What are my options with a failing air suspension?

Your repair options are pretty harsh. Of all the great things about these cars, the air suspension is the one really problematic trait that causes some of the most frustration. First, you should know that the front wheel drive (aka, FWD or 2WD) version of the XT and XT6 never had the air suspension so it has the preferred “coil over” type struts. The reason you need to know this is because if you need to replace your air struts your absolute best bet is to try to find (and it isn’t easy) a FWD XT6 in a junkyard, or maybe one for sale in less than road-worthy condition. The struts from a FWD XT6 will fit perfectly in a 4WD XT6. New air struts run roughly $300US each!!! That’s right, $1,200US for all four corners! A broken down FWD XT6 with four good struts might be worth buying for as much as $400-$500US just for the struts alone.

If an XT6 is not to be found then you can use some creative engineering to slightly modify Impreza struts to do the job for the fronts, while Legacy struts or struts from an XT will work in the rear. There may be other solutions for aquiring coil over struts as well. Replacement of the struts is not a job to be undertaken by someone with limited tools/talent/knowledge for the job. You can provide the parts for a shop to do the job and rest assured that it’s been done correctly and that someone else’s knuckles got skinned, not yours. Sure, you’ll pay more but it might be worth it if you’re not mechanically inclined.

If you would rather replace the air struts, the $300US isn’t so bad if you’re replacing one every other year or so. To have an XT6 with a properly functioning air suspension is certainly a good thing, and if you can spread the expense over a long period of time that way, so much the better.

3 responses to “What are my options with a failing air suspension?”

  1. Al Cooper Says:

    As I have an 89XT, AWD, when the Air Suspension went out, I installed a set of coil overs (front) from a ‘90 Loyal 2X2, and a set of coil overs (rear)from an 86 4X4 wagon, GL, Legacy. What I wouuld like to know is if the struts(front, rear or both) from an XT non air suspension unit will bolt in, and if so what year(s). Right now the front sits pretty good, copared to stock height, but the rear is 3-4 inches higher than stock, and I would like to lower that down.

    thank you

  2. cameron Says:

    i just bought an 86 XT 4WD turbo and the guy i bought it from has ripped the air suspension out and installed regular shocks. is there anywhere i can purchase new air suspension componants??? any information is much apprieciated Thanks!!!

  3. Dave Farmar Says:

    I Have 1989 xt6 that air filed on left side the weakest. The right usually comes up and stays after the keys turned off. I need to talk about diagnostics. on air suspension with someone experienced. Thanks Dave Farmar

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