The bad DISA I have laying around here had a totally rounded drive arm so the butterfly would spin on the shaft AND the vacuum diaphragm was leaking, not fully blown, however, it would not hold a vacuum.
As I recall it came off a 2003 325xi wagon with about 115k miles on it and this was about 18 months ago.
Since it was a customer car, I was not willing to deal with a "repair". Also if it was my personal car, I would not likely repair the DISA. There was an updated part number for all the DISA's at one point, however, I do not know the details as to what the differences were.
Great that the OP went the GAS route and it worked for you. The pricing has come down slightly from the original pricing. But there were a lot of folks that were sucked in and failed to understand the bigger picture. Then GAS came up with the guarantee that if anything else failed on the DISA you installed a repair kit on withing 5 years, they would credit the repair kit purchase price toward one of their upgraded "gold" DISA's. Many jumped the the conclusion they they would get a replacement DISA withing 5 years without reading the fine print that you would have to spend about $225 more for the GAS "gold" DISA, when you could get an OEM DISA for $175.
Frankly if the original DISA lasted close to 10 years, if I was to install a new OEM DISA now, would I even need to worry about it for the length of time that I may still own the car?? How many on this forum will still be driving our E46 on its 20th anniversary? Who knows, but there are very few things that last forever other than PCB's and DDT!
As for the rear pin ingestion there are 2 issues, the pin falls out when the DISA is removed and the person removing the DISA is unaware the pin fell out and the DISA self destructs and wears the rear of the DISA so bad that then the butterfly valve finally breaks free the DISA pin can either come out with the butterfly valve or will fall out shortly after due to vibration, thermal changes and vehicle cornering. The catastrophic problem does not happen often and I would hope someone would address the noisy valve long before it comes apart, but in the real world, anything is possible!
To the OP, in case you have not read any of the links in my signature, suggest you check them out. You may find some of the info interesting?
Last edited by jfoj; 01-08-2013 at 08:28 PM.