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Old 04-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
fullerton
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Default How To: Install a Steering Rack

I installed my Q-Rack quicker steering rack this past weekend and I thought I would make an install guide for anyone else who want to do the same.

It is a fairly straight forward job, which would take a pro 4 or 5 hours. It ended up taking me 9 hours due to 4 trips to the auto store for parts. I apologize for not taking pictures. You'll have to just imagine what things look like.

Let me just preface this with a warning. You are about to work on a critical part of your car. If you do this incorrectly and lose steering at speed it is your own fault. I take no responsibility for it, or the contents of this install guide. If you do not have the necessary tools or knowhow, please pay someone knowledgeable to do this for you.

I'd like to thank Snorky for helping me do this. Thanks to UkNuck for the picts.

Tools Needed:
Jack & Two Jack Stands
Assorted sockets, 8mm - 17mm & long extensions
Needle Nose Pliers
Flare wrenches
Crow's foot socket wrenches
Ball join puller or hammer/sledge
1 qt Dexron III ATF fluid
Basin to catch old fluid
PB Blaster
2x 2.5" worm screw hose clamps
Large adjustable wrench (≥32mm)
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Last edited by fullerton; 04-07-2008 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:39 PM   #2
fullerton
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Step 0:
Mark alignment on garage floor.
Loosen lugs and put front of car on jack stands.

Step 1:
I'll assume you know how to do these steps, so there is no explanation.
Remove the plastic undertray.
Remove the subframe.
Remove jack plate.
Remove front wheels.

Step 2:
Release tie-rods from the control arm. First remove the locking pin with tome pliers and undo the castle nut. Use some PB Blaster to make this release easier.


If you have a ball joint puller, you may use that, if not, use a hammer to push it out, taking care not to damage the threads or the ball joint's rubber grease housing.

Remove the sway bar's end links, making sure to remember washer placement.

Step 3:
Remove the steering wheel's lower u-joint. Or at lease loosen it.
Use a syringe to drain fluid from the power steering reservoir.
Disconnect the two power steering pipes from the rack. To do this, I ended up using a crow's foot wrench on an 8" extension through the rack frame (there's a small gap, you'll see) to turn the lower bolt while I held the upper bolt in place with a flare nut wrench from above the rack and frame. I do not recall the exact wrench sizes for the lower bolts, but the upper bolts were 17mm & 19mm. The lower ones may have been 12 & 14mm. Once you break a bolt free, be prepared for the ATF fluid to come out.

Step 4:
Remove the steering rack, with tie rods attached.
Depending on year, you either have 4 bolts on the driver's side and two on the passenger or two and two. Either way, simply remove the bolts and finagle the rack out of the car. I had to rotate the sway bar out of the way to get it out.

Step 5:
Remove/slide away the boot bands holding the stock rack's boots on. On the larger side, you have to stretch the crimped area wider so that you can expand the circumference enough to unlatch the band. If you have an 05+ these are junk now. The small side just requires a squeeze of the pliers and will be reused. Push the boots back to reveal the inner tie-rod to steering rack connection.

Remove the inner tie-rods from the steering rack by grabbing the two flats on the conical cap. Yours may or may not have a lock washer on there. Mine did not. I did this by securing the rack in a vise and pulling like crazy on an adjustable wrench. I think it is 32mm though, if you have that size of a crescent wrench. It is on there pretty tight, so you probably will need to have someone hold it in the vise. Be sure not to clamp the vise on the barel of the rack or on any "shiny part".



Last edited by fullerton; 04-07-2008 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:40 PM   #3
fullerton
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Step 6:
Install the tie-rods onto the Q-Rack. Tq. spec is 58ft-lbs, but just get it good and tight since you won't be able to use a torque wrench. Re-do lock washer if you had one.
Put the boots back on. In my case, it looks like the circumference of the Q-Rack was a tiny bit larger than the stock rack. I heated the bands to get them on the rack. Because of this, the stock boot bands were too short. I used a pair of worn drive pipe clamps in place.
Use a set of pliers to make sure the rack is centered by turning the input shaft.

