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  #11  
Old 12-16-2020, 12:05 PM
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Just buy the extended driveshaft from cobra transmission.
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2020, 01:11 PM
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Is it always the shaft splines that wear rather than the transfer case.


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  #13  
Old 12-16-2020, 04:19 PM
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It probably wears on both ends. To be clear it is not a problem of the splines wearing down it's that they don't engage far enough and the tips shear off. Think of like this: there's over an inch perhaps of unused spline in the TC. Only part of the prop shaft goes in and that part shears off. The fix is to engage farther into the TC.

Not sure how BMW whiffed on that one but "swing and a miss". I'm wondering if it's a supplier goof would be interesting to compare damaged original to other original that still are working if there is more spline length on the ones that survive.
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2020, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrym3 View Post
Is it always the shaft splines that wear rather than the transfer case.


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In my case, the splines in the transfer case were just as worn as the splines on the shaft.


The problem originated from the assembly plant when they failed to pack the TC splines with grease. It developed into the failure from water dripping on the shaft from the evaporator condensation drain, causing rust to start corroding the splines.


Mine failed at 136,000 miles. I've put 251,000 miles on the replacement drive shaft and transfer case with no issues - but it was well greased at the rebuild.


2002 X5 3.0 386,900 miles
2014 428i 74,000 miles


2004 325i sold at 123,600 miles
2001 325i sold at 66,000 miles


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  #15  
Old 12-16-2020, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
26207508629
Drive shaft assy front
L=774MM

That's what realoem has for my part number. I'm pretty confident I saw a different part with a different length but the "supersedes" part has the same length so overall length might not change just how far it goes Intp the TC.

Somebody sells a spacer that goes on the guibo to push the spline into the TC but I think there is a stop for a seal on the shaft so not sure how that would work.

If my shafts ever start to slip I would modify the end so it can go in farther and add the spacer vs. replace the shaft (I don't have welding capacity or I'd get the fixed end)
That's what I am doing here is the LINK for the part that I am using.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2020, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srmmmm View Post
The problem originated from the assembly plant when they failed to pack the TC splines with grease. It developed into the failure from water dripping on the shaft from the evaporator condensation drain, causing rust to start corroding the splines.
I doubt it. The splines need to have the correct tolerances AND mating area to begin with and the presence of grease will not make up for this. There are plenty of other instances of splined applications on any BMW platform. Example: drive axle through the drive flange where a whiff of grease (if that) is used from the factory and these don't fail but rather, freeze solid over time.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2020, 11:25 AM
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Iím not aware that I have a problem but I probably read to much about other peopleís problems and try to offset with preventative maintenance. So when time permits Iíll probably drop the shaft and inspect.


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  #18  
Old 12-17-2020, 12:07 PM
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so my 3.0 is manual. I always heard a clank sound when I took my feet off the clutch but never found the sound...Sooo when I replace the axle if there is no clank sound well then I will know. I did abused my X5 for the past two weeks going off road and over-landing dropping the clutch and what not. so I think that's why it decided to die on me...Thankfully I was just cheeking my mail box so I walked to my house and use the X3 to pull it over...Still waiting on the part tho.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2020, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
26207508629
Drive shaft assy front
L=774MM

That's what realoem has for my part number. I'm pretty confident I saw a different part with a different length but the "supersedes" part has the same length so overall length might not change just how far it goes Intp the TC.

Somebody sells a spacer that goes on the guibo to push the spline into the TC but I think there is a stop for a seal on the shaft so not sure how that would work.

If my shafts ever start to slip I would modify the end so it can go in farther and add the spacer vs. replace the shaft (I don't have welding capacity or I'd get the fixed end)
I just checked realOEM using an '03 4.6IS. Same part number (26207508629) and length (774mm).

I also purchased the spacer from a vendor in Russia (via ebay) that another user posted about recently (separate thread) - I think that's the one you are referring to.

I agree with the question of seal, and also consider the question on needing longer bolts. I'll post up the results. May not happen before spring.
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2020, 02:46 PM
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This just happened to me 3 weeks ago. Here's my walkthrough. Sorry no pictures.

