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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a symptom has grown worse in my 03 LL Bean. I get a noise when I turn my wheel, I hear it coming from the front left. Sometimes it’s a rubbing sound when I’m turnning into a parking space. Other times it’s like a rubber band stretching kinda noise. (Sounds a lot like my spring could be moving around!).

Now and then when I’m cruising at highway speeds I’m getting a shimmy in my steering that seems to come and go and you can here something shaking. There is no bottoming out, and when I try to push down on the front end I don’t notice any serious lack of resistance or bouncing at all. Maybe the shock is good but something in the strut assy has gone bad??

I’m thinking I diagnosed this a while ago and then forgot about it and at the time I determined it to be something in the strut assembly, but want to make sure it’s possible before I replace it in the bitter cold.
I know the strut rotates, and I’m thinking it’s got something to do with the components that allow the whole strut to rotate wearing out. What do you think?
It’s definitely coming from up front drivers side. Axel boots are good on that side but could it be the axel?

Edit: I dunno. Or maybe I do.... I did a little more research and it sounds like strut bearings going bad, just not sure why the shimmy? But it’s more than likely related to the strut bearings. I think I figured out my own problem as I was typing and asking the forum for help. So I guess I’ll leave the post up, if it might help someone.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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your highway issues remind me of front LCA, tie rods,

your parking issues remind me of ball joints

such maybe worn, but not broke yet. and easy to spot on a lift in a hot garage.

72 more days of winter. (maybe)
 

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Master Caster
🖤💔💙 3 Beautiful OBXTs
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your highway issues remind me of front LCA, tie rods,

your parking issues remind me of ball joints

such maybe worn, but not broke yet. and easy to spot on a lift in a hot garage.

72 more days of winter. (maybe)
Check all of these.
 

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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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1,235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
your highway issues remind me of front LCA, tie rods,

your parking issues remind me of ball joints

such maybe worn, but not broke yet. and easy to spot on a lift in a hot garage.

72 more days of winter. (maybe)
your highway issues remind me of front LCA, tie rods,

your parking issues remind me of ball joints

such maybe worn, but not broke yet. and easy to spot on a lift in a hot garage.

72 more days of winter. (maybe)
Check all of these.
I will do so. Thank you.
I just did a ball joint on that side, OEM, so not that. The wheel is just gonna have to come off now, maybe tomorrow afternoon, and I gotta check it out.
This how to on tie rods is A+++ outstanding.
https://youtu.be/rnEbhMIc7y0
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Might help to eliminate the axle from the list: If the boots are not torn and it is NOT making a clicking noise when you turn the wheel, then the axle and its CV joints are most likely OK.
 

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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Might help to eliminate the axle from the list: If the boots are not torn and it is NOT making a clicking noise when you turn the wheel, then the axle and its CV joints are most likely OK.
Axels, Check, I agree.

I think the truth is it might be like what’s in this video below. I don’t think mine is as bad as the this guys, but I think I’m getting this noise, like a rubber band noise from the spring. I have not actually verified my spring moving due to lack of somebody to turn the steering wheel for me. If it was the strut mount, do you think a shimmy would accompany this problem at highway speeds? Cause I just don’t know. I never replaced a tie rod, but I did replace my lower ball joint about a year ago with Subaru oem. I don’t recall any play in the joints at that time, but I’ll be checking again.
https://youtu.be/khZ16AOztT4
 
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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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1,235 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The feeling in the steering wheel is like a slight pull pull pull really fast, it reminds me of that strut spring twisting and nudging the steering. Anyway, the analytics are over. I’ll be back when I’ve checked this out tomorrow, and let everyone know what I found if I’m not hyperthermic. Thanks for all the responses!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can’t get strut holes studs to line up no matter what I try. tie rods and control arm are good but I’m really stuck trying to install this new strut!! any tips??
 

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Can’t get strut holes studs to line up no matter what I try. tie rods and control arm are good but I’m really stuck trying to install this new strut!! any tips??
If it's over extended you can just a floor jack to compress it, with the right block of wood.

I am concerned as to why? Are your sure the CV axles is fully engaged. I usually don't have any problems with the front strut bolts. I usually let the top of the knuckle tip out. Then insert the lower bolt. Then you can lever the knuckle up straight and the top cam bolt is easy.

