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

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  #326  
Old 07-20-2013, 05:23 AM
pburnett pburnett is offline
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Location: Severna Park, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X3, Lexus IS300
not necessarily true either... I did my entire transfer case actuator (OP) and did not reprogram.... Lights went off and havent had an issue yet. It was just plug and play.

Good luck!
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  #327  
Old 07-20-2013, 08:57 AM
Tuezdaie Tuezdaie is offline
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Location: Seattle
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 3.0
Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

Thanks guys! I'm hoping to pull this off, but won't be able to for another month. Here's to hoping she can pull through!


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  #328  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:12 AM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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Mein Auto: x3
Just an update. As I posted, I had trouble getting the plate off for access to the gear. Gave up and just rotated the gear by hand after marking the original position of the most worn area. Note when you insert the assembly back, the gear will rotate a little, so you actually have to rotate a little more than 180 degrees before reinserting. Zipped it all back up, no reprogramming, no warning lights on first startup. A miracle!

So far a month later, the lights haven't reappeared! (knock on plastic) Some have said the gear may rotate over time and get back to the worn area, but for a relatively simple fix it's worth it. Will buy the reinforced gear if it comes back. Note I used the technique of bending the heat shield to gain access. Did not have to remove anything or loosen exhaust, etc. A little tight on some of the bolts, esp. without air tools. There is a vid on youtube, but don't have the link handy.

Last edited by Rustynuts; 07-21-2013 at 06:14 AM.
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  #329  
Old 07-21-2013, 06:20 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Location: Zagreb
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
I would sugest that you order gear; because it is mater of time when the lights will come on again. I found one company from Turkey, and they sell gear for 19 €+shiping. I waited my gear for 3 weeks! I am satisfied with quolity of gear, I think that other gears are too expensive..
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  #330  
Old 07-22-2013, 12:34 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
I think that problem is still there because sometimes when I am braking, just befor I will stop I can feel some strange vibration on brake pedal. And when I go reverse somethimes I can hear some clicking sound. I read that bad tyres can cause this. I am afraid that now that I have changed acutator gear, I will destroy transfer case??! My tyres are old and I have to change them. I was thinking to buy winter tyres but I am afraid I will destroy transfer case untill winter. Is this possible?? What tyres are approved?? I have 235/55 R17, and I wont to buy summer and winter tyres, but what tyres are approved by BMW? On web pages of manufactorers of tyres there is no recomendations for 235/55 R17 summer tyres??
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  #331  
Old 07-22-2013, 11:16 PM
sodapopsmash sodapopsmash is offline
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Location: CA
 
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Mein Auto: E46, X3
I changed my gear on girlfriends X3 today, wasn't too difficult, just a little tight underneath there. Gear was mangled, and the new one fixed the x-mas tree of death in the gauge cluster. Thanks to this thread for the useful info.
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  #332  
Old 07-30-2013, 01:24 PM
ArchDJ ArchDJ is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 x3 3.0
So I wonder if I fall into the group that needs to try this fix.

My three lights have been coming on, but go off as soon as I turn the car off. When I turn the X3 back on, accelerate from a stop, then the 4x4 light comes on, a hesitation, then BEEP, and the other two lights BRAKE and ABS show up. I am not however, hearing any clicking noise after the car is off. I do hear a clicking noise at 1-10 mph driving forward.

I had taken it to a dealer and they have found that my left motor mount has sheared. This has caused damage to my drive shaft and they say also to the transfer case motor.

I feel like I should replace the motor mount and see if this little problem goes away, But if that light comes on, it sounds like my plastic gear could have been worn down.

Anyone else have similar issues?
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  #333  
Old 08-02-2013, 04:06 AM
StickyDonkey StickyDonkey is online now
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Location: South Africa
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchDJ View Post
So I wonder if I fall into the group that needs to try this fix.

My three lights have been coming on, but go off as soon as I turn the car off. When I turn the X3 back on, accelerate from a stop, then the 4x4 light comes on, a hesitation, then BEEP, and the other two lights BRAKE and ABS show up. I am not however, hearing any clicking noise after the car is off. I do hear a clicking noise at 1-10 mph driving forward.

