2008 Outback, 2.5 liter engine, automatic trans. Does your steering input shaft look like this? Seems like there's an awful lot of splines showing... I'm only worried because I replaced the steering rack a few months ago and so possibly could have dislodged something while putting it all back together.
I noticed it because I've been digging around underneath trying to troubleshoot a steering wheel vibration between 60-70 mph. The vibration only happens at constant speed, doesn't get worse or better under acceleration/braking or around corners. I just put on new tires a week ago (balanced by a shop) and it only seemed to worsen after that. Car was aligned back in January after I put in the new rack and tie rods.
Any feedback is appreciated. I know there's a million threads about steering wheel vibration so I'm sorry for adding to the pile. 😖
That's about as good as I can do with my crappy iphone. For context, there's about an inch of splines showing where it enters the steering u-joint. The pic shows the upper part where it connects to the steering wheel - at the rack itself, there's maybe a millimeter's worth of splines showing.
You're right, it's hard to get an image, with everything that's on top of it. But I do have a borescope, which I easily managed to get in there, at the expense of producing an image that's a little more grainy than an ordinary camera. Here's the same parts on my 2008 2.5i, from a slightly different angle, which shows the length of the exposed splines are about 1.5x the shaft diameter.
I've owned this vehicle since new, and I can assure you this joint has not been touched since it was wrenched together by somebody in Indiana in late 2007.
And yea, my engine bay cleanliness down that low is a bit below my normal standards. Don't tell @traildogck. Oh, wait ....