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Old 03-14-2018, 08:01 PM   #4127
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
Vehicle:
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe

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- On Sunday pulled 2 steering shaft U-joints at Crazy Ray's, as the beater Impreza had some binding in the steering and it was suggested on corner-carvers.com that it might be the U-joint. (Ball joints and outer tie rods are < 15 months old, rack was replaced by previous owner, so it's pretty new, too.) First one I pulled off a car felt like it was starting to wear out, so I went and found another; that one felt nice and smooooth.

- This evening, braved the cold and wind and dark out in my driveway to swap out the U-joint. I yanked the steering wheel to one side to get it to lock, so that I could (hopefully) keep the rack and steering shaft in the same position and thus not have the steering wheel out of whack once I was done.

I couldn't quite get the U-joint to come off the rack input initially - I pushed the U-joint back up the splines (towards the firewall) as far as it would go, but the lower splines were still slightly hung up on the rack input.

At that point I resorted to what I had done to get the donor parts off in the junkyard - I unbolted the steering column from the dash beam to allow the column to hang. That gave more play in the whole assembly, and allowed me to pretty easily get the U-joint off the rack input and the steering shaft. Of course, that also introduced more uncertainty when it came time to put the "new" U-joint on, but I'm fairly sure I got it back on correctly. (Thus far I only backed the car out of the driveway, so I haven't really driven it yet. I'm about to head out for groceries and it will be readily apparent if the steering wheel is off about 20deg. )

The old U-joint that came off the car has one pivot that is quite stiff, so it appears the internet diagnosis / suggestion was correct.

Edit: Damn, off a spline, so I get to do it all again.
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Last edited by Patrick Olsen; 03-14-2018 at 10:41 PM.
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