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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #276  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:59 PM
z4mconona z4mconona is offline
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Mein Auto: '04Z4 3.0, '07X3 3siMS
The wife's X3 '07 3si threw a gear yesterday @ 90K miles. Fortunately I acquired this one with CPO coverage so it was a fifty dollar repair (well I paid for CPO coverage and never have had need of it till now - so the repair was paid for). However, I was prepared to crawl under the carriage and fix it given the cold reception I received from the BMW service center (gee you are almost of coverage) and later how did you know it was that? The answer was valued contributions from this community; its trials and tribulations and ingenuity! Thank you
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Last edited by z4mconona; 11-15-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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  #277  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:07 PM
nae nae is offline
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Location: Canada
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 328xi coupe
Interesting enough, I just changed the actuator for my 2007 328xi and the lights and noise dissapeared. Well, the lights on the dashboard had to be reset I guess everyone had to do that. I took the old motor apart just to see that platic gear everyone is talking about. The gear was not looking used and it looks metal to me. I still don't know what was wrong, the only weird thing is the curve shape of that gear on the actuator, not sure how a new one looks like. I am glad I got the car fixed, I hope it is permanent.
Any idea what could have been wrong by looking at these (pretty bad) pictures?
Thanks
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  #278  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:06 PM
donfant donfant is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3
Clicking but No Lights

I took my wifes car into an Independent dealer, they do minor work on BMW's. There is a clicking noise with every revolution, I thought that it might have something to do with a wheel / brake??

The meachanic said that when on the rack and with the drive shaft turning, it sounded like it was coming from the transfer case. Suggested I take it to BMW$$ dealer. There are no lights on the dash though. Well, I take that back, TPS needs cleaning, so check engine light is on. I'm curious if the clicking can be the gear if there are no 4wd lights, ABS lights on?? I dont mind changing it if I need to, but not sure. Also, do I need to remove the heat shield to get to it? Thank you very much!!
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  #279  
Old 01-03-2013, 03:37 PM
Grinch337 Grinch337 is offline
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Mein Auto: E39, E83, E30, WRX
I believe my car had the clicking for a few weeks before I got the dash lights. It may be only a matter of time until you get the light trifecta.
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  #280  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:08 AM
blipszyc blipszyc is offline
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'07 530xi here - just got the triad of lights yesterday and heard the clicking noise when I got home. Will try to get underneath and see what it's going to take to possibly do the DIY fix.

One quick question - did anyone just attempt to take the motor off without taking off the entire unit and rotating the gear with their finger?
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  #281  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:18 AM
donfant donfant is offline
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I have found the answer to the Transfer Case problem

I sold it at auction and bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee that my wife loves.
We actually found a nice 2008 BMW X3, and were going to buy it,but it has really bad problems with the N2 engine knocking. Sounds like, as bad as I hate to, I done with BMW, they have bad engineers.
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  #282  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:15 AM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donfant View Post
I sold it at auction and bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee that my wife loves.
We actually found a nice 2008 BMW X3, and were going to buy it,but it has really bad problems with the N2 engine knocking. Sounds like, as bad as I hate to, I done with BMW, they have bad engineers.
Hopefully the Jeep GC are better now. Worst vehicle I ever had. Steering damper failed 3x - talk about a vibrating steering wheel! Broke engine mounts twice, second time trashed transmission. Repaired under extended warranty and traded for a Toyota 4Runner. Good luck! I know they have been around and popular for a long time now.

Which motor did you get?
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Last edited by madurodave; 01-15-2013 at 10:24 AM.
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  #283  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:31 AM
Billy BT Billy BT is offline
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Hi guys, I'm new here but have the same problems as posted above!!! Removed the actuator,stripped it etc....
If you leave the actuator out but plug it in and get someone to start the car,the gear turns 180 degs,stops for a sec, then turns a further 180 deg.
I'm still busy investigating my problem as the gear was a little worn but not stripped yet.I turned it 180 deg anyway because it does seem to only be the one portion of the gear thats slightly damaged/worn.
With my problem it seems like I have a missfire in 1st,2nd & 3rd gear, but all is fine in 4th,5th and 6th gears!!!!
Twice now I've had the 3 lights come on though,so thought it must be the actuator, but apparently not the worn gear problem!!!
Just watched the vidio on U tube about how the system works. It seems that it does not turn 360 deg's. Only when the actuator is out it is trying to sense the relative resistances as the clutches engage etc. When the unit is in the car it only moves to a certain point where it feels the clutches are fully engaged, then records it to the ECU. This happens every time you start the vehicle.
Anyone have any other idea's what my problem might be, would be greatly apreciated.
Many thanks
Billy

