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Old 02-20-2018, 10:08 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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New driveshaft problem, what is pre-load?

For my 2007 X3 with 125k miles I purchased a new driveshaft from Wholesaleimports and had my mechanic put it on. Now at various speeds about 50% of the time there will be a whistling noise, sometimes loud other times faintly. Being in Chicago my mechanic works on BMW's, Audi's and Mercedes all the time and said he's never seen or had this problem before. I've heard about pre-loading the driveshaft but I can't find that info anywhere in the Bentley Manual, anyone know what page that info is on? I've watched the youtube videos on installing BMW driveshafts and haven't seen any of them mention pre-load. I called wholesaleimports and the guy I spoke with specifically said not to pre-load the driveshaft.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:43 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Preloading the driveshaft means pulling it forward several millimeters from its unloaded position. The flex of the rubber around the bearing applies an axial load to the bearing.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:14 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Does it sound like a loose heat sheild? Had the mechanic put it back up on the rack to check for loose or missing things? (Only have a BMW mechanic work on these things ...)
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:56 AM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
For my 2007 X3 with 125k miles I purchased a new driveshaft from Wholesaleimports and had my mechanic put it on. Now at various speeds about 50% of the time there will be a whistling noise, sometimes loud other times faintly. Being in Chicago my mechanic works on BMW's, Audi's and Mercedes all the time and said he's never seen or had this problem before. I've heard about pre-loading the driveshaft but I can't find that info anywhere in the Bentley Manual, anyone know what page that info is on? I've watched the youtube videos on installing BMW driveshafts and haven't seen any of them mention pre-load. I called wholesaleimports and the guy I spoke with specifically said not to pre-load the driveshaft.
We have the *exact* same issue. My mechanic used a stethoscope, and determined it's coming from the transfer case (he's a friend, and I pay him in rum for his services, so he's not trying to sell me on an expensive repair). Mine is worse when cold, is sometimes around 35mph, other times 40mph, occasionally around 63mph. The mechanic threw an additive in the t-case when he had it, and it dropped the volume about half. I just swapped t-case fluid last week, and the noise is unchanged.

Mechanic sees it as a gear noise, doesn't think it will grenade in the near future. When I replaced the driveshaft, the rear u-joint was so bad that he thinks the uneven loading was masking this noise (the new driveshaft solved a low speed turning vibration that had been with the car for years). My vehicle has 153k on it, and I plan to keep driving it, but am keen to learn if there is any knowledge out there.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:23 PM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Originally Posted by smaglik View Post
We have the *exact* same issue. My mechanic used a stethoscope, and determined it's coming from the transfer case (he's a friend, and I pay him in rum for his services, so he's not trying to sell me on an expensive repair). Mine is worse when cold, is sometimes around 35mph, other times 40mph, occasionally around 63mph. The mechanic threw an additive in the t-case when he had it, and it dropped the volume about half. I just swapped t-case fluid last week, and the noise is unchanged.

Mechanic sees it as a gear noise, doesn't think it will grenade in the near future. When I replaced the driveshaft, the rear u-joint was so bad that he thinks the uneven loading was masking this noise (the new driveshaft solved a low speed turning vibration that had been with the car for years). My vehicle has 153k on it, and I plan to keep driving it, but am keen to learn if there is any knowledge out there.
Just yesterday my indy put some more grease around the new center bearing and the noise died down alot. So I am going to push him to get it back on the lift and loosen everything up and retighten to see if that helps. I do recall seeing in the Bentley manual to put grease on one of the splines but I'm not sure if it was for a rebuild or installing a new driveshaft. I'll have to dig deeper into the Bentley manual later.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:26 PM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
Just yesterday my indy put some more grease around the new center bearing and the noise died down alot. So I am going to push him to get it back on the lift and loosen everything up and retighten to see if that helps. I do recall seeing in the Bentley manual to put grease on one of the splines but I'm not sure if it was for a rebuild or installing a new driveshaft. I'll have to dig deeper into the Bentley manual later.
Interesting. I sent him a link to this thread; I'll let you know his thoughts.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:10 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Bentley Driveshaft installation note

