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  #1  
Old 06-19-2022, 10:05 PM
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Help - New Front driveshaft not going in

New 1 inch longer front driveshaft seems to be hitting something or is it really hard to mallet back in? I have the transfer bolts out an inch, perhaps I need to wedge or tighten m12 bolts?
Any tips on getting new shaft back in? 6 cyl 2001.
I have the trans support off.





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Last edited by ewebby; 06-20-2022 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 06-20-2022, 01:25 AM
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I recently did something very similar. If the length of the entire shaft has been increased by 1", the transfer case needs to be removed to install the shaft. Very drastic. I ended up cutting a half inch off of mine and having it rebalanced to avoid that. Another option would be to have a half inch shorter in total shaft, with the properly lengthened splines, and add a spacer where it bolts to the guibo to properly mesh the splines. I didn't bother with that.
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Old 06-20-2022, 11:26 AM
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Get a set of needle files from Harbor Freight and find the one that most closely matches the spline. Relieve the burrs so the shaft goes in easier. Don't go crazy. I had a similar problem more than once on various axle shafts on BMW and Audi and this worked every time. Don't whack it with a mallet either. Finesse is your friend...
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Old 06-20-2022, 12:34 PM
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thanks

I have filed the grooves with a needle file and wire brush. I think I am hitting the stripped part of the upper groove and hitting the groove, I may need to twist clockwise after I insert while holding the transfer case female.
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Old 06-20-2022, 02:21 PM
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talked to bmw tech that sold this on ebay and I just need to file like you said. half moon then square file in the groove. I am hitting the broken section of the splines. It is supposed to go in fairly easily as they test with a broken one before shipping. Wish me luck
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Old 06-20-2022, 02:41 PM
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I have a used "as taken from service" transfer case if everything hits the wall.
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Old 06-22-2022, 02:03 PM
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I ended up giving up trying to get it into my old transfer case, I bought a new shaft and rebuilt transfer case from https://www.tcbmwx5.com/
check your splines, if they look like mine above, you need a transfer case. 4 hours of filing did not work due to the first inch of splines were half broken off and the torque kinda bent them, no way to get it in. 4 days of trying and figured with 260k prob worth it to get a rebuilt. Plan on keeping car for another 5 years so will see.
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Old 06-22-2022, 02:04 PM
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I ended up giving up trying to get it into my old transfer case, I bought a new shaft and rebuilt transfer case from https://www.tcbmwx5.com/
check your splines, if they look like mine above, you need a transfer case. 4 hours of filing did not work due to the first inch of splines were half broken off and the torque kinda bent them, no way to get it in. 4 days of trying and figured with 260k prob worth it to get a rebuilt. Plan on keeping car for another 5 years so will see.

after filing for 4+ hours with small flat and square files.

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Old 06-22-2022, 07:32 PM
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On your first pictures the splines don't look like bent but just worn out. Did you try to file the beginning of the shaft side splines a bit sharper (especially the side facing the worn side on transfer case)? I know this would lose a minor bit of effective length but could guide the splines past the egde of the worn part.
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Old 06-22-2022, 07:35 PM
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yes I tried to file down but that steel is very hard. not worth the time to work in a hot AZ garage, just punted. Thought about just cutting off the first inch of the female lol. but with 260k, probably worth it to just get a rebuilt one and move on to the next repair, fuel sending unit and 3nd set of motor mounts this fall.
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Last edited by ewebby; 06-23-2022 at 02:26 PM.
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