Rusted out LCA’s

Discussion in 'Modifications And Maintenance' started by Schikane, May 15, 2018.

  1. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    Hello everyone, I came across something interesting this morning that I have never seen before.
    My car is a 2013 WRX with 48,000 miles.

    I’ve been experiencing a front end clunk/pop over bumps since about last Fall. At first it did not happen all the time and it was pretty mutted. I figured it was due to bushings or a bad strut mount but it never worsened.
    The noise started to increase in frequency and become more noticeable over the last month or so so I went looking for it.
    I shook and pried at everything but found nothing out of the ordinary until I saw this:

    [​IMG]

    I then looked over at the driver side lca and saw the same thing. Popping noise found!

    I’m not sure how to digest this in the least. The car is always garaged when at home and is washed about 2-3 times a month in the Winter. I have never seen this before.

    I made an appointment at Brooklyn Park Subaru on Friday. Just curious what you guys think about this.

    Thanks
     
  2. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    I just wanted to add that last summer I did my front brakes and rotors and both lcas looked fine.
     
  3. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    I know subaru had a TSB about checking LCA for rust. Not sure what models and years it encompassed
     
  4. Mnelson
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    Mnelson Active Member

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    When I bought my 2013 sti @31k, it looked like someone replaced the lca and I though it was kinda strange. I was hoping it was something like this and not the result of frenching a curb. Both sides looked new so I'm guessing you will want to do the same.

    I do have some popping noises in the car under mid to full lock, usually in reverse but I doubt it's this. Maybe I'll check other parts for similar issues..

    The 14wrx before the sti had similar rust on the lca but I don't remember it being popped.
     
  5. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    Thanks for the comments.

    I guess what I am having a hard time accepting is the idea that this might be considered a normal wear item.
    If it were bushings or strut mount or even the strut itself I’d be fine with it. If this were a 10+ year old car that sat outside I’d be fine with it. But having both lcas pop like this so soon....
    Am I being unreasonable?

    I’ve owned a handful of cars over the last 30 years and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this happen.
     
  6. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    I would deff take it in and see what they will do for you. Worst case scenario they try and push it off as wear and tear and you can attempt to get SOA involved.
     
  7. Chux
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    Chux Well-Known Member

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    I see nothing out of the ordinary. If you're talking about the opening between the 2 halves of the stamped steel, that looks normal.

    Here's the end of a brand-new OE control arm for a Legacy. Smaller opening, but you can see how they're made, with 2 stamped sections welded together, and there are openings there.
    [​IMG]
    2018-05-16_09-04-15
    by Numbchux, on Flickr
     
  8. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    IDK looking at his picture it looks like the weld has let go and the top half of the LCA is folding back. Maybe its just an illusion?
     
  9. Chux
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    Chux Well-Known Member

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    Not to me. I'll agree that the opening on his are larger than on this Legacy one, but they're different parts...so that's completely feasible.

    The sleeve that the ball joint goes through is one piece welded to each side, and I still see it protruding outside the stamped sections on top and bottom.



    At the end of the day, we're just speculating on the internet. But I've seen my share (and then some) of rusted, and impact-damaged control arms, and not one of them has failed that way. Seems pretty unlikely that they'd both be failed that way.
     
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  10. Mnelson
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    Mnelson Active Member

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    Normal cars don't spin rod bearings before ~50k but that's also known for gr's.

    I'll have to look at mine tonight and compare. Might not add value to the conversation since they look new.. But yours definitely look split vs a manufactured opening. Just my $0.02.
     
  11. ryjacobs
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    ryjacobs Well-Known Member

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  12. Mnelson
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    Mnelson Active Member

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  13. pillboy
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    pillboy Well-Known Member

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    This is what I was going to say too from my memory of my Legacy. Plus I was also assuming the OP was concerned about this opening on his being a defect.
     
  14. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    Sorry, day sleeper here.

    Weird. Okay, well I feel better. Well better and stupid.
    Back to square one again.
    Given the noise sounds like its coming from both wheel areas. When I saw the gap and how irregular and corroded it looked I automatically thought this was not right.

    So all these years. All the time I’ve spent under the car and I never noticed the arms looking like this?! I’ve switched out stamped arms for aluminum arms in the past and don’t recall seeing an opening like this before.

    Thanks for clearing this up. I guess its up to Subaru to find the source of my thumping noise.
     
  15. pcwerk
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    pcwerk Well-Known Member

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    i was having clunking noise when going over potholes and discovered my
    Sway bar was broken! still deciding on whether to fix this myself once i get
    the dough...
     
  16. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    I did get this sorted on Friday. After hearing that the lcas were normal I canceled my appointment with Subaru and decided I was going to start with the endlinks and sb bushings and, if they were not the source, check the ball joint.
    I removed the passenger side kartboy endlink and it just disintegrated. The rubber bushing on both sides just fell apart and the metal sleeve fell out. The driver side was still intact.
    I bought moog greaseables and replaced the sb bushings with energy suspension bushings and now the noise is gone.
     
  17. Krazylegz1485
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    Krazylegz1485 Well-Known Member

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    Hooray for easy repairs and saving money! Even the sun shines on a dog's ass every now and then.
     
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  18. predavore
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    predavore Well-Known Member

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    My 08 WRX had some clunking a couple years ago. Ended up being the rear bushing in the LCA. Replaced them with some Tomioka bushings. Love them.

    [​IMG]
    Mine weren't this bad. Worn, not torn.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. ryjacobs
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    ryjacobs Well-Known Member

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    Cool. I may have to look into the bushings on mine. I have KW coilovers though, so I always figured the clunking when damp outside was from those.
     
  20. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    When I did the bushings on my 05 OBXT I did mine with whiteline bushings. Bit spendy but deff quality
     
  21. Schikane
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    Schikane Active Member

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    Definitely on my to-do list next year are aluminum control arms. I like the super pro arms but they are a little pricey for me.
    I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’ll swap out the stock bushings.
     
  22. Chux
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    Chux Well-Known Member

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    Those bushings are crap. If you've got the Impreza chassis, you can swap to the newer ('11+? IIRC) STi arms and get spherical bearings.
     
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  23. predavore
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    predavore Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, 2011+ WRX with wider body can use the newer aluminum STi LCAs with spherical bearings. The '08-10 can use the Legacy aluminum LCAs but I believe they have the old style bushing. Or just swap the bushing for 1/5th the cost of new control arms. I've read that the spherical bearing is physically larger than the old bushing so not compatible. It's not too hard to replace the bushing. I used the drill bit trick to ream out the old bushing then just cut the sleeve with a hacksaw. Press in the new ones.
     
  24. JasonoJordan
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    JasonoJordan Well-Known Member

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    This is why the whiteline ones are nice. The new ones don't have to be pressed in.
     
  25. predavore
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    predavore Well-Known Member

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    That only works if they are not torn.
     
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