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Old 06-12-2017, 08:34 PM   #16
Mook613
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Best rack right now seems to be the e46 zhp rack. The e46 came with three different ones, but the ZHP is the best. It's the one with the yellow tag.
What you've heard regarding a tighter lock is that some of the m series cars have the same steering ratios but will have a limit to the turning lock as the suspension can't turn as much. Hence these racks are less desirable as our cars can handle the turning lock.

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Old 06-13-2017, 04:50 AM   #17
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I don't know how much the e46 racks are but ive installed 4 e36 racks and they areideal for an e30
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:27 AM   #18
Zeemz
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I bought my E46 ZHP rack from Rich and am very happy with it. If you are on a tight budget you can save a couple hundred dollars going with an E36 or even the ZF E46 rack. Whatever rack you choose I highly recommend the RackDoctor. Rich is super knowledgeable and helpful. Give him a call if you have any questions. He took the time to discuss several racks and their differences (Z3, e36 M and non M, E46 ZHP and ZF).

Only downside is he will only do core refunds on sale of same type of rack, so if you are switching from and E30 rack to an E36 or 46 you have to eat the core charge. However, I do appreciate the life time warranty.

Here is a good thread that Rich where Rich describes the difference in the ZHP vs regular E46 rack.
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=954523

The ZHP rack has a larger/stronger torsion bar. "The stronger the torsion bar the more the sport feel" This is one of the things I love best about the new rack in my car. Steering is much tighter. I snapped my power steering belt a few years ago on my old car and drove around without it for a while. I actually really liked how the steering felt without power steering at speed, but it sucked trying to parallel park and have to in front of my house regularly. The ZHP rack reminded me of the tighter steering at speed with the old rack and no power steering, plus less turns to lock.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mook613 View Post
Best rack right now seems to be the e46 zhp rack. The e46 came with three different ones, but the ZHP is the best. It's the one with the yellow tag.
What you've heard regarding a tighter lock is that some of the m series cars have the same steering ratios but will have a limit to the turning lock as the suspension can't turn as much. Hence these racks are less desirable as our cars can handle the turning lock.

Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
I had not heard about the e46 rack until this thread. Every debate I've read has been between the e36 or the z3 racks and their variations. The lock/ratio was what I really was curios about because I've heard many contradicting things about them all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeemz View Post
I bought my E46 ZHP rack from Rich and am very happy with it. If you are on a tight budget you can save a couple hundred dollars going with an E36 or even the ZF E46 rack. Whatever rack you choose I highly recommend the RackDoctor. Rich is super knowledgeable and helpful. Give him a call if you have any questions. He took the time to discuss several racks and their differences (Z3, e36 M and non M, E46 ZHP and ZF).

Only downside is he will only do core refunds on sale of same type of rack, so if you are switching from and E30 rack to an E36 or 46 you have to eat the core charge. However, I do appreciate the life time warranty.

Here is a good thread that Rich where Rich describes the difference in the ZHP vs regular E46 rack.
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=954523

The ZHP rack has a larger/stronger torsion bar. "The stronger the torsion bar the more the sport feel" This is one of the things I love best about the new rack in my car. Steering is much tighter. I snapped my power steering belt a few years ago on my old car and drove around without it for a while. I actually really liked how the steering felt without power steering at speed, but it sucked trying to parallel park and have to in front of my house regularly. The ZHP rack reminded me of the tighter steering at speed with the old rack and no power steering, plus less turns to lock.

Thanks! That's some really good info there. I was looking at the Zionville kits and it looks like going with the ZHP will be a lot cheaper as well
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:42 AM   #20
Zeemz
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Originally Posted by crisby325i View Post
I had not heard about the e46 rack until this thread. Every debate I've read has been between the e36 or the z3 racks and their variations. The lock/ratio was what I really was curios about because I've heard many contradicting things about them all.
You will find some people that think the Z3 rack is the best, but it depends on what you use your car for. For the track or autocross this is true, but with the smallest turn to lock at 2.7 I have read a lot of people say that it makes the car too twitchy at speed on the high way. I have seen several people note that you barely have to move the wheel to change lanes and others have joked that if you sneeze you will change lanes so you have to be very careful/alert.

Also I posted this in another thread, E46 330 rack into E30, you should check out for more info. Make sure you get E46 inner tie rods some people have tried to use e30 ones and it can cause problems down the road. "Unless you modified the inner e30 tie rods you could trouble down the road and cause your rack to fail prematurely. The E46 inner tie rods are vented and allow air pressure to equalize pressure in the boots when turning via the inner tie rods via the vent slot."

Also if you call Rich he will make sure you have the right inner and outer tie rods and sends it with adaptor cups. I believe he sent mine e46 inners and either e46 or e36 outers. I can't remember to be exact.
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Old 06-13-2017, 07:55 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeemz View Post
You will find some people that think the Z3 rack is the best, but it depends on what you use your car for. For the track or autocross this is true, but with the smallest turn to lock at 2.7 I have read a lot of people say that it makes the car too twitchy at speed on the high way. I have seen several people note that you barely have to move the wheel to change lanes and others have joked that if you sneeze you will change lanes so you have to be very careful/alert.

Also I posted this in another thread, E46 330 rack into E30, you should check out for more info. Make sure you get E46 inner tie rods some people have tried to use e30 ones and it can cause problems down the road. "Unless you modified the inner e30 tie rods you could trouble down the road and cause your rack to fail prematurely. The E46 inner tie rods are vented and allow air pressure to equalize pressure in the boots when turning via the inner tie rods via the vent slot."

