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      08-26-2019, 08:29 AM   #1
x3sm
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OEM fix for knocking steering rack

Has anyone seen this? A few members posted about this on our Facebook X3 group. Supposedly BMW came up with a fix for the bushing that wears out in the steering rack. Looks like this fix is for models that have the tightening socket with three holes in it (LCI models). I wonder if this will work on the pre-LCI models.
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      08-28-2019, 05:50 PM   #2
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If you have play in the left inner tie rod area of the rack, this kit will fix it.

Last edited by pungo; 08-28-2019 at 06:28 PM..
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      08-28-2019, 06:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
If you have play in the left inner tie rod area of the rack, this kit will fit it.
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      08-29-2019, 07:04 AM   #4
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I went to Sebring a few weeks ago and have had this knocking sound since. Track day probably did not treat the bushing kindly.

Do you have a link to buy?
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      08-29-2019, 11:09 AM   #5
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How involved is this to change out?
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      08-29-2019, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
If you have play in the left inner tie rod area of the rack, this kit will fix it.
This fix is for the bushing that's on the left side of the rack. Are you talking about that?
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      08-29-2019, 07:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
If you have play in the left inner tie rod area of the rack, this kit will fix it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sm View Post
This fix is for the bushing that's on the left side of the rack. Are you talking about that?
Yes, the left side of the rack gets play in the shaft when the bushing wears. This makes it appear as though the inner tie rod, where it attached to the rack, has play. The new bushing is made from a higher grade material so it doesn't wear as quickly as the original one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malicem3 View Post
How involved is this to change out?
If you follow the BMW manual, it's pretty involved since it requires $200 worth of specialized installation tools with some electronic measuring equipment to adjust the play. I think people are just installing without following the BMW procedure.

steering rack knock fix 32106891974 replacment instructions.pdf
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      10-24-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
If you have play in the left inner tie rod area of the rack, this kit will fix it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sm View Post
This fix is for the bushing that's on the left side of the rack. Are you talking about that?
Yes, the left side of the rack gets play in the shaft when the bushing wears. This makes it appear as though the inner tie rod, where it attached to the rack, has play. The new bushing is made from a higher grade material so it doesn't wear as quickly as the original one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malicem3 View Post
How involved is this to change out?
If you follow the BMW manual, it's pretty involved since it requires $200 worth of specialized installation tools with some electronic measuring equipment to adjust the play. I think people are just installing without following the BMW procedure.

Attachment 2131425
Are you sure? It does require a tool to tighten the cap but adjusting the the play isn't necessary I don't think. You can just count rotations when you undo the original cap. I need to get this done, the noise is ridiculous!
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      10-24-2019, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sm View Post
Are you sure? It does require a tool to tighten the cap but adjusting the the play isn't necessary I don't think. You can just count rotations when you undo the original cap. I need to get this done, the noise is ridiculous!
You're welcome to count the turns, but that is not the right way to make the adjustment. You could end up damaging the steering rack if you go too tight. Do you think BMW would have went all the effort of specifying the measuring tools and writing up the detail adjustment procedure if it was not necessary?



If you don't want to use the special measuring tools, fine, but I don't recommend adjusting it by counting turns, at least make small adjustments until the play is removed then stop.
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      10-24-2019, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pungo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by x3sm View Post
Are you sure? It does require a tool to tighten the cap but adjusting the the play isn't necessary I don't think. You can just count rotations when you undo the original cap. I need to get this done, the noise is ridiculous!
You're welcome to count the turns, but that is not the right way to make the adjustment. You could end up damaging the steering rack if you go too tight. Do you think BMW would have went all the effort of specifying the measuring tools and writing up the detail adjustment procedure if it was not necessary?

