Steering and suspension parts are a lot like the brake system components. Their proper operation is vitally important to the safety of the driver and his passengers, but it is very difficult to determine how long it will be before any of these components will require attention. That’s why an inspection of all steering and suspension components is required at 15 month/15,000 mile intervals. Changes to these systems may be too gradual for the driver to even notice, leaving it to you to ferret out and correct any wear or damage that has taken place.
We won’t cover all of the steering and suspension checks here. There’s too much variation between different Subaru models to do an adequate job. What you’re looking for is anything that reduces the original precision of the steering and suspension systems. Perhaps the steering has a little too much play in it or the shocks and struts don’t handle the bumps in the road as well as they did when new. Specific tests for the Subaru model you’re working on can be found in the service manual.
Check the power steering system for dampness or other signs of fluid leakage. The power steering pump reservoir is a good place to start. If the reservoir is low, the fluid has probably leaked out, as it has no place else to go. Approved fluids for the power steering system include Dexron II, IIE or III.
In late 1998, Subaru UK officially imported 16 22Bs (described below), and passed them on to Prodrive for modification. The UK cars differ from the privately imported 22Bs, not just in their 3 year factory warranty, but with revised gear ratios more suited to UK roads.
This was achieved by changing the final drive ratio from 3.9 to 4.44 to lengthen the gearing. Cosmetically, the car got the headlights from the ‘99 model, UK rear light clusters and driving lights (not fog lights!) were fitted where the normal 22B has blanking plates. From the back, you can tell you’re looking at one of the rarest cars in the world by the “Type UK” and “Prodrive” stickers. The price was £39,950, and demand for the cars was overwhelming.
Interestingly, Subaru UK were not able to put their 16 cars through the Single Vehicle Approval scheme because the maximum of 50 privately imported 22Bs had already been registered in 1998. Consequently the Type UKs were registered in 1999. The cars do not meet European Type Approval regulations for noise and emissions.
A limited edition of 1000 Japanese MY04 WRX STI‘s with DCCD were exported to celebrate victory in the 2003 WRC drivers’ championship. 500 were sold in Europe, Australia and South Africa as the Petter Solberg edition; the other 500 were further modified by Prodrive and sold in the UK as the WR1. They had 316 bhp (236 kW) and 309.8 ft·lbf (420.0 N·m), an incredible 0-60 mph time of only 4.25 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) (electronically limited). They were equipped with Prodrive WRX STI springs, Pirelli PZero Nero tires, mesh grilles, special Ice Blue metallic paint and Prodrive PFF7 Pewter wheels. The new ECU and exhaust were not EU-homologated, so they were fitted after registering the car. The retail price was £29,995.