SUBARUPictures of how I fixed the swaybar clunk on the Subaru Legacy Outback.


Driving on the freeway, hit a little bump, and "clunk!" noise from the front suspension. The Google machine tells me the swaybar bushing, now old and hard, is loose and allows the swaybar to hit the bushing and make a klunk noise. This did not worry my wife, but I had a burst of energy (beer), so I decided to stop the clunk noise.

But first, lets pay some bills:

  1. First I did the usual things with wheel chocks, breaker bars, jackstands, that sort of thing.

  2. While the vehicle is jacked up, the swaybar is under tension, and will not rattle. So after hitting everything with a hammer and getting frustrated, I let it back down with the wheels on the ground again, and found the swaybar loose in its bushings.
    Loose Swaybar

  3. New bushing cost money, therefore I am against new bushings. Old bushings cause clunking noises, therefore I am against old bushings. I have a bit of two part liquid urethane that I used to make new bushings for the pathfinder rear end. New bushings for no money I am all for.

  4. All good repairs start with WD-40. I think the one bolt and one nut are 12mm or so. The one that is the size of your little finger.

  5. Here is the bushing and the bracket that holds it on. Off.
    Bushing Bracket

  6. A little tape on the sides and I will make a mold for the new bushing. The filth leaves a nice mark of where the bushing has been. Good ol' filth.

  7. The tape at the level of the bushing.
    bushing taped

  8. I need something to make a hole in the bushing so the swaybar will fit in the middle. How big? This big. Calipers are good.

  9. And a piece of paper rolled up is just the right size. About 1.5mm smaller.

  10. Then I sliced the tape at the hole in the bushing, pizza wise. Eight cuts radiating out from the center. Razor blade. Then I pried out the old bushing, again the filth acted as a mold release. I added a bit of extra WD-40 to the metal as a mold release. I have no idea if this helped or hindered. Then I slid the precision paper home.
    precision paper

  11. Look at that precision. The hole is in the right place.
    precision paper

  12. And I taped up the pizza sliced tape to minimize leaks.
    taped pizza

  13. The urethane had sat for a while, and the can had become hermetically sealed. I got a bit creative opening it. I mixed it, 2 parts base to 1 part harcener. Stirred for 2 minutes.
    can opener

  14. Since I had put the tape exactly to the top of the bushing, I had no room for overflow, and got creative trying to hold in the excess. Most of the mess I made was overflow. Surprisingly very little leakage from the tape.

  15. After 18 hours to cure on a hot day, the tape came off and the bushing looks good. Ok, it looks like a turd.

  16. After I ripped it out of the metal bushing holder, it looks like a bushing shaped turd. I cut a slit through the top to slip it over the swaybar, and it went on great and seated tight.

  17. My creative can opener dumped a bit of shrapnel into the mix. I could not see it through the black urethane, so a magnet on the side of the cup while I stirred it actually worked. I did not think it would.

  18. For the second bushing, I added a second layer of tape 1/4" higher than the bushing to catch the excess. That one is curing now, but it looks like I may have some trimming to do.
    mark 2

  19. Next I sold out to make 02ยข so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.

    But no minivans!

  20. Then I finished my beer.

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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy.   Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives.   If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities.   If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic.   The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle.   For all you know I made this up.   Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.

Disclaimer: The technical information in these documents is provided without any warranty whatsoever and at no cost.   All information is in general terms and is not meant to apply to your particular situation, be current at the time you read it, or even be correct in the first place.   Improperly maintained vehicles can lead to serious injury, death, or unavoidable accidents. The author is not responsible for any errors on this site, and does not make any claim at all about the validity, safety, or veracity of the information contained on this website. Any work you choose to do or not to do on your vehicle is done at your own risk. The information on this site is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional advice, professional workmanship, dealer service, union labor, or psychological counseling.   The author disclaims any and all liability directly or indirectly arising from the application or use of any information or idea contained on this or any other web site.   By opening this page, you agree to never sue anyone ever or allow anyone to be sued on your behalf.   The appropriate professional should be consulted regarding your specific condition. does not take responsibility for the information posted on other sites to which it links.

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