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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my new struts and springs a month or so ago and put them on. I got KYB AGX, Tanabe GF210, KYB strut tops. Used the washer, spring perch, and rubber dealio that where already on the car with the new struts/springs. The first time I put the struts on the car I had the top nut tight on the fronts but not to spec but with the middle hole on the upper spring perch aligned as it should be. A few weeks later I started hearing a clunk from the front driver side, found that the clunk was from the spring moving in the bottom perch and that the top perch was no longer aligned. The clunk was the end of the spring on the bottom hitting the seat it's supposed to sit in when I turn the steering wheel. Common issue from what I understand, the top perch is aligned sometimes. Ick, can't have that.

Last night I pulled the strut to realign the top perch and get the bottom of it sittin like it should be. Got it all put back in the car and buttoned up, went to tighten the top nut to spec (41 lbs/ft; torque ratchet not impact). Turns some, turns some, no click, turns some, turns some, no click, turns some but feels weird, helper says all is good, turns some more and still feels weird.... oooops, the perch was moving with the bolt.....


Sorry, long story.... the question is does the perch moving with the top nut indicate some serious problem or should I just rinse and repeat the pulling of the strut and putting it all as it should be???
 

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I assume you have the car jacked up and the wheel hanging there and the spring is loose when you turn the wheel. If that is the case, you do not have something tightened up properly or you have a strut which is way too long for the springs you have. When I change spring/strut assemblies, there is compression on the spring even before I put it on the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, the top nut is snug but it's not torqued down... that, coupled with the fact the strut assembly was at full droop of course the perch is gunna move.

I do wonder though, what method are you using to keep the strut assembly compressed? Of course I'm thinking along the lines of having it compressed as if the weight of the car was on it before you even bolt it to the car... if that's not what you mean then I'd appreciate some elaboration if you don't mind.
 

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With the strut piston fully extended (whole unit off the car, or with the car jacked up and the wheel hanging) the spring should still be compressed because the piston stroke is not long enough to let it fully decompress. That is why I said u might have the wrong size strut, if it is allowing this to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, the part number is right for the spring and the strut so unless the wrong strut was put in the box or something along those lines I wouldn't know. I'm pretty sure the part number isn't on the strut itself but I hadn't checked for that.

I'm gunna put it all back together and put it on the car and see if it happens again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah the part number is on the strut, I should've guessed it was. KYB AGX 734035 front left strut for an 02-03 WRX. The springs are the Tanabe GF210 for an 04-07 Impreza, both front springs have the same part number for each side.

I used vise grips and a cut up old V belt (so I don't damage the surface) to clamp the bottoms of the springs in place on the strut. I'm still having the same minor issue with the top perch not wanting to sit quite right so I can loosen the spring compressors though... It seems like if I rotate the top perch backwards with the three holes pointing towards the engine bay it would sit on the top of the spring easier but that's not how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I appreciate someone to bounce ideas back and fourth with. I can post pics if need be.

I didn't get a chance to mess with it at all today. I think I'm gunna pull out my old strut and springs to see if they sit the same way as well as compare them with the new stuff. I watched some youtube vids yesterday and in a few of them people where using three spring compressors instead of just two due to how the coils are spaced in Subaru springs... but we had an ice storm this morning so I just headed straight home from work instead of chancing it and going anywhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I kept futzing with it and finally got it all aligned and put back on the car today. I ended up using vise grips to hold the top and the bottom perches in place with the spring. I'm gunna keep an eye on it for a week or so to see if the top goes out of place again.
 

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The shaft will spin when you try to torque it if you don't capture it somehow at least to get it pinched to start. Putting it in the car and putting the weight on it may help lock it in place. I usually end up putting a strap clamp (plastic, not metal) around the top of the strut shaft under the dust boot. I've never had it mar the shaft and that is where the bump stop will be anyways so that part never goes into the strut body anyways. Obviously a pass through socket is the intended tool, so you can capture the shaft with a hex key, but I don't have one. Usually once you get it to bite down a bit you can finish with the torque wrench on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've got AGX struts and the adjuster is in the place where the hex would go, unfortunately.
The first time I had the strut on the car I intended to tighten the top nut the last bit with the weight of the car and that wasn't enough so it just spun the shaft. The second time I put it on the car we jacked up the hub to nearly ride height and used a strap wrench and instead of tightening the nut it moved the upper perch.
I used a strap wrench on it before I put it on the car the third time and while the torque wrench didn't click I'd say it's close enough lol
 
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