The OEM rubber bushing is made for comfort, which also makes steering feel numb. The DiF power steering bushing improves steering feel. This is recommended for racers or enthusiasts who want to be more in tuned with their car’s suspension feel.
Overall Install Time:
1 hour (engine out) – 2 hours (engine intact), depending on condition of bolts/nuts & strength/agility of installer ;).
Install Difficulty (out of 5 stars, 5 being the most difficult):
2 stars if engine is out, 3 stars if engine is intact.
Recommended Tools for Install:
- Standard socket set (10mm and 12mm sockets in particular) and ratchet
- Short and long socket extension, and possibly a wobble extension/adapter
- Rubber mallet and PB Blaster/penetrating oil
- Vice or hammer for metal spacer/bushing install
- Philips screwdriver if removing column
Preparation and Install:
There are several ways to access and replace the power steering column bushing. This install is best done when the engine is removed from the car; however, it can still be done with everything intact, albeit with a bit more effort. This write-up will walk you through some of the various methods.
With Engine Out:
With the engine out, you can easily access the power steering column bushing. First, remove the knurled adapter that attaches the steering column to the power steering rack. Depending on when it was last adjusted, you may want to soak the bolts & knurled parts in some penetrating oil to loosen everything up. A rubber mallet may also be used to help loosen seized/rusty areas.
Remove the two bolts holding the adapter to the column and rack. Slowly wiggle and turn the adapter loose. It is typically easier to pull the adapter away from the power steering rack first, then from the column.
If you are having a difficult time, lowering the engine cross member (with the four nuts connecting the cross member to the frame still attached to the studs & the nuts to the engine mounts loosened but not removed) will help give you more room with which to work. Of course, the car will need to be on jack stands for the install in this case.
Once the adapter is removed, you will need to remove two 12mm nuts (they should be a gold color) holding the bottom half (engine bay side) of the steering column from the main portion; the long and/or short socket extension will help here. Note that there are also two 13mm bolts present (they should be a black color); do not try to remove these bolts, as they are not meant to be removed! PB Blaster/penetrating oil is recommended, since these nuts may have never been removed since they were installed when the car was brand new from the factory.
After you remove the nuts, the part of the column containing the bushing should just slide out. The bushing is still held on by two more 12mm nuts on the opposite side connected to the two black bolts we mentioned earlier.
Remove the nuts and metal/plastic spacers on the OEM power steering column bushing. You will reuse the metal/plastic bushing parts on the DiF power steering bushing unit.
Since the DiF power steering bushing is machined to very exact specs, you will need to hammer or use a vice to get them in. I used a hammer – the spacers went in without much hassle.
Install is reverse of removal.
With Engine Intact:
We will cover two alternative ways to access the bushing with the engine still intact in this article.
You can repeat the steps above (without engine) by first putting the car on jack stands. It is recommended to remove the header, AIV, EGR, and lower the engine cross member in order to have easy access to the bushing. The rest of the steps are the same as above. Lowering the cross member via loosening the four nuts holding the cross member to the frame and the four nuts holding the engine mounts to the engine bracket and cross member are essential here.
You can also remove the entire steering column from the interior in order to install the DiF power steering bushing. However, keep in mind that it may be difficult to reinstall the steering column, especially with one person – aligning the bolts/holes is tricky and the area where two of the bolts line up with the steering column may become tweaked/need realigning during removal/install.
On the engine bay side, remove the knurled rack to column adapter as per the instructions above.
In the passenger compartment, you will need to remove the steering column plastic shroud by remove several philips screws visible from the bottom of the steering column plastic surround. Once that is out of the way, there are two 12mm bolts holding the front of the steering column up, 2 12mm nuts toward the middle of the column, and 3 10mm nuts holding the steering column to the firewall.
From here, you can wiggle and remove the steering column for easier access to the bushing.