BMW Power Steering Modification

The 1972 Bavaria and earlier six-cylinder models had the power steering pump belt takeoff on the water pump. This situation puts a great lateral load on the water pump shaft bushing which in conjunction with the alternator belt load leads to an early failure of the water pump. Wishing to avoid this, I moved the power steering pump belt to the crankshaft.

If you have air conditioning you will need a combination pulley air conditioner and power steering — and a smaller radiator fan to avoid interference. Without the air conditioning, try the following.

Purchase BMW pulley 32 41 1259 343 (about $9) and the 8-mm bolts that go with it. Purchase Dayco automotive drive belt 15345/662 (about $4). Mark the position of the torsional damper relative to the crankshaft and remove. Align the pulley and damper holes, noting that these go together in one way only. Using red Loctite, torque the 8mm bolts to 16 ft/lbs after placing the pulley and the damper together. Install the Dayco belt and tension. The existing pump adjustment bracket works nicely here. Make sure that all four bolts are adjusted to properly align the pump pulley with the crankshaft pulley.

You will not notice any change in the power steering, although you will get less belt squeal at low rpm when turning the wheel while the car is stopped.

Author: Victor N . Vagliente

Many people will tighten the power steering belt when they hear a noise. More often than not on pre-1974 models, the alternator belt is loose and this, not the power steering belt, is making the noise. Tech Ed.


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