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-   -   How To Guide - E36 Steering Rack Swap (https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=66247)

RobertK 03-26-2006 08:19 PM

DIY - E36 Steering Rack Swap
 
BMW E30 -> E36 Steering Rack Swap

This guide was created to explain how to swap an E36, E36 M3, and/or E36 Z3 steering rack into
an E30. I do not consider this to be the only method to accomplish this swap so if you have suggestions please post them.

A special thanks to my friend Josh (HST) for helping out.

The Parts You Need: - Quoted from BMAParts.com


Item - BMW Part Number - Qty - Price


7/16 Bolt 2 Inches Long - - xxxxxxxxxxxx - - - - -x2 - - -$???
Bolt M10x50 - - - - - - - - - 26111226737 - - - - x2 - - -$2.70
Self Locking Nuts - - - - - - 07129964672 - - - - x2 - - -$0.60
Copper Seals 14x20 - - - - -32411093596 - - - - -x4 - - -$0.68
Copper Seals 16x22 - - - - -32411093597 - - - - -x4 - - -$1.04
Self Locking Nuts - - - - - - 07129922716 - - - - -x4 - - $1.20
Power Steering Res. - - - - -32411097164 - - - - x1 - - -$19.50
High Pres. PS Hose - - - - - 32411141953 - - - - -x1 - - -$74.00
Spacer - - - - - - - - - - - -72118119268 - - - - -x1 - - -$2.05
Spacer - - - - - - - - - - - -72111847480 - - - - -x2 - - -$1.92
Nut - - - - - - - - - - - - - -72111977925 - - - - -x2 - - -$1.10
LP PS Return Hoses - - - - - xxxxxxxxxxx - - - - - x2 - - -$14.50
Bottle of ATF - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x1 - - -$2.50
Tacos - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -x3 - - -$2.75


Steering Racks

92-98 E36 3.2 Turn to Lock Ratio Rack - Ebay - Tom's FAP - $125.00

92-98 E36 3.2 Turn to Lock Ratio Rack - Maval Rebuilt - $270.13

95 E36 M3 3.0 Turn to Lock Ratio Rack - Maval Rebuilt - $270.13

95-97 E36 Z3 1.9L 2.7 Turn to Lock Ratio Rack - Maval Rebuilt - $317.59

Steering Racks Purchased from BMA have a $150 Core Charge.

Total Cost = $256.57 - $449.16


The Tools You Need

3/8 Ratchet
1/2 Ratchet
3/8 Sockets = 10mm, 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19mm, 22mm
1/2 Sockets = 17mm, 19mm, 22mm
Open End Wrenches = 13mm, 15mm, 17mm, 19mm
Hammer & Wooden Block
Vice Grips
Flat Head Screw Driver
Table Vice
Tape Measure
Hydraulic Jack & 2 Jack Stands
Dremel

Getting the Job Done

Step 1: Jack up the vehicle and set it on jack stands

Step 2: Remove both front wheels from the car

Step 3: Turn your steering wheel all the way to each side and remove the tie rod ends from the strut

NOTE: Use a jack to raise the strut up on the control arm ball joint and then use a hammer and a block of wood to knock the tie rod end out of the strut. See Pic.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...from_strut.jpg

Step 4: Remove the old tie rod boots using a flat head screw driver to pry the boot clamps loose

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...mp_Removal.jpg

NOTE: This is what a rack will look like when it finally takes a shit

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...Rack_Spill.jpg

Step 5: Bend the tie rod locking plates off of the inner tie rod

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...te_Removal.jpg

Step 6: Remove the inner tie rods from the steering rack using the vice grips.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...od_Removal.jpg

Step 7: Drain the power steering fluid from the PS reservoir.

Step 8: Disconnect all power steering hoses from the PS pump and the steering rack.

x2 19mm Banjo Bolts & x2 22mm Banjo Bolts


NOTE: KEEP ALL BANJO BOLTS REMOVED FROM THE STEERING RACK AND THE PS PUMP!

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...HP_PS_Hose.jpg

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...LP_PS_Hose.jpg

Step 9: Remove the PS Reservoir by loosening the 13mm bolt shown below. Then remove the low pressure lines and save the hose ends for the new low pressure hoses.

