BMW E36 steering rack upgrade
BMW E46 STEERING RACK SILVER TAG
BMW E46 SILVER TAG - Has 3.2 turns lock to lock. It is a great but not extremely popular upgrade.
Price is cheaper than purple tag rack.
It handles a little bit worse than our most popular (3 turns lock to lock) BMW E46 club sport purple tag steering rack, but still does reasonably good job.
BMW E46 M3 STEERING RACK GREEN TAG
BMW E46 GREEN TAG- Has also 3.2 turns lock to lock.
There is a lot of confusion going on about this unit. The most popular one says that E46 M3 rack is progressive which means the splines are different in the center of the rod and different on the edges of the rod. This kind of setup supposed to help to turn your steering wheel quicker when you are doing an U-turn and be more precise when you are driving straight.
It happens a lot with German cars like other BMW, Mercedes etc., but not E46 M3. We have stripped and rebuild plenty of those racks and have never ever seen that the splines on the rod are progressive.
BMW E46 M3 Green tag steering rack is LINEAR like all other racks mentioned on this page.
Common upgrade: Customers often swap their BMW E46 M3 green tag rack with E46 Purple tag steering rack
BMW E46 CLUB SPORT STEERING RACK PURPLE TAG
BMW E46 PURPLE TAG - Has 3.0 turns lock to lock and it is absolutely our customers favourite rack. Price is affordable and the steering handling is fantastic.
It is the most popular steering upgrade these days.
Because of the popularity of those units we have two options you can choose from:
1 Tested units - They cost roughly half the price of remanufactured ones, have no play and are ready to go!
They are cleaned from outside, regressed, we test them for any play and also comprehensively on our hydraulic test rig to make sure there is no leaks, the steering control valve works properly and racks have perfect, strong and equal steering assist both ways.
They come with 60 days warranty as all the seals, O-rings, bushes and others internals are old and not replaced.
2 Remanufactured units - Stripped, cleaned, carefully assessed. All O-rings, bushes, teflons, seals, guides etc. are replaced with new ones! Rack and pinion is polished with attention to details. Tube honed when necessary. If any of the other components are faulty or not 100% perfect, we would replace them with new (if available) or another perfect condition second hand parts. After assembly the rack is tested on our hydraulic test rig to make sure there is no leaks, the steering control valve works properly, it has perfect, strong and equal steering assist both ways. We also apply some unnatural back pressure to make sure that pinion seals are handling additional pressure as they should when the rack works in extreme conditions like drifting, racing etc.
Those units come with 12 months warranty.
We highly encourage to consider remanufactured racks option as you will be sure they will work for you for many many years.
BMW E46 ZHP STEERING RACK YELLOW TAG
BMW E46 YELLOW TAG - Has 3.0 turns lock to lock and different torsion bar than purple tag steering rack.
It handles a little bit different way but the number of turns are exactly same as purple tag option.
They are hard to get and to be sure you have a real true ZHP rack your Tag label has to end with 712 number.
Please note that Yellow tags with 3.0 turns lock to lock exist only in LHD . If you have RHD vehicle please forget about this one
BMW E46 STEERING RACK BLUE TAG
BMW E46 BLUE TAG - Has usually 3.0 turns lock to lock but some models have 3.2 turns lock to lock.
Please note all BMW E46 steering racks have the same mounting, fittings orientation etc. The only difference is with the number of turns and the torsion bar mentioned above. They also have 17mm diameter pinion with 54 spline count.
To fit BMW E46 steering rack into your BMW E36 you would need:
1 Tie rods - Fitting BMW E46 steering rack into your BMW E36 is an almost direct swap. You would need to use conversion tie rods as you cannot reuse your inner tie rods. BMW E36 inner tie rod cannot be used into E46 steering rack as it does not have a special air canal and it will be impossible for air to travel internally through the rod. .
2 Rubber boots - They are mandatory and have to be replaced. Even if your boots “looks good”!
They are underestimated product which protects your rack from humid, dirt, corrosion etc.
You can have a brand new genuine power steering rack installed with old boots and if they have even a small hole or tear they can cause corrosion and damage to your rack in no time.
BMW Z3 STEERING RACKS
Has 2.7 turns lock to lock ONLY and it is the best what you can get.
They are becoming very rare and extremely expensive as the demand exceeds availability.
Between Z3 and E46 purple tag rack is only 0.3 turns difference so our customers often ask if it's worth to pay double price to gain this slight difference.
In our opinion if the car is used for track competition, drifting etc it would be probably better to go with Z3 steering rack. If the conversion is just to improve the steering feel on the wheel - E46 purple tag does the job perfectly but Z3 DOES STILL FEEL BETTER. At the end of the day it is your personal choice.
Fitting BMW Z3 power steering rack into your BMW E36 is a direct swap and does not need any modifications