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Discussion Starter #1
driving along at about 80 mph i ran over a pallet in the road and broke the top of the right rear strut on my wifes 2008 Tribeca.

The car is still driving, makes an ugly banging noise when you go over bumps.

I ordered a single strut from RockAuto and it arrived today.

I am a decent amateur mechaninc, i have decent tools and a garage but i need to start and finish this job in one sitting.

Any advice would be appreciated

thanks

dave
 

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Not hard at all, two bolts on the top and loosen the rear sway bar link on the lower control arm and then remove the shock bolt, depending on the mileage you may want to consider changing the mount as well.

Assuming you know how to go about changing the shock itself ( compressing the spring, and taking the assembly apart, then rebuilding it with the new shock) the whole job is probably a 2 hour max job. And that is being generous.
 

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The bottom end of the strut is bolted to a sleeve inside a rubber bushing, so the bolt needs to be tightened with suspension at normal ride height.
 

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Change both sides at the same time, otherwise you will have an unstable car.

Get a spring compressor. Cheap at harbor freight or borrow from autozone tool loan.

Hardest parts are:
1) loosening the bolt at bottom of strut. It's large, massive torque. I used a cheater bar and a jack on the end to get it loose
2) The endlinks get rusted and you strip the allen socket in it. You will be able to get it out, but not back on. Consider getting spares on hand to replace and return if you don't need them.
3) lining up the strut to put the bolt in step 1 back on. I used a jack under the strut to push it in place.

This thread pretty much tells you all you need to know: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/16297-rear-shock-replacement-2000-outback-wagon.html

Basically same as our tribeca.
 

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PS you can drive without endlinks attached. Just don't get wild in the corners as the car won't respond like it normally does.
 

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If the end link is rusty, prepare to be stuck inside the wheel well for a long time getting it off. You really should do both sides and then get an alignment about 500 miles after.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If the end link is rusty, prepare to be stuck inside the wheel well for a long time getting it off. You really should do both sides and then get an alignment about 500 miles after.
I know i should- time and money. Just came off a long renovation project, everything is maxed out. This car is due to get tires in the spring.

So i figure i can do one now and either do the other one or both again along with alignment and tires.
 

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That's good to know -- if you're getting new tires in the spring, just do the one side now. If your end links are rusty, you're not going to feel like doing both sides at the same time anyway, trust me! My wife's Forester is getting to the point when hers will be ready for struts and I'm dreading it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's done, or at least, the hard part is done. I'm taking a break before i button everything up.

There was no rust, i'm thinking these might have been done once before. It came out pretty easily.

It was very difficult getting the spring back in with the s spring compressors in place.

FInally, i pulled it all out, compressed the spring and then tied them in place with nylon strap in multple wraps.


Then i put in place with the spring fully compressed, added the spring compressors but only over a few coils and then cut the nylon strap.
 

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That seems strange that you tried to put the spring compressors in the vehicle. That's usually all done outside the vehicle, including uncompressing. Install with full extended springs is normal (and how i did it).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That seems strange that you tried to put the spring compressors in the vehicle. That's usually all done outside the vehicle, including uncompressing. Install with full extended springs is normal (and how i did it).
It is entirely possible that I had a completely flawed understanding of how this was supposed to go.

But it did not seem to me that the spring could go back in with it un-compressed.

I was able to put the strut and spring in place, unclip the strut and guide it into the hole with the spring out of the way, then i clipped the straps and let the spring expand.

Either way it worked.
 

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The nut that threads onto the shock rod is what holds the assembly together, the compressors aren't needed once the nut is threaded on and torqued down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The nut that threads onto the shock rod is what holds the assembly together, the compressors aren't needed once the nut is threaded on and torqued down.
Ok, so i should have removed the two bolts that hold the top of the assembly?

Well, unencumbered by knowledge, or experience, I did not do that. I left the top in place and removed the top nut to remove the end of the shock.

There was an access hole inside the car just for that nut so it can't be totally wrong.
 

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It was totally wrong :)

But not totally wrong, since you got it done!

Yes, remove the 2 nuts off the strut tophat to the frame, loosen the nut, then compress outside the car.

It's worth getting the factory service manual off ebay for $20 or so. Lots of good useful info in there! But also come back here as people figure out more clever ways to do things.

Tom
 

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I know i should- time and money.
No you shouldn't.

That's a good one-size-fits-all generic approach for most people - but practically and mechanically speaking it's not the full story.

Don't worry about it - I've replaced one strut countless times without issues.

To be clear - I totally understand why shops do it and they should, but I'll forgo that treatise here. It's just incomplete in ways that matter in certain situations...like yours.

If they're both leaking oil and clearly actually "blown", showing symptoms, neighbors are looking at you funny and hollywood is recruiting you for the 2020 Beverly Hillbilly's, then that's different. Get that on the fast track to repair.

But usually one strut fails, so replace one strut. No big deal at all.

What is happening is like (i'm making this up) 7% of the time you might incur noticeable distinctions. But whatever the number is, it's a low number and not high enough to worry about in some situations...like yours. If you're worried about 7% failure rates of parts you better buy a newer vehicle. I have never seen issues, even years later.

I'm not encouraging negligence, don't skip it soley to be cheap and living on the edge, actually inspect and address the thing symptomatically (like you did the first strut) - but this isn't nearly as big of a deal as most shops and online commentary would lead a reader to believe.

What actually happens when you do replace one strut, as compared to how shops talk and internet lore is pretty comical. :lol:
 

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Fair enough, but if it was my car and I was forced to replace a 2008 original rear strut with 160k, I would do both sides. For $100, it's not worth the risk of poor handling in an emergency solution.
 

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Fair enough, but if it was my car and I was forced to replace a 2008 original rear strut with 160k, I would do both sides. For $100, it's not worth the risk of poor handling in an emergency solution.
Agreed, I'm not recommending it nor do it outside of compelling situations. I help a lot of people, work on Subaru's for free, and have given a few away, and we're in the rust belt where replace in pairs could be entirely wasteful, either way, I'm not always working with pristine situations flowing with easy solutions like I have, and am thankful for the perspective i gain helping people a lot different from me.

From what I see most older, low rent, subaru owners are in the "if it aint broke don't fix it" mindset. That's not to say I'm trying to change anyone's mind, but this would be a large scale data driven response to ease the OP's mind, which corroborates my experiences as well. Decades and hundreds of thousands of Subaru's and millions of miles aren't extrapolating out into issues in emergency situations from ancient struts. Those people usually have a clear addiction to poor tire choices in the snow. Bring me wrecked Subaru...hmm cheap, no-name, cracked, 2 year old wal-mart tires. mental note - don't buy those. lol
 

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Don’t know about now but in the past Mercedes recommended replacing only those shocks and struts that were clearly leaking, not in pairs. Personally, I prefer replacing in pairs if I feel the other one is near the end of its useful life.
 
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