[E46] Project thread #3

M3POWERBOY

Sponsor
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
11,951
Reaction score
2,759
Points
113
What're you driving?
E46 M3 SMG Coupe
Colour Combo
Silver Grey/Black Nappa/Alcantara Custom Recaro CS/CSL
Not true? worth the effort if you enjoy modifying cars and like the brace

What I mean is extend the location- it’s all my opinion of course which he asked for

*ive edited the original post

At the end of the day if you want it go for it
 

AndySM3

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
1,347
Reaction score
410
Points
83
Location
East Sussex
What're you driving?
E46 M3 Coupe
Colour Combo
Laguna Seca Blue / Grey
Wasn’t this brace developed for the 330 and it’s been adapted to fit the M3?
 

M3POWERBOY

Sponsor
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
11,951
Reaction score
2,759
Points
113
What're you driving?
E46 M3 SMG Coupe
Colour Combo
Silver Grey/Black Nappa/Alcantara Custom Recaro CS/CSL
Wasn’t this brace developed for the 330 and it’s been adapted to fit the M3?

It fits the 330 fine and the M3 but the terminal is in the way- all Karbonius have done is copy it
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
Actually that does annoy me.

For the money I don't expect to have to faff around with moving terminals.
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
Started to amass a few parts whilst the car is away.

Karbonius CSL flippers and a CSL steering rack to replace the purple tag.
 

giger

Wearing official underwear
Joined
Jun 22, 2018
Messages
193
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
West Mids
What're you driving?
2003 E46 M3 OEM+ spec
Colour Combo
Carbon Black/Cinnamon
Hey Adam - the car is sounding amazing once again. Well done on sourcing the blue tag rack, I'd love one of those!

Any chance you can provide some info on how you blanked the SMG indicator in the instrument cluster - that's something i've been meaning to do. Also keen to find out to find out about the cinnamon armrest as that's also something else i'd love to do. Any tips appreciated!
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
No problem Ian.

All covered in this thread if you look back - I've added links for you.

For summary - I found a light grey armrest and had it redyed by the guy who did my seats who I found from Bruno (the fussiest member on here).

Project thread #3

The instrument cluster was dead easy. Bought a donor manual cluster on ebay for I think £8 and butchered it. 6 screws in total - zero chance of breaking anything. There are pictures a page or two back, also of the arm rest.

Project thread #3
 
Last edited:

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
Also, FYI, I only decided to ditch the purple tag rack because of your comments.
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
Another purchase to go with my stock pile of brakes, suspension, airbox, flippers, illuminated door sills and steering rack is some turner motorsport monoball sealed RTABs.

Black friday deal so just jumped on it.

Nitron are going to fit them for me too as it gives them a fairer platform for assessing their suspension since it takes out the friction from the standard bushings that can vary car to car.
 

giger

Wearing official underwear
Joined
Jun 22, 2018
Messages
193
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
West Mids
What're you driving?
2003 E46 M3 OEM+ spec
Colour Combo
Carbon Black/Cinnamon
Also, FYI, I only decided to ditch the purple tag rack because of your comments.
Seems to be a marmite thing; EM3s diagnosed it over the phone as they've swapped so many back to green
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
and how do you feel now after the swap?

Can you confirm what your complaint was before as someone else has been asking over in my wanted ad for the CSL rack.

He has a purple tag and was complaining about a lack of steering feel, even with the increased castor on the front. He also mentioned a deadspot in the middle, but my research tells me that both the stock M3 rack and the Blue tag CSL rack intentionally have a dead spot in the middle for great stability at speed. He has bought one too I think but am concerned that this will make it even worse.
 

giger

Wearing official underwear
Joined
Jun 22, 2018
Messages
193
Reaction score
75
Points
28
Location
West Mids
What're you driving?
2003 E46 M3 OEM+ spec
Colour Combo
Carbon Black/Cinnamon
I wouldn't go back to the purple tag - the Green is night and day better for me. The car feels more planted and stable at speed, whereas the it felt a bit like a white knuckle ride and unsettled on the purple tag on the road (felt good around Silverstone though!). I totally get how going from green to purple gives a different experience and it's easy to think it must be much better, but in my case, and many others it was not. I'm sure it is better for day-to-day and town driving as the rack is quicker and lighter but it lost the M3 feel for me.

Having driven a couple of CS's (also uses blue rack), I wouldn't have any hesitation putting one of those in, as it still retains that planted heavier feel of the green, but requires less input.
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
Correction, he has a stock rack, but also has two cars with purple racks. His dead spot complaints are actually about the stock rack!
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
FYI apparently the blue tag has slightly less assistance too.
 

