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  1. #1
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    M3 Steering Rack Swap

    Does anyone know if the steering racks are interchangeable between the 335i and the M3?


    I would LOVE to swap an M3 steering rack for a quicker steering for AutoX and track purposes.


    M3 steering ratio 12.5:1
    335i steering ratio 16:1
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

  2. #2
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    I would be interested too . good question but my gut say's no. although I have not seen them both side by side .

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    Do you know what an M3 rack costs new? Better get one out of a wrecked car...
    Click here to enlarge

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    http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=653822

    can find a bit more info on it if you like... but... it seems like it should, tie rod ends are the same so it WILL fit, but the rack side is different going by what HPA has said in that thread, which makes sense.

    so... if you can find one from a wreck for cheap - go for it.

    ED:

    any track width difference between 'M' and non-m cars is by offset in the wheels alone, actual axle lengths don't seem to differ in any model i've actually looked at (hence an M subframe +diff and axles will bolt right on to a non-m)

    and some models have 10mm thicker rear hub flanges which bolt up to any other model. (which effects brake disc depth and not much else lol)
    boop

  5. #5
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DefactoM6 Click here to enlarge
    Do you know what an M3 rack costs new? Better get one out of a wrecked car...
    $1700 with a $500 core charge or PLUS a $500 core charge? something like that?
    boop

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    i tried the akg solid tension strut bushings and they improved the steering response
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    ground control coilovers/wavetrac lsd/ full m3 suspension/delrin bushings/ megan racing toe and camber arms/bmw oem performance carbon fiber front lip and rear deck spoiler/m3 strut brace/ecs SS brakelines/CPE dci's, charge pipe, catless dp, fmic/bms OCC/tuningtechfs custom tune/defiv diff lockdownkit,rbpcv valve.

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    So the bottom line is, if you get your hands on one via junkyard, yes it fits right up?

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    Honestly, @ $1700.00 its a steal! I find out steering too slow for any serious AutoX or track events.

    Finding a steering rack from a junked M3 is definitely a viable option. The question is: is it a direct bolt-on for us?
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

  9. #9
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DallasBoosted Click here to enlarge
    So the bottom line is, if you get your hands on one via junkyard, yes it fits right up?
    well... more than likely? haha

    everything else on these cars can be swapped so why not the rack?
    boop

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    Not sure they'd be a direct swap. Sway bars are different, wider track...i'm about 10% on a direct swap being possible but easiest might be just to get an m3 up in the air and measure it up and compare
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@ProTUNING Freaks Click here to enlarge
    Not sure they'd be a direct swap. Sway bars are different, wider track...i'm about 10% on a direct swap being possible but easiest might be just to get an m3 up in the air and measure it up and compare
    M3 sway bars direct swap (i have an E90 on mine)... track is done via wheel offset, at least on the 1m for sure - i've worked it out before and it was 20mm (hub flange thickness)+ wheel offset on the rear.. and wheel offset alone on the front compared to mine and considering 1m is identical to the M3, a the E8x matches with E9x - hence when you fit a 1m front end on a non-m, wheel ofsets and all, it looks and fits the same

    can't disagree with the 'get them up in the air' suggestion though Click here to enlarge

    HPA did say the tie rod ends were the same on M and non-m though, so that part of the rack will bolt on..?
    boop

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    579 + 200 core on eBay, reman...

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/330920984954

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    ^^ repped! Nice find!
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Reputation: Yes | No
    @vasillalov

    Give Rich at the rackdoctor a call (843)-933-4045. He has 335 racks in stock and I am sure he can source you an E9X rack for compatibility comparison although one is not appearing on the website. I received a ton of BAD internet and keyboard warrior dis-information performing this swap on my 46M last year and I almost dropped the idea. Albeit a different chassis you are trying to perform the same swap.

    I went with a ZHP rack (13.7:1 or 3.0 Turns to Lock) from the OE 46M (15.4:1 or 3.5 Turns to Lock) and couldn't be happier. Instantly the car is more athletic and I have tried many combinations of coilovers, swaybars, and a variety of mounts/bushings in 5+ years of ownership. Best suspension/handling upgrade - PERIOD. The car feels like it shed weight. Seriously.

    Rich was extremely helpful throughout the process and the pricing was excellent ($260 with core). He is also a bimmer nut with a stable of Z3's of various power levels.

    At the very least, he could tell you if they physically bolt up.

    Good luck,
    Mike
    Last edited by MisterEm; 05-20-2013 at 05:37 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by vasillalov Click here to enlarge
    ^^ repped! Nice find!
    Thanks Mon, hoping one would fit a Xi, can you imagine going from 18.2 to 12.5?

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    Mister Em,

    Thanks for the good info (and repped). I'll give Rich a call. Everything points to the steering racks being a direct swap between 335i and M3.

    So... if the price is right, this will be my very next modification.
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

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    Hmm...I'm suddenly interested in this Click here to enlarge

  18. #18
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    It looks like the Xi rack has mounting tabs on the wrong side, and hoses routed in the wrong place. But I was thinking maybe swap the gears only (just the rack and pinion guts) out of an M3 rack into XI housing may work if that is not too hard.

  19. #19
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    Just a question - have you considered just replacing the steering wheel with a wheel having less diameter? I am not sure how often you race - but that's something I would consider given that your options aren't cheap/easy.

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    Yes I have, but a slow steering rack is a slow steering rack. A smaller diameter steering wheel can't change that.
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

  21. #21
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    Moved to 3-Series -> E9X

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by vasillalov Click here to enlarge
    Yes I have, but a slow steering rack is a slow steering rack. A smaller diameter steering wheel can't change that.
    It'll mediate it slightly, but your right. A quicker ratio is what is truly needed
    Click here to enlarge

  23. #23
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by vasillalov Click here to enlarge
    Yes I have, but a slow steering rack is a slow steering rack. A smaller diameter steering wheel can't change that.
    I don't understand... If you care about the steering responsiveness/quickness - either/or of these options are equivalent unless you want to change the lock to lock ratio. IDK - just thought it would help - a friend did it on his tuned VW, and it made a huge difference in feel/quickness. A lot cheaper than changing the rack - but I might not understand 100% what you are doing.

  24. #24
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    Another option is a tie-rod relocation kit.

    http://blog.perrinperformance.com/50/

    alot of drift guys use something similar for roll center, bump steer, and Ackerman adjustment.

  25. #25
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    Anyone ever find out if the M3 rack was a direct swap into a 335?
    2010 e92 M3 Jet Black | DCT | ESS Tuned | Akrapovic Slip-on | Challenge X-pipe | AFE Intake | 18" Volk TE37SL | KW V3 Coilovers | RPI Scoops | Under Drive Pulley

    2007 e92 Mont. Blue 335i | 6MT | COBB Tuned | Quaife 3.46 LSD | Helix FMIC | AA DPs | HKS Exhaust | DCI | Stett CP w/ Forged DVs | KWv2 Coilovers | UUC Sway Bars & SSK | HPF Stg 2 Clutch | HFS-4 | M3 Suspension Bits | DEFIVfab Diff Lockdown Kit | Stoptech Trophy BBK

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