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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My power steering has gotten hard to turn lately.

It seems particularly hard at 10 and 2. Overall it just feels intermittent and inconsistent.

I checked the steering rack u-joints, and they are a bit rusty but it doesn't seem notchy. With the key on/engine off, I was able to spin the steering by hand via the u-joints. I removed some rust and sprayed liberally with wd-40 synthetic lube anyway, which didn't seem to make a difference.

I had my wife turn the steering wheel back and forth while looking at the reservoir and I do not see any bubbles, I can just see small ripples in the fluid from the return line.

Fluid is relatively new, maybe 10k miles. NO whining noises.

I took the belt off and spun the pump pulley by hand and it's smooth although has some weird clicky (?) noises .

Should I go ahead and replace the pump ? Not sure what else I should try.... thanks.
 

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2008 Outback Wagon LL Bean Limited 2.5i
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727 Posts
My power steering has gotten hard to turn lately.

It seems particularly hard at 10 and 2. Overall it just feels intermittent and inconsistent.

I checked the steering rack u-joints, and they are a bit rusty but it doesn't seem notchy. With the key on/engine off, I was able to spin the steering by hand via the u-joints. I removed some rust and sprayed liberally with wd-40 synthetic lube anyway, which didn't seem to make a difference.

I had my wife turn the steering wheel back and forth while looking at the reservoir and I do not see any bubbles, I can just see small ripples in the fluid from the return line.

Fluid is relatively new, maybe 10k miles.

I took the belt off and spun the pump pulley by hand and it's smooth although has some weird clicky (?) noises .

Should I go ahead and replace the pump ? Not sure what else I should try.... thanks.
Were struts replaced ? If so were the mounts replaced ? The bearings in the mounts were bad in my 2008 and maybe a source of resistance too


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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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721 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Were struts replaced ? If so were the mounts replaced ? The bearings in the mounts were bad in my 2008 and maybe a source of resistance too


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They are original as far as I know. Seem to be in OK condition. With the car being so old I have thought about doing new Monroe quickstruts though.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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721 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
34170AG041 seems to be the steering U joint part #... not something I'd want to just throw at the car for $150.00.

I'm not 100% sure but now I am wondering if perhaps lubing that up did help a little.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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If you cannot feel any notchy/binding feeling with the front wheels up, I'd suspect a rack valve issue, maybe a pump check valve issue.

But it could also be the strut hats, flat spot in the rack, flat spot in the steering column support, etc. if you feel it while "free wheeling".
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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721 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks I'll have to check it again... I am not convinced it feels totally normal when the front wheels are up. it felt like cleaning + spraying the U-joint helped a little, but it's definitely still there when driving. It feels like a resistance to start a turn from straight and at other spots . I am going to try starting with used (hopefully low miles) steering shaft U-Joint assembly.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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Discussion Starter #7
Step 1 of the FSM for replacing the U-joint says to remove the steering wheel. Is this necessary?
 

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Step 1 of the FSM for replacing the U-joint says to remove the steering wheel. Is this necessary?
Possibly related to aligning the roll connector -- part of the U-joint replacement section.

Incidentally, be careful not to rotate the steering shaft excessively -- all the better if it can be kept in the same position throughout. The roll connector will be damaged if the shaft is turned too far. That can result in switches/controls on the steering wheel not working, or being intermittent, and airbag connection faults.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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721 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I was thinking I would secure the steering wheel with the seat belt and ratchet straps and then slide the old U-joint up onto the steering side, to get it off of the steering rack, then reverse to get the old one one and put it back in the same position as the old one was. Car wheels would be on ramps so shouldn't move much.
 
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