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Thread: Used Parts for Replacement Steering Rack?

  1. #1

    Used Parts for Replacement Steering Rack?

    I've got a steering rack leak at the steering input shaft seal. Even though it seems minor, this is not a servicable item and a rack replacement is the normal repair path. As you likely know, steering rack assemblies are not cheap and I'm on a budget.

    The Dealer suggested they'd look into a used parts alternative, sourcing parts from a wrecker, for value. Are there any trade-offs to this approach?

    Are there any other repair paths that I could explore instead, like sending the rack for a seal replacement? Typically I don't use the car during the week.
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    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  2. #2
    Not sure if Tibor can rebuild it, or swap you for a moderate ratio Q-rack. If it's leased, you'll need to stay stockish.

    http://www.q-rack.com/AboutQRack.html

    Not sure if that's Tibor's current Email, but if he doesn't respond, I can get you in touch with him.


    Stephen - I drive Blue Subarus of the rally and track varietals.

  3. #3
    Used item (20,000k) is $895, and a new item is $1,455, both installed costs by RH Subaru. Any unit refurbished by a competent shop would be adequate for Subaru, from their perspective.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maple, Ontario
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    Just get a seal kit and rebuild your rack. Seal kits are 300 bucks.

  5. #5
    Well that is GREAT news!
    How might I obtain a seal kit, and are any special tools required?
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  6. #6
    Try the Lucas "Power Steering stop leak" is does work on those seals, and I have seen it last long term. If it does not work you are out about $12. Do Not add more than 1 bottle.
    http://www.can-alignment.com
    http://www.facebook.com/CanAlignment/

    SPDA Race and Time-Attack Scrutineer
    CASC-OR Chief Instructor
    SPDA Race Ambassador

  7. #7
    Tibor is going to get me a part number for the seal or seal kit, so I can order it from Subaru.

    Caveman was willing to help me remove the steerting rack, and Tibor will show me how to install it and adjust it afterwards. Then it can be reinstalled and it'll then need an alignment. I know a really good shop for that, in Millwood.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by racecartech View Post
    Try the Lucas "Power Steering stop leak" is does work on those seals, and I have seen it last long term. If it does not work you are out about $12. Do Not add more than 1 bottle.
    Ok Scott, since it leaks out anyway the Lucas "PS Stop Leak" will be my next PS fluid purchase.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
    Just get a seal kit and rebuild your rack. Seal kits are 300 bucks.
    Tibor identified the steering shaft seal in isolation, rather than the seal kit which is intended for rebuilding the entire rack, and it's Subaru part No. 34122AG030.

    This is a better repair path, that focuses specifically on the problem item and doesn't require purchase of the rest of the assembly which is working properly.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maple, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by LW_Black4 View Post
    Tibor identified the steering shaft seal in isolation, rather than the seal kit which is intended for rebuilding the entire rack, and it's Subaru part No. 34122AG030.

    This is a better repair path, that focuses specifically on the problem item and doesn't require purchase of the rest of the assembly which is working properly.
    Perfect,

    Either "Seal" solution is less expensive than replacing the entire rack. If it's just the end seal, then you just have to remove the inner tie rod end and slip it on that way.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeT View Post
    Perfect,

    Either "Seal" solution is less expensive than replacing the entire rack. If it's just the end seal, then you just have to remove the inner tie rod end and slip it on that way.
    Caveman identified the power steering fluid leak at the point where the steering shaft enters the rack assembly. So I expect it to be a circular pressure seal that runs against the surface of the steering shaft where it enters the rack assembly.

    As long as the sealing surface of the shaft is not scored, then a seal replacement should be all that is required.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maple, Ontario
    Posts
    6,382
    Quote Originally Posted by LW_Black4 View Post
    Caveman identified the power steering fluid leak at the point where the steering shaft enters the rack assembly. So I expect it to be a circular pressure seal that runs against the surface of the steering shaft where it enters the rack assembly.

    As long as the sealing surface of the shaft is not scored, then a seal replacement should be all that is required.
    That's great news!! BTW, it normally doesn't leak there, hummmmm strange. The pinion assembly actually comes out of the steering rack using 4 bolts, it shouldn't be hard to replace. I'd check for a pinion seal too at the base of that shaft, just above the pinion, I'm not sure there is one, but it's worth checking.

  13. #13
    We found the pinion seal and it’s $9, as Tibor suggested - this is great.

    However, the content of the below article and quoted below has us a little concerned that there’s something else wrong with the steering assembly, as there shouldn’t be pressure in the pinion assembly and it’s not an item that is typically fails. So before we proceed to remove it, it makes sense to ask an expert.

    http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/ste...-to-rack-leaks

    “The pressure and flow is retained within the spool valve, unless higher pressure within the system is causing fluid to push beyond the spool valve and into the input shaft sealing area.”

    Should we be prepared to rebuild the steering rack assembly (with a seal kit) before we remove it, just in case we find something else wrong with it? And if so, can this be done by a certified mechanic with standard tools, or do we need a specialist or a special environment?

    What could be wrong that causes the pressure to get the spool valve, and are these things that can be corrected with a seal kit?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  14. #14
    For all the people who provided helpful comments and suggestions, I thought I'd provide an update.

    CAE Auto Electric in Brampton will rebuild the steering rack in a day, for $275. Since I have to pull it in Orillia, deliver it to Brampton for rebuild and re-install it in Orillia, I think I'll have Caveman at Davenport align it there instead.

    Aside from the manufacturer, replacement options are rare because the car is relatively new and this is not a common failure.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  15. #15
    A bit of a technical and logistics challenge to do this cost-effectively, but working out with the help of good people and friends.

    Rebuild scheduled at CAE Auto Electric in Scarborough and alignment at Davenport Subaru in Orillia afterwards. Getting my hands dirty with the removal and re-install, and of course relying totally on the Caveman's expertise at all points along the way.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  16. #16
    I helped Caveman helped pull the STi steering rack, and it's on it's way to CAE Auto Electric for a rebuild today. Wed night we put it back in, and Thurs it'll get it's alignment at Davenport, given it's apart in Orillia.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  17. #17
    The saga continues. Rebuild rack reinstalled - looking brand new - but unfortunately leaks in the exact same place! Crap.
    Have to yank it again, bring it back to CAE, and then when rebuilt, have it toe-ed in again.
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

  18. #18
    Turned out it was a pinion shaft seal pinch.

    CAE Auto Electric didn't say whether it was a new seal that was installed incorrectly, or that they failed to replace the old seal on the first rebuild, but when I returned it they reported pressure testing it before releasing the work again.

    It's QUIET again - no more PS pump whine - operates smoothly and doesn't leak. Back to normal.

    I also got to be Davenport KIA's first service customer at the same time for the alignment (below), since Caveman defected to them (from Subauru).

    We are good to go for the ATTS Lapping Day tomorrow!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Laszlo - red '17 WRX
    The all-new Subaru WRX is coming. Pardon our dust.

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