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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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Old 08-19-2019, 02:53 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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335xi in need of some love (hopefully not a mistake)

I just towed this 2008 335xi with 96,000 hard miles 5 hours home. It's a little rough. The paint has some fading with plenty of dents, the front passenger half axle is shot, there's a large coolant leak toward the rear of the engine (haven't discovered the source yet), the a/c is not operational, and the shifter is way loose. I went for it because it was cheap and it was a manual (I've also wanted an all-wheel drive since getting my 545i and realizing how annoying it is in the rain and snow). I plan to do all the work myself and learn plenty as I go, so I may be posting various questions about this in the upcoming weeks. Provided I can get the main issues sorted, this should be a fun car!
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:13 PM
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:08 PM
jtrigs8589 jtrigs8589 is offline
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Good luck. My 2007 335i was a nightmare when I bought it with 78k miles on it. Had to replace injectors within 5k miles and the waterpump started leaking. Hopefully you get some good miles out of your car. I got rid of it after owning it for a mere 6 weeks.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:43 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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Originally Posted by jtrigs8589 View Post
Good luck. My 2007 335i was a nightmare when I bought it with 78k miles on it. Had to replace injectors within 5k miles and the waterpump started leaking. Hopefully you get some good miles out of your car. I got rid of it after owning it for a mere 6 weeks.
Well, coolant was working its way to the back of the engine, but it turns out it's originating at the water pump. It looks like the waterpump casing is cracked. Sounds like this could be pretty common.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by stewbets View Post
I just towed this 2008 335xi with 96,000 hard miles 5 hours home. It's a little rough. The paint has some fading with plenty of dents, the front passenger half axle is shot, there's a large coolant leak toward the rear of the engine (haven't discovered the source yet), the a/c is not operational, and the shifter is way loose. I went for it because it was cheap and it was a manual (I've also wanted an all-wheel drive since getting my 545i and realizing how annoying it is in the rain and snow). I plan to do all the work myself and learn plenty as I go, so I may be posting various questions about this in the upcoming weeks. Provided I can get the main issues sorted, this should be a fun car!

Already having owned a senior citizen BMW, I can see you're a hands-on kinda guy.

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Old 08-21-2019, 08:47 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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Well, I've only had this thing for a few days and it has already driven me mad! The front right half axle was clearly trashed, so I ordered a replacement and could not get the new one to seat in the differential for anything. I've seen everywhere that the spline snap ring can prevent it from seating if it's too loose, but mine wouldn't seat without the ring either. It would stop about an inch short of fully seating no matter how hard I hit it. I tried re-installing the old axle and had the same issue. That's when i realized the old one wasn't even seated before I removed it. There was the same gap, but at the time I assumed a dust boot was just missing. At this point, I decided to remove the right side of the differential housing and see if the the issue was with the diff splines. No issue there. The splines have no issue meshing. The issue turned out to be with the bearing on the right side of the differential case. Its inner diameter is slightly smaller than the axle shaft, both the original and my replacement. How is this possible? I can't understand what the previous owner did to create this issue. Wanting to get this sorted immediately, I ground down the axle shaft enough to slide it on to the bearing and finally got it installed. After changing the differential fluid, I put everything back together (minus one caliper slide pin that I think my 1-year-old hid somewhere) for a test drive, only to experience the same symptoms again. I am a little frustrated. The car has a grinding/clicking sound when turning either direction under acceleration. There is nothing subtle about it. You can clearly hear and feel it. Is my differential shot?
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:44 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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I removed the front driveshaft last night and drove around quite a bit to try to narrow some possibilities. The sound persisted, only I'm realizing now that it's on takeoff up till about 15 MPH, regardless of whether I'm turning or going straight. A better description of the sound would be a very intense pulsing vibration. It's worse the faster I accelerate from a stop, but it seems to always be there till about 15 MPH. It's definitely not the front differential like I was thinking before. Does this sound like a rear driveshaft issue? Or the center support bearing for it? My next move is to gain access to it and see what I see.
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Old 08-23-2019, 10:43 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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So I got a chance to tear into the rear tonight and found a couple things of note. First of all, the center support bearing is totally trashed, at least the rubber portion of it. Secondly, the bearing is installed upside down (flatter side is facing up). And third the giubo (guibo) has several cracks. I'm hoping that replacing these will eliminate my vibration issues completely, but can't help but wonder if my driveshaft isn't properly balanced. If whoever last messed with that center support bearing couldn't be bothered to install it in the correct orientation, what are the chances that they marked the driveshaft when they separated it in order to maintain its balance? I guess I'll find out soon enough.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:51 AM
jiveturky1 jiveturky1 is offline
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Good progress. Keep it coming.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:31 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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This car is just full of surprises. Every time I tear into something I discover that I'm not the first. I started investigating my sloppy shifter and discovered that the metal cup that holds the shifter ball bushing is broken. I have no explanation for how this could happen. The picture shows what it looked like when I gained access to it. The only thing I can assume is that someone tried to pry on it to remove the shifter? The c-clip that attaches to the shifter was also missing. It's hard to imagine how that linkage didn't come apart.

