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2008 Outback 2.5i, 2005 Forrester 2.5
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47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm told that the awful burning oil smell emanating from my '08 Outback, 2.5, Auto, is the power steering rack leaking on the exhaust.

What is the vote from those of you that have serviced one of these?
Replace the rack with a re-manufactured unit ($220-ish) or,
Replace the seals in the existing rack ($60-ish)?
 

Master Caster
馃枻馃挃馃挋 3 Beautiful OBXTs
Joined
14,850 Posts
Remans...No

I would like to link this. If it is a good steering rack. Keep it. With a reman, you don't know who's rack you are bolting in.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/78145-steering-gear-input-shaft.html

Napa is usually a solid bet. Honestly...I am now just plain considering getting a brand new OEM rack for like $700. My car is still clunking and It is on like the 4th or 5th rack. I could change that one in my sleep. And I'm sick of repeat work. Lifetime warranty...great. $20 in synthetic fluid each time too. PITA. I have had similar issues with steering gear boxes for my Jeeps and Chevys. I would take each of those leaking, OEM boxes back...than ever do another reman. I think I went through 20 on the Chevys. #3 in Jeep. I am going for a new OEM steering gear in that too.

As for rebuilding...I have not ever tried myself.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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I wouldn't do either of those options - just install a used rack.
Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

Subaru steering racks are robust and rarely fail/have issues so that means there's little demand and they're cheap.
When I've parted cars, the racks aren't even worth keeping/selling because there's so little demand.

The ocassionally have the leak at the tie rod boot - that's classic and generally not worth rebuilding, just install a used one. There's an online write up at another forum of someone rebuilding a rack if you want to entertain it, but it's rarely done. It's for a 90's rack but Subaru racks are all very similar if not interchangeable.

I wouldn't go for remanned/aftermarket racks myself, just for the reasons he mentioned.

four or five bad racks - wow? i'd get away from aftermarket supplied racks altogether.
 

Master Caster
馃枻馃挃馃挋 3 Beautiful OBXTs
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14,850 Posts
four or five bad racks - wow? i'd get away from aftermarket supplied racks altogether.
Exactly the point I was trying to make with the OP.

In my particular case with Napa. I hazard to say that most people don't care about what I do. I should have kept my stock rack. The input shaft and "lash" they call it in "steering gears"...is where the problem has been. Most of them, the input shaft has been too loose, and during road impacts...I would hear noise and feel minor clunks. Steering accuracy isn't an issue...it isn't loose...in fact tight. So you feel all the rattling. At least I...do.

Like I said...most would never know. But, I am chassis and suspension guy. Steering is integral to both. And I have searched out a few used racks ones. I am stuck between the $200 I spent at Napa. The $100 in fuild dealing with all of the changes. And taking a chance...on a seeming nice $100 salvage rack up in Boulder. Problem is, they haven't stripped the car.

OR...just get a brand new rack for big $$$ like everything else on Frank. It's just a matter of how to budget it and when to do it.
 

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2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
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885 Posts
Still debating this on my 05 Outback. The hard lines on the factory one are going to go any day now. There's hardly any material left from rust! Napa, Cardone, BBB I am not sure.

Detroit axle? They are rebuilt in the USA .... that may be more that BBB or Cardone can say

 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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1,877 Posts

Registered
2005 18psi supercharged U5 Outback w/207k+ miles
Joined
885 Posts
I guess you haven't seen this yet, Gen 3 - Power Steering rack rebuild 05-09'


Also if going with a rebuilt its a rack from Maval: Catalog

that is the good one, all others don't seem to be good quality.
Thanks... no I don't want to do it myself haha. It will be enough of a project! I have never heard of Maval but agree none of the others get good reviews at all.

93206M is the Maval PN for our car fwiw. $250 from rockauto plus core deposit. Willing to pay a bit more for quality and not to have to do it twice so I appreciate the suggestion.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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1,877 Posts
My trusted mechanic won't use anything else. When mine needed changing, he won't do the job until he could get one of these racks from them. When they told him they had one, he called me and had me drop the car off.

My dad used this mechanic, I started using him in the early 1980's, my son also uses him to do things we don't won't to.
 
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