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jarl

Quick question re: steering boots

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Well... while changing the oil I decided to take a look at the steering components in my OBW, and I think I found the source of the wobble I had mentioned: one of the balljoints is busted (yay!). Somehow this became evident only when moving the wheel at an angle (hands at 2 and 8), so it had eluded detection until now.

 

Anyway... while checking stuff I found that both balljoint boots and one of the steering rack boots are split open. I'm replacing at least one of the balljoints, and maybe the other one, but the questions I have are about the steering rack boots:

 

- I can't feel any relative movement between the (semi-exposed) inner tie rod end and the steering rack. Is it ok to just reboot this thing, or now that it's exposed will it fail in a couple of months and I should replace the whole inner tie rod end instead?

- If just rebooting, how should I clean the (presumably contaminated) grease from the tie rod joint?

- When buying tierods do they normally come with the boot (can't find any mention of it on Rockauto)?

 

Thanks!

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Changing the boots is a huge PITA. I changed mine, put all new tie rods in, and they tore again within 6 months (albeit rally and aggressive driving). I wouldn't worry about it personally.

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They are often torn by guys aligning the car who don't loosen or remove the rack boot clamps when adjusting the rack.

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You have to buy expensive ( from Subaru) boots or they will crack again in very short time. Aftermarket boots don't hold up to the heat from the exhaust header pipes that run directly underneath the boots.

 

There is a small hole in the side of some inner tie rod joints. If you have a needle fitting of the proper size you can regrease the joint through this hole with a standard grease gun. It may not need any new grease if the boot has only recently split. If you decide to replace it, consider replacing both sides, inner and outer and have the alignment set afterward.

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Well... while changing the oil I decided to take a look at the steering components in my OBW, and I think I found the source of the wobble I had mentioned: one of the balljoints is busted (yay!). Somehow this became evident only when moving the wheel at an angle (hands at 2 and 8), so it had eluded detection until now.

 

Anyway... while checking stuff I found that both balljoint boots and one of the steering rack boots are split open. I'm replacing at least one of the balljoints, and maybe the other one, but the questions I have are about the steering rack boots:

 

- I can't feel any relative movement between the (semi-exposed) inner tie rod end and the steering rack. Is it ok to just reboot this thing, or now that it's exposed will it fail in a couple of months and I should replace the whole inner tie rod end instead?

- If just rebooting, how should I clean the (presumably contaminated) grease from the tie rod joint?

- When buying tierods do they normally come with the boot (can't find any mention of it on Rockauto)?

hanks!

 

Tie rods do not come with (Steering rack)boots. I would definitely change only the boots if there is no play in the joint. Use a blow gun and clean the exposed joint out or wipe it clean with a rag if no compressor is available and put some fresh grease on it.

Also as someone else mentioned, use OEM Subaru boots. They are not too bad to change, Pop outer tie rod out of knuckle and unthread it off the inner rod. Then you can pull boot off.

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Here is a link to a DIY with pics to change the steering boots.

 

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/34373-replacing-steering-rack-boots.html

 

Some suggest putting a plastic bag over the outer tie rod and spraying the inside of the boot with silicone spray and then pull the boot over the outer tie rod rather than removing it.

 

I would agree about the use of the Subaru ones as we know they are generally longer lasting. YMMV!

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Crap... I bought the boot from Rockauto thinking the subaru OEM was expensive, but after reading your posts I decided to check 1stsubaruparts... and it's just $5 more or so :mad:

 

Oh well... if it fails again at least the parts would not have been rust-welded :)

 

The link to the images on the "other" site is a good one... but could someone elaborate on the "placing a bag over the outer tie rod and pulling the boot over it"? If I don't have to mess the alignment that would be great :)

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That may work with some style boots, I don't know. None of the ones I've ever bought will do that. It's hard enough to get the things onto just the tie rod (the threaded part) itself, even covered in silicone grease. No way in hell is it going to fit over the outer tie rod end.

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