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· Registered
2001 JDM s-turbo
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading about issues some have been having with their steering. I've always found my steering to be a bit loose so I decided to switch to whiteline steering rack bushings, but so far I'm not impressed. After some alignment issues and some noises that make the steering sound like it's straining and slight vibration when I reverse out my driveway and turn sharply on to a steep hill, I have a feeling a new steering rack Might be in the cards. I figure I better start researching from now. I've also been reading that a few people are pleased with the steering rack conversion from an STI or WRX. Of course, all of these people own a '03 and up. Can anyone help out with the info?
 

· Mr. July 2008
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1,003 Posts
As long as the GD rack isn't the newer style direct-mount rack (pre-05 here in the USA), it will bolt up. The issue is with the pinion shaft splines. The GD shaft has more splines which means your SF5 column linkage wont connect to the GD pinion shaft. IMO, the easiest way around this is to use a GD/SG steering column with the matching linkage. Alternative methods include swapping out the pinion shaft from your SF rack to the GD rack. Or you can cut the SF column linkage on the pinion shaft side and weld on the end section from a GD linkage assembly. (I would not do the latter personally)

Also, here in the US... only the STi racks had the quicker ratios.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,040 Posts
Didn't the 05 WRX have the same rack as the 04 STi?

So, AT, the 02-04 racks will work? Does that include the 04 STi rack?

Also, do you know if the STi rack has the same range of travel as the SF rack? If it was longer, that'd be nice. More steering is always a good thing.
 

· Mr. July 2008
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1,003 Posts
Oops, my bad... WRX direct mount racks didn't show up until '06.

Any GD non-direct mount rack will work, including the '04 STi rack. I had a '04 STi rack on my SF5 for a while, then upgraded to a '06 STi crossmember and integrated steering rack.

As far as comparative range of travel... I didn't notice any difference. I did it for the firmer feel and better ratio. I'm sure there is some kind of difference.

I will say one thing... the STi direct mount rack style is the way to go. It provides a wonderful amount of feedback. I'm absolutely spoiled by it... I can only imagine a direct mount quick rack. :icon_eek:
Didn't the 05 WRX have the same rack as the 04 STi?

So, AT, the 02-04 racks will work? Does that include the 04 STi rack?

Also, do you know if the STi rack has the same range of travel as the SF rack? If it was longer, that'd be nice. More steering is always a good thing.
 

· Registered
2007 Forester XT Sport
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356 Posts
Wait, what am I going to have to do to make an 02 wrx rack work in my o7 forester?? Whats this about the pinion shaft? And how hard is that to swap???

*edit* looks like I may not have to change anything since its not an SF...

Anyone???
 

· Super Moderator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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27,732 Posts
Wait, what am I going to have to do to make an 02 wrx rack work in my o7 forester?? Whats this about the pinion shaft? And how hard is that to swap???

*edit* looks like I may not have to change anything since its not an SF...

Anyone???
I think it will bolt straight in... no extra effort required.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,040 Posts
AT - Do you still have that rack? If it was until 06, then I might try to get an 05 rack. They had an even quicker ratio than the 04's. I mainly want the rack for the increased stability at speed. At 80mph there's a LOT of play.
 

· Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,040 Posts
REVLabs does the quick rack. Its like $1300 for the upgrade. I think they do an 11:1 and a 9:1. A friend of mine had the 9:1 rack in his wrx. Steering response was borderline precognative. It was really awesome.
 

· Registered
2001 JDM s-turbo
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Whoa, I don't check the site for the weekend and whammo, all this info. So let me get this straight, I can directly bolt on an '02-'04 wrx or sti rack on to my 2001, and prodrive sells racks that directly fit as well?
 

· Mr. July 2008
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1,003 Posts
The non direct mount GD racks will bolt right up. You do have to work out the differences with the column linkage as your SF linkage won't work with the GD pinion shaft.

Prodrive sells a Group N quick rack... not exactly on the cheap side. $2K+
Whoa, I don't check the site for the weekend and whammo, all this info. So let me get this straight, I can directly bolt on an '02-'04 wrx or sti rack on to my 2001, and prodrive sells racks that directly fit as well?
 

· Registered
99 Forester S
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54 Posts
Back from the dead...

To verify, do the '04 STI splines match the SF shaft? Meaning:

If I have a 2004 WRX STI steering rack, then I have all of the parts needed to do the swap...
 

· Registered
99 Forester S
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54 Posts
The pinion splines on the STi rack do not match those on the SF linkage.
Thanks for the reply - while I figured this part out this morning from the "All Around SF5.." thread, but am still confused about one detail. Here's the cross link:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/940521-post340.html

Thanks again.

I am still working on assembling info on the STI sterring rack upgrade into something cohesive and "how to" in nature. Here's what I have:

  • 2004 STI rack bolts into the SF body, no problem with subframe, etc.
  • 2004 STI rack's splines and SF steering shaft's splines are incompatible (different tooth count)
  • 2004 STI Steering shaft solve the spline compatibility issues and clock spring work w/ SF5
What is unclear:
If one were to lower an SF5 using Forester suspension components (e.g. SF5 Tein coilovers), will the height of the body cause any fitment issues (gaps) between the shorter STI steering column and the rack?

The cars listed in this thread all seem to have done the rack conversion after being lowered via body drop (spacers removed and suspension converted to Impreza type).
 
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