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Old 12-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
timmy5192
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New Jersey
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My Ride: 04 BMW 325i
Power steering complete failure

Ive been having steering play in my 04 325i, so today I put the front end on jacks to check it out and see what kind of steering rack I have if thats the problem for replacement. The only thing I did was spin the wheel while the front end was lifted just to see how my tires reacted to my steering wheel. then I dropped the car and when I tried to pull out of my driveway my steering was acting more funny then usual and when I tried to drive away my power steering completely failed. any advice? I also might of heard a little noise while spinning the steering wheel each way while it was lifted, but thats it. Im thinking maybe from lifting it I moved around some already messed up parts, idk..... my best guess would be either the pump or steering rack unless I did something stupid that I didnt realize. I posted this on another forum but didnt get any good responses.
In the mean time, i took off the line right where the fluid starts to come out of the pump, and with the car off, it just came out until my reservoir was empty. Does this mean that my pump is broken or did I not do this rite.
also the right side of my steering rack is stiff, it looks like the person b4 me installed a new tire rod, and on the left side the joint for the inner tire rod where it meets the rack is loose and is wet, there is no pool of liquids but it is wet and to me looks like its muddy and brown. Does this mean that I just need a new tire rod or a whole new steering rack. ( as well as the problems with my pump)
Thanks

Last edited by timmy5192; 12-12-2012 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
Mango
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you could have a rack leak, hard to say. pour a quart of atf in your ps reservoir and see if the steering comes alive again. watch for leaks. replace or repair any leaking lines. if rack shafts itself are leaking, time for a new rack.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
timmy5192
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when my car had the atf fluid in it there were no leaks except maybe a very x10 small leak in the hose but it wasnt even big enough to make my plastic underbody guard to even get wet. I will be replacing it but i dont believe a leak was my problem. The fluid looked clean in the reservoir and when i took the hose off right where the fluid comes out of the pump it just poured out until emptying the reservoir.
I know for sure I need a new left tie rod inner/outer, but im just waiting on if its the pump and/or the rack.

Last edited by timmy5192; 12-12-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
timmy5192
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i just looked under my hood just now and when I wiggled around the psp it let me pull it out an inch or so and put it back in, back and forth. Does this mean the sheer in the pump is broken?
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
Mango
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yep. time for new pump
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
timmy5192
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I have the black plastic piece that brings fluid to pump from reservoir does that mean i need the 30 pump and better hose
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
tatboy
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My Ride: '02 BMW 325ci
Power steering issues

Yes if you can pull out the shaft from the power steering pump (even just 1/4"), then the shaft has broken inside and the entire pump needs to be replaced.

I just did the job on my 325ci and picked up an OE Replacement pump from http://www.************** for just $115. And yes, it's the 30 pump versus the old 20 pump. If you presently have the 20 on your vehicle, you will need to purchase the newer replacement hoses to adapt to the 30. If you have an '04 then you should have the 30 model pump anyway.

The pump I purchased replaces OE number: 32416756582

You should also purchase the Power Steering Reservoir

It replaces OE number: 32411097164 and costs a mere $20.76

There is a filter in there that cannot be REMOVED for cleaning, but if your really cheap, you CAN unscrew it so it flops around while spraying some Carb cleaner in there and letting it soak a bit, then screw it back in. It's not a paper filter, but rather a very fine plastic mesh. For $20, I just replaced mine.

My issues with hard steering at certain intervals (while car is parked or driving very slow), were NOT remedied by my replacing both the Power Steering pump and reservoir earlier today.

I watched a video on yotube that stated there should be fluid circulating within the power steering reservoir, if the pump is functioning properly. My reservoir showed no circulation, even after emptying it half way and looking deeply. Now, I just installed a BRAND NEW power steering pump, yet there's no circulation and my steering is super hard and appears to have high and low spots when turning. I also started scratching my head thinking maybe one of the hydraulic lines may be blocked???? But i dont have an air compressor to blow out the lines, and even if they were blocked by some foreign matter, that matter would probably lodge into the rack itself (if it hasnt already)

I'm suspecting a pinion or rack gear failure so after searching the internet and seeing that a new rack for my vehicle goes from $1200 (for a genuine OEM) down to $300 (for a rebuilt one), I decided to just order one from my local advance automotive for $249 (rebuilt) and it should be here in a few days. And i dont have to deal with packaging up and mailing back the core to some company then waiting weeks for my core charge refund etc.

Well, let us know how you made out!

Hope some of what i wrote assisted you_nr_
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:36 PM   #8
tatboy
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My rack & pinion install and some minor tips.

This is my first time posting photos, so forgive me if they do not enlarge, etc. I uploaded them at 800x600 (which is pretty big) but for some reason they dont appear to be enlargable

My vehicle is a 2002 325ci with approximately 92k miles


Old Rack & Pinion prior to removal. Notice the BRAND NEW LF30 power steering pump on right side of photo below the cleaner black pulley


Old Rack next to new replacement


New Rack with outer tie rods connected. Remember, the new rack (replacement) needs to be PERFECTLY centered/aligned prior to fitting it's upper shaft into the steering column's intermediate coupler (guibo). And the steering wheel needs to be in it's LOCKED and perfectly straightened position.


New Rack , re-using high pressure line from LF30 pump to rack (still good, no leaks)


Rack pinion shaft about to connect with steering guibo on steering column


Rack connected to steering guibo coupler but image shows "pinch bolt" on wrong side. I later fixed this - lol


Rack shaft properly lined up and connected to steering column "intermediate coupler" AKA "guibo"


Outer tie rod being connected

Go here to see the entire thread of the power steering issues I was having, and what the END result was.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=961701

You're gonna laugh

Last edited by tatboy; 12-26-2012 at 12:31 AM.
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