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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I need to replace the steering rack on my '09 OBW 2.5i for a leak behind the driver's side boot so that it will pass a MD Safety Inspection. Hoping to pull a good OEM rack from one of the local pick-n-pulls, but currently none of them have any '05-'09 Legacy's or Outbacks in their lots. Bunch of other model year OB's, Foresters, Impreza's, etc. So, are any of the Steering Racks from other model/year Subaru's a direct replacement? Or should I just wait till a matching vehicle shows up in the yards?
Also, I don't necessarily want to upgrade to something like the quicker-ratio STI rack since it usually comes along with a reduction in overall turning radius. Anyone out there know what other racks will fit? Thanks!
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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You can use racks from other cars. I know folks have used STI and WRX racks. You do need to swap out the inner and outer tie-rod ends. All cars other than Leggy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply eagleeye. Definitely interested in what tdck might be able to shed light on. Based on the threads and info i've found discussing steering racks (some of which were tdck's posts), I know i'd like to stay away from aftermarket rebuilt racks and would prefer to stick to used (but good) OEM racks. Just need to know what other racks might fit, and what I can choose from before I go scour the pick-n-pull yard for potential replacements...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can use racks from other cars. I know folks have used STI and WRX racks. You do need to swap out the inner and outer tie-rod ends. All cars other than Leggy.
Thanks tdck. Is it pretty open in terms of from what other cars? So pretty much from any other Subaru as long as you swap the inner and outer tie rod ends? And by swapping them out, do you mean using the inner and outer tie rod ends from the vehicle the rack came from (e.g: if using a WRX rack need to also use the WRX tie rod ends), or do you mean using the Leggy/Outback inner and outer tie rod ends on the rack from the other model?
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Inspection - MD inspections only used to be when you first bought a car and then never again. You could drive it 30 years and never have it inspected again. Has that changed?

If not - you could just reboot it and at least pass inspection for now until you come across a rack at your leisure, if time is an issue.

Otherwise Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

have the cheapest one you can find shipped to you. they don't fail very often, and usually failure can be prevented if you never drive with torn rack boots - so install new boots on it when you get it.
 

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Thanks tdck. Is it pretty open in terms of from what other cars? So pretty much from any other Subaru as long as you swap the inner and outer tie rod ends?
There is a spline count difference on the input shaft (that the steering wheel and ujoint connect to). I'm not sure what causes that spline count change, someone else should know.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Inspection - MD inspections only used to be when you first bought a car and then never again. You could drive it 30 years and never have it inspected again. Has that changed?

If not - you could just reboot it and at least pass inspection for now until you come across a rack at your leisure, if time is an issue.
Well, the inspection laws in MD have not changed. Typically, yes...one inspection then done. However, I also use my Subaru to drive Uber/Lyft as a side-hustle. MD requires all cars used for ride sharing to be inspected once a year. Definitely a PITA that it has to be done every year, but at least there are inspection stations that do them for "free" for Uber Drivers (I think they have some kind of agreement with Uber where Uber pays for the inspections).

Otherwise Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

have the cheapest one you can find shipped to you. they don't fail very often, and usually failure can be prevented if you never drive with torn rack boots - so install new boots on it when you get it.
I must have one of the infrequent ones then...cause my car is leaking from the driver's side and does not have a torn boot. Car has about 143K miles on it, and both left and right rack boots are still intact and in good shape. Rack just leaks enough that it spills out of the boot...and is easily seen by the inspector.
Anyway, yeah....Car-part.com is always an option. The local pick-n-pulls are even cheaper though...and I get to inspect it myself before I pull it. Typical cost for a Rack & Pinion is $30-$35 at the yards I frequent...
 

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However, I also use my Subaru to drive Uber/Lyft as a side-hustle.

I must have one of the infrequent ones then...cause my car is leaking from the driver's side and does not have a torn boot.
Ah - got it.

yep they can leak sometimes, and if it wasn't bought new there's no way to verify it wasn't previously compromised.

good luck finding another one, they're getting old enough you should find one.

Harry's up in PA is a frequent subaru hotbed for picking parts, and can have dozens and dozens of Subaru's, but clearly out of your way.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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Ah - got it.

yep they can leak sometimes, and if it wasn't bought new there's no way to verify it wasn't previously compromised.

good luck finding another one, they're getting old enough you should find one.

