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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:41 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
BMW E39 I6 528i 525i 530i steering rack rebuild

Fellas

We all know that I6 has the best steering rack with pinion
Based on my experience and research on US/ EURO forums to be able to take the best of them
they need to be rebuild every ~100k
I don't want to argue if it is necessary or not , if you think your steering rack
is perfect after 100k+ miles this thread is not for you

So lets start

1. All I6 has the same steering rack
The ZF # is 7852 955 304 and it is the same for 528i, 525i and 530i
( remember this number 7852 )
I personally checked 3 steering racks for M54 and they all have the same ZF number
The BMW # for steering rack w/o Servotronic ( US version ) is 32136751745

2. For this steering rack 7852 this is what i found so far :

The parts :

http://forum.bmwland.ru/index.php?ac...=post&id=26968

1 bearing ZF 0635 332 003 pic # 2
1 bearing ZF 7830 327 111 pic #53
2 plastic bush ZF 7852 035 131 pic # 24
1 plastic bush ZF 7852 040 192 pic # 30,1
1 plastic bush ZF 0770197 047 pic # 57
1 bolt ZF 7830 030 120 pic # 34
1 seal ZF 7830 040 507 pic # 34.3

1 seal kit ZF 7852 633 048
This what is included into this kit :
==================================
2 seals ZF 7852 033 155 pic # 10.9
1 seal ZF 0634 303 218 pic # 15
1 seal ZF 7852 033 166 pic # 16
1 seal ZF 0634 304 563 pic # 17
1 seal ZF 0634 306 218 pic # 31
1 seal ZF 0634 306 233 pic # 38
1 plastic bush ZF 0770 198 175 pic # 51
1 plastic bush ZF 0770 198 168 pic # 58
4 seals ZF 7409 033 112 pic # 87
4 seals ZF 0770 031 331 pic # 88
1 seal ZF 0634 303 340 pic # 94
8 seals ZF 7830 033 163 pic # 103
===================================

The repair instruction for 7852

ZF Rack and Pinion Power Steering Gear

3. I dropped mail to ZF US asking if i can get these parts
( anyone tried ? )

4. One more link is in US kit # RB8623.1 , Rack Kits / 528 / 97-00 / Without Servotronic
( anyone tried ? Looks like the one we need )

http://www.pskits.com/catalog/-c-21_25.html

Anywhere noone of these kits include bearings

5. One more source i found in UK

http://steeringseals.com/5series-2.html

Stay tuned
I
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Last edited by champaign777; 10-07-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 09:50 AM
cornellone0 cornellone0 is offline
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Location: maryland
 
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Mein Auto: 528i
Please let me know how much work is involved my rack is leaking now
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:09 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Remove steering rack is ~1-2H
You can leave your tie rods connected to wheel carrier and disconnect only inner part from steering rack
so you basically don't need to do alignment after repair
Repair steering rack is ~3-4H if you have all parts
Where to get these parts in US is a $1000 question
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Last edited by champaign777; 10-08-2012 at 02:27 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2012, 10:42 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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to have idea about this job

http://bmwpost.ru/forum/showpost.php...83&postcount=4
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Last edited by champaign777; 10-07-2012 at 10:54 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-08-2012, 09:50 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
As you mentioned above, people have used the kit from:
http://www.pskits.com/catalog/-c-21_25.html

with good success.
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2012, 02:22 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530 Sport Twins
CNN
1. Do you know who did SR repair for E39 ?

2. If you see above some parts are not in this kit
All i can find is E36 or E46 folks but even they said they did it w/o bearings which is not a whole overhaul but partial
More than this E36 and E39 kit for steering rack are the same, BMW part #32 13 1 094 629
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Last edited by champaign777; 10-08-2012 at 05:39 PM.
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2012, 01:27 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
champaign777 and others,

I just saw something interesting in the Volvo forum and I thought I would share.

Most steering rack leaks occur at the outer O-ring/seal, thus fluid coming out of the protective boot ---> on the garage floor. It virtually never leaks at the pinion end.

Of course the proper way is to remove the Steering Rack and rebuild it from scratch or pay big bucks for a quality Steering Rack. But removing the steering rack from any car is a pain in the rear, not to mention the number of labor hours involved!

This Volvo person replaced ONLY the Outer O-rings/Seals using the rebuild kit ($47) without removing the Steering Rack from the car.

http://volvospeed.com/vs_forum/topic...rack-leak-fix/


So, we need someone in E39 to act as "guinea pig" and do this for forum i.e., replacing the Outer O-rings/Seals without removing the steering rack from the car.

