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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:25 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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The bendy one up top is the vent. The one by the gears is the oil return.
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  #27  
Old 05-18-2019, 07:59 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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I'm probably getting ahead of myself here without pictures, but I've got the car up on stands right now and the new transfer case is installed. I still need to button it up a bit before I go for a test drive.

I cracked open the old case and everything seems to be intact. There's no bits in the fluid, despite its dark colour. The first thing I
notice is how difficult it was to get the case off after breaking the two halves free. The rear bearing for the front driveshaft came out of the case and is stuck to the shaft. It has a bit of play. The others do too. They spin well, still.
The clutch pack has a wider gap compared to the new case, at least the thickness of a clutch plate. No sign of a broken one, it's just a wider gap. The pack as a whole has more slop to it. That is, each friction plate can move about 1-2mm off of the concentric axis. I actually gave up trying to put the outside gear back on... The bell one that fits over the outside edges of the clutch pack. Whatever you'd call it.

The plates aren't staying concentric. My snap ring pliers can't get the clutch pack snap ring off to investigate further, but I'd say something's broke in there. It still seems to function. Just with a lot of play.

Here's hoping the new case fixes my problem. ...I just discovered a broken strut mount, but this must have happened recently so I don't think that's the problem.

Last edited by Kurt_; 05-19-2019 at 06:30 AM.
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  #28  
Old 05-19-2019, 04:09 AM
mcardlepm mcardlepm is offline
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Be afraid... be very afraid

Within a month of buying my 07 with 240k miles, I realized I needed the Bentley book; I've already replaced both DISA valves, and am still chasing a random error/bad throttle body remapping, but had the TC actuator motor failure you've experienced.

On many forums I've seen people happily advise to drive the car with the failure, since "it's just in RWD now." And I've also seen the occasional TC horror story after someone has done just that. Think about it: it's an actuator failure, a component with a motor and gears at that. So it can fail in one of three modes: fully disengaged, fully engaged, or somewhere in between. Fully disengaged, you have RWD. Fully engaged, you have 4WD, all the time, which is why only some people report front-end stiffness and trouble low-speed steering, hard on the tires etc. But the nasty one would be partially engaged: think about what that would do to the TC clutches, hence the occasional "I ended up replacing my transfer case because my clutch paks burned out a week later."

I love how my BMW drives when it's "right" but BMW ownership feels more like co-dependency and denial - no wonder they depreciate so badly. (Do I really need 28 microprocessors, or three intakes-in-one, considering the downside of engine destruction if a disintegrating DISA is ingested?) I've been a serious DIY mechanic for over 40 years, done motor and tranny swaps, complete engine rebuilds in cars, trucks and air- and water cooled bikes. (So in that sense I'm not a wrench noob.) I've had my 07 530xi for about four months now, and getting it as cheap as I did I anticipated problems, immaculate though it was in and out. (Doctor owned.)
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2019, 02:24 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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IME bmw makes rear wheel drive cars. and the service history, and story's and parts cost reflect that

all of there x drives handle like a tank.. Imo

bmws earily ix's in the late 80's were bullet proof

the first 4wd sold to the public the e30 325ix

*not counting the 1930's
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Last edited by Burning2nd; 05-19-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2019, 03:03 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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You say that like driving a tank is a bad thing. I think when it's working the all wheel drive system is pretty good and improves the car's driveability even in dry conditions.

I think my next car will be an audi, though. After seeing how reliant this system is on electronics it makes me want a simple, all mechanical awd system.

Finger's crossed the new case fixes my issue. I'm not sure how to go about selling the old transfer case... It seems to be functional but it seems like replacing it fixed my problem. That's a $600 case on ebay working.

Last edited by Kurt_; 05-20-2019 at 03:09 PM.
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  #31  
Old 05-22-2019, 06:58 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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So, I gave it a few days. Error is still happening, but less frequently. Transfer case is no longer throwing codes, which is nice.

I'm confident the transfer case and module are working fine. Maybe a loose connection?

DSC is throwing two errors:

6E83 - appears to be tpms related. I want to disable the whole system and revert to FTM. I don't think this is causing a transfer case issue.

5DEC - what's this code? I'm getting conflicting answers. Transfer case malfunction or rear left speed sensor. Bmwfault.codes shows 5DEC to be "DSC: Transfer case malfunction". But, for an older dsc it is described as " wheel rpm sensor rear left - short circuit to positive ". Having just completely replaced the transfer case I'm not inclined to believe it is malfunctioning, but maybe it's getting a bad input.

