Generation 4 – The upper attachment point of the glove box damping arm is broken

I did a search on this forum to see if anyone else had a solution to the broken upper attachment point of the glove box damper arm (dash side) but didn’t see anything I could use other than a comment that it said a part of the dashboard may need to be replaced. That won’t happen so I solved it by making some parts – seems to work fine as new so I’m posting this in case it helps others… This was for a 2013 Subaru Outback but I’m sure this method would work with several different models and years.

I replaced the cabin air filter as usual, which requires removing the lower part of the damper arm from the glove box door. But when I put it back on, something broke and the whole shock arm came off. Upon investigation, I determined that there are two prongs that go through the bottom hole in the top of the shock absorber – both prongs were gone and I found them on the floor. These notches are molded into one part of the dashboard, so it’s not just a simple post that can be replaced. The pictures show the problem.

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My solution was to fabricate a new bracket and strut to mount the shock arm. My process was:

1) Mark the center line of where the damper was originally attached and then cut the broken joint left after the tabs were removed.
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2) Using a small piece of 1/16″ aluminum, I cut a T-shaped bracket and drilled 2 screw holes and a small hole for a pin. Then I slipped a washer and a round spacer (same diameter like the shock mount hole) over the T. I then put some glue between the spacer and the T to keep it from bumping around too much (just filling the gap between the cylindrical spacer and the flat T bracket). Since this isn’t really a part super critical in the grand scheme of things, you don’t have to get perfect dimensions – just make something to fit.The next photo shows the finished pieces.
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3) Unlike the original mounting method, where you snap the shock over the 2 lugs, this time you have to install this new assembly into the shock first, before installing the entire assembly into your car. To put the part on the shock absorber – just insert it into the lower hole of the shock absorber, put the second washer and then fix it with a pin or wire.
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4) Now simply drill 2 pilot holes under your dash and screw in the new fitting, noting the center line you marked in step 1. The exact placement is not that critical – the fit is good enough. I actually drilled the pilot holes earlier – after step 2 – but you can do that here.
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DONE! Now the top of the shock arm is reattached and you can attach the bottom of the shock arm to the glove box as usual. The adjustment cannot be seen with the glove box closed, even with it open all you see are 2 new screws.

Not a hard job, and it took me about an hour (if I were to do it again, it would take about half an hour). The measurements aren’t critical – I just noted what looked right and made adjustments as needed. I used a drill press and a band saw, but if you don’t have a band saw, a hacksaw will do. If you ever need to remove the top end of the damper arm again – simply remove the screws holding the bracket in place and then remove the pin.

If this helps, you’re welcome. If not, you get what you paid for :cool:

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