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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, what should have been an easy job has turned terrible.

The axle came out and went in easily. But now we need a new spindle and hub bearing. :mad:

Right now we are very discouraged. Now I know why the car was for sale. And finding a spindle and hub bearing is not that easy....looks like the car is going to be parked for a few days.

Any suggestions? The reason for this is because there's a broken bolt and we cannot get it out. Must be the original....:(

Elle
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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front?

can you tell us what part is stuck where?;

or is it like;


I'm 90% sure someone here could offer suggestions on continuing with at least some of your original parts. Though, it sometimes is just better to get a new or refurb or junkyard part.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #3
It's the front passenger side....the bolt for the lower ball joint snapped into the spindle and it will NOT budge.

We got an ez out, and that's not working even after heating it....

Then we'd have to get it pressed, the spindle and the hub....we don't know what to do. Junkyards are closed, and that's if we can find one in Connecticut that has one, because we'd do that, and the parts are almost $400....

Any suggestions very welcome!!!!

Elle

PS if anybody has a used axle housing assembly with the hub, we'll buy it!!!
 

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I have read that drilling from the other end can be helpful.

Of course, using Kroil or PB blaster or similar penetrant (acetone and Dexron III or equivalent, shaken together in a 50/50 mix is supposedly a good penetrant) is a good idea.


I think I read of someone that drilled the pinch bolt out, then used a bolt with a nut because the threads had been drilled too much.

Problem is, if the pinch bolt is that bad - likely the ball joint is gonna be stuck too.

maybe try car-part.com ? looks like there's a page of spindles in the Conn. area.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #5
We did do the PB Blaster.......

I'm going to car-part.com now....we're lost. :(

WOW.....there's a lot on there....going to make some calls tomorrow!!!!! Let's hope!!

Now there are no Outbacks on there, so I looked at Legacy's...that's correct, right? And since it's the passenger side, that would be the right, correct??
 

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Right side = passengers, and as far as I know nothing about the spindles is legacy/outback/H6 specific.
 

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Right side = passengers, and as far as I know nothing about the spindles is legacy/outback/H6 specific.
I agree, if in doubt, lean towards the Outback or Baja parts.

when I looke, I saw Outbacks on page 2 I think, but they may have been farther away.

Have you VIN handy and ask the yard if the part will fit an Outback with your VIN. should be good enough data to feel comfortable.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #8
1 Lucky Texan,

We owe you BIG TIME. :D

Starting at the other end worked---hubby was able to get the bolt out!!!!! It took a little time to get the lower ball joint free, but he did it!! And it's all back together--no extra $$ spent--except the $2.49 for the new bolt we had to buy!;)

We are grateful--this is awesome!! Took her out for a ride, and all is well!!!

Now, next weekend is the axle on the driver's side.....and struts on both sides, since we only got one shipped to us--let's hope the driver's side goes smoother! Hubby is prepared though, now, because he's done the worst side first. That CV boot was BAD!!!

And the clunking noise when you put the car in reverse is gone. Steering wheel isn't perfectly straight, but we'll get an alignment after the rest of the front end work is done. New axles, new struts, new lower ball joints and new tie rod ends SHOULD make a difference, right?:29:

Round two next weekend......oye!!! Thank you again!!!!

Elle
 

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While you are doing all this work I suggest that you replace the sway bar bushings. Very inexpensive - $10 for the pair - and may reduce considerably any 'clunking' you experience in the front suspension.
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #12
That we didn't do....he said the bushings looked fine.....and trust me, we've spent much more on this than anticipated.....:(
 

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I have to say, I believe I read about the 'drill from the other side' trick from Ivan over at USMB. He's a tech in Canada. lots of practical experience.

glad it worked
 

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'03 L L Bean - LOVE IT!!
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Discussion Starter #14
I have to say, I believe I read about the 'drill from the other side' trick from Ivan over at USMB. He's a tech in Canada. lots of practical experience.

glad it worked

We are too.

Now, just be sure to be around next weekend, when we do the driver's side....:29: Hopefully, it won't be so dramatic!

Thank you again!!!!!!! :)
 

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unless you are replacing the ball joint, there is no reason to remove the pinch bolt. and they can be a real bear, as you have learned.

there are basically 3 ways to loosen the knuckle so you can remove the axle on these subarus.

1/ remove the ball joint either from the knuckle or the control arm.
2/ loosen the control arm bolts on the cross member and chassis frame.
3/ my preferred method, loosen the lower and remove the top strut to knuckle bolts. but MARK the position of the top bolt head before you remove it. this will save your alignment camber. i use a cold chisel and place a mark on the edge of the strut bracket and on the bolt head. works every time. it will give you the room you need to remove the axle.

FYI: i just did a front wheel bearing on my 00 lego. i removed the knuckle / hub assembly (w/ ball joint in place) from the car and took it to a machine shop. they sold me the bearing, $46, and pressed it in, $50. so for $100 it was done. i'm sure for a few more $$ they could have done the ball joint as well.

good luck.
 

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^^^^ number 3/ was the method I used. But was replacing struts and one axle anyway.

still, I'd do that again unless I felt the ball joint was bad/excessively worn.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We had no choice, the ball joint was BAD and had to be replaced....not really an option in this situation, it had to be removed.

And in the end it worked out. Just took a lot of frustration and some bloody knuckles, but it worked out.....

And we have to replace the driver's axle and both struts. We gotta do it anyway...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's been a long road....we're getting there!:29:

Today was install the struts, the axle on the driver's side and only 2 trips to the parts store....one for a longer bolt, and the second for a replacement axle, since the original was somehow too long for the driver's side. Luckily, that worked out!!

So now the entire front end has just about been rebuilt. New axles, new lower ball joints, new inner tie rods, new KYB struts, new mounts....and let me tell you, the car drives VERY different. Tomorrow we'll take her out more and see how it goes, since hubby just finished, and he's had enough...;)

Alignment is next, because it definitely needs to be aligned.

Of course, in the midst of this, that damned CEL came back on. Guess it's not the good gas and airfilter........:(

Should it drive so differently with all this done? 03, 129k on her now......I cannot get over it!
 

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fixing the ball joint and new struts? yeah, I'd expect some definite difference in 'feel'.

WE only did struts and it was a little different afterwards. we also picked up a new rattle or 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ok....new question.

Got into it this morning, and after the test drive there was a loud THUNK on the driver's side. Did it when you hit a bump in the road...whatever. Just on the driver's side.

Took it to be aligned--what a difference!! Car drives like a DREAM!!

Garage said the driver's strut mount is the problem. Right side looks higher than the left. However, after they tightened it down for us, thunk is GONE. They say a washer is missing??

Ok. We went back to the other shop who yesterday put the struts together for us (at $20 a side, that was a STEAL!). They said the THUNK could be from the springs settling, especially since they are originals....and that the shocks aren't always equal.

It has not done it since, drives like a dream, but I don't know if we should be concerned. The spring settling theory does make sense, and the alignment was done at Firestone, who could be just looking for $$...we don't know.

Should we worry? I gotta tell ya.....car drives AMAZING right now.....
 
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