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Old 04-13-2019, 02:38 AM   #76
dagger108
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Member#: 337743
Join Date: Nov 2012
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: SF Bay Area
Vehicle:
2002 WRX Wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcmaresh View Post
I want to do a suspension refresh on my '02 WRX Wagon. It's got 266K miles on it. I've done a little bit of work over the years: alternator, a/c compressor, battery, a/c condenser, timing belt, light bulbs, valve cover gaskets, vacuum hoses, KYB Excel G struts, the strut hats, motor mounts, tranny mount, pitch stop, a bushing in the shift linkage, one of the front axles, and the right rear trailing arm. Other than that, I'm pretty sure it's all original. I don't want to "upgrade" - back to "original", or as close as I can get, is fine for me. I am not that spirited of a driver. The most abuse the car sees is driving on dirt roads to get to hiking trailheads and river put-ins.

I asked my local shop (not the dealer, though I can use them if it's advised) for a quote on the parts & labor (I gave them a list based on this thread). They declined to replace just the bushings for all of the control arms (front control arms, trailing arms, lateral links), quoting to replace the entire assembly in each case. They did quote me for replacing the steering rack and rear differential mount bushings. Also the stabilizer bar bushings, but I can do those myself. Should the tie rod ends be replaced along with all the rest of this?

Do you recommend going that route - replacing the front entire control arm with a kit that includes the bushings, and the trailing arms & lateral links with the bushings already installed? The metal is in good condition. There is no rust on the car at all. But if it's "better", I'm fine with replacing the entire part. If you recommend replacing the entire part, which brand should I go with? I see Moog and Mevotech, but these look different and I am not sure these would be an exact fit.

What I will probably do is buy all the parts and then have the shop install them. I may decide to do it myself, but let's leave that out of the discussion for now.

I apologize if any of this has been covered elsewhere on this site. I searched but not much is posted about the wagons, just that some things are different than on the sedans.

Thank you for any advice you have to offer.
You have more experience than I did when I started, and I did all the work myself. I did borrow a friend's press to remove a couple wheel bearings or something like that, and it did take me longer than what more experienced people will quote.

It is understandable that the shop wouldn't want to use parts that they didn't have confidence. They can't be certain of how stressed they metal is and therefore whether it will fail soon. It can also be a PITA to remove the bushings and they aren't able to make money as easily. It just saves you money, and that really isn't a significant part of the business model of most shops. They are looking to maximize their profits while minimizing their liabilities.

And if you have minimal rust on your car, the long bolt isn't a big deal after a good, long, multi-day PB Blaster soaking. You could even soak it while continuing to drive it. Actually, that probably just helps work the PB through the joint.

The one absolute difference between 02 sedans and wagons is the bolt diameter of the front sway bar links. I lost $200 because Perrin and their distributor ("somethingstreet" IIRC) lied about it and cheated me out of my refund. Turn In on the other hand was fabulous, and went far beyond just selling the parts. The car was totaled by a delinquent driver, but I salvaged the Kart Boy end links before they took the car away if you're interested.

Good Luck
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:45 PM   #77
Fleecy_Puddle
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Member#: 496892
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcmaresh View Post
I want to do a suspension refresh on my '02 WRX Wagon. It's got 266K miles on it. I've done a little bit of work over the years: alternator, a/c compressor, battery, a/c condenser, timing belt, light bulbs, valve cover gaskets, vacuum hoses, KYB Excel G struts, the strut hats, motor mounts, tranny mount, pitch stop, a bushing in the shift linkage, one of the front axles, and the right rear trailing arm. Other than that, I'm pretty sure it's all original. I don't want to "upgrade" - back to "original", or as close as I can get, is fine for me. I am not that spirited of a driver. The most abuse the car sees is driving on dirt roads to get to hiking trailheads and river put-ins.

I asked my local shop (not the dealer, though I can use them if it's advised) for a quote on the parts & labor (I gave them a list based on this thread). They declined to replace just the bushings for all of the control arms (front control arms, trailing arms, lateral links), quoting to replace the entire assembly in each case. They did quote me for replacing the steering rack and rear differential mount bushings. Also the stabilizer bar bushings, but I can do those myself. Should the tie rod ends be replaced along with all the rest of this?

