Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Evergreen, CO USA
Car Year: 2004
Car Model: FXT MT Cobb Stage 2
I don't recall who posted this and whether I found it here or Scoobymods, but here's the procedure that I used.
Forester Lateral Link Install
19mm wrench and socket
17mm wrench x 2
14mm wrench or socket
12mm wrench or socket
This is a pretty straight forward install that I ran into almost no complications. Jack up the rear and put it on jack stands. I started by first removing the front link.
1. First, remove the 12mm bolt that is fastening the ABS sensor cable to the trailing arm.
2. Now you can access the 19mm nut that is holding the link to the hub assembly. I broke it loose with air but you can use a big socket on it. Remove the nut and washer but leave the long bolt in place.
3. Remove the plastic cap that is covering that nut. Anyone know what they cap is there?
4. Put a 17mm wrench on the nut side and break it loose. I used my foot and kicked it. Once loose, grab your other 17mm wrench and take the nut off. The space is tight so make sure you have 2 wrenches handy. Now, move onto the rear link.
5. Remove the endlink that connects to the sway bar with a 14mm.
6. VERY IMPORTANT. Mark the position of the 22mm bolt, as this will affect your toe. This is on the inside rear of the read lateral link.
7. Break the 17mm nut loose and remove the eccentric bolt. Make sure you keep all washers in proper order.
8. Now remove the long 19mm bolt. Your rear link should fall right out and your front link should be dangling by the inside bolt.
9. Get your jack and jack up the suspension by the bottom of the hub assembly. Be sure not to use the rotor or dust shield as a jacking point. Jack the suspension up about 1.5"-2".
10. Now push the hub in and the axle boot will compress giving you just enough room to remove the last 17mm bolt out to free your front lateral link.
11. Install new front STI lateral link. Be sure to have the pillowball end with the diamond shape cut on the outside. The cuts prevent the trailing arm from hitting the pillowball.
12. Install the rear STI lateral link. Be sure that the 22mm eccentric bolt is as close when you removed it as possible.
13. Line both links up with the hub assembly and push the long 19mm bolt through it. Replace the nut and washer.
14. Tighten the two 17mm nuts and the 19mm nut down to 100lb/ft (can someone verify service manual specs?)
15. Bolt the ABS sensor line bracket and swaybar endlink back on.
16. Repeat 1-15 on other side.
Need a compelling reason to get these? I don't really have one but as I was installing them, I noticed a few things. First, they are 100 times beefier than the stock pieces. Second, there are pillowball mounts on 3 out of the 4 mounting points whereas the stock has no pillowball mounts. The pillowball mounts act more like a joint allowing for a more free and natural movement of the rear suspension. I have driven about 50 miles after the install and made a few fast turns and have noticed that the rear just follows along now instead of a light push I used to feel. It almost feels like 4 wheels steering. The rear just seems to turn more easily and smoother at high speeds.