I had taken it to a dealer and they have found that my left motor mount has sheared. This has caused damage to my drive shaft and they say also to the transfer case motor.

I feel like I should replace the motor mount and see if this little problem goes away, But if that light comes on, it sounds like my plastic gear could have been worn down.

Anyone else have similar issues?
Hi, yes. Those are the symptoms I had. I took the vehicle to a Gearbox/Transmission specialist and they also spun me long stories and wanted to recondition everything except the cubbyhole lock. I had ordered the new plastic gear, which is now in my possession, BUT, I was going to receive it too late for an offroad trip I had planned, so I pulled the Actuator out and turned the gear again (again...long story)), as per the 1st post and it has been fine every since... That was a Month ago. If and when the gear deteriorates and starts slipping again, i will replace with the new gear.
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  #334  
Old 08-02-2013, 01:21 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2009 X3
Re: Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

So does anyone know if BMW has upgraded this gear with the newer x drive systems? Just curious...

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  #335  
Old 08-17-2013, 06:31 PM
Tuezdaie Tuezdaie is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3 3.0
Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

Just wanted to follow up. I ordered the odometer gear. My buddy, who works on a lot of bmws as a hobby helped me pull out the case and replace the gear.Click image for larger version

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In retrospect, I think we could have just rotated it, but I'm betting this near gear will last longer anyway. The only tough part was removing the plate covering the gear that was peened on!

Anyway, the trifecta of lights is gone. I didn't unplug my battery or anything and am just gonna see if anything pops up.

Thanks to everyone in this post for sharing and saving me thousands in dealer service bills!

Total price paid: $125
Total hours of work: 2.5 hours (x2 people)




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  #336  
Old 08-17-2013, 06:54 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2009 X3
Re: Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

Good luck bro, fingers crossed...

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  #337  
Old 09-08-2013, 09:27 AM
Zaragas Zaragas is offline
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Location: Baltimore
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW X3
Terrible Triad

pburnett, I am attempting to view your illustrations but am having trouble opening attachments. Is there any way you could email me the pics? I am in the same boat and would like to try this fix before spending the $750 on a replacement.
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  #338  
Old 09-08-2013, 11:40 AM
pburnett pburnett is offline
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Location: Severna Park, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X3, Lexus IS300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaragas View Post
pburnett, I am attempting to view your illustrations but am having trouble opening attachments. Is there any way you could email me the pics? I am in the same boat and would like to try this fix before spending the $750 on a replacement.
I'll see if I can update the pictures, sorry didn't know these werent showing anymore, they worked on my computer!
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  #339  
Old 09-30-2013, 04:43 PM
dbz426 dbz426 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pburnett View Post
A couple weeks ago, I got the "terrible triad" of lights (ABS, 4x4, and Brake). Recently, I got the clicking noise after turning the car off and was able to determine that it was coming from a transfer case. Using several posts from here, especially this one:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=19

I bought a new transfer case actuator and installed it. Problem solved, no lights, no clicking, all better. It is not a cheap part at 720 bucks from getbmwparts.com, and 900 bucks elsewhere, so the engineer in me wanted to figure out why they were failing.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I disected the old actuator to find out what the heck is going on inside it. I appologize for the huge pictures, but some sort of resolution was needed to describe what I was trying to say.

What the actuator looks like when off the car:


And broken down into the pieces: Bottom right is the motor, top right is the brush assembly, top left is a guard of some sort that pops off (albeit bent and unusable once you have it off) and the bottom left is the gear assembly (we'll focus on this one)


After I popped off the oil guard piece, here is what the inside looked like, a ton of shavings and grease.


and closer:



So you can see the motor turns a worm gear which is mated to a black gear (which is made of plastic !!!) Eventually, this gear wears down like crazy and doesnt have any teeth left to grip the worm gear. This is what causes the slipping, and the error lights, and especially the clicking sound.

In this photo, you can see the change from good gear area to the bad area. The good area is on the left, and as you follow the black gear around to the right, you can see where it has been worn down from sitting all the time.