Last edited by Billy BT; 02-07-2013 at 02:30 AM.
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  #284  
Old 02-08-2013, 12:22 PM
Billy BT Billy BT is offline
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Just an update on the X drive system. Today I pulled the plug off the actuator motor and drove 1600 km. The 4x4 light came on but the traction control (rear wheels only) and ABS still worked, All noises and 'jerking' has stopped. I realise that I now only have rear wheel drive but it is a quick fix if you have to use your vehicle
Billy
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  #285  
Old 02-08-2013, 12:29 PM
Billy BT Billy BT is offline
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Ps. I have also found out, the little black gear in the actuator motor does not turn 360 deg, only that little bit thats worn out!!!!! So turning it 180 deg does work like new. I found this out by covering the gear in 'thickish' grease, installing it, activating it (bolted on) , then removing and checking it, Hope this helps a bit.
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  #286  
Old 02-14-2013, 11:48 PM
azip azip is offline
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I had the "terrible triad" of lights last week, for a few minutes. Switched the SUV off, and when switched on again only the 4x4 light came on. Now even that is gone. But in first gear there is a slight jerk, which goes away when the car reaches third (sometimes second gear). Took to BMW and they reckon its the transfer box - at about $4,000. Any idea if this 180 degree fix would also cure this problem?
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  #287  
Old 02-15-2013, 02:18 PM
Billy BT Billy BT is offline
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Hi azip,
It's definitely worth trying it first, normally when it's just the actuator you should hear a clicking noise coming from under the car (xfer case) when you sw the car off. Mine did exactly the same as yours, unfortunately my xfer box is also shot, had very little oil in!!
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  #288  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:39 AM
Spgeti4evr Spgeti4evr is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 x3 3.0i
I have the exact same problem (lights, clicking sound, etc.) I just left my mechanic who recommended a gear replacement as opposed to the entire transfer case, motor and all. He even pulled up a picture of the gear on line to explain what he was talking about. He also stated that his mechanic just returned from a BMW conference/seminar in FLA and that this was one of the topics covered. He has a line on a supplier for the black gear and has asked whether I would agree to be his first test case (Guinea pig) for a gear replacement, as opposed to the entire transfer case swap it. He stated that the cost would be much less than a full replacement. He is ordering the part and I am due back in a few days for the gear replacement.
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  #289  
Old 03-21-2013, 06:41 PM
Spgeti4evr Spgeti4evr is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 x3 3.0i
Well, the repair is complete ... And it worked. He even was so honest that he admitted that they consulted a YouTube video on part of the disassembly. He gave me the old black plastic gear which has the tell- tale worn down teeth. He was confident in the finished product and charged me (with tax included) $501.00. He remarked that this will save other customers a lot of money in repairs that would have been spent replacing the entire unit.
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  #290  
Old 03-30-2013, 01:11 PM
toronto beamer toronto beamer is offline
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Location: toronto
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X3
hello everyone,

this thread has helped a lot in finding out what was the problem with these dreaded three lights and instead of dishing out 1000 dollars for a new assembly i have done the fix with the bronze gear from italy just a couple days ago and will keep you posted on what happens and if there are any problems
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  #291  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:07 PM
desertviking desertviking is offline
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Location: Palm Springs
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 X5 4.4
knock on wood, so far after almost a year, I haven't had any problems..
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  #292  
Old 04-06-2013, 02:32 AM
charbelm charbelm is offline
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Location: Lebanon
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X3 3.0
Hello guys;

I'm new to this forum and bought my 2005 X3 2 weeks ago, from time to time I get the three lights on but never heard the clicking after turning off the engine.
Do you think I have an issue with the TCA or it could be something else?

Thank you.
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  #293  
Old 04-16-2013, 10:23 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Okay, so i had this 3 lights thing with cluck, cluck, cluck on turning off. Took the vehicle to my local mechanic ("Indy"). I purchased the vehicle (used) with an extended warranty. However, on checking with the Extended warranty company, the Actuator is not covered . So, before I could refer him to this fix, he had already pulled the actuator out and opened it up and confirmed the worn portion of the black cog. On arrival, I tried to explain this fix to him, but he wasn't in agreement and didn't quite understand the concept. Anyway, i left and noticed that i couldn't get the 3 lights to come back on, so I am assuming he inadvertently moved the worn portion away from the worm drive. COOL! BUT, later that evening, i needed to get some stuff from the shop, so drove it like it was stolen and tried my damndest to get the 3 lights back on but couldn't. So, i was very happy. Parked and went into and back out the shop. Started the vehicle again and immediately, before even moving or changing gear, the 4x4 light came on, but not the others. I can feel that only the back wheels are engaged. I got under the vehicle today, expecting one of the electronic plugs to have come lose, but they weren't. Pulled them both off and plugged back in again, also checked all fuses and finally pulled the battery off to reset the ECU's... still left with the 4x4 only light on...

Any ideas?
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  #294  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:08 AM
Billy BT Billy BT is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3
Sounds like something has come adrift in the actuator motor assy. I see you are in SA. Pm me and I'll be glad to assist you
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  #295  
Old 04-22-2013, 12:51 PM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Took my x3 to a gearbox specialist today. They have a transfer case open at the moment, reconditioning it and have apparently done 3 or 4 in the last few months. They ran a diag on my car and it had a fault on the transfer case: VTG internal mechanism or something like that. They recon its a problem in the transfer case, not the actuator.

I still think its the actuator, reading lots of other forums. Some have had success on re-calibrating the system for the actuator sensor or something like that. I've tried the steering sensor reset with disconnecting/reconnecting the battery and turning steering all the way left, then right then left, no luck.

