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2008 Outback Wagon LL Bean Limited 2.5i
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857 Posts
A thought occurs to me...
When I had to remove the inner bushes where the rubber was worn out on an old car suspension, I just put a bolt and nut on it, tight, an impact socket on the bolt head and spun it until the rubber finished disintegrating.
That let me get it out and then I could use the Sawzall blade to cut the outer shell and punch it out.
Saved me using a torch near a very leaky car fuel situation.
Interesting technique. Hopefully it worked. That inner metal is tough to cut around


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2005 Outback; formerly 1950 Caddy model 61, '64 Sedan De Ville, '67,'68,'72 Mustangs etc.
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58 Posts
Interesting technique. Hopefully it worked. That inner metal is tough to cut around


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Yep, it worked...it was a desperation measure at the time, I guess about 26-27 years ago.
Once the inner sleeve was out, I fed a hacksaw blade through the opening, hooked it back into the hacksaw frame, and went to town.
Awkward position, tiring, long day.

Actually, I did it twice. The first time I used the hacksaw, the second I borrowed the Sawzall.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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7 Posts
About 6 months ago, I changed all front and rear bushing on my 2005 Outback with 260K. Brutal 2 days of my life. I'll add my two cents of what I learned. 1/2 Cordless impact wrench is god sent. Used a RIDGID 18-Volt and there was no nut it couldn't handle (I did spray all the thread before hand). I've never had success with screw type presses, used a harbor freight 20 ton press. I think the 20 ton is a better choice than the 12. I had this gear wrench impact set and it was extremely useful because the sockets double as press cups. Be warned, it does not have a 25mm socket and there was one rear bushing that needed that size. Luckily my dad has a collection of random 1/2 sockets.

gearwrench-impact-socket-sets-84948n-64_1000.jpg
I also bought (Search ebay for UNIVERSAL PRESS bushing)
s-l1600.jpg
I really nice to have cups in small incrementing ranges (44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 85, 90). Don't use the bolts for pressing.

When pushing out the bushing, the bushing usually fell between to sizes. For example, lets say a 23mm socket is the largest socket that can push the bushing out through the arm. I would start with a 24mm socket just the break the hold using the 20 ton press then I would switch to the 23mm socket to actually push it through. When pushing the bushing into the arm, it would often ****. Using the example above, I would bolt the 23mm socket the bushing, then push the bushing in with the 24mm. Since the 23mm is sitting in the control arm as you press, it limits the ****. Actually, I think I bolted both sockets, so 23mm/bushing/24mm was all bolted together. Just use another socket on top of the 24mm to get around that nut. I wish I took pics, would be easier.

As for rear trailing arm, don't forget you need to take the front bracket off. The front bolt will not slide out so the whole bracket comes with it. 3 bolts for the bracket I think.
 

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2002 Outback
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1 Posts
This has been an huge learning experience.

Symptoms - Rear End noise on bumpy roads, over large holes and when the rear end drops low.

UPPER Control Arm: Driver side came out only after I cut the inner bolt off with a sawzall. Inner bushing was 100% shot. The bushing rubber was rotted and the steel insert could move freely. One of the bushings was cut out and the other was pressed out on a 12 ton press. I am waiting for poly bushings from Whiteline. Passenger side is still on the car. I will have to cut out the inner bolt. The inner bushing is also 100% shot. The rubber is totally rotted away. I will have to get new bolts for the upper mount.

LOWER Control Arm - FRONT: Driver Side came out easily. These are the control arms shaped line a bone. I did not swap bushings on these and simply put in a new one from AutoZone. No issues other than I had to twist this control arm to get in installed. Passenger side came out a little tougher. The upper bolt had to be cut out with a cutting disk on my grinder. I will need to get another bolt.

LOWER Control Arm - REAR: Driver Side and Passenger Side were a nightmare to get out. The outer bolts came out easily on both side and the associated bushings were still solid. That is a blessing because I was worried about removing these. The inner bushings were both futile efforts. I had to use a sawzall in combination with a cutting wheel to get them out. Inner bushings were 100% shot on both. The bushing rubber was rotted and the steel insert could move freely. The bolts were seized inside the steel collar that passed through the bushings. Good news is the bushings easily pressed out and the new bushings went in even easier. I am ordering two new Cam Bolts.

