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

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  #301  
Old 06-01-2013, 04:41 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Location: South Africa
 
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Okay I'm back and so are the 3 lights

Pulled off the actuator again to see if the plastic gear was getting damaged in the newer area I supposedly moved it to and NO. I assume it has somehow moved around back to the buggered area... I tried to measure out how wide the damaged area is and it looks like about 100 degrees. So, worked out to put the screw drive contacting dead center of the GOOD area. Put all back together, all in all 2 hours job. (non-mechanically minded :-) ) Started the car, put in reverse and moved back about a meter and the lights came on again.

So, I am wildly assuming dead center is not right and should be either side of the GOOD area, ie. it moves from set position up to 90 degrees clockwise, or anti clockwise... This could mean pulling this damn thing out 2 more times and i just don't have the energy today AGAIN...

any ideas?

Next option is buying a new gear off eBay , but our currency has depreciated SO badly over the last week that it is not worth it right now. Will have to wait a bit... Cheapest I could find on eBay was $98.

Any other options?

Last edited by StickyDonkey; 06-01-2013 at 04:44 AM.
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  #302  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:55 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickyDonkey View Post
Okay I'm back and so are the 3 lights

Pulled off the actuator again to see if the plastic gear was getting damaged in the newer area I supposedly moved it to and NO. I assume it has somehow moved around back to the buggered area... I tried to measure out how wide the damaged area is and it looks like about 100 degrees. So, worked out to put the screw drive contacting dead center of the GOOD area. Put all back together, all in all 2 hours job. (non-mechanically minded :-) ) Started the car, put in reverse and moved back about a meter and the lights came on again.

So, I am wildly assuming dead center is not right and should be either side of the GOOD area, ie. it moves from set position up to 90 degrees clockwise, or anti clockwise... This could mean pulling this damn thing out 2 more times and i just don't have the energy today AGAIN...

any ideas?

Next option is buying a new gear off eBay , but our currency has depreciated SO badly over the last week that it is not worth it right now. Will have to wait a bit... Cheapest I could find on eBay was $98.

Any other options?

Okay, so i bought a new Odometers gear online, waiting for it to arrive and will replace.
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  #303  
Old 06-04-2013, 04:36 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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When i get the new gear, I will need to clean out the muck and put some grease. What kind of grease should i be using in this Actuator? I see the existing one is greenish yellow. I assume a mineral based one is bad as it might affect the plastics... so what is the correct one to use?
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  #304  
Old 06-04-2013, 02:45 PM
X3-terrestrial's Avatar
X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickyDonkey View Post
When i get the new gear, I will need to clean out the muck and put some grease. What kind of grease should i be using in this Actuator? I see the existing one is greenish yellow. I assume a mineral based one is bad as it might affect the plastics... so what is the correct one to use?
Maybe you can email Odometer Gears and ask them, they would know.
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  #305  
Old 06-05-2013, 06:55 AM
dyrwlf59 dyrwlf59 is offline
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Thought I would chime in--first thanks to the forum for saving me $900.00 on this actuator motor gear fix. I got the lights about 3 weeks ago, came right to the forum and ordered my Odometer Gears carbon-fiber reinforced replacement same day. I had called both the dealership and BMWUSA regarding this issue (I have an '08 E83 with 45K miles, which has been problem-free since I bought it 18 months ago with 23K on it.) BMWUSA called me a week after I e-mailed them (twice) and said that "they had no knowledge of a high failure rate of this part in the E83." I told them to come here and take a look at the dozen-plus pages of complaints. Dealership wasn't much better--they said that they were familiar with the issue, but as has been mentioned before, would replace the entire actuator motor (with another plastic POS gear in it) for about $1200.00. I took my ar to a mechanic I have been using for the last 7 years--he is honest and knows his German cars. It took him two hours (including an oil change) to replace the worn gear. He packed the housing with standard bearing grease after cleaning out all the plastic shavings---my gear was almost toothless across about a third of the mating surface--clearly a defective part that should be a recall. When I think about the fact that I was driving the car sans ABS, airbags and all wheel drive, it occurred to me that in an emergency maneuver this could be a major lawsuit for BMW if the systems failure was linked to this crappy piece of plastic. The cost of my replacement with oil change? $269.00---not bad, considering--
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  #306  
Old 06-06-2013, 06:30 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is offline
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Just waiting patiently for my new gear to arrive so i can have my baby back to normal again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dyrwlf59 View Post
Thought I would chime in--first thanks to the forum for saving me $900.00 on this actuator motor gear fix. I got the lights about 3 weeks ago, came right to the forum and ordered my Odometer Gears carbon-fiber reinforced replacement same day. I had called both the dealership and BMWUSA regarding this issue (I have an '08 E83 with 45K miles, which has been problem-free since I bought it 18 months ago with 23K on it.) BMWUSA called me a week after I e-mailed them (twice) and said that "they had no knowledge of a high failure rate of this part in the E83." I told them to come here and take a look at the dozen-plus pages of complaints. Dealership wasn't much better--they said that they were familiar with the issue, but as has been mentioned before, would replace the entire actuator motor (with another plastic POS gear in it) for about $1200.00. I took my ar to a mechanic I have been using for the last 7 years--he is honest and knows his German cars. It took him two hours (including an oil change) to replace the worn gear. He packed the housing with standard bearing grease after cleaning out all the plastic shavings---my gear was almost toothless across about a third of the mating surface--clearly a defective part that should be a recall. When I think about the fact that I was driving the car sans ABS, airbags and all wheel drive, it occurred to me that in an emergency maneuver this could be a major lawsuit for BMW if the systems failure was linked to this crappy piece of plastic. The cost of my replacement with oil change? $269.00---not bad, considering--
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  #307  
Old 06-07-2013, 07:22 PM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
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.
Possibly, but the youtube video does point out that this actuator is right next to the hot cats on the exhaust. So the greased gear may get pretty hot inside there even with the heatshield.
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  #308  
Old 06-08-2013, 11:26 AM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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Just pulled my actuator and about to break it apart. I too had the tight fit problem on one of the upper bolts. I only had deep socket E10's to work with and they wouldn't fit at all. I worked out a jury-rigged solution that worked fine. I used a small 8mm 1/4" drive socket on the star bolt head. Seemed to fit snug. These bolts don't have much torque so there is little danger of damaging the "star" pattern. Didn't have much room with my little 1/4" ratchet to break the bolt loose, so also worked up a cheater bar with a deep socket E18 I had handy (any deep socket will do that fits over your 1/4" ratchet handle) attached to a 8" long 3/8" socket extension. Came out like a charm.
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  #309  
Old 06-08-2013, 12:33 PM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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OK, any tips on prying that plate off? I tried everything, including grinding down a small screwdriver and even a small chisel. Could not get anything in the gaps to even start prying. Ended up just rotating the gear by hand to 180, greasing a bit and about to replace. If I need to do the actual new gear I'll be in trouble!

