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      04-08-2014, 12:05 PM   #1
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Steering column disconnection question 06 325i

Hello all,

I'm wondering if anyone knows how to disconnect the lower steering column... I removed the pinch bolt and try to leverage it up out of the way "per the Haynes" manual, however there is a black plastic clip that seems to keep it from disengaging. I tried to move the plastic clip, but there is no play in it to flex, seems like it will break...(even though the manual does not mention this clip). Anyways, any help would be much appreciated...I tried a bigger hammer already, just seems like it won't budge, also I read somewhere that sticking a screwdriver to pry open where the "pinch" bolt was, however this was a different car (in reference to) and the black plastic clip covers the pinch joint... Can't stick a screwdriver in it and the clip won't budge. Thanks in advance!
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      04-08-2014, 04:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAVID View Post
Hello all,

I'm wondering if anyone knows how to disconnect the lower steering column... I removed the pinch bolt and try to leverage it up out of the way "per the Haynes" manual, however there is a black plastic clip that seems to keep it from disengaging. I tried to move the plastic clip, but there is no play in it to flex, seems like it will break...(even though the manual does not mention this clip). Anyways, any help would be much appreciated...I tried a bigger hammer already, just seems like it won't budge, also I read somewhere that sticking a screwdriver to pry open where the "pinch" bolt was, however this was a different car (in reference to) and the black plastic clip covers the pinch joint... Can't stick a screwdriver in it and the clip won't budge. Thanks in advance!
I just replaced my lower steering joint this last week end and I did not have this clip. Although I have 09 335i, but according to the Bentley manual it should be the same procedure. I had to use a screwdriver to pry a gap after removing the pinch bolt and then tap it off. Are you referring to where the steering column spindle meets the lower steering shaft (shown below)?

Last edited by isd8266; 04-08-2014 at 04:37 PM.
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      04-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #3
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Yes, looks the same, however where the gap is, there is a plastic molded piece that seems to be locking it up. How does this black plastic piece disengage? It has no give or flex to it. Maybe this quick drawing will help illustrate my issue.Name:  bmw steering linkage paint.jpg
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      04-09-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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Not the best picture, but should help relate to what I'm talking about.Name:  bmw steering.png
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      04-09-2014, 09:23 AM   #5
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You see the plastic clip keeps it from moving upward and out and also blocks the gap from a screwdriver being able to pry it open... There has to be a trick to it, just need to know it. Thanks.
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      04-09-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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I took some pictures, trying to give whoever has the knowledge the complete understanding of the situation... In my opinion the plastic piece must come out with the lower column joint and disengage from the "Hydraulic steering box" (this seems like it will break first rather than disengage if even possible) or the piece must be disengaged (this is not on any forums or under any DIY and Haynes manual does not talk about it at all). If I broke the plastic piece around the spline does that compromise a sealed system? Or is this just more of a dust cover and where would I get a replacement (not listed on realoem.com) if it was necessary to break the plastic? Any insight or help, much appreciated.Name:  IMG_0400resize.jpg
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Name:  IMG_0401resize.jpg
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Name:  IMG_0402resize.jpg
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      04-09-2014, 03:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAVID View Post
I took some pictures, trying to give whoever has the knowledge the complete understanding of the situation... In my opinion the plastic piece must come out with the lower column joint and disengage from the "Hydraulic steering box" (this seems like it will break first rather than disengage if even possible) or the piece must be disengaged (this is not on any forums or under any DIY and Haynes manual does not talk about it at all). If I broke the plastic piece around the spline does that compromise a sealed system? Or is this just more of a dust cover and where would I get a replacement (not listed on realoem.com) if it was necessary to break the plastic? Any insight or help, much appreciated.Attachment 1008326

