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  #1  
Old 05-30-2018, 08:02 AM
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Steering Rack Play

Hi,

Iím struggling to find much detail on the E53 steering racks....other than on full replacement. I have diagnosed a front knock to be the steering rack. Thereís no fluid leaking and it is the rack/rod that comes out has play in it. Speaking to some mechanics, you can change a nylon bush in lots of racks to rectify this, but I canít seem to find any part #s or diagrams for the rack internals.....just the rack as a whole.

Issue is the same as in this video - https://youtu.be/qEjsBk3bOnY

Any colour would be appreciated.

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Old 06-02-2018, 10:05 PM
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I have the same problem and did some research but never did get to open her up. Stopped using my X5 for a year or so when I got into Subarus. I am looking to finally fix this once and for all too lol!

Our steering racks are made by ZF. There are 2 variants, a standard one and a variable assist one (servotronic).

There is an adjustment for preload on the rack body, on the opposite side of where the steering shaft meets the rack. This is locked in place by a big nut around it. There is a nylon bush underneath this that pushes on the rack. Some people (like me lol) tried to tighten this up and remove play and were successful, but steering effort increased and self centering lessens or goes away.

So a bit more research shows that in other racks there are bushings at the ends of the rack too. I have not been able to verify if ours have these but I assume they do.

There is a company in Eastern Europe that sells repair kits for our rack. I havent confirmed if it includes end bushings but IIRC it includes the preload bushing. I will try searching back and will post a link to the company.

Opening her up is another matter. I've seen some DIY teardowns of ZF racks with exploded diagrams but again I have to search for those pages.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:39 PM
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I am interested in this issue as well. My steering feels excellent, but if turned off I can also hear a slight knock if I shake the wheel back and fourth... I was planing on tightening that bolt on the knuckle, but glad now that I did not...
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Old 06-05-2018, 12:23 AM
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I am still trying to work out if I just get one from a wreckers with 130kms on it and swap them out. I still can’t find anything for the rack bushes.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:40 AM
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Found the company that sells a seal kit. Not sure if the bushings are included though.

X5 E53 Steering Rack Seal Kit
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:43 AM
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If you click on this thread there is a picture of the inner rack bushings. The one that looks like a potato chip is for the rack pre load, and the 2 round bushings go on either end of the rack housing where the rack exits. I believe these are the ones we need to replace to resolve the clunking.

https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...eed-this-piece
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:50 PM
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Not sure how you guys feel about Pelican Parts but check these out - steering column bushings for E53 X5, 2000 to 2006, they also have a number of other individual parts for the column:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/More_In...20&SVSVSI=BE53


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Old 06-05-2018, 08:31 PM
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Thanks Purplefade, Pelican is cool and their DIY guides are a nice reference if they have them for your application.

However I think the OP needs parts and info for the steering rack itself, not the column.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g300d View Post
Thanks Purplefade, Pelican is cool and their DIY guides are a nice reference if they have them for your application.

However I think the OP needs parts and info for the steering rack itself, not the column.


Oh yes, just re-read that . Yep, definitely not a lot out there for the actual rack bushings ☹️


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Old 06-14-2018, 06:09 PM
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I think I am in on this as well. I haven't comfirmed it yet 100% but about 90% sure I have some slight knocking coming from the rack bushings. I have rebuilt a few racks(not BMW) years ago, and do remember that getting parts can be an issue. For sure compensating for wear by adjusting the preload is not a good idea.
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