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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Tracking, Autocrossing, Dragstrip, Driving Techniques > Faster Steering for xDrive



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      05-15-2016, 07:19 PM   #1
tetsuo111
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Faster Steering for xDrive

E9x steering ratios:

xDrive - 18:1
non-M RWD - 16:1
M3 ratio - 12.5:1

I find myself at the limits of crossing my arms on the steering wheel on slow, tight turns (Pacific Raceway 3A and 3B and the Ridge corkscrew and thumb). Short of redesigning the front suspension Ackerman point (don't want to go that deep), I believe my options are:

1) M3 rack, or
2) steering quickener as used on some track and rally cars

Sadly the M3 and non-M racks are not PNP jobs. The racks attach to different parts of the front subframe. I suppose anything is possible by welding new tabs on both the subframe and M3 rack to fit, but this borderlines on heroic effort.

Steering quickeners have been around for awhile, and come in standard 2:1 and 1.5:1 gear ratios. A 1.5:1 quickener ought to result in 12:1 steering ratio. This would be a fine compromise for dual use street and track. Proper install seems somewhat invasive, but again anything is possible with $$ and commitment, right?.

Anyone reading with direct, first-hand experience? Any safety or reliability issues? Will the column still collapse as designed? Does the quickener introduce slop into the system?

Thanks.



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      05-16-2016, 05:36 PM   #2
tetsuo111
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Really?

No 335i pilots with one of these? Your steering as nearly as slow as mine.
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      05-16-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
natedog7700
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Never knew the X drive BMW's had a wider ratio steering rack! Interesting
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      05-16-2016, 09:11 PM   #4
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I can't speak for Pacific as this Friday + Saturday will be my first time on that track, but maybe that small difference makes it easy enough to cross arms in a 335i. I agree the thumb is especially bad, but I can cross my arms to the limit and make my line.

Of course, I believe you run in either A or B and I'm at the opposite end so you might be on another level such that you'd have an issue.
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      05-17-2016, 08:42 AM   #5
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Been in a 328i xdrive loaner for 2 days and I can't stand the steering. I don't see how anyone can drive that car daily in anything other than sport+ mode. Even then the steering has loose spots and awkwardly seems to get stiffer the tighter you turn. This is definitely one area I wish BMW just kept it simple instead of all these ridiculous variable settings. You would think having consistent steering feel would be important not the other way around
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