Do you recommend going that route - replacing the front entire control arm with a kit that includes the bushings, and the trailing arms & lateral links with the bushings already installed? The metal is in good condition. There is no rust on the car at all. But if it's "better", I'm fine with replacing the entire part. If you recommend replacing the entire part, which brand should I go with? I see Moog and Mevotech, but these look different and I am not sure these would be an exact fit.

What I will probably do is buy all the parts and then have the shop install them. I may decide to do it myself, but let's leave that out of the discussion for now.

I apologize if any of this has been covered elsewhere on this site. I searched but not much is posted about the wagons, just that some things are different than on the sedans.

Thank you for any advice you have to offer.
Out of curiosity, how much did they quote you for that work? I have an '06 wagon, but its an Ohio car (rusty...). Having a shop do it might save me a lot of frustration. Plus Turn in Concepts is, like, a half mile from my house.

Also, I am thinking about replacing my FCAs with the sedan version (aluminum), but that also seems to require a sedan front sway and end links.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:23 PM   #78
kenliu84
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: NY
Vehicle:
2006 OBP WRX Wagon
PrecisionTuned/TiCSuspen.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleecy_Puddle View Post
Out of curiosity, how much did they quote you for that work? I have an '06 wagon, but its an Ohio car (rusty...). Having a shop do it might save me a lot of frustration. Plus Turn in Concepts is, like, a half mile from my house.

Also, I am thinking about replacing my FCAs with the sedan version (aluminum), but that also seems to require a sedan front sway and end links.
You can go on eBay and buy aluminum front arms off of a GC car. I am pretty sure that's the model but thats exactly what I did. Only thing you need to do is replace the front bushing with GD ones as ours are longer for the mounting point. You could just put a couple a washers if you dont want to replace that bushing but with the arm out and the bushing is almost 20 years old, why not? Superpro kits also offer this arm and associated bushings. A vendor on here may still have a set or two; the kit has been discontinued.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:18 PM   #79
tcmaresh
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Sorry for not responding sooner. I didn't receive any notification.

I didn't keep the quote. I recently asked another shop and he gave me a rough estimate of $500 for replacing the control arm assemblies using Dorman.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:38 PM   #80
tcmaresh
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Vehicle:
2002 WRX Sport Wagon
Black

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OK, so I had the lower control arms checked out to see if the bushings needed to be replaced, and the guy said he tested them thoroughly and they are tight. No movement that concerns him. Could that be possible? I am pretty sure they are original. Would they feel "tight"/no excessive play to a non-Subaru expert? I'm now in Spokane, WA where there are tons of Subarus, so while they may not be Subaru "experts", I'm sure they have a lot come through the shop.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:44 AM   #81
Fleecy_Puddle
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Member#: 496892
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcmaresh View Post
OK, so I had the lower control arms checked out to see if the bushings needed to be replaced, and the guy said he tested them thoroughly and they are tight. No movement that concerns him. Could that be possible? I am pretty sure they are original. Would they feel "tight"/no excessive play to a non-Subaru expert? I'm now in Spokane, WA where there are tons of Subarus, so while they may not be Subaru "experts", I'm sure they have a lot come through the shop.
What mileage are you at? [Looked up, duh] From what I know, CABs typically have a life of ~60k miles, after that performance starts to degrade. Eventually they will tear. Might be shorter or longer for aftermarket, depending on the type and usage, of course. Seems unlikely that those bushings are fine if they've never been replaced. Stock bushings are probably very similar in stiffness between manufacturers so I doubt thats the issue. Maybe they're aftermarket poly or solid?

I'm planning to have mine checked at a subaru performance shop here soon to try and diagnose a brake shudder I'm getting at highway speeds. I have 115k miles on my car. Bushings have never been replaced as far as I'm aware. I'll update when I find out more.

P.S. My folks live in Spokanistan. Small world!

Last edited by Fleecy_Puddle; 08-14-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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