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      03-15-2015, 02:47 AM   #1
downtowncb
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Worn Out Steering Rack?

My M has a tendency to follow the ruts in roads. I had it aligned 6 months ago and had it checked again 2 months ago and it was still perfectly within spec. The inner and outer tie rod ends have been checked both by myself and a shop and they all appear to be fine...

I haven't been able to locate any threads on e9x M3 steering rack failure, it appears to be a pretty reliable system, but I think mine is worn out. It makes a really nice clunk when the engine is off and the steering wheel is turned back and forth, but doesn't make a sound when the engine is on.

Is the pinion engagement with the rack on the M adjustable or should I be looking to replace it?



Thanks

Last edited by downtowncb; 03-15-2015 at 03:51 AM.
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      03-15-2015, 06:41 AM   #2
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I have the same thing going for years. havent gotten worse so im not bothered by it.
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      03-17-2015, 12:10 AM   #3
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Did a sanity check tonight and it is definitely inside of the rack (unfortunately $$). Pulled both of the inside tie rod end boots and they are solid.

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      03-17-2015, 03:16 AM   #4
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I think mine may be going, too, but I wish I had a more definitive diagnosis. I have 109,000 miles on my car. Like yours, all other bushings look okay. I'm not having the same noise but some clunking. I've been getting a vibration under braking at speed and my wheel is off-center despite a recent alignment.

Local shop says they will do the service for $1450 with no core charge if my rack is rebuildable. They say the dealership wants $1850 plus $500 core charge.
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      03-17-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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Nice rack! (heh)

Does the rack doctor (I think that's who it is) have rebuilds? I'd start looking for a low mileage salvage rack before shelling out $1400 on a rebuilt one...
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      03-17-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
downtowncb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
Nice rack! (heh)

Does the rack doctor (I think that's who it is) have rebuilds? I'd start looking for a low mileage salvage rack before shelling out $1400 on a rebuilt one...
I purchased a rebuilt rack from a local indy BMW shop today for $800 (rebuilt by Maval). Should be in sometime next week. I'm replacing it myself and then having them do the alignment. Can't complain too much, couldn't find one cheaper anywhere else.

Local dealership wanted just under $2k+ labor, the dealership always makes me feel great about purchasing from just about anyone else!
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      03-17-2015, 10:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger
Nice rack! (heh)

Does the rack doctor (I think that's who it is) have rebuilds? I'd start looking for a low mileage salvage rack before shelling out $1400 on a rebuilt one...
I bought a rebuilt from rack doctor for my 135 and it was great! If they have M3 ones I highly recommend!!
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      03-17-2015, 10:25 PM   #8
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I had the same problem...it does it when it is cold usually

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1079121

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      03-18-2015, 11:35 AM   #9
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I have the same issue. Pronounced when the car is standing still. Not an issue when running. I do have CPO which lets go end of May so took it to the dealer. They said its def not the steering bushings but would require a new rack. $50 deductible with 2 year warranty on that part from install. The CPO has paid for itself for DCT leak, engine mounts, steering rack, driveshaft guibo, mass air flow since my warranty expired in 2013 (car is 09 with 66K miles).

Looks like the above are a common occurrence with these cars as they age. I stick with BMW (shop for wholesale rates around plenty of dealers provide) plus they have 2 year warranty even if the dealer didnt install them.

Cheers,

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      03-18-2015, 03:55 PM   #10
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It's my understanding that the 135/335/M3 steering racks are almost identical...actually the 135 and 335 are. The only difference (I think) with the M3 is the steering ratio. Please correct me if I'm all screwed up on that.

Like I said before...if the rack doctor has them I recommend him a lot. I think it's just a guy and his daughter who answers the phone, but I like knowing ONE guy who knows his stuff is doing this in his barn or something.

My good friend who races BMWs uses him almost exclusively when they have to do steering rack repairs.

I replaced it myself and I found it to be a very easy job. I had the same type of clunk you did on the 135 and replaced every damn thing before I gave in and replaced the rack...it was the rack.
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      03-18-2015, 09:07 PM   #11
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Rack dr doesnt have m3 ones. Anyone know of a good source?
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      03-18-2015, 09:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takrdown View Post
It's my understanding that the 135/335/M3 steering racks are almost identical...actually the 135 and 335 are. The only difference (I think) with the M3 is the steering ratio. Please correct me if I'm all screwed up on that.

Like I said before...if the rack doctor has them I recommend him a lot. I think it's just a guy and his daughter who answers the phone, but I like knowing ONE guy who knows his stuff is doing this in his barn or something.

My good friend who races BMWs uses him almost exclusively when they have to do steering rack repairs.

I replaced it myself and I found it to be a very easy job. I had the same type of clunk you did on the 135 and replaced every damn thing before I gave in and replaced the rack...it was the rack.
Good to know I'm not the only one with this issue. I called Rack Dr today just to see if they could do it cheaper while I'm waiting for mine to ship and ya, as WingZeroX5 said, they don't do E90 M3s yet.
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      03-19-2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZeroX5 View Post
Rack dr doesnt have m3 ones. Anyone know of a good source?
If your M3 isn't your DD and you can go without it a few days I wonder if he would rebuild it for you for a reasonable cost?
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