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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ah the joys of frameless doors. This is the second time I've dealt with a torn window gusset and figured that I'd take pictures and do another little writeup on the issue.

-A few notes, this is for a 2005 Forester XT with the premium sound system. You may have blank covers where my pictures show a tweeter grill. I also have dynamat on my doors, so don't expect to see all of the shiny silver stuff on your doors. (It was pretty haphazardly installed, so please excuse that:icon_redface:)

The window gussets are the triangle shaped pieces of rubber that the side-view mirrors mount to. Because of the design they have a tendency to tear at the very top, which can lead to some very annoying whistling. It hasn't been a problem for me in the warm weather, but when it gets cold the noise starts right back up.

You can see the rip in this picture


The gussets cost about $65 each, and the part numbers are:
Drivers Side: 61158SA010
Passenger Side: 61158SA000

The tools required are:
Flat Head Screwdriver
Phillips Head Screwdriver
Trim Puller (You can get by without this, I don't use it in the writeup, but it's a good tool for removing trim pieces)
10mm socket
Ratchet
Socket Extension





Here is what the drivers side gusset looks like when it's not in the car:


Replacing them is a fairly straight forward process.

1 - Remove the door panel & trim
2 - remove the mirror
3 - remove the gusset
4 - reassemble

To begin, roll the window glass all of the way down. It will make the process much easier and you'll be less likely to hit it with a tool. First you need to remove the door panel. There are two things you must remove first in order to get it to come off. One is the assembly that has your window/lock switches in it, and the other is the trim around the door handle.

Using a flat head screwdriver lift up the little flap shown here:


Then remove the screw underneath


Using a flat head screwdriver, cats paw, trim puller, etc... gently lift up the assembly at the back, then the middle, then the front. A little futzing should make it come right out.






Next you need to disconnect the two wire harnesses. These pictures are for a drivers side door, but the passenger side is quite similar. The larger of the two harnesses is easiest to get out using something to push the tab in. The picture didn't come out well, but you get the idea

BE CAREFUL REMOVING THIS CONNECTOR. IF YOU PULL TOO HARD ON THE WIRES YOU CAN CAUSE IT TO COME APART AND YOU'LL HAVE TO PUT THE WIRES BACK INTO THE CONNECTOR.

Here's a threads to help if this happens to you: door lock and window control wiring question (merged thread)



Here is a picture of the harnesses for the passenger side:
Now it's time to remove the trim around the door handle. This takes some finesse, but with some kind of pry tool gently pry it out until the clips begin to release. You can see the location of all the clips in the second picture here. (Some pictures were staged, so that's why it may look out of order)






Before you can remove the door panel itself there's one more thing to take off. My car has tweeters installed, but others may just have blank plastic covers. It doesn't matter either way because they both attach the same.
Get a hold of the tweeter cover and start wiggling it out. There are three plastic pieces that are just shoved into holes in the plastic tweeter bracket (they may go directly into the rubber gusset on non-tweeter equipped cars, not sure on that), and they should come out without much hassle.




(Another note; I have aftermarket tweeters installed (aka glued) in place of the stock ones. Don't worry if yours don't look the same)


With that removed it's time to take off the door panel. There are a whole bunch of clips holding the panel onto the door, so you pretty much have to pick a place to begin and start popping the clips out by pulling on the plastic. A cats paw/trim puller would probably be quite helpful here, I've just always done it with my hands though. This picture shows where I like to start because there's an indent in the sheet metal and it's easy to get a grip on the panel.


Once you have the clips loose from the door you simply slide the plastic panel straight up to get it unhooked from the top edge of the door. Again this will take a little bit of wiggling, but it should come off nicely. If it's not then you may still have a clip attached. Just take your time and it will come off.

Now that the panel is removed remove the tweeter bracket from the gusset. This plastic piece is just shoved into three holes in the bracket, so it should pull straight out.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
With all of that removed you should see something that looks like this (without the dynamat)


The green wire jacket has all of the wires that control the mirror. You need to unhook that harness.



With the harness removed it's time to remove the mirror. There are three screws that attach the mirror to the gusset. Two of the screws have little caps over them. Just use a screwdriver or you nails to pop the caps off. I recommend having a magnet of some sort around or a well magnetized screwdriver because it can be a PITA if those screws fall into the door.



A few tips for this. These screws can be pretty hard to remove. I've found that having a #2 Phillips head socket attachment on a ratchet/extension works very well to break the screws loose. I can fight with them using a screw driver for a long time, but that socket attachment seems to break them loose immediately. You don't want to strip these out! Also, this may be common sense, but it helps to remove the two lower screws first, and then the top one. While you're removing the third top screw keep a hand on the mirror so it doesn't fall off!

Here's the mirror removed




The rubber molding/door-seal thing on the inside edge of the door jam needs to be partially removed. There is one clip holding it into the door, it should be a pretty self-explanitory removal. I couldn't get a good picture of this, but you will see it hanging down in the next picture.

The window gusset is held on by three bolts and one nut. All four are 10mm

The nut (and rubber piece removed and hanging)


The three bolts:


When you have removed the three bolts and the one nut the gusset is free. It is held in the door by pressure, so this again will take some wiggling. It will come out pretty easily though.

Here's the old gusset removed


Now slide the new gusset in place and re-install the three bolts and the one nut. Everything else is just done in the reverse of removal.

Here's a suggestion from mtkoren after using this writeup
even if tempting to start the reinstall of the gusset bolts with a magnetic screwdriver (to avoid dropping the bolts), it is too hard to line them up that way - I would insist (not that you said anything to the contrary) that it is faster and safer to use the same 10mm socket to put them back so that they lay flat as they go into their holes. (I had a scary moment.)
This is the new gusset installed:


I hope this helps some people out. As always, let me know if anything isn't clear and I will do my best to clarify.
 

