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Old 02-02-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
NucleonQ8
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Member#: 249487
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Location: Kuwait
Vehicle:
2009 WRX 4D
OBP

Default Redneck DIY: De-powering your steering rack

WARNING: REDNECK DIY/WALL OF TEXT. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN WILL

Howdy Nasioc. How's it going?

I really hope this serves to help some of you guys out there. As you guys might have noticed, a few Subarus sometimes decide to call it quits when it comes to their steering system. I've noticed a bunch of 08+ WRX/STi 's with the same problems that I encountered. Usually it's either a steering rack leaking from its pinion seal or a shot pump. I had both happen at the same time
Now usually those would be replaced under warranty or you'll be forking over a nice amount of cash for the kind folk at the dealership to replace them.

Let's get to my case now. My wallet is always off on vacation and whenever she's back my project car (95 Mustang Cobra) decides to kidnap her. So I'm pretty much broke most of the time . Now my 09 WRX. Besides the Kartboy shifter and bushings, she's pretty much stock. I don't drive like a maniac and only let my foot drop once in a while. One day, both the steering pump and steering rack decide to give me the bird. And since am pretty much broke most of the time, I decide to fix her as cheaply as I can.

So I decided to de-power the steering rack. AKA converting a power steering rack into a manual rack. You can always remove the pump's belt or loop the lines. But to truly de-power the rack, you'd need to remove the inner seals on the main shaft. meaning you'd have to extract the rack from the patient and open er' up. I did some reading but couldn't find anything on Nasioc so I looked elsewhere and found some guides on flyin miata and the rx7 boards and club nico(I think that's what they call it).

Today we will be opening an 09 WRX steering rack to get the inner seal. cut or grind that out and reassemble everything back together.

Tools:
-A crap load of wrenches
-A nice ratchet
-Pipe wrench
-Grease (You'll be stuffing this babe with it)
-Bench vice grip (You can actually do the whole thing without one)
-Some kind of machine with a grinding wheel. (No fricking chainsaws )
-Gorilla strength
-HAMMER
-Rebuild kit

Skill level: Can you turn a wrench?

Okay. Let's get on with this.
1-Unbolt the bad boy from the car. You only have two lines going to the rack. one goes to the reservoir. And the other goes to the pump. Just spin em open. Becareful and don't be an idiot like me. I opened up everything without having a hand on the rack so it fell on my face (Darwin award here we come)

2-Take that thing to the kitchen so everyone can get upset over how you're dripping oil on the floor. I opted to keep the outer tie rods on because I was felt no need to remove them.


You leaky son of a gun


3-Okay let's start taking this thing apart. First start be removing the lines (No need for a pic)







4-Take off the bellow boots so we can unscrew the inner tie rods. Notice that the boots have a special kind of clamp on. The kind that makes you want to cuss everything around you. You have to damage the clamp in order to get it off. So clip it off.


After you clip the clamp. slip the boot to the outside to reveal the inner tie rod.


You have to remove this. Lemme get a close up.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
NucleonQ8
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Member#: 249487
Join Date: Jun 2010
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Kuwait
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2009 WRX 4D
OBP

Default

Okay. The inner tie rod screws into the main shaft. It needs a 30mm wrench. While the shiny steering shaft needs a 24mm wrench. You can use an adjustable wrench like this if you don't have a 30mm.


There is a washer between the shaft and inner tie rod. It isn't shown in the picture but it should be bent towards the inner tie rod. A screw driver and hammer should straighten it up. Now place the wrenches where they belong and use your ape strength to get this stubborn thingy to open.

Yaaay


Here is the washer that was lodged in between


Note that the driver's side bellows boot is different than the passenger side. So keep an eye on that.

Your steering rack should look like this now


5-You have to remove the bushing that sits on the shaft and the pinion before you pull out the shaft.

You'll find this 14mm big bolt sitting on the housing


Bust out the ratchet and open it up. You'll be able to pull those two buggers from under it


Next up is the pinion and valve body


Ofcourse you've already removed the lines. So that leaves only two 12mm bolts. Remove them and pull off the valve body. You'll see the pinion. It should easily come out. Just pull it gently by hand.




