E46 Fanatics Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

· Registered
2003 318i Touring M54B22 swap
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi again!
After swapping an M54 into my N42 2003 Touring with a blown engine, i've just managed to get it driving for the first time.
At first, the power steering worked, but after ~5 minutes it suddenly seemed like it was completely gone. After shutting the car down and starting it again a little later it seemed like there was a little bit of assistance, but not as much as there was at the start.
However, the reservoir is completely full and there doesn't seem to be any leaks. When turning, i do notice the engine idle dropping slightly as if the pump was working. The power steering cooler is slightly warm. The fluid is purple-pink as it should be, since i put in like 1 liter.
All over this forum, i read that the pumps go bad a lot. However, i would be very surprised at the timing of that - just after the swap?
During the install and the first start, i had fluid in the reservoir, but after first starting it that fluid did not get sucked in by the pump. Only after pushing to reach full lock a few times, all the fluid was suddenly sucked out of the reservoir, and after i had refilled it the power steering seemed to work fine. That might however mean that the pump ran without oil for a few minutes.
What could be a reason for the pump going bad? Is it possible that the steering rack collected too much moisture while unconnected, or that the pumps from different engines have different pressure levels? the steering rack connectors seemed to go in no problem. Is it possible i connected the power steering system the wrong way? It wouldn't have worked then, right?
Do you think the pump is bad? Could there be another issue like too much moisture or air in the system? I'd be thankful for any help here, as i didn't encounter anyone else having this issue right after a swap.
 

· Registered
2003 318i Touring M54B22 swap
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It being weak could be possible, but i don't want to risk any other issues before installing a new pump and wasting all the fluid.
The pump pulley has about 1mm of play back and forth, just like it did before, and no sideways play. The pulley rotates smoothly.
I also forgot to mention, it's an LF-20 Pump.
 

· Premium Member
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
12,225 Posts
Do you have access to a hand held automotive vacuum pump? If so you can try to pull a vacuum in the vent hole of the cap. Engine is off.

If there is any trapped air (shouldn't be) the vacuum will pull it out.
Remove cap, see if the fluid level changes?
 

· Registered
2003 318i Touring M54B22 swap
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ordered a pump today. I also removed the hose i thought might be filled with air, and found out that it was not. I refitted it and filled in a bit more fluid, and then started it again.
Immediately after the start, the power steering worked just like it should. But the closer the engine got to operating temp, the less assist i had. In the end it felt like i had none.
I think that points at the fluid? I used Liqui Moly Top Tec ATF III 1100. Could that fluid be bad? Or may there be too much moisture in the system? The power steering lines and cooler are all warm to the touch when the engine is at operating temp, but less than the expansion tank. Probably 30-50C.
 

· Registered
2003 318i Touring M54B22 swap
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've done some more testing today and found that even with the engine warm, revving over 1500 brings the assist back full-force. Under 1000 i have nothing, I've thus ordered a new pump and will post an update once it's fitted.
Since all the hoses have been working before the install, i don't think they're the issue, but it's definetly something to keep in mind. thanks for the help :)
 

· Super Moderator
'03 325iT Mystic Blau
Joined
·
6,874 Posts
I've done some more testing today and found that even with the engine warm, revving over 1500 brings the assist back full-force. Under 1000 i have nothing, I've thus ordered a new pump and will post an update once it's fitted.
Since all the hoses have been working before the install, i don't think they're the issue, but it's definetly something to keep in mind. thanks for the help :)
If it were me I'd do the pump and the hoses at the same time and be done with it.
 

· Registered
2003 318i Touring M54B22 swap
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, i found a used LF20 Pump on Ebay (Decided not to convert to the LF30 due to people saying the steering feel on the LF20 is better) for 30€ (35$) and installed it today.
While i spilled oil on every since part of the car and cursed every being within a two mile radius, it did actually work and the power steering behaves like it should now!
I noticed that the old pump's pulley, while not "loose", was way less tight than the new/used one. The old one had about 0.5mm of play that was fairly easy to reach, the new/used one has like 0.1mm that needs more force to actually be moved. I suppose the old pump's seal must have given out, meaning the warm oil was able to slip past it.
Thanks for the help guys! :)
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top