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How to Replace Front Strut Assembly 05-09 Subaru Outback

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    A professional alignment is recommended after this repair has been completed

  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:26)
    • Find level ground
    • Loosen the lug nuts with the vehicle on the ground with a 19mm socket and breaker bar
    • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack from the jacking point behind the oil pan (do not jack up from directly underneath the oil pan)
    • Secure the vehicle on jack stands by placing the jack underneath the pinch weld and locking the jack
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Pull off the wheel
    • Place the wheel underneath the side frame rail
  2. step : Removing the Strut (3:21)
    • Open the hood
    • Press the tabs and remove 12mm bolt and the ABS wire bracket from the strut
    • Remove the bolt on the brake line bracket with a 12mm wrench
    • Loosen the strut nuts with a 19mm socket and a breaker bar
    • Remove one bolt
    • Remove the three nuts from the top of the strut with a 12mm socket
    • Remove the bolt from the bottom of the strut
    • Lower the strut down and out
  3. step : Installing the Strut (10:19)
    • Transfer the bolts from the old strut to the new strut
    • Insert the strut up into place
    • Line up the bolt holes with the knuckle
    • Thread a nut on top by hand
    • Insert two lower strut bolts by hand
    • Tighten the three nuts evenly to the top of the strut with a 13mm deep socket and ratchet
    • Tighten the lower bolts with a 17mm socket and ratchet
    • Torque the bolts to 112 foot-pounds
    • Insert the brake line in place and tighten the 12mm bolt
    • Tighten the 12mm bolt to the ABS wire
  4. step : Reattaching the Wheel (16:04)
    • Slide the wheel into place
    • Start the lug nuts by hand
    • Tighten the lug nuts preliminarily
    • Raise the jack
    • Remove the jack stands
    • Lower the vehicle to the ground
    • Tighten the lug nuts to 89 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern

Hi, I’m Mike from 1A Auto. We’ve been selling auto parts for over 30 years!

Before we jack up the car, we're parked on level ground. We're going to set the parking brake, because we're jacking up the front of the car. We're going to leave the rear wheels on the ground. Loosen the lug nuts on the vehicle on the ground. We're going to use a breaker bar and a 19 millimeter socket. You've got a socket like this. It potentially might not fit inside of the lug openings. This particular car has very small lug openings. So, I'm just going to use a basic chrome 19 millimeter socket. That fits great. And I'll use the breaker bar to break these free. Go around and get them all loose.

Roll our jack underneath. Find the jacking point just behind the oil pan. Make sure you don't jack directly under the oil pan. Get the jack set up here. Make sure you're doing this on level, flat ground. It's lined up. Bring the car up. Get the wheels off the ground. All right. We'll set our jack stands up right here, right between these two notches and the pinch weld. Put our lock pin back in. Set the jack up the same way on the other side. Put our lock in and slowly lower the floor jack. Just going to leave the floor jack in place. Just take some of the weight off of it, but the majority of the vehicles weight is on the jack stands. Going to use the socket to finish taking off the wheel. I've already loosened the lug nuts. They should come off by hand. Take our wheel off, and put it aside.

I like to put the wheel underneath the car here. That way, if a jack stand gets knocked out, the car will land on the wheel. Pull the hood release. It's just under here, under the dash. Lift up on the hood. Find the safety release. Push it to the passenger side. Lift the hood up. Prop rods here. Put it in place.

Before you change the strut, just be aware, you'll want to have the car aligned afterwards, because the upper strut bolt does have a cam too it. And the camber adjustment can be adjusted at an alignment shop. So, in the meantime, I'm going to use this blue paint marker. You can use a paint marker, and color that you have. I'm just going to give a rough mark where the strut was on the knuckle. That way, when I install the new one, I can get it close and remove the bolt, holding on the ABS wire to the strut. I'm going to use some rust penetrant on the back side of the bolt. I'm going to use a 12 millimeter socket to ratchet and short extension, break it free. ... Once it's loose enough, I'll pull it out with my fingers. We'll put that aside and I'll put the bolt in here, just for now, so I don't lose it.

Going to remove the bolt, holding on the brake hose. And spray some rust penetrant. Get the back side of the bolts. Use the 12 millimeter socket, a ratchet, short extension, and break it free. Thread it out with my fingers. Pull the hose out, just like that. Put it aside. And I can move it just out of here. And thread this bolt back in here, so I don't lose it. I'm going to loosen the strut bolts.

I'm going to spray some rust penetrant on the nut side, with the exposed threads. Try to use this ratchet and a 19 millimeter deep socket. This ratchet might not be long enough. So, it is turning the bolts. It's not turning off the nuts. So, I'm going to use a 19 millimeter wrench to counterhold the bolt, while I loosen the nut. If you don't have enough leverage with a short ratchet like this, you can switch to your longer breaker bar to get it free. Just be careful you don't hit the fender.

