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Thread: Quicker steering / Quick Arm review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    21
    My Cars
    BMW: E30, E34, E10

    Quicker steering / Quick Arm review

    Hi everyone,
    So I haven't posted here in a long time, not due to a lack of projects, but I did want to share my results with a set of quick steer arms purchased from Rich8.
    The quality of the part and the design are very good and the results after 6+ months of driving the car (not my daily) are night and day from the slower/stock steering arms. This mod gets you better quicker steering without any negative side effects. (note: I am running 18" M Parallel's with 10mm and 12mm rear spacers, on Conti DWS06 Plus, also all steering components are new or near new)

    My E34 details: 63k miles/ 1995/ 540/ non sport, so it had the typical very slow sluggish steering to much quicker steering with better feel in every way.
    It will not give you the responsiveness of a rack n pinion but it does move the responsiveness of the our recirculating boxes up a few notches. Likely quicker than an M5 steering box.

    My initial reaction after installing the arms was 'very impressed' and this was one of the first mods I did on my bone stock E34. Bone stock means it was still on it's original stock 27 yr old suspension.( TBH I was regretting my purchase after driving the car north from Florida because of the horrible steering feel....so I immediately started researching what could be done to wake up the steering.)

    Turn in was noticeable quicker, not too fast but definitely better than stock. Highway feel was unchanged. Highway ramps, back roads, etc. are much more fun now. Parking is also much easier and of course turning radius improved. The heavy steering is still present but much less heavy.

    Last weekend I was really able to run the car hard with new lowering springs (Bav Auto) and Koni yellows. Suffice to say the car performs better than I could have hoped/expected. The steering is precise with very quick turn in and overall I attribute the quick arms to most of this because the suspension when it was stock was absolutely a roll fest sloppy mess. So now that everything is planted I can now really feel the steering arms (Quick Arms) work to their best potential.

    Also my review is coming from a guy who has owned or owns, E30's, F87's(M2), E46 M3, 993tt so I have spent most of my time with quick rack n pinion set ups.

    In summary, the single biggest let down to me was the steering in the E34 and these quick arms go a very long way towards improving the 'school bus' numb heavy feel.

    PS; use blue loc-tite on reassembly, but if your doing these yourself you already know that. ;-)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    Location
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Posts
    475
    My Cars
    1994 "532i6", 1998 528iT
    What it sounds like you're doing is using lots of ratio to compensate for the center dead spot in your steering box. The E34's actual steering ratio isn't that slow - watching back-to-back track videos of E34's vs M2C, the amount of steering lock applied to a particular corner is about 10% difference. Looking up actual datasheets corroborates this as well, E34's having steering ratios of 16.2:1 vs the M2C at 15.0:1. Sluggish turn-in isn't due to the ratio but rather your box and linkages not transferring steering load fast enough.

    If you replaced all the steering links along with the Quick Arms before going for a test drive, try putting the stock steering arms back in, re-align the car and try again. Steering response with all-new (and good) steering parts is always fine, you'll just notice the slower ratio in hairpins.

    IIRC Rich8 moves the pickup points quite a lot so the final steering ratio is in the low tens, that's rally-car fast. The big problem with that design, ignoring Ackerman concerns, is that the shortening of lever arms exacerbates any joint play through 1) pure geometry (linear to angular conversion) and 2) higher loading on the steering components (greater force on the ball joints for a particular torque from the wheel), so that is something you need to be wary of. If you enjoy the faster ratio after all is said and done, I would strongly suggest lengthening the pitman and idler arms instead of shortening the steering arms. That reduces the force on each ball joint and will improve steering precision further.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    21
    My Cars
    BMW: E30, E34, E10
    So my review is simply that. I like the result and my car feels better in all situations. In my case all front end components are new or within a few thousand miles. Also steering box is not loose as the car only has 63k miles.
    The play you mention is not better or worse with these arms in my experience. Itís a recirculating ball box as you know so itís not ever going to respond like a rack.
    I donít track or Autocross this car but have plenty of experience with building cars from the ground up, running them hard and having fun making them better.
    I like the arms and the review was just sharing my experience. This mod may not be for you or others but itís certainly less hassle than chasing down a M5 box and swapping that in with limited results/improvement.

