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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I just went through a whole front end rebuild short of control arm bushings, and I still have a loud metallic clunk when turning left or when going over bumps. Sounds like its coming from the strut mount, but I just replaced that. I can go 100 miles and not hear a thing, then in 50 miles over the same roads you hear it over every little bump and left turn. Then it goes quiet again, so its not consistent at all.

I'm wondering if I just got one from a bad batch of parts. There is a mix of brands but I think the mounts were Mevotechs. I've used their parts in the past with success but this knock is driving me nuts, the whole car quieted down in the front end after the rebuild, and felt tighter, I've gone through the whole corner looking for possible loose parts, didn't find any. I don't want to lay down 100 bucks for strut mounts again if they're not the problem.

New ball joints, tie rods, steering rack (was failing), KYB GR2 struts, new tires, and new strut mounts, I didn't do the springs. But I used Legacy struts vs the outbacks, they were cheaper and I heard of people doing such a mod to lower the car a lil. I also have had to replace the front sway bar, as that snapped, rear sway bar end links snapped, replaced that sway bar with a Baja Turbo rear sway while I was at it back there. Only thing I haven't done is the rear shocks. Those are dead but I'm holding off, will do the Legacy shocks to drop it down a lil when I do those.

How do you check for bad mounts short of taking it apart? I try to move or shake it and I get nothing. But its the only thing it could be....
 

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Did you install new sway bar bushings and links?
You mentioned a new sway bar, just wondering how much of it was new.

Also, I had a brand new shock once that had about 1/2" of play in the shaft before it would "engage" going in or out. It was not that it needed to be bled, as it was bled, and even after nearly 1,000 miles it was still clunking with every bump. The mechanic knew it was like that and he also knew I was leaving the next morning to go 500 miles south for a couple of weeks then 500 back north. Instead of admitting that he (or Monroe) made a mistake, he silently installed it.

I was ripping angry over that one.
That was the third mistake that guy made and it was the last one for me, three is enough, especially when it is THREE INCIDENTS IN A ROW!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When I replaced the swaybar, I installed new poly bushings and Moog endlinks. That should be a non issue. Could it be I got a bad strut? It does clunk pretty bad. The old struts were dead. I hate these style struts bec its impossible to tel if they're bad. You can't get the rebound due to the spring. It really bugs me that its so inconsistent too.
 

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I recall the clunky speed bump thing surfacing a while back. I think someone discovered a loose power steering hose that would flex and hit something causing a loud clunk every time they crossed over a speed bump. Can't recall what years those models were though might be able to search the forum on power steering hose bracket and find it
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I recall the clunky speed bump thing surfacing a while back. I think someone discovered a loose power steering hose that would flex and hit something causing a loud clunk every time they crossed over a speed bump. Can't recall what years those models were though might be able to search the forum on power steering hose bracket and find it
I thought of that, and then recalled how quiet it was when I first put the shocks in. I don't think that is the problem. It has 220K miles on it. Possible I got a bad part when I got parts for it. Checked it over, I think its down to the strut or the top hat. Maybe I'll ask the subie dealer to check that out. I have to ask them for clarification on the roll connector instructions anyway.

One of the top hat studs on the drivers side snapped when I tightened it, wasn't even that tight, but that side is quiet other than road noise or the tire occasionally rubbing due to the lower strut. Its the other side that is making noises that can be disconcerting. Everything was tight checked the balljoints and tie rods, thats not the issue. This is making clunks over even cracks in the road. Yet sometimes over those same cracks it doesn't do anything. Its the inconsistency that is throwing me off, could be this then it doesn't do it so you think its not the problem.
 

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You broke one of three studs on the driver's side front strut mount, but you are getting the noises on the passenger's side front?

Is there a way to mold some play-doe around the two top mounts in such a way so as there will be an indication of movement that occurred that you can just open the hood and just look, see?
 

