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2006 Forester LLBean Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several months ago, my wipers started to slap on the down stroke and on the up stroke. Make up your own joke.....

Anyway, after researching the problem I found out that there are some plastic bushings in the wiper linkage that can fail. Once they do, it will allow play in the linkage and that is what leads to the wipers clunking or slapping. I fixed my problem today, and I thought I would share how I did it.

From my research, the bushings you need are not sold by Subaru. You have to buy the linkage assembly to fix the problem. Now what genius engineer thought that one up? You can however buy a pack of domestic generic wiper bushings for about 3 bucks. I got mine at Advanced Auto, and as you can see in the pic it is a "Help" product. It is probably sold in most auto parts stores.

My Foz is a 99, but I bet it would be a similar procedure with any year model. This is not a difficult project, but depending on how many bushings you have to replace it could take some time. It looked like there were 3 in all, but only one of mine had failed at the motor joint. You will be working through some holes that are about 3" X 8" and that is what complicates things. If you have big hands, find a buddy who has small hands. Two people would really make this project easier. Or you can do it like me and have your 3 year old daughter with you asking about a million questions and sneaking off with some of the tools. It still did not take too long and I did not break any of my plastic parts. :biggrin:

These first photos are of the pack of bushings and the one I actually used to fix my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Get those wipers off...

First thing to do is get the wipers off. You will need to remove the black plugs which cover the 12mm nuts. Remove the nuts and carefully remove the wipers. It will take some gentle but firm pressure and they will come right off. Don't pry on them with a screwdriver, because you will only tear something up. Just keep wiggling and pulling, they will come off. Now is the time to paint them if you want to do so. Mine could have used some paint, but I was dealing with a 3 year old so I skipped the painting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Black plastic pieces off next...

Now you will have to remove the black plastic pieces which cover up the access to the linkage assembly. If at all possible, I would not do this in cold weather because you will probably break something. Start on the drivers side and remove the two plastic push pins. The upper one can be gently pried up with a screwdriver. The lower one can be pushed up from the bottom. Once you have those out, there are still four more tabs/push pins to overcome before the larger plastic piece will come loose. There are three in the front that you can gently compress with some needle nose while you pull up on the piece. Do one at a time across the front and they will pop right out. There is one that is about in the middle of the upper edge, and you will have to manhandle it to pop it out. I have them labeled in the photo. Just go easy and you will have no problems. The smaller piece on the passenger side will be removed the same way. You will need to pop it off first because it overlays the larger piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And there is that nasty wiper linkage

Once you have removed the black plastic pieces, you will be able to see all the dirt and pine needles that are under there. You will also be able to see your linkage. There is a bushing at the motor and at each wiper. Like I stated before, I only had to replace the one on the motor joint. I did not mess with the others because they were both solid as a rock. Normally, I would have replaced the old with the new, but I felt like I would have just been looking for trouble in this case. Over the motor is a little access plate. You will need to carefully pry this out of the hole. It took a little firm prying, but it eventually came out. Be careful, because it has a sticky water tight seal. You can preserve the seal though, just go easy. Now drag out your shop vac and try to clean out as much dirt and debris as you can. I did not kill myself on this part because we live on a gravel road and my Foz is dirty most of the time. Inspect each bushing and see how much trouble you are in. If you need to replace the ones on the wipers themselves, it might be easier to drop the assembly down and you will probably have more room to work. While fixing the one on the motor arm I did not feel the need to do this. As you can see in the picture, the old bushing just broke up. I guess 13 years out of a plastic part in a dynamic system is not too bad. I hope my fix lasts that long. We will see...

The bushing I chose out of the kit just fit through the opening on the arm of the linkage. Give it a little grease to help minimize friction. When you pop it on, the arm of the linkage will rest between the bushing and a sort of foamy rubbery greasy washer. You can see that in the picture. There was no way I could use my fingers to pop the bushing on to the ball. I had to use a pair of pliers, and it took some figuring to get them down in that hole where I could squeeze the bushing on to that ball. This is where an extra set of hands would have been useful. It was also the point where I had the hood balanced straight up in the air, holding the linkage arm with one hand, and trying to manipulate the pliers down into that hole that my 3 year old daughter was really in high gear. I was trapped though. Momma was gone to town! Well, with some finagling and a bunch of patience I was able to pop that bushing on the ball of the motor arm. You can see it in the pictures. I could not pop it off with my hand either, so I hope it stays there for another 13 years. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Time for a Cool One...

Before you button it all back up, I would double check that you have your new bushing well seated over that ball. You would not want to dig it out again because you were a little timid when popping it on.

Now all you have to do is install the access plate and the black plastic cover pieces. Make sure that your seal is intact when you install that access plate over the wiper motor. If you have damaged your seal, you might want to use some waterproof sealant to make sure you get a good tight fit. That little plate keeps water from getting into your vehicle. Put the larger plastic piece on first because the smaller piece will overlay it. Pay attention where your wipers are before you bolt them down too. It only took about an hour for me to do the work on this project. The only tools I used were a flat head screwdriver, 12mm socket, and a pair of regular pliers.

