Installation Instructions in the E30 chassis:
- Part name: E30 Steering Rack Swap Kit (Airbag/Non-Airbag)
- Part number: K0134/K0135
- Product page: Link
- Difficulty level: 5
How to Install a Z3/E36/E46 Steering Rack in your E30 with the Garagistic Kit
1. Jack up your E30 on a level surface and support it on jack stands so you're able to access the underside of the engine bay. Remove any underbody plastics if necessary.
2. Set your steering wheel to center and use a bungee cord to hold it in place.
3. Remove the intake from elbow to airbox to give yourself better access to the steering linkage by removing the two 10mm nuts holding the airbox to the bracket on the driver's side fender well and the hose clamp on the throttle body. There may be some additional connections to the intake elbow for the idle control valve and booster vacuum. Be sure not to damage anything during removal.
4. Remove the two pairs of 13mm hardware outlined in red on the steering knuckle. The steering knuckle will be removed after the steering rack for modification on a non-airbag E30 chassis. Spray the splined connections with rust penetrating fluid like PB Blaster or WD40 to make removal easier when you're ready to disconnect everything. A non-airbag steering knuckle is pictured below, but the lower joint at the steering rack is similar to the airbag-equipped E30 chassis.
Skip to step 6 if you have deleted power steering. More information on E30 power steering delete can be found here.
5a. Use a fluid removal pump or turkey baster to remove as much fluid from the power steering reservoir as possible the limit fluid loss and spills.
5b. Remove the 19mm and 21mm banjo bolts securing the fluid lines to the steering rack. Make sure you have a drain pan ready to catch any power steering fluid left in the system.
6. Remove the 17mm nut outlined in red securing the driver and passenger side outer tierods to the knuckles with a 3/4" ball joint separator available at most parts stores for around 20$. It's a good addition to your toolbox. Link to one we recommend here.
7. Remove the two pairs of 15mm hardware outlined in red securing the OEM steering rack to the front subframe.
8. Remove the factory steering rack. The steering rack should have a fair amount of play now and the lower joint of the steering knuckle should separate from the splined shaft by wiggling it back and forth as you remove the rack.
9. To install the new steering rack in your non-airbag E30 you will need to shorten your steering knuckle. More detailed information on how to do so is covered here. Mark the orientation of the upper steering knuckle joint to the steering column with a paint pen or marker before removal. Reinstall the upper joint back onto the column after modification. If you have a later model airbag-equipped e30 you don't need to shorten it.
Steering Column Universal Joint Pinch Bolt - 22Nm
10. Prepare your new steering rack for installation by ensuring it is centered and marked from the spline shaft to the rack body for reference. Install the steering rack onto the front subframe using the spacers provided in the kit and the OEM 15mm hardware. You will also need to connect the steering knuckle to the rack during the process.
Steering Gear to Subframe Mounting Bolts - 41Nm
*The spacers should be installed on top of the mounts on the steering rack, although they can be used on the bottom for a mild bump steer correction on lowered cars.
11. Connecting the rack to the wheels is done by either E30 or E36 inner and outer tie rods. You can use either but you can not mix them up.
12. Double-check all your hardware to make sure everything is torqued properly and reinstall anything else that was removed. Lower your car to the ground and that's a wrap! This was a serious overhaul so we strongly recommend you trailer your car to your nearest alignment specialist for proper alignment before driving.