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Old 03-22-2011, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Replacing Steering Rack Boots

As I was doing the Steering Rack Boots on my project 2000 OBW, thought I better do a DIY!
It was pretty easy, and took me less than 30 mins per side!
Pair of Boots from Autohauz Arizona was $34.


1/ Raise and support the car safely!
2/ Remove the wheel


3/ Remove the split pin on the track rod end but straightening the pin ends. Start with a flat screwdriver, and then get them straight with pliers, and extract them.





4/ Using a 19mm socket or wrench loosen the nut until it is level with the top of the thread..


Like so:



5/ Using a heavy hammer give it one sharp blow.
If this does not work, you need to be careful, as you could damage the thread... or worse... use a ball joint splitter... not a pickle fork type, as that would damage the rubber boot on the joint.



6/ Holding the tie rod with a 13mm wrench, loosen the lock nut with a 19mm wrench.


7/ Noting down the number of turns, remove the track rod end... Mine was ELEVEN turns.


8/ Remove the lock nut.


9/ Remove the outer boot clamp with pliers.


10/ Under the car, Remove the Engine undertray

11/ Remove the inner boot clamp by folding back the rubber flap and using pliers or a screwdriver to pop the spring clamp off, then slide the boot off the rack end.


12/ From the wheel side, slide the boot off...
Mine was toast!

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Refit:

1/ Clean and Inspect the exposed section of the steering rack... It should be clean and rust free.
Mine was perfect.
Apply a light coat of high quality hi melting point grease.


2/ Inspect the Tie rod end for damaged threads or split boot.
Mine was good, so I can reuse it.


3/ Wrap the threaded section of the rack arm with tape, to protect the boot when you slide it on.



4/ Apply a little grease to the tapped section and stide the boot on.



5/ Push the boot on untill it reaches the correct place(An indented section on the tie rod)
Using pliers, put on the new outer clamp.


6/ Under the car, slide the inner section of the boot into place...
This was the hardest part, due to lack of space. The exhaust manifold is right in the way..
I found that pushing the boot UP and onto the rack, then holding it there while you grab the lower part with pliers and pull it down and over... took me maybe 5 mins of grunting and juggling to get it on!

7/ Position the boot where it needs to be, and Put the boot clamp on and pull it tight, folding the clamp over and back on itself. take a flat screwdriver or punch and with a hammer, tap the clamp sleeve flat so it grips the band.

8/ Fold the boot flap back over.


9/ Screw the lock nut onto the tie rod, then screw the tie rod end back on the same number of turns again... in my case, it was 11!


10/ Put the end of the tie rod back in the hole, and retighten the 19mm nut.
Put in a new split pin, and fold it over.


11/ Now the end of the tie rod is secure, tighten the lock nut down onto the tie rod end.

12/ Replace the wheel, and do the other side if needed... I suggest you do them both... if one is done, the other is close behind..

13/ Go get the Alignment checked!
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the nice write up!

When I replaced mine, I left the tie rod end attached to the knuckle so I would have to worry about damaging it. I used a little paint to mark the threads and locking bolt (and counted the turns). I had a rough time getting the boot over the larger rack end, but I read that a little silicone spray will aid in slipping boot over the grove, and it helped a ton! I replace the tie rod end on the other side of my car when doing a wheel bearing job. My first trip after finishing us was to the alignment shop.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks.
I have only done the Pass side so far, and will take some more pics or edit to make sure the drivers side is covered, with any changes.
As far as leaving the tie rod end on... Mmm, I see no reason why you cant!
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome write up. How hard was it to get that lock nut off. For the life of me, I can't get that lock nut off. Liquid Wrench for 15 min and still no go. I'm also using a craftsman 13mm wrench on the tie rod but it seems quite short to get the needed leverage. I switched to my biggest adjustable wrench to hold the tie rod but the lock nut still won't budge. I hope I'm turning it the right way. Facing inwads, the lock nut turns right to loosen?
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoarderM View Post
Awesome write up. How hard was it to get that lock nut off. For the life of me, I can't get that lock nut off. Liquid Wrench for 15 min and still no go. I'm also using a craftsman 13mm wrench on the tie rod but it seems quite short to get the needed leverage. I switched to my biggest adjustable wrench to hold the tie rod but the lock nut still won't budge. I hope I'm turning it the right way. Facing inwads, the lock nut turns right to loosen?
Try it the other direction. I tried one way, but nothing came loose, then I tried it what I thought was backwards and it came off quickly.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ursina View Post
Thanks for the nice write up!

When I replaced mine, I left the tie rod end attached to the knuckle so I would have to worry about damaging it. I used a little paint to mark the threads and locking bolt (and counted the turns). I had a rough time getting the boot over the larger rack end, but I read that a little silicone spray will aid in slipping boot over the grove, and it helped a ton! I replace the tie rod end on the other side of my car when doing a wheel bearing job. My first trip after finishing us was to the alignment shop.
So - it is possible to replace the boot without disconnecting the outer tie rod end? I'm having trouble visualizing. How does that work?
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You can leave the outer tie rod connected to the spindle, but disconenct the outer from the inner by spinning the threaded rod all the way. You'll have to have the steering turned all the way and probably manipulate the suspension with a bottle jack to get enough room to do it. Loosening the swaybar link will allow the suspension to be manipulated easier.
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is a good write-up, but I would strongly recommend NOT hitting the tie rod, nut or no nut. That is just asking to damage the threads. Hit the knuckle from the side and it should fall right out.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Anyone doing this on a 2010+ (gen 4) outback? I'm stuck trying to figure out how to access the other side of the steering boot. It's blocked from all angles and I'm not sure what needs to be removed (or in what order) to get to it from the bottom.
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