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tashakes

Getting rid of steering sloppiness.

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I finally decided to tackle the sloppiness in the steering.  It has just gotten worse to the point of the car tracking on freeway ruts anywhere it wants to and me having to overcorrect so much that I looked like I was driving in an old movie.  

 

I was under the car and saw the first indication of trouble with the tie rod ends on the bar that connects to the pitman.  The rubber bushings were completely gone.  

 

The pictures below show the sloppiness on the steering wheel, how bad the ball joints actually were and how much play was on  the wheel/tire. 

 

I will do the other ball joints and tie rods but they are still in decent shape.  This gave the car a completely new feeling, nice and tight.  I was pleasantly surprised to not find slop on the steering box. 

 

One tip, the cotter pins on the pitman and idler arms are a complete PITA to take out from under the car.  It’s not very easy from the top but at least you can see what you are doing and not break them and spend hours fixing that mistake.  Also, a ball joint remover is a great tool to have.  Make sure your face is away from the joint because they pop really hard. 

 

Hope this thread helps in the future. I will continue posting when I do the rest of the steering components as they are needed to have all documented in one place. 

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Nice, Probably one of my favorite repairs I have done to the car. Went from Jalopy to Go-Kart instantly.

 

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If your steering stuff has been whacking around like that for a while you might want to check the oil and adjustment in the steering box, because that's what's been taking the hit.

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(edited)

Nice work! But what's it gonna take to get BMW Classic to get the steering box worm gears available again? Most people have steering boxes with no adjustment left...The demand is there...

Edited by golf73

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I hear ya. I first thought my problem was the steering box, and at some point it will be.  During my research I read a thread about the boxes available on ebay that are “refurbished” and stated by the seller that the worms are not replaced and they discard the boxes that are not up to snuff. That makes me think that there will be a shortage of worms or boxes sometime in the future.  How soon?  Who knows. I frequent the faq regularly and there are more unobtanium parts than the steering box so the problem is not here yet.  

 

Having said that and clearing that I have ZERO knowledge in engineering, how difficult would it be to 3D scan a worm and have it machined?  Hell I know a great machine shop south of the border that can probably machine them if the CAD was available.  Someone school me if I am talking out of my ass.  

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(edited)
44 minutes ago, tashakes said:

I hear ya. I first thought my problem was the steering box, and at some point it will be.  During my research I read a thread about the boxes available on ebay that are “refurbished” and stated by the seller that the worms are not replaced and they discard the boxes that are not up to snuff. That makes me think that there will be a shortage of worms or boxes sometime in the future.  How soon?  Who knows. I frequent the faq regularly and there are more unobtanium parts than the steering box so the problem is not here yet.  

 

Having said that and clearing that I have ZERO knowledge in engineering, how difficult would it be to 3D scan a worm and have it machined?  Hell I know a great machine shop south of the border that can probably machine them if the CAD was available.  Someone school me if I am talking out of my ass.  

 

There has been a shortage of steering box gears for some time now, it is a "now" issue. High quality replacements would do a great deal of good for the 2002 community, others please tell me if I'm wrong...but if replacements were made, they better be GOOD! :) 

 

 

 

Edited by golf73

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This thread sheds some light into the rebuild.  These are now $400. 

 

https://www.bmw2002faq.com/forums/topic/220315-anyone-every-bought-one-of-these-rebuilt-steering-boxes/?page=2

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Last week I spoke with a restoration shop about rebuilding steering boxes, and he wanted to buy the bushings that I had made. He told me that he is having sample parts made, but don't know when they can be assessed nor what the price will be. I surmise that if you are squawking over $400. then they won't be for you.

 

Remember that when ZF rebuilt boxes it was about $1500.00................

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Don't laugh...I resealed the steering box in my 69 and after a few months of driving the steering was really sloppy.  The 4 bolts holding the cover to the box weren't fully tightened by me.  Simple fix.

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40 minutes ago, Einspritz said:

 I surmise that if you are squawking over $400. then they won't be for you

 

Nah, the $400 does not worry me, it’s more that I want to be sure that the gears inside are in good shape.  No reason to doubt the seller that they are good, there is no negative comments or feedback on them.  So $400 may be a bargain.  

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