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Marty, ASE Certified Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 53943
Experience:  ASE & Bosch Certified Master Tech. Over 30 years experience.
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323I: can the rack and pinion be tightened. when we turn the

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can the rack and pinion be tightened. when we turn the steering wheel there is slight movement in the steering wheel before the wheel actually react. so when we are driving down the road the car goes from left to right or right to left making it hard to handle

eurotec :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you with this problem. There is no adjustment for the steering rack. If you have excessive play in the rack it will need to be replaced. You should check the steering shaft between the steering column and the rack. Often times it's the shaft that wears and not the steering rack. The steering tie rods that lead from the rack to the wheels can also develop looseness and cause excessive play. If you are certain that the play is in the rack itself and not in the steering shaft or in the steering tie rods the rack will need to be replaced.

eurotec :

Please let me know if you have any questions. Please also note that you must leave a positive rating for my service in order for me to receive credit for my help.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not sure if its in the rack, the tie rods are tight, you can see where the shaft goes into the rack and that's where the play is at. Would that be the shaft of the rack? Can the end of the shaft be replaced?
You need to look closely at where the shaft enters the rack while a helper moves the wheel side to side. If the input shaft of the rack is not moving while the helper moves the wheel gently side to side I would check for looseness in the u-joint about 12" up from the rack. I've seen the u-joint in the steering shaft wear and create the play in the steering. The little rubber coupling at the input shaft can be replaced as well as the steering shaft with the u-joint.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok the shaft is tight no play. It only moves at the entry point where the shaft goes into the rack right where that rubber coupling is. Could that coupling be worn and causing the slack in the steering.
The rubber coupling could be worn or the bolts could be loose on the coupling. If you just grab the coupling right at the rack and move it side to side and you still feel play in the rack the problem is going to be in the rack.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't think the play is in the rack because the shaft moves before the rack does. The rack seems to be tight as far as I can tell. Is this a difficult job to replace that portion of the shaft.
Hi John, the shaft takes about an hour to replace. you will need to remove the bolts at the upper and lower part of the shaft and push the shaft upwards off the rack then pull it down off the steering column.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Marty, we went back and really studied the shaft and the rack to see what we could find and found that the rubber coupling was the problem. All the slack that was in the steering cam from it. So we took it off and ordered a new one thanks for the help.
Hi John, I'm glad you figured it out. Please don't forget to rate my service so I can receive credit for my help today.