Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Steering wheel play.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Hollywood
    Posts
    83
    My Cars
    1997 BMW 328is

    Steering wheel play.

    I just recently purchased an E46 M3 and clearly it has a handling problems. The undercar inspection before purchase checked out ok. I checked for wheel play, worn suspension components the usual. When I got on the freeway the faster the car goes the more uncontrollable it gets. I ended up wrecking the right rear quarter panel. It feels like the car sways a ton. Between 20-50 mph the car feels normal. It is impossible to do an agressive lane switch on the freeway. I also own an E36 M3 and that car feels much much safer to drive. I noticed that there is steering wheel play left to right. I replaced the steering coupling and checked for play again at the wheels. There is absolutely zero play. If I move the steering wheel left and right I can see the whole shaft moving but the wheels will not move for the first inch or so. I performed a 4 wheel alignment and the alignment is pretty spot on. Any input on this would be highly appreciated. Thanks I'm advance!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Menlo Park
    Posts
    31
    My Cars
    '05 ///M3
    Maybe steering rack itself is shot?

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Napoleon, Ohio
    Posts
    76
    My Cars
    94 740iL,91 850i,88 M6
    I remember learning about how BMWs (at least my E32) changes the tightness of the streeing at higher speeds for better highway handling. I wonder if a similar system is on your car and behaving incorrectly.

    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    924
    My Cars
    97 M3/4/5, 98 M3/2/5
    Car swaying at speed? I would replace the rear trailing arm bushings as it is really hard to check the condition of those when you don't drop them out of the pocket. You might have a worn out steering rack if it doesn't move with 1" of steering input. Perfect time to do a complete suspension refresh unless you're on a budget after purchase.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Hollywood
    Posts
    83
    My Cars
    1997 BMW 328is
    I was going to replace the Rtabs just for peace of mind. The FLCAs look new with no torn bushings. Same with tie rods. I'm a bit strapped for Money since the body shop wants 5k to replace my quarter panel. I just really hope it isn't a steering rack it looks very easy to replace but I know they are a bit expensive. Thanks again for all the responses. And I'm not sure it's steering wheel changing feel since the play is present even when parked. But I'll do the Rtabs next and leave the rack for last. I'm just not very familiar with e46s as I've only ever owned e36s.


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Menlo Park
    Posts
    31
    My Cars
    '05 ///M3
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieE36 View Post
    I was going to replace the Rtabs just for peace of mind. The FLCAs look new with no torn bushings. Same with tie rods. I'm a bit strapped for Money since the body shop wants 5k to replace my quarter panel. I just really hope it isn't a steering rack it looks very easy to replace but I know they are a bit expensive. Thanks again for all the responses. And I'm not sure it's steering wheel changing feel since the play is present even when parked. But I'll do the Rtabs next and leave the rack for last. I'm just not very familiar with e46s as I've only ever owned e36s.


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    You can get a rebuilt rack for $240. Easy to swap, you'll just need fluid and crush washers for banjos.
    https://shop.rackdoctor.net/2001-200...5-25889-M3.htm

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    West Covina, CA
    Posts
    924
    My Cars
    97 M3/4/5, 98 M3/2/5
    E46s are pretty similar to E36 other than motor and a little more electronics. Steering racks aren't that expensive rebuilt/remanufactured $200-$250 after core fees. My buddy from college works at a body shop in South El Monte if you want me to forward him a picture of the quarter panel damage to get a better quote. Their turn around time is probably around 3 weeks if its insurance work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Hollywood
    Posts
    83
    My Cars
    1997 BMW 328is
    Quote Originally Posted by tofunin View Post
    E46s are pretty similar to E36 other than motor and a little more electronics. Steering racks aren't that expensive rebuilt/remanufactured $200-$250 after core fees. My buddy from college works at a body shop in South El Monte if you want me to forward him a picture of the quarter panel damage to get a better quote. Their turn around time is probably around 3 weeks if its insurance work.
    I'll get back to you on that! I've been quoted 8k but that's too damn much. All the mechanical stuff I can do myself.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    M_3_X's Avatar
    M_3_X is offline Breaking Stereotypes BMW CCA Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    N. Miss - Memphis TN Area
    Posts
    652
    My Cars
    '02 M3, '05 X3, '91 E30
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieE36 View Post
    I'll do the Rtabs next and leave the rack for last.
    From what youre describing, Id look into the steering rack first.
    "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough"
    -Mario Andretti.
    _____________________
    River City Bimmers Chapter
    2002///M3 Coupe, Steel Gray Metallic on black leather, three pedals.
    2005 X3 3.0i ZPP, Black Sapphire on Terracotta.
    1991 E30 325ic, AW, Black leather, Black top, three pedals.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Palos Verdes Estates. CA
    Posts
    220
    My Cars
    E36 M3, E46 M3
    Some questions:

    What Rear trailing arm bushings are on the car, and how many miles are on them?

    How do the sway bar bushings & end links look?

    What size and more importantly what BRAND tires are you running?

    When you say you wrecked the rear quarter panel, do you mean you attempted a high speed lane change and the car slid out unexpectedly?

    Hope to help
    2002 M3 - Current
    2003 330i - Past
    1997 M3 - Past
    2000 M5 - Past
    2003 M3 - Past
    1991 318is - Past

    1998 M3 - Past
    1996 M3 - Past



Similar Threads

  1. Steering Wheel Play- How Much Is Too Much
    By Kuch569 in forum 1991 - 1999 (E36)
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 04-01-2008, 12:07 PM
  2. Steering wheel play
    By giantrobot9000 in forum 1992 - 1999 M3 (E36)
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-19-2007, 04:18 PM
  3. Tracking down steering wheel play...
    By M52 POWER! in forum 1991 - 1999 (E36)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-28-2007, 02:46 PM
  4. Steering Wheel Play?
    By Builder2961 in forum 1991 - 1999 (E36)
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-27-2006, 09:28 PM
  5. Help: Steering wheel Play
    By ALPINA735iL in forum 1995 - 2001 (E38)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-03-2005, 10:43 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •