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yuppie racing
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Discussion Starter #1
When I first got my 2001 330ci, although overall I loved the car, I was rather disappointed with the feel of the steering. My first automobile, a 1995 318ti, had much better responsiveness. I soon learned that BMW purposely made it the way it was. BMWs, especially the e36 generation, were known to have precise razor sharp steering, and this was anything but. Of course the steering wasn’t absolutely terrible, but when you are used to the best, anything else is just not acceptable. After reading car magazine after magazine, I realized that the automotive press shared my views 100 percent. BMW finally listened to their fans, and with the 2002 and 2003 models the steering was tightened up. They even went one step further and offered what they call a “steering retrofit” for us 2001 owners stuck with the bland steering.

Last weekend my steering retrofit was added to my car. While in the shop, the dealership provided me with a silver 2002 330ci as a loaner. Right off the bat I felt the difference. The steering was much more communicative and responsive. It reminded me of my e36 days. Overall I felt like I was a part of the car rather then just controlling it. When I picked up my own 330ci at the end of the day I immediately noticed the difference. Before, I could jiggle the steering wheel left and right a little bit and the car would stay straight in its path. Now, my same movements would cause the car to instantly move back and forth on the road. Another words, there was no longer that annoying “play” in the steering, whenever I subtlety turned the wheel; the car would go exactly how I wanted.

Interestingly, as I thought my steering would be the same as my 2002 loaner, it was not. My car pre-steering retrofit was way to soft and loose, the loaner was much tighter and heavier. Perhaps too heavy… I actually like my steering retrofitted 2001 better then the 2002 I drove. It is not quite as heavy as that model, for me it feels just right. Of course the new models steering is just fine, and I’m sure many would prefer that “feel” over this, but still I prefer mine better. It portrays all the responsive characteristics of the new models with a lighter feel. Basically it takes less effort to move the steering wheel than with the new models.

The steering retrofit is completely under warranty, so I highly recommend it to pre 2002 owners that are not happy with the way their steering feels. However, although I could be mistaken, I believe this retrofit is only under warranty for 2001 330 owners and sadly no one else. Of course I could very well be mistaken. To find out if your car qualifies for the steering retrofit call this number and good luck!!!1-800-831-1117
 

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Damn Drivin' Fool!
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I've been meaning to get off my lazy butt and get my retrofit done for the longest. :banghead:
 

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yuppie racing
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Discussion Starter #4
E 40 SIX said:
I've been meaning to get off my lazy butt and get my retrofit done for the longest. :banghead:
If you want to get it done you might as well, at least put yourself on the list. My dealership had a huge waitiing list.
 

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Damn Drivin' Fool!
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bmwti said:


If you want to get it done you might as well, at least put yourself on the list. My dealership had a huge waitiing list.
The first time I mentioned the retrofit to the dealership here over a year ago, they didn't know what the hell I was talking about. Even though I had heard about it long before that on many other bimmer forums, they didn't have the slightest clue. My dealership sucks. I'll contact BMWNA and see what they can arrange.
 

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yuppie racing
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Discussion Starter #6
yeah the first dealership that I asked, flat out refused to do it (BMW service blows). The other dealership was much more helpful.
 

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I got my 2001 330ci used, the stering is pretty stiff, but I dont have much to compare it with. is there a part diference on the car that you can look at and see if the Mod was done or not?
 

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Obey my dog
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rsmoffett > what month was yours made in? only the early 2001s have the overboosted steering.

bealeass > it's completely free. i don't think it's a warranty issue and i'm pretty sure it's free even if your warranty has expired. you have to call BMWNA to get put on a waiting list. if you want it done you better hurry, i have been waiting over six months now and still no word...
 

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Hi,

I got mine done last week. And yes I think I agree with you.
I just question my judement, because It was a 5 days in the shop. (took care of other issues while in shop) So did not remember the difference to much.

They gave me a 2003 325i Auto for a loaner. My wife took the 325 for for a spin. Baking the car our of the driveway. First thing she asked me "Does it not have power steering?". Wow, now that is stiff.
When she got back, she love the car and said "I can get into a lot of trouble with this car". :)
She cant handle the BMW 5 speed to well.

Then when I got my 330 back, It was not as stiff. Which I was expecting it to be. I think it was stiffer than before, not sure. I have also noticed that my hands feel the road more. The steering wheel is transmitting more information to my hands.
This is good for sport driving and all. Which is cool.

But it might be too much feel. I was used to the lux feel. Hmmm
I guess that I am just a complainer. :)

====

It is only for 330 2001. And early 2001 productions.
They will have to run your vin to see if you get the free upgrade.
They can also tell you by your vin if you have the upgrade or not. The wait time is over 6 months. More like 8.

