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 > General E46 Forum

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
How to align steering wheel during rack replacement

Hey guys. I have my old steering rack out and I'm about to put my new rack in. I've transferred over the dust cap to the new rack. How can I tell if the steering wheel is lined up straight? Aka not one full revolution to the left or right. If I turn it too far without the rack on, I can damage the airbag contact ring. I thought I saw something about a sensor that possibly displays if the wheel is off via the OBC? Any help would be appreciated. Trying to get this sucker on today so I can drive again. Also I'm aware that the dust cover functions as am alignment tool, but it doesn't do me any good if the wheel is one full rev to either side. (Didn't keep track during the removal because I have to spin it to get proper leverage to separate the old rack from the coupler.

Cliffs: how I make sure the steering wheel is in the proper position before connecting the rack to the steering coupler.
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 03-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Bump. Almost off the front page already. Anybody know anything about this? My work has come to a dead stop because this is pretty vital to the install.
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
I believe you can hook it up to diagnostics like INPA and view the steering angle in real time. I'd only worry about this if a kid or something turned the steering wheel while you were doing work. did you touch anything?
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Well I had to turn the wheel back and forth to get access to the lower steering coupler pinch bolt. Then I had to shimmy it around to use a pry bar from both sides alternating until the rack separated from the coupler. So that's the only reason i'm Questioning the position. I've forgotten the original orientation at this point.

Not sure which direction the fin on the dust cover goes either. Towards the front or the back of the car at its centered position.

If only I had another e46 so I could remove the drivers side wheel and sneak a peek to see where it sits. Also easy to see from the top down if you remove the airbox and maf:

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByBimmerApp1363893575.765098.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	90.8 KB
ID:	496517

You can see the top pinch bolt easily from this angle. Wink wink nudge nudge. Could anyone possibly check their car for me? I'd really appreciate it

I have no idea what do to at this point. It's quite frustrating. Plus it's unnecessarily cold outside
__________________

Last edited by TR4G-; 03-21-2013 at 03:22 PM.
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:27 PM   #5
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TR4G- View Post
Well I had to turn the wheel back and forth to get access to the lower steering coupler pinch bolt. Then I had to shimmy it around to use a pry bar from both sides alternating until the rack separated from the coupler. So that's the only reason i'm Questioning the position. I've forgotten the original orientation at this point.

Not sure which direction the fin on the dust cover goes either. Towards the front or the back of the car at its centered position.

If only I had another e46 so I could remove the drivers side wheel and sneak a peek to see where it sits. Also easy to see from the top down if you remove the airbox and maf:

Attachment 496517

You can see the top pinch bolt easily from this angle. Wink wink nudge nudge. Could anyone possibly check their car for me? I'd really appreciate it

I have no idea what do to at this point. It's quite frustrating. Plus it's unnecessarily cold outside
OK let me go see what I can see with all the parts installed in my car. i'm at work so i can't remove stuff
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:28 PM   #6
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
OK let me go see what I can see with all the parts installed in my car. i'm at work so i can't remove stuff
Wow thanks mango! Not sure what you'll be able to see though. Only way with the airbox in would be with the wheel turned all the way to one side, which kind of defeats the purpose : /

Don't miss out on work time on my account. I'm waiting on an email from the rack doctor for the orientation of the fin. With that info I should be able to piece together where the wheel should be. But I really don't know because It took me a long time to get the coupler and rack apart...so I turned the wheel several times
During that process
__________________

Last edited by TR4G-; 03-21-2013 at 03:30 PM.
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #7
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
I just checked. Mine is facing up like yours but towards the valve cover maybe at a 45 degree angle towards the passenger side. if I had to estimate it's pointing to the right to around the middle of the block. (my wheels are pointed straight)
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS

Last edited by Mango; 03-21-2013 at 03:35 PM.
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:51 PM   #8
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Thanks for checking mango, I appreciate it. Was that the top or bottom part of the coupler?
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:53 PM   #9
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TR4G- View Post
Thanks for checking mango, I appreciate it. Was that the top or bottom part of the coupler?
The top of the coupler (the metal protrusion on the shaft) is pointing roughly 45 degrees upwards towards the passenger side
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
hopefully I hook this up correctly
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TR4G- View Post
hopefully I hook this up correctly
I hope so too. When you rotate roughly how i describe, your wheel should center. Lets just hope you didn't turn it one full turn.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS

Last edited by Mango; 03-21-2013 at 04:02 PM.
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 04:25 PM   #12
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
So is there no other way to figure it out apart from a gt1? Aka you won't feel any resistance when you turn the wheel all the way to one side? The airbag contact ring will just break?

Edit: just turned my wheel one way each side so it's Straight.....and both time the coupler was facing the bottom of the car no where near where yours is
__________________

Last edited by TR4G-; 03-21-2013 at 04:28 PM.
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 04:28 PM   #13
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TR4G- View Post
So is there no other way to figure it out apart from a gt1? Aka you won't feel any resistance when you turn the wheel all the way to one side? The airbag contact ring will just break?
Honestly i don't know. Sounds logical to me. I've never had to turn the wheel independently of the lower rack input shaft. You should turn wheel, loosen bolt, turn again, loosen bolt, then re-straighten THEN remove the coupler. hindsight = 20/20, i guess.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 05:11 PM   #14
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Yup. I'm gonna head over to my mechanic tomorrow morning and see if there is some mechanical way to align it. If not, hopefully they can lend me their gt1 assuming they have one

Definitely wont make this mistake next time
__________________

Last edited by TR4G-; 03-21-2013 at 05:13 PM.
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 05:31 PM   #15
Zell
Registered User
 
Zell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: wow such city
Posts: 5,787
My Ride: Has no throttle
Bentley suggests getting an alignment if you remove the steering rack, but I don't know how much truth there is to that. I haven't heard of anyone doing that.
__________________
Zell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 05:32 PM   #16
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Bentley suggests getting an alignment if you remove the steering rack, but I don't know how much truth there is to that. I haven't heard of anyone doing that.
That has nothing to do with this though. OP didn't remove his rack. Just the coupler.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 05:42 PM   #17
Zell
Registered User
 
Zell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: wow such city
Posts: 5,787
My Ride: Has no throttle
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
That has nothing to do with this though. OP didn't remove his rack. Just the coupler.
Quote:
Hey guys. I have my old steering rack out and I'm about to put my new rack in. I've transferred over the dust cap to the new rack.
__________________
Zell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 05:49 PM   #18
Mango
A full five stars, son
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 23,226
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
His issue is not the rack though. it's the centering of the steering wheel independent of the rack
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 PM   #19
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Correct. I plan on getting an alignment either way though. I removed the outer tie rods as well as the struts from their top mounting points so I could drop the subframe.

I'm really hoping my mechanic can help me out. There HAS to be another method of determining the centering apart from the GT1 scanner.
__________________
TR4G- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2013, 10:32 AM   #20
TR4G-
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 1,148
My Ride: '01 325xi
Is there a way to visually inspect the air back clock spring / spin ring to see where the center position should be?
__________________
TR4G- 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 04:50 PM.


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