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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Squeaky steering.


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6 replies to this topic

#1 mrfixiter

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 02:23 PM

I have a 1997 Legacy GT wagon. When I turn the steering wheel while stopped, there is a squeaking sound coming from somewhere. This happens whether the engine is on or off. When I put the front end of the car onto jack stands, the noise goes away. The best way to describe the noise is it sounds almost identical to the noise I hear when I pull out the hood support bar and swivel it into position.

 

While I was inspecting the car from underneath, I noticed that there were two boots torn, one on each end. The one on the other side of the car looks pretty much the same as the photo below.

 

Legacy-torn-boot.jpg

 

First of all, how urgent of a repair is it to get this fixed? I looked at the service manual and it doesn't look like this is just one assembly that can be easily removed. Secondly, could this have anything to do with the squeaking?

 

Thanks for your reply.



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:30 AM

Squeaking is gonna be a ball joint or one of the outer tie rod ends. Since the rack boots are both torn I'd suggest you replace the boots, inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides, and you may need at least one lower ball joint.

The squeak is because the grease that lubricates the ball joint has escaped through a ripped dust boot and water and dirt have got into the joint and made it rust. Rusty metal + rusty metal + weight of the car on the joint = squeaky noisy when the joint moves (tuening the wheel).

#3 Rooster2

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:57 AM

Squeaking is gonna be a ball joint or one of the outer tie rod ends. Since the rack boots are both torn I'd suggest you replace the boots, inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides, and you may need at least one lower ball joint.

The squeak is because the grease that lubricates the ball joint has escaped through a ripped dust boot and water and dirt have got into the joint and made it rust. Rusty metal + rusty metal + weight of the car on the joint = squeaky noisy when the joint moves (tuening the wheel).

I have the same problem..........how do you replace the rack boots?? Any links that describe the procedure?? Thanks, Rooster2



#4 14D

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:11 PM

Gotta remove the outer tie rod ends then its pretty simple.  Mark its position and count the turns and you might be able to get by without having an alignment done.  Avoid the boots from autozone, I installed one and 6 months later it is half melted and falling apart.  The dorman one on the other side is holding up fine though (could only find one good one at the time).



#5 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:37 PM

Make sure it isn't the strut mount up top.

#6 mrfixiter

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:08 AM

Squeaking is gonna be a ball joint or one of the outer tie rod ends. Since the rack boots are both torn I'd suggest you replace the boots, inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides, and you may need at least one lower ball joint.

 

How much skill does it take to do this kind of a job? I've done tuneups, oil changes, and valve cover gasket replacements but never done any suspension work.

 

Thanks for your reply. :)



#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:16 AM

It will likely need to have an alignment done afterward.
It's all fairly straightforward as long as you can get the tie rod ends loose from the rack and knuckles.
The inners can be tricky, but I've used a large pair of lock jaw pliers (channel locks) to remove and tighten them. The biggest thing is that you have to get them sufficiently tightened so they don't loosen during driving.
Outer tie rod ends are fairly simple. Remove the lock nut, knock the joint out of the knuckle. You can then loosen the inner joint and spin the whole thing off as one part. Lay the new parts next to this and thread them together so they are the same length. Mark the threads on the new tie rod, then take them apart, install the inner, slide the new boot over it (use lots of silicone spray or silicone grease) then thread on the lock nut, then the new outer end and stick it into the knuckle. Spin the tie rod until the marks line up. Tighten the locknut on the tie rod. Repeat for the other side.

You can do a DIY toe alignment afterward with a tape measure. With the wheels on the ground and suspension at rest position (roll the car a few feet forward and back after putting it down) Pick a point in the tire tread ( I usually use the center block) and measure across the front (as close to 90 degrees from the ground as you can) to the same point on the other tire. Now do the same on the rear of the tire and compare the distance. Adjust so there is between 0" and 1/8" shorter distance across the front. This will give a very slight amount of toe-in which will allow you to drive to a shop to have it properly aligned. It helps if you have ramps to do this, since it can be tricky to get under the front of the car to adjust the tie rods while the car is on the ground.




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