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

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Old 06-09-2012, 01:15 PM
dhaliparton dhaliparton is offline
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Location: Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: X3
x3 Drive shaft fix for vibrations

I was experiencing vibrations when low speed turning and accelerating so I took the X3 to the shop. Mech said needed new driveshaft as Ujoints were playing. Wanted $1100 for the fix (750 for parts and the balance for labor). I took it home and promptly ordered rebuilt shaft for $350 plus $60 core charge.

I launched into this at 7pm Thursday night with a 6 pack of beer, and high hopes. I'm not a mechanic but I'm not afraid to turn bolts which is just about all you need to do for this job. I quit at midnight with a test drive...all is well.

Here's the DIY on the fix before I forget. No pics.

1. Put rear on jack stands so wheels can turn.
2. At the muffler remove the 4 10MM nuts holding the muffler to body. Have bucket or something to rest the muffler assembly on.
3. Remove plate that holds exhaust pipes/vibration dampener to bottom of car.
4. Remove other plate that is just aft of this plate. Exhaust pipe should be free up to the manifold. Caution to not let the whole thing flop around.
5. On drivers side remove bracing bar that attatches just under the drivers passenger door by losening the torx nut. Then remove the other two bolts holding the other end to the body.
5. remove bolts holding the heat shield from bottom of car. I think there were 10 of them.
6. Now, this is tricky, slide the front of the heat shield off and then gently work the port end of the shield around the exhaust pipe. you may need to drop the muffler down until it hangs on it's own to get it out. I was slow here to not bend anything or jack up the exhaust stuff.
7. Once the heat shield is out of the way, you can freely access the drive shaft. There are three 18mm bolts up front and four 3/8 torx nuts on back with a center brace that has two nuts holding the bearing assembly.
8. I took the back off first then the front and then the middle to keep anything from falling on my face. At this point I was feeding 20 mosquitos so it's all a little blurry how it came out. I do know you have to navigate the shaft to the passenger side of the car past the exhaust pipe. It will not come out the drivers side.
Note++ if you don't have the wheels in the air you will not be able to get to some of the drive shaft bolts. I had to hand turn the shaft to get access to all of the nuts and such.
He said shaft and nuts
. the car has to be in neutral with the p brake off.
9. removed old drive shaft and at this point I'll need an expert's advice...there is a locking nut in the middle of the shaft assembly. Should that be loose or tight? On this one it was loose but on the rebuilt it was tight. With it being loose the old drive shaft came apart into two pieces. when I reinstalled the new shaft I tightened that bolt down.

10. Stick the new one in the place it goes...i put the rear end of the shaft in first, connected the middle bearing to the body just loosly, then pushed the front end in and bolted it all up.
11. Reversed process to finish the job.

All in, because I was on the floor in my garage at night I'd say the job is harder than it sounds (or felt in the morning with muscle soreness). All in all it mde me happy that I saved a bunch of cash using my $30 tool set.

Hope this helps. add more if needed.

Last edited by dhaliparton; 06-09-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:05 AM
buford buford is offline
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Location: Statesboro, GA
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 33
Mein Auto: 2004 X3
Where did you get the rebuilt drive shaft?
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Old 12-05-2012, 02:57 PM
X3 Junkee X3 Junkee is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW X3
Drive shaft

I had a very similar expierience with mine... guess its a common problem. After getting a very steep price from the shop that diagnosed the problem and trying a few different things I decided to replace the whole drive shaft with a remanufactured one and after searching for the best price I could find with out sacraficing quality !!! I ordered mine from www.wholesaleimportparts.com. It was in stock! and it only took a few days to get it in my hands and the shipping was free which always helps. Once I had it I took it in to have it installed and just like that the vibration and shaking I was feeling was completely GONE !!! and I saved alot of money by going with a rebuild.

Last edited by X3 Junkee; 12-05-2012 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:04 PM
GadgetB1 GadgetB1 is offline
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Location: Tucson
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2004 X3
I have the same problem and I am ordering a driveshaft as I type, but I have one question do I need a flex coupling as well?

Like this one http://www.******************.com/sk...3-1663110.html

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Old 03-14-2013, 11:27 AM
IamRoger. IamRoger. is offline
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Location: los angeles
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2004 bmw x3
Wink Drive shaft swap

Love my X3 ! HATE the vibration I was getting when taking off from a stop...I was told I needed to switch out my drive shaft but I was not gonna let the dealer rob me of my money. Found a reman drive shaft for $347.00 and with some info from this forum I switched it out my self. Whole job cost me under $500 and a 12 pack of beer to get me thru the install.

Anybody looking for a drive shaft check these guys out...

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:46 AM
sherroddixon sherroddixon is offline
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Location: TEXAS
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X3 3.0i
I just hit 140k on my 2005 X3 and seems like all things are happening at once. First, just had the front wheel bearings replaced on drivers side. Thought that was going to stop the vibration. It did stop the roaring sound but vibration still there and now I have another sound, like some one is hammering under the car when I am in 1st and 2nd gears. I am going to take this forum's advise and change out the drive shaft. I am ordering part as I chat. I have one question...as this totally fixed the problem?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:38 PM
BigMike5 BigMike5 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 05 BMW X3
I was also quoted a crazy price when faced with the same problem of having to replace my front drive shaft on my X3. After the initial shock of having to spend right about 1300-1500 to have it fixed, I began searching the formus on X3 drive shafts. I came across a company that sells new and re manufactured drive shafts, and I was able to come away from it with a brand NEW heavy duty front drive shaft for a phenomenal price of $356.70 with free shipping and a one year unlimited mile warranty. When the part arrived at my mechanic we were both pretty shocked at the heavy duty quality and the fact that it also has REPLACABLE U JOINTS!!!!. My guy installed it with no problem, and glad to report Im back on the road with no issues so far, and im about 1K miles into the new part. Needless to say my mechanic is a pretty darn good customer of theirs now. The name of the company is WholesalesaleImportParts.com links posted below... Hope this helps


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Old 07-26-2013, 05:40 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,172
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
you guys would shat your selfs if you knew how easy it is to rebuild a CV

its dirty and a shiity job (which is why people just replace em)
but its literally a clip

and bmw drive shafts... are once and done..

Ive not been able to find ujoints that fit
and im talking about walking in to a part store managed by a friend.. and going thur every frikken box looking for a match with a verneer cailber in hand
Specializing In BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz ,Volkswagen, Volvo

Last edited by Burning2nd; 07-26-2013 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:47 PM
DuffMan818 DuffMan818 is offline
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Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: bmw 330i
My X3 front shaft went out about a month ago... took it to the dealer and have not gone back after they gave me a price of over a thosand dollars to fix the problem. After calling around I came across a company that specializes in drive shafts and I was able to score a brand new front sshaft for my x3 with replaceable u joints for only $350. Drive shaft was received by my mechanic and to his surprise after hearing the price, it was "Excellent quality" "Better than the original"... Glad to say after install drive shaft works great and my X3 is running the way a BMW should.

Here is the link...

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Old 04-06-2014, 05:31 AM
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jdeday jdeday is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW X3 3.0
Hello all, I also am beginning to experience vibrations on my X3. I currently have 125,000 miles on the OD, my question is how many miles did your vehicles have on them when the drive shaft was replaced?
2005 X3 3.0, Mystic Blue Metallic, Sand Beige Leather Interior, Birch Grain Light Wood Trim, Steptronic Transmission, Premium Package, Heated Seats, Privacy Glass, Satellite Radio Prep, Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Heated Steering Wheel, Premium Sound, Power Folding Mirrors and NAVIGATION RETROFIT
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drive shaft, vibration, x3

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