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'91 318is - should I replace the steering u joint assembly?

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    #31
    Originally posted by S.J.1981 View Post
    After some digging, it turned out that the small bushing inside the shaft is whats causing the play.

    Grounded off the rivets and separated the shaft, the bushing is a bit loose, but compared to the new bushing from BMW, there is a massive difference.

    I cleaned everything off, removed the old bushing and taped in the new one.
    Im about to replace my coupler for looseness also but don't know anything about this bushing. Do you have a pic? Where did you get the new bushing? TIA

    Comment


      #32
      would love to see this new bushing. I have the play and need to remove mine to see if it is just the flex disc or u-joints or both.
      Alex 88 m5 | 91 318is | 19 Subaru Ascent
      BMW Tool Rentals & Fender Roller

      Comment


        #33
        Certainly, here is a picture from RealOEM (with the part number).

        As i said in my previous post, with the shaft installed in the car, i noticed play, but when i removed the shaft and check both upper and lower universal joints, no play, move freely and no binding. The rubber guibo is also tight, no play between the bolts/rivets and the rubber etc. But the shaft itself had play (deep down). I knew before even before opening up the steering shaft, that there must be some sort of bushing in there, since one can not have metal on metal direct contact.

        The new bushing will be tapped into the lower shaft bore easily, however the upper shaft would need some force to get pressed in all the way, make sure you mark the shaft pieces, just like replacing the driveshaft center support bearing, so that everything goes back together the same way as you removed it, it may not be required, but better be safe than sorry.

        That bushing has a flat end and a slightly rounded end. The "flat" end faces upwards (in order to be flush with the surface when you press it in) and the rounded end gets pressed inside the lower shaft. You will understand this once you hold that bushing in your hand.

        A lot of older threads on various forums state that, it is extremely rare, to have those u-joints fail and most likely it is the guibo or the bushing. If you have P/S and airbag, you can still purchase the lower portion of the shaft from BMW, comes with new u-joint, pre-pressed bushing and guibo. For us without airbags, the whole shaft is NLA for years now.

        I think i shall not replace the u-joints, since the problem lies elsewhere.
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #34
          Sorry for a double post, but i have some tips for those doing this.

          The manual covers that shaft only once, and it mentions how the spring washers (very important to have them) must be installed between the guibo and the hardware (basically the guibo is sandwiched between the spring washers, as also shown by the real OEM picture above).

          When pressing in both shafts together, i would avoid using grease. I do believe that this bushing acts similarly to the control arm bushings, meaning it should be dry. So use dish soap or that BMW montage paste or your quick drying grease to aid lubrication but to dry off. I could be mistaken, but the bushing was completely dry when i removed mine.
          Attached Files

          Comment


            #35
            S.J.1981 - Thank you!!!!

            The diagram for my car (attached below) has that bushing greyed out (part #11), so I didn't think twice about it but now realize my coupler has one too. When I removed the coupler, that bushing stayed on the end of the steering shaft. I did not know what it was and didn't think about it creating play if worn. Will order one now.

            Cory

            steering coupler diagram 92 cabrio by cory58f5, on Flickr
            1992 325i Cabrio
            1988 320i Touring
            2000 M5
            1977 530i
            2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
            BMWCCA
            E30CCA

            Comment


              #36
              Cory,

              It looks like you have P/S and airbag by looking at the steering column and shaft. Part #2 is available from BMW (as far as i know) and it comes with new u-joint and (should) come with a bushing already pressed in, i am mentioning this again because maybe that is why the bushing is greyed out in the ETK.

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by S.J.1981 View Post
                Cory,

                It looks like you have P/S and airbag by looking at the steering column and shaft. Part #2 is available from BMW (as far as i know) and it comes with new u-joint and (should) come with a bushing already pressed in, i am mentioning this again because maybe that is why the bushing is greyed out in the ETK.
                The part # 32311156348 is not available.

                Comment


                  #38
                  Originally posted by S.J.1981 View Post
                  Cory,

                  It looks like you have P/S and airbag by looking at the steering column and shaft. Part #2 is available from BMW (as far as i know) and it comes with new u-joint and (should) come with a bushing already pressed in, i am mentioning this again because maybe that is why the bushing is greyed out in the ETK.
                  Thank you. You are correct the car is P/S and airbag. Vincenze is also correct, part #2 is NLA from BMW, which is why I'm rebuilding mine.

                  Cory
                  Last edited by cory58; 02-08-2021, 08:18 AM.
                  1992 325i Cabrio
                  1988 320i Touring
                  2000 M5
                  1977 530i
                  2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
                  BMWCCA
                  E30CCA

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Ah, i guess you airbag E30 owners have one u-joint instead of two (upper and lower).

                    My BMW Dealer shows that the upper portion (32311154414) is still available, but you guys need a lower one, which is indeed NLA.

                    If anyone replaces those u-joints, be careful, the entire shaft, including the end bits with teeth that house the u-joints, are cast aluminium, it is very soft indeed. Good idea to grab some jewellery file kit and make sure the splines are in good order as well.