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Is the loud sound coming from below? Have you replaced the rear pivots on the lower control arm? They are #14/#15 in the following image
I just replaced mine (upgraded to the Whiteline KCA375 with max caster) and found that quite a lot of my problems were due to worn out bushings. I have 190k miles on my Outback.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the loud sound coming from below? Have you replaced the rear pivots on the lower control arm? They are #14/#15 in the following image
I just replaced mine (upgraded to the Whiteline KCA375 with max caster) and found that quite a lot of my problems were due to worn out bushings. I have 190k miles on my Outback.
I haven't done those bushings, honestly how hard were those ones to do? I am thinking of doing them. The noise seems to be coming from higher up, like right near where the strut and strut top hat are. I can't say whether its a bad strut or top hat though. I would think that if it was a strut it would be more consistent. Same goes fort the top hat. If I take it really gentle with the turning motion you don't hear anything no matter what, if I drive enthusiast style you hear it. The bushing makes sense since it seems to happen when under load.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I went out, pulled the wheel, and hit the control arm with a bfh. The pivot bushing turns when the hammer strikes the arm. The back half I can turn with my fingers while its in the air. Are those bushings shot? or is that only a part of the bushing that is independent of the bushing itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You broke one of three studs on the driver's side front strut mount, but you are getting the noises on the passenger's side front?

Is there a way to mold some play-doe around the two top mounts in such a way so as there will be an indication of movement that occurred that you can just open the hood and just look, see?
Yeah, the drivers side is actually quiet. No noise to really speak of. The Passenger side sounded like someone beating on the side of a shipping container metallic clunking. Thats what surprised me more than anything. I didn't want to order one side top hat and find the other side was a bad part. Want to find the problem then order it all at once. I am thinking I'll get that bushing kit, but only and only if its needed. Don't want to order parts that don't need to be replaced.

I may pay a visit to the dealer and see if they'll check it over for me. I want to see if they have a BRZ I can try out, since I am interested in getting a newer car in the next two years. May keep the Outback as a winter beater.
 

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Are you sure that you got the spherical washing in the strut assembly in right side up? And that the spring is seated property in the tophat? That's what I would look at...
 

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I went out, pulled the wheel, and hit the control arm with a bfh. The pivot bushing turns when the hammer strikes the arm. The back half I can turn with my fingers while its in the air. Are those bushings shot? or is that only a part of the bushing that is independent of the bushing itself?
I am not sure what parts are rotating from the description. However, all of the bushings (#26, #14 & #15) should be one piece bonded rubber from the center metal tube to the outer shell pressed into the lower control arm. If any of the rubber rotates independently then the bushing is dead. Replacement time.

The front (#26) have to be pressed out of the control arm. The OEM part number 20201AA000 (x2). The STI upgraded part from RalliSpec is RST-2027F (x2) upgrading to STI parts in the front position does not make as much of a difference in control as the rear position below (#14/#15).

The rear (#14/#15) can be OEM replacement which includes the entire bracket. The OEM part numbers are Right 20201AC100 and Left 20201AC110. Alternatively you can press out the center and upgrade them to STI parts or Urethane parts. The STI upgraded part from RalliSpec is RST-2027R (x2). Adding caster from aftermarket 'Autocross' urethane is a marked improvement (Whiteline KCA375 or SuperPro SPF1388AK). I just did this on my car. Know that it will increase the noise and vibration.

Source of OEM part numbers: http://opposedforces.com/parts/legacy/us_b12/type_25/suspension_and_axle/front_suspension/
 

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I may be looking at replacing these bushings in the future (still have a noise coming from below - it has gotten better since I changed the stabilizer bar links/bushings, but I still hear some noises). Question is, where would I get these parts? I don't see them listed at many parts stores, and do not see an Outback listed in the link you provided for RalliSpec. Also, how much of a job would it be to change these?
 

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I am unclear which bushings you are talking about. Either way they are all the same...none are spec-ed for the Legacy/Outback. They are all Impreza STI parts which happen to interchange with the Legacy parts. Thus you can't find them for the Legacy. I had a shop press the old bushings out and press in the new ones. Pretty straight forward for them with the press.

The original replacement parts are found at the dealer or online dealer. Upgraded parts like STI or Urethane parts are found online at specialty stores. Local parts supply houses never carry these kind of parts because it is not worth it to keep it in stock.
 
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