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Old 04-29-2013, 11:35 PM
MrFixIt MrFixIt is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: KC, KS
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I just replaced the double joint on my X5 (2003 4.4 with duel heater water regulator. Not much room to work, but I took a short cut. Actual job took only 42 minutes, and I was going very slow.

OP, thank you for posting this DIY. Spent hours reading all the posts related to this problem, and more hours staring at the double joint on the X trying to figure out how to remove the lower torx bolt (#10) without having to remove all the hoses like the OP did.

I did not remove any water hoses (hrs of extra work avoided). Here is what I did:

1. (Safety) Waited until the X5 engine compartment was completely cold before starting any work.

2. Jacked the front of the X5 up slightly; put on jack stand (safety). This will allow you to manipulate the steering wheel easily and without putting too much torque on the double joint while the upper torx is removed. Also gave me a little more room to work from the bottom.

3. Dead centered the steering wheel to expose the upper torx bolt.

4. Removed the three 10mm bolts holding the heater regulator against the wall (see pic), and sort of pushed the entire hoses/unit out of the way enough to clear sufficient room to work the upper bolt on the double joint. Removed the upper torx bolt (used long extension). Kept the steering column attached after removing upper bolt.

5. From dead center, turned steering wheel (gently) 180 degrees left or right (BMW logo will be upside down). This will align the bottom torx bolt to the rear of the X5 where it will easily be accessible.

6. Approached the X5 from the front and under. You should be able to access the lower bolt with an extension and remove the bolt. I found it was easiest to position the ratchet extension above the sway bar--the angle of attack was almost perfect. Removed the bolt.

7. Went back up to work from the top. Removed the double joint. Pulled up on the steering column; it easily disengaged from the double joint.

8. Reached down and pulled up the lower part of the double to disengage it from the bottom splines. Took a slightly more force, but came off easily.

9. Gently maneuvered the double joint out.

10. Cleaned the contact points of the steering column and the lower part/spines. Applied a light coat of high temp grease.

11. Installed double joint. Did the lower first; aligned and gently pushed down. (do not force if jammed).

12. Aligned steering column and upper double joint--gently pulled down the column. It should fall in smoothly--did. Had to turn steering wheel slightly to properly align the slots.

13. Went back under the X and installed the torx bolt (must use new bolt). Torqued to spec (I torqued to "yep, that's good and tight"--hard to get a torque wrench in there).

14. Gently turned steering wheel back to dead center.

15. Installed the upper torx bolt (must use new bolt) and torqued to spec.

16. Tested steering wheel with a few turns--silky smooth and felt as new.

17. Removed jack stands and lowered the X.

18. Reinstalled the three 10mm bolts on the water heater regulator. Inspected all hoses/connections, put them all back in their places, and double checked all work. Done!

19. Road tested--WOW! It's new again. No more popping, cracking, clicking. Nice and tight and zero play.

The old double joint was so loose and clunky. The black rubber bushings were deteriorated.
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2003 X5 4.4i Titanium Silver

Last edited by MrFixIt; 04-29-2013 at 11:44 PM.
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