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Old 12-06-2009, 12:43 PM
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MicahO MicahO is offline
In my own cars again
Location: Warwick, NY
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,402
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Yes, it's in the wiki.
It is in the wiki - there is a long (loooong) thread at Fanatics about the procedure. There are a few pictures in there as well, though none are really a money-shot. I'll be honest, I had the camera with me and was all looking to contribute, and I got under there and it was so dead-ridiculously easy, that I didn't bother. The knuckle is basically staring out at you, begging to be changed.

So in the interest of putting it all in one place, I just took a couple of pictures with the car on the ground. Here is what to do (wifey is in LA on biz with both of the good cameras, here we get crappy blackberry shots) :


Yeah - that's about it.

1 - Go to the wiki, and then read page 2 of that linked thread, where the discussion has some DIY. Later pages also have some information of value. It's not a waste of time to read the whole thing.
2 - Toss out most of that DIY. You do NOT need to remove the splash pans or the structural frame bit (and I've never seen a car with that other heavy metal plate?)
3 - Jack the front end of your car up - both sides, get some jack stands in there for safety. Turn the steering wheel straight.
4 - Take off the driver's side front tire
5 - Lie down on your back alongside the car, feet to the front, with your head just in front of the rubber jack-pad on the driver's front. Turn your head and peek in above the control arm - there is the knuckle peeking at you from behind the left engine mount, cowering in fear, saying "No! I like my job! I'll try harder! Really!" The Torx e10 bolt on the top of the knuckle (steering column) is right there waiting to be removed.

6 - Shoot the bottom of the joint where it connects to the steering box with PB Blaster - the only tough spot for other people seems to have been removing the knuckle from the bottom. Juice it up. Mine came off with no drama.
7 - Remove the top bolt, I used 2 3 inch extensions with a knuckle in the middle, and a 12-point 8mm socket.
8 - Grasp the knuckle and rotate it 180 degrees with the wheels turning to the right (clockwise doesn't mean much upside down and backwards). At 90 degrees you will see the second bolt to be removed. At 180 degrees you will see a slot in the lower portion of the knuckle that gaps around a plastic fitting on the steering box shaft. Note that when the new knuckle is reinstalled it must slot around that plastic tab without bending it. See the slot in this picture of my old knuckle:

9 - Turn the knuckle back to 90 degrees and remove the second bolt.
10 - Clean up both bolts and apply a bit of LockTite RED to the threads. There is much discussion of replacing these bolts and BMW's procedures call for same. That said, at 22 NM, they are not stretch bolts, nor is it a structural application. My feeling is that the replacement bolts would be pre-dipped in threadlocker. DIY the threadlocker and re-use.
11 - Use your big-ass screwdriver or some other means of leverage to pry the knuckle upwards off the steering column. It will take a bit of prying, but it's not like the lower radiator hose. The steering column shaft will collapse a bit, and the knuckle will slide a bit up the column.
12 - Allow the steering column to maneuver clear of the steering box and slide the old knuckle off the column.
13 - Slide the new knuckle up the column in the same orientation as the old one. Lift the column up and position the new knuckle over the shaft from the steering box. Get it started onto the shaft, do not take it all the way down yet....but it MUST be started on the teeth so that the column rotates WITH the steering box. You can't really screw up the orientation, but it's best to keep things turning together.
14 - Rotate the knuckle 90 degrees so you can see the plastic tab - ensure that it is slotted correctly in the knuckle. Rotate back 90 degrees so you can see into the bolt-hole. Slide the knuckle down so that you can see the hole is aligned properly. I'm not sure why, but I was only able to push the knuckle back down onto the steering box shaft when the whole assembly was rotated back to it's original position. Go figure. Reinstall the bottom bolt - 22NM.
15 - Rotate 90 degrees back to the original orientation. Slide the column shaft down into the knuckle, or back up the knuckle, so that the groove in the shaft aligns with the bolt-hole in the knuckle. Reinstall the top bolt - 22NM.
16 - Put your tire back on, remove the jackstands, let 'er down, and crack open a beer. Yesterday was a Magic Hat Number Nine kind of day for me. MMMmmm...

And this was last night's snowfall:

--Micah O'C
CCA 193374
'88 M5, Bilstein Sports/ST Springs, staggered BBS RS, Euro conversion
'92 M5 Touring - BL01001 - first M5 Touring ever built
2017 M2 V887285 - Mineral Grey, 6MT
'04 330i ZHP, Jet Black 6spd, hot seats, LightWerkz TFX-Xenon, Bilstein PSS10
UUC Strut/SwayBarbarians, PowerFlex CAB/TAB, Performance Gearing 3.38 LSD

Last edited by MicahO; 12-07-2009 at 12:38 PM.
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