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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all, longtime lurker on the the forums but decided to finally register to get some opinions from the community.

The bushings on my lower inner rear control arms are starting to go out, manifesting as a wobbly clunk over medium sized bumps as well as some sloppy side-to-side jumping depending on the severity of the bump in the road. See the attached pictures for what I'm talking about.

I've been digging through the Suspension "MegaThread" here on SBO and have come up with several options. The first and most blatant one would be to replace the bushings with upgraded Whiteline versions. Naturally, if I was going to replace the bushings I would do so for all points on the control arms (lower inner rear, uppers, inner and outer, etc).

But after having a look at the control arms themselves, plus the pain-in-the-butt I'd be causing my friend/mechanic to press out the bearings, I'm starting to wonder if just replacing both Lower Control Arms entirely is the better course of action. They are starting to look rough themselves even after only 90K miles. Of course if I did so, I'd get the aluminum ones, although the only ones I've found so far were from Rock Auto, and the opinion of the Suspension thread wasn't very positive. (MevoTeck #CMS80182 and CMS80181)

So, in a nutshell, which options would you (collectively and individually) choose were you in this position? Am I at least looking at all of the correct materials? What sort of handling issues would improve or be made worse by either the bushing upgrade or the control arm replacement?

Thank you all in advance for your input, good or bad. I'd include pictures and links but I'm new as a registered member, but if anyone wants photos of what I'm dealing with I can probably PM them to you.

- J.D

EDIT: Woo, hit 10 posts! Here are some gore-shots of my poor bushings, in particular the rear lower.
 

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I did stock replacement ones. Don't regret it. Definitely simplifies the labor and freshens everything up. plusses and minuses between the aluminum and steel as well as the bushings to consider for your specific wants/needs
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Isis, would you elaborate on your post a bit? Specifically, what am I gaining and losing if I went aluminum with tougher bushings versus stock again?

Also does anyone know if this is a frequently recurring issue with the control arm bushings? if I go brand new (and have no problem doing so), I'd really, REALLY like to not think about it again for a ton of miles. Heck if I could get the things made from titanium and depleted uranium I'd go for it in a heartbeat. LOL
 

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My bushings held up for 130k and while torn, were not torn completely through so they would have still held up a bit longer. The problem with LCA rear bushings is they have to twist axially with the bolt and allow the front of the arm to rock up and down. Moog came up with a design called the "problem solver" which makes the bushing more of an axial ball and socket joint. The Mevotech rear bushing does the same. It is solid and allows some free movement in the twist direction as well as letting the arm rock up and down with the rear bushing as the pivot point.

You don't show your location in your profile. In dry sunny climates, the stock LCA held up fine for me. In road salt climates, Ive seen Youtube videos where the LCA literally dissolved and snapped. The aluminum LCA is more rust resistant.

Here's one of my many posts on my LCA swap
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Agreed...if you want easy removal/install.
And to respond directly to you as well, my friend.......I want tougher stuff that won't break ideally for at least 50K miles, and in a perfect world, improve my handling. I'm not a race car driver, but I love going for a drive on a windy road in the middle of the forest somewhere, so anything that makes my steering more.....dynamic, lets say, is a perfect fit for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My bushings held up for 130k and while torn, were not torn completely through so they would have still held up a bit longer. The problem with LCA rear bushings is they have to twist axially with the bolt and allow the front of the arm to rock up and down. Moog came up with a design called the "problem solver" which makes the bushing more of an axial ball and socket joint. The Mevotech rear bushing does the same. It is solid and allows some free movement in the twist direction as well as letting the arm rock up and down with the rear bushing as the pivot point.

You don't show your location in your profile. In dry sunny climates, the stock LCA held up fine for me. In road salt climates, Ive seen Youtube videos where the LCA literally dissolved and snapped. The aluminum LCA is more rust resistant."





Ah, this is some find information to chew through, and thank you for the reply. I live in Morgantown, West Virginia. We get all of the most miserable climate conditions from bitter frozen cold to blistering heat, from wet to dry several times a day even.

More to your point, when you can persuade the Department of Highways to run the salt trucks in winter......they lay down metric tons of the stuff.

I have my eye on 2 Mevotech Lower arms from Rock Auto literally as I type this to you. Tell me, how do they handle having lived with them for a while?
 

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They work fine. Most of my driving is in the city, on highways and in suburbs, but I did take a couple of trips lately through some logging roads and trails in the Sierras and they held up just fine. Just make sure you tighten, torque and double check your work.
 