Make sure all of the geometry is correct and the CV axle is correct. Did you disconnect the sway bar link? If you still have the ball joint connected you are fighting the sway bar. If you even up the weight/pressure on the front wheels that will take the stress off the bar. However, if you didn't disconnect the link, then any LCA movement activates the bar.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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I think I had to put the scissor jack in the wheel well to push down a little (it's been a while, maybe that was for the rear?) - anyway, your approach might be different depending on if the nose is up, or just the corner you're working on because of the antisway bar or other issues.
 

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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@traildogck @1 Lucky Texan @1LuckyTexan @eagleeye

SOrry, I was in a terrible hurry trying to get out of the cold rain. The holes I was talking about that would not line up, were the three tiny holes where the tiny studs slide into right on the top there to the frame of the car when you open up the hood. This job should have been extremely simple, easier than doing brakes for sure. I don't know what it was, but the strut I got out of the junk yard, off an H6 second generation Subaru for sure, well those 3 bloody studs just would just not line up into the holes of the cars frame, just would not.

I ended up putting the old strut back on with the freezing rain coming down on my worried little head. I'll tell you the truth, I tugged darn hard on that tie rod, and it's as stiff and tight as 50,000 mile virgin Subaru. I used my foot to push on the lower control arm, the big thing, and it doesn't show any signs of crappiness. The ball joint I recently replaced, so I know that's good, I used a Subaru ball joint, too.

The top of the old strut spun just fine, I thought the bearings in it were bad, but it's like just as good as the replacement I pulled from the yard, so I just said screw it, that one is going back on. I had absolutely no problem lining up the three holes on the car frame with the 3 studs on the original strut. Maybe the one I got from the junk yard was bent ever so slightly?? Anyway, after our experience together I decided to give the strut I pulled from the junk yard a name, and so I call it Son of a F#@$%@%#$ Piece of [email protected]$#^@#$^ S$)#$^t.

I checked to see if maybe my brake caliper is loose, checked axel boots, nothing wrong. I pulled the cap on the strut to see if maybe the bolt had loosened up, I cranked on it, and it was pretty tight as normal. I have not heard the noise or symptoms reappear yet, so I'm waiting, but I'm not gonna worry my head off over it like I was. Thanks for your replies here. Only people who work on their own cars can truly know the PITA it can be. Still, it rules over new car payments. Appreciate it.
 

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Only people who work on their own cars can truly know the PITA it can be. Still, it rules over new car payments. Appreciate it.
True Words My friend.

Was the donor car the same model run? I know that Impreza have a different bolt pattern.
 

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2004 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean H6. 2003 Subaru OBW L.L. Bean Former 2001 Subaru OBW VDC owner.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Only people who work on their own cars can truly know the PITA it can be. Still, it rules over new car payments. Appreciate it.
True Words My friend.

Was the donor car the same model run? I know that Impreza have a different bolt pattern.
I’m not even sure anymore if it was off an H6, but definitely a second gen. I think an H6,not sure.... I could always just replace the spindle on top of the strut and it should be still good for use.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Anyway, after our experience together I decided to give the strut I pulled from the junk yard a name, and so I call it Son of a F#@$%@%#$ Piece of [email protected]$#^@#$^ S$)#$^t.

.
tomorrow seems nice in comparison to what we have had. I could not imagine going to a pick and pull when it is less the 40F


National Weather Service
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I didn't actually pull the part from the junkyard today, I did that while ago, but Crazy Ray's was open if I had wanted to meander around. None the less, I cursed in the cold rain.

On a happier note, I returned a K&N filter today, and decided to go with a regular one from now on. I got a cheap 10 dollar car quest air filter. I took advice from the forum about air filters. It's something I've been wanting to do for a goood while. It's amazing what you can return if you have the box.
 
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Master Caster
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Well I didn't actually pull the part from the junkyard today, I did that while ago, but Crazy Ray's was open if I had wanted to meander around. None the less, I cursed in the cold rain.

On a happier note, I returned a K&N filter today, and decided to go with a regular one from now on. I got a cheap 10 dollar car quest air filter. I took advice from the forum about air filters. It's something I've been wanting to do for a goood while. It's amazing what you can return if you have the box.
Replacing paper filter every 2 oil changes goes a long way without the K&N oil...

Depends on air quality of course.
 
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