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Hi guys I have a 09 forester that I love and wanted for a while, but now I have one every time I try to do some work on it the bolts are totally rusted and end up grinding them off and buying new bolts.

first was new anti roll bushes, easy 2 hour job turned into a day and a half of blood sweat and headaches,

Now just tried to replace the front wheel bearings and had to cut the old hubs off as the bolts just wouldn't give up

Next job is replace the two front suspension arms, had a quick go today and guess what? Bolts totally rusted and need grinding off, I have worked on my old astra a lot and never had this problem

Any tips on rusty bolts, not sure if it's a forester thing or the fact that the car came from a seaside town before I got it

Any input from anybody with some forester knowledge would be very welcome
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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I use a penetrating fluid from Dow Corning Molykote that works wonders. Sometimes, a light application of heat from a MAP gas torch helps. I use oem fasteners mostly as some metals with stainless steel will cause galvanic corrosion. A breaker bar will also help with some stuck fasteners, but your best defense is to inspect and change badly rusted nuts and bolts before they get too rusted. Use the right anti seize on the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have used penetrent, a blow lamp and whatever I have on hand,the rust is that bad I'm inbetween socket, spanner size on the bolt head, I think by the time I have finished every bolt will be new, I do have a specialist fastener merchant local and have been very helpful and up to now have found me a match for everything
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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The best fasteners for rust prevention are hot dipped galvanized steel. They have a dull matte sheen. Wax rust preventatives from Daubert, like NoxRust are excellent.

But, when you have rust galling, a cut off wheel may be your only resort.

Best to remove/replace before it gets to that point. If you do DIY work on your Subaru and live in rust prone areas. High temp paint also helps. All of these methods require a lot of diligence.
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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456 Posts
This caught my attention, having just went through something similar with an 07 Toyota highlander (evening job turned into over week of evenings). I appreciate the suggestions for how to slow rust progression. @Theseus161, I've used the wax based materials on areas not subject to direct spray. Do you think those will hold up on the underside, or would something like the "rubberized" 3M undercoating be better suited?

Kind of related, a TSB was issued last year, noting that the four bolts securing the rear subframe had been redesigned to be more rust tolerant. https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10163556-0001.pdf
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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I never used extra or added rubberized undercoating. It can actually mask Rust.

The new sub frames are not more rust resistant per say. They have a small slot for drainage of water. Good idea. Water doesn’t sit on the flange.

Rust prevention is a big topic. The battle continues. ;)
 

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2012 SH Manual Diesel
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For removal, add Wurth ‘Rost off Ice’, and/or Loctite ‘LB8040’. Both have a freezing action to break rust weld.

As mentioned above, put quality anti-seize on all your new fixings. And any that you can easily get off now, whilst you’re at it.

With new components, paint them with VHT Clear Caliper paint, and Bake them as per directions. Provides a chemical resistant coating.

If the car gets muddy or any salt spray, hose it down so soon as you can. Dirt will dry out your rubbers, and any mineral salts in the mud will increase the potential for corrosion.

If it’s bad where you live, consider trying a sacrificial anode, to slow down the attack on the car parts.

Also if you have a lot of Traffic Film, or Fall Out, give the car a good clean with Autoglym Magma (or liquid Clay. Same thing). It removes iron deposits imbedded on the car. Having Iron deposits can/may initiate corrosion of the part they are imbedded in.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i MT
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Do you have access to dry ice? It will "shrink" the bolt more than that Loctite Freeze & Release. Dry ice is -78 degrees C vs -43 degrees C for the Loctite. And you can hold it (with gloves) against the bolt/nut for greater temperature transfer.
 

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2010 Forester Premium X AT
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My penetrant of choice is ATF mixed with acetone

Heat using MAPP gas torch, not propane (that is if you dont care about melting bushings).

A big impact gun. If you're just using a socket and breaker bar, i think that's your biggest problem. They make decent electric impacts if you dont want to invest in an air system.

If none of those work, then it's cut and replace.
 

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2004 forester sti
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Ahh rust its the worse thing ,
I will try and remove bolts with heat and an impact gun , ive never had much success with sprays im too impatient .
I have had success with trying to do the bolt up before undoing, it breaks the seizure , but really for what its worth just shear them off and replace do you really want to reuse the rusty bolts ?
 

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I had this with our old '98 Legacy Outback. It made a real horror show of replacing the parking brake shoes, a job calculated to make you mean. Lockheed are you or have you been in the airplane biz?
 

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2019 Forester Limited
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456 Posts
Hah! Parking brakes are what was behind my comment earlier in this thread. I played "chase the rust" at each step. Shoes led to new cables, which led to a new cable equalizer and several sheared 6mm studs along the way. $%^@#! Multiple trips to various stores and waiting for new parts ensued, interspersed with "when do I get my car back?" (wife's car). It doesn't take much rust to make freeing small fasteners a lost cause.
 

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And because the round retainers Sub uses are smaller than normal regular drum brake tools don’t work well!
Often I use a mix of different penetrant like PB Blaster+Kroil+Freeze off+Free All. Haven’t tried the acetone+ATF mix yet but prob will with some of the jobs I have coming up (1998 Jeep resto).
Heat helps in fact sometimes this is the only way to get O2 sensors out; warm engine up first.
 

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2005 Forester EJ251
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94 Posts
Oxy torch works best if you can stop burning everything else.

Air impact gun with a flat nosed arbour on the nut can shake everything loose (this is not a rattle gun with a socket)

Anti-sieze grease after they are off. In some cases, I have covered the nut or bolt with silicon glue to keep the moisture out.
 

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2018 FXT-T CVT / 2007 FXT 5MT
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Fluid film is a great penetrant that won't evaporate off and can truly work in over a long period of time. Sounds like you're a good candidate for doing a full undercarriage spray.
 

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Another thing I learned from salt water boating: coat threads with a gasket sealer like Mercury Perfect Seal, Evinrude Gasket sealer or Permatex Aviation. It seals out moisture and does not cause galvanic corrosion like copper based anti seizes can.
 
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