Problem knocking noise is now finally solved! the initial diagnosis of the CV joint was correct. to sum up, the CV joint is not repairable or changeable, it does necessitate changing the drive shaft. BMW over the course yr 2000-2001 changed the numerous items at the back of the car. firstly the drive shaft itself was changed. from an item of equal diameter over its exposed length to possibly a stronger/improved version which has a larger diameter at either end. this also changed the type of CV joint on the diff end. this can be identified by how thick the drive shaft flange is and what size bolts you have fitted i.e. 23mm or 46mm. This also means that the diff output flanges are different. early model 330ci's will possibly have a flange that has an 86mm PCD where as later shafts require the flange that has a 94mm PCD. next at the wheel end of the drive shaft, the reluctor ring which is what generates the the square wave signal proportionate to speed is also a smaller at 79mm but still creates 47 pulses per rotation. The reluctor rings can be removed if you are careful with a punch and hammer see pics to further explain. next, the late model drive shaft with the small reluctor ring uses a sensor that works using the Hall effect. early model use a sensor that uses induction and therefore the two are not interchangeable also. Hope this helps anyone. Rule one is check twice buy once!!
Last edited by Stanleyf233; 10-06-2012 at 08:07 AM.