                    Comment


                      #40
                      UGH!!!!! I love this hobby but sometimes hate it. The coupler fought me for almost 3 hours last weekend before I finally got it installed and everything put back together last night. I ended up making some mistakes and wanted to get opinions on whether I need to take everything apart again.

                      1. Just saw post #34 by S.J.1981 above and realized that I put the wave washers in the wrong position (between coupler and nuts). Now it makes sense why I couldn't get a second washer all the way up against the bolt head due to a step in the bolt shoulder. My old coupler with the permanent rivets had no washers at all, which makes me think the wave washers are for safety rather than having a function when the coupler operates. I know safety is of paramount importance when dealing with steering, but is one wave washer per bolt rather than two a big deal?

                      2. During the install, I lost track of whether I had rotated the steering shaft over a full rotation. I could have rotated it several rotations in one direction or the other. Airbag E30s don't have a clock spring or anything else that would cause a problem if I rotated the steering shaft (FYI - the steering wheel was off during the coupler install)?

                      Thanks, Cory
                      1992 325i Cabrio
                      1988 320i Touring
                      2000 M5
                      1977 530i
                      2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
                      BMWCCA
                      E30CCA

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Originally posted by cory58 View Post
                        1. Just saw post #34 by S.J.1981 above and realized that I put the wave washers in the wrong position (between coupler and nuts). Now it makes sense why I couldn't get a second washer all the way up against the bolt head due to a step in the bolt shoulder. My old coupler with the permanent rivets had no washers at all, which makes me think the wave washers are for safety rather than having a function when the coupler operates. I know safety is of paramount importance when dealing with steering, but is one wave washer per bolt rather than two a big deal?

                        2. During the install, I lost track of whether I had rotated the steering shaft over a full rotation. I could have rotated it several revolutions in one direction or the other. Airbag E30s don't have a clock spring or anything else that would cause a problem if I rotated the steering shaft (FYI - the steering wheel was off during the coupler install)?
                        Weather finally permitted a test drive yesterday. The coupler rebuild fixed the 50-60 mph vibration I've been living with for years! Many thanks to all who posted here and in the related thread I started, especially S.J.1981. I would not have known to replace the plastic bushing without his posts.

                        I would still very much appreciate any thoughts on my questions above. I don't want to take everything apart again but will if needed.

                        Cory

                        1992 325i Cabrio
                        1988 320i Touring
                        2000 M5
                        1977 530i
                        2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
                        BMWCCA
                        E30CCA

                        Comment


                          #42
                          I can only help with #2: If only the steering shaft was turned 360 degrees, there is no problem. Mine was off 180 degrees when I bought the car and all was fine, even after I rotated it back to the correct location. Just make sure that the mark on the steering rack that shows that the rack is in the center when the car is going straight ahead is correct.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Originally posted by cory58 View Post

                            Weather finally permitted a test drive yesterday. The coupler rebuild fixed the 50-60 mph vibration I've been living with for years! Many thanks to all who posted here and in the related thread I started, especially S.J.1981. I would not have known to replace the plastic bushing without his posts.

                            I would still very much appreciate any thoughts on my questions above. I don't want to take everything apart again but will if needed.

                            Cory
                            Hey, what did you do for your rebuild, swap out bushing, u-joints and coupler? Or just bushing and coupler? I have an airbag car and need to rebuild the bottom. I have lots of play and clunking. Going on 2 years, it's time to get rid of it.

                            TIA
                            Alex 88 m5 | 91 318is | 19 Subaru Ascent
                            BMW Tool Rentals & Fender Roller

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Originally posted by monty23psk View Post

                              Hey, what did you do for your rebuild, swap out bushing, u-joints and coupler? Or just bushing and coupler? I have an airbag car and need to rebuild the bottom. I have lots of play and clunking. Going on 2 years, it's time to get rid of it.

                              TIA
                              I replaced all the wear items on the coupler except for the u-joints. They were still fine. Here is my parts list.

                              1 - rubber disc
                              4 - bolts
                              8 - washers
                              4 - nuts
                              1- plastic bushing (see posts #33-34 above)

                              Cory
                              Last edited by cory58; 03-12-2021, 11:21 AM. Reason: parts list was incorrect
                              1992 325i Cabrio
                              1988 320i Touring
                              2000 M5
                              1977 530i
                              2015 328i - Euro Delivery/Performance Center Delivery
                              BMWCCA
                              E30CCA

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Ok. I will need to check my ujoints as well, and hope they dont need to be replaced, as least not yet. What rubber disc did you go with, I know IE had urethane, everyone else has harder materials from delrin to aluminum or using the racing couplers and remove this full part. I will get the plastic bushing for sure. Just wondering if you used the rubber one from a non-airbag part, which I have the PN for. but I read it might be a different size so want to make sure.

                                Thanks Cory.
                                Alex 88 m5 | 91 318is | 19 Subaru Ascent
                                BMW Tool Rentals & Fender Roller

                                Comment

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