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2013 Subaru Outback
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone - new member here with a 2013 Outback. Very impressed with this forum and the great community in it. :smile2:


I just finished replacing the rear struts on my outback and I checked out other suspension components while in there. I have a question about the following bushing (#18 in the image below and its in position #3 on the rear lateral link at the rear axle housing/spindle).


In my Subaru service manual this is referred to as the "Rear Axle Housing Bushing". I found this bushing to be very loose on both spindles. I could twist this bushing around to its travel limits just using my finger. Is this normal?


I had cupping/feathering issues on my tires (and why I replaced the struts and mounts). Given how this bushing ties the rear lateral link (and strut) to the spindle, any play here would cause play in the suspension and may result in tire wear problems, no?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,118 Posts
You don't want ANY of those bushings loose. If they are, it will definitely cause tire issues. It will also cause alignment and handling issues. Those busings need to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, any idea where I could get the Rear Axle Housing Bushing? When I look at any Subaru online parts sites, they just show these bushings as part of the hub. I might have to physically go to Subaru to see if these can be purchased seperately.


The only aftermarket parts (Whiteline) I could find were referenced in a post "Rear axle housing bushing. How do I remove it?" on RS25.com.


The bushing at the other end of the rear lateral link is sold seperately. Moog also sells the whole rear lateral link with the inner bushing installed.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,118 Posts
I was wondering about the outer bushing and the hub. They don't sell it huh, just part of the hub. That s*cks. The WL is going to be a harder option, but not as much $ as (2) rear hub knuckles.

Getting them out. Well there is press, which most people don't have access to. The hubs would have to come off. The old bushings can be carefully cut out with a hacksaw. These outer bushing rarely ever go bad in the earlier generations. I would make sure those are degraded and tearing before committing to the effort.

I think the Moog arms would be a very good option due to ease pf installation. The same pressing or cutting procedure would be needed to change the inner bushing. A press fr installing for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks traildogck. The inner and outer bushings are not the same design. I did find as seperate parts (finally), just had to dig deeper on the Subaru Parts site. The outer bushings are called "Pillow-Ball Bushings" and its part number 20257XA000. Given the name, it would suggest that these aren't supposed to be as rigid as regular rubber bushings and are likely designed to have alot of travel. Weird, given that it ties the strut to the hub! One would think this would be abit beefier.


When I looked at them, there were no tears or obvious signs of degradation, so I think I'll leave them in for now and watch. The guy on RS25.com said he removed them using a Pitman Arm press on the vehicle, so I'd try that before removing the hub and going to my 10 ton press.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm......did some reading on Pillow Ball bushings and I believe these are meant to move fairly fluidly. The bushing is set in a spherical metal bearing and is way more rigid and precise than a rubber bushing. The rubber covering pillow ball bushings is essentially dust covers and provide no real structure support (see attached image). Contrast these to a regular rubber bushing (see attached image).


I did check my Pillow Ball busihings for any movement, deflection, etc. and these seemed to be ok. I may get ambitous one day and double check them to make sure they are ok.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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It would seem strange the pillow ball outer bushings would fail on a car "this new". I work on lots of Gen3s. That outer bushing is the only one I have never replaced, on any car. It's likely the inner is just toasted and allowing more movement in the arm in general. Since the outer is deigned for more movement anyway.
 
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