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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 12:02 PM
Jaxs Jaxs is offline
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Mein Auto: '95 318Ti
How to disable power steering

I have a 318ti. The power steering rack is leaking bad (ie, fluid needs to be refilled everyday), and needs to be replaced. Due to limited finances, I'm unable to replace it at the moment. Is there any way to disable the power steering until I can replace the rack? Right now, it's especially tough to turn when the fluid is low because I'm fighting against the pump.

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:22 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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There isn't an easy way to disable it, since the pump is driven by the serpentine belt, which runs the alternator and water pump as well. In other words, you pretty much have to keep that belt in place. Also, disabling the PS pump will make steering very difficult at low speeds, since the steering rack was not designed to be used without hydraulic assistance.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:22 PM
Jaxs Jaxs is offline
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Thanks for the reply and info. Any idea if the leak might be stoppable? It's coming out from the top of the rack, through the pinion shaft dust cover.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:44 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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If it's leaking from the rack itself (as opposed to a fluid line), the only way to stop it from leaking is to rebuild it. Your best option is probably to buy a remanufactured steering rack. You can get them for a few hundred dollars with a warranty, and they aren't particularly difficult to replace yourself if you are mechanically inclined. An alignment will certainly be required after replacing it, however.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/REMANUFACTUR...&forceRpt=true
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:47 PM
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Do you know whether the leakage is occuring at the pump or the rack? Or a line? A line is cheap, a rack is not so much unless you go used.
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