Removing the PS Res. with the bracket makes it easier to remove and loosen the 10mm bolt that clamps it in place

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/PS_Res_bolt.jpg

Step 10: Loosen the 13mm bolts that hold the steering knuckle in place.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...uckle_Bolt.jpg

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...uckle_Bolt.jpg

Step 11: Unbolt steering rack from the subframe by looseing the 15mm bolts holding it in place.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Unbolt_Rack.jpg

Step 12: Carefully bend back the lower tabs on the subframe that support the bottom part of the steering rack.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...g_SubFrame.jpg

Step 13: Drop the old steering rack from the steering knuckle.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Remove_Rack.jpg

Step 14: Remove the steering knuckle from the steering column spline.

NOTE: Using a flat head screw driver helps to open the knuckle at the spline to make it drop. See Picture Below.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...mn_Knuckle.jpg

Step 15: Eat some tacos and drink some beer

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Taco_Bell.jpg

Step 16: Using a Dremel - Grind down the rivets that hold the steering knuckle together and pop them out to seperate the two pieces.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...ding_Rivet.jpg

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...nded_Rivet.jpg

Step 17: Using a Dremel w/ cutting blade - Cut the aluminum spacer in half.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Cut_Spacer.jpg

Step 18: Use the 7/16 - 2 Inch Bolts & Spacer Halves to shorten the length of the steering knucle. Make sure to put Loctite on the bolt threads to make sure the knuckle does not come apart.

NOTE:Use washers to make both sides even it needed.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...ckle_Bolts.jpg

Step 19: Tighten the bolts together and test the knuckle for any play. This is what the finished product should resemble.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/..._Completed.jpg

Step 20: Tap the knuckle onto the steering column spline and tighten the 13mm bolt to secure it.

Step 21: Use a wrench to try and make the rack as even as possible. Use a tape measure to ensure both sides of the rack are even.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Lined_Up.jpg

Step 22: Line the steering wheel up straight and lock it in place. Slowly push the new rack onto the bottom of the knuckle. Once in place tighten the 13mm bolt to secure it.

NOTE: This step may take some time. Be patient and rock the rack while pushing. This is somewhat like stabbing transmission back onto an engine. Here is a picture of the finished product.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/..._Installed.jpg

Step 23: Tap the lower tabs on the subframe to bend them back into place.

Step 24: Line the holes up on the steering rack with the holes in the subframe. Place your short spacers and bolt the rack into place.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/Spacer.jpg

Step 25: Unlock the steering wheel and turn it to check for any binding.

NOTE:If there is some slight binding in the knuckle use a Dremel with a grinding bit to grind out some of the joint. Keep checking the wheel until there is not sign of binding in the steering wheel.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...ckle_Grind.jpg

Step 26: Using your hands, bend the high pressure PS line to make it match up with the new steering rack then temporarily bolt it in place.

NOTE: The line to the rack requires very little bending to match up with the rack.

Step 27: Take notes of what bends are needed to match the hose up with the PS Pump. Use a vice or pipe bender to make the appropriate bends.

NOTE: This will take a few trys. Be sure not to bend the metal line at too much of an angle if using a bench vice or you could damage it.

Step 28: Place your new copper crush on the appropriate banjo bolts and bolt down the high pressure PS hose to the rack and PS pump.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/..._Installed.jpg

Step 29: Install the low pressure hose ends in the new hoses and clamp them in place. Then attach them to the new PS reserviour.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/..._and_Hoses.JPG

Step 30: Install the new PS reserviour into the engine bay.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/BMW/PS_Res.jpg

Step 31: Bolt up the new low pressure PS hoses to the steering rack and PS pump.

http://www.robertandtara.com/images/...wP_PS_Hose.jpg

Step 32: Fill the PS reserviour with ATF. Start the car and turn the wheel to both sides a few times to circulate the new fluid. Check for leakage and add more fluid when needed.

Step 33: Reinstall the tie rod ends

Step 34: Bolt your wheels back on, lower the car off the jack stands, and take for a test drive.

Simon S 03-27-2006 10:25 AM

mmm.. tacos.

Thank you for write up.
Well done with the pics !

RobertK 03-27-2006 11:05 AM

TY.. The tacos are the best part of this project.

madjurgen 03-27-2006 01:38 PM

very nice write-up, this is only for non-airbag cars right?

RobertK 03-27-2006 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by madjurgen
very nice write-up, this is only for non-airbag cars right?

