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Lower Control Arm Bushings


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8 replies to this topic

#1 J A Blazer

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:03 PM

What is involved in replacing the lower control arm bushings on a 2000 OBW? Is this a DIY? If not, what is the dealer likely to charge?

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 06:14 PM

Which bushing, the front or rear bushing for the lower control arm?

The rear wouldn't be too bad. You'll just need a big breaker bar and torque wrench.

The front bushing is no fun. You'll pretty much destroy the bushing removing it. Installing it is a pain. You may be able to find a local shop that has a press and is willing to give it a shot. However due to the shape of the lower control arm, supporting it so the bushing goes in straight is difficult. They are metal sleeved bushings, and are a pain to get in.

You may almost be better off trying to find a used lower control arm from the junkyard with a good bushing.

Not sure how much the dealer would charge.

Just out of curiosity.....is your bushing bad? It's not a normal item that I'd say goes bad.

#3 J A Blazer

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:12 PM

Not sure if they are bad, but I'm trying to figure out why there is more play in my front suspension than I like. I don't think the problem is tie rod ends or strut mounts, so other than control arm bushings or ball joints what could it be? 112K.

#4 Legacy777

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:45 PM

What kind of play? Play during steering, cornering, ??

I'd suggest getting under the car with a big pry bar and pressing/pushing on things to see if you notice any movement. You can do this for the bushings as well. I'd do that first. Trust me, you don't want to replace those bushings.....they're a pain.

#5 tcspeer

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:10 PM

It's easy to tell when the back ones go bad, you will see grease leaking out of them. I dont think the front one would go out unless you had many miles on them.

I have got two or three of these control arms for around 75.00 dollars from the junk yard. You can buy the bushing for the rear for around 60.00 dollars and it is easy to replace. If you are thinking why so many for me this one is used for mail del.

#6 grossgary

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:05 AM

what kind driving are you doing? has the car ever been in a wreck? unless you're racing and really pushing the car it's hard to imagine this is your problem. most Subaru's from the 80's still have their original control arm bushings. a few are in bad shape, but most that i see are still intact and decent. i've yet to see any 90's or EJ soobs with bad bushings...i'm sure it's possible but it would be very rare and have to be caused by something.

i'd do some more searching - maybe start a thread about trouble shooting this problem?

#7 four-fleet-feet

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:52 AM

Unless this car's been in a wreck, or you've driven in very high dry heat for a substantial amount of time (think southwestern US @ 115 for months at a time over the years - and the car isn't that old, plus you live nowhere near the screaming hot belt!) look somewhere else for the problem.

Even with twice the years on my truck, and thousands of miles on the road in the heat and cold (15 years at the time, and about 300k), I only needed to do my bushings/ball joints after a front-ender accident when the collision place 'missed' doing it and I was at the max dollar amount before Farmers would total it. It cost a lot of aircraft-engineer's time and blood and hassle to get it done. Not to mention the parts aren't cheap even if you rent the tools.

Also, if the bushings are shot, there will be other damage. They only go when something makes them go, and if it's age, trust me, other parts have given up the ghost with them! In my case, it ended up being new center link, new control arm, new idler arm, new ball joints on one side (but we did all 4), as well as the bushings. If you had that much damage I think you'd have seen it by now. One telltale sign something is toast is the vehicle often won't hold an alignment. Or a wheel keeps having trouble - tread, loss of air, going out of balance, that sort of thing. You didn't mention any of that.

The job's a PITA on a Chevy - I shudder to think of doing a Subaru. Don't even think about it unless you've checked everything else AND a Subaru mechanic tells you they're bad and it has to be done.

After seeing it done once, knowing what it entails would make me have it done next time... at a shop... just FYI. Worth the money to have someone else do it!

You could do it yourself, but why??????? Not worth the hassle.

#8 McDave

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:15 PM

Unless this car's been in a wreck, or you've driven in very high dry heat for a substantial amount of time (think southwestern US @ 115 for months at a time over the years - and the car isn't that old, plus you live nowhere near the screaming hot belt!) look somewhere else for the problem.

Even with twice the years on my truck, and thousands of miles on the road in the heat and cold (15 years at the time, and about 300k), I only needed to do my bushings/ball joints after a front-ender accident when the collision place 'missed' doing it and I was at the max dollar amount before Farmers would total it. It cost a lot of aircraft-engineer's time and blood and hassle to get it done. Not to mention the parts aren't cheap even if you rent the tools.

Also, if the bushings are shot, there will be other damage. They only go when something makes them go, and if it's age, trust me, other parts have given up the ghost with them! In my case, it ended up being new center link, new control arm, new idler arm, new ball joints on one side (but we did all 4), as well as the bushings. If you had that much damage I think you'd have seen it by now. One telltale sign something is toast is the vehicle often won't hold an alignment. Or a wheel keeps having trouble - tread, loss of air, going out of balance, that sort of thing. You didn't mention any of that.

The job's a PITA on a Chevy - I shudder to think of doing a Subaru. Don't even think about it unless you've checked everything else AND a Subaru mechanic tells you they're bad and it has to be done.

After seeing it done once, knowing what it entails would make me have it done next time... at a shop... just FYI. Worth the money to have someone else do it!

You could do it yourself, but why??????? Not worth the hassle.

I've got a Honda CR-V in the shop right now with a very bad lower control arm bushing. It's only got 66,000 miles on it, but it belongs to a rural route mail carrier who is very hard on right front suspensions.

The bad part is it's not replaceable separately so the whole lower control arm has to be replaced, and unfortunately it's on national backorder! doh!

#9 headrush

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 03:34 PM

Check out my experience here:

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Note: The job isn't completed yet.




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