Lifting Your Subaru


Here are some options to improve your Subaru's off-road capabilities …


  • Lifting Your Subaru
  • What is a lift kit ?
  • Lifting an MY series
  • Lifting an L series
  • Lifting a Liberty/Legacy

Lifting Your Subaru

This is a great way to get some extra ground clearance if you want to be more adventurous off-road, the following page is dedicated to sorting what's required …

What is a lift kit ?

A lift kit is a combination of solid alloy blocks and fabricated components that lift the body of your car up in relation to your wheels.
What is the use of that? The reason people lift the body with a kit as supplied here is for a few reasons, one of them being to create more room under the vehicle for more terrain to be accessed with less trouble and damage to the vehicle. Another of those reasons is to allow for a larger range of off road tyres to fit with clearance. This in turn can create more clearance under your vehicle.
Are they legal? In Australia we have pretty much have uniform laws. They differ slightly from state to state but the basis is the same. In the most common form of the law a 2" kit is legal in all states. We do recommend you check with your insurance company before you fit a kit to make sure there is going to be no dramas in the event of an accident. I know of no insurance companies that have not accepted the kits but in this day and age, it pays to be sure, beforehand.
There are many ways to lift your Subaru's. The most common is to buy a pre-made body lift ( byb, scorpion, etc ), or a suspension lift. Many people also choose to fabricate their own lift kit.

Lifting an MY series

How do I Install a lift kit to an EA 81?

• Solid jack capable of lifting the wheels 5 inches from the ground.
• Car body stands… 2 minimum
• Wheel brace ……19mm for standard wheel nuts/lugs
• Sockets in sizes 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21mm
• Spanners/wrenches in the same sizes.
• Hacksaw/ tin snips
• Hammer
• Screwdrivers, 1 of each sort,(flat, star)
• Multigrips or pliers.
• Angle grinder for Air-conditioned vehicles
• Block of wood for cars with A/C. (3x2 about 200mm or 8 inches long)
• Grease, oil, etc.

Rear First

1. Jack car until wheels are about 6 inches from the ground.
2. Place car stands at approx. Subaru suggested jacking position.
3. Remove shock absorbers. 17mm
4. Fit shock extension to bottom of shock. (2x extensions, 2x 85mm bolts w/ nuts, washers)
5. Refit shocks starting at the top. When the top has the bolts in, compress the shock to get the bottom bolt in.
6. Place the jack under the diff/torsion bar. Just take the weight, do not lift. This is only to let the torsion bar assembly down slowly.
7. Remove 4 bolts from the torsion bar (suspension). 2x each side. 17mm
8. Remove 4 bolts from the diff hanger (bar that run. 2x each side. 14mm
9. Lower the jack slowly, watching the brake lines for tension. If the lines become tight, relieve them by freeing them from the wrap over tabs at the torsion bar end of the swing arms. Sounds technical, but actually very easy to do.
10. Place lifting blocks in place on the torsion bar.
11. Put the bolts in finger tight only. Raise the torsion bar if needed.
12. When all 4 bolts are started correctly, tighten.
13. Place passenger's side (driver's side in U.S.) lifting block on the diff hanger. Block marked "standard". Fit bolts finger tight.
14. Fuel filler side has holes offset to accommodate fuel tank. However you still need to fold the lip on the tank down out of the way.
15. With multigrips/pliers, fold about 18-20mm-3/4" of the lip down. Take your time. Tank will not leak because of this.
16. Fit kit and bolts, making sure of correct threading of the bolts.
17. Tighten all 4 bolts. Refit wheels, jack car, remove stands, lower……
18. Check exhaust system. Standard system should be OK, sports /after market system may need to be adjusted.
Almost too easy wasn't it. I bet the back end of your car looks pretty high.

First up Front

Before you actually start the front there are a few things you need to do first.
1. Undo the bolts on the steering arm at the column and at the rack. 12mm. Remove the arm later.
2. Remove engine stabilizer bar
3. Vehicles fitted with a standard air filter system must shorten the intake to allow clearance for the radiator hose. This can be done on the vehicle with a hacksaw. REMEMBER; place a rag/cloth inside the filter to avoid filings entering the fuel system. Cut approx. 75 mm/3" off in feed, filing when finished to remove burrs.
4. Remove sump guard/bash plate if you have one fitted.
5. Check the length of battery cables/wires, generally they are long enough standard.
6. There is also an earth wire from the gearbox to the firewall. It will probably be too short. It is not essential, but replace if you wish.
7. Air-conditioned vehicles need to remove the compressor from its brackets. DO NOT RELEASE GAS, the hoses are long enough to work with them intact. The underside of the compressor has 2 lugs hanging down. Remove these with an angle grinder. With a block of 3x2 wrapped in a rag/cloth (about the same length as the compressor) fold down the panel work directly below where the compressor sits. It doesn't need much, you are only creating a bit of clearance. It can be quite awkward to do, but it must be done.
8. Remove lower radiator hose.

