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Guest Message by DevFuse

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98 OBW blown steering rack dust boots

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Rooster2


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:00 AM

Both steering rack boots are blown on my 98 OBW, and look like they have been bad for a long time. Steering is still good, but wonder if those boots need to be replaced. I pulled back one of the broken boots, and everything looked still clean inside. I did fill up the inside of the boots with white lithium grease from a spray can. I figured that couldn't hurt. Still, how difficult is it to replace those dust boots??

#2 johnceggleston


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:12 AM

the boots can be a little hard to get onto the end of the rack when the rack is on the car.

buy a little lube will help with that.


and the lock nut on the tie rod at the tie rod end can be hard to loosen if it has not moved in 15 years.


but the real hard part is to put it back together so you do not need an alignment.

if you do one side at a time and

count the number of turns to remove the tie rod end, (and write it down)

mark the tie rod so the same side is up when you finish,

and reassemble the tie rod end the same number of turns,

then you have a really good chance to get it right.


that's how i did it.

#3 Monkeybus



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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:18 AM

It's not bad, and I would do it. Finding some in the aftermarket that fit properly can be a pain. Just make sure that the socket that the boot protects doesn't have movement, or I'd do those too. They are something you can do in your driveway. If you are doing a boot or inner tie rod, start by taking the tie rod jam nut loose and rotate the inner tie rod back and forth in the outer tie rod so it isn't jammed up. Then take the tie rod castle nut loose and tap the knuckle with a hammer to break it free of its taper. Then take the castle nut off and spin the outer tie rod end off, but count the turns while you take it off, or you will change your steering angle and total toe. 

#4 MilesFox


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:43 AM

Yes, this technique works for me. Loosen the nut when the whole thing is attached. There is a flat spot on tthe inner tie that you can use a 14mm wrench.


Whacking the knuckle sharply and squarely (from the side) a few times will cause the ball joint to fall out. You should not have to hit on the shank of the tie rod at all.


I have used boots from napa. You will need to salvage the spring that holds the inner boot in place

#5 Bushwick


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 10:59 AM

Rockauto has them. Here's a link for the rack and pinion bellows for a 98' Legacy in case you can't find them locally for a good price:





Dunno which emgine you have, so input proper but prices should still be the same. Would get the slightly better ones as they might be a better rubber compound = last longer.

Edited by Bushwick, 15 October 2013 - 11:00 AM.

#6 Rooster2


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:30 PM

okay thanks.......did have a  2.5 motor, now have a 2.2 motor swapped in.

#7 idosubaru


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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

yes reboot it sooner rather than later or the dirt will cause the seal in the power steering rack to start leaking.


i've done gobs of them.


i don't even undo the outer tie rod end - we have so much rust here it's just simpler not to get into those parts that are often problematic unless necessary. if i do plan on needing to remove the tie rod it's a good idea to plan for rust, hard to remove, and possibly just having a new outer tie rod on hand just in case. 

when i don't remveo the outer tie rod - i just loosen the lock nut - then unscrew the inner tie rod end from the outer.  it'll push the wheel as it unscrews and eventually the outer tie rod is disconnected from the inner but hanging from the knuckle.  reinstall. 


like they said - be very accurate with measuring to retain alignment.  if it's not a Subaru tie rod, counting threads may not work for that.


then again - if you read those "home alignment" options for camber it's actually not hard to adjust it yourself anyway.  just set up some fishing line from rear to front based off of the rear and front track measurements and measure tire distance from there.  make sure front and rear and equidistant for zero camber.  really simple, i just did it the first time this year via some of the online threads about it. a little set up time the first go around but it's otherwise simple.


and i did two 95-99 legacys - so the numbers are easily had, i found them online.

Edited by grossgary, 15 October 2013 - 01:32 PM.

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