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My control arms from rock auto are arriving today. I'm also doing wheel bearings, moog inner and outer tie rods and ball joints. Install in Friday. My car has 218k was a new England car so it's rough under there. I'll report back with results.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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My control arms from rock auto are arriving today. I'm also doing wheel bearings, moog inner and outer tie rods and ball joints. Install in Friday. My car has 218k was a new England car so it's rough under there. I'll report back with results.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Hope you have a hot torch, penetrating oil, and a lot of time to work out the 14mm pinch bolt. Don't use a breaker bar on it. Stick to a 3/8 ratchet.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
 

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Hey Isis, would you elaborate on your post a bit? Specifically, what am I gaining and losing if I went aluminum with tougher bushings versus stock again?

Also does anyone know if this is a frequently recurring issue with the control arm bushings? if I go brand new (and have no problem doing so), I'd really, REALLY like to not think about it again for a ton of miles. Heck if I could get the things made from titanium and depleted uranium I'd go for it in a heartbeat. LOL
Steel has a bit of shock absorbing quality that the aluminum lacks and the harder bushings transmit road noise. They will be a bit harsher and louder. Mine is just a commuter that never gets pushed except for an onramp blast once a month or so. Keeping it quiet and compliant has it's merits if you don't thrash on it ever. Plus mine is lifted so it's not gonna handle like a slot car no matter what you do to it.
 

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And to respond directly to you as well, my friend.......I want tougher stuff that won't break ideally for at least 50K miles, and in a perfect world, improve my handling. I'm not a race car driver, but I love going for a drive on a windy road in the middle of the forest somewhere, so anything that makes my steering more.....dynamic, lets say, is a perfect fit for me.
The Mevotech Aluminum arms have a solid bushing. Megan Racing sells solid replacement rear LCA bushings. I have used both...

I am a amateur race car driver...and I like both of the above. The Mevotech is a bolt in arm, complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am a armature race car driver...and I like both of the above. The Mevotech is a bolt in arm, complete.
Follow up question: as racing parts, I can understand why you'd like the Mavotechs. Would you put the aluminum arms on a "daily driver" vehicle, dealing mostly with city and some rural traffic? Or is the noise/vibration a very noticeable tradeoff?

Wasn't trying to ruin my beloved Outback's road noises entirely, or turn a gravel road into someone firing bird shot under my tires if I drive over one.
 

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My control arms from rock auto are arriving today. I'm also doing wheel bearings, moog inner and outer tie rods and ball joints. Install in Friday. My car has 218k was a new England car so it's rough under there. I'll report back with results.
I was going to say that since you have to disconnect the sway bar from the LCA anyway, you should replace the sway bar end links and while you're at it, the swaybar bushings. If you were doing this yourself you could get them later and it's just a 15-20 minute job because it's the first thing you do after you lift the car.

But since you're having a mechanic do this, maybe you can see if you can find some end links and bushings locally and give them to the mechanic to replace. It ought to be close to a "nearly no extra effort" job. My end links were actually OK but since I already bought new ones, I simply threw them on.

Just FYI, ask to get the old LCA's back and see how well they held up to NE road salts and winters. Post pics if you can for the rest of us.

Thanks
 

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Follow up question: as racing parts, I can understand why you'd like the Mavotechs. Would you put the aluminum arms on a "daily driver" vehicle, dealing mostly with city and some rural traffic? Or is the noise/vibration a very noticeable tradeoff?

Wasn't trying to ruin my beloved Outback's road noises entirely, or turn a gravel road into someone firing bird shot under my tires if I drive over one.
I doubt its all that bad.
 

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Follow up question: as racing parts, I can understand why you'd like the Mavotechs. Would you put the aluminum arms on a "daily driver" vehicle, dealing mostly with city and some rural traffic? Or is the noise/vibration a very noticeable tradeoff?

Wasn't trying to ruin my beloved Outback's road noises entirely, or turn a gravel road into someone firing bird shot under my tires if I drive over one.
Armature...lol

Yes, there is a difference. But there is a compliance (comfort) performance trade off for everything.

You can't have both.

Cherry has stock steel LCAs and during the urban decay of Denver streets...I don't consider it comfortable or quiet. These chassis and suspension love to clunk around. Frankie has the Mevotech and and LGT steering rack, and the Perrin lock down. I prefer the handling since these cars are not smooth & quiet anyway.

If you can get behind the wheel of a WRX or STI...they have AL LCAs.
 

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I actually didn't feel much difference between the original stock LCA's and Mevotechs myself (once I properly torqued that rear bushing bolt and the clunking stopped). Only the satisfaction that I didn't have to worry about the LCA's again for a long time.
 
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