This is for all E30 cars. The only extra step needed to install the rack in an E30 that has an air bag is to fabricate a new plate at the firewall that moves the steering column over a bit.

///M42 sport 03-27-2006 07:38 PM

do you have pics of the existing plate in the firewall?

erik325i 03-27-2006 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ritalin Kid
Step 12: Carefully bend back the lower tabs on the subframe that support the bottom part of the steering rack.

Good writeup, although i disagree with step 12. I don't advise bending the tabs to get the rack out. It can be wiggled out without bending anything.

-Erik

RobertK 03-28-2006 04:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erik325i
Good writeup, although i disagree with step 12. I don't advise bending the tabs to get the rack out. It can be wiggled out without bending anything.

-Erik

You cannot remove the rack by pulling it to the side because you have to pull straight down to pull the rack off the steering knuckle. You cannot wiggle the rack straight down with the tabs in the way nor can you wiggle it left or right. The oil pan sump is too low to allow the rack to come back far enough to clear the tabs. Take a good look a the picture for Step 11.

The alternative is to unbolt the motor mounts, lift the engine, and possibly remove the oil pan.

The tabs are very strong and would require ALOT of repetitive bending to damage them.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ///M42 sport
do you have pics of the existing plate in the firewall?

I had seen them on a the CentralBimmer.com website but it seems to be down right now. If it comes back up I will post a link.

HST 03-28-2006 07:47 AM

You forgot one important part. A GOOD FRIEND TO HELP YOUR ASS OUT.

erik325i 03-28-2006 08:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ritalin Kid
You cannot remove the rack by pulling it to the side because you have to pull straight down to pull the rack off the steering knuckle. You cannot wiggle the rack straight down with the tabs in the way nor can you wiggle it left or right. The oil pan sump is too low to allow the rack to come back far enough to clear the tabs. Take a good look a the picture for Step 11.

The alternative is to unbolt the motor mounts, lift the engine, and possibly remove the oil pan.

The tabs are very strong and would require ALOT of repetitive bending to damage them.

I would rather lift the engine slightly than bend the tabs. That is how I did the last two racks I replaced...
But, whatever floats your boat...

-Erik

RobertK 03-28-2006 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HST
You forgot one important part. A GOOD FRIEND TO HELP YOUR ASS OUT.

This is true.. the post was limited to 10,000 characters and it's exactly that.

Props to HST (Josh) to helping me out.. If I had to do it by myself it would have been a bitch & 1/2.

Quote:

I would rather lift the engine slightly than bend the tabs. That is how I did the last two racks I replaced... But, whatever floats your boat...
The thread is for those who might not have access to an engine lift (like me) and want to do the swap. The only way you could damage the tabs by bending them would be if you intentionally bent them back and forth at over a 45 degree angle multiple times. Unless your's are starting to rust, then bending them should not be a problem.

wastedincome 03-28-2006 02:15 PM

Nice write and good pics to boot.You really took the time to snap pics of every step which is something I dont ever seem to do. Thanks alot as I will be doing a swap very soon (I have all the rack parts I need but,waiting for new CA's & TR's before I do mine)

RobertK 03-28-2006 07:10 PM

Control Arms are a fun job in themselves.. A word of advice.. get a 22mm ratcheting box end swivelhead wrench. It will save your triceps and your time.

Axxe 03-28-2006 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ritalin Kid
Control Arms are a fun job in themselves.. A word of advice.. get a 22mm ratcheting box end swivelhead wrench. It will save your triceps and your time.

Supporting the motor with a floor jack and lowering the subframe makes it 100x easier too.

RobertK 03-29-2006 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Axxe
Supporting the motor with a floor jack and lowering the subframe makes it 100x easier too.

That is alot more dangerous IMO. It gives you less wiggle room underneath the car because there is a jack in the way and if the jack gives or you accidentally knock it loose you could fuck alot of shit up or possibly get injured. It took 2 of us to get the rack loose and 2 of us to get the new one in.

I remember replacing Josh's oil pan using the floor jack method to hold the engine up. It was a nightmare and at one point the jack did fall but we got lucky and the motor mount got caught on the frame of the car.

If you want to lower the subframe and lift the engine I only suggest doing it with an engine hoist or a cherry picker. But realistically, my tab bending method works and is 99.9% safe and it saves you alot of time.


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