TRAILING Arm Bushings: I inspected these and found they were both shot. I am probably gonna have to burn them out. That is a project for later this week I hope. I have Whiteline poly bushings for the trailing arms.

OBSERVATIONS:

1) You are crazy if you try to do this with the Ball Joint Removal Tool. I own this tool with all associated attachments and spent over two hours trying to get it to work. These 12 yr old bushings were not budging. The ball joint tool "C" arm kept twisting out of place. I was about to toss it through a window.

2) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting the 12 Ton Press from Harbor Freight. I was $99 after my 20% coupon. I got it home today, assembled it (I recommend using a air ratchet....it will get the job done in half the time). I had my first bushing out of the driver side Upper Control Arm in 15 minutes. I took me another 15 minutes to get the lower rear control arm bushings out and even less time installing the new bushings. Most of my time was spent finding the right size sockets and other tools to remove/replace the bushings.

3) Tools needed that are not normally listed for theses jobs: Sawzall with metal cutting and wood cutting blades. The wood blades seem to cut rubber very well. I would advise getting both short and long blades. These are really cheap at Harbor Freight. Grinder with a Cutting Wheel will make quick business for removing seized bolts that can be reached. It isn't always easy to reach the higher bolts with the grinder (Sawzall for those bolts). Make sure to use eye protection and wear a long heavy sleeved shirt so protect your arms from hot sparks. Extra Tall Jack Stands and a Jack that has at least 20" of lift. This will make your life easier under the car. Make sure to chock the front wheels. Medium Grit sand paper makes cleaning the bore of the control arms much easier. Wirewheel drill attachment to clean the bolt threads. Good Anti-Seize compound to coat the bolt shafts and threads. Good mechanics gloves with rubber backing to protect the top of your hands. My gloves probably save me from stitches 5 times today.

More to follow once I have time to work on the car some more.

PHOTO MISTAKE - #4 is the Lower Rear (NOT UPPER REAR)
Thank you for this post. My rear links (you refer to them as Lower Rear) were seized and no adjustment was possible. The links themselves were bent where a previous owner had hit something while backing up. I tried everything that I could think of to remove those bolts with no luck. When I ran across your post, I knew what had to be done. An angle grinder with a cutting wheel and a Sawzall with metal cutting blades. Worked like a champ! I just got everything reassembled and made a successful test drive. Next stop is the alignment shop. Thanks again for the post. I never would have thought to attack this problem with a grinder.
 

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2006 Legacy Outback 2.5i Limited AT.
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87 Posts
Thank you for the write up!
Last night I replaced bushings in the upper and rear links. Managed to break the bolts free without an impact (I live in the PNW).
Bushings were stubborn, but I was able to use a balljoint press to do the bushing replacements.
I used a slightly smaller diameter socket to start pressing the bushings out. The diamater was just smaller than the metal bushing sleeve, so I was pressing on rubber. This usually got the process started, then I used a larger diameter socket to finish the pressing.
If the bushing wouldn't budge, I'd try pressing from the other side. Luckily they all pressed out without too much trouble. Cheater bar was my friend.
Hardest part was getting everything lined up with the balljoint press, and keeping things straight pressing in the new bushing.
I had already replaced the front links, sway bar bushings, and end links a couple weeks ago.
I ordered new front bushings for the trailing arms... going to attempt these with the balljoint press 😬.

Diff mount bushings looks to be in decent shape, going to leave those alone for now. I also didn't replace the outer bushing where the rear link mounts to the knuckle.

I'm noticing extra wear on the outside of the rear tires, so I'm hopeful that the work done so far plus the trailing arm bushings will clear that issue up after getting an alignment.
 

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2009 Outback Limited 2.5i Pearl White Metallic
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121 Posts
This is a really good write up! I've fought a lot of bushings, etc over the years. The more you do, the more you learn. lol It can take a lot of fortitude to get these jobs done!

