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

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2012, 02:15 PM
dhaliparton dhaliparton is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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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.
Quote:
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 02:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2012, 09:05 AM
buford buford is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3
Where did you get the rebuilt drive shaft?
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2012, 03:57 PM
X3 Junkee X3 Junkee is offline
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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 05:16 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-27-2013, 05:04 PM
GadgetB1 GadgetB1 is offline
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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

Thanks
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2013, 12:27 PM
IamRoger. IamRoger. is offline
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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...

www.wholesaleimportparts.com
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  #6  
Old 05-15-2013, 08:46 AM
sherroddixon sherroddixon is offline
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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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  #7  
Old 07-26-2013, 04:38 PM
BigMike5 BigMike5 is offline
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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

BMW FRONTDRIVE SHAFT
http://www.wholesaleimportparts.com/...shaft_2005.php

FACEBOOKCOUPON CODE
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Whole...46426468834040
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2013, 06:40 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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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
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Last edited by Burning2nd; 07-26-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2013, 01:47 PM
DuffMan818 DuffMan818 is offline
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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...

http://www.wholesaleimportparts.com/
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2014, 06:31 AM
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jdeday jdeday is offline
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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?
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  #11  
Old 09-08-2014, 10:02 PM
mfoto mfoto is offline
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were ur symptoms a low speed vibration between 0 and 20 mph then subsided at about

Quote:
Originally Posted by X3 Junkee View Post
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.
were ur symptoms a low speed vibration between 0 and 20 mph then subsided after about 20 mph, and which shaft did u replace front or rear
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  #12  
Old 09-08-2014, 10:04 PM
mfoto mfoto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuffMan818 View Post
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...

http://www.wholesaleimportparts.com/
what were the syptoms u were experiencing.
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2014, 11:46 AM
Frenchx3 Frenchx3 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfoto View Post
what were the syptoms u were experiencing.
I just went through this myself so I figured I'd give you a little feedback. I noticed what sounded like a rattling sound coming from underneath the car when I was giving light acceleration. It would come and go but would always go away when I lifted the accelerator. If it is your front shaft it will be very easy to see as the whole front shaft is exposed. Get underneath the and take a good look at the U-Joints on both ends of the shaft. If they are shot you will be able to move the shaft up and down with your hands... There should be no play at all. Mine was almost completely gone. I ordered a replacement on line for about $350.

It was very easy to replace. It took about 20 minutes in my driveway...you don't even have to lift the car. The new one was a perfect fit.

I had a similar sound come back last month and thought that it might be my rear drive shaft which is a major p.i.t.a. to replace. While I was underneath checking things out I grabbed onto the vibration damper on the exhaust just after the catalytic converter and 02 sensor. I found it to be loose and rattling around. I couldn't tighten any more than it was so I just unbolted it.... The new rattling sound I was hearing was the damper rattling. Sound is gone now that it's been removed.
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  #14  
Old 09-10-2014, 12:39 PM
mfoto mfoto is offline
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thanks i will check the front drive shaft but i am thinking its gonna be the rear shaft.
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2014, 03:29 PM
Frenchx3 Frenchx3 is online now
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From my research the most common failure in the rear shaft is the center support bearing not the U-Joints. You can just replace that bearing. The other thing to look at is the flex disc (or guibo). If I ever drop my rear shaft I will replace that thing sight unseen.

Let us know what you find.
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2014, 11:28 PM
mfoto mfoto is offline
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will do plan to investigate this week end have to drop the exhaust to get to the rear shaft. thanks for ur input
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  #17  
Old 11-19-2014, 01:17 AM
Mare vd Berg Mare vd Berg is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw X3
X3 Propshaft/Drive shaft and transfer case

Hi All

New to the sight and have read the posts in this forum...but need some help!

My 2005 X3 had tyres put on...unfortunately I sent my driver and he put 65 inch on the back and left the front as 55 inch....so yes, the damage was already done by the time I wanted to go home.

I have had the Propshaft and U joints repaired and then the Transfer Case....but this clunking noise is still there.

I have put the 55 inch tyres back on, unfortunately they are now two different brands...will this make a difference?

And the company that did the transfer case say that the Case and Drive shaft need to calibrate with each other....well, the vehicle is still with the company that did the Propshaft and U joints...and they cant seem to fix it...it has been almost 2 months now and I have no idea what to do and seems no one else either!

One person told me that X3 do not like to be repaired...they want parts replaced?

I have spend allot on this vehicle already and now someone tells me the suspension is faulty...but it isn't, I have had that checked...this problem started with the tyres...can it be that simple to just put different tyres on that match?

The worst of all is, all I wanted to do was sell it and buy a newer model....hence the newer tyres...
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  #18  
Old 11-19-2014, 04:36 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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It doesn't take very much difference in tyre diameter to send the AWD system into a tizzy. That very well could be your problem. The statement about the Tranfer Case and Drive Shaft Calibrating with each other is rubbish. The transfer case adaptation values can be reset, but that is not what your problem is. I did have a clunking noise at one point that showed itself primarily at low speeds and whilst turning. It turned out to be the bolts holding the front subframe needed to be retorqued. Along the way, I did also have a defective front driveshaft that I replaced, but that turned out to be a separate issue.
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2014, 05:27 AM
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jdeday jdeday is offline
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Hello all,

Following up on a previous post, i had my rear drive shaft replaced at 135K and my vibrations at low speeds on acceleration have gone. The car drives like new!

Jeff
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  #20  
Old 12-12-2014, 11:21 AM
M. Scott M. Scott is offline
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A lot of good info on this thread. Purchased a new front drive shaft for my X3 from wholesaleimportparts.com, I am very satisfied with the part and service. These guys are on the money, definitely the place to get a drive shaft. Whole job cost me under $350.00!!! needless to say I am glad I decided to go a different route than the dealer.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2014, 05:26 AM
chewywso chewywso is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 x3 3.0, 2002 325i
I did the rear at 157k, bought it through www.wholesaleautoimports.com. Once out, I could verify he center diff u-joints were worn. I had previously replaced the center bearing and guibo at 120k while in Europe - this helped at the time (the center bearing was a pain). I appreciate that with the replacement driveshaft the center bearing is attached for a bolt in replacement. I did not detach the exhaust system, preferring to drop the hangars and suspending the system, lowering it for clearance without putting too much pressure on the manifolds. This way the aluminum pan can be pulled towards the passenger side of the car to expose the driveshaft. Also had to cut 1/4" of the rubber tube on the exhaust solenoid due to a hole forming there. The car now runs silky smooth. Wondering when the front driveshaft will go.....
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