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Old 01-25-2011, 11:27 AM   #308
kpluiten
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 120273
Join Date: Jul 2006
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: AZ
Vehicle:
06 WRBWRXWGN
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Well... I was WAY less productive this weekend because the clutch and other things took way longer than expected. I did get some stuff done though.

The first thing I did was take care of the bushings that needed to be pressed into the lateral links. I decided to go with Group-N bushings in every location I could for the car over poly bushings for a variety of reasons. One issue with the Group-N bushings is that they are not a two piece design like most of the aftermarket solutions and as such, they are hard to install, especially given their much higher durometer (firmer rubber).

Initially, I tried to lube up the lateral links and bushings with the Energy Suspension silicon grease, but I still couldn't manage to get the bushings into the arm. I would get them in there about 75% of the way, but then they would bulge to the point I felt I would damage them if I continued to press them.

In response, I made a couple of "funnels" that went from the bushings unloaded diameter to a couple thousandths smaller than the lateral link hold diameter. The funnels has a very slight angle of taper; in the case of the lateral links, it went from ~35mm to 33mm in a 1.5 taper. I also put a radius on the leading edge to prevent and bushing cutting. Armed with this tool, installation went way smoother. This tool is very similar to the Subaru special tool shown in the service manual.

First I lubed the funnel slightly and inserted the bushing needed (there are three different types of lat link bushings and they must be installed in the right lat links for proper performance.


Next I used the press to push the bushing into the funnel, usually about halfway down.


After that I carefully align the tool hole with the hole in the lateral link. They must be concentric to prevent any cutting/slicing/damage to the bushing being pressed. I then clamped the entire assembly to the press block with a ball joint press. This was chosen because it has a hole in the end which can be pressed through. I had to clamp the tool down to keep it from lifting off of the lat link while the bushing was making the transition from the tool to the link. If it lifted, the bushing would extrude out between the two and become damaged. At $10 a pop, that could get expensive very fast. I used an impact socket to give the press some extra reach.


Next I pressed the bushing into the link until I felt it bottom out on the press block.


With the clamp and tool removed, I was left with this:


Then it is just a matter of pressing it the rest of the way in. You usually have to press the bushing through until it looks like it is just about to start going through the link the other way. You do this to make sure the bushing flange pops out on the other side. Then you turn the link over and push the bushing back until it's centered. I had to go back and forth a couple of times to get it right.
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