Front Kit

1. Jack car as before, placing car stands just behind the front wheels. Remove wheels.
2. Place jack beneath the engine cross member directly behind the sump/oil pan. Take the weight. Do not lift.
3. Undo the nuts on the ends of the cross member where it bolts to the sub frame. 2 bolts each side. 14 mm tube socket required. Leave bolts in place.
4. Undo 3 bolts each side on the radius rod plates. (located near the gear box cross member) Radius rod is the 19mm round bar that runs from the lower control arm towards the back of the car on a slight angle inward. It is at the back end of this rod where you will find the 3 bolts. IMPORTANT; leave the back 2 bolts in place with a few threads. This stops everything moving all over the place.
5. Release the jack enough for the cross member to come down to fit the kit. The bolts you left in before are a guide to how far you let the jack down. When one side has passed the bolts, stop.
6. Remove the bolts from that side. You will have to remove the Philips head screw from inside the engine bay holding the plate in that the bolts are attached to. The bolts need to be removed from the plate once you have it out of the car. An old house brick with a hole in it, or a bench vice etc. will be needed to remove the bolts. Simply turn them upside down and tap the bolts out with a hammer.
7. Put the plate back in the car and refit the screw. Drop the new bolts down through the holes (2x 3/8", 1x 1/2") Now sit where the wheel goes. Lift the bolts up one at a time to get the kit in. Start at the front and work your way back. Fit nuts and washers finger tight only.
8. Repeat for the other side. Do not tighten.
9. Remove the last 2 bolts from the radius rod plates. Lower enough to get the kit in. Do both sides together. Fit the kit and bolts.
10. Make sure you have not cross-threaded any bolts by winding them in as far as you can by hand. Tighten all bolts. WARNING take care in tightening the front cross member bolts. They are big bolts and you will easily crush the sub frame in your car if you do not watch what you are doing.
11. Steering extension can now be fitted. Try to get the wheels in line with the steering wheel. It is most likely you will have to align it again later.


1. The first step here is to undo the bolts retaining the strut to the knuckle. These are found at the lower part of the strut. There are 2 - 14mm bolts on each strut. One short one at the front and a longer one running across the car, being removed from the inside.
2. Remove the brake line-housing clip. It is located on the strut towards the inside. It just slides out of the housing. Now pull the brake line through the housing a little to create some slack. With tin snips or a hack saw, make a horizontal cut at the bottom of the housing in line with the lower edge of the hole. You will now be able to fold the brake line housing out to remove the line from the housing. This is so you do not have to bleed your brakes when you take the struts out. See attached picture.
3. Put a short stumpy flat blade screwdriver in the slot at the rearward side of the knuckle. Tap it with a hammer until the knuckle drops off the end of the strut.
4. Undo the top of the strut 2x 14mm nuts. CARE MUST BE TAKEN to notice which way the tops of the strut face when you remove them. They have specific ways for different model cars. Make sure you know how yours were fitted when you remove them. There is an arrow on top; this is what you are looking for. There will also be markings, 4wd, 2wd, van, etc.
5. Fit the tower tops to the struts with the nuts and washers that came from under the bonnet. I supply new "Nylok" nuts for the top of the kit. Pay attention to the arrows that I mark on the kits. The arrows always point in towards the motor.
6. Grease the bottom of the strut to make it easier to refit.
7. Refit the struts starting at the top. Put the nuts on finger tight. Put your foot on the wheel hub and push down; at the same time align the strut with the knuckle. This can take a fair sort of a push with your foot at times. It is a lot easier than removing ball joints.
8. Re fit wheels, jack, remove stands, lower.
9. Fit the extended engine stabilizer.
10. Radiator hose will need to be shortened. A little at a time and you won't be running down the road to buy a new one.
11. Re fit air conditioning.
12. Check throttle cable for tension. It should have about 5-6mm of slack.
13. Re check all hoses and wires for tension. I find they are normally all ok.

Check List

1. All bolts must be re tightened in about a week.
2. 4wd lever may be sitting a little higher than normal. It can be rectified but it really isn't worth worrying about.
3. Check air filter misses the radiator hose.
4. Front wheels will be sitting exactly the same as before the struts came out if you followed the instructions carefully. Check them after you have taken it for a drive. If they are on a bad angle you have fitted the struts incorrectly and need to remove and refit them properly. There is no half way with the wheels and this kit. You will see that the wheels are right or if they are wrong they will be wrong in a big way. Very noticeable. Very easy to do. (I have fitted them backwards my self not thinking about what I was doing.) Pain in the arse to have to pull them out and do again.
5. Straighten steering wheel if necessary.

Lifting an L series

Is similar to a Leone ( more to come )

Lifting a Liberty/Legacy

( more to add )


to this page: web archive, TOONGA, 60766244, Bantum

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License