Struts still rattling -shop says it’s the insulator

We just had the struts replaced on our 2004 Outback Limited. KYBs, installed by a reputable independent shop. There was a hellacious rattle from the left front before (this at 108k miles). There’s still an obvious rattle with the new struts over rough pavement, but not nearly as bad as before. I took it back to have the balljoints replaced, but they said the joints are fine, and the rattling is from a worn rubber cushion on the springs.

I don’t see how a spring under that much compression could rattle in its seat, tired rubber or not. It just feels loose. Smooth as glass over good pavement, going into driveways and such, but it rattles on potholed and cracked streets. Weird.

I usually did my own struts in the past and may pull these out to investigate. I’ve read here about the pinch bolts being a little loose and the conical washer at the top getting put back inverted, so I can check those out, and of course replace whatever rubber cushions are in there. I just don’t know why the shop didn’t check with me if the rubber was questionable.

Any thoughts? Thanks!

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