Plug the valve body with the correct size bolts

Last edited by NucleonQ8; 02-05-2014 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
NucleonQ8
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Member#: 249487
Join Date: Jun 2010
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Kuwait
Vehicle:
2009 WRX 4D
OBP

Default

6-Lets open the sleeve lock thingy that keeps the shaft trapped in there


Secure this puppy to the bench vice grip and break out the pipe wrench. Use your gorilla strength to open the sleeve.

Pipe wrench might scar sleeve thingy.



7-Pull the main shaft out. This is what we came for. The main seal. Remove the inner seals.


Now you can either cut some slots in the main seal like this


Or you can cut the thing in half and then use a hammer and a screw driver to knock it off

I went ahead and did this


7-Buy yourself a rebuild kit. Because you see you'll need to replace the inner tie rod washers.

8-Reassemble Just reverse everything and pack grease where ever you can.

9-I went ahead and bought myself a set of whiteline steering rack bushings. So this is how you remove your older ones.

Use a long screw and nut. Hammer the little squishy bushing out.







I think that's about it. I used some red thread lock on the inner tie rods.

It's 1:50AM here so I don't know if I missed something or not. I would also like to apologize if the DIY is kinda lacking in detail. If you have any questions just ask.
Ohh and you'll notice that some of the pics have grease on them. That's because I took some during the reassembly.

Last edited by NucleonQ8; 02-05-2014 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
2wickedWRX
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Location: Austin, Texas
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2007 RWD STI
WR blue

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Pretty cool write up, especially for the track guys that don't want P/S. If mine calls it quits on me I'm likely to do the same, can't imagine the 07 racks were all that different.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:53 AM   #5
Turn in Concepts
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Been doing this on Miatas for years. Works great.

Tony
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:54 AM   #6
NucleonQ8
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Member#: 249487
Join Date: Jun 2010
Chapter/Region: International
Location: Kuwait
Vehicle:
2009 WRX 4D
OBP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wickedWRX View Post
Pretty cool write up, especially for the track guys that don't want P/S. If mine calls it quits on me I'm likely to do the same, can't imagine the 07 racks were all that different.
The 07 racks are probably identical internally. All steering racks are pretty similar to be honest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
Been doing this on Miatas for years. Works great.

Tony
Yea, I used the flyin Miata guide for reference when I was doing mine. Pretty easy to do. The hardest thing about this is guessing what size belt you'll need after removing the PS pump
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:10 PM   #7
A Fatal Ode
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2006 STI 627/484 2015 BRZ

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was just asking a friends about this and abs the other day. cool stuff
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #8
68Cadillac
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Default

Did something similar a few days ago.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Cadillac View Post

I decided to open up the steering rack. I had to make this custom tool to get the aluminum cap off the quill area.


Once constructed it only took one wack with a 5 lb dead blow to loosen it. I tried using a drift and hammer but it just dented the aluminum without loosing it.


Since the 818 is gonna be light I decided to fully depower the rack. So I removed and welded up the holes that fed high pressure hydraulic fluid to the two-way piston. See the two red arrows. I cut off the hydraulic piston diaphragm (?) that separates the two sides of the piston. Pink Arrow. Also welding up the quill in six spots. Three of the plugs welds are pointed to with three red arrows. The other three plug welds are on the other side. I didn't know this but the quill in a hydraulic power steering rack has a bit of play it in. It's that play that allows the hydraulic valving to work. But if you depower it without welding up the quill that play will turn into slop and you'll have a dead spot every time you change direction or make a correction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Cadillac View Post

Here's a better view of how I welded up the steering rack quill.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 68Cadillac View Post

Still need to put the big bellows clamps on so the bellows don't pop off but it feels good to get the rack done. Greased her with Red Line Synthetic CV-2 Grease.It's depowered with all former hydraulic ports shaved/filled. Not showcar quality, but for racing it looks good.


If you follow my build you will have been seeing http://i.imgur.com/GZkzs.jpg of satin black and aluminum. One day it'll change to satin black and aluminum-oxide. Fancy.
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