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

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:43 PM
Monkeydub Monkeydub is online now
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Mein Auto: e83 X3 3.0d Msport
E83 3.0d Grinding noise that is speed, not RPM, related that only stops with engine o

I have a grinding noise that came on quite quickly this past week after a 600 mile trip. I noticed a noise that was quiet and high pitched, I could only hear it on the motorway cruising at around 50-60mph. The noise changed to a light grinding noise that sounds in waves and has gotten a little worse over the past few days.

I have jacked the car up and there is no play in the wheels or obvious grinding noises when each wheel is turned individually. The noise now is most prevalent between 20-30mph and is present whether in or out of gear and is not RPM related. When I hear the noise if I turn the engine off the noise stops, then when I turn the engine back on (still moving at above 20mph) the noise comes straight back.

The noise 'seems' to emanate from the nearside front area (when sitting in car) and can be heard from outside the car by someone else by the roadside.

The car is otherwise in perfect running order. The car has staggered 19's on with correct Pirelli star rated tyres. Back pair are new and the front have between 5-6mm left.

A garage suggested dual mass flywheel but I would like some advise from other sources before spending money on a non-certianty.

Any one have any experience they could offer please?

Last edited by Monkeydub; 04-19-2014 at 04:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2014, 05:25 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Mein Auto: 08 e83 LCI
Diff or transfer box?
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:12 PM
enjoydriving enjoydriving is offline
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Mein Auto: 3.0d X3, 2009
If you are getting the noise even at 20-30 mph, the diff and transfer box are still at relatively low rpm. Would this be at the higher rpm side which is the engine side? For example, the alternator belt, i would check the tension of it and spray a bit belt dressing to see if any improvement.

I was told the diffs rarely have problems. How many miles this car has done? The transfer case chain is a high wearing item, when it's worn, it makes noise. The 1st course of action is usually changing the fluid but if the milage's high, say greater than 100k, the chain may need to be changed.

Last edited by enjoydriving; 04-20-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2014, 01:22 PM
Monkeydub Monkeydub is online now
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Mein Auto: e83 X3 3.0d Msport
Thank for the responses. The car has done 93k. The transfer box was replaced by PO, I think they had used the non approved tyres and this killed the TB.

If it was the alternator belt would the noise not increase with RPM? Mine does not, it is speed related and it does not matter what gear (or out of gear) the noise is still there. Just turning off the engine whilst rolling is the only thing that stops the grinding/grumble noise.

I will change the diff oil next week.

Anything else I can look at?
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2014, 03:05 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeydub View Post
The car has staggered 19's on with correct Pirelli star rated tyres. Back pair are new and the front have between 5-6mm left.

I suspect this is your issue.

Your rolling diameter between from and rear is off causing issues with the transfer case. Even with staggered setup all 4 tires must be replaced as a set. I get the point of not doing it but you risk transfer case damage and symptoms you describe. It's more about all 4 tires have to have roughly the same outer diameter than there is still tread left on the fronts.


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  #6  
Old 04-20-2014, 05:02 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
I agree. Having approx. equal tread depth on all 4 corners, not just per axle, is the important thing - the tires being star rated is not (but good idea to go with a tire known to work well with the X3).

But if transfer case was replaced by PO with a new one, I doubt that it is the problem now. Maybe if it was a used unit though?

And again, it would not have been non-approved tires that caused a problem for the PO, but mis-matched tread depth.

Maybe the transfer case never was the problem and there is an issue with the front diff. or driveshaft.

Not sure what the noise disappearing when turning off the engine while moving really means in terms of differentials and driveshafts still in motion. But with load off, I suppose any part of the drivetrain that has a problem will quieten down.

One thing we can say for sure is it rules out the wheel bearings as the problem.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2014, 12:23 PM
Monkeydub Monkeydub is online now
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Mein Auto: e83 X3 3.0d Msport
Thank you for the replies.

RE: the tyres. I experienced the jerking when I bought the car from mismatched tyres. I replaced the front tyres with nearly new, the rear with new and changed the transfer box oil and the jerking went away. The new rear tyres have 8mm and the fronts have 6mm. I'm not sure 2mm wear would make that much difference and I have not experienced the jerking since.

I think my next port of call will be a mechanic that can lift the car and have the wheels spinning in the air to hall diagnose the problem.

I will report back with me findings.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2014, 03:06 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 X3.0i
If it was my car & to avoid the cost of 4 new tires, I'd consider taking the newer tires to someone with a tire truing machine & have them shave off 2mm to see if that makes a difference. Tires ain't cheap.
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