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  #1001  
Old 02-27-2018, 01:43 PM
bubbaspaarx bubbaspaarx is offline
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Worn speed sensors will cause that.
Take them out and see if they are worn. Any wear at all and they will likely need replacing.



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  #1002  
Old 05-03-2018, 10:36 PM
zacklakatos zacklakatos is offline
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Transfer Case Actuat or potential free fix!

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:

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

Could you please repost these pictures so I can do this fix on my 530xi?? Thanks so much!
Email [email protected]

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!
Could someone please repost these pics so I can do the repair?? Thanks!
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  #1003  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:53 AM
GlennyBatt GlennyBatt is offline
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I had the typical ABS, Brake, and 4x4 lights come on the dash. I didn't have the clicking sound when engine shut off though, but i still changed the actuator gear only and re-installed. All 3 lights still on and still no clicking sound when shut off. Any thoughts?
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  #1004  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:59 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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any codes

>also scoot under and check for chain slop/too much internal wear etc by rotating the front drive shaft near the transfer case

>look at dmf and kenza's experience

>look at MTBRDAD input on replacing the complete actuator

>get codes before you splash the cash

>download ista+ and get your info/codes.... link below ....best wishes

start with post 4 and fan out

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?t=1268688

>kenza and dmf experience

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...1#post11611121

Last edited by swampX3; 06-13-2018 at 07:02 PM.
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  #1005  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:04 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good MTBRDAD input

>I think this is from when he swapped to a new transfer case actuator

mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q4 View Post
But that might lead one to believe that the cheaper gear was binding on the worm gear causing excessive stress on the motor. Or if not binding then simply causing too much friction with the same result.

Just speculation in preparation for eventual replacement.
If I had to do it over again I would order the replacement land rover actuator others have bought from ebay and then just swap the original resistor currently on your actuator so then you do not have to do any re-coding for transfer case.
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  #1006  
Old 06-13-2018, 07:11 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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MTBRDAD thread with full new actuator swap

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/arc.../t-846517.html

09-01-2015, 01:24 AM
there are several things in the actuator besides the gear that can fail......some examples attached.....hall sensor/motor parts/coding resistor etc....best wishes

So I ordered a new actuator from Cobra Transmission (http://cobratransmission.com/bmw-x3-...tor-55133225-1) and it comes with a new coding resistor attached. I've read everything in these documents and now I have a few questions:

When I get the new actuator and I install it how do I get the new coding resistor on the new actuator to match the transfer case clutch locking torque value?

Is my current transfer case clutch locking torque value stored anywhere?

Can I just install the actuator myself and then drive it to someone who can perform the clutch torque coding resistor matching procedure?

Or should I just take the old coding resistor off my current actuator and put it on the new one?
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  #1007  
Old 06-13-2018, 08:51 PM
Joepa330 Joepa330 is offline
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Gear doesn't spin all the way around while in use, onle travels an inch or two, and back again.

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  #1008  
Old 06-14-2018, 05:42 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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Gear doesn't spin all the way around while in use, onle travels an inch or two, and b

>good point .....and ....if you get ista+ you can get a realtime reading of how little or far the gear has rotated.....you can also bench test the actuator
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  #1009  
Old 07-26-2018, 08:42 AM
mmnewcomb mmnewcomb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacklakatos View Post
Could someone please repost these pics so I can do the repair?? Thanks!
[email protected]
Bump. Really doesn't help to have a sticky thread that doesn't include the original attachments...
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  #1010  
Old 08-24-2018, 05:00 AM
Mpooz1 Mpooz1 is offline
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Thanks for this post, i tried this and it worked,
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  #1011  
Old 09-10-2018, 11:03 AM
Zinga819 Zinga819 is offline
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Hello Guys,

I have a 2007 BMW @121K miles . I just got the 4x4, ABS and Brake lights on. Dealer and other car garages are quoting a fortune for this. Can anyone suggest me a Garage who will be able to replace the actuator motor gear as suggested by few on the forum. I live in Plainfield, IL area.

Last edited by Zinga819; 09-10-2018 at 11:04 AM.
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  #1012  
Old 09-10-2018, 12:02 PM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinga819 View Post
Hello Guys,

I have a 2007 BMW @121K miles . I just got the 4x4, ABS and Brake lights on. Dealer and other car garages are quoting a fortune for this. Can anyone suggest me a Garage who will be able to replace the actuator motor gear as suggested by few on the forum. I live in Plainfield, IL area.
PM sent
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  #1013  
Old 09-18-2018, 05:21 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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from akaraki..excellent tips on testing the transfer case and its components

posts 10-13 first then fan out


https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...1#post12734141

Last edited by swampX3; 09-18-2018 at 05:23 AM.
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  #1014  
Old 12-23-2018, 11:30 AM
BMWAddict_W BMWAddict_W is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002, X3(E83)
This a well-documented DIY repair where economy of scales has dramatically reduced the price to a ten dollar part and about two hours work if you have the tools.

