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Old 08-07-2019, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Quincy, IL
Posts: 37
trhaverstock is on a distinguished road
Help with metallic noise E53 3.0 6 speed manual

My 2004 X5 3.0i is a 6 speed manual trans and has been making a weird metallic rubbing/grinding noise under load. A metal on metal rubbing kind of noise. It is neither really quiet or loud of a volume. I love my X5 but the noise has gotten slightly worse over the past several months and is driving me nuts.

It only makes the noise when accelerating under moderate load but usually not light or heavy load. Has to be in gear to make the noise happen. When coasting in gear or in neutral no noise. Braking does not cause the noise. I replaced my belts and all pulleys except the hydraulic pulley/tensioner (that is enroute right now) and the noise was unaffected. I had my son drive it tonight with the hood up :-) :-) and me hanging off the engine bay. It is coming from the driver side of the engine bay OR underneath with the sound transferring up into the driver side. I also jacked the car up on 4 jackstands and drove it. No noise!! :-) It is solely load based.

I am absolutely perplexed! Any suggestions from the wisdom of the group? I tried to search old posts and saw many things but not any that I felt matched up to these symptoms. Thank you!!! Todd
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: NY
Posts: 81
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Sorry to hear of your trouble.

If I had to guess either the transfer case or front diff.

I have the same setup at 134k.

Has any running gear fluid been recently changed?

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Old 08-07-2019, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Quincy, IL
Posts: 37
trhaverstock is on a distinguished road
Sounds good! I forgot to mention I have just over 98k miles. No fluid changes recently... Any tests on troubleshooting either item? Perhaps I need to evaluate a fluid change?

Last edited by trhaverstock; 08-07-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2018
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Sorry to say, but it sounds like your diff is the issue and if it's from damage due to low fluid...

The lash could be just out enough due to wear/tear and and may be fixable with adjustment but burnt gears are pricey...

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Old 08-08-2019, 02:03 AM
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It could also be a front drive shaft (rubbing on something?) or even a failing giubo.
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: North East
Posts: 61
Calipsoe is on a distinguished road
+2 on checking the guibo's.

When a guibo is failing it will deform under the centrifugal force exerted by the rotation of the transmission/driveshaft and will not be able to keep the driveshaft centered on the transmission output shaft. That causes vibration in the drive train and possibly the metallic sound depending on how bad the guibo is.

The guibo essentially transfers the load from the transmission to the driveshaft. If there is no load on the guibo (when you raised the car and drove it) then it probably has enough integrity to hold itself together and not produce any symptoms. But once a load is applied (wheels on the ground and transmission engaged) it will be transferred to the guibo causing it to deform.

When you engage the clutch you stop transferring power from the transmission to the driveshaft basically removing the load from the guibo.

Over time the guibo will deteriorate and start coming apart making the vibration and metallic noise more pronounced. Here's a link to a worn guibo vs a new guibo.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:09 PM
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 176
Mouse is on a distinguished road
Another vote for checking the guibo's/flex disc...I just replaced mine for the same noise. Mine was on decel tho so YMMV.

Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Quincy, IL
Posts: 37
trhaverstock is on a distinguished road
Crawled under and looked at the guibo and it doesn't look all that bad (was expecting something terrible) but it sounds like it could be off my just enough to cause the issue. It's hard to pinpoint the noise when troubleshooting but that is the general area it feels like it's coming from so I appreciate all of the advice. I ordered a new guibo tonight and hopefully it'll be here in a few days to install.

I did read the step by step at https://www.pelicanparts.com/techart...eplacement.htm and it doesn't look to terrible to drop that in.

Thanks! T
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Quincy, IL
Posts: 37
trhaverstock is on a distinguished road
Hey E53 friends - I replaced the guibo this weekend and that did not fix it :-(. No better or worse on the noise. The rear of the driveshaft spline looked very good; checked it while I had things apart. The old guibo was not in terrible shape and may have been replaced by the previous owner.

Any suggestions on useful threads to troubleshoot some of the earlier suggestions? Or additional ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2019, 08:26 AM
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Get it on a lift and drive it in the air while you mech looks for the noise.
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