Jerry UltraDork
Aug. 2, 2017 5:52 p.m.

So I've settled on a rallycross suspension for this WRX... Ordered 3/4" front and 1" rear spacers from Subtle Solutions to add some height to the Eibach springs (since I can't find STI springs.)

I'm going to order KYB AGX adjustable struts here very soon to go with that. Another rallycrosser with much experience locally is using almost the same thing (except STI springs) and loves it.

I got a quote from one local shop that I've used once, has much experience with Subarus and plenty of locals recommend highly. Turn-In Concepts in Cincinnati. They quoted $480 install and $165 alignment = $645 and includes the spacers.

The shop down the street Colletti Motorsports (2 miles) I normally use gave me a quote later in the day, 6.75hrs ($95/hr) for $642 and only $85 for alignment = $727 but they have no idea if the spacers will cost extra...

I'm torn. Big difference in alignment charges, but is it just factored into a total differently? I've used Colletti since I moved here 6 years ago, they've had a few issues here and there but always made it right. I have to say I enjoy the localness and having SWMBO just drop me off or pick me up. TIC is about an hour away but not terribly far from work.

If the shops were next to each other I have to say I'd probably go TIC. They know Subaru quite well, have a standing order from Subaru corporate for parts, keep aftermarket parts like Kart Boy stuff on the shelf. But is it worth $80 to have the shop down the street?

EvanB UltimaDork
Aug. 2, 2017 6:03 p.m.

That's why I do all my own work.

Aug. 2, 2017 6:10 p.m.

I could look it up in ALLDATA if interested. Would need vehicle specifics

EvanB UltimaDork
Aug. 2, 2017 6:18 p.m.

I haven't done it on a WRX but it took me approximately 45 minutes to do the fronts on my 2.5rs the first time.

Greg Voth Dork
Aug. 2, 2017 6:26 p.m.

When I did the struts and springs on my wife Forester it all went smoothly until the two spring compressors I had wouldnt compress the springs enough to reinstall. It ended up being about 8 hours total with me bringing them to the local pep boys shop to reassemble them. Still took about 7-8 hours in my driveway with hand tools, messing with the compressors, calling pep boys, swinging by advance for bump stops then pep boys for assembly.

That's probably book rate but realisticly with a lift, professional tools and experience I can't see why it would take more than 4-5 hours.

TIC is well known in the Subaru community but convenience is nice. It's pretty simple stuff so I'd see if they local shop will price match.

Sanchinguy Reader
Aug. 2, 2017 6:36 p.m.

Not an apples to apples comparison, but I removed the stock suspension and installed FM v-maxx coilovers and sways in my NB2 in about 4.5 hours and wasn't rushing. A different and perhaps simpler install? Dunno...

Sanchinguy Reader
Aug. 2, 2017 6:38 p.m.

Not an apples to apples comparison, but I removed the stock suspension and installed FM v-maxx coilovers and sways in my NB2 in about 4.5 hours and wasn't rushing. A different and perhaps simpler install? Dunno...

GameboyRMH MegaDork
Aug. 2, 2017 7:17 p.m.

I've removed, lubed & adjusted and reinstalled all four on my Toyota in maybe 3 hours, but that's macstrut suspension and SLA might require more disassembly. You should change the struts yourself and just have the shop do the alignment. The most special tool you might need is a spring compressor, and you can even use a mess of giant zip ties in place of one. This is assuming nothing is seized, in which case you might need an impact gun and/or breaker bar. If you find that you need a "deep socket spanner" for any strut top nuts, use a spark plug socket with an adjustable wrench.

Snrub Reader
Aug. 2, 2017 7:48 p.m.

It doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility to me. I've done shocks around 6 times myself. Sometimes I might have beaten that time, sometimes I was significantly longer. Sometimes you run into issues, other times you don't. From a non-professional's perspective, sometimes you have more trouble wrapping your head around an issue than other times.

Why not take it to the first shop for the work and the second shop for the alignment?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
Aug. 3, 2017 7:45 a.m.

Maybe the 6.75 hrs includes the alignment time? I've done struts on a bugeye WRX, and 6 hours sounds right for a home mechanic who has no power tools but knows what he's doing- I think a shop should be less, but like Evan says, this is why we do our own work. If my time was worth more than $95/hr to me then maybe I'd consider farming it out, but it's not!

Since I'm certain I can install them faster, how about I come over and knock it out for you... in exchange for that crusty old MR2 of yours

EDIT: A bunch of the time involved in this is spent cutting the housing to install the inserts- at those prices, I'd consider getting a set of junk struts and building them up so you can just swap everything over and get it aligned. The car would only be down for a couple of hours that way.