Going to pull the actuator out soon and check it out, just in case. How can I test if the actuator is actually working? I saw an earlier post here or somewhere that the actuator motor was hanging out and the ignition turned on and the actuator motor turns a few times. Can anyone confirm this?
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  #296  
Old 04-23-2013, 08:06 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickyDonkey View Post
Took my x3 to a gearbox specialist today. They have a transfer case open at the moment, reconditioning it and have apparently done 3 or 4 in the last few months. They ran a diag on my car and it had a fault on the transfer case: VTG internal mechanism or something like that. They recon its a problem in the transfer case, not the actuator.

I still think its the actuator, reading lots of other forums. Some have had success on re-calibrating the system for the actuator sensor or something like that. I've tried the steering sensor reset with disconnecting/reconnecting the battery and turning steering all the way left, then right then left, no luck.

Going to pull the actuator out soon and check it out, just in case. How can I test if the actuator is actually working? I saw an earlier post here or somewhere that the actuator motor was hanging out and the ignition turned on and the actuator motor turns a few times. Can anyone confirm this?
Took my X3 to another mechanic who has a GT1 scan machine. I asked him to reset the Steering Sensor, which was successful, as well as the Actuator. The GT1 couldn't communicate with or calibrate the sensor on the Actuator and came up with an error. So, we contacted BMW stealership and they had one in stock. Going to install tonight. Probably need to have that calibrated anyway before the 4x4 light goes away... HOPEFULLY this is the fix for my problem!!! Holding thumbs...
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  #297  
Old 04-23-2013, 01:49 PM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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UPDATE: Tried to get the sensor off without taking off the actuator, but it was a bit difficult as there isn't much space to get the torx screw off, so took the plunge and pulled out the Actuator. Had to pull the support beam down to get more space, then it wasn't too bad, for an old IT office man anyway

Once out, swapped the sensor. Now, my previous mechanic that had pulled it off, I don't know what he did in terms of turning or moving the cog around, so marked it and pulled the motor off and peered into the hole... WELL, that little black cog inside was VERY badly worn... wish I had taken a pic, but anyway.... So, did the 180 degree while peering inside the hole still and the grease inside on the "new" side was still new. It was green or blue, too tired to remember, but still new. Popped the motor back on and then the fun started... getting that damn stuff back on was a bitch! Getting the Actuator back in wasn't too much of an issue, getting the top torx bolts tightened was a tad tough. Getting the support beam/cross member back in was the problem... until I realized that I hadn't held the transfer case up high enough, so it was slunk lower and holding the support beam down a bit which didn't feel like it because i could push it up flush with the body, but the bolts just wouldn't take, and i'm like a big guy, tight under the car, arms through and under and over stuff... it was getting a little frustrating... then lowered the jack slightly and the bolts went in fine....

Anyway, long story short (sorry), once everything was back on, and no extra parts left over, i started her up and NO 4X4 LIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOHOOOOO Took her for a spin around the neighborhood and couldn't get the lights on... VERY HAPPY!!! THANKS "PBURNETT"!

If I could do this anyone can!

First mechanic said the Actuator needs replacing, stealership quoted equivalent of $1600 for a new actuator... Gearbox specialist quoted $1500 to recon the transfer case... Although I bought a new Actuator sensor/resister, for $55, as per the errors we saw on the GT1, I doubt it was that, but still WAY better than $1500

Sorry for the VERY long post...



Quote:
Originally Posted by StickyDonkey View Post
Took my X3 to another mechanic who has a GT1 scan machine. I asked him to reset the Steering Sensor, which was successful, as well as the Actuator. The GT1 couldn't communicate with or calibrate the sensor on the Actuator and came up with an error. So, we contacted BMW stealership and they had one in stock. Going to install tonight. Probably need to have that calibrated anyway before the 4x4 light goes away... HOPEFULLY this is the fix for my problem!!! Holding thumbs...
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  #298  
Old 05-10-2013, 10:46 AM
brunke brunke is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 X3, 08 Harley FLSTC
plastic!!!

Years ago, it was discovered that nylon toothed cam gears experienced rapid aging in a hot oil environment. If this is happening with the gear in question, the area that is worn is just where it was operating when the plastic reached that stage of deterioration. It would help if someone with a bad gear in hand checked it. Typically, aged plastic gets brittle. Twist a flat blade screwdriver between two good teeth. If they bend - good news. If they snap off, the gear is probably shot.
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  #299  
Old 05-30-2013, 09:48 AM
Ken Wilson Ken Wilson is offline
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Location: Colorado
 
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Transfer Cas Actuator potential free fix

I have exactly the same symptoms (and a quote for about $1.400 to fix it). Thanks for your post - I might see if handy son in law and I can do this.
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  #300  
Old 05-30-2013, 02:05 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunke View Post
Years ago, it was discovered that nylon toothed cam gears experienced rapid aging in a hot oil environment.
With the difference that these gears never get in contact with hot oil...it's still a mystery of why some will fail and some won't. I recently took mine out of my 2005 X3 with 130,00 miles and it still in "new' condition.
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