Also I notice the worm gear/motor rotor seems wobbly side to side. Normal? Also rotating by hand it seemed a bit "notchy". Still had some wear length left on the brushes it seemed.
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  #310  
Old 06-14-2013, 01:27 PM
elb1999 elb1999 is offline
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3
Bought the replacement gear took it to an indy, showd him the video on how to change out the gear and he fixed it for $200. Saved $1100
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  #311  
Old 06-15-2013, 04:17 PM
Ken Wilson Ken Wilson is offline
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Location: Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3
X3 Transfer Case Actuator

I was able to buy a replacement gear from Odometer Specialists for about $300. It was a bit tricky getting the actuator out, but three and a half hours later the worn gear was replaced, car back together and no warning lights or clicking noise.
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  #312  
Old 06-16-2013, 07:05 AM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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How are you guys getting the damn plate off to get at the gear? If mine goes again, the only thing I can think of is to grind the housing down a little in the corner to pry it off.
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  #313  
Old 06-17-2013, 08:42 AM
Ken Wilson Ken Wilson is offline
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Location: Colorado
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3
It wasn't easy, but we were able to pry it with a sharpened screwdriver. It seemed to work best when we worked the top right corner and then the top edge of the plate.
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  #314  
Old 06-25-2013, 03:12 PM
Blue1 Blue1 is offline
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Another gear bites the dust. I have a 2007 X3 with 62K on it. Got the warning lights and order a new gear from Odometer Gears. Replace the gear without too much trouble. I did have two spots that had worn about 100 degrees apart so definitely could not have rotated the gear. Hopefully the new gear will last another 60K miles.
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  #315  
Old 06-26-2013, 05:46 AM
charbelm charbelm is offline
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Thank you pburnett

it's been one month that I replaced the gear and my wife's "05 E83" rolling without the three lights.
I want to thank you guys for the fix. You saved me from a 3000USD as quoted by the dealer.
I ended up ordering the gear from Odometer for 98USD and I managed to replace it with the assistance of my mechanic/friend who did it for free (in fact he asked me to order him another gear since another customer is facing the same prob, it's a win win situation )
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  #316  
Old 06-26-2013, 07:02 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charbelm View Post
it's been one month that I replaced the gear and my wife's "05 E83" rolling without the three lights.
I want to thank you guys for the fix. You saved me from a 3000USD as quoted by the dealer.
I ended up ordering the gear from Odometer for 98USD and I managed to replace it with the assistance of my mechanic/friend who did it for free (in fact he asked me to order him another gear since another customer is facing the same prob, it's a win win situation )
Thanks for posting. They are the best pictures I've seen of the procedure. The middle picture reminds of:

What's the difference between a blue collar worker and a white collar worker?