Harry's up in PA is a frequent subaru hotbed for picking parts, and can have dozens and dozens of Subaru's, but clearly out of your way.
that big Harry's one up in Hazleton may have 3 or 4 2005-2009 types poking around at any time,.
...but sadly no yard guys with hot cutting tools on a van to make quick work of stubborn bolts for a little cash.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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or do you mean using the Leggy/Outback inner and outer tie rod ends on the rack from the other model?
This ^^^

So the racks are pretty much bolt in. Rack ratios and turning radius are differnt. Most of the time the radius is due to the tie-rod-combs length. See each chassis has a slightly different track width. 2005-2009 Legacy based vehicles are the widest of the years that work.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
There is a spline count difference on the input shaft (that the steering wheel and ujoint connect to). I'm not sure what causes that spline count change, someone else should know.
I was not aware of that. I know that some solid STI steering shafts work on OB racks...I guess it takes more digging than I have done. The input shaft can certainly be swapped I bet.

I should take my donor apart and see one day when...

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/23-village/226873-weird-stuff-your-spare-time.html

Oh yeah...right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yep they can leak sometimes, and if it wasn't bought new there's no way to verify it wasn't previously compromised.

good luck finding another one, they're getting old enough you should find one.

Harry's up in PA is a frequent subaru hotbed for picking parts, and can have dozens and dozens of Subaru's, but clearly out of your way.
My OBW was originally my Dad's car...bought new in 2009. He replaced it last year with an '17 Outback, so I bought it from him. He didn't take great care of it, but at least I know the entire history of the vehicle. :)

Funny thing is...my local yards typically have at LEAST 3-4 '05-'09 Leggy's and Outbacks in the yards. I pick parts from them from time to time, but of course when I actually NEED something specific. NONE. I think there is currently only 1 '07 OBW in the yard, but from the pics on their website it looks to have taken a pretty hard hit to the left front that appears to have pushed the wheel back. I fear that the rack may be damaged as well. Will find out today though...heading over to take a look in a bit.

that big Harry's one up in Hazleton may have 3 or 4 2005-2009 types poking around at any time,.
...but sadly no yard guys with hot cutting tools on a van to make quick work of stubborn bolts for a little cash.
There's usually guys at my yards that offer their services, but none with heat or cutting tools. In fact, the yards don't allow any kinds of heat or cutting torches anymore. I used to bring either a portable propane or MAPP Gas torch setup with me. They have had issues with cars catching fire i'm sure so they put a kabosh on that. I always have my 3/4" and 1/2" drive Matco Infinium cordless impacts with me and typically they get the job done breaking off rusted bolts. :) I really wanna step up to the Milwaukee Brushless 3/4" and 1/2" impacts, but **** are they pricey...


So the racks are pretty much bolt in. Rack ratios and turning radius are differnt. Most of the time the radius is due to the tie-rod-combs length. See each chassis has a slightly different track width. 2005-2009 Legacy based vehicles are the widest of the years that work.
Hmm, ok...is there by chance a chart somewhere that shows the rack ratios for different models. Would prefer to just use a Leggy/OB rack, but it's slim pickins' right now...

Anyway, thanks again for the input guys.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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I really can't remember where I round the rack information. At the time I was only looking at the Legacy based racks. That information is here in this thread.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/81-wheels-tires-brakes-suspension/315850-gen3-steering-gear-differences.html

But call these guys and talk to Doug. He should know the other models that can work. make sure he knows you will be swapping any necessary tie-rods.

Used Subaru Parts | Super Rupair

I bet they have one. They might even strip and ship one.

Also try Denaples, I believe they ship also.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/61-general-discussions/76778-favorite-recycled-parts-junkyard.html
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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There's usually guys at my yards that offer their services, but none with heat or cutting tools. In fact, the yards don't allow any kinds of heat or cutting torches anymore. I used to bring either a portable propane or MAPP Gas torch setup with me. They have had issues with cars catching fire i'm sure so they put a kabosh on that. I always have my 3/4" and 1/2" drive Matco Infinium cordless impacts with me and typically they get the job done breaking off rusted bolts. :) I really wanna step up to the Milwaukee Brushless 3/4" and 1/2" impacts, but **** are they pricey...


.
problem without heat or real cutting tools,...driving back and forth with penetrating oil day after day trying to get something loose. ...vs. buying used from a paid yard, or just plain new. I know of one pick and pull yard with a independent guy in a van that they let in..

..so that is ONE place where a cheap engine / trans can be had as he just cuts the thing out. similarly I have been to pick / pull yards where you pay the owners son and the yard guy to pick the car up with the fork loader and put it on a fixed rack in a pole barn for them use real tools on it. (that place had all the stuff on the ground in the mud,...all wheels /tires were inside,...so its only feasible to pull simple things like interior and engine bits yourself.

Baltimore's own @Lverano bought one of those BIG drills for working in parts yards.

started typing about it here:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/110-gen-2-2000-2004/198538-01-outback-vdc-rear-sub-frame-pics-project-3.html#post2283242
 
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