Slight play in steering on motorway

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by bp8575, Sep 15, 2018.

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  1. 15 Sep 2018 at 9:19 AM #1
    bp8575

    bp8575 A mere Chipper

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    Hi all, just wanted a bit of help on this one. I’ve noticed recently that I have a small amount of play in the steering when I’m driving on the motorway. It’s only really a few degrees each side of centre

    Is this normal or is it nearly always the steering coupler as described in this thread?

    http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=187566&highlight=Play+in+steering

    I did have a problem a while ago with the front wheels not being balanced which was causing vibration at 70mph but I don’t see this anymore after the wheels were balanced properly. I wondered whether this could have loosened something also?
     
  2. 15 Sep 2018 at 9:52 AM #2
    Haider1996

    Haider1996 Achieved official socks

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    What mileage are you on? Has it ever had a front bush refresh?

    The E46 M3 does have a dead zone so to speak in the centre but this can be exaggerated by worn steering coupler and generally other bushes.

    Time for a purple tag steering rack ;);)
     
  3. 15 Sep 2018 at 9:56 AM #3
    Dek

    Dek Rocking a new hat

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    Could also be a worn steering rack. Needs to be jacked up to check.
     
  4. 15 Sep 2018 at 11:22 AM #4
    bp8575

    bp8575 A mere Chipper

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    Thanks both. Sounds like I need to get it down to my local Indy. Don’t have ramps etc at home
     
  5. 15 Sep 2018 at 1:46 PM #5
    M4rius

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    worn steering coupler , very common on e46's ,cheap and easy to replace it .
     
  6. 15 Sep 2018 at 9:03 PM #6
    B Tank

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    I mentioned this to my mechanic as I also feel some play in the steering but my mechanic said it's normal :confused:
     
  7. 15 Sep 2018 at 9:15 PM #7
    Dali

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    As M4rius said, worn lower steering coupler.

    It comes in two parts, and upper and lower section.

    I replaced both, but if you want to minimise cost the lower section is the most common culprit.


    [​IMG]

    Many have done it, including me and noticed an immediate difference.
    There is a piece of rubber the lower section to help with NVH.
    Over time this slackens and induces some play in the steering.

    Upper Coupler: Part 3 #32306764007
    Lower Coupler: Part 4 #32306761571


    Up to you, take your mechanic's advice or find another indy to do the job.
     
  8. 12 Oct 2018 at 4:44 PM #8
    bp8575

    bp8575 A mere Chipper

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    Thanks for all your replies. Just got back from my local Indy and they’ve checked over the car including steering couplers and suspension and all seems OK. Maybe the slight dead centre is normal on these cars but I will keep an eye on it
     
  9. 13 Oct 2018 at 11:03 AM #9
    paul46

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    Oem rack does have a small dead spot in the centre of the rack.

    I personally don’t think a worm coupler is as common and people would like to make out on here. Control arm bushes and ball joints would go far sooner
     
  10. 13 Oct 2018 at 11:23 AM #10
    dls91

    dls91 On the path

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    Anyone know of a uk seller for the solid steering coupler? found a purple tag rack but no aly coupler.
     

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