I could not locate the bushing that is supposed to be in the selector rod joint:

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...h/25111434194/

Is this nothing more than a piece of foam? I had my wife wiggle the shifter while I was underneath (transfer case also removed as there is NO visibility on an xi) and the vast majority of slop was at the selector rod joint. It was no longer attached with a dowel pin, but a nut and bolt. I can't see how a piece of foam would fix this slop. Maybe it just looks like foam? Can anyone clear that up for me?
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:53 PM
jtrigs8589 jtrigs8589 is offline
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How much did you get this for if you don't mind me asking? I hope you are able to resolve these issues but it seems like a nightmare scenario.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:25 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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I paid $3500. It seemed fair at the time. It's seeming less fair the deeper I dig.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewbets View Post
This car is just full of surprises. Every time I tear into something I discover that I'm not the first.
I hate it when bad people (incompetent "mechanics") happen to good cars. You seem well-equipped to fix the mess but it's a shame you have to do it.
Quote:
I started investigating my sloppy shifter and discovered that the metal cup that holds the shifter ball bushing is broken.
That's the shifting arm. Good news, about forty bucks. Bad news, you have to disassemble quite a lot to gain access and replace it. Better news, you've already done much of that (e.g., remove the transfer case).
Quote:
I have no explanation for how this could happen.
Idiocy.



Quote:
I could not locate the bushing that is supposed to be in the selector rod joint:
https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...h/25111434194/
Is this nothing more than a piece of foam?
Wrong part.

This site is one of your best friends for working on BMWs: https://www.realoem.com/bmw/
Enter the last 7 characters of your VIN in the Serial Number field and click Search. Confirm the selections match your car and click Browse Parts. Bookmark that page and have fun browsing. Locating the correct diagram for certain parts can require some imagination, persistence, blind luck and/or brute force, but it's all in there. (Don't trust the prices, though--they're not kept current.)

Here's a link to the gear shift parts schematic for a mid-MY2008 335xi. You need at least parts #1 and #9 on that diagram and probably #2 through #5 also (if I understood "nut and bolt" vs. "dowel pin" correctly). Get the right diagram for your manufacturing date (month and year; on the VIN plate on the driver's door jamb) before you order parts. Sometimes there are changes.

Your other best friend is the TIS site that Doug referenced above. That's the BMW service manual and the ideal reference to avoid creating messes like the one you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewbets View Post
I paid $3500. It seemed fair at the time. It's seeming less fair the deeper I dig.
When you have it driveable again, consider taking it to a local shop that specializes in BMWs (not one that sometimes works on them) or a dealership for an inspection. For the price of an hour or two's labor you'll get a laundry list of everything that's less than perfect on the car. That might help you decide whether you're already over the hump or if it's time to cut your losses and move on.

Regardless of this one's fate, if you try another BMW someday, remember: The most powerful magic words we utter around here are "pre-purchase inspection" (PPI), as just described.
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Old 08-26-2019, 09:17 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
I hate it when bad people (incompetent "mechanics") happen to good cars. You seem well-equipped to fix the mess but it's a shame you have to do it.

Regardless of this one's fate, if you try another BMW someday, remember: The most powerful magic words we utter around here are "pre-purchase inspection" (PPI), as just described.
Thanks for the encouraging words, links and thought you put into your response! I'd be lying if I said I don't enjoy locating and fixing these problems. I knew I was getting into a fairly involved project, but I didn't necessarily think things would be as sabotaged as they are. Nonetheless, I have re-calibrated my expectations after dealing with the half axle issue and have been enjoying the process again. My new expectation is that everything I find to be broken will be more broken than it should have been thanks to the previous owner's "fix".

Last edited by stewbets; 08-26-2019 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by stewbets View Post
My new expectation is that everything I find to be broken will be more broken than it should have been thanks to the previous owner's "fix".
Good approach!

I was pondering your list of "adventures" thus far--half-shaft, giubo, driveshaft CSB, trashed shifter--and with 96K on the car, I realized a connection. I'd bet a tenner a previous owner had never owned a manual transmission before, shredded the clutch, and took it to some cut-rate/non-BMW shop for repairs. It all fits when you imagine someone dropping the trans' who doesn't know how it all goes together.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:35 AM
OLM OLM is offline
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I'm going down the same adventure you are with a 06 323i. I wanted to avoid xdrive for the first trip as it's just more work than I have time for.

My adventure so far has been the oposite of yours. Mine is a two owner, first owner did everything under BMW waranty. The second owner drove it until it couldn't anymore. Car is complete and not missing a single screw - but its just a mess.

I made up my mind to just swap everything under that car. Keep the engine and transmission - toss the rest.

You should see if there are any scrapyards near you that allow you to pull your own parts. I have one here that always has at least six e90's making parts easy to grab. I found a late model rear ended e90 with a clean rack, power steering pump and hoses for $75us. Great place to practice before coming home and doing the job again in a fraction of the time.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:13 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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Originally Posted by Zeichen311 View Post
Good approach!

