Z4 Steering Problem

Layor

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Hi all,
As mentioned in in my last post ('Storage Compartment'), the trip down to Brighton and back was a great success. The only fault I came across was towards the end of the journey there and the same on the way back. The steering seemed to be getting 'stiffer', i.e. if you went around a corner it was slow to respond in centering.
There is no play in the steering and I certainly felt comfortable with it. I thought it may have been me just getting tired after a long 5+ hour drive. I wasn't pushing it, just enjoying every minute!
I will be checking over the bushes etc, when I replace the brake hoses in a couple of weeks. I just wondered if this could be down to the bushes or to the steering box needing lubricating?
Or was it just me??? Should have let the dog take a turn at the wheel!:D
Colin.
 

t-tony

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Hi Colin, apparently this is a "known" problem on early E85 Z4. If I recall the only other person I have known the mention it has been @Shelly . Also @Lee has recently posted comments about steering issues but I don't think it was about stiffness in operation but I may be incorrect.

Tony.
 

Layor

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Thanks, Tony. I will have a bit more time tomorrow to Google around to see what I can find. But the first port of call will always be this Forum to see if anyone has had a similar situation whatever the problem.
I'm just happy that Zed performed so well and the Grandson had the thrill of his life so far. The closest I got to that as a kid was when a neighbour took me for a ride on the crossbar of his bike!:D
Colin.

P.S. I was 25 at the time:p
 
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t-tony

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My first ride in a roadster was in a Sunbeam Alpine Colin. I was about 16(ish) at the time.

Tony.
 

Layor

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I was looking for an envious smilie but couldn't find one so this :wideyed: will have to do! I remember them well, Tony. As kids we used to take a pencil and exercise book down to the main road and collect car numbers. If we spotted a Sunbeam Alpine we got extra points! Ah! those were the days. Make your own fun.
I'm just waiting for HT to come along and say it must have been around 1930 when you got your ride:D.
Colin.
 

t-tony

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You just ignore the Poison Dwarf Colin.:ymdevil:=))=)) The guy who owned the Alpine was called Ronny Watson, he lived in our village and he gave me a ride up the A1500 to the Lincolnshire Show at the county showground. I will never forget that, ever.

Tony.
 

Lee

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Spot on @t-tony the early Z4's suffered with sticky steering and the later Z4's suffer with wandering all the difference is ones got too tight the others too loose.

@Layor you need to ever so slightly loosen (say 1mm) the locking ring on the steering motor. This motor can be found under the drivers dash. You'll also find if you set the aircon to feet the motor will get better. I'll tag you in my article.

Update - this is the thread I did on the z4 forum, including how to do it

https://z4-forum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100725

Lee
 
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Layor

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Many, many thanks to HT and Lee for the links. Much appreciated. I'll be bu**ered if I'm going to sort it at the moment though, it's snowing, freezing and I've just seen a couple of monkeys looking for a welder. 'Sides which, Zed is not going anywhere for the next few days as the weather is going to get worse!
colin.
 

TaffZee

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Just as a follow up to this, there is another Mod for the steering column where a grease nipple is added to the column! Any one have any info on this?
 

Layor

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Morning Taff, yes, look on the links of HT and Lee above, you will find other links within the posts as well that details the grease nipple solution. I shall be trying that first and if not successful then more drastic measures are called for:nailbiting:. But the nipple seems to make sense, although there seems to be a division on whether to use grease or a silicon based oil. Don't know if @Shelly or @Lee will be able to shed any light on what is best?
Colin.
 

Lee

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@TaffZee @Layor

Sure. The early Z4 issue was due to the grease used and the gear clearance so at the time people installed a grease nipple and injected grease which did partly solve the issue. On the later Z4's BMW opened the tolerance on the main gear and changed the type of grease used.

Looking at it all recently BMW did release an update on how to adjust the engagement of the motor gear onto the column. This will solve both issues with sticking and loose/wandering steering. I've personally made this adjustments to early and later Z4's with great results.

These photos are from when I stripped my own steering column out:
IMG_7302[1].JPG

This photo shows the ring that you rotate to adjust the steering feel.
IMG_7315[1].JPG


P.S you don't need to remove anything to adjust this ring.
 
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Lee

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For Info the BMW TIS Info.

z4%20power%20steering.JPG


32%2031%20___%20Optimisation%20of%20electro-steering.jpg


32%2031%20___%20Optimisation%20of%20electro-steering2.jpg


32%2031%20___%20Optimisation%20of%20electro-steering3.jpg


@GazHyde might be worth making a sticky
 

Layor

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Thanks Lee. I did see that solution of adjusting the ring on one of the links, I'm assuming that putting a nipple in and filling with grease will also help as the original grease already in the column will be pretty poor anyway.
Colin.
 

Lee

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Thanks Lee. I did see that solution of adjusting the ring on one of the links, I'm assuming that putting a nipple in and filling with grease will also help as the original grease already in the column will be pretty poor anyway.
Colin.
The grease will be on the worm gear which is on the motor, if you want to refresh the grease just take the motor off the side of the column its only two bolts (same two bolts that adjust it). I don't really agree with drilling a blind hole and taping it, your potentially introducing swarf into the mechanism you also have the potential to make the motor run hotter due to all the extra grease crammed inside.
 

Layor

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That is a very good point about drilling the hole and the swarf, it did cross my mind when I first read about it. There is no way you can practically avoid it and once in there there is no way for it to come out. They may only be small pieces but over time will cause wear.
I will stick with just adjusting the ring and hope that will cure the problem. I'll let you know how I get on once it is done.
In the meantime, thanks to both you and HT for the links and advice, and also for making it a 'sticky' so that it may help other folk.:thumbsup:

Colin.
 

ZedM

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Hi all,
As mentioned in in my last post ('Storage Compartment'), the trip down to Brighton and back was a great success. The only fault I came across was towards the end of the journey there and the same on the way back. The steering seemed to be getting 'stiffer', i.e. if you went around a corner it was slow to respond in centering.
There is no play in the steering and I certainly felt comfortable with it. I thought it may have been me just getting tired after a long 5+ hour drive. I wasn't pushing it, just enjoying every minute!
I will be checking over the bushes etc, when I replace the brake hoses in a couple of weeks. I just wondered if this could be down to the bushes or to the steering box needing lubricating?
Or was it just me??? Should have let the dog take a turn at the wheel!:D
Colin.
Referring back to your last post - did you get your storage compartment opened?
 

Layor

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Hi Zedm,
No:(, the pull string at the back would not budge and because of the weather I've not had a chance to have a good look at it. Everything else is okay, so I think it must just be jammed. As soon as the weather improves and I get the cover off of Zed I'll try again.
I have a nice delicate 14lb sledge hammer that should do the trick!:D

Colin.
 

Mint

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...I have a nice delicate 14lb sledge hammer that should do the trick!:D...
As they say 'you can hit it softly with a big hammer but you can't hit it hard with a small one'.....or something like that;)
 
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