Comparing with the Volvo, the BMW E39 Steering Rack is in a better location because (the Volvo 850/S70 SR is behind the front axle while the BMW E39 SR is in front of the front axle). So this job should be easier on the BMW E39.

Rebuild kits can be bought for $50.

The PS Rebuild Kit does not have the protective boot, so you have to order separately for the boot and clamps. Here are the Volvo TRW Rack photos for reference:



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Last edited by cn90; 12-12-2012 at 01:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2013, 04:35 AM
ramp ramp is offline
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Posts: 44
Mein Auto: 635csi, MGA, e39
Has anyone followed up on this thread??

I'd be curious. Mine has a slight leak.
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:55 PM
SiGmA_X SiGmA_X is offline
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Location: OR
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 42
Mein Auto: 99 528iT, 93 325iS
I may give this a shot in the next few weeks. I have some freeplay in a rack that has ~8,400 miles on it from a 'reputable' rebuilder, and I have a spare (good but old) rack I could rebuild in the mean time. I may have to call PSKits - Can anyone confirm if the include bearings? That is what my rack needs, not seals. Though obviously all will be done...
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93 325iS
99 528iT
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  #10  
Old 12-15-2013, 05:27 PM
pfi pfi is offline
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Location: Norway
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 93' 318is coupe
I have an E36 ('93 318is coupe) with ZF-rack # : 7852 955 304
so, it's in the same "family" but propably some differences.

I'm currently trying to "service" my rack....., (hopfully doin' a DIY when done)
( got my "service-pack" (part # : 32 13 1 094 629) from : schmiedmann )
but, ......
in the process, I've run into a problem..... :0

the pdf (previously referred to by champaign777) : ZF Rack and Pinion Power Steering Gear says, on page 10, "chapter" 6.2 Versions without cylindrical tube (22) to : "Unsnap the snap ring (18)." (see att # 1)
what to unsnap ? takealook at att # 2
and,
I'm NOT able to "unsnap" it..... :-/
so,
wondering.....,
does the E39 have the same "version" / solution ?
and,
or,
does anyone have a(ny) good idea(s) of how to "unsnap" the &%#/&% "snap ring (18)"

regards
-pfi
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Last edited by pfi; 12-15-2013 at 05:35 PM. Reason: corection
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  #11  
Old 09-14-2014, 07:37 AM
Smoothops Smoothops is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 318i Cabriolet
The passenger side of my 2000 E39 sportswagon steering rack is leaking, so I'll serve as a guinea pig for the forum. I have the seal kit, but don't have to will to remove the rack, so I'll replace the outer seal to see what happens. I'll post results afterwards, perhaps even pics. May the Force be with me on this venture.
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  #12  
Old 09-14-2014, 01:44 PM
Smoothops Smoothops is offline
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Success!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoothops View Post
The passenger side of my 2000 E39 sportswagon steering rack is leaking, so I'll serve as a guinea pig for the forum. I have the seal kit, but don't have to will to remove the rack, so I'll replace the outer seal to see what happens. I'll post results afterwards, perhaps even pics. May the Force be with me on this venture.
The Force was indeed present at my garage. I'm keen to report that replacing the right outer seal is possible on the 2000 528iT wagon. I just replaced mine and the leak is gone

First I raised the car t where the front wheels were able to turn. I then loosened the inner tie rod ends from the ends of the steering shaft, allowing me to turn the steering wheel and extend or retract the ends of the steering shaft. I extended the left side as far out as I could, so that I could clean up the shaft with 120 grit sandpaper. I used ATF instead of water to sand the shaft smooth and shiny. I then cleaned the shaft.

Inner tie rod removed from rack photo 151_2608_zpsad9b3167.jpg

I retracted the shaft as far inside the rack as it could go on the right side, so I could take out the snap ring, which turned out to be a PIA. I finally got it out using 2 small flat screwdrivers.

The seal is behind that tough snap ring photo 151_2610_zps0f0b0265.jpg

Once the snap ring was out, I was able to slide the seal carrier out

Snap ring removed, the seal carrier can slide out of the shaft photo 151_2611_zps1202931d.jpg

The seal carrier also has an o-ring on the outside. Taking the old seal out was tough, as there is a plastic packing that limits the movement of the shaft and as I did not have a replacement for it, I had to carefully extract the seal without damaging the white plastic packing. the seal itself also has an extra white plastic packing.