02/2000 4.4i with around 115k miles.

The driveshaft splines were stripped about as bad as the transfercase splines but since I'm going with almost double the spline engagement I don't see much need to replace the front drive output on the transfer case at this time. When i rebuild the transmission last year, I had an excellent experience with cobra transmission so it was an easy decision to buy the 1" longer driveshaft from them. I wholeheartedly recommend Cobra Transmission.

Prep: Safely support the X5 in the air. Level as best you can. Remove front wheels and slide them under the X5 in a manner so that if your jackstands fail, you have a small plan B to keep you from getting totally squashed. You also need the front wheels off in order to get to complete step 1.

Step 1: Remove the reinforcement plate. Anything short of changing the oil requires the removal of this stupid plate.

Step 2: remove all 6 front driveshaft guibo bolts. Use a pry bar or large flat head screw driver to pry the driveshaft away from the differential. The splined end of the drive shaft should slide into the transfercase. This should give you enough clearance to wiggle out the guibo and centering plate. Once the guibo and centering plate are out, the driveshaft should be able to slide out and be removed. Look at the splines, confirm that is your issue. Inspect the splines in the transfercase front drive output. Make sure there are good splines in there. If the driveshaft grease seal stayed on the transfercase, make sure to work this off the transfercase too as the new driveshaft has a new grease seal already on it.

Step 3: Test fit the new longer driveshaft. Just maybe you will be able to fit it and save yourself a lot of time. If your experience is like mine, I could not get the driveshaft in. It was just too long by about 6 mm, so close! I didn't want to force it and chance bending the driveshaft and developing new vibrations from that so I came to terms with taking the long road of backing the transfercase off enough to give clearance. If you get to this step and your new longer driveshaft fits, then hey you're in luck! Go ahead and skip to step.... eh nevermind. If you're this lucky then you probably don't need help and can figure it out on your own. For the rest of us suckers, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4: Remove the front section of the exhaust. This is a chore unless you happen to have fresh 1 year old hardware from your transmission rebuild. In my case, it was still a chore but I had no broken exhaust studs this time. To prevent damage be sure to unplug your O2 sensors before lowering the exhaust. Also to prevent damage, it's best to use a hydraulic jack to help you lower the exhaust down or get a buddy to support one end of the exhaust. Start by removing the nuts on the exhaust manifold flange, then remove the difficult to access spring loaded fasteners at the muffler flange. After you have fasteners removed/broken off, then remove the 4 exhaust hangers from the chassis and lower the exhaust down. Set the exhaust out of the way. Remove the 2 exhaust heat shields in order to give access to the transfercase crossmember bolts. Set the heatshields out of the way.

Pro Tip: If you have not recently removed your exhaust, there is a pretty good chance that you'll break the studs off the flanges or spring loaded fasteners that attach to the muffler sections. Studs and fasteners are cheap so just order them in advance and plan on them breaking. This is a lot easier than having your vehicle out of commission for a week while you wait for a $3 exhaust manifold stud to arrive in the mail.

Step 5: Remove rear driveshaft. Loosen the 3 fasteners holding the guibo to the transfercase rear output flange. Make a quick mark on the output flange and the guibo so that you get those put back in the same place later. Remove the rear driveshaft carrier bearing from the chassis. Now remove the 3 loosened bolts from the guibo/output flange and let the driveshaft hang. Push it to the side so that it's out of the way.

Step 6: Get the floorjack/transmission jack. Support the transmission under the oil pan with the jack. Use something like a 2x6 piece of wood to spread out the weight or you could damage your transmission oil pan. Once supported, loosen the 6 bolts that hold the transfercase crossmember to the chassis. The transfercase crossmember must be completely removed to give clearance to the transfercase housing bolts. Now loosen and remove the single really long transfer case mount bolt from the crossmember. Once that bolt is removed, now you can remove the 6 bolts from the crossmember to the chassis and remove the crossmember from the vehicle. Set the crossmember aside. Lower the transmission/transfercase assembly just enough to give access to the 2 bolts on the top of of the transfercase housing.