The blue collar worker has to wash his hands before he goes to the bathroom.
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  #317  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:21 AM
faddah faddah is offline
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It works guys. I took it apart myself, turned the cog about half way around and reinstalled. Been driving around for the entire day and no lights. Thanks guys.
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  #318  
Old 06-28-2013, 08:12 AM
ReddingDon ReddingDon is offline
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Location: Redding, Ca.
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 x3 3.0i flamenco red
We bought my wife's '04 x3 on Mother's day this yr. The "triad" lit up during our test drive and when we got back to the lot, I told them we would only buy it if they fixed what was causing the lights and put that into the contract. They agreed. So ... they take it to a couple Indy shops and then finally decide to send it to the closest BMW dealer (Chico, Ca.). Finally got it back last night.

They changed the actuator and all lights are now off. Thanks to this forum, I was able to know what was causing the triad and kept up on what they were doing. They kept trying to pin it on other things (programming, bad circuit boars) and finally ended up fixing what I told them it was.

Not only did get them to fix it, but got them to give us an aftermarket warranty at their cost, lower Int. rate, order an additional key at their cost and I don't have a first pmt. due until August.

I also have the knowledge of possible fixes if it re-occurs. Thanks to you all for being so knowledgeable and helpful in your posts on here!
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  #319  
Old 06-28-2013, 09:45 AM
KellieDeals KellieDeals is offline
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Do you have the instructions with the photos

Having the same issue. Do you have the instructions with the photos.
Thanks Kellie
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  #320  
Old 07-08-2013, 05:07 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
What caused it??

Hello,

I have the same problem with my X3 3,0d. I have removed transfer case acutator and I can say it is a lot of work and you will lose your nervs... There is so litle space and if you do not have the right tool it is a nightmare... I looked at the video on youtube but in reality it is more then 10 minute job. I ordered my gear on ebay, and it costs only 19 EUR! I do not know if quality the same as Odmeters gear but I will take this risk...

I am wondering why this gear is broken?? For last few weeks I have been having problems with my rear left tyre. The presure was falling every 10 days and the tyre presure sensor alarmed me that pressure is too low, but I did not had time to go in a service ceter to inspect tyre so I just inflated it. I am wondering if this has caused transfer case acutator gear to be broken???

When I finaly went to service my tyre I saw that rear spring is broken. I have read the forums and I saw that a loot of people have a problems with broken rear springs. What do you think, is there any conection bethween broken rear spring and transfer case acutator???
I think it is connected, because if spring is broken, there is instability of a vehicle and transfer case accutator has a lot of work and it is used more then normaly so gear is under too big pressure...

What do you think? Am I right? Or is combination of flat tyre and broken spring just coincidense......??
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  #321  
Old 07-08-2013, 07:56 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alance View Post
What do you think? Am I right? Or is combination of flat tyre and broken spring just coincidense......??
If the rear spring breaks in the usual place which is just the pigtail end, I doubt that it would contribute to transfer case stress.
Even if the broken spring was unnoticed for a year or so.

If the break in the spring was further up the coil, then possibly.

Sometimes both springs break, which might even any effect out?

A tire losing air and not remedied would be more likely to have an effect,
but I would think that would need to be going on a long time before it did.
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  #322  
Old 07-08-2013, 11:35 PM
Alance Alance is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
Spring is broken so you can see from the outside that car is aslope in one side.

I am very interested to know if I will have the same problems with new acutator gear...
I hope it will last another 235000 km as the first original acutator gear.....
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  #323  
Old 07-14-2013, 07:51 PM
Dale Conrad Dale Conrad is offline
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Aftermarket gear now available at eEuroparts.com, 800-467-9769 part # 27107566296gr 174.99 If you are on the
web site, just type the above mentioned part at the search bar.
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  #324  
Old 07-19-2013, 04:37 PM
Tuezdaie Tuezdaie is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 3.0
Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

I tried to look through the pages of comments but didn't see this addressed...so apologies if this is a repost, but I talked to my Indy shop about replacing w the odometer gears part and they actually advised me to go to bmw because they were concerned with any reprogramming that would be required after install. Anyone have any insight on this? Can we just replace it and start up the car and roll out? Unplug batt for 24 hrs?


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  #325  
Old 07-20-2013, 01:18 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Location: Zagreb
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
You do not need reprograming if you change only gear. If you change whole tranasfer case acutator then you will need reprogaming.I have changed only broken gear and the lights are off; it is working fine; without reprograming.

Last edited by Alance; 07-20-2013 at 03:55 AM.
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