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1999 Forester Front Wiper Bushing Repair

Hello everyone,
Thanks for all the posts that come before this one, they were very helpful and made it possible for me to repair my wiper play. I used the norman (part#49447) replacement bushings trimmed them a bit and reinstalled everything with a new washer to take up some slack and it works great. I made a youtube video to show the process hope it helps.

[YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z1MRLJ22Vw"][/YOUTUBE]

youtube.com/watch?v=9z1MRLJ22Vw

Scooby Drew
 

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Specs for the parts?

Hi,
I have the same problem with my 99 Forester S. I am about to head home from work and do this exact fix - excellent post/photography with the fix - I am impressed.
I have one problem though, it is raining so if I disassemble my wipers to find what size washer I need, I will have to re-assemble to drive to get the bits-n-pieces.
Perhaps you could post what size, gauge, depth of washer is needed?

Cheers, much appreciated,
James
 

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They aren't as stupid as we thought!

Hi all,
first off, thank you all for your posts, in particular those with photos/videos, they have been a great help.

I have experience the same wiper problem with my 99 Forester and attempted two of the solutions described above, namely that described by SuperRu with the washer and that described by ScoobyDrew with the Dorman part #49447.

Great ideas, I especially love the simplicity of the washer. Unfortunately, in cases such as mine, where the shoulder on the original bushing is completely worn, even a washer won't help. Keeping the actuator arm on the what is remaining of this shoulder requires almost enough force to pop the bushing off the ball-joint - not an ideal solution. After the second time the bushing joint popped off, I went out and bought the Doorman #49447 replacement bushings.

First I tried Scooby Dreq's method, nice video by the way, great help. I trimmed off the flange from the bottom of the replacement bushing, slid it through the hole in the actuator arm and popped it back onto the ball-joint. Nice, it seemed to work great, the play was gone from the wipers and all was well - for a day or so. Unfortunately, it was still possible for the actuator arm to slide off the bushing (toward the motor) - leaving us back at square one. What to do? Well, i could put a washer between the bushing and the ball-joint mount, a-la SuperRu, but that would leave me at risk of the bushing popping off mid-wipe, so I took another look at the bushings.

The are supposed to be universal replacements, right? So perhaps they have been tried on a few cars. I know Foresters aren't the most common auto on the road but, surely, someone has been in this situation before. Moreover, why the flange? Well, it appears that those Dorman guys are not as green as they are cabbage-looknig.. the bushing should be pressed through the hole in the actuator arm and just clicked onto the ball joint.

Ok, well this sounds obvious, so why has nobody done it? Well, because it's REALLY hard to do! It is a tight fight and it takes a lot of BFI. Take a new bushing and try to fit it into the hole and you'll understand, almost impossible. So take a knife and trim the flange back a tiny little bit and still no-go. Now take a cup of boiling water and drop the bushing in for s minute or two, it will soften, now, it should fit in relatively easily (when I say 'relatively' I mean, it will only drive you slightly insane, and you shouldn't need a sledge hammer).

A couple if tips, if you have the time and are enthusiastic, take out the entire wiper assembly and fit the bushing on a bench. If you spend time wrestling with it with the full linkage installed, you will likely twist the arm and damage one of the other bushings (and then you will realise why there are three replacement bushings in the packet!). Secondly, install it dry and then apply grease afterwards. Really, if you grease it you will have no grip on it and will likely loose it somewhere in the depths of the wiper assembly channel.

Anyhow, all-in it's a half hour job, with parts you can get in almost any auto-parts store for under $10. The hardest task is removing the cap on the service hole over the wiper motor, everything else is simple.

For the quickest fix, the bear minimum you need to do is:
1: Remove the plastic cowl under the wipers (right hand side only, no need to remove wipers)
2: Remove the plastic cap from the wiper assembly channel
3: Trim/Heat the new bushing, make the swap and grease.
4: Put everything back and hope it doesn't rain.

Attached are some photos of the job. I hope this helps.
Thanks to all who posted on the topic,
Regards,
James
 

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This thread saved a lot of headache on my 04. I had the classic 3 inches of slop and my the wipers going all over the place when in wet conditions and where parking really high.

