So first of all love the show, I have a 1997 E38 BMW, I have had the gear box, power steering pump, Tensioner for the belt,the belt itself, and fluid already replaced on my car, and the steering is hard @ 5mph or less, I have noticed that the first few seconds when you start the car it is very very easy, then all of a sudden it gets hard, @ high speeds no problem, just very hard to get in & out tight spots, with no steering (btw car doesn’t have self-leveling)oh & when front wheels are lifted and you start it, smooth even @ idle- thanks guys
does it have a power streering ram?
This is a at base a recirculatiang ball steering box,and the e-38 is the only car I have ever seen multiple cars need steering boxes. I never really thought about getting deeper into the problem, let me ask around,by the way this is a “7” series car. Perhaps something in TSB’s but my free service is really lacking when it comes to BMW.
Putting Oldschool’s and Oblivion’s posts together, it sounds to me like this is like my '64 Fairlane…a reciculating ball steering box with a hydraulic assist ram connected to the tierod, being controlled by a proportional hydraulic valve in the steering box assembly. If that’s true, then I’d suspect the hydraulic valve in the steering box.
But I gotta say, it sounds wierd to be describing a steering system this way on a '97. If I’m incorrect, I can accept that.
The attached link might help
I’d also suggest looking at the ball joints as well as all the other articulated joints. Binding can cause these type of symptoms.