So, I went farther. I took off the black gear to see what it looked like:
Good side (what it should look like everywhere):


Bad side (Cause of the problem)


POTENTIAL SOLUTION:

So now we know what the cause is, how can we fix it? It has been (from my research) that everyone just buys a new actuator. Yes, it fixes the problem, I can vouch for that, but I don't know how many other people looked into what CAUSED the problem.

I bet you could unbolt the motor from the gear housing assembly (it is held on by 4 torx bolts that come off quite easily compared to trying to remove the actuator from the car).
Mark a location of the current position on the white plastic gear you can see in the first photo. After the motor is unbolted and removed (ONLY THE MOTOR, DONT DESTROY YOUR ACTUATOR AND TAKE THE WHOLE THING APART!!!!), turn the white plastic gear 180 degrees from its current location. This takes the bad part of the gear and puts it where it will not get used, which means that a good part is now in contact with the worm gear.

Re-insert the motor and bolt back together. This should give you, say another 65k miles (when mine failed) or so before you likely have to replace the actuator. Re-install on your transfer case, and voila! you should be good to go with only an hour or so of your time wasted instead of time and 900 bucks.

I haven't tried this, so try it at your own risk, but with pulling everything apart, it seems like a pretty safe bet, but obviously I can't be held responsible if something does go wrong.

Hope perhaps it can save someone almost a thousand dollars. I believe my logic is sound, but I look forward to your comments!


Apparently odometergears.com has the replacement gear for the actuator and the instruction on how. It costs $125.
p/n: 27 10 7 566 296GR
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  #340  
Old 10-08-2013, 11:47 AM
CT-X3 CT-X3 is offline
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FYI -- odometergears.com also has a good instructional pdf and video on their site. Also, this company http://stores.ebay.com/Auto-Electron...p2047675.l2563 (on e-bay) sells the gear for $90 w/free shipping, a rebuilt actuator for $270 + shipping (and will refund $50 if you return your core) or will rebuild your unit for $170 + shipping. I have not used them (so far, I haven't had any problems with the actuator on my X3) so can't attest to quality, but seems like a simple rebuild.
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  #341  
Old 10-08-2013, 12:12 PM
Alance Alance is offline
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Location: Zagreb
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
Too expensive! For a piece of plastic 90$?!!! It is a rip off! I ordered my for about 16,9 EUR. So far soo good! Supplier is from Turkey.
http://www.idealautoteile.com/produc...-%252d-10.html

Last edited by Alance; 10-08-2013 at 11:15 PM.
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  #342  
Old 10-11-2013, 06:20 PM
Recasal Recasal is offline
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Location: Panama central América
 
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Alance
Good Day
Tell us if You receive your gear from turkey and if is good quality, how fit in THE CAR and how is working
Thanks
Let us know about this
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  #343  
Old 10-11-2013, 06:22 PM
Recasal Recasal is offline
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Thumbs up Let us know

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alance View Post
Too expensive! For a piece of plastic 90$?!!! It is a rip off! I ordered my for about 16,9 EUR. So far soo good! Supplier is from Turkey.
http://www.idealautoteile.com/produc...-%252d-10.html
If You receive your order from turkey
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  #344  
Old 10-11-2013, 09:49 PM
ioannis214 ioannis214 is offline
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Mein Auto: X3, 2.0i, Manual, 10/06
Alance, how many milew have you had it on for? Before you installed the new did you compare the quality of the old one from your trasnfer case and the new one? Were there any visual differences or dis you feel like they are made out of different material?

Thanks
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  #345  
Old 10-12-2013, 07:48 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
I waited for delivery for about 3 weeks.It came with regular post. (It is better to pay extra for DHL or TNT ) I looked at the plastic and I think quality is good. Its a fibre glass - plastic mix and a really strong material. I contacted guy in Turkey and he said he will send me new piece if it will be worn in a one year. He said he did not had any complaints. They make all kind of plastic things and I think they know how to make strong plastic.