    As to the quickness of the steering. Lol. My car definitely does not steer anything close to a rally car with these. As I mentionedÖIíve got three very steering input responsive vehicles. My E34 is not one of them, but it is a great balance between comfy and sporty when you want to run a ramp or back roads it just goes better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale Arizona
    Posts
    300
    My Cars
    540iT 840Ci 540i 6-Spd
    Let me address a few points here before another thread goes skidding off the rails by some armchair critic.
    Its a fact that the steering response in the E34 and E31 and maybe others is not the best and there are many here who would like it to be quicker. There are several ways this can be achieved.....go build a special steering box, change the Pittman arm and Idler arm, and make the shorter steering arms. I did not want to make an option that costs several thousand dollars to make and several hours to fit. And I didn't want to get into making special Pittman and idler arms

    . I chose the steering arms because they are relatively cheap to make and sell, they do not alter the geometry or Ackerman and they are flat out fun to drive. The beauty of this country is that EVERYONE is free to go out and make whatever they want, and if you want to make something , then please get off your couch and go make it, test it, sell it, and hopefully get favorable comments, and yes, open yourself up to anybody who wants to be a critic.
    Now let me go through your comments circuit.heart ....

    Quote Originally Posted by circuit.heart View Post
    What it sounds like you're doing is using lots of ratio to compensate for the center dead spot in your steering box.
    BMW made the E31 850i, and then they made the sporty version, the 850CSi, and they deemed that it needed a faster steering, but because it would still be sold to the public, with their different skill levels, they didn't go a long way. With our Quick Arms, we are a little quicker than the 850CSi, but still WAY short of Rally-Car or Drifting quick. It is a great ratio for spirited street and track driving.
    .
    The E34's actual steering ratio isn't that slow - watching back-to-back track videos of E34's vs M2C, the amount of steering lock applied to a particular corner is about 10% difference. Looking up actual datasheets corroborates this as well, E34's having steering ratios of 16.2:1 vs the M2C at 15.0:1. Sluggish turn-in isn't due to the ratio but rather your box and linkages not transferring steering load fast enough.
    In way too many words, you have admitted just what is happening here, the steering is sluggish....for what ever reason is causing it, and this is what we chose to address. Thank you for confirming our feelings that the steering is sluggish. And by the way, on the track, except in the tightest hairpin, the road wheels are turning somewhere between 1 and 4 degrees....let that sink in, 4 degrees, so when you see only 10% difference, what do you expect on the track ???
    .
    If you replaced all the steering links along with the Quick Arms before going for a test drive, try putting the stock steering arms back in, re-align the car and try again. Steering response with all-new (and good) steering parts is always fine, you'll just notice the slower ratio in hairpins.
    As Missedapex notes, all his joints are either new or near new. I don't think anyone on this board would think that you can add NEW upgrades to suspension that is all worn out and expect a good result. Our Quick Arms WILL NOT renew your suspension or cover up worn-out parts.

    IIRC Rich8 moves the pickup points quite a lot so the final steering ratio is in the low tens, that's rally-car fast. NOT The big problem with that design, ignoring Ackerman concerns, ....what Acherman concerns? have you ever touched these QA's or actually measured them? Why do you instantly think and then voice, a concern about the Acherman, when you have no idea where it is. We went to great lengths to ensure that the the Acherman remained the same as stock. If you know something different please let us know and we will make immediate changes....NOT, because it is not necessary. is that the shortening of lever arms exacerbates any joint play through 1) pure geometry (linear to angular conversion) and 2) higher loading on the steering components (greater force on the ball joints for a particular torque from the wheel), so that is something you need to be wary of. If you enjoy the faster ratio after all is said and done, I would strongly suggest lengthening the pitman and idler arms instead of shortening the steering arms. That reduces the force on each ball joint and will improve steering precision further.

    Yes these QA's will put more load on other suspension parts, but not much. In fact if you change from a 165-50/16 tire to a 205-30/18" (same outer diameter) you increase the suspension loads about 25%.....do you not think that is a concern?.....put things into perspective
    I'm not trying to start a fight or put down somebody, but it really depresses me when somebody feels they need to criticize something they know very little about.
    We are more than willing to sell anyone a pair of these arms so they can try them 1st hand, and then make informed comments, like Missidapex did.
    Last edited by Rich8; 06-03-2022 at 10:41 PM.

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