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Old 01-25-2017, 07:11 PM   #1
berlow94
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Quick Ratio E30 IX Steering Rack Kit

Hello everyone!

As you might have seen in a recent discussion over in the IX technical forum, i am going to begin producing a kit to quicken the steering ratio in the IX (awd) model of the E30 chassis.

If you have ever rally-x'ed, auto-x'ed, or just plain driven your IX on a tight-turning slippery road, i'm sure that one of your first frustrations was how you were flailing your hands in circles trying to keep the front wheels pointed where you wanted them. This was because of the vastly different front suspension geometry that the IX has compared to the rwd models. Some of the reasons for this include packaging constraints with the front differential, countering torque steer since your front wheels are now driven, and also the slippery terrain that the IX was designed to be driven on.

Most E30 owners have probably discovered that a couple of later model E36, E46, and Z3 racks will fit directly into their cars with their stock tie rods and 2 spacers to correct for a different stack height (or correct for bump-steer for the track guys). Unlike the standard E30 chassis, there are no later model BMW steering racks that will retrofit onto the front subframe of the IX. Some have proposed figuring out how to use a late model E46 XI rack, but this would require extensive modification to the steering shaft, subframe, and also boring out seats in your strut towers for the E46's larger tie rod ends.

The stock ratio of the IX is just over 3.9 turns of the wheel from lock to lock. I plan on producing this kit with a ratio of 3.2 turns from lock to lock.
Unlike alot of later model BMW's, i plan on keeping this rack a linear rate (Same ratio in the middle as the ends).

For those Porsche 911 guys out there, Quaife produces a kit which includes a new rack and pinion gear. You use your original rack housing, bushings, seals, bearings, tie rods, etc.
Here is that kit for reference: https://shop.quaife.co.uk/porsche-91...pinion-kit-2-5

A local R3v user (thank you zcenterb) has supplied me with a core IX rack assembly. I will be disassembling it and getting measurements to my friend this week. My friend owns a machine shop and doesn't think that this will be too expensive.
I obviously don't have the resources that Quaife has, so i will be starting this group buy with the prospective price of $400.

The plan is to offer a kit that includes a custom made pinion gear and rack. In addition, it will include instructions as well as all the needed o-rings, teflon rings, and seals to fully rebuild your rack. (Tie rods will be optional)

Once i'm 100% sure that there is enough of a demand for this and that costs are covered, i would like to also offer completely rebuilt racks with this kit pre-installed for those who don't have the time/will/energy/desire to rebuild their rack themselves. This would be done by a professional company and come with a lifetime warranty.

I plan to have an update within the next 2 weeks with a time frame as well as a more accurate price for this project.

I'd like to see who is interested at this price point. I already have a few vendors onboard.
Can we get a list going?

Thank you!


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Last edited by berlow94; 01-25-2017 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 01-25-2017, 07:49 PM   #2
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Old 01-26-2017, 04:01 AM   #3
The Dark Side of Will
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I'll tentatively throw down.

Have you or your friend measured the hardness of the original rack and pinion?
I @$$ume you're planning to start with precision ground rod to provide a good enough surface finish on the final product for the seals to work on.
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Old 01-26-2017, 05:24 AM   #4
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I'd be interested in a completely rebuilt rack... But if you have some instructions prior to take a look at I would consider doing it myself.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:17 AM   #5
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is 3.2 the ratio we really want? It wasn't really discussed. I suppose it's about 25% faster, but a "turns lock to lock" ratio can be misleading - if the travel is lower, then the "speed" of the rack isn't any faster, for example. I'm not sure that a 25% improvement is really enough. A better measure is mm/rev, which is how far the rack moves for 1 turn of the wheel, coupled with the total travel.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:27 AM   #6
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Quick Ratio E30 IX Steering Rack Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
is 3.2 the ratio we really want? It wasn't really discussed. I suppose it's about 25% faster, but a "turns lock to lock" ratio can be misleading - if the travel is lower, then the "speed" of the rack isn't any faster, for example. I'm not sure that a 25% improvement is really enough. A better measure is mm/rev, which is how far the rack moves for 1 turn of the wheel, coupled with the total travel.


Thank you for bringing this up.

In my rwd E30 I've used stock racks, 3.2 and 2.7 turn racks.
I love the 2.7 rack on the track, but I find it a little twitchy on the street. (Obviously also taking track alignment into consideration here)
I'd be willing to see what everyone else thinks about this.
Maybe 3 turns?
One of these nights when I pull apart the stock IX rack i'll measure how many mm/rev.
With that being said, as long as the overall distance travelled of the rack is the same, than yes, that would be a 25% improvement.

I would like to market this to everyone. It is easier for most people to sit in their car and turn the wheel from lock to lock to measure rather than pulling the bellows and measuring the rack itself. Same reason why Quaife advertises their kit as a 2.5 ratio kit.


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Old 01-26-2017, 06:43 AM   #7
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I already posted measurements in the other thread.

as far as marketing - I don't know that it matters, you can post both numbers. It's just that the mm/rev is a more accurate measure of the "speed" of a rack than LTL.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Side of Will View Post
I'll tentatively throw down.

Have you or your friend measured the hardness of the original rack and pinion?
I @$$ume you're planning to start with precision ground rod to provide a good enough surface finish on the final product for the seals to work on.


Yes, the straightness, smoothness, and hardness are all being taken into consideration here.
Thanks!


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Old 01-26-2017, 06:51 AM   #9
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I realize this wouldn't apply to most but im just woundering at what point would a quicker rack be unstable at higher speeds like 130+

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Old 01-26-2017, 06:57 AM   #10
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wouldn't be any different than a newer BMW which already has a higher ratio rack.
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Old 01-26-2017, 06:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nando View Post
wouldn't be any different than a newer BMW which already has a higher ratio rack.
Do they have a lot more caster in there suspension?

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Old 01-26-2017, 07:15 AM   #12
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sure but I don't see that making a big difference. it's not like we're doubling the ratio or something.
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Old 01-26-2017, 02:30 PM   #13
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Im interested!
But im a little on Nanods side here, not sure a 3,2 linear ratio is the best option? I will stay tuned for more!
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Old 01-26-2017, 07:45 PM   #14
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Put my name on whatever list we can all agree on.
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Old 01-26-2017, 09:10 PM   #15
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I'm just saying, we may only get one chance at this - we should make sure its right.
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