Any seasoned E30 enthusiast will tell you that one of the best weekend modification that can be made is the installation of an E36 steering rack. These racks are bolt in modifications with a couple bits of hardware. They quicken the steering ratio from 4 down to 2.7 turns lock-to-lock! The result is better steering feel and response.
Unfortunately for owners of the Allrad E30, the iX’s steering rack has some major differences from its RWD counterparts. The rack gear is wider, the pinion is angled wider, and the mounting brackets are on the wrong side to attach to the unique aluminum front subframe.
While searching for a larger front differential solution for the first 4-wheel-drive BMW, I stumbled across a BMW rack that just looked too close to be true. Once the grease was washed off I got it into a subframe and things got exciting.
Unfortunately it was not a bolt in affair. The hose fittings are on the wrong side of the rack, right where the axle runs, and even worse, BMW used an absolutely obnoxious Aeroquip QC fitting from the factory. It also has too much travel and is too wide. After several iterations and ruined racks, we are finally been able to squeeze this larger rack into an iX. It’s power assisted, factory travel, and 2.8 turns LTL.
As can be seen from the above photos, it’s a tight fit. It’s essential that motor mounts are in excellent condition, and are of factory iX height, too low and the oil pan will rest on the rack, too tall and the axle will hit the hard line fittings. For street cars we recommend Genuine BMW iX mounts, for race cars, a delrin or poly mount of the correct height is preferred.
In an airbag car the column only needs to be collapsed slightly, and you’re all set. In a non-airbag installation, the steering linkage will need to be shortened, or swapped for our stainless joint setup.
After running these racks in a couple of test cars for the last several months we’re now offering it as a bolt in package. This includes a modified subframe, modified rack, -6an PTFE high pressure hose, brand new Lemfoeder tie rods, and a 2 year warranty against leaks. Installation is available for our Colorado locals.
Quick Ratio Rack kit – $1200 (+$200 core refunded with return of your original subframe)
non-airbag steering linkage – $250
Installation – $400
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to check availability.