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Discussion Starter #1

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I got shocks from amazon (KYB). Perfect fit.

I purchased spring compressors from harbor freight, they worked great. Make sure to oil them and use an impact driver other wise your arms will get sore like mine :)

Pretty straight forward. Make sure to loosen the center nut before lifting the car.

There is a good DIY over on subaruoutback.org. But you don't have to worry about the compression as much as the outbacks do because they have shorter front coils.
 

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The top of the two lower strut mount bolts adjusts camber. Mark it's head (not the nut) orientation so you can install it exactly how it previously was.

Remove two lower bolts, top 3 bolts, bolt for brake line and out comes the strut. Easy job.

I don't replace top mounts unless they're bad which they rarely are. But I have the luxury of multiple vehicles so I can wait if I see I need one.

In my experience (rust issues aside) the rear springs and mounts have more issues than fronts.

If the struts have been trashed and neglected for a couple years on awful roads hauling a lot of weight, then maybe you want to replace the top mounts but it's highly doubtful you need too.

If you have a local dealer you could buy them and return them if not needed.
 

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Unless the Tribeca is different, most struts have a small bearing at the top of the mount. It is a common place that wears out. Easy enough to change while you are at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright, so a co-worker and I swapped both front struts with new units from Subaru.

We also replaced the following on each side: spacer, dust cover and front helper.

We put everything back together. I try to follow exact torque specs, but one can not torque the top nut without it free spinning, so I have to use a 17mm wrench. It calls for 40.6 ft-lbs.

I also replaced the swaybar bushings.

The car drives very nice now, but I have the following problem: there is a clunking noise coming from the right strut over bumps/imperfections in the road. Left side is great, no noises. We have performed the same work on both sides, so I'm puzzled why the right side is making noises. We took the right shock/spring assembly out of the car and dis-assembled it and put it back together to make sure we didn't forget any parts.

Still the same noise.

Defective right strut? Any ideas?
 

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I would start with the sway bar bushings and links as well.

Also did you pay attention to how you orientated the spring when putting it in the bottom mount, if the bottom isn't aligned correctly it can clunk as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I did some more research and found out it is highly recommended to replace the strut mounts when doing struts, so I purchased these as well as the rubber that goes on the top of the spring.

I also found a 1/2 socket 6mm hex head so we can torque the top nut to specs, which is 40.6 lbs-ft.

Everything with the front suspension is good now. No more noises.
 
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