Garagistic M30 Swap Guide- Steering Pump/Lines/Rack

This section assumes one major thing: That you are sticking with your existing E30 Steering Rack. However, if you want to go with an E36/Z3 rack, then you can follow the “ENHANCEMENT” portion of the write-up.


Ensure that the donor car does not have suspension stabilization. This requires the steering pump to control the suspension ride height and what not.  It was not compatible with hooking up 2 simple lines to it. There was actually a third hole, which controls the suspension. If this is the case, you must purchase an E28 steering pump with bracketry. It’s also possible to find any e28 at a junkyard and take out the bolts (The high and low pressure lines are 17 and 19mm respectively) 

The Steering pump that is checked is the one you should use. As you can see in the first picture in Figure 27, there are 3 holes for lines to go. I tried hooking it up and plugging in one hole. IT DOESN’T WORK. Use the correct steering pump. The Banjo bolts are 17 and 19mm, so you can’t mess up which one is the high and low pressure lines. Also, the M30 does NOT use a serpentine belt. It uses separate V-Belts, like the M20/M10/M42 . 1 for the Coolant pump / Alternator, 1 for the power steering. There is a 3rd V-Belt for the A/C as well.

The Stock E30 steering rack will fit perfectly for this.

16.2.2 TOOLS REQUIRED N/A – Research Forums.

There are dedicated writ-ups on the Internet. TIME & $$ Approximately 6Hrs & $250 including hardware INSTRUCTIONS

Here is a high level representation of the E36/Z3 Steering Rack into the E30. There are 3 major components to take note of when swapping the steering Racks. It is highly recommended to do this while there is no engine in the engine bay for ease of installation.

1. The 2 mounting points to the subframe need spacers. These spacers must be installed on the top the steering rack, in between the tabs on the E30 subframe.

2. The Input of the E36/Z3 steering rack is offset and in a different direction than the E30 Rack. Therefore the Shaft must be shortened by approximately ¾” to account for this difference. Either Spacers on the shaft or an entirely custom shaft must be used.  

3. Lastly, the inlets/outlets on the E36/Z3 rack are different; Therefore a different high-pressure line must be used. It must also be modified to fit in-between the rack and the pump. See Figure 29.

These 3 major differences are no deterrent for completing this swap. The E36 swap comes in 3.5 Turns Lock-toLock and the ’95 M3 has a shorter 3.0 Turns. The Z3 has 2.7 Turns, so all of these options add a much sportier feel to the E30.

You also have the option of deleting the E30 Power Steering altogether. While you must maintain the Pump for the purposes of the belt, you can remove the other apparatus associated with the power steering system including the lines, and reservoir. This is possible by the power steering delete from Garagistic as shown in Figure 30.

As you can see in Figure 30, there is a pass-through that allows any remaining fluid or residual pressure to flow. All you must do is use your existing 19mm & 22mm wrenches to tighten down your existing banjo bolts.