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Old 06-20-2013, 08:16 PM
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Driveshaft related metallic spinning noise- agree?

I put a post on here a few weeks ago about a mysterious noise but no one had any good suggestions. Rightfully so, seeing as how vague I was based on the lack of really any info I had.

Well I believe I have narrowed it down.

Noise is characterized as metallic, spinning,"rubbing scraping sound" But scraping hollow, not low pitched. unrelated to wheel speed. related to RPM (It occurs like a bent bike tire rubbing against the frame in one spot, but more metallic)

While driving and hearing the noise I shift to neutral, sound immediately goes away. Rev engine in park or neutral, no noise.

So not engine, not wheels must be drive line.

After heavily searching on the internet. I believe I have narrowed it down to 3 plausible culprits.

1. Center Mount Bearing or (Drive Shaft Bearing, CSB)

2. Transfer case.

3. Drive shaft CV joint (I don't believe its this, does not match standard sound)

I just stuck my head under the car and looked at the CMB. Rubber seems flexible and resists my push and pull on the shaft.

I twist the rear shaft back and forth and listen. I only hear the strong clink, clink of the teeth connecting. Seems fine.

I scoot to the front shaft (before the Transfer Case). I twist it. Nothing weird.

I grab the front shaft,push and pull up and down and I HEAR SOMETHING. Very faint but sounds metallic. Almost like picking up a metal ball bearing and dropping it on metal a few millimeters up.

I believe the bearing inside the transfer case may be bad.

Would account for the "bad spot" in the spinning scraping sound

Questions:

1. Sound plausible? Agree?
2. Does anyone know if its possible or worth taking it apart to change one bearing inside the transfer case? Seems less expensive that way.
3. Other ideas?

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:35 PM
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Transfer Case Express $1150 for rebuilt with 12 month warranty.

I believe they also sell a front driveshaft that has a longer spline section on it for better engagement in the transfer case.

I can't believe there hasn't been a recall on the seriously undersigned OEM driveshaft. On my 3.0, it barely had 3/4" of the splines engaged when they wore off at 136,000 miles and I came to a grinding halt.

2002 X5 3.0
2004 325i
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:42 PM
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Haven't had issue with chain, actuator or slippage which is more chain and shaft related so I dont think I need a reman. There is a thread on the site with someone showing the complete breakdown of the transfer case replacement. I would call it long and hard but not overly complicated. Skilled mechanic might take 4 hours to do it. Me probably all day. Pop out the bearing and install a new one and "I think" I'm good to go.

Bearing is about $60 depending where you buy it. Labor would be the big charge if shop does it.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:00 PM
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A used transfer case was installed for my repair. The dealer would not warranty his work with a rebuilt unit at the time (Aug 2009). As I recall, the labor was about $1800 which included replacing the seals on the used transfer case, replacing the front driveshaft (had to be a new one), and installing the transfer case. Total bill was close to $4600. I'd sure be checking yours as soon as possible to avoid damage to the chain and wear on those driveshaft splines.

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2004 325i
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:04 PM
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If it's related to engine speed but not wheel speed, it's ahead of the transmission. I'd be looking closely at accessory drive bits or accessories. PS pump, alternator, water pump, AC pump...

Does the sound change with AC on or off?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davintosh View Post
If it's related to engine speed but not wheel speed, it's ahead of the transmission. I'd be looking closely at accessory drive bits or accessories. PS pump, alternator, water pump, AC pump...

Does the sound change with AC on or off?
+1.
Although, you mention you don't hear the noise if you rev in park or neutral, which would eliminate the belt driven items. Based on your description, it must be in the transmission.
It wouldn't be the 3 items you narrowed it down to because those are related to vehicle speed, not engine speed.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:38 PM
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Update:

I took it in to a transmission shop. Had it up on the lift and ran the engine/wheels. Not a single noise. Brought it down off the lift and drove it, there was the noise again. Mechanic couldn't figure it out?! So we randomly sprayed lubricant in the shaft seals after the engine, before and after transfer case.

The noise was 95% gone! Now it comes and goes intermittently and quieter than before. I GUESS the one spot we sprayed that made the most difference was the seal after the Transfer case as it went to the back axle.

Looking on Real oem, I wonder if the centering sleeve may be rubbing? no idea. I just intend on getting down there again and really drenching the seals with targeted lubricant.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:02 PM
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Yes,

Turns out it was the drive shaft dust cap just before the actual transfer case! I wedged a flat head screw driver into the gap between shaft and cap and bent back the cap all around the shaft and the noise is gone. I assume that I hit something on the road and it dinged the cap and made it warp enough to scrap against the transfer case. Hope you get lucky and its the same thing.

This took me about 2 months, 3 mechanics and one distant specialty shop to figure out the cause in my driveway with a flat head screwdriver. And to think I was going to replace the transfer case!!
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:35 PM
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Picture please, or could you i.d. the part in a realoem diagram? I'm guessing you mean the cap where the front driveshaft goes in the transfer case?
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:14 PM
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This appears to be correct part number 27147531521 or part 9 on realoem RealOEM.com * BMW E53 X5 3.0i Single parts f transfer case NV 125
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