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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I’m kinda stumped. I have a 2000 323i I’ve had to change the steering rack because one of the lines rusted out. Now I’ve pulled the steering rack out and have a new part ready to install but it seems like the steering column shaft got extended out.

I can’t get the steering rack in properly because the column is too long. I tried beating it with a hammer to go back into its original position but it won’t budge.
I’ve spoke to a BMW tech and they told me,

“There isn't any special tool you just have to manually push it in. Make sure the steering wheel is straight and locked when pushing in the shaft.”

The shaft is telescopic and was able to pull down but won’t retract back up. You’ll understand what I’m talking about with the pictures. P.S this is my first post I hope I’m posting this in the right thread?
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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 775 K km
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That shaft is not extendable/collapsible ! It is made telescopic for your protection, in case of frontal impact those rivets (you can see them on the side) break and shaft collapses in order not to send steering wheel into your face. It is upper part of column what extends/shortens, it is above this part. You can move it by pulling steering wheel, and it suppose to move up-down without efforts.
To make it easier, in case you have trouble to fit it back, I would disconnect this shaft from rubber coupling, fix rack back and then put a shaft back.
 

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2004 325i automagic
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The advice you got is all there is. They can be tough to push back in. Try doing it before the new steering rack is installed, that way you might have a straighter angle to apply force to retract it. Instead of hammering try constant pressure. Remove the coupler (giubo) from the rack and put it on the shaft ... should be easier to apply more force on it that way. Or a block of wood against the end of the shaft if you don't want to stress the giubo too much.
 

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I wouldn't bang on it. Use steady escalating force until it retracts. Encountered same issue (though only 1-2") when installing new steering guibo. Used ~12" pry bar to force retraction with minimum necessary force. GL
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 775 K km
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The advice you got is all there is. They can be tough to push back in. Try doing it before the new steering rack is installed, that way you might have a straighter angle to apply force to retract it. Instead of hammering try constant pressure. Remove the coupler (giubo) from the rack and put it on the shaft ... should be easier to apply more force on it that way. Or a block of wood against the end of the shaft if you don't want to stress the giubo too much.
^^^THIS^^^
 

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I had my front subframe out the other day and after I put it back in I had to push fairly hard on that steering column to get it to collapse enough to get back onto the rack.
 
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