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Hi all

Whilst driving the Legacy over our track (bumpy, uneven but more or less flat) I get the sensation of a rattle through the steering wheel, though it appears mostly to be noise, vibration is negligible or non-existent.

So I put the front wheels up in the air one side at a time and wiggled the steering wheel (engine off) and I get a dry ‘clack’ sound from the front end.

There is NO free-play between steering wheel and front wheels, and the sound would appear to come from the front centre of the car, so I am sure it is not tie-rod ends.

With very light and small back-and-forth movements of the steering wheel I get the correct silent movement in the front wheels, without free play.

Only when I move the steering wheel maybe four inches quickly to-and-fro do I get the noise, and the same thing if I waggle the front wheels themselves at nine and three.

Any ideas?

 

Many thanks

 

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maybe check axle nuts?

sure seems like it could be inner tire rods being 'central' in sound.

some folks have had the little u-joint on the steering shaft go bad - though often they get stiff......

maybe test with a hose to the ear or mechanic's stethoscope while someone else works the steering wheel?

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

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It sounds louder in the video than it really is! Not really like a hammer blow at all- more like a click-clack.

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I really should get an assistant to help, I was a bit rushed to pull the splash guard off and get under there with the axle stands.

Tomorrow I’ll give it a more thorough inspection.

Perhaps the steering rack is loose in its mounts.

Edited by Mitchy

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I dove in a little deeper today, but still without assistance. 

There is definitely some lateral play (0.5-1mm) in the whole steering rack body, so I shall soon change the bushings.

whilst I was looking in there I found a dowel pin  - clutch bellhousing to engine block perhaps? It measures 10mm dia x 22.5mm long.

And a slightly oily steering mechanism!

View from above:

5BA5AD55-F206-4685-9FC4-0F713DF20844.jpeg.e15a8f85f229d3155d3d0a9dd0360c83.jpeg

13710B28-9C72-4EA8-AD8B-8866F053006D.jpeg.072e9e5b2f8609cc7436a62bc23fd6a1.jpeg

 

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That is definitely a dowel pin from the engine/gearbox. You can easily tap that back in where it should be - if it's not the result of being pushed out to make way for another dowel pin from an engine swap. 

Any play in the rack can make some noise and give you the feeling of knock through the steering wheel.  Clear up that slack and you might find your issue is sorted.

Cheers

Bennie

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Thanks Bennie

It certainly looks like the rack movement is making this noise, so I am looking forward to feeling some new bushes in there.

That dowel pin is a mystery:

Is it officially an engine assy or trans assy part?

Although 22 year old, this car has only 95,000 miles and looks/ feels like it.

The annual road inspections tell the same tale; mileage was recorded at each inspection; I cannot imagine that the NA EJ22 or the cable-operated clutch or the 5MT could have failed in those miles, though anything can happen...The car seems well maintained, one owner from new in ‘97 till 2018, new timing belt at 70,000 miles in 2011 etc etc. 

Mysterious.

 

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personally, i would not worry too much about the dowel pin. They are only used as an aid in alignment - not a critical part.

while the miles may not reflect it, the age definitely does - has the timing ever been replaced on it? If not, I would make that a top priority.

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The belt was replaced at 70,000 mi, 8 years ago, according to a sticker in the engine bay.

I am however considering a belt and pulley renewal, along with front seals, water pump etc

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3 hours ago, heartless said:

personally, i would not worry too much about the dowel pin. They are only used as an aid in alignment - not a critical part.

while the miles may not reflect it, the age definitely does - has the timing ever been replaced on it? If not, I would make that a top priority.

Sure, I’m just wondering why there would be a need to remove engine or transmission at so few thousands of miles...

Edited by Mitchy

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I did the TB system on my WRX at under 70K miles due to it being about 9 years old. 2 of the idlers were very loose and one of those (toothed idler) wobbled slightly. Dunno if it would have last 2 more months or 2 years but, I have no regrets. The toothed idler is often the failure point.

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My experience too:

pc230421rs.jpg 

pc230423rs.jpg 

But that was caused by this and another 3000km: 

pb010091rs.jpg 

Cheers 

Bennie

  • Like 2

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3 hours ago, Mitchy said:

:blink: incredibly the belt is still there

Yeah it didn’t run well at all. Half way to dropping my wife off at work one morning I thought I was running out of fuel (had just done a 600+km round trip the day before on one tank), I put my jerry can in, no change, limped it home about 2km. 

After setting up the shed I got her started, drove her in and found this after tearing down the front end. 

Glad the EJ22E non interference, any more of a change in timing and it would’ve been a different story with any other EJ... 

Cheers 

Bennie

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I have just washed my hands after the surprisingly quick and easy steering rack bushing renewal.

The hammering ‘click-clack’ has gone, now with blue ‘Superpro’ PU bushings installed. The steering rack is much more snug now, with negligible lateral movement.

I was fearing this job as I had heard stories of hours spent cussing under the car.... not so; just loosen the steering shaft pinch bolt first and undo the rack bolts - down she comes. You do not even have to disconnect the steering shaft, just let it slip that cm or so down its splines.

I had to deflect the defiant PS hoses to let the brackets out, but the bushing just slipped into place on both sides, no grease, just a little cajoling with a wooden dowel to push the pinion side bushing over the top of the rack.

25 minutes wheels-up to wheels-down. **Rusty cars may need longer.**

easy peasy.

Test drive to come.

0D51DE92-7222-4153-B28E-DFA283644363.jpeg.d529aa699e86aa9d32b52c1727f63061.jpeg

After the test drive: 

As hoped, the steering has crisped-up, with no negative effects such as increased NVH etc.

 

Edited by Mitchy
  • Like 3

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