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Old 02-26-2007, 01:50 PM   #1
ssm1991
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Question Steering wheel clunking needs rack replacement?

My dealer suggests replacing the steering rack.

Here's the issue:
- There's an annoying clunk that happens when I turn the steering wheel either way 1 inch.
- This happens even if the car is not moving.
- The noise seems to be from the lower steering column or steering rack but radiates to the steering wheel.

Now here's what's unique about it:
- First I adjust the steering wheel position by unlocking the telescoping lever.
- When I push on the steering wheel then lock the lever, the noise is minimized and sometime even disappears.
- When I pull on the steering wheel then lock the lever, the noise is more pronounced.
- The final telescope position of the steering wheel doesn't make a difference on the noise, only the act of pushing or pulling it before locking makes the difference.
- Adjust the steering wheel position up or down also doesn't make a difference.

Now, do I really need to have the steering rack replaced? Or is it just the u-joint or other part on the steering column that needs adjusting?
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:04 PM   #2
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Pare, 2004 yan. Shouldn't that still be under warranty?
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:51 PM   #3
ssm1991
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Shouldn't that still be under warranty?
Warranty here is only 2 years. Sucks, I know.
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:52 AM   #4
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Update ... when I hit a few bumps or pot holes, the clunking comes back. Have to do that 'unlock lever-push steering wheel-lock lever' routine again to 'fix' it.

Any recommendations?
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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With all the cars I've had, I've been fortunate not to encounter this problem. Hopefully one of the thousands of members here might have some experience. G/L pards!
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Could be the universal joint at the juncture of the steering column and the rack. I've heard that it's not the most durable u-joint BMW has used.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:40 AM   #7
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I replaced this joint and the clunking disappeared a little bit, but sometimes when passing over speed bumps my steering still clunks.
I have changed tie rods, control arms and bushings.

My front shock absorbers are damaged, but I don't know if this has any relation with the steering
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:11 AM   #8
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Could be - depends on how they're "damaged." How long ago did you change the LCA's? What brand of LCA did you use? What brand of LCA bushing did you use? I would recommend nothing but the Meyle HD LCA's and LCA bushings.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:53 AM   #9
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My 2001 330i sedan makes the same noise. I have no idea where it comes from.
Any updates?
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Old 03-17-2007, 09:39 AM   #10
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Mine does it too

Hmm, my car have similar problem, ratling clunking noise in the steering wheel. The noise usually comes out when it is driven on a bad surface road, where the undulation create slight left and right steering vibration. The noise is more like a SPLINE SHAFT rattling, so my first thought of the culprit was steering telescopic adjustment spline shaft. I could not get access to this mechanism, so no way to check it. Has anyone have this problem and fix it by replacing the telescopic mechanism (or fix it) ?.

I replaced the CA bushings, the ball joints is still good, the steering U joints are also good.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:46 PM   #11
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Mine sounds exactly the same as yours, and so is my guess. Since I'm the only driver of the car and doesn't need need to adjust the steering wheel position all the time, I'm thinking about dripping some high-strengh loctite into the spine shaft. Now the only problem is how to I gain access to the spine shaft.

Hopefully this will fix it.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:30 AM   #12
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Hmm, my car have similar problem, ratling clunking noise in the steering wheel. The noise usually comes out when it is driven on a bad surface road, where the undulation create slight left and right steering vibration. The noise is more like a SPLINE SHAFT rattling, so my first thought of the culprit was steering telescopic adjustment spline shaft. I could not get access to this mechanism, so no way to check it. Has anyone have this problem and fix it by replacing the telescopic mechanism (or fix it) ?.

I replaced the CA bushings, the ball joints is still good, the steering U joints are also good.
i'm having exactly the same problem. Has any found the cause of this?
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:16 AM   #13
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In case anyone searches on this old post...

My car had that problem too... it was very noticable at slow speed on bumpy roads. I had a broken ball joint on my stabilizer* link bar?

See item 5
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...05&hg=31&fg=10

*anti-roll bar / anti sway bar
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:38 AM   #14
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Same thing on my 99 328i

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_chuzo View Post
I replaced this joint and the clunking disappeared a little bit, but sometimes when passing over speed bumps my steering still clunks.
I have changed tie rods, control arms and bushings.

My front shock absorbers are damaged, but I don't know if this has any relation with the steering
I replaced my tie rods when I did my lca's , lca bushings and swaybar end links.
I found that the tie rods where they connect to the rack one side had come loose (after a few hundred miles) and was giving me all sorts of problems (Clunking and loose steering) . I thightened it and the clunking whent away. Hope this helps. Could not hurt to double check.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:30 AM   #15
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I am having the same problem here. Rattling that I feel in the steering wheel when over small bumps in roads, or dips and bumps in yards etc. Sounds like cr&p coming out of a BMW....

Going to check the suspension more closely. The bushing that bolts onto the frame of the car how solid should it be? Talking of the one that connects onto the LCA (lower control arm) When the car is raised and I push pull on the control arm I can see it move at the bushing maybe a millimeter or two...Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:33 AM   #16
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #17
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Yep. Little known part I've been talking about for years now. That part you linked is the UK RHD part though. Very different from the US. but same concept.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:42 AM   #18
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So I have done this on a z28 camaro before it was like a 20 minute job tops....Im sure that translates to a bimmer to be a 200 minute job -_- once those torque bolts are taken out does it give it play to take the part out or does other steering parts need to be loosened removed??
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #19
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So I have done this on a z28 camaro before it was like a 20 minute job tops....Im sure that translates to a bimmer to be a 200 minute job -_- once those torque bolts are taken out does it give it play to take the part out or does other steering parts need to be loosened removed??
i'm fairly certain you have to disconnect the lower portion as well which is the steering coupler upper torx bolt. then it should slide ride out.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #20
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i'm fairly certain you have to disconnect the lower portion as well which is the steering coupler upper torx bolt. then it should slide ride out.
Okay awesome, and in this RealOEM diagram it is EDIT: NOT acknowledging the #3 part there.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...42&hg=32&fg=30

Last edited by Chaos1187; 09-24-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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