Steering Boot DIY?
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This is a discussion on Steering Boot DIY? within the Request a Tutorial/DIY forums, part of the Tutorials & DIY category; Forgive me if thats not what its called, cuz I have seen it called many things. I am referring to ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Darkn3ss's Avatar
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    Steering Boot DIY?

    Forgive me if thats not what its called, cuz I have seen it called many things. I am referring to the boot between the steering rack and the tie rod at the front passenger wheel. Not the axle/cv boot the one that connects toward the front of the wheel.

    Its been torn for some time, now it seperated completely. I have the boot and the two clips from Subaru but need to know how to go about changing it. I have searched several forums (including NASIOC) and found nothing concrete on how to change one. Pics would definitely help. *If this is a dum-dum Q forgive me* Do I need to pack it with grease when I change it? Did I negelect to buy all the parts I need to change it? Help is definitely appreciated as I am going to need it on jack stands this weekend anyway and It'd be nice to take care of that at the same time.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Registered User JMack's Avatar
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    First things first, do you often work on steering, or will this be your first venture into it?

    Second, do you have good hand tools around to use in this?

    Now, on to the procedures.

    You'll have to remove the wheel (Passengers side I am assuming based on your post). You will need to disconnect the tie rod end. To do this you will need to remove the cotter pin (38) from the castle nut (39) on the top side of the steering knuckle. Then remove the castle nut (39). Keep the Dust Shield (40) and clip (you may need to purchase an additional if the original was damaged refer to item 41). After the Castle nut (39), and dust sheild (40) are removed the Tie Rod end (42)should slip out of the steering knuckle.

    Next remove the Tie Rod end plate (58). This is affixed with 2 bolts and nuts (possibly lock washers as well, I am unsure). After this is done, proceed to remove the Tie Rod end (42) CAREFULLY. Do not damage the Tie Rod end (42). This will come off by loosening the check nut [T17] then removing the Tie Rod end (42).

    After The Tie Rod end (42) is removed, the clip (43) will be removed using a pair of pliers. After the clip (43) is removed, proceed to remove the band (45) using a standard screwdriver. Then slide the old boot (44)off of the Tie Rod.

    BEFORE installing the new boot (44), grease the groove on the Tie Rod. Slide new boot (44) onto the Tie Rod. Install the fitting portions of the boot onto the gear box first and then into the groove on the Tie Rod. Affix the boot using the new small clip (43) on the outboard (wheel) side of the boot (44). Then install the new band (45) ensuring that the screw head is on the underside of the gear box.

    Install the Check nut [T17] loosely and the Tie Rod end (42) onto the Tie Rod. The distance from the start of threading on the Tie Rod and the base of the Tie Rod end (42) should be approx. 15 mm. Install the Tie Rod end plate (58).

    **The Toe on your vehicle will be out of adjustment and it will need to be corrected to avoid damage to the steering rack and tires.**

    Slip the Tie Rod end (42) thru the steering knuckle from the bottom, and install the dustsheild (40) and clip (41). Then install the castle nut (39) and Torque to 19.9 ft/lbs. install new Cotter Pin (38).

    The boot install is complete, however you will need to have the Toe re-adjusted.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Darkn3ss's Avatar
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    The most I have worked on anything steering related is removing brakes calipers and adjusting the camber plates lol.

    I have plenty of hand tools and as you described it, I think I could do it, the toe issue is my only concern. Can't afford new tires right now. I am waiting on a set of replacement coil-overs to get here and they're going to be installed professionally with an alignment afterwards; is it a better idea just to have them do that at the same time? I would like to save myself some money but as far as I know screwing with toe isn't a good idea if you don't know what your doing.

    What do you think? Should I wait about 4 weeks to have it done at the same time? By the way thanks for your help.

  5. #4
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    Bumping an old thread, but others might come across it by searching, as I did.

    The above procedure is straight out of the FSM, but I have a couple updates after doing this myself.

    Make things easier on yourself by flipping around the order of operations. Before removing the castle nut, break loose the bolts on the tie rod end plate and the tie rod end locking nut. Doing it this way, the tie rod assembly will be held in place for you.

    The tie rod end probably won't just slip out easily. Leave the castle nut threaded on just enough so it's sticking up above the stud (or better yet, use another nut of the same size) and hit the top with a mallet or hammer/wood block combo. Do not do the opposite (hitting the bottom side) to reassemble. It should go back in with ease.

    There's no need to remove the dust boot, unless it needs to be replaced as well.

    When applying grease, make sure you put it in the proper groove and not the grooves that the plate sits in.

    Be sure to pickup new clamps / bands when you get the boot. They're likely to be rusted, and I had an older version of the large band that is not intended to be reused (no screw to clamp it down). If you have this old style, the way to open it is to stick a flathead screwdriver in the bow-tie looking part and spread the inside edges out - this will expand the clamping portion.

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