E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Xi Forum

E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-17-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
djbradle
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Ma
Posts: 338
My Ride: 2002 325 xit
XI steering joint assembly DIY

My first diy

1. Jack up center jack point and place on jack-stands. The higher the easier for your back when reaching down to do the job (well, not too high).
2. Remove Air-box, MAF with upper intake boot, and move to the top of the engine and out of the way.
3. With the key in the ignition and at accessory position one you can turn the wheel to access all three E12 bolts. Loosen all three and remove all three.
4.Telescope column back up towards the drivers seat, remove the key, and lock the column. Remove the double joint from the rack and then slide the upper assembly off the column. It shouldn't cause you any problems. Wiggle and remove. If it's well rusted use PB blaster on rack side and wait a bit for it to work.
5. Turn steering wheel so the upper joint bolt faces 11-12 o'clock. Unlock column and push towards the front of the car, remove key, and lock the column. Install upper joint assembly with hand tightened bolt.
6. Unlock column and telescope back towards seat. Don't lock or remove key.
7. Make sure rubber tab and metal tab on rack are perfectly aligned. Install double joint onto rack carefully and push all the way down. I found it easiest to see at about the 11 o'clock position. If the tabs are not aligned your steering wheel will be off center. Be careful not to warp rubber tab. You will know by how difficult it is to put the bolt into the hole. You will also see that the tab is a bit warped by eye. I had to go back in to properly align it because I was off by one spline.
8. With the column still unlocked slide lower assembly telescope tab end into double joint slot and install bolt.
9.By turning the whole assembly by hand you can access all 3 E12 bolts. Tighten all very well. I didn't use any torque ratings as I felt it unnecessary. Reinstall maf and upper intake boot with air-box.

Thoughts:
You really can't misalign the install. The lower joint assembly at the column/firewall has a slot, the lower joint assembly at the double joint has a slot, and if you have the metal tab and rubber tab at the rack aligned (and your rubber gasket shouldn't move around either) the double joint should slide on effortlessly. You may not need a 4 wheel alignment afterwards. It's best to work with the engine cold because the heater control valve gets really hot. Hurts to work around that. Thanks to Bostonsthename for his initial post on his DIY http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...059&highlight= and Kubica for his helpful pm's.

There really was no need to replace the lower joint assembly. Save yourself 130 bucks and leave it. My ride has about 180k and the thing was really not bad at all. The double cardan joint was toast. I made one other huge mistake on top of being one tooth off on the rack and that is without paying proper attention I reverse threaded the lower rack bolt in place. It'll be fine for now but if ever the rack needs to be replaced I'll need to drill it out from below and probably need a new joint when I cross that road.


Last edited by djbradle; 10-26-2013 at 02:02 PM.
djbradle is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 10-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,101
My Ride: '01 325xi
Good writeup

Ok, I have a question about this. I replaced my rack with a remaned one from rackdoctor. I transferred over the dust shield from my old rack. Think is, when I installed it onto the new rack according to the marks and then put it into the steering joint, the tierods were not of equal length (judging by my eye). Its been a while and I had my car aligned after that obviously. My car was pulling to the left at highway speeds and the steering wheel was not completely straight. So I sent it back and it re aligned telling them about this issue. Then when I get it back the 2nd time, its basically the same ****. Do racks naturally return to the center? Its only a couple degrees off so it cant be that bad... Well im getting my car aligned again tomorrow, how should I fix this? Should I put it back on with the notches lined up and tell the shop what I did? (also..... there are two sets of notches, each opposite the other, aka one at 6 and one at 12 oclock....) I think what Ill do is undo my tie outer tie rods completely and then measure both sides so they are equal length, then stick it into the steering joint.

THoughts? Sounds silly, but I figured I ask.
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
djbradle
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Ma
Posts: 338
My Ride: 2002 325 xit
What rack does rack doctor give you? A remanned zF? I would venture to guess that the factory ZF set-up retains the rubber "dust shield" (better name than plastics or rubber gasket) position with each product exactly so that there is less variability in alignment. Not so sure what happens to the Rack Doctor racks. Returning center is not a given if I would guess. Worth a try for your last statement.
djbradle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,101
My Ride: '01 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
What rack does rack doctor give you? A remanned zF? I would venture to guess that the factory ZF set-up retains the rubber "dust shield" (better name than plastics or rubber gasket) position with each product exactly so that there is less variability in alignment. Not so sure what happens to the Rack Doctor racks. Returning center is not a given if I would guess. Worth a try for your last statement.
yeah its the same rack that is OE. Doesn't come with a new dust shield so I had to swap my old one... kind of obnoxious. Ill try it out tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Im super familiar with that stupid steering joint lol
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2013, 09:01 PM   #5
djbradle
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Ma
Posts: 338
My Ride: 2002 325 xit
XI steering joint assembly DIY

Hope it works out! It seems your problem is solely with the tie rod measurements. I don't see why you would be so off with anything proximal to the rack splines.

That joint is quite interesting in the way it moves. I think the CV joints are the same. A telling statement from wikipedia regarding the double cardan joint -
"This centering device requires additional torque to accelerate the internals of the joint and does generate some additional vibration at higher speeds."
Figures . . .


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app

Last edited by djbradle; 10-17-2013 at 09:09 PM.
djbradle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use