Wheel speed sensors appear to be functioning properly, all within 1km/h of each other. But on that test run, I didn't get any errors. It could be intermittent. I'll have to inspect them all.

I'm running out of things to troubleshoot... Any idea which sensors the transfer case uses for input?

Edit: I drove a bit today, and... no more error? We'll see. It's sporadic and pops up every now and then during seemingly random conditions. But at least mostly working now. It has happened a few times driving up hills now.
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Last edited by Kurt_; 05-24-2019 at 06:02 AM.
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  #32  
Old 05-23-2019, 07:36 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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So now I'm digging into the DSC sensors. I found this document that describes all of them and their function: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...switch/XenQpEU
It appears there is a DSC sensor module underneath the driver's seat. This module does yaw rate and longitudinal acceleration. My yaw rate and lateral acceleration won't zero on the right. The sensor uses two piezoelectric spring contraptions to sense acceleration. If one's buggered that might be feeding garbage to the DSC.

Since my wheel speed sensors look fine on the computer, and I'll be double checking the connections when I install coilovers this weekend, I'm tempted to replace this module and see if I can zero it. They're $25 used.

There's also this tidbit:
Quote:
The following advantages result from active wheel-speed sensors:
rapid and reliable detection of the direction of travel
improved activation of the gearbox control
Improved actuation of navigation system
So I don't want to rule out an intermittent wheel speed sensor just yet. Perhaps a cracked disc.
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Last edited by Kurt_; 05-24-2019 at 05:16 AM.
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  #33  
Old 05-24-2019, 06:18 AM
mcardlepm mcardlepm is offline
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Ideas

You may have considered this, but the module you describe could easily be damaged by water, say, from a blocked AC or moonroof drain, if water ever accumulated in the passenger footwell. (The trunk TPM module is similarly easily damaged by water in the trunk.)

Also (and you may have ruled this out) a bad crankshaft position sensor, of all things, can trigger random transfer case warnings with a signal dropout, but with the Foxwell reader you'd see a CPS error message.
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  #34  
Old 05-24-2019, 07:10 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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I'll keep that in mind if the DSC sensor doesn't fix it. I was cheap and lazy so it's coming from lithuania at regular speed shipping.

This car spent most of its life in quebec, and cold seems to be the real killer here.

Back in post 4, I got an error about DSC "no specified nominal torque".

Then, from the DSC functional description,
Quote:
All-wheel control
The dynamic stability control (DSC) specifies the target value for 4-wheel drive control with xDrive. The DSC control unit calculates the locking moment for the multi-plate clutch in the transfer box. The nominal value depends on the tendency of the vehicle to oversteer or understeer and the wheel slip. The target value is sent on the PT-CAN to the VTG control unit.
So, if the DSC sensor is glitching, it may occasionally not have a nominal torque to send to the transfer case control unit, which would cause an error. It might even, say, suddenly and completely disengage the clutch on a 0 Nm signal.

If that's it, I have an extra, working transfer case. I won't get my time back but I'll net a profit on this repair!

Last edited by Kurt_; 05-24-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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  #35  
Old 07-05-2019, 05:11 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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So it's been a few months now. I changed out the dsc sensor under the front passenger's seat. So far, no errors.

I don't want to speak too soon, because the issue is weather-dependent. In winter the 4x4 error was constant. In summer, it was rather infrequent. But so far, so good.

So, at the end of the day, it was solved by a $30 used sensor. What an ordeal. If only the code read: "your dsc sensor is broken" instead of "you need a transfer case"...
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  #36  
Old 07-05-2019, 06:23 AM
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Thanks, Kurt. Great tip.

What diagnostic picked off the data you posted about the module?
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  #37  
Old 07-05-2019, 06:28 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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This was from ISTA+. INPA can't load the wagon's dsc60_pp module.

As you can see from this thread, I literally checked/replaced every other part of the system first. Hopefully this saves someone the trouble in the future.
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  #38  
Old 08-20-2019, 01:26 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Well, here I am a month later and the error is still occasionally popping up then clearing itself.

There's not much left to troubleshoot. I might swap the abs sensors just to be sure it's not them. It could possibly be a loose bushing or ball joint. At this point, I don't think anyone can help but myself. A suspension overhaul is in my future anyway. Save for the new tie rods, the rest of the ball joints are original and sloppy. Same goes for most of the bushings.