On page 260-7 of the Bentley manual for attaching a driveshaft to the transfer case it says to apply a thin coating of molybdenum disulfide grease on the centering dowel of the transfer case before sliding the centering sleeve of the driveshaft over it. Not sure if this is whatís giving the whistling noise or if my Indy did this Iíll have to check.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:46 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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new driveshaft squeal, whining, whistling noise

So I've had it at 2 separate indy's the second of which does the alignments for my BMW dealer which is right down the street from him. The first thing he said when I described the problem to him is that BMW's, Audi's, Mercedes' do not like aftermarket parts. He had it in the air on his alignment rack and adjusted the center support bearing every which way and he had a mechanic driving the car while it was up on the rack and found the squealing, whining, whistling noise is coming from the center support bearing on the new driveshaft set up. I contacted Wholesale Imports and they are sending me another unit with a pre-paid return label. When I get this done and tried again in a week or two I'll report back whether this solved the problem or not.
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:57 AM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
So I've had it at 2 separate indy's the second of which does the alignments for my BMW dealer which is right down the street from him. The first thing he said when I described the problem to him is that BMW's, Audi's, Mercedes' do not like aftermarket parts. He had it in the air on his alignment rack and adjusted the center support bearing every which way and he had a mechanic driving the car while it was up on the rack and found the squealing, whining, whistling noise is coming from the center support bearing on the new driveshaft set up. I contacted Wholesale Imports and they are sending me another unit with a pre-paid return label. When I get this done and tried again in a week or two I'll report back whether this solved the problem or not.
Please do. Mine is still making the noise. Thanks for the update!
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:25 PM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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Dammit! I just ordered one of these shafts from them! Hope I get a good lottery number.
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Old 03-27-2018, 01:31 PM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Wholesale Imports rear driveshaft experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
So I've had it at 2 separate indy's the second of which does the alignments for my BMW dealer which is right down the street from him. The first thing he said when I described the problem to him is that BMW's, Audi's, Mercedes' do not like aftermarket parts. He had it in the air on his alignment rack and adjusted the center support bearing every which way and he had a mechanic driving the car while it was up on the rack and found the squealing, whining, whistling noise is coming from the center support bearing on the new driveshaft set up. I contacted Wholesale Imports and they are sending me another unit with a pre-paid return label. When I get this done and tried again in a week or two I'll report back whether this solved the problem or not.
So I got the replacement drive shaft from Wholesale Imports last week and had it installed. My mechanic said he was pleasantly surprised this new one didn't make any center bearing noise similar to the last one. So we popped the old one back in the box and sent it back to Wholesale Imports. Just this week I left my car outside and the temp was 28įF overnight and first thing in the morning I did have a little of the bearing noise again but it quieted out after a few miles. Since then the temps been at about 50įF and no bearing noise. This whole experience with these drive shafts cost me over $300, $150 for the first indy to install and then re-install to try to quiet the bearing noise and then $160 for the second indy, I went to the 2nd indy because was I absolutely sure the 1st one did it correctly or missed anything. And then the 2nd indy again took the car and installed the replacement drive shaft they sent. At this point for the wholesale imports rear drive shafts for the X3 I can't say whether I'd recommend them or not I'll respond back after I've tested this thing after about 1 year.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:04 PM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
So I got the replacement drive shaft from Wholesale Imports last week and had it installed. My mechanic said he was pleasantly surprised this new one didn't make any center bearing noise similar to the last one. So we popped the old one back in the box and sent it back to Wholesale Imports. Just this week I left my car outside and the temp was 28įF overnight and first thing in the morning I did have a little of the bearing noise again but it quieted out after a few miles. Since then the temps been at about 50įF and no bearing noise. This whole experience with these drive shafts cost me over $300, $150 for the first indy to install and then re-install to try to quiet the bearing noise and then $160 for the second indy, I went to the 2nd indy because was I absolutely sure the 1st one did it correctly or missed anything. And then the 2nd indy again took the car and installed the replacement drive shaft they sent. At this point for the wholesale imports rear drive shafts for the X3 I can't say whether I'd recommend them or not I'll respond back after I've tested this thing after about 1 year.
Thanks for the update! I've put about 4000 miles on my driveshaft, and it has gotten noticeable quieter. Now that temps are a bit warmer here, the noise is almost completely gone. Agree with your recommendation, or lack thereof.
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:04 PM
ducx3 ducx3 is offline
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I wanted to ask if my squealing sound is from the driveshaft. It started about a month or so ago at about 140k. It's a squealing sound when the engine is in gear, forward or reverse, but not in park.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:56 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Originally Posted by ducx3 View Post
I wanted to ask if my squealing sound is from the driveshaft. It started about a month or so ago at about 140k. It's a squealing sound when the engine is in gear, forward or reverse, but not in park.
Better to start your own thread as this is a different topic. But ... if only when moving? First guess would be brake pads are dangerously worn out. If they are OK, then posting an audio or video recording might help, as would visiting your local BMW mechanic. :-)
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Old 04-12-2018, 05:58 AM
kind16 kind16 is offline
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Nice post, it seems e83 need new drive shafts when it hit 140k miles. Thanks

