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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ordered Whiteline WL51710 bushings to replace my front LCA rear inner bushings on both sides. Its my understanding that after I burn the old rubber bushing out, I need to remove the inner ring of the bracket so the new poly bushing can go in.

Now, my questions are:

1: I burnt the rubber out of the left side bracket and I removed 2 rings (about 1/4-1/2" wide) inside of the bracket, leaving what looks like a second ring. There are also what look like 2 non functional grease fittings inside the ring. These fittings (?) broke off. Are they important since I am installing Whiteline WL51710 poly bushings?

2: It looks like there is a 1/4" thick ring that said grease fittings (?) screwed into. Can/does this ring get removed so I can install the new bushings?

3: Do I have to press the new WL bushings into the brackets?
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
One more things to note: The biggest problem I am having (which is why I asked about that inner ring that is still left over) is that with the shoulders on the new bushing, it doesn't fit through the control arm bracket. So do I trim the shoulders off the bushing (which I think is wrong according to Whiteline's install sheet), or do I cut out this ring with a hacksaw and hope the bushing fits tight?
 

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98 limit leg back 2.5 4EAT
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I believe you are talking about the outer race of the bushing. The metal sleeve that is still in the control arm. yes, remove it. No, don't cut your new poly bushing.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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and your new poly bushings likely came with a coupla packets of grease to smear on them. so no zerk fittings involved.
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
and your new poly bushings likely came with a coupla packets of grease to smear on them. so no zerk fittings involved.

I got 1 packet of grease to do both sides :rolleyes: Of which, half was already smeared on the bushings because the packet was damaged :mad: Not too happy about that, however I am in luck. I have a couple packets of Monroe branded caliper slide pin grease in the toolbox from my sister's last brake job :p

Funny thing about the zerk fitting....it didnt go all the way through aluminum bracket. It was on the inside of the bushing with no access to it. And it appears the the ring (race) that it is attached to is hollow underneath. I've already pulled 2 inner rings (inner races?) that were only at the sides of the bracket.

BTW, I am doing this with the control arm still on the car. There is enough room that I can shift the control arm down and remove the bushing, in case anyone hasn't found this out yet (I searched for a how to on this but to no avail). I plan to get some photos tomorrow and post up a short how to in this thread. Provided reassembly goes according to plan.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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wow - yeah I'd like to see how you re-work that inner one on the car.

I think most folks either buy a whole new arm, or take it out to use a press, or the hacksaw method to swap that bushing. Didn't know the sleeve was 3 -piece either.
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Certainly not easy ;) :D Getting the old bushing off wasn't bad (done without use of air tools, although if I had the choice I would be using air power). However I have a feeling that getting the new one back in is going to be a bit tougher (do to the design of the bushing and the clearance available).

I didnt want to remove the control arm because I am too cheap right now to pay for an alignment :p And the only reason I am even replacing these is because my mechanic refused to pass the car for safety inspection due to "cracked/worn control arm bushing causing play in control arm" :rolleyes: Car drove fine, had a bit of vibration in the wheel and some slight wander at around 70-75 on the highway, but nothing major.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Certainly not easy ;) :D Getting the old bushing off wasn't bad (done without use of air tools, although if I had the choice I would be using air power). However I have a feeling that getting the new one back in is going to be a bit tougher (do to the design of the bushing and the clearance available).

I didnt want to remove the control arm because I am too cheap right now to pay for an alignment :p And the only reason I am even replacing these is because my mechanic refused to pass the car for safety inspection due to "cracked/worn control arm bushing causing play in control arm" :rolleyes: Car drove fine, had a bit of vibration in the wheel and some slight wander at around 70-75 on the highway, but nothing major.
I THINK there may be a way to use a long bolt, stacks of washers (or big sockets, pieces of pipe, w'ever) to press in the new bushing - probably take a lot of force.

good luck
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Going to run over to Flat Four Specialties in Mertztown and talk to Rich Hammersly. Have him take a look at these brackets and see if I should cut that other race(?) out or not. From the looks of it, the outer race or whatever the .... it is needs to come out. From there I am to understand that these 51710 bushings should push right through by hand.

