97 528i rack,and pinion problem! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 12:44 AM
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Question 97 528i rack,and pinion problem!

Is it necessary to change out a rack, and pinion for leakage? I feel no
mechanical difference. The boot is apart. So,will replacing the boots fix
the problem, or replace the whole rack, and, how much trouble is it?
Any replies would be appreciated. Thanx
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 09:15 AM
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winters97E39 is a jewel in the rough winters97E39 is a jewel in the rough winters97E39 is a jewel in the rough
My boots were torn and leaking as well. Once this happens the only thing you can do is replace the rack. It is a pretty difficult job. It took me about 5 hours. The hardest part is getting the rack out and the new one in. You must raise the engine about 2 inches or so and then its like a chinese puzzle trying to pull the rack out. That is the hardest part about it, however. You can get a remanufactured rack from Steering Box and Steering Rack from Car Steering Wholesale for about $345 with a $150 core charge. I would also suggest changing out the tie rods as well, unless the old ones come off easy. One of mine was frozen in the rack, so I had to replace it. If you get the tie rods, they come with inners as well, so you can get the $315 rack without the inners, although im not sure if that one comes with boots or not. Anyway, if you decide to tackle it, let me know and I will send you the instructions from my bentley manual on how to do it.

Jason / 1997 528i
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 12:09 PM
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I plan on doing it, and would appreciate anything you might have that would assist
me in this procedure. Thanx 97e39. Over and out.
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 08:47 PM
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ok - well, you are going to need a couple of jackstands, a decent size block of wood (4x4) to put underneath your jack to jack the engine up, your basic tools, socket wrench ( and a decent length socket extension will help), assorted sockets, pickle fork or special BMW tie rod removal tool.

First drain as much PS fluid out of the reservoir as you can using a syringe. Make sure you are on a level surface and jack up the car and put it on jackstands, then pull both wheels off. Remove the splash guard. Remove the right and left engine mounts. Put the jack under the car and put the peice of wood on the jack and very, very, carefully and slowly raise the engine about 2 inches. The fan will start to bump into the fan shroud, but you can take it probably another cm or so after it touches, that should be far enough. If you feel you need to raise it further, you can probably undo the shroud and lift if up a little more.

Ok, next remove the right tie rod fastener from the right steering knuckle, as well as the left. If you have the special BMW tool to press the tie rod out, use that, otherwise, stick a pickle fork in there and give it a few whacks. This part can be tough, but keep at it, it will eventually come loose. Make a measurement reference on the tie rod so you know how far to screw it back on when you put it on the new rack. This is to approximate correct wheel alignment when you put it back together. You will need a professional alignment done after you finish, but doing this will get it close enough to get you to the shop.

Ok... on to the rack... remove the banjo bolts on the steering rack. Some fluid will come out, so put a bucket underneath it and let it drain as you remove it. The banjo bolts are 14m and 16m. You should get some new o-ring seals (thin metal washers) to replace when you put them on the new rack.

Now remove the pinch bolt from the from the lower steering column. Pull the flex joint off the steering rack shaft.

Now remove the steering rack mounting bolts.. If I remember right, I think there are two of them. Once those are loose, you pull the rack out to the left. (to the driver's side). This is the most difficult part of the whole procedure. Its like a puzzle, and I would most definitely enlist the help of someone to get it out. Once you get it perfectly positioned, it will basically just fall out and you should be able to pull it free from the car.

Oh... and DONT take off the little plastic peice on the new rack on the part that connects it to the steering column. That is supposed to stay on... it's there so you correctly align the steering column with the rack's position. You dont want to be driving down the road straight with your steering wheel cocked at 45 degrees... haha

The install is just the reverse of the removal procedure. Put the old tie rods on before you put the new rack on, its just easier that way.

Once you get it all buttoned up, the wheels back on, and dropped down off the jackstands, fill the reservoir with fluid, turn the car on and turn your wheel slowly to the left and right extremes. Shut it down and check the fluid level. Add some more and repeat until the fluid level stays constant. Then take it to your freindly neighborhood shop and get an alignment done.

Hope that helps.. If you get into it and get lost or need me to answer any questions you can email me at jason.winters@fnis.com - that will go to my blackberry and I should be able to answer you right away, or give you a call.

Jason / 1997 528i
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 11:43 PM
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Thanx 97E39, i'll make a copy of this and go from there! Where i'm ordering
them from, they have the tie rods attached. This place has been in business
for 15 yrs.,without the tie rods ,$315, with the tie rods, $345, and they said,
the only way they sell them, is with the tie rods. If you need the site, I can
send it to you for future reference. Auto Zone wants $1100.
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#6 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 11:46 PM
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Where did you go and they told you that you need a rack and pinion? i had the same problem i went to a little shop and they told me i needed a whole rack and pinion for my 97 528.. so i went to a BMW/benz/audi mechanic and they told me my hoses were leaking, got that done saved a lot of money and i have had no problems since, they guy told me he has never changed a rack and pinion for a 528 ever in his life... soo look into that

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#7 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 11:56 PM
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This guy is from California, I live in Ky., and I have known him all his young life.
He came back home,a hell of a mech., that's all he's done. He checked the hose,
he told me sometimes the hose leaks, and one thinks its the rack. He said he wants
to clean underneath and check some kind of washer, but,to get a rack and tie rods
for $345, I told him I wanted to replace it. He is going to charge me $200, real deal
huh. Also,the dust covers are in tatters.

