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2001 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #1
A few months ago I hit a curb. Bent the rim (replaced) and the control arm (replaced) but after replacing the the control arm, I found that I had minor "hard spots" in the steering. They have gotten worse to the point where if I turn the wheel to the right, it stops coming back to center about 1/8 of a turn away from center. I am thinking it might be a binding upper strut mount. Is that possible? What do you think the problem might be?


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Black 2001 RS
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787 Posts
Yes, it's possible. There are bearings in the tophat that can get dirty. You may need to reset the spring in the upper perch as well.
 

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2001 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, it's possible. There are bearings in the tophat that can get dirty. You may need to reset the spring in the upper perch as well.
Could you expand on that a little? What is involved in that process?



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Black 2001 RS
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Well, when turning the steering wheel, something has to pivot. That something is the tophat. If it's dirty/rusty/seizing up on you, something has to twist. That something could be the spring, if it's stiff enough then the spring will twist within the "cups" holding it together. I can't say for sure since I'm not near your car, but it happened to mine last year.

As for what's involved, this requires removing the strut (note the camber), disassembling it (note where the spring is), and cleaning/regreasing the tophat. Then install the spring/upper perch in the correct orientation, reinstall the strut to the same orientation, and drive.
 

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2001 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #5
I think it might be ball joints. As soon as I get a new jack, I will test the ball joints.


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00'RS/02' WRX stgEleventy
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Hit curb... hmm bent LCA.. bent wheel...

So what else gets bent in a side impact.. ?

Inner tie rod? Steering rack?
Lower ball joint? Strut?

How bad was it? We dont know..

The top hat is meant to flex a little, it likely did just that amd relatively easy to test by unbolting the bottom of the strut, seperating it from the knuckle and turning it by hand..it should spin pretty easy.. now depending on the age of the suspension the top hat(s) may have been marginal and a knock took them(it) over the edge

The steering rack isnt meant to flex much.. how far was the wheel turned when you nailed the curb? About 1/8 from center by chance?

There are a lot of depends here but you gotta start with logic..

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2001 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Bump as I still have the problem. It seemed to go away until I was autocrossing, then I took a hard corner and felt it again, and now it seems just as bad as ever. A bit more info: it is worse when the car is cold, and the strut was not bent on the curb. When I hit the curb, I believe the steering wheel was on the right lock. I'm calling it a bent or damaged pinion gear. What do you think?


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2000 2.5RS/C BRP
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Bump as I still have the problem. It seemed to go away until I was autocrossing, then I took a hard corner and felt it again, and now it seems just as bad as ever. A bit more info: it is worse when the car is cold, and the strut was not bent on the curb. When I hit the curb, I believe the steering wheel was on the right lock. I'm calling it a bent or damaged pinion gear. What do you think?


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You mean rack & pinion pinion gear? You could test it, the wheel should make 3.5 (IIRC) turns lock to lock, so if it's a bad tooth it should stick at exactly the same spot every time around.

You could also try disconnecting the tie rod ends at the hubs and seeing if there's still stiffness in the wheel- that would rule out any of the suspension parts.

One final quick idea is just blasting the u-joints with lubricant. I believe Skidd had similar issues that just appeared and it turned out his u-joints were dirty and binding.
 

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2001 2.5 RS
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Discussion Starter #9
Basically my logic is as follows. If a tooth is bent on the pinion gear, it will have multiple hard spots, because the pinion gear hits the rack with the same tooth multiple times. A bent tooth on the rack would cause one hard spot. Sound right?


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99 Forester, 99 OBS, 05 STi
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Disconnect the outer tie rod ends to see if it's in the rack or the u joints in the steering column. This will also let you isolate the struts from side to side.

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