BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Steering Linkage

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See Figures 1 and 2



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Fig. Fig. 1: Manual steering rack equipped linkage assembly



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Fig. Fig. 2: Power steering rack equipped linkage assembly

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Outer Tie Rod

See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

  1. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the front wheel.
  2.  
  3. Use paint to mark the relative position of the tie rod screw threads. This is most effective if the tie rod is to be reinstalled.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use paint to mark the thread location of the tie rod in the steering rack arm



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the nut securing the tie rod to the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 5: Separate the tie rod from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 6: Loosen the nut and bolt securing the retainer clamp around the steering rack arm



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Fig. Fig. 7: Unscrew the tie rod from the steering rack arm

  1. Remove the cotter pin, if equipped and castle nut at the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Press the outer tie rod off the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with a locking nut at the tie rod on the steering rack arm loosen this nut.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the nut and bolt which secure the clamp, if equipped, around the steering rack arm over the end of the tie rod.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the tie rod from the steering rack arm.
  10.  

To install:
  1. If installing a new tie rod, measure the length from the original tie rod in which the new tie rod will need to be screwed into the steering rack arm.
  2.  
  3. Install the tie rod into the arm.
  4.  
  5. Tight the clamp or locking nut at the steering arm.
  6.  
  7. Attach the tie rod at the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nut and bolt at the steering rack arm.
  10.  
  11. Install the castle nut and cotter pin, if equipped. Install the front wheel.
  12.  
  13. Have the alignment checked.
  14.  

Inner Tie Rod

The inner tie rod and steering rack arm on models produced after 1981 are installed together. In the event the inner tie rod fails, the entire assembly will have to be replaced.

REPLACEABLE TIE ROD
  1. Remove the cotter pin, castle nut and press the outer tie rod off the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the inner tie rod and press the inner tie rod off the steering rack.
  4.  
  5. Unscrew the clamp, or locking nut securing the tie rod to the arm.
  6.  
  7. Place the arm assembly on a clean surface and use paint to mark the thread position of the inner tie rod in relation to the steering rack control arm.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the tie rod.
  10.  

To install:
  1. If installing a new tie rod, measure the length from the original tie rod in which the new tie rod will need to be screwed into the steering rack arm.
  2.  
  3. Install the tie rod into the arm.
  4.  
  5. Tight the clamp or locking nut at the steering arm.
  6.  
  7. Attach the reassembled arm to the steering knuckle and steering rack.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the nut and bolt at the steering rack arm.
  10.  
  11. Install the castle nut and cotter pin, if equipped. Install the front wheel.
  12.  
  13. Have the alignment checked.
  14.  

NON-REPLACEABLE TIE ROD

The inner tie rod and steering rack arm on models produced after 1981 are installed together. In the event the inner tie rod fails, the entire assembly will have to be replaced.

  1. Remove the cotter pin, castle nut and press the outer tie rod off the steering knuckle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the robber boot covering the inner tie rod assembly. Depending on the model one or more clamps will have to be removed or cut off. Peel back the rubber boot. Check the condition of the boot and replace if torn or cracked
  4.  
  5. Lift up the locking tab attaching the tie rod assembly to the rest of the steering rack.
  6.  
  7. Unscrew the tie rod and arm assembly off the steering rack.
  8.  

To install:
  1. If the new assembly did not come with a new boot, remove the boot from the original unit and slide over the replacement assembly.
  2.  
  3. Screw the new tie rod on to the steering rack and lock in place by pushing the locking tab down in to to groove in the tie rod.
  4.  
  5. Install the cover boot over the steering rack and steering rack arm grooves and secure with one or more clamps, depending on model and year.
  6.  
  7. Attach the reassembled arm to the steering knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Install the castle nut and cotter pin, if equipped. Install the front wheel.
  10.  
  11. Have the alignment checked.
  12.  

Center Tie Rod
  1. If equipped, remove the heat guard.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins, loosen the castle nuts and press the left and right tie rods off the center tie rod.
  4.  
  5. If reinstalling the tie rods, use paint to mark the position of the tie rod in relation to the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Press the center tie rod off of the steering control arm.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Attach the center tie rod to the steering control arm and install the left and right tie rods.
  2.  
  3. Align the front axle.
  4.  

Center Link
  1. Raise and support the front end of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the joint nuts and press the studs out of the center link with a tie rod removal tool.
  4.  
  5. Check the length between the studs. It should be 21.023 in. (534mm).
  6.  
  7. Install the center link. Clean the bores and studs. Use new nuts and tighten to 23-29 ft. lbs. (33-40 Nm). Do not use a locknut on a tie rod that has a hole for a cotter pin. If originally equipped with a locknut, use a new locknut for installation.
  8.  
  9. Have the alignment checked and adjusted.
  10.  

Idler Arm
  1. Raise and support the front end of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the center link ball joint nut and press the stud out of the center link with a tie rod removal tool.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut and bolt holding the idler arm. Remove the idler arm taking note of the positioning of the washer between the arm and the subframe. The bushing can be pressed out and replaced.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the idler arm and tighten the nut to 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm) if it is M10 or 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm) if it is M12.
  2.  
  3. Clean the bores and studs. Use new nuts and tighten the center link ball joint to 23-29 ft. lbs. (33-40 Nm). Do not use a locknut on a joint that has a hole for a cotter pin. If originally equipped with a locknut, use a new locknut for installation.
  4.  
  5. Have the alignment checked and adjusted.
  6.  

 
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