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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2013, 01:17 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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2004 E46 drivetrain issues.

I have an 04 325i. I began to feel a very fast but soft vibration at freeway speeds.. I took my car to Bimmer tuning shop. They serviced read diff.. And found that the transmission crossmember was cracked.. I ordered a new one and rubber tranny mounts.. I did the work myself. Have use of a shop and i have the Bentley service manual for my car..

Now the mounts i got were about 4-5mm thicker than the oem ones i took out.. Didnt think much of it.. Put the car back on the ground and did some test runs.. The original vibration was solved..

But a new one replaced it. Much more violent and a slower feel to it.. And at slow speeds now, not freeway..

I read in the service manual that they are anal about deflection in rear driveline.. Centered side to side, and up and down..

So i ordered stock mounts today.... Proccess of elimination..

But i wanted to ask if anyone has encountered this????????????????????
Will a few mm on tranny mounts make that diff????????

Will rear diff mounts going bad make that shake?
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:43 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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How many miles on you Bimmer?
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:53 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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It has 138,000
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:57 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Mine only has 77K, I usually drive a car long enough to get a vibration issue. Just wanted to read what everyone replies.

Motor mounts, trans mount, flex disc.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:06 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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Same here.. I pick a car and stick with it.. I find it cheaper to keep it in running order, than a car payment every month.. Being i am my own mechanic, is the savings........ I am going to look at the flex plate when i once again tear into it.. I noticed the difference in highth in the mount bushings.. But did not think a few 4+mm's would make that big of a change... But of course after the fact. I read into the service manual more in different chapters and it apears as i said they are very anal... Sometimes i think over perfect engineering... I love my 73 chevy 4x4. Clean K&N air filter, new oil and some grease. All she needs
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:08 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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I will say this.. I am not sure if or what year they changed it... But in 99-06 3 series they used a forged aluminum cross member. It is known to crack.. Check it. There is not much of it to go around when the crack starts. I am damn lucky i cought it when i did. A few more big bumps and maybe 200 miles and i would of had major issues
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:25 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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I just bought a Lincoln Electric 180 Mig welder, I'm supposed to be able to weld alu. I may have to get a price for the gun. I have a few things that could use some attention.

Thanks for the heads up on that one!

Dave
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:33 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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Well i will update after this coming weekend and the change, putting in the correct mounts.. If it solves the problem.. I would have to say.. If you find a cracked one. It has already moved outside of spec, and welding it wont help on that matter.... I bought the new one from Bavauto, came strait from BMW. It was only $48. And it only took me 1 hour to do the swap.. Granted you that was with a car lift.. The only way.. The full exhaust has to be removed from header back. Its a one peice. and some heat shielding has to come off too..
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:34 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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And the correct bushings are only $12 a piece
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:44 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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I was referring to the alu crossmember for the welding. Can't fix rubber, only new for that!

Dave
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:48 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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What brand to avoid was always an issue w the W123 Benz, as far as the rubber mounts.

Dave
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  #12  
Old 10-08-2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadroneE46 View Post
Now the mounts i got were about 4-5mm thicker than the oem ones i took out.. Didnt think much of it.. Put the car back on the ground and did some test runs.. The original vibration was solved..

But a new one replaced it. Much more violent and a slower feel to it.. And at slow speeds now, not freeway..

But i wanted to ask if anyone has encountered this????????????????????
Will a few mm on tranny mounts make that diff????????
A few months ago there was a thread from a guy who replaced his tranny mounts with M3 mounts, which are apparently a few mm thicker. He started having similar issues with drive train vibration, so he swapped OEM mounts back in and it seemed to solve the problem. I would try that first as it is probably the simplest and most likely solution.
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  #13  
Old 10-08-2013, 07:49 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadroneE46 View Post
Well i will update after this coming weekend and the change, putting in the correct mounts.. If it solves the problem.. I would have to say.. If you find a cracked one. It has already moved outside of spec, and welding it wont help on that matter.... I bought the new one from Bavauto, came strait from BMW. It was only $48. And it only took me 1 hour to do the swap.. Granted you that was with a car lift.. The only way.. The full exhaust has to be removed from header back. Its a one peice. and some heat shielding has to come off too..
Did you use M3 mounts?
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2013, 04:41 PM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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Dave.. I was talking about welding the crossmembber.. Once cracked it sags and changes locationing.. Just buy a new one, its cheap.

And no i did not use M3 mounts.. I bought some aftermarket polyeurathane ones.. Stock bimmer's are in the mail..

Thanks Ofthelost for the post.. That is reassuring to hear a common problem solved by what i was hoping it was... I really dont want to have to tear into flex plate, carrier bearing and rear end mounts.. Not going into winter when construction is dieing out for the year.
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  #15  
Old 10-08-2013, 04:54 PM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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I did not know that Mmounts were available in poly, but from your experiece avoid them?

Thanks for expaining,
Dave
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2013, 08:40 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is online now
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Poly, or race mounts, transmit more vibrations. I doubt it has anything to do with a couple mm of size difference.

I helped a friend build a race car and we installed poly engine, transmission, and control arm bushings. It vibrates like a hard tail Harley!
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  #17  
Old 10-09-2013, 05:55 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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good to know dvr!

Thanks,
Dave
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  #18  
Old 10-12-2013, 05:20 AM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Poly, or race mounts, transmit more vibrations. I doubt it has anything to do with a couple mm of size difference.

I helped a friend build a race car and we installed poly engine, transmission, and control arm bushings. It vibrates like a hard tail Harley!
I had that thought. But after reading the shop manual and them specifically talking about shimming the cross member to illiminate deflection is any vibration. I kinda ruled that out.. But it makes sense being poly is so much more ridged... Either or, i dont like feeling every road bump or vibration.. Back to oem today and see if all goes bye bye
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  #19  
Old 10-12-2013, 07:36 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Please keep us posted, I hate vibration issues!
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  #20  
Old 10-12-2013, 11:44 AM
MadroneE46 MadroneE46 is offline
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Woohooo

Final update..

Changed rubber tranny mounts back to new oem ones.. Followed all directions in service manual about how and where to make sure drive line is centered up/down and side/to side..

Problem has vanished including the original vibration that led me to this part replacement and issue..

Once again at a stop light, i think the motor is not running because i can not feel a single vibration. Driving at all speeds and any kind of throttle position, not a single vibation or hickup..

There is nothing like oem parts and a service manual.... Not to mention a friend with a shop and a car lift, who takes a case of beer for letting me use the rack..
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  #21  
Old 10-12-2013, 11:54 AM
Dave's325xi Dave's325xi is offline
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Sounds like it's good to be you, enjoy it!

Dave
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