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· BikeToCar
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a decent amount of play in my steering at highway speeds ~70MPH, and I want to figure out what the cause is. After reading up online, I found the basic check that everyone does. I lifted my car and performed the check by holding the front tire at the 3 and 9 positions and twisting and I could see that there was play. I found that on the passenger side tire, the control arm ball joint was loose (so I will have to replace that and it will hopefully fix the squeaking at low speeds), and on the drivers side tire, there was a bit of play, but nothing seemed to be loose. When shaking the tire I could see that all of the movement (about half an inch push in each direction) was being transferred into the center tie rod. I think that my flex disc may be damaged, and I might need to replace it. How can I inspect the flex disc without removing the whole exhaust system? When I get under the car I see the universal joint, but following it shows no flex disc. Another question, guibo, flex disc and steering coupler all refer to the same thing right? And am I taking the correct steps to solve my issue? Sorry for the essay.

BTW, I drive a 95 525i
 

· Registered
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2,479 Posts
Guibo/flex disk are the same thing and do not relate to the steering at all. It is on the drive shaft. You also should check your steering gear box, but guiven your sysmptoms... The gear box would give play in the steering at any speed.

I have attached pictures of the guibo and its lication.
 

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· BikeToCar
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you CarDriver and Ehgvette for clearing up some of the confusion I had. I am new to all of this so I did not realize that there are actually two guibos/flexible discs in the car. One is on the drive shaft as you both say, and the other is between the universal joint, and steering column shaft as shown in the picture i took from the bentley manual. The reason why I couldn't find the directions online was because every time I searched how to remove a guibo I would get the directions for the one in the drive shaft.

I found this DIY, and the first paragraph helped clear the confusion for me pretty quickly: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/foru...EATR-DIY-Replacing-Your-Steering-Column-Guibo

Should all cars have the steering flex disc?
 

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· The Ornery Old Man
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1,055 Posts
There is no flex disc in my steering shaft. It is common to many cars but I wouldn't think BMW's so much. Not sure why it is in the Bentley but that thing has some mistakes for sure.

The slightly numb steering at speed is somewhat due to design. There was intent to do this for high speed stability in a car that could reach 140-150 mph, you do not want razor sharp steering at this speed unless you are well practiced;)

Secondly, it is a result of the type of steering system they chose. The recirculating ball system, between the box and the multiple flexible joints used to get to the wheels, you end up with some slop.

With fresh components, I think the e34 steers and handles wonderfully. There is an adjustment on the box for AFTER you have done the whole front suspension.
 

· BikeToCar
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the extra bit of clarity snowsled7. I am starting to get a better understanding now, but I know that this extra amount of play in my steering at high speeds is not the normal amount that you would expect when driving on the highway. I only drove the car once back home after buying it from the previous owner, and on the highway I would steer and the car would not change directions, so I would have to steer more until the car jerked in the direction i was steering. My friend who was behind me told me that I was swerving on the highway, which I was. I also had a power steering fluid leak but checked the reservoir and saw that it was over filled, so I removed some in hopes that it might stop the leak, but I don't know if it has. For now I am just going to change the control arm on the passengers side in hopes that it helps out a bit.
 

· The Ornery Old Man
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1,055 Posts
The new control arm will almost certainly, not cure the steering issue:( The best practice is to refresh the entire front end all at once if possible. At minimum I would do upper and lower arms. Sounds like you probably need tie rods (all 4), pitman and idler arms, and I do not recall for sure if the center link has flexible joints...

It ALL probably needs replacing. You can replace just the one obviously bad component but you just cause the rest to fail sooner. It works best as a system;) I would also determine what the cause of the steering play is, but again, replacing the weakest link just passes the buck to the next weakest link, and so on and so on.... If you are paying for labor, this route will cost you a bunch.

Good Luck
 
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