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Old 03-15-2023, 04:37 PM   #1
outback_97
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 30874
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: salt lake city, ut
Vehicle:
2008 OUTBACK
and 2003 TS wagon

Default Steering rack replacement

I am wondering if my steering rack is going out on my 2003 Impreza TS wagon with 91K miles. Looking for additional opinions on the rack and replacement.

Within the past couple months, I replaced torn CV boot, lower ball joint and tie rod end on drivers side. Since then I have noticed a thunk or clunk noise from what appeared to be the front left suspension. This is most noticeable at low speeds driving over uneven parking lots and subtle bumps. You can also force it to occur by driving on a smooth road and fairly aggressively moving the steering wheel back and forth. It's not really noticeable by feel in the steering wheel, more just the sound, and a subtle feel in the dead pedal area. I thought that maybe I did something wrong with the ball joint install, but all seems tight there.

Holding the suspended wheel at 6 and 12, I couldn't get any kind of movement or noise. Holding the wheel at 3 and 9 though, there is some movement and a subtle clunk sound.

Here's a video of the inner tie rod and steering rack shaft as I pushed and pulled on the hub with hands at 3 and 9.


There is some radial play in the steering rack shaft and that seems to be where the sound is coming from. I could not notice any looseness in the inner tie rod, it seems solid.

Is a rack replacement the only way to address this?

I haven't found very many mentions of this, but my understanding is that the 2003 WRX rack will fit my 2003 TS. The TS part is not offered by Subaru anymore, but the WRX one is. Aftermarket is much cheaper, but I'm worried about spending a lot of time only to have to do it again if the aftermarket one craps out.
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Old 03-25-2023, 10:18 PM   #2
SpecialGC8
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 525850
Join Date: Aug 2021
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Downingtown, PA
Vehicle:
03 WRX

Default

Did you check out your swaybar endlinks??? Normally the culprit, good way to tell is when going over speed bump you'll hear the click or clank. Jack it up and grab the sway bar and push up and down on either side. GL
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Old 03-25-2023, 11:59 PM   #3
nwood1976
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 103273
Join Date: Dec 2005
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: AZ
Vehicle:
2002 WRX 2.15 18gxtr
Sedona Red Wagon

Default

Check your steering rack bushings for excessive movement and replace if needed.
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