So I just did this job today, not gona lie, it was a pain in the ass.
Difficulty level: 8
Sorry, I didn't have time to take pictures because I needed the car done asap. Here is a step by step processes:
Socket Set: 13-22mm
Pickle Fork ( Rent one from autozone for 16$)
Block of wood
Open ended Wrench
Close Ended wrenches(16-19mm)
Hex key set
2 Quarts of ATF (DEX III)
1. Jack the car up from the front jack point or the subframe. Make sure to loosen the Lug bolts before raising the car.
2. Remove the Splash Sheild.
3. Now we have to remove the tire rods, first remove the 18mm bolts on the steering knuckle that holds the outer tie rod in place.
4. Wedge you pickle fork between the tie rod and the steering knuckle and hammer away, don't pull or pry, just wedge and hammer. After a few good blows, the tie rod will separate from the knuckle.
5. Loosen the locking nut on the inner tie rod and then twist the outer tie rod off. Do no lose the spacer. Do the same for the other side. Remove both left and right outer tie rods.
6. Remove the two bolts that hold the steering rack to the subframe, these are 16mm heads with a 16mm nut on top, hold the nut and loosen.
7. Remove the lower engine mounts bolts, one on each side, there are either 16 or 17mm ( I forget which).
8. Now, get a jack and put the wood piece between the jack and the block, right behind the harmonic balancer. Slowly raise the engine. I had to to remove my fan shroud pins to lift then engine high enough. Raise the engine a good 3-6inches.
9. Now, unbolt the steering column from the steering rack, its one bolt and its 13mm. No need to worry about the nut, its welded on. Now pry off the column from the rack.
10. Now, remove the two power steering lines that are connected to the rack, one is a 22mm and the other is a 19mm. Both of them have two crush washers, DO NOT LOSE THESE. I lost mine and they were a pain in the ass to find at any hardware store. When you break the bolts loose, have the bucket read. Almost all the ATF will come out.
11. Maneuver the rack out of the car. I was able to remove my rack from the passenger side. It took some time, but if your engine is raised high enough, it should come out with ease.
12. Your new rack should come pre-filled with ATF, mine did. Now maneuver the new rack in. I was able to get the new rack in from the drivers side.
13. When tightening up the bolt that goes from the steering column to the rack, if it doesn't tights all they way, in other words, if the bolts doesn't sit flush with the metals, its fine. My new rack had a thicker stud compared to my old rack so I had about half an inch of the bolt sticking out. The bolt clears everything so all is well.
14. Put everything else back together and pour in some ATF. Pour past the full line. Now start the car, with the P/S reservoir CLOSED. and slowly turn, you do not want air bubbles in the system. Make 3-7 good lock-to-lock rotations very slowly. Shut the car off and replenish the system because odds are its probably low.
And that's about it. My local shop wanted 2200$ to do this job.I did this job for around 350$, that's including the price of a brand new rack with a 2 year warranty. I'm only 18 and I got it done in about 8 hours and that's with a friends help. Good luck and happy DIY'ing.
PS- Sorry again for no pictures. I tried my best to give as much detail as possible in every step.
2200$! I just got this done at 300+350 for the rack. Good Job Though
Mine started leaking at around 80k miles. I took it to a shop and they rebuilt it with lifetime warranty.
Resident Third World Country Advisor
I have some pictures in my file, not complete but very close to what people need.
1. Raise engine as mentioned: Jack with block of wood under oil pan.
Ratchet with long extension to remove the Engine Mounts...Pics #1, 2, and 3. Proceed to Step 2 below:
2. Remove the Fan Clutch (REVERSE thread) and set it inside the Fan Shroud, No need to take it out. Pics #4-5
Now raise engine 3-5", watching to be sure there is no problems with hoses, wiring etc.
Last edited by cnn; 09-13-2010 at 03:47 PM.
3. Next: undo the bolts holding the Steering Rack to Subframe. Pics labeled "98528i-Chassis-06a" and "98528i-Chassis-07".