Step 7:
Install Q-Rack into car.
First, just lightly tighten the four bolts that will mount the Q-Rack so that it is in place but free to move around.
Re-install the tie-rods.
Re-connect the steering u-joint making sure the steering wheel is centered. Remember, do not freely spin the steering wheel.
Finger tighten the rack and then re-install the power steering pipes. It may help to remove the clamp that holds them together. Be sure you are not cross threading the bolts.
Fully tighten the rack to the car. 44ft-lbs.

Step 8:
Re-install the end-links.
Re-install jack plate.
Re-install subframe.
Re-install plastic cover.
Re-install wheels.

Step 9:
Top off power steering fluid reservoir with ATF fluid.
Have someone start the car for 3 seconds, then turn off, making sure the fluid level is within limits. Repeat 3x.
Once the fluid level has stabilized, turn the car on and SLOWLY turn the wheel lock to lock. Take 30+ seconds to reach opposite lock. Always be sure the reservoir does not run low on fluid.
Top fluid off to marked level.

Step 10:
Perform quick alignment based on the marks you made on the floor.
Lower car.
Torque wheels.
Go for a gentile spin.
Get an alignment.
Enjoy your new Q-Rack.
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Old 04-07-2008, 05:40 PM   #4
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Tsilb
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Old 04-13-2008, 08:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for a great how-to!
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:12 AM   #6
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I don't suppose anyone has done a install where they also changed the crossmember? Any info? Looking at doing an 06 STi rack into and 04 (also have the 06 crossmember). Do you need to hoist the engine when doing the crossmember - or how can you support it?

I am also getting conflicting info - one guy did the 06 rack into an 02 wagon without swapping crossmembers, but everything I read says you can't do that... but, he is a mechanic and said he did it successfully, just using some longer bolts. So what is the deal with the crossmember? Is everyone saying that you need it just because they are regurgitating what they read everywhere else, or does someone who has done it have the reason?

Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:35 AM   #7
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The only difference between an 04 and 06 rack (externally) is the mounting points. (Well, that is simplifying it, but you get the point)

The 04 uses 4 bolts, whereas the 06 uses 6 to mount to the crossmember. Look and see if there are places in the crossmember for those extra 2 bolts on the driver's side. They should (iirc) be a few inches towards the inside of the car from the current 2 bolts. I would think they're there... but maybe not.

Also, I would imagine you'd have to support/lift the engine in some manner when swapping crossmember since the engine mounts to the crossmember.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:29 PM   #8
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What did you use to turn the pinion to center the qrack? Pliers?
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #9
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Yes, just make sure you have them on securely so you don't round it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:57 AM   #10
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Did you measure the rack from each side to center?
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:03 PM   #11
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Just eyeballed it.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:15 PM   #12
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Just changed my rack and pinion on an 01 sub, it pulls to the right (I expected to have to get an alignment) but the WHEEL only turns 1 1\4 turns to the right but turns 3 turns to the left.

I extended the rack all the way left (as in turning left) then turned the wheel so it was angled as if I were making a left turn, tightened everything down but its not correct.... It doesn't want to turn all the way to the right, but it turns left sharp as hell. , help?
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:24 PM   #13
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Make sure your tie rods are evenly set, even if this means a BIT of toe issues. The idea is to start at "0" and then adjust for your specified toe form there.

If you do this and your steering wheel is not centered, remove it and replace it so it is centered.
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Old 08-12-2011, 01:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullerton View Post
Make sure your tie rods are evenly set, even if this means a BIT of toe issues. The idea is to start at "0" and then adjust for your specified toe form there.

If you do this and your steering wheel is not centered, remove it and replace it so it is centered.
Ok so I'll unscrew the tie rods until even? Then "eyeball" the rack so its centered, reattaching the steering wheel coupler so that the wheel is 'level'?
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:04 AM   #15
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:20 AM   #16
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The only difficult part for me is getting the lines reconnected, the bigger line didn't want to line up. Also use this puller if you are doing the whiteline RCA kit at the same time and want to reuse your conical bushings for the ball joints( assuming you have aluminum Sti Lca)
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