Our 2015 Forester started to feel unstable on the freeway so I decided to inspect the front suspension. The rear bushing on the lower control arms appeared to be partially torn and had a lot of cracks. Which makes sense as it was also making a small clunk noise at slow speeds when hitting bumps. Upon removal, it was in fact the front smaller bushing that had completely torn and was the most likely the reason for the issues I was having.
Typically, I like to use factory replacement parts. However, in this case, Subaru sells the arm with no pressed in bushings and they charge 3 times more than the most expensive aftermarket lower control arm (that comes with both bushings and ball joint installed). I did some searching on Rock Auto and came across the Mevotech replacement control arms. They came installed with both bushings and ball joints. Since I prefer factory parts I opted to order 2 Subaru ball joints instead.
The control arms were priced right ~$84 each and the ball joints were ~$35 each.
Mevotech claims “Increased Durability: Rely on superior strength with a Stamped Steel Control Arm With A Increased Gauge For Added Durability” which I verified with a caliper (I'm not a professional machinist so your mileage may vary).
- Mevotech Controll arm - 2.57mm
- Subaru Controll arm - 2.46mm
This is not a how to, rather notes about my install. I recommend referencing the service manual. The control arm is the part that holds the wheel on your car, if in doubt don't do this yourself.
The installation was straight forward, and I recommend referencing the service manual for an actual how to. There is a great video on this job HERE. I started by removing the Mevotech ball joints and replacing them with the factory Subaru ones I purchased. I didn’t realize until I was about halfway through, but Subaru recommends replacing some of the bolts and nuts after each use:
- Front (smaller) bushing bolt (Mevotech arms came with a replacement bolt)
- Rear bushing nut and support bolts
- Swaybar end link nut
Had I known this, I would have ordered them at the same time as the ball joints, I installed them with red lock tight just to be safe.
- MEVOTECH CMS801212 - Left
- MEVOTECH CMS801213 - Right
- Subaru 20206AJ000 - Front Lower Ball Joint (x2)
Torque Specs from the FSM
|Ball Joint Pinch Nut||36.9 ft-lb|
|Lower Ball Joint||28.8 ft-lb + up to 60*|
|Sway Bar End Link||44.3 ft-lb|
|Front Lower Control Arm front bushing||70.1 ft-lb|
|Front Lower Control Arm rear bushing||81.1 ft-lb|
|Rear 2 bolts on bracket||110.6 ft-lb|
|Long bracket||73.8 ft-lb|
|Wheel Lug Nut||88.5 ft-lb|