If you don't want to use the special measuring tools, fine, but I don't recommend adjusting it by counting turns, at least make small adjustments until the play is removed then stop.
I adjusted my rack and it was very simple to do. If you over-tighten the cap, the steering wheel will have a harder time re-centering, almost feeling heavier. You can do a test drive and feel it.
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      10-24-2019, 08:46 PM   #11
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What if someone would just tighten in small amounts until the knocking noise went away
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      10-24-2019, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
What if someone would just tighten in small amounts until the knocking noise went away
Correct
1)Lift front wheels off the ground.
2)Grab drivers side tire at 3 & 9 o'clock
3)Push/Pull tire with high force and feel/hear knock
4)Turn adjuster clockwise in small increments 1/16 turn at a time.
5)Repeat 2-4 until knock is gone.
6)Turn steering wheel left to right lock to lock and check for binding. If binding exists, back off adjustment a hair until binding is gone.
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      10-25-2019, 07:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
What if someone would just tighten in small amounts until the knocking noise went away
Well you could, but it would be better to replace the entire thrust bearing
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      10-25-2019, 09:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Well you could, but it would be better to replace the entire thrust bearing
Yes. I was referring to after the kit was installed.
Instead of using the BMW specific tools.
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      11-01-2019, 09:04 AM   #15
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x3sm Did you ever figure out if the repair works on the pre LCI models that have a different tightening socket
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      11-02-2019, 12:02 PM   #16
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I've cited this kit as a potential solution in thread https://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1662030
My reply there has links to videos and install instructions. One special tool that is used to set clearances was discovered buy an independent shop I worked with to cost $1500. If it were $200 I would have purchased it and done the repair myself. I wonder which price is right.


X3 is at dealer as I type this. I had to point them to the solution. Have my fingers crossed that it actually works! They are covering the cost since I had them work on the same issue once before when the rig was still in factory warranty. They deserve kudos for that and for working with a smartypants customer like me, and I'll see if it's appropriate to give their name here, and if the dealer wants that.

BTW my rig has the DHP (dynamic handling package) and I think that includes variable ratio steering. It's certainly fewer turns lock to lock than the loaner G01 I have at the moment. I wonder if this issue is specific to that steering rack?

Oh, and if the dealer hadn't been so accommodating I was otherwise at the point of doing what pungo suggests in a reply above. I might have done one more step: After it seemed just right I'd back off the adjustment a hair just to make sure there is no binding that I couldn't feel. If you look at the training video, the link to which is embedded in the install instructions to which there is a link in my reply cited here, you can see that some clearance is prescribed.

Edit 5 Nov - the part was replaced and things are much better. Steers better, no knocking in regular driving. There is still a bit of a knock when jigging the steering wheel with the engine off. Is this OK? I dunno. When I get home I'm near gravel roads with washboard - I'll see if it still knocks there. Many thanks to BMW Northwest in Fife, WA, for their willingness to listen to my analysis, to research the issue, and to pay for the special tools needed to do the fix.

Edit 18 Nov: Fix is good, no knocking noise on rough gravel roads. The residual knocking when jigging the steering wheel with engine off only occurs after the car has been driven a bit. I'm guessing the tolerances are affected by temperature. The BMW repair instructions do not address that. I guess it's good enough!

Last edited by Oilverland; 11-18-2019 at 08:08 PM..
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      11-03-2019, 06:46 AM   #17
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Have any of you found a good supplier for this tool for adjusting/tightening the steering rack?
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      11-05-2019, 08:12 AM   #18
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I thought I had this knocking but my sway bar end links were loose! I recommend all with this issue check them and tighten them. A 15 minute job that may just save you a headache.
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      03-06-2022, 05:18 PM   #19
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I know Im bringing up an old thread. But my 2011 X3 has been wandering while driving. The shop took a look and initially thought it was the left side inner tie rod, but then upon closer inspection it looks like its from the rack. I would much rather pay them to install this kit as opposed to trying to pay for a new rack. Mine has play and a lot of what is mentioned, but I havent noticed any clunking or knocking noise coming from it.
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