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Old 08-21-2014, 11:43 AM
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Exclamation Cracked transfer case

The service center was replacing the transmission mount which is connected to the transfer case. When the transfer case was brought down, the aluminum case had a few cracks on the outside and some even chipped off when the rubber mount was removed. Dealer says it'll only get worse and worst case scenario is the whole case falling off and crippling the vehicle. Replacement is the only option available. They are asking for over $3,000. The rubber mount also has a crack but it's replaceable. Should I just drive the car or replace it? I initially told them to just install it back with the new mount, but they told me to reconsider. Why on earth the case would break in the first place is beyond me. I have pictures they sent me, as I was not at the service center.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by autoque View Post
Should I just drive the car or replace it?
Is there really any question? I know that's a lot of $$ but there's no way in hell I would put that back into my car.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:54 PM
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See if Bwareca has a used one from his salvage X5.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoque View Post
Why on earth the case would break in the first place is beyond me. I have pictures they sent me, as I was not at the service center.
Possibly from continuing to operate with a failed transmission mount? Was it banging?
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:01 PM
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What if the shop did that when removing the mount
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:14 AM
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1. Im not sure that crack is in an area that will matter. Is it propagating to any sealed compartments? Is it just weight bearing?

2. can it be welded/repaired? Just because the shop doesnt do it doesnt mean it cant be done. Frankly if the tech had that happen on his personal car I'll be he would figure out a way to repair it.

3. Part is $2100 from Getbmwparts. Less elsewhere I'd bet... shop can come down. Or tow it elsewhere.

But for me Id find someone very good at welding
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:50 AM
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I decided to take the chance and drive for now. Thought about welding, but SA recommended against it as aluminum doesn't do well with heat.
If the cracks don't get deeper into the transfer case and stay on the lip as shown in the photo, it may not matter so much. So for now, it's fine, but I'll have to keep a close eye on it in the future.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:45 AM
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I've had good success with aluminum welding. The whole gap would have to be opened up to allow material flow. It's hard to tell from the pics but it looks like the case may have to be split to do it right.

One thing the aluminum welder would do is drill a hole at the end of the crack to give that fracture a clean end point. If you're not going to weld it I would at least drill the end point if possible, it would probably prevent the fracture from growing.

At the very least, mark the ends of the fracture with some nail polish so that when you go back to inspect it later you can see how much it's grown.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:45 PM
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When I see "SA" i think "BMW Dealer"...then I think "idiot" and "lazy" and "parts replacer"

But that's just me....
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ard View Post
When I see "SA" i think "BMW Dealer"...then I think "idiot" and "lazy" and "parts replacer"

But that's just me....
Very frustrating! - the new school, lack of diagnostic, worried about liability replacement way rather than the old school, repair, why did it fail analysis, more cost effective way with a lot less good parts being scrapped needlessly.

The clothes washer has a noise...rather get my hands dirty to try and fix it - successful or not rather than just calling someone who just wants to replace it...
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