Jerry UltraDork
Aug. 3, 2017 7:59 a.m.

In reply to ¯_(ツ)_/¯:

Lol if we're trading for the MR2 I expect much more from you. #thatswhatshesaid

I believe Colletti's did mention something like ALLDATA or something similar, have to go back and check. For specifics, 2002 WRX Sedan.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
Aug. 3, 2017 8:03 a.m.

Are the AGXs complete struts or just inserts? If they're complete struts then just get new tops for them as well so that you don't have to goof around with a spring compressor. I'd guess 2 hours tops if you can hand the shop complete assemblies to swap on (or DIY).

Aspen Reader
Aug. 3, 2017 8:03 a.m.

Not bad pricing. Messing with the spring compressors is the slow part. Also some subaru struts make you cut off the brake line holder or disconnect the brake lines to remove.

TIC is really good. They know Subaru.

I have done this job a couple of times and it is about 8 hours at home with no power tools and no lift.

Matt B SuperDork
Aug. 3, 2017 8:18 a.m.

My knee jerk reaction is that TIC has a more reasonable quote for the strut install which is a trust issue. Also, I personally don't mind paying top-dollar for an alignment from a reputable shop knowing that allows them to do it right and not "good enough". That said, if you trust Colletti and never had a problem with their alignments before then it's really just a question of cost vs convenience.

EvanB UltimaDork
Aug. 3, 2017 8:26 a.m.

Forgot about doing the inserts. I just did complete struts and swapped the new springs and top hats on.

JBasham Reader
Aug. 3, 2017 10:34 a.m.

I'm not surprised to see a specialty shop charging $150-a-corner-ish for a spring and strut swap.

Brett_Murphy PowerDork
Aug. 3, 2017 10:43 a.m.

Here is a question on the alignment: will one shop align to your specifications and the other will not or something? I'd pay extra if I could say exactly how I wanted it aligned and they would do it that way instead of just getting it into what the factory service manual says is a good alignment.

Jerry UltraDork
Aug. 3, 2017 10:58 a.m.

In reply to JBasham:

I'm leaving the springs. Just replacing struts.

failboat UberDork
Aug. 3, 2017 11:37 a.m.

IMO with swapping the springs and tophats etc to the new struts as part of the install 6 hours sounds about right...for the book rate. Like people said, it can go faster, but if snags are hit with disassembly it can take more time.

spitfirebill UltimaDork
Aug. 3, 2017 12:05 p.m.

Any shop worth its salt will have a pneumatic spring compressor. It should take couple of minutes to change each one. Getting each strut off the car is likely the biggest issue.

When I was trying to change the springs on the front shocks on my Spitfire, I fought with them for hours at home. I even took them to a couple of indie shops that tried to use threaded rod type compressors, but none would work. I ended up at the best tire shop in town and they popped both on in one minute each. They didn't even charge me and told me to be sure and bring the car back to them for the alignment.

JBasham Reader
Aug. 4, 2017 12:21 p.m.
Jerry wrote: In reply to JBasham: I'm leaving the springs. Just replacing struts.

This is just a guess, but I'm assuming they will have to remove them from the old strut assembly and install them on the new one, which is one more step than they would do if they were just installing new ones with new hats.

By the way, that's a great looking car. I'm dying to try one out at the track.

Jerry UltraDork
Aug. 4, 2017 12:33 p.m.

In reply to JBasham:

Ah, that makes sense, thanks. Also going to see if Colletti will match the labor side of the quote for $480. If not I might be heading down to Cincy. (And thanks, it's a hoot to drive.)

Ricky Spanish Reader
Aug. 4, 2017 3:58 p.m.

If you can't perform your own work you have no business rallycrossing.

This car WILL break in the field at some point and it will be up to you to get it home.

JeffHarbert HalfDork
Aug. 4, 2017 6:16 p.m.

I've done struts and springs on my Protege twice and a B14 Sentra once with only basic hand tools, which included a manual spring compressor. No lift, just a jack and jack stands. One corner is 45 minutes, tops. 6.75 hours for four seems excessive.

failboat UberDork
Aug. 5, 2017 4:36 a.m.

In reply to Ricky Spanish:

I don't think its an issue of skill, its an issue of time. I Pay to have work done on my car periodically through the year when I either don't have the time, or don't want to do the job.

I have had new motor mounts sitting in my garage for 6 months that I still haven't gotten to yet. I'll pay a shop to change the trans fluid and leaking cooler because its a mess I don't feel like dealing with.

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