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someguy 07-04-2012 09:49 PM

Major power steering leak
Hi everyone,

My car was sitting for about a week and after starting it up I noticed a sound, and as I backed my car out of the garage I noticed the huge puddle of fluid on the ground. Worse, as soon as I tried turning I found that there was very little or no power assist. The PS fluid had obviously leaked out and now I was running with a dry pump and no power steering. I brought the car right back into the garage and parked it.

Now I've located where I think the fluid is leaking from, and it seems that it is the point at which the cooler lines connect to the rack, right above the point at which the pinion housing connects to the rack housing. More specifically, it seems that the "banjo" bolt has rusted out.

I just have a couple of questions about this...where can I get that banjo bolt? I don't see it listed on RealOEM, and it doesn't seem to come with a rack or with the cooler lines. Also, I know that the rack is on its way out, since it had some play in it last time I checked when I was doing the tie rods. Now might be a good time to replace it, and I was thinking of going with Has anyone gotten items shipped from them to Canada? If so, how much was shipping and duties?

Oh and also, how can I safely drive the car without burning out the PS pump? I don't want to run it dry but at this point I have no choice. I will have to drive it at least for a couple of kilometers to my buddies garage to work on it. Have I already done the damage since I heard that noise? If I'm gonna have to replace the pump as well might as well order that now.

Man, this is turning out to be a bigger job than I anticipated...If you have any tips please feel free to contribute.

Enjoy the warm weather fellow e36-ers*wave*

blakneto 07-04-2012 11:56 PM

Put fluid in it and hope it doesn't completely leak out... i guess if you don't make a lot of turns you'll be ok.
Or if you know someone who has CAA, have it towed.
Fluid might cost you $50 bucks. Use ATF...

Call any of the BMW shops... I can't imagine a BOLT costing too much...
Even if they are being basterds, $10?

Bimmer Heaven 07-05-2012 12:31 AM


Originally Posted by blakneto (Post 1573689)
Put fluid in it and hope it doesn't completely leak out... i guess if you don't make a lot of turns you'll be ok.

Well....NO! Even if you dont move the car, the engine still spins the pump, so it will run out of fluid if there is a big leak.

Bimmer Heaven 07-05-2012 12:35 AM

If you think it would solve the problem, we have the bolt in stock. But if you got play in it, might as well replace the full rack, we got a few in stock, and you can also use an E46 unit (got some very low milage ones). *wave*

someguy 07-05-2012 03:05 PM

Ok so it seems that stopped shipping to Canada. Is there any alternative other than paying full price for a new rack?

someguy 07-08-2012 01:01 PM

Alright, so I picked up an e46 rack from Fil (thanks Fil!) and it includes the tie rods as well. Are the e36 and e46 inner tie rods the same? I would like to avoid the whole ordeal of working on the inner tie rods if I can. The outers will have to be changed since they are different at the hub end.

someguy 07-15-2012 05:37 PM

Just thought I'd update this thread if anyone finds it in a search. The e46 and e36 racks and inner tie rods are interchangeable. The outer tie rods are longer for the e46 and will not fit on an e36.

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