4. Now with white paint (such as white out liquid paper), mark the Steering Rack's input shaft with the Steering Column Collar with paint, this allows alignment when installing the new SR.
5. The places to disconnect (Banjo connections etc.) are in pic "SteeringRack06".
PS: Procedure on How to disconnect Tierods from Steering Knuckle and from Steering Rack is in this thread:
1998 BMW 528i COMPLETE FRONT SUSPENSION OVERHAUL
Last edited by cnn; 09-13-2010 at 03:49 PM.
I sourced a while ago a DIY to rebuild the steering rack for the i6 complete with pics. Here it is. Maybe a good idea to pdf it before it disappears.
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
Stable: e92is, e53 N62, e46M54B25, Tribby & e39 M54B30 R.I.P.
Where did you buy the Steering Rack from for $350?
It is cheap compared with online sources of $950.
PN 32136751745 for my 1998 528i.
The rack looked very well made so I went ahead and bought it. No complaints on fitting problems,etc.
Last edited by iDrift; 09-13-2010 at 05:36 PM.
Impressive iDrift. Most impressive.
"I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread
From looking at the ebay link, it looks like it is made by APX. I don't know much about APX, so keep us posted with your experience.
Personally I'd like to stick to ZF brand, because it is from factory.
Yes, you are right, when undoing engine mount for this job, no need to remove the top nut. Just undo the bottom nut.
Well-done job though!
I swapped rack on my 330i before and it wasn't that hard at all. Maybe things on non-V8 E39 are different
2002 BMW M3
IR on IR
great diy idrift. one question when raising the engine. How much do you have to worry about hoses, plugs or anything else coming off or breaking when the engine is raised max 6" as you said. This is going to be my first diy and your diy, from what i have searched is the only one on the internet so props for taking it on.
Steering Rack DIY:
Engine Mounts/Trans Mounts I wrote a while back:
This is very interesting topic since I might have problem with Steering Rack described here:
POWER STEERING: Knocking Sound
Do you think my problem could be caused just by loose nuts?
What made you do this anyway?
BMW CCA 434493
I will be changing my PS Rack in the coming days. I ordered a rebuilt one from Jorgen with a lifetime warranty for about $340 shipped.
Will try to take some pics. Thanks for the previous tips, hope they will help!
Thanks to all for the DIY. Did this yesterday..and today.
1. I jacked the engine from the back of the oil pan with 2x4s to give more room to work on hydro connections. Easy to reach from front with rack lowered from mounts.
2. Removing the rack is hard. I lifted engine 1 1/2 2x4s. Don't know what that lifts at the front of the engine. A lot I believe. Finally, I realized that if I turned the rack over it easily came out the drivers side. The part that sticks up and connects to the steering column fits up in the space below the intake and flips all the way over. It came out label side to the front and upside down.
3. If you have a weak or cheap PS pump cross your fingers. I followed all directions on start up, but now have a bad squeak from, I believe the pump. Oh Well.
Last edited by jmthrtn; 03-02-2012 at 03:29 PM.
- Remove the nuts holding the rack.
- Undo engine mounts
- The part that is circled in blue needs to be turned downward to ease removal.
It's been 2 years and the rack has been holding up great!
I did this recently. Hardest part for me was separating the steering column from the rack, and re-attaching it to the new one.
To separate, I ended up putting small sockets into the U joint above the rack, and using a pry bar to push them down (effectively pushing the column up off the rack).
To re-attach, I used anti-seize on the teeth, and it was hard to get on. I had to use a rubber mallet to mate them fully. You might have more luck if you use regular grease.
Regarding tie rods: I would simply remove the inner tie rod from the old rack. No need to separate inner and outer tie rods. Do this before you take the rack off the car!
On the issue of steering-rack-to-subframe bolts: are people re-using theirs? The book says to replace them. But when I look at realoem, only the bolts are listed. Not the nuts:
My local BMW dealership couldn't find a part number for the nuts either.
What say you all?