Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a Lift Kit on Your Subaru for Improved Off-Road Performance

Are you a Subaru owner who loves off-roading and outdoor adventures? If so, you may be considering installing a lift kit on your vehicle. A lift kit can improve the off-road capabilities of your Subaru by increasing ground clearance and allowing for larger tires. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know in order to successfully install a lift kit on your Subaru.

What is a Lift Kit?

A lift kit is typically installed on a vehicle to increase ground clearance, allowing for better handling and larger tires. Lift kits come in a variety of sizes and types, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. When choosing a lift kit for your Subaru, you should consider the intended use of your vehicle, your driving style, and your budget.

For off-road use, a suspension lift kit is generally recommended. This type of lift kit raises the entire suspension of the vehicle, allowing for more ground clearance and better articulation. Another option is a body lift kit, which raises the body of the vehicle above the chassis. However, this type of lift kit does not provide any additional ground clearance.

Tools Needed

Before you begin installing your lift kit, you will need to make sure you have the necessary tools. Here is a list of tools you will need:

  • Jack stands or a car lift
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Floor jack
  • Pry bar
  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Wheel chocks
  • Penetrating oil
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Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Begin by disconnecting the battery to prevent any electrical shock during installation.
  2. Lift the front of the vehicle using a floor jack and place it on jack stands. Make sure to use wheel chocks to prevent the vehicle from rolling.
  3. Remove the wheels and tires.
  4. Disconnect the brake line bracket from the strut assembly.
  5. Remove the strut assembly and disconnect the sway bar end links.
  6. Install the new strut assembly and reconnect the sway bar end links.
  7. Reconnect the brake line bracket to the new strut assembly.
  8. Install the new strut assembly into the vehicle.
  9. Repeat the process on the other side of the vehicle.
  10. Install the new rear shocks and raise the rear of the vehicle using a floor jack. Make sure to support the vehicle with jack stands.
  11. Remove the wheels and tires.
  12. Remove the old shock absorbers and replace with the new ones.
  13. Install any additional components that came with your lift kit.
  14. Reinstall the wheels and tires.
  15. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  16. Reconnect the battery and test the vehicle to ensure there are no issues.

Common Challenges and Mistakes

Installing a lift kit on your Subaru can be a challenging task, and there are some common mistakes that can be made during the process. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Failing to properly torque bolts: This can lead to instability or suspension failure.
  • Not installing all necessary components: This can cause premature wear and tear on the parts that are installed.
  • Installing the lift kit incorrectly: This can lead to suboptimal vehicle performance or even unsafe driving conditions.
  • Forgetting to properly align the vehicle: This can lead to uneven tire wear and poor handling.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to install a lift kit on any Subaru model?

In general, lift kits are available for most Subaru models. However, it is important to research and select a lift kit that is specifically designed for your Subaru model to ensure proper fit and performance.

How long does it take to install a lift kit?

The time it takes to install a lift kit can vary depending on your level of experience and the type of lift kit being installed. On average, the installation process can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.

Can I install a lift kit myself?

While it is possible to install a lift kit yourself, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process. If you are not experienced in vehicle modifications, it is recommended to have the lift kit installed by a professional mechanic.


Installing a lift kit on your Subaru can be a great way to improve your off-road performance and enhance your outdoor experiences. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article and taking common challenges and mistakes into consideration, you can successfully install a lift kit on your Subaru and get out on the trails in no time!

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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