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2008 Outback 2.5i, 2009 Forrester 2.5 sohc
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606 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm taking my Outback in for warranty work on the front drive shaft boot. I looked at the control arm bushings. They have small cracks. Lots of small cracks in the rubber. There is not a single crack around the perimeter, just lots of small cracks. Should I ask they should be replaced under the warranty also or from the picture, do they still look in spec?
 

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2001 Legacy L Sedan, 2009 Impreza Sedan, 2013 Crosstrek, 2016 WRX
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149 Posts
Old post but still relevant and I wish someone had replied to you. Mine look exactly like this. Not completely cracked like some pictures I have seen but many little cracks like your picture.

Can anyone on here chime in with when to replace recommendations?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,201 Posts
The above bushing is fine...the pics below are ones you want to look out for.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,201 Posts
The above are NOT really worn out at all...The small cracks are OK, it's the big tears I have pics of above.

I do NOT like the NRG Suspension bushing here. Poly is very hard, and I don't like the design...but that's me...
 

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2001 Legacy L Sedan, 2009 Impreza Sedan, 2013 Crosstrek, 2016 WRX
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149 Posts
The above are NOT really worn out at all...The small cracks are OK, it's the big tears I have pics of above.

I do NOT like the NRG Suspension bushing here. Poly is very hard, and I don't like the design...but that's me...
Thanks for the help!
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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4,623 Posts
The above are NOT really worn out at all...The small cracks are OK, it's the big tears I have pics of above.

I do NOT like the NRG Suspension bushing here. Poly is very hard, and I don't like the design...but that's me...
OEM? Or is there a " group N" type bushing that works?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,201 Posts
OEM? Or is there a " group N" type bushing that works?
There is a group N, and there are the STI as well. Both are upgrades over stock.

WhiteLine makes a poly one with voids and it is bonded to a sleeve like the OEM style.

Megan Racing also makes a solid hard rubber one, I have used those in a steel set of LCAs and plan to press them into my JDM aluminum arms.
 

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Outbrat XT, Foz, 3.0R Limited
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4,623 Posts
There is a group N, and there are the STI as well. Both are upgrades over stock.

WhiteLine makes a poly one with voids and it is bonded to a sleeve like the OEM style.

Megan Racing also makes a solid hard rubber one, I have used those in a steel set of LCAs and plan to press them into my JDM aluminum arms.
Do I dare by the weird cheap aluminum arms when it's time? Do they come with the bushings already? The rear suspension will be addressed first on this car. Just put snows on it, needs all seasons as well. Probably going to need an AVCS solenoid, needs plugs too.
 

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Outback 2008 Base
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14 Posts
Shouldn't the cracked bushings be replaced soon? Someone posted them saying they weren't worn "at all" but clearly they are. Mine are like this and I'm wondering if it's causing a clunk upon hitting bumps, or if it is something else like a strut mount that is ripped. The control arm bushings looked cracked in many places but not ripped.
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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966 Posts
No you don't need to replace bushings that are radially cracked. They are still holding the center fixture just fine and are able to keep twisting and return to their original position.

If you take your car to a dealer, they will tell you the bushings are cracked and will offer to replace them for $$$. They are telling you the truth, they are cracked, but they aren't telling you these are no longer doing their job.

You can get replacement bushings for about $15 or as low as $5 and press out/press in the replacements. At that point you might as well swap out the ball joints for another $17. The horizontal bushing is another $15, but it takes almost no stress so you can really get away with never replacing it.

If you live in the rust belt, you should closely examine the control arm for rust. If the paint gets chipped off, it is a starting point for rust. I've seen some LCA's on Youtube videos where they literally broke apart from rust. The "cheap aluminum" arms are not prone to rust and they are not cheap (depending on your definition of "cheap"). The Mevotechs are about $30-$40 more expensive than the Doorman steel arms.



Did I need to replace my bushings? Eventually, yes. These had 138,000 miles on them. They may have held up for another year but I wanted to get an alignment on the 4 wheels anyway so this would be a good time to change the entire arm and not bother with pressing out bushings.



You can see that most of the LCA was in very good shape but there were some exposed spots. If they were continuously doused in road salts, they would have been badly rusted.
 

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2001 Legacy L Sedan, 2009 Impreza Sedan, 2013 Crosstrek, 2016 WRX
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2008 Outback 2.5
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protivakid,
IMO, they look like they're still doing their job, the circumferential cracks are just age and are showing because you have the car lifted up and the control arm hanging down. The stress shows that most of the rubber is still intact and holding the bolt and control arm together.
 
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