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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:03 PM   #21
aldeghij
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
If you are doing this, you should parts in order from the least expensive to the most expensive.

1. Steering guibo
2. FCABs
3. RTABs
4. Tierods
5. Control arms
6. Steering rack (this is a last resort item)

You need to inspect your strut mount bearings for play as well. On top of the strut, under the hood, you can remove the black cap covering the center of the mount. The bearing is in there. Jerk the strut around from below and watch for play in the bearing. Play = get new mounts.
Thanks, didn't even know there were bearings in the strut mount. Maybe that's what i hear jiggling in my front end....
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:08 PM   #22
ac_2007
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To add, having brand spanking new no-name parts will likely be worse than the equivalent OE components.

If you're replacing things, shop around and buy quality.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:24 PM   #23
Mobil
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I have the same Isse

Hey, this is my first post but I have been trolling around the Forums for a while now.

I have a 2001 3300Ci with the same problems, it has slowwly gotten worse over the past year and I have been replacing the usual suspects with minor improvements but the general feeling of looseness and wandering due to uneven road is still worrying me.

SO far I have replaced:
Control Arms,
Control Arm Bushings,
Front Wheel Bearings,
Rear Trailing Arm Bushings,
Steering Coupler (Guibo)

Everything I replaced was showing obvious signs of wear and damage so i dont feel like I have wasted any money yet, but I still havent truly fixed my problem.

I am skeptical that it is my steering rack, the dealership replaced my power steering pump undr warranty when I initially brought up my concern about "loose steering" during an inspection. they recommended FCAB and RTAB.

since then my warranty expired so I have replaced the list of items above myself. I am now leaning towards my front shocks being bad and also the sway bar links.

and of course not to ignore the basics I will mention that my tires up front are pretty worn and are very near the wear bars, but I dont want to buy another pair of michelin pilots until I know my suspension wont eat them up too...

any recommendations from the group? I am not sure if I have the over boosted rack or not, if anyone has a link to a VIN decoder or knows what to look for that woulld be helpful...

thanks,
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:45 PM   #24
Mobil
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its the damn rack...

So I did some more inspection/investigation and I am now convinced that the steering rack is the culprit for the "buick Lesabre handling" condition.

I drove my car up on ramps and then tied the middle of a rope at each sied of my steering wheel. got under the front and started to pull on either end of the rope to move the steering back and forth a little bit.
As I watched everything move it was obvious that the input to the steering rack was "loose" or sloppy compared to the resulting movement of the tie rods. the steering whel can rotate quite a bit before it moves the wheels.

I also watched both wheels move relative to one another and determined that the tie rods are in good shape, there is little or no visible play at the ball joints, and I do not think that the inner portion of the tie rods is bad either. if it was I probably would have seen a slight delay in one wheel turning relative to the other.

So I am going to go ahead and order a new Rack and swap it out. I am tired of feling my car wander down the highway...
anyone have an opinion on where to purchase a new or rebuilt steering rack from?

Last edited by Mobil; 02-23-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:32 PM   #25
lszlszx
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Did you have alignment done after replacing
control arms? Incorrect toe-in would definitely
cause lousy steering and handling.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:41 PM   #26
Mobil
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Yes, it was aligned twice after the recent part swaps (just to make sure). My new steering rack is on the way, I will repost after I have swapped it out...

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #27
fiveightandten
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobil View Post
So I did some more inspection/investigation and I am now convinced that the steering rack is the culprit for the "buick Lesabre handling" condition.

I drove my car up on ramps and then tied the middle of a rope at each sied of my steering wheel. got under the front and started to pull on either end of the rope to move the steering back and forth a little bit.
As I watched everything move it was obvious that the input to the steering rack was "loose" or sloppy compared to the resulting movement of the tie rods. the steering whel can rotate quite a bit before it moves the wheels.

I also watched both wheels move relative to one another and determined that the tie rods are in good shape, there is little or no visible play at the ball joints, and I do not think that the inner portion of the tie rods is bad either. if it was I probably would have seen a slight delay in one wheel turning relative to the other.

So I am going to go ahead and order a new Rack and swap it out. I am tired of feling my car wander down the highway...
anyone have an opinion on where to purchase a new or rebuilt steering rack from?
I'm not saying it can't be the rack. But what you're describing is text book worn steering guibo.

It's likely a combination of;
-The 2001 rack
-Worn steering guibo
-Worn struts/shocks
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:29 PM   #28
Mobil
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My Ride: 2001 330 Ci
So far I have replaced the control arms and bushings, wheel bearings, guibo, and ps pump. So I can rule those components out.

I have jacked the car up several times to investigate looseness of components, the wheels remain solid in position when applying force in various directions.

What I have noticed is that the wheels steering back and forth is loose relative to the rotation of the steering wheel. A lot of people interpret comments on the thread as being bump steer, but I believe this is much different.
I consider bump steer to be what happens when uneven road conditions force the steering wheel to turn or fight the drivers input.
What I am experiencing is a lack of control and relatively little or no road force making it to the steering wheel and ultimately my hands

For instance, If I were to lock my elbows and hand as hard as possible to keep the steering wheel dead center, my car would lazily wander left and right as I went down the highway. The wheel are steering left and right due to road conditions but the wheel is not moving. the connection is degraded, and is most likely due to damaged or worn steering rack internals.
IMHO

I plan on tearing down my rack after I swap it out to do some diagnosis and confirm my suspicion, I don't want lead anyone down the wrong path and have a bunch of e46 owners buying new racks unecessarily if its really just a busted tie rod assembly...



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Old 02-27-2013, 08:26 PM   #29
///Mpower3357
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Originally Posted by choxor View Post
Worn suspension. Get in on a lift. Assess everything that needs to be replaced. I guarantee you the FCAB's, RTAB's, steering guibo, and shocks are all worthless. You need to have your ball joints checked, too. Replace it. Align it. Drive it.
is ur sig for real? i mean...thats quite a rare *****/exotic combo u have. n u r one fugly dude...those washingtons u have collected there cant distract that down syndrome deformed face. btw...ur white. ur embarrasing the white/hisp/black people that pulled that look off....in 98' as u were
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