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Steering Rack

Posted by sdp 
sdp
June 28, 2009 04:05PM
The steering rack on our 1990 is leaking pretty badly.

I've looked around and prices are way up there for remanufactured units. Didn't see much online as far as replacing seals yourself (didn't look hard).

I have a source locally for BMW salvaged parts. What are peoples opinions on this subject. Replace it, remove it and have a shop repair it, DIY?

How hard it is to remove? Some instructions I saw didn't seem too bad.

Peter
June 28, 2009 05:29PM
Quote
sdp
The steering rack on our 1990 is leaking pretty badly.

I've looked around and prices are way up there for remanufactured units. Didn't see much online as far as replacing seals yourself (didn't look hard).

I have a source locally for BMW salvaged parts. What are peoples opinions on this subject. Replace it, remove it and have a shop repair it, DIY?

How hard it is to remove? Some instructions I saw didn't seem too bad.

Peter

if you are looking for an upgrade, you can swap in an e36 m3 steering rack that you find used. the e30 racks are 4 turns lock to lock, the e36 95 m3 racks are 3 turns lock to lock, while the 96-99 racks are 3.25 turns lock to lock. the z3 1.9L rack is 2.7 turns lock to lock, but shares the same ratio as the 95 m3, so you are left with a larger turning circle.

for it to work, you need to make a spacer for the steering knuckle, and i think there is a hose to bend, also. here is a write-up: [r3vlimited.com]


June 29, 2009 02:55AM
Funny - i never saw such a complicated knuckle before ! all that i've seen have only one cardanic joint.

@sdp: i did the seal replacement. twice. first time i put one seal in the wrong position, so all the oil popped out:



But as long as you are carefull, the result is very good (never had a leak since then - see photo date).

My problem was that i couldn't find a seal set for E30, so i bought one for E36. all parts are the same, except for 1-2 rings which were extra for me smiling smiley
What i would do first if i were you: turn your wheel fully to one side (I *think it's the right side of the car), and look under the rubber boot. If the axle doesn't look smooth, don't waste yout time/money, just get another rack, because this one WILL leak.this is how mine looked like.



About the quality of racks: i am not sure if there's another reason (like more stupid owners), but the quality of E36 racks is a lot worse around here. They all make noises and leak more than those from the E30. And their mileage is a lot lower.

HTH

--
A physics truck just turned over outside. There's physics everywhere!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2009 02:58AM by jaffar.
rkj
July 03, 2009 06:15PM
BAV sells a good rebuilt, the good rebuilders don't have them anymore, there's no call for them (they tell me)

Don't even think about doing yours yourself...

Rick
July 07, 2009 08:28PM
don't go to Zionsville.....

got one from them less than a thousand miles ago and it's leaking.
the Z3 rack.
rkj
July 08, 2009 09:23PM
Quote
stirv
don't go to Zionsville.....

got one from them less than a thousand miles ago and it's leaking.
the Z3 rack.

My first one from Bav leaked too, they replaced it free. They stand behind their units for a year but we had to eat the install sad smiley

Rick
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