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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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  #1  
Old 03-06-2004, 09:49 AM
phaques phaques is offline
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Location: Charlottesville
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: BMWs
e30 power steering rack rebuild

Anybody here every successfully torn apart their power steering rack and rebuilt it? Any good DIY articles on this? I have purchased a core from an e30, purchased the seal kit, and am about to dig into it, but it would be nice to talk to someone who has been through it....

I have left the steering in place on the car in case I screw it up....
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2004, 10:22 AM
GWilliamT GWilliamT is offline
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Location: Washington
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 325E, 1978 Spitfire
I have the same situation, except it starts with a very leaky rack. I've rebuilt a rack before, but not a power rack. I really would like more info before I start.
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2004, 01:27 PM
phaques phaques is offline
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Got mine apart but...

some of the gaskets are rigid plastic, not flexible, and I broke one of them trying to put it back in place. Getting it apart wasn't too difficult, but it took a little more banging with makeshift tools than I like - some of the gaskets are set in position quite firmly.

My opinion, having gotten as far as I have (whole thing disassembled, all parts cleaned, and 90% of new gaskets and seals installed) is that unless you have some perverse need to rebuild the thing yourself, or simply want to do it because you want to see how to do it, it doesn't pay compared with simply buying a rebuilt unit. I.E. - the core will cost you around $100 plus shipping, the rebuild kit costs about $50 plus shipping, so at this point I have just about $200 into my own rebuild plus just over 3.5 hrs of labor, and you can get a rebuilt rack for around $250 plus shipping.

And now, I'm stuck. I broke one gasket, and to replace it I think I probably have to buy a whole new gasket set for $50, putting me right where I'd be if I'd just got a rebuilt unit in the mail.

But I do know what it looks like inside there, and that gives me a really nice proud warm feeling inside....

That said, I have taken lots of digital photos of the disassembly, and I'm happy to share them with anyone who wants.

fax
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2004, 07:41 AM
GWilliamT GWilliamT is offline
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Location: Washington
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Mein Auto: BMW 325E, 1978 Spitfire
I'm having trouble just getting started. Unable to get the pressure piece to budge, or anything else for that matter. Pictures of the disassemble might help. My regular email is bmwe30@charter.net, if that is easier to use.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2004, 10:51 AM
phaques phaques is offline
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Getting started...

For starters, I would get your handy can of PB Blaster and liberally spray all of the fittings, particularly the large inlet and outlet hose fittings coming from the power steering pump, and then call it a day. Let that stuff soak overnight.

Next, I had to stick my largest screwdriver through one of the two rack mounting holes and use it as a lever as I bore down on the fitting nuts to break them free.

Also, before I started any of this, I took the entire rack and cleaned it off as best I could, so I could see what I was doing - it was covered with thick black oily grime.

Not sure what you mean by the pressure piece...the attached photo should show the two larger fittings I am talking about. If these pictures actually come up here, I'll post more in a little while.
fax
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2004, 10:59 AM
phaques phaques is offline
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more photos

Okay, good - the photos worked.

Next, I removed all the rigid hoses running along the rack, labelling each and drawing a diagram so that I could put them back in their proper locations. (First picture) these each have a black o-ring on each end that should be replaced.

Next, pry out the plastic fittings on either end of the black plastic hose that runs along the rack (photo 2). Each fitting has a small black O-ring on it that should be replaced. Replace with the proper O-rings in your kit! These two are slightly different than the four that go on the ends of the rigid lines, above.

Next, I undid the large cap nut on the end of the short angled section of the steering rack (photo 3).

Sorry - One problem with having NO guide for doing this is that I don't know what any of these pieces are called, so I'm going to resort often to the technical terms "thingy" and "widget"
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2004, 11:09 AM
phaques phaques is offline
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and then...

Next, inside the large end cap nut there is another nut that holds the rack screw in place - take that nut off. Pry off the large plastic dust cap that is located where the steering column attaches to the splined end of the steering rack screw. Inside there is a circlip - remove it. At this point, you should be able to gently turn the screw post (with the splined end that attaches to the steering column) and then completely remove it from the rack.

Remove the diamond shaped plate on the bottom of the rack (photo 1). Underneath there is a spring and large thick washer (photo 2). Wash all these, and the two bolts, and set them aside.

Inside the other end of the steering rack there is a fairly thick (1/8") ring that snaps in place to hold in place (photo 3) in the steering rack a metal bushing assembly....this was a ***** to get out, and I wouldn't recommend my method (you get the idea from the picture...), but you've got to get it out. Wear protective eye gear, and point the and don't look down at the thing as you try to pry it out.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2004, 11:17 AM
phaques phaques is offline
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Picture of screw post removed from steering rack

First picture is a photo of the screw post (real name???) out of the rack. Those white gaskets have black o-rings underneath them. The white gaskets are brittle - watch out when reinstalling.

When you have removed that thick wire snap ring, you need to drive the steering rack rod out of the rack body by inserting some kind of drift or soft metal driver into the rod at the other end of the rack, and then tap out with a hammer (see photo2 - my method not recommended with allen wrench).

The rod slides out fairly easily (photo 3), and there is a metal collar with a couple of gaskets on it that slides off the rod.
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  #9  
Old 03-23-2004, 07:22 AM
GWilliamT GWilliamT is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 325E, 1978 Spitfire
Thanks for all the info and pics. It really is very helpful. I think the biggest problem with mine is everything is very badly seized in place.
Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2004, 08:01 PM
lownote lownote is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
 
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Mein Auto: '72 2002tii
steering rack R&R

does anyone have some advice on steering rack removal and re-installation?
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2005, 10:23 PM
dannyb86 dannyb86 is offline
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Location: frankfort kentucky
 
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Mein Auto: 87 325es
im currently rebuilding my power steering on my bmw 87 325es. and i do have a little advice. one of the hardest things for me was to get the u joint that connects the steering to the steering rack. i had to load it up with wd-40 and rust eater and still use a screw driver and hammer it in between the split joint to separate it so i could move it. i will attach some pictures also. any ways i couldnt find this info anywhere but to remove the inner tie rod assembly from the actual rack you have to remove the tie rod clip by using a punch to bend it out straight on both sides. after that you will need to put the rack in a vice (be careful) and wrap a shop towel around the inner tie rod and use some channel lock pliers and turn it counter clockwise it will be hard to break loose but will come out. if you have any questions feel free to email me at compbuilder2004@aol.com for a quicker response.
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2005, 08:25 PM
rickmccl rickmccl is offline
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Location: Manassas, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 323Ci
I've removed inner tie rods with a small pair of water pump pliers, by gripping the nut after denting the lock washer out of the way.

I would further assume that if you are not replacing your tie rod ends, you can undo the inner tie rods from the rack before removing the rack, and avoid messing with the joints on the tie rod (track rod) ends.
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