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I have a 2000 foz and had the same problem. Used the same parts as in this thread but also added the addition of epoxy putty[jb weld] and attached the wiper arm, not the motor arm, to the white cap. Seems to be working fine so far. Lubed it with spray grase. Also found new wiper arm linkage set for less than 50 bucks on the net. They're is also a you tube video that will give you an idea what you're up against. There is an acess panel on the passengers side below the windshield. Pop one piece of trim and the panel and Viola. Access to the problem area.
 

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Gonna take a stab at this myself ... I have about 3 inches of play and my windshield wipers slam into the bottom of the windshield ... and it is drivin me nuts ...

Not sure but I may just order parts for both solutions ...

Gonna be fun bc I am mechanically challenged to say the least ...
 

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The Modfather
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Gonna take a stab at this myself ... I have about 3 inches of play and my windshield wipers slam into the bottom of the windshield ... and it is drivin me nuts ...

Not sure but I may just order parts for both solutions ...

Gonna be fun bc I am mechanically challenged to say the least ...
Are you sure it's not just a loose nut on the spline at the bottom of the wiper arm? If it's both wipers it's most likely the linkage bushings but worth a look before you dive in. Still in all it's not all that hard to do if you take your time.
 

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Casper reincarnated
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Are you sure it's not just a loose nut on the spline at the bottom of the wiper arm? If it's both wipers it's most likely the linkage bushings but worth a look before you dive in. Still in all it's not all that hard to do if you take your time.
Haven't seen you here for ages Peaty, how is it all going over there mate?
Saw your shots of the Busker Festival, very nice.
 

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The Modfather
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Doing well on this end, I've been around just keeping a low profile :) My daughter will be driving soon so I hope to get her a Forester so I have more of an excuse to post ;)
 

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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
Did you ever order this item from EBAY and did it work?
They are still on EBAY for $75 shipped.

I'm having the same problem on my 02 Forester.
I need a permanent fix and it seems like replacing everything with all new stuff might last the longest?
 

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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

OK, I tried this but I don't think I did it correctly.
The middle bushings were shot so only replaced those.
BTW, the tip about boiling them worked great.
Didn't need to do any trimming.

Also, I greased the ball joint that the bushing slides over.
Was I supposed to do that?

Anyways, I'm going to replace the far right and far left connecting bushing this week.
Also, I didn't replace the worn out rubber washers. I'm going to get the grommets mentioned and use those.

My main question - Do I need to grease the ball joint that the bushings ride on?

If it doesn't work this time I"m just going to buy the complete replacement linkage assembly for $80.
 

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Don't know if anybody that originally posted here is still around or not but I'm going to update with my experience just for others who may find it helpful.

After replacing some bushings to no avail I tried the grommet trick.
Help a little bit but not enough.

I ended up ordering the new linkage from EBAY for $73.
I bolted right in and now everything is working GREAT!

After seeing the new linkage I can see that all the rubber washers & plastic spacers were completely worn out on my old linkage.

If you live near a auto parts store and hardware store you can search around for these parts and hope to get it right the first time.
If not you keep adding washers or spacers.

If you don't have much free time like me the just order the new linkage from EBAY and be done with it.
 

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Reviving an old thread, sorry or cool :D

Love what I read, Spent about 3-4 hours playing around with mine I actually welded a washer on both ends of the passenger side ARM and reduced a bit of slop BUT the actual passenger wiper bolt seems to have its "OWN" play it moves in and out of the assembly loosely and when my wipers get about MID WIPE it feels like the motor lacks POWER to bring them back...

Lately my wipers don't even go back down they stay about 1/4 of the way in the window...

Anyone experience this? I have the impression in my case a whole linkage replacement would do the trick as even with wiper play reduced, the wipers can't make it across the windshield without a little help of some washer fluid !

Thanks for your comments on this
 

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How do I see your pictures - they were not posted

This is a DIY fix for a dollar. The white plastic caps that join the wiper arms together in the wiper assembly commonly wear and break under normal use. 1984 - 1986 Honda CRX and Civics also used these plastic caps for a short time - much to my dismay. In my 2000 Subaru Legacy and Subaru Forester (should work on 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 models as well), there is an easy DIY solution that will take care of the excessive play in the wiper travel, as well as the common 'wiper clunk'.
Head over to your local auto parts store an purchase a PCV Valve grommet for a Toyota. Part number 42058. These are only a dollar, and are normally stocked on the shelf. If you put the phrase 'pcv valve 42058' into to Google Image Search you will see what I mean. I’m attaching a picture as well.
For installation, gain access to the wiper assembly, I recommend removing the entire assembly (arms and motor) from below the black trim piece under the windshield. Inspect all the joints. If you have a loose joint, remove the white plastic cap and the arm from the ball joint. Slide the PCV Valve Grommet over the ball joint and press the arm into the grommet. This is now a perfect, snug fit. Wiper blades slamming into the car is a thing of the past.
How do I see your pictures?
 

