December 2003:  Part1 - Keyed, Wired

This is part 1 of 2, Part 2-> Suspended!

The month of December was very busy with work and home life, as with most people I know. This makes it was difficult to find any spare time to move forward, so I did the things that were easy - ordering more parts so that when January gets here, I have everything I need to keep going without stopping.  My near term goal is to get all 4 wheels on the ground in January and that is becoming reality as you will see in the photos below.
I am using an E30 trunk mount battery cable for the car, so I used new engine compartment mounting parts right out of BMW's parts catalog. The location I chose is above the brake booster.
You drill two holes and use stainless nuts here because there will be moisture in the air box (the hole for the drain tubes is to the right) down the road. The white stuff you see is silica still coming out of the car from last summer's thorough glass beading.
Ok, this is how I mounted it, which is 180 degrees off where BMW does it on an E30.  Flunk me for style points but I think it works better in this location with things in the up position.  I may change it later though, as I get further along with electrical functions in the car.
Next step is to drill the hole, I chose to enlarge the location nearest the steering column where the speedo cable was and to use another location for it. The factory has several holes here, some are used and some are not so you can decide pretty easily here which path to take for your own install.  Important - you must install a grommet in order to keep the firewall from cutting the cable in half over time!
The cable installs like this. Then you add the starter cable extension onto the big end of the cable, much like it is a big battery terminal. The top most screw can be used as an alternative location to pull power from once you have it connected to the post.  I am done with this part of wiring until I connect the battery up.
The ST front sway bars are mounted to the front sub frame. The clamps over the urethane bushings are OEM ones that I replated a year ago.  These are kind of touchy going in - they do pop loose easy until you get them on. I used a longer bolt with more threads as the bolts that hold the clamp on are not long enough to get a nut started. Hope that tip helps you with your setup.  Another note here that this is the only place that I'm using urethane because I want the bar to be more rigid. I did the same in the rear. I will use the urethane sway bar links up front also.
Here the unit is, ready to install in the car. Note that the ST bar is thicker than stock and your core support may come in contact with the bar when in normal use going up and down. I have seen some 2002s that did that with the stock bar because of a hit to the car's front end. On Stella, I had to nudge the lip of the front spoiler a bit to ensure that would not be a problem on my car also.  The worst would be hitting a big bump and finding the lip all bent and the paint coming off after all this work!
In the car and bolted up on one side, you can see the clearance here that you get.
Another shot showing how close the sway bar comes to the lip edge of the core support bottom. That hole is for the compliance bushings which have to be installed. In hindsight, you can do these either in or out of the car, it's about the same amount of trouble either way, unless you don't like working on your back.
Tightening up the last of the bolts is my son Ben and his first work on the car so far.  He's a BMW E30 driver and hasn't experienced driving an '02 yet (but has earned the chance) but will soon.
Installed the pitman arm and the steering box and torqued down the bolts. I filled the steering box with Red Line hypoid differential gear oil, I don't remember how much but enough to fill to the top edge after the bright red cap goes on.  I'm going to install the center track rod and tie rod ends in the next few days.
This view, looking towards the firewall, shows the battery harness installed also. I have the main wire that goes down to the starter zip tied off out of the way for the time being.
Eventually you must steer, so I started there next. I have a new ignition key set with matching door handles, so the old one must come off. This is the view you see after the wheel and turn signal stalks come off.
There is a long black tube that supports the column and bolts to the firewall. Remove these three parts and paint/clean as needed, but scratch an X on the column where they were lined up before removal to ensure it goes back exactly as before.
Next, you have to get the old ignition off, which has 2 safety bolts used to keep it on the column.
As shown, you need to cut or chisel these 2 bolts here to remove the old assembly. I used a hack saw in combination with a chisel and hammer to finally cut them free. A small die grinder will work also.
Once the bolts are off, (much sweating and beer needed for that task) slide the old unit off towards the firewall end of the column. There is also a flat bladed set screw on the side opposite the ignition that must be loose in order to move the assembly off, and the key lock must be in the ignition and turned so that it is not locked to the column.
For a reference point, I must note that you have to turn the column so the keyway portion of the steering column rod is shown before putting the new assembly back on.
This is the new assembly in a vice. The set screw is backed off and the key is in the ignition in order to make it smooth traveling going back on the column. To the right is a air hammer chisel I used to spread the gap a bit to not scratch the paint going back on the column.
Another view of the chisel as I start to push the steering column in.
Rotate the column so the key way for the ignition lock in the steering column is lined up right.
I measured the distance on two parts cars and they were both 73mm, so there is something you don't see noted anywhere. I found my new one fit exactly right also at 73mm. Test the ignition key lock several times to ensure it's set right because if you're wrong, you're hosed!
Start by tightening the new set screw to hold the unit in place, then test the key lock again.
Ok, this is the point of no return. These two 10mm bolts heads shear off when they get tight enough. Check one last time!
And here they are snapped off. This looks like your car came from the factory also.
You can slide it through the firewall and insert the steering rod into the steering box. Tighten accordingly (see the shop manual for torque settings) then revert to the driver's side of the passenger compartment.
Tighten these four bolts, and your done for now. This job takes two people to hold the brake booster box in place on the firewall side. Done!!!
NEXT: Part 2-> Suspended!



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