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So... I took my car out to take the shop foreman for a ride today. At first, he claimed that my car didn't even HAVE a driveshaft center bearing. (Somewhat plausible, given that the tranny in the xi is about twice the usual length.) He went on to say that reading bimmerfest.com is akin to self-diagnosing from medical and psychological reference tomes. :p He complained about the perceived conspiracy on the part of dealers and BMWNA to prevent us from getting our cars fixed. Some people need to calm down, methinks. If you're pretty nice, you'll tend to get what you want.

So... We got back from the test drive, he heard the noise and thought that it was normal. We went to look for service bulletins (there weren't any that specifically applied to the car, not shocking), then we looked in the actual repair CD diagrams. Most interesting is the fact that it actually lists the butyl strip (under the exact same part number) as a standard part. After he saw this, he offered to order the tape and install it. He wasn't sure whether or not my car would have it, but he said that it made no sense to go in and check without ordering a part like that first.

Essentially, they've agreed to do it, but it may or may not apply to the xi models. They MAY already have it. I'll hear back from him after they get the part and install it. I should have checked to see whether or not they listed it for the RWD models or not.
 
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