Attachment 1008327

Attachment 1008328

Attachment 1008329
The image I attached was referring to where the steering column meets the lower steering shaft not the hydraulic steering box. In regards to the dust shield, I had that too, although it was not locking my lower steering shaft in and did not have the plastic piece at the top of the spindle. I was unable to pry that end due to lack of space. I ended up coming from the drivers wheel well and tapping it out with hammer. It took some time, but eventually it came out and I didn't break the dust shield. I was replacing the shaft so it didn't really matter to me if I destroyed it in the process of hitting it out, but as I'm sure you are already aware that steering box is around 1,300 so be careful.
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      04-09-2014, 10:08 PM   #8
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So did the dust shield come up and out with it? That's what is confusing me or did you manage to pry it it thru the driver wheel well by disengaging the plastic clip (well you say it was not locking it in though...???) My car is on jacks and I have an angle to smack it upwards, however its not budging, I could try removing the driver tire and see if that gives a different approach, but I need to know if that clip must disengage or if the whole cover comes up and out with the lower shaft? Set aside from this chaotic process, I will be flush cutting the end piece as it seems to have no purpose other than making it a true BMW design (just to make it difficult for DIY'ers) Also I didn't know the price of the hydraulic box, but that doesn't surprise me... but if that dust cover breaks, is it replaceable? I guess if you let me know if it came out with the shaft, that will answer all my questions. Thanks for your help!
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      04-10-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAVID View Post
So did the dust shield come up and out with it? That's what is confusing me or did you manage to pry it it thru the driver wheel well by disengaging the plastic clip (well you say it was not locking it in though...???) My car is on jacks and I have an angle to smack it upwards, however its not budging, I could try removing the driver tire and see if that gives a different approach, but I need to know if that clip must disengage or if the whole cover comes up and out with the lower shaft? Set aside from this chaotic process, I will be flush cutting the end piece as it seems to have no purpose other than making it a true BMW design (just to make it difficult for DIY'ers) Also I didn't know the price of the hydraulic box, but that doesn't surprise me... but if that dust cover breaks, is it replaceable? I guess if you let me know if it came out with the shaft, that will answer all my questions. Thanks for your help!
I took the best picture that I could get without taking anything apart, still really crappy, but you can see where I do not have that plastic piece where the clamp bolt goes. When I removed the steering shaft the dust shield remained on the steering box and did not come off. I hope this helps and good luck.

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      04-10-2014, 11:00 PM   #10
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Yeah pretty blurry picture, I will be working on it this weekend. I'll let you know if there is any trick or progress, thanks for your insight. Anyone else feel free to throw an opinion out there, because his setup seems to be slightly different.
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      04-12-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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I'm trying to get behind the plastic and give it a pry but it blocks the room to get in enough...ANYONE do this before??????????????????????
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      04-12-2014, 04:08 PM   #12
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Hello ... Heellloooo ........... Heeeelllooooooo (Echo, echo, echo)
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      04-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #13
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I have it 90% disengaged, I had to pry off of the top of the dust cover and gouge at that plastic piece and beat with mallet, plus repeat process 100 to 200 times... It got dark so I will see how it goes tomorrow for the rest.
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      04-13-2014, 12:10 PM   #14
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Success...painful P.O.S design, no real easy way to do this just picking at it with a shaved small flat head screwdriver and the prying off the dust cover once a slight gap was formed. Once removed, the dust cover remained in place on the hydraulic box, just had to get it to slide by on the pinch joint by prying on it (to the point it nearly cracks or breaks). I also pried back and forth on the top piece that was getting hung up to make it more malleable, this allowed the joint to slip by it. Basically, you have to mangle and beat the crap out of everything. Thanks for your help ISD, it did help to have an idea about the dust cover staying in place, much appreciated.
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      04-16-2014, 03:28 PM   #15
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Why did you try this your self, were you noticing play in the lower joint assembly (I am currently tracing a clunking noise in my steering when I rock my wheel back and forth while at stop).
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      04-17-2014, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Why did you try this your self, were you noticing play in the lower joint assembly (I am currently tracing a clunking noise in my steering when I rock my wheel back and forth while at stop).
I replaced mine because my wheel would go stiff and then loose again. This usually happened when the wheel was to the right or left. The joint was seizing up when turning and then instantly would unseize causing my steering to be normal again. According to the dealership I had the opposite reaction that most people get when they need to replace it. Most people notice excessive play in the wheel in that when they turn the wheel the car barely turns. I also had a squeaking noise when turning my wheel at low speeds or a stand still, but no clunking noise. Hopes this helps.
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      05-31-2014, 05:11 PM   #17
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Volasko,

I was taking this off to facilitate other maintenance (Oil pan Removal, i.e, subframe lowering). It is a preliminary step involved with that, sorry for the late response, haven't been on for a while.

No, I didn't have play in mine, but if you do, that is probably your problem, but remember clunking could be worn joints, i.e. lower control arms might be worn or something, best thing for that would be to raise up the vehicle and feel things for wear, however sometimes it can be hard to detect without the weight of the vehicle loading on the wheels. Do you have vibrations during braking? If so, its your control arms or support bushings. If its isolated to your wheel only, I would think you got it pinpointed, but I'm not sure.
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