL POST 17 MAY 2010:

UP-DATED 25 JUNE 2010: (Quote for King Springs & KYB Shock supplied and fitted, together with fitting of Subtlesolutions 1" strut lift blocks.) Also, details of the height of the lift that will be achieved.

UP-DATED 21 SEPTEMBER 2010: King Springs, KYB rear struts & Subtlesolutions 1 inch strut top blocks now fitted.
ACTUAL Heights for both partial and total lift from ground to top of guard / fender arch have been added.


17/5/2010, 25/5/2010, 21/9/2010.
Mine is a work in progress: Having decided to go with standard size tyres, Perelli P7, I had those fitted last week and am now in the process of finalising supply and fit of new rear shockers and raised springs. (Next time I may go for larger tyres, once everything is bedded down.)

I will up-date this post once I have parts fitted.

Strut Lift Kit: 25mm Subtlesolutions kit. $280US (approx. AU$320 last month) inc. postage from USA. As stated elsewhere, beautifully finished and well packaged. Prompt, courteous and professional service.

Rear Shocks: KYB. $350 To replace current 'Self levelling' shocks on my 05 'Safety' spec. Outback.

Springs: Raised King Springs $450 supplied & fitted, Suspension City, North Melbourne.

I am expecting that, all up, it will be about $1200 once fitted. Should give me a total of almost 50mm (2") lift.

A good compromise for a recent model (Gen 5) Outback, which would be easily reversible, if required.

Once up and running I will provide a report back.

Do not intend to do this before having new roof! etc fitted, late July 2010, as a result of hail damage.
( Comprehensive insurance ! ) Don't want any hassles in terms of measuring / fitting blamed on my mods.

Increased lift as follows:

Rear:
OEM. Wheel centre to top of guard. 420mm
KSRR & KYB rear struts. " " " " " " 445mm
KSRR: 25mm + Strut Lift: 25mm = Total REAR Lift: 50mm / 2"
Clearance to top of guard after lift: 470mm
Top of guard / fender from road:
Stock: 730mm.
KSRR & KYB: 755mm +25mm on stock
Combined: 790mm +60mm on stock, +35mm on spring lift.
Front:
OEM. Wheel centre to top of guard. 435mm
KSRR. " " " " " " 450mm ACTUAL
KSRR: 15mm + Strut Lift: 25mm = Total REAR Lift: 40mm / 1.6"
Clearance to top of guard after lift: 475mm
Top of guard / fender from road:
Stock: 730mm.
KSRR: 755mm +25mm on stock
Combined: 795mm +45mm on stock, +40mm on spring lift.

Given that the car is currently slightly 'tail down' the extra 10mm at the rear, with the change in rear struts and the KingSprings all round should give it a slightly better 'attack angle'.
Will also minimise the 'nose up' attitude when loaded for touring and/or towing my camper trailer.

Ride much better with the King Springs and KYB rear shocks. Far less 'bouncy' when going over speed humps around town. Rides well at speed on the highway.

Much firmer with the strut lift also fitted. Noticeably less body roll on cornering.

As noted elsewhere, marginal positive camber (top of wheel out) on the front and negative camber (top of wheel towards centre line) on the rear. Will necessitate rotation of tyres - front to rear - at about 7,000km, rather than 10,000.

Will work on finding an 'engineered' solution.
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Last edited by Barry; 14th January 2011 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Maths correction!
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  #9  
Unread 21st September 2010, 12:27 AM
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Have up-dated the results for my lift in post #8 of this thread.
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  #10  
Unread 3rd October 2010, 03:51 AM
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Excellent detail Barry on your report, this is the sort of comprehesive information that can assist the rest of us mere mortals with upgrades on OEM suspension.

Cheers

Aitcho
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