BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title states, I unfortunately have a busted transfer case on my new to me e91 328xi with 125k miles.

Had replaced the actuator motor and TC fluid and all seemed well, then on the way to babysitting my nieces I felt something metallic start grating in that area, 4x4 lights went off and trans went into limp mode. I think the new actuator simply hastened the death of the transfer case, as the new actuator seems to be sound still.

I’m pricing out my options. TCBMWX5 has rebuilt units with a one year warranty for $1400 plus $600 core charge, which is more than I was hoping to spend. Random eBay sellers seem to have used units for $300-400. I’ve heard of someone that sells rebuilt units on eBay that are reasonable as well, but can’t find a forum thread on it. Any help would be appreciated! Currently running the car with fuse 20 (5 amp) pulled to disable AWD but can still hear a clicking sound that speeds up as I go faster from the transfer case area.
 

·
Registered
2009 BMW 328Xi
Joined
·
57 Posts
Go to a Pick and pull and get one, install and replace the gear oil. You can get a Differential for less than 150. Its not hard to replace while the engine is in the vehicle either.
Remove cv axles
remove skid plates from bottom of the car
disconnect front drive shaft
drain gear oil or at least dont let it tip over because the gear oil will come out of the holes the cv axles go into.
remove the 3 or 4 bolts that secure the differential to the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Biglou89! I weighed my options and ended up going with a wrecking yard one off ebay. Yards in my area tend to be a little sparse, and having some knee issues lately makes having one shipped to me for $400 including tax an ok option. Came from a 2008 328XI with 108k miles on it, that was involved in a front end accident, and comes with a limited warranty (which I'm probably negating by installing myself haha).

I also figure I can take my old transfer case and crack it open to see if I can rebuild it myself. Best case, I have a newly rebuilt spare transfer case that's ready to go back in should the need arise, or I hand it off to a shop locally to rebuild for me and I'm out about the same as one of these $1400 rebuilt units but from a local shop I trust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
CV joints all look nice and dry up front, also noticed a fair amount of gear oil around the transfer case. When I cracked it open the first time, there was basically no fluid in it. Also I noticed a decent amount of play in the cam gear (after removing the actuator for a second time) that I don't recall from taking it apart the first time. That said, no metal shavings or fragments that I can see but then again there was no fluid to drain out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
for the transfer case replacement, I feel like I have a decent handle on it but seems like:

1) remove all splash shields, then remove exhaust
2) disconnect front drive shaft from transfer case and all cables of course

After that I was wondering if it's possible to remove the transfer case from the transmission while it is still mounted to the car, or if the transmission + transfer case assembly both need to come out to remove the TC?

Lastly, I have BMW Standard Tools installed and though I'm able to read codes and clear them, I see no clear adaptation option in the automatic transmission VSG area. Would love some help there as well.
 

·
Registered
2009 BMW 328Xi
Joined
·
57 Posts
Happy you didnt bite the bullet on a rebuilt unit though. You're going to need a 14mm Hex for the drain and fill plugs. I got a socket one off of amazon. Its a large size so it might be hard to find locally.
 

·
Anti-Hack
Joined
·
6,388 Posts
The aft transfer case mount is the third mount; there is no separate transmission mount, so make sure you support the transmission before removing the transfer case. Don’t use a jack directly on the pan; use a piece of wood spanning the pan (to catch the curved side corners) and a Jack to hold the pan. Use of a Jack rather than fixed cribbing will allow you to tilt the transmission down for better access to the transfer case, but remember when you tilt the transmission down, the engine will tilt toward the firewall. You may want to loosen the engine mount bolts slightly to relieve binding. Order a new mount for the transfer case and install it on the bench, much easier than in the car.

And remove your rear driveshaft first. Now would be a good time to fire the parts cannon at a giubo, CSB, and carefully inspect your shaft joints for noise/play.


Via the interwebs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The aft transfer case mount is the third mount; there is no separate transmission mount, so make sure you support the transmission before removing the transfer case. Don’t use a jack directly on the pan; use a piece of wood spanning the pan (to catch the curved side corners) and a Jack to hold the pan. Use of a Jack rather than fixed cribbing will allow you to tilt the transmission down for better access to the transfer case, but remember when you tilt the transmission down, the engine will tilt toward the firewall. You may want to loosen the engine mount bolts slightly to relieve binding. Order a new mount for the transfer case and install it on the bench, much easier than in the car.

And remove your rear driveshaft first. Now would be a good time to fire the parts cannon at a giubo, CSB, and carefully inspect your shaft joints for noise/play.


Via the interwebs
thank you! These are great tips. I’m doing this at home on jack stands. Feeling pretty confident and actually kind of excited to crack open the original case and see if it’s repairable
 

·
Anti-Hack
Joined
·
6,388 Posts
You’ll also probably find the four nuts holding the exhaust pipes to the manifold down pipes to be quite crusty. There was no salvaging mine, so I sheared the studs with an impact, dropped the pipes, and then used a various combination of cut off wheels and an air chisel to remove the studs. I replaced them with stainless steel bolts and double-nuts, because lock washers and nylocs are off no use on the exhaust. If you do need to go this route, remove all 4 O2 sensors first; their heating elements will not like the vibrations of the exhaust work and throw codes/dash lights.

If your prop shafts have the orange dust of death at their u joints, the joints need to be replaced. The easiest way is to replace the entire shaft, because it’ll take some metal working skills, a welder, and careful measurements to replace the joints, or have them replaced by a reputable driveshaft shop; sloppy installation will result in driveline vibrations.

I went with re-engineered shafts for both front and rear from here, with replaceable joints:



Via the interwebs
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top