Edit: After talking to Rich, it looks like it is the outer race of the bushing, and that it needs to be pressed out. Looks like a trip to the machine shop is in order, unless I can borrow the use of a press from a friend. Or take a hacksaw to it and cut it out, which is going to take darn near forever since its hardened steel :p


Rich also said that once the outer race is out, the new bushings should slide right through with the crush tube removed.

Photos and how to are forthcoming as I tie up the rest of this job :)

One thing I will say right now, if anyone is planning on doing this: Make sure you have a high heat torch. I had to use a propane torch to break the lateral nut free from the control arm (and a 3/4" breaker bar to break the 19mm bushing bracket bolts free). MAP gas torch would be better, and I actually switched over to MAP gas when I burnt the bushing out of the bracket.
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Outer race has been removed. Ended up sawing them out, starting with a keyhole saw and metal cutting sawzall blade, then moved to a coping saw. For information purposes and future reference: Use a coping saw if you are going to do this, no matter how much of a pain and how long it takes. the results will be worth it, I promise. I ended up cutting into the bracket a bit with the keyhole saw on the first one I did.

Now its down to pressing the WL51710's in. Tried running them in by hand (as I am told is possible) as well as with the bench vise, but they still seem to be too large. Starting to wonder whether or not they are the correct bushings. Got a few more tricks up my sleeve to try tomorrow though before I give up and take it to a shop. Just gives me one more night to clean up the brackets and paint them before I put the bushings in :p
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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put the new ones in a freezer - might help a little.
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
put the new ones in a freezer - might help a little.
Done and done :p Google search yesterday yielded that idea. Friend of mine also suggested boiling them, however since I am installing poly bushings I don't believe boiling them will actually help shrink them enough to get them in.

Finishing up the paint on the brackets now and taking photos. 2 coats of gloss black Rustoleum painter's touch double coverage should be enough :p

After that its down to fighting those bushings and reinstalling everything on the car. Hopefully I can finish up by tomorrow, I miss driving my OB :lol:
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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oh - I guess I got confused. The freezer trick is to shrink a metal outer sleeve like on an OEM part.

I have no idea if it's needed on a poly part. Couldn't hurt it I don't guess - they'd be exposed to sub-freezing weather anyway.
 

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98 limit leg back 2.5 4EAT
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Whenever I would remove a fuel pump sending unit I would put the rubber O-ring in the freezer while I upgraded the pump to a walbro. The ring if left out would expand for some reason and not fit later. The freezer would keep that from happening, and sometimes get a little smaller but it would expand back to normal size fairly quick once it's out. So if you do freeze them, install them asap.

Although from the date on your last post you should be done. How did it go?
 

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1997 Legacy Outback wagon 2.5l auto- 316050 miles and currently dying. Ask about cheap parts
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did manage to finish. At 1 AM yesterday morning. In pitch black with my cell phone using a flashlight app :p I ended up cheating and just cutting the bushing in half so it would slide in from both sides. A little bit of black RTV sealant between the 2 halves and we were good to go, however I don't think the RTV was necessary, seeing as the bushings were a very tight fit once in the bracket. Try as could, I couldn't get them out after I put them in (I forgot to lube the first one and had to pry around the edge of one side to get it out).

Once the crush tube is in, they won't go anywhere.

There was a definite improvement in steering. I need to tweak the alignment, it does pull a bit right (however I think it has been pulling right since I did the wheel bearing on that front, just more pronounced now).

There is definitely more road feel in the pedals from the stiffer material. But the steering is tighter now, and the braking feels much firmer. Handling wise, I can't say whether or not there was a performance gain.

I'll write up a how to and post it in the DIY forum. Started one the other night but firefox crashed (>_<). It will be lacking photos from the reinstall, I didnt get the opportunity to get any.

Overall it wasnt a bad job, but I won't do it again if I can help it ;)
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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nice job! good to see your perseverance!
 
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