Step 7. Since I only needed about 6 mm of clearance, I decided not to completely remove the transfercase and only loosened the bolts to the transmission enough that I could slide the transfercase out far enough to allow the new driveshaft to be fitted. Please ensure that you are using the correct Torx sockets and not trying to get by with a 12 point hex socket. There isn't much room to get at these torx head bolts, in fact there is one bolt on the driverside that did not allow much clearance for a ratchet. I was able to crack loose with the ratchet and then slip a 12 point ratcheting box end wrench on it to back it the rest of the way out. Once all of the bolts are backed out/removed, slide the transfercase away from the transmission. If it does not want back off, make sure you have all of the bolts loose and you may need to give it a few blows from a mallet. It slid away from the transmission very easily for me.

Step 8: Now that the transfercase is backed off, let's try to fit the driveshaft now. For me this is all I needed. Before I permanently mounted the driveshaft I brushed out any rust/dust out of the splines in the transfercase front drive output, greased the splines on the new driveshaft and greased the grease seal so that it slides onto the transfercase housing easier.

Step 9: Install front driveshaft splines first. Then push the driveshaft into the splines as far as you can, you may need to pry it against the differential with a 2x4 or a hammer handle. Make sure that the grease seal is seated on the transfercase housing. Now fit the guibo and centering flange. Loosely bolt the guibo and centering flange in place between the driveshaft and differential.

Step 10: Slide the transfercase back against the transmission and tighten the bolts. Caution Aluminum threads, DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN! Use the torque specs provided by Bentley or your equivalent service manual. Now fit the transfercase crossmember back in place. Loosely assembly the long bolt through the mount, then with the hydraulic jack, raise the transmission/transfercase assembly so that you can fit the 6 bolts that hold the crossmember to the chassis. Install the 6 bolts and torque to spec. Now torque to spec the big transfercase/crossmember bolt. Now that the transfercase and transmission are bolted back in place you can remove the jack from supporting this assembly.

Step 11: Now that the transfercase is back in place, attach the rear driveshaft and carrier bearing and torque to spec. Go to front driveshaft and ensure that there is some play in the splines to allow the driveshaft to slide in and out of the transfercase. If for some reason the driveshaft were too long you would not have end play and could damage the transfercase/differential. Confirm that it's not bottoming out, then tighten and torque the guibo bolts to spec now.

Step 12: Exhaust. If you have to replace the exhaust manifold studs do this before trying to install the exhaust. Install the exhaust heat shields now! If you don't, you'll have to remove the exhaust again in order to put the heat shields on. If the studs are good, use a friend or perfectly balance the exhaust section on a jack and raise the exhaust section into place. Wiggle the exhaust over the manifold studs. Loosely install a nut on each side of the exhaust manifold studs to help keep the exhaust on while working at the rear of the exhaust section. Now wiggle the muffler sections into place in the exhaust. The exhaust hangers like to flip upside down when off the car, so make sure that all 4 are facing the right direction before starting to bolt the exhaust hangers to the chassis. Attach all four exhaust hangers and tighten to spec. Then attach the exhaust to the exhaust manifolds and torque to spec. Moving to the muffler connection, since these are spring loaded fasteners, there isn't really a reason for a torque spec and good luck getting a torque wrench in that tiny space anyway. Just wrench until the nut bottoms out on the stop on the hardware. If you're confused how this fastener goes on, the spring portion of the fastener goes on the muffler flange section and the nut goes on the front exhaust section. Connect all 4 O2 sensors now before you forget.

Step 13: Put that reinforcement plate back on. 6 bolts, 6 nuts, 2 screws, you know the deal. Service manual says to torque and then 90į... eh...approximately 65 ft-lbs should do it.

Now you're done with the hard part. Put the wheels back on and lower the vehicle down on the ground. Torque the wheel studs to 100 ft-lbs just to be sure. Take it for a drive and listen for any strange sounds or new vibrations. If it all goes as planned you'll be enjoying a nice smooth drive with no strange sounds and no new vibrations.

Last step, relax. That was a lot of work. You deserve a hot shower and a stiff drink.
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Last edited by ///Monster123; 12-17-2020 at 02:58 PM.
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