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
edited - Second mistake of the day - I cancelled the RTAB upgrades because I saw that I already had rogue engineering ones - turns out these were the bushes not monoballs.

Re-ordering from turner motorsport now! (sealed versions)
 
Last edited:

Adamantium

Wearing official crakows
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,952
Reaction score
236
Points
63
Location
Herts
What're you driving?
Audi Q5 3.0TDi, Tesla Model 3 Performance, E46 M3
Colour Combo
Carbon Black / Cinnamon
I’ve been researching the CSL steering rack after being shaky about what I’ve bought (I bought two just in case someone else wanted one).

the seller in Australia sells thousands of steering racks - he is a refurb company and knows all about them. What he explained is that the difference in the CSL rack versus the purple and most other racks out there is the tension bar inside the pinion. It totally changes the feel of the steering confirming that there’s more to it than just ratio.

he linked me to a post by the rack doctor, someone who does what he does but in the LHD market. I thought it would be interesting to share that here as I couldn’t find a better thread on here for reference to put it in:


The Rack Doctor said:
Hello I am reluctantly chiming in here in hopes that I may lend a point of view from a technical standpoint. I have had several PM's, e-mails, and phone calls asking me to explain this dilemma over the ZHP Rack. If I may say ahead of time I have no desire to argue fight debate or anything else about the subject I am simply going to try to explain this as it was explained to me By ZF engineers at the AAPEX Expo. as I too (after 26 years of building the rack and pinions) don't claim to know "EVERYTHING" and at times have questions that I need answered. If anyone would like to debate the information please contact ZF.

I am not here to make anyone right or wrong simply offer tech help when I can this is what I always thought that the forums were for a community of enthusiasts trying to help one another.

I took a little time to break down a few pinions to let you see what's on the inside and how they work.

YES the 330 and the ZHP rack share the same turn ratio (3.0 turns let's keep it simple) the racks function differently by the strength of the torsion bar that runs through the center of the pinion (or in simple terms the spool valve ..... I have heard 1000's of names for the pinion)

I am adding a few pictures to try and explain how the units are different I am aware the pinions are not BMW pinions as they are only for the purpose of illustration.

The easiest way to put it is the torsion bar is different in the ZHP rack. As torque is put on the pinion the the more fluid is passed through the pinion. The stronger the torsion bar the more the sport feel. (this is also where the famous over boosted steering comes from a weak torsion bar)

Below is a simple illustration of how a rack works. The torsion bar runs through the center of the pinion (in simple terms the pinion is the brain of the rack it tells the pump when it is turning (torque) give me more pressure to turn the wheels)






The next picture shows the pinions as they would have been removed from a steering rack





The next picture shows the barrel of the pinion taken off with teflon rings still attached




The next picture shows the barrel close up I wanted to show how small the fluid holes are in the pinion so I used a ball point pen for illistration. I wanted to show this so installers will have a better understanding of the importance of flushing the system out prior to installing a rack and pinion. It takes very little to clog these small holes





Ok Moving on the next picture shows the pinion broken down by components the thin bar that runs through the pinion is the torsion bar. This is where the units differ.




The next picture is just a closer look at the torsion bar. Side by side again with a ball point pen so you can get an idea of the size of the torsion bar in the pinion





The last picture is the assembled pinion with a down view so you can see where the torsion bar is in the pinion while it is assembled




I would like to take a moment to thank the forum members for your valued business. I Hope you find the information helpful and we can agree that simply because a rack and pinion has the same turn ratio does not mean that they all perform the same, much the same as on the E36 models the standard E36 and the 96-99 M3 racks have the same turn ratio the racks perform differently. I have a good friend that works for a BMW salvage yard and he tells me that he sells the M power engine covers all the time for people to slap them on their 2.8 L engines we all know that what happens internally is what makes the difference. Adding a ZHP shift Knob to your car does not make your car a ZHP. :facepalm:

We at Rack Doctor go to great lengths to separate these units rather than lump them all together so that when you order a rack you will get the specific rack you are looking for.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this, and again I hope you find it informative. I hope I have explained it well enough, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you have any questions, or give me a call I will try to help whenever I can.

Be well

Rich (aka the Rack Doctor)


The Australian seller of mine has confirmed having opened them up to service them that mine have this stronger torsion beam inside the pinion. He does however seem adamant that the purple tag and blue tag are both the same ratio. Many people use the number of turns to define the rack but first of all, this needs to be the range with the track rod ends in place and also, they need to be the correct track rods for the car to get a like for like comparison.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top