Steering Rack Bushings, thy time has come. I can't say I was particularly looking forward to this - these are both simple yet a bit of a pain to do. With a bit of luck, you may be able to do these in under an hour, but don't count on it. One big piece of advice: Unlike most of my other installs, don't do these on ramps!
Put the car up on jackstands, you need the wheels to be able to move to wiggle the various pieces out/in.
[i]The parts: AVO's new steering rack bushing for the Legacy/Outback, and AVO steering rack bush removal tool. This bushing is a new part number, as we updated it for fitment: S1105M1GVUSAT
The tools: 14mm socket and wrench for removing everything. You will also need a 17mm socket for the removal tool. Some flat head screwdrivers for prying things loose, a breaker bar, a crowbar, and some advil won't hurt either.
I started by removing the bracket on the right side of the car. Just two 14mm bolts on each side - though they were in tight enough that a breaker bar helped a lot. You won't be able to get the bushing itself off until you remove the bolts on the other side of the rack.
It was a bit tight under there, so I wasn't able to take a picture of the brace that goes above the mounting brackets on the left side (drivers side). So you need to first remove that brace (two 14mm bolts at the back, and two 14mm nuts/bolts at the front). Then there is four 14mm bolts to remove to take this bracket off. You'll get two long and two short bolts, the long ones going in to where the bushings are.
While this design is a pain in the rear, it does ensure that you get the steering rack back to where it should go. Once the bolts are out on both sides of the rack, you can pull it down, giving you room to remove the big bushing on the right side. It's likely been put on with some sort of double-sided tape, so you may need to use a flat head screwdriver to pry it loose and peel it off.
Removal of the standard bushings on the left side can either be easy or painful, depending on if you have the car on a lift or jackstands, or you put it on ramps. If it's on a lift or jackstands, it's fairly easy to move the steering rack to one side so that you can get the nut at the top of the AVO tool at the top of the bushing - then it's just a matter of threading the long bolt into it, and ratcheting it in till the bushing pops out.
I'm not going to talk about what it's like getting the nut up there if you are on ramps. Just don't go there.
Once out, you are left with two big holes to fill. Um, you know what I mean.
Take the smaller bushings and remove one of the polyurethane ends off the metal sleeve. Use some soap on the bushing and squeeze it up on top of the mounting, and get it slid in. Then lube up the metal sleeve with the bottom polyurethane bushing (doesn't matter which one, they are both the same), and slide it into the bottom of the mounting. Do this for both sides. Then lube up the big bushing for the right side, and slide it on as well.
This isn't a picture off my car, but it's a much cleaner rack that shows how they should look at this point.
Well, this part is fun as well. Get the rack lined up and get all those brackets and bolts in. It does help to have a long, big screwdriver to slide through on one side of the mounts to pull the rack into place. Then you should be able to get one of the long bolts in, and then the other side. The right side bracket is much easier to fit.
With the bushings and bracket back on. Pay attention to the orientation of the bracket, it's hard to remember after everything.
And the right side bracket and bushing on.
As I mentioned earlier, because of the general design of the rack, installing these bushings doesn't put things too out of whack - the basic alignment of my car is about the same as before, but I'll still be getting an alignment after all the rest of the changes as well.