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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 12-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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91 318is steering coupling? rack upgrade?

My steering is loose and clicks with play when I move the wheel slightly back and forth. I can trace it to this coupling thing on the steering column but I can't find any info on that part. What is the fix for this? This would be a huge improvement in the steering response for my 318is.

Also, what are the options for upgrades for my steering rack? I'm looking to improve the ratio for more responsive steering.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, welcome.

OK..by "coupleing thing" do you mean the u-joint on the steering shaft or the reducer? If it is the u-joint, just replace it. If it is the actual coupler, chances are the splines may be worn, in wich case you may have no recourse but to replace the unit.

I know there are upgrades available to increase responsiveness, but what they are escapes me right now, i'll do some diggin.

I have heard of people swapping a e30 ///M rack, as well as a z rack, but i'll let you run those options down.
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Two wheels or Four, I'm happy as long as the throttle is pinned.

Last edited by german-speed-demon; 12-19-2008 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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wow you are fast, fast like a bimmer. I was just coming to edit my vague thread post.

The part that is rattling is the universal joint. I can easily see that it has play in it and I can rattle it with my hand making the same noise my steering makes. This part is under the dash inside the car. After I posted I found info on what is called the coupling and I had that wrong.

I'm not trying to be lazy but I cannot find the proper name for that sucker to get a part # or a source.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have heard of people swapping a e30 ///M rack, as well as a z rack, but i'll let you run those options down.
Excellent. I'll start reading. It's possible fixing this u-joint will make me feel like I have a tighter ration alone and I'll forget all about a new rack.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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IS it like this part?
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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myt bad, that is outside on the rack itself
you should be able to get the u-joint off of the shaft and get a replacement to match
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it's this thing. This is from a used parts store but hopefully I can find a new one. It's riveted in place but I found a guide for drilling out the rivets and replacing with bolts.

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Old 12-19-2008, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sweet. good luck
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If anyone reading this knows where to get this part, don't be shy. This is the u-joint coupler inside the car, not the thing in the engine bay.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not this thing, but the previous thing.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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ok, I have made a mess of my own thread.

The part I need is indeed the rubber in the coupler such as in my nice picture which I said was not the right part. It is that part. I believe it is sometimes called a rag joint.

If anyone has a source or a # for this rubber, you'd be a true hero.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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1998 BMW 328is - Steering Coupling Lower - BUY 1998 BMW 328is - Steering Coupling Lower
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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you're a hero but a late one. Last week I lubed up and bought this part from the dealership for $204. I never hunted for an e36 version. Oh well, next time. thx again.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ouch damn rich thats painful
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ouch damn rich thats painful
Yep, and if you notice I started this thread in Dec. Even with mucking it up myself, that makes 5 full months it sat here. Then within 6 days of bending over at the dealership, an OEM pops up here. Sooooo typical.
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