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Z3 1.9 Steering rack conversion

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  • #61
    No, the Z4 inner is male vs the M3 female so you have to use the complete M3 tie rod. It mates to the rack fine, but as Jimmy said, there's no provision for a lock plate so you'll have to Loctite it.

    As you can see the boots are different too. It can be made to work, I'm just trying to decide which way to kludge it.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Mick View Post
      Just getting to install this rack. It looks like the E30M3 boots are too small for the Z3 rack and the Z3 boots don't look like they'll fit over the M3 tie rod fastener without cutting.
      What did you guys do for boots?
      Mick, I went down this same path or decision and sadly I have to look at the car to refresh my memory, but I am 99% sure what I did was use the Z4's boots and cut the outboard end then zip tie.
      I have had no issues at all since install.
      jimmy p.
      87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
      88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
      88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
      92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
      98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
      04 Ford F350 - V10

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      • #63
        It does look like that's the better of the two options. I was hoping the answer was that someone found a unicorn boot that fit both ends, haha.

        So the spline end on the rack has a recess for the set screw where the steering column doesn't and I'm cringing at the thought of tightening that set screw down onto the splines. Once they deform it'll be a total bitch to get that u-joint off, if it comes off at all. If the shaft were out of the car I could probably drill it then clean it up so the u-joint slides on/off but that's near impossible inside the car.

        Did you guys do anything about it or just go for it and make it a permanent fixture in the car?

        I'm almost tempted to leave that set screw out. Since the whole assembly is long enough where you have to collapse all 4 fittings to get it off, that means that the 5 remaining set screws would have to back out for it to fail. Bad idea?

        Last edited by Mick; 02-21-2021, 02:49 AM.

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        • #64
          Hey Mick,
          My situation was different in that mine is on my race car, so the "fucks given" directly relate only to it not falling off and me crashing,,, so mine are all cranked down with blue loctite, jam nuts and paint stripes.
          I thought briefly about the "what if" of possible future disassembly and my thought was if I am ever in it that far that I "need" to get it off and it will not slide off, or slide hammer off I'll just cut two slots in it with a cutoff wheel and it will fall off.
          I think in the non-airbag cars the splined steering shaft is the same as used by all E30s and E28s of the era, I think its a pretty common part if I damage it replacement is just the labor of doing the job. At least that was my train of thought.
          jimmy p.
          87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
          88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
          88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
          92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
          98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
          04 Ford F350 - V10

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          • #65
            I used the z4 boots.

            I tried hard to get the rod cut to the right length so that the screws would line up with the grooves, and then tightened everything with blue loctite to whatever the torque spec was. While the FR joints fit really tight, I've had the pinch bolt loose on a stock e46 and could feel it. So tight for me.
            Dave.
            76 M2

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            • #66
              I ended up taking a middle ground approach - lightly snugged it and locked it in with the jam nut. If they find my mangled car and body in the woods you'll know why.

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              • #67
                The directions I found for the Flaming River parts was to mark where the set screw sits on the splines and then to drill a shallow indent there. That should save the surrounding splines and allow the part to be pulled off at a later date if needed. Might not be that easy to drill the end of the column shaft in the car but I’m going to give it a shot when I get to that point.

                Peter

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                • #68
                  I did that for the intermediate shaft. What concerned me about the columnn is that because the u-joint is such a precision fit, even the slightest distortion in the splines will be a problem. I didn't think I could drill it, especially with it in the car, without boogering it up.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by jimmy p. View Post
                    Well, I did it. My OCD got the better of me.
                    I found a 2004 Z4 rack out of a 60K mile car in a semi local wrecking yard for $125 so I bought it.
                    I dont "plan" on implementing this winter,,, but I know its now inevitable,,, that I will proceed.
                    I'll let you know how I get on.

                    The only downside so far is that I use a double set of Turner rack stops in my current E30M3 rack. Using the DTM92 front suspension with 15" wheels allows you to turn the wheel far enough that the inside of the wheel can contact the thrust rods so I have run the limiters to prevent that contact.

                    According to Turner Motorsport they do not offer a rack limiter for a Z4.
                    The sales guy I spoke to said the Z4 rack is somehow unique and not the same as an E46 rack as one might think.
                    I'll start investigating that to see if it is, or if I can fabricate something similar.
                    Jimmy, what did you end up doing for a rack stop?
                    By my measurements it seems like the E30M3 stop kit should have worked. My E30M3 rack measures 26mm on the passenger side and 26.4mm on the drivers, where the Z4 rack is 26mm on both ends.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Mick View Post

                      Jimmy, what did you end up doing for a rack stop?
                      By my measurements it seems like the E30M3 stop kit should have worked. My E30M3 rack measures 26mm on the passenger side and 26.4mm on the drivers, where the Z4 rack is 26mm on both ends.
                      Fuck Mick, now you are testing my memory.
                      I know I used Turner my existing rack stops on the Z4 rack, I also know I bought at least one more kit because with the added range of the Z4 rack I needed more reduction in range.
                      What I cannot remember is how I did it. If I had the car on the lift I could easily look, but its buried in a storage position.

                      Using 15 x 8" wheels I needed about 1.5 Turner spacers per side so the Gruppe A thrust rods did not hit the inner barrel of the wheels at full lock, so I cut down spacers from a 2nd kit and added them to what I had. I could swear I just used the same ones but math is math and if the Z4 rack is 26mm each side, I honestly cant remember what I did.
                      I dont think I bought two kits and only used the 26mm side(s). Let me look in my receipts and pictures.
                      Standby.

                      jimmy p.
                      87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                      88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                      88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                      92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                      98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                      04 Ford F350 - V10

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                      • #71
                        Lo and behold I actually photo-documented something and didnt even mean to (I suck at taking pictures of my projects).

                        Picture here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BfCKqrtB..._web_copy_link

                        The Turner spacers are specifically color coded black to one side white to the other.
                        You can see in that picture I used my original E30M3 spacers taken off my E30M3 rack, now on the same sides of the Z4 rack as they were on my E30M3 rack.
                        Then I cut down one of the new "white side" stops to make up the additional spacer.
                        jimmy p.
                        87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                        88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                        88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                        92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                        98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                        04 Ford F350 - V10

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          You rock, thanks. I'll order 2 of the turner kits.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Mick View Post
                            You rock, thanks. I'll order 2 of the turner kits.
                            Well with standard E30 LCA you may not need two kits.

                            The only reason I needed two kits is because of the Gruppe A suspension. Its designed to clear 17" rims and I run 15".
                            The thrust rods run diagonally through where the stock LCA are curved away from the inner barrel of the wheel.
                            jimmy p.
                            87 E30 M3 Prodrive British Touring Car
                            88 E30 M3 Zinnoberot - Street
                            88 E30 M3 Lachsilber - Race (#98 SCCA SPU)
                            92 E30 M Technic Cabrio - S14 POWERED!
                            98 318Ti M44, Base - Morea Green
                            04 Ford F350 - V10

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              I was on the fence about getting 1 or 2 but noticed the Z4 rack has about 20mm more throw than the M3 rack. I figured if I needed stops before I might want 1.5 stops now.

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                              • #75
                                Finished this up today. I forgot that the locking bracket is removable from the tie rod. Once that's out of the way it the Z3 boot fits fine.

                                One rack stop kit probably would have been fine but \_(ツ)_/ I was in there and 24mm was the exact amount I needed, so I cut the second kit for a total of about 1.33 stops.

                                The bore on the passenger side (white) stops were a bit too small @ 25.4mm so I had to rasp them out to be closer to 26mm




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