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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Apologies if there is a thread on this...I haven't seen it, nor have I research this on e46 or e90 forums, as it's likely very similar.

That being said, my driver's side windshield wiper is randomly flopping around like a fish out of water. A little research shows that it's likely the wiper transmission / linkage, in that the plastic in the mount on either side eventually gives, and results in this symptom. I've been looking at replacement parts, and have found:

Genuine BMW with motor, $375 (gasp)
JL brand, without motor (not listed as OEM), $140ish (autohaus and pelican have it)
linkage only, from ebay, mfgr unknown, $50-$80

There is one good review on the JL part on pelican's website, but Pelican lists the supplier as a 1* rating; I have no idea what that means. My gut is to buy the JL part from whoever has the longest warranty on it (doesn't look like install is too bad, but it does look like I'll be laying across the engine again). I just don't like eBay, and I expect the motor has many years ahead of it.

Thoughts and experiences? Thanks all!
 

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I had a similar issue like this in the past. Drivers side wiper would randomly flop around until one day it wouldn't move anymore when I would activate the wipers.

I removed the wiper arm and it turned out to be this little washer looking piece that was worn out. IIRC the part was less than $5. I almost ended up buying a new wiper linkage.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=PC93-USA-06-2007-E83N-BMW-X3_30si&diagId=61_1732

Part #8 in the diagram.

If your linkage is toast I'd grab the JL brand or one off of eBay that has decent reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a similar issue like this in the past. Drivers side wiper would randomly flop around until one day it wouldn't move anymore when I would activate the wipers.

I removed the wiper arm and it turned out to be this little washer looking piece that was worn out. IIRC the part was less than $5. I almost ended up buying a new wiper linkage.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=PC93-USA-06-2007-E83N-BMW-X3_30si&diagId=61_1732

Part #8 in the diagram.

If your linkage is toast I'd grab the JL brand or one off of eBay that has decent reviews.
10,000 free internet points to you, and a beverage of your choice if you're ever in Flagstaff. My washer-piece was stripped as well. I had to take it all apart earlier this year, and I wonder if I didn't torque it all down enough, and allowed it to loosed up, and strip.

I do have a spare one of these around the house, however the last time I saw it, it was falling into the engine bay of the M3. I'll order a couple. Many thanks!
 

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No problem, glad to have helped.

Albertans seem to enjoy coming down to AZ. I'll take you up on that offer if I ever make it to Flagstaff!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We have a nice pseudo winter here. On average, we (used to) get about 100" of snow a year, but when it's not snowing, it's sunny.

For reference, pelican parts had the best deal for this, $3.50 + $2.95 USPS shipping. I've got nothing else to tie the order to as I'm fully stocked on maintenance supplies currently.
 

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I purchased a $50 eBay linkage from Quebec, Canada.
The shipping was super fast, and the seller was incredible. (more on that later)

Unfortunately, I later found out that the linkage pretty much required some "modification" right out of the box due to a design flaw.
The rubber grommet / spacer that sits on the outside of the pivot points just snaps. It cannot handle torque.

Once broken, there is not enough tension between the wiper and lock washer mentioned above, so the linkage just spins freely.
Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if its a design feature or flaw. If your wipers are frozen, this little part breaking may save the rest of the linkage.

Anyways, I reached out to the eBay seller and he shipped me out a free replacement. Arrived next day.
I fixed the problem by stacking 3 washers in place of that rubber piece. Not the most elegant solution, but it seems to work.

For anyone else in need of a wiper mechanism replacement, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this eBay mechanism + a minor "mod".
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/WINDSHIELD-WIPER-TRANSMISSION-LINKAGE-FITS-2004-2010-BMW-X3/183088420332


Edit:
Here is what I mean
 

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These stories are great...potentially hundreds of $$$$ and with some help here its less than a Starbucks coffee! Giddyup!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
These stories are great...potentially hundreds of $$$$ and with some help here its less than a Starbucks coffee! Giddyup!
Yes. These boards make ownership of out of warranty BMWs possible. It's a great feeling when the knowledge base helps save big $$.
 
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