The seal photo 151_2613_zpse11b4a18.jpg

Once the new seal was installed on the carrier, I filled the fluid reservoir and started the car, so that the fluid would flush the system while there was no seal installed. I used a full quart of ATF. Re-assembly was an easy reversal of the steps, with the snap ring being tough to install back inside its groove. I used a large socket to drive the seal carrier beyond the groove, then installed the snap ring with my fingers and a small flat screwdriver. I then tested the seal by filling the reservoir again and turning the car on, moving the steering wheel to both ends several times, then leaving the engine on for 5 minutes. The result was fantastic, no leaks at all.

already installed, no leaks photo 151_2614_zps6959be7c.jpg

I left it there, as one of the rack end booties was broken, so I'll have to wait until I get a set of replacement booties to finish the job. I hope this thread makes a lot of folks happy as I'm now after solving this pricey predicament of having a steering rack leak.

Last edited by Smoothops; 09-14-2014 at 01:50 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-14-2014, 02:54 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
So that others can more easily find this nice thread in the future, I just added the following to the bestlinks:
- How to remove (1) and rebuild and find parts for the E39 I6 steering rack and pinion assembly (1)

See also the removal instructions:
Quote:
Steering Rack replacement (528i/no pics)

So I just did this job today, not gona lie, it was a pain in the ass.

Difficulty level: 8

Sorry, I didn't have time to take pictures because I needed the car done asap. Here is a step by step processes:

Tools:
Socket Set: 13-22mm
Pickle Fork ( Rent one from autozone for 16$)
Jack
Jack Stands
Block of wood
Various Extensions
Open ended Wrench
Close Ended wrenches(16-19mm)
Hex key set
Bucket
2 Quarts of ATF (DEX III)

Steps:
1. Jack the car up from the front jack point or the subframe. Make sure to loosen the Lug bolts before raising the car.

2. Remove the Splash Sheild.

3. Now we have to remove the tire rods, first remove the 18mm bolts on the steering knuckle that holds the outer tie rod in place.

4. Wedge you pickle fork between the tie rod and the steering knuckle and hammer away, don't pull or pry, just wedge and hammer. After a few good blows, the tie rod will separate from the knuckle.

5. Loosen the locking nut on the inner tie rod and then twist the outer tie rod off. Do no lose the spacer. Do the same for the other side. Remove both left and right outer tie rods.

6. Remove the two bolts that hold the steering rack to the subframe, these are 16mm heads with a 16mm nut on top, hold the nut and loosen.

7. Remove the lower engine mounts bolts, one on each side, there are either 16 or 17mm ( I forget which).

8. Now, get a jack and put the wood piece between the jack and the block, right behind the harmonic balancer. Slowly raise the engine. I had to to remove my fan shroud pins to lift then engine high enough. Raise the engine a good 3-6inches.

9. Now, unbolt the steering column from the steering rack, its one bolt and its 13mm. No need to worry about the nut, its welded on. Now pry off the column from the rack.

10. Now, remove the two power steering lines that are connected to the rack, one is a 22mm and the other is a 19mm. Both of them have two crush washers, DO NOT LOSE THESE. I lost mine and they were a pain in the ass to find at any hardware store. When you break the bolts loose, have the bucket read. Almost all the ATF will come out.

11. Maneuver the rack out of the car. I was able to remove my rack from the passenger side. It took some time, but if your engine is raised high enough, it should come out with ease.

12. Your new rack should come pre-filled with ATF, mine did. Now maneuver the new rack in. I was able to get the new rack in from the drivers side.

13. When tightening up the bolt that goes from the steering column to the rack, if it doesn't tights all they way, in other words, if the bolts doesn't sit flush with the metals, its fine. My new rack had a thicker stud compared to my old rack so I had about half an inch of the bolt sticking out. The bolt clears everything so all is well.

14. Put everything else back together and pour in some ATF. Pour past the full line. Now start the car, with the P/S reservoir CLOSED. and slowly turn, you do not want air bubbles in the system. Make 3-7 good lock-to-lock rotations very slowly. Shut the car off and replenish the system because odds are its probably low.

And that's about it. My local shop wanted 2200$ to do this job.I did this job for around 350$, that's including the price of a brand new rack with a 2 year warranty. I'm only 18 and I got it done in about 8 hours and that's with a friends help. Good luck and happy DIY'ing.

PS- Sorry again for no pictures. I tried my best to give as much detail as possible in every step.
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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