Subaru hid level sensor arm broke on my Subaru,

Subaru hid level sensor arm broke on my Subaru, kept the ball ends and printed a new arm. 350$ saved! Love my printer…

What material did you use?

That’s a good part for 3d printing, doesn’t ever receive high stress and the car actually works without them. Im curious to see the wear on them over time tho, keep us posted :+1:

It’s printed in abs. If it wears out I will try to reprint it in nylon. But I did grease it with silicone grease

totally cool! but you maybe can get the replacement part for less - if you search for a used part it is around 35$ - this part seems to be made originally from metal and if i understand that right then a failing part can lead to making your approaching traffic blind or you didn’t see anything anymore. If this causes an accident you would be in trouble at least in Germany… And if such a part is spotted by a check you are not road legal (MOT approval /TÜV) anymore. So just be carefull when replacing functional parts on a car - i mean there must be a reason that part isn’t made from plastic…

Nice fix!

‘hid level’?

@NathanielStenzel I assume automatic levelling for HID (a.k.a. xenon) headlights

I would recommend nylon for long term wear but let us know how the ABS holds up!

@Griffin_Paquette carbon fiber reinforced nylon if you can print it, or polycarbonate.

good for temporary fix, but not forever, you used two different metals next to each other so they will corrode possibly, also there is no rubber sleeve on this so the lubricant you applied will attract dirt etc, and then it will wear off plastic bearing, It would be better if you designed part to put broken part together tightly and reinforce it with fiberglass and epoxy maybe if you do not have possibility to simply weld broken part together, I would also If I were you, take other part off and apply coating to protect them from further corrosion becae if left one broke right one will brake one day too. Lucky you still have both parts. Nice good luck.

@Ulrich_Baer Im shure you can get the spare cheaper if you can find the broken part alone, but the lokal dealer would only sell me the sensor with arm. Driving with it broken will cause the light to go to its lowest position there by not blinding trafic, but limit your usable lowbeam. About MOT im about to find out.
there is nothing wrong with using plastic parts on a car by defenition open your hood and you will find massive amounts of plastic parts, its purley a case of dimmensioning correctly and use case. The reason the original part failed is becuse the ball joint seized (rusted shut) witch created a moment on the arm (breaking it). The plastic arm wont rust and therby not seize.

@Griffin_Paquette Nylon is definitely better in this application and i will reprint in nylon if it fails. however i have had good results with abs before, its pretty good on wear against smooth surfaces. time will tell.

@Greg_Dimas I dont think particle reinforced filament is good in this application Nylon is probably a better option as its som what self lubricating. The carbon fiber particles would only speed up the abrasive wear.

@Markus_Granberg Yes i have seen that this is an expensive set, what a rip-off (other car manufacture have this part seperatly for about 20¥€$) however maybe worth to check a scrapyard for it - or ebay. Glad you checked that a failure doesn’t cause bigger issues!

@Markus_Granberg agreed, I was thinking about stiffness and overall strength. Without reinforcements I’d say polycarbonate would be the best.

@Piotr_Sitko I cant say that i agree with you here… there is not two different metals in contact to start a sacrificial anode situation, are you possibly thinking of the locking pin? the contact of this pin is minimal. You are right about the lack of rubber sleeve however the amount of lube is minimal and if it is a problem i will reprint in nylon and not use any lube (i do have dry lube but nylon does not need it in this application).
As i have explained the reason the original part broke was do to the ball ends seizing so only repairing the arm would not work (it would break again really fast do to the moment created).
There is only one sensor on the car so no need to protect anything with a coating on the other side.

@Greg_Dimas You are correct if this was a high stress application but remember this is only for a level sensor, I can easily move the arm with my finger. This is more of a abrasive wear application where self lubing, wear resistans and environmental properties is key before strength. However PC is not a terrible choice ether.

Thanks for all the input by the way!

@Markus_Granberg Okay, let us know how long it lasts, it would be interesting.