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E24 (1976 - 1989)
The BMW 6 Series (E24) was the first variant of the 6 series produced by BMW from 1976 through 1989.

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  #1  
Old 05-30-2012, 07:29 AM
DMMCKENNA DMMCKENNA is offline
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Mein Auto: 750, 635, 733,535
Steering Box Replacement ?

I have an 86 635 with 155k. Well maintained, runs well.
This spring I took it out of the garage, and the steering wheel seemed to be off center. Tried alignment, they said drive it , they weren't sure it was alignment.
Part of that day it seemed back on center. Now it is consistently off center, and a bit sloppy, not in a horrible way but noticeable.
Diagnosis need a new steering box ?
$2200 ?

Any ideas, suggestions?
Thanks
David
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2012, 10:16 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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There's a weakness in the E24 steering box mount, and it can break free of the chassis. Google E24 and "steering box mount" and you'll get a bunch of hits about the problem and how to fix it.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2012, 06:30 PM
DMMCKENNA DMMCKENNA is offline
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Mr. G thanks v much it's worth a shot. D
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:16 AM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
There's a weakness in the E24 steering box mount, and it can break free of the chassis. Google E24 and "steering box mount" and you'll get a bunch of hits about the problem and how to fix it.
If that's not the problem, you can try adjusting the box but you have to be very careful.

Raise the front of the car off the ground and support it on jack stands so the wheels are in full droop. There is an adjustment screw with a locknut at the top of the box. Break the locknut loose trying not to move the adjustment screw. Then tighten the adjusting screw very slightly (clockwise) and reset the locknut but not full tight. Now move the steering back and forth through its entire range of motion and observe/feel how much of the free play is gone. Keep repeating this procedure until the play is gone and then STOP and tighten the locknut full tight. Overtightening the adjustment screw will surely ruin the steering box as the recirculating balls will become scored.

BTW the adjustment screw will want to move ever time you move the locknut. I ended up using a box end wrench on the locknut and a 3/8 ratchet with a long extension and a flat blade screwdriver bit on the extension.

This procedure will only cure excess steering box play. Your symptoms do indicate a loose box mount as Mr Graybeard has suggested.

Good luck.
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  #5  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:24 AM
JE79E21 JE79E21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
There's a weakness in the E24 steering box mount, and it can break free of the chassis. Google E24 and "steering box mount" and you'll get a bunch of hits about the problem and how to fix it.
And this thread is the first hit Google gives you.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2012, 07:11 AM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
I don't see the box wearing out parked up for winter. Try changing the front tyres L to R and see what happens. Did you have the car on blocks or resting on its tyres. Did you keep the tyres really hard (40-50psi) if it was down? Adjusting the box is the last option I would consider but check the mountings..
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