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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 06-20-2013, 11:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Power steering work

So Im planning on within a few days ripping the entire power steering system out of my 1990 E30 and completely overhauling it, because before I owned it some idiot ran the wrong fluid in it, and it destroyed the whole system. It used to half-ass work and make tons of noise, but now it dont work entirely, and the fluid is blacker than the blackest black times infinity, due to all the seals inside the rack being destroyed by the wrong fluid. How easy is it to remove the steering rack and pinion assembly? I looked up how to do it on Alldata, but the problem is it was very vague on how to go about doing it. I KNOW how to remove the power steering pump assembly, because the guide for that on alldata was actually informative, and it showed how to do it, unlike with the steering rack. So if someone can give me some detailed instructions on how to go about removing the steering rack, Id be very appreciative.
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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To remove the rack, it should just be two main bolts that holt it in once the tie rods are disconnected. At least it is on the E36.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I took a good long look under the hood today, and yes it looks like theres the 2 support brackets- 1 on the driver side, and one on the passenger side. Then the lower column U joint that goes into the input shaft for the pinion gear. So it looks as simple as disconnect the 2 tie rod ends, disconnect the lower column from the input shaft, remove the 2 support brackets and their bolts, and out it comes.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Also I forgot to ask, but how exactly would I go about putting in a power steering fluid cooler? Im gonna be doing alot of canyon carving, and I kinda want to make sure the fluid dosnt get too hot. And seeing as Im gonna have the entire p/s system tore out and apart, I figured, why not put a cooler into the loop?
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well what I have seen for the E36 is an oversized power steering resevoir made of aluminum with cooling fins for increased fluid capacity and additional cooling. It was pretty costly at $400 though.

The return line from the rack is the "cooler" really. You could try to see if their are return lines that are longer for increased cooling.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well what I have seen for the E36 is an oversized power steering resevoir made of aluminum with cooling fins for increased fluid capacity and additional cooling. It was pretty costly at $400 though.

The return line from the rack is the "cooler" really. You could try to see if their are return lines that are longer for increased cooling.
I was thinking more along the lines of an air to oil cooler, like a transmission cooler. How would I install that into the loop?
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well you could cut the PS line and then solder/weld in new piping and run it to a small transmission cooler. You wouldnt need anything huge, and you wouldnt want to block the transmission cooler (if you have one). Basically just a cut, splice, and mount job.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well you could cut the PS line and then solder/weld in new piping and run it to a small transmission cooler. You wouldnt need anything huge, and you wouldnt want to block the transmission cooler (if you have one). Basically just a cut, splice, and mount job.
Sounds easy. Also no trans cooler. It has the Getrag 260 5 speed.
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