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Steering rack swap ea2ej?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Yo'J

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:59 PM

So I though someone posted they swappped inner tie rod ends on some model rack, threaded it down and stuffed it into their brat. I have a set of PS racks open in front of me, one brat and one 90 leg. The ej rack is in better shape than the ea81 and I would like to use it if possible. They are much easier to come by as well. I need new inners and outer tie rods anyway.

I know the two are different lenghts so to make this work I need to shorten the ej. But how? Here I am.....

The inner tie rods dont interchange but the outers do, on the rack itself. The ej rack is threaded as an innie and the ea81 is an outie, different sizes too. If the lego outer tie rod fits the brat knuckle it seems possible to thread past the (?the hexogonal part where you place your wrench) wrenching section to get to some 3/4" of avaliable meat. Otherwise one wouldn't be able to make it work unless someone knows of a different inner tie rod that would fit the ej rack that has enough meat on it to thread down enough to get the outers on and in place.

It looks to me the EJ rack might just fit a non PS crossmember with just two holes drilled for the lines and a shim or two to adjust the angle of the steering linkage. I'm almost far enough along to pull the nonPS crossmember to see how hard it would be, but it wont be worth it if I cant use it anyway. It would make a good swap especially if you dont have to use the ea81 PS crossmember or pull it at all.

Has any one tried this? Can it be done? Know of any good interchangeabilities here?

Edited by Yo'J, 29 November 2009 - 03:03 PM.


#2 grossgary

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:42 PM

I've alwasy wanted to know for sure and have speculated they are interchangeable since i'm almost positive they bolt up.
didn't know the inner tie rods were different though, that's interesting.

post a pic of the differences?

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:17 PM

Just cut a section from the EJ inner tie rods and reweld them shorter. It's not as if inner tie-rods fail often enough that you need to be able to buy bolt-in replacements.

Check out this post - there's plenty of ways you can do it:

http://www.ultimates...578&postcount=4

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 29 November 2009 - 05:23 PM.


#4 Yo'J

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:23 PM

Thanks for the info! You make it sound so easy! Wish I had a welder. I'll take pics tomorrow.

Do the EJ outer tie rods fit the ea81 knuckle? Will 5/8ths to 3/4" thread into the outer tie rod be enough? I havent pulled it that far apart to know for myself yet, maybe tomorrow after work if I got enough daylight left. I'm hesitant to see the differences in a ea81 manual rack as I don't "have to" pull the booties on it, but I might anyway. I spent all day cleaning the engine bay to get a clean slate for this swap and stopped short of pulling the crossmember.

#5 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:46 PM

The tie rod ends? Probably, yeah. I think those all pretty much fit the same - or at least good enough to do the job.

Or just tell me how long the EJ rods need to be, send me a set and I'll cut/weld them for you. That's like a 15 minute job with setup.

I would definitely like to see where you come out on this. I would like to do the same thing with my Hatch - especially with the EJ22 swap
on the horizon.

GD

Edited by GeneralDisorder, 29 November 2009 - 09:48 PM.


#6 Yo'J

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:19 PM

Let me post pics tomorrow and I might take you up on the welding. The other thing I was just looking at is the option to just thread the ej inners down a bit and cut off the end and use the ea81 outers. DUH! The only issue I have is the amount of threaded material for the captive nut, being on the area that is flattened for wrenching. I can get a tap tomorrow for like a 5 spot and I'll try to thread it down. The option for a captive nut alternative could exist too I imagine with out too much work like in the thread post you posted there GD. Some bolt down alternative.

#7 grossgary

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:41 PM

cool, i've always wondered how this works so i'm going to ask. when welding something like this - cutting the steel - how does the "inner" part of the metal get welded? not knowing anything about welding I always envision a "circle" bead around the outside exposed portion, does that mean none of the inner portion is bonded? it's done all the time so i'm wondering where the integrity comes from - that inner portion can be worked with or the outer is that strong?

