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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It felt so good that I actually began to think that something had probably broken-- like the power steering pump. It just started to feel really firm and hefty at all speeds. I'm afraid to find out why-- its probably not a good reason. I suppose it could also just be the colder weather--maybe the resulting lower tire pressures and/or steering fluid pressure created this sensation, but it didn't feel this way last year.

I just had to share this with people who would appreciate it-- I tried demonstrating this to my girlfriend several times and she understandably looked at me like I was from another planet.
 

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robg said:
It felt so good that I actually began to think that something had probably broken-- like the power steering pump. It just started to feel really firm and hefty at all speeds. I'm afraid to find out why-- its probably not a good reason. I suppose it could also just be the colder weather--maybe the resulting lower tire pressures and/or steering fluid pressure created this sensation, but it didn't feel this way last year.

I just had to share this with people who would appreciate it-- I tried demonstrating this to my girlfriend several times and she understandably looked at me like I was from another planet.
IIRC robg you opted to get the retrofitted steering and you had less than glowing results, right?

Initially I didn't think I'd want it (retrofit) because of all the bad things I imagined could happen, but if I continue to feel as I've done lately that I want to keep the '01 longer than I had originally planned (summer/fall of '03), then I think I've convinced myself to go for it.

Once I had a taste of the wife's '03 steering in Germany I realized just how sub-par the '01 steering rack truly is. With the '03 you merely have to flick your wrist and the steering snaps, while the '01 merely floats towards the desired direction.

So I've contacted NA via OC and they've got me on the retrofit steering waiting list. I was a bit surprised that they were still offering it, but glad nonetheless.

I just wonder which rack I'll get? :dunno:

And my wife also gave me a glazed over look when I tried to explain the difference between the two. It pains me to say it, but I think she's the kind of person that they changed the steering rack for in the first place. I'll know if she gives me any grief about the steering on her car once she gets to drive it.

It's just fortunate for her that I know the difference. :D
 

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Mike, you should get it no question. After I had mine done, it was like night and day. SOOOOOOOO much better. I noticed as soon as I started to drive off the lot. I have driven the '02's and can't tell the difference.

GO FOR IT!! :thumbup:
 

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I always noticed a big steering feel difference when I switched from regular tires to snow tires and back (for obvious reasons). I have also noticed that a 4 - 6 psi change in air pressure causes a remarkable difference in feel (although not as much as those big, hefty snow tires).

IndyMike, get it. You might be dissapointed (like I was), but it's still better than the stock rack.
 

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robg said:
It felt so good that I actually began to think that something had probably broken-- like the power steering pump. It just started to feel really firm and hefty at all speeds. I'm afraid to find out why-- its probably not a good reason. I suppose it could also just be the colder weather--maybe the resulting lower tire pressures and/or steering fluid pressure created this sensation, but it didn't feel this way last year.
This happens to me now and then, but only for brief periods of time (~20-30 minutes) and then goes back to normal. My only gripe about the steering in my 2002 325xiT is that there isn't enough weight for my taste. Feel and feedback have always been excellent though. When it firms up, the steering feels absolutely incredible although the level of feedback doesn't change from normal.

There doesn't seem to be anything that I can link it to. It has happened in hot weather and cold, wet and dry, high speeds and low, day and night, etc. Like you, I wonder if something is broken, but I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it.
 

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I still want Vince to come up with a power steering cutoff switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, if its because my power steering pump is broken, I'll just keep it that way. Good riddance to power steering! Actually, i can tell that I still have power steering-- but it just feels so much better.

Nick-
I know what you're talking about-- my steering has never felt as good as it has recently-- but the feel does fluctuate depending on a number of factors i haven't quite figured out. But, this new steering feel has held for the past few days-- so i'm keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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I always thought my steering felt superb coasting with the engine off at 60MPH.

I wish there was a freaking fuse!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nick325xiT 5spd said:
I always thought my steering felt superb coasting with the engine off at 60MPH.

I wish there was a freaking fuse!
I guess on the Z4 and mini w/ their electric steering there is a fuse! I wonder if its that simple to disable power steering on those cars.
 

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Mike . . .go for the retrofit, it is a big difference. I was satifisfied with my original 01 steering until my dealer messed it up so I went for the retrofit. It had the tightest steering of any E46 I ever drove meanwhile it was as sluggish feeling as the 323 steering (pre-2000).

Looking back on it, I liked my 01 retrofitted steering better then it was originally.

Also, while my 03 steering is great, it is not as heavy as my 01 retrofitted was . . . not that this is a bad or good thing, just different so be prepared to have heavier steering on your 01 then your 03 (or was it an 02 that you have).
 

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Sean said:
My 2nd retrofit rack is far superior to the 1st one. :thumbup: :thumbup:
was there a second rack offered or was the first one done in the early days before they perhaps nailed this down?
 
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