I pulled the whole assembly (it was only three bolts) to do the swap with the Doorman #49447 bushings. I trimmed them a little, and then relied on a vise grip to get them into the linkage arm hole. I would say the hardest part was getting the wiper arms realigned properly. First try, they where too high, second try, the driver's side arm hit the other arm, and the third try everything's perfect and they park over the defroster, not that I need defrosting in Florida.

I will advise everyone that Advance is showing the bushing kit as discontinued and none of the local stores or warehouse had them in stock, and my local Autozones didn't have many in stock. I didn't check Pep Boys.
 

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Fixed Mine Today....

I noticed the flop in mine too, and it aggravated the poop out of me. Read this thread, bought the plastic bushings (the one on the motor was actually missing), trimmed one a little bit and placed it in there, and put it back together, tested it, and was good to go. Took about 20 minutes or so. Thanks for the DIY instructions.
 

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It's been a while since you posted this solution: I'd like to ask how it's holding up. Thanks for the post: I might try this tomorrow!
 

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This is really good info guys but, I have trawled the net till my eyes bleed and I can't find anyone who will sell these "Dorman 49447" wiper bushes to Ireland. Does anyone know of a seller who can do this, please?
 

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Question for those who used the Dorman 49447. Rather than trim the tabs and push it in that way, can't you fold the "ears" and push it thru the other way? Those 4 plastic ears that are coming off the top look like they're meant to be folded in during assembly and then pop back out to hold it in. I could be completely wrong since I haven't tried any of this yet, but I will be trying it soon.
 

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Wow, I forgot about this thread. This exact thing happened to my son's 01' OB last month. I was lucky enough to find the whole linkage assembly on ebay for 23 bucks shipped so I went for it. I just had to remove the motor and swap it on. After I did the swap I saw the Dorman kit in the auto store and wondered if that would work. BassMaker you ever find any? I could always pick up some and ship it over.
 

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Boil the bushings, no trimming required, takes about 30 seconds to install on the arm after maybe a minute in boiling water. Boiling the old bushings also helps weaken them so you can pry the inner tabs inward and pop those off.

Also make sure you keep track of the order of the arm arrangement, save yourself some real head scratching.
 

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Bumping the thread!

Well I finally tried this and it didn't really work, i think i trimmed the new bushing too much. I'll try another attempt and if that doesn't work im buying a new one!

I found a new one on ebay for 75 shipped ( not to bad since im in Canada) but i was just wondering if a new assembly would come with the rubber gasket and a new bushing ?

Thanks
 

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Any chance people who have used Dorman part 49447 as a replacement bushing could chime in with the status of the repair? I've seen a number of posts on NASIOC on various Subaru models using this and a couple other Dorman bushing kits and have found a good number of people reporting failure again weeks to months later. With winter weather soon to be a factor here, I'm debating between $5 bushings or just new linkage. If there is a decent chance I'll be redoing the fix again a few months later I would probably just fork out the cash for new linkage.
 

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I read this thread last night and it started me neurotically obsessing about it. I have to check and see if my 2003 has a thunk or not...........I really haven't noticed anything amiss but maybe it's something that I mentally adjusted to???

Oh joy: another DIYS project that I could potentially F up.........I love it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Forums members!

Steve
 

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Gotta check the wipers tomorrow on the Thanksgiving drive and see exactly what they do or don't do...........I know that they park properly at the bottom of the windshield........

Steve
 

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You'd definitely know if you had the thunk happening. Your wipers would not return all the way back to the bottom and the thunk comes from it whamming into the edge of the windshield. Highly annoying!
The wipers on my 03 XS Forester work fine i.e. return all the way back to the bottom, it's the bloody thunk that drives me insane when it rains. :yell:
 

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i haven't noticed any thunk but did notice my passenger wiper skipping some, so i replaced it at around 5 mo age. the new one is slightly worse. usually i notice the longer drivers' side one starting to skip first.

did anyone with the bushing problem have trouble with skipping passenger wiper blade at some point?

i did actually check it once by grabbing the base of the wiper arm looking for any "slop" but didn't think about the overall linkage.
 

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If there's any play or any thunking, the bushing will fail eventually and leave you with no wipers... Mine failed outright eventually. Fixed it with the Dorman 49447 part.
 
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