air getting into the struts is another possible cause of the strut failture. There is a thread around somewhere about how to check a strut for air and remove the air if present. Even if you didn't use vice grips, it's possible that this caused the failure.
From what I have been reading, it could be that Subaru went with really low quality struts. People are having too many different issues for it to be one or the other. I'll get mine checked this week, and probably have to go back to factory springs or something else until they come out with new struts.
aren't they bilstein? I can't remember from when I was doing the work but they don't seem too cheap...
if you have an NA impreza, you probably don't have a rear anti-sway bar at all. I would recommend getting at least the one off of the WRX if not a RalliTek or better set of bars... without them your springs will be stiff but the car will still roll really bad.
2 rear struts shipped from SGP cost me $197. I'm almost at the point where I might pay the dealership to install the rears so that if it does go bad, it's their ass who's responsible. I could do a flawless install but I'm afraid that they would look for any excuse.
I wonder if I can get mine replaced for free. I installed the shocks the first time myself. Then I found out they gave me the Legacy springs. So I had to get them re-installed, by a Subie dealership. So if my struts are blown, I think it should be warrantied. If not I can surely raise some hell, and then probably have to pay for it anyways!