I was pondering your list of "adventures" thus far--half-shaft, giubo, driveshaft CSB, trashed shifter--and with 96K on the car, I realized a connection. I'd bet a tenner a previous owner had never owned a manual transmission before, shredded the clutch, and took it to some cut-rate/non-BMW shop for repairs. It all fits when you imagine someone dropping the trans' who doesn't know how it all goes together.
I think you nailed it! The previous owner said the clutch was replaced in 2014 and the rear diff in 2015. I'm wondering if the rear diff was misdiagnosed and the owner was tired of spending money on it after it didn't resolve the issue.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:28 PM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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Originally Posted by OLM View Post
I'm going down the same adventure you are with a 06 323i. I wanted to avoid xdrive for the first trip as it's just more work than I have time for.

My adventure so far has been the oposite of yours. Mine is a two owner, first owner did everything under BMW waranty. The second owner drove it until it couldn't anymore. Car is complete and not missing a single screw - but its just a mess.

I made up my mind to just swap everything under that car. Keep the engine and transmission - toss the rest.

You should see if there are any scrapyards near you that allow you to pull your own parts. I have one here that always has at least six e90's making parts easy to grab. I found a late model rear ended e90 with a clean rack, power steering pump and hoses for $75us. Great place to practice before coming home and doing the job again in a fraction of the time.
The crazy thing is that I was just Googling for scrapyards before reading your note. I've never found a decent one in my area, but I've also never searched too hard. It's certainly the way to go if there's one nearby.

This car is the polar opposite of my 545i. Apart from a slightly clunky automatic transmission, that one has been pretty trouble free. The previous owner cared about the car. But this car has been abused and neglected and incompetently "repaired". And I hear you about the added complexities of xdrive, but the 2 things I was looking for was xdrive and manual, based on the 2 things that annoyed me most about my 545i. Well, I got xdrive and a manual, but unfortunately none of the good qualities carried over. BUT I'M LEARNING!!!

(By the way, my wife and kids are so thrilled about me spending so much time learning.)
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:54 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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I got the A/C working last night, so that's a win. The hose from the compressor to the condenser had about a 1/4" hole in it. That hose is stupid expensive at $150, so I tried my luck with JB Weld. I cut a small piece of sheet metal to cover the hole and applied some JB Weld all around the hose, then wrapped a bigger piece of sheet metal around the circumference of the hose and fastened it with hose clamps before slathering on another coating of JB Weld. If this fails down the road and the car isn't still a nightmare, I can always take the plunge with a new hose. But for now this seems very appropriate. It held a vacuum nicely, took the ~18 ounces of refrigerant, and blows cold now.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:57 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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My oil filter housing bolts conveniently came pre-stripped, so that was cool. I had to cut one of them off, but we're good now.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:35 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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After having it for 2 years, I finally printed a useful thing on my 3D printer. I hadn't originally planned on walnut blasting my N54, but since everything else has been neglected on this car and I'm already halfway to the ports, I decided to get me a cheap blast kit from Harbor Freight and print off this vacuum port adapter:

https://grabcad.com/library/705011

I got the manifold the rest of the way off to reveal the gunk and was surprised to find that my car doesn't have the most carbon-built-up ports on the internet. Still, they need a good blasting. Should hopefully take care of that tonight.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:01 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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I walnut blasted my intake valves last night with my newly-acquired $30 Harbor Freight kit. I was pretty impressed with the setup ($55 all-in), although I expected to go through a lot more media. I had to re-order a center support bearing and giubo as both parts were incorrect, despite me entering my car's information to confirm compatibility. It looks like the CSB inner diameter varies between the manual and automatic, but I haven't come across anything that says they use different giubos. That part at least should have fit no matter what. I guess that's what I get for using eBay. I replaced my OFHG and got the shift linkage sorted. We're so close now, yet so far away (waiting on parts).
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:12 AM
stewbets stewbets is offline
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I've got a little bit of good news. Attempt #2 to obtain a giubo and center support bearing was successful. The parts are installed and the vibration is gone. The bad news is that it is apparent that my oil pan gasket is leaking, I still have to pinpoint my coolant leak, I'm now getting a 30FF code for low boost (likely related to when I removed the intake manifold to walnut blast), and there's a slower leak somewhere in my A/C system. The valve cover gasket also appears to be leaking, but not as badly.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:31 AM
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Zeichen311 Zeichen311 is offline
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:56 AM
Watchme Watchme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewbets View Post
I've got a little bit of good news. Attempt #2 to obtain a giubo and center support bearing was successful. The parts are installed and the vibration is gone. The bad news is that it is apparent that my oil pan gasket is leaking, I still have to pinpoint my coolant leak, I'm now getting a 30FF code for low boost (likely related to when I removed the intake manifold to walnut blast), and there's a slower leak somewhere in my A/C system. The valve cover gasket also appears to be leaking, but not as badly.
Meh, leave oil pan alone unless you're a neat freak like me. Valve cover gasket is more important to address as oil seeping down from top can do more damage than oil dripping onto subframe.
Did you add dye when replacing AC medium?
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