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Registered
2004 Forester XT-5MT
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425 Posts
Nice stuff... I've been thinking about replacing mine.... You just saved me a whole write up .....

Thanks
Mike
 

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02 Foz 4eat
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5,548 Posts
I've been wanting to replace these for months/years, but the $65 price tag always sends me into shock. Think I'm going to try the ghetto fix of electrical tape and see how that holds up.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I've been wanting to replace these for months/years, but the $65 price tag always sends me into shock. Think I'm going to try the ghetto fix of electrical tape and see how that holds up.
You may want to try a tube patch kit. I don't know if it will work but that seems like it would be the best ghetto repair. One of the heavy duty ones that's designed to patch the tubes you pull behind a boat would probably work well.

If you do try it let me know how it works. I'd be interested to hear.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,051 Posts
great write-up!

i can't remember if mine have torn on top or not on the different foresters i have had. i have carefully "squeezed" them back together with very large pliers to reduce the gap and eliminated the wind noise without having to replace them.
 

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Registered
2004 Forester X
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68 Posts
i cram a plastic card into the area between this and the door jam, seems to add enough pressure to eliminate the noise. Some things are worth a $130 repair, I don't think this is one of them.
 

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Registered
2005 Forester X
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77 Posts
My Fox has 49k and they are ripped already and driving me nuts. The tube fix doesn't work that well. Where did you get these? I might as well replace my front speakers while I'm in there:D
 

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Registered
2003 Forester XT
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500 Posts
mine makes a hell of a noise above 70, seems to act like a vent :p
If I push it against the window it quiets down. But I think its more down to the fact my window doesn't work :p
 

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2003 2.5X
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16 Posts
Wonderful Visuals!! Thanks!

Hi

I'm so delighted to have this visual tutorial. This is my 2nd Subaru with Gusset noise - when I replaced the drivers gusset on my Legacy (1995) the wind noise dropped precipitously - but the Legacy gusset change looks like a piece of cake compared to this. Anyhow ready to do the same in my 2003 Forester - driver's side again - and the increasing wind noise (and I located the rip in the gusset right down the middle of the crease) is really getting on my nerves. I'm tired of pinching the rubber to stop it! Just to have it return when I open and close the windows. $65 seems like nothing compared to the labor I see in this photo essay. But I'm ready!

And to the contributor here that thinks it is his window assembly on not the gusset - well maybe but that thinking certainly flies in the face of most reality! Sorry.
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
It's really not a huge deal, the pictures make it seem more complicated than it really is. I hope all goes well!
 

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Registered
2003 2.5X
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16 Posts
Thank you thank you! I purchased the left gusset for my 2003 Forester X from my local Subaru dealer for $81 with tax. I printed this article plus a couple of pages from my Forester shop manual disk showing exact clip locations for the panel (it didn't matter!).

The only thing I had to run back in for was an extension to my 1/4" drive to the 10mm socket. That took up 1/3 the install time, and it was easy to find. 30 minutes after I started I was done! And drove it and no more noise - no more whistle!

My noise was not like the one of this article's author - it resulted from the inside of the gusset breaking thru so the noise had more of a garbley sound coming from the tweeter location. You couldn't make it better or worse by pressing on the rubber or gusset while driving. With the window rolled down, looking inside the slot for the window, you could see metal pushing thru the rubber. FIXED!

And I'm not even a mechanic!

Three suggestions - (1) show the location of the 4th nut, and (2) suggest using a ratchet extension - obvious as that may seem - and (3) even if tempting to start the reinstall of the gusset bolts with a magnetic screwdriver (to avoid dropping the bolts), it is too hard to line them up that way - I would insist (not that you said anything to the contrary) that it is faster and safer to use the same 10mm socket to put them back so that they lay flat as they go into their holes. (I had a scary moment.)

Michael
 

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K.I.T.T. meet A.L.I.C.E.
2008 Forester XT 4EAT
Joined
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thank you thank you! I purchased the left gusset for my 2003 Forester X from my local Subaru dealer for $81 with tax. I printed this article plus a couple of pages from my Forester shop manual disk showing exact clip locations for the panel (it didn't matter!).

The only thing I had to run back in for was an extension to my 1/4" drive to the 10mm socket. That took up 1/3 the install time, and it was easy to find. 30 minutes after I started I was done! And drove it and no more noise - no more whistle!

My noise was not like the one of this article's author - it resulted from the inside of the gusset breaking thru so the noise had more of a garbley sound coming from the tweeter location. You couldn't make it better or worse by pressing on the rubber or gusset while driving. With the window rolled down, looking inside the slot for the window, you could see metal pushing thru the rubber. FIXED!

And I'm not even a mechanic!

Three suggestions - (1) show the location of the 4th nut, and (2) suggest using a ratchet extension - obvious as that may seem - and (3) even if tempting to start the reinstall of the gusset bolts with a magnetic screwdriver (to avoid dropping the bolts), it is too hard to line them up that way - I would insist (not that you said anything to the contrary) that it is faster and safer to use the same 10mm socket to put them back so that they lay flat as they go into their holes. (I had a scary moment.)

Michael

I believe that I did show the fourth bolt/nut location in a separate picture:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v646/techy101/Alice/Gussets/WindowGussets035.jpg

Also, I'll modify the post to suggest using an extension. It didn't cross my mind to mention since my garage has all of my tools right at hand.

Thank you for your comments, and I'm glad it helped!

-Matthew
 
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