Up until 2004 Subaru used a pretty archaic suspension system, remaining relatively unchanged since 1989 in the Subaru Legacy. In the front there is a strut, spring, and lower control arm fitted with a front position bushing, a lower ball joint, and a hydraulically activated rear bushing, which is prone to leaks after mileage and time. The system was limited by design and didn’t really allow much for handling.
In 2005 Subaru made some changes that improved the handling, but also increased some of the number of wear components. This is especially true of the rear position lower control arm bushings, abbreviated to LCA bushings. The important thing to remember is the deterioration of the bushings happen slowly over time, it’s not a one time event that creates a “my Subaru just isn’t driving right” kind of a thing. Instead it isn’t until after we have replaced the worn bushings and performed an alignment to your Subaru that you come to realize just how poorly the Subaru had been driving.
Pictured below are the worn out bushings we are replacing next to the new Subaru replacement, however we have a better option for you than just doing the same thing over again. At All Wheel Drive Auto we continue to look for options for our customers to get more use out of their Subaru.
Due to the design there is a lot of stress placed on the rear position bushing in the 2005 and newer design and its not common to see them torn more than 50% as early as 60,000 miles. As the rest of the suspension ages more stress is placed on this pressure point and even a replacement bushing from Subaru may not last as long as the first ones did.
One of the things i’ve always wanted to do for our customers is to not just make repairs, but offer solutions to what we feel are typical problems. So in the case of the lower control arm bushings we have found a solution not just for longevity but also for how the Subaru feels and drives.
On the performance side of things for Subaru, White line is a company we have used in the past for larger sway bars and bushings, mostly on the Impreza WRX and WRX STI, but also for other models such as the Legacy GT, Forester and Outback XT. We have watched the quality of these components go down as of late, and in reality the lower control arm bushings were just too stiff and made too much noise for a daily driven 2007 Outback as an example.
We recently started using a new company for Performance Suspension bushings, control arms etc. called SuperPro. They are manufactured in Australia and have solid North American distribution. I put a set of these bushings in our Forester and the car handles better, and has stayed quiet. The bushings themselves have a “Limited Lifetime Warranty” from defects. Normal wear over time is to be expected but we strongly feel that they will last much much longer than the stock rubber bushing we replace on the daily at the shop.
Here is a little about the SuperPro Bushing;
SuperPro uses a unique polyurethane elastomer; a class of Thermosetting synthetic polymer that involves the reaction of various types of isocyanate resins with curing agents, to give an extremely durable material with the best features of both rubber and plastic. With not only a unique material, SuperPro suspension bushes are each designed to outperform both OE design and competitor design. Using a team of highly skilled suspension technicians and engineers, SuperPro creates some of the best and most innovative suspension bushing products.
We have many part numbers available in stock in Kirkland and at our sister store Drive Auto Sports purchase and installation locally.. The initial install runs a little higher than just putting the same bushing back in that’s already failed you, but we truly believe its worth it especially if you enjoy driving your Subaru. If you are not local to us we also have product listings in the parts area of our Website and there are two options below.
If your in the Seattle area you can call the repair shop at 425-828-3600 to learn more or schedule below. I hope this information helps and that you are getting great use out of your Subaru
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