Part on Amazon. MTC 122053 BMW E53 X5 E83 X3 Transfer Case Motor Gear Carbon Fiber Reinforced Nylon:
https://www.amazon.com/MTC-122053-Tr...+122053+bmw+x3

Repair video.
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  #1015  
Old 12-23-2018, 11:31 AM
BMWAddict_W BMWAddict_W is offline
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please delete this entry. Duplicate.
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Last edited by BMWAddict_W; 12-23-2018 at 11:34 AM.
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  #1016  
Old 02-27-2019, 11:09 PM
fastm3 fastm3 is offline
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Thank you all, especially BMWAddict_W for the information, guidance, and video. I actually had this issue back in 2014 when the mileage hit 70,000. At that time I had my mechanic replace the transfer case chain and the actuator gear. Now my 2005 X3 has about 105,000 miles on it, and I'm getting the triad of lights again, as well as drivability issues at low speeds. Strange that this time the gear lasted only about 35,000 miles. I did have some rust on and had to replace the left/rear axle shaft and ABS sensor about 10,000 miles ago. I'm thinking that might've put some additional strain on the transfer case, leading to premature gear wear. I'm going to again replace the actuator gear and hope that cares of the issue. Do you think I should replace transfer case chain again as well?
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  #1017  
Old 03-12-2019, 07:02 AM
Gummee Gummee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennyBatt View Post
I had the typical ABS, Brake, and 4x4 lights come on the dash. I didn't have the clicking sound when engine shut off though, but i still changed the actuator gear only and re-installed. All 3 lights still on and still no clicking sound when shut off. Any thoughts?
IME plan for a new transfer case. I bought one from these guys and it seems to be OK

I'm pretty sure I'm having other issues: bucking, surging, etc related to an ABS sensor gone bad (get OEM stuff guys! Stay away from the cheap stuff)

Had the car towed yesterday. By the time it got home 8hrs later, it drove up the driveway just fine.

M
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  #1018  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:35 PM
xl250 xl250 is offline
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Actuator fix

I tried the gear rotation fix. it seems to work so far. however I can't erase the codes.
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  #1019  
Old 08-10-2019, 03:48 PM
GeorgeBush234 GeorgeBush234 is offline
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You should just replace the acutator and get your windshield wipers going
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  #1020  
Old 10-27-2019, 03:49 AM
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BimmurBrothor BimmurBrothor is online now
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Yes I tried the fix a year ago.now I am in need of the gear wheel again...the fix postponed the issue. I learned from the 1st fix so no biggie to go under and do it again...expected it to last longer tho.

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  #1021  
Old 11-05-2019, 09:58 AM
bubbaspaarx bubbaspaarx is offline
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Be careful of it burning out due to none star rated tyres or big differences in tread depth between them... also could be caused by a small malfunction in the speed sensors or sensor rings corroding


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  #1022  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:51 PM
dachtera dachtera is offline
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Hey all,

I've replaced the actuator, the ECU for the traction control and I'm still unable to get the AWD working.. I have no lights on the dash however.. My 40A fuse is good, and I'm getting voltage out of the ECU down to the motor.

Any thoughts on where to look next? MN in the winter is no place for a rear wheel drive rocket! - One thing I did notice upon replacing the motor is the input shaft to the TC where the actuator couples up spins a complete 360. Would I expect this or should I find some resistance along the rotation? ISTA can't recode/calibrate the ECU or motor because of the lovely error codes of TC oil change not being cleared (even though the fluid has been changed) - Codes 54C6 and 54C4. I'm also getting a 5F39, however I'm not sure where this is coming from as there are no connectors going into the TC and without being able to accurately set the actuator I feel like I'm in a revolving circle of unclearable errors.

Possibly the TC needs a rebuild allowing the actuator to properly calibrate and allowing codes to clean themselves out?

Thoughts?
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  #1023  
Old 12-26-2019, 02:51 PM
dachtera dachtera is offline
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Hey all,

I've replaced the actuator, the ECU for the traction control and I'm still unable to get the AWD working.. I have no lights on the dash however.. My 40A fuse is good, and I'm getting voltage out of the ECU down to the motor.

Any thoughts on where to look next? MN in the winter is no place for a rear wheel drive rocket! - One thing I did notice upon replacing the motor is the input shaft to the TC where the actuator couples up spins a complete 360. Would I expect this or should I find some resistance along the rotation? ISTA can't recode/calibrate the ECU or motor because of the lovely error codes of TC oil change not being cleared (even though the fluid has been changed) - Codes 54C6 and 54C4. I'm also getting a 5F39, however I'm not sure where this is coming from as there are no connectors going into the TC and without being able to accurately set the actuator I feel like I'm in a revolving circle of unclearable errors.

Possibly the TC needs a rebuild allowing the actuator to properly calibrate and allowing codes to clean themselves out?

Thoughts?
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  #1024  
Old 12-28-2019, 05:33 AM
bubbaspaarx bubbaspaarx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dachtera View Post
Hey all,



I've replaced the actuator, the ECU for the traction control and I'm still unable to get the AWD working.. I have no lights on the dash however.. My 40A fuse is good, and I'm getting voltage out of the ECU down to the motor.



Any thoughts on where to look next? MN in the winter is no place for a rear wheel drive rocket! - One thing I did notice upon replacing the motor is the input shaft to the TC where the actuator couples up spins a complete 360. Would I expect this or should I find some resistance along the rotation? ISTA can't recode/calibrate the ECU or motor because of the lovely error codes of TC oil change not being cleared (even though the fluid has been changed) - Codes 54C6 and 54C4. I'm also getting a 5F39, however I'm not sure where this is coming from as there are no connectors going into the TC and without being able to accurately set the actuator I feel like I'm in a revolving circle of unclearable errors.



Possibly the TC needs a rebuild allowing the actuator to properly calibrate and allowing codes to clean themselves out?



Thoughts?


I seem to remember getting the 5f39 code as well.... something to do with steering angle sensor? It was either that or the code wasn’t aligned with any particular fault. Either way, I spent a lot of time resetting the steering angle and it would get the 4x4 working again. There’s a whole method with the steering wheel and number of turns etc. Search google “bmw x3 reset steering angle sensor” and see what comes up.


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  #1025  
Old 12-28-2019, 07:26 AM
dachtera dachtera is offline
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Thanks for the tip. This was one of the first things I tried, but I'll give it a shot again, and verify with ISTA that it's working as expected. Doubtful, but it sure beats dropped the TC just to 'see' if that input shaft spinning 360 degrees is a bad thing
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