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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 08-23-2019, 06:12 PM   #1
b1czu
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My Ride: '02 330xi E46
Steering Rack knocking on hard acceleration

Hi,

I've got a problem with my '02 330xi. It has started a while ago and happened only on hard acceleration (1st, sometimes maybe 2nd gear too) while turning left. Now it happens sometimes on hard acceleration from full stop (mostly 1st gear) even when going straight (I think it happens mostly when road is wet and traction is not so good) and almost every time when going straight on full throttle on some bumpy road section (again it seems that it happens in the moment when wheels were spinning and gains traction again). When it happens steering rack / wheel gives away this metal knocking sound and a knocking feel in the steering wheel. It sounds like it is on the left side of the car and it's strongly felt on the steering wheel. Today I went under the car for inspection of the impact/contact marks and I've noticed that front left CV axle's joint cup has some scratch marks on it (on the most protruding parts). The joint in the shaft that goes from the steering wheel to the rack (steering coupling?) also has some scratches on it. Do you think that it is possible that my axle hits steering coupling? The only thing that comes to my mind are bad motor mounts. Do you agree with that? Could bad motor mounts allow so much play of the motor on the sub-frame that front left axle hits steering shaft?! Please see attached photos.

Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by b1czu; 08-25-2019 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
77'911
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Yes, to motor mounts. If they are originals, replace them. One of the 1st jobs I did when we got our 02 xi. It made a huge improvement to the car in multiple facets. You might also check that guibo joint in the steering column, it looks pretty tired.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:18 AM   #3
b1czu
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My Ride: '02 330xi E46
Thanks for reply. I own this car for 3years and I didn't done motor mounts yet. I don't know if they were ever replaced but they looks really bad. I've heard that right-side mount is specific to XI model and that it was OEM manufactured by Corteco, but it is out of stock at every shop. Have anyone any opinion on aftermarket Meyle passenger side mount?

Definitely motor mounts and steering coupling guibo are on my to-do list, but for now priority is to resolve this knocking issue. So anyone have any other ideas what could be the cause of this issue (other than engine mounts)?
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:54 AM   #4
77'911
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I'd stick with Corteco or use factory BMW, and replace both sides. Have you considered ordering them(corteco mounts) out of the states? You'll get rid of a load of vibrations and noises with replacing the engine mounts. I don't know how many kms are on the car, but you might consider getting it up on a lift and check the following:
1) lower control arms/upper ball joints
2) front axle cv joints
3) tie rod assemblies
Good luck with it.
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Old 08-25-2019, 03:26 PM   #5
b1czu
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I'm not from the states but from Poland and I've checked Polish shops and German shops and corteco is out of stock everywhere. Of course I would replace both sides but driver's side is not a problem - it was manufactured by Lemforder as OE BMW and no problem with buying it. This Mayle passenger side mount costs same as Corteco which is 1/3 of OEM BMW price (Meyle is also hydraulic mount) so I need to consider which one to buy for passenger side.

Car has almost 300kkm and
1) Lower control arm's and ball joints and silentblocks was already replaced with Lemforder ones
2) Both front axles was replaced with OEM parts
3) If you mean steering outer tie rods then they also was replaced with Lemforder ones.

Because of no another ideas I think I will replace both engine mounts and see if the issue persists.

Last edited by b1czu; 08-25-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:43 PM   #6
b1czu
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OK, so I've done this yesterday. The right side engine mount was collapsed, so the engine was resting on the metal part of the mount. The passenger side can be done without dropping the subframe. The left side mount was cracked in half so it wasn't limiting vertical up-movement of the engine on the drivers side - so this is why left axle could hit the steering coupling on hard acceleration or drastic traction changes on low gears. The left side mount was a little bit trickier and there was need to loosen rear left subframe bolt and pry it a little bit (engine couldn't be lifted higher at that point because axle already touched steering coupling and the whole chassis started to go up). The engine mounts were still oem ones with 2002 dates on them.

After replacement the "steering knocking" problem seems to be resolved. Also it has solved idle vibration, which could be felt on steering wheel before the replacement, and XI's typical gear change/clutch engage knock on higher gears (on 1st, 2nd gear it still persist but I think that it is sum of play in the whole drivetrain...).
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Last edited by b1czu; 09-01-2019 at 04:47 PM.
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