I did it on 235000 km, and now I have 241000km on the clock and no problems.There was a little problem with puting new gear in the other gear but I succesfully installed it. Original gear went easy in the other gear. But I did it by gently hiting it with plastic hamer. Visual diference is in color, original is black and replacement is white. I think this is a fair price for a piece of plastic. I can realy recomend www.idealautoteile.com
There are no lights and everything is OK.

Last edited by Alance; 10-13-2013 at 05:29 AM.
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  #346  
Old 10-12-2013, 08:03 AM
Alance Alance is offline
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Re: Transfer Case Actuator potential free fix!

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  #347  
Old 10-13-2013, 11:26 AM
Recasal Recasal is offline
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Thanks for your reply
I Will order my too
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  #348  
Old 10-28-2013, 03:56 PM
pburnett pburnett is offline
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Location: Severna Park, MD
 
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Mods, Trying to update the photo links here.... but I have no edit button. Feel free to change the links if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pburnett View Post
A couple weeks ago, I got the "terrible triad" of lights (ABS, 4x4, and Brake). Recently, I got the clicking noise after turning the car off and was able to determine that it was coming from a transfer case. Using several posts from here, especially this one:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=19

I bought a new transfer case actuator and installed it. Problem solved, no lights, no clicking, all better. It is not a cheap part at 720 bucks from getbmwparts.com, and 900 bucks elsewhere, so the engineer in me wanted to figure out why they were failing.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. I disected the old actuator to find out what the heck is going on inside it. I appologize for the huge pictures, but some sort of resolution was needed to describe what I was trying to say.

What the actuator looks like when off the car:


And broken down into the pieces: Bottom right is the motor, top right is the brush assembly, top left is a guard of some sort that pops off (albeit bent and unusable once you have it off) and the bottom left is the gear assembly (we'll focus on this one)


After I popped off the oil guard piece, here is what the inside looked like, a ton of shavings and grease.


and closer:



So you can see the motor turns a worm gear which is mated to a black gear (which is made of plastic !!!) Eventually, this gear wears down like crazy and doesnt have any teeth left to grip the worm gear. This is what causes the slipping, and the error lights, and especially the clicking sound.

In this photo, you can see the change from good gear area to the bad area. The good area is on the left, and as you follow the black gear around to the right, you can see where it has been worn down from sitting all the time.




So, I went farther. I took off the black gear to see what it looked like:
Good side (what it should look like everywhere):


Bad side (Cause of the problem)


POTENTIAL SOLUTION:

So now we know what the cause is, how can we fix it? It has been (from my research) that everyone just buys a new actuator. Yes, it fixes the problem, I can vouch for that, but I don't know how many other people looked into what CAUSED the problem.

I bet you could unbolt the motor from the gear housing assembly (it is held on by 4 torx bolts that come off quite easily compared to trying to remove the actuator from the car).
Mark a location of the current position on the white plastic gear you can see in the first photo. After the motor is unbolted and removed (ONLY THE MOTOR, DONT DESTROY YOUR ACTUATOR AND TAKE THE WHOLE THING APART!!!!), turn the white plastic gear 180 degrees from its current location. This takes the bad part of the gear and puts it where it will not get used, which means that a good part is now in contact with the worm gear.

Re-insert the motor and bolt back together. This should give you, say another 65k miles (when mine failed) or so before you likely have to replace the actuator. Re-install on your transfer case, and voila! you should be good to go with only an hour or so of your time wasted instead of time and 900 bucks.

I haven't tried this, so try it at your own risk, but with pulling everything apart, it seems like a pretty safe bet, but obviously I can't be held responsible if something does go wrong.

Hope perhaps it can save someone almost a thousand dollars. I believe my logic is sound, but I look forward to your comments!

Last edited by pburnett; 10-28-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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  #349  
Old 10-28-2013, 03:59 PM
pburnett pburnett is offline
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Location: Severna Park, MD
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X3, Lexus IS300
Did that work guys?
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  #350  
Old 10-28-2013, 04:02 PM
Recasal Recasal is offline
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Location: Panama central América
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: X3
Positive
But what cause this damage
I'm waiting tomorrow I will receive my new actuator
Hope all go well
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