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1986 635csi steering gearbox

Discussion in 'E24 (1977-1989)' started by vietrice4ever, Jun 14, 2017.

    • Member

    vietrice4ever

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    Hi all,

    My 1986 635CSI manual trans, the steering gearbox broke for months now. I been searching and calling couple websites but helpless. I need to know which steering gearbox is the right one for it. It's doesn't looks like a solenoid but not sure if it's a non-servotronics. It's a ZF (IGM3289SS) (8052502144) (GEGE15). I did sent an email to ZF but they have no idea.

    Please help

    V
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    charlson89

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    Do you have the last 7 of your vin?
    vietrice4ever likes this.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Comparing diagrams on realoem.com (you may want to start at the beginning with your vin unless you know your production date month/yr on the door label), it looks like the servotronic has additional parts (#7, torque converter) and the diagram, if correct, shows it attached/mounted to the underside of the unit apparently near where it joins the steering shaft. If you can figure out what you have, ebay might be an option for a used one, the lower the mileage, the better.

    I don't know if the servotronic was on later cars, an option for various years, only later cars, or what. They give a date range for the regular steering box (9/82-6/87), which makes me wonder if servotronic was on the last few years of the E24 production run (7/87-onward) and after the other pump.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=5374-USA-06-1986-E24-BMW-635CSi&diagId=32_0136

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=5374-USA-06-1986-E24-BMW-635CSi&diagId=32_0292

    Might be a good question to throw at folks on http://www.mye28.com/ , not E24's, but, similar vintage and a lot of expertise there.

    This might be an Aussie forum, but, maybe somebody there has some insight - plus the usual at bimmerforums.com, bimmerfest.com - not sure in E90post.com has a subforum for E24's.

    http://bigcoupe.com/phpBB2/index.php?sid=d74bade8bdbc8609daa59433591e89c1

    Welcome to the club & forums also!
    vietrice4ever likes this.
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    vietrice4ever

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    Thank you, I will look up.
    • Member

    vietrice4ever

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    @ McGarrison. Base on the month of my car from realoem.com, Is it Non servotronic?
    This is what I found.
    Vehicle information

    VIN WBAEC7408G0606802
    Type code 5374
    Type 635 CSI (USA)
    E series E24 ()
    Series 6
    Type COUPE
    Steering LL
    Doors 2
    Engine M30
    Displacement 3.50
    Power 0
    Drive HECK
    Transmission MECH
    Colour ZINNOBERROT (138)
    Upholstery (0206)

    Prod.date

    Thank you all for the help.

    1985-09-02
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Yeah, the VIN checkers don't seem to offer enough specifics to show that. Your best bet is to pop the hood and see if your steering box has the torque converter (part #7, aforementioned diagram) on the underside of the steering gearbox or not. As a dealer tech, Charlson might have access to something more specific, but with internet-only resources, I haven't been able to find anything that definitively and authoritatively states exactly which bimmers do and don't have servotronic.

    Here's an multiple-picture ebay listing showing a similar-vintage gearbox w/ servotronic, note the last picture shows the torque converter attached -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E32-7-S...ash=item2127ae3a14:g:UcQAAOSwaeRZLgf~&vxp=mtr

    [IMG]

    Here's an ebay listing for a non-servotronic one, lacking the torque converter -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/BMW-E-24-6-...ash=item35ef707563:g:HaoAAOSwLVZVylUs&vxp=mtr

    This picture gives a general idea of the steering gearbox location, although this is an E39, obviously much later car than your '85.

    [IMG]

    On the assumption there's room to snake your hand/arm down around the steering box and feel under it, you should be able to feel the square torque converter and plug, with socket plugged into the plug (obviously there would be wires coming off the socket) - if it is servotronic and has the torque converter. I would put on some nitrile or latex gloves and possibly an old long-sleeve t-shirt I didn't care about given the likelihood of encountering a good bit of grease & dirt jamming arms and hands about in the engine bay. Obviously, you don't want the engine running while checking. It's possible you might be able to scope it out with a flashlight looking down from above, or in conjunction with a telescoping-handle inspection mirror to get a view at the underside of the steering gearbox. It _might_ be visible from underneath, but I wouldn't know, I'm not familiar enough with E24's to tell you if it would be too far back or up or the view blocked by underbody panels to be visible trying to get a look at it lying on the ground, or even using a mirror and flashlight trying to get a view from underneath. In any case, if you can get a good look at it, you should be able to see if yours might happen to be servotronic.