Last edited by prmoorman1; 06-02-2008 at 12:13 AM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-01-2008, 11:56 PM
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by prmoorman1 View Post
Is it necessary to change out a rack, and pinion for leakage? I feel no
mechanical difference. The boot is apart. So,will replacing the boots fix
the problem, or replace the whole rack, and, how much trouble is it?
Any replies would be appreciated. Thanx
my 2 cents worth...

make sure the leak comes from the seals that the boot/s cover. torn boots alone are replaceable for say $20- each.

what i would do before taking a rack and pinion would be to clean it all up and make sure the leak isn't "fixable".... ;-)

save u lots of trouble... & $

and you Cali friend is right. at the base of the hose connectors, there are nylon washers that tend to leak over time. for all you know, tha just could be the prob

Last edited by darkhorse737; 06-01-2008 at 11:59 PM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:17 AM
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Would you not change all out for $400,and $200 labor?
He told me, instead of jacking the motor, he has a lift that
he hangs over the front part of the motor, there is a place
made on the engine,to lift the engine, and he uses it to raise
the engine to clear the rack. He told me it is no problem.
For this price, wouldn't you just as soon replace it?

Last edited by prmoorman1; 06-02-2008 at 12:27 AM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:25 AM
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nope. replacing original parts for aftermarket parts somehow destroys the integrity of the car, IMHO.

and, i will bet you, the $345 part you claim to have found isnt brandnew.. it's a rebuilt one...
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#11 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:31 AM
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737, go to this site, carsteering.com, and check it out. Yes it is a reman.,
but go check it out!
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#12 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 12:08 PM
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The one I bought was a reman as well. So far so good, no problems at all. $600 doesnt sound like a bad price to pay someone to do it. I always choose to do things myself that I have the tools and/or ability to do just because I love working on my car. But like I said, this job is not and easy one by any means.

Jason / 1997 528i
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#13 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 09:56 PM
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I went back and read your quote, and I saw you bought yours at the same
place I bought mine,"Carsteering.com". I bought the rack with the tie rods.
$345,$150 core, $12 to ship the core back to them. This guy is only charging
me $200 to change them out, I bought the Amsoil synthetic ATF to put back in.
It cost almost $10 a quart. I bought 2 quarts. Do you remember how many quarts
it takes to fill up? I would like to know. While he has it up, I will have him change
the oil too. I bought 7 quarts of the Amsoil synthetic 5W40 at $7.70 a quart, and
a K&M oil filter, I already have the K&M air filter,a must have. Are you familiar with
the Amsoil oil, if not, go to Amsoil.com. I have had it in all the cars I have had.
You can run about 25000 miles between changes. Best oil ever. Again, if you can
remember how many quarts it took to fill the rack, I would appreciate the info.
Later 97E49, and thanx.
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#14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prmoorman1 View Post
I went back and read your quote, and I saw you bought yours at the same
place I bought mine,"Carsteering.com". I bought the rack with the tie rods.
$345,$150 core, $12 to ship the core back to them. This guy is only charging
me $200 to change them out, I bought the Amsoil synthetic ATF to put back in.
It cost almost $10 a quart. I bought 2 quarts. Do you remember how many quarts
it takes to fill up? I would like to know. While he has it up, I will have him change
the oil too. I bought 7 quarts of the Amsoil synthetic 5W40 at $7.70 a quart, and
a K&M oil filter, I already have the K&M air filter,a must have. Are you familiar with
the Amsoil oil, if not, go to Amsoil.com. I have had it in all the cars I have had.
You can run about 25000 miles between changes. Best oil ever. Again, if you can
remember how many quarts it took to fill the rack, I would appreciate the info.
Later 97E49, and thanx.
Sounds like you have some tight new steering in your future, and a happy driveway that isn't getting bled on every night! I actually didn't get mine there, but that is where I looked first. A buddy of mine who is a mechanic got me one here in town for his cost of $300, it was the short rack with the tie rod inners only. Carsteering.com was the best deal I found online. I'm pretty sure it didn't take more than two quarts, but if it were me, I would get a third just in case. That way if you dont end up using it, then you have an extra quart on hand.

Dont forget about getting an alignment done as soon as possible after the rack is installed... your tires will thank you!

Jason / 1997 528i
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#15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2008, 09:04 AM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by winters97E39 View Post
Sounds like you have some tight new steering in your future, and a happy driveway that isn't getting bled on every night! I actually didn't get mine there, but that is where I looked first. A buddy of mine who is a mechanic got me one here in town for his cost of $300, it was the short rack with the tie rod inners only. Carsteering.com was the best deal I found online. I'm pretty sure it didn't take more than two quarts, but if it were me, I would get a third just in case. That way if you dont end up using it, then you have an extra quart on hand.

Dont forget about getting an alignment done as soon as possible after the rack is installed... your tires will thank you!
I really appreciate the feedback, and yes, I won't forget the alignment.
It has been a joy conversing with you. I take it you bought a reman. too?
if so, no response is needed.
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