thanks to everyone for the input, but yes i do beleive i have a crappy steering rack, i was just shocked when i drove her car to see how nice and tight the ride was.
so on my list of things to do
possibly steering rack
definitely need front and rear shocks/struts
i never thought a bmw could handle this badly. i maintain my car, i just never compared it to other e46s. gonna be driving the girlfriends car from now on till my car is on point again.