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Old 04-26-2021, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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cn90 is on a distinguished road
2006 X5 3.0i 140K REAR driveshaft questions...

Hi all,

My E53 2006 X5 3.0i 6spMT with 140K has been making the "clanking sounds" in the rear CV joint for a few years.
Time to do proper repair...

I am familiar with BMW driveshaft issues (CSB usually wearing out at 150K+, rear CV Joint grease drying out). I last did this in my 1998 528i with 160K and wrote it up here, but I hated exhaust work bc of the rusted exhaust nuts/bolts:


For X5, this youtuber did the front 1/2 job (CSB, Giubo) without addressing the rear CV joint grease issue.
He did it w/o removing the exhaust.


I want to do a complete job as I did for my 1998 528i (which is CSB, Giubo, bushing and re-grease the rear CV joint)...

My question is: can one remove the E53 M54 X5 driveshaft w/o removing the exhaust?
1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT

Last edited by cn90; 04-27-2021 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 04-26-2021, 08:52 PM
wpoll's Avatar
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Was there supposed to be a link to a YouTuber in there? :-)
2005 BMW X5 3.0d (b 02/05)
2001 BMW F650GS Dakar (b 06/01)
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Old 04-26-2021, 09:32 PM
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When I changed the TC on 328xi, I was able to pull the drive shaft out of the TC by utilizing the flex at the CSB. I don't recall exactly where the flex was. Oh maybe on that car I just unbolted the guibo and had to remove all the CSB bolts to drop the drive shaft. I've not removed the drive shaft on e53 but looking at realoem, it looks very similar and if you can remove the front half of the shaft from the TC @ guibo you off course can pull the DS out of the diff.

Find my thread on changing rear bearings as you can use tricks on there to change CV axle without dropping suspension or the exhaust.
E53 / M54 2001 3.0i gas LHD (pair of them: his & her)
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:30 AM
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RocketyMan is on a distinguished road
To answer OP question, you don't have to completely remove the exhaust. In my experience, to gain access to the carrier pinion flange fasteners I just removed the exhaust flanges so that I can get the heat shield out of the way to get the carrier pinion fasteners out. Hopefully that helps..
2003 BMW X5 3.0 -- manual, 3.64s final gears, H&R lowering springs, K-Mac bushing kit
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Old 04-27-2021, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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cn90 is on a distinguished road
I borrow this photo from Pelican to show everyone the Rear CV Joint tight space. But I think one can re-grease the Rear CV Joint using this method (separating the 2 halves in situ, leaving the rear half in place).

Once the front half is removed, the rear half can slide back and forth (after the nuts are removed), allowing you to remove old grease and pack in new grease.
Once the nuts are re-tightened, push the shaft rearward to force the grease into the front chamber (under the rubber boot). Lack of grease in the front chamber causes clanking sounds bc the balls run freely in that chamber...

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1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:37 AM
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Does this clanking happen on acceleration?
Any slipping vibration? Diagnosing a slipping feeling on acceleration.
2005 X5 3.0 6-spd.
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Old 05-05-2021, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
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I don't know if it's possible without removing the exhaust, but I can say that for my 2001 3.0i, dropping the exhaust was way easier than I expected. I found I needed to do that when reconnecting up at the exhaust manifolds following some engine work. I wrestled with things for a while trying to find that extra inch needed to connect the exhaust to the manifolds/cats, then gave up and dropped the exhaust, and it was pretty easy after capitulating. Big, etc., so I used milk crates to support the removed sections, but the bolts all came out easily, went back together easily, etc.

Separate question ...
At 197k miles, I've got no problems back there, but the rear CV joints and rear driveshaft CV have never been touched. So I was thinking of pumping in some new grease as I often do with old CV joints that don't need anything other than grease.

Is there any reason I can't inject new grease through a gap between the rear driveshaft and the rubber boot? Of course also draining old stuff out of that same gap. Rear end jacked to let gravity help me. I'd prefer to not remove any parts or nuts/bolts if I don't have to. Removing panels, exhaust, etc. down there I'm not worried about.

I followed your links to your 528 DIY tutorial, etc., but still have this question. Thanks for all the info.
2001 X5 3.0i, 190k miles, AT, owned since 2014
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