I did notice one thing... Those ball joint presses work a lot better when you firmly clamp the heavy press in the vice... and just maneuver the lighter control arm. I'd say you were cussing pretty hard trying to manipulate that heavy clamp, trying to keep everything straight! :) A real oxygen/acetylene torch set is also extremely handy! All those bolts that just won't come off without breaking... Get them nice and orange, and they'll come off like nothing. :)

Yea, I know this is an old post... but I'm new to here and Subaru... so deal. lol

Good Job!

 

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2006 Legacy Outback 2.5i Limited AT.
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87 Posts
Rear trailing arm bushings done, with a lot of headaches along the way.

I used the same method to drop the arm, but was able to use a balljoint press and 3 arm puller to press out the old and in the new. I went with OEM for new. Pressing was the easiest part of the job. I used the advance auto 23 piece rental balljoint press.

Hardest part was absolutely aligning the trailing arm bracket. I'm pretty sure done higher power pitied me and allowed me to line everything up. I too cross threaded one of the bolts on my first try. Got a tap and cleaned up the threads, bolt went in just fine.

For the second arm I used a ratchet strap to pull the arm toward the front of the car. This helped some, and managed to lever everything in line.

Now taking a breather for a bit and waiting for my front struts to come in. Yes, I know how to party.
 

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2005 OB XT 5MT 2015 Outback
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179 Posts
Thanks for all the info in this post. I'll be tackling my 184k rear end after the front in the next few weeks. I'm wondering if I should just order a bushing kit and maybe some spare bolts or complete arms? 🤔
 

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2000 OB Brighton, 2005 OB 2.5 Euro Spec, 2007 OB w/ DIY 2" Lift
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112 Posts
Thanks for all the info in this post. I'll be tackling my 184k rear end after the front in the next few weeks. I'm wondering if I should just order a bushing kit and maybe some spare bolts or complete arms? 🤔
Don’t bother with complete arms. Highly recommend extra bolts though, just in case you have to cut a few.

The universal bushing press kit mentioned in this post was super useful to have when I did my trailing arms. Made taking them out super easy, no cutting of the bushings needed.
If you don’t have a tap and die set, it is also useful for fixing threads on bolts. You’ll need an M14x1.5 size for the trailing arm bolts.
 

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Does anyone know the part numbers for the Front lateral link (dog bone shaped link) bushings? The schematics I'm looking at aren't clear if they use #20254AE01A or #20254AE02A, or another bushing entirely. Is it the same bushing for both the inner and outer holes on the link?
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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Does anyone know the part numbers for the Front lateral link (dog bone shaped link) bushings? The schematics I'm looking at aren't clear if they use #20254AE01A or #20254AE02A, or another bushing entirely. Is it the same bushing for both the inner and outer holes on the link?

Here's my thread about the rear control arms, These rears seem to be the same for all 2005-2009 Legacy's and Outbacks. I got the Moog arms idea from this forum.

 
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Yeah I'm really hoping to do the bushings on their own and use OEM rubber ones for more shock absorption. That's the part number I'm struggling to find. Not really sold on the poly bushings.
 

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2000 OB Brighton, 2005 OB 2.5 Euro Spec, 2007 OB w/ DIY 2" Lift
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Yeah I'm really hoping to do the bushings on their own and use OEM rubber ones for more shock absorption. That's the part number I'm struggling to find. Not really sold on the poly bushings.

Unfortunately, none of the part numbers on any parts diagram seem to correspond to the actual bushings that you’re looking for. The bushing themselves are the same however.

20254AE01A and 20254AE02A won’t fit, unless you feel like welding them in since they’re too small in diameter to fit the holes in the dog bone.

Best bet if you want to replace them is to get an aftermarket copy of the original, the originals, or the Moog adjustable ones. All 3 options have rubber bushings. The Whitelines are the ones with poly bushings.

Cheapest option is a Dorman 524197, half the price of the Subaru part.
 
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