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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.

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Old 01-04-2016, 07:40 AM   #1
markho
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: new york
Posts: 60
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Steering wheel play, post coupler install

Replaced the following trying to remedy a clunking noise.

Inner balls joints
Lca's
Lca bushings
Sway bar bushings
Steering coupler

While the noise has lessened and all parts mentioned above def needed replacement, the steering wheel play is worse than it was before install, in fact there was no play in it before, now the steering wheel has 1-2 inches of play either way before it actually begins to turn the wheels.

There's no groaning from steering pump and no leaking as far as I can see. The steering coupler was supposed to stop a noise, which it did, but now has excessive play. The part was bought from FCP euro so I know it's a good part. Any ideas? I'm ready to give up on this car. I feel like i have chased down suspension related issues since I bought it 5 years ago.
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:56 PM   #2
JDUTHIE
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SEATTLE
Posts: 665
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Check the double U joint right after the coupler for play. I thought it was my coupler for ever, but it was slop in the double U joint
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Old 01-04-2016, 04:53 PM   #3
markho
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: new york
Posts: 60
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Coupler and double u joint are the same thing no?
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:48 PM   #4
markho
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: new york
Posts: 60
My Ride: 2002 325xi
Could it be the lower steering shaft? This connects between the double u joint coupler and the firewall. I wonder if the u joint has failed and allows some play before it engages the coupler

http://www.mybimmerparts.com/bmw/325...me=lower-shaft




Part# 32306750815

Last edited by markho; 01-04-2016 at 07:54 PM.
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