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      06-10-2015, 03:20 AM   #1
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M3 Steering rack Retrofit

Has anyone attempted to do the swap? I have a contact here in Germany that can get used M3 steering racks with low miles for around 300 euro. Would the steering rack swap be something worth doing? With my current front suspension mods the car responds very well but having to turn the wheel way past 180* on some corners is annoying. My car doesn't have the active steering stuff, standard hydralic.




P.S. this is my 1000th post!
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      06-10-2015, 03:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
Has anyone attempted to do the swap? I have a contact here in Germany that can get used M3 steering racks with low miles for around 300 euro. Would the steering rack swap be something worth doing? With my current front suspension mods the car responds very well but having to turn the wheel way past 180* on some corners is annoying. My car doesn't have the active steering stuff, standard hydralic.




P.S. this is my 1000th post!
Woooooooooohoooooooooo!!! Congratulations, Major!
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      06-10-2015, 03:43 AM   #3
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A few people have done the swap over at E90Post and babybmw.net (British forums). I think the problem was that Servotronic does not work after the swap. I'm too lazy to post links.

Congrats on the 1,000th mark.



BTW, you coming for our 1Addicts Italy meet?!
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      06-10-2015, 04:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swagon View Post
A few people have done the swap over at E90Post and babybmw.net (British forums). I think the problem was that Servotronic does not work after the swap. I'm too lazy to post links.

Congrats on the 1,000th mark.



BTW, you coming for our 1Addicts Italy meet?!
Once again this year, work has gotten in the way. Restricted to 250km radius for the next 2 months. Kills all of my summer plans.
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      06-10-2015, 04:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
Once again this year, work has gotten in the way. Restricted to 250km radius for the next 2 months. Kills all of my summer plans.
Oh, that sucks. What a shame.
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      06-10-2015, 04:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by swagon View Post
Oh, that sucks. What a shame.
They did the same crap last year. Missed out on alot. Hopefully by mid July when this is over, I'll be able to attend more events etc.
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      06-10-2015, 04:34 PM   #7
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It's been done on baby bmw without issues on a 130i.. Steering rack was taken from an e93 m3. Wonder if this conversion is possible even on the co2 package 1s like mine
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      06-10-2015, 05:46 PM   #8
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As far as I know there are about 6 threads
2 and now 3 on 1addicts
1 on e90post
1 on n54 boost
1 on babybmw UK forums

Summary:
yes it works at 90% because you cannot connect the servotronic connection on M3/1m rack, this means under 50km/h the steering is extra hard, after words its is said to be excellent.


Servotronic info:
the Babybmw OP with 130i in Scotland speculates that a up to 7 V signal can be applied to the Servo connection to modulate assist
My googling reveals that e39 forums have actually mapped the signal for their cars and can toggle its settings for their M button
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"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving." - R&T 2013 135is

Last edited by andrey_gta; 06-11-2015 at 11:41 AM..
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      06-11-2015, 02:48 AM   #9
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I wonder if you just wired in a 5-7 volt power source via a key-on power source (using a resistor and heat sink to step down the voltage) if you could just manually wire that up? Also, I was also told the E92 base model cars do not have the servotronic steering assist.... don't know how true that is. Maybe its a european model thing. Im looking into this because I hate crossing my hands on the track, and after driving an m3 (and never having to do that) I want that in my 1er.
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      06-11-2015, 03:11 AM   #10
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As far as I know Servotronic was standard on all E9x models except 335i's incl. pre-LCI.

I've got Active Steering on the 135i and I like in the city. However, it's too light at higher speeds even though it's got Servotronic too.
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      06-11-2015, 03:27 AM   #11
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I need to check if mine has that option. I was told no.. but IDK anymore lol

Edit: checked my VIN on the BMW archive site.. No active steering. So that's a win... but my steering is still WAY too light for my taste. We'll see after I finish the M3 tension arm installation.
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Last edited by Solo_M_Tech; 06-11-2015 at 03:46 AM..
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      06-11-2015, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
I wonder if you just wired in a 5-7 volt power source via a key-on power source (using a resistor and heat sink to step down the voltage) if you could just manually wire that up?
It may be possible- take a 12v and reduce to 6v
The signal may need to follow e39 mapping/duration or if someone can read M3 mapping
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"The 1-series is the last car that BMW engineered before the Germans, as a car-making culture, fell out of love with driving." - R&T 2013 135is
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      06-11-2015, 12:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrey_gta View Post
It may be possible- take a 12v and reduce to 6v
The signal may need to follow e39 mapping/duration or if someone can read M3 mapping
Im doing some research. Talking with an "expert". He knows alot about BMW and ///M and has done a few retrofits.
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      06-11-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
I need to check if mine has that option. I was told no.. but IDK anymore lol

Edit: checked my VIN on the BMW archive site.. No active steering. So that's a win... but my steering is still WAY too light for my taste. We'll see after I finish the M3 tension arm installation.
The steering does get a tad too light at speed. Thank God our cars don't have electronic power steering.
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      06-11-2015, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtla1 View Post
Thank God our cars don't have electronic power steering.
Copy that!
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      06-11-2015, 05:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
Has anyone attempted to do the swap? I have a contact here in Germany that can get used M3 steering racks with low miles for around 300 euro. Would the steering rack swap be something worth doing? With my current front suspension mods the car responds very well but having to turn the wheel way past 180* on some corners is annoying. My car doesn't have the active steering stuff, standard hydralic.




