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  #1  
Old 05-19-2024, 09:48 PM
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'01 3.0 Going through driveshaft center support bearings fast

Hi all,
I have 2001 X5 auto 3.0, with about 180,000 miles. The car has ripped up the center driveshaft support bearing about 25k miles ago, I replaced it along with the flex disc/guibo. I checked everything over and found no issues, joints were tight...etc
about 10k later I started noticing a similar sound coming from under the car, near the transmission tunnel when under heavier acceleration.
Sure enough it was the center carrier bearing separating from the metal bracket. I replaced it again and about 7k miles later started hearing the sound again when under heavy acceleration, up an incline or with more weight in the rear of the car.
Being a 2001 with such high milage and other issues I'm not looking to put a new driveshaft in it- quite frankly i dont see anything wrong with the original one. I bought this car from the original owner at 70k and it rides well and has been reliable, but i also dont want to be doing center bearings at every oil change...

anything i should check?

thank you
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2024, 10:24 PM
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Symptoms suggest something wore like the rear u-joint causing a wobble that's beating up the CSB.

You replaced the giubo so I'd look the other direction.

You can set up the likes of GoPro (I use my fiber optic camera strapped in pointing at what I need and it's wifi so I can record video or take pictures.

https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/...joint-e53.html

I've found threads that talk about it and others that show how to replace just the u-joint on other "non serviceable" u-joint BMW.

I found one link to a place that you can buy just the u-joint if you can measure exactly the size you need.

I did not find the answer to that but it's out there. I can't think of anything other than worn u-joint or bent prop shaft that will cause your symptoms.
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:03 AM
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There is a procedure to put the proper tension on the center bearing (slotted holes) when installing it. There is no spline, just the guibo on the front portion of the driveshaft to take up any misalignment issues which might be worse if engine/trans mounts are worn etc.
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Old 05-20-2024, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for the helpful advice. Adding the GoPro is genius.
I did the engine mounts at 120k but not the trans mount. I'll do that along with the CSB next round.

Could the rear subframe bushings cause this as well?
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:05 AM
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'01 3.0 Going through driveshaft center support bearings fast

No not any way I can see. The point of the back u-joint is to deal with any angle difference from the rear dif input and the angle of the rear half of the rear prop shaft.

Unless somehow your diff moved like a shudder motion to whip the prop. Just changed angle from diff shifting the u-joint will just do its job.

You should be able to try to manhandle the u-joint and detect play. If it's bad enough to shake the prop enough to shred the CSB you should be able to tell. Of course go pro will show it live.

The prestress mentioned above is to preload the giubo so it's just flexing and not also stretching front to back. The CSB doesn't have any axial play. Skipping that step will put undo stress on the giubo but not likely on the CSB.

You can get/make poly bushing for CSB which will be a trade off in longevity for smoothness but if the u-joint is the cause it'll shake the car pretty hard.

There is an issue with the connection at the back differential input that can cause similar symptoms and the GoPro diagnostic will help determine where is the wobble.

If the bearing or the spline going into the diff is worn you'll get a wobble aft of the u-joint. So look for smooth operation there and ahead of the u-joint.

Somebody has replaced just the u-joint on e53 it can be removed by grinding off the staked in bumps just need to find the exact size part and reproduce some method of holding on the new one. One guy cut grooves for snap ring. I'd prob do that myself.
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:33 AM
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my 01 with a 5spd manual had a slight driveline vibration that i just assumed was tires. ended up being the rear u joint was stuck and actually caused so much driveline vibration it broke the clutch disk. your rear u joint should be able to rotate on all axis by hand freely. if it seems stiff or requires effort than it maybe bad. you can replace just the rear half of the driveshaft from any model e53 x5. i put a used one in that i picked up for $50 and havent had a issue since
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Old 05-20-2024, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freedo View Post
my 01 with a 5spd manual had a slight driveline vibration that i just assumed was tires. ended up being the rear u joint was stuck and actually caused so much driveline vibration it broke the clutch disk. your rear u joint should be able to rotate on all axis by hand freely. if it seems stiff or requires effort than it maybe bad. you can replace just the rear half of the driveshaft from any model e53 x5. i put a used one in that i picked up for $50 and havent had a issue since

That's true you can just replace the back half and u-joint can last a million miles so it's not a high risk used part


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Old 05-20-2024, 02:53 PM
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The rear portion of the driveshaft is splined so not likely that the sub frame bushings are going to cause a problem with the steady bearing.

BTW it's bad enough that andrewwynn already claims himself to be a genius so reinforcing that usually results in a volcano of BS so I'm out.
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Old 05-20-2024, 11:49 PM
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Well andrewwynn does seem to speak the truth, and with those e70 hes got great taste in cars....
I'll try and get the gopro on there, it all felt tight when I was under there manhandling. So are all pre LCI e53 auto driveshafts the same?
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2024, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellspcangel911 View Post
Well andrewwynn does seem to speak the truth, and with those e70 hes got great taste in cars....
I'll try and get the gopro on there, it all felt tight when I was under there manhandling. So are all pre LCI e53 auto driveshafts the same?
all pre facelift drive shafts are the same. so a V8 auto can be swapped with a I6 manual trans which was super nice.
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