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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Everyone.

I'm sure you've all thought about it (unless of course you're building a mean street machine). Lift the WRX!? Yes Please! Now there's a lot of info for other years. There's a great thread (look below this paragraph) about impreza suspensions and lifts but there's no info on our year cars. I wanted to share my experience and and I did to achive a decent lift which I will further increase with All Terain truck tires which will give me another inch.

"The Unofficial How To Lift Your Impreza Thread" : The Unofficial "How to Lift your Impreza" Thread - Off Road - Ultimate Subaru Message Board

First, following that thread, I immediately jumped on the idea of putting on struts from a 2010 Forester and use my existing springs. Eventually I put the money together and ordered them but during install I noticed that although there's more travel, the dimensions for the struts are almost identical for our year between the Forester and the WRX. In other words, the piston comes out further, but the lower part does not provide any extra clearance. I got maybe .75" lift... which is tiny for almost $400. I was not happy and removed/returned them and went with spacers that I made myself and I'm very happy with the result. I may eventually try to put on Forester struts+springs or Forester Struts+ Outback/Crosstreck Springs.

Some notes:
-We do not have a trailing arm bracket like previous years. This means that we are limited to how much lift we can perform (the arm bolts onto a shoulder on the body so the solution would be to cut and weld or get an aftermarket one that's adjustable somehow... someone please chime in if you know a solution to this). Doing a lift will pull the rear wheel toward the front of the wheel well, doing too much lift will make your wheel scrape and I don't know how much that is (after the lift I'm about 1" away so I'm safe but you can definitely see that it's moved).

-I was able to get an alignment without installing rear camber bolts. This is good because a normal sized camber bolt did not fit in the hole on my rear suspension. That means I would have to use a rather thin one which I do not like the idea of.

-The install went relatively uneventful. The fronts were pretty easy to install but I had to utilize two jacks to get it done. I actually had to use the one that came with the car to pull the suspension down to get the strut back in but it was not too bad.

-The rear was a bit harder, I had to have help (my girlfriend literally put her weight on the suspension to pull it down enogh to get the strut in). The rear was a bit more of a pain, but it would have gone a lot easier if I removed some more bolts to give me more wiggle room.

-The sway bars reatached just fine with no clearance issues. I may remove them to see how well it performs offroad and how much it suffers on pavement.

-12"x16" 1" thick Cutting Board Plastic (UV Stabilized). This is available at Tap Plastics, I believed I paid $36 for it and all four 1" spacers were made from the same piece.
-1/2" thick Cutting Board Plastic I grabbed from their scrap bin. This was for additional 1/2" spacers for the rear because I read in the above post that the front does not lift linearly (it said for 1" you actually get 1.5") but it turns out on my year my rear is sitting quite a bit higher than the front with the extra spacers... and I really like how that looks.
-Bolts (From Oriley's). I am not positive but I believe I ended up using 2" bolts and nuts. I went with 3/8" thick bolts but had to just lightly drill out the strut tower holes in the body in the front.

-I used the strut towers removed from the strut as templates. I measured everything and drew them in CAD (feel free to ask me for the design if you want to make your own). I then used my CNC router/mill to cut them out.
-I drilled the holes smaller than bolts and tapped them. This way the bolt goes through the strut towers and is bolted through the spacers holding them in place for easy install.

You need a jigsaw and a drill at minimum to do this. You do not need any fancy tools because Cutting Board cuts like butter with pretty much any tool and machines beautifully.

Mounted Material:

Machining the Spacers:

Finished 1" spacers *note I added a second 1/2" on the rear:

And here's the result!
0925161608 (1).jpg


Rear (note that you can see how far the wheel pulled toward the front):


Looks like I got my car back together after my blown motor right in time:
15195958_1259398797413494_330208168108360246_o.jpg 15235760_1256742207679153_3962589354626898519_o.jpg

It looks like I will be able to fit the smallest sized All Terrain Truck tires with this lift which should give another 1" of clearance all around! :eek:

Doing measuring, the size (215/65R16) will be 27" in diamater and will clear the strut tower and front fenders. I believe I will have to trim a little plastic extension of the side skirt that goes into the wheel well to clear it in the rears.

Here's the tire:

I will also try removing the sway bars and see how much the offroad performance improves, and how much the road performance degrades and report.

-Much Love

Premium Member
1,781 Posts
Great write up! Even though I don't stop in here as much as I used to, I wanted poke my head in to see your tutorial. Keep up the good work! Oh yeah......this is Adair from Facebook ;)
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