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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
My wiper arms do not always go all the way back down when finished their upwards stroke. They work fine but stop about 1" above the usual lowest position on the down stroke, leaving them above the edge of the black area on the bottom of the windshield. I can easily push them down by hand. They will return to the bottom when I use the wiper/washer feature. They sometimes return when I use them on their highest setting. But when I use them on the mist, intermittent, or regular setting they always stop short of the lowest down stroke.

While driving through heavy rain it seemed like they were smacking the left edge of the windshield and the bottom edge. So I removed the arms and the splines look fine and I re-bolted them snugly. Cleaning the windshield and the blades did not help. Each arm has a little individual play. What concerns me is that the set can be moved together about an inch up or down. I want to fix this before they start working poorly or not at all.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,459 Posts
Especially before snow/ice season.

Plastic bushings in the wiper arm links. They are worn or missing pieces allowing for excess slop in the assembly.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #3
Can you tell me how to get to those puppies on the 2nd gen? What should I look for?
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Remove the wiper arms and cowling cover. You will be able to see the wiper arm assembly. Every joint that rotates an arm link has a plastic bushing. I don't know if Subaru offers just the bushings or the whole assembly. You would need to call them.

Another option is the salvage yard. All the Subaru wiper assemblies are identical, through 04 so model for parts wouldn't matter for a used unit. You could swap the assembly or just the plastics. The links pry apart with a screwdriver when the plastic is whole and in place.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #5
Trying not to sound too needy here, but any tips on removing the cowling?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I think I have read of folks using some aftermarket bushings (made for Jeep or Chysler I think) to replace those plastic socket joints. maybe try a search here and at ultimatesubaru.net . Could be for older cars but, possibly the design hasn't changed a lot.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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After you get all the plastic retainers out, push one side up on the windshield and pull the other end toward the engine. It will bend a little. Just try not to go so far as to crack it. To help with "sliding", spray it down with WD40 or soapy water.
 

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2005 3L LL Bean Outback
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243 Posts
My wiper arms do not always go all the way back down when finished their upwards stroke. They work fine but stop about 1" above the usual lowest position on the down stroke, leaving them above the edge of the black area on the bottom of the windshield. I can easily push them down by hand. They will return to the bottom when I use the wiper/washer feature. They sometimes return when I use them on their highest setting. But when I use them on the mist, intermittent, or regular setting they always stop short of the lowest down stroke.

While driving through heavy rain it seemed like they were smacking the left edge of the windshield and the bottom edge. So I removed the arms and the splines look fine and I re-bolted them snugly. Cleaning the windshield and the blades did not help. Each arm has a little individual play. What concerns me is that the set can be moved together about an inch up or down. I want to fix this before they start working poorly or not at all.
I have the same behaviour with my wipers. On later models, replacing the bushings solves the problem but my model seems to require replacement of the entire wiper assembly. During an unrelated visit, the dealer 'confirmed' that there are no bushings to be replaced on this model. In the mean time, I've come across a 2000 Outback at the junk yard which has zero play in its wipers. I have yet to replace my wipers with the ones I salvaged but I'm confident that this will solve the problem with the play.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #9
To the junk yard, away! Actually, I'll probably do what I usually do, wait until it becomes such a PITA that I need to fix it. :)
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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Yeah, your right. If it ain't raining, you don't need them. Then that one storm pops up a day after 80 degree weather that blows in sleet and rain and then you remember, **** Wipers!!!! :)
 

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Subaru doesn't sell just the bushing, you have the buy an entire linkage/arm.

but, you can use, i think it's the Dorman 49447 part number. They are a set of various bushings and two of them in the kit will work for subarus.

put the bushing in hot water and keep trying, they are very tight to get in place but otherwise a straight forward job. i would suggest working them in off the vehicle if possible, then pressing the cupped end in place on the vehicle.

be sure to check them all, don't just replace the first bad one you see. it's possible for more than one to be weak - probably the first one causes excessive impact on the others...etc, i've replaced one only to see them still slapping.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #12
I'll see when I figure out how to get the cowling off. :)
 

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2005 3L LL Bean Outback
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I just replaced my assembly with the one I got from the junk yard.

Disassembling my wipers revealed what was causing the play:


The replacement wiper assembly works just fine.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks 1LT. I hadn't thought of checking out a Forester forum. I guess a lot of Subie parts are interchangeable or close enough for the tutorials to help the rest of us.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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I hope they are close enough to be helpful. If not, at least the parts are cheap enough to try!
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #18
at least the parts are cheap enough to try
Yeh man. The main criteria for starting a do it yourself job/experiment. I bet they are the same. I'll let you know when I get into it. Probably after the next rainy day. :)
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Discussion Starter #19
Finally sourced a used wiper linkage with the motor, installed it and it works fine.
 
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