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This is a DIY fix for a dollar. The white plastic caps that join the wiper arms together in the wiper assembly commonly wear and break under normal use. 1984 - 1986 Honda CRX and Civics also used these plastic caps for a short time - much to my dismay. In my 2000 Subaru Legacy and Subaru Forester (should work on 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 models as well), there is an easy DIY solution that will take care of the excessive play in the wiper travel, as well as the common 'wiper clunk'.
Head over to your local auto parts store an purchase a PCV Valve grommet for a Toyota. Part number 42058. These are only a dollar, and are normally stocked on the shelf. If you put the phrase 'pcv valve 42058' into to Google Image Search you will see what I mean. I’m attaching a picture as well.
For installation, gain access to the wiper assembly, I recommend removing the entire assembly (arms and motor) from below the black trim piece under the windshield. Inspect all the joints. If you have a loose joint, remove the white plastic cap and the arm from the ball joint. Slide the PCV Valve Grommet over the ball joint and press the arm into the grommet. This is now a perfect, snug fit. Wiper blades slamming into the car is a thing of the past.
How do I see your pictures?
The post was made several years ago by an inactive user, so you won't get a direct reply from them. From taking a look at the post, it doesn't look like the picture was ever attached by the user.
 

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Rather than using the Dorman 49447 bushing assortment, I used the Dorman 49449 which has two identical bushings in the package. The advantage to the Dorman 49449 is that it doesn't need any trimming. This bushing has a groove in which the wiper linkage arm snaps into. And this part is molded differently than the 49447 bushings. The difference is that the six beveled sections that hold the bushing onto the linkage arm are separate from the cup section that holds the bushing onto the linkage ball.

I removed the whole linkage from the car and made the repair on a workbench, but you might be able to replace the one bushing near the wiper motor, which seems to be the one that often fails, with the linkage still on the car. If you try that first, you don't have to remove the black plastic cowling on the drivers side firewall either. Just remove the cowling on the passenger side, and the snap-in cover that hides where this bushing attaches to the wiper linkage ball.

I did find it helpful to heat the bushing in hot water, and a small flat bladed screwdriver was needed to press down two of the beveled sections so it snapped into the linkage arm.
 

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Thanks to everyone in this thread - just repaired mine as well.

One item to note: the clerks at O'Reilly weren't immediately able to find the part in their system - because it was under supplier "MTM", not "DOR" for Dorman. Apparently MTM is the division of Dorman, and they have it filed under that.

Marc​
 

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Just repaired mine yesterday using part number 49449. After cursing and swearing trying to get the bushing through the linkage arm I ended up accidently breaking two of the bevelled lugs off. Still a nice firm fit though so I left it in place but time will tell if this will significantly weaken its hold and lead to failure.
 

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Well I spoke too soon. Less than a month and about an hour total usage, the bushing on the motor came off the ball. When I tried to put it back on it was noticeably easy to put on and pull off. Consequently that one was not going to work. Put the spare I had on and it also was not grabbing the ball all that well. I decided to try the one from the kit 49447 and after trimming the edge off to fit the arm it went on the ball with a firm snap. Lhopefully this will last a bit longer
 

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Installing Wiper Linkage Bushing

I used the 49449 and it was a breeze. I removed the linkage and wiper shafts. Cleaned the one at the motor as it was the only bad one after 210000 miles on my 2001 Subaru Forester. I used an 18 mm 12 point socket to place the open end against the linkage. I placed the Dorman 49449 (For Nissan Cars) bushing into a 15mm 12 point socket with the cap end in first allowing the flange to rest against the edge of the socket. I started the bushing in the linkage and place the 18mm socket, linkage, bushing, 15mm socket into a vise and slowly pressed the bushing into place. Perfect and easy with only light finger pressure on the vise. No heat required and it was 40 degrees Fahrenheit in my garage. Removed it from the vise and inspected that it was a firm fit with nothing broken. I placed some water resistant grease (marine) into the bushing and reinstalled the linkage, shafts and all. Simple as that.

Thanks to everyone for the information in diagnosing the wiper slap, over travel, and general looseness. Thanks to those that posted how to remove the linkage.
 
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