It's happened a few times while driving at a slow and constant speed, in a straight line, on a smooth road.

Question: What's the best way to go about inspecting the abs sensor cogs for hairline cracks?
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  #39  
Old 08-20-2019, 04:25 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Is the tone ring a replaceable item?
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  #40  
Old 08-20-2019, 08:24 PM
twh twh is offline
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At least on the rear, it looks like the tone ring is built into the wheel bearing assembly. So, if you change the wheel bearing, you change the tone ring as well.
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  #41  
Old 08-21-2019, 07:43 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Where do you see that? I cant find the abs ring in the rear. I see the front rings are part of the axles, so I can pop those off and inspect them easily enough.
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  #42  
Old 08-21-2019, 07:54 AM
twh twh is offline
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I'm about to change the rear wheel bearings.

Have a look at the picture of the bearing:
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  #43  
Old 08-21-2019, 01:16 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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That doesn't look very durable. The sensors are all reading correctly, though. The car drives fine, and the problem is just a blip and then gone. Maybe it's time to do ball joints and bushings all around and see if that makes a difference.

It will be interesting to see if it becomes a persistent error again in winter.
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2019, 08:07 AM
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Sorry for your troubles, but it makes for a very interesting read. Thanks for posting.
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  #45  
Old 08-26-2019, 02:23 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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There's a scraping sound coming from the front right when i take a left turn. It sounds like a dust shield, but it isn't. I have new ball joints on the way. I'll do lower and rear control arms next spring due to cost.

Another thought - could it be the ride height sensor? I drove over a bump in the road and immediately when the front right wheel hit, I had the error pop up. How does one go about testing the ride height sensors? They don't look broken physically, but this car seems like it's seen more than its share of gravel roads.
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  #46  
Old 08-26-2019, 09:35 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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I believe there's a routine in inpa that allows you to configure the ride height in the rear. As well, a defective ride height sensor, which you may have 4, especially if you have both adaptive headlights and rear air bladders, will throw a code. You could disconnect the linkage and move the sensor manually and see what happens to the head lamps and ride height.
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  #47  
Old 10-04-2019, 07:03 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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It's worth mentioning I tore out the air system and am on coilovers. But this issue precedes that.

It's happening again, on damp mornings under 10C. A few chilly mornings, the error will pop on when starting the engine (in park). It's fine after a few hours in the sun. I think it's condensation related. The fact that it's happening at a stop indicates to me it's not a mechanical issue but an electronic one.

Since the last time, I haven't touched the height sensors yet. I did a transmission refresh - fluid, seals, and cleaned the sensors on the mechatronics.

I bought 4 new wheel speed sensors of the same brand, which I'm hoping to put on when I swap to winter tires. I'm pretty sure when I got the car it needed one, so it could be dissimilar abs sensor brands causing the issue?

I've almost replaced all components and sensors at this point... I want to check wheel speed sensor wiring, but I'm not sure where the cables go to from the boxes in the wheel well. Presumably a control unit. Does anyone know where the wheel speed sensor wires terminate?
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  #48  
Old 10-04-2019, 07:57 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Since you drive in the land of salted roads, I am willing to bet that there is a leak in the wheel housing connector that has just enough salt to be hygroscopic and allow current leakage across the pins. This would be consistent with your observation of the error popping up on damp days. Either that or there is a chaffed wire in the harness that is causing a similar issue.
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  #49  
Old 10-04-2019, 07:00 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Well, I changed the wheel sensors out tonight. The error has been persisting all day and was there when i powered the car up tonight so I figured I'd get it done while the error persisted. The old sensors look good. The new ones didn't immediately clear the error. A second ignition cycle did, though. I read codes to see nothing special. We'll see if it returns. The front right sensor had metal stuck to it. I figure if the issue is solved, that's the culprit.

This was also the sensor I had replaced when I bought the car. A lot of rust has been shaken loose since then. Fingers crossed.
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  #50  
Old 10-06-2019, 02:58 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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Still happening. Started up the car, immediately 4x4 error, on the whole drive. Turn it off, pick up a person, turn it on, no more error.

Does newtis or anyone else know what is checked on startup? It's flagging something as no good at startup and disabling the perfectly fine system.

Last edited by Kurt_; 10-06-2019 at 03:34 PM.
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