#8 obk25xt

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:49 AM

just briefly skimmed this thread, but i'm thinkin...... cut it and sleeve it! then use whichever ends you want for whichever style tie-rod ends you want, at whatever length you want, and the strength WILL be there...... also, GD ive got a legacy steering rack in that car at my barn you can HAVE if you wanna come an pullit..

Edited by obk25xt, 30 November 2009 - 02:52 AM.


#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:58 PM

There's a couple ways you can do it Gary...

1. If you have a powerful enough welder, it CAN penetrate to the core of the rod. Most people don't have something large enough to push 1/2" penetration.... not in their garage anyway.

2. When you don't have the power to do it in a single pass - you do it in several passes. You just bevel the ends where the weld will be - like the tip of a drill bit or "sharpened like a pencil" but not as steep. Then when you make your first pass you *are* welding on the core of the rod. Subsequent passes will just fill in and build the material back up. Then you grind it smooth and slap on some paint or send it for zinc coating.

3. If you can't do either of the above, or you need it uber-strong, then you sleeve the joint and plug weld it. Basically you take a tight fitting tube of say.... 3/16" wall thickness, and drill holes in the outside of it through which you "plug weld" the holes to the sleeve and the tie-rod. Then you run a bead around the ends of the tube to lock it to the shaft. If you get really fancy you can turn the OD of the shaft till it's an interference fit into the tube then heat the tube and shrink it in place.

There's as many options as your imagination can come up with really. The Mercedes clamp thing that Bugaru used is a good option too - no welding required it looked like.

GD

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 03:03 PM

also, GD ive got a legacy steering rack in that car at my barn you can HAVE if you wanna come an pullit..


Might be a bit of a trip for just a rack. But I'll give it some thought. I have so many other projects right now that it's pretty far down on my list. Appreciate the offer though!

GD

#11 Yo'J

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 12:16 AM

Did this post?Posted Image

Cool! Auto ea81 crossmember, ea81 manual rack, ea81 power rack, and the 90 leg power rack.

I found a few things out. I'll post back after dinner.

Edited by Yo'J, 01 December 2009 - 12:18 AM.


#12 Yo'J

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:40 AM

Ok the ej and the ea rack are only about an 1.5 to 1.75" different in lenghth, without inner tie rods, not so bad. The outer tie rods both seem to fit the knuckle. I don't have a pic. The ej inner tie rod can be threaded down to fit but your solid thread purchase is only so much, a little good thread in deep or just enough depth, depending on which outer tie rod you use. About 1/2" to 3/4" one way or the other. With the ej outers you would have better captive nut purchase, you would have to thread past the wrenchable section and cut off the rest. I guess one won't really know how much purchase till an alignment. You can see the tapered cut "wrenching section" in the threads.
Posted Image


You can see the inners wont interchange.Posted Image

in order to get any PS rack into the manual crossmember you would have to get rid of the plate at the bottom by drilling the welds out or cutting. I'll bet drilling would be best. It would bolt back on.
Posted Image

You could just add the 4 holes for the lines of the ea81 ps rack and the grommets though if you didn't have the PS crossmember. I thought that is interesting.

The problem is the size and shape of the ej ps rack.

The lines would have to be re routed past the carrier bracket and away from crossmember or to new holes,

Posted Image

or you could just cut:eek:

Posted Image:[

Speaking of cutting...the top.
Posted Image

That might be a little conservative too. You might have to cut more. You can see my drawn line. I'll bet that set of cuts would RUIN the entegrity of the whole crossmember.

Then making shims to get the imput shaft to the right angle. If you could shim the whole rack down away from the whole crossmsmber, it would be much more doable with out as much cutting, but that would drop it into the realm of getting to low to be any good ("Road turtle took you out?")and being out of any normal persons fab skills as the brackets would have to be really pretty burly. Might as well make your own crossmember then. With all that to take into consideration, I"ll bet its out of my league. I tried.:)

When I pulled the old manual rack out I noticed a crap tonn of play in a inner tie rod, it was unthreading. So glad I pulled it. I'd been chasing that for a while now.

