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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 10-22-2013, 12:19 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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Pulsating/Throbbing noise from engine bay

There appears to be a semi-loud pulsating noise coming from the engine bay - it is a periodic noise; and almost makes you feel that the engine of the X3 is extremely noisy (3.0i). Does anyone have any ideas on what it could be - any known issues? Could it be a belt that is loose that could be causing the issue - two years ago, the dealer wrote (during a checkup appt) that the alternator belt has cracks in it - could that be the source for the noise?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2013, 12:30 PM
simsima325 simsima325 is offline
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What year and engine?
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2013, 01:04 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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How often is periodic, and under what conditions?

If someone said my belt had cracks in it, the thing would be gone. Even if not ready to break, they can become glazed and noisy. Why not replace it yourself to see if that's the problem? Sounds like its overdue anyway. If that's not the cause, no harm done!
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:28 PM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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My best guess is the ball beaing in one of the belt pulleys (there are 3) is in the throes of failure. This gives a "box of rocks" kind of sound that initially goes away as the bearing heats up.
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:31 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simsima325 View Post
what year and engine?
2005 x3 3.0
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:35 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlex View Post
How often is periodic, and under what conditions?

If someone said my belt had cracks in it, the thing would be gone. Even if not ready to break, they can become glazed and noisy. Why not replace it yourself to see if that's the problem? Sounds like its overdue anyway. If that's not the cause, no harm done!
Is there a DIY for it?!
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2013, 02:37 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
My best guess is the ball beaing in one of the belt pulleys (there are 3) is in the throes of failure. This gives a "box of rocks" kind of sound that initially goes away as the bearing heats up.
Good thought. We live on top of a hill and it is definitely louder going down the hill/coasting. Eventually, it doesn't go away - but it does improve slightly.
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2013, 05:55 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by am_ver View Post
Is there a DIY for it?!
Not that I know of although you may find a video or something out there if you do a search. It's a matter of simply using a wrench to release the tension on the idler pulley to allow you to slip the belt off. Just make a mental note or draw a diagram on how it goes back on. While it's off, you can spin the idler pulleys to see if they're making noise or have too much play. Replace if necessary.
To get more room to work, I'd remove the electric fan... just two electrical connectors and one screw holding it on. You'll want to take off the plastic splash shield on the bottom so when you replace it you'll be sure it's seated properly.
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2013, 07:22 AM
noego noego is offline
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2013, 08:15 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Good video posted by noego.
You can disregard the fan removal info as your car's fan is not mounted on the water pump. It's electric and sits just behind the radiator. Easy removal for more room...
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2013, 10:12 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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Just one other word of advice. The tensioners are turned by turning a Torx bolt clockwise. This bolt has a T-50 head on it. A T-45 will sort of fit, but the odds are very high you will strip the Torx splines.
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  #12  
Old 10-23-2013, 11:30 AM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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!Great - thanks. Whats good place to buy parts - sounds like I should replace the AC and the serpentine belt at this point. Got this video as well: Belt on 528i
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Last edited by am_ver; 10-23-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:30 PM
jlex jlex is offline
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If you want to confirm it's a belt, have someone change RPM's while you watch the belt. Thrumming may be due to a slack belt if a tensioner is getting weak.
Do not use a torx socket to release tension on the tensioners (located under the plastic cover on the tensioner) Instead, use a 5/8" socket on the boss built onto the tensioner housing. It won't strip out.
You'll need those torx sockets to take off the two front plates so you can remove your electric fan, however...
Have fun
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2013, 05:21 PM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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found another thread on this topic: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=552187
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2013, 06:17 PM
X34ME X34ME is offline
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opened the car up this evening. With revving rpm there didn't appear to be a thumping noise. However, there was a big metallic noise - probably from one of the pulleys. I think 'timarnold' was right on it terms of the issue. So the next step is to replace the entire thing (tensioner, deflector and belts). Any recommendations/advice on where to buy parts?!1

Thanks a ton guys - you are awesome!!
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  #16  
Old 10-24-2013, 06:28 PM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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IMO, don't buy torx sockets, buy spline sockets (google it). You can use them on basically all types of bolt heads. Check Sears.

Also, if your changing the belt and pulleys, do yourself a favor, pull that damn fan out!! You don't have too, but it is stupid easy to remove and it'll give you tons more room to work!

Parts: ECS Tuning or Bavauto are my fave.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2013, 04:39 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Never heard of spline sockets. What makes them better than regular ones? Maybe no SAE/Metric size problems
Anyway, the OP won't be using the female type sockets either on the tensioners or the 2 top cover plates. He'll need the male torx sockets. Don't know if the spline type comes in male version... maybe so.
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2013, 08:37 AM
Grabby544 Grabby544 is offline
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Pulsating/Throbbing noise from engine bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlex View Post
Never heard of spline sockets. What makes them better than regular ones? Maybe no SAE/Metric size problems
Anyway, the OP won't be using the female type sockets either on the tensioners or the 2 top cover plates. He'll need the male torx sockets. Don't know if the spline type comes in male version... maybe so.
Google spline sockets or check out sears.com. No, spline sockets will work in leu of e-torx aka male head torx bolts. So you are correct I forgot the tensioner use that big effing T50 torx... Pita.

I prefer spline sockets because they can remove almost any male head bolt e.g. 6 pt, 12pt, e-torx, square, triangle, rounded off bolts, etc. however, you'll still need metric and SAE. I use the spline sockets on my 72 Chevy C10, x3, law mower and just about anything else that uses any kind of bolt. Funny thing though, I've only ever seen spline bolts on aircraft engines.

Does this make sense?


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2013, 09:29 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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Hey, if you really want to drill own into screw types, check ou this Wikipedia post:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives
Didnt realize there were so many types out there.

When playing w/ the tensioners next time, try using the 5/8" socket instead of the torx bolt behind the plastic cover... Allows for a lot better purchase on the unit with no fear of camming out...
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  #20  
Old 11-04-2013, 10:40 AM
am_ver am_ver is offline
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ok -replaced a lot of stuff this weekend. But the noise remains. The old serpentine belt tensioner did have some friction in the pulley so it was good that I replaced it. But it was not the source of the noise. The noise appears to be coming from the engine bay

Replaced the following:
- AC Belt Tensioner with pulley: 11287512758
- Serpentine belt tensioner: 11-28-1-427-252-M40
- Pulley for water pump: 11287516847
- Serpentine and AC Belt

We live on a hill, so while coasting down, there is a same wobbly/pulsating noise when turning but only in one direction. My plan is to replace the
Power steering (32427516848) and the Water pump pulley (11511436590) .

Here is what I have read so far on the issue:
- tires (will try rotating the tires)
- bearings
- power steering fluid is low (flush)
- front suspension
- Transfer case

The car just feels like a noisy drive. Very different compared to when we purchased it.
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Last edited by am_ver; 11-04-2013 at 12:37 PM.
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  #21  
Old 11-04-2013, 11:00 AM
jlex jlex is offline
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If you're hearing this when you turn the car's wheel in one direction, maybe a bearing in the power steering pump's going out. What's the fluid level like?
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