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M3AN

Thinking of putting an E46 rack in your E30/6? Read this.

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Hi Andy, with your help from another post, I set out with the intention of getting E36 M3 evo gear but it's obviously few and far between. So I went with xyz coilovers and stayed down the 4x100 route. I wasn't worried about the brake setup on 4x100, more the crap selection of nice wheels available. Long story short, suspension setup is oem apart from coilovers made for the e30 and a Z3 rack. 

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2 hours ago, _ethrty-Andy_ said:

poor advise. very easy to balls up. as you say, can make the wheels touch the body and fold up and under the car and through the firewall. or space the rack the wrong way in the subframe and you are turning every time you go over a bump.

as for not telling them at all, its on your plate, and thus your insurance.

id expect that comment from other members, but not you. you are better than that

If you interpret my comments as advice not to get a cert (and that's a reasonable interpretation) then fair call, I'll cop that it's not good advice.

Nevertheless, I think some things unnecessarily require a cert as a result of deliberately broad certification language. Adjustable front camber plates, even from a reputable supplier, require a cert... heck, even the reinforcements I've had welded (added!) to my sway bar mounts require a cert if you take the requirements literally... until I'd looked it up I wouldn't have thought an OEM steering rack that didn't change geometry would require certification... apparently it does but only because the language is vague, not because it's a genuine safety concern.

The cert requirement for a replacement rack seems to be a) bump steer test, b) confirmation of no geometry changes and c) steering column modifications are structurally sound. There's a prescribed method for the bump steer test so overall it should be easy to pass if you've done a good job using an OEM rack.

My comments about throw and rack stops do NOT relate to mounting the rack. If you use the proper (throw/range) rack stops then you'll avoid the possibility of "folding" the wheels (we're talking mm's not inches). As far as spacing the rack on the subframe is concerned I'd never recommend that unless it was vertical spacing only and using solid hardware. Moving the rack left/right or fore/aft will change the geometry and is ill advised.

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20 hours ago, M3AN said:

Nevertheless, I think some things unnecessarily require a cert as a result of deliberately broad certification language. Adjustable front camber plates, even from a reputable supplier, require a cert... heck, even the reinforcements I've had welded (added!) to my sway bar mounts require a cert if you take the requirements literally... until I'd looked it up I wouldn't have thought an OEM steering rack that didn't change geometry would require certification... apparently it does but only because the language is vague, not because it's a genuine safety concern.

The cert requirement for a replacement rack seems to be a) bump steer test, b) confirmation of no geometry changes and c) steering column modifications are structurally sound. There's a prescribed method for the bump steer test so overall it should be easy to pass if you've done a good job using an OEM rack.

its to stop the lowest common denominator. you or I or Id hope most people on this page know to do things properly. but there are lots of rough jobs out there, they dont call it Masterton spec for nothing (or insert you local semi rural drop kick patch)

20 hours ago, M3AN said:

 As far as spacing the rack on the subframe is concerned I'd never recommend that unless it was vertical spacing only and using solid hardware. Moving the rack left/right or fore/aft will change the geometry and is ill advised.

yes, vertically, as is required in the conversion.

----

tangent but for what its worth, Im currently working in a body shop in Canada doing final inspections and detailing etc, where there are no annual inspections or anything. because of mah liberty mostly. almost every single car i have seen has had what would be a WOF fail.
(seat covers over airbag equipped seats, chipped/cracked windscreens, and at least one bulb out if not more, and thats only looking at the things that the shops actually worked on/near, and not include the damage itself of course. and almost everything that comes in is less than 10 years old).
in a country where litigation can ruin not only your life but that of your family, i imagine that it would be much worse in NZ where that is not the case. The other way to look at it is of course that perhaps the WOF rules in NZ are too strict, and there is some merit in that, certainly in some places. but again, its for the lowest common denominator.

But do people die because of it here? thats hard to say.

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On 6/26/2015 at 1:18 PM, musccoo said:

I just used e46 inners with e36 outers worked no problem.

Can anyone else confirm this works? Have seen a couple of people mention it. Makes the job easier if you don't have to mess around venting the E36 rack ends.

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5 minutes ago, KwS said:

Can anyone else confirm this works? Have seen a couple of people mention it. Makes the job easier if you don't have to mess around venting the E36 rack ends.

Yes, they work, just slightly less toe adjustment because they're longer. 

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I had my e36 rack swap picked up during certify. 

Because the rack needs to be spaced and lowering, the steering geometry had changed (nothing to do with 5 stud swapping) ended up having to go through a full bum steer test and have adjustable rack ends made to correct the bumpsteer and put the steering arms in a positive position. Also had to weld the spacers in so they couldnt be removed.

