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Old 09-28-2000, 06:24 AM   #1
dtrayers
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Member#: 2493
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Hastings, MN, USA
Question New to the forum, Legacy question

I just bought a 96 Legacy L sedan AWD with 52K miles.

I hear some clunking when I go over cracks in the road or expansion joints. My local mechanic said the links on the sway bars are pretty worn and should be replaced sometime in the near future, but not urgent.

He said that these are Subaru parts, and quoted about $200 for the front and $250 for the rear, installed.

Questions: Is this a normal wear part after 52K miles, or perhaps has the car been abused (lots of rough roads)?

Is this price reasonable for this repair?

Is is something someone with average mechanical skills and tools, and a weekend, can perform and save a lot, or is the cost mostly in the parts?

Thanks in advance!

Dave.
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Old 09-28-2000, 06:54 AM   #2
Nigel
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Markham, Ontario, Canada
Vehicle:
1994 Legacy Turbo
Silver

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You should be able to handle this yourself, and for $450 you could get much better aftermarket metal (stock are flexible plastic = BAD) end links AND a thicker rear sway bar (less understeer). Somebody else here should be able to recomend what and where to buy, or search the archives.

Nigel
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Old 09-28-2000, 09:03 AM   #3
gumball
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Location: Wheaton, MD
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I think the Legacy (pre 00) end links are identical to the Impreza ones and those $200 Kartboy ones look sweeeeet. Only 52K miles and worn end links though? I mean that plastic is pretty tough stuff. Maybe he meant the bushings? I have a clunking noise or rattle in my steering rack, usually on bumpy turns. Its a common complaint and someone said its due to a sloppy U-joint in the steering. I've seen a NHTSA post on it as well, but only described as an annoyance, not real problem. Could that be what you hear/feel?
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Old 09-28-2000, 10:13 AM   #4
dtrayers
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Location: Hastings, MN, USA
Have a Nice Day?

Thanks for the replies.

I hear it when I go over a crack or expanstion joint in the road... that is, when both wheels hit the bump at the same time. I would think this is a stabilizer bar issue, perhaps the bushings, since it only is when both wheels hit the bump. BTW, straight line only, it doesn't happen in turns.

Here's a new development: I was turning out of my driveway and a piece of the coil spring on the front left fell off! It's about 1/2 turn long, from the bottom of the spring.

I brought the car back to the dealer I purchased it from and they are taking a look at it right now. The service manager commented that he has never seen a spring break. The dealer gave me a 30 day used car warranty when I bought it, but I don't think that links, struts or springs are covered. Hopefully they are in a good mood and I can work something out.

Thanks again. I welcome you insights.

Dave.
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Old 09-28-2000, 09:52 PM   #5
AWDBat
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Chapter/Region: RMIC
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Vehicle:
2008 STi
Dark Grey Metallic

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Welcome to the club!
I've got a 95 Legacy and have done some mods which I've been very happy with. My car has about 70k miles and I haven't had problems with my endlinks, but what you describe could very well be the problem and the clunking you hear could be the sway bar. I haven't replaced my endlinks, but I've heard they make a big difference with your handling. I went with the 18mm SPD rear sway bar for $147 and it was a cinch to install. The end links would probably be pretty easy too. One thing to remember - if you plan to race in SCCA I believe that any other compound endlink other than PVC could bump you to a different class. Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2000, 05:14 AM   #6
lucien2
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Location: Baltimore, hon!
Vehicle:
1998 Volvo V70R
Silver

Talking

Welcome to Legacyhood, BTW. Aren't Whiteline links $50 for the pair on the back? That would get you you a Whiteline adjustable sway bar AND links for around $200, and it is easily do-able in your driveway. Put the car back on the tarmac before tightening the bar bushings and links- this will minimize strain due to abnormal deflection when the car is in the air.

Parts and advice:
www.spdusa.com www.rallispec.com www.teaguesauto.com

Good luck!
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Old 09-29-2000, 06:03 AM   #7
gumball
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Are the whiteline endlinks any good? In the pictures it looks like a pair of bushings w/ wire (thick) wrapped around them which seems like there'd be a lot of side to side play in the bushings. Has anyone tried them?

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Old 09-29-2000, 09:26 PM   #8
pleiades
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I wondered the same thing myself, however I know several people in the Asheville are who have them and say there great. However I favor the kartboy links.

[This message has been edited by pleiades (edited September 29, 2000).]
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Old 09-30-2000, 08:26 PM   #9
gumball
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yah, there's no question in my mind that the Kartboy links w/ spherical bushings are superior, but man you really do pay for it. But its good to know the cheaper alternative is still a step up from stock.
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