    I came across a couple of things of note trying to google up an answer to your question - this google book result from an M-car buyers guide mentions the US M6, introduced in Sept. '86, never had servotronic. If you scroll up a few pages to the paragraph on suspension and steering, (p. 49), it mentions the final 'Highline' models (whatever they were) had servotronic - later, he mentions it's likely the "Highline" models started production in 9/87.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=xMRT2oqlIkYC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=which E24 BMW has servotronic steering&source=bl&ots=8VIu3wmwJ2&sig=sYsq9YGWAIS5IvnmgylTvSnB4wQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBg8WjjszUAhWHNiYKHSdwAFcQ6AEIajAI#v=onepage&q=which E24 BMW has servotronic steering&f=false

    If that's all accurate, if US M6's, definitely the top-of-the-line 6er for the US, didn't get servotronic, (even though earlier 7's may have if the one ebay auction above is any indication), logic-wise, you'd have to guess it wouldn't seem likely the non-M E24's would have servotronic if the most upmarket E24 didn't. Especially, as in your case, well before there were any M6's even here in the U.S.

    If post #7 here is any indication, it would seem servotronic wasn't too far off from getting to the US market though, apparently on E34 5ers &/or M5's -

    http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e34-m5-discussion/45785-servotronic-steering-not.html

    Now, on another topic, you mention your steering gearbox being broken - do you have any specifics on exactly what's broken, which is a pretty general description for myriad possibilities? I've thought generally BMW steering gearboxes are reasonably robust, mine on my E34 was pretty good up to 150k, and suffered enough wear after that point it was necessary to adjust-out some of the slop/wear. If your gearbox is internally broken, I suppose multiple leaks to a point where it runs dry and suffers failure could be a cause, but that's pretty substantial leakage. I saw a steering gearbox repair kit on ebay, but "repair" is possibly a bit of an overstatement - if all that is, is a bunch of seals to re-seal a gearbox so that it's again leak-free, that's a service but in the overall scheme of things, a relatively minor repair. Ebay has listings for 'remanufactured' steering gearboxes that look brand new in the $300-$400 range, which actually rebuilt seems unlikely for that price. I could see someone taking used ones, disassembling and thoroughly cleaning them, even to the point of looking brand new, installing new seal kits, as much as possible adjusting out slop due to the wear on the original, high-mileage gears so it'll work as well as it's able, and offering it as re-manufactured for a few hundred bucks. Machining is expensive and time consuming, if someone is making affordable, quality, replacement internal steering gearbox gears/parts to be used in rebuilding gearboxes, I'm unaware of it - there has to be something that accounts for the price realoem.com shows for a remanufactured replacement steering gearbox. My understanding in the past has been the gearboxes aren't serviceable beyond the seal kits and adjustment up to a point - eventually, after enough miles, the degree of wear means the only option is replacement. Anyway, for curiosity and information's sake, I'm wondering what's broken with yours and why it broke.

    I came across this, which I never heard of before, presumably it's of interest - apparently the area on E24 subframes where the steering gearbox attaches is prone to cracking/failing -

    https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1963071-Steering-Box-mount-failure

    This is the link in one of the replies - click the E24 steering fix picture and read the .pdf -

    http://www.mwrench.com/

    This diagram may also be helpful - it shows the hydraulic line routing from the brake accumulator, etc - looking at the pics for the servotronic gearbox in the ebay auction, it has the two banjo-bolt fittings on top of the gearbox - in this diagram, (no servotronic), it looks like the line from the accumulator attaches to the underside, where the servotronic torque converter is mounted in the ebay pictures. The line coming off the accumulator would presumably go to where the red plug is in the pics shown in the non-servotronic ebay auction. If you have a hydraulic line running off the brake accumulator and attaching on the underside of the steering gearbox where the torque converter would mount if there was one, and one hydraulic line coming out the top of the steering gearbox, (not two coming out the top like in the ebay pix for the 7er gearbox), and nothing in sight or on the steering gearbox that looks like the torque converter with a wired socket attached to it, most of which I'm thinking should be reasonably visible when you take a look at it, all that would indicate yours is a regular ol' non-servotronic E24 gearbox.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=5374-USA-09-1985-E24-BMW-635CSi&diagId=32_0245

    This may also be helpful -

    http://i1305.photobucket.com/albums/s558/FernandoGB/hydraulic_system_156_zpsa31c4ea1.jpg
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    vietrice4ever

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    Hi,

    I looked up vin # in Realoem.com, I ordered part base on the information from the site. I found one in San Diego went pick up. After the mechanic dropped the steering gearbox, we realized it's wrong. My has the pressure gauge under and other gauge on top. the parts store don't have the same parts for my car. the mechanic shop nice enough to have my car on the lift until Monday. I end up found a shop do rebuilt parts, so I have them rebuild my for $240 warranty 5 years.

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