Edited by WYZEUP
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I did not enjoy reading that... 

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I know that safety is the highest priority, but that just seems like over kill. Surely a comparison between the oem and new rack would show not alot of difference. I'm just trying to think if the rack casing is an ali alloy or not, other wise I'll have to have steel spacers made as opposed to the ali ones my mate made me. I wonder if these kits would work for bump steer. 

https://groundcontrolstore.com/collections/e30-bump-steer-correction/products/bmw-e30-e36-e46-adjustable-tie-rods-bmw-e36-e46

https://catuned.com/mrt-bmw-e30-e36m-roll-center-bump-steer-angle-kit

https://store.langracing.com/bump-steer-correction-kit-for-bmw-e30-m3/

Also @WYZEUP, what does the bump steer test cost? 

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Depends on how much work he needs to do, but mine cost $250.

Have spoken to a couple of people recent who have drilled the spindles and run heim joints and spacers to adjust the bumpsteer.

Need to be drilled otherwise need the conical pins machined. 

Beware of buying the pre-made kits as they may not have enough adjustability, like the ones I bought.

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While on the topic of racks to swap into an E30, is there a definitive list of the racks that would suit?
This is from E30 Zone.
The 'Purple tag' is the one most people will go for, but the E46 M3 rack (E90 320d, etc) is a green tag. Then there is also the yellow tag...

image.png.a34cd29a85283488e5c19d94b333580e.png

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I believe yellow is LHD only, green is the standard e46 rack (no point) and the purple comes from select e46 motorsport models - for a RHD that's probably the best price/performance option. Z3 is expensive but if you can get a clean one they're very nice.

But we've also heard in this thread that the e3/46 racks need (fixed) vertical spacers to adapt to the E30 subframe and this requires a cert. YMMV.

 

 

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The Yellow tag rack is in RHD also (have seen one on a 330i locally)
Differences between this and the purple tag are discussed here: https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=954523

The racks require a spacer in an E30.

The changing of racks legally requires a cert due (Section 9-1) https://www.lvvta.org.nz/documents/suplementary_information/LVVTA_LVV_Cert_Threshold.pdf
A bump steer check is usually required: https://www.lvvta.org.nz/documents/infosheets/LVVTA_Info_05-2010_Bump-steer_Swing-check_Procedure.pdf

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How critical are the e46 vent slots and could you use the e36 boots on the e46 rack? 

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51 minutes ago, KwS said:

How critical are the e46 vent slots and could you use the e36 boots on the e46 rack? 

I consider them critical, some others do not. However if you don't vent the rack (read: boots) they expand and contract terribly and will a) wear prematurely and b) probably suck in road crap.

It's not the boots themselves that vent, e36 and e46 boots are the same.

You can use e46 inners and still get 0* toe but you're just restricted in the amount of negative toe you can get because they're longer (~10mm).

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There is still ample toe adjustment with e46 inners though, yeah? 

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Ample to get 0*, yes - how far beyond that (-ve) if you ever wanted to I couldn't tell you sorry.

 

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I didn’t cert mine I’m not dead. No biggie hang loose bruhh 🤙

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Just some potentially helpful info for people out there. The Z3 rack is 580mm wide (from inboard of the inner tie rod to inboard of the inner tie rod) as is my E30 manual rack I just measured. I've been talking to my cert guy over the phone and he says that since the rack is similar in width, it shouldn't be an issue and he doesn't see the need for me to have a bump steer check carried out. I did forget to mention the aluminium spacers, so I guess we'll see what he has to say about that. 

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On 4/9/2019 at 8:21 PM, M3AN said:

IIRC e36, Z3 and e46 racks have slightly longer range than the e30 rack (millimetres) ... all that'll really do it's eventually destroy your guard liners if the tyres rub. Easily sorted with rack stops if it were an issue.

@M3AN, any pointers where i should look for the rack stops in NZ, or are they available ex-overseas only? I've got an issue with wheel rub on my (what I assume is) stock E36 rack. 

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I got some from BMW. I think i still have them in the packet.

 

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2 hours ago, Statek said:

@M3AN, any pointers where i should look for the rack stops in NZ, or are they available ex-overseas only? I've got an issue with wheel rub on my (what I assume is) stock E36 rack. 

I also have 2 brand new ones that I have no need for, if you want to pick them up from Ellerslie you can have them... or Scott's, I won't be offended! 😉

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1 hour ago, Palazzo said:

I got some from BMW. I think i still have them in the packet.

I've PM'd you :)

12 minutes ago, M3AN said:

I also have 2 brand new ones that I have no need for, if you want to pick them up from Ellerslie you can have them... or Scott's, I won't be offended! 😉

Thanks! I'll let you know, pending result of the above :) 

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