With this one, I'm able to use the smaller wrench. Loosen that one up. Do the same for the lower one. So, the lower one, stuck on there, pretty good. I'm going to use the breaker. Get this broken free. Now, I can switch to the smaller ratchet. If you bend the metal, it's not a big deal, you can just bend it back—they're thin sheet metal. I'm going to take this bolt all the way out. That one's going to be the lower one. That's just a normal strut bolt. See if I can take this one off. It's not quite loose enough to come off with my fingers yet.

There's a washer on this upper one. Make sure you get that. Push this bolt out. You might have to push in on the knuckle a little bit. You can turn it with the ratchet. Pull it out. I'm going to put the washer and the nut on here, so I don't lose them. And you can see the top bolt has a cam to it. And that adjusts the camber as you turn it. It's also called an eccentric bolt. So, don't mix these up. This one will go on the top. The regular one goes on the bottom.

Loosen the nuts on the top of the strut. There's three of them. Spray some rust penetrant on here. Use a 12 millimeter deep socket, just have an extension, so I'm not hitting the fender of the car. I'll get these all loose. Be aware as you loosen them up. The struts going to start to drop out of the strut tower. It's not attached to the knuckle anymore. Strut is now in the car with only this nut. So, what I'm going to do, is reach underneath with one arm, and I'll hold up onto these struts, so it doesn't fall. And I'll loosen this nut. Put this down. Take this nut off. Lower the strut down off the knuckle. And guide the strut out.

Here's the original strut and spring assembly you pulled from the vehicle. This is the brand new one from Spring is already assembled on it. It has a brand new top hat. No need to use a spring compressor to take this spring off. This is all set and ready to go in the car. They are marked. This one is for the front right, so front passenger side. The driver side would be marked FL.

There's a little warning label here. You can take this off. Basically it tells you, you do not need to loosen the nut that's under here. It's already set. Leave it alone. But, you can take that warning sticker off. Then this little sticker is just telling you that with the new springs the vehicle may appear to sit a little bit higher, and eventually will settle, with the vehicles weight. Will take that off.

The only thing I'm going to switch over. I'll take out these old bolts, so I can re-use them. That one's for the brake hose. And there was one in here for the ABS wire. I'll take it out. Comes with new mounting nuts on the top. I'll take them off. This is ready to go up inside the car. There's no direction to this. It can be mounted any way, as long as the bolts line up. As long as, the studs line up. All right. Put our strut up into the car. Be careful of our ABS wire and our brake hose.

I'm going to go up into the strut tower. Get them lined up. Get one of these new nuts caught. And I'll get another one caught. They're locking, so I'm just going to thread them on till they stop. I'm going to let that hang. Get our knuckle back into position. Line up with the strut. Going to start with the lower one. That's the one that doesn't have the eccentric part. Put it in from the back. Might have to move the knuckle and strut around. Maybe move it up or down, wiggle it around, push it in place.

Now, I'll just capture the nut, so it doesn't fall out. I'll do the same for the top one. Put the washer on. Put the nut on. The replacement nuts are 13 millimeter, so, I'm going to use a 13 millimeter deep socket and just tighten these up evenly. Bring this one up a little bit. Tighten the next one. Once I feel these get tight, I'll just stop. They do have a locking part of them, make sure all three of them are tight. Let's snug this top nut up, using the closed end of the wrench. I don't want to go super tight, because I can turn the whole bolts and make a camber adjustment. I'm going to bring the outer edge up to meet that blue line. Turn it this way. But, when you turn this, you can see it pushes the hub out. And as you turn it around, it pulls it in. So, I'm just going to pull it in, so it's close as it was.

I may not have been perfectly exact with that paint line, but we'll make it as parallel as possible. And, of course you can have your alignment checked afterwards. So, right about there is good. And we'll tighten this down. Tighten this one down. Not going to over-tighten them, because I want to torque them. I'm going to counterhold the bolts, closed part of my wrench, then torque the nut to 112 foot-pounds. Once it clicks, you're all set. Do the same for both. I'm going to reinstall the ABS line. Take out that bolt. Line up the line here. I'll just thread it in as far as it will go by hand. Use that 12 millimeter socket and ratchet. Thread it in. Feel it get tight. I'll stop.

Reinstall the brake hose. Just take it out of the way for a second. Get the bolt out of there. Put the brake hose back up in place. Line it up. Re-install those bolts. Get it started by hand. And then tighten it up with the 12 millimeter socket. Just tighten it up. And once I feel it get tight, go a little bit more, then I'll stop. This side complete. The opposite side will be the same exact procedure.

Reinstall the wheel. Start the lug nuts by hand. This one went down pretty far. Then get an opposite one caught. Use the socket and thread them in. We'll jack up the car, take it off the jack stands. Push the locks out. Do the same for the other side, as well. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Un-torque the lug nuts to 89 foot-pounds in a cross pattern. That's a click.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Jack Stands
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Gloves
  • Rust Penetrant

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 19mm Wrench

2005 - 2009  Subaru  Outback
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