So how loose are these inner tie rods supposed to be? I have two that are easy to swivel around, one that almost fell off on its own and and three that are stiff.

When I put on new boots do I grease the gear with anything special?

Edited by Yo'J, 01 December 2009 - 10:41 AM.


#13 grossgary

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:12 AM

how different are EA81 and EA82 steering racks, are they interchangeable?

nice pic's and information.

if you wanted to make this work, seems like the way to go is to grind that "wrench area" down so you can run a die over it and make the threaded portion longer. then you can shorten the inner tie rod but cutting part of the end off. by your calculations it would only take 3/4" on each side.

#14 capn_r

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:26 AM

Regarding the rack width differance, how close to the same width at the inner tie rod pivot point are the EA units to the EJ units? If the width at that point is very much different it would be possible to create some bump steer issues but if the extra width is in the inner tie rod end that wouldn't be a concern. If this swap can be done without too much surgery that would an affordable solution to EA81 power steering addition with readily available components. Nice work!

#15 Yo'J

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:38 AM

The tips of the "wrench area" are all you get for thread. Check out the pic at top. I ran a die down it to see how well it took the threads. I didn't go very far, to finish, I'd a have ta gone an inch past the wrench spot to use ej outers or just a little further for the ea81 tie rod end. The tie rods make up the difference in rack width for the most part. But do you see about the "captive nut purchace"?

Thanks capn'! Its been some ARRRD work! It just looks like too much surgery on the poor girl to give her the modern rudder.:)

I dont have an ea82 rack or the money to grab one till next payday but I got this extra crossmember see. Thats a good thought, I wisk I did. I need an inner tie rod and boots first!:lol I also wonder about the rack changes through out the years. My ej rack is from a 90 leg. I'll bet they changed some by now.

I want to get this crossmember back in my brat so I can get this engine and tranny out of my woodshop! Car parts and maintenance make such a mess! And you cant do both woodworking and auto repair at the same time.

Edited by Yo'J, 01 December 2009 - 11:05 AM.


#16 grossgary

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:52 AM

The tips of the "wrench area" are all you get for thread. Check out the pic at top. I ran a die down it to see how well it took the threads. I didn't go very far.

that's why I said to grind it first, get it down to a threadable diameter and it should be an easy go.

#17 Yo'J

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 11:07 AM

I didn't go very far because someone might need it if I cant use it. It threads just fine. The flat spots show in the threads.:eek:
Posted Image Sorry my camera isnt so fancy there.......

Edited by Yo'J, 01 December 2009 - 11:11 AM.


#18 gwilson87

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 06:29 PM

I was kicking around the idea of getting a thread adapter kinda deal when I did mm power steering. Use the EA ends and get something that threaded into the end of the inner tie rod, and then it changes size to then thread into the steering rack... Make sense? It does to me and I can make drawings if anyone cares, I talked to a machinist but I ended up finding an EA power steering rack and grabbed it asap, good find for $15 :lol:

#19 grossgary

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 09:33 AM

i missed it - why can't you use the EJ rack, EJ inner tie rod an EA outer tie rods?

seems like the EA outer tie rods should thread onto the inner? i compared my XT6 and EJ stuff the other day and they look like the same dimensions and thread.

#20 Yo'J

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:37 AM

i missed it - why can't you use the EJ rack, EJ inner tie rod an EA outer tie rods?

seems like the EA outer tie rods should thread onto the inner? i compared my XT6 and EJ stuff the other day and they look like the same dimensions and thread.


You can just fine but getting the ej rack into the ea crossmember poses the challenge. The hole for the steering linkages needs to be enlarged a ton and all the lines need to be re routed. Kind of defeats the purpose. I figure I'll still try it, as I have it all as extras, but not as an important part of the swap I'm doing. It might be easy with some 90 deg fittings and new line, it might still render the crossmember useless for holding the motor.




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