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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 03-18-2013, 04:04 PM   #21
SamDoe1
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
Really? What's different about the xi that doesn't allow you to access the top bolts on the rack?
The entire front drivetrain...

So, the driveshafts, differential, oil pan, etc...
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #22
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The entire front drivetrain...

So, the driveshafts, differential, oil pan, etc...
Oh. I didn't realize the oil pan was different too. The clearance above my subframe was about a half inch or less. I had to hold the bolt with pliers while I loosened the bottom with a socket. (The two bolts that hold the rack on)
If you're 100% positive you need to drop the subframe you can support the engine on a jack with a piece of wood. Don't lift the engine just drop the subframe. Do not reuse the bolts. Just trust me. I had big problems with those bolts recently.
Also keep your hood open. There's a very small chance something could happen where the engine lifts up because its on a jack. You don't want your engine denting the inside of your hood. So I recommend anytime the engine is "loose" have your hood open.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:42 PM   #23
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And since you're lifting up the engine you should replace your engine mounts if you haven't already. It'd be a great time to do it
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:38 PM   #24
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Unbelievable. 49 dollars for the four subframe bolts at the dealership. Oh and a two day wait. Wtf..... 4 bolts cost 1/5th the price of my reman steering rack
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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Unbelievable. 49 dollars for the four subframe bolts at the dealership. Oh and a two day wait. Wtf..... 4 bolts cost 1/5th the price of my reman steering rack
Buy them online? I'd cancel your order right now and wait for an online shipment. Those 4 bolts should cost $20 at the VERY most.

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Old 03-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #26
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Buy them online? I'd cancel your order right now and wait for an online shipment. Those 4 bolts should cost $20 at the VERY most.
That's what I'm thinking. Pelican parts with two day shipping is probably less. BMW can only order one bolt (part 6) in a set of five and are making me buy them all....sick guys.

Looking under the car today though, it seems like those are NOT the only 4 screws holding the subframe on. It looks like there are two screws behind the back one on each side. Part number 7
Click image for larger version

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So I hope I don't have to loosen all 4 of those in addition to the other 4 (pars 5 and 6) to gain clearance...

Also. Does any one know the size of the bottom banjo bolt that secures the fluid cooler line to the rack? The Bentley says it is an M16 bolt (the one above it is an M14 bolt) I have a 19mm wrench which fit the M14. I've checked out online charts and the only one that lines up (M14 to 19mm) is the Japanese standard. That lists 22corresponding to m16. So should I go with that? Does that make sense? Is ZF a japanese company?

Edit: did some measuring with calipers and it is in fact 22mm. I have a 7/8ths which is within 2 thousandths of an inch so I'm gonna use that instead

Chart: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/me...ze-d_1458.html
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:47 PM   #27
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Ok. So far I have the preliminary work done. Got the tie rods separated, the ps lines off the rack, and the lower steering guibo pinch bolt removed. Now I have to lower that subframe!!!

Just a quick question if anyone knows: in the Bentley it says that you should be able to pull the guibo/double u joint off the rack after the pinch bolt is removed. I think it may be a bit different on the xi due to the subframe. I'm hoping once I Lower it a bit, there will be sufficient space to actually pull the guibo off. It's awkward cuz all the pics are for non xi cars....


Also, having a tough time taking pics, it just adds so much extra time when your hands are filthy dirty. And the inside of my gloves are dirty too....so they don't do too much lol. But enough to make it so taking pics is a process.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:31 PM   #28
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Subframe is being difficult. Only lowers about 1/8th of an inch when I remove the front bolts. Undid the struts at the top connections and this made no difference.... Going to try to support the engine and loosen the rear bolts as well....
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:12 PM   #29
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Oh this baby is dropping! Back two bolts did the trick. Now for that coupler...
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:22 PM   #30
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Woo woo! Halfway done. Calling it a day, before the rain sets in.

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Can't get the dust cover off the old rack though... 12 year old plastic doesn't budge much.... Does anyone know if they sell this part separately because I'm almost positive it's not coming off. Broke the top bit when I was removing the steering coupler from the rack. But the important fin and such are still intact...

