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Old 01-15-2014, 08:29 PM   #1
explosivo
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Member#: 175579
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Gilbert
Vehicle:
2006 WRX TR
OBP

Default Steering feels sloppy, need help

When it comes to steering and suspension, I'm a bit of a nub. My car now has 136k miles on it, and the steering is feeling a bit sloppy. I'm sure there is stuff that needs to be replaced, and I need some help in knowing what that is

I'm going to grab some new struts and springs, or possibly just upgrade to coil overs, but I was wondering at this mileage, what else breaks down and needs to be replaced? I'm sure there are some bushings, bearings, mounts, joints, or something that likely needs to be replaced, I just have no idea what they are. Any help on pointing me to wear and tear parts, or suggestions on kits I should look at to replace those parts would be awesome, thanks.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
04reddragon
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Hey man yea im on the same boat, the rear of my car is feeling sloppy and old as i just reached 122k an suspension is on my mind also. Struts top hats and axles is what i would be doing since that hasnt been changed ever.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #3
unknownone
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A few things to think about:

What are you feeling in the steering that makes you call it "sloppy"? The word "sloppy" is kind of subjective, and everyone has a different level of experience and tolerance that will cause them to give you different answers.

Is your car only used as a DD, or is there track time involved? A dd may only need maintenance items like control arm bushings and/or bearings replaced. If the car has track time or even just "spirited" driving time then other items like ball joints, end links, and control arms may need work.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #4
explosivo
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My car is a dd and has never seen track time, but I'm definitely a spirited driver. By sloppy I mean, the steering is not tight any more, feels like there is slack in the steering wheel. The car tends to drift more and more with any curvature in the road. It just feels used and abused, it's hard to explain. I had it aligned when I got the last set of tires and it really didn't help, so it has to be just time to replace the wear and tear stuff.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:19 PM   #5
04reddragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explosivo View Post
My car is a dd and has never seen track time, but I'm definitely a spirited driver. By sloppy I mean, the steering is not tight any more, feels like there is slack in the steering wheel. The car tends to drift more and more with any curvature in the road. It just feels used and abused, it's hard to explain. I had it aligned when I got the last set of tires and it really didn't help, so it has to be just time to replace the wear and tear stuff.
I know what you mean i just got my alignment due to that reason that it seemed to pull to the left got her aligned and still pulls to the left thinking maybe i need to replace old things with new like you mentioned. I miss the feeling of the car being "tight", any accidents?
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:21 PM   #6
nwood1976
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If your steering is vague or seems to move around while going straight, check your steering rack bushings. I replaced mine twice with OEM bushings, but they kept going bad. I finally replaced them with Whiteline sterring rack bushings and the problem was solved. Also, check those lower control arm bushings. If they need replacement it is a good opportunity to go to the firmer Subaru group n bushings. Those are a big improvement over the hollow, grease filled stock WRX bushings!
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:51 PM   #7
KP
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Arizona is hot and dry. Add in mileage, and that's a total nightmare for bushings.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:58 PM   #8
Black_EG
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I've been having the same problem with my steering. Feels a bit loose and follows the curvature of the road. Ill be looking into replacing my bushings.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
unknownone
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Just remember when you start replacing parts, that the next weakest link is that much more likely to break. So replacing just a few bushings at a time may not result in less "slop".

Ideally, you want to replace all of your control arm bushings at the same time - both front and rear - because they all contribute to how "tight" the steering feels. And the post about the steering rack bushings is a realy good point - the stock bushings suck. Check your sway bar endlinks as well, i have seen a few stock bolts snap when driven hard and it causes almost the same symptoms.

Also, don't bother with urethane bushings unless you are making a dedicated track car. The Group-N bushings are just about perfect for DD/spirited driving.
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Old 01-18-2014, 02:40 PM   #10
USLiberty
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Jack the car up, set blocks under the wheels, (enough to crawl under) have someone wiggle the steering wheel back and forth while you look for the play. I had to rebuild my steering rack because a little play eventually led to a leak @140k miles. When you reassemble it, you can index the steering wheel slightly to the right or left. You will have to get a front wheel alignment after, but this gives the rack and pinion gear fresh material where the steering is straight. Most of the wear in a rack and pinion occurs where the steering wheel is straight. There's threads on how to rebuild the rack all over.
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