P.S. this is my 1000th post!
Did they change the steering rack on the 2011+I have a 2008 without active steering and I've never had to turn pats 110 degrees
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      06-11-2015, 05:37 PM   #17
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I'm quite interested in this retrofit as well, would be nice to get a faster rack.

You really want the speed based signal otherwise if you hook up a constant voltage it will max the assist and be way too light. Additonally the m3 has an MDRIVE menu where they can fiddle with the steering assist settings. Funnily enough some people on the M3 forums were asking if they could disable the system by pulling the plug. I'd hate to go to the trouble of retrofitting the servotronic and finding out it sucks.

Might be worth looking up BMW WDS (wiring diagram system) and finding out where the servotronic connection goes. Probably wouldn't be too difficult retrofitting a module and wiring for it. I'll look it up later if no one else does.
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      06-12-2015, 02:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optigrab View Post
Did they change the steering rack on the 2011+I have a 2008 without active steering and I've never had to turn pats 110 degrees
I don't know what year, but Active Steering did become an option ont the 1 series, I'd assume when they did the LCI update.
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      06-12-2015, 06:12 AM   #19
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There's a servotronic thingo retrofit kit listed on realoem; haven't looked into it http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=32_2009
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      06-12-2015, 06:28 AM   #20
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Did some digging in WDS.

Quote:
Servotronic
The Servotronic controls the power-assisted steering of the power steering depending on the speed by means of the Servotronic valve (electro-hydraulic converter). To do so, the flow of hydraulic oil of the power steering is throttled to varying degrees by the Servotronic solenoid valve.

Brief description of components
Servotronic valve

The Servotronic valve is an electro-hydraulic converter located in the hydraulic oil circuit of the power steering. The valve has a variable shutter that throttles the oil flow to varying degrees depending on activation. The shutter diameter is varied by a speed-dependent flow characteristic curve

Control unit

The Servotronic function is integrated in the junction box electronics (JBE). The Junction Box electronics regulate the Servotronic valve. The characteristic curve for the speed-dependent activation of the Servotronic valve is stored as codable in a non-volatile memory.

The following messages or signals, among others, are required for the Servotronic function:

Road speed from the DSC control unit via the PT-CAN.

Status of engine from the DME control unit via the PT-CAN.

Terminal status of the CAS control unit via the K-CAN.

Function
The system regulates the power-assisted steering on a speed-dependent basis. The Servotronic valve variably throttles the flow of hydraulic oil in the power steering. The degree of throttling depends on the current used to activate the valve.
The characteristic curve for the Servotronic valve specifies the current depending on the speed.
The characteristic curve is described by reference points, whereby the speed and current are coded for each reference point.

The Servotronic only activates the Servotronic valve if terminal 15 is on and the engine is running. As long as there is no speed signal at engine start-up, the maximum possible steering power assistance is set. When the correct travelling speed is received, the specified value is taken from the electrical characteristic curve.
Now looking at the various nodes, it looks like the S63 engine has servotronic outputs on its DME. All the other models that have servotronic appear to instead connect to the junction box module.

Looking at NCS dummy, only the newest JBBF modules have servotronic options/map curves. Would need to have one of those modules to be compatible. Seems like the people who have retrofitted the rack ended up didn't end up bothering with servotronic since it wasn't a big deal:

http://www.babybmw.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=62766
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      06-12-2015, 07:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
Did some digging in WDS.



Now looking at the various nodes, it looks like the S63 engine has servotronic outputs on its DME. All the other models that have servotronic appear to instead connect to the junction box module.

Looking at NCS dummy, only the newest JBBF modules have servotronic options/map curves. Would need to have one of those modules to be compatible. Seems like the people who have retrofitted the rack ended up didn't end up bothering with servotronic since it wasn't a big deal:

http://www.babybmw.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=62766
Thank you for that link. Im going to be doing this in the next few weeks. Gotta source the rack and make shop time.. but this looks like a valuble mod. Time to start parts searching!
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      06-12-2015, 08:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexResistance View Post
Thank you for that link. Im going to be doing this in the next few weeks. Gotta source the rack and make shop time.. but this looks like a valuble mod. Time to start parts searching!

Are you going to put a knob in the car so you can adjust the steering weight?
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