In continuing on my journey to improved steering feels, one item that was high on my list was the STi solid steering link. The WRX comes with a rag joint that is known to kill steering feels. I replace these on almost every car that I have owned and they always make a difference.
The install is actually pretty straightforward. There are two 12mm bolts holding the linkage in place at each end. Tap the linkage off of the rack with a long screwdriver and then pull it off of the column. Spraying the column splines with WD-40 before will help with this process.
The only hangup I had on installing the STi linkage was not realizing that the notch on the U-joint is flipped 180 from the WRX position. So the bolts will thread in from the top instead of from the bottom. Which I guess makes more sense from a safety perspective.
Torque them bolts down to Gutentight specs and put the car on the ground and check for any new noises before hitting the road. Even backing out of the garage I immediately noticed that the steering is tighter and a bit more direct. Nothing major though, but I think my LCA bushings might be the cause of this (they are getting replaced soon). NVH increased a little bit, mostly under throttle. However if I had to choose the linkage or the rack bushings, I’d choose the rack bushings.
Overall, this is a good and necessary mod if you want a better connection to the road. Next up, STi front LCAs and rear lateral links.