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Old 04-12-2018, 06:55 AM
smaglik smaglik is offline
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Nice post, it seems e83 need new drive shafts when it hit 140k miles. Thanks

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This does seem to be a common theme...
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:15 AM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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For what it's worth I recently replaced my front and rear drive shafts with Dorman made ones and did not have this issue. Got them on Amazon - free shipping. Had my indy do the rear, he was impressed with the quality.
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:47 AM
kind16 kind16 is offline
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For what it's worth I recently replaced my front and rear drive shafts with Dorman made ones and did not have this issue. Got them on Amazon - free shipping. Had my indy do the rear, he was impressed with the quality.
I did some search.

The price is very good for Dorman too, 430+- CAD for the front driveshaft, which is 1500+- CAD for bmw oem one.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:34 AM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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Preloading the driveshaft means pulling it forward several millimeters from its unloaded position. The flex of the rubber around the bearing applies an axial load to the bearing.
Is this standard practice for the X3? I've seen some say NOT to preload? The World Mechanics utube vid didn't. The ECS vid DOES, but on an M3.

I'm prepping to do mine this weekend, so I need to know!

My take, why would any of this driveline need a preload via the guibo rubber acting as a spring of sorts? Pulling forward would then tend to cause a force pulling the shaft away from the TC, while also causing a forward force on the center bearing. It seems NONE of these areas should be taking much if any lateral forces. They are there to transmit rotational force and that's it.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:07 AM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Has anyone taken either the front or rear driveshafts to a specialist rebuilder such as Inland to see if they can replace the u-joints, etc., and rebalance it/them for a price that's much lower than a new one?

https://www.inlandtruck.com/parts-an...ts/drivelines/
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:53 AM
1x3alex 1x3alex is offline
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I have same situation. After replacement with bmw genuine rear driveshaft from ECS tuning weeks ago and heard humming and squealing sound under 40 mph. Tomorrow Iím gonna check center bearing at indy shop


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Old 04-12-2018, 03:13 PM
Yomama Yomama is offline
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The BMW shafts have non replaceable U joints.

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Originally Posted by BMWaufKS View Post
Has anyone taken either the front or rear driveshafts to a specialist rebuilder such as Inland to see if they can replace the u-joints, etc., and rebalance it/them for a price that's much lower than a new one?

https://www.inlandtruck.com/parts-an...ts/drivelines/
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:09 PM
BMWaufKS BMWaufKS is offline
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Originally Posted by Yomama View Post
The BMW shafts have non replaceable U joints.
Thanks, but what brings you to that conclusion, e.g., a statement from BMW like its "lifetime transmission fluid."

Or has an independent, experienced driveline shop like Inland declared that.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:51 PM
abscate abscate is offline
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Thanks, but what brings you to that conclusion, e.g., a statement from BMW like its "lifetime transmission fluid."

Or has an independent, experienced driveline shop like Inland declared that.
Both of my driveshafts are staked in UJs. Nominally not replaceable without shop intervention
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:50 PM
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New driveshaft problem, what is pre-load?

I donít see why you canít replace the U-joints yourself, Iíve done it several times on different shafts.

If the shaft is like virtually every other rear drive setup, the forward end of the rear driveshaft must be able to slide in and out of the transfer case as the rear suspension loads and unloads, so Iíd imagine the guibo needs to be adjusted with weight on the rear suspension and the shaft pushed in to the TC, to avoid destroying the TC when compressing the rear. Disclaimer: havenít crawled under there in a while to see how itís out together (havenít had to).


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