Also if you call Rich he will make sure you have the right inner and outer tie rods and sends it with adaptor cups. I believe he sent mine e46 inners and either e46 or e36 outers. I can't remember to be exact.
Thanks. Great info. I contacted RackDoctor (Rich was tied up) and I asked them which rack would be best for the driving style I mentioned here and they agreed that the E46 ZHP rack was the best available.

I also contacted Zionville and got some additional info on their racks. The ST-3 that is 2.7 lock to lock is from the Z3. The ST-2 is the 3.0 lock to lock is from an E46. I asked him if it was a ZHP rack or a standard E46 rack and he didn't know there was a difference between the two. I'm leaning towards the Rack Doctor E46 ZHP rack. They offer a discounted core charge even if I return my E30 rack in exchange for an E46. I am planning on doing a suspension refresh kit and new shocks at the same time. I need the E46 inners with the E36 for it to be a direct bolt on, correct? The refresh kit I'm buying will be coming with E30 tie rods. I may just have to buy the refresh kit piece by piece to avoid redundancy with the parts. Anyways, thanks for the info. I can't wait to have power steering again. Will definitely add my review of the ZHP rack to this thread.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:42 AM   #22
Mook613
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You need E46 inner rods and E36 outer rods. The guys at RackDoctor should be able to get you the right ones as a kit with the rack.

E30 inners don't have the right threading, so options are E36 and E46 for those. The E46 has a special venting system in the inner rods, so use those unless you want to wear out your rack prematurely.
Then for outers, the E46 outers are too long, so have to go with E36.
End result is that you need E46 inner and E36 outer.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:05 AM   #23
crisby325i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mook613 View Post
You need E46 inner rods and E36 outer rods. The guys at RackDoctor should be able to get you the right ones as a kit with the rack.

E30 inners don't have the right threading, so options are E36 and E46 for those. The E46 has a special venting system in the inner rods, so use those unless you want to wear out your rack prematurely.
Then for outers, the E46 outers are too long, so have to go with E36.
End result is that you need E46 inner and E36 outer.
Perfect. That's what I needed to know. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:35 PM   #24
Staszek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeemz View Post
You will find some people that think the Z3 rack is the best, but it depends on what you use your car for. For the track or autocross this is true, but with the smallest turn to lock at 2.7 I have read a lot of people say that it makes the car too twitchy at speed on the high way. I have seen several people note that you barely have to move the wheel to change lanes and others have joked that if you sneeze you will change lanes so you have to be very careful/alert.

Also I posted this in another thread, E46 330 rack into E30, you should check out for more info. Make sure you get E46 inner tie rods some people have tried to use e30 ones and it can cause problems down the road. "Unless you modified the inner e30 tie rods you could trouble down the road and cause your rack to fail prematurely. The E46 inner tie rods are vented and allow air pressure to equalize pressure in the boots when turning via the inner tie rods via the vent slot."

Also if you call Rich he will make sure you have the right inner and outer tie rods and sends it with adaptor cups. I believe he sent mine e46 inners and either e46 or e36 outers. I can't remember to be exact.
You made my decision easy, I had a ZHP rack on my E46 back in the day and loved it. Now that I know that I can fit it in the E30 that is definitely the one I am putting in my car.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:20 AM   #25
pandaboo911
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Rack Doctor Steering Rack

My rack has been leaking atf from day 1. Leaks from the small 1/8" hard-line fittings. Tried snugging them up, still leaks.

Pretty disappointing considering it cost $400. Also the paint is flaking off everywhere

The purple tag 330 "zhp" rack has the same ratio as a standard 328i. 3 turns. Supposedly it has less steering assist but that could be a different power steering pump. Some provide 130 bar vs 110 bar.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:13 AM   #26
Zeemz
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Originally Posted by pandaboo911 View Post
My rack has been leaking atf from day 1. Leaks from the small 1/8" hard-line fittings. Tried snugging them up, still leaks.
If you bought it from the RackDoctor, it has a lifetime warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pandaboo911 View Post
The purple tag 330 "zhp" rack has the same ratio as a standard 328i. 3 turns. Supposedly it has less steering assist but that could be a different power steering pump. Some provide 130 bar vs 110 bar.
The Purple Tag is not the ZHP rack, it is the ZF rack. The 330ZHP only came with Yellow Tag #712 rack. Some regular 330i came with Yellow tag 712 ZHP racks, but most came with Purple tag #678 ZF racks or TWR racks.

The difference between the Yellow ZHP 712 and Purple ZF 678 racks, is the Yellow 712 rack has a stronger torsion bar giving it the sportier/firmer feel.

All 3 of the E46 330 racks (712, 678 and TWR) have 3 turns to lock.

See this post I referenced earlier for a lot more details: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=954523

Last edited by Zeemz; 10-06-2017 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:13 AM   #27
Zeemz
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Originally Posted by Staszek View Post
You made my decision easy, I had a ZHP rack on my E46 back in the day and loved it. Now that I know that I can fit it in the E30 that is definitely the one I am putting in my car.

It will be a nice addition to your already impressive build!
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:08 AM   #28
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+1 for rackdoctor and +1 for the e46 330 rack. I've had mine for ~3 years and love it. This is now my go-to steering rack for all my BMWs.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:50 AM   #29
Jean
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Recently got one in my car as well.... went with e46 330i rack and they built it with correct tie rods and it dropped right in e30 out the box.
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