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Linkage play

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by kevinheap, Jan 5, 2009.

    kevinheap guest

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    I wrapped up the control arm replacement on my 1995 318ti (161,000 miles).

    I still see play at the wheel that appears to directly transfer to the link about 1 foot up from the rack. The play at the wheel, to my naked eye and feel, is mirrored to the wheel on the other side of the car.

    I believe this is a clear indication that I have a significant problem at the steering linkage itself and this problem would outweigh any minor issues with tie rods or the rack.

    I have a Bentley manual that I am going to crack open now and I posted on Bimmerfest too.

    People seem to like to help and I am just a dog for data.

    PS. A floor jack in conjunction with a heavy vise works well to press on Control Arm bushings. A 7/8 flat washer fits perfect over the bushing too.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Eh? Play in the steering wheel? Gotta word this better. You turn the wheel how far before there is any movement of the road wheels? How far before there is any movement at the rack input shaft?

    kevinheap guest

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    Since you got right back so will I. I just went out and can just check the steering wheel play relative to the cars wheels by myself outside the garage.

    I have 1 to 2 inches play max. at the steering wheel before the rolling wheels move.

    In my post I meant play in the rolling wheels but of course that translates to the steering in this case.
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    mooseheadm5

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    That is not excessive play, but to find out where there is play, you need to put the car back up and check the tie rod ends (inner and outer) for wear. You can do this by grabbing the back of the wheel and moving it laterally while looking for corresponding movement of the rest of the steering. What you want to see is everything moving in unison (just about.) What you don't want is any sort of clunk. It may be easy for you to see play, or you may have to keep doing it if you notice something is off before you can recognize the problem. Often, it is an inner tie rod end that is difficult to spot, since there is a boot in the way.
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    mooseheadm5

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    There is also a nut on the steering column that can come loose and add a little play to the steering. It is under the dash, and IIRC, it is 32mm. It is there to allow the column to crush down in case of impact, but they often get a little loose.

    kevinheap guest

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    Paul, thank you again for your assistance. I really appreciate it.

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