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Old 11-05-2005, 05:06 PM   #1
97 318ti
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Default loss of power steering

I've been experiencing some problems with my power steering as of late. This is what i've done so far to try and fix it:
1) Replace Power Steering Reservoir
2) Drain Power Steering Fluid
3) Replace with Dextron 3
This seemed to fix it temporarily but a few hours later it would become progressively difficult to turn the wheel. I've noticed that coming out of a long curve it is more difficult to turn out of the curve than to turn into it. At this point I'm thinking that its not just a matter of flushing the system in order to get any particles out that might be causing the problem.
Am I facing a replacement of the pump or even worse the rack and pinion? What else could I try?
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:14 PM   #2
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here's a procedure someone posted on the yahoo mailing list (the repeated cyclings of the fluid/turning lock-to-lock should get all the old fluid/junk out). it might be worth trying that at least once more. i have not yet done this, but most likely will in the near future.

Here is a summary of the steps we used to change the PS fluid. At 60K miles
the oil was quite dark and dirty. It took 2 of us about 1-1/2 hours.

POWER STEERING FLUID CHANGE

Mobil 1 ATF (Dextron III) 2 Quarts
System Capacity: 1/3 Quart.

1) Jack up the front of the car on stands. Place a drip pan under the PS
tank reservoir.

2) Disconnect the tank return line to the PS Pump and let it drain.

3) Stuff a rag in the Power Steering fluid tank and turn it with a pair of
pliers. If no gunk is present you are done. If gunky, then remove and flush.

4) Install the clean tank using Stainless Steel CLAMPS and new hoses if
needed. Do not connect the return line at this time. CAUTION: Use a short
piece of hose and a cap-plug to stop up the connection at the bottom of the
tank.

5) Place a clear jar under the return hose from the rack. Have a helper turn
the steering lock to lock a dozen times to manually clear out the rack. Fill
the clean tank and start car for a couple seconds then shut off. You will
see the oil pump out. Turn the steering lock to lock. Check and fill the
reservoir a couple times and repeat until the fluid is clean.

6) Connect the return line and fill the reservoir. Run the car again and
steer rack to rack. Check and add more fluid if necessary.

Voila! You are done.
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 11-06-2005, 05:56 PM   #3
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Well i'm going to give it another shot of flushing the fluid...let you know how it goes!
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Old 12-08-2005, 12:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 318ti
Well i'm going to give it another shot of flushing the fluid...let you know how it goes!
Do you have an update as to what happend. It seems that you and I are having the same exact problem. I am also suspecting that it is the rack that is bent, and I'm hoping that is not the case.
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:24 AM   #5
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Default still no solution

I tried the above method to flush my power steering fluid and again this was only a temporary solution. The power steering isn't fully working and various in effectiveness. The new rack finally arrived and the pump as well. I plan on replacing them along with the pump to rack hose. I replaced the resevoir as well after noticing that the fluid was dirty in the resevoir. I will update once I get done with those repairs. What are you experiencing for symptoms? Temporary loss or complete loss? Any noises as well?
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:52 AM   #6
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Intermitent loss, while turning, the steering wheel has some sweet spots where it works, most which dont. And as of today, I now hear a weird noise coming what seems to be from underneath my shift knob. But only when taking turns in certain directions. I'm now almost fully sure that the problem is the rack. How much did you pay for your rack? And where did you get it?
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Old 12-10-2005, 06:14 PM   #7
97 318ti
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Default Rack Supplier

I got it from this website:
www.steeringrack.com

It came to be about $400 in total. You get $150 back with a core return. I guess the only bad part was the time it took to get delivered. I think it took about 3.5 weeks before I got it. It seems like they get an order, search for a rack to rebuild and so the search for a rack might be what took them so long but other than that the rack seems fine, just need to find some time to replace it.
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Old 12-10-2005, 07:55 PM   #8
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you should check out www.theeurodepot.com they have used racks for like 95 bucks, and new ones for like 200. I think i'm gonna source my parts from them when I decide to do my swap to a 5 speed.
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