Jump to content

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse

* * * * * 1 votes

Texas 82 Brat Project- steering problem?

steering rack loose brat

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Dania02525


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Austin

Posted 30 March 2014 - 04:24 PM

We picked up this rust free brat locally in Austin, Texas and are fixing it up for a nice summer beach cruiser! It seems to need just about everything, but luckily the parts are cheap (when available)!  I'm pretty happy with it because the only spot of any rust on the car is under the battery tray :-)


So far:

undercoated interior floor pans, new carpet

roll on bedliner

replaced several bent pushrods (solid lifter engine)

both CV axles

right inner tie rod

super cleaning inside and out

rerouted clutch cable

Front brake pads


still need to do:

radiator (preventative- noticed some corrosion and don't want to get stuck in the desert!)

water pump/thermostat (same reason)

oil pump housing gasket/o-ring

rear shoes

weber carb kit

remove and coat inside of rusty fuel tank


We were driving it around and the steering seems pretty loose still.  Like scary if over ~50mph, and with the loosness vibration and automatic lane changes when crossing the paint on the road lol.  checked and rechecked the inner and outer tie rods, the ball joints, even strut bearings, but it looked like the manual steering rack might be loose.  With the right inner disconnected, I was still getting a clunk when moving the steering wheel.  Is there an allowed amount of free play in the steering shaft inside the rack? I can see that there has been water in there, since the teeth are rust-stained. 


Looks like its going to be hard to get a reman rack, so I was hoping to see if anyone could tell me if this was normal.. The rack has a bit of movement (not in and out, but the shaft can move up and down in the housing) when out on the floor. 


Heres some pics!



#2 suprjohn


    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 260 posts
  • North Platte, NE

Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:58 PM

Looking good!



#3 BratRod


    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 580 posts
  • Dallas, Texas

Posted 30 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

I remember the first time this was listed for $1100 dollars. I wanted it, but couldn't spend the cash at the time. Glad you found your way here! Have fun with that thing. It's well worth it.

#4 Flowmastered87GL


    WCSS Drunk

  • Members
  • 6,273 posts
  • Portland, Oregon

Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:57 PM

Check the rubber circle "thingy" that bolts between the steering rack and the steer shaft.  Odds are its rotted out.  You can get a polyurathane replacement for a VW bug (old school one) and it fits.  It did on my lifted 82 Brat anyway...

#5 Dania02525


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Austin

Posted 05 May 2014 - 02:24 PM

Check the rubber circle "thingy" that bolts between the steering rack and the steer shaft.  Odds are its rotted out.  You can get a polyurathane replacement for a VW bug (old school one) and it fits.  It did on my lifted 82 Brat anyway...




I did just what you said, and sure enough it was dry-rotted.  I also ended up putting a rack and two outer tie rods in it as well.  it steers great now :-)


I ended up taking care of the rust in the gas tank too- it was pretty bad.  Here's what I did that seemed to work fairly well:


Cleaned with simple green + water + 100 nuts shaken around in there


Full strength Muriatic Acid (Behr etch and clean from home depot- this appears to have changed formula to muriatic acid)

-took about 5 min to remove all rust and leave etched surface on metal for adhesion

neutralized with baking soda and lots of water

Rinsed with 1/2 strength Zinc oxide + Phosphuric acid solution- phosphuric acid availble as 'prep and etch' product at home depot, ZnO available as power on Amazon. (I added ZnO to Phosphuric acid until no more would dissolve in it)

disturbed continuously for 20-30 min, slowly adding water to increase Ph.  This precipitates the Zinc Phosphate coating onto the etched metal. 

Rinsed with high pressure water at car wash, then low pressure 'spot free rinse' water.

Rinsed twice with denatured alcohol to remove water.

rinsed with 1 qt of marvel mystery oil to prevent any flash rust on thin spots of the phosphate coating

Full tank of gas once in the car. 


Gas tank is spotless with layer of sacrificial zinc/iron phosphate :-)


If you are going to try this: safety safety safety.  Both of these acids will burn you, you must use forearm length nitrile gloves, FULL protective safety glasses- the ones that cover all around your eyes and touch your face.  Do it all in a well ventalated area, and mix all chemicals slowly.  Pour acid INTO water, and never the other way around.  In fact, I don't recommend that anyone try it unless you know how to handle chemicals.  In total it was about $50 and I did not clog up my in tank filter with any kind of sealer or use any sealer at all. 


Running nice now- just have to put my guages in :-)

#6 belacane


    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • 364 posts
  • New Orleans, LA

Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:18 AM


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users