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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/22/23 11:16 p.m.

Sadly it got tossed before it was photographed–blame a minor miscommunication. 

The play could be observed between the steering shaft and the rack, though. 

FJ40Jim
FJ40Jim Reader
12/23/23 1:08 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:
jgrewe said:
David S. Wallens said:

Also, hope you all appreciated the headline. :) 

BMW mechanics hate him!

 

Also, you will totally like the next BMW update. :) 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

Don't forget to like and hit the subscribe button!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/23/23 3:04 p.m.

In reply to FJ40Jim :

That, too!

The steering really does feel much better: more precise, no more slop. 

Before replacing the steering coupler, the steering wheel had somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 inch of play. (And if it was just 1/16 inch, it felt like more.)

jgrewe
jgrewe Dork
12/23/23 5:11 p.m.
FJ40Jim said:
David S. Wallens said:
jgrewe said:
David S. Wallens said:

Also, hope you all appreciated the headline. :) 

BMW mechanics hate him!

 

Also, you will totally like the next BMW update. :) 

Editorial Director, Grassroots Motorsports & Classic Motorsports

Don't forget to like and hit the subscribe button!

I'm waiting for the Top 10 parts to make the BMW faster, and are they worth it!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/23 5:39 p.m.

In reply to jgrewe :

You're making fun, but those videos perform really well on our channel. They're easy to do but low content so I don't do them. I let my coworkers do them :)

jerel77494
jerel77494 New Reader
4/17/24 11:27 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I think the real moral is to buy something that's well engineered in the first place.

How many parts has FlyinMiata designed and sold to fix problems with the original design?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/17/24 11:29 a.m.

FWIW, the M3’s steering still feels oh so much better. It’s like a new car. 

Noddaz
Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/30/24 10:22 a.m.

Noise Harshness Vibration

 

 

lgsmith
lgsmith New Reader
4/30/24 1:57 p.m.

So, has anyone actually fitted the solid replacement from Condor? How bad is the NVH on the street?

thewaitingthrophyman
thewaitingthrophyman GRM+ Memberand New Reader
4/30/24 2:22 p.m.

been meaning to check this on my wagon (02 325it), is the first thing you noticed some deadness in the on center feel (like 2-3º of slop in the wheel before it does anything, loaded up seems ok if a little inaccurate)?

350z247
350z247 Reader
4/30/24 2:54 p.m.

Ultimately, my guess is it softens out any NVH. Luckily, it's not something I need to worry about in my E60 M5.

DavyZ
DavyZ Reader
4/30/24 2:59 p.m.

Old thread, I know, but I will weigh in and say BMW puts a rubber joint in there to prevent NVH.  I can't think of a better possibility other than to introduce added complexity to each system, something they love to do in their cooling systems, etc.  Yes, I am still sore at BMW about my wife's E36.

engineered
engineered New Reader
4/30/24 3:00 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

What's the purpose? Is there a change in the angle of the steering column there? I assume not, or the billet ones wouldn't work at all. So why does BMW need a flex joint there? And it seems that steering U joints are a pretty solved problem, so why not one of those?

The purpose is likely to remove vibrations felt in the steering wheel.  This doesn't make sense on a track car, but on a "luxury" BMW most users wouldn't want to feel every tiny vibration.  Same reason bushings are soft rubber.

EmosoundM3
EmosoundM3 New Reader
5/1/24 12:18 p.m.

When I swapped in a Z3 rack to my 1998 M3, I also used a BMW part from the E34 with a u-joint rather than the rubber joint:
https://www.bimmerworld.com/Genuine-BMW-Steering-Column-Swivel-Joint-32311151454.html

Seems that the price for that particular Genuine part has gone thru the roof. There is a budget version:
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-mtc-parts/steering-universal-flex-joint/32311150489~mtc/

There is a similar part for the E92 M3:
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-swivel-joint-32302283431

I suspect that since E46 racks fit E36 cars, and the older E34 coupler fits the E36, the E34 part may fit the E46 as well, no idea about the E92 part, I'm sure somebody knows.

-Paul

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/1/24 12:48 p.m.
thewaitingthrophyman said:

been meaning to check this on my wagon (02 325it), is the first thing you noticed some deadness in the on center feel (like 2-3º of slop in the wheel before it does anything, loaded up seems ok if a little inaccurate)?

Yep, that describes our worn-out U-joint: When parked, there was some play in the steering wheel. Once moving, I didn’t feel the play as much, but sometimes it did feel like the chassis had too much toe-out.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/1/24 12:51 p.m.

In reply to EmosoundM3 :

Yeah, looks like the price on the U-joint that installed has gone up.

BimmerWorld offers a replacement for the E46 M3 from Uro as well. As I’m typing this, the price is $46.99.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/3/24 9:46 a.m.

Also, a little more info for the rest of the class. Just remembered this and maybe it helps.

The steering felt kinda meh for a little while.

Then, while backing out of the garage one day, it seemed to get a tick worse. Did the old U-joint tear a little more? was it in my head? Either way, that was the moment. 

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/3/24 9:54 a.m.

So, after a 6 month wait, I just happened to receive the last e46 M3 steering rack BMW had before they discontinued. It was not cheap, but hopefully it will last another 20 years.

I also happen to have a solid u-joint from an e9X M3 sitting on the bench.

As soon as I have time to install all of this, I will report back on whether the newer non bushed joint fits and whether it feels better. That's if I can remember what the car felt after 6 months of not driving it :)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/3/24 9:57 a.m.

Sadly, some E46 M3 parts are drying up.

James at BimmerWorld said I got the last of some interior trim pieces.

I couldn’t find a new DSC/ABS module. Rennie said it’s NLA. 

That reminds me that I should order some new seals for the rear windows. 

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