Test your wipers and see if it worked. If you took your time and paid attention to detail, I bet it did. Now have you a nice cool one after a job well done. :Banane35:

OR you can do what I did.....fix supper and give your 3 year old a bath cause momma is at a meeting at church! :bananapowerslide:

Hope this will help someone one day!
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Nice write up, thanks for taking the time to share your project with the fourm! :cool:

As to making supper & giving your 3 year old a bath. My son still lives with me & he's 21. He can bath himself now, but dad still has to make the eats. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
 

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Wow! Thank you for this write up, sontag1! This is a problem with my car and it's a 98. Going to print this out and attempt to do this a day that I have off!
 

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2003 Forester xs Au(to) naturale(/a)
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Nice write up, thanks for taking the time to share your project with the fourm! :cool:

As to making supper & giving your 3 year old a bath. My son still lives with me & he's 21. He can bath himself now, but dad still has to make the eats. :icon_eek:

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
+1 nice job, perhaps even a sticky?

I happen to have a lot more fixing supper advice than I will ever have mechanical advice.

Amazon.com: The Real Man's Cookbook: How, When, What and Why to Cook (9781587360091): William J. Rayment: Books

How to copy a link on the iPad, I'm no help at all.

Edit: whoa! It worked!
 

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Used this on my 2000 forester

Hi,

Thanks for the post. I was able to do this with my 2000. I bought the same set of bushings and used the ones in the pics.

I had a lot of trouble getting the new bushings over the ball. They kept getting pushed out of the linkage
I ended up inserting the the bushing into the linkage from the closed end of the bushing. The 1st gap from the end is where I ended up (not as in original post). That portion of the bushing was hard enough that it would stay in the linkage when pushed over the ball.


I am attaching the original post photo with a red line showing where I am talking about.

Other than that. Perfect
 

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+1 nice job, perhaps even a sticky?

I happen to have a lot more fixing supper advice than I will ever have mechanical advice.

Amazon.com: The Real Man's Cookbook: How, When, What and Why to Cook (9781587360091): William J. Rayment: Books

How to copy a link on the iPad, I'm no help at all.

Edit: whoa! It worked!
Best thing my mother ever did was she stopped cooking when I was about 18. She's a great cook, I quickly got fed up with my lack of cooking skills at the time and dug out a cook book. Oh my father was pissed when he'd come home from work to a cold meat sandwich
 

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Best thing my mother ever did was she stopped cooking when I was about 18. She's a great cook, I quickly got fed up with my lack of cooking skills at the time and dug out a cook book. Oh my father was pissed when he'd come home from work to a cold meat sandwich
Campbell's chunky soup gets old pretty fast.
 

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2006 Forester LLBean Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
bushing failed!!!

The bushing I used in the OP has failed.

I would recommend following the older link posted by SuperRu. Use the bushing with the 4 tabs, and it seems to work better. Also, I added two thin Teflon washers. Here is what I did different:

I tortured myself by getting that 4 tab bushing through the eye of the wiper linkage arm. For the love of Pete, put it in the boiling water or you will never get it in there! Once I did the boiling water trick, it went in fine with some serious persuasion. I knew that I would have a gap if I just snapped the bushing over the ball, so I found two thin Teflon washers that looked about right. I greased them up and put them over the ball. Greased the ball and the bushing with some good Teflon grease, and it popped right on. Then I added some more grease to the whole thing. That was a couple days ago. I have used my wipers a couple of times, and so far so good. :Banane35:
 

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The bushing I used in the OP has failed.
I had the same problem. I called my local dealership and got both linkage arms with new bushings for under $30.
 

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2003 Forester
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wrong part

we tried this fix using the OP jury rig 49447 and it failed after a few months. BUT part 49449 is for foreign cars and works very well. same procedure, costs $5. easy DIY. this is on a 2003 forester 2.5x
 

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I had the same problem. I called my local dealership and got both linkage arms with new bushings for under $30.
This post says it all.

The bushing is molded in the the arm. I went to the dealership but only purchased the passenger linkage assembly. Cost me around $40.00. I must have wasted at least that much trying to come up with DIY solutions.

Save yourself the money and just buy new.
 

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we tried this fix using the OP jury rig 49447 and it failed after a few months. BUT part 49449 is for foreign cars and works very well. same procedure, costs $5. easy DIY. this is on a 2003 forester 2.5x
Echoing for 2006 Subaru Forester! Tried to find a bushing that would fit with the assorted Dorman 49447 but I was quite frustrated that none would fit well.
After, I went to the store and picked up the Dorman 49449 and it worked great - a true fix! Don't forget to grab a little grease at the store if you don't have any.

Also a tip for pressing the new bushing into the arm - you need to place something on the other side of the arm to allow the bushing to continue to go through (I used a large socket). I thought I could press directly on the arm and the bushing would go partially in, but it doesn't. You shouldn't need too much force with a vice or c-clamp to get it in.
 

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Update - After a few months, the arm popped off. Seems that the Dorman 49449 is actually slightly looser than the factory bushing. I popped it back on - but currently looking for a better bushing.
 
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