Is it possible to do this swap without this piece? If no one sells them, I don't see a way around it. Others have gotten theirs off apparently, but Its not budging for me
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #31
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Woo woo! Halfway done. Calling it a day, before the rain sets in.

Attachment 496437

Can't get the dust cover off the old rack though... 12 year old plastic doesn't budge much.... Does anyone know if they sell this part separately because I'm almost positive it's not coming off. Broke the top bit when I was removing the steering coupler from the rack. But the important fin and such are still intact...

Is it possible to do this swap without this piece? If no one sells them, I don't see a way around it. Others have gotten theirs off apparently, but Its not budging for me
Kudos for getting it out and sticking with this project!
I have no experience with the PS rack or the plastic piece. But, are you sure it's not a "twist off" type of piece? Have you checked realoem.com for the part?
There's no going back now. Even if you have to call the dealership for that piece. I am of the opinion that if you have to check for the part at the dealership at this point, it's worth it!
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #32
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Thanks bud. It wasn't actually that bad. I dropped the subframe a TON and ended up sliding it out the drivers side wheel well. Worst part so far was messing with the coupler

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...69&hg=32&fg=10

Looks like its in the pic of the steering rack there. Aka not a separate piece . Def not a twist off, it fits over the splines. I cracked it a bit already, but hopefully a good nights rest will help. I think I may be able to get it tomorrow by pulling straight up more. I read up on other people dealing with it and that seems to be the verdict...
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #33
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^agreed. I hate the steering coupler. I would replace it if its original- mine had very stiff joints when I pulled it.

Try and install the new rack at TDC on exactly the same spline.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:54 AM   #34
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^agreed. I hate the steering coupler. I would replace it if its original- mine had very stiff joints when I pulled it.

Try and install the new rack at TDC on exactly the same spline.
Tdc = the dead center? Also..... I ran into a pretty big problem: the alignment of the steering wheel. I turned it back and forth when I was removing the coupler from the old rack and now I've forgotten the dead center orientation!! Idk if I'm one revolution to the left or the right! Is there anyway to tell if its the dead center without a gt1 tool to read the steering wheel angle sensor? I can't really move forward at this point because of this.

I have the dust cover off the old rack though. The new rack has two notches on both the front and the back of the splined area that goes into the coupler (new rack is at dead center) so in combination with not knowing the steering wheel position, idk which way the fin of the dust cover should be applied! Facing the front two notches or the back two notches!

I'm gonna head over to my mechanic in the AM and see what they say. I'm praying there is a mechanical way to see if the wheel is centered (I read that with the rack disconnected, there is nothing stopping the steering wheel from turning too much, and if you turn it too much, the airbag contact ring will break)

Any insight guys? Last resort: hopefully my mech has a gt1 they can lend me??
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:31 AM   #35
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Is there a way to visually inspect the airbag clock spring to see where the center position should be?
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:56 AM   #36
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Is there a way to visually inspect the airbag clock spring to see where the center position should be?
The way I did it was rotate all the way to one side, then rotate the other direction all the way while counting revolutions, divide by two, rotate back to center.

I'm sure that's the dumb way to do it but made sense to me...
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #37
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That's what my mech suggested as well. I'm removing the steering wheel so I can feel the resistance better when I get to one side. In this thread, someone suggests actually opening up the clock spring to see its orientation.... http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=684684

Do you think that would be ill-advised? I'm thinking he suggested it only because he had a new unit on hand, so it wouldn't matter if he broke his old one.

I'm hoping I can feel the resistance from the slip ring/ clock spring by hand if the wheel is removed. Could you FEEL it was to one side or did you SEE that? Thanks for the responses SamDoe
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:13 AM   #38
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It's not a resistance, it just hits a hard stop when it gets to the end of it's travel. The travel of the clock spring is MUCH further than the travel of your steering rack. I wouldn't open it up, it seems like Pandora's box in there.

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #39
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Great info! Ill try this out. My mech kind of looked down at me and was all like "that's what you get from those online sites, they leave out the important details you only get from experience" there is a wealth of knowledge here!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 AM   #40
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Just remember that it seriously goes on for a while, I think mine had 8 or 10 revolutions lock to lock...maybe even more.
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