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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks, good to see this forum still busy. I had a high speed shimmy that finally got bad enough for my wife to pull the trigger and buy the parts (KYB Excel shocks and Mevotech LCA's from rockauto.com)

I went under the car to investigate a high speed shimmy and shake in the car, and found a whole bunch of bad bushings, and recently got under there again and found both front struts leaking. '12 OB 2.5i CVT with 75,000mi all original suspension.

Anyways I popped the strut and the LCA off at the same time #baddecisionthere. Got the strut changed out and reassembled, and put back in, and tried to use the jack to push the ball joint back into the knuckle...no go and pulled the CV shaft out of the transaxle when it all shifted sideways. Yay more work. But to sum this up, I spent 8 hours working and finally got one side done. No easy task to say the least, but I found some tips to help those that do a lower control arm change and a strut change assembled into the same spot for easy reading:

1. Don't remove two parts at once, just one at a time.
2. Using standard spring compressors, hook one under the strut seat curve for the spring and go up three turns and hook the other up on three coils only and you'll have enough room to tighten them down enough to get the pad+cap+bearing back on there.
3. Strut-Knuckle bolts are inserted towards the front, top one has a washer, bottom doesn't. Nuts are front side. Book says torque values are approx 100 ftlbs.
4. Use a socket sideways, working upwards from 14mm or so, jack the knuckle/ball joint up, hold the socket sideways between the LCA and the knuckle close to the ball joint, and let it down slowly. The strut spring will press down and hold the socket in place, then drop the jack quickly and it'll pop that first ball joint out about 10-20%. Go up to a bigger socket and then repeat, pop it out about 80% and you can put a bar in there and take it off without much more issue.
5. Use a ball joint removal tool to pop the new ball joint out of the new LCA without damaging the boot. Then, after cleaning out the knuckle hole, antiseize, insert, then hammer that ball joint into the knuckle, only took about 8 good whacks and it was fully seated. Mine didn't go in any other way, no matter what I tried or how much force I used. Then just press on the end of the LCA and start wiggling that pin into the hole.
6. For the LCA's, attach the sway bar last. Torque values are 114ftlbs and 70 ftlbs respectively for the LCA frame bolts.
7. Antiseize every smooth portion of every bolt, insert, and then put loctite on the threads. Will prevent seizing.
8. If your CV pops out, it goes in easiest straight, and can be insert by hand with force and constant pressure, even if it has the snap ring in it.
9. Rear bushings in LCA's had tears through them over 1CM long on both sides. Side with new LCA no longer shimmy's while driving.
10. OEM struts sank with about 20lbs of pressure on them. New ones took well over 80lbs to start moving. Huge difference.
11. Take the time to take off your brake caliper/rotors. You won't get crap on them like antiseizewhile doing the work and need to clean them.

OEM factory original strut mounts/bearings were apparently damaged upon install. They were crunchy and had grease out of them. They haven't been touched since the car was bought new in 2012.

I hurt everywhere. Next weekend, the other side. Saving $300-$400 per side in labor tho, so worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Alrighty, got the second (and by far the worst) arm replaced in the car, so now there are two new arms in there now, yay! True to form aftermarket ball joint attached to that control arm had a slice in it's rubber boot so luckily I had replacement balljoint ready and waiting just in case I accidentally damaged one in the install process.

It has no more wild vibration at 55mph and 75mph. So, problem solved there. I took a picture of this bush, which had 4 total tears in it. The other side had about two that I could see.

Now to replace these OEM LCA bushes with poly and get some new ball joints and I'll have a replacement set ready to go.
 

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2011 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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If possible, just order completely new LCAs from rockauto.com. You can buy them with all new bushes (bushings) and a new ball joint included. They won't be poly but you can just knock the ball joint out, remove 2 bolt and put the whole new control arm assembly back in. Save yourself time and a lot of effort.

Way to give this project a go and good luck on finishing this out! I just did all new suspension and control arms on all 4 corners of my '11 outback and boy does it feel better :)
 
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