This guide was created to explain how to swap an E36, E46, or Z3 steering rack into an E30. This is desired because the lock to lock ratio on the e30 is quite large. The steering racks that can be swapped in from the other chaSsis make the car feel sportier and become a bit more nimble.
You will need one of these kits depending on if you have an airbag or non-airbag car:
Which steering rack should I swap in?
All non-M 3-series coupes and sedans 92-98 came with a 3.2 turns lock-to-lock rack.
M3s and M Z3s 96+ had a 3.2 ratio .
95 M3 had a 3.0 turns lock-to-lock rack
2.8L Z3 96+ had a 2.7.
Step 1: Jack up the vehicle and set it on jack stands
Step 2: Remove the tie rod ends from the strut
Step 3: Remove steering rack
Step 4: To install new steering rack in your E30 not equipped with an airbag you will need to shorten you steering knuckle (if you have an airbag e30 you dont need to shorten it). To shorten it grind down the rivets that hold the two halves of the steering knuckle together. It will then come part.
Step 5:Use Garagistic spacer between the two halves of the steering u-joint. Drill the center hole of the spacer out for the supplied bolt to fit through.
Step 6: The other spacers provided in our kit are to mount the steering rack to the front sub frame. Use spacer top of the steering rack mount (although it can be used on the bottom).
Step 7: The steering u-joint has to be bolted together with the rack installed in the car. Put some loctite on the nuts to keep them from coming loose.
Step 8: You will also need a high pressure power steering line out of an E36 but in some cases its possible to use a stock E30 high pressure line (you will have to bend it to make it fit, but its not too much of a modification)
Step 9: Only required on airbag cars! There is no need to modify the steering knuckle on air bag cars, stock knuckle works just fine. You will need to modify the firewall slightly. You will need to move the opening in the firewall down and to the right about 1.5-inches. You can use a dremel to do this.