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Guest Message by DevFuse

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'89 GL front tire toeing out. Will a new strut fix? Please see picture

89 GL strut tire fix toe out

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11 replies to this topic

#1 SawtoothSubie



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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:38 PM

Hi USMB members-


I just picked up an '89 GL wagon.  The driver's side front tire is "toeing out" bad.  I replaced the stabilizer bar underneath as it appeared bent but it did not fix.  Alignment shop won't align and says it's either arm or strut but I think they truly didn't know.  I like fixing my own stuff anyway but not sure what to do on this.  Will a new strut solve this.  I attached a picture I don't know how well it will show the toe-out.  Nothing appears to be bent or out of the ordinary on the arm.  Thanks in advance for any replies/advice. 

Attached File  subie tire photo.JPG   32.62K   61 downloads


#2 mr sarcastic

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:54 PM

You mean camber right? Looks like you have major negative camber....

#3 SawtoothSubie



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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:57 PM

Yeah i guess camber is the right term.  Sorry, i just said toe out because i couldn't think of how to best describe.  How do you fix this issue? It's just on the front driver's wheel/tire. 

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:57 PM

Here are some ideas:


broken strut top bushing

loose ball joint

bad control arm bushing

bad wheel bearings/loose axle nut

#5 Subruise


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:46 PM

replace all of the parts Miles just mentioned. replace both struts though. ive been where you are. put in "new" (read: straight) stuff and then get it aligned, probably wanna find an alignment shop who has done soobs before. i also have a thread in the usrm that can lead you to aligning it yourself

Edited by Subruise, 22 May 2013 - 07:47 PM.

#6 86 Wonder Wedge

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 08:14 PM

Might also look for a broken coil or failed/collapsed LCA bushing even a bent strut... 


That is some significant negative camber as I believe even subaru spec'd 0 degrees (straight up and down) as the maximum "negative" and up to 1.5 positive.. so for it to go negative like that (looks like up wards of 2 negative) is serious.

#7 Hondasucks


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:04 PM

It's quite possibly a bent strut. You mentioned that the stabilizer rod was bent, chances are someone smacked a curb. They usually bend right above where the strut goes into the knuckle, but it's not always apparent until the strut is out of the car and laid next to a straight one.

#8 SawtoothSubie



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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:12 PM

OK, wow thanks for the quick replies.  This site is my new best friend.  Do I need special tools to remove the front struts and replace with new ones?  Also the other items mentioned i need to replace should I do the salvage yard and replace with used or buy new?  Expensive? Thanks again.

#9 l75eya


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 11:26 PM

If you're getting a whole replacement strut (not just the shock absorber) and it is complete (springs and shock installed already) you just need a way to pop out the balljoint. Might wanna throw new ball joints in there while you're at it anyway.

I used pickle forks last time I did this. Tie rod should be removed too, but you can just smack the side of it with a hammer after loosening the bolt and it'll snap out of place.

#10 presslab


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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:16 AM

Yeah that camber is pretty bad, I'm betting something is bent. I think Jeszek posted about his bent knuckle causing a camber problem. Stock the EAs have a touch of positive camber, the other way from yours.

#11 djellum


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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:22 AM

Do you have to remove the lower joint?  you can rent strut compressors (be sure they are for struts, not springs) which should allow you to take out the strut by itself.  


there is a strut mount with a bearing at the top as well, id at least check it so you can replace if needed while its apart.  only problem is that they cost as much as struts so it doubles the cost per side.  may or may not be the problem, but worth a look.


I would get the strut new or at least reman.  they are too wearable of a part for me to risk JY gear, maybe the top mount if they look good though.

#12 rdweninger


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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:05 AM

On the special tools subject.  You will need a 3/16" drift punch to remove the roll pin from the DOJ where it attaches to the transmission stub.

Some guys use a pickle fork to separate the ball joint from the wheel bearing housing (aka knuckle).  This method will most likely destroy your ball joint rubber.  I use a LARGE screwdriver or SMALL crowbar to separate the ball joint.   Tie rod to wheel bearing housing, I take the castle nut off... flip it over 180 and screw it back on until the nut is flush with the bolt (about 5 or 6 turns).  Then hit the top of the nut with a dead blow hammer to release the tie rod.  It helps on all joints to bang on, under and around to aid in loosening (probably high freq vibration... huh?)

  Some liquid wrench or PB Blaster helps lube and release some joints/threads.  Maybe do this the night before you work on it.

Tools for your Subaru.  Sockets -10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 19mm, 22mm and the big 36mm for the axle nut.   1/2" Drive will make your life easier.   I still have the sockets I bought at a pawn shop in Boise in 1987.  Spent about an hour sorting thru big boxes of loose sockets.  Picked out all the Craftsman sockets - paid $1 apiece for them.  The owner threw in a toolbox for free.

  And of course, read the posts.  How to Keep your Subaru Alive (HTKYSA) is a good read.  The link to download is on here somewhere.

Good luck

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