Dealers can not get this for you. You will have to call BMW NA. They will put you on list and call your dealer of choice once they have the parts for you. Dealer will call you and do the upgrade. Dealers choice to give you loaner.
 

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I have a 2001 330i and had the retrofit done. It took 7 months of waiting to finally get the swap so you probably want to get on the list ASAP if you want it done by summer. You have to call BMWNA to get on the list, most dealers wont even know what you're talking about.

Review:
My other car is a 1990 300zx TT, and the steering is perfect. I just figured that my 330 steering wasnt as heavy since its a sedan, etc. I then drove my buddy's 330cic and holy crap - his was better than my Z! I then drove a couple other 3's and wanted to cry (or sell my car to get a different one). Called to get the steering retrofit done. I had to fight tooth and nail to get it done in 7 months (BMWNA service is a joke by the way) but finally got it.

After I picked up my car it was noticeably better than before, but not nearly as good as other 330i, 2002 or later. I had the car in the dealer for the squeeky cold start fan belt (4th time and still not fixed, so i just deal with it now) and thought I'd have them see what they can do to make the steering feel heavy. Took a spin with the mechanic and he said "should be heavier, did you have the retrofit"? When I picked the car up he said there's nothing he can do to make it heavier and I have to live with it. They basically checked the alignment and said sorry.

So was it worth it? Yes, and I applaud BMW for doing this. I guess my car steering feel is "acceptable" now but I definetely wish it was as good as other Bimmers.

Would anybody happen to know what I can do at this point to make the steering feel heavier (other than by E36)? They are having a "bmw mechanic" come out to drive my car, but I highly doubt they'll do anything to help me.

Hope this helps.
 

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drmirage said:
is this for 325 owners also?
Yes, but BMWNA won't openly admit it.

I had it done for my early production 2001 325i last spring. Had to make a couple of phone calls, but finally got the work done under warranty.

The steering is indeed heavier. I like it, but I also kinda liked the lighter steering. The lighter steering made the car feel very light and nimble. The heavier steering makes the car feel solid. Going through a fast turn with the heavy steering is much smoother.

It's not the end of the world if you don't get it done. It's not worth losing any sleep over it.
 

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325ci2B said:
I have a 2001 330i and had the retrofit done. It took 7 months of waiting to finally get the swap so you probably want to get on the list ASAP if you want it done by summer. You have to call BMWNA to get on the list, most dealers wont even know what you're talking about.

Review:
My other car is a 1990 300zx TT, and the steering is perfect. I just figured that my 330 steering wasnt as heavy since its a sedan, etc. I then drove my buddy's 330cic and holy crap - his was better than my Z! I then drove a couple other 3's and wanted to cry (or sell my car to get a different one). Called to get the steering retrofit done. I had to fight tooth and nail to get it done in 7 months (BMWNA service is a joke by the way) but finally got it.

After I picked up my car it was noticeably better than before, but not nearly as good as other 330i, 2002 or later. I had the car in the dealer for the squeeky cold start fan belt (4th time and still not fixed, so i just deal with it now) and thought I'd have them see what they can do to make the steering feel heavy. Took a spin with the mechanic and he said "should be heavier, did you have the retrofit"? When I picked the car up he said there's nothing he can do to make it heavier and I have to live with it. They basically checked the alignment and said sorry.

So was it worth it? Yes, and I applaud BMW for doing this. I guess my car steering feel is "acceptable" now but I definetely wish it was as good as other Bimmers.

Would anybody happen to know what I can do at this point to make the steering feel heavier (other than by E36)? They are having a "bmw mechanic" come out to drive my car, but I highly doubt they'll do anything to help me.

Hope this helps.

Yes, I agree. The upgrade is not the same as other 330's and feel.

The only thing I can think of to do to make it heavier is to do a pully upgrade. Like the UUC pullies. This will reduce the pully spin to the power steering, so the less power to help you turn.
I test drove an M3 with pullies and the steering is noticable heavier.
Just my guess.

Please post your findings after the mech test your car on this thread. I want to know what you find out.

Thanks,
 

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Which dealer did u take it to bmwti? I think I might ask my dealer about that and see if I can get on the list.

thx
 

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yuppie racing
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Discussion Starter #19
kyoko said:
Which dealer did u take it to bmwti? I think I might ask my dealer about that and see if I can get on the list.

thx

I drove out to Hunterdon BMW, b/c I like their service dept there, compared to Flemington BMW.
 
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