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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting more and more used to the super quick steering ratio on my mom's mini cooper S and the steering my 330i feels really slow. I remember on the E30 forums that steering rack swaps weren't particularly hard and people were putting E36 M3 steering racks with their quicker ratios in e30s and they would fit. Seems like steering racks on 3-series are kinda universal. :dunno:

Does anybody know if there are faster ratio steering racks than can be swapped into a 330i?
 

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:werd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looking through RealOEM, BMW apparently couldn't make up their mind with steering racks.

323
up to 9/1998 used part# 32131096283
9/1998 to 4/1999 used part# 32131097315
4/1999 to 4/2001 used part# 32136753438

328
up to 9/1998 used part# 32131096283
9/1998 to 4/1999 used part# 32131097315
4/1999 to 4/2001 used part# 32136753438

325
4/1999 to 9/2001 used part# 32136753438
11/2000 to 9/2001 used part# 32131097316 (in the M sports package II only)
9/2001 to present used part# 32136755065

330
4/1999 to 4/2001 used part# 32136753438
3/2001 to 4/2001 used part# 32132282296 (in the M sports package II only)
4/2001 to 9/2001 used part# 32136755065
9/2001 to present used part# 32136757651

M3
all production dates used part# 32132229397

M3 Competition Package
12/2004 to present used part# 32132282642

M3 CSL
all production dates used part# 32132282642

Worth nothing that all E46 use the same "set pipe" part# 32131096845 and all E46, E85, and E86 use the same mount bolt part# 32106781639. My guess is that they are all interchangeable. Sadly, unlike the 3-series before where the power steering rack was $500-$600, the E46 racks range between $900 and $1300. A CSL steering rack would be fun to try out in a non-M, but that means $1200 + $500 core charge from getbmwparts.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Ugh, apparently looking at jpr's post on bimmerfest, M3 and non-M units are different and non-interchangeable. Not sure where he gets this info but usually jpr is correct.

Then there is another thread where a guy swapping a 330 rack into his M3.

Also there is info about the ZHP steering rack being even quicker than an M3 steering rack, and the ZCP/CSL steering rack being the quickest. This is making my head hurt.

Extra steering rack info:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283973
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=107386
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=618979
 

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OEM ///PLUS
2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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Although the E30 rack swaps are done all the time. It didn't have the electronics like DCS to deal with. I'm not certain, but you may have to reprogram the DSC or the quicker turning may activate a lot. Good luck, if I don't buy an M3 by summer. I will likely be doing this mod in the summer if I get enough info.
 

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is this any different than the fact that the early 330/325 had an overboosted steering rack, leading to easier parking lot driving but mushy feel?
They actually had 2 "overboosted" racks. Late 99/early 2000s had the "very" overboosted rack. Lots of complaints so they went to a rack that was just a bit more boosted than the early 99 cars. There was speculation that they returned to the "regular" boost in 03 but that hasn't been confirmed.

The ZHP rack is the quickest E46 ratio other than the M3 CSL. All new production of replacement racks ended in 06 and now all are rebuilds. Pretty pricey for a rebuild, I would search the recyclers if you want one. I don't know about needing a software flash for the new rack to work properly with DSC or not. My guess is not, since the sensor reads yaw and not steering wheel angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just use a smaller steering wheel and be done with it.
True, I've considered this. The mini cooper I'm comparing my car too definitely has a smaller wheel and I'm curious how much of a difference that makes by itself.
 

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Well, if you take a kindergarten geometry class you will see it makes a great difference. The distance the hand has to travel on a smaller wheel is significantly less than a large wheel for the same angle of rotation. This gives the smaller wheel a sharper feel, which was precisely what you felt. It had nothing to do with the rack.
 

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Good thread, Ive also read that a Z3 rack is similar to the ZHP, i may be wrong. So a ZHP rack will work on a 325?. I think ill need one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well, if you take a kindergarten geometry class you will see it makes a great difference. The distance the hand has to travel on a smaller wheel is significantly less than a large wheel for the same angle of rotation. This gives the smaller wheel a sharper feel, which was precisely what you felt. It had nothing to do with the rack.
uhh, no. A steering wheel doesn't change the number of degrees you have have to turn the wheel. That is the same regardless of steering wheel diameter. I've got a twisty narrow road that leads to my house, and the difference is quite large.
 

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the steering on my car is also kinda slow but i like it because then you feel what your doing, but at the same time i think something is wrong cus when i do quick movements with the steering wheel it doesnt react with the car anyone know why that happens?
 
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