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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I spinned on a wet road (another thread discussing why) and hit the curb with rear wheels. I'm now trying to see if I can fix it myself. A month ago I replaced LCA and it was certainly doable. The rear looks more complicated, and I'm not yet sure what exactly has to be replaced.

Both trailing arms are bended (left side looks even twisted -- first I couldn't believe left and right side trailing arms are the same part!). Front lateral link on the left is obviously bended too. I'm not sure about the rear one and those on the right side -- visually they look OK. I'll probably replace the one in the left anyway and keep right side ones. It was relatively easy to unbolt trailing arms from wheel housing (I used electric impact wrench), but I can't see how could I possibly unbolt the other side of the arm. One idea is to remove the bracket (more bolts, but accessible), which attaches it to the body and then unbolt arm from the bracket.

Lateral links bolts securing them to the crossmember are all rusted, there is no space for a socket let alone impact wrench. I tried a "normal" wrench after lots of PB blaster but it was pathetic so I'm stuck. The big bolt holding links to the wheel hub is stuck too, but at least it's accessible so I only need bigger leverage to get it out.

Could anything else be bended / damaged? Axles look fine, not sure how to check them otherwise.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here are few more pictures. Those on the lift are taken in a shop, which quoted $5,500 for the repair.

Here is what I'm planning to get thus far in terms of parts.

20270AA001 Trailing arm rear $64.46 2
20255AA300 (20255AA301) Lateral link assembly-rear, right $86.36 1
20255AA310 (20255AA311) Lateral link assembly-rear, left $86.36 1
20250AA002 (20250AA003) Lateral link assembly-front $86.36 2
28111AC161 Wheel $175.00 1

Total: $650
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,345 Posts
For $650 a decent bodyshop could do a better job than what I could do. Maybe you have the skill to do it, maybe not. Maybe Cardoc could look at it for you and give you a parts list and an idea of anything else. The pictures tell me I'd want to get eyes on the car to be sure.
 

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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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724 Posts
agatx,

You have a 16 year old car. There are lots of them in the wrecking yards, and you live in a state where they don't use salt on the roads. I would wonder if you might be better off sourcing an entire rear end sub assembly (with or with out the differential) and swap it with yours. Obviously your rear brake components may be in better shape, and you would swap them over, or not. It could be a cheaper route to go.

Again that depends on what the cost difference would be, whether you have access to a hoist, and other factors.

I bought a new Corvette in 1977 and skidded it sideways into a curb trying to avoid hitting a dog. Not only were the various links to the one side bent, but the spindle for the one rear wheel as well. While on a hoist, a spin of the wheel showed the bent spindle, and wheel. Worth checking out.

You may find this route cheaper, or not, depending on a lot of variables, and your access to hoists/tools/experience. Good luck, whichever way you go.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
I've rebuilt quite a few Subaru's, you are on the right track and this shouldn't be that terrible. Annoying of course but that appears easily repairable.

I'd get a complete used rear suspension assembly.

Replacing piece-meal can add up fast and might not cover everything - are struts bent, sway bar, did strut mount tear, did the rear diff see any damage that might show up later, wear tires out quicker, etc. Sometimes it's easier just to get rid of any possible damage from the start.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market
Or contact cardoc (member here in Austin), he may have access to parts vehicles.

Those wheels aren't worth much and easily available used for $30 - $60 each.

Struts can get bent too, they are also the one part I'd replace with new while it's apart.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,192 Posts
I third buying an entire subframe / suspension for your gen 1 Outback. There are many available.

On a related note, I saw someone on Craigslist selling front and rear subframes from an 05 obxt for 500$ asking price with the rear differentials, cv's, brakes, etc.

Fortunately, most of the parts on these cars are pretty easy (relatively speaking) to disassemble and reassemble. You also may be able to find some used aluminum arm JDM stuff on the internet which is well made. Good luck!:29:
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot! I'll try finding a complete suspension assy. I don't have another car at the moment, which makes it a bit harder but sounds like I could save a bunch and do a better job that way.
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,192 Posts
Thanks a lot! I'll try finding a complete suspension assy. I don't have another car at the moment, which makes it a bit harder but sounds like I could save a bunch and do a better job that way.
Exactly. Plus you can clean things up all tidy, check for leaks and replace worn bushings, etc.

It's like Lego's for big kids!
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
A little update and more questions. I followed your advice and picked up rear suspension (sans crossmember) for $150 on craigslist. It proved invaluable -- after taking my rear suspension apart I could see damage in almost every part I replaced so if I went with original plan of using new parts, I'll spend a fortune and more time.

It took me two weekends to finish but it didn't quite work (yet) -- the left wheel where the most damage was made wouldn't stand straight even at the extreme position of adjusting bolt. I figured I need to replace the last thing I hoped I can keep so I went back and paid $50 more to get the crossmember and plan to work on it this weekend. To add to that I stripped thread on one of the bolt holes where rear trailing arm attaches to the body :( Some questions, I need help with:

1. Should I drain rear diff before removing it? How much does it weight approximately? I don't have transmission jack to support it, so want to know what I'll have to deal with. I have a simple bottle jack but afraid it may not be adequate when lowering / lifting the diff.

2. I assume I don't have to remove muffler to replace crossmember even though FSM says it's required. What is your experience?

3. The bolt, which attaches the arm to the body looks like M11x1.25. Can anyone confirm that or at least that it's metric? I'll probably get Helicoil to patch the hole but not sure about exact specs. Or maybe there is a better way to fix it?
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,192 Posts
Regarding the differential, I can tell you from personal experience that its not that heavy. Just unbolt the diff, remove one cv joint (brakes, hib and all) and then swing it down onto your chest. Just remove one of the bolts for the crossmember below the diff and it will hokd up most of the weight.

Once the cv is removed, its really easy. Maybe 25 lbs max.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks! 25 lbs is not too bad. It looks more like 50 from outside :)

Just remove one of the bolts for the crossmember below the diff and it will hokd up most of the weight.
I'm not sure I understood this part. Could you explain?
 

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Gallery Ninja, ,
2004 Outback "Bluebaru" & 2005 Outback XT
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5,192 Posts
There is a removeable metal piece under the diff that is retained by two bolts. Remove only one nut amd bolt. This support will ease the removal and install as the tension of the bushings makes things easier.

I can post up furthwr details if you need help. Its really easy once you remove one of the cv's. P.s. take a photo of the drum brakes before you remove the e brake drums. ;) you'll see,
Just go for it!
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So on the attached picture my goal is to replace part #2. Are you saying the best way to remove rear diff, which is on the way is to unbolt the diff front member (part #13) on one side only?

My original plan was to remove 8 bolts, attaching part #4 to the bottom of the diff.
 

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'97 Outback, 2.5L Auto; '02 MB E320
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49 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I'm back on the road! Thanks for all the help!

Removing rear diff and crossmember was fairly easy -- certainly doable solo with no special tools. I still didn't understand what Boxxerace was proposing so used my original plan. I must say putting back rear diff proved tricky even with the help from a friend. It took us maybe 5 attempts before we could massage it back in.

I aligned wheels using rope attached to the front wheels stretched to the back but still going to have a shop do their computerized alignment just to be safe. I'm not going to go to Goodyear, who did it last time though. After removing front wheel while bleeding brakes today I saw the steering boot was twisted badly -- it certainly wasn't like that before they did the alignment.
 
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