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      01-12-2018, 06:50 PM   #1
makethiscardriveable
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135i steering rack replacement

Hello,

I bought a 135i at auction with minor left front end damage. Already replaced a left front control arm that was bent to hell and now I realize that the steering rack will need to be replaced as well. I have seen used ones for fairly cheap on ebay, as well as re manufactured ones that can vary in price. However Im unsure of the labor that will be required to swap the rack out with a new one. I believe the subframe to still be in good condition, frame rail on the left side has a dent in it from where the rim jabbed into it but i believe it to be not compromised. Let me know what you guys think if it worth it to fix this. Also there seems to be a oil leak from the bottom of the engine, cannot tell where its coming from. Didnt really take any pictures of the leak, however the oil cooler is for sure leaking but i dont believe it would make it that far down the engine. For reference the car has around 80k miles.

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      01-13-2018, 05:41 AM   #2
Traf
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Car was in a crash obviously, are you sure the subframe isnt bent or broken ?
Look at the welds, its usually where it breaks.

As for the labor for replacing the rack, frankly you can do it yourself.
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      01-13-2018, 03:37 PM   #3
makethiscardriveable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traf View Post
Car was in a crash obviously, are you sure the subframe isnt bent or broken ?
Look at the welds, its usually where it breaks.

As for the labor for replacing the rack, frankly you can do it yourself.
Without a question the car was in a crash, however I have service records and the car was well taken care of before the crash occurred. Ill have to reinspect the subframe thoroughly for cracks. If it is broken how hard is it to replace the subframe? Also do you know where I can find the procedure for replacing the steering rack?
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      01-13-2018, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makethiscardriveable View Post
Without a question the car was in a crash, however I have service records and the car was well taken care of before the crash occurred. Ill have to reinspect the subframe thoroughly for cracks. If it is broken how hard is it to replace the subframe? Also do you know where I can find the procedure for replacing the steering rack?
Neither of these two are hard to replace. Did both along with turbos not so long ago.
As for the procedure, you can look for the bentley manual pdf, you can find it online.

For the rack it goes something like this:

Unclip the tie rod boots, slide them towards the knuckle side.

Unbolt the tie rods (make sure the rack is almost all the way in before unbolting each tie rods)

After the tie rods are unbolted, recenter the rack.

From the top unbolt the pinch bolt that secure the column to the rack, wiggle the column off the rack. (absolutly do not turn the steering wheel while the rack is unbolted)

Open steering fluid reservoir (suck the fluid out of the reservoir if you can), unbolt the two lines from the rack (fluid will spill out)

Unbolt the rack itself from the subframe.

Boom u done
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      01-13-2018, 06:01 PM   #5
makethiscardriveable
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Thanks for the help hopefully I wont need to replace the subframe. Now I just need to find a good source for a rack. Ebay is cheap but rackdoctor has racks that have had all seals and everything replaced. What was the cause for you needing to replace your rack and subframe anyway? And what evidence did you find that warranted the subframe being replaced?
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      01-14-2018, 05:59 AM   #6
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An unfortunate day a the track Subframe was broken at one of the weld, i'll post a picture.

Last edited by Traf; 01-14-2018 at 06:04 AM.
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      01-16-2018, 02:23 AM   #7
makethiscardriveable
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Looks like the frame rail is slightly bent, about a .5 inch. Not good but shouldnt be too bad to repair.
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      01-16-2018, 04:56 AM   #8
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Frankly i wouldn't daily drive a car with the rails bent, i would convert it to a track car with a full cage.

Heres how my subframe broke.
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      01-16-2018, 04:54 PM   #9
makethiscardriveable
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Out of curiosity why wouldn't you daily drive a car with slight frame damage. Its really not bent by very much at all and its being corrected. If it was a more major bend it would have been sold already.
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      01-17-2018, 03:11 AM   #10
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I guess it will bend easily next time if there is a crash
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      01-19-2018, 12:33 PM   #11
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If you are going to replace the rack, just get an M3 rack while you're at it. It's a direct bolt on and is a faster rack.

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1137304
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      03-15-2018, 03:11 AM   #12
makethiscardriveable
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Anyone know if the steering angle sensor needs to be reset after changing the rack?
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      03-18-2018, 05:24 AM   #13
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If you had a active steering rack then yes, otherwise you should be fine as the only sensor is behind the steering wheel and you're not doing anything to it.
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      03-18-2018, 09:02 PM   #14
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I should add, after doing my M3 rack conversion, you will probably want to re-use your original inner tie rods. With a lot of negative camber, the M3 rack will not let you adjust toe in far enough as the inner rods are longer. YMMV, but I had to use my stock 135i inner tie rods.
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      03-19-2018, 01:14 AM   #15
makethiscardriveable
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsmithvmi View Post
I should add, after doing my M3 rack conversion, you will probably want to re-use your original inner tie rods. With a lot of negative camber, the M3 rack will not let you adjust toe in far enough as the inner rods are longer. YMMV, but I had to use my stock 135i inner tie rods.
I replaced it with a rack of the same model number from a 128i that had 64k miles, was only 90 bucks complete with hoses and tie rods. Just couldnt justify the M3 rack price. Although I couldnt use the hose because it was slightly different.

On a unrelated note I started the car after filling the reservoir for the first time and it sucked down all the fluid pretty quick, didnt turn the wheel and turned the car off after about 4 seconds so hopefully nothing got damaged during that. The fluid went right back to the same level after engine stop.

Also I have a steering angle plausibility code, although the car hasnt been driven yet since changing the rack and i heard the steering angle sensor will reset itself.
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      03-22-